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THE DAYTON Published by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton

December 2021 Kislev/Tevet 5782 Vol. 26, No. 4



25 Years

The Miami Valley’s Jewish Monthly • Arina Habich

USSR’s atomic spy in Dayton






George Koval

Mandel leans into culture war campaigning



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Josh Mandel

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Former Air Force museum director who brought Holocaust exhibit for permanent display dies Retired Maj. Gen. Charles D. Metcalf, who served as director of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force from 1996 to 2010, died Oct. 29 at age 88. During his tenure, which included significantly increasing the museum’s attendance and expanding its galleries, Metcalf brought Prejudice & Memory: A Holocaust Exhibit there for permanent display. “We owe being there to Maj. Gen. Metcalf,” said Dayton Holocaust Committee Chair

Renate Frydman, who curated the exhibit, one of the first in America to focus on local survivors, liberators, and Righteous Gentiles. Frydman recalled that Prejudice & Memory was originally designed as a mobile exhibit in 1997. It had been presented at 10 sites across southwest Ohio when Metcalf invited Frydman to display the exhibit at the Air Force museum from February through September 1999.

“When it opened, Frydman rememimmediately the bered the news also schools started raised some opposisending students by tion. appointment to us “At first, people (docents) to take them wrote in letters: why is through the exhibit,” it here in the Air Force she said. museum?” Soon after Prejudice Metcalf pronounced & Memory opened at his reply at the certhe Air Force muemony to celebrate the seum, Frydman led a Charles D. Metcalf acceptance of the expresentation for museum staff. hibit in April 1999: “A number “When it was done, Maj. of people have asked me, ‘Why Gen. Metcalf came over to me here?’ My response has always and said, ‘What would you say been, why not? It’s exactly what if I told you we want to keep we’ve been fighting about. it permanently?’ I couldn’t When you look at the liberators believe it. It was such a miracle. and the stories that were told, Four months went into almost you conclude that’s what we 23 years now.” were fighting about.”

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Metcalf entered the Air Force in 1955 and served for nearly 36 years on active duty in a variety of financial management and planning positions; he retired in 1991. Frydman said that every time Metcalf would talk about the Holocaust exhibit, he’d note it was very much a part of World War II history and therefore it belonged in the museum. “He didn’t let a single thing deter him from keeping it there. This is a person who absolutely stood behind us 100 percent,” she said. “And when he did retire, the directors since have continued that legacy.” — Marshall Weiss

Spring semester Holocaust course at Sinclair

History and humanities Prof. Jamie Fries will offer the course History of the Holocaust, Jan. 11 to May 5 at Sinclair College on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. The Tuesday classes will be held in person and the Thursday classes will be online via Zoom. The course addresses the intellectual, philosophical, political, and economic background of the Holocaust; Nazi implementation of oppressive policies that culminated in genocide against Jews and the murder of millions of others classified as belonging to “undesirable” groups; the relationship between World War II and Nazi attempts to establish “racial purity;” the massive system of concentration and death camps established by the Nazis; the relationship between the Holocaust and historical memory; the problem of Holocaust denial; and the continued existence of genocides in the modern world. The cost is $378.09 for Montgomery County residents, but it may be audited for free by students ages 60 or older. For more information, contact Fries at Arts & Culture.......................28 Calendar.............................19 Family Education.................27 Obituaries.......................31 O p i n i o n . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 4 Religion..........................21



The Soviet spy who stole atomic secrets in Dayton Ann Hagedorn details how — and possibly why — George Koval committed the perfect crime against America

Pat Williamsen

Away (Simon & Schuster), published in July. Koval committed the perfect crime against the United States; it wasn’t until 1954 — six years after he had left the United States and five years after the By Marshall Weiss Soviet Union had detonated The Observer its first atomic bomb — that Five years ago, former Wall J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI began Street Journal staff writer and to investigate him as a posnon-fiction author Ann Hagesible Soviet spy. dorn interviewed a 92-year-old Hagedorn, who now lives man for a story she hoped to in Ripley, Ohio, focuses on turn into a book. the psychology of the spy “At the end of the interview, in Sleeper Agent, and how the guy knew that I had grown antisemitism, first in czarist up in Dayton to a certain point, Author Ann Hagedorn Russia, then in the United and so he said, ‘Did you know States, and finally in Comconsiderably the time it took for that there was a secret within munist Russia, impacted the the secret of the Manhattan Proj- the Soviet Union to develop an choices the Koval family made. atomic bomb of its own.” ect in Dayton during the war?’ “Being traitors to our country, The world then learned that I said no. He said, ‘Yes. It might you can’t honor them,” she says. have been near where you once by the end of World War II, “But you can recognize there George Koval had laid the selived. And a Soviet spy was was a reason for what they did.” crets of the United States’ atom involved.’” She describes Koval as a bomb triggers at the Kremlin’s Hagedorn, who was raised feet: first through his infiltration charming, accomplished, bright in Oakwood until she was 13, at Oak Ridge, Tenn., and then at young man who was born and couldn’t stop thinking about raised in Sioux City, Iowa. A what he had told her. She found Dayton. straight-A student, he graduHagedorn jetthe New York ated high school at 15. tisoned the book Times article from His parents, staunch secular project she was 2007 that reported socialists, had departed the Rusworking on to Russian Presilearn all she could sian empire in 1910-11, amid its dent Vladimir about Koval. Her vicious antisemitism. Putin had posthu“And his mother’s father was extensive research mously awarded a rabbi,” Hagedorn says. “She — and declassiRussia’s highest replaced Judaism with socialfication of thoucivilian honor to sands of pages of ism. George’s parents are very George Koval, active in the concept of ending FBI files through “the only Soviet world oppression, starting with the Freedom of intelligence ofending antisemitism.” Information act ficer” to infiltrate The Kovals were part of a — has yielded the United States’ Sleeper Agent: The minority of Jews in Sioux City secret plants, and who had became avowed ComAtomic Spy In that his work munists by the 1920s. They were America Who Got “helped speed up

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enticed by Lenin’s pledge after liant,” Hagedorn notes. the October Revolution of 1917 In 1931, in the wake of fito criminalize antisemitism and nancial setbacks from the Great allow full Jewish FBI Depression and participation in Koval’s arrest for society. allegedly incitAccording to FBI ing a raid at the testimony from the county overseer of 1950s, the Kovals the poor’s office, didn’t participate Koval, age 17, his in Sioux City’s parents, and his organized Jewish two brothers left community, with America for what the exception of the would prove a bruJewish Commutal life of hunger in George Koval’s 1948 nity Center’s sports passport photo the Soviet Jewish programs. Autonomous ReBy 1925, Koval’s father gion, 5,000 miles east of Moscow. headed the Sioux City chapter Koval’s brilliance as a college of the Association for Jewish science student on the eve of Colonization in Russia. World War II brought him to the “The propaganda coming out attention of the GRU, the Soviet of the Soviet Union was brilContinued on Page Four

Ann Hagedorn, author of the engrossing non-fiction spy thriller Sleeper Agent (see story above), tells me she wanted to be a writer from the time she started putting words together as Marshall a girl in the screened-in porch of her Weiss family’s home in Oakwood. “My love of books came from the Wright Public Library,” she says. “And my deep connection with writing and language came from the fact that in Oakwood in those days, if you were in the seventh or eighth grade, you had an English literature class, and you had a grammar class. The combination of the fabulous school, the incredibly great library, the screened-in porch, and everybody always talking about history.” She says she’ll write more about Dayton someday because it’s complicated and it’s fascinating. “It’s very much a microcosm of this country’s history in so many ways.”


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was produced and purified at the Runnymede Playhouse in Oakwood, then ‘Maintaining the cemetery Polonium sent to Los Alamos, N.M. and used with beryllium to fuel atomic bomb triggers. Koval transferred to Runnymede from Oak Ridge, Tenn. in June 1945. is an extension of our United Kingdom tasked with designlove & devotion.’ George Koval ing, building, and fueling the United

— Susan & Dr. David Joffe with their parents


s caregivers for their entire professional careers, it’s in Susan and David Joffe’s DNA to provide comfort and support to others. According to David, “it was my Jewish heritage that guided me in how I cared for my patients and their families.” That care didn’t stop when they both retired. They knew their contribution to the Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Dayton endowment campaign would help maintain our three Jewish cemeteries and provide comfort and support for generations of families. “Both my parents and David’s parents are buried in Beth Abraham’s cemetery. We visit them often,’’ said Susan. “Sometimes we just drive by and wave. Maintaining the cemetery is an extension of our love and devotion to them.” Susan and David continue to lean on their Jewish heritage and traditions to guide their commitment to our community and to honor their family. Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Dayton is an endowment organization created to maintain our three Jewish cemeteries in perpetuity. Please join us as we strive to maintain the sanctity, care, and integrity of these sacred burial grounds.

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Continued from Page Three States’ atomic bombs. Union’s Main Intelligence Directorate. With Koval’s role in the health Whether he had any choice in the physics department — determining matter to become a spy is not known. radiation health hazards and develCorrespondence Hagedorn found oping instruments to detect levels of from much later in his life implies he radiation — he had access to highly may have. She believes that if Koval classified information and sites at Oak had a choice, he became a spy because Ridge and Dayton. of devotion to his family. Along with the safety protocol She points out that Koval and his information he provided to his Soviet wife, Lyudmila Ivanova, a member handlers, he also gave them the U.S. of imperial Russia’s aristocracy, had government’s recipe for polonium married in 1936, “shortly after the production and purification. This was beginning of what would be the secret to creating the trigknown as Stalin’s Great Purge: Koval Family Archive ger for America’s atom bombs, the brutal years when millions the shortcut to help the Soviets of Russians died from execusuccessfully test their own tions or forced labor in the atom bomb four years after camps of Siberia.” Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hagedorn found that in late Polonium was produced 1938 or early 1939, someone and purified at the Runnymede living with the couple in a MosPlayhouse in Oakwood, sent cow apartment had reported Chemistry Prof. to Los Alamos, N.M., and George Koval at the used with beryllium to fuel them to the government. Mendeleev Institute, atomic bomb triggers. “If he was a GRU intelMoscow, late 1950s ligence officer, no matter Those with the U.S. Army where he went and where assigned to the four sites he died, his family would have been across the Dayton area working on protected,” Hagedorn says. the polonium problem for Monsanto After his training, Koval arrived in Chemical Co. wore civilian clothes. the United States in 1940, began his Koval and his roommate, also work with a cover business in New transferred from Oak Ridge, lived York, enrolled for the draft in 1941 un- at 1111 N. Main St. in Dayton for a der his real name, and took chemistry month and then shared a room at 825 classes through the extension program Grand Ave. at Columbia University. Koval joined a bowling league. Al“He goes to Columbia to mingle ways one to have a pretty girl on his with scientists,” she says. “The arm, in Dayton, he dated 22-year-old physicists of world renown are now at Janet Fisher over the summer of 1945. Columbia.” Fisher and her sister had jobs at the Because the U.S. Army needed playhouse site that summer. exceptional scientists, it established FBI documents years later indiits Specialized Training Program and cated that the sisters lived with their within it, the Special Engineer Detach- parents and that Koval would play ment. bridge with the Fishers on Sunday After Koval was drafted, he nights. But the girls’ mother sensed achieved a stratospheric score of 152 something suspicious about Koval: on the army’s classification test. Koval he would never talk about his family, was brought into the Special Engiand that made her uncomfortable. neer Detachment. Following a year If anyone in the U.S. government or of electrical engineering training at military had suspicions about Koval, City College of New York, Koval was they could have pieced together his first assigned to Oak Ridge, Tenn. in secret with little difficulty. But no one August 1944, and then to Dayton from did. Or no one reported it. July 1945 to January 1946. “Hoover was right that there were Oak Ridge and Dayton were these very sophisticated (Soviet among the more than 30 top secret espionage) networks,” Hagedorn sites in the United States, Canada, and says. “But he was so blinded by op-

