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THANK YOU TO OUR MAJOR SPONSORS Anonymous Stuart & Mimi Rose Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton Fort Washington Investment Advisors The Goldenberg Family Rabbi Karen Bodney-Halasz & Scott Halasz Wendy & Jeff Horwitz Burke Orthodontics Economy Linen & Towel Courtney & Chad Cummings Mitchell & Sara Faust Rabbi Tina & Matt Sobo Ralph & Sylvia Heyman Alan & Julie Halpern Carol Graff Andy & Sue Snow Discover other great Temple programs happening this month on tidayton.org and on our Facebook page. Temple Israel www.tidayton.org 937.496.0050 130 Riverside Drive, Dayton, OH 45405 A Reform Synagogue open to all who are interested in Judaism. PAGE 2
DAYTON Federation’s virtual Chabad’s Camp annual meeting Gan Israel open The Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton will hold its 110th annual meeting, in a virtual format, at 6 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 13. At the annual meeting, the Jewish Federation and its agencies will elect and install new officers and board members, and honor outgoing board members and current volunteers for their contributions to the Dayton area Jewish community. Recipients of volunteer awards this year include Lori Appel, Dave London, Ben Mazer, Lisa Pavlofsky, David Pierce, and Rochel Simon. Registration for the annual meeting is available at jewishdayton.org.
As part of the Federation’s 2020 Annual Campaign, donors may drop off their pledge cards between 2 and 4 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 16 with a quick, sociallydistanced drive-through at the parking lot of the Boonshoft Center for Jewish Culture and Education, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. Those who stop by will receive a free treat from Kona Ice.
Through Aug. 7, Chabad of Greater Dayton is running Camp Gan Israel, with the Ohio Department of Health’s mandates in place connected to the Covid-19 pandemic. Camp is held 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday at Chabad, 2001 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood for children ages 5 to 11 and includes kosher lunch. Extended-care hours and need-based financial assistance are available. To register, go to chabaddayton.com or call Rabbi Levi Simon at 937-643-0770, ext. 1.
Temple Israel’s virtual Oy Vey 5K
For this year’s Oy Vey 5K, Temple Israel has gone virtual. Participants will select a time to run or walk between Aug. 2 and 9. Proceeds benefit Temple Israel’s Social Action Fund. Registration is $25 and is available at tidayton.org.
IN THIS ISSUE A Bisel Kisel.......................................21 Family Education............................25 Mr. Mazel...........................................24
Obituaries............................30 Opinion.................................20 Religion.............................23
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • AUGUST 2020
A familiar face and a new face ready to inspire at local Reform temples By Faygie Holt Special To The Observer Temple Beth Or encouraged Grant Halasz to use his musical talents there for its programs when he was growing up. It was a skill he furthered during his years at Union for Reform Judaism camps, including Goldman Union Camp Institute in Zionsville, Ind., where he worked for several years as a counselor before serving as song leader in 2019. “I fell in love with Judaism through song-leading,” said Halasz, of Centerville. “My family was very involved with Beth Or when I was growing up, and Rabbi Judy Chessin asked me to start helping out with leading a couple songs in the morning before Sunday school. It just grew from there.” Now a college graduate with a degree in Judaic studies from the University of Cincinnati, Halasz is taking a gap year off from his studies and putting his skills to work at another Miami Valley Reform congregation, Temple Israel, where he’ll serve as rabbinic intern and youth director. It will allow him to really see the day-to-day inner workings of the rabbinate as he intends to start rabbinic school in the near future. “I have always loved helping people with their problems and helping them to feel that they are part of the community and not ostracized,” he said. “I think that intersection between the love of Jewish culture and
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Grant Halasz has been a song leader at Goldman Union Camp Institute
helping people feel they are part of the community would most fit with the rabbinate.” During his internship, Halasz will assist with Friday-night services, give Torah-study classes, and work with the temple’s youth. Of the latter, he said, “It’s important to have buy-in from the kids” when it comes to programming, as that’s “a good first step in them wanting to return more and be more engaged. “ Halasz’s guide through his rabbinic internship is his aunt,
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Rabbi Karen Bodney-Halasz, Temple Israel’s senior rabbi. “Grant has been thinking about this for a long time and I’m very proud of him,” Bodney-Halasz said, adding that “Grant is not afraid to ask questions and to reflect on what’s happening. The experiences in leadership he’s had through his undergraduate experiences and his work at camp show me that he understands what it means to be a part of an organization.” Halasz is also a familiar face Continued on next page
From the editor’s desk
In this issue of The Observer, you’ll find a much more in-depth piece than we normally run. It’s a story I’ve been researching for the past two years: John Patterson, NCR, Oakwood, and the Jewish Community. At 9,000-plus words, Marshall it comes in at about an hour’s read. I Weiss considered running it as a series, but the sections are so interconnected I thought better of it, especially since there’s a month between our issues. It seems a fitting time to publish this piece, since it explores institutional racism. You can listen to me read this feature instead, if you like, as part of my weekly Jewish News Hour podcast. Just go to iTunes or Spotify, search for Jewish News Hour, and select the program dated July 17, 2020. Special thanks go to Montgomery County Records and Information Manager Tina S. Ratcliff and Montgomery County Records Center and Archives Technician Amy Czubak for their interest in and research for this project, and to University of Dayton History Prof. Janet Bednarek, whose expertise in urban history is a gift to the Miami Valley.
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New Hillel director at Miami U Ready Jewish food blogger Whitney Fisch takes over as director of the Hillel at Miami University in Oxford, Aug. 1. Fisch received her MSW from The University of Michigan School of Social Work. She has served as a counselor with a private Jewish middle school in Miami, Fla. and most recently with a private Jewish high school in Los Angeles. Fisch, who received her undergraduate degree from The College of Wooster, has also served as director of Jewish student life at the University of Georgia, as the graduate and young professional program director for the Hillels of Illinois, and has studied in Israel with the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. She’s also worked as director of outreach and education with Chicago’s Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, and at the Uni-
Continued from previous page at Temple Israel too, playing guitar and singing for programs and services. “He is someone who feels deeply connected to the Jewish people and loves Judaism and is willing to work for something that means a lot to him,” Bodney-Halasz added. Also cheering him on is Chessin, who first encouraged Rabbi Benjamin G. Azriel with his wife, Rachel, when he received his him to use his musical talents master of arts in Hebrew letters last Whitney Fisch at Temple Beth Or. year from HUC-JIR in Cincinnati versity of Michigan Hillel. “I’m really thrilled he has Fisch, her husband, and their the opportunity to be at Temple combination of teacher and three young children moved to Israel,” she said, adding that by religion seemed to be the rabOhio from Los Angeles. serving there, “he gets to experi- binate.” Her blog, jewhungrytheblog. ence a different setting and Azriel said the rabbinate com, grew out of her need “to community, because one doesn’t runs in the family: his uncle learn how to keep and cook ko- know where they will feel most led a synagogue in Omaha for sher as a newlywed in 2010.” at home.” decades. At Miami University’s HilAlso this summer, Temple Azriel and his wife, Rachel, lel, Fisch takes over for Marcy Beth Or welcomes its new a medical student at the UniMiller, who retired in July after assistant rabbi, Benjamin G. versity of Cincinnati, have been nine years as director there. Azriel, who received his rabmarried three years. They live binic ordination from Hebrew “I want to create structures, just outside of Cincinnati along Union College-Jewish Institute programs, and systems that with their dog, Wrigley, named allow young people to not only of Religion in May; he’s also for the famed Chicago baseball Temple Beth Or’s new educasurvive but to thrive, and I stadium. “She was adopted durwant to do so while role model- tor, running the congregation’s ing the 2016 World Series where ing the leadership and thought- religious school, Makor. the Cubs won it all for the first “I have always wanted to be ful communication that I hope time in 108 years,” the Chicago to cultivate in the young people a teacher,” Azriel said. “Follow- native said. 2313 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood 937-293-1196 ing a trip to Israel when I was I serve,” Fisch wrote in her Though he’s a trained tax acwww.oakwoodﬂorist.com young, I discovered a love of introduction to the MU Hillel countant — an Ohio State alumfamily owned and operated Judaism and a personal connec- nus — Azriel said he always community. military discount — Marshall Weiss tion to my religion. The perfect knew his time in accounting would be limited. “Today, I try to bring my business sense to effectively manage the organizational aspect of a synagogue, from budgets to time management to facility upkeep,” he said. “A background in accounting will mesh beautifully with my love of being a rabbi.” Along with his role at Temple Beth Or, Azriel began his work in April as rabbi-administrator for Northern Hills Synagogue, a Conservative congregation in Warren County. That financial background is a definite benefit, Chessin “Setting the Standard added, calling her new assistant SENIOR LIVING CAMPUS rabbi a leader and an outstandfor Excellence ing figure. “Given the health concerns in Health Care” and coronavirus atmosphere, • Skilled Nursing Center there will be a difference in how • Elegant Assisted Living our whole religious education • Independent Living Community program runs, and that will all be his bailiwick,” Chessin said. • Memory Care Azriel said he looks forward • Rehabilitation Services to it. “For me, it’s crucial to bring Judaism alive for my students, to allow them to find personal 5070 Lamme Rd. - Kettering - OH - 45439 - 293-7703 connections to Judaism.”
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • AUGUST 2020
Jewish communities are finally paying attention to Jews of color. Here’s the long road to how they got there. By Josefin Dolstein, JTA As protests for racial justice swept the United States this summer, many American Jewish organizations joined in. They released statements and committed to action. They held online events elevating the voices of Black Jews and other Jews of color. And they asked Jews of color to share their stories and advise them about how to create more inclusive and equitable environments. One major organization that had spent the spring steering the Jewish world through the pandemic-induced financial crisis even took a detour from that work to create a new role focused on racial justice — and filled it with a rabbi who is a Jew of color. The explosion of interest and engagement in racial justice work across the Jewish world wasn’t just circumstantial. It reflected decades of organizing and advocacy by Jews of color, who found the world suddenly oriented toward the work they had long been doing in an extension of a shift that began with the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement three years
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ago. “I believe the Jewish institutional community found itself in a position of needing to catch Members of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, including in the front row April Baskin (R) and Leo up, and as a result the gaze Ferguson (3rd from R), march as part of a Jews4BlackLives protest in New York in 2016 turned back toward Jews of Here’s how some of that orcolor and ‘How can you help us study aimed at understanding children were met with ignoganizing started, gained steam, rance by community members in this moment?’” said Yavilah racial and ethnic diversity in and evolved over time — and McCoy, who began convening and were nearly always the only the community, and the followthe areas where activists say the kids of color in Jewish settings. ing year they founded Be’chol Jews of color in 1997 and now Jewish community has a long runs Dimensions, a training Lashon, an organization that The Jewish Multiracial Netway left to go. organization focused on racial educates about diversity in the work was founded in 1997 by equity and programming for community and does programa group of parents on the East ‘There weren’t really Jews of color. ming for Jews of color and their Coast struggling with these any resources’ “That doesn’t mean that for issues, said Chava Shervington, families, including a summer The late 1990s and early 2000s the group’s past president and a camp for children. the previous 10, 12 years there saw the establishment of the hadn’t been work that Jews of “There really weren’t any current board member. first wave of orcolor were already doing to resources, which essentially was “They were provide direct service for them- ganizations cater- The late 1990s why we did the study we did,” looking to creing to multiracial and early selves. It’s just that that work Diane Tobin said. ate supportive did not rise high onto the prior- Jews. organizations were spaces for their 2000s saw the children, create ledOther Some were ity list of what was considered by Black Jews — including Jewish institutional community responding to places where their those whose families had been establishment an increase in organizing.” identi- practicing Judaism for genof the first wave children’s transracial adopTwenty years after McCoy erations, children of interracial ties could feel of organizations really supported,” marriages, and converts. Some tion and were first organized a conference for founded by white catering to Jews of color, that movement Shervington said. organizations included EthioJewish parents has seen tremendous growth. In San Francis- pian Jews and Jews from the who were grap- multiracial Jews. co, Diane and the Middle East who identified as Now a Torah learning initiapling with what tive, a media company, and people of color. late Gary Tobin it meant to have adopted kids many other nonprofits exist by In 1997, Yavilah McCoy orgabecame interested in diversity and for Jews of color, and initia- who weren’t White. At the time, in the Jewish community after nized an email list that was the tives by young Jews of color are there were few resources on beginnings of Ayecha, an educaadopting an African American diversity in the Jewish commu- son. getting support from the countion and advocacy group for try’s largest Jewish foundations. nity; some parents found their Continued on Page Six In 1999, they launched a
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Continued from Page Five Jews of color that was officially incorporated four years later. In 2000, she organized the group’s first conference, where 100 Jews of color gathered in Edison, N.J. Many participants had never been in a Jewish space with other Jews of color. McCoy recalled the experience as “emotionally just mind-blowing.” “People said when they came downstairs that first Friday night and saw all those faces in the room, many of them wept,” she said. The Alliance of Black Jews was founded in 1996 by Robin Washington, a Black and Jewish writer; Michelle Stein-Evers, a Black and Jewish activist; and Capers Funnye, a rabbi who leads a Black Israelite congreYavilah McCoy gation. Though Funnye has been eager to bridge ties with the mainstream Jewish community and underwent a Conservative conversion, most who are affiliated with the Black or Hebrew Israelites — a movement of African-Americans who believe they have Jewish roots — have not converted and aren’t recognized as Jewish by mainstream synagogues. For many Jews of color, being part of this group was the first time they were coming in contact with others like them. With the emergence of the internet, many connected despite being in different geographic locations, said Bruce Haynes, a sociology professor at the University of California, Davis, who has researched Black Jews. “They were beginning to talk about how they felt about being with the Jewish community,” he said, “and topics of alienation and racial marginality were primary.” Haynes said the 1990s proved a fertile time for such groups for a number of reasons. Recent airlifts of Ethiopian Jews to Israel and a greater recognition of Sephardi Jews in America helped expand the understanding of what Jews could look like. And the growth of the “multiracial movement,” a movement in wider American society of mixed-race families who wanted to add a “multiracial” option to the U.S. census, helped expand the awareness of the fluidities and nuances of racial identity. Still, while there was a growing awareness of diversity within the Jewish community, many Jews of color did not feel welcome in their communities. For McCoy, the founder of Ayecha, it April Baskin was important to create a space for Jews of color because she felt that in the wider community, Jewishness was often equated with being White. She said her work organizing Jews of color wasn’t always well received by White Jews, and it was hard to secure funding from Jewish philanthropies for Ayecha’s work. “When we would say the term Jews of color in Ayecha, we were often accused of being subversive and of pulling ourselves away from the broader Jewish community,” she said.
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About a decade after its founding, members of the Jewish Multiracial Network started questioning why the organization was largely led by White Jews. “Some folks stepped back from positions of leadership, which allowed the leadership of Jews of color to be elevated,” said Shervington, the past president. Since the shift took place in the late 2000s, the group has been led primarily by Jews of color like Shervington, who is Black. Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, or JFREJ, went through a similar transition half a decade later. Founded in 1990, the organization for much of its history was made up largely of progressive, White Jews who built coalitions with non-Jewish communities of color on
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JFREJ members at a protest in New York in 2017
race and poverty-related issues. But Jews of color were largely missing from the conversation. Leo Ferguson set out to change that when he joined the New York-based organization in 2014. So Ferguson, who is Black and Jewish, founded a Jews of color caucus and started recruiting for a more diverse membership. Six years later, JFREJ has a much more diverse membership and its staff of nine includes three Jews of color. “The organization is still overwhelmingly White... but we have a thriving caucus and have had for years, and that caucus has played a defining role in how the organization thinks about its own community and its own base,” Ferguson said. Having a more diverse membership has also changed the conversations with communities of color. “For the first time we have Black and Brown people who are Jews forming relationships with other Black and brown non-Jewish organizers around issues we all share mutual interests around,” he said.
