The Dayton Jewish Observer, August 2018

Page 1

Words have newfound U.S. premiere of Yiddish Fiddler p. 23 David Moss designsweight Grace in After Meals in comic book form p. 22 August 2018 Av/Elul 5778 Vol. 22, No. 12

Published by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton

The Miami Valley’s Jewish Monthly • Online at Arcadia Publishing


New book presents visual history of Dayton’s Jews

Bar & Bat Mitzvahs 24 Daytonian’s Tel Aviv championship


Maccabi Tel Aviv

Norris Cole

An Iran-free Syria?

Address Service Requested

Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton 525 Versailles Drive Dayton, OH 45459


Shealah Craighead/White House

U.S. Pres. Donald Trump & Russian Federation Pres. Vladimir Putin, July 16



Art of the Jewish Scribe program at Beth Abraham

Monthly Friday Night Shabbat Dinner with all your traditional favorites. Led by Joe Bettman. Friday, August 24, 5 p.m. $10 per person. R.S.V.P.

Learn. Monthly Diabetic Support Group. With Gem City Home Care’s Mara Lamb. Tuesday, August 14, 10:30 a.m. & 6 p.m. R.S.V.P.

Schmooze. Join us for a free cup of coffee & hospitality at our Coffee House. Every Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free WiFi.

When Sofer (Jewish ritual scribe) Rabbi Yochanan Salazar visits Beth Abraham Synagogue to evaluate its Torah scrolls and make necessary repairs for several days, the community will be able to watch him at work during his presentation, The Art of the Jewish Scribe: A Window Into the Sofer’s World, on Monday, Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. A native of Ecuador, Salazar received his rabbinic ordination in 2004 from Rabbi Daniel Channen in Beit Shemesh, Israel. He studied safrut (the Jewish scribal arts) as an apprentice of Rabbis Gedaliah and Moshe Druin, and received his ordination as a sofer from Rabbi Eliyahu Ben Haim, head of Sephardic studies at Yeshiva University. Salazar heads the Torah restoration department of Sofer on Site, in the employ of the Rabbi Yochanan Salazar Druins, and travels the United States restoring Torahs and teaching communities how to properly care for their Torahs. For more information, call Beth Abraham Synagogue at 293-9520.

Jewish Federation annual meeting to unveil major priorities Aug. 15 The Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton will reveal its major upcoming community priorities, at its 108th annual meeting, on Wednesday, Aug. 15 at 6 p.m. at the Boonshoft Center for Jewish Culture and Education. The priorities came out of the Jewish Dayton Dreams Big visioning study and focus groups, which the Federation conducted last year. The guest speaker for the annual meeting will be Archie Gottesman, co-founder of JewBelong, who will talk about rebranding Judaism, the JewBelong project, and what she’s learned on her personal Jewish journey. JewBelong provides resources to encourage warm, meaningful Jewish practices. At the annual meeting, the Federation will conduct elections for its new and returning officers and board members; volunteers will also be recognized for their contributions. Heavy hors d’oeuvres and a signature cocktail will be JewBelong Co-Founder served. For more information or to reserve childcare (by Aug. 3), call Karen Steiger at 610-1555. Archie Gottesman

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IN THIS ISSUE A r ts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

O p i n i o n . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 0

Calendar of Events.......................18

O b i t u a r i e s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 9

Family Education............................21

Re l i g i o n . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Kvelling Corner............................24



DAYTON Beth Abraham Synagogue

New book presents visual history of Dayton’s Jews

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The book Jewish Community of Dayton features more than 200 images, including this portrait of the combined Beth Abraham/Beth Jacob Bar Mitzvah Class of 1937-38 shown on the bima (stage) at Beth Jacob

By Marshall Weiss, The Observer “He Who blessed our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob — may He bless this entire holy congregation along with all the holy congregations...and those who dedicate synagogues for prayer and those who enter them to pray, and those who give lamps for illumination and wine for Kiddush and Havdalah, bread for guests and charity for the poor; and all who are involved faithfully in the needs of the community.” This prayer, from the Sabbath morning service in traditional Jewish liturgy, was at the front of my mind when I compiled the book Jewish Community of Dayton, released by Arcadia Publishing in July as part of its Images of America series. From 1850 onward, Dayton’s Jews not only provided for the spiritual and material needs of their own, they also involved themselves faithThe Adventures of

Bark Mitzvah Boy Let’s keep making history around here, OK, Al?


Arthur ‘Al’ Welsh, first known Jewish airplane pilot, on a Wright Model B, Huffman Prairie, 1911 c O 2018 Menachem

fully in the needs of Dayton’s general community. Jewish Community of Dayton offers a family photo album of the Jews of Dayton — more than 200 images — from those early days through the close of the 20th century. My aim in Jewish Community of Dayton isn’t to idealize but to help new generations discover glimpses of Jewish life in Dayton that might otherwise be forgotten. America has provided unprecedented freedoms and opportunities for the Jewish people. This is the story of how they navigated these freedoms and opportunities — and the obstacles they overcame — in the Gem City of the Golden Land. The earliest characteristic to divide Jews in America’s local communities was region of European origin. German Jews, who settled in Dayton first — at least a generation before the Continued on next page

From the editor’s desk

By now, you might be familiar with the image on the cover of this issue of The Observer: Golda Meir in Dayton on June 8, 1948 receiving a $300,000 emergency check from United Jewish Campaign leaders Marshall A.B. Saeks (R) and Ben Shaman for Weiss the weeks-old Jewish state, fighting for its life against five Arab armies. We featured the image earlier this year in our coverage of Israel’s 70th anniversary. In my estimation, it’s the most historic photograph in the history of Jewish Dayton. That’s why I selected it for the cover of Jewish Community of Dayton, my visual history book, which Arcadia Publishing released in July. I decided to go with Arcadia because its books are easily recognizable, and I’ve always enjoyed the format of Arcadia’s Images of America series. Arcadia has published thousands of local history books, including a dozen about Dayton local history, and 77 on Jewish communities across America to date. I hope you’ll enjoy too.

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l a z a M Tov! To Marshall Weiss, on the publication of

Jewish Community of Dayton

The AJA is proud to have provided images for this informative publication!



The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives was established in 1947 in order to collect, preserve, and make available for research, materials on the history of Jews and Jewish communities in the Western Hemisphere including data of a political, economic, social, cultural, and religious nature. 3101 Clifton Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45220

History of Dayton’s Jews Continued from previous page

Temple Israel

Editor and Publisher Marshall Weiss 937-853-0372 Contributors Rabbi Karen Bodney-Halasz Rachel Haug Gilbert Marc Katz Candace R. Kwiatek Advertising Sales Executive Patty Caruso,

Rabbi David Lefkowitz with Temple Israel’s 1920 confirmation class, including his daughter, Helen (R). Lefkowitz founded the Jewish Federation in 1910.

Jews of Eastern Europe — were at the top of the Jewish community, socially and philanthropically, at least until the other groups acclimated and caught up. Eastern European Jews had their distinctions too. If a Russian Jew married a Lithuanian Jew, it was practically considered an intermarriage. After World War II, when American Jews became aware of the horrors of the Holocaust, these distinctions faded significantly. But even amid religious distinctions, the obligation of Jews to take care of each other has bound the Jews of Dayton. Immediately after the Great Flood of 1913, Max Mann, who owned the only kosher slaughterhouse in the city, was forced to suspend operations temporarily. Harry J. Jacobs, a Reform Jew who owned a nonkosher meat storage plant in Dayton, placed his establishment at the disposal of the Federation of Jewish Charities so that “the strict ‘Kosher’ meats may be obtained by the Jews of the city,” according to the Dayton Journal. At the time, the Federation was led by German Jews from Dayton’s Reform community. A month later, at Passover, the Federation distributed 10,000 pounds of matzah to Dayton’s Jews in need — those who already lived in poverty and those who had lost so much in the flood. Matzah was particularly scarce; soon after the flood, hungry citizens of Dayton seized six train cars of matzah when regular bread could not be found. The Dayton Journal reported that “the entire population depending upon this relief station fell back upon this unleavened bread. Catholics, Protestants and Jews alike clamored for it when other bread supplies were scarce.” Did the early Jews in Dayton encounter prejudice? Certainly. At every turn? No. In a 1981 interview with Lisa Denlinger for a Wright State University project, retired attorney Benjamin Shaman, then 89, put it best: “As I grew up, I was taunted by my Catholic schoolmates. In Russia I would have been punished for fighting back whereas in America I could fight back.” Shaman would go on to serve his congregation, Temple Israel, and the Jewish Federation in virtually every key leadership position. He would also chair Dayton’s school board and serve as president of Barney Convalescent Hospital, now Dayton Children’s Hospital. What will future generations record of us when we are nothing more than history? That will depend on how we carry Jewish life forward for our benefit, and theirs. Adapted from Jewish Community of Dayton, Images of America, Arcadia Publishing, 2018.


Proofreaders Rachel Haug Gilbert, Pamela Schwartz Billing Jeri Kay Eldeen, 937-853-0372 Observer Advisor Martin Gottlieb Published by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton David Pierce President Judy Abromowitz Immediate Past Pres. Bruce Feldman President Elect Todd Bettman Officer Dr. Heath Gilbert Officer Beverly Louis Officer Mary Rita Weissman Officer Cathy Gardner CEO The Dayton Jewish Observer, Vol. 22, No. 12. The Dayton Jewish Observer is published monthly by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton, a nonprofit corporation, 525 Versailles Dr., Dayton, OH 45459. Views expressed by guest columnists, in readers’ letters and in reprinted opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Dayton Jewish Observer, The Dayton Jewish Observer Policy Committee, the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton or the underwriters of any columns. Acceptance of advertising neither endorses advertisers nor guarantees kashrut. The Dayton Jewish Observer Mission Statement To support, strengthen and champion the Dayton Jewish community by providing a forum and resource for Jewish community interests. Goals • To encourage affiliation, involvement and communication. • To provide announcements, news, opinions and analysis of local, national and international activities and issues affecting Jews and the Jewish community. • To build community across institutional, organizational and denominational lines. • To advance causes important to the strength of our Jewish community including support of Federation agencies, its annual campaign, synagogue affiliation, Jewish education and participation in Jewish and general community affairs. • To provide an historic record of Dayton Jewish life.

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DAYTON Photos: Maccabi Tel Aviv

Dunbar grad adds to championship ring collection with Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball Club

By Marc Katz, Special To The Observer Norris Cole broke into a wide smile. “Yalla Maccabi!” he said with gusto. “Yalla Maccabi! That’s the number-one chant they use. Yalla Maccabi!” Approximating “let’s go,” Cole repeats the Hebrew chant with pride as he flashes the championship ring he won on June 14 playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Israeli Basketball Premier League. The professional team also plays in the EuroLeague. It’s not like Cole, a 6-foot-1 point guard, doesn’t have a championship ring collection. As a junior and senior at Dunbar High School, he won state championships. At Cleveland State, he helped that team win its only Horizon League championship. With the NBA’s Daytonian Norris Cole (#30) celebrates with his Maccabi Tel Aviv teammates after they won the Israeli Basketball Premier Miami Heat, he won two championships. League Championship on June 14 With Maccabi Tel Aviv, he averaged more than 11 at the airport,” Cole said. “They picked me up and the points, 3.5 assists and 2 rebounds while showing NBA Maccabi Tel Aviv has dominated the Israeli league scouts he was healed from previous injuries and could since its 1954 beginning, winning all but 12 champion- first thing they told me to do was take my red backpack still play the game. ships and never going longer than two years without a off. Red is the rival color, the enemy. Two teams in the league, Hapoel Tel Aviv and Hapoel Jerusalem, have Cole, 29, did more than play in Israel. He toured the title — until the previous three seasons. red as part of their colors. Maccabi only wears blue and country, visiting not only religious sites connected to Entering 2017-18, Maccabi Tel Aviv was in a desert his Christian beliefs, but Jewish and Islamic sites as trap, and in a league that limits no more than four non- gold.” He settled into an apartment down the street from well. He also made friends outside of basketball, joinIsraelis on its rosters and requires at least two Israelis ing them for a Passover Seder and Friday night Shabon the floor at all times. It helps that foreign-born Jews the arena and adjusted to a different practice schedule and a new fan dynamic. bat meals. are eligible for Israeli citizenship immediately. “They believe in practicing a lot longer overseas,” “The Jewish people out there Maccabi Tel Aviv was looking Cole said. “There’s more full contact in scrimmaging, accepted me,” Cole said during for a player, and after six years and there’s a lot of scrimmaging. They didn’t have as our interview at the Kroc Center, in the NBA with Miami, New big of staffs as the NBA, so we had to do a lot of group where he works out and holds Orleans, and Oklahoma City, shooting. You had to show up early if you wanted to youth camps. “They treated me Cole — coming off an injury — practice by yourself.” really well. They cheered really was looking for a team. The fans are much louder and rowdier, Cole said. hard for me and the team. I ap“I’m in constant touch with “It’s like the fans take it personally. In the NBA, it’s preciated that.” teams overseas,” said his like an entertainment event. The fans are excited, but He discovered Maccabi fans Washington, D.C.-based agent, sometimes fans come to the game just for entertainspan the globe. Joel Bell, who has two foreign ment, although you have loyal fans. Overseas, all the “I’ve received messages from offices. fans are for the home team. Those are loyal, diehard people all over the world,” Cole “If Norris was going to play fans who scream from the start of the game to the end said. “It’s exciting to branch off outside the United States, it of the game.” and be internationally known would have to be for an elite Cole would show up two hours before each game, like that. It’s cool. I (also) had team, (with a high) level of comand the fans would already be outside, ready to enter some really good teammates that petition,” Bell said. “Maccabi is the arena and chant full blast an hour before the game. made it fun and enjoyable.” an outstanding team.” “If you lose a game overseas, the fans are hurt, On his off days, he explored. An American on a foreign Norris Cole in his Maccabi Tel Aviv uniform crushed. They’re messaging you on social media, ‘We “I ate a lot; I got to go sightteam can be problematic. Some have to win this next game, we have to. We can’t go seeing. I went to Jerusalem. I went to where Jesus was American players think they’re better than they are, around the city and not be the best.’ They put their buried, where he died, and where he was born,” Cole especially if they’ve played in the NBA. Obstacles can whole heart into the games. I had never seen anything said. “Going to places I’ve read about in the Bible and also include language barriers and a dislike for the like that before.” seeing them with my own eyes was intriguing to me. I foreign food. Maccabi won the Israeli League with a 23-10 regularappreciate culture. Every culture can’t be the same. As “With Norris, there’s never a problem,” Bell said. long as it’s safe. At the time I went, it was before they “I’d love to have more Norris Coles. I’d like a dozen of season record. The team was 13-17 in the EuroLeague. Cole cherishes all his championships. moved the (United States) embassy. If I had gone after him. He’s very mature. He’s got an intellectual curios“They’re all satisfying for the time,” he said. “I like that, I might have been a little nervous. I’m always cau- ity about him.” to live in the present. Winning that championship we tious, but I never felt afraid, really.” Cole did play briefly two years ago in China, but just won was the most exciting for that time. Looking When he first heard about the Israeli possibility, injuries held him back, and he didn’t connect with the Cole, a National Honor Society student at Dunbar, did Chinese. Israelis took to him and he took to the Israelis. back on it, it’s hard to say one was more exciting than the other.” some research. “They treated me really well,” Cole said. “They He’s looking for one more shot at the NBA but “You know, the main thing for me if I ever go out embraced me, appreciated my style of play, appreciated of the country: what’s the language barrier, what’s the my personality. We had a nice thing with the fans. They would play in Israel again if it doesn’t materialize. “There weren’t too many places I could go where safety, and can I eat?” Cole said. “If those three things responded to me, I responded to them. It was pretty they didn’t know me,” Cole said. “The fans that didn’t are good, I can play just about anywhere. Once I got neat.” the history of Maccabi and who they were and I looked But he wasn’t sure what would happen when he first like our team were NBA fans. At times we’d play and they’d yell, ‘Norris Cole, we love you and Miami Heat, up Tel Aviv, I wasn’t concerned anymore.” arrived. That most of the citizens speak English also helped. “I was just waiting for Ami, the manager of the team, but f--- Maccabi.’ Weirdest thing ever.” THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • AUGUST 2018



Beth Or to host regional Actress plays Golda Jewish Observer in one-woman show wins national award gathering of Reform teens Jessica Michna will present her one-woman show, Golda Meir: The Journey, on the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 22 at the Boonshoft Center for Jewish Culture and Education, presented by Hadassah, the JCC, and JFS Active Adults. The event, in honor of Israel’s 70th birthday, begins at 6:30 p.m. with an ice cream bar followed by the performance at 7 p.m. Michna’s play explores Meir’s Jessica Michna as path from the Ukraine to MilGolda Meir waukee, and how she ultimately became prime minister of Israel. The cost is $5 in advance, $10 at the door. R.S.V.P. to the Jewish Federation, at 610-1555.

Cincinnati Kosher BBQ Cook-Off Adath Israel will host the Second Annual Cincinnati Kosher BBQ Cook-Off and Festival on Sunday, Aug. 5 from 3 to 7 p.m. The event, which is Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned, is certified kosher by the Cincinnati Vaad Hoier, and will feature 15 teams preparing brisket, ribs, chicken, turkey, and vegetarian options. Jewish bluegrass band Nefesh Mountain will perform at the festival. Adath Israel is located at 3201 E. Galbraith Rd., Cincinnati. For more information, go to

At its annual conference in June, the American Jewish Press Association presented its first-place Simon Rockower Award for Journalistic Excellence in American Jewish History to The Dayton Jewish Observer. Observer Editor and Publisher Marshall Weiss received the award for his article, Writer to right passage on Wright’s wrong, which was published in the March 2017 issue. The judge for the history category described the piece as “A fascinating take about one misinformed line in David McCullough’s biography about the Wright brothers. In his book, McCullough suggested that the brothers’ sister, Katharine Wright, had come about her antisemitism from a place of ignorance. But, using reporting and research, The Dayton Jewish Observer uncovers that Katharine knew Jews thanks to Dayton’s decent-sized Jewish population. “The author concludes the story by recounting his conversation with McCullough, who agrees to update the biography. The story addresses one small line in a popular book but, in so doing, it makes a big statement about American Jewry, which has thrived in all corners of the country for well over a century.”

Beth Or Temple Youth will host the regional Leadership Training Kallah (gathering) of the Ohio Valley Chapter of the North American Federation of Temple Youth over the weekend of Aug. 17-19. Temple Beth Or members will provide housing and hospitality for approximately 100 high school students from across Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

Combined congregational Selichot service Sept. 1

Dayton area synagogues and temples will join together for a Community Selichot service on Saturday evening, Sept. 1 at Beth Jacob Congregation, 7020 N. Main St., Harrison Township. The event will begin at 9:15 p.m. with a light dessert reception followed by Havdalah and Selichot led by Cantor Jerome Kopmar at 10 p.m. Selichot are penitential prayers offered prior to the High Holy Days. The Dayton Jewish Chorale, congregational clergy and soloists will also participate in the service, featuring several of Kopmar’s musical settings of prayers.

Laser tag for teens at Chabad The Sinai Scholars program and CTeen Chabad youth group will host laser tag on Sunday, Aug. 26 from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. at Chabad of Greater Dayton, 2001 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood. For more information, call Rabbi Elchonon Chaikin at 216-496-0014.

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President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at a joint news conference following their summit in Helsinki, Finland, July 16

humanitarian crisis and help Syrian refugees to go back to their homes,” he said. Trump, notably, did not object. Israel has long relied on U.S. preeminence in the region — there is no better guarantee for Israel than its closest ally Does Iran stay? taking the lead in determining Implicit in Putin’s emphasis outcomes. Israel watched in dison ensuring Israel’s security in may as the Obama administrathe “south” is that Iran, Russia’s de facto ally in assisting the tion conceded some leadership Assad regime’s bid for survival, in Syria to Russia; it’s not likely will be absent from that region, to welcome open equal leadership between the two powers. as will its proxy, the Lebanese The same goes for much of militia Hezbollah. the U.S. Congress. But Netanyahu wants Iran “It is imperative that Conout of Syria, period. Prior to his most recent meeting with Putin gress hold hearings on the extent and scope of any coopin Russia, the Israeli leader eration with Russia in Syria met with top Russian officials regarding Iran’s presence,” and said in a statement that he Sen. Lindsey Graham of South “made it clear that Israel will Carolina, a top Republican, said not tolerate a military presence on Twitter. by Iran or its proxies anywhere in Syria.” What happens to Assad? Netanyahu met with Putin Israeli governments prior and has spoken with him since; to 2011 opposed any bids to it’s not clear yet whether Putin remove the Assad regime, sayis willing to commit to an Iraning its leadership of Syria was free Syria. the least worrisome of multiple Two considerations may terrible options. factor into Putin’s reluctance: That changed when Israelis Iran sees its continuing presence saw the extent of the carnage in Syria as critical, and removduring the civil war and Assad’s ing it may be too daunting for willingness to use chemia Russia that is preoccupied in cal weapons against his own multiple corners of the globe. people. Putin also might want a “give” For Russia, however, Assad in exchange for banishing Iran staying in place is a bottom line: from Syria — perhaps U.S. and That’s the mission to which it international recognition of its committed troops, hardware annexation of Crimea. and reputation for the past seven years. Israel again seems Who takes the lead? Putin made clear that he sees on board with having Assad the United States and Russia as stay. “They have an active interest equal partners in determining in seeing a stable Assad regime the outcome in Syria. “Russia and the United States and we in getting the Iranians out. These can clash or it can apparently can act proactively align,” a senior Israeli official and take considerable leadership on this issue, and organize told Reuters. “We won’t take action against the Assad regime.” the interaction to overcome Separation of Forces Agreement between Israel and Syria.” Beneath the comity there lurked several significant differences of how each side sees the outcomes.

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By Ron Kampeas, JTA WASHINGTON — The media, Congress, the international community — just about everybody is reeling after the joint news conference July 16 in Helsinki bringing together President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The reaction was swift and angry from all sides of the political spectrum. But there was at least one corner of apparent normalcy in the news conference: Russia and the United States seemed to agree that any Syrian outcome should reassure Israel about its security needs. “The south of Syria should be brought to the full compliance with the treaty of 1974 about the separation of forces — about separation of forces of Israel and Syria,” said Putin, speaking extensively and with some detail on the subject. “This will bring peace to Golan Heights, and bring a more peaceful relationship between Syria and Israel, and also to provide security of the state of Israel.” The disengagement Putin referred to allowed Israel and Syria to coexist more or less without incident from 1974 until the 2011 civil war that wracked the country and brought in U.S. and Russian involvement. Trump in his remarks said Israel’s security was preeminent both in American and Russian considerations of Syria. “We’ve worked with Israel long and hard for many years, many decades. I think we’ve never — never has anyone, any country been closer than we are,” Trump said. “President Putin also is helping Israel. And we both spoke with Bibi Netanyahu, and they would like to do certain things with respect to Syria, having to do with the safety of Israel. So in that respect, we absolutely would like to work in order to help Israel. And Israel would be working with us. So both countries would work jointly.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in turn, welcomed the attention. In a statement, he commended “the abiding commitment of the U.S. and President Donald Trump to the security of Israel.” Netanyahu also “very much” appreciated “the clear position expressed by President Putin regarding the need to uphold the 1974

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Jewish Democrats contend with wave of progressives who criticize Israel

19 percent in 2018. In the same time period, their support for Palestinians rose from 18 percent to 35 percent. Although the Pew survey received notable criticism, the general By Charles Dunst, JTA Israel. Ocasio-Cortez trends it notes have NEW YORK — After Alexhas remained silent been shown elseandria Ocasio-Cortez shocked on the issue. where. the political world by defeatIn Minnesota, Some credit Sen. ing longtime New York Rep. Democratic congresBernie Sanders, Joseph Crowley in a Democratic sional candidate I-Vt., with normalprimary in June, Democratic Ilhan Omar calls izing such criticism National Committee Chairherself an “intersecof Israel. While the man Tom Perez quickly aligned tional feminist” and 2016 Democratic himself with the former political Israel an apartheid Ilhan Omar Sen. Bernie Alexandria presidential candioutsider, saying on a radio show regime. In Virginia’s Ocasio-Cortez Sanders date defined himself that “she represents the future 5th Congressional as “100 percent pro-Israel,” he of our party.” District, Democratic nominee Israel’s treatment of the PalesIf so, that future appears to Leslie Cockburn is the cotinians to other left-wing causes, recently called on the U.S. to adopt a more balanced policy include the kind of sharp critiauthor, along with her husband, or a willingness to call out its toward Israel and the Palestincism of Israel once considered of Dangerous Liaison: The Inside right-wing government, proians. In late March, Sanders’ taboo in both major parties. Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Re- gressive criticism of Israel may office posted three videos to Ocasio-Cortez ran on a lationship, a scathing 1991 attack make for some hard choices social media harshly criticizing platform of Medicare for all, on the Jewish state. come Election Day. fully funded public schools and “It seems to me that some According to a Pew Research Israel for what he deemed its a universal jobs guarantee. But criticism of Israel is part of a Center survey, the percentage of excessive use of force in Gaza and the Trump administration she has also been critical of Ispackage among young progres- Democrats saying they sympafor not intervening during the rael, calling its military’s killing sives along with health care for thize more with Israel than the border clashes. of Palestinian protesters in May all and jobs for all,” Democratic Palestinians has declined from Last year, Perez appointed a “massacre.” strategist Brad Bannon told 38 percent in 2001 to 27 percent as his DNC deputy Rep. Keith The Democratic Socialists Newsweek. in 2018 — the lowest level of Ellison of Minnesota, who in adof America, of which OcasioThat puts Democrats who support on record. Support for dition to being dogged by ties to Cortez is a member, supports are both liberal and pro-Israel Israel further decreased among the antisemitic Nation of Islam the Boycott, Divestment and in a bind. Whether the result of self-identified “liberal” Demoleader Louis Farrakhan implied Sanctions movement against “intersectionality,” which links crats from 48 percent in 2001 to

that U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East is “governed” by considerations of what is good or bad for Israel. Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, is running for attorney general in Minnesota and is not seeking re-election. Omar is seeking his seat. Left-wing activists have also drawn Democratic politicians into Israel controversies. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, a potential 2020 presidential candidate who has recently tacked left, penned a glowing Time magazine write-up of controversial progressive heroines and Women’s March leaders Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour. Mallory, in a non-apology steeped in intersectional progressive terminology, has since defended her own relationship with Farrakhan following his recent antisemitic rants. Sarsour, who argued that Zionism and feminism are incompatible, is a prominent supporter of BDS. “There’s a lot of evidence that defining liberalism through an intersectional lens has had the effect of casting Israel as an ‘oppressor’ and thus a nation worthy of condemnation even as its actual policies on issues