Advertising Sales Executive Patty Caruso, Proofreader Rachel Haug Gilbert Billing Sheila Myers, 937-610-1555 Observer Advisor Martin Gottlieb Published by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton Dr. 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. 26, 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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DAYTON Koval Family Archive

George Koval with his grandniece, Maya Gennadievna Koval, in 2003

portunism, bigotry, politics, and he was always hunting in the wrong territory — that all the spies had to be members of the Communist Party USA. “If you were trained by the GRU and you were smart, you weren’t spending your weekends with your fellow spies. You did things like George did. Someone like George is blending in, not just with his language or with his exceptional skills as a scientist — muchneeded during wartime here — but at the same time, culturally he was playing bridge, bowling.” Koval received his discharge from the army in February 1946, turned down a job offer with Monsanto, completed his degree in electrical engineering from CCNY, and then returned to the Soviet Union in 1948. “When he returns to Russia in 1948, there’s a huge outbreak of antisemitism. Stalin is going after the ‘cosmopolitans’ and it’s really dreadful,” Hagedorn says, noting that Koval was American born and Jewish. Though his spying was a state secret and he had received no accolades, behind the scenes, Koval leveraged his role to receive a professorship at the Mendeleev Institute in Moscow, his alma mater. There, he would publish more than 100 scientific papers and had a loyal student following. He died in 2006 at age 92. His grandniece told Hagedorn that he never talked about his past. Though in 2002, when signing copies of the book The GRU and the Atomic Bomb for two of his former students, he included his code name — Delmar — the closest he came to revealing his role. Hagedorn, who is not Jewish, notes that many of the Soviet spies were not Jewish. “And you look at the ones who were and what you have to do is say why? The underlying theme throughout his life was the antisemitism. The backlash of bigotry is interwoven all the way through.”



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Josh Mandel is running for Senate again — this time as a far-right leader who promotes ‘Judeo-Christian’ values

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By Ron Kampeas, JTA In 2012, Josh Mandel’s political future was glowing. As Ohio’s state treasurer, he ran for a U.S. Senate seat as a young conservative Marine vet with deep ties to local and national Jewish communities. Despite the fact that he lost the election to the incumbent, Democrat Sherrod Brown, Mandel stayed on the rise, and Republicans would urge him to run again in 2018. Mandel leaned into his Jewish side as a public figure, often noting his upbringing, which included membership in a Conservative synagogue, a stint on the Jewish Community Center softball team and a dad, Bruce, who at one time chaired Cleveland’s Jewish Community Relations Council. A Wall Street Journal op-ed in 2012 noted Mandel’s Jewishness, arguing that he symbolized a growing diversity in the GOP’s ranks. The Republican Jewish Coalition frequently gushed about their “rising star.” “Go Josh go!” the group wrote in 2015. Today, Mandel — and the constituency whose support he seeks — look significantly

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tweet referencing the refugees from Afghanistan evacuated by the United States as Kabul fell to the Taliban. “To protect our kids, our communities and our Judeo-Christian way of life, we must FIGHT this with all our might.” Faiths and creeds outside the “Judeo-Christian” ethic do not distinguish good from evil, Mandel suggested at a recent debate for the six Republicans running for the Senate seat nomination. The “Judeo-Christian ethic Josh Mandel, interviewing with a separates itself from Islam and local TV station during his Senate atheism and all these other run this year belief sets on so many levels, different. Mandel, 44, is again but one of the main levels is running for a Senate seat, this our acknowledgment of good time to replace retiring Repubversus evil,” he said. lican Rob Portman. But first he Mandel has also argued has to earn the GOP nomination repeatedly that there is no conin a crowded primary field. And stitutional separation of church these days Mandel represents and state. He has called for the the far-right option for voters. shuttering of public schools — He claims that Donald Trump which he calls “government won last year’s presidential schools” — and says schools election and wants Congress to should go “in churches and investigate baseless allegations synagogues.” of election fraud. He frequently JTA asked Mandel for an incalls Republicans who have terview. He asked for questions opposed Trump, such as Reps. in writing, and has not replied Liz Cheney of Wyoming and to detailed questions about Anthony Gonzalez these and other of Ohio, “traitors.” His campaign policy proposals. He says bringing “Judeo-Chrisin Afghan refugees website tian” is a term exposes American declares that that most Jewish children to predascholars say was he is ‘Pro-God’ deployed in the tors. He likens coronavirus pre20th century to and features vention measures to bring together the conduct of the a picture of a coalitions to fight Gestapo. church steeple fascism, commuAnd in a notable nism, and racism. shift in his relations topped with a More recently, it with the Jewish has been used as a cross. community, Mandel cudgel, they say, to has become a leader in the marginalize secular Americans movement to promote “Judeoand those belonging to other Christian” values in politics, minority religions, particularly routinely appearing at evangeli- Muslims. cal Christian events. “Since its brief heyday after The front page of his camWorld War II, the term ‘Judeopaign website declares that he Christian’ has steadily shrunk is “Pro-God” and features a pic- in American Jewish parlance,” ture of a church steeple topped James Loeffler, a professor of with a cross. He frequently Jewish history at the University deploys the term “Judeo-Chris- of Virginia, wrote in an email intian” on Twitter, without clearly terview. “Nowadays it primarily defining its meaning, except remains in vogue only among usually as a means of attacking certain circles of Jewish politiMuslims. cal conservatives and religious “These planes are now being ultra-traditionalists who seek emptied into Cleveland, Toledo common cause with the Chrisand other places in the heart of tian Right. Most other observant Continued on Page Eight America,” he said in a Sept. 3


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Mandel Continued from Page Six

Jews regard the term as theologically problematic and historically inaccurate.” Accusations that Mandel, whose children attend Jewish day school, is abdicating his Jewish roots infuriate him. “I’m a: Proud American. Proud Jew. Proud Marine. Proud Zionist,” Mandel wrote on Twitter after the Forward ran an op-ed attacking his Judeo-Christian rhetoric. “Everything Democrats hate.” The term has been embraced in recent years by politically conservative Jews, including right wing media figures such as Dennis Prager, Rabbi Daniel Lapin and Ben Shapiro, although some Jewish conservatives are not comfortable with the term, arguing that it erases critical differences between Judaism and Christianity. Many of Mandel’s former admirers wonder about his shift. “There are a lot of people who had been enthusiastic supporters of Josh who now wonder what happened to him,” a senior member of the RJC board of directors, who spoke on background because of the sensitivity of calling out a fellow Republican, said in an interview. “The Josh Mandel who is running today is unrecognizable from the one they enthusiastically supported in 2012 and 2018,” the last two times Mandel ran for Senate.

GOP and leader in the Columbus JewOne indicator of how far Mandel’s ish community, said Mandel’s attacks status has dipped among Ohio’s polition Anthony Gonzalez as a “traitor” for cally conservative Jewish community voting to impeach Trump rubbed many is the stance of Judith Brachman, the Republican Jews in Ohio the wrong way. doyenne of Jewish Republicans in the Gonzalez, the son of Cuban immistate, who has endorsed one of Mandel’s grants and a former NFL wide receiver, opponents. is popular among politically conservaBrachman donated to Mandel’s previous campaigns. But in October, she tive Jews in the state. “I think the vitriol that Josh attacked him with, people wrote to the Columbus Dispatch that she favored State Sen. Matt Dolan, a relative were really disappointed,” Kastan said. Mandel, once a favorite of the RJC moderate, in the Republican primary and a fixture at its events, did not show race. She cited her background as an up at its annual conference in official of both state and Las Vegas in November. federal Republican adminis- Mandel’s Mandel’s embrace of Christrations, under Gov. George gravitation tian nationalist tropes and Voinovich and Ronald Reatoward extremist candidates means he gan, respectively. Brachman culture war is no longer a poster boy for the said Dolan would get her vote because he would not politics isn’t diversity touted in that 2012 Wall Street Journal op-ed — a embarrass the state. value that the RJC has contin“Dolan represents a long a complete to push in the wake of the Ohio tradition of measursurprise to ued Trump presidency. Mandel has ing public resources wisely, endorsed Georgia Rep. Marand would reflect principles everyone. jorie Taylor Greene, who has established by our distinbeen accused of pushing antisemitic guished current Sen. Rob Portman,” tropes, and Laura Loomer, a Jewish Rethe moderate Republican who has been publican who has proudly called herself close to the state’s Jewish community, an Islamophobe. wrote Brachman. “Support for Matt Mandel’s gravitation toward culture Dolan will preserve Republican valwar politics isn’t a complete surprise ues and bring honor to our state in the to everyone. In 2010, he ran, and then United States Senate.” dropped, an ad insinuating that his Brachman declined an interview Black political opponent was a Muslim request. (he was not). Brad Kastan, a longtime donor to the

Kastan, who has known Mandel since they were both leaders at the Ohio State University Hillel, said he noticed Mandel change after his second tour in Iraq in 2007, which Mandel’s friends say was particularly harrowing. Mandel served as an intelligence specialist in Haditha, a town where resistance to the Americans was notably fierce. “When Josh came back from Iraq, his second tour of Iraq, I think his views on Christian-Judeo, on America, and the threat of Islamic radicalism, Islamic terrorism, jihadism, whatever you want to call it — I think that was very, very informed by his tours in Iraq,” he said. “I don’t doubt his sincerity there.” Mandel dropped out of the 2018 Senate run, citing his wife’s health needs. The couple split up in 2020, and say they are on good terms; Ilana Mandel is backing his Senate run. Now he is dating his campaign finance director, Rachel Wilson, and the two reportedly argue so heatedly in front of staff that it has created a toxic work environment, driving away staffers. Mandel still has some mainstream pro-Israel pull: NORPAC, the right-leaning pro-Israel political action committee, is backing him, as is Fred Zeidman, a Houston area businessman who is an influential Republican Jewish donor and chaired the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum under President George W. Continued on Page 10

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Continued from Page Eight Bush. Zeidman tends to back moderates within the party, but says Mandel’s bona fides as an Israel backer and a veteran make him stand out. He also said Mandel is an astute politician who understands how critical it is to cultivate evangelicals in Ohio, and how important it is to uphold Trump with the GOP base — even if he wishes that Mandel “had not gone as hard right as he has, because I don’t agree with all of those policies.” “I think he has been a student of what he thinks he needs to do in the state that he’s running in,” Zeidman said. “And we’ll see how that plays out. Now after he’s elected, will he back off of that — he’ll have a six year term — or will he stick with a lot of that? Because I don’t think it’s totally consistent with his policies historically. But can I blame him? He’s got to win.” Kastan said Mandel had to distinguish himself in a field of six Republicans, all with credible shots at the nomination, including Dolan, the state senator; Hillbilly Elegy author J. D. Vance; and Jane Timken, a former Ohio GOP chairwoman. An early internal poll shows Mandel leading the field. “It erases five people if you can grab 35 percent” of the Republican base, Kastan said. “He’s just clearly leaning into that.”

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By Shira Hanau, JTA A candidate for the U.S. Senate in Ohio ran an ad calling out his opponent Josh Mandel’s Jewishness and defended the spot at a candidate forum Nov. 11. Mark Pukita, an entrepreneur who is one of several candidates vying for the Republican nomination in a crowded primary, released the radio ad in October. It highlights Mandel’s courting of evangelical voters by touting “Christian values.” “Are we seriously supposed to believe the most Christian-values Senate candidate is Jewish? I am so sick of these phony caricatures,” a voice says in the ad. When asked by a moderator at a campaign forum to respond to claims that he is “antisemitic and intentionally divisive and inflammatory,” Pukita defended the ad. “In terms of antisemitism, all I did in an ad was pointed out that Josh is going around saying he’s got the Bible in one hand and the Constitution in the other. But he’s Jewish,” he said, according to Politico. “Everybody should know that though, right?” Mandel seemed to respond to Pukita in a tweet the next day. “Opponents attack me because I’m a proud American and proud Jew. Liberals attack me because I’m fighting to protect JudeoChristian values,” Mandel tweeted.


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Senate candidate defends ad calling out opponent Mandel’s Jewishness

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Jingle Lights November 26 - January 1 See downtown streets transformed into an interactive, drive-thru light show, choreographed to the beat of your favorite holiday tunes! Tune your radio to 97.1 FM as you drive the route.

Downtown's the place for holiday fun! In addition to Jingle Lights, you'll find a ton of holiday activities for the family throughout the season at: PAGE 12

6 men and a ‘good old boys’ culture harmed students at Reform movement’s rabbinical school, report concludes By Philissa Cramer & Asaf Shalev, JTA Sexual harassers led the Reform movement’s rabbinical school for more than three decades, according to an explosive new report commissioned by the school. Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk, the president and then chancellor of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion from 1971 to 1996, and his successor, Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman, who served until 2000, both harassed and assaulted women at the seminary, according to the report. While the allegations that led to Zimmerman’s suspension in 2000 had broken into public view earlier this year, Gottschalk had never before been named in public allegations. In addition to leading the institution and teaching students, the men were also responsible for ordaining generations of Reform rabbis. Gottschalk and Zimmerman are among six prominent former male employees of the seminary to be named in the report, the outcome of an independent investigation into the school’s past handling of sexual abuse allegations. The investigation is one of three launched simultaneously into the Reform movement’s institutions, years into the broader #MeToo societal reckoning.

Over the course of the inquiry, investigators retained by the law firm Morgan Lewis spoke to 170 past and present faculty, staff and students from the seminary who answered an open call for participation. The conversations revealed that while conditions at the seminary have improved in recent years, a “good old boys’ mindset” existed for decades across the school’s four campuses in the United States and Israel harmed generations of Reform rabbis and professionals. Many of the women interviewed described facing critical comments about their weight, appearances, pregnancies and very presence in a rabbinical school that ordained its first woman in 1972, under Gottschalk. Students and faculty alike recalled discrimination against queer students. Other interviewees said they felt official complaints of harassment would not lead to accountability. “The pain that many witnesses have harbored based on their experience at HUC — some for decades — was palpable,” the report says. “Many witnesses broke down in tears, while others commented on the years they have spent in therapy.” The seminary will take the findings seriously and will act on them, according


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complaints, suggesting students may have chosen not to Sue Neuman Hochberg, chair of the board of goverto register their concerns. In others, as with Passamanors. The administration has committed to drafting a plan for the board’s review by Dec. 14, a spokesperson neck, they found people who were sanctioned repeatedly for inappropriate behavior were still allowed to said. teach courses. “Numerous members of the HUC-JIR commuAmong the allegations the investigators heard nity described the lasting harm caused to them from consistently was that Gottschalk was widely underconduct that is antithetical to the core values of this institution and, quite simply, unacceptable,” Hochberg stood to be a “womanizer” who routinely pressured said in a statement. She added, “We respect their cour- female HUC students to come to his apartment, where he would proposition them — or worse. One former age and willingness to share painful memories, and student recalled Gottschalk placing her we commit ourselves to honoring what we HUC hand on his penis, and another told the heard from them.” investigators he had pinned her against a Because they heard so many allegations wall and forcibly kissed her. — about discrimination on the basis of Until this summer, Gottschalk’s behavior gender, race and LGBTQ+ status; sexual hawas the subject only of a whisper network rassment; and bullying — the investigators of female rabbis who recounted uncomfortcould not verify all of them, according to able and inappropriate experiences with the report. Instead, they focused on a small him. Then, in June, Rabbi Mary Zamore, number of men against whom “repeated executive director of the Women’s Rabbinic and credible allegations” were made. Network, a group of Reform rabbis who Of the six men named in the report, pressed for accountability around sexual four are dead. They are Gottschalk; Rabbi abuse, named him during a presentation at Michael Cook, a New Testament scholar Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk a conference about repairing moral injury. whose death in April elicited allegations on Zamore recalled she was only a few weeks into her social media that became one trigger for the investigarabbinical training, studying at the HUC campus in tion, according to the report; Stephen Passamaneck, a professor of rabbinic literature who retired in 2013 and Jerusalem, when a classmate told her Gottschalk had pressured her twice for a date. “Refusing him, she whose misdeeds, the report says, included filling his feared for her academic position and future in the rabHUC computer with pornography; and Bonia Shur, a liturgy professor in Cincinnati who was widely known binate,” Zamore said in her conference presentation. This behavior turned out to be not a singular to have touched female students forcibly. instance but a pattern made known through private The two who are living — Zimmerman and Steven conversations among students. Cohen, a prominent sociologist who resigned in 2018 “I was warned by other female students not to go to after an investigation found that he was guilty of sexuhis office and to avoid being alone with him, whether al misconduct — have previously been the subjects of it was a hallway or elevator,” Zamore said. public allegations. Six years went by, and the day of Zamore’s ordinaInvestigators looked into what action, if any, had tion arrived. The ceremony required Gottschalk to lay been taken when students reported misconduct in the his hand on her head. She dreaded being touched by past. In some cases, they found no evidence of formal

him and felt it was a “travesty” that classmates who had been harassed by him would have to be ordained this way. What should have been a sacred moment was instead a “torturous” experience, she said. At least one student was ordained privately to avoid having Gottschalk lay his hands on her, according to the report. With many of his former students in the rabbinate today, Gottschalk left behind a legacy of moral injury, a type of trauma that can be born of betrayal by a trusted authority, Zamore said. “Survivors have shared their ambivalence about becoming a rabbi after a rabbi has hurt them,” Zamore said in her presentation. “Many of their narratives include outrage over being ordained by their harasser.” The report urges the seminary to hold an optional “reordination ceremony, or something similar” for rabbis who felt their ordination had been tainted. It recommends several other changes, including new systems for reviewing allegations and exploring the possibility of revoking the ordination of rabbis found to have committed abuse. It also encourages the school to engage in a process of “teshuvah, or repentance.” After reading the report, the Women’s Rabbinic Network said the investigation was reassuring because it was comprehensive and transparent. The next step, the group said in a statement, was to implement the report’s recommendations and others aimed at preventing future abuse from taking place and going unaddressed. “By engaging a respected third-party investigative body and undertaking a serious and wide-ranging investigation into sexual misconduct and discrimination past and present, HUC-JIR has acted with integrity and has helped set a standard for other legacy organizations within and outside of the Jewish world,” the group’s statement said. “The work of repair is long and this investigation, with its lengthy and detailed report and recommendation, is a notable and important step in that on-going process.”

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Biography of Dayton congressman explores politics of race, religion in Civil War era Dayton Metro Library

particularly antisemitic. In fact, antisemitism By Martin Gottlieb didn’t surface as much of American issue Clement Vallandigham — the most promiuntil the war, when the need for scapegoats nent Daytonian of the 19th century by far — North and South — fostered it. After the — was pro-slavery. Indeed, he denied that war, it receded, until the great wave of Eastern slavery raised any moral issue. He said this European Jewish immigration starting in the country was for White people, and the inter1880s. ests of Black people should not be considered. Still, in the 1850s, some Jews saw in the However, in researching my recently pubanti-immigrant movement a threat to Jews. If lished book about him, I came across some Jews weren’t in the target zone of the ethnointriguing material about his views on Jews. centrists yet, that didn’t mean they never Vallandigham argued for Jewish rights. would be. He did so with unusual vigor. Why? What When the anti-immigrant party faded — as explains his combination of intolerance and the immigration wave faded and slavery came enlightenment? Why did a man incapable to dominate political discourse — most of its of seeing the harm of prejudice toward one adherents seemed to turn to the Republicans. minority become a force against prejudice The Democrats weren’t an option; they against another, Jews? were organizing the Irish immigrants in First, a note on his prominence: Valplaces like New York. The Republican antilandigham’s name was a household word. immigrant forces certainly didn’t represent He — not the Wright brothers — put Dayton the views of Lincoln. But some Jews never on the map. He was known for much, but first forgot anti-immigrant forces were there, in the for being Abraham Lincoln’s leading antago- The arrest of the Honorable Clement L. Vallandigham, in Dayton, Ohio, May 5, nist in the North. He was the most prominent 1863, published by Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, New York, May 23, 1863 Republican Party. This seems to have been true of the famous person among the “Copperheads” or Peace completely without ‘constitutional warrant.’” Democrats. That group was against war with the Vallandigham said, “There is a large body of men in Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise of Cincinnati, the Reform leader. He was a passionately partisan Democrat, seeSouth. Vallandigham insisted that if the Republicans this country, and one growing continually, of the Heing the Republicans as a menace. When Massachusetts simply gave up their opposition to the extension of brew faith, whose rabbis and priests are men of great — the hotbed of anti-slavery sentiment — passed a slavery, the problem between North and South would learning and piety, and whose adherents are as good law in 1859 imposing new restrictions on immigrants, go away. citizens and as true patriots as any in this country.” Vallandigham was thrown out of the country by The Republicans running the House ignored him — he saw that as a statement about who the Republicans really were. Lincoln for his views (the central story in my book). which they seemed to do as a matter of policy — and Well, if you see the Republicans as the anti-immiThen he was nominated by the Democrats for goverpassed the bill. grant party, you begin to see why it would make sense nor in 1863. He ran the race from exile in Canada. The After that, Jewish leaders objected, taking their case election generated higher voter turnout than presiden- to Lincoln. He said it had been an oversight — which is for Vallandigham to reach out to Jews. He liked the tial elections in Ohio, over 80 percent. If he had won, really not at all clear — and that it would be remedied. idea of immigrants identifying with the Democrats. Counter-intuitive as this seems today to people who that would have been a turning point in the war. And It was, though that took a year. know Vallandigham as a racist, he saw the Democratic Vallandigham would have become the presidential Why had Vallandigham spoken up when nobody Party as the one committed to what we today call candidate of the Democratic Party’s base. If he had else had, aside from the joy he took in vexing Repubdiversity. It was the party that had stood up to the Nobeen elected, re-unification almost certainly would not licans? One factor surely is that there were Jews in Nothings and did not now house them. have happened. Dayton. Vallandigham would certainly have known But including Black people in the Democrats’ coaliIf you hear Vallandigham’s name around town these local Jewish leaders. He might have attended a sertion wouldn’t have been politically useful, because days or see it at certain places online, you might get the mon or two. As the son and brother of a minister, he there were few Black people in the North and most impression he was not pro-slavery, but merely pro-state was deeply interested in religion. He would also have rights. This is wrong. He explicitly, adamantly embeen interested in Jewish votes, not because there were couldn’t vote. Also, the Democratic politicians enticed Irish immigrants into the party by portraying the Rebraced Southern slavery as a positive good in an 1863 many of them, but because his election margins were publicans as the party of Black Americans, who would congressional speech. He had held a state rights posialways paper thin. compete with the Irish for jobs if freed. tion earlier, but the war years are the ones that count in Jews were not a voting bloc committed to one party There were multiple reasons for Vallandigham’s his story. They were his hour upon the stage. or the other. Some in the North were motivated by antiviews on race, including that he had come of age in Jewish concerns: When an issue arose in Europe slavery views and were Republicans. But there was the Democratic Party, which could only maintain its naabout whether Jewish American travelers would be another force drawing Jews to the Democrats: controtional coalition by tolerating slavery. He came up with granted the same rights as other American citizens, versy over immigration issues. Vallandigham introduced a resolution in the House, In 1850, the country had about 50,000 Jews. A decade rationalizations for his views, insisting, for example, that Black people were a “cursed” race, “a servile and insisting that they must be. later, the figure was about 150,000, or half of one perdegraded race almost from the beginning of time.” But the main Jewish issue in which he played a role cent of the nation. They were scattered in both North Of course, some who hate Jews go back to biblical was whether rabbis could be chaplains in the Civil and South. times in pursuit of a rationalization for their views. War. Early in the war, a sort of omnibus war bill was The country had seen a massive immigration wave One can imagine Vallandigham doing that if he had enacted; one small provision said that chaplains could — overwhelmingly Christian — in the early 1850s, be drawn from qualified clergy in any Christian deresulting from two factors: the Irish potato famine and a political motive. Maybe he truly held the views he publicly espoused about Jews and Black people. But nomination. the failure of some liberal revolutions in Europe. After another possibility is simply that denouncing Jews Vallandigham took offense. He did so on the floor of those failures, many people felt the need to get out of would not have suited his political purposes. the House, which was where he often stationed himself Europe. Jews were among them. in the task of giving the Republicans fits. He was the The wave was so big that immigration temporarily only member of the House to complain about the eclipsed slavery as a political issue. An anti-immigrant Retired Dayton Daily News editorial writer Martin Gottlieb is the author of Lincoln’s Northern Nemesis: provision. According to historian Bertram Korn, “He party — known as the American Party or the “No The War Opposition and Exile of Ohio’s Clement denounced the underlying implication of the bill that Nothings” — was born and prospered briefly. That Vallandigham (McFarland & Co.) He is also the advisor to the United States is a Christian country, in the politiparty was anti-Catholic, because the Irish immigrants The Dayton Jewish Observer. cal sense, and branded the law as entirely unjust and and many others were Catholic. The party was not

So, what do you think? PAGE 14

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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.
























UPCOMING EVENTS Connect with us! Check out our events. For more information, check out our calendar at November 29 through December 6 — Chanukah

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Thursday, December 2 @ 11:30AM — Community Adult Chanukah Luncheon Sunday, December 5 @ 5:30PM — Chanukah on Ice Sunday, December 12 @ 10AM — Dismantling Antisemitism: A Zoom Training with Secure Community Network December 20 through 30 — Winter Camp Shalom Friday, December 24 @ 10AM — JFS Drive Thru Mitzvah Mission

Monday–Friday, 8AM–5:30PM @ Temple Beth Or (5275 Marshall Rd., Dayton, 45429) Enjoy fun, friends, and field trips Camp Shalom style!

Monday, December 20 - Thursday, December 30 DAY) Monday, January 17 (MLK RESIDENTS’ DAY) Monday, February 21 (P

Closed Friday, December 24 and 31. Register online at!




Sunday, December 5, 5:30-8PM Celebrate Chanukah with the community! Activities for all ages including ice skating, trivia, a take-home lantern craft for children, oil press demonstration, storytime, hot cocoa and sufganiyot, menorah lighting and surprise guests! Riverscape (237 E. Monument Ave., Dayton, 45402) free parking is available on the street Cost: $8 adult • $3 child (ages 4-12) • Free (3 and under) In keeping with our commitment to tikkun olam (repairing the world), we will be supporting For Love of Children (FLOC). FLOC serves thousands of children in the Dayton area who are neglected, abused, in foster care, or are in need of community resources. Together, our community will help FLOC make children’s holidays magical! Visit our website to see a list of items to donate for their toy cottage. Please RSVP at

Jewish Community Center OF GREATER DAYTON




Legacies, Tributes, & Memorials ROBERT AND MOLLIE FITTERMAN PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUND IN HONOR OF › the 35th anniversary of Judith Axe Fitterman and Mark Fitterman Susan and Alan Witte


UNITED JEWISH CAMPAIGN IN MEMORY OF › William Clark Donna and Marshall Weiss PJ LIBRARY IN HONOR OF › Bat Mitzvah of Susie and Eddie Katz’ granddaughter, Sydney Marcia and Ed Kress


JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES IN HONOR OF › So proud of you, Joseph Saks, love and hugs, Mom Patricia Saks

ISRAEL SUPPORT FUND IN MEMORY OF › Stephen Weisbrod Marcia, Eddie, Jeremy and Dustin Kress PAST PRESIDENTS FUND IN MEMORY OF › Alan Klein Judy and Marshall Ruchman


JEREMY BETTMAN B’NAI TZEDEK YOUTH PHILANTHROPY FUND IN MEMORY OF › Alan Klein › Beatrice Grossman › Judge William Clark › Jim Hochman Jean and Todd Bettman

LINDA RUCHMAN MEMORIAL FUND IN MEMORY OF › Howard Faust Judy and Marshall Ruchman

HELP BRIGHTEN THE FUTURE Just as the Shamash candle is used to light the other candles,YOUR legacy story can inspire others to join you, magnifying your impact.


ADDISON CARUSO B’NAI TZEDEK YOUTH PHILANTHROPY FUND IN MEMORY OF › Judge William Clark Patty and Michael Caruso and family


CAROLE RABINOWITZ CAMP FUND IN MEMORY OF › Marcia Alpert Beverly Louis › Judge William Clark Marla and Steve Harlan Cathy Gardner Beverly Louis IN HONOR OF › A speedy recovery for Marni Flagel Beverly Louis › The 85th birthday of Bernie Rabinowitz Judy McCormick Maggie Mantia Beverly Louis

A Biss'l Mamaloshen Trachtn

| TRACHT-en | Verb

Think, plan. Expressions using noch: JEWISH FOUNDATION of GREATER DAYTON

1. A mentsh tracht un Got lacht. Man proposes and God disposes (lit., "A person thinks and God laughs"). 2. Ver es tracht nisht, lacht nisht. Whosoever does not think does not laugh.



ah December


Community Adult Chanukah Luncheon

Thursday, December 2 @ 11:30AM - 1PM Join the JCC, Jewish War Vets and Hadassah to celebrate Chanukah virtually! There will be Chanukah songs, trivia, sharing of family stories and lighting a menorah. No Cost to participate OR $15.00 with a non-kosher boxed lunch (Bagel, Kugel, Potato Latkes, Tuna Salad, Egg Salad, Fruit Cup and Chocolate Chip Cookies) North Lunch Pick Up: December 2, 9:45 – 10:30 AM, at Temple Israel (130 Riverside Dr., Dayton, 45405)

Menemsha Hanukkah Film Festival in conjunction with Dayton Jewish Film Festival November 28 - December 5 Cost: $36 for the entire series with promo code DAYTON (a 25% savings!)





ah South Lunch Pick Up: December 2, 9:45 – 10:30 AM, at the Boonshoft CJCE (525 Versailles Dr., Centerville, 45459) Register online at Questions? Contact Marc Jacob @ 937-401-1545 or


Celebrate the Hanukkah season with eight nights of award-winning new films, available to view from the comfort of your home!

Your ticket purchase provides limited-time access to this series of 11 films, plus exclusive filmmaker discussions and more, with new content added each night of Hanukkah. This series is available throughout North America, in partnership with film festivals, synagogues and Jewish organizations across the U.S. and Canada. Enter the special promo code provided by your local organization at checkout to receive a discount and support your local community! To purchase, go to Questions? Contact Marc Jacob @ 937-401-1545 or






Friday, December 24, 10 AM – 12 NOON JFS is hosting another Drive Thru Mitzvah Mission! @ Boonshoft CJCE (525 Versailles Dr., Centerville, 45459)

Coming Soon!

The Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton is excited to announce the 2022 Leadership Institute! This program gives emerging leaders in the Dayton Jewish community the opportunity to: • Learn, network, and grow their leadership skills • Make a positive impact on their community • Attend a national conference with provided stipend Applications will be available at on January 3, 2022.


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 required recipe and directions on our website. 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 winter wear and provide you with snack bags and warm beverages. If you have any questions, please call Jacquelyn Archie @ 937-610-1555. No cost. RSVP at or call (937) 610-1555. JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES of GREATER DAYTON



Beth Jacob Virtual Classes: Sundays, 2 p.m.: Conversions w. Rabbi Agar. Tuesdays, 7 p.m.: Weekly Parsha w. Rabbi Agar. Thursdays, 7 p.m.: Jewish Law w. Rabbi Agar. Email Tammy at bethjacob1@ Temple Israel Classes: Tuesdays, noon: Talmud Study via Zoom. Saturdays, 9:15 a.m.: Torah Study via Zoom.


Chabad Ladies Chanukah Party & Craft Night: Wed., Dec. 1, 6 p.m. 2001 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood. chabaddayton. com. 937-643-0770.

Children & Youths

Chabad C-Kids Chanukah Disco: Thurs., Dec. 2, 4-5:30 p.m. Optional dinner 5:306 p.m. 2001 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood. 937-643-0770. Chabad C-Teen Chanukah Fun Night: Thurs., Dec. 2, 7-9 p.m. At Scene75, 6196 Poe Ave, Dayton. chabaddayton. com. R.S.V.P. 937-643-0770.

JCC Winter Camp Shalom: Dec. 20-30. At Temple Beth Or, 5275 Marshall Rd., Wash. Twp. Register at

Young Adults

Chabad’s Lights & Strikes for Millennials & Gen Z: Tues., Nov. 30, 7 p.m. Open bar, food, bowling. The VIP Suite, 8871 Kingsridge Dr., Centerville. 937-6430770.


JCC Virtual Book Club: Fri., Dec. 17, 10:30 a.m. Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke. Hosted by Linda Shapiro. Register at events. Beth Abraham Synagogue Sunday Speaker Series: Intolerance & Hate - Let’s Talk. Sunday, Dec. 19, 10:30 p.m. In person panel w. a Zoom option. 305 Sugar Camp Cir., Oakwood. bethabrahamdayton. org. 937-293-9520.

Community Events

JCRC’s Dismantling Antisemitism Series: Sun., Dec. 12, 10 a.m.: Training w. Secure Community Network via



Menemsha Chanukah Film Festival: in conjunction with Dayton Jewish Film Festival. Nov. 28-Dec. 5. $36 for series of 11 films. Promo code: DAYTON. Purchase at hanukkahff2021. Chabad Public Menorah Lighting at Town & Country, Kettering: Sun., Nov. 28, 6 p.m. Sufganiyot & latkes. 937-6430770. Chabad Grand Menorah Lighting & Chocolate Gelt Drop at The Greene’s Center Plaza: Mon., Nov. 29, 6 p.m. Sufganiyot & latkes. 937-6430770. Temple Israel Chanukah & Giving Tuesday Outdoor Experience: Tues., Nov. 30, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Bring items for St. Vincent de Paul, menorah lighting, sufganiyot, games. 130 Riverside Dr., Dayton. tidayton. org. 937-496-0050.

It’s not too late to save a life in Israel this year.

Community Adult Virtual Chanukah Luncheon: Thurs., Dec. 2, 11:30 a.m. Hosted by JCC, Jewish War Veterans & Hadassah. Free. Box lunches available for purchase in advance, $15. events.

Temple Beth Or Artisan Fair & Brisket Lunch: Sun., Dec. 5, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 5275 Marshall Rd., Wash. Twp. templebethor. com. 937-435-3400.

Lite Up Your Life at Beth Jacob: Sat., Dec. 4, 7 p.m. Menorah lighting, havdalah, bingo, gift swap, raffle, refreshments.7020 N. Main St., Harrison Twp. 937-274-2149.

JCC, PJ Library & Life & Legacy Chanukah On Ice: Sun., Dec. 5, 5:30-8 p.m. Menorah lighting, crafts, hot cocoa & sufganiyot. Riverscape, 237 E. Monument Ave., Dayton. $8 adult, $3 children 4-12, free 3 & under. events.

Chabad Public Menorah Lighting at Austin Landing: Sat., Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m. Sufganiyot & latkes. 937-6430770.

JFS Drive Thru Mitzvah Mission: Fri., Dec. 24, 10 a.m. Boonshoft CJCE, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. For details or to register call Jacquelyn Archie, 937-610-1555.

Happy Chanukah

Bonnie Mendelson & Family

Our warmest wishes for a joyous Chanukah

The Gruenbergs

For more than 90 years, American donors have provided vehicles, training, and supplies to Israel’s national paramedic and Red Cross service, equipping them to treat the sick and injured under the most difficult circumstances and to save lives. In fact, this past year Magen David Adom’s 30,000 EMTs and paramedics have been on the front lines in the fight against coronavirus while also contending with terrorist and rocket attacks, riots, car accidents, and other threats to Israeli lives. If you want to make a real difference in Israel, no other organization has a greater impact on its people than Magen David Adom. Make an end-of-year donation at Photo by Kobi Gideon / FLASH90



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MAZEL TOV! Julie and Dr. Rob Bloom were among the cyclists to join the Friends of the IDF Ride Israel 2021, Oct. 30 to Nov. 5. Over six days, the Blooms cycled from the Sea of Galilee to Mt. Hermon to the Golan Heights and down to Jerusalem. They also visited soldiers at army bases. This was the Blooms’ second bike ride Julie & Dr. Rob Bloom at the Golan Heights with FIDF. Julie is also president Dayton site has been nominated of the Dayton Chapter of for the award twice. Jonah, Hadassah. Scene75’s chief entertainment officer, founded the business in Dayton in 2012. Judges evaluate centers’ Bark community giveback programs, Mitzvah Covid safety measures, technological advancements to the Boy amusement industry, marketing materials, and entertainment offerings. Jonah Sandler and his team at The Columbus site, Jonah Scene75 have grabbed the brass says, is the largest indoor famring once again. The Columbus ily entertainment center in the site has won the International country. Along with Scene75’s Association of Amusement four locations in Ohio, Jonah Parks and Attractions Brass has one on the way for the ChiRing Award as the Top Family cago suburbs. Entertainment Center of the World. Send your Mazel Tov! Scene75’s Cincinnati location announcements to jewishobserver@ won the award in 2016 and the


Stein-Leventhal Gabriele and Todd Leventhal, proud Yellow Springers, are thrilled to announce the engagement of their son, Quinn Leventhal, to the fabulous Leah Stein. The pair met at Capital One, where both are employed as business managers. Leah Stein is the daughter of Larry Stein and Lisa Zinninger of Chapel Hill, N.C. Quinn is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and Leah graduated from Brandeis. All parents and siblings are ecstatic over this excellent match. The wedding is slated for 2023, which should give everyone enough time to hash out the guest list. Send your lifecycle announcements to

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The first step toward repentance By Rabbi Karen BodneyHalasz, Temple Israel In the book The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness, Joel ben Izzy shares the story The Search for Truth. It is about a man who gives up everything he cares about in search of truth. He scours the world until at last he learns of a mountain in India where truth resides. Upon reaching the top of this mountain he discovers truth, but she isn’t as he imagined. She is hideous: the ugliest creature he’d ever seen. She had bulging eyes, a bumpy face, wild teeth, and untamed hair. He stays with her and studies

Perspectives her ways for years. Before leaving, he asks how he can repay her. “I would ask simply this,” she said. “When you go out in the world and speak of me, tell them I am young and beautiful!” I share this with you while I continue to process the Morgan Lewis report about my alma mater, Hebrew Union CollegeJewish Institute of Religion. The report reveals a truth far more heinous than I ever imagined, outlining five decades of unethical behaviors within the college-institute that, in many cases, were well-known secrets for years. Pursuing truth is not an easy path. It requires us to give up long-held perceptions and, at times, pulls us into dark places where we would rather not shed light. I am grateful that HUC said yes to this journey, engaging a respected third-party organization to investigate the truth, unveil it, and make its findings public. It is a sign of integrity and the first step toward institutional teshuvah, repentance. But it isn’t pretty. The report brings forward myriad examples of the abuse and misuse of power. Morgan Lewis specifically pointed to microaggressions, bullying, academic gatekeeping, sexism, discrimination, retaliation, sexual advances, sexual harassment, protection of perpetrators over victims, reports swept under rugs, and straight-up intolerance. In some cases, it was within the highest levels of leadership. I find this especially egregious that these sins emerge from within a community that prides itself on heeding the prophetic

present.” call for justice and defending I was moved by this then those who have been marginaland continue to be now. It ized. seemed that she never gave up My heart hurts for those directly impacted in these ways. I on the school’s potential for teshuvah, recognizing there was wish I could say I’m surprised good, even while calling out the by all of this, but I can’t. I am, bad. This was what I took from however, shocked by the depth Rabbi Sally Priesand’s recent and severity of the abuse. statement in which she critiWhen I first contemplated cized Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk the rabbinate, I knew there for his horrible misconduct, wouldn’t be an even playing but also acknowledged that field. Before I ever applied to HUC, I knew about the difficul- she was only able to become the first female rabbi ties faced by women because of him. in the rabbinate. I My HUC experihad interviewed ence was not without women rabbis about complications. But their experiences, there were also many collected data that positive aspects, such showed clear biases as excellent learning against women in opportunities, inspirpulpits, and spent ing classmates, and two summers as a caring and supportive rabbinic intern learnprofessors, including ing, early on, about one who was named double standards and Rabbi Karen Bodney- in this report. The navigating when to findings in this report conform versus when Halasz won’t eclipse those memories. to confront. They will, however, remind me But I didn’t let this dissuade of how complex and imperfect me from applying to HUC. I people are, even those we hold had resigned myself to gender in the greatest esteem. imbalances when, in hindIn my opinion, the best way sight, I should have had higher for us to respond to this report expectations — especially from is to see the truth as it is, warts an institute of higher learning and all. We need to reckon with dedicated to training future our history. It won’t be pretty, religious leaders. but it is necessary. In 2019, one of my favorite Acknowledging and facing professors from HUC, Karla the dark spots of our past offers Goldman, published the article us an opportunity to seek out My Pioneer Days: Facing the real and lasting teshuvah. Patriarchy at Hebrew Union ColAs the Women’s Rabbinic lege. In it, she revealed some of Network beautifully wrote: the ugly truths we are reading “Now is the moment to prove about now: gender discriminathat our future will be different tion, gender bias, broken systems for reporting and appeals, than our past…Now is the moment…to ensure that people of and gatekeepers. all genders, sexual orientations, But she also wrote the folraces, and abilities will be safe lowing: “I believe the best way and respected within Reform to support a school that I still Jewish spaces.” care about is to hold it accountMay it be so. able for both its past and its

December Kislev/Tevet

Shabbat Candle Lightings December 3, 4:54 p.m. December 10, 4:54 p.m. December 17, 4:56 p.m. December 24, 4:59 p.m. December 31, 5:04 p.m.

Torah Portions December 4 Miketz (Gen. 41:1-44:17; Num. 28:9-15; Num. 7:42-47) December 11 Vayigash (Gen. 44:18-47:27) December 18 Veyechi (Gen. 47:28-50:26) December 25 Shemot (Ex. 1:1-6:1)

Jewish historian refuses award from Polish government’s history institute, saying it suppresses Holocaust research By Katarzyna Markusz, JTA WARSAW — Jewish American historian Eliyana Adler refused to accept an award worth $19,000 from the Polish government’s Pilecki Institute, arguing that it suppresses work by “historians who strive to show the complex and indeed tragic aspects of Poland’s wartime past.” Adler, an associate professor at Penn State University, was given a newly inaugurated award for scholarship on 20th-century Poland, the Pilecki Institute’s specialty, for her 2020 book Survival on the Margins: Polish Jewish Refugees in the Wartime Soviet Union. The honor was to be co-awarded by the Auschwitz memorial museum. “The Pilecki Institute, while very generous in supporting some historical scholarship on the Second World War, has also been involved in suppressing the work of historians who strive to show the complex and indeed tragic aspects of Poland’s wartime past,” Adler wrote in a letter dated Nov. 4 to the institute. Polish governmental institutions have been accused by historians of whitewashing the country’s treatment of Jews during the Holocaust. The country passed a widely criticized law in 2019 that makes it illegal to blame the Polish nation for Nazi crimes. A recent high-profile court case pitted historians Jan Grabowski and Barbara Engelking against Poland’s government, which ruled that the pair had to apologize for their book unearthing alleged atrocities by a Polish mayor. An appeals court overturned the ruling in August.


Festival of Lights

Nov. 29-Dec. 6 25 Kislev-2 Tevet Eight-day holiday commemorating Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greeks and the miracle of the rededication of the Temple. One day’s oil for the Temple Menorah lasted eight days. A chanukiah (menorah) is lit for eight nights, and latkes (potato pancakes) are fried in oil to commemorate the story. Children play with dreidels, and gifts are exchanged.


CONGREGATIONS Beth Abraham Synagogue Conservative Interim Rabbi Melissa Crespy Cantor/Dir. of Ed. & Programming Andrea Raizen Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. 305 Sugar Camp Circle, Oakwood. 937-293-9520. Beth Jacob Congregation Traditional Rabbi Leibel Agar Sundays & Wednesdays, 7:09 p.m. Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. 7020 N. Main St., Dayton. 937-274-2149. BethJacobCong. org Temple Anshe Emeth Reform Rabbinic Intern Chloe Zelkha Friday, Dec. 3, 7:30 p.m. 320 Caldwell St., Piqua. Contact Steve Shuchat, 937-7262116, Temple Beth Or Reform Rabbi Judy Chessin Asst. Rabbi/Educator Ben Azriel 5275 Marshall Rd., Wash. Twp. 937-435-3400. Temple Beth Sholom Reform Rabbi Haviva Horvitz 610 Gladys Dr., Middletown. 513-422-8313. Temple Israel Reform Senior Rabbi Karen BodneyHalasz. Rabbi/Educator Tina Sobo Fridays, 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. 130 Riverside Dr., Dayton. 937-496-0050. Temple Sholom Reform Rabbi Cary Kozberg 2424 N. Limestone St., Springfield. 937-399-1231.

ADDITIONAL SERVICES Chabad of Greater Dayton Rabbi Nochum Mangel Associate Rabbi Shmuel Klatzkin Youth & Prog. Dir. Rabbi Levi Simon, Teen & Young Adult Prog. Dir. Rabbi Elchonon Chaikin. Beginner educational service Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. 2001 Far Hills Ave. 937-643-0770. Yellow Springs Havurah Independent Antioch College Rockford Chapel. Contact Len Kramer, 937-5724840 or


RELIGION Shira Hanau

Prolific writer has 4,000 dreidels found by Eastern European treasure hunters Arthur Kurzweil first encountered amulets and dreidels excavated by treasure hunters during a trip to his father's hometown in Poland. Now he has collected thousands of them.

By Shira Hanau, JTA of the lives they lived. Even when Arthur Kurzweil sits by In addition to the tiny dreidels, made himself in his study, he doesn’t feel that of pewter and lead and clearly intended he’s alone. After all, he has the dreidels for children, Kurzweil has also collected — all 4,000 of them. boxes of metal kosher seals, which Kurzweil, 70, is a prolific author and would have been affixed to packages editor who has written books about Juof food to attest to their kosher status; daism and magic and his car rides with dozens of pins that would have been Talmud scholar Adin Steinsaltz, as well worn by members of Jewish youth and as the Kabalah and Torah installments in Zionist organizations; and coin-sized the … for Dummies series. metal disks that synagogues would His most significant contribution to have handed out to people being called Jewish publishing, however, may be his to the Torah. books and teaching about Jewish genealThe collection also includes amuogy: He has exhauslets that, while not a Arthur Kurzweil typical Jewish practice tively chronicled his efforts to trace his today, were historically own family’s lineage, used by Jews seeking including along the to ward off various many branches that ailments. Several of were broken when the amulets in the family members were collection include a murdered in the Holoprayer to protect the caust. wearer from diphtheThe dreidels, pulled ria. Others were worn from the earth across to protect the wearer Eastern Europe, repfrom the dangers of resent an extension of childbirth. that work, Kurzweil The size and breadth said from amid the of Kurzweil’s colleccollection in his Long Many of the lead and pewter dreidels tions paint a unique Island home. portrait of everyday that Arthur Kurzweil has acquired “I look at them… are damaged, but their letters remain Eastern European and I think, what’s the visible Jewish life during the history of this? And late 19th and early when’s the last time somebody played 20th century, until the beginning of the that game?” he said, adding, “I wonder Holocaust. what this person’s fate ultimately was.” That makes them unique in the conIt’s not just dreidels that surround text of Jewish history and art collections, Kurzweil. Quietly and in collaboration which more typically focus on ritual with Eastern Europe’s sizable commuobjects, such as Chanukah menorahs, nity of treasure hunters, he has amassed Shabbat candlesticks or intricately decoa sweeping collection of Jewish objects rated spice boxes used in the Havdalah unearthed from throughout Eastern ritual to end Shabbat. Europe. While Holocaust museums and “It shows everyday shtetl life at its concentration camps bring visitors face most basic and ordinary and, if you to face with the piles of shoes and eyewill, when things were going relatively glasses worn by Jews who were about to well,” said Beth Weingast, an art and be killed, Kurzweil lives with reminders Judaica appraiser who examined the



RELIGION collection for Kurzweil several years ago. William L. Gross, a collector of Judaica and Jewish art in Tel Aviv for nearly half a century, owns a large collection of amulets himself. He said he had never heard of a collection of workaday items as large as Kurzweil’s, and noted that objects such as the ones Kurzweil collected that speak to the daily lives of Jews in pre-war Eastern Europe remain woefully understudied. “It’s fabulous material because it’s objects of the normal, regular Jew, not the aristocracy, not the merchant class, but the people. And that is of extreme importance,” Gross said. John Ward, who heads the silver department at Sotheby’s, likewise said Kurzweil’s collection of Judaica made from inexpensive metals such as pewter and lead is significant. “To have this focus on the folk art and the utilitarian side, that would be the only one I’ve heard of,” he said. While Ward spends most of his time working with objects made of expensive materials, he noted that a collection like Kurzweil’s would tell an important story about Jewish communities that were destroyed during the Holocaust. “There’s something very poignant about the idea that these were things that were used and loved and brought out at holidays and then essentially became trash,” he said. Of course, the objects didn’t become trash so much as were turned into it by the Nazis and their collaborators. “My assumption based on where they are found is that most of the people who were entangled with these objects were murdered in the Holocaust. So in a sense the col-

lection becomes a Holocaust memorial,” Kurzweil said. Kurzweil first purchased an unearthed amulet in the 1970s while on a trip to Przemysl, Poland, a town where several members of his family had lived before World War II. “When I saw my first amulet, my first pendant, I was just drawn to it. I was shocked that they still exist under the ground. I didn’t want them to disappear or to be thrown away,” Kurzweil said. But it wasn’t until 2015, when Kurzweil traveled to Warsaw on his way to his father’s hometown of Dobromyl, that he learned about the tiny dreidels. The friend who showed him the objects introduced him to a metal detector hobbyist, part of a network of treasure seekers who comb regions of Eastern Europe that were devastated during the war. The hobbyists that Kurzweil has encountered largely look for gold and silver coins to sell, though others hunt more specifically for Nazi paraphernalia, as detailed in Plunder the recent book by Menachem Kaiser. Few are interested in holding onto detritus whose value is largely sentimental, and mostly limited to Jews. “Suddenly I had myself a network of people who are not really looking for Judaica, but they know that there’s a guy in New York who’s interested in this stuff and they contact me,” Kurzweil said. For some of the hobbyists, Kurzweil said, the act of sending him the Judaica objects they found, often just for the cost of the postage, and thus interacting with a living Jew was clearly meaningful. “They like the fact that they’re doing something that’s saving the Shira Hanau

Arthur Kurzweil displays metal amulets from his collection

remnants of the Jewish community,” he said. And for Kurzweil, too, the relationships with people in Eastern Europe are important. Kurzweil has traveled to Dobromyl 10 times and has gotten to know some of the people who live there over the years. In 2017, he even donated a playground to the town and raised over $22,000 to purchase supplies for the local school. “Thank you to everyone who made this happen,” he wrote on the GoFundMe page for the school fundraiser. “Standing in front of the house where my father was born, I read each of your names to myself in a whisper. What a privilege it is to help children — anywhere in the world — to learn.” If the objects Kurzweil collects act as a bridge between him and history, Kurzweil’s donations to the children of Dobromyl are firmly rooted in his desire to correct the relationships between those who hated each other in the past. “The reason I wanted to build a playground was because these were innocent children,” Kurzweil said. “If it was the other way around, these would have been my neighbors. I don’t want to inherit hatred and bitterness.” The mayor and the English teacher in town, who serves as Kurzweil’s interpreter when he visits, send him cards every Rosh Hashanah. He hopes to visit again one day. “The Lubavitcher Rebbe once said if you encounter something, and you think you can fix it, then fix it,” Kurzweil said. “So when I got there, I thought I could fix it a little bit.” Exactly what the future holds for Kurzweil’s collections is unclear. For now, he’s content to let their presence wash over him as he works on a memoir about his family’s story, including about his father’s prewar life in Dobromyl. But he’s starting to think about whether a museum should one day take them on — and he wonders whether any would. Weingast, for one, says the collection is of value precisely because the objects within it have no value on their own. “He’s accumulated a fantastic collection of everyday objects,” Weingast said about Kurzweil. “The objects are free, they’re of no value. But the expense is paying the people to find them and ship them and, you know, enticing people to not throw them away, to not just discard them.”

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Andrew Zimmern’s perfect potato latke recipe By Andrew Zimmern The Nosher These potato latkes are so good that sharing the recipe alone is a mitzvah of the highest order. Chanukah celebrates the miracle of the oil, so fried foods are often featured. Problem is, most potato pancakes, or latkes, are awful. Luckily for you, these are amazing. 1 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks sea salt 2 lb. baking potatoes 1 large onion, finely diced 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 cup matzah meal 1/2 tsp. freshly ground white pepper vegetable oil, for frying applesauce, crème fraîche, smoked salmon, salmon roe, and dill sprigs, to serve

Serve Andrew Zimmern’s latkes with applesauce, crème fraîche, smoked salmon, salmon roe, and dill

into a medium bowl. Press with a clean kitchen towel to remove excess moisture. Add half of the grated potatoes to the riced In a medium potatoes. saucepan, cover Transfer the the Yukon Gold remaining grated potatoes with cool potatoes to the bowl water, season generof a food processor. ously with salt, Add the onion and and bring to a boil. pulse until the potaCook the potatoes toes and onions are until tender, about very finely chopped. 15 minutes. Drain Transfer to a finewell and immedimesh sieve and 4-time James Beard ately pass the pota- Award-winning chef press with the back toes through a ricer Andrew Zimmern of a spoon to extract into a large bowl. as much liquid as Working quickly, peel and possible. Add the potato-onion grate the baking potatoes on mixture to the large bowl. Stir the large holes of a box grater in the eggs, matzah meal, white

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pepper, and two teaspoons of salt. In a large, heavy skillet, heat a quarter inch of oil until shimmering. Working in three batches, spoon a quarter cup of the potato mixture into the oil for each latke; press slightly to flatten. Fry over moderate heat, turning once, until the latkes are golden and crisp on both sides, about seven minutes. Drain the latkes on a paper towel-lined baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with salt. Serve with applesauce, crème fraîche, smoked salmon, salmon roe, and dill. Note: The fried latkes can be kept at room temperature for up to four hours. Reheat them on a baking sheet in a 375-degrees oven for about five minutes, or until warmed through and crisp. Emmy-winning, four-time James Beard Award-winning chef Andrew Zimmern is the creator, executive producer, and host of Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods franchise, Andrew Zimmern’s Driven by Food and The Zimmern List. In 2020, he returned to television with the MSNBC series What’s Eating America. His latest series, Family Dinner, is streaming on Discovery+ and will air on Chip & Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Network in 2022.

Wishing you a very happy Chanukah The Weiss Family


Gluten-free churros for Chanukah By Tannaz Sassooni, The Nosher It started with a question for Jonathan Gold. Chanukah 2011 was nearing, and a friend sent a query to Ask Mr. Gold, the advice column of the late Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic renowned for putting Los Angeles on the map as a destination for culinary diversity. She told Mr. Gold she didn’t want to smell up her apartment frying latkes. Instead, she sought the city’s best churros. A tradition was born. A merry group headed, per Gold’s recommendation, to the Salinas Churro Truck. This tradition isn’t just delicious; it embodies the spirit of our city’s pluralism. Churros have become part of my family’s Chanukah celebrations, too. Since my nephew was diagnosed with celiac disease, doughnuts can no longer be part of our festivities. Instead of the classic cinnamon-sugar topping, you can pair churros with dipping sauces for traditional Chanukah flavors: sweetened sour cream and raspberry jam. Note: You’ll need a pastry bag fitted with a Wilton 1M or other large open star tip. This recipe is adapted from Boulder Locavore. For the churros: 1 cup water 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter (1 stick) ¼ tsp. salt 1 ½ Tbsp. granulated sugar 1 cup gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill 1 for 1 Gluten-Free Flour, but any gluten-free flour with xanthan gum should work) 3 large eggs, room temperature 1 tsp. ground cinnamon canola, vegetable, or rapeseed oil, for frying For the dipping sauces: ½ cup raspberry jam ½ cup sour cream ½ tsp. vanilla extract


1 ½ tsp. granulated sugar Combine water, butter, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Cook until butter is melted, whisking to combine all ingredients. Lower heat to medium, add flour, and stir constantly until mixture comes together into a loose dough, about two minutes. Remove from heat. Place dough in the bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add eggs one at a time, mixing on high speed to fully incorporate each one. You can do this by hand or with an electric hand mixer, but a freestanding mixer gives the smoothest results. Continue to mix for two to three minutes, until the mixture comes together into a smooth batter. Heat 1 inch of oil in a large pan or shallow pot over medium heat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or paper towels to hold cooked churros. Fit a pastry bag with a 1M or equivalent tip. Place the bag in a tall glass or jar and fold the top of the bag over the edge of the jar. Fill the pastry bag with dough. You may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of your bag. Check oil temperature by placing a small piece of dough into the oil. If many small bubbles form around the dough, it’s ready. Pipe dough into the hot oil in about 4-inch lengths, using a sharp knife or scissors to cut off the end. Use tongs to turn churros as they fry, until they are golden brown all around, about two to three minutes on each side. Remove cooked churros to the prepared baking sheet. To make sour cream dipping sauce, mix all ingredients (minus raspberry jam) until combined. To make raspberry dipping sauce, heat jam in a microwave-safe bowl until it is slightly runny, about 30 seconds on full power. Serve churros with dipping sauces while they are warm and fresh.




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Ralston Crawford: Air + Space + War October 30, 2021–January 23, 2022 Ralston Crawford: Air + Space + War was organized by the Vilcek Foundation in collaboration with the Brandywine River Museum of Art and the Dayton Art Institute. Ralston Crawford (American, 1906–1978), Bikini, Tour of Inspection, 1946, oil on canvas. Vilcek Collection, VF2015.01.01

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The easiest jelly donut recipe ever for Chanukah By Shannon Sarna The Nosher Latkes are far more popular during Chanukah than sufganiyot (donuts) here in the U.S. While you can find latkes in the freezer section of almost every major supermarket, good quality sufganiyot are much harder to come by, and lots of people I know have a fear of using yeast to make doughs like donut dough. But there is an easier way to make sufganiyot, and it comes in a can: biscuit dough. Using canned biscuits, you can either make full-sized sufganiyot, or smaller, donut hole-sized bites. Make sure to

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let them cool before filling, or your jam or pudding will run right out of the hot donuts. I prefer to dust with powdered sugar, but you could also top them with cinnamon sugar if you prefer. Note: You will need a wooden skewer and a piping bag for this recipe. 1 package refrigerated biscuit dough vegetable oil, for frying jam, prepared pudding, Nutella, or other filling powdered sugar Heat around 3 inches of oil in a large, deep pan over medium-high heat (oil should be 350 degrees ). To see if the oil is hot enough, use a thermometer or place wooden skewer into the oil. If small bubbles appear, it’s ready for frying. Remove biscuits from the can. To make small donuts, cut

into rounds using a soda cap or other small circular device. Or, you can fry the biscuits as is. Drop the small donuts in, five or six at a time; for full biscuits, two or three at a time. Fry for one to two minutes on each side, until just golden brown. Using a spider or slotted spoon, remove from oil and place on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely. Stick a wooden skewer into one side of each donut and create space inside by wiggling it around gently. Fill a piping bag with your filling of choice and gently insert into the hole. Gently squeeze filling into each donut. Dust with powdered sugar.


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The testing point The Power of Stories. A New Series. “During the Second World War,” recounts Rabbi Menashe Feiger, “a Nazi officer came over to my mother and said that he was going to shoot her. ‘Turn around and look away!’ he cruelly shouted at her. ‘If you are going to shoot me, you

Candace R. Kwiatek will have to look me straight in the eyes,’ she replied. The Nazi didn’t shoot.” Courage. In books or online, it’s rarely listed along with Jewish values like gratitude, justice, and lovingkindness or identified as central to a Jewish worldview. In fact, when surveyed by Forward, not one of the 21 rabbis from across the spectrum even alluded to courage. And yet biblical and rabbinic literature are filled with courageous characters. Abraham, who smashes his father’s idols. The midwives who defy Pharaoh’s murderous order. Nachshon, who advances first into the Sea of Reeds. The daughters of Zelophehad who petition Moses for the right to inherit. David, who faces down the mighty Goliath with a slingshot. Mordechai, who refuses to bow to Haman, and Esther,

ner strength to move forward despite fear.” Ometz lev is at the heart of some of the best Jewish storytelling.

The garden

Long ago in Jerusalem lived a wise and caring king, but he had no heir. So he invited the who defies court protocol to kingdom’s school-age children approach the king. to a special gathering to help “Courage lurks at the backhim choose one. ground of many Jewish texts,” Each child was given a small Rabbi Yizchak Blau points out. bag of seeds and told to plant Similarly, two mitzvot (coma garden. Later, he would tour mandments) are implied calls the kingdom to determine to act with courage. The Torah warns judges “not to cater their whose garden had grown the best, and that child would be decisions to aristocrats or bulhis heir. lies.” When the king began Biblical priests exhort soltouring, he saw magnificent diers before battle, “Do not be gardens of every fainthearted.”And design. But he although not a In Hebrew, didn’t smile nor commandment, courage is did he speak. the recurrent bibliThen he arrived ometz lev, cal phrase hazak at Arial’s garden. v’ematz (strength literally The soil was bare. and courage) is ‘strength of There wasn’t even a clarion call for When a courageous heart’ or ‘inner atheseedling. king asked spirit when facabout her lack ing all manner of strength.’ of success, Arial challenges and nervously explained that she dangers. Unlike the effortless fearless- had tried everything: watering ness of inborn bravery, courage and weeding, fertilizing and aerating, even seeking advice is a choice, explains blogger from gardeners and landscapBrette Warshaw. From the ers. But the royal seeds simply French root meaning “heart,” wouldn’t grow. it’s the willingness to confront The king smiled and dechallenges despite one’s fears. clared Arial his heir. “This In Hebrew, courage is ometz lev, literally “strength of heart” or “inner strength.” Rabbi Marc Margolius describes it as “an innately endowed spiritual and ethical trait, the human capacity to do what is right and just, even in the face of challenging emotions. Ometz lev isn’t the absence of fear, but the in-

wasn’t a test of gardening, but of character,” he explained to his people. “All the royal seeds were boiled before being given to the children — they couldn’t grow. Only Arial had the courage to stick with the rules, seek advice, try new approaches, and honestly tell me what happened. She has shown you why she is worthy of being your next ruler.”

The soldier

His draft notice from the czar’s army in hand, a young yeshiva student went to the Rebbe, the famed S’fas Emes, for a blessing to be saved from war. The Holy Master studied the youngster, disappeared, then returned with a manual on circumcision. The Rebbe told the young man to learn how to perform a bris, gave his blessing, and sent him on his way. In basic training, where the peasant soldiers were raucous, undisciplined, and dirty, life was very difficult for the yeshiva student. But he worked hard to look and act like a proper soldier, and in spare moments or when especially lonely, he studied the Rebbe’s little manual from cover to cover. One day, he was ordered to report to the Russian general, who promptly aimed his pistol at the boy and began peppering him with questions and shouting orders. “Is it true you eat only

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Literature to share Courage: Formulas, stories and insights by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin. This how-to-guide is perfect for those who want to learn how to increase their courage in everyday situations. Not much bigger than two smartphones side by side, it’s packed with dozens of practical suggestions for dealing with everything from anxiety and self-image to speaking up and quitting a project. Best of all, the insights are gleaned from real people who grew their own courage. Easily read in one sitting, each single-topic chapter is no more than a few pages, each with a blueprint for how to implement a courage-building idea. Pick and choose or try them all.

kosher food? I order you to eat everything to build strength for the czar’s army! Is it also true you keep the Jewish Sabbath? No resting. I order you to work every day!” The young Jew was terrified, but answered truthfully and respectfully refused to comply. Suddenly, the general smiled, put down his pistol, and said simply, “I had to be sure.” Secretly Jewish himself, the general had a newborn son and wanted a real kosher circumcision, one by a dedicated Jew. Because of his courage and the Rebbe’s manual, the yeshiva student not only performed the bris but was honorably discharged by the general from the czar’s army. “Courage is the most important of all the virtues,” concluded Maya Angelou, “because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”

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Author of Chanukah novel, The Matzah Ball, aims to subvert traditional Jewish stories By Philissa Cramer, JTA Jean Meltzer always knew how The Matzah Ball, her first novel, would end. “The rule of romance is that there has to be a happy ending; the characters have to get together,” Meltzer said. “If they don’t get together, that’s not a romance; that’s literary fiction.” So (not-really-a-spoiler alert) it was a foregone conclusion that protagonist Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt, a bestselling Christmas-themed romance writer who has kept her career from her observant Jewish parents, would wind up with Jacob Greenberg, her Camp Ahava crush who is now throwing the glitziest Chanukah party New York City has ever seen. But while Rachel and Jacob’s love story conforms to the conventions of the romance novel, Meltzer sees it as subverting traditional Jewish stories that more often dwell on the difficulty or danger of being Jewish. Meltzer — a self-proclaimed rabbinical school dropout and Christmas junkie — also wanted to spotlight a character who, like her, struggles with chronic illness. Rachel’s myalgic encephalomyelitis, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome, is invisible to those who don’t know her but shapes her life in every way, much as it has for Meltzer, who was diagnosed as a young adult and describes herself as “basically homebound.” Meltzer spoke from her silver-tinsel-draped home office in Northern Virginia about the impetus behind The Matzah Ball, why she believes the Chanukah bush has a place in Jewish homes, and the power of romance novels to shape Jewish identity. Why did you decide to write this book and what are you hoping to achieve with it? I’ve always been a nice Jewish girl who loves Christmas. And every year I go into, say, Target, and there’s a holiday display with all of the Christmas books. Year after year, I went looking for a Chanukah book, and there never was one. I just wanted to see myself represented on that table. I could envision it: a blue and white book in the sea of red and green. I also had an experience where my 7-year-old niece was sitting on my lap and she looked at me and she goes, ‘Auntie Jean, you have a big nose, and big noses are ugly.’ She goes to Jewish day school, she’s surrounded by strong Jewish women, and I thought, where did she get this message? So when I sat down to write this book, I wanted to do something different from the stories I had grown up with, which were Holocaust stories, stories where Jews were being taken

Jean Meltzer

hostage by terrorists — you never really saw us as the heroes of their own stories. I wanted to write a book for Jews where the heroes were sexy, where the men were strong, where the women were beautiful, where they got their happy ending. I wrote this book primarily for myself, but it was really out of a desire to sort of just create a different type of Jewish story. I think we all know that antisemitism is a growing problem. I didn’t want to add to that. I wanted to write the best of my community. I wanted to write the best of Shabbat dinners that I’ve been to, the best of Jewish mothers, the best of Jewish friendships, and all the fun of living in the Jewish world. I wanted people to see Jews in a different light. In the literary world, the #OwnVoices movement has argued that stories about communities and cultures should be written by people from those communities and cultures. There’s also backlash to this idea from those who say it deprives writers of the power to invent and may cause writers to be pigeonholed. How do you see your work fitting into this debate? Having worked with non-Jewish editors and seeing how people have reacted to the book, I can see now that I think in a very Jewish worldview that is very different from how the rest of the world thinks. Things that I sort of take for granted and nuances that I thought everybody would sort of understand, I had to realize and learn that that was not the case. Listen, I’m a writer. I love writing. Any writer should be able to write any story. But I really think there is something to #OwnVoices. You would have to do years and years and years of research, I think, to write a book like The Matzah Ball, if you didn’t have the experience. I think there’s absolutely something to be said for #OwnVoices. The book is very thoroughly Jewish — not just the characters and setting but the text, which is peppered with references to the Talmud and other Jewish texts. Who do you see as the audience? At the end of the day I don’t know who the audience will be but I will tell you that absolutely non-Jews have picked up the book. Debbie Macomber is the queen of Christmas romance: She fell in love with the book, and not only gave me a blurb but she did my launch event recently. The first international territory my book sold to was Sweden, which again is a place that you don’t think has a huge Jewish population, and Continued on Page 30


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The Matzah Ball

aesthetic is so much less developed? I did not grow up in a family Continued from Page 28 it’s going to be (the publisher’s) that had any type of Christmas Christmas lead in 2022. So, obvi- or Chanukah decor, but I love it now. Every year I start sort of ously, the book is resonating scouring for, like, a new Chawith non-Jewish readers and I nukah inflatable for the lawn, think it’s been resonating with and every year it’s impossible Jewish readers as well, which to find something that’s good, is the ultimate hope — that it that doesn’t look just like a reaches who it needs to reach. tchotchke on my lawn. Even so, I’m very proud of my outdoor Your story is about a display — we have gone insane. celebration of holiday We have giant blow-ups and we aesthetics, but there’s also a put up lights and it’s gotten to moment where the characters a point where people literally realize that a bunch of drive to see it. dreidels and menorahs just In Jewish law, there are don’t have a glitzy effect. The prohibitions against mimickChristmas aesthetic is so well ing your foreign neighbors and developed, and there are so many variations on it. Why do things like that. So growing up I think that was very strong: you think the Jewish holiday

There was a fear of assimilation and that having a Christmas tree, we were all going to go off and marry non-Jews and not be Jewish anymore. For me, I feel like I’ve done the work Jewishly, and I am very comfortable in my Judaism. So I don’t feel like the Chanukah bush is going to be my slippery slope that’s going to push me over the edge and change my belief system. But there is also a commandment of beautifying your holy objects, and then the commandment for Chanukah lights is that you’re supposed to publicize the miracle, right? I’m not a rabbi, but you can maybe make an

argument (in favor of Chanukah lawn displays). I’ve always been a person who likes pretty things, and especially with chronic illness and in the middle of a pandemic, holding on to my joy is such a big part of my life. And when I walk and it’s nighttime and the lights are twinkling, I feel it in my kishkes. It just makes me feel good.

I wanted to write the best of my community.

If you were to pick a favorite moment in the book or the writing process, one that felt like a peak moment for you, what would it be and why? The hardest thing for me to write, or what I think was the

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most important thing, was the bedazzled wheelchair. (Jacob sends a sparkly wheelchair to Rachel’s apartment after a flareup of her chronic fatigue leaves her unable to leave home.) The problem of chronic illness is that it’s invisible. Because we’re invisible, our struggles are not fully seen and because they’re not seen, they’re not understood. So this idea that like, again, it’s almost like intersectionality of identity — we think of ourselves as Jewish, but we’re more than just Jewish. A lot of us have multiple identities. By making it visible, by showing that it’s so much more normal than we realize, that’s how we get people to understand that it’s part of our experience. And when you’re chronically ill, that moment where you want to use a wheelchair is really the moment when you’re like “holy crap, I’m really sick,” and when your disability goes from invisible to visible. So I felt it was incredibly important and powerful that women who were chronically ill and sick could see that they could be loved, even in a wheelchair. And that it’s okay to accept your disability, and then also that a man or a woman or a partner will love you in spite of whatever your disability is, will love you through all the good and bad of your life. It was the hardest thing to write because I had never seen anything like that in a romance, but I felt like at the end of the day it was the most important scene I wrote in the book.

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OBITUARIES Charlotte Braverman, age 92 of Columbus, formerly of Dayton, passed away Oct. 25 at her residence. She was a teacher with Trotwood Madison Schools for 15 years, a member of Beth Abraham Synagogue, a life member of Hadassah, and was a volunteer for many organizations including Orchestra and You. She was preceded in death by her husband, Jerome L., and son, Stephen. Mrs. Braverman is survived by her daughters, Laurie Braverman and Dr. Lisa Braverman. Interment was at Beth Abraham Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Hadassah, Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, or Beth Abraham Synagogue in her memory.

Terrorism Service Medal, five Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, Expert Rifleman, Expert Pistol Shot. Goody will be remembered for his warrior spirit, sense of humor, and high standards for himself and his comrades. Goody made a lasting impression on everyone he worked with, whether in peacetime, training, or serving overseas in challenging environments. As fiercely loyal and dedicated as he was in service to his country so was he with his love and devotion to his family and friends. All were blessed with Goody’s wit, warmth, compassion and love from a man who lifted hearts the moment he walked into the room. At the time of his death, Goody was 54 years old. He will be missed beyond comprehension by Ruthie Howard Faust, age 88 of Dayton, Litvin Goodboe, his wife of more died Oct. 19 at The Hospice of than 20 years, his parents Michael Dayton. He was the owner of Carl and Zelia Goodboe, in-laws, Joseph A. Schmidt’s Pharmacy, president and Elaine Litvin, uncles, aunts, of Miami Valley Pharmaceutical and cousins together with his choAssociation, a member of The Ohio sen family and friends. Michael R. State Pharmaceutical Association Goodboe will be remembered with Board of Directors, president of pride, honor and love for generaTemple Israel Brotherhood, a tions to come. member of the Temple Israel Board Goody was buried at Arlington of Directors, and a member of the National Cemetery in September Downtown Dayton Priority Board. 2021. Donations can be made to the He was a passionate tennis player, Navy SEAL Foundation at navyseavid reader of fiction and an active learner at the Osher Institute at UD. Mr. Faust is survived by his Kenneth L. Schriber, age 77, of wife, Ellen; sons and daughtersDayton, passed away on Oct. 25. in-law, Mitchell and Sara Faust He was born on Feb. 21, 1944 to and Jonathan and Deborah Faust; Paul Schriber and Maryan Hortence daughter and son-in-law, Jessica Goldberger in Philadelphia. After and Matt Maiten; sister, Sandra graduating from Colonel White, Abraham; grandchildren, Noah, Ohio State, and University of Isaac and Jeremy Faust and Samara Cincinnati Law, Mr. Schriber went Maiten. Interment was at Riverview on to work for the FBI in the days Cemetery. Donations can be of J. Edgar Hoover, following made to Temple Israel Dayton’s which he moved home to Dayton Brotherhood Education Fund or to practice law and join the family The Hospice of Dayton. business. Mr. Schriber met his spouse, Connie Adams, in 1963 Highly decorated retