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Chanukah food hacks forMeals easy, in tasty meals 26 p. 22 David Moss designs Grace After comic bookp.form

THE DAYTON Published by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton

December 2020 Kislev/Tevet 5781 Vol. 25, No. 4

OBSERVER

The Miami Valley’s Jewish Monthly • Online at daytonjewishobserver.org Scott Segalewitz

Happy Chanukah

Israel ‘Srulik’ Segalovitch, now Ira Segalewitz. Regina Puter, now Ruth Brandspiegel. His DP school memory book, her handkerchief.

A Biden presidency Andrew Harnik by /POOL/ AFP via Getty Images

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69 years later

DP camp friends reconnect

Pres.-elect Joe Biden & VP-elect Kamala Harris

DNA testing’s ethical dilemmas

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While on a cross-country drive, Nina Woldin (R), managing director of the international Jewish education project Chai Mitzvah, stopped off at Temple Beth Or in Washington Township to meet with Jan Maharam, who facilitates the congregation’s Chai Mitzvah series. Woldin also met with Temple Beth Or’s Rabbi Judy Chessin and had a socially-distanced outdoor nosh before continuing her journey.

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Contact Patty Caruso at plhc69@gmail.com to advertise in The Observer. Chabad of Greater Dayton hosted a socially-distanced fireside Havdalah with dessert after Shabbat on Nov. 7 for its Young Jewish Professionals group

Dayton Jewish Chorale leaders Cantor Jenna Greenberg (top), Beth Abraham Synagogue Cantor Andrea Raizen (middle), and Temple Israel Music and Program Director Courtney Cummings continue to produce and distribute video performances of Jewish liturgical works to inspire during this time of Covid. They released their most recent one, the traditional round Hava Nashira (Let Us Sing Together), before Shabbat, Nov. 13.

BETTER WATER BETTER LIFE Wishing You A Very Happy Chanukah PAGE 2

Arts & Culture.........................28 Family Education........................23

Deena Green and Aaron Guggenheimer distribute mitzvah project fleece blankets and greet families as they arrive at Temple Israel Religious School’s Pick Me Up program, Nov. 8. Families picked up materials for the next month of learning and participated in a human dignity-themed mitzvah project. Mr. Mazel..................................24 Obituaries.......................31

O p i n i o n . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 4 Religion..........................20

THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • DECEMBER 2020


DAYTON

69 years later, friends from DP camp reconnect

Screenshot by Steve Segalewitz

families. “And this is what you By Marshall Weiss all brought. It’s just incredible The Observer to me.” “Ruth, I’m going to call you “For us,” Ira said, “that’s the Regina,” Ira Segalewitz said treasure. That’s what we carried from his home in Kettering with us. The memories. We when he saw his childhood didn’t have much else to carry, sweetheart for the first time in but we carried that.” 69 years, via Zoom on Nov. 8. Ira didn’t remember who “Call me whatever you want, just call me!” Ruth Brandspiegel took the photos in the Hallein quipped from her apartment in DP camp. “We didn’t have cameras. Philadelphia. Must have been somebody runThe two 84-year-olds — surning the school or a teacher.” rounded by their children and “Well, he couldn’t throw grandchildren across the eastern away my picture,” Ruth said of United States on this Zoom Ira. reunion — sounded more like Ruth and Ira’s reunion came the teenagers they were when Segalewitz and Brandspiegel family members join the Zoom session when Ira Segalewitz (top L, shown with last together in 1951 at their dis- about because of a reunion Ruth partner Eva Clair) and Ruth Brandspiegel (top, 2nd from R), see each other for the first time in 69 years, Nov. 8 placed persons camp for Jewish had earlier this fall with another friend from the DP camp, Israel but with his nickname, Sasha. refugees in Hallein, Austria. “My mother is so beautifully is just even more exciting.” “Sasha” Eisenberg, now 79. “I kept thinking about you She remembered the name overwhelmed with it,” Larry Larry said calls have been And that reunion came about Sasha Eisenberg from seven for a long time,” Ira said. told The Observer. “I’m hearing coming in from people who because of a High Holy Days “Really?” Ruth asked with a decades before. It stopped her from people throughout the believe they have connections to Zoom service Ruth watched girlish laugh. cold. country. And this turn of events Continued on next page at home from the synagogue “I had the hots for you,” Ira Philadelphia’s Jewish Expowhere her son, Cantor Larry said. nent wrote a story about that Brandspiegel, is employed — “At least somebody had the reunion, followed by Associated East Brunswick Jewish Center in Press. hots for me,” Ruth replied. 590 Isaac Prugh Way 937.298.0594 New Jersey. Eisenberg and his For about 90 minutes, they Ira happened to read the Ex694 Isaac Prugh Way remembered and shared photos wife are congregants there. ponent story on the internet. The 937.297.4300 Ruth heard Eisenberg’s name article included Ruth’s childthey’ve kept from their time called out during the service, in the DP camp, which they hood name, Regina Puter. described as heaven “Finally, I got to the compared with the horrors third page and it had your they and their families had picture,” Ira told Ruth. endured because of the “And did you recognize Nazis and the Russians. me?” Ruth asked. Their children and “I recognized you right grandchildren heard some away,” he said. “I came of these stories for the first out and Eva (Ira’s partner) time. said, ‘What are you so ex“To me, what is so cited about?’ I said, ‘That’s amazing is all the pictures my first girlfriend!’” that you brought with you Since Larry’s congregafrom Europe in such a bad tion is only 20 minutes time during our history,” from Ira’s youngest son, Regina Puter, now Israel ‘Srulik’ Flora Klein, Ruth’s older Steve, Ira asked Steve to Ruth Brandspiegel Segalovitch, now Ira Segalewitz daughter, shared with the contact Larry.

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We not only need a happy Chanukah, we need a healthy Chanukah and a safe Chanukah. Safety comprises our physical and emotional health, but also safety from those who would take advantage of our kindness. Our sense of generosity Marshall is heightened in a time of crisis, such as Weiss the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, which we now enter. Please watch out for scams. One that’s hit members at more than one local Jewish congregation poses as an email from a rabbi at the congregation with an urgent request. The subject line often reads, “REQUEST.” A typical message is: “Get back to me as soon as you receive my message, I need you to handle something for me, I can’t talk on the phone at the moment, Just reply to me on here.” The scammer will ask for gift cards loaded with money. This scam is neither unique to Jewish clergy nor to the Miami Valley. The Federal Trade Commission became aware of this scam and began reporting on it in July 2019. If you receive such an email, don’t reply. Please contact your congregation and let them know.

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DAYTON

69 years later

THE DAYTON

er crossed four borders as they walked to Austria. They arrived six months Continued from previous page later, in 1946. In the DP his mother. camp, Ira’s mother re“These calls come in and I married a man who had don’t jump to call back right fought with the Russian away until I call my mother partisans; he had lost his and find out, is it recognizable wife and two children. (to her). So when Steven called Ruth’s family fled me, I called my mother: ‘Do when the Nazis arrived you know Segalewitz?’ And in their hometown in she said, ‘I don’t know. I had a 1939. She was 21/2. boyfriend with the last name “My uncle had a big Segalovitch.’” truck,” she said. “He Ira, whose given name was came to my Mom and Israel, also went by the nickhe says, ‘Take the child name Srulik as a boy. and take whatever you Steve and Larry pieced it together with Ruth and Ira. Larry need and whatever you want and get on the truck called Ruth to tell her, “Mom, because the Germans are your boyfriend is still alive.” right behind us.’” “As soon as I said that,” A photo Ira Segalewitz kept of Purim in the Hallein DP camp, 1950. He portrayed During the day, Ruth Larry said, “she was like, ‘My King Ahashverus (3rd from L), and Regina Puter played Queen Esther (center) said, they hid in forests. heart is beating fast again, I’m By night, the uncle drove until Ira agreed. After the High Holy Days shaking again. Oh my God, I they arrived in Ukraine. “This was healing, and the this year, Ruth was reunited can’t believe it, this can’t be “Over there we didn’t stay people there really tried to heal with Israel “Sasha” Eisenberg, happening. Not again,’ she kept too long (until 1941), and they us,” he said. “They tried to do whom she also knew from the on saying over and over again. sent us to Siberia,” Ruth said. as much as they could. We were Hallein DP camp. You could hear the smiles on “My parents they sent out to all attending school. Originally “They lived in the same barher face from ear to ear.” Hallein was to be a camp for racks,” Ruth said of his family. Ira’s oldest son, Scott Segale- dig ditches and I stayed home, almost 3 years old by myself.” Israel, so because of that, the “Plus, their parents were from witz, who lives in Washington After the war, Ruth’s family language that we learned was our hometown. And when Township, told The Observer that Hebrew of course, and we Sasha’s father died in a car acafter his father spoke with Ruth also returned to Poland at first. “My father found a job, and spoke primarily Hebrew and cident (when they lived in the by phone Nov. 3, “the enthuevery night we were looking Yiddish, and the parents, if they DP camp), my father took over siasm in his voice makes him out the window to see if he was didn’t have a profession, they Sasha, and used to take him to sound like a teenager.” coming home because a lot of had to learn a trade. shul (synagogue) to say Kaddish Ira and Ruth share similar people were shot,” Ruth said. “Like my mother — she went (the mourner’s prayer).” stories. Both were born in Poto ORT (Association for the Ira had his Bar Mitzvah at land in 1936: he in Sarny, she in “The antisemitism was bad at that time. Little by little, the Promotion of Skilled Trades) the camp synagogue, which he Ciechanów. Joint (American Jewish Joint and learned how to be a seamdescribed as a shtibel (a small The area Ira lived in came stress. People were healing. A prayer room). under Russian occupation at the Distribution Committee) took lot of babies were born in “It was pretty much Orthostart of World War II. When the camps. A lot of people dox,” he recalled to The Obthe Nazis began their atdoing a lot of coming back server. “Most of the kids (in the tack on Russia in 1941, Ira’s to life.” DP camp) were not religious father put him and his wife Along with the photos, and not Orthodox anyway. And on a train headed east. Ira Ira shared a memento he’s the girls couldn’t attend. What never saw his father again kept in his school memory I remember most is my mother and believes he was killed in book from the DP camp all scraped some money together the Battle of Stalingrad. Ira these years: a handkerchief and bought me my gift, a bag and his mother wound up with the initial R. of 250 canceled stamps. I was in the Ural Mountains. She “You embroidered that,” overjoyed by the pack of those worked in a Russian labor Ira told Ruth. stamps. That’s when I started camp. “I must have given it to stamp collecting. And I still His mother was paid in him,” Ruth said, laughing. have the stamps.” scraps of food. In an interRuth Brandspiegel Ira Segalewitz “You must have,” Ira Ira’s and Ruth’s families were view with The Observer, he all these people out, and they said, “or I stole it! We were in the Hallein camp after the remembered his mother would pretty tight there for those war because the Hebrew Imreturn from labor with icicles on took us to places where the times: running around, doing all migrant Aid Society at first had her eyelashes. A piece of cheese other zone was.” The Puters also arrived at the kinds of things together.” difficulty locating their families or a rat was a feast. Hallein DP camp in 1946. “What did we do?” she asked in the United States. Émigrés “My mother kept saying in On the Zoom reunion, Ruth with a smile. could only enter the U.S. with a the Ural Mountains, ‘It’s a good and Ira shared pictures from “Well, we did a lot of runsponsor. thing you’re my only child, ning,” Ira said. “As a matter of “The camps were basically because had I had two, we prob- their years together at Hallein. “That was Purim,” Ira said fact, I remember climbing in the set up by where your destinaably all would have died,’” Ira of a photo marked 1950, with attic of the barracks, and you tion would be,” Ira told The shared on the Zoom reunion. arrows pointing to them. “You girls were hiding in the bottom. Observer. “The only place that After the war, they left the were Esther, and I was the king, And we were hiding in the atwould take us without any Urals and returned to Sarny Ahashverus.” tic. We would go to the movies questions because we were after four months of walking “When we got to camp, to every time the army provided Jews, you could come to Israel. and trying to catch rides. Hallein, that was already a good movies.” HIAS did find my mother’s “We finally got to Sarny and life compared to what we went Ira shared that he could figtwo sisters. My mother always Sarny was totally demolished. through before,” Ruth said. “We ure out where Ruth was seated knew she had two sisters in the The house we had was gone. didn’t know any better and we at the movies in the barracks United States. She just didn’t Everything was just ruins.” from her scent. Continued on Page Five From there, Ira and his moth- were happy.”

PAGE 4

OBSERVER daytonjewishobserver.org Editor and Publisher Marshall Weiss MWeiss@jfgd.net 937-610-1555 Contributors Rabbi Benjamin G. Azriel, Scott Halasz, Candace R. Kwiatek Advertising Sales Executive Patty Caruso, plhc69@gmail.com Proofreader Rachel Haug Gilbert Billing Sheila Myers, SMyers@jfgd.net 937-610-1555 Observer Advisor Martin Gottlieb Published by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton Heath Gilbert President Bruce Feldman Immediate Past Pres. Mary Rita Weissman Pres. Elect/VP, Personnel/Foundation Chair Beverly Louis Secretary Neil Friedman Treasurer Dan Sweeny VP, Resource Development Cathy Gardner CEO The Dayton Jewish Observer, Vol. 25, No. 4. The Dayton Jewish Observer is published monthly by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton, a nonprofit corporation, 525 Versailles Dr., Dayton, OH 45459. Views expressed by columnists, in readers’ letters, and in opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the opinion of staff or layleaders of The Dayton Jewish Observer or the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton. Acceptance of advertising neither endorses advertisers nor guarantees kashrut. The Dayton Jewish Observer Mission Statement To support, strengthen and champion the Dayton Jewish community by providing a forum and resource for Jewish community interests. Goals • To encourage affiliation, involvement and communication. • To provide announcements, news, opinions and analysis of local, national and international activities and issues affecting Jews and the Jewish community. • To build community across institutional, organizational and denominational lines. • To advance causes important to the strength of our Jewish community including support of Federation agencies, its annual campaign, synagogue affiliation, Jewish education and participation in Jewish and general community affairs. • To provide an historic record of Dayton Jewish life.