A turning point in the Reform movement
Though some individual organizations, such as JFREJ were diversifying, there were no Jews of color working in leadership roles in the vast majority of Jewish institutions — such as synagogues, federations and foundations. No denominational body had a Jew of color in a leadership position. That changed in 2015 when the Union for Mirah Curzer Reform Judaism announced it was appointing April Baskin, a Black Jewish woman, to the position of vice president of audacious hospitality. Baskin’s job was to engage Jews who had been marginalized in the Jewish community — including people of color, LGBTQ people, interfaith families, and people with disabilities. “That was such a visible signal within the Jewish community that was hard to ignore,” said Haynes, the scholar of Black Jews. “I would imagine people felt ‘Oh, you see me. You finally see that I’m here.’” Baskin remembers that she “nearly cried” when she was approached for the role and read the job description, which quoted from a speech by the URJ’s president, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, about including multiracial Jews in the community. She said, “as someone who closely studied this work, it was a landmark, a huge milestone moment in the context of the Jewish community.” Baskin recalled joining an organization in which many people were unaware of Jews who were not white. “When I came in, it was a shock to a lot of people that I existed,” she said. Baskin frequently appeared with Jacobs, and the movement often spoke about her role. She rose to fame in the community so quickly that she was recognized on the subway and once while vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard. She quickly made an impact. Baskin frequently wrote and spoke about the experiences and need for inclusion of Jews of color and attended anti-racism rallies. She created the JewV’Nation Fellowship, a leadership fellowship that engaged a diverse group of mostly
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • AUGUST 2020
Jews of Color Field Building Initiative how the studies had millennial Jews. Its asked about racial second cohort consisted background — or not entirely of Jews of color. asking at all — and usThe URJ from which ing sampling methods she departed last year that recruited responwas very different dents with stereotypifrom the one she had cally Jewish last names joined four years earlier, or relying on commuBaskin said. nity lists, both of which “When I left, people underrepresent Jews of were grappling with color, according to the key inclusion questions, researchers. really beginning to Using three of the consider the nitty-gritty Participants in a think tank event hosted by the Jews most comprehensive nuts and bolts of mean- of Color Field Building Initiative in Berkeley, Calif. surveys that did ask ingful inclusion initiaabout race and ethnicity, the tives. So that moved us through he said. researchers said they could McCoy, the founder of Aye‘OK it’s a shock’ to actually cha who now runs Dimensions, roughly estimate that 12 to 15 ‘This is a reality’ — and not for percent of American Jews are is disappointed by the lack of the entire Reform movement, people of color. Jewish organizations run by because it is huge — but it was Previous studies, from the Black women like herself. definitely true among many of 2013 Pew survey of Ameri“As one of the only Black its local and national leaders,” women CEOs at a not-for-profit can Jews, to 2019 estimates by she said. Brandeis University’s American that provides direct service for Jewish Population Project and Jews of color in our commuRepresentation local community studies, had nity,” she said, “I would like continues to lag found a range of 6 to 14 percent to see Black lives matter more While Baskin’s appointment Jews of color. in this moment by deepening helped move the dial forward, Last year, after hosting a investment in the leadership Jews of color continued to be presentation by Kaufman’s of Black Jewish women leaders far and few between in Jewish Field Building Initiative on its and the causes that they lead.” organizations. study, the UJA-Federation of Ilana Kaufman spent six When Jews of color are years working at Jewish institu- New York launched a task force brought on to work at synaconsisting of a handful of New tions in the San Francisco area, gogues, rabbinical bodies, York-based Jews of color workincluding the local federation federations, and foundations, ing to make the Jewish commuthey often are the only nonwhite and Jewish Community Relations Council. At both organiza- nity more inclusive. The federaperson in the organization. tion has ramped up its giving to tions, she was the only Jew of In 2018, SooJi Min-Maranda a number of initiatives related color. Kaufman said she expebecame the first Jew of color to Jews of color and their inclurienced hostility when expressto lead a denominational body sion in the Jewish community in ing support for the Black Lives with her appointment as direcrecent years, including granting Matter movement — including tor of ALEPH: The Alliance for $150,000 to the Jewish MultiJewish Renewal, the umbrella of having it suggested that she racial Network and $48,600 to the Jewish Renewal movement. should not carry a small Black Ammud: The Jews of Color Lives Matter sign inside the “There are small advances, Continued on Page 19 federation building and consmall changes that are starting tinually being dismissed when to happen in terms of Jews of talking about the importance of color in leadership positions, but the scale in terms of breadth both hiring and engaging Jews of color. and depth of leadership is not “When talking about Jews of where it needs to be,” Min-Macolor, despite the fact that I was randa said. standing right there as a Jew In many cases, Jews of color of color, I was constantly given find themselves advocating for wonder about how many Jews inclusion within largely White of color are there and why was organizations. I making this such a big deal,” Gamal Palmer is the only she said. Black Jew on the 170-person In 2018, Kaufman left the staff of the Los Angeles Jewish Federation. Though his portfolio Jewish Community Relations has to do with senior leadership Council and went on to found development, he decided almost an organization where Jews of color took center stage. The three years ago to engage Jews of color, which had not been an Jews of Color Field Building Initiative secured funding from area of focus. the Harry and Jeanette WeinIt’s been “really hard,” he berg Foundation for a study said, both in finding a strategy that aimed to answer questions to engage Jews of color and about how many Jews of color making change happen in the lived in the U.S. — a question Jewish community. “We as an organization pride that Kaufman said she was asked frequently when speaking ourselves on striving to be about the importance of includinclusive in different ways, but we just hadn’t really prioritized ing that population. Published in 2019, her report Jews of color yet, so because I’ve found that previous studies had worked there, it’s been a really undercounted nonwhite Jews challenging journey to balance in a number of ways. Those what I take personal and how included being inconsistent in to function as a professional,”
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • AUGUST 2020
John Patterson, NCR, Oakwood, Dayton History Both post cards: Dayton Metro Library
The NCR Factory, seen from John Patterson’s Far Hills estate in Oakwood
Patterson’s Far Hills estate in Oakwood, just south of Dayton
The historic record shows that his known legacy of racial discrimination is replete with surprising contradictions By Marshall Weiss, The Observer
he city of Oakwood is home to about 160 identified Jewish households, approximately 10 percent of the Miami Valley’s Jewish community. Chabad of Greater Dayton is prominently located there, at the corner of Far Hills Avenue and Grandon Road. Beth Abraham Synagogue, Hillel Academy of Greater Dayton Jewish day school, and the Miami Valley Mikvah (ritual bath) are at Sugar Camp, formerly NCR’s international training center in Oakwood. Oakwood is an anchor of today’s Miami Valley Jewish community. That was hardly the case a century ago, as I’ve been reminded from the time I arrived in the Dayton area nearly 25 years ago, and especially when I was working on my book, Jewish Community of Dayton, a few years back. Before and immediately after the book’s publication, I gave several talks about various aspects of the Dayton Jewish community’s history. At each Q&A, Jews in our community gravitated toward the same topics: John Patterson, NCR, Oakwood, and their antisemitism toward the Jews of Dayton. The starting point for all of these discussions was the presumed antisemitism of each. I only touched on Oakwood’s racial restrictions briefly in my book. It’s a topic worthy of in-depth exploration. John Patterson, born in 1844, was the founder, owner, and manager of National Cash Register, which he began in 1884. He is considered the Father of Oak-
wood, established as a village in 1908. He died in 1922. From the era of Patterson’s rise with NCR and through his passing, Dayton’s Jews fell out into two groups. The first to arrive were German Jews beginning in the 1840s because of antisemitism. By the time Patterson was laying the foundations for NCR, Dayton’s German Jews were mainly successful merchants who worshipped downtown at the Reform B’nai Yeshurun (now called Temple Israel). Until the flood of 1913, they tended to live in the area of North Robert Boulevard downtown. They also had their own social club, The Standard Club, not far from B’nai Yeshurun. Beginning in the 1880s, impoverished Jews from Eastern Europe arrived in America with the Great Wave of Jewish immigration. They were driven by brutal pogroms and antisemitic restrictions in czarist Russia. In Dayton, they settled in the East End, along Wayne Avenue between Fifth and Wyoming Streets. Jews who came from Lithuania worshiped at Beth Abraham Synagogue, those from everywhere else across the Russian Empire prayed at Beth Jacob Synagogue. For a dozen years beginning in 1909, an Orthodox Zionist synagogue, Ohave Zion, also met in the East End. For those not too familiar with Patterson, these excerpts from a speech that a community leader gave at the time of his death paint a clear picture of this first citizen of Dayton: “He was a passionate lover of his city, raising his voice and spending his effort toward its betterment, the purification of its politics and the beautification of
In the public square, Patterson did work with leaders in Dayton’s Jewish community.
its streets...A true leader of men, he took command on that dark night in Dayton in March 1913, when the levies broke and the waters of the Miami poured into the homes of over half the people of the city. He turned the force of men that he had trained into making cash registers into making boats, one a minute, and then sent them into the waters to feed the marooned population, and to take out to safety the sick and the aged, turning his great factory into a hospital and a refuge. “But more than that, he will be remembered because of his industrial conscience. He was not willing to degrade his workers to the level of animals and take away their self-respect. So he pioneered for better factory conditions...He wanted to give his workers a chance to rise, so he educated them, offered them the means to advance...I remember with what joy he spoke to me of the arrangement that he was making for profitsharing among the workmen. This is John Patterson’s monument, this great exemplification of the industrial conscience, his factory. And another would be the city which he loved with a deep passion.” The person who said this of Patterson was a Jew: Rabbi David Lefkowitz, who had led B’nai Yeshurun in Dayton from 1900 to 1920. Lefkowitz gave this sermon from his new pulpit, Temple Emanu-El in Dallas. This is the same John Patterson whose management team, at least in America, was all White and generally Protestant. A natural outgrowth was the village of Oakwood, an idyllic haven for Patterson and his executives, welcome only to White Christians. The historic record is full of surprising contradictions. In the public square, Patterson did work with leaders in Dayton’s Jewish community. And the public country club he gave to the city of Dayton was open
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • AUGUST 2020
to all of its citizens in some form or another. But the legacy of his prejudices and how racial restrictions played out at NCR and in Oakwood linger in the collective memory of Dayton’s Jews. This has even led to local legends about Patterson and the Jews, stories that are not factually, historically correct but offer those who pass them on some imagined justice against racial restrictions. Here is what we know from the historical record.
Advancement for some
frican Americans were hired at NCR at least in the beginning, as janitors and in the foundry. Jews were able to work in the factory. Along with photographic evidence of African Americans at NCR are two letters — written in 1904 and 1905 — by S.J. Gorman, foreman of NCR’s janitors. In both, Gorman writes, “My janitor force are all colored men and there are 75 of them.” Mark Bernstein, author of Grand Eccentrics — Turning the Century: Dayton and the Inventing of America (1996), explained to The Observer that Patterson thought of NCR as a meritocracy. But at the same time, his version of logic led him to eliminate his African American employees. “He believed every employee could rise to the top,” Bernstein said. “At one point, he concluded that since White employees would not work for a Black supervisor, Blacks could not be promoted and therefore had no real future with the company. So he fired them. My best guess is that this involved about 200 black employees out of a total labor force of 5,000 to 6,000. My best view is that this happened sometime between 1905-1910.” In a 1985 oral history project the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton facilitated, one participant, Charlie Froug, talked about his father, Israel Froug, and Charlie Froug’s uncle, Charlie Vangrov. In 1913, both were carpenters in Cincinnati. When the flood hit Dayton that year, Israel Froug and Charlie Vangrov came from Cincinnati for two weeks to work at NCR, initially building boats. The two thought Dayton was the most beautiful city they had ever seen. Israel Froug came to work for NCR in 1915. Charlie Froug recalled of his father, Israel: “He was fired the first week he was there. He was shomer Shabbos (Sabbath observant). He wouldn’t work on the Sabbath and was given a pink ticket when he came back on a Monday. He was wild that day and went to John H. Patterson and called him an antisemite, with his real honest-to-God Yiddish accent. John H. was upset and wanted to know why. He told him, ‘I didn’t come to work on Saturday: that’s my Sabbath. I’ll work on your Sabbath if you’ll keep the plant open.’ Patterson made a deal. If he could make the number of pieces in the five days that the other men did in six, he didn’t have to come in on Saturdays.” Israel Froug accepted.
John B. Stetson Building and Loan Association of Philadelphia to serve as the building and loan association for NCR employees. The arrangement was proclaimed in the July 1898 American Building Association News. This building and loan association had been established in 1880 by legendary hat maker John B. Stetson for his factory employees, to help them “in building their own homes, and to encourage them in saving money for that purpose, and for the benefit of their families.” Gorman’s letters of 1904 and 1905 inform us that NCR’s building association was not used by the “working men and women at the factory.” Rather, they “don’t live, and won’t, in any particular district. They prefer neighborhoods which they select themselves for their own reasons, and they prefer houses built in such places, and such ways, as suit the individual taste.” The foreman continued: “There has never been any inquiry whatever from the Company as to how these men live, or where. The men prefer to take care of themselves, and are able to, in the matter of housing, and in their own way. They need no assistance from the Company on the subject. The building associations in Dayton are many; they are all, or nearly all, very good.” It’s not known whether this arrangement of building association use exclusively for NCR executives and foremen was according to Patterson’s design or if that’s just how it fell out. When Oakwood had enough residents to incorporate as a village in 1908, Patterson’s name was at the top of the incorporation documents. “Once he got into his head to plan for the future of Oakwood, there was no aspect of the community that didn’t bear his mark or receive his advice,” wrote Joanne K. McPortland in Oakwood, From Acorn to Oak Tree: A Centennial Celebration 2008.
at the plat level or at the deed level. The first discriminatory real estate restrictions in Montgomery County are recorded at the plat level in Van Buren Township; the township no longer exists. Parts of Van Buren Township became Oakwood beginning in 1908, and the remainder became Kettering (1952) and Moraine (1953). Montgomery County’s first plat with discriminatory restrictions was recorded by the county Oct. 6, 1924, “in accordance with the rules and regulations adopted by the Director of Public Service of the City of Dayton, Ohio, acting as Supervisor of Plats under Sec. 136 of the Charter of the City of Dayton, Ohio, and the same is hereby approved.” Though this plat was in Van Buren Township, not Oakwood (today it’s in Dayton), the developers capitalized on the marketing appeal of Oakwood in the plat’s name, McKnight’s East Oakwood Plat. The developers and their lender, the Permanent Building and Savings Association, received approval for the platting with a racial restriction they included: “That in consideration of the price at which property is sold the said purchaser agrees not to sell, transfer, lease or rent said property to any person other than of the caucasian race.” This language also excluded Jews. White America at that time didn’t consider Jews to be Caucasians. Italians were also included in the non-White construct of the times. In the 1920s, the pseudo-science of “eugenics” — the racist search for scientific proof of inferior and superior races championed by Anglo-Protestants in academia — rose to its peak of influence in America. The U.S. Congress used it as a pretext to curtail immigration from Eastern Europe (Jews) and Southern Europe (Italians) by 87 percent beginning in 1924. The U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian recorded that the purpose of the Immigration Act of 1924 was “to preserve the ideal of U.S. homogeneity.” Nazi Germany would take and run with eugenics “research” developed in the United States. Because of the 1924 immigrant restrictions established in the U.S., and with quotas that weren’t even met, the Jews of Eastern and Central Europe were trapped in the Holocaust. “The late 19th and early decades of the 20th century saw a steady stream of warnings by scientists, policymakers, and the popular press that ‘mongrelization’ of the Nordic and Anglo-Saxon race — the real Americans — by inferior European races (as well as by inferior non-European ones) was destroying the fabric of the nation,” Karen Brodkin wrote in How Jews Became White Folks & What That Says About Race in America (1998). She added that for Jews, “this picture radically changed after World War II,” when they were more generally accepted as “model middle-class White suburban citizens.” Two plats in Montgomery County carried racial Continued on Page 10
White America at that time didn’t consider Jews to be Caucasians.
Racial residential restrictions
t wasn’t until after the Great Dayton Flood of 1913 that Oakwood experienced growth as a “high and dry” community for Dayton’s well-to-do citizenry. And Oakwood didn’t truly boom until the 1920s. Before the flood, Dayton’s fashionable set lived along Robert Boulevard, which followed the contour of the Miami River’s east bank downtown. The emerging affluent suburbs on high ground then were Dayton View and Oakwood, both accessible by a trolley line. Those familiar with Dayton’s Jewish history know that discriminatory real estate restrictions kept Jews from living in Oakwood. Jews with the means to do so moved to Dayton View. But what were those restrictions, and how did they play out? Two tools to put racial housing restrictions on lots in Montgomery County were to include them
The Father of Oakwood
ruce W. Ronald and Virginia Ronald explained in Oakwood: The Far Hills (1983) that before the turn of the 20th century, Patterson built The Far Hills, his summer home, on the shade-covered hills of what would become the village of Oakwood. “Patterson’s paternalism began to spread to Oakwood,” the Ronalds wrote. “First he encouraged his executives to move there. Later Patterson would encourage his foremen to move to Oakwood as well. His method of enticing people to the village was simple. With the terms available, his employees could not afford to live elsewhere. The overall price was low, the down payment practically non-existent and the monthly payments negligible.” Patterson made this possible when he contracted the
On Jan. 13, 1928, Montgomery County approved and recorded this deed for the sale of a lot in the Mahrt Estate Plat in Oakwood. The racial restriction is listed at the end.
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • AUGUST 2020
Continued from Page Nine restrictions in 1927. The Wellmeiers Oakwood Plat in Dayton reads, “No lot or residence building on this plat shall be conveyed, leased, rented or occupied by persons other than of the White Race,” language put into place by Wellmeiers Brothers Realty Company. The Third Section of McKnights East Oakwood Plat, then in Van Buren Township (now Dayton), employed the same restrictive language as the first. The second platted section didn’t include racial restrictions. Another two plats in Van Buren Township in 1928 included racial restrictions. Both read: “Each grantee of a lot or lots on this plat — for himself, his heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns agree that he will not sell, assign to or create a lien by mortgage or otherwise in favor of any person of any but the Caucasian race or blood; that no person of any other race or blood shall become a purchaser or assignee or become entitled to the possession thereof...” One of those from 1928, Golf Club Estates Plat, is where my family lives. Signing on to the platting with the plat owner in 1928 was the American Loan and Savings Association. In Oakwood, investors and developers didn’t place racial restrictions on residential real estate at the plat level; they put them at the deed level. This was because the U.S. Supreme Court had struck down racial zoning ordinances in 1917 (Buchanan v. Warley) but upheld the legal right of property owners to enforce racially restrictive covenants in 1926 (Corrigan v. Buckley). As Richard Rothstein points out in The Color Of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America (2017), many border and southern cities simply ignored the Buchanan decision. Those looking for a more airtight legal procedure would have opted to place racial restrictions at the deed level. At the beginning of this year, Tina S. Ratcliff, Montgomery County Records and Information manager, and Amy Czubak, a technician with Montgomery County Records Center and Archives, Amy Czubak, Mont. Co. began to search for deeds with Records Center racial restrictions in Oakwood for this article. With Ratcliff’s guidance, Czubak found 10 examples. “The plats we included are from 1872 to 1937,” Czubak said of the search. “There are only eight plats that were created pre-flood and none of them had racial restrictions.” She added that she and Ratcliff were “95 percent sure” they’ve looked at deeds in all of Oakwood’s plats for that time frame. She surveyed 68 plats in total. Czubak looked at the restrictions on the first deed for each plat. “I don’t think that this is in every single plat in Oakwood,” she said. “It’s 1924 to 1933 where you get this big influx. It wasn’t all of Oakwood. It seems like it was almost a little corner of Oakwood that was just trying to keep everybody out that wasn’t considered some sort of Caucasian.” Czubak described some of the deeds as “quite extraordinary.” “There are a few that specifically mention no Chinese, Japanese, or Negroes, and one that specifically states the property cannot be leased, rented, or sold to anyone of Ethiopian descent,” she said. In 1924, the seller of a lot in the Anna M. Neibel Plat in Van Buren Township included in the deed that “said premises shall not be sold, transferred, leased or rented
to any person of Negro descent.” This plat was andistributed at all Ford dealerships. Ford had the nexed into Oakwood in 1926. most virulent antisemitic articles from his newspaper The Stomps Realty Co. included racial restrictions at compiled and published in four volumes for his the deed level for three lots it sold in 1925 within the anthology series, The International Jew. Oakwood View Plat, also located in Van Buren TownThe Second Ku Klux Klan — established in 1915 atop ship. This deed specified “that none of this property Stone Mountain, Ga. — arrived in Dayton on Monday, shall be sold, leased or rented to anyone of African Aug. 15, 1921, according to an article in the Dayton descent.” This plat was also part of the 1926 annexation Daily News. into Oakwood. “Secret but impressive ceremonies are said to have And the seller of a lot in the Far Hills East Plat in marked the meeting on Monday night of the Klan Van Buren Township — another in Timmer’s woods, along the Lebanon Pike (now plat that would be annexed into Far Hills Avenue), south of Dayton, when seven new Oakwood in 1926 — included members were inducted into the hooded order,” the in the 1925 sales deed that “said Dayton Daily News reported Aug. 19. “Membership of premises shall not be sold, the organization Friday was said to number about 40, transferred, leased or rented to many of whom are prominent citizens of Dayton. Their any person or persons not of the names have not been made public.” Caucasian race.” The article continued: “It was reported Friday the loThe first known racial deed cal Ku Klux Klan has been formed by a local manufacrestriction that originated in Oak- turer and organizers from Cincinnati and Atlanta,” and wood dates to Jan. 12, 1928 and that “the manufacturer, who is said to head the Klan a lot in the Far Hills Estate First here, is said to be a resident of Oakwood.” Edition Plat. The deed states that The Daily News also reported that the Klan distrib“No persons of Ethiopian Blood uted printed cards in Dayton bearing its principles. shall be permitted to purchase, Among those were: “Shielding the chastity of your lease or occupy any lot in this pure womanhood...eternal maintenance of white subdivision.” supremacy; upholding and preservation from tyranOnly one day later, the deed for the sale of a lot in nical oppression from any source whatsoever, of those the Mahrt Estate Plat in Oakwood included the restric- sacred constitutional rights and privileges of a freetion “That this property shall not be sold, transferred, born Caucasian race of people, so wisely enacted by the leased, rented or permitted to be occupied by any perfounders of our constitution.” son or persons other than members of the white race.” By 1924, Dayton’s Klan had at least 15,000 members Restrictions in 1929 to five lots in the Neibel Park in Dayton, according to University of Dayton Prof. Addition Plat in Oakwood indicate on the deed that Bill Trollinger, an authority on the Klan in Ohio, who “said premises shall not be transferred, leased or rented teaches history and religion courses. to any person or persons not of the Caucasian race.” The Klan’s targets, here as elsewhere, were African The City National Bank Trust Company of Dayton, Americans, Catholics, and Jews. The Klan burned acting as trustee, in 1929 sold one and a half lots in the crosses in neighborhoods where their targets lived, inElizabeth Gardens Plat in Oakwood and one lot on the cluding — as documented in the Dayton Daily News — plat of the Village of Oakwood, with a restriction on the one in March 1923 on the Dover Street hill in Dayton’s Elizabeth Gardens lots that “at no time shall any of the East End Jewish neighborhood. land...or any building erected thereon be occupied by In August 1923, the Dayton Daily reported that “apany person of negro, Chinese or Japanese extraction; proximately 20,000 members of the Ku Klux Klan asbut this prohibition is not intended to include or presembled at Forest Park...said to be the largest meeting vent occupancy by such person or persons as domestic of the organization ever held in the city.” servants or while employed in or about the premises by But this doesn’t account for how Jews were unable to the owner or occupant of any land included in move to Oakwood in the years immesaid plat.” diately after the Great Flood of 1913. The Caldwell and Taylor Corporation The absence of racial restrictions purchased three lots in the Mary Knoll Plat on plats or deeds in Montgomery in Oakwood in 1931; they included the reCounty before 1924 comes as no surstriction, “Said premises shall not be sold, prise to Janet Bednarek, a professor transferred, leased or rented to any person or and former chair of the history depersons not of the Caucasian Race.” partment at the University of Dayton. The largest and latest of Czubak’s finds “Deed restrictions are an old tool, dates to 1933. The same family that sold a lot but before the 20th century (were) in the Anna M. Neibel Plat (1924) and five lots used primarily to try to control ‘noxin the Neibel Park Addition Plat (1929) sold ious’ uses — slaughterhouses, tanner36 lots in the Far Hills East Plat in Oakwood Univ. of Dayton History Prof. ies, etc.,” Bednarek, who specializes with the restriction that “Said premises shall in urban history, explained. “It was Janet Bednarek not be sold, transferred, leased or rented to any only in the 20th century — largely in person or persons not of the Caucasian Race.” the wake of the mass immigration of the late-19th cenCzubak said that overall, there aren’t that many tury and, even more so, the Great Migration of African deeds with racial restrictions in Montgomery County. Americans — that they were used to try to control the “I still get surprised when I come across one,” she race/ethnicity of urban/suburban neighborhoods. said. “It’s not so commonplace that when I open up a “The 1920s seems to be the decade that these became deed all I think of is, there’s going to be another one. widely used. Oakwood essentially was created to delibThere’s no specific place or area in Dayton. It’s spread erately separate its residents from the city of Dayton. out.” Undoubtedly the residents did not want any number of Though she adds: “Ten deeds is a pretty large ‘undesirables’ to ‘infiltrate’ their community.” amount all for one little village at the time.” “Likely they were more unwritten,” Bednarek said of racial restrictions in Oakwood before 1924. “Most people have a sense of the ‘social geography’ of their cities — where they are welcome or not. Realtors and banks would be aware of this social geography as well. ntil our own era of Pittsburgh, Poway, Jersey City, There probably weren’t any written restrictions on African Americans or on certain ethnic groups (Poles, and Monsey, the 1920s and ‘30s marked the most Hungarians, etc.) common in Dayton. Further, most antisemitic period in United States history. In 1920, servants at this time were still White, so people in OakHenry Ford attempted to further mainstream Jewwood would not be concerned about the race of live-in hatred through his Dearborn Independent newspaper,
‘There are a few that specifically mention no Chinese, Japanese, or Negroes, and one that specifically states the property cannot be leased, rented or sold to anyone of Ethiopian descent.’
An era of antisemitism
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • AUGUST 2020
servants yet either — as they would be once more African Americans became servants in homes in the 1920s following immigration restrictions.” She also pointed out that home ownership wasn’t yet the mass phenomenon it would be after World War II. “Not even a majority of the middle class owned their own home,” Bednarek said. “It was a very expensive proposition. Given Oakwood’s origins as an NCR/ corporate enclave, the makeup of the population who could afford to move there in the first place was fairly restrictive to begin with.” Economic restrictions found on plats in Oakwood beginning in the 1920s excluded those of lesser means, many of whom were not White or considered White. Those restrictions often specified that only a single home could be built on a lot, and that the home would have to be valued at least at a certain price. Bednarek explained why it lines up that 1924 was the first year racial restrictions appeared on deeds in Montgomery County. The reason, she said, is explained in a book published this year, Segregating the Suburbs: Developers and the Business of Exclusionary Housing, 1890-1960 by Paige Glotzer. A chapter details how developers spread information about how to use covenants to restrict suburban developments in the United States. “One key player was the Roland Park Company of Baltimore,” Bednarek said. The company, which had developed restrictive racial covenants in the 1890s, began to disseminate information on how to use such covenants by 1913. “Initially, the dissemination mostly involved key members of the Roland Park Company talking to the few other big suburban developers in the U.S.,” Bednarek said. “However, the company was also a key member of the National Association of Real Estate Boards. It turned out that NAREB became the vehicle used to disseminate information on covenants more widely. The author of the book states that the 1920s was the key decade in which the idea of covenants spread nationally as a result of the work of the NAREB.” The NAREB, Bednarek said, issued a publication in 1923 that included this information. “So why 1924? That might be when the information of how to use the covenants to restrict suburbs made it to Oakwood’s realtors,” she said.
The birth of redlining
ednarek also pointed The Observer to the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation Residential Security Map of Dayton in 1937. President Franklin D. Roosevelt established HOLC in June 1933 with congressional approval. Its aim was to refinance mortgages in default as well as to prevent future foreclosures at a time when home ownership was still not within the reach of most Americans. But HOLC also created the racial inequity of “redlining.” In 1935, the Federal Home Loan Bank Board had HOLC draw up “residential security maps” for 239 cities across the United States. The maps color-coded each city’s neighborhoods and suburbs based on the security and risk assessments of real estate investments in those locations. Each color represented an investment grade. The stated purpose of the maps was to “graphically reflect the trend of desirability in neighborhoods from a residential viewpoint.” The less desirability, the less likely the federal government would be to provide loan insurance to government-approved lenders. Factors HOLC considered in its assessments included “social status of the population.” Along with HOLC field agents, each local map was prepared in collaboration with members of the city’s real estate board. This was the case in Dayton. Grade A classifications, colored green, were considered the best real estate investments in a city. At the very bottom were Grade D areas, considered the
The Home Owners’ Loan Corporation Residential Security Map of Dayton in 1937 brought redlining here
most risky in which to grant mortgages. Grade D areas were colored red. One of the great risk factors HOLC assigned to suburbs or neighborhoods was the amount of “infiltration” of “undesirables,” essentially those not considered White, and the poorest of the White population. Redlining perpetuated the difficulties of those in the African American community to secure reasonable mortgage terms, if they could secure mortgages at all. It kept them in housing that would become overcrowded, substandard, and ghettoized in the neighborhoods where they were allowed to live. Dayton’s 1937 HOLC map gives a snapshot of the racial restrictions in place across the Dayton area when redlining had just begun, particularly through the details listed on HOLC area description forms for each location. All the forms included lines for agents to fill out for favorable and detrimental influences, as well as percentages of foreign born, “Negro,” “infiltration of,” and “relief families.” Only seven area locations achieved Grade A classifications as part of the 1937 Dayton map; five of them comprised sections of Oakwood. The five Oakwood area description forms essentially read the same. Always listed on the lines for favorable influences was “restricted” or “highly restricted.” On each Grade A form for Oakwood, there were no listings of foreign born, “Negro,” “infiltration of” or “relief families.” The sixth Grade A area listed was in Van Buren Township, south of Oakwood. The word “restricted” didn’t appear in the area description, though neither
Library of Congress
did any foreign born, “Negro,” “infiltration of,” or “relief families.” Another “highly restricted” area, though with a Grade B, was the section straddling Dayton and Oakwood, close to the NCR plant. Only one other neighborhood received a Grade A ranking in the Dayton area for 1937, and it was listed as “highly restricted.” It may surprise Jews in our community to learn that it was Upper Dayton View. A 1924 deed for a lot sold by the Schwind Realty Company in the Upper Dayton View Development Company Plat, for example, carried the restriction “That this property shall not be sold, transferred, leased, rented, or permitted to be occupied by any person or persons other than members of the white race.” By 1937, Dayton’s Jewish community had already migrated from the East End; they settled in Lower Dayton View, in two areas. Twenty percent of residents in the area just south of Upper Dayton View were listed as Italian and Jewish on the lines “foreign born” and “infiltration of.” This area held a Grade B designation, comprising single and double homes in which 40 percent were homeowners. Just south of that area, still in Lower Dayton View, was another neighborhood where Jews lived, bearing a Grade C-. The form listed this location’s inhabitants as 80 percent “Russian Jewish, German-Polish,” with an “infiltration of foreign-Jewish... centering in this area.” Out of a total of 46 areas on the 1937 Dayton HOLC map, another eight areas were listed as restricted: four more in Van Buren Township, three more in Dayton, and one straddling Dayton and Madison Township. Continued on Page 12
It may surprise Jews in our community to learn that Upper Dayton View was also racially restricted.
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • AUGUST 2020
Continued from Page 11
Exceptions to the rules
hree Jewish families did live in Oakwood when they weren’t supposed to. The first was women’s clothing merchant Joseph Thal, his wife, Pearl, and their children. Joseph Thal was born in Dayton in 1886 and Pearl Thal in 1889 in Columbus, both to parents from Galicia (between Central and Eastern Europe). JFGD/WSU The Thals show up living in Oakwood at 825 Far Hills Ave. in the 1918 Williams’ Dayton City Directory. Their son, Norman, graduated from the new Oakwood High School. But the family moved to 1116 Harvard Blvd. in Lower Dayton View by the time the 1926 city directory was in print. Optometrist Joseph T. Cline, his wife, Harriette, Joseph Thal and their children were first listed as living at 82 E. Dixon Ave. in Oakwood in the 1923 city directory. Cline was born in Wales in 1893 and raised in Birmingham, England. His wife was born in 1893 in Pennsylvania to parents from Hungary and Germany. Joseph T. Cline arrived in the United States in 1914. A year later, he worked in Elder-Johnson department store’s optical department. In 1917, he opened his own practice in Downtown Dayton. Cline became John Patterson’s optometrist. In his memoirs, Cline described Patterson as “An anomaly tome, a gentle, good-natured person, charitable and considerate of othMeredith Cline ers, yet ruthless in his treatment of competitors,” adding that “he was extremely harsh with employees he deemed to be inefficient. He could not tolerate ‘yes men’ and showed appreciation of those employees who stood up to him.” Cline wrote that Patterson’s valet, “Roberts,” brought his young son to see him for an eye exam. The optometrist fitted Roberts’ son with glasses and the boy Joseph T. Cline did much better at school. The valet convinced Patterson to consult Cline. “Roberts informed me that his employer had suffered for years with headaches which his physician insisted was due to eye strain,” Cline wrote. “Patterson constantly visited ophthalmologists in the U.S. and Europe who had been recommended to him, but he still suffered with severe headaches. Roberts brought him to me for an eye examination. It immediately was evident that his glasses could be the cause of the headaches.” Cline wrote that he was able to correct Patterson’s prescription and another problem that was causing him headaches. “He had a habit of pulling his glasses off his nose and pounding them in his fist, to emphasize a point. I insisted on prescribing rigid spectacles that could not easily get out of alignment. He demurred and said, ‘Make the lenses and put them into one of my old nosepieces.’” Cline said he angrily told him, “Mr. Patterson, I would take your advice in selecting a cash register for my needs, and I expect you to take my advice as to eyeglasses. Either you will do so, or you may look for another eye-examiner.” At this, Cline reported that Patterson burst into laughter and said, “Why did not other eye-men talk to me like that? Go ahead and do it your way.” After wearing his new glasses for a few days, Pat-
Temple Emanu-El Archives, Dallas terson dropped in to express his satisfaction and selected 14 different styles of frames, two of each kind, for a total of 28 pairs. “From then on,” Cline wrote, “there was hardly a day without some elderly person, one of his employees, or some hobo he picked up on the street, presenting one of Patterson’s cards authorizing an eye-examination and glasses to be charged to him. He suggested that I establish an office at his factory and examine the eyes of all of the thousands of his employees, but I was too busy with my regular practice.” After the Clines moved to Oakwood — during the last year of Patterson’s life and not far from his estate — Patterson frequently asked his optometrist to come to his home with optical pliers and adjust his glasses. Patterson continued pounding his glasses on a table to emphasize a point. At Sadie and Rabbi David Lefkowitz’s embrace of arts and culture charmed Dayton’s times, Cline wrote that he found all 28 pairs of Patterson’s glasses gentile community required alignment. “I spent many hours in discussion with him but conversation always got back to cash registers,” Cline wrote. “No person before or since has done so much n the public square and for the good of the Dayton for the city of Dayton than Patterson.” community as a whole, Patterson worked with The Cline family lived in Oakwood for 17 years; Jewish leaders. His closest Jewish relationship seems to their children went to school from kindergarten have been with Rabbi David Lefkowitz, who eulogized through high school there. Harriette and Joseph Cline him from Dallas in 1922. then moved to 1053 Cumberland Ave., on the only nonBorn in Hungary and orphaned in New York, restricted block of that street in Lower Dayton View. Lefkowitz served Dayton’s B’nai Yeshurun from 1900 His last word about Oakwood in his memoirs, “A to 1920. He was a remarkable leader and social justice splendid place to raise youngsters.” champion in Dayton’s Jewish and general communiAnother Jewish family that lived in Oakwood early ties. He absorbed German Jewish Reform values at the on was the Kohnops. Max Kohnop and his wife, MinHebrew Orphan Asylum in New York and with Rabbi nie, were first listed as living at 236 Monterey Ave. in Isaac Mayer Wise at Hebrew Union College in Cincinthe 1927 city directory. At the time, he was assistant nati, where he was ordained. city editor at the Dayton Daily News and the local corLefkowitz brought Jews from across Dayton togethrespondent for Associated Press. From 1939 to 1964, er and brought the Jewish and general communities he served as Sunday editor of the Dayton Daily News. closer together, too. And from 1934 to 1976, Kohnop was president of OakThe rabbi had received a bachelor of science degree wood’s Wright Library board and served on the board at City College in New York and taught there for two until 1981. He was known as the Father of the Wright years. He also studied at the Art Students’ League. Library. Lefkowitz graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the UniverMax Kohnop was born in Cincinnati in 1898 to parsity of Cincinnati while attending HUC. His wife, Saents who had emigrated from the Russian Empire. die Braham, came from a family of English Jews who Sandy Senser of Columbus, granddaughter of Minhad immigrated to Cincinnati. They married in 1901. nie and Max Kohnop, doesn’t recall them talking about Together, their embrace of arts and culture charmed why they moved to Oakwood or about discrimination gentile Daytonians. they may have faced there. He became an active member and speaker with the “They kept kosher, they kept to themselves,” Senser Saturday Evening Club, a long-running discussion said in a previous interview with The Observer. “They salon in Dayton. were neighborly, they had “About 1,000 people enjoyed a genuine old German DDN/WSU good neighbors, but you just evening at the Allen School,” the Dayton Daily News didn’t make a big deal about reported in 1911. “Rabbi David Lefkowitz delivered an being Jewish. They would interesting address supplemented with stereopticon eat out, but they would only views of German scenes, and Mrs. Lefkowitz rendered eat fish. I don’t recall going a number of German songs.” to shul with them, partly The Rev. Augustus Waldo Drury wrote of David because Grandpa worked Lefkowitz in his 1909 History of the City of Dayton and on Saturday, working on the Montgomery County, “He does not feel any narrow Sunday edition. racial or sectarian boundaries but is a man of broad “He used to come home humanitarian spirit and who has been a close student at 2 in the morning or of the vital questions of the day.” something like that after the Virtually no progressive social cause went forward paper was put to bed. She in Dayton without the rabbi’s leadership. (Minnie) always lit Shabbos In 1907-08, Lefkowitz chaired the Dayton Citizens’ candles, we celebrated the Relief Committee to assist the unemployed. In 1910, he Max Kohnop holidays.” founded the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton. He The Thals, Clines, and Kohnops were active in the served on the first executive committee of the Dayton general and Jewish communities in very public ways. NAACP when it was established in 1915. They were also all members of Dayton’s Reform Jewish He was vice president of the Montgomery County congregation, B’nai Yeshurun. Humane Society (which prevented cruelty to people
Patterson & Rabbi Lefkowitz
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • AUGUST 2020
as well as animals then), vice president of the Dayton Vacation School Association, chair of the Dayton Playground Committee, and on the educational committee of the Dayton Chamber of Commerce. In 1917, with America’s entry into the Great War, the president of B’nai Yeshurun, Ferdinand Ach (also the Jewish Federation’s first president), served as temporary chair of Dayton’s then forming Red Cross. Ach focused on civilian relief work, along with Katharine Wright and Patterson. When the local Red Cross asked Patterson to become its first permanent chair, Patterson declined. The committee turned to Lefkowitz to be its chair, to oversee the mobilization of volunteer committees to provide much-needed medical supplies and nursing care for U.S. soldiers in Europe. After the war, Lefkowitz led the chapter in its transition to local services for those in need, and the comfort and welfare of returning soldiers. It’s unlikely Ach and Lefkowitz would have received these leadership positions with the Red Cross without Patterson’s approval. There are numerous examples of Patterson opening opportunities to the Jewish community in the public sphere. In 1907, the Dayton Chamber of Commerce was born when Patterson demanded that Dayton establish one or he would leave the city and take NCR with him. The chamber’s second president, from 1908 to 1911, was Bavarian-born Jew Leopold Rauh, who owned the Egry Register Company, one of Dayton’s important industries. Rauh served on Dayton’s board of education and on the commission that established Dayton’s city manager plan of government, another important project of Patterson. At the same time as Oakwood was essentially restricted racially, Patterson made recreational amenities available elsewhere to all members of the community. When Patterson opened his Hills and Dales Country Club over Memorial Weekend 1916, it was billed in ads in the Dayton Daily News and the Dayton Herald as open to everyone. Among the women on the reception committee for its Memorial Day and June opening were Sadie Lefkowitz, Dorothy Patterson, and Katharine Wright.
Two years later, Patterson gave the club to the city of Dayton outright, with a new name, Community Country Club. It was the first municipal country club/golf course in the nation. On the committee for the general dedication in 1918 was Rabbi David Lefkowitz. The Community Country Club placed an ad in the May 31, 1918 issue of Dayton’s short-lived Jewish newspaper, Dayton Jewish Life: “You are now a member of the Community Country Club. This gift to the city of Dayton from John. H. Patterson is to be a recreational spot for all people of Dayton, without cost...membership fees are abolished and everyone in Dayton is therefore a member of the Community Country Club.” The High Holy Days 1918 issue of Dayton Jewish Life included a half-page ad from NCR promoting its cash registers. Ads for the Community Country Club in the Dayton Daily at that time also declared, “The park is designed for everyone in the city of Dayton.” Patterson meant it. Jewish community organizations of all kinds held events and outings at the Community Country Club. Among groups to hold dances there were the Young Men’s De Hirsch (Zionist) Club and the Dayton Branch of the Jewish Welfare Board. The Catholic Federation held socials there, the Ancient Order of Hibernians celebrated Irish Day at the club, and the Clergymen’s Club — comprising “all pastors of Hebrew, Catholic and Protestant churches” and with Lefkowitz on the Clergymen’s Club committee — met there as well. The Salvation Army held its “annual outing for the poor children and mothers of the city” at the club, Jewishowned Traxler’s department store closed for business and held its annual employee outing there, and Jewish-owned Metropolitan Store held promotional picnics there for all boys who were members of its Metropolitan Jr. Club. On May 29, 1921, the Community Country Club dedicated its Oak Tree Memorial Grove “in honor of the Montgomery County men who died in the world war” and presented the grove to the city of Dayton. Leading the presentation to the city was Joseph T. Cline, Patterson’s eye doctor. Cline unveiled the stone with the John Patterson honor roll of names. “The main patriotic address will be given by Rabbi Samuel Mayerberg,” the Dayton Daily News reported of the rabbi who took over at B’nai Yeshurun in 1920 after Lefkowitz’s departure. Documentation confirms that African Americans were able to use the club. An article in the Sept. 4, 1919 Dayton Daily News mentions a “colored dance” at the Community Country Club. But it’s not known if African Americans were segregated to certain times and locations at the club. A Dayton Daily classified ad of July 10, 1918 lists the club as seeking a “Competent Cook, White woman.” Successful local Jews, restricted from the Dayton area’s three private country clubs, still established their own, Meadowbrook Country Club on Salem Pike in 1924. It opened the next year. Its first president was Egry Register President Milton Stern, and its leadership comprised the next generation of mainly German Jews who had established the Standard Club in 1883. Meadowbrook was its successor. In 1919, Patterson established the East Oakwood Club, now the Oakwood Community Center. He opened it as a nonprofit to serve as an affordable social club for nearby Oakwood residents. There were dances on Saturdays for teenagers and dinners on Tuesdays for adults. According to an oral history, the dinners were prepared and served by “a donated domestic servant, Georgia, and her husband, John.”
At the same time as Oakwood was essentially restricted racially, Patterson made recreational amenities available elsewhere to all members of the community.
Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives
An ad for the Community Country Club in the May 31, 1918 issue of Dayton Jewish Life
An item in the May 12, 1921 Dayton Daily News indicates that the Council of Jewish Women Annual Meeting and Luncheon was held at the East Oakwood Club, with honored guests Rabbi and Mrs. Samuel Mayerberg and Rabbi and Mrs. Lefkowitz, returning for a visit from Dallas.
Patterson the Anglophile
here’s no evidence to suggest John Patterson was personal friends with anyone in Dayton’s Jewish community. But there’s ample evidence that he built relationships of respect and trust with such Jewish leaders as Rabbi David Lefkowitz and Joseph T. Cline. The two were affiliated with Dayton’s Reform Jewish congregation, the Jewish movement that prioritized comporting with decorum as assimilated Americans. Even so, I suspect something more was in play with Patterson’s connections to these two. In his book Grand Eccentrics, Mark Bernstein described Patterson as an Anglophile. “Patterson reached the wholly satisfying conclusion that England’s glory, like his own, was a consequence of moral grandeur,” Bernstein wrote. Patterson wrote that England “has been for centuries, and still remains, the great civilizer of the world. I believe that her prestige rests on the good that she is doing to the world, and I believe that our strength lies in the good we are doing in the world.” Cline’s parents were born in England. Though Cline was born in Wales, he was raised and lived in Birmingham, England until he left for America Dayton Metro Library when he was about 20. Although Sadie Braham Lefkowitz was born in Ohio, her parents, Helen and Louis Braham, were born in England, as were their parents on both sides. These were not Eastern European Jews whose families stopped over before continuing to America; they were acclimated to English life and culture as was at least one generation before them.
akwood remained essentially closed to diversity well past the Fair Housing Act of 1968, and that was already 20 years after the U.S. Supreme Court had outlawed restrictive covenants (Shelley v. Kraemer). Oakwood began opening up to the Jewish community in the late 1970s. According to the U.S. Census, in 2010, 0.9 percent of Oakwood residents were African American, 0.2 percent Native American, 1.4 percent Asian, 0.6 percent from other races, and 1.6 percent from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.8 percent of Oakwood’s population. NCR would go on to hire its first-known Jewish executives in the late 1940s and early 1950s. One was engineer Marshall Mazer, hired in 1951, who became a department manager, invented carbonless copy forms, and would found his own printing and textbook publishing company in Dayton in 1964. Another was Fred Scheuer, who had escaped Nazi Europe for Palestine. Fluent in German, French, English, Hebrew, and Arabic, Scheuer worked in the mid1940s for Mittwoch & Sons, NCR’s dealer in Palestine. Scheuer came to the United States in 1952 with plans to study engineering at The University of California, Berkeley. But when he arrived in New York, he first visited NCR’s International Office at Rockefeller Center for a tour. NCR staffers then arranged for him to visit Dayton. Over a meal at Moraine Country Club, NCR’s international vice president offered Scheuer a job with Continued on Page 14
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • AUGUST 2020
Continued from Page 13 NCR’s international education division. “Point blank, straight to the face, I said, ‘Isn’t it an unwritten law not to hire Jews and Blacks at NCR?’” Scheuer told The Observer in 2018. “And he said, ‘It’s about time we change that.’” Scheuer accepted, becoming only the second Jewish executive with NCR at that time (the other was from France and translated instruction manuals). Scheuer established NCR’s Latin American technical school in Puerto Rico in 1953-54. In 1955, he transferred to Dayton with his bride, Ruth. Scheuer worked for NCR for 43 years. He died last year. NCR executives helped the first known Jewish business in Oakwood succeed, though some neighbors expressed their resistance. Furrier David Hochstein learned his trade as a teenager. He escaped Nazi Germany at 15 in 1938 as part the Kindertransport rescue effort that brought some 10,000 Jewish children to live with families in England. Relatives in London secured him a six-year apprenticeship with the London Fur Company on Regent Street. After two years in New York, Hochstein opened his own fur business in 1950 in Downtown Dayton. “He had a shop in the Arcade,” his wife, Clara, recalled. “His mazel (luck), next door was the office of the League of Women Voters. He got acquainted with them. One said, ‘Why don’t you open up a store in Oakwood?’” Clara Hochstein said they drove around Oakwood and saw a For Lease sign in an office above 2705 Far Hills Ave. That’s where they moved their business in 1962. They kept their home in Dayton View. “We no sooner moved (the business) in there when we got the first letter, sent through the mail,” she recalled. “It said, ‘Go back to where you came from.’” They received two more letters. “All had the same line, ‘Go back where you came from.’ David said, ‘I’m not going to go back. We’re here, we’re going to stay here.’ I knew we weren’t welcome there.” Hochstein Furs remained a fixture on Far Hills Avenue until David Hochstein retired and closed the business in 1988. He died two years ago. “After a while, I guess they saw that we were nice people, and David did a good job, and they trusted him, and we became very good friends,” Clara Hochstein said. Their customers included presidents of NCR and General Motors. “You know, we didn’t make a whole tzimmes (fuss) about it. David did his job, they appreciated what he did. I worked the front, he worked in the back at his bench. An executive from NCR, I forget his name now, he sent a letter of recommendation with his daughter, and people that came from all over the world, they sent them to us to buy their fur coats. We didn’t have to advertise. It was all word of mouth.” When David Hochstein retired in 1988, he received a letter from the Oakwood City Council: “Your ongoing support of our community has been legendary...as you make plans, remember that you are always welcome in this community.” Marshall Weiss, editor and publisher of The Dayton Jewish Observer, is also project director of Miami Valley Jewish Genealogy & History, a program of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton.
A 1962 ad in the Dayton Daily News announced that furrier David Hochstein had moved his business to Oakwood
Patterson, NCR, and Dayton’s first Jewish cemetery
eginning with John Patterson in 1890 and continuing with his company over 77 years, Temple Israel entered into protracted real estate transactions with NCR that would benefit both. At the center of these transactions was the Dayton Jewish community’s first cemetery. The story is almost as old as Dayton’s Jewish community itself. It was in 1850 when a dozen Jews organized the Hebrew Society, Dayton’s first Jewish organization. The society would become Holy Congregation B’nai Yeshurun, now known as Temple Israel. In July 1851, Joseph Lebensburger, a leader of the Hebrew Society, purchased an acre “more or less” of farmland from J.W. and Susannah Dietrich outside the city limits — near the southeast corner of Rubicon and Stewart Streets — to serve as the community’s first Jewish cemetery. “It seemed at the time that the city’s boundaries would never extend so far south,” the Dayton Daily News wrote in 1915 of Lebensburger’s cemetery purchase for B’nai Yeshurun. A generation after his 1851 purchase, “the number of Jewish families in Dayton had greatly increased and it was seen that the burial ground would soon grow unequal to the purpose designed for it.” Temple Israel’s original cemetery near Brown and Stewart It helped that John Patterson wanted the patch of Streets, with an NCR factory building in the background land, around which his factory had grown. In 1890, The story picks up in 1953, when NCR gave B’nai Yeshurun sold its old cemetery to Patterson and Temple Israel 1.82 acres of land from its Sugar Camp his brother, Frank Patterson, for $3,000. To sweeten complex, immediately adjacent to Riverview Cemthe deal, the Pattersons also purchased the congregaetery’s east. This was Temple Israel’s impetus to tion’s building — which it had occupied since 1863, at the northeast corner of Fourth and Jefferson Streets reinter the remaining deceased congregants from the old to the new cemetery. — for $28,000. B’nai Dayton Metro Library In 1961, “the grueling tasks of contacting Yeshurun had outgrown last-known relatives for permission to transthat building, which fer and reinter the remains began,” according dated to 1840. to a Temple Israel document from the time. The Pattersons’ Although NCR had already purchased the purchase of the buildold cemetery land in 1890, it paid Temple Ising and cemetery land rael $40,000 in 1967 to cover the land, cost of made it possible not reinterment, and improvements to Riverview only for B’nai Yeshurun Cemetery. The disinterments and reinterto purchase 6.25 acres in ments took place over four days in May 1967. Van Buren Township for Workers found and transferred the remains its new cemetery, Riverof 62 people, comprising the Founders’ Circle view Cemetery — which of today’s Riverview Cemetery. Max Kohnop it bought from Anthony John Patterson purchased Temple chaired Temple Israel’s cemetery committee and Delia Brown in 1889 Israel’s original building for use as an NCR salesroom and training center and directed the transfer operation. — but also to build its Only the 1.82 easternmost acres of Riverview new temple building in 1892 on the east side of JefferCemetery, which it received from NCR in 1953, are in son Street between First and Second Streets. Oakwood. The rest is in Kettering. Patterson then used the old B’nai Yeshurun buildToday, the site of Dayton’s first Jewish cemetery ing for training and as a salesroom until it was razed is paved underneath the parking lot at University in 1911. A Dayton Daily News columnist recalled after of Dayton’s Raymond L. Fitz Hall, formerly one of the building was torn down that the old synagogue NCR’s buildings. — Marshall Weiss was turned into an NCR “agent’s school, and then into a building devoted to the advancement of the interests of the members of the NCR household...the old synagogue building was as wonderful a building as Independence Hall and should have been preserved as the place of the inception and birth of welfare work, which in its way is doing as much for the wage-earners of the country as was recorded in Independence Hall on that eventful day years ago.” The June 1934 NCR Factory News indicated that with the transfer of the old cemetery property to Patterson and his brother, Patterson still gave B’nai Yeshurun “perpetual rights in the cemetery.” Once Riverview Cemetery opened on Cincinnati Pike (now West Schantz Avenue), B’nai Yeshurun’s burials ceased at the old site. Some families disinterred and reinterred their departed relatives among the 90 buried at the old cemetery. Others chose not to The Founders’ Circle of Temple Israel’s Riverview disturb the remains. In some cases, B’nai Yeshurun Cemetery is where the plots reinterred from the old cemetery in 1967 are now located wasn’t able to find living relatives.
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • AUGUST 2020
August JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON & ITS AGENCIES
UPCOMING EVENTS Connect with us! Check out our events. For more information, check out our calendar at jewishdayton.org. Thursday, August 13 @ 6PM – Virtual Annual Meeting Friday, August 14 @ 8:45AM - NOON – Training Collaborative: Impact of Community Violence Sunday, August 16 @ 2-4PM – Jewish Dayton Donation Drop-Off Thursday, August 20 @ 7:30PM – Global Jewish Cuisine
LOOKING FOR RESOURCES OR SUPPORT ON MANAGING YOUR MENTAL HEALTH DURING THE PANDEMIC? Stay tuned for more information from JFS about two August programs! One will feature support for adults, and the second will feature support for children.
MAKE SURE YOU'RE READY TO VOTE IN OHIO Are you registered? Check your Voter Registration online at voteohio.gov Absentee/Vote-By-Mail Application Available now at voteohio.gov
• October 5 - Deadline for Voter Registration in Ohio • November 3 - Election Day
voteohio.gov For more information, visit jewishdayton.org/vote THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • AUGUST 2020
August JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON & ITS AGENCIES
THANK YOU! To everyone who created art for our virtual Mitzvah Mission.
A Biss'l Mamaloshen Nar | Nar | plural Naronim
Noun Fool(s) Expression with Nar: 1 Got hit op di naronim.
God watches over fools. 2 Van der nar volt nicht geven mein, volt ich oych gelacht. If the idiot didn't belong to me, I'd be laughing too. 3 Oyf a nar tor men nicht faribel hoben. Do not take offense at anything done by a fool.
JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES of GREATER DAYTON
Legacies, Tributes, & Memorials FEDERATION
UNITED JEWISH CAMPAIGN IN HONOR OF › Speedy recovery of Cathy Gardner Judy Schwartzman & Mike Jaffe › In memory of Russ Remick Brenda & Scott Meadow John F. (Rick) Williamson Judy Lipton JEREMY BETTMAN FUND IN HONOR OF › Speedy Recovery of Cathy Gardner Joe & Elaine Bettman JEWISH GENEALOGY & HISTORY FUND IN MEMORY OF › Sandy Schoemann Judy Lipton DOROTHY B. MOYER YOUNG LEADERSHIP FUND IN MEMORY OF › Russ Remick Richard & Marcia Moyer › In Yarziet memory of Dorothy B. Moyer, Nettie Dennis Felman, Sam Cohn, Hyman Dennis Richard & Marcia Moyer
LINDA RUCHMAN MEMORIAL FUND IN MEMORY OF › Ellen Rosenthal Marshall & Judy Ruchman JCC
JOAN & PETER WELLS CHILDREN’S YOUTH FUND IN MEMORY OF › Russ Remick Joan & Peter Wells IN HONOR OF › Speedy Recovery of Cathy Gardner Joan & Peter Wells › Nola’s graduation from Miami Valley High School Joan & Peter Wells DAYTON JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL IN HONOR OF › Gayle & Irv Moscowitz's new home Lynn Foster Esther & DeNeal Feldman
› Erika Garfunkel Bernard Rabinowitz BEN & DOROTHY HARLAN CHILDREN’S FUND IN MEMORY OF › Doris Schear Stephen & Marla Harlan › Dr. David Roer’s brother-in-law Stephen & Marla Harlan JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES JFS
IN MEMORY OF › Betty Chernick Oscar & Claire Soifer › Amy Rich Oscar & Claire Soifer › Erika Garfunkel Helen Markman & Friends Todd & Jody Sobol IN HONOR OF › The birthday of Bea Balas Judy Lipton
Would you like to honor or memorialize someone in your life, all while making a meaningful impact on the Jewish community? Consider making a donation to a Jewish Foundation of Greater Dayton Fund. Tribute and memorial donations can be made for a variety of reasons. Contact us at 937-610-1555 for more information.
CAROLE RABINOWITZ YOUTH JEWISH EXPERIENCE FUND IN MEMORY OF › Richard Mantia Bernard Rabinowitz THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • AUGUST 2020
August JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON & ITS AGENCIES
GET TO KNOW YOUR PJ NEIGHBORS! Meet The Shermans How many kids are in your family? 2 What are their ages? 4 & 6 (almost) How did you get involved in PJ Library and how long have you been receiving books? We got involved in PJ library as soon as our oldest was born, about 6 years ago. What is your family’s favorite PJ Library book? Laila Tov Do you have a funny or meaningful story about reading PJ Library books in your family? We cycle through our PJ Library books so we're always focusing on the next upcoming holiday. But our kids love to pull out the books about other holidays and pretend to celebrate those holidays too! How long have you lived in Dayton? One year What do you love about Dayton? We love that our kids can play with the neighborhood kids in the streets. It's so safe, and everyone is so friendly. What are your family’s favorite TV shows or games? We're huge game nerds. Mike and I play all the crazy games that no one has ever even heard of, and the kiddos love playing Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters, Happy Salmon, or Rhino Hero.
GLOBAL JEWISH CUISINE Dr. Judy Chesen takes us on a journey of Global Jewish Cusinine surrounding the holidays, a series of three sessions! THURSDAY, AUGUST 20 @ 7:30PM Have you gotten tired of making the same meals each Yom Tov? In this session centered around Rosh Hashanah, we wil explore some interesting recipes to celebrate the holiday. THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 10 @ 7:30PM As we anticipate the end of our fast, there are a number of traditional dairy dishes that will fill our tables. In keeping with this theme, we will add a few Sephardi and Mizrahi selections. THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1 @ 7:30PM We celebrate the abundance of food on the harvest festival of Sukkot. We will embrace the bounty through the enjoyment of stuffed foods. Zoom registration available on jewishdayton.org
JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER of GREATER DAYTON
If you’d like, share a creative way you’ve found to have fun throughout the past months We play outside as much as possible. Both kids learned how to ride their bikes during quarantine, so that's been great. Otherwise, we spend time reading, doing workbooks, puzzles, games, arts and crafts, fostering kitties, playing with our fur babies, baking challah and rugelach, and just letting the kiddos be kids.
JCC PRESCHOOL IS HIRING! Early Childhood Teacher's Assistant The Jewish Community Center of Greater Dayton’s Early Childhood Education Department is currently seeking Full and Part-time Preschool assistants, working in classrooms throughout the center. Work days are Monday – Friday (center hours are 7:30AM to 6:00PM). This position includes paid holidays, both secular and Jewish holidays when the center is closed during the workweek.
We want to learn about YOUR family! Our families are what makes the PJ Library program in Dayton so vibrant, and we want to showcase them! To participate, please contact Kate Elder, PJ Library Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
JCC early childhood
*COVID-19 considerations: We have policies and procedures in place to meet the recommended state requirements in order to foster a safe and healthy environment for our staff and Preschool families.* To apply, or for more information, contact JCC Preschool Administrative Assistant Connie Ford at email@example.com or (937) 853-0376
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • AUGUST 2020
2020 ANNUAL MEETING
for the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton & its Agencies
Tune in Thursday, August 13 @ 6PM for our Virtual Annual Meeting and be inspired by all the wonderful things our agencies are doing to support the Jewish Dayton community. Registration available at jewishdayton.org. Congratulations to our 2020 Award Winners Dorothy B. Moyer Award • Rochel Simon Allan Wasserman Young Leadership Award • Ben Mazer Robert A. Shapiro Award • David Pierce Past Presidents Award • Dave London JCC Volunteer of the Year Award • Lori Appel JFS Volunteer of the Year Award • Lisa Pavlofsky
MAKE YOUR PLEDGE! Drive through and drop off your pledge on Sunday, August 16 from 2-4PM. Join us at the CJCE for a fun and safe way to celebrate the 2020 Annual Campaign! Drive through with your pledge and get a free icy treat from Kona Ice! Already made your pledge? Come get your treat!
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • AUGUST 2020
Jews of color Continued from Page Seven
renewed attention. “As the protests were raging on the streets of New York, my phone was ringing with calls from all kinds of synagogues and organizations across New York asking Torah Academy. The organization has also provided for resources, (asking) how can they bring a workshop nearly $1 million to Be’chol Lashon since 2011. “It is a strategic priority for UJA-Federation,” said its on racism to their synagogue, how can they talk to their deputy chief planning officer, Hindy Poupko. “The pri- day school students about what’s going on,” Poupko, ority is twofold — one is ensuring that Jews of color are of the New York federation, said. Funnye, the rabbi of a Black synagogue in Chicago, fully represented in our institutions and more broadly hopes this moment will bring change inside and outin our community, and also enabling and encouraging side the Jewish community and help build the Jewish community to engage in advancJosefin Dolsten bridges between White and Black Jews, ing the broader racial justice agenda.” including those affiliated with the Israelite movement. Enter Black Lives Matter “The whole piece that has the country in The Black Lives Matter movement, which a tailspin from the murder of the young man was founded in 2013 but rose to greater Floyd and several other people that have prominence in 2016 — and more recently come to light of recent note have really, I bewith the death of George Floyd — has iglieve, had the established Jewish community nited conversations about racism across the looking at itself and doing some self-examiAmerican Jewish political spectrum. nation as to how they receive people who are Jewish communities were hesitant initially to participate in the movement Rabbi Capers Funnye even interested in Judaism,” Funnye said. Yet even as activists are hopeful about the largely because its organizing group’s 2016 platform accused Israel of committing genocide against new conversations, many say that some of the original the Palestinians. But as the protests have gained steam problems from decades ago have persisted. That Jews of color continue to feel unwelcome in in light of recent events, conversations around racial synagogues and other Jewish spaces has given rise to a justice have become more common. new crop of groups catering to and led by Jews of color. Organizations across the denominational spectrum They include Ammud: The JOC Torah Academy; Tribecondemned Floyd’s death and more than 130 groups Herald, a new publication by and for Jews of color; Edot signed a letter pledging to fight systemic racism — though the letter notably did not include any mentions Midwest, an organization for Jews of color in the Midwest; the Mitsui Collective, which supports community of the Black Lives Matter movement. building for multiracial Jews; and Black Yids Matter. “A few years ago, I think most of us couldn’t imag“There’s a common story that we hear from many ine that so many Jewish organizations would even noof our members of feeling excluded in Jewish learning tice us or be talking about us, would be talking about spaces. And that can look many different ways,” said issues of racial justice in the way that they are now,” Arielle Korman, the co-founder of Ammud, a New said Ferguson, the JFREJ organizer. This summer, as the country reckoned with centuries York group founded in 2019 that provides courses on Hebrew and Judaism taught entirely by Jews of color of racial injustice, gaps in the Jewish world’s understanding of Jews of color and the issues they face drew to students of color. “One piece is a common story
of people being asked again and again to prove they belong in the space, to prove their belonging.” Korman said the reason such groups are needed shouldn’t be overlooked. Many Ammud students have felt so unwelcome that they stopped participating in Jewish communal life, she said. “I think that the fact that there’s a need for this kind of space should not be something that makes White Jews uncomfortable,” she said. “But it should also indicate that that way we in the White-dominated Jewish community have been framing diversity and inclusivity hasn’t been enough.” Shoshana Brown, an organizer at JFREJ and the cofounder of Black Yids Matter, hopes the current moment will invigorate Jewish leaders to take action. “I hope that this moment allows the White Ashkenazi institutional Jewish community to recognize that a statement is not enough and that leaning on Rabbi Joshua Heschel’s example and bringing that up every time there’s a conversation about race — it’s over,” she said. “We can’t lean on that anymore. That was 60 years ago. We’ve got to move forward and what are you actually doing today about this — and not just for the larger Black community but within the Jewish community?” A major change was Jewish Federations of North America’s June hiring of Rabbi Isaiah Rothstein. He’s been invited to speak about 20 times since Floyd’s death to Jewish organizations about racism and his own experience as a Jew of color. His job is to help the nearly 450 local Jewish federations and other Jewish organizations recruit Jews of color, conduct racial equity training, and strengthen ties with groups representing communities of color and supporting police reform. “I feel like recently people now realize how important this issue is,” Rothstein said. “There’s regret, there’s sadness that there isn’t representation. There’s sadness that there aren’t relationships with the Black community since the civil rights era. There’s a recognition that we need to grow and be better.”
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • AUGUST 2020
Why Black Lives Matter — to Jews
the ones who planted pipe bombs at the offices of Russian-controlled companies, the cause of Soviet Jewry remained urgent and just. The street protests for racial justice in all 50 states are not about Israel and the Jews. They are addressing real frustrations with policing, incarceration, and economic disparities between Black and White. And while there has been violence by protesters and hangers-on, there also have been dozens and dozens of By Andrew Silow-Carroll instances of police beating and teargasI understand why so many Jews sing otherwise peaceful protesters. Dedistrust Black Lives Matter. The antifund the Police is an unfortunate slogan, Israel plank in the 2016 platform of one but the protests have led to an unprecof its leading constituent groups, the Movement for Black Lives, was slander- edented discussion about how our police departments operate and what can be ous. The isolated incidents of marchers done to make our society more just. who denounce Israel are a stain on the Consider: Since the protests began, protests. (White) public opinion has shifted. More Readers tell us the movement can’t and more people want something done be trusted, that it is a Trojan horse for about bias within the criminal justice anti-Israel sentiment. These same readsystem. Southern states have at last beers bristle at what they consider the gun to remove flags and statues that glo“lawlessness” of the protests and, like rify those who fought to retain human most White Jewish New Yorkers, they bondage. School boards are cutting ties have far more trusting experiences with the police than do Blacks and Hispanics. with police departments and looking for new, less fraught ways to keep schools They worry that cuts to NYPD’s budget will return New York to its bad old days. safe. Cities are reallocating money not away from crime fighting, but toward For many Jews, with recent memories services that even police admit shouldn’t of synagogue shootings and street atbe their job: youth employment, mental tacks, police represent the solution. For health initiatives, homeless advocacy, too many people of color, they are the drug treatment. Departments are banproblem. I suspect this isn’t just a matter of con- ning chokeholds and maverick plainclothes units. Louisville is getting rid of servatives vs. liberals. While the Jewish majority supports calls for reforming the “no-knock” search warrants for petty police departments and for a racial reck- crimes. There’s no contradiction between weloning, more quietly, most prefer to work within a system that respects police and coming reforms like these and defending demands racial justice. Reconciling those Jewish interests. Can our community do both? two ideas will be the challenge of our One person who insists we can is era, and of our religious community. To get there, it’s important to remem- Rabbi Saul Berman, a professor of Jewish studies at Yeshiva University. In a recent ber what BLM is and isn’t. Black Lives Matter is less an organiza- online lecture for Y.U.’s Crisis and Hope series, the respected Modern Orthodox tion than a rallying cry for racial justice. It’s akin to Free Soviet Jewry, a term that leader talks about marching in Selma for civil rights in 1965. He quotes his in its heyday was embraced by both the mentor, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, on Jewish mainstream and the radicals. the Jews’ responsibility, as citizens, to Whether you supported the organizations that held mass rallies or cheered Continued on Page 30
LETTER TO THE EDITOR On behalf of all veterans in the Dayton area, I want to thank everyone who joined members of Jewish War Veterans to help us place flags for Memorial Day. With nearly 600 veterans buried at our four Jewish cemeteries, it would be a lengthy task without all the enthusiastic help from our Jewish community. We in Jewish War Veterans consider it an honor to remember our departed veterans for this holiday. Our annual remembrance may be the only visit many receive. As children move far away and start families, bonds to grandparents and great-grandparents become weaker until the connection may be little more than a name and a
So, what do you think? PAGE 20
few recollections passed down. While each of us who participates in this honor may have known only a few of the veterans receiving a flag, or not known any at all, the minute it takes to place the flag and say a silent thank you may be the only visit many of these heroes receive, and it is only once each year. We make sure each veteran gets a crisp, bright, new flag to honor them for their military service. It’s the least we can do, and it’s our honor to do it. — Steven Markman, Washington Township. Steven Markman is Ohio commander of Jewish War Veterans and a past commander of Dayton Post #587 JWV.
Don’t accept the myth of ‘Jewish privilege’
caust but also encompasses centuries of persecution that preceded that genocide, as well as the many instances in which Jews were subjected to discrimination since then. In the last 72 years, the state of Israel has become the stand-in for traditional Jewish scapegoats by hatemongers, including those from the Arab and Muslim world, as well as Western elites who think that Jews — alone of all the peoples — must not only be denied sovereignty over their ancient homeland, but the right to live in peace there or of self-defense. By Jonathan S. Tobin That’s one way the phrase has been For one day at least, Twitter became a weaponized to harm Jews. The other is forum for some honesty, as opposed to the usual orgy of nastiness and pointless the way the intersectional left has promulgated the notion that Jews are merely memes. After seeing the hashtag #Jewa branch of an oppressive international ishprivilege used to spread antisemitic culture of White supremacy. smears, a Jewish activist responded— This notion of “White Jewish” priviand the result was a tidal wave of tweets lege is one that has, sadly, been emtestifying to the fact that the phrase has braced by some Jews who think that generally meant that Jews have been unless they atone for their part in the singled out for persecution. Western crimes of imperialism, colonialHen Mazzig, an Israeli writer and ism and racism, they will stand accused public speaker, began the effort to along with the rest of the White world. reclaim the hashtag. Soon some JewThis version of Jewish privilege, howish celebrities, such as comedian Sarah ever, is just as toxic as the one floated by Silverman, used it to recount incidents White supremacists. of antisemitism, as well as the list of The notion of White Jewish privilege relatives lost to the Holocaust and other fits in with a mind-set that sees the stories of bias, insults, violence and persecution. That provided an education world divided into two groups: evil to the Twitterverse about the lachrymose White people and virtuous people of color victimized by Whites. In that formulanature of much modern Jewish history. tion, American Jews are participants in But it will take more than one day of the outrage of systematic racism. Israeli trending tweets about the hashtag to Jews fall into the category of oppressors reverse the way those on both the far right and the left have promoted the no- of Third World people, even though tion that Jews use some mythical “privi- the majority of its citizens are actually people of color, according to the criteria lege” to manipulate the world, or need of the ideologues. to repent of an equally false status as Both assertions are as false as the more beneficiaries of “White Jewish privilege.” traditional tropes of right-wing JewBoth are intended to intimidate and hatred. shame Jews into silence or acquiescence While America is far from perfect, the to radical agendas that are inimical to idea that it is an irredeemably racist naJewish interests. tion and that Jews are part of that probThe notion that Jews are both the lem is simply untrue. America remains masterminds of some elite international an exceptional nation when it comes to conspiracy intended to rob, cheat or antisemitism; Jews have been accepted in otherwise misuse non-Jewish victims virtually every sector of society. It’s also was a popular trope of Jew-hatred long true that anti-Jewish hate crimes remain before it was formalized in the antisethe most prevalent form of religious bias mitic conspiracy text, The Protocols of the in this country, according to two decades Elders of Zion, a fictional pamphlet first of FBI statistics. published in Russia by czarist agents in Jews are not the beneficiaries of some 1903. Its spread helped fuel the acceptance of these lies around the globe. The mysterious privilege, either in the sense of the conspiracy mongers of the right or Protocols still help to fan the flames of the intersectional ideologues of the left. hatred in the Arab and Muslim world, As far as the Jewish privilege of Israel, after having helped set the stage for the it remains singled out as the one nation Holocaust in Europe. So when extremist White supremacists on the planet that is the focus of an international movement focused on its extincwrite of Jewish privilege, they intend it tion. That it has thrived and grown just to signify the way they think Jews benefit from some imaginary advantage that makes its enemies all the more frustrated and angry. is denied to non-Jews. But it’s just a lie As the posters on Twitter noted as used to justify hate. they seized back the Jewish privilege As those who tweeted in response to the use of the hashtag by antisemites, the term from the haters, the story of modern Jewish life has been one in which only privilege most Jews have experitragedy looms large. It was necessary enced is being singled out for hatred, to point out that the only privilege Jews discrimination and violence. That doesn’t only refer to the HoloContinued on Page 30
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • AUGUST 2020
A BISEL KISEL Lyubov Ivanova
What we don’t see on screen When I set out to teach a course called The Jewish-American Experience on Film at the University of Dayton, I didn’t anticipate that I would talk about race in America. I envisioned a chronological survey of films and television shows that depicted different generations of Jewish immigrants and explored the complexity of Jewish identity. The Jazz Singer (1927) starring Al Jolson served as the perfect film to begin our journey. In addition to telling the story of a cantor’s son named Jakie Rabi-
Despite all the rhetorical bluster about “the decaying West,” worship of Western civilization along with its colonialist narratives and entrenched White supremacy endured. Take the popular Soviet children’s poem Barmaley by Korney Chukovsky, which I knew by heart, with its refrained warning: “Africa is dangerous! Yes! Yes! Yes! Africa is terrible! Yes! Yes! Yes!” When my family immigrated to Chicago in the late 1980s, we moved to a racially diverse neighborhood. I was sent to a private Jewish school, not so much from a desire to reclaim Judaism but more from a visceral fear of Chicago Public Schools Masha and the predominantly Black Kisel students who attended them. It is telling that once Soviet Jewish families fled to the lilynowitz breaking away from his white suburbs of Chicago, most religious family to pursue his didn’t go to synagogue or send dream career in entertainment, their kids to Hebrew school the film is a cinematic mileanymore. I was really proud of stone — the first commercially my ‘90s “color blindness” when successful “talkie,” marking the I made a few Black friends in end of the silent film era. It is high school who shared my clearly a Jewish film, and that is taste in music and sarcasm, how I first thought about it, but certain that I had escaped the how could I explain the scenes small-mindedness of of Jakie performing in blackmy immigrant comface? munity to join the Aside from the obvious disAmerican Melting comfort of confronting such a Pot — another wishdemeaning example of racism, I ful ‘90s concept. didn’t know how to connect the So why do I still immensity of this embarrassing get sweaty and bigotry to the rest of the film or tongue-tied when to the rest of my course, for that I talk about race matter. today? The truth is I Most other films in my sylla- have never lived in a bus — A Gentleman’s Agreement melting pot. I spent (1947), The Way We Were (1973), my entire life in an America still and The Chosen (1981) — deseparated by race. In my history picted Ashkenazi Jews making classes, I was falsely taught that their way in a White Christian racism and segregation were America. In these cinematic relics of a long-gone past and I narratives, it is as though Black never questioned that — even and Brown people simply don't though my suburban school, exist. undergraduate institution, and I’ll be honest: I get nervous graduate school had almost no talking about race. For a long Black students. time, I thought it was a special My awkwardness around problem of growing up in the topics of race — stemming from former Soviet Union where, for spending most of my life in the first nine years of my life, homogeneously White spaces — I had only seen (not met) two is a common sociopsychological Black children. phenomenon. The term “White Racism was nominally refragility” refers to a reaction of jected by Communist ideology. I denial and defensiveness to the had read Russian translations of topic of race. Uncle Tom’s Cabin and HuckleI was surprised to recognize berry Finn and cried over the some of my own discomfort horrific injustices portrayed in in Dr. Robin DiAngelo’s book those books. But despite its pro- White Fragility, in which she claimed disgust at the instituexplains that White people see tion of American slavery, Soviet themselves “as the norm or culture was highly Eurocentric. standard for human, and people
of color as a deviation from that norm. Whiteness is not acknowledged by White people, and the White reference point is assumed to be universal and imposed on everyone.” Yes, we all want to be seen as one-of-a-kind souls in the process of fulfilling our boundless potential. Of course, skin color shouldn’t matter! There is no biological basis for racial categorization. Race is a product of racism, an ex post-facto justification by White people for colonialism, slavery, and maintaining the status quo. America has a very long history of spurious eugenic manifestos explaining why the color of one’s skin, the texture of one’s hair, or the shape of one’s nose is destiny. The ongoing damage of those racist ideas, which have shaped this country’s culture and policies, is only beginning to come to light. In my own example, I couldn’t see that race was relevant to Jewish history in America until I cringed at Al Jolson’s face painted with burnt cork. I had been focused on individual journeys, but to what sort of America did the Rabinowitzes in the film arrive? This Jim Crow-era America with quotas, housing discrimination, “Whites only” drinking fountains, lynchings, the Ku Klux Klan, and yes, blackface performance. Antisemitism was also rampant. Eastern European Jews weren’t welcomed with open arms, but in these films, the American Dream is a yearning to join the powerful White majority. In the process of uncovering for myself the hidden-in-plainview historical context of the Jewish-American Experience on Film, I saw that in my own immigrant story, I, too, was guilty of unseeing the segregated city/ suburb divide, of striving to blend into whiteness. Now that I’ve taught the course three times, I can’t imagine excluding from it a discussion of racial injustice in America. Do I still feel nervous talking about race? Absolutely. I have a lot more to learn, and my blind spots cause me to fumble from time to time. But the more I read and learn, the more confidence I have in
So why do I still get sweaty and tongue-tied when I talk about race today?
tle this ugliness is to call it out by name and face it, no matter how uncomfortable it might feel.
the urgency of this work. We still live in a country of Confederate flags, hate crimes, and racial inequity in housing, education, and healthcare, where White supremacy still reigns. The way to begin to disman-
Masha Kisel is a lecturer in English at the University of Dayton.
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • AUGUST 2020
This Harlem restaurant showcases Ethiopian-Israeli food at its best Tsion Café
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By Rachel Ringler, The Nosher Jimmy’s Chicken Shack was a food and jazz hub on St. Nicholas Avenue in Harlem in the 1940s. Malcolm X worked there. Jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker Jr. washed dishes there. At that same address you can still find food and jazz, but the name, and the menu, have changed. It’s now called Tsion Café, and it was founded in 2014 by Beejhy Barhany, an Ethiopian Jewish Israeli woman who moved to Harlem from Israel. Her restaurant honors its past roots while highlighting the cultural and culinary mix of its present owner. “As a Black person coming to Harlem,” she said, “I wanted to contribute something by showcasing my culture and honoring the legacy of the community. I wanted to open something that will add to the life of the residents of Harlem.” Barhany describes herself as a wanTsion Café owner Beejhy Barhany dering Jew. When she decided to make New York her home, she had already seen more carrots, milking cows,” she said. And she felt her of the world than many of us. Barhany was born love for the land of Israel. in Tigray, which is in northern Ethiopia. In 1980, Following her three years in the Israel Defense when she was 4 years old, her parents decided to Forces, Barhany did what many post-military sersatisfy their love and longing for Zion and move vice Israelis do: She hit the road to see the world. to Israel. “We sacrificed so much to make aliyah Her first stop was Manhattan, and she liked what to Israel,” says Barhany, “because we strongly she saw. She continued on to South America, but believed that it is time to be in Jerusalem and New York pulled her back. She was drawn to its in Israel, the Promised Land.” Her parents left diversity. Ethiopia with her, her younger sister, and a baby And you can see Barhany’s passion for diverse brother, 1 month old at that time. culinary traditions on her menu at Tsion Café. After three years of traveling across Ethiopia You’ll find the Ethiopian flatbread, injera, made to Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, and France, Barhany with the gluten-free grain teff. She serves it with and family arrived in Israel in 1983. Once there, different Ethiopian dishes, like messer wot, a the family moved from Pardes Hana, near spiced red lentil stew. But to reflect the diversity Hadera in northern Israel, to Ashkelon in the in the Jewish world and in New York City, you south. When she entered high school, Barhany can also have it with lox, eggs, and caramelized elected to move to Kibbutz Alumim, a traditional onions or with the North African shakshuka. kibbutz with many members from the United But this isn’t just any shakshuka: She flavors Kingdom and Argentina. She lived, worked, hers with berbere, a spice blend that is ubiquitous and studied there. She farmed the land, “pulling in Ethiopian cuisine. You will find the Yemenite
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • AUGUST 2020
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, worship schedules have been adjusted and some services are offered virtually instead. For the latest information, check with the organizations below via their websites, Facebook pages, and by calling them directly.
Making our homes reflect our true selves items in it, the By Rabbi Levi Simon Rebbe encouraged Chabad of Greater Dayton us to permeate If you peek through the our homes with front windows of my house, the holiness of the the first thing you might see Torah by making would be our children’s toys, our holy books our books, and large dining take center stage. room table. You’d probably Whatever you are get a pretty good idea of surrounded by what our family is like and Rabbi Levi Simon all day influences how we spend our time. you more than you think. When While we’ve been “stuck” Ethiopian Spiced Red Lentils (Messer Wot) served with injera, Ethiopian in our homes these past few your environment supports flatbread your goals, achieving those months, something unexpectgoals becomes radically easier. edly beautiful has happened. flatbread, malawach, on the But overall the reaction is very When our most treasured menu, too. Hers comes with positive. And in Harlem, people The focus on work, education, possessions aren’t big-screen honey and coconut flakes. like the name Tsion.” TVs or furniture but rather She was born in Ethiopia and books, this reminds us and that country and Africa will Ethiopian Spiced Red Lentils all who visit to live our lives religion, and health has moved always be with her. But Israel (Messer Wot) by Beejhy according to the teachings and from the workplace, school, is also very much a part of her, Barhany, Tsion Café lessons of the Torah. It also synagogue, gym, doctor’s ofand the restaurant’s menu. gives us the opportunity to fice, and restaurant and has “I am Israeli, and Tel Aviv is 2 cups red Lentils browse the bookshelves and been brought to the home. Our part of me,” Barhany said. “I 2 red onions pick up a book and study for a homes have become the center have to showcase that as well.” 2 white onions few minutes. of our universe, where most of Much of the food on the menu is 6 cloves of garlic Another advantage of havour time is spent and most of gluten-free and vegan. Her most 2 tsp. fresh ginger ing many books and giving our activities take place. popular dish is a combination of 1 cup oil Now is a good time to rethink them prominence is the strong five various Ethiopian vegetar2 Tbsp. berbere spice (see impression they make on chiland redefine what our homes ian stews, served on injera. Her below) represent. They make a deliber- dren. Just having books around, food, she says, “nourishes the 1 tsp. salt studies have shown, leads to ate statement about ourselves. body and the soul.” 1 6-oz can tomato paste children’s increased reading They establish and reflect our Because of the Covid-19 lock4 cups water values, priorities, and attitudes. levels and academic success. down, her art-filled restaurant is When our children or grandchilHow you decorate and furnish closed now. They are only doing For the berbere spice mix: your surroundings says, “this is dren see how we cherish and take-out and delivery. 1 cup chili powder or hot hold learning and reading so who I am and what matters to The nights of jazz and poetry paprika dear, that influences them and me.” readings and folk music are on ½ Tbsp. dried clove becomes part of their nature. The Lubavitcher Rebbe, of hold, too. She is busy keep1 Tbsp. ground cardamom When we return to work, blessed memory, established 10 ing the restaurant going, but 1 Tbsp. ground ginger play, and study outside of our Mitzvah Campaigns to emshe has also been involved in 1 Tbsp. onion powder power individuals to connect to homes, we must never forget demonstrations following the 1 Tbsp. ground coriander God on a personal level. One of our homes are where we truly death of George Floyd, a Black 1 Tbsp. cumin the first was Bayit Malei Sefarim, are. Let’s select and shape our man who was killed by police in ½ Tbsp. cinnamon physical spaces to reflect who literally, a home filled with Minnesota. ½ Tbsp. nutmeg we are — godly people. Let’s holy books. The Rebbe asked “There is systematic oppres½ Tbsp. ground fenugreek focus on making home a place that we purchase Torah books sion and discrimination going seed to read, study, and pray each and conspicuously display on here,” said Barhany. “It’s 1 Tbsp. pepper day. Let’s surround ourselves them, specifically, starting with about time that it be brought to 1 Tbsp. salt with books that inspire Jewish the basic books of Chumash light and that people are made thought and practice, and urge aware. We need a change in the To make the berbere spice, sift (Torah), Siddur (prayer book), us to learn and enhance our way institutions treat people of and mix together all ingredients. and Psalms. Since our home is lives, one book at a time. color.” Purée onions, garlic, ginger in defined by the most important Barhany is no stranger to food processor. standing up for what she beIn a large pan, sauté your lieves in. Not long after she aronion, garlic, ginger in oil. Cook Torah rived in New York, she founded until softened, for 10 to 15 minthe non-profit organization Beta utes, stirring occasionally. Portions Israel North America. BINA was Add tomato paste, half cup created to foster the continuity water, berbere spice, and salt. August 1, Vaetchanan of the Ethiopian Jewish (Beta Cook for 15 minutes while stir(Deut. 3:23-7:11) Shabbat Israel) cultural heritage and ring, reduce heat. August 8: Ekev promote understanding of its Rinse lentils and add to pan; Candle (Deut. 7:12-11:25) traditions and history among stir and bring to a boil; cover Lightings Jews and non-Jews. and simmer the lentils, stirring August 15: Re’eh “Food is a great denominator occasionally for 20 minutes until (Deut. 11:26-16:17) August 7: 8:24 p.m. to bring understanding,” said the lentils are soft. Add water as August 22: Shoftim Barhany. “People are pleasantly needed. August 14: 8:15 p.m. (Deut. 16:18-21:9) surprised and happy to engage Add salt to taste. August 21: 8:06 p.m. and learn about Israeli food. Serve with injera (Ethiopian August 29: Ki Tetze Here and there is antagonism. flatbread) or rice. (Deut. 21:10-25:19) August 28: 7:55 p.m.
CONGREGATIONS Beth Abraham Synagogue Conservative Rabbi Joshua Ginsberg Cantor/Dir. of Ed. & Programming Andrea Raizen 305 Sugar Camp Circle, Oakwood. 937-293-9520. BethAbrahamDayton.org Beth Jacob Congregation Traditional Rabbi Leibel Agar Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. 7020 N. Main St., Dayton. 937-2742149. BethJacobCong.org
Temple Anshe Emeth Reform 320 Caldwell St., Piqua. Contact Steve Shuchat, 937-7262116, AnsheEmeth@gmail.com. ansheemeth.org Temple Beth Or Reform Rabbi Judy Chessin Asst. Rabbi/Educator Ben Azriel 5275 Marshall Rd., Wash. Twp. 937-435-3400. templebethor.com Temple Beth Sholom Reform Rabbi Haviva Horvitz 610 Gladys Dr., Middletown. 513-422-8313. thetemplebethsholom.com Temple Israel Reform Senior Rabbi Karen Bodney-Halasz Rabbi/Educator Tina Sobo 130 Riverside Dr., Dayton. 937-496-0050. tidayton.org Temple Sholom Reform Rabbi Cary Kozberg Fridays, 6 p.m. 2424 N. Limestone St., Springfield. 937-399-1231. templesholomoh.com
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. 937-643-0770. www.chabaddayton.com
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • AUGUST 2020
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Childhood Memories, a photograph by Stephen Goldberg, has been accepted for inclusion in Partnership2Gether Western Galilee’s Covid-19 Photo Exhibition with Munio Gallery. The exhibit is a curated collection of photographs taken by Israeli, Hungarian, and U.S. amateur photographers. It highlights the time of the Covid-19 quarantine and social distancing Childhood Memories, photo by Stephen Goldberg in those three Jason Saul has joined Yellow Springscountries and around the world. To based WYSO as the station’s news see the virtual exhibit, go to https:// director. Jason previously worked p2gwg1.wixsite.com/p2g-live/photoat New Orleans public radio station exhibition. WWNO and on nationally-distributed public radio programs American Routes and Bird Note, both of which air on WYSO. Jason grew up in Long Island Scott and spent some time in Boston and Halasz Seattle before settling in Yellow Springs with his wife, Dionne. Jason says he’s passionate about “way too many things.” Sam Lauber’s story of Holocaust survival was featured in The Hidden The Pavlofsky family’s Premier Child magazine, published each year by the Hidden Child Foundation and ADL. ProduceOne is partnering with Dayton Metro Library for its distribution of A longtime Dayton-area resident, Sam free meals for children at all 18 library was born in 1942 in Antwerp, Belgium. branches. Anyone can take a fresh To escape the Nazis, his family produce box with 22 pounds of fruit fled to Brussels. Fearing arrest and and vegetables. Funding comes from deportation, Sam’s parents contacted the USDA. Parents are able to pick up the mother superior of a nearby 10 meals per child (two meals per day) convent, who arranged for a group of each week at the branches. For more nuns to take him to a preventorium (where children exposed to tuberculosis information on pick-up days, times, and locations, contact Mandie Burns were taken). at Dayton Metro Library, MBurns@ Nelly Detry, a pediatric nurse there, learned that Sam needed to be sheltered DaytonMetroLibrary.org. from the Nazis. She spoke with her Send your announcements to scotthalasz1@ mother, Laura, who agreed to allow gmail.com. Sam to live with them in La Louvière. They called him Dedé to protect his identity. He stayed with the Detry family — posing as a distant cousin from another town — for a year and a half until Brussels was liberated. Sam It’s a boy! Oren Brendan Klaben was and Laura’s son, Jean Marie, quickly born to excited parents Jeremy and bonded and became “brothers.” Miriam Klaben in Chicago, June 22. Sam and his parents eventually setGrandparents are Marilyn and Larry tled in New York and he attended the Klaben of Dayton and Robin and Neil State University of New York and later Goldberg of Syracuse, N.Y. Oren is enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. While the great-grandson of Jean Lieberman stationed overseas, he reunited with the of Cincinnati, Norma Goldberg of Detry family. Syracuse, and Joan Shapiro in Florida. He is lovingly named after his greatAndrew Flagel was recently named grandfathers, Bert Lieberman, Bernard president of the Consortium of Schapiro, and Bernard Goldberg. Universities of the Washington Send lifecycles to Metropolitan Area. He most The Dayton Jewish Observer recently served as vice president for 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville, OH 45459 advancement and member engagement Email: MWeiss@jfgd.net. at the Association of American Colleges There is a $12 charge to run a photo; please and Universities. make checks payable to The Dayton Jewish Observer.
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • AUGUST 2020
JEWISH FAMILY EDUCATION
A heritage of forgiveness
each year for atoneinfamous Auschwitz ment and forgiveness physician, Dr. Josef (Lev. 23:26-28). Mengele. Above all, just as Decades after God forgives us, so liberation, Kor intershould we, created in viewed a colleague God’s image, aspire of Mengele, Dr. Hans to forgive: “Who is a Münch, who admitGod like You, forted “he lived with giving iniquity and the nightmare every ers and reunites his family. When writer and storyteller remitting transgressingle day of his life” This is a first in history Sarah Montana was 22, her sion; Who has not and agreed to sign a according to classicist David mother and brother were shot maintained His wrath document of testiKonstan. He argues that the to death in their home by a mony. ancient cultures had no concept forever...(Micah neighborhood teen looking for Kor recalled, “I of forgiveness in a moral sense, 7:18).” valuables to steal. Joseph Makes Himself Known to His Brethren, Doré, 1880 Parallel themes are tried to think of a way that is, admission of guilt by literature suggests unforgivfound in the Christian Bible, in to thank Dr. Münch. Then, one the offender, remorse, and the parable of the Prodigal Son, ingness may compromise the day, I thought, ‘How about a repentance. immune system, impeding the Jesus’ teachings about forgiveletter of forgiveness?’...I realInstead there was appeaseCandace R. production of critical hormones ized that I had the power to ness as an obligation, and ment: the perpetrator might Kwiatek and disrupting the cellular Paul’s linking of forgiveness to forgive. No one could give me rationalize the transgression, response to infection. imitatio Dei (imitation of God). this power and no one could make excuses, beg, plead, Beyond religious precepts With its roots in the Bible, take it away.” even “perform some ritual of and health benefits, why it’s no wonder American Although her many acts of abasement or humiliation,” as Seven years later, she reforgive? It can’t heal you. It forgiveness of the Nazis have if to say to the victim, “I am not culture — from the time of the counted in a TED talk, “I realdoesn’t undo the wrong. It early settlers until the modern been criticized, she points out really a threat.” ized…we were still connected. era — has embraced the notion won’t make you a good person. that both victims and victimThe victim, in turn, no That steel tether of trauma that Sarah Montana concludes, of forgiveness. izers suffer from wronging and longer needs to take revenge; he hooked into my side…was “Forgiveness is designed to But religion isn’t the only evil, and the added tragedy is proper respect has been shown, still there… And it was with a set you free.” Free to reject the domain of forgiveness. Science how this legacy is passed on to and the victim’s dignity or little horror that I realized that wrong done — “What you offers some startling insights. their children. honor has been restored. he may have killed them, but I did was not OK!” — while Brain research observes that “How can we build a Jacob’s reunion with Esau chose to keep us connected… acknowledging the wrongdoer forgiveness trighealthy, peaceful world while is a case in point: I realized the only way to get gers a region in the as an imperfect fellow human. all these painful legacies are Jacob repeatedly Religion rid of this dude was to forgive Free to drop the burden of limbic system, the festering underneath the surrefers to himself him…” isn’t the only emotion center of hurt. Free to reframe, rebuild, face?” Kor asks. “I see a world At the foundation of Western as “thy servant or return to the relationship. the brain, similar where leaders will advocate Jacob” and adculture’s embrace of forgivedomain of Free to move forward. to that activated and support with legislation dresses Esau as ness is the Bible. Humans are While forgiveness was by empathy. the act of forgiveness amnesty “my lord,” sends forgiveness. imperfect, exert free will, and This finding can once well-rooted in American and reconciliation rather than gifts, and bows inevitably make mistakes, Science offers be explained by culture, today it is deterioratjustice and vindictiveness.” low to his brother disrupting relationships with ing, evident within families, in Kor’s message echoes the a full seven times. some startling their shared link others, with oneself, and with to human relation- cities, in the daily news, and words of the Rev. Martin Biblical forGod. insights. on social media, with no end in Luther King Jr., the voice of ships and capacgiveness isn’t Forgiveness is the antidote. sight. ity for “expandanother persecuted people: only expressed The clearest biblical example Perhaps we could learn “We are to go out with the through story; it’s also a Divine ing our perspectives about is Jacob who, favoring Joseph something about forgiveness ourselves, others, and life,” spirit of forgiveness, heal the command: “You shall not hate over his brothers, kindles from Eva Mozes Kor. At the explains author Emily Hooks. hurts, right the wrongs, and your brother in your heart,” enmity among them to the age of 10, she and her sister Their common purpose is change society with forgivenor should you take revenge or point where the brothers plot were subject to a year of grueto foster human connection. ness.” Theirs are the voices of bear a grudge (Lev. 19:17-18). his murder, ultimately selling some twin experiments by the Numerous psychological studtrue wisdom. Furthermore, Jews are comJoseph into slavery. Yet in the ies have also demonstrated that manded to observe a full day end, Joseph forgives his brothpositive feelings toward perpetrators initiated by receiving sincere apologies or restitution Literature to share for offenses also increase the On a Clear April Morning: A Jewish Journey by Marcos Iololikelihood of forgiveness by the vitch, translated by Merrie Blocker. A fascinating, inspiring victim. autobiographical novel, On a Clear April Morning traces the Apparently humans are harrowing journey of Marcos Iolovitch from czarist Russia to hard-wired with the ability to Serving Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana Brazil, where his family hopes to become farmers. As he refoster and protect human conCOMMERCIAL • INDUSTRIAL • GOVERNMENT counts scenes of unimaginable poverty, humor, tragedy, and nection. RE-ROOFING / NEW CONSTRUCTION love, Iolovitch emerges as a go-getter who takes advantage The benefits of forgiveness of unexpected opportunities and eventually becomes a noted to physical, mental, emotional, INSPECTIONS • ROOF REPAIRS • MAINTENANCE PROGRAMS poet, essayist, and crusader for social change. and spiritual health are also Firestone - Johns Manville - Carlisle - Soprema well-documented. Decades of A Ceiling Made of Eggshells by Gail Carson Levine. 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Throwing candy at the computer What celebrating a Bat Mitzvah looks like in the time of Covid Contributed
By Josefin Dolsten, JTA Midway through Lila Duke’s Bat Mitzvah, her family’s cat made an appearance. Minnie’s interruption was one of many ways that Lila’s coming-of-age ceremony was different from what she had expected. While the 12-year-old still read her Torah portion in front of more than 100 people, still got to wear a pretty dress, and still was showered with candy, she was at home with her parents, Susan and Jon, and younger siblings, Naomi and Ezra, not at her family’s Atlanta-area synagogue. Lila addressed community members on Zoom rather than giving her sermon in a sanctuary. She read the Torah portion she had been practicing for a Lila Duke celebrated her Bat Mitzvah at home as more than 100 guests tuned in on Zoom year from a book instead of a scroll and therefore wasn’t able As with so many events “It’s different right? Everya blessing ahead of the scroll to recite the blessings she had these days, some families are one has their Bat Mitzvah or reading. Since Lila was reading been practicing. And at one whatever, but not everyone has opting instead to do the service from a book rather than a scroll, point, Minnie jumped up on virtually, sometimes with had a Zoom Bat Mitzvah,” Lila however, the Hebrew blessthe table where the family had said in a phone interview a few drive-by, socially-distanced ings could not be said. Instead, perched a computer celebrations as well. (Orthodays after the rite. “I family members prepared short on top of sevdox synagogues do not allow was sad I didn’t blessings in English to bring to eral stacked livestreaming on Shabbat). get to have a mind the traditional order. puzzle boxes One event planning comparty though.” The Dukes set up two moniand her mom pany has even started offering Lila’s famtors in their living room so they had to rush to virtual Bar and Bat Mitzvah ily plans to could watch the service leader get the animal planning services, including have a party and the congregants tuning in. Bar & Bat Mitzvahs out of the way. helping organize a virtual party Susan Duke had decorated the for her once it’s Such is the Bat complete with party favors and room with orchids, peonies, deemed safe. But even Mitzvah in the coronavirus era. though parties can be posthora dancing. tulips, and roses from a local With many synagogues still poned, it is harder to delay the florist to make it look festive. closed, traditional Bar and Bat service itself. Most kids spend a Tweaks to make it work Guests typically shower the Mitzvah celebrations — which year training to chant the Torah Bat Mitzvah with candy after In Lila’s case, going virtual typically include participation portion for their specific date, she completes the Haftarah meant making tweaks. in communal services and big, and choosing another date (Prophets) reading. In Lila’s At a typical Bat Mitzvah, sometimes splashy parties — would mean they would have case, her parents and siblings a number of family members have become impossible. to learn a different reading. threw Hershey’s Kisses at her, are called to the Torah to say
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while the congregants threw sweets at their computer screens and sent her candy emojis in the Zoom chat. Her parents also hoisted her up on a chair after the reading, as is customary at Jewish celebrations. Virtual guests still dressed up, though the Duke family opted to go without shoes since they weren’t leaving the house. Lila wore a comfortable cotton dress instead of the satin gown she had initially picked out. After the three-hour service, Lila’s family recited the Kiddush and ate the French toast casserole her mother had cooked as they video chatted with a smaller group of relatives. Rabbi Analia Bortz, who with her husband, Rabbi Mario Karpuj, leads Congregation Or Hadash, the Conservative synagogue where the Dukes are members, worried at first about whether there would be technical difficulties. But she left the service impressed by how well it worked out and how the community came together to celebrate Lila’s special day. “In 30 years in the pulpit, many things have changed and have left a big hallmark in our lives, most of the time for good reasons, but this one was one of the highlights of our careers,” Bortz said. “It was very, very special.” Susan Duke said the service exceeded the family’s expectations. “We just thought we’d try it, and it was so much more intimate and personal and successful than I imagined it could be,” the Bat Mitzvah mom said. One unexpected perk of doing the service on Zoom was that Lila, who had been anxious about doing her Torah reading in front of a large audience, felt less nervous. “I didn’t have a bunch of people watching me doing scary stuff,” she said. “They were there but they were on the screen. I felt it wouldn’t be as big of a deal as if I was actually there in front of everyone.” Lila hopes she’ll serve as a model for other kids who will have to do their coming-of-age ceremonies virtually, too. “People were watching me, other people who are going to probably do the same thing,” she said. “They wanted to know what it was like.”
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • AUGUST 2020
Virtual Bar Mitzvah in a Minecraft replica of a family’s synagogue
Isaac Lachter at home during his Bar Mitzvah, which people attended via Zoom Screenshot
The sanctuary of Congregation Sha’ar Zahav in San Francisco as rendered in Minecraft
in the synagogue,” his father, By David A.M. Wilensky, J. “We invited everybody, but Joel Lachter, said. So Isaac had Virtual B’nai Mitzvahs are a not everybody had Minecraft, a pretty good knowledge of the and you have to have the right part of life now. The kid reads layout. Torah and delivers a D’var edition,” his dad pointed out. “For the outside, we used Torah, often over Zoom, to an “So attendance was OK, but not audience of friends and family. Google Maps and Street View,” great.” Isaac said. But is there a way to hold a Attendees in the party space Of course, it’s not an exvirtual party after the virtual were able to see one another’s act replica. Minecraft’s virceremony? avatars, and they could chat tual bricks are Isaac Lachter with each other — and hit each represented found a way — other with swords. Building as 1 meter on in the popular The experience was fun, but each side, so all also a little disappointing, Isaac video game/ something in walls are virtual world said. “It was like, we’re not Minecraft is sort the 1 meter thick. Minecraft. going to be able to do it in real Nonetheless, His Bar Mitz- of like playing space right now, so we might a video Isaac vah, scheduled as well just have it virtually in and building with made shows the Minecraft,” he said. for May 2 at model buildCongregation Of course, Isaac’s father Legos, but in a ing to be totally was proud enough of his son’s Sha’ar Zahav in recognizable, in- achievement and the work he San Francisco, virtual space. side and out. He put into preparing for his Bar instead took and his brother place on Zoom. Mitzvah. But, he said, “I was Isaac’s rabbi, Rabbi Mychal Co- even included a large table with also really impressed with the “food” on it (as if the Kiddush peland, delivered to his house level of detail they put into the small Torah scroll he would lunch after services was being creating the virtual synagogue served). read from, and officiated the space.” ceremony from her home. With about 100 people tuned in via Zoom, Isaac broke down Leviticus 16’s rules about sacrifice and discussed how rituals change as circumstances evolve — during a pandemic, for example. Then Isaac and about a dozen friends went to a “party” in a Sha’ar Zahav replica that he and his brother built in EXCLUSIVELY AT Minecraft. Building something in Minecraft is sort of like playing and building with Legos, but in a virtual space. “The way me and my brother did it is we got a flat space and put building blocks on so that it looked like the real (Sha’ar ZaVirtual or in-store appointments available. hav) building,” said Isaac, who built the interior from memory. 937.434.0003 |shopedc.com “After services, Isaac always likes to play hide-and-go-seek
The exterior of San Francisco's Congregation Sha'ar Zahav, as rendered in Minecraft
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • AUGUST 2020
Torah and TikTok: Not your father’s Bar Mitzvah
planners are also using these By Sophie Panzer resources to make preparations Jewish Exponent go smoothly. Rotenberg has While their parents may incorporated technology into have relied on tape recorders his own tutoring work. and CDs for their own B’nai “I’ve done some B’nai Mitzvah preparations, students Mitzvah tutoring long distance today learning to chant Torah for students using Skype and can turn to YouTube. FaceTime, and I would send “There are lots of cantors them feedback through Google who have produced high-qualDocs,” he said. ity recordings on YouTube,” His students have also used said Ben Rotenberg, education director at Germantown Jewish Trope Trainer, software that offers full Torah portion readings Centre in Philadelphia. “It’s users can access on easy to find a voice their phones and that you can other devices. match and It offers the feel comfortfull text of the able with.” Torah, along The video with Haftarah sharing webBar & Bat Mitzvahs (Prophets) and site is just one audio recordings for of many technologies blessings. being incorporated into B’nai The comprehensive TropeMitzvah preparations. Trainer mobile app costs $24.99, For Gen Z kids in the tween and the entire software package and teenage brackets, techcan cost more than $100. nology plays a key role in For students and parents entertainment, education, and seeking a less expensive option, socializing. Rotenberg recommends Sefaria, They communicate on platforms like Instagram and Snap- a free, open-source online library of Jewish texts. chat and have never known a world without internet access. “We want to help younger Naturally, they also rely people overcome the sense of on apps and websites as they distance they may feel toward prepare for their coming-of-age the text,” said Sara Wolkenfeld, ceremonies. director of education at Sefaria. Parents, educators and event “For the teen and tween age,
when there’s a lot of pressure about the B’nai Mitzvah, it makes it less intimidating to know this information is just a click away.” According to Wolkenfeld, the first results for internet searches for English translations of the Talmud used to be A student uses the online library Sefaria to read Torah antisemitic websites. Sefaria’s party snapshots. PartyPrint is co-founders, Google alum Brett ism have anything to teach a software and app that allows Lockspeiser and bestselling me about gun violence? Food people to take pictures with author Joshua Foer, set out to justice? Homelessness?’ They their phones and send it to a change that. can use Sefaria to search for printer so they can pick them Now, anyone with an interthese themes and be connected up and take them home easily. net connection can access their with relevant texts and comEBE Talent uses another library of texts and commenmentaries,” Wolkenfeld said. tary. “People should be connected to popular photo-sharing feaThis includes the richness of literary ture, Instapic, to create unique slideshows. students prepartradition, and Sefaria “If a guest uploads a picture ing for their B’nai is designed to show on Instagram or Twitter with Mitzvah. Sefaria users that all of these an event hashtag, we can pull users can use the texts are in conversathem directly from the web and site or app to find tion with each other.” create a real-time slide show of their assigned Torah Wolkenfeld’s son, the event,” Fitzpatrick exportions in Hebrew Noam, is a proficient plained. “This is controlled by and in English, Sefaria user who a real person, which is useful choose their favorcelebrated his own ite layouts, add and Sefaria Dir. of Ed. Bar Mitzvah early this for filtering out any inappropriate photos from kids.” remove vowels, cre- Sara Wolkenfeld year. Changes in technology have ate lists of helpful “He has very strong also had a profound impact on sources, consult a visual map interests, so Sefaria was useful party music selection. People of connections between texts, for clicking through text and use Spotify and Apple Music to and research commentary searching across themes,” create playlists for their events, for inspiration for their D’var Wolkenfeld explained. “We and while you might still hear Torah speeches. also had a student whose some classics like Y.M.C.A., “Text provides a starting whole family used Sefaria so Fitzpatrick has noticed an inpoint for a lot of people. They everyone could speak on texts creased demand for songs from want to know, ‘Does Judaduring the Bat Mitzvah cerTikTok stars. emony.” These internet artists are Of course, the party followpopular among kids who use ing the ceremony also takes a the video-based lot of preparation. social media platStephanie Fitzpatform regularly, but rick, talent director less well-known to and emcee at the the general public. event planning “DJs have to company EBE Taldo a lot of reent, uses Google search because Drive and Skype to these songs are communicate with not trending on clients. charts, but all the “A lot of famikids know them and it’s part of lies are opting for meeting via their social life,” she said. FaceTime and Skype — people Rabbi Joshua Cantor Andrea Cantor Jerome And don’t forget about the have busy schedules, and that’s Ginsberg B. Kopmar Raizen party favors. been very popular,” she said. A quick scan of It’s My “And Google Drive has been a Please visit bethabrahamdayton.org or our Facebook page for complete details. Mitzvah — an online personal great way to update people in Opera Afternoon - Sunday, Aug. 2, 2 p.m. with Cantor Emeritus Kopmar presenting Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love shopping service for B’nai real time and keep them in the Mitzvah party planners — reloop.” Shabbat Under the Virtual Stars - Friday, Aug. 7, 7 p.m. Sing-along service & breakout Oneg Shabbat/Schmoozing veals the popularity of customFitzpatrick has worked at Kabba-Locked-In Shabbat with Cantor Raizen - Fridays, Aug. 14, 21, 28, 5 p.m. With games & songs ized headphones, ear pods, EBE Talent for 10 years and selfie sticks, and phone cases observed the rise of technology Weekday Evening Minyan - Mondays-Thursdays, 6:45 p.m. Mincha & Ma'ariv service alongside the more traditional in the party planning process. Study Pirke Avot with Rabbi Ginsberg - Tuesdays, 10 a.m. T-shirts, sweatpants and water In addition to organizational tools like FaceTime and Google bottle favors. Havdalah - Saturday nights at sundown as we sing & usher in a new week “Some people think this Drive, the company uses technology is great, others can various apps and software for be overwhelmed,” Fitzpatrick guests’ entertainment. said. “Everyone’s different. But According to Fitzpatrick, overall, we do see more and gone are the days of being 305 Sugar Camp Circle Dayton, Ohio 45409 937•293•9520 more families embracing it.” confined to a photo booth for
Connect with our virtual programs
Sefaria is a free opensource online library of open texts.
Beth Abraham Synagogue
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • AUGUST 2020
A blessing for B’nai Mitzvah impacted by the coronavirus
For your Bar or Bat Mitzvah
community planned to impart to you today, but By Rabbi Tamara Cohen, Moving Traditions it is part of being an adult. Today is your Bat/Bar/B’nai/B-Mitzvah and We want to remind you that making joy is it is a day of celebration. also part of being an adult. And even more so, it It is not the day you and your family enviis part of being a teenager which is really what sioned and planned for. And we are so sorry you are becoming today. because that’s what we all wanted it to be. So, we wish you the abilBut your Torah will be no less wise in ity to be joyous on this day your living room or emptier-than-planned— in your own heart and for-sanctuary than in the full sanctuary you with those very close to you. and your family had envisioned. Be joyous this weekend Your prayers will be no less resonant and — online and in person, powerful live-streamed/on FaceTime/or watching funny videos or shared only with 10 hand-scrubbed family dancing in your room even members than if shared from the bima (synaif we can’t pick you up on gogue stage). a chair and have dozens of Our tradition values a minyan, as you people circle dancing around know, but our sages also teach that the Diyou right now. vine Presence is present whenever Torah is You know how to connect shared even between two people. Rabbi Tamara Cohen without touching someone Today you are an adult in Jewish tradimore than many adults do. tion. And over these days and weeks you have You know how to create joy wherever you had to face the challenges of this moment in a are. You also know how to help others and way that many adults are struggling with. name the big changes we need to make in our And you have done it, you have held disapworld. You will help us do better than we have pointment, fear and uncertainty, and the pain of these past few weeks and months and years. broken dreams. You and your friends and your generation are This is not the part of being an adult your going to do better at solving global problems — you will have to, and we believe you have what it takes. Mazal Tov to you and your family. Know that your family and friends, those who are near and those who are farther than they wanted to be are celebrating you today. And our Jewish community and world is welcoming you with jazz hands, with appropriate distance — but most importantly with an abundance of pride and love.
Painted silk prayer shawls with the theme Twelve Tribes of Israel by Yair Emanuel, Jerusalem
Tamara Cohen is vice president and chief of program strategy for Moving Traditions, a national organization focused on teens, gender, and Jewish identity.
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • AUGUST 2020
Continued from Page 20 seek justice for all, not just for themselves. He quotes Torah on the obligation to rebuke one’s neighbor in the name of what’s right and just. And he addresses this fraught moment. He inveighs against a society that tolerates inequity. “We as citizens have the responsibility to stand up as Jews from within the framework of our own understanding (and say) what justice constitutes in the society in which we are living,” says Rabbi Berman. As for objections about BLM, Berman recalls marching with Catholic leaders when the church still promoted antisemitic views. Conversely, he remembers how Martin Luther King raised his voice for Soviet Jews. “So we have to be able to tell supporters of Black Lives Matter that they should not be antiIsrael, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t collaborate with them in the process of gaining voting rights for citizens,” he says. “It doesn’t mean that we can’t collaborate with them in protecting the well-being and the lives of Black citizens. We have to be able to collaborate with them, much as we would expect them to collaborate with us in our moments of need.” Andrew Silow-Carroll is editor in chief of The New York Jewish Week.
Tobin Continued from Page 20
have been given throughout history is that of being despised. They’ve been hated for being poor and for being rich, as well as for being insular and for seeking to assimilate. Antisemitism has little if anything to do with Jewish actions. As much as it was appropriate to make that point, it would be equally mistaken to embrace the mantle of eternal victimhood. In 2020, Jews are no longer a weak, powerless people at the mercy of others, ripe for persecution. Hatemongers should be answered with the truth, but not by a mindset in which Jews compete for sympathy. In both the United States and Israel, Jews need not apologize for their freedom or their prosperity. Nor should they accept any attacks on their legitimacy. If holding onto such basic human rights is seen as Jewish privilege by antisemites, then so be it. Jonathan S. Tobin is editor in chief of Jewish News Syndicate.
OBITUARIES Arnold “Hank” Adler II, age 77 of Centerville, passed away June 18. Mr. Adler is survived by his wife, Helene of 51 years; daughter, Sharon; son, David (Jennifer); five grandchildren; one greatgrandson; brother, Paul (Debbie Isroff); sister, Constance Levi; many nieces, nephews and friends. Interment was at David’s Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Temple Beth Or or Crossroads Hospice. Leslie Goldstein, age 71, of Clayton, passed away July 13 in her home, surrounded by family. Mrs. Goldstein was a dedicated and highly respected teacher at Hillel Academy for 27 years, where she taught Hebrew and the foundational lessons of Judaism to students of all ages. She was a member of Beth Jacob Congregation and a Sunday school teacher for many years, following in the footsteps of her mother, Marilyn. After teaching, her love of the stage led her to the Victoria Theatre, where her outgoing personality made her the perfect usher and house manager. She also spent many years serving on the Meadowdale High School Reunion Committee, most recently planning her 50th high school reunion in 2017. Mrs. Goldstein was also a founding member of one of the longest-running book clubs in Ohio, where she spent 40 years voraciously reading literature with an extraordinary group of women. Mrs. Goldstein was preceded in death by her beloved mother and father, Marilyn and Ben Garison; and brother, Gary Garison. She is survived by her husband of 47 years, Victor Goldstein of Clayton; daughter and son-in-law, Amy and Mark Walker of Springboro; son, Andrew Goldstein of Nashville; sister, Peggy Garison Fogelman of Los Angeles; grandchildren, Ben Walker, Mia Walker, Evan Goldstein, and Graham Goldstein; sister-in-law, Therese Garison; cousins, Linda Shapiro and Harley Friedman; and numerous nieces, nephews, and many other relatives. Interment was at Beth Jacob Cemetery. The family will hold a Celebration of Life in her honor when pandemic restrictions
allow. If desired, memorial contributions may be made to The Hospice of Dayton, 324 Wilmington Avenue, Dayton, Ohio 45420 or The Human Race Theatre Company, 126 N. Main Street, Suite 300, Dayton, Ohio 45402, in Mrs. Goldstein’s memory. Marcia Elaine Greenblatt, 1/28/45 - 6/24/20. She was the only child of William and Sophie Greenblatt and was the joy of their lives. Ms. Greenblatt was born in Dayton and graduated from Fairview High School in 1962 and attended University of Oklahoma. She began her career at Hill & Company Stock Brokerage in Cincinnati, and then Kanter Fitzgerald Brokerage in Beverly Hills, Calif. Ms. Greenblatt’s last 10 years of her career were spent as head finance manager of the Backroom of Kanter Fitzgerald. An amazing daughter to Sophie and Bill. A better friend could not be found. She is survived by her wonderful family and friends, and especially devoted friends Trena Vangrow Berk and Ricki Schear Hodesh family. Interment was at Beth Jacob Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of your choice. Lorraine Mandel Kotler transitioned out of her body at 7:50 a.m. on July 4. Mrs. Kotler was born an identical twin on Feb. 12, 1939 in Pittsburgh. After working on a kibbutz in Israel for a year, she returned to Pittsburgh to earn her bachelor’s degree in education, and a license to teach English and history. She married in 1960 and taught middle school English briefly before becoming pregnant. Mrs. Kotler followed her husband Jerry’s career through five states, ultimately settling in Dayton in 1979. She received her master of science degree in library science from the University of Toledo while living there. She was most intrigued by the computer science course she was required to take for that degree, and after moving to
Dayton, she chose to pursue a second bachelor’s degree in computer science, which she earned in her mid-40s at Wright State University. After that, she worked for several years as a senior software engineer for a defense contractor. In that capacity, she discovered a need for competent technical writers, so she did that work for many more years. In retirement, she worked as a substitute librarian for Montgomery County. Mrs. Kotler was a lover of old movies and mental puzzles, and was a longtime subscriber to Games magazine. In her last days, it was all she wanted in the hospital. She and her husband watched Jeopardy religiously, Mrs. Kotler usually knowing more answers than most of the contestants. She was an amazing cook who would spend hours pitting the cherries her husband picked from his tree to make him cherry pies. Every pot of chicken soup she made was always “the best” according to Jerry, and her turkeys were never dry. Mrs. Kotler had such a big heart. When her daughter had friends who became homeless, Lorraine and Jerry never hesitated to take them in. She volunteered for many different organizations over the years, editing many newsletters, and giving to countless charities on a regular basis. She was an active life member of Hadassah, and a member of three local synagogues. Lorraine and Jerry did everything together. They were the first co-presidents of what was then the Dayton Christian-Jewish Dialogue. They also took ballroom dance classes together for many years, and as lifelong learners, they both attended classes together in various subjects up until Covid. Mrs. Kotler is survived by her beloved husband, Jerry Kotler; her identical twin, Sandra Marcus (Steve); sister, Mona Abramowitz (David); daughter, Beth Fullenhull (Shlomoh); son, Michael Kotler (Hillary), many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, and friends, as well as the light of her golden years, her only grandchild, Lily Fullenhull. Interment was at Beth Abraham Cemetery. Because Mrs. Kotler was a lifelong Democrat, donations may be made to any Democratic charity. Support of Amy McGrath’s Senate campaign to stop Mitch McConnell would be especially appreciated. If you are apolitical or Republican, donations
to Hadassah or the American Heart Association would be appreciated. Stanley Schulman, age 85, of Dayton, passed away June 20 at Hospice of Dayton. Mr. Schulman was a retired engineer from WPAFB with 39 years of service. He was a U.S. Army veteran serving in the Korean War, a member of Beth Abraham Synagogue, and an associate member of Hadassah of Dayton and Coconut Creek, Fla. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 55 years, Shirley B., in 2015. Mr. Schulman is survived by his daughter, Robin Schulman of Clayton; daughter and son-in-law, Ellen and Dennis Dibley of Englewood; son and daughter-in-law, Edward and Nancy Schulman of Blue Ash; sister, Phyllis Harrison of Orlando, Fla.; grandchildren, Brittany Sussman, Samuel Sussman, Benjamin Schulman, Jonathan Schulman, Kristen (Steve) Durkee, Megan (Mark) Holsapple; greatgranddaughters, Alaina, Shani and Sophie; other relatives and friends. Interment was at Beth Abraham Cemetery. If desired, memorial contributions may be made to Beth Abraham Synagogue, The Humane Society of Greater Dayton, or Hospice of Dayton in Mr. Schulman’s memory. Rabbi Sanford Marvin “Sandy” Shapero, age 91 of Beverly Hills, Calif., passed away April 13 at his home. He was a graduate of Patterson Co-Op High School, University of Dayton with a bachelor of psychology and social work degree, Merchant Marine Academy, U.S. Navy Chaplain School, Hebrew Union CollegeJewish Institute of Religion with a bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate in Hebrew Literature, and rabbinic ordination in 1955. He received an honorary doctorate of divinity in 1981 from HUC-JIR and, in 1995, from the University of Dayton. Rabbi Shapero was preceded in death by his parents, David and Leah (Adler) Shapero, and sister Marlene (Arthur) Shapero Carne. He is survived by Linda Eng, his devoted partner of 28 years; daughter, Andrea Gottlieb (Stuart); sons, Seth (Rhona), Jonathan and Adam Shapero; grandchildren; nephews Steven (Judith), Richard (Cheryl), Edward (Anita) and Daniel Carne; grandnieces, great-grandnieces and a great-grandnephew.
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • AUGUST 2020
OBITUARIES Rabbi Shapero’s mentors were Rabbi Louis Witt and Rabbi Selwyn D. Ruslander of Temple Israel in Dayton, Rabbi Edgar Magnin of Los Angeles, and Father Edwin Leimkuhler of the University of Dayton. He was a chaplain in the U.S. Navy, rabbi at Temple B’nai Israel, Elmira, N.Y.; Park Avenue Temple, Bridgeport Ct.; and Temple Emanuel, Beverly Hills, Calif. Rabbi Shapero served as vice president, Alliance Medical Industries; vice president, North American Biologicals; regional director of the Southeastern States of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations; founder and director of the Institute for Creative Development, University of Georgia; national director of Gerontology for the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. He was president and CEO of City of Hope National Medical Center, Beckman Research Institute and City of Hope Philanthropy. Rabbi Shapero received national recognition from the American Jewish Congress for his participation in the antisegregation protest organized by the Albany Movement in Georgia with The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., August 1962. In the rabbinate, Rabbi Eisendrath was his “guiding light.” He encouraged Rabbi Shapero to fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming the first rabbi-gerontologist. He received a four-year presidential appointment to the National Advisory Council on Aging of the NIH, Washington, D.C. Rabbi Shapero, a pilot, enjoyed flying where he could soar above the earth. It was a great passion. He earned his certificate for successfully completing his first solo flight in 1958, and in 1974 he received his commercial airplane pilot certificate, with a rating for single engine land and sea, and multi-engine land and instrument. Rabbi Shapero was a renaissance man and humanitarian, “walking to the beat of a different drummer.” He sought the truth and stood up for his beliefs, creating positive change. He respected and valued everyone from all walks of life, no matter their social status. He lived by the Golden Rule and was a fine gentleman. Rabbi Shapero used his charisma to motivate and teach, and inspired others to fulfill their undertakings in an environment of faith and belief with the highest ethical and moral purpose.
A private funeral service will be held at Riverview Cemetery at a later date. Donations may be made to Temple Israel in Dayton, the American Jewish Archives, tunnel2towers.org, or your favorite veterans organization. James R. Stewart, age 93 of Englewood, passed away July 5. He was a World War II veteran and retired after 50 years from WPAFB. Mr. Stewart is survived by his wife of 59 years, Barbara; son, Scott (Shannon) Stewart; daughter Debi ( B.J.) Mosley; four grandchildren; three greatgrandchildren. Interment was at Riverview Cemetery. Living here in Antwerp, Belgium during the global pandemic of the Corona virus, with all the rules, the regulations and the risks involved, it has prevented me from traveling back to Dayton to be with my father, Dr. Mory Summer, during his final days. It was heartbreaking and gut wrenching that I couldn’t be there with him in person. I took some comfort in using today’s technology, in the form of FaceTime. It helped soften the blow because, at least, I was there with him, in a twodimensional form, all the way to the very end. There was already a local memorial service for him that took place June 23. It wasn’t at Temple Israel or at any synagogue, for that matter. Dad, that’s what happens when you don’t follow the advice of your son, the lawyer. There was also an obituary that appeared in the local papers, but I decided to write my own unconventional version because, as we all know, there was nothing conventional about Mory Summer. In the meantime, Dad was flown down to Gainesville, Ga. (where Danny lived and practiced law) for an intimate family ceremony at his final resting place, next to my Mom, Ghita, and brother, Danny. Mom, he’s all yours now. Let the spirited bickering continue where it last left off. In a Miami Valley hospital bed on Thursday, June 18, after 90 long years, Dr. Mory Summer’s heart called it quits. Like many of his friends, he was born to Jewish Eastern Euro-
pean immigrants. Berek (aka Ben) Summer and Eva Feirstein broke the mold after Mory arrived on this earth in Chicago, Nov. 20, 1929. He was the younger brother to Edith (who died an untimely death at the age of 36 from a heart defect), to Abraham (aka Edward, 1927-1991), and he played big brother to his last remaining sibling, Sara Lee (aka Shirlee). As a young man, Mory was studying pharmacology when he met my mother, Ghita Zeller (1932-2009). Mom was the secretary to the dean of the Cook County Hospital in Chicago. It was the dean who introduced Mory to Ghita. When she brought Mory home to meet the parents, Ghita’s father, Joseph, said, “So you want to be a pharmacist? That’s very nice, but what’s wrong with being a doctor? You should be a doctor. I’ll help pay for your tuition to become a doctor. My daughter should marry a doctor.” So off he went, to the Chicago School of Medicine, and Mory and Ghita married in 1952, while he was still studying. After he graduated in 1957 as a general practitioner, they headed to the Schilling Air Force Base in Salina, Kan., where Dad fulfilled his military obligations. He was the very proud Capt. Dr. Mory Summer, M.D. Afterward, they moved back to Skokie, Ill., adopted my brother Mark (1958-1995), and Dad worked for a short time for Dr. Sydney Alpert in Chicago. My second brother, Daniel (aka Danny, 1960-2016), was born and soon after that, they packed up and moved to Dayton, where Mory entered a private group practice with Dr. Ronald Wasserman and Dr. Raymond Kahn. Their office was conveniently located across the street from his Good Samaritan Hospital.
flea markets, and estate sales. He leaves me with a house full of crap. Luckily for me, he also enjoyed gifting others with that crap. Sorry folks, all gifts are final. No returns. Mory left us all with decades of fond and colorful memories. He left me as the embodiment of how he was and of many things he loved and enjoyed: family, baking, cooking, gardening, fishing, bowling, gymnastics, working out at the gym, being quirky and having a loud laugh along with a weird sense of humor. I even practice “Daughter of a Doctor” medicine on both humans and animals. He gave me life and he gave me death on June 18, by dying on my birthday. I will forever wear that as a badge of honor. It unites us even more strongly. We are eternally connected by our heritage, by our DNA, and no one can ever change that. Dad, you are unforgettable in so many ways and I love you forever. You will be sorely missed by so many family members, friends, and patients. Thank you to Reba, his second wife, for being such a loving and caring companion to Mory during his last eight years of life. She deserves a medal for putting up with his constant hoarding and his many bouts of crankiness. To share a memory about Mory or to send condolences (or to be my friend), I’m on Facebook as Jennifer Hitherside Summer. If you’d like to make a contribution, you can make one to the ALS Association or to the American Heart Association. Sleep well, dear father. Always in my heart. Love, your little girl, Jennie. P.S.: that’s Jennie with an ie, not with a y.
If you’re reading this, chances are you were a patient of my Dad or your parents or your friends were his patients…and they LOVED him as their doctor. The guy was like a celebrity. As a kid, I remember we’d be out for dinner or out shopping and, every time, we would be stopped by patients or nurses kvelling over him about how wonderful, kind and generous he was and how he was the greatest doctor ever. Dad, if you were the greatest, then why did you pierce my left earlobe lower than my right one? As many of you know, Dad had a passion for baking and jam making. Please raise your hand if you were ever a recipient of any of his homemade goodies. I extend my sincerest apologies to whomever received his Green Pepper Jelly concoction. Mory wasn’t cut out to be a breadmaker. He didn’t have the patience to let the dough rise first. He’d just bake the bread rolls right away and Danny would end up using them as hockey pucks. Dad was such an enthusiastic storyteller. If you were a patient, a relative or a friend, then I know you’ve heard a Mory story…and I know the subject revolved around something medical. If it was a humorous story, it would include his signature-style laugh. I would describe that laugh as a cross between a hyena and a T-Rex: unique, voluminous and cringe-worthy. Let’s not forget his days at the JCC and his love for doing fancy flips off the springboard. I was impressed. He was very good. Those early years as a gymnast in high school really came in handy. Even better, he didn’t crack open his skull. After Dad retired, he became an avid shopper at garage sales,
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