CELEBRATE ISRAEL @ 70: An Evening with Golda Meir Wednesday, August 22, 6:30–8PM

Boonshoft CJCE (525 Versailles Dr., 45459) An evening with Jessica Michna as she portrays Golda Meir. Pre-program ice cream bar opens at 6:30PM, event starts promptly at 7PM. $5 in advance, $10 at the door. RSVP by August 15. Presented by Hadassah, JCC, and JFS Active Adults. Golda Meir, The Journey Home How does a girl born in the Ukraine, raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, travel a path that will lead her to become Prime Minister of Israel? This informative, entertaining program, developed by Jessica Michna, explores that rather circuitous route. What roadblocks and detours were thrown in Golda’s way and how did she overcome them? The journey is a fascinating one, filled with joy, sorrow, seriousness and humor. Let Golda, as portrayed by Ms. Michna, tell you in her own words.

RSVP at 937-610-1555 or at



THE WORLD associated with intersectionality are infinitely better than those of its neighbors,” KC Johnson, a history professor at Brooklyn College, former Fulbright instructor at Tel Aviv University and regular Washington Post contributor, told JTA in an email interview. The Republican Jewish Coalition is expected to make the rise of the Democratic left a target of its activism. It already has run ads in a Philadelphia-area congressional district where the Democratic candidate, Scott Wallace, faced heat after a charity he runs was shown to have given to anti-Israel groups. (He said he wasn’t aware and is pro-Israel.) RJC spokesman Neil Strauss told ABC News that anti-Israel rhetoric has become mainstream in the Democratic Party. JTA efforts to reach the Republican group for comment were unsuccessful. “They’ve jumped right now from some cautionary-type language to outright hostile language on Israel,” Strauss told ABC. “These people are becoming the standard-bearers in the Democratic Party and it’s unfortunate.” Halie Soifer, the executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, said there is no contradiction between Zionism and Democratic politics, maintaining that the Democratic Party continues to best represent Jewish interests. “Given President Trump’s alignment with neo-Nazis and in his politicization of Israel as a partisan issue — not to mention his radically right-wing domestic agenda — we are confident that the overwhelming majority of the Jewish

electorate will continue to support Democrats in the upcoming election,” Soifer told JTA. “JDCA is supporting Democratic candidates who share our policy platform and values, and we have, in some instances, spoken out against candidates who are not aligned with our views.” Although anti-Israel attitudes exist within progressive circles, some liberal Jews believe they are on the margins. “I believe that support for Israel remains as strong among both Republicans and Democrats as ever,” said Rabbi Jack Moline, the executive director of the Interfaith Alliance and the former head of the National Jewish Democratic Council. “With some few exceptions on both sides of the aisle, the notion of a national homeland for the Jewish people is accepted and secure. However, just as people who were formerly on the margins of both parties are now considered part of a big tent, ideas that were once marginal in Israel are being entertained by mainstream leaders.” Daniel Shapiro, the former U.S. ambassador to Israel under President Obama, said there is no contradiction between liberal values and Zionism, which he said “is the expression of the wholly legitimate right of the Jewish people to sovereignty in their ancient homeland.” “If there are those in the Democratic Party or the progressive coalition who misunderstand that — there may be some, but we tend to exaggerate the phenomenon — it is incumbent on people like me to educate them about Israel’s inherent legitimacy,” he said.

The larger divide, Shapiro said, relates to the Palestinian issue, not Israel’s existence. “An Israel that is seen as still seeking to keep a realistic two-state solution alive, where its security needs are met and it is recognized as a Jewish state — and even though Palestinian leaders have not yet met their obligations to make that outcome possible — will not have trouble retaining the broad, bipartisan support it has historically enjoyed,” he said. Rabbi Jill Jacobs, the executive director of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, said the Pew study was flawed, insofar as it suggested that support for either Israel or the Palestinians implies a lack of advocacy for the other. “The question of whether one is pro-Israel or pro-Palestinian is a false dichotomy. We need to stop asking questions, in polls and otherwise, that suggest that one must choose between the human rights of Israelis or Palestinians,” Jacobs said. “The only defensible position is one that stands up for the human rights of both — and insists that these are not in conflict. “That means working toward two states, and opposing the occupation and the growth of settlements that entrench it. This is the position of the Israeli left who should be the natural partners for the Democratic Party — in contrast to the Re-

publican Party, which has allied itself with Likud, the Jewish Home party and the rest of the pro-settlement, pro-occupation hard right.” Yet others see the Democrats continued embrace of progressive figures and Israel critics like Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Ellison, Sarsour and Mallory as further divorcing their party from Israel, leaving liberal Zionists — a majority among American Jews — in political turmoil. “Democratic base voters are more hostile to Israel than at any point in decades, which will produce a less supportive

House Democratic caucus next year,” Johnson told JTA. “As the 2020 presidential primaries take shape, it’s easy to imagine more ideologically flexible contenders (such as Kirsten Gillibrand or Kamala Harris (the California senator) sharply criticizing Israel to boost their standing with progressive activists.” “Liberal Zionists,” Johnson warns, “will need to more effectively communicate how Israel’s policies on women’s issues, LGBT rights and civil rights are consistent with a Democratic Party increasingly oriented around identity politics.”

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LETTERS A confused or biased delegate

I want to comment about the article on the American Jewish Committee-funded trip to Israel for mayors (July Observer). Aside from AJC’s Melanie Maron Pell telling the participants, in what to me was a most outrageous comment, “If you don’t come home more confused, then we have failed you,” most of all, I was disturbed by the hubris, ignorance, and bias of Mayor Whaley. It seems that nothing of the achievements of Israel in technology, contributions in science and medicine were noted. Nor the diverse culture. Also, the mayor finds her mission to teach the Israelis how to run their country. President Obama and President Clinton did interfere in Israeli elections. Throughout the article she makes distinctions between “regular people” and Jews. I wonder if she sees the “other” as “you people!” She “teaches” the Israeli government, telling them they make “bad choices” if they do not heed what she has to say. Her ignorance of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement shows how astute she is in understanding antisemitism and hate groups in the U.S. It is obvious she does not know the statistics of how many Jews are in the Democrat Party nor how Jews voted, or may choose to vote. She thinks there should be a Jewish homeland, she thinks Israel should be its own state, but Israel has made “bad choices” and she does not think they “understand” that. Her comment about Israelis being “impatient” shows unwillingness to find the myriad ways Israel’s people live, educate, and are not defined as impatient. What also disturbs is her lack of wanting to comment on the attacks against Israel. Or to say a word to support Israel. In summation, the mayor is confused or by intent a biased delegate. — Rabbi Samuel Press, Dayton

Appreciative of support on journey

I am 38 years old, a student at Sinclair Community College, and a convert to Judaism. I am currently incarcerated at Dayton Correctional Institution. I have attempted to become a part of the Jewish community here in Dayton for approximately five years now. Along the way, I have met a few wonderful people who have been inviting and encouraging. Rabbi Samuel Press has been warm and welcoming. He answered my letter when many others did not. He has been incredibly supportive of me and my journey. The Jewish Federation introduced me to Rabbi Bernard Barsky, who has shared his limited time with me on a few occasions. Jewish Family Services Director Tara Feiner is rare in her dedication to the three Jewish inmates here. These people have made me feel a part of the Jewish community, and I have learned a great deal from them. I have no regular access to a rabbi or a synagogue. My only connection to the outside Jewish community are those listed above and The Jewish Observer, which Tara Feiner made sure that I receive. It is a wonderful paper that makes me feel connected to the community and helps keep me apprised of relevant current events. I am writing this to thank Rabbi Press and Rabbi Barsky for their friendship, support, and teaching, and Tara Feiner for her dedication in coming in for Passover and making Seder such a special occasion. — Carin Madden, Dayton

So, what do you think? Send your letters (350 words max., thanks) to The Dayton Jewish Observer 525 Versailles Drive Dayton, OH 45459 • PAGE 10


Have Putin and Netanyahu struck a grand bargain? By Hillel Frisch On July 8, Israel allegedly conducted an airstrike in Syrian territory that struck once again at the T4 base near Homs. Interestingly, Israel did not conduct any airstrikes to stop the concurrent advance of Syrian and Hezbollah forces southward. This might suggest that a grand bargain has been offered by Russia to Israel — one in which Moscow assures Jerusalem of an Iranian withdrawal in return for Israel’s acceptance of the consolidation of the Syrian state. This might explain Israel’s passivity, but it is by no means certain that Moscow will prevail on Tehran to withdraw from Syria. Israel allegedly struck the T4 base near Homs on July 8, but did not conduct any airstrikes to stop the advance of Syrian and Hezbollah forces southward from Daraa all the way to the Jordanian border, a mere 20 miles east of the Israeli Golan Heights. How could Israel be so forceful against a target more than 100 miles from its northern border, and yet so passive as Syrian, Hezbollah and possibly Iranian forces crushed the rebels and reconquered territory? Has Jerusalem not stressed time and time again that it will not allow the northern border with Syria to replicate its northern border with Lebanon, for which it has paid dearly for more than two decades? The meeting that took place between President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a week after the Syrian advance might go a long way toward explaining Israel’s passivity.

Keeping Iran at bay?

Russia might be offering Israel a grand bargain that Putin believes will meet the interests of both parties. Its cornerstone is keeping Iran at bay in Syria until a total settlement of the Syrian problem is reached, which would include: • The withdrawal of Turkey from the northwestern strip along the Turkish-Syrian border in its war against the Kurds. • The removal of the U.S. presence and involvement in the southeastern area of al-Tanf. This presence is part of a campaign against the continued presence of ISIS, but it has also led to painful U.S. airstrikes against Syrian and Hezbollah forces and U.S. support for Kurdish forces along the eastern side of the Euphrates down to

the Deir az-Zur area. Putin probably assured Netanyahu that once these foreign forces are removed, including the Turkish logistical lifeline it provides to the Sunni rebels in the Idlib area (the rebels’ last territorial stronghold), Moscow will make sure the Iranians and Hezbollah leave Syria as well. Putin likely stressed to Netanyahu that he has already committed himself to this bargain by taking a blind eye to the painful blows Israel has rained on Iran and Hezbollah in Syria. Above all, Putin likely told Netanyahu that Russia’s involvement in Syria, in utter contrast to his Communist predecessors (whom he, of course, served as a minor security official), will be a major actor in achieving regional stability based on territorial integrity, with each state — and each actor within each state —“persuaded” to honor the territorial integrity of the other states. According to such a vision, Hezbollah will finally settle down to being a “national” Lebanese party shorn of its theocratic and “resistance” mantle along with its militia. Iran will turn to its many domestic concerns. Syria will be hard at work coming up with a federal solution to meet the needs of its heterogeneous population — provided, of course, that the Alawite canton is assured of its stability, if only because Russia wants its naval presence in Tartus and its airbase in Khmeimim. Should this scenario come to pass, Israel would be the major beneficiary of a new order based on states and state actors minding their own business except for cross-border commerce that would augment regional stability.

Realpolitik fears

But why should Syria, Iran and Hezbollah play the roles the grand bargain assigns them? After all, aren’t all three ideologically committed to the destruction of the Jewish state? Putin believes that Damascus has no choice but to agree to cut ties with Tehran. The alternative is to risk being carved up by outside forces — Turkey, the United States, and perhaps most menacingly, Iran, its presumed ally. Each will have the help of its respective proxies — the remnant Syrian rebels under Turkish influence; the Kurds, supported by the United States; and Hezbol-

lah and Iraqi militias in the service of Iran. Iran could agree to withdraw if it has internalized the lesson it has been taught over the past two years: the strategic use of air power. Russia’s successful use of air power turned the tide in the Syrian state’s favor against the rebels, and air power was used by Israel and the United States to punish Iranian forces and allies. Their airstrikes might become more coordinated and deadly and might even be aimed at Iranian territory itself should Tehran continue to harbor imperial ambitions that clash with Moscow’s eagerness to broker stability in the area. Of course, the extent to which Russia can implement this grand bargain is contingent on the results of the meeting Putin had with U.S. President Donald Trump in Helsinki on July 16. A clear American acceptance of Moscow’s primacy in the former Soviet republics, and the removal of all sanctions against Russia or Russians to prove that commitment, is the major Russian demand. Yet even if these agreements — first between Putin and Netanyahu, and then between Putin and Trump — come to pass, it is hardly assured that Russia will be willing or able to see the Iranians out of Syria. According to Michael Sharnoff, an expert on superpower relations with their Middle East clients, the Soviet Union scarcely prevailed in key Syrian decisions despite the massive economic and military support it gave the Assad regime. This included the decision to enter disengagement talks with Israel in 1974 without informing the Soviets.

Lost opportunity or error

Putin does seem to have convinced Netanyahu, at any rate. The latter made a statement after the meeting in which he said (contrary to fact): “We haven’t had a problem with the Assad regime. For 40 years, not a single bullet was fired on the Golan Heights.” Maybe on the Golan Heights there were few problems, but Syrian aid to Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist organizations was not only problematic for Israel for more than three decades, but was in fact deadly. Israeli passivity at the Syrian advance southward might prove in hindsight to have been at best a missed opportunity and at worst a major strategic mistake. Professor Hillel Frisch is a professor of political studies and Middle East studies at Bar-Ilan University, and a senior research associate at the BeginSadat Center for Strategic Studies. Distributed by



Sacha Baron Cohen’s newest character is an Israeli gunslinger taking aim at pro-Israel conservatives sippi; Reps. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., By Ron Kampeas, JTA and Joe Wilson, R-S.C.; and a former WASHINGTON — Sacha Baron Rep., Joe Walsh, R-Ill. (Van Cleave stars Cohen is back, and he is taking aim at in a Barney-like instructional video in a strain of “pro-Israel” thought that which he sings a variant of Heads, Shoulhas both delighted and unsettled many ders, Knees and Toes: Aim at American Jews: the uncondithe head, shoulders, not the toes, tional love engendered by the not the toes.) country among deeply conservaThe entire segment aptive Americans. pears to have taken advanIn Who is America?, a show tage of the targets’ pro-Israel that made its debut July 15 sympathies. Walsh told CNN night on Showtime, the British that Cohen had fooled him Jewish comic returns with the into participating by telling shtick that made him famous Sacha Baron Cohen him that he was “getting an — disguising himself in order award from some Israeli TV to prank the famous and not-sostation because I’m a great supporter famous. Cohen now rolls out Israeli Col. Erran of Israel.” For a segment that did not air July 15, Roy Moore — whose bid Morad, a purported terrorism expert. for a Senate seat in Alabama fell apart Cohen as Morad dupes a few current over old allegations of soliciting minors and recent politicians, as well as gun — also said he had fallen for the Israelrights activists, into supporting an iniaward thing. tiative to arm toddlers. Walsh said he had been asked to The gun rights activists, Philip Van Cleave and Larry Pratt, endorse Morad's read a story off a teleprompter about a “Kinderguardian” program. So do Trent 4-year-old Israeli who grabbed a gun Lott, the former senator from MissisContinued on next page S i n a i / c T e e n o f g r e a t e r D ay t o n p r e s e n t s


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Sacha Baron Cohen

was critical, too. “Yes, your satire was outrageously on point and Col. Erran Continued from previous page Morad was spot on,” she wrote and subdued a terrorist. Walsh on Facebook, addressing Cosaid he thought, “Well, this is kind of crazy, but it is Israel and hen. “Still — bad enough that Israel gets demonized for the Israel is strong on defense.” things it actually does — you Cohen apparently intended have to go and make horrifying the segment to be an exposé fake stuff up? Satire or not, I'm of zealous support for gun afraid the American public is ownership, although it could going to be left with the impresbe seen as an example of blind sion that we are, in fact, gun support of everything Israel. fans when the truth is our gun In real life, gun rights activists control is a million times stricter have frequently — and often than in the U.S.” erroneously — cited Israel as Cohen, for sure, is a shock an example of a country with comic. But he is also a satirist, few restrictions on gun rights. and one intimately acquainted In fact, restrictions on gun use and ownership in Israel are far- with Israel: He speaks Hebrew, grew up in a Zionist youth reaching. group and spent summers David Frum, a Jewish conthere. His mother was born in servative who writes for the Atlantic magazine, tweeted that Israel and he has family there. It appears on early evidence Cohen “repeatedly takes advanthat Cohen’s target is not “protage of people's affection and Israel” per se, or even “rightrespect for the state of Israel to wing pro-Israel,” but a strain deceive and humiliate them.” of Israel support that imagines Allison Kaplan Sommer, an Israeli American who writes for Israel as its own distorted reflection — and not what it is. the liberal Israeli daily Haaretz,

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2018-2019 SEASON



© 2017 Jules Feiffer


An original stage adaptation of the beloved classic by Norton Juster, with Illustrations by Jules Feiffer


“A masterful fusion of engaging storytelling with the performing and visual arts, which appeals to all of the senses, stimulates intuitive thinking and captivates adults and children alike.” –DCMetroTheaterArts






MAY 9 - 12, 2019 ARTS ANNEX










JCC early Seniors childhood at

Singing Woods show off the bracelets they made with the Mishpacha campers from Camp Shalom K'tan as part of their Mitzvah Mission. PHOTO CREDIT: Tara Feiner

LEFT: Camp Shalom Gadol campers Aidan Farrell, Bella MacKenzie, Madoc LaBreck, and Emma Myers cool off in the pool. PHOTO CREDIT: Meryl Hattenbach RIGHT: Camp Shalom K'tan camper Jacob Noe enjoys a field trip to a local park. PHOTO CREDIT: Danna Kaplan THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • AUGUST 2018






SUNDAY 5 YAD (AGES 21–35) Dayton History: The Harry Adams Trial 3–5PM @ Old Court House (corner of 3rd and Main Sts, 45422) A dramatic re-enactment of the 1876 trial in which Harry Adams was accused of murdering Civil War Veteran Henry Mulharen. Following the trial, join the group at Old Scratch Pizza.

SUNDAY 12 JFS Lynda A. Cohen Yiddish Club 1:30PM @ Oakwood Starbucks (2424 Far Hills Ave., 45419) Deciphering Messages in Yiddish Song

WEDNESDAY 15 JFGD Annual Meeting 6–8PM @ Boonshoft CJCE The BIG reveal of the Jewish Dayton Dreams Big Ideas, featuring special guest Archie Gottesman, co-founder of JewBelong. A listing of board nominations for the Jewish Federation and its agencies is available on our website.


TUESDAY 21 JCC Shulchan Yarok: Monthly Farmer's Market 3:30–6:30PM @ Boonshoft CJCE Buy your fresh, organic produce from Arcanum's own Grim Farm once a month on Tuesdays at the JCC!

FRIDAY 24 PJ LIBRARY Shabbat in the Park 5:30PM @ Orchardly Park (343 Wonderly Ave., 45419) Bring your bathing suit and enjoy a casual Shabbat potluck. We will provide a vegetarian main course, challah, and grape juice. Please bring a vegetarian dish or dessert to share. SUNDAY 26 Kickoff



FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO RSVP (unless noted): 937-610-1555

SUNDAY 12 BBYO Elections 2PM @ Sugar Shack (105 Sugar Camp Circle, 45409) Current BBYO members should attend. Contact Sarah Wolf-Knight at for details.





WEDNESDAY 22 HADASSAH, JCC, JFS ACTIVE ADULTS Celebrate Israel @ 70: An Evening with Golda Meir 6:30–8PM @ Boonshoft CJCE An evening with Jessica Michna as she portrays Golda Meir. Ice cream bar opens at 6:30PM, event starts promptly at 7PM. $5 in advance, $10 at the door. RSVP by August 15.



Anyone interested in BBYO may attend. Contact Sarah Wolf-Knight at for details.

RSVPs due at least 1 week before event. Events with no price listed are free.

AUGUST 5–10 JCC Maccabi Games Orange County Merage JCC, CA Teens from around the world meet to compete in Olympic-style games.




SUNDAY 26 ACTIVE ADULTS Annual Brunch 10:30AM–NOON @ Dayton Woman's Club (225 N Ludlow St., 45402) Nosh with your friends and enjoy entertainment from Dare2Defy. $15 in advance, $20 at the door. RSVP by August 20. A kosher meal can be provided with notice, by RSVP deadline.




T • U• E• S•D •A•Y •S @ TH E J Mosaics

Tuesdays @ 6–7:30PM

August 21–September 4 Enjoy learning the art of mosaics with instructor Cathy Gardner. Make beautiful designs with stained glass and glass tile. $50 per person, includes materials.

Israeli Dancing Tuesdays @ 7–8PM

$3/lesson. 10 weeks of lessons, August 21–November 6. No classes held September 25 or October 2 in observance of the Jewish High Holidays.

Krav Maga returns October 16 PAGE 14



Did YOU know?


Number of states our 2017 Annual Campaign donors hail from: California, Florida, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina

100 DAYS of T i k k u n O l a m : WHAT WILLof YOUR IMPACT BE?

1 0 0 D AY S

Tikkun Olam

This year, our goal is to reach

1 0 0100Dnew AYdonors S of T in i k100 k udays! n Olam What aspects of Jewish life do you cherish most—learning, community, worship, caring for those in need or social justice? Whatever you care about most, by leaving a legacy you ensure the things you value are sustained for future generations.


| TSEYL-en | verb: To count.

Expressions with Tseyln: 1 Vos hekher er redt fun zayn koved, alts shneler tseylt men di lefl.

To create your Jewish legacy contact:

Janese R. Sweeny, Esq. Director, Jewish Foundation of Greater Dayton 937.401.1542

A Biss'l Mamaloshen

The louder he talks of his honor, the faster we count the cutlery. 2 Fun mayses dertseyln, kokht men keyn vetshere nisht. From storytelling, dinner won't get cooked. 3 Der kluger dertseylt vos er hot gezen, der nar vos er hot gehert. The wise person tells what he saw; the fool, what he heard.


Legacies, Tributes, & Memorials FEDERATION

ANNUAL CAMPAIGN IN HONOR OF › Speedy recovery of Peter Wells › Wedding of Lauren Sobol and Adam Koenig Elaine and Joe Bettman › Well wishes to Dr. Mel Lipton › Speedy recovery to Dr. Harley Elllman Marla and Dr. Stephen Harlan › 50th wedding anniversary of Debby and Dr. Robert Goldenberg › 50th wedding anniversary of Lynn and David Goldenberg Dena and Jay Kastan IN MEMORY OF › Myrna Miller Elaine and Joe Bettman Caroline and Melvin Caplan › Gertrude Phillips, mother of Marni Flagel Debby and Dr. Robert Goldenberg LINDA RUCHMAN MEMORIAL FUND IN MEMORY OF › Melissa Minty, daughter of Robbie Schwartz Nicki Caplan

CAROL J. PAVLOFSKY LEADERSHIP FUND IN MEMORY OF › Myrna Miller Cissy Ellison Dorothy Engelhardt Johnny Rosenstein Shani Kadis Cherie Rosenstein Lisa and Gary Pavlofsky TALA ARNOVITZ FUND IN HONOR OF › L’hitraot to Joan and Dr. David Marcus › Speedy recovery of Cicely Nathan › Speedy recovery of Richard Kohn Beverly Saeks IN MEMORY OF › Larry Katz, father of Edward and Stanley Katz › Bruce Pinsky › Ed Zawatsky › Harold Raizen, father of Andrea Raizen Beverly Saeks


JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES IN HONOR OF › Speedy recovery of Dr. Stephen Levitt › 80th birthday of Bobbie Myers › 50th wedding anniversary of Barbara and Bill Weprin › 50th wedding anniversary of Lynn and David Goldenberg Susan and Jonas Gruenberg IN MEMORY OF › Myrna Miller Susan and Jonas Gruenberg › Dr. Edward Meadow › Izabella Hertz, mother of Ellie Bernstein Judy and Dr. Mel Lipton ROBERT L. CLINE AND RITA Z. CLINE BIKUR HAVERIM ENDOWMENT FUND IN HONOR OF › 100th birthday of Harold Prigozen Meredith A. Cline



BEN AND DOROTHY HARLAN CHILDREN’S FUND IN HONOR OF › Speedy recovery of Peter Wells Marla and Dr. Stephen Harlan JOAN & PETER WELLS AND REBECCA LINVILLE FAMILY, CHILDREN, AND YOUTH FUND IN HONOR OF › Speedy recovery of Peter Wells Jane and Dr. Gary Hochstein Donna and Marshall Weiss Judy and Dr. Mel Lipton EARLY CHILDHOOD FUND IN HONOR OF › Granddaughter of Marcia and Ed Kress › Granddaughter of Marla and Dr. Stephen Harlan Becky and Alan Elovitz


JEREMY BETTMAN B’NAI TZEDEK FUND IN HONOR OF › Graduation of Adam Caruso Jean, Todd, Michael and Jeremy Bettman › Wedding of Lauren Sobol and Adam Koenig Jean and Todd Bettman › Graduation of Jeremy Bettman Meredith A. Cline IN MEMORY OF › Myrna Miller Jean and Todd Bettman

Would you like to honor or memorialize someone in your life, all while making a meaningful impact on the Jewish community? Consider making a donation to a Jewish Foundation of Greater Dayton Fund. Making a donation is as simple as a phone call. Contact us at 937-610-1555 for more information.



T•U•E•S•D•A•Y•S @ THE J Mosaics with Cathy Gardner 6–7:30PM

Israeli Dancing with Janifer Tsou 7–8PM, beginning August 21

Boonshoft CJCE

Boonshoft CJCE

August 21–September 4. Enjoy learning the art of mosaics. Make beautiful designs with stained glass and glass tile. $50 per person, includes materials.

Enjoy basic steps to simple, traditional and contemporary Israeli dances. Prior experience is not required. Enjoy a warm, inviting atmosphere and have fun. $3/lesson. No classes held September 11, 18, 25, or October 2 in observance of the Jewish High Holidays.

Register online at or by calling 937-610-1555.

Active Adults

Annual Brunch Sunday, August 26 10:30AM–NOON Dayton Woman’s Club (225 N. Ludlow St., 45402) HAVE A BALL WITH US THIS SUMMER!

Shabbat in the Park

› Nosh with your friends › Entertainment from Dare2Defy Productions › Optional tour of the Dayton Woman’s Club


5:30–7:30PM Orchardly Park 343 Wonderly Ave., 45419

in p ar



Bring your swimsuit and enjoy a casual Shabbat potluck. We will provide a kosher vegetarian course, challah, and grape juice. Please bring a vegetarian dish to share. For more information, contact Juliet Glaser at or 937-401-1558. hip w ers it tn

$15 in advance, $20 at the door. RSVP by August 20. Your payment is your reservation. A kosher meal can be provided with advance notice, by the RSVP deadline.



Chabad Classes: Sundays, 8:15 a.m.: Deep Chassidus. 10:15 a.m.: Maimonides’ Mishnah Torah. Mondays, 8 a.m. & Wednesdays, 7:30 a.m.: Talmud Class. 8 p.m.: Torah Study (Call for location). Saturdays, 8 a.m.: Prepare for Prayer Class. 2001 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood. 643-0770.

Versailles Dr., Centerville. R.S.V.P. to 610-1555.

Young Adults

YAD @ Old Case Files: Sun., Aug. 5, 3-5 p.m. Old Court House, 3rd & Main, Dayton. After, join the group at Old Scratch Pizza, 812 S. Patterson

Blvd., Dayton. Reenactment free, pay for dinner. R.S.V.P. to Cheryl Carne, by July 1.


Yankee St., Centerville. Songs, worship, challah, grape juice, hot dogs. Please bring a side dish or dessert to share. R.S.V.P. to the temple, 496-0050.

PJ Library & Hillel Academy Temple Israel Shabbat in the Park: Sat., Aug. 11, 10:30 a.m.- Shabbat in the Park: Fri., Aug. 24, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Vegetarian noon. W. Rabbi Sobo. 7500

course, challah & grape juice provided. Bring a vegetarian dish to share. Swimsuits encouraged. Orchardly Park, 343 Wonderly Ave., Oakwood. For more info., contact Juliet Glaser at or 401-1558. Continued on next page

Always, the perfect time.

Temple Beth Or Classes: Tues., July 31, 7 p.m.: Caring for the Caregiver w. Montgomery County Area Agency for Aging. 5275 Marshall Rd., Wash. Twp. 435-3400.

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Temple Israel Classes: Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m.: Musar w. Rabbi Sobo. Wednesdays, noon: Talmud w. Rabbi Sobo. Saturdays, 9:30 a.m.: Torah Study. 130 Riverside Dr., Dayton. 496-0050.


Tuesdays @ The J: 6 p.m.: Mosaics w. Cathy Gardner. Aug. 21-Sept. 4. $50 includes materials. 7 p.m.: Israeli Dancing w. Janifer Tsou. Beginning Aug. 21. $3 per lesson. Boonshoft CJCE, 525

Centerville - 937-434-0003 Troy - 937-552-9696




CALENDAR OF EVENTS Continued from previous page


Chabad Camp Gan Izzy: Through Aug. 10, 9 a.m.3:30 p.m. 2001 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood. 643-0770.


Sinai Scholars & CTeen Laser Tag: Sun., Aug. 26, 4:30-5:45 p.m. Chabad, 2001 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood. R.S.V.P. to Rabbi Elchonon Chaikin, 216496-0014.


JFS Lynda A. Cohen Yiddish Club: Sun., Aug. 12, 1:30 p.m. Deciphering Messages in Yiddish Song. Starbucks, 2424 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood. JFS Active Adults Annual Brunch: Sun., Aug. 26, 10:30 a.m. Dayton Woman’s Club, 225 N. Ludlow St. Entertainment from Dare2Defy. $15 in advance, $20 at door. R.S.V.P. by Aug. 20 to 610-1555. Payment is reservation. Kosher


meals available upon request if ordered by R.S.V.P. date.

Dayton. R.S.V.P. by Aug. 1 to 496-0050.

Community Events

Beth Abraham Shabbat Under The Stars: Fri., Aug. 3, 7:30 p.m. At the home of Tara & Adam Feiner. Service w. Beth Abraham Band, Oneg. R.S.V.P. to the synagogue, 293-9520.

Temple Israel Share Shabbat: celebrating the publication of book, Jewish Community of Dayton. Fri., Aug. 3, 6 p.m. Camp-style service followed by dinner. Author Marshall Weiss will sign pre-purchased books at 5:15 p.m. Temple provides entrée, challah & wine; guests bring side or dessert for 10. $5 adults, $3 children 4-12, 3 and under free. 130 Riverside Dr.,

Beth Abraham Synagogue Opera Afternoon: Sun., Aug. 5, 2 p.m. Screening & discussion of Verdi’s A Masked Ball led by Cantor Jerome Kopmar. 305 Sugar Camp Cir., Oakwood.

Jewish Federation 108th Annual Meeting: Wed., Aug. 15, 6-8 p.m. Boonshoft CJCE, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. Guest speaker, JewBelong Co-Founder Archie Gottesman. Elections of board & agency officers & members. 610-1555. The Art of the Jewish Scribe: w. Sofer Rabbi Yochanan Salazar. Mon., Aug. 20, 7 p.m. Beth Abraham Synagogue, 305 Sugar Camp Cir., Oakwood. 293-9520. Shulchan Yarok Monthly Farmer’s Market: Tues., Aug. 21, 3:30-6:30 p.m. Organic produce from Arcanum’s Grim Farm. Baked goods also available for purchase from Rochel Simon. Boonshoft CJCE, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. 610-1555. An Evening With Golda Meir: one-woman show w. Jessica Michna. Wed., Aug. 22, 6:308 p.m. Boonshoft CJCE, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. Ice Cream Bar at 6:30, show at 7 p.m. Sponsored by Hadassah, JCC & JFS Active Adults. $5 in advance, $10 at door. R.S.V.P. by Aug. 15 to 610-1555.

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Richard Siegel, educator who co-edited The Jewish Catalog By Andrew Silow-Carroll, JTA NEW YORK — Richard Siegel, an educator who advocated for Jewish culture and arts and co-edited the seminal Jewish Catalog series of guides to “doit-yourself” Judaism, died July 12 in Los Angeles. He was 70 and had been battling cancer for two years, according to a friend and colleague, Barry Holtz, a professor of Jewish education at The Jewish Theological Seminary. Siegel was director emeritus of the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management at Hebrew Union CollegeJewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, which trains communal professionals for work in Jewish organizations. For 28 years he worked at the National Foundation for Jewish Culture (renamed the Foundation for Jewish Culture), and served as its executive director from 1978 to 2006. According to HUC, he created the Jewish Endowment for the Arts and Humanities to provide funding for artists, scholars and cultural institutions, and initiated the Fund for Jewish Documentary Filmmaking, the Fund for New Play Commissions in Jewish Theater and the 6-Points Fellowships in the Arts. In 1973, along with Michael Strassfeld and Sharon Strassfeld — fellow members of Havurat Shalom, a lay-led congregation in Somerville, Mass. — he published what became known as The First Jewish Catalog. It’s subtitle was A

Do-It-Yourself Kit, and it offered instructions on everything from making a Seder to crafting a tallit to protesting for Soviet Jewry. Its target audience was young Jews who wanted to return to the traditions of their grandparents but weren’t exactly sure how. Inspired by the The Whole Earth Catalog, a source of “tools and ideas” for the hippie generation, Siegel and the Strassfelds found contributors who, like them, boasted excellent Jewish and even rabbinic educations. The book became an instant bestseller for the Jewish Publication Society. It and two subsequent volumes were credited with empowering young Jews who felt alienated from synagogue life and popularizing an ethos of pluralism and gender egalitarianism. Critics objected to the very elements that its fans considered its strengths: that it leaned too heavily on the ethos of the 1960s counterculture and gave too little respect to the major Jewish denominations and institutions. “We did have a legitimate critique of American Jewish life, and we were offering some new ideas for its reinvigoration,” Siegel recalled in 2015 in an address to HUC’s graduates. “To be clear, we weren’t just pointing out the Jewish community’s faults and admonishing it to change its priorities. As activists, we were working to make the change happen, to ‘be the change we wanted to see,’ to use a contemporary aphorism.”

“Richard Siegel was a transformative force in the Jewish world through his commitment to strengthening professional education, enhancing Jewish culture and advancing contemAs his generation of young porary Jewish identity formaactivists themselves became tion,” the Zelikow School said part of the Jewish establishin a statement announcing his ment, Siegel turned to promotdeath. ing Jewish culture and training Raised in Pittsburgh, Siegel professionals for work received a master’s in Jewish institutions. degree in contempoIn recent years he rary Jewish studies at worked with his wife, Brandeis University Rabbi Laura Geller, on in 1972 and another a forthcoming book master’s in Jewish histitled Good at Gettory from the Jewish ting Older: A Practical Theological Seminary Catalog Grounded in in 1974. His master’s Jewish Wisdom, to be thesis at Brandeis was published by Behrman subsequently develRichard Siegel House. oped into The Jewish His other books Catalog. included The Jewish Almanac He was the Hillel director, its (1981) and The Writer in the Jew- first, at the State University of ish Community: An Israel-North New York at Stony Brook from America Dialogue (1993). 1974 to 1978, where he founded Siegel also was one of the the Long Island Jewish Arts founding members of Minyan Festival. Maat, a lay-led congregation He is survived by his wife, that meets at Ansche Chesed, the senior rabbi emerita of an egalitarian, Conservative Temple Emanuel of Beverly synagogue on Manhattan’s Up- Hills, and their children, Andy, per West Side. Ruth, Josh and Elana.


Albert Schneider, age 98 of Cincinnati, formerly of Dayton, passed away July 5 at his residence. Mr. Schneider was a member of Beth Jacob Congregation. Mr. Schneider is survived by his wife of 62 years, Beryl; daughters and sons-in-laws, Abbe and Eric Froimson of Shaker Heights, Nancy and Ed Schulman of Mason, and Sandy and Greg Swartz of Montgomery, Ohio; son and daughter-in-law, Jeffrey and Betsy Schneider of Scottsdale; grandchildren, Samantha (fiancée Daniel Broidy) Froimson, Heather Froimson, Chloe, Phoebe and Sophie Schneider, Benjamin and Jonathan Schulman, Melanie ( Aaron ) Fried, and Max and Matthew Swartz. Interment was at Beth Jacob Cemetery. If desired, contributions may be made to Beth Jacob Congregation, 7020 North Main St. Dayton, OH 45415 in Mr. Schneider’s memory.

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CONGREGATIONS Beth Abraham Synagogue Conservative Rabbi Joshua Ginsberg Cantor/Dir. of Ed. & Programming Andrea Raizen Mornings, Mon. & Thurs., 7:15 a.m.; Tues., Wed., Fri., 7:30 a.m. Evenings, Mon.-Fri., 5:30 p.m. Sun., 8:30 a.m. Sat. , 9 a.m.; Youth Service, 10:30 a.m. 305 Sugar Camp Circle, Oakwood. 293-9520. Beth Jacob Congregation Traditional Saturdays 9:30 a.m., Sundays 8 a.m., Sunday through Friday, 7 p.m. 7020 N. Main St., Dayton. 274-2149. Temple Anshe Emeth Reform 320 Caldwell St., Piqua. Call Eileen Litchfield, 937-5470092, Correspondence address: 3808 Beanblossom Rd., Greenville, OH 45331. Temple Beth Or Reform Rabbi Judy Chessin Educator/Rabbi Ari Ballaban Fridays 7 p.m. Saturdays 10 a.m. 5275 Marshall Rd., Wash. Twp. 435-3400. Temple Beth Sholom Reform Rabbi Haviva Horvitz See Web site for schedule. 610 Gladys Dr., Middletown. 513-422-8313. Temple Israel Reform Senior Rabbi Karen Bodney-Halasz Rabbi/Educator Tina Sobo First Friday each month 6 p.m. All other Fridays 6:30 p.m. Saturdays 10:30 a.m. 130 Riverside Dr., Dayton. 496-0050. Temple Sholom Reform Rabbi Cary Kozberg Fridays 6 p.m. 2424 N. Limestone St., Springfield. 399-1231.

ADDITIONAL SERVICES Chabad of Greater Dayton Rabbi Nochum Mangel Associate Rabbi Shmuel Klatzkin Youth & Prog. Dir. Rabbi Levi Simon, Teen & Young Adult Prog. Dir. Rabbi Elchonon Chaikin. Beginner educational service Saturdays 9 a.m. adults, 10 a.m children. Sundays 9 a.m. 2001 Far Hills Ave. 643-0770. Yellow Springs Havurah Independent Services 1st & 3rd Saturdays, 10-noon. Antioch College Rockford Chapel. Contact Cheryl Levine, 937-767-9293. PAGE 20

Harissa Salmon Niçoise Salad

Comforting the mourner By Rabbi Karen BodneyHalasz, Temple Israel Having served as Temple Israel’s director of education for many years, I have had several conversations with parents about their children’s Jewish education. One topic stands out to me, especially at this time of year when school returns to session: holding funerals on Sunday afternoons.

Perspectives With so many children at religious school on Sunday mornings, parents ask if we are able to delay funeral start times to eliminate the potential possibility of a child seeing a casket brought into our building. As a parent, I respect the desire to protect and shelter children from unnecessary fear. I also understand the anxiety of holding difficult conversations with children about death. But as a rabbi and an educator, I believe it is essential that we teach our children that death is an inseparable part of life, and that accompanying the dead for burial is one of the most powerful ways that we can honor a loved one. Its value is without measure. Should we deny our children the chance to learn firsthand how we come together as a community to support one another, especially for something that each of us will encounter at some point in our lives? It is a far more powerful lesson for our children to watch a congregation take care of its mourners than reading about it in a textbook. Helping the bereaved navigate their way through grief is one of the most meaningful aspects of my rabbinate. I have the privilege to meet with mourners and encourage them to articulate, some for the first time, the lessons that were passed down to them by their loved ones. These conversations break open a vault of memories that will continue to pour out throughout the period of shiva

Visiting the and beyond. And graves of loved they provide healones is part of this ing and strength. process, as it helps They remind us us to remember of what our loved the ideals we set ones stood for, for ourselves in what values they their honor. cherished. They We call this help us not only communal gatherto honor our dead ing at the cemewith dignity, but tery kever avot, and to carry them with in many congregaus into the future through how we Rabbi Karen Bodney-Halasz tions it is observed between Rosh live our lives. Hashanah and Yom Kippur. In a few weeks, we enter the This year, as we prepare month of Elul, which leads us into the High Holy Days. It is a to visit our parents, spouses, siblings and other loved ones contemplative period, promptfor kever avot, consider going ing us to think about who we as a family. are and what our actions say This is a learning opportuniabout our values. ty; our children should observe One of our longstanding and absorb how loved ones traditions is to visit the graves continue to be a of loved ones part of our lives during the even after their month of Elul. deaths. We visit graves As we are throughout the called to reyear, especially member, may for yizkor and we be able to yahrzeits, but share these Elul offers a memories with structured time the next generato look upon tion and teach the markers of them how to those we loved mourn for us and to rememafter we, too, ber the legacies are gone. they left, as May it be they continue that our dear ones’ memories to inspire us to live more fully always and only serve as a now and in the future. blessing for us. May the legaOur self-reflection during cies they have left behind not this time is intended to lead us only help us to return to life, to make changes to our bebut assist us in being written havior and ask forgiveness for and sealed in the Book of Life. what we have done wrong.

It is a far more powerful lesson for our children to watch a congregation take care of its mourners than reading about it in a textbook.

August • Av/Elul

Shabbat Candle Lightings August 3, 8:29 p.m. August 10, 8:21 p.m. August 17, 8:12 p.m. August 24, 8:02 p.m. August 31, 7:51 p.m.

Torah Portions August 4: Ekev (Deut. 7:12-11:25) August 11: Re’eh (Deut. 11:26-16:17, Num. 28:9-15) August 18: Shoftim (Deut. 16:18-21:9) August 25: Ki Tetze (Deut. 21:10-25:19)

By Chaya Rappoport Harissa is a spicy, rich-flavored North African chili paste traditionally made with roasted red pepper, chiles, garlic, and a mixture of spices. This ampedup Niçoise salad is bright and punchy. Notes: 1. You can simplify this recipe; buy ready-made harissa. 2. Don’t stress about making the dressing — you can also dress with olive oil and lemon juice or white wine vinegar. 3. You can prepare the salmon, potatoes, string beans, and hard boiled eggs ahead of time, and assemble when ready. For the salad 4 oz. small red and purple potatoes Kosher salt 4 oz. string beans, trimmed 4 oz. heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved crosswise 1 or 2 hard boiled eggs, halved crosswise 4 cups lettuce and/or mixed greens, washed, dried and chopped 1/4 cup black or niçoise olives, pitted Flaky salt and fresh black pepper, for serving For the salmon 6 oz. fresh salmon, skin removed 2 Tbsp. olive oil Prepared harissa (around 1/2 cup to 1 cup depending on size of salmon and preference For the harissa 1 large red pepper 2 Tbsp. olive oil 1 small red onion, diced 4 cloves garlic, minced 4 dried red chiles 1 Tbsp. tomato paste ¼ cup fresh parsley 1/2 tsp salt ¼ tsp. ground cumin ¼ tsp. ras el hanout 1 ½ tsp. smoked paprika For the dressing: 4 oil packed anchovy fillets, finely minced


1 Tbsp. whole grain Dijon mustard 1 small shallot, finely minced 1 small clove garlic, finely minced 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar 2 tsp. finely chopped preserved lemon peel ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1. The harissa: broil red pepper on high for about 25 minutes, turning occasionally, until blackened on outside. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, let cool. This allows you to easily peel the skin off the pepper. Peel the pepper and discard its skin and seeds. 2. Rehydrate the chiles by placing them in a bowl of hot water for 10 minutes. 3. Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, fry the onion, garlic, and rehydrated chiles 10-12 minutes, until dark and smoky. Use a blender or food processor to combine all harissa ingredients until smooth, adding a little more oil if needed. 4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place salmon on a paper lined baking dish and rub with olive oil. Spread harissa thickly on top. Bake for 10 minutes. 5. Meanwhile prepare rest of the ingredients. Place potatoes in medium saucepan, add cold water to cover by one inch. 6. Bring to a boil, season with kosher salt, cook until forktender, 15-20 minutes. Transfer potatoes to a plate with a slotted spoon. 7. Return water to a boil and cook string beans in same saucepan until crisp-tender, about two minutes. 8. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of ice water. Chill until cold, about three minutes. Transfer to paper towels and pat dry. 9. The dressing: mash anchovies and mustard in a small bowl to form a coarse paste. Add minced shallot, garlic, and preserved lemon to the bowl and whisk in white wine vinegar. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper as needed. 10. Using a fork, flake the harissa salmon into large pieces; halve reserved potatoes crosswise. 11. Arrange lettuce on a platter; season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with half of dressing. 12. Top with separate piles of potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, olives, and salmon. Drizzle salad with remaining dressing. Sprinkle with flaky salt and pepper.


A wonderful life The Bible: Wisdom Literature A New Series

In early June, like millions of Americans across the political spectrum, I was stunned to read a public farewell letter by Charles Krauthammer just two weeks before his death. A familiar face in broadcast journalism, he was also a psychiatrist, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, and bestselling author. His diverse interests included reviving forgotten Jewish classical music, playing

Candace R. Kwiatek speed chess, visiting monuments and memorials, and regularly attending Washington Nationals baseball games. But above all, his wife and son were his priorities. Despite being permanently wheelchair-bound after a freshman-year diving accident, he graduated Harvard Medical School with his class. During his three-year residency, Dr. Krauthammer was honored for excellence in psychiatric research and clinical medicine. “I decided if I could make people judge me by the old standard, that would be a triumph and that’s what I try to do,” he reflected. “It seemed to me the only way to live.” Seeking a new direction, he entered the political arena and boldly challenged leaders of both parties, “drawing praise from conservatives, moderates, and liberals for his thoughtful and meticulously framed remarks,” FoxNews. com Senior Reporter Elizabeth Llorente noted. Krauthammer believed his role was to challenge people to think, to reflect rather than emote. “History is shaped by its battle of ideas...some things need to be said,” he quipped, but admitted, “I don’t know if I have influence.” Offering some thoughts on theology in an interview with

Dennis Prager, Krauthammer acknowledged that he stood in awe of Creation and feared God. Yet, he personally struggled with the idea of a deity or being that intervenes in the world. The universe is full of mystery beyond human comprehension, Krauthammer ended, and he would rather “leave it as a question rather than an answer.” Unexpectedly confronted with terminal cancer, Krauthammer shared one final thought: “I leave this life with no regrets. It was a wonderful life — full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living. I am sad to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended.” We read in Ecclesiastes, “For everything there is a season… A time to be born, and a time to die…A time to cry and a time to laugh…A time to be quiet and a time to speak.” Krauthammer’s life story brought to mind these verses, and inspire me to explore Ecclesiastes further. “All is futility,” the text begins, “like a breath or a mist that lasts but a moment. What has been done will be done in the future. Nothing and no one will be remembered. There is nothing new under the sun… All is futility and shepherding wind.” Depressing at first glance, its author King Solomon’s philosophical outlook seems to be at odds with Krauthammer’s experiences. And yet, peppered throughout the text are nuggets of wisdom about how to live life to the fullest, making the most of each day during the time allotted to us. It is these ancient insights that are reflected in the life of the late Charles Krauthammer. “For everything there is a season…” In these familiar verses, “Solomon tells us that life is really a matter of timing,” writes Pastor Keith Krell of Fourth Memorial Church in

It’s in our hands to make a wonderful life, a life without regret, by blessing each moment of the days we are given.

his caveat from Proverbs that the beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord. He adds in Ecclesiastes, “Wisdom is better than foolishness, just as light is better than darkness. For the wise can see where they are going, but fools walk in the dark.” “A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume,” Solomon counsels. His advice is echoed in Ethics of the Fathers: There are many crowns, “but the crown of a good name Charles Krauthammer, 1950-2018 surpasses them all.” Spokane, Wash. “For timing is A good name is hard everything… Change occurs to build but easily destroyed. constantly. One moment we In the words of the Greek phiwill be on the mountain peak, losopher Heraclitus, “Characthe next moment we will be in ter is destiny.” the valley.” “Two people are better off Solomon concludes, “Rethan one, for they can help member that nothing is certain each other succeed. If one in this life.” Our task is to seek person falls, the other can meaningful purpose and create reach out and help,” Solomon positive value — big or small advises further. — in the moment. Contemporary author and “Plant your seed in the educator Ron Wolfson similarly morning and keep busy all teaches that “the foundational afternoon, for you don’t know principles of Judaism are based if profit will come from one on relationships.” Its culture activity or another — or maybe and ethics are all built around both.” In modern parlance, stay sharing our lives with one anengaged and diversify your other, beginning with families. activity portfolio, Solomon Solomon offers an overall advises. message of hope, Rabbi Audrey At the same time, you canKorotkin of Temple Beth Isnot control what your succesrael in Altoona, Pa. concludes: sors will do with the fruit of “Even if we cannot make sense your efforts. Instead, it’s best of life in some grand, cosmic to simply “enjoy food and sense, we can find purpose and drink and to find satisfaction satisfaction in the tasks of daily in work,” Divine pleasures in life.” their own right. It’s in our hands to make a “How wonderful to be wonderful life, a life without wise, to analyze and interpret regret, by blessing each mothings,”writes Solomon, with ment of the days we are given.

Literature to share The World Needs Beautiful Things by Leah Berkowitz. This stunning illustrated book introduces children to the biblical artist Bezalel, builder of the wilderness Tabernacle. Using the technique of midrash, the author brings Bezalel to life from early childhood when he was a collector of the world’s “beautiful things.” Recognition of and gratitude for the world’s beautiful things, including the beauty of being different, are the underlying messages throughout the book. Highly recommended. The Book of Separation: A Memoir by Tova Mirvis. The opening scene is a bet din, a rabbinic court, where the author will receive her document of divorce. But divorce may not just be from a husband, the text hints. Mirvis’ story reads like a novel, a totally absorbing page-turner. Heartbreaking and provocative, her memoir is about the many degrees of separation in a divorce: partner, family, expected lifestyle, imagined future, perhaps even from herself. The writing is magical, creating a universal tale with a theme that speaks to any life, any culture.



into the



Wednesday, August 15 @ 6PM Boonshoft CJCE (525 Versailles Dr., 45459) RSVP at or 937-610-1555. A listing of board nominations for the Jewish Federation and its agencies is available on our website. To request a hard copy of these documents, please call Alisa at 937-610-1796. Childcare provided Heavy res with advance notice. Request must be 'oeuv hors d gnature i s and a l will be received by Friday, August 3. ai t k coc d. e s rve

featuring special guest

Archie Gottesman Archie Gottesman is the co-founder of JewBelong. She’s a true believer that Joyous Judaism, especially warm, meaningful Jewish rituals, are the key to keeping Jewish people connected to their roots – whether they have a regular Jewish practice, are new to Judaism through marriage, or just haven’t thought about their Jewish practice in a while. She’s excited to tell you more about how she’s rebranding Judaism, JewBelong and what she’s learned on her own Jewish journey!


June 3–September 11 For more information about how to participate, or to make your impact, contact Juliet Glaser at 937-401-1558 or PAGE 22


Arts&Culture Words have newfound weight in U.S. premiere of Yiddish Fiddler By Sandee Brawarsky New York Jewish Week The distinguished actor, singer, dancer and director Joel Grey has never played in Fiddler on the Roof, although he always assumed he would play Tevye — someday. “It was never to be,” he says. “This is my to be.” Grey, best known for his Tony- and Academy Award-winning performances as the Master of Ceremonies in Cabaret, is directing the U.S. premiere of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, produced by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, which began previews July 4, opened July 15 and runs through Sept. 2. In this latest incarnation of Anatevka, there are no stark trees onstage, no humble homes. The main elements of the set are large sheets of parchment-like paper suspended from above. It seems like a reminder of the fragility of the moment. Joel Grey The paper hangs, the Tony and Obie Award-winning set designer Beowulf Boritt explains in an interview, “as if someone came in to write something down. The only word I wrote was Torah in Hebrew letters. The word comes from the Yiddish translation of tradition that we use. Here, tradition is being broken. The word has more weight than tradition in English.” Based on stories by Sholem Aleichem, Fiddler on the Roof opened on Broadway in 1964 and won nine Tonys, including best musical. This Yiddish version is based on a 1965 production in Israel, with a translation by Shraga Friedman, a Holocaust survivor born in Warsaw who made his way to Palestine in 1941. For the NYTF production at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, Sheldon Harnick, who wrote the original lyrics, and Harold Prince, the original producer, are consultants. The show features Broadway regulars Steven Skybell as Tevye, Jackie Hoffman as Yente, and Mary Illes as Golde. “We’re a bunch of itinerant artists, telling a story,” Grey says. “It’s the ancient story of Tevye and his daughters in 1905. We’re doing it in a very impressionistic way.” He explains that they don’t push the issues of the day, but they come out naturally. “We’re doing Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish. That’s a big deal in itself. It changes one’s perceptions of the story and the issues, but I think it’s contemplative in a certain way — it makes us look at the material in another context.”


Grey says that this Yiddish Fiddler is less spectacle, more connected to the words. “The words have a lot of weight. There’s nothing frivolous about them. You have no choice but to pay attention to the issues.” “Fiddler always had political overtones,” Christopher Massimine, The Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish cast with director Joel Grey (in white) at center. To Grey’s left is Fiddler lyricist Sheldon Harnick. NYTF CEO, says. “Here, it’s definitely more apparent, about immigra“The word Torah on the set will resoa surface fragility and inner strength.” tion and displacement. It resonates with nate,” Mlotek says. “It all comes from For Boritt, the story also has familial what is going on now.” Torah.” resonance: His father is a Jewish immiThe Folksbiene, now in its 104th sea“It’s a sad moment when Motel and grant from Hungary who left during the son, has always been a theatre of social Tzeitel say they’re going to stay in 1956 revolution. change — the people’s theatre — MasWarsaw. When you hear it in Yiddish, Choreographer Stas Kmiec seems like simine says. Folksbiene it’s not the same as in English,” Mlotek the perfect match for his role. He has “There’s an urgency under danced and acted in 1,682 performances Joel’s direction,” he says. “Every adds. “You are transported to this language, the lingua franca of the Six of Fiddler, on two national tours and six action taken in the time they Million. It’s not a line in passing. other productions, and also has academhave is more critical. There’s “The project is in keeping with the ic and personal interest in Polish dance. also joy and dancing — all these Folksbiene mission — bringing JewThe son of Polish immigrants, Kmiec things come into play in the ish life to life on stage. Taking the most grew up in Haverhill, Mass., and began present. They don’t know what iconic Jewish musical and presenting it ballet and tap at age 8 and folk dancing tomorrow will bring.” in the original language of these stories at age 11; he later founded two Polish According to Massimine, feels like a holy mission.” folk dance ensembles and danced with “Friedman brought a lot of nuMany cast and crew members have the Boston Ballet and the Metropolitan ances to this musical in ways the world a longstanding connection to the show Opera Ballet. was not ready for. His bold adaptation and their own back story. After graduating from Tufts, he went brings out aspects of survival, oppresSet Designer Beowulf Boritt is a multo Lublin, Poland, to study ethnography, sion and fear, things that were always tiple Tony Award-nominee and winner folklore and dance; part of his research present in Fiddler, but buried by the for Act One, Come From Away, and A was visiting small towns and villages jokes and dances. Bronx Tale, with the latter two now on with a tape recorder and camcorder to “When we use the word Torah, the Broadway. This year, he worked on two ask local people their recollections of stakes are higher,” Massimine says, Fiddler projects: one scene in the musical traditional songs and dances. as Torah refers to law, while tradition revue Prince of Broadway Kmiec sees his work here as “reflectimplies a set of guidelines They rehearsed (celebrating Hal Prince’s ing the reality aspect of Joel Grey’s conpassed down. Massimine and NYTF’s scenes in English career) and another scene cept, inspired by and with deep respect in a New York City Ballet for the Jerome Robbins original.” He has artistic director, Zalmen salute to Jerome Robbins. infused the Robbins choreography with Mlotek, worked for more first, so they This production marks elements of authentic traditional dance, than a year to secure per- understood the the first time he has degrounded in the Yiddish translation, mission from Friedman’s meaning, and signed the entire show. like Russian dancing, separate dances family and others. “The original is so for women and a mothers dance after Mlotek, who grew then shifted the familiar and has been the ceremony. Some sequences, like the up speaking Yiddish, same scene to copied so many times,” bottle dance, remain true to form. remembers hearing the Boritt says. “Joel wanted Most among the 26 cast members Broadway cast album in Yiddish. something that didn’t feel have had to learn Yiddish for the his parents’ living room in like the original version.” production; they rehearsed scenes in the 1960s, and loving the music. At 16, The set looks nothing like a Russian English first, so they understood the he was already involved in theatre and shtetl. On stage are tables and chairs; meaning, and then shifted the same thought of staging the show in Yiddish. they are piled up in the beginning, and scene to Yiddish. The NYTF production features suthe fiddler stands on top of them in the Grey, who grew up in Cleveland, the pertitles in English and Russian. Mlotek son of the iconic comedian and musician reports that the show’s creators carefully opening scene. “That’s our roof. We are trying to Mickey Katz, first saw Fiddler on openconsidered whether to project the exact do this very simply,” Boritt says. “No ing night in Washington, D.C. with Zero translations of Friedman’s words, or the representations. The audience’s imagiMostel, just before the show opened on text by Stein and Harnick, and usually nation does all the work. We’re doing Broadway. chose the latter. the show in Yiddish, which is already “I’m a Yiddish understander, not In Yiddish, they sing Sunrise, Sunset abstract for non-Yiddish speakers — this speaker,” Grey says. “I’ve been around as Tog In, Tog Oys, which means day seemed like an interesting way to push Yiddish my whole life. I was one of in, day out, but they project the more it further. those kids whose mothers thought we familiar Sunrise, Sunset. For Tradition, “On the surface, the parchment paper should be modern. My father would they sing Traditzia rather than Torah as may be torn and damaged, but tradition speak in Yiddish, a little bit of this, a Friedman translated, following Harlives on. My hope is that the set conveys little bit of that.” nick’s wishes.



KVELLING CORNER Nikki Lapine graduated cum laude from South Texas College of Law — Houston. She is a graduate of Northmont High School and a former member of Temple Israel in Dayton. During law school, Nikki was

Rachel Haug Gilbert

Franco after taking the bar exam at the end of July. Attorney David P. Pierce was sworn into office on June 14 as the 104th president of the Dayton Bar Association for the 2018-19 year. David completes his two years as president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton in August.

Rabbi Bernard Barsky is a licensed professional counselor with Dayton’s Family Services. He interned there last year as the president of the Jewish Studies Association, a religious a counselor trainee under the supervision of its executive school teacher for Temple director, Bonnie Parish, while Emanu El, and a member of he completed his master’s the delegation that Houston’s degree in clinical mental health Jewish Federation and Hillel counseling with Wright State sent to the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. University. She resides in Houston with her husband, Jonathan Carrico, Send your Kvelling items to and will work for Wilson and


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How to chill out about your kid’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah goes: By Jordana Horn 1. Chill out. On the way to synagogue on the morning of My son’s Bar Mitzvah hapThe Big Day, I asked my son if pened about two months ago. he was nervous. “No, Mom,” Obviously, being the proud he said. “I got this. Besides, Jewish mama that I am, I have you’re taking care of to say the kid nailed it. that whole being But I am not nervous thing here to write for both of The Ultimate us.” Kvell. Rather, Well, that’s I’d like to what I do, kid. share with Bar & Bat Mitzvahs (And, clearly you the lessons I’m raising you to be I learned from this an astute observer like your blessed event, in hopes they mama!) can prevent some headaches Still, just how did he know when you, too, are fortunate I was nervous? Well, I am not enough to witness your own particularly reticent about my son or daughter becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. So here

LIFECYCLE Brandon Watts Brandon Watts will celebrate his Bar Mitzvah at Temple Israel on Saturday, Aug. 18. Brandon is the son of Jodi and Jeremy Watts and the grandson of Cindy Pretekin and the late Ronald Pretekin He is currently a student at Weisenborn Junior High, where he plays the tuba in band, and his favorite subject is math. His mitzvah project was raising money for Pitch In For Baseball, an organization that collects baseball equipment for disadvantaged children around the world. Send lifecycles to: The Dayton Jewish Observer 525 Versailles Dr. Centerville, OH 45459 Email: There is a $10 charge to run a photo; please make checks payable to The Dayton Jewish Observer.

emotions in the first place, so perhaps he gathered it from all the times I said I was nervous. Or maybe it was the way I was scurrying around the house that morning like a rat who’d been given Red Bull. And really: What was I nervous about? The kid had worked hard. He had prepared well. He had summers of Camp Ramah in the Berkshires under his belt and was comfortable with the service, the prayers, and his Torah and Haftorah readings. Still, I was emanating tension, which reverberated off basically every surface at home that morning — as well as in

Bar Mitzvah for a son with special needs By Joanna C. Valente Like many Jewish moms, Jody Barrens Moran fretted about her son’s Bar Mitzvah. But Barrens Moran worried about whether he could have a Bar Mitzvah at all. Max, 13, is nonverbal and can’t walk without assistance. He has significant developmental delays; doctors haven’t been able to diagnose why. However, Barrens Moran was determined to do something meaningful for his big day. And she did: according to Los Angeles Jewish Journal, the family had a nontraditional ceremony at Temple Emanuel in Beverly Hills. Barrens Moran read from the Torah instead of Max; a cousin held the Torah on Max’s behalf. Rabbi Jonathan Aaron and Cantor Lizzie Weiss led the ceremony, and Weiss wrote a

Temple Emanuel

personalized tallit blessing, We Wrap You in Love, with lines like: “With each glance Max’s Bar Mitzvah into your eyes we see your soul /And we see our Blessing.” Instead of traditional Bar Mitzvah gifts, Barrens Moran asked the guests to make donations to Max’s third-party special needs trust, which allows Max to receive the treatments he needs, like physical therapy and special education. Barrens Moran hopes she will one day be able to create a place “for Max and for other children like Max (where they can) live in a loving environment. There will be about four or five kids at a time, and I’ll hire all the staff and the therapists.”


But hold tight, because I’m There were the heels that the car on the way to synaabout to shock you again: I made the 13-year-old girls look gogue, and in the synagogue forgot to bring the socks for the like freshly-born fawns, the itself. I think that many of us girls to wear while dancing at “booty shorts,” the cantilevered equate “anxiety” with “love” the kids party. push-up bras, the lipstick, and when it comes to our kids — For those who don’t know, so on. but that’s not really true. And you know something? Instead, my palpable tension it’s custom around here that when there’s a party, the girls I could have dwelled on those made things more stressful for are wearing uncomfortable outfits and ruminated over everyone, not least of all the shoes, and you are supposed how their parents ever let them Bar Mitzvah boy. Had I done to supply them with socks so out of the house. some deep breathing, would I they can dance the night away But I decided to focus on have loved him less? Absoluteunencumbered by their own more important things. These ly not, and I probably would footwear. girls were on the dance floor have set a better example of I remembered that “rule” dancing with my youngest “adulting” to all my kids. the day before the event, and girls, who could not have been 2. Other people rock. As I called my parents in the midst more thrilled if they had been was vibrating with nerves in of their Costco run to pick up dancing with Beyoncé herself. my seat, clearly the impression 50 pairs of socks. They did. These girls gave speeches of me as a grenade about to I cut off all the tags and put about how much they liked blow was circulating around them in a bin to bring to the my son; they helped my young the congregation. kids party — and then I left the daughters play foosball, get The rabbi’s wife, across the bin in my garage. plates of food, and take picroom, met my eyes, smiled a But A Great Miracle Haptures at the photo booth. big smile, and shot me two pened Here: The girls danced They smiled and laughed, thumbs up: “He’s gonna be anyway. and were terrific guests who great!” she In short, participated in all the activimouthed with I think that this stuff reties. And each one came up to enthusiasm. Anally, really, really me and, with terrific manners, other congregant many of us caught my eye equate ‘anxiety’ doesn’t matter. If thanked me for hosting a fun you don’t check party. In the words of One and mimed deep off an item — Direction, “That’s what makes breathing, with a with ‘love’ when or seven — on you beautiful.” calm smile. it comes to our your list, I can Which brings me to the wise These two geskids — but that’s now personally saying of another important tures were small, not really true. guarantee that philosopher of our time: Pete and the people it doesn’t make The Cat. As he would say, “It’s who made them a damn bit of difference. Also: All Good.” In other words, probably don’t even remember not one kid came up to me enjoy every second of your they did. But they made all the at the end of the party saychild’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah — difference to me. They remindbecause it’s over way too soon. ed me that this is not a confron- ing, “I had a great time at the party — but not as great as I tational situation; rather, every would have if you had favors. single person in that room is rooting for your kid to succeed. Or socks. What is wrong with you?” They reminded me that 4. Look for beauty. My son’s the congregation is a support kids party was, as the kids say, system, not just additional “lit.” But my family members numbers to factor into your and I were initially somewhat kiddush food order. And they taken aback by the outfits on reminded me that everything the girls, many of whom had was going to be OK. 2313 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood interpreted the “casual chic” The people in the room are 937-293-1196 attire suggestion as something a source of positive energy family owned and operated wildly outside my fashion and kindness, whether they BB_Online_Ordering_TDJO_Press.pdf 1 7/12/18 11:14 PM military discount lexicon. are your invitees or random congregants you haven’t ever met. Tap into that energy when you need it. 3. Some things just don’t matter. I’m about to reveal something particularly scandalous for the New York metropolitan area in which I live, so buckle up. Here goes: I didn’t get a manicure for my son’s Bar Mitzvah. I know, I know. It’s shocking. But the thing is, with six kids and work and everything else, I did not have a second to spare to sit down and paint my own nails, much less find the time to have Your favorite neighborhood bagel shop and deli now has someone else do it. online ordering available through! And you know something? Not one person stopped the service to say, “I’m really sorry, but this simcha cannot continue because the mother did not get a manicure!” No one even commented at the party. C







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Teen’s gender-neutral B’nai Mitzvah

Beth Abraham, Dayton’s only Conservative synagogue, is enthusiastically egalitarian and is affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.

Courtesy of Miriam Taylor Thorpe

For a complete schedule of our events and times, go to

The Art of the Jewish Scribe

Beth Abraham is Dayton’s only Conservative synagogue, affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. We are an enthusiastically egalitarian synagogue. We also have an energetic Keruv program that reaches out to intermarried couples and families in our synagogue and in the Dayton Jewish community.

For a complete schedule of our events, go to

A Window Into The Sofer’s World With Rabbi Yochanan Salazar

The Thorpe children and their parents Miriam Taylor Thorpe (3rd from right), and Martyn Thorpe (2nd from right), celebrate Esther’s B’nai Mitzvah with congregant Hava Fleming

Monday, August 20, 7 p.m. Religious School Begins September 16 Experiential • Innovative Individualized Hebrew instruction tailored to each child’s needs.

Call Cantor Andrea Raizen, 293-9520, to register.

s ts s ts ts s t t s s tt t s s t tt s ts t s s s t ts ts s s t t t s t Shabbat Under The Stars s t

Friday, August 3, 7:30 p.m. After a spirited service with our Beth Abraham Band, enjoy an Oneg. At the home of Tara & Adam Feiner. All are welcome.


Afternoon Screening & Discussion Sunday, August 5, 2 p.m. Verdi’s A Masked Ball with Cantor Jerome Kopmar

Service Schedule: Mornings, Mon. & Thurs., 7:15 a.m.; Tues., Wed., Fri., 7:30 a.m.; Sunday, 8:30 a.m. Evenings, Mon.-Fri., 5:30 p.m. Sat. Morning Service, 9 a.m.; Youth Service, 10:30 a.m.; Kiddush lunch following.

By Josefin Dolsten, JTA When Esther Thorpe came out as non-binary a year ago, identifying neither as male nor female, Miriam Taylor Thorpe was worried. Esther’s mother already had a child come out as gay and feared that Esther, 14, would have trouble finding a Jewish community that would be accepting and inclusive. The family was already planning for Esther’s Bat Mitzvah, but with the new revelation, Miriam wondered how her child could be comfortable taking part in a Jewish ceremony whose very name — Bar Mitzvah for boys and Bat Mitzvah for girls — is gendered. “I was quite concerned because if something is important in your coming of age, it should reflect who you are in a person and not squeeze you into the traditional two genders that we happen to have just because of history,” Miriam, who lives with her husband, Martyn, and seven children in the village of Otterburn, in northeast England, told JTA. As transgender and gender nonconforming people gain more acceptance, synagogues are having to think about how to welcome those with diverse

gender identities. Statistics about gender identity in children are hard to come by, but a University of Minnesota study published last year found that 2.7 percent of children in the state identify as transgender or gender nonconforming. Catherine Bell, senior director of program and leadership at Keshet, a Massachusetts-based group that promotes LGBTQ equality, said Keshet gets requests on how to make religious ceremonies inclusive of different gender identities. “A real frontier for the work that Keshet does these days is around gender identity and gender diversity, a lot around transgender inclusion and making sure non-binary and trans youth are included,” Bell told JTA. The Union for Reform Judaism — the congregational arm of the movement in the United States — has a toolkit for synagogues that includes a section on how to tailor B’nai Mitzvah ceremonies to align with the child’s gender identity, said Rabbi Leora Kaye, URJ’s director of program. “What we’re seeing now is that there are families and there are congregations

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Using a Hebrew name that relayed that are very open to exploring with family ties and fit into the larger Jewish the kids that are becoming Bar and Bat tradition was important to Esther, said Mitzvah how they want to be identitheir mother. fied,” Kaye told JTA. “If you have a name that doesn’t The Thorpes worked with the student give that tie into your family and your rabbi of their synagogue, York Liberal history, you are much more isolated, Jewish Community, to adapt the cerand that compounds isolation that I emony. know Esther still does feel — if you are Gabriel Webber is a first-year stunon-binary or trans and you are the only dent at London’s Leo Baeck College, a person in your shul that are already in a rabbinical school associated with the different position,” Thorpe said. Liberal movement, a partner under the In the end, Esther chose Esther m’beit worldwide Reform umbrella. As part of Miriam, meaning Esther from the house his research ahead of the ceremony, he of Miriam. came across examples of ceremonies for In addition to liturgical changes, Esnon-binary children in the United States ther had to read their Torah portion and but not in the United Kingdom. write a drash or sermon. Since the family “Although this is the first one that lives a three-hour drive from York, we’ve had on the radar, it’s going to be far from the last one,” Courtesy of Miriam Taylor Thorpe Esther did their learning via videochat with Webber said. Webber and a congreWebber spent a gant, Hava Fleming. lot of time thinking Esther led the service about how to eschew in front of 100 people. gendered words in Afterward, there was a Hebrew during what celebration with food, they came to call Esice cream, popcorn mather’s B’nai Mitzvah, chines and doughnuts. using the Hebrew The event may have plural term b’nai, been the country’s first which could refer to a gender-neutral B’nai mixed-gender group Thorpe (L) identifies as nonMitzvah; it was also of people. Esther uses Esther binary and had a gender-neutral B’nai York’s first Bar, Bat or “they” as a singular Mitzvah ceremony with the help of B’nai Mitzvah cerpronoun rather than Student Rabbi Gabriel Webber emony in more than 50 “he” or “she.” years. The city’s Jewish history is mainly Before settling on B’nai Mitzvah, known for a 12th-century antisemitic Webber looked for other possibilities. massacre in which all the Jewish resiHe found that other non-binary people dents were killed. had used terms such as “Ban Mitzvah” Despite the adaptations, some issues (ban is a made-up word that combines lingered. Though immediate friends the Hebrew words for boy and girl, and family were respectful of Esther’s ben and bat) and “Zera Mitzvah” (zera gender identity, others gave Bat Mitzmeans seed or offspring in Hebrew). vah cards and gifts geared toward girls, “Esther uses ‘they’ pronouns, which Miriam Thorpe said. is also a plural being used as a singular, “It was quite easy to make the service so (b’nai) fit, and it wasn’t making up be reflective of (Esther being) non-binaHebrew,” Webber said. ry, once you have a rabbi that’s on board He also looked into how to call up Esther to read from the Torah. Tradition- with it and you have a congregation that’s prepared to take that through,” ally, readers are called up using their first name in Hebrew followed by ben or she said, “and as soon as you left the service you’re back to it’s either a Bar bat (son or daughter) and their parent’s Mitzvah or a Bat Mitzvah and there’s or parents’ names. nothing in between.” Finding the right way to be called up Still, Esther is happy about how to the Torah held major significance for things turned out. Esther. “I feel better,” they said. “I feel part “It felt like a big responsibility for of a community, accepted and acknowlother non-binary kids in the future,” edged.” Esther told JTA in an email.

For your Bar or Bat Mitzvah

Temple Beth Or is now accepting registration for its 2018-19 religious education programs.

Give your child the gifts of: Tefillah (Hebrew prayer), Tikkun Olam (Social Justice), K’lal Yisrael (Community) and Yiddishkeit (Jewish culture).

Preschool through Grade 12 Hebrew School for Grades 3 through 6 All programs on Sundays starting Sept. 23. Register at




Temple Beth Or 5275 Marshall Road Dayton, Ohio 45429 937-435-3400

Today...and for Generations



Picture your child at Hillel Academy. For Jewish students in grades K to 6 • Exemplary secular and Judaic education • Art and science professional residencies • Project-based learning and critical thinking • Students become “life-long learners.” This has a positive impact in all of their future academic and personal endeavors • Hebrew language immersion via Tal-Am Hebrew Curriculum

The new school year begins August 15. Students new to Hillel for 2018-19 are eligible to apply for renewable scholarships funded by the Sinai Foundation. 937.277.8966