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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • DECEMBER 2020


DAYTON Continued from Page Four know where they were, didn’t have an address. As soon as they found us, they soon after sent us a visa. “And we thought we were going to the United States the next week or next month. We didn’t realize there was a waiting line, that the United States was not admitting too many people. And so, we waited five years.” He and his mother and stepfather arrived in New York in 1951, where his aunts lived. There, his name took on a more “American” flavor, first as Ike, then as Izzy, until he finally settled on Ira. “When I first came here, family said, ‘You can’t have Srulik, you can’t have Israel, that’s not the name,’” he said. Ruth’s family made it to Philadelphia in 1952, where her mother’s sisters and maternal grandmother had immigrated in 1929-30. She said her uncle changed her name to Ruth when he enrolled her at Girls’ High. “I wanted to keep Regina,” she said. Ruth worked as a bookkeeper, married Shloma “Sol” Brandspiegel in 1957 — a Holocaust survivor who lived in the neighborhood — and they raised their three children in Northeast Philadelphia while working in the retail businesses they owned. Her husband died two years ago. After high school, Ira entered the army and served in Korea, married Zelda — whose parents had émigrated from Poland in the 1920s — worked in electronics and communication, with Zelda raised four boys, and made his career with ITT, from which he retired in New Jersey as president of its job training services division. Ira and Zelda moved to Dayton in 2000. Zelda died in 2010 after 51 years of marriage. “I really don’t believe I’m talking to you,” Ruth told Ira on the Zoom reunion. “Hopefully, after this virus, you can take a ride and come and see us.” “Or maybe you’re going to take a ride there, Mom,” Larry said. “My future daughter-inlaw is from Columbus, Ohio,” Ruth’s younger daughter, Debbie Marks, added. “I’ve had tears in my eyes since we started,” Ira said. “When he called me, I almost fainted,” Ruth said. Ira told Ruth that when he comes to see her, he’ll bring her handkerchief.

We Wish The Dayton Jewish Community A Very Happy Chanukah.

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DAYTON

Hidden Child Samuel Lauber dies at 78

Samuel Lauber with his parents

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Samuel Lauber, who survived the Holocaust as a Hidden Child in Belgium, died Nov. 4 at the age of 78. Lauber was born in Antwerp in 1942. Belgian nuns arranged for the Detry family in Lalouviere to hide Lauber when he was 3. His sister, 19, escorted Lauber to the Detrys and picked him up a year later. “Since I was so young, it was difficult for my parents and sister to explain the circumstances to me,” Lauber wrote in a 2005 essay for The Observer. “I had no idea about the Samuel Lauber Nazi occupation let alone who they were. All I knew was that I was torn away from my parents and I did not understand.” He said his parents, though seriously ill after the war, never talked about the war, his separation from them, or how they survived the Nazis. In 1948, Lauber and his family arrived at Ellis Island on the Queen Elizabeth and were processed through the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. His mother died when he was 15; his father died after Lauber graduated high school. In the 1980s, Lauber reunited with members of the Detry family when he was stationed as a civilian with the U.S. Army near Dusseldorf, Germany. A longtime member of Dayton’s Jewish community, Lauber retired from the 88th Air Base Wing Medical Group at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He was a social worker and outreach manager for mental health in the U.S. Air Force. “I have lived and experienced a unique episode in my life that has given me the need to talk about my background and to help families with their hardships,” Lauber noted. “I have been involved in many complex family situations and have assisted as many military families as I could. I feel that I have done my best in attaining their desired and required needs for a better life.” — Marshall Weiss

Case of Covid at JCC preschool sent class, teachers into quarantine In a letter to parents Oct. 30, Jewish Community Center Early Childhood Director Audrey MacKenzie informed them that a child in the kindergarten class had tested positive for Covid-19 earlier in the day, and that the eight children and two teachers in the classroom would quarantine through Nov. 11. “In accordance with Ohio Department of Job and Family Services regulations, our program has reported this information to ODJFS and to our local health department,” MacKenzie explained in the letter. “We are working with the health department and are taking all recommended steps to ensure the safety of our children and staff.” She added in the letter that the child who tested positive for Covid-19 would not return to the program until isolation procedures for Covid-19 had been completed. Parents were also reminded of Covid-19 symptoms and were told to notify their medical providers if their children have any of the symptoms. The JCC, an agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton, operates at the Boonshoft Center for Jewish Culture and Education in Centerville. “We are doing everything possible in order to prevent spread,” said Jewish Federation CEO Cathy Gardner. “We have been adhering to all of the guidelines from the health department, the CDC, and best practices. Our numberone goal is to keep our preschool children and staff safe and healthy.” Gardner added that at the time the preschool closed in March following the governor’s preschool closures across the state, 105 children were enrolled at the JCC Early Childhood program. Because of reduced class sizes, its maximum capacity since it reopened in June is 72 students. “The average number of students each week is somewhere in the 60s,” she said. The kindergarten class and teachers returned to the facility to resume classes Nov. 12. — Marshall Weiss

Temple Beth Or’s Artisan Fair & Brisket Lunch goes curbside Curbside pickup for Temple Beth Or’s Annual Artisan Fair & Brisket Lunch will be available Sunday, Dec. 6, 11 a.m.2 p.m. Brisket lunches, brisket by the pound, and chopped liver may be ordered and purchased online, with orders due by Wednesday, Dec. 2 at noon. Also available for online ordering and purchase will be Chanukah candles, gelt, and dreidels. The temple will also offer a virtual marketplace with vendors and artisans. Shoppers may pick up these purchases with their food. To order food and merchandise, go to templebethor.com.

THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • DECEMBER 2020


THE REGION

Columbus couple victim of antisemitic threats, vandalism Tiffany, 31, said the neighbor returned By Amanda Koehn home at about 5 p.m. and intentionally Columbus Jewish News let his dog outside despite knowing Tiffany and Nick Kinney of the Olde that his dog one of the Kinneys’ dogs Towne East neighborhood of Columbus would likely fight through the fence they were looking forward to celebrating the election win of President-elect Joe Biden shared. “He started saying horrendous things. Nov. 7 in their backyard, until their He said, ‘You f------ liberal Jews, you and neighbor, whom they consider a White your f------ dog, I’m going to poison your supremacist, made antisemitic threats goddamn (dog),’” Tiffany said. “He was and vandalized their home. The couple, members of Congregation like, ‘No wonder Hitler burned all your people, I’m going to Agudas Achim in Bexburn you and all your ley, previously had an ‘He threatened to Jewish friends.’” amicable relationship come over the fence She said she with their next-door “couldn’t believe what neighbor. and to hit us and was coming out of his Tiffany Kinney burn us. And then mouth,” and tried to described him as a talk him down. TifWhite man in his 60s he made another said the neighand a “staunch Trump comment about Hitler fany bor knew the couple supporter.” was Jewish, and once They’ve been neigh- throwing Jews into made a comment that bors since they bought the oven, and then he was “shocked” betheir home in October spat at my husband.’ cause they are “such 2019. However, she nice people.” said she heard stories “I tried to tell him...’this isn’t who you from other neighbors and firsthand are, this isn’t what you mean,’” she said. about hateful statements and threats he “‘You’re drunk, go back inside,’ because directed at Black community members. he was visibly very, very intoxicated. Then on Nov. 7, the couple was celebrating with four friends and two dogs That didn’t help. He threatened to come over the fence and to hit us and burn us. in the yard after the election was called.

Submitted

your home that burns tonight, Jew,” he said, according to Tiffany. After they were all inside again, the couple and their friends started hearing loud bangs against their front window, as if someone was trying to throw something through the windows, but each time they checked nothing was found. Then, as they watched Biden address the nation for the first time as presidentelect from their living room, an “extremely loud” crash came from the glass door in the room. Glass was shattered all over their floor and in their dogs’ fur, Tiffany said. They immediately evacuated the room, put the dogs in their cages, and went outside to inspect. Tiffany said she heard the neighbor shut his door as she walked outside. The Kinneys called the Columbus Division of Police and waited two hours for officers to show up, she said, despite calling multiple times and explaining she knew the neighbor had weapons in his home. In the meantime, her father-in-law came over out of concern, and the neighbor had another threatening antisemitic verbal altercation with him outside the home. Continued on Page Eight

Tiffany and Nick Kinney

And then made another comment about Hitler throwing Jews into the oven, and then spat at my husband — which in the times of corona, it’s an awful assault.” The Kinneys and their friends went inside their house. At one point, Nick Kinney, 35, stepped back outside, and the neighbor, carrying beer inside, made another threat. “Hopefully it’s only the outside of

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THE REGION

Antisemitic threats, vandalism

assault, with the potential for bedroom upstairs with his gun — which Tiffany said was likely multiple counts for charges. “I want this guy arrested — I what he did when the police want him in jail,” Tiffany said. responded Nov. 7. “I don’t want this to happen to She told police about the anybody else in this neighborprior incident, and the police looked in his window and could hood. I don’t want to fear for my Jewish life, and I don’t want Continued from Page Seven see the neighbor. They asked Soon after that last threat, the him to come out, but he did not him to be toting his gun in my husband’s and my faces next police responded but could not respond. time.” get the neighbor to come out of Tiffany said although the Sgt. James Fuqua, public his home. neighbor does not display outThe police report marked 9:56 ward signs of White supremacy, information officer for Columbus police, said Nov. 11 the case p.m. said “reporting officers from “the stories he’s told us, was under active could not contact the suspect,” you know, feelAsked why it investigation and describes the antisemitic ings toward and he couldn’t phrases directed toward the other races and took police two into specifKinneys. The property destruc- people, it’s quite hours to respond, get ics, but it is betion was valued at $200. clear.” ing considered a The Cleveland Jewish News is That night, the Fuqua said hate crime. not naming the neighbor beKinneys stayed there are many “I know that cause as of press time, he hasn’t with Nick’s circumstances probably a lot of been charged with a crime. parents in BexTiffany said prior to Nov. ley. When they that could dictate people are uneasy, especially 7, she and her husband were returned home why that amount the Jewish compossibly the only neighbors the next day, a who had a decent relationship neighbor across of time was taken. munity specific to this incident,” with the neighbor in question. the street shared he said. “It’s Although they knew about his his security camera footage of something we are taking very hateful views, they didn’t want the window-breaking incident, to end up in an argument or where a viewer can see a person seriously and we are definitely still under active investigation worse situation with someone approaching their home and who lived next door. hear the loud sound of the glass for it, and we do consider it a hate crime.” While remaining cordial over shattering. Asked why it took police two the past year, Tiffany said at one The Kinneys also set up their hours to respond, Fuqua said point, the neighbor told them he own security camera since the there are many circumstances once threatened a neighboring incident and have not seen the that could dictate why that Black family, where he called neighbor since. amount of time was taken. them the N-word, pointed his Tiffany said the assigned “We have a priority system, shotgun at them, and shot into detective, Zach Rosen, told her so essentially what that means the air. if the suspect is charged, the is depending on how busy we The neighbor told the Kincharges would likely be aggraare and how many other things neys that when police respond- vated menacing, ethnic intimiare going on that may take ed to that incident, he hid in his dation, criminal damaging and priority over that, that may delay the response,” he said, adding dispatchers will ask callers questions to determine the severity of the scenario and prioritize the calls. “Based on how the call came in during Covid, we would normally just refer them to do A Healthy Alternative the report online, so just the We Use The Best Ingredients fact that officers showed up still Prepared Fresh Daily demonstrates that we care.” The incident was also reported to both the Anti-Defamation League and JewishColumbus, the partnership of the Colum536 Wilmington Ave. bus Jewish Foundation and JewDayton, OH 45420 ish Federation of Columbus. “Any reports of antisemi937-259-9866 tism or hate crimes is of great concern to JewishColumbus,” said Justin Shaw, director of ND LOCATION! Jewish community relations at 2747 W. Alex Bell Rd. JewishColumbus. “Hate has no place here in Columbus or anyMoraine, OH 45459 where. We are grateful to our * Hot Pot Available * law enforcement partners for their efforts to investigate each 937-259-8882 and every one of these threats. We urge everyone to continue to Mon-Thu: 10:30 am-10 pm remain vigilant, and report any Fri-Sat: 10:30 am-10:30 pm MSG antisemitic activity to JewishCoSun: 11:30 a.m-10 pm lumbus.”

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THE WORLD

What to watch in Joe Biden’s presidency

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U.S. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris deliver remarks in Wilmington, Del., Nov. 7

By Ron Kampeas, JTA WASHINGTON — On Joe Biden’s first day as president, he plans to launch a task force to reunite children and parents separated at the country’s southern border. It’s one of several ways Biden has vowed to reverse policies put in place by President Donald Trump, and it’s important to many American Jews for whom immigration policy carries an emotional weight. But on many issues important to American Jews, change may come slower, or not at all. When it comes to where the U.S. Embassy in Israel is located, for example, Biden has indicated that he has no intention to turn back the clock. On other Israel issues, change is likely but exactly what a Biden administration will try to do is not yet clear. Here’s a look at what might happen after Biden becomes president on Jan. 20, 2021. Antisemitism: When Biden launched his campaign in April 2019, he said he had considered retirement — but was appalled by Trump’s equivocations after the deadly neo-Nazi and white supremacist march in 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Biden constantly cites combating bigotry and antisemitism specifically in his appearances, including at the Demo-

cratic convention. Biden wants to develop a “comprehensive approach” to combat antisemitism, in consultation with the Jewish community. Trump cut some programs tracking extreme right domestic terrorists; Biden said he will restart them. Trump last year signed an executive order recognizing Jews as a protected class deserving of civil rights protections. The order used as its definition of antisemitism the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition, which is controversial because it includes some forms of Israel criticism. The order has already resulted in Education Department investigations of extreme anti-Israel activity on campus. Some Democrats embrace the IHRA definition, but civil liberties groups fear that its use as an enforcement tool inhibits speech freedoms. The Biden campaign has not said what its plans are for the executive order. The Second Guy: Kamala Harris’ husband, Douglas Emhoff, is Jewish; he will Douglas Emhoff not only be the “second gentleman” (caveat: No one has settled on a term for the job), he will be the first Jewish second spouse. Continued on Page 10

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Biden wants to develop a ‘comprehensive approach’ to combat antisemitism

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THE WORLD

Biden’s presidency ‘The cemetery is where I feel tied to my family.’

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— Erv Pavlofsky

ith generations of his family buried at Beth Jacob’s cemetery, Erv Pavlofsky feels a strong connection to the place that holds his family’s history. “It’s more than just my parents. I look around and see my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. I’m never sad when I’m there. It’s a very respectful place.” After a recent visit to the cemetery, Erv noted that being surrounded by multiple generations of relatives is a reminder of how he will always be connected to Dayton. “Even though I’m no longer living in Dayton, it’s always important that I take the time to visit the cemetery. As I’ve gotten older, it’s taken on a more significant meaning in my life. It’s my connection to where I’m from. This is where my family is.” Erv contributed to the Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Dayton campaign to secure an everlasting future for the generations that came before him. “I can’t expect anyone else to care for my family. It’s my responsibility. I look around at all the family names and I’m filled with good memories. It’s simply comforting to be with them.” Please join us as we strive to maintain the sanctity, care and integrity of these sacred burial grounds.

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David Friedman’s Twitter feed

Continued from Page Nine Emhoff has been vocal about his Jewish identity, and it will be interesting to see how that plays out in a role that has been used to advance education initiatives. Immigration: Immigration policy carries a special emotional weight for many Jewish Americans who are mindful of their own heritage of being refugees — and of the devastating toll that the world’s hesitation to accept refugees caused for Jews during the Holocaust. Trump pursued an aggressively anti-immigrant agenda, including by reducing refugee admissions and separating children from their parents at the border, sometimes permanently. Menachem Zivotofsky (L), receives a U.S. passport from U.S. Amb. to Israel David Friedman at the U.S. embassy in Biden has vowed to launch a task force to reunite Jerusalem, Oct. 30, stating his birthplace as ‘Jerusalem, those families and to dramatically increase refugee Israel.’ Zivotofsky was the first American to receive a admissions. passport with such a listing. His parents lobbied the U.S. The Abraham Accords: Biden’s message since Nov. government for such a designation for nearly two decades. 3 has been unity. He wants to achieve comity with ReHe has not commented on the Golan, but with Syria publicans. “It’s time for America to unite and to heal,” still convulsed in violence and instability even as its was his first post-announcement statement. He’s reportedly got a few Republicans in mind for his Cabinet. civil war dies down, don’t expect any dramatic Biden action in this area. Biden has suggested that Trump was One obvious way that his commitment to bipartitoo accommodating of the Assad regime, so he’s not sanship will play out in his Middle East policy is in about to hand the same regime a plum. the Abraham Accords, the normalization agreements Aid to Israel: During the primaries, some Democratbrokered by Trump between Israel and the United ic candidates spoke of conditioning defense to Israel Arab Emirates, Sudan and Bahrain. Biden has said he on its behavior; Biden repeatedly rejected that proposal likes the accords. His aides have said he urged rapoutright. He intervened to keep the word “occupation” prochement between Israel and the Gulf states during out of the Democratic platform. Obama’s second term when he was vice president. The Palestinians: Biden has said he will reestablish So should we expect more of the same? Perhaps. Other Arab countries that have long had unofficial ties the diplomatic ties with the Palestinians that Trump ended because the Palestinians would not play along with Israel, including Oman and Morocco, might anwith his peace plan. Expect a return of the Palestine nounce even before the inauguration. Liberation Organization envoy to Washington and a The big fish, however, may hold out. Saudi Arabia reopening of the Jerusalem consulate that deals specifiwill likely want the carrot that the UAE has secured, cally with Palestinians — Trump wrapped its functions a major arms deal; Trump has cajoled Israel into not into the embassy. objecting to the sale of stealth combat Biden has also said he would rejets to the Emirates. Biden has sume the assistance to the Palestinians But Democrats are unhappy about that Trump cut off while observing the sale, and that unhappiness would suggested that American laws that ban funding for grow exponentially with any proposed Trump was too Palestinian Authority as long as it arms sale to Saudi Arabia. Democrats accommodating of the pays salaries to the families of Palestinobject to the devastating war Saudi Arabia is conducting in Yemen and the Assad regime, ians convicted of murdering Israelis or have not forgotten the kingdom’s so he’s not about Americans. That leaves Biden some leeway; he role in the murder of journalist Jamal to hand the same could direct funds to NGOs that operate Khashoggi. separately from the Palestinian AuthorThe Deal of the Century: In regime a plum. ity, and to UNRWA, the United Nation January, Trump finally rolled out the agency that administers relief to the Israeli-Palestinian peace proposal he Palestinians. had touted for three years. One component of the deal Iran: Biden has faulted Trump for exiting the Iran that would come off the table with a Biden presidency nuclear deal. Trump said the deal, which exchanged would be the eventual partial Israeli annexation of sanctions relief for a rollback of Iran’s nuclear capabiliWest Bank territory. ty, was too generous and not strict enough. Israel’s NeEven in that instance, though, there’s not much practically different between the Trump and Biden pos- tanyahu government was in agreement with Trump; Benjamin Netanyahu lobbied intensely against the tures: The Trump team told Benjamin Netanyahu he deal, which was brokered by President Barack Obama, needed Palestinian buy-in to the peace plan before anand which Biden helped sell to Congress. nexing territory, and that never was going to happen. Trump’s withdrawal angered European partners to Biden will reinstitute the emphasis on the two-state outcome as an endgame, but don’t expect a major push the deal and has pushed Iran’s economy to the brink of collapse — but it has done nothing to stem Iran’s for peace from his White House. Biden will have on nuclear development. In fact, since the U.S. pullout, his foreign policy team plenty of Obama veterans and Iran has accelerated its nuclear development, blaming they feel burned by their two failures (2010-2011 and 2013-2014) to get to a deal. The sense on Biden’s foreign the United States for violating the deal. Biden wants back in, in part because he wants to policy team is that peace has to be organic, and must be repair ties with Europe, and also because he believes initiated by the Israelis and the Palestinians. The Trump recognitions: Trump recognized Jerusa- the deal is the best means of keeping Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. He has said he wants to make lem as Israel’s capital and moved the U.S. Embassy to it stricter, extending the “sunset clauses,” which allow the city. He also recognized Israel’s claim to the Golan Iran to wind down some of the restrictions. Heights, which Israel captured from Syria during the Not so clear is whether Biden would want restric1967 Six-Day War. Biden has said that Trump’s Jerusations on Iran’s missile program and its regional advenlem recognition was ill-timed, absent an Israeli-Palesturism rolled into a renewed deal. tinian deal, but has also said he would not reverse it.

THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • DECEMBER 2020


THE WORLD 2 5 1 2 FA R H I L L S AV E

How did Jewish Americans vote?

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By Ron Kampeas and Gabe Friedman, JTA It’s a Jewish ritual: Every four years after a presidential election, the question arises about how American Jews voted. “Check the Jewish exit polls” is the rallying cry. Those days may be over. There is no longer a single exit poll to compare and contrast. That’s left the field open to partisan Jewish groups to post polls claiming movement in the direction they favor. A poll commissioned by the Republican Jewish Coalition found that 30.5 percent of Jewish voters voted for GOP incumbent Donald Trump Supporters of President Donald Trump rally at the Supreme Court in nationally compared to 60.6 per- Washington, Nov. 14 cent for Democratic challenger Joe Biden. “It’s not just the embassy that moved. Jewish voters are moving, too,” Ari Fleischer, George Linda Weprin W. Bush’s former press secreRealtor/Broker tary, said on an RJC conference Military Relocation Professional call Nov. 4, the day after the election. LindaMWeprinRealty.com And a poll commissioned by the liberal group J Street found 2019 DABR Sales that 77 percent of Jewish Americans voted for Biden and only Leader Award 21 percent for Trump. of Distinction “Trump pushed the Jewish vote further to the Democrats,” the group’s pollster wrote in a Happy memo summarizing the results. The two polls align on the big Chanukah picture that the vast majority of Jewish voters supported the Democrat, as has long been the Licensed Real Estate Agent for 30+ Years case in national elections. But is either group correct about the change they say happened over Assisting you every step of the way! the past four years? We may never know, in part because the major media consortium that traditionally cooperates in exit polls — the National Election Pool, which includes The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN, ® among other outlets — did not post Jewish results this year. In 2016, the National Election Pool found that 71 percent of Jewish voters chose Hillary Clinton and 24 percent opted Continued on Page 13

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PAGE 11


THE WORLD

FBI: Antisemitic hate crimes rose by 14% in 2019

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By Ben Sales, JTA The number of antisemitic hate crimes in the United States increased significantly in 2019, according to the FBI, in a year that saw three lethal attacks against Jews. Antisemitic incidents again comprised the majority of hate crimes based on religion. In addition, the number of hate crime murders overall more than doubled nationwide last year. But the Anti-Defamation League cautioned that the FBI’s numbers probably represent just a fraction of total hate crimes committed in the country. The FBI recorded 953 hate crimes against Jews in 2019, a 14 percent increase from the 835 recorded in 2018 and similar to the 938 in 2017. In 2019, hate crimes against Jews comprised 62 percent of all hate crimes based on religion, up from 58 percent in both of the previous two years. Last year saw a series of lethal antisemitic attacks that sparked fear and anxiety among American Jews. A synagogue shooting in Poway, Calif., killed one person exactly six months after the October 2018 synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh in which 11 Jews were murdered.

In December, a shooting in Jersey City, N.J. that ended at a kosher supermarket killed two Jews and two others. Later that month, a stabbing at a Chanukah party in Monsey, N.Y. killed one. The New York-area attacks came amid a spate of antisemitic harassment and assaults in Orthodox neighborhoods in Brooklyn. “The surge of hate in the last few years is unmistakable,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the ADL, told JTA. “We’ve been talking about our anxiety about the normalization of antisemitism, and sure enough in 2019 we saw a 14 percent increase in anti-Jewish hate crimes.” Greenblatt said the antisemitic attacks of last year show that Jew-hatred transcends political allegiances. While he hopes “we’ll be able to hit a bit of a reset button” as Joe Biden prepares to enter the White House, he cautioned against attributing the rise in antisemitism solely to President Donald Trump. “No one person is responsible for antisemitism,” he said. “There are those who want to pin this all on President Trump. I think that’s wrong. No one was wearing MAGA hats in Brooklyn last December when we saw a wave of assaults.”

THE FUTURE BRING JOYINVESTING ALL YEARIN LONG

Head on over to Temple Israel on SUPPORT LIFELONG LEARNING WITH A DONATION SUPPORT DONATION Friday, December 11 from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. YOUR LIBRARY TO THE WITH WRIGHTALIBRARY FOUNDATION TO THE WRIGHT LIBRARY FOUNDATION to celebrate the miracle of Hanukkah! Join us to light the menorah, purchase Hanukkah candles, eat some donuts & challah from Evans Bakery, and share wishes for the future, all from the comfort of your vehicle!

Wishing you joy and light this Hanukkah season! Give online at wrightlibrary.org/foundation Temple Israel • www.tidayton.org • 937.496.0050 or by mail 1776 Far Hills Avenue, 130 Riverside Drive, Dayton, OH 45405 Oakwood, OH 45419 A Reform Synagogue open to all who are interested in Judaism. PAGE 12

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THE WORLD

The Jewish vote Continued from Page 11 for Trump. But there were no Jewish results posted this year, The Washington Post said, because there were “not enough respondents to break down details.” The Associated Press, which once belonged to the consortium, left in 2018 and set up Votecast, which this year did include a Jewish breakdown. It found that 30 percent of Jewish Americans were voting for Trump and 68 percent for Biden. That analysis included about 3,300 Jewish voters (3 percent of the total 110,000 people surveyed). Votecast includes major shifts in methodology from the National Election Pool exit polling system, including online panels and, in some cases, compensation for participating — departures substantive enough to make it impossible to compare with past National Election Pool polling. Into the breach stepped the exit polls commissioned by the partisan RJC and J Street, which each revealed results that were favorable to the party that the commissioning groups side with. Jim Gerstein, the GBAO Strategies founder who ran the J Street poll, said the AP analysis was not a reliable reader of Jewish attitudes because it did not seek to weight the Jewish subset. “The AP Poll is a very sound and helpful poll. They certainly know what they are doing, particularly when looking at the full electorate,” Gerstein told

the Jewish Democratic Council of America during a conference call that allowed reporters. “But unlike our poll, that poll is not a Jewish poll. They cannot have the full body of demographic questions that are necessary to acquire a representative Jewish sample.” JTA was unable to view the breakdown of Jewish voters in the Votecast poll without paying a steep licensing fee. The RJC and J Street polls did release detailed information about the voters they surveyed, but both had a relatively small number of respondents. Other aspects of their survey design mean they cannot be cleanly compared. Both the RJC and J Street polls were completed during the same time period, had similar margins of error (3.5-4 percent), and included hundreds of Jewish voters — 600 for the RJC and 800 for J Street. But the RJC survey included more Orthodox Jews, who tend to vote Republican, and fewer Reform and unaffiliated Jews, who tend to be solidly Democratic, than the J Street poll. That could explain why RJC’s poll yielded a result that suggests more Trump voters. The RJC’s executive director, Matt Brooks, emphasized during the post-election conference call that his group’s results mirrored those in other polls, such as one taken in September and the AP analysis released after Election Day. “Polling, like any other science, depends on replicating results to provide proof,” the group’s communications director, Neil Boylan Strauss, told

JTA. “In this case, our results have been replicated.” Gerstein said the J Street model was based on religious affiliation surveys by the Pew Research Center, the leading company analyzing religious affiliation. The Pew analysis is from 2013, however, and the proportion of Orthodox Jews since then is likely to have increased. “We follow the language and demographic information that’s used by the Pew Research Center, which has set the gold standard for researching American

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Jews,” he said. Both surveys asked a range of questions, but in ways that made them difficult to compare. For instance, asked to rank issues, both J Street and the RJC included handling of the pandemic as an option. It ranked first among J Street respondents, but RJC included a category that J Street did not, “character of the candidates,” that ranked higher among respondents. In both surveys, foreign policy and Israel were among the lowest-ranked issues.

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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • DECEMBER 2020

PAGE 13


OPINION

Trump’s crusade against facts Jewish conservatives must still will make defending Israel harder advance pro-Israel policies By David Myers President-elect Joe Biden won the 2020 election. This fact is indisputable, and has been reported as such by Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post — some of the most conservative outlets in the country. Yet due to President Donald Trump’s pervasive and systemic attack on our electoral system, nearly 70 percent of Republicans believe there was widespread fraud and the election results are not legitimate, according to a Nov. 6-9 Politico/Morning Consult poll. This assault on truth and American institutions will last long after Jan. 20, Biden’s inauguration day, casting doubt on the legitimacy of future elections and our democratic system in general. As someone who worked in the George W. Bush West Wing for three years, and later for the Senate Republican leadership, I’ve been greatly concerned about the Republican Party’s failure to confront Trump about his attacks on American norms and institutions, and the endless lies that spew from the White House podium and his Twitter feed. Many Republicans have abandoned causes and principles they cared deeply about because they fear a presidential tweet or a far-right base that is becoming increasingly disconnected from facts and reality. But Trump’s attacks on the 2020 election are a new low. Still, Republicans in Congress continue to enable and excuse his behavior due to their own self interests and lust for power. Unfortunately this comes at the expense of American democracy, social cohesion, and basic decency — and also the causes they care so much about. Take the pro-Israel crowd. Many of Trump’s supporters there have excused his election comments and other unacceptable behavior because they back his policies on Israel. Putting aside the merits of Trump’s Israel policy, do the ends justify the means? Hardly. In fact, I’d argue that Trump’s war on the truth actually undermines Israel’s cause. Over the past few decades, numerous organizations and press outlets have emerged to counter lies and false information spread about Israel in the media and throughout the world. For example, many media outlets often cast Israel as an indomitable aggressor over the Palestinians while ignoring Palestinian terrorism, incitement, and hate education. Luckily, many of Israel’s defenders have the truth on their side — and can push back on baseless claims such as Israel being an apartheid state with a simple recitation of facts (Arab citizens of Israel have equal rights under the law, serve in the Supreme Court and Knes-

So, what do you think? PAGE 14

set, have government protection against discrimination, etc.) But in order to use facts to maintain a moral and intellectual high ground, you must begin with facts. In Donald Trump’s alternative universe, facts don’t exist. Things that are indisputably true (the size of an inauguration crowd, the efficacy of masks against coronavirus, that Russia interfered in the 2016 election) become “fake news,” and indisputable lies (widespread election fraud, Joe Biden has dementia) are repeated so often that they become true. Thus anything can be true. This, of course, includes anti-Israel smears. After all, if it can be true that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election (when our entire intelligence apparatus says it did), why can’t it also be true that Israel is an apartheid state? If it can be true that President Trump didn’t use his office to enlist foreign support for his reelection bid (as phone transcripts and the testimony of former National Security Adviser John Bolton show), then why can’t it also be true that Israel erected its security barrier only to oppress and torment Palestinians rather than to prevent terrorist attacks? In order to counter lies, there must be objective truths to use against them. But unless Republicans and conservatives start standing up to protest Trump’s lies about the election and tell the truth to their constituents, there are no truths to be had. The same is true of Republicans who peddle in QAnon, a conspiracy theory laden with antisemitism. Like Trump’s lies about the election, QAnon’s claims are false and patently absurd. But sadly, that doesn’t negate their effectiveness when repeated so often by Trump and his supporters. And if conspiracies like QAnon and election fraud can be true, why not the Protocols of the Elder of Zion or claims that Jews like George Soros are using their money to destroy the United States from within? There are many reasons that Trump’s war on truth has been successful — from people looking at politics as a zero-sum, winner-takes-all game, to an American education system that is both failing and flailing. But while destroying facts may be helpful for a chosen presidential candidate, it also undermines our society and the just causes we care so much about — on both sides of the aisle. If we don’t speak up for the truth in one case, what credibility will our arguments have when speaking up for it in another? Republicans — especially Trump’s supporters — should be careful what they wish for. One day, their war on truth may turn against them.

By Josh Hammer Assuming for argument’s sake, and based on what we’ve seen so far, that Biden has indeed won the presidency, here’s what his administration means for my fellow Jewish conservatives, Republicans, and Trump supporters. According to Republican Jewish Coalition exit polling data, Trump won over 30 percent of the Jewish vote nationwide — a strong showing given the historic baseline, and likely the strongest since the 1980s, when the Democratic Party was similarly tainted by a recent anti-Israel president. Crucially, AP VoteCast data suggests that Trump won 43 percent of the elderly-leaning Jewish vote in Florida, helping him improve upon his 2016 margin of victory in this most quintessential of swing states. Orthodox Jews in particular firmly established themselves during the Trump era as a reliable Republican voting bloc, and there is no indication this might change anytime soon. We don’t know what will happen in the next four years. But Republican Jews do know that Biden’s agenda on Iran, Israel, and other issues is not our own, and that he has the power to make worrisome changes even with the check of a Republican-majority Senate. My advice for the next four years: • Biden’s administration must hold the line against the Democratic Party’s far-left progressive wing, which is increasingly unabashed in its anti-Zionism and sometimes veers into outright antisemitism. • Similarly, Senate Republicans must utilize their full arsenal of constitutional tools to hold the line against the administration on Jewish-related issues. • Pro-Israel public figures of all stripes must launch a full-throttle campaign to convince the Biden-Harris administration to steer the course paved by the Trump-Netanyahu debunking of the decades-long failed Middle East consensus — and to resist resuscitating the worst proclivities of the Obama administration. That may be difficult for Biden and Harris, the most liberal senator in 2019, according to GovTrack. But the administration would be wise, for its own political self-interest if nothing else, to reject the noxious brew of “defund the police” anarchism, socialism lite and anti-American intersectionality that corresponded with Republicans posting their best performance with nonwhite voters in six decades and to Democrats losing winnable House and Senate races. The Republican Senate, for its part, must hold the line against the worst excesses of the Biden-Harris administration. The Constitution’s framers famously wove an elaborate system of

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checks and balances into our legal order. Despite 100 years of accumulation of unwarranted power in the executive branch, Congress retains many tools to push back against a rogue president. First and foremost is the power of the purse: A Republican-held Senate can, as a point of leverage, threaten to defund any number of nefarious presidential hobby horses. Chief among these for the Biden-Harris administration is a prospective return to the JCPOA, the Iran nuclear deal. A Republican-held Senate can also wield its investigative and oversight powers to expose any potential malfeasance of a BidenHarris State Department — and foreign policy-national security apparatus, more generally. A Republican-held Senate can also easily forestall the administration from entering into any number of harmful formal treaties, thus ensuring that any prospective return to the Iran deal retains the comparatively weak legal status of nonbinding executive agreement. It was this weak legal basis for the JCPOA that allowed Trump to so easily withdraw the U.S. from the 2015 agreement. It would be truly tragic if the BidenHarris administration reneged on the stunning Middle East successes of the past four years, which emboldened Israel and our Sunni Arab allies and subdued the Iranian mullocracy and its henchmen, and instead returned to the failed decades-long consensus of browbeating Israel at every opportunity to force it to yield precious land for an elusive peace with an implacable foe. Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed the lie at the heart of Washington’s bipartisan professional “peace process,” that broader Israeli-Arab peace was impossible without a two-state solution. The Abraham Accord disproved this fatal conceit, shelving aside the “Palestinian veto” that had previously hindered Arab-Israeli rapprochement. Friends of Israel — not to mention proponents of a generally more stable, secure and prosperous Middle East that aids American interests and contains hegemonic Iranian ambitions — need to relentlessly do their best to ensure the Biden-Harris administration not forsake all that genuine progress which Trump and his Middle East team made. For pro-Israel Jewish conservatives, the next four years could prove difficult. But they can be made a lot less so if the relevant political actors and public figures urge the right people to hold the line and steer the course. Josh Hammer is Newsweek’s opinion editor, a syndicated columnist, and a research fellow at the Edmund Burke Foundation.

Views expressed by columnists, in readers’ letters, and in opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the opinion of staff or layleaders of The Dayton Jewish Observer or the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton.

THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • DECEMBER 2020


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While we can’t come together in person as we have in the past for fun, food and a mitzvah, we can still do all three! Help us feed and clothe the guests at St. Vincent de Paul's shelters.

Prepare frozen, unbaked macaroni and cheese casseroles following the recipe and directions on our website. (All casseroles must be the same recipe.) Purchase or make hats, gloves and scarves.

Drive thru the Boonshoft Center for Jewish Culture and Education (CJCE). JFS will take your donations of frozen casseroles and warm weather wear and provide you with snack bags and warm beverages. If you have any questions, please call Tara Feiner, (937) 610-1555.

No cost. RSVP at jewishdayton.org or call (937) 610-1555.

JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES of GREATER DAYTON

Monday, December 21 - Thursday, December 31

DAY) Monday, January 18 (MLK ESIDENTS’ DAY) Monday, February 15 (PR

Monday–Friday, 8AM–5PM

Enjoy fun, friends and your favorite Camp Shalom activities! Closed Friday, December 25 and January 1. Register online at jewishdayton.org!

THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • DECEMBER 2020

PAGE 15


December JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON & ITS AGENCIES

GET TO KNOW YOUR PJ NEIGHBORS! Meet The Solovey Family How many kids are in your family? 2 What are their ages? Ben – age 3, Liam – age 3

A Biss'l Mamaloshen Soyne

| SOYne

Noun Enemy; plural - sonim Expression with Soynim:  1 Ayn Got un azoy fil sonim. One God, so many enemies. 2 Ahf meineh sonim gezogt. It should happen to my enemies. 3 Besser tzen gute fraynd eyder eyn soyne. Better to have ten good friends than

one enemy.

How long have you been receiving PJ Library books? We've been receiving books since the boys were babies. We wanted a way to regularly bring in Jewish ideas and culture to our home and these books have been a great way to do this!

Legacies, Tributes, & Memorials

What is your family’s favorite PJ Library book? Any of the Sammy Spider books!

UNITED JEWISH CAMPAIGN IN MEMORY OF › Steve Jacobs Elaine and Joe Bettman › Oscar Soifer Beverly and Jeff Kantor IN HONOR OF › The marriage of Nora and Bob Newsock’s daughter, Amy Beverly and Jeff Kantor

What brought you to Dayton? How long have you lived here? Dayton is home for me (Katie) and Tal is from Israel. I grew up in Centerville and moved to D.C. after graduating from Miami University. I met my husband, Tal, in D.C. and we lived there for approximately 11 years. We moved back to Ohio in October 2019. What do you love about Dayton? Having family nearby and getting to see our boys grow up with their cousins. What are your family’s favorite TV shows or games? We are very into Paw Patrol right now. And, by we, I mean Ben and Liam :) Tal and I can't hear the theme song one more time!

FEDERATION

JCC

TALA ARNOVITZ SCHOLARSHIP FUND IN MEMORY OF › Howard Pavlofsky Beverly Saeks › Oscar Soifer Beverly Saeks

CAROLE RABINOWITZ YOUTH JEWISH EXPERIENCE FUND IN HONOR OF › Bob L. Bernstein’s special birthday Bernard Rabinowitz › The birth of Julie Liss-Katz and Marc Katz’s grandson Bernard Rabinowitz JFS

JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES IN MEMORY OF › Howard Pavlofsky Renee and Frank Handel

What are you looking forward to this season? I'm looking forward to spending time with my family and introducing them to our Hanukkah traditions. I was not raised Jewish, so it's been fun teaching them about our traditions and celebrating holidays with them since we live nearby now. Do you have a favorite Holiday tradition or a new idea to try this year? The boys are at an age where they LOVE to help, so we're looking forward to having them in the kitchen with us as we make latkes, cookies and other treats for Hanukkah this year. 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 kelder@jfgd.net

Lighting the way for our future

& PAGE 16

JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER of GREATER DAYTON

JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES of GREATER DAYTON

JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON

TEMPLE BETH OR

JEWISH FOUNDATION of GREATER DAYTON

THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • DECEMBER 2020


December JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON & ITS AGENCIES

Virtual Community Chanukah Program

EDUCATE-ADVOCATE-ACT JCRC Community Conversations

Wednesday, December 9 @ 6:30PM Join your friends and community for a virtual Chanukah get together like no other! Mainstages, a New Yorkbased theater and entertainment company, will lead us in hilarious interactive games and Chanukah fun. Register online at JewishDayton.org In collaboration with Beth Abraham Synagogue, Beth Jacob Congregation, Chabad of Greater Dayton, Hadassah Dayton Chapter, Hillel Academy, Temple Beth Or, Temple Israel

JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER of GREATER DAYTON

JFS Active Adults Virtual Chanukah Brunch

In partnership with the Active Adults, Hadassah, Jewish War Veterans, and the Lynda A. Cohen Yiddish Club

Sunday, December 13 @ 11:30AM Let's celebrate Chanukah together! Light your menorahs, enjoy brunch, sing and have fun with friends old and new. No cost for the program, but registration is required. Register online at JewishDayton.org/events Make your own brunch or purchase a Bernstein's Chanukah Brunch Box To Go for just $13*! Order your box online at JewishDayton.org/events by December 9 for pickup on December 13. North & South pickup locations available on December 13 between 9:45 AM - 10:15 AM. * Chanukah Brunch Boxes To Go include: a plain bagel, cream cheese, tuna salad, egg salad, fruit salad, a piece of kugel, latkes, sour cream, applesauce, and a dessert (all dairy, no Kosher supervision). Questions? Call JFS at (937) 610-1555.

SAVE THE DATE for our first three Community Conversations of 2021! Wednesday, February 10, 2021 @ 7PM via Zoom JCRC Community Conversation The Conflict Over the Conflict The Israel/Palestine Campus Debate with Author Kenneth S. Stern No charge You can purchase The Conflict Over the Conflict through online retailers (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound) and in person at Barnes and Noble on 725, across from the Dayton Mall. Available for check out at Washington Centerville Public Library and Wright Memorial Public Library. In partnership with the JCC. Thursday, February 25, 2021 @ 7PM via Zoom JCRC Community Conversation When Rabbis Bless Congress with Author Howard Mortman No charge You can purchase When Rabbis Bless Congress through online retailers (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound). This program is being presented by Dr. Gary P. Zola in partnership with the American Jewish Archives. Sunday, April 25, 2021 @ 11AM via Zoom JCRC Community Conversation Recipes from Auschwitz with Author Alex Sternberg No charge You can purchase Recipes from Auschwitz through online retailers (Amazon) and in person at Barnes and Noble on 725, across from the Dayton Mall. Available for check out at Washington Centerville Public Library and Wright Memorial Public Library. In partnership with the JCC and Partnership2Gether.

Visit to register for all JCRC events online!

DAY TO N

JCRC Jewish Community Relations Council

JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES of GREATER DAYTON

THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • DECEMBER 2020

JCRC is looking for community members to get involved in a subcommittee to address antisemitism. If you're interested in this, or any other projects, please contact JCRC director Marcy L. Paul, PhD at mpaul@jfgd.net or (937) 401-1541 or JCRC Administrative Assistant Megan Ullom at mullom@jfgd.net or (937) 610-1794.

PAGE 17


VIRTUAL T H A N K

Y O U

T O

PERFORMER Neil Friedman Rochelle & Michael Goldstein

Wednesday, December 2 @ 7PM Libby Copeland, The Lost Family: How DNA Testing is Upending Who We Are Partners: Miami Valley Jewish Genealogy & History

Support for this event is provided in memory of Marcia Jaffe

Tuesday, December 8 @ NOON Jan Eliasberg, Hannah’s War

Tuesday, December 8 @ 7PM Stephanie Butnick, Liel Leibovitz, and Mark Oppenheimer, The Newish Jewish Encyclopedia

Monday, December 14 @ 7PM Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Live Virtual Exhibition Tour with the Illinois Holocaust Museum

V IRTU AL EXH IB ITIO N TO U R

POET Michael Jaffe David & Jane Novick Marci & Joel Vandersluis PIANIST Lori Appel Maryann & Jack Bernstein Robert & Leslie Buerki Tara & Adam Feiner Marni Flagel Felix Garfunkel & Family Paula Gessiness & Jay Holland Kim & Shelley Goldenberg Lynn & David Goldenberg Martin Gottlieb Art & Joan Greenfield Judith Heller Jane & Gary Hochstein Steve & Linda Hornstein Joan Isaacson Martin & Martha Jacobs Andrea Klein Beverly Louis Bonnie & Sandy Mendelson Irvin & Gayle Moscowitz Eleanor & Raymond Must Jim & Carol Nathanson Alice & Burt Saidel Martin & Irene Smallwood Donald & Caryl Weckstein

O U R

D O N O R S !

PATRONS Joe & Elaine Bettman Freida Blum Stanley & Connie Blum Dena Briskin Linda Chernick Alan & Judy Chesen Amy & David Dolph Esther Feldman Lynn Foster Chuck & Dee Fried Helene Gordon Henry Guggenheimer Lois Harris Meryl Hattenbach Clara Hochstein Kim & Candy Kwiatek Meredith & Jim Levinson Sis & Joe Litvin Ruth Meadow Jana Morse Linda Novak Edith Pequignot Marlene & Terry Pinsky Andrea Raizen Carolyn Rice Cherie Rosenstein Helen Ross Judy Schwartzman Daniel Shaffer Tim & Melissa Sweeny Lawrence Wagenfeld

Cost is $10

HOSTED BY ILLINOIS HOLOCAUST MUSEUM Monday, December 14, 2020, 7:00pm Email jhochstein@jfgd.net for more information.

Sunday, January 10, 2021 @ NOON Amy E. Schwartz, Can Robots Be Jewish and Other Pressing Matters of Modern Life

For our full Cultural Arts & Book Series lineup, go to For questions or more information, contact Amy Dolph at ajdolph@jfgd.net or by calling (937) 610-1555

2 0 2 0

S P O N S O R S

JCC CULTURAL ARTS PROGRAMMING IS MADE POSSIBLE BY COMMUNITY SUPPORTERS, COMMUNITY DONATIONS, OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH THE JEWISH BOOK COUNCIL. OUR JCC CULTURAL ARTS AND BOOK SERIES RECEIVES FUNDS FROM AN OHIO ARTS COUNCIL SUSTAINABILITY GRANT.

PAGE 18

THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • DECEMBER 2020


CALENDAR

At Hanukkah, Remember the Past, Share Joy in the Present.

Note:

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, all programs listed here are presented virtually unless otherwise indicated. For the latest information, check with the organizations via their websites, Facebook pages, and by calling them directly.

Classes

Beth Jacob Classes: Tuesdays, 7 p.m.: Parsha w. Rabbi Agar. Thursdays, 7 p.m.: Jewish Law w. Rabbi Agar. Email bethjacob1@aol.com. Temple Israel Classes: Mondays, noon: Coffee w. Rabbi Bodney-Halasz. Saturdays, 9:15 a.m.: Torah Study. For details, call 937-4960050.

Discussions

Temple Beth Or Adult Education, Shedding Light on Celebrating Life: Mon., Dec. 7, 7-8:30 p.m. Virtual presentation on the interaction of spirituality & aging. Register at templebethor.com. JCC Book Club: Fri., Dec. 18, 10:30 a.m. Info. at jewishdayton.org/events.

Beth Abraham Synagogue Havda-Latke Chanukah Virtual Event: Sat., Dec. 12, 6-7 p.m. Havdalah, menorah lighting, games. Info. at bethabraham.org. Temple Beth Or Chanukah - Havdalah - Hot Chocolate: Sat., Dec. 12, 6:30 p.m. At Temple Beth Or, 5275 Marshall Rd., Wash. Twp. Sociallydistanced outdoor menorah lighting, Havdalah, campfire. Go to templebethor.com.

Dayton Junior Youth Group (Grades 6-8): Outdoor Scavenger Hunt at The Greene. Sat., Dec. 5, 7 p.m. Info. at jewishdayton.org/events.

JCC Winter Camp Shalom: Mon., Dec. 21-Thurs., Dec. 31, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (Closed Dec. 25 & Jan. 1). At Temple Beth Or, 5275 Marshall Rd., Wash. Twp. Register at jewishdayton.org.

Young Adults

2517 Patterson Rd. 937-253-6464

Vandalia 674 W. National Rd. 890-6842 Springfield 2984 Derr Rd. 937-399-5014

Happy Chanukah Mark S. Feuer

JCC Cultural Arts & Book Series

For schedule, see Page 18. Virtual Community Chanukah Program: Wed., Dec. 9, 6:30 p.m. Featuring Mainstages Theatre Co. Info. at jewishdayton.org/events.

Attorney at Law For your business & personal needs.

Chabad Car Menorah Parade: Sun., Dec. 13, 4 p.m. Beginning at Chabad, 2001 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood. Info. at chabaddayton.com.

Tax & Business Planning & Transactions Tax Controversies Employee Benefit Solutions

Beth Jacob Congregation Outdoor Menorah Lighting: Mon., Dec. 14, 6:30 p.m. W. Rabbi Agar. Socially distanced. 7020 N. Main St., Harrison Twp. Email bethjacob1@aol.com.

Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP 40 North Main Street, Suite 1700 Dayton, Ohio 45423-1029 641-1735 mfeuer@taftlaw.com • www.taftlaw.com

Community Events

Temple Beth Or Curbside Artisan Fair & Brisket Lunch: Pickup Sun., Dec. 6, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Orders must be received at templebethor.com by Wed., Dec. 2, noon. 5275 Marshall Rd., Wash. Twp.

YAD: Interactive discussion with DAI. Thurs., Dec. 17, 7 p.m. Ages 21-35. Info. at jewishdayton.org/events.

JFS Mitzvah Mission: Fri., Dec. 25, 10 a.m.-noon. Prepare food at home for St. Vincent de Paul’s shelters. Drive-thru at Boonshoft CJCE, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville to drop off food, warm weather wear for donations. For info., call Tara Feiner, 937-610-1555.

Happy Chanukah from

Happy Chanukah Bubbles N Bows Pet Grooming

JFS Active Adults Virtual Chanukah Brunch: Sun., Dec. 13, 11:30 a.m. Info. at jewishdayton.org/events.

Children & Youths

Chanukah

Come see our complete line of Hanukkah gifts & cards.

Temple Israel Chanukah Drive-Thru Experience: Fri., Dec. 11, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Menorah lighting, donuts & challah, candles available for purchase. 130 Riverside Dr., Dayton. 937-496-0050.

Montgomery County Commissioner

Carolyn Rice

Paid for by Committee to Elect Carolyn Rice, Linda Martin, Treasurer, 1135 Green Tree Drive, Dayton, Ohio 45429

Catering & Online Delivery Available Greene Town Center 72 Plum Street Beavercreek, Ohio 937-429 9000 www.pashagrill.com

Wishing You A Happy Chanukah

Wishing You A Happy Chanukah.

DAVID L. ROER, M.D. JOHN M. RAHE, M.D. LINDA M. MEISTER, M.D. JENNIFER M. CONLON, M.D. SHALINI A. RYAN, D.O. JENNIFER M. FELDMAN, M.D. ELIZABETH A. DARKWA, M.D. M. PILAR HANSON, M.D. 9000 North Main Street Dayton, Ohio 45415 (937) 832-7337

APRIL A. BUNN, M.D. RAMYA KESHAVARAM, M.D. SARA M. DISKIN, M.D. SUE A. KARNITIS, M.D. DEBRA A. RILL, APRN, CNP EMILY E. HENDRICKSON, APRN, CNP THERESA M. ACKERMAN, APRN, CNP GRACE E. NIKOLAI, APRN, CNP

5450 Far Hills Avenue Dayton, Ohio 45429 (937) 436-2866

3140 Dayton-Xenia Rd. Beavercreek, Ohio 45434 (937) 320-1950

Are you reading this? So is the entire Jewish community. Contact Patty Caruso at plhc69@gmail.com to advertise in The Observer.

THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • DECEMBER 2020

PAGE 19


RELIGION

North African Jewish women’s Chanukah tradition By Rishe Groner, Alma When it comes to celebrating Chanukah, you probably think of lighting the menorah, playing dreidel, and eating lots of latkes. But did you know there’s a special Chanukah tradition — Eid Al Bnat (The Festival of Daughters in Judeo-Arabic) or Chag HaBanot (in Hebrew) — that women and girls from North Africa’s Jewish communities have celebrated for centuries? In Jerusalem last year, I joined a group of women of Middle Eastern and North African backgrounds who gather regularly to study their heritage with an organization called Arevot, and we held an inspiring Eid Al Bnat celebration, with a focus on how to bring it back into our communities. It’s a beautiful tradition that more people should know about, so let me break it down:

Origins of the holiday

Celebrated on the Rosh Chodesh (new moon) of Tevet (one of the Hebrew months when Chanukah takes place) in communities of North Africa and elsewhere, particularly the islands of Djerba and Tunis in Tunisia, Algeria, Salonika in Greece and Kushta (Istanbul) in Turkey, this day is filled with historic connections to powerful

Jewish women. The festival takes the form of ceremonial gatherings featuring symbolic rituals, delicious treats, and traditional songs, all focusing on bringing together generations of mothers, daughters, aunts, sisters, and the extended community. It celebrates heroines in Judaism, including those connected to the story of Chanukah. The story is told of a brave woman not named in the Chanukah narrative except as “the daughter of the Hasmonean, Yohanan the High Priest,” who lived in Judea (AKA modernday Israel) during the time of the Maccabees. Among the anti-Jewish edicts of the time, the invading governor insisted on sleeping with every virgin woman the night before her marriage, and this carried on for almost four years. On the night of the high priest’s daughter’s marriage, as she was about to be carted off to the governor’s chamber for the night, she uncovered her hair, ripped open her clothes, and exposed herself to all. Amid cries of “send her off to be burned!” she turned to the crowd and said something along the lines of, “Are you kidding me? You think this is me being exposed — before my brothers and friends — but it doesn’t

Getty Images

bother you that I’m about to be exposed before this foreign invading governor, sacrificing me to him?” Her brothers, the Maccabees and Co., realized it was time to go off and kill the ruling governor. She got herself fancy and had herself escorted with dancers and musicians straight to the governor’s palace. Seeing the priestly family all caught up in this pseudo-wedding, the egomaniac governor let them right in, imagining they were handing off their daughter with voluntary joy. They used the opportunity to behead him and all his servants, which eventually helped bring the Maccabees to victory. The power of this woman’s

Alex Katz, emcee

An evening of fun & laughter. Our own version of TV game shows, with community contestants, prizes, an interactive game for all, & a party box of food and surprises! Call or visit our website for details.

305 Sugar Camp Circle • Dayton, Ohio 45409 937•293•9520 • www.bethabrahamdayton.org PAGE 20

vulnerability, honesty, and using her voice at just the right time is one fascinating tradition that we celebrate on Eid Al Bnat.

How to celebrate

bless us.” It’s a refreshing change from the often male-gendered liturgy, and a cool opportunity to improvise your own prayer and gratitude for the women who came before us. Next comes the chance to go around and get to know everyone, so pull out your best summer camp ice-breakers and find creative ways to put everyone at ease. It’s beautiful to encourage every woman to name their mothers and grandmothers as well, lighting a candle for each one in the center of the table, bringing our personal histories into the circle. One awesome tradition is the presentation of the Bat Mitzvah girls of the year — consider it our own debutante ball, but this time, it’s up to the moms and aunts to cheer, bless, and generally love up these young girls as newcomers to the women’s circle. It’s also traditional to prepare foods together, like the North African favorite sfenj — think jelly doughnuts meet churros drizzled with honey — or honey cakes and cookies, or a potluck dinner. Mishloach manot — giving packages of food and treats — is also part of the Eid Al Bnat tradition.

Like every tradition passed down from generation to generation, there’s always a new flourish or nuance between how your grandma did it and how my aunt likes to do it. In some communities, women visited the synagogue (not a thing that was usually done) and kissed the Torah scrolls and were blessed by the rabbi; in others they cooked and baked a festive meal together, and then celebrated all night. The power of Sweet traditional foods were women’s circles prepared and gifted in basSince this festival is based on kets to mothers, daughters, or the stories of heroines related to mothers-in-law, prayers were Chanukah, it’s important to tell, shared, and songs Getty Images read or act out their were sung. stories, reflecting Overall, on the power of though, the key women. It’s also a components good time to share always include the history of the lighting the Chaholiday, passing nukah candles, on wisdom from lots of music and generation to gendancing, and the eration and sharing opportunity to the customs across create intimacy different cultures. North African sfenj and community Women’s groups with women. have a natural intimacy, so it’s A song or piyut often begins fun to play with the format and the night, followed by lighting find ways to connect. In Jeruthe Chanukah candles. Piyutim salem, we played a game that are liturgical poems written in asked each woman to share a Hebrew that are sung in incred- tip or a gift with another, which ibly complicated and deeply included everything from womb moving Arabic maqam (a system meditations to honeybee secrets of melodic modes). to how to cope with mourning a For those of us without the loved one. You can share poetry, ability to improvise our way songs, or just the best thing your through epic Hebrew poetry, mother ever taught you. you can pick out a song that Whether you share stories, is meaningful to you and that get vulnerable, cook up a storm, women can sing together. or dance the night away, this After that, the women tradinight is for us all to celebrate tionally recite a blessing of Mi the power of the ladies in our Shebeirach Imoteinu, “May the lives, and the bonds that keep us One who blessed our Mothers strong in the face of struggle.

THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • DECEMBER 2020


RELIGION

Note:

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.

Learning from our ‘precedential’ election National Museum of American Jewish History

thinking about the By Rabbi Benjamin G. Azriel aforementioned text Temple Beth Or from the Talmud. Electing a “precedent” is Our sages pronever an easy time for a comvided opinion after munity. Evaluating values, opinion after opinlearning about the history of ion, often contrathe concepts, incorporating dicting each other, morality into our lives are all leaving room for parts of determining the precdissent and arguedent that we will elect. ment, memorializing At Makor, Temple Beth the discussions so Or’s Sunday school, we have that in the future (tospent the better part of our Detail of Washington’s 1790 letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, R.I. day), we can still see Sunday morning virtual sesone precedent is a combination where variance in our practice burial and mourning rituals). sions doing just this: electing a might be found. of many topics. Chesed and tzedakah are precedent, a Makor mascot. “Tzedek, tzedek tirdof, Justice, Thus, it is our job to find the both values that we hold dear justice you shall pursue (Deut. to us in our community. Tzedek intersection between tzedek and chesed share a relationship, and chesed and encourage that 16:20),” and “olam chesed yibneh, combination of ideas to become the world will be built upon A precedent, however, is not sometimes mutually exclusive, kindness (Ps. 89:3)” — these our Makor mascot. sometimes necessarily accoma president. A precedent is a Justice, charity, kindness, and phrases, which can be teased moral direction. Learning about panying. compassion all exist within our out from our traditional texts, This creates a need for both morality is our mission at Maare taken in sum, not individuworld. There is room for them justice and kindness, a lesson kor right now, as our students ally. which we hope the students will all, there is a need for them all, use the themes embedded in Our society is built upon an and our students must be excome to see by the end of our our American election to elect posed to them all so we can help even balance of all our morals, precedential election. our precedent. some of which may be more to shape a generation of learnIt should be The nominees for evident that a prec- ers, doers, listeners, and leaders valuable to one family and oththe position of Maers more valuable to another. edential election is a of whom we can all be proud. kor precedent are However, without learning Despite the differences each theme of our society Tzedek (justice, as this year as we have student has in which value they about them all, without expoportrayed by Rabbi think is more important, they all sure to a spectrum of ideas, gone through an Judy Chessin), and our students would be left to agree on the need to hear each election cycle. Chesed (lovingone-sided converother, learn from The anxiety kindness, which I The students sations. each other, and which filled our portray). Rabbi Chessin give each other have come to summer and auNotice the word and I don our cosa chance to offer tumn months can tzedek contains the realize the need tumes on Sunday their opinion. still be felt through same Hebrew root for compromise mornings and As George letters as tzedaRabbi Benjamin G. Azriel our community our Zoom Washington once today. kah, which can be and discussion, use backgrounds and wrote in a letter Religion, however, has thought of as just or righteous played a role in every American to the members of compassion and sound effects to giving, often translated into the Touro synaelection to some degree. With English as charity. justice, in equal bring our precedential election gogue in Newthe American election in the During our classes, each measure. to life. port, R.I., “May nominee — Tzedek and Chesed rearview mirror, we are now Chesed and able to learn from our students the children of the — attempts to persuade stuStock of Abraham who dwell in Tzedek look to garner support dents to gain enough votes to be and from our forefathers. this land continue to merit and from our students to win the The students have come to elected. realize the need for compromise enjoy the good will of the other competition; however, neither For example, students have of them disrespects the other. and discussion, compassion and Inhabitants — while every one learned: shall sit in safety under his own Instead, they realize the imKindness is what we do; char- justice, in equal measure. Without hate or divisiveness, vine and figtree and there shall portance of working together ity is what we give. At least, that to create a balanced, just, kind is the lesson that we are taught they have taught Rabbi Chessin be none to make him afraid.” Washington’s words leave me community that we all deserve. and me an important lesson: in the Talmud (Sukkah 49b). Our sages say that chesed and tzedakah can be compared on three levels, all of which Chanukah have kindness “winning out” in Festival of Lights Torah the end: Dec. 11-18 islev/ evet Portions 1. Tzedakah, they say, can 25 Kislev-2 Tevet be performed only with one’s Eight-day holiday money, while chesed can be December 5 commemorating Shabbat achieved with one’s money or Vayishlach (Gen. 32:4-36:43) Jewish victory over the one’s actions. Candle Syrian-Greeks and the miracle of the December 12 2. Tzedakah is given to the Lightings rededication of the Temple. One day’s Vayeshev (Gen. 37:1-40:23; needy, while chesed can be oil for the Temple Menorah lasted Num. 7:18-29) given to both the needy and December 4, 4:54 p.m. eight days. A chanukiah (menorah) those rich in blessing. December 19 is lit for eight nights, and latkes December 11, 4:54 p.m. 3. Tzedakah is given only Miketz (Gen. 41:1-44:17) (potato pancakes) are fried in oil to to the living while chesed can December 18, 4:56 p.m. commemorate the story. Children play December 26 be given to both the living and with dreidels, and gifts are exchanged. Vayigash (Gen. 44:18-47:27) December 25, 5 p.m. the deceased (for example, the

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

Perspectives

Temple Anshe Emeth Reform Rabbinic Intern Tzvia Rubens Fri., Dec. 18, 7:30 p.m. via Zoom. 320 Caldwell St., Piqua. Contact Steve Shuchat, 937-7262116, AnsheEmeth@gmail.com. ansheemeth.org Temple Beth Or Reform Rabbi Judy Chessin Asst. Rabbi/Educator Ben Azriel 5275 Marshall Rd., Wash. Twp. 937-435-3400. templebethor.com Temple Beth Sholom Reform Rabbi Haviva Horvitz 610 Gladys Dr., Middletown. 513-422-8313. templebethsholom.net Temple Israel Reform Senior Rabbi Karen Bodney-Halasz Rabbi/Educator Tina Sobo 130 Riverside Dr., Dayton. 937-496-0050. tidayton.org Temple Sholom Reform Rabbi Cary Kozberg Fridays, 6 p.m. 2424 N. Limestone St., Springfield. 937-399-1231. templesholomoh.com

ADDITIONAL SERVICES

December K

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

T

THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • DECEMBER 2020

Yellow Springs Havurah Independent Antioch College Rockford Chapel. Contact Len Kramer, 937-572-4840 or len2654@gmail.com.

PAGE 21


RELIGION

Jonathan Sacks, former UK chief rabbi and Jewish intellectual giant, dies at 72 By Ben Harris, Cnaan Liphshiz, and Gabe Friedman, JTA Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi of the United Kingdom whose extensive writings and frequent media appearances commanded a global following among Jews and non-Jews alike, died Nov. 7 at age 72. He was in the midst of a third bout of cancer, which he had announced in October. Sacks was among the world’s leading exponents of Orthodox Judaism for a global

audience. In his 22 years as chief rabbi, he emerged as the most visible Jewish leader in the United Kingdom and one of the European continent’s leading Jewish voices, offering Jewish wisdom to the masses through a regular segment he produced for the BBC. He had a close relationship with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who called Sacks “an intellectual giant” and presented him with a lifetime achievement award in 2018.

The Law Office of

Alan D. Gabel

937-222-5335 • alan.gabel@yahoo.com P.O. Box 1423, Dayton, Ohio 45401

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Sacks was also an immensely prolific author, addressing pressing social and political issues in a succession of well received books. His popular commentary on the prayer book, published by Koren, helped to dethrone the more traditionalist Artscroll Siddur as the preeminent prayer book in American Modern Orthodox synagogues. Sacks was normally averse to mixing religion and politics, something he discussed, along with his latest Rabbi Jonathan Sacks book, Morality: Restorgot to take that anger and deal ing the Common Good in Divided with it very fast,” he told JTA’s Times, and an array of other opinion editor, Laura Adkins. hot-button topics with Jewish “Because anger exposes the Telegraphic Agency in August. problem but never delivers the “When anger erupts in a solution.” body politic, there is quite But he did take public often a justified cause. But stances on two topics that were then the political domain has

often ensnared with European politics: Israel and antisemitism. Sacks spoke out publicly as Britain’s Labour Party was engulfed in an antisemitism scandal under its previous leader Jeremy Corbyn, calling Corbyn an antisemite. “We have an antisemite as the leader of the Labour Party and her majesty’s opposition. That is why Jews feel so threatened by Mr. Corbyn and those who support him,” Sacks said in 2018 during an interview with the New Statesman. That judgement paved the way for current British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis to harshly condemn the Labour Party, a precedent-setting event in British Jewish life. Continued on Page 31

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Today...and for Generations THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • DECEMBER 2020


JEWISH FAMILY EDUCATION Dayton Art Institute

Waters above, waters below

tually produced complex life. More than one scientist has concluded there’s no way increasing order in just parts of the universe could occur by random chance. Jewish commentators across the ages have struggled to understand the cenAs a baby, my grandson beginning of the second day. tral element of this primorcould easily identify cats and A windswept, watery, undedial structure, the substance dogs out and about, and in fined Earth was enveloped in and significance of the rakia. books. Although he had cats darkness in a cosmos infused It appears infrequently and dogs as pets, one might with supernatural light. ImOne, painting by April Gornik, 1986 in the biblical text and have expected some confusion, mediately, God began to bring around the globe, while others lacks kindred words in related since his 200-pound American about order: claim it embraces Earth’s atmolanguages. There are few clues mastiff was named Kitty and “God said, ‘Let there be an sphere outward to the boundary about its essence. However, its expanse (rakia) in the midst of of the universe. root conveys notions of spreadthe water (mayim), that it may Despite variations, every inseparate water from water.’ God ing, expansion, thinning. The rakia’s earliest rendering terpretation emphasizes the elCandace R. made the expanse, and it sepaemental order brought to Earth was a domed structure housrated the water which was beKwiatek and perhaps even the universe low the expanse from the water ing the Sun, Moon, and stars during the second day. over the watery deep, a design which was above the expanse. Equally obscure is the Bible’s similar to that of many ancient And it was so. God called the use of water to describe the peoples around Israel. his smaller shaggy rescue was expanse Sky (shamayim). And embryonic Earth, since water Later commentators sugnamed Bear. But he never conthere was evening and there has long been regarded as a gested the rakia fused kitties or bears with dogs. was morning, was one of seven latecomer to the universe. Order and Research spanning the past a second day However, recent studies at Tel similar expanses three decades suggests why: in- (Gen. 1:6-8).” distinction may spreading across Aviv University suggest water fants as young as three months Like the hardbe necessary, but the heavens. appeared in significant quantican reliably distinguish between wiring of an ties just a billion years after the In the Late cats and dogs based on faces infant’s brain, alone they are not Middle Ages, the Big Bang, or nine and a half biland head shapes. Earth’s primorKabalist Ramban lion years before Earth formed. However, experiences and dial architecture wholly good. So the text could very well be envisioned the gradually learned visual cues is designed read literally. On the other hand, rakia as a separation between are only a small part of the for creating order and making the tangible world and the spiri- water is universally familiar learning process. Recent finddistinctions. and can be a powerful metaphor tual aspects of Creation, while ings suggest the human brain is This unusual sequence of for explaining things no one has actually hardwired to differenincreasing order on Earth seems the sages Radak and Sforno described it as a misty-domed sky ever seen. tiate, separate, and categorize to contradict the law of physWater can communicate essential for a habitable Earth. regardless of experience or even ics that disorder increases over unfathomable depths, mimic the Among modern commentaability to see. time if left unchecked. electromagnetic radiation waves tors, some maintain the rakia These innate capabilities are But the ancient biblical text in space, and appear as dewpart of the brain’s framework reveals what modern science is is the atmosphere stretching upon which learning and beonly now discovering. While the havior are built. ordered universe began devolvJust imagine if every time we ing into chaos shortly after the encountered something novel, Big Bang, natural forces were we had to learn from scratch propelling some space mathow to respond! ter into localized clumps, like That would be chaos, the Earth, that inexplicably became very state of Creation at the increasingly ordered and even-

drops, atmospheric mists, and rain in the sky. Water also adds a symbolic dimension: beginnings, separation, life, and blessing. And water’s repetitiveness points to the fundamental interconnectedness of Earth, sky, and space. The entire second day of Creation is dedicated to the important task of building Earth’s primal architecture, characterized by order and distinction. Yet on this day alone God does not say, “it was good.” Unfinished until the next day, the earthly waters had no purpose or value — the whole point of existence — until they could irrigate the vegetation on dry land, Rashi explains. And Midrash Rabbah suggests the primal waters act as a mirror, reminding us that separation, distinction, and categorization without a moral purpose break the bonds that unite people, causing strife. Order and distinction may be necessary, but alone they are not wholly good. So what do we learn about how to live? Overcome entropy and engage: make order out of chaos. Infuse your days and your activities with purpose: stop wasting time. Avoid separations, distinctions, and categories empty of moral and ethical aims: unite, don’t cause strife. How will you live? Will you create order or generate chaos?

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Literature to share Third Daughter by Talia Carner. A fictionalized account of the shocking true story of the Jewish prostitution trade in the 1800s, Carner’s novel reveals the tricks, routes, and historical circumstances that allowed this travesty to flourish. With varied and engaging characters, Carner portrays the lives of the immigrant girls and women enslaved in America by fear and poverty. Heartbreaking and sickening in turn, this tale is sure to heighten interest in the current sex trade in America and around the world. Highly engaging, eye-opening, and perfect for book club discussions. Irving Berlin, the Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing by Nancy Churnin. Growing up on New York’s Lower East Side, Irving Berlin captured the cacophony of the city, the rhythms of ragtime and blues in the air, and the spirit of America in music. Just out of his teens when he wrote the international hit, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, he became one of America’s greatest songwriters. Among his 1,500 songs are God Bless America, There’s No Business Like Show Business, and White Christmas. Targeted to elementary and middle school ages, this engaging biography is complemented by lively, colorful illustrations that bring Berlin’s story and music to life.

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Happy Chanukah PAGE 23


THE MARVELOUS MR. MAZEL

Weekly podcast

The Jewish News Hour with The Dayton Jewish Observer’s Marshall Weiss Listen to an update of the week’s Jewish news from around the world — and in our backyard. Search for The Dayton Jewish Observer in Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, or your favorite podcast app and subscribe. Or listen on the web at player.whooshkaa. com/shows/thedayton-jewish-observer.

Zach Kurland, son of Emily and Jayde Kurland, has earned the rank of Eagle Scout.

Scott Halasz Dr. Corinne Daprano of the University of Dayton School of Education and Health Sciences has received the 2020-21 Jerry R. Thomas Distinguished Leadership Award from the American Kinesiology Association. Carly G. Sobol, daughter of Jody and Dr. Todd Sobol, has been appointed the graduate student trustee on The Ohio State Board of Trustees by Gov. Mike DeWine. Carly is a medical student at Ohio State with an expected graduation in May 2022. She received her bachelor of science degree in neuroscience, magna cum laude, with

a minor in Judaic studies from Ohio State in 2018. While an undergraduate, she was named one of 26 Distinction Scholars through the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s Morrill Scholarship Program. She also serves on the Humanism in Medicine Student Section Executive Board and its research team, and on the Medicine and the Arts Board for the Wexner Medical Center as a medical student member. Carly graduated Oakwood High School in 2014. Tiffany Lobertini was elected second vice president of the Greater Dayton REALTIST Association. It’s a member of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, the oldest and largest African American trade association. The REALTIST Association’s mission is to promote democracy in housing by advocating for the underserved through education, leadership, and service.

LIFECYCLES

Actor Saul Caplan performed in the Human Race Theatre Company’s Zoom reading of the play Garden Politics, which was streamed at Broadway on Demand, Nov. 13-18. This was the second virtual play reading the Human Race has presented since it shut down due to Covid-19 in March. The Dayton Literary Peace Prize has named novelist Alice Hoffman its 2020 fiction winner for The World That We Knew, her 28th novel. The New York Times bestseller focuses on three young women in Nazi Europe in 1941 and how they navigate survival with help from a mythical Jewish creature, a golem. With the 2020 Dayton Literary Peace Price gala postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Hoffman, who lives in the Boston area, will receive the award in spring 2021. Send your announcements to scotthalasz1@gmail.com.

Adler-Katz Jeremy Katz, son of Linda and Allan Katz, was married to Gabrielle Adler in Atlanta on Oct. 18. Jeremy is a graduate of Northmont High School, The Ohio State University, and Wright State University. Jeremy served as an archives intern for the Jewish Federation when a graduate student at Wright State and later interned at the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati. Since 2013, he has been at the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum in Atlanta, where he is the senior director of archives. Gabrielle is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Asheville. She is the director of house programs for Moishe House, which serves young adults in the Jewish community throughout the United States and worldwide. The couple resides in Atlanta. Send lifecycles to MWeiss@jfgd.net.

‘A little bit of light pushes away a lot of darkness.’ Happy Chanukah

daytonhillel.org • 937.277.8966 • dkmecoli@daytonhillel.org PAGE 24

THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • DECEMBER 2020


Happy

Add color to your Chanukah menu with savory beet latkes

k kah u n a H

Clay Williams

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HAPPY Beet Latkes from The Berkshires Farm Table Cookbook by Elisa Spungen Bildner and Rob Bildner

By Elisa Spungen Bildner The Nosher These beet pancakes are great for using up a variety of other root vegetables. Using a food processor will make quick work of the shredding aspect of the preparation. With a nice browned crust, the latkes are delicious served with applesauce or sour cream and chives, and offer a good alternative to potato latkes during Chanukah. This recipe is reprinted with permission from The Berkshires Farm Table Cookbook by Elisa Spungen Bildner and Rob Bildner, Countryman Press. ¼ cup chopped scallions, white and green parts (about 2 large) 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme 1 tsp. kosher salt, or more to taste 2 cups peeled and shredded red beets (about 11 oz., 2 to 3 medium beets) 1 cup peeled and shredded carrots (about 6 oz., 2 to 3 medium carrots) 1 cup peeled and shredded celery root (about 8 oz., ½ small celery root) 1 cup peeled and shredded Idaho or russet potato (about 12 oz., 1 large potato) ¼ cup rye or whole wheat flour, or more as needed to hold the raw latkes together 1 cup soft goat cheese (about 5 oz.) 1 large egg, lightly beaten 2 Tbsp. neutral oil, such as canola, plus more as needed, for frying Sour cream and chopped

chives, or applesauce for garnish (optional)

batches so as not to crowd the pancakes, use a ¼-​cup measure to scoop the vegetable mixture 1. Prepare a plate with layers into the skillet. Flatten the mixof paper towels to drain the ture gently, using the back of pancakes. the measuring cup or a spatula, 2. Place the scallions, thyme, making sure the pancakes do salt, beets, carrots, celery root, not touch each other. Fry four to and potatoes in a large bowl five minutes on one side, until and mix well. browned and crisp, and then Use a paper towel to gently flip to fry the other side for the squeeze out any excess moissame amount of time, or until ture. Scatter the flour on top of browned and crisp. the shredded vegetables and Transfer the latkes to the mix until well incorporated. lined plate to drain. Repeat until 3. Combine the cheese and the entire vegetable mixture has egg in a small bowl. Fold into been used. If more oil is needed the vegetable mixture until well for frying subsequent batches, coated. add as necessary. 4. Heat the oil in a heavy-​bot5. Serve the beet latkes warm tomed skillet over medium heat with sour cream and chives or TDJO_DeliciousPossibilities_Press_FINAL.pdf 1 11/10/20 10:17 PM until shimmering. Working in with applesauce as a garnish.

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Chanukah food hacks to make your meals easy & delicious By Lauren Manaker, Kveller As the Festival of Lights approaches, reality sets in: You are seriously so busy this time of year. Do you really have time to shred a few bags of potatoes or knead some finicky dough for sufganiyot (doughnuts)? Use convenience foods to your advantage. It’s super easy to make a delicious, “semihomemade” Chanukah meal that will still create lasting memories.

For easy latkes, use pre-shredded hash brown potatoes. No Chanukah celebration is complete without latkes, but the prep work can be time consuming and tedious. Refrigerated and bagged shredded potatoes make frying up latkes a snap. Just swap out fresh potatoes with the bagged alternative in whatever recipe you use, and most people won’t even taste the difference. Or just bake Trader Joe’s frozen potato pancakes. They’re pretty amazing.

water, juice from half a lemon, and cinnamon to taste. After the lid is secure and the mixture is cooked on high pressure for eight minutes, mash up your apples to the consistency you desire. Of course, you then must make the most important decision: chunky or smooth? Pro tip: Put a Johnny Apple Peeler on your Chanukah wish list to help make the prep even easier.

Use pre-packaged biscuit dough for the easiest sufganiyot ever. Kids generally love making treats like sufganiyot in the kitchen with their family. But if you’re generally not the type who enjoys baking, there’s a hack for that: use refrigerated biscuit dough — the kind that comes in a tube — instead. (Just don’t tell Bubbie!) Simply break apart the Make zero-effort homemade pre-portioned dough and fry the biscuits in heated oil until applesauce in an Instant. Yes, you could just buy some golden on both sides. Amazingly, you don’t even have to jarred applesauce. But does cut circles. The biscuits come anyone with teeth (and, um pre-sliced. How perfect is that? taste buds) actually like it? If If you happen to have a you have an Instant Pot — or any pressure cooker — you can pastry bag in your kitchen, fill make homemade applesauce in it with your favorite jarred jelly and push the tip into the middle a flash. of the donut. Squeeze the jelly Just toss eight peeled, cored, into the doughnut until it is and chopped apples into the pressure cooker with one cup of filled.

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If you don’t have a pastry bag, you have a couple of options: You can cut your donuts in half and put some jelly in the middle of the pastry, like a sandwich, or serve jelly as an accompaniment to the fried biscuit for dipping. Pro-tip: Not sweet enough for you? Sprinkle some sugar and cinnamon on top of the warm doughnut to add a little more oomph.

Let your slow cooker make the main dish. This ultimate “set it and forget it” tool allows you to cook tough cuts of meat like brisket slow and low, without any worries about overcooking. Even better? About 10 minutes of effort will reward you with a super-tasty result. Just toss a brisket (fat side up) in a slow cooker with some cans of broth, sliced onions, carrots, garlic, and spices. Cook on the high setting of the cooker for about six hours, or until tender. That’s it. Serve your brisket with latkes and a salad, and your dinner is complete. Pro-tip: For an easy serving option, slice up the cooked brisket and make it fancy-looking with some sprigs of fresh parsley. Fancy up store-bought hummus for an effortless appetizer. You can absolutely take a package of store-bought hummus, serve it in its original packaging with some storebought crackers, and that’s that. We won’t judge. But why not add some color and flavor to an otherwise standard app? Take your container of hohum hummus and spread it onto a shallow bowl. Scoop a small space into the middle of the hummus, and top with extra virgin olive oil, fresh rosemary leaves, crushed pistachios, and pomegranate arils. You can include some roasted, diced butternut squash as a topping or whatever you prefer. Pro-tip: Think beyond pita. Try serving with fresh veggies or pretzels. Anything dippable will do.

THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • DECEMBER 2020


Happy Chanukah

Best wishes to all for a Happy Chanukah

A sweet and joyous Chanukah

Happy Chanukah from your Northern Neighbors

Our warmest wishes for a joyous Chanukah

Jan Rudd

Myrna Nelson

Ann, Skip, Catie, Bri, & Allie Becker

Cong. Anshe Emeth, Piqua

Debby, Bob, Alicia & Teddy Goldenberg

Best wishes to all for a Happy Chanukah

Our warmest wishes for a joyous Chanukah

Best wishes to all for a Happy Chanukah

Our warmest wishes for a joyous Chanukah

Howard, Judy, Daniel, Pam, Michael, Scott, Ellison, Oliver & Henry Abromowitz, Jill, Brent, Daria, Tzipi, Lyla & Vered Gutmann

Marc & Maureen Sternberg

Cantor Jerome & Goldye Kopmar

Steve, Shara, Rachel & Natalie Taylor

Our warmest wishes for a joyous Chanukah

A sweet and joyous Chanukah

Wishing all of Dayton a Happy Chanukah

Best wishes to all for a Happy Chanukah

Cantor Andrea Raizen

Harold, Melissa, Jason, Adam & Ben Guadalupe

Happy Chanukah

Best wishes to all for a Happy Chanukah

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Jeffrey Abrahams

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Irvin & Gayle Moscowitz

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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • DECEMBER 2020

Brenda Rinzler

Wishing all of Dayton a Happy Chanukah

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PAGE 27


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PAGE 28

Arts&Culture

Cataloging today’s American Jewish experience

By Marshall Weiss The Observer When Tablet’s Stephanie Butnick, Liel Leibovitz, and Mark Oppenheimer started their Unorthodox podcast in 2015 as a side project for the magazine, they had no idea it would become the most popular Jewish podcast on iTunes. They also didn’t know their emerging roles as Jewish cultural arbiters would lead them to write last year’s comprehensive Newish Jewish Encyclopedia: From Abraham to Zabar’s and Everything in Between. Originally scheduled to be in Dayton in May, the three will talk about their Newish Jewish project via Zoom as part of the JCC Cultural Arts & Book Series, Dec. 8. Here, Butnick fills us in on what to expect. Who listens to Unorthodox? One of the benefits of having a Jewish podcast is that you hear from your listeners all the time: whether they like something, whether they hate something — more often they hate something — but a lot of the listeners have become a real community. We have this Facebook group where more than 5,000 people are members, and they talk to each other about the show but also about a million other things as well. There’s a lot of intergenerational listening, which for me is the most fulfilling, the most valuable data point I have: people who listen with their mothers, people who listen with their grandmothers, kids who are in college who call their parents and talk about the show. It’s really hard to get something that a kid and a grandparent would listen to and both find meaning in. And we run the spectrum. First of all, there are people The JCC Cultural Arts & Book Series presents Tablet’s Stephanie Butnick, Liel Leibovitz, and Mark Oppenheimer via Zoom, 7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 8. Free. Register at jewishdayton.org/program/ cultural-arts-and-book-series.

Tablet Magazine Deputy Editor Stephanie Butnick, Senior Writer Liel Leibovitz (L) and Editor at Large Mark Oppenheimer co-host Tablet’s Unorthodox podcast and are the authors of The Newish Jewish Encyclopedia

who are not Jewish who listen to the show who have Jewish partners or have Jewish spouses or friends, or just Jewish curiosities. We have a lot of people who are on their way to becoming Jewish, they are at whatever point along the way they are in their conversion process, which is really meaningful to us, and then we have people who say, ‘You’re the only Jewish thing I ever do. I don’t go to synagogue, I don’t eat on Yom Kippur, but every week I put in my little earbuds and I listen to you guys.’ There are people who say, ‘I moved from New York to a really small town and I feel like I lost my Jewish community and now I’ve found it again.’ And people who are religious. I met a modern Orthodox man in Detroit while we were there for our book tour who said to me, ‘I love your podcast because I see differ-

ent sides of Judaism, different perspectives on Judaism that I wouldn’t ever see in my Orthodox shul.’ And that was really meaningful because we accept everyone. We want to show all different points of what it looks like to be Jewish, what it means to be Jewish, what it sounds like to be Jewish. Has the podcast shaped how you do the meat of your job, your editing and writing? At the beginning it was sort of something we all did on the sides of our day jobs at Tablet. The podcast has really shifted wonderfully into being a real chunk of what I do, and (then we were) on a book tour for the Newish Jewish Encyclopedia.

We’re trying to reach people where they’re at and say, it’s OK to have questions.

How did the Newish Jewish Encyclopedia come about? After year two or three of doing the podcast, we really Continued on Page 30

THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • DECEMBER 2020


Arts&Culture

DNA testing reveals family secrets, complicates identity By Sophie Panzer Jewish Exponent In 2012, a woman named Alice took a DNA test and expected it to reveal that her entire family hailed from Irish American and British ancestry. Instead, the test revealed that half her DNA was Ashkenazi Jewish. Her attempts to understand the results and her family’s history are the central story of journalist Libby Copeland’s book The Lost Family: How DNA Testing Is Upending Who We Are. Copeland’s writing explores the science of DNA tests as well as identity, family secrets, and the cultural implications of unprecedented access to genetic Libby Copeland information. In Dayton, the JCC Virtual the man grapples with how he Cultural Arts & Book Series should form relationships with will host a Zoom discussion them. with Copeland, in partnership “That is a question that with Miami Valley Jewish Geis profoundly interesting in nealogy & History, presented in terms of privacy, and also more memory of Marcia Jaffe. broadly in terms of how we Copeland find family, and how we will share her think about the elasticity experiences and the capacities of the touring the human heart,” Copeland facilities of said. testing comAs DNA testing compapanies like nies expand their databases Ancestry and of genetic information, interviewing they threaten the privacy individuals of sperm donors who were whose lives have been impactinitially promised anonymity ed by test results. when they donated in the ’60s, Copeland focused on Alice’s ’70s and ’80s. story because she dedicated Even if the donors them2½ years to understanding the selves do not choose to test, mystery of her background. their descendants None of the scenarios that typi- can use the sheer cally lead to unexpected genetic number of people in testing results, such as adopDNA databases to tion or unknown paternity, trace them. explained her Jewish ancestry. “If you are ge“She builds essentially a netically related to database of her own DNA, and someone and they’re she basically makes this into not in the databases, her full-time job and with the you may be able to help of her sister,” she said. use a second, third, Another story in The Lost first cousin that Family features a woman who you find in order to finds out she has 22 donor figure out that persiblings and reaches out to her son’s identity if you’re willing donor father. After he finds to do a little bit of genealogical out about his donor children, research,” Copeland said. Insurance discrimination The JCC Cultural Arts & is another concern. Copeland Book Series in partnership said that although some federal with Miami Valley Jewish protections exist against genetic Genealogy & History discrimination, it is still pospresents Libby Copeland via sible for insurance companies to Zoom, 7 p.m., Wednesday, deny people coverage based on Dec. 2. Free. Register at their genetic history if they are jewishdayton.org/program/ able to access test results. cultural-arts-and-book-series. DNA testing also raises

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questions about the meaning of ethnicity. Copeland spoke with a scientist at the genetic testing company 23andMe who was concerned her work was being used to reinforce incorrect ideas about racial difference, particularly White supremacy. People who see their DNA represented in a pie chart without understanding how genetics work may believe that the diagram represents rigid, ingrained differences between ethnic populations. However, just because a test can show that 20 percent of a person’s DNA traces back to South Korea and another 80 percent traces back to Sweden, this does not indicate there are significant differences between South Koreans and Swedes; it means they hail from different parts of the world and share certain genetic markers with populations in the region. Although misinterpretation is always a risk, Copeland found that the sources she interviewed had more nuanced perspectives of their ethnic heritage and family after getting their results. Alice was no exception. “She didn’t say, you know, ‘My Irish experience doesn’t count because now I’m only half-Irish, genetically speaking,’ and nor did she say, ‘My Jewishness is meaningless and something to be dismissed,’” Copeland said. “She said, ‘Yes, and.’ Which I think is incredibly beautiful.”

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Newish Jewish

Continued from Page 28 started hearing from a lot of listeners. We heard from people who said, ‘I don’t know where my local synagogue is, I wouldn’t feel comfortable there. I don’t have a local synagogue, but I want to make Shabbat a part of my life. How can I do that?’ Or, ‘I’m thinking about converting. What books and movies should I start reading and watching?’ At the beginning, we were surprised that we were the place these people were going to with these questions. Then we realized that if we were that place, we needed to rise to that challenge. We realized, honestly, that a lot of people felt a little uncomfortable with how little they thought they knew about Judaism. Or if they went to a new synagogue and they didn’t

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know the tune of the prayers that week, that they would sort of feel embarrassed. We started thinking about a compendium of everything you needed to know to be Jewish today or know about Jews today. The last time this was attempted was The Jewish Catalog in the 1970s, an amazing book, reissued three times, not a particularly modern retelling though. Since the ‘70s, a lot has changed. So we took on the challenge of updating what that might look like using that book as an inspiration. It has everything from Shavuot to summer camp, from Masada to Mel Brooks. We have the range of what we think the Jewish experience looks like. And then of course there are things we left out, but that’s for the next edition. The book is really an invitation to a million conversations. The idea is that you can open any page and on one page see Scarlett Johansson and Jonah, Job, Joseph, Al Jolson. And there’s something on every page that surprises the reader no matter what your background is and where you’re coming from religiously, socially, culturally. There are entries on aliyah. You can make aliyah or you can get an aliyah, also we explain the different pronunciations between the two. Because actually, you don’t want to screw that up when you’re in a Jewish environment. We’re trying to reach people where they’re at and say, it’s OK to have questions. We all have questions. So here’s a starting guide to getting you on your way, whether you’re thinking of converting or whether you’ve been Jewish your whole life.

THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • DECEMBER 2020


John Downing/Getty Images

Jonathan Sacks when he was the UK’s chief rabbi, circa 2000

Jonathan Sacks

Continued from Page 22 Corbyn was replaced in April by centrist Keir Starmer, who has apologized for how antisemitism was allowed to flourish in Labour’s ranks under Corbyn. Starmer, who is married to a Jewish woman, expressed his condolences to “the entire Jewish world” in a tweet Nov. 7. “He was a towering intellect whose eloquence, insights and kindness reached well beyond the Jewish community. I have no doubt that his legacy will live on for many generations,” Starmer wrote. Sacks was also vocal in his opposition to the forces that lead to antisemitism on the far left and the far right, as he wrote in a JTA op-ed in January. “Antisemitism has little to do with Jews — they are its object, not its cause — and everything to do with dysfunction in the communities that harbor it,” he wrote. In 2017, in a widely circulated YouTube video, Sacks called anti-Zionism a new form of antisemitism, arguing that it denies Jews the “right to exist collectively with the same rights as everyone else.” The video was based on a 2016 speech Sacks delivered in Brussels, which is widely seen as having paved the way to Britain’s adoption later that year of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism. But the video went far beyond political and academic circles, and became symbolic of Sacks’ ability to reach mainstream audiences. Rachel Riley, a famous British Jewish game show televi-

sion host, last year shared the video, telling her over 600,000 Twitter followers that it is “the best explanation of antisemitism I’ve seen.” Sacks branched out beyond religious and Jewish cultural thought as well. In 2017, he delivered a Ted Talk about “facing the future without fear” and what he called a “fateful moment” in Western history after the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president, citing Thomas Paine and anthropologists to make an argument about returning a culture of togetherness. Born in London in 1948, Sacks studied at Cambridge University. While a student there in the 60s, he visited Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson — the spiritual leader who is credited with turning the Chasidic Chabad-Lubatvitch movement into a powerful organizing force of Jewry around the world — in New York City. Sacks credits that meeting with inspiring him to get involved with Jewish studies, as he detailed in a series of videos for Chabad.org in 2011. He became the rabbi of the Golders Green synagogue in London’s most Orthodox neighborhood in the late ‘70s and then rabbi of the Marble Arch synagogue in central London. U.K. Board of Deputies of British Jews President Marie van der Zyl also released a statement on his death: “Rabbi Sacks was a giant of both the Jewish community and wider society. His astounding intellect and courageous moral voice were a blessing to all who encountered him in person, in writing or in broadcast.” Sacks is survived by his wife Elaine, three children, and several grandchildren.

Happy

OBITUARIES Steven Jacobs, age 79 of Dayton, passed away Oct. 25. Mr. Jacobs was the owner of Montgomery Paper Company, a member of Beth Jacob Congregation, graduated from the University of Cincinnati, attended law school at the University of Cincinnati, and received his MBA from the University of Dayton. He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Claire Jacobs, and brother and sister-in-law Victor and Karen Jacobs. Mr. Jacobs is survived by the love of his life for 55 years, Rachel; his children, Dr. Bradley Jacobs and Dr. Cassandra Milling Jacobs, Julie and Dr. Adam Waldman, and Susan and Richard Davis; grandchildren, Noah, Zoe, and Oscar Waldman, Samantha, Lucie, and Ezra Jacobs, Jake and Joey Davis; brother and sister-in-law Dr. Alan and Joanne Jacobs; nephews and nieces, Mitchell, Aron and Craig Jacobs, Rebecca and Jonathan Goldman, Devra and Noah Pinzur, Tova and Jonathan Handel, Helene Berman and Shelley and R.J. Golda; and many cousins and friends. Interment was at Beth Jacob Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Chabad of Greater Dayton, Beth Jacob Congregation, or the charity of your choice in Mr. Jacobs’ memory. Samuel A. Lauber, 3/29/4211/4/2020. He is survived by his wife Ellen, and son, Aaron. Mr. Lauber was a Holocaust survivor, U.S. military veteran, loving husband, father, and grandfather. Interment was at David’s Cemetery. Donations may be made to The Hidden Child Foundation, Dayton’s Jewish Family Services, or Cincinnati’s Jewish Family Service.

Chanukah.

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Happy Chanukah.

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The Dayton Jewish Observer, December 2020  

Dayton, Ohio's Jewish Monthly

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Dayton, Ohio's Jewish Monthly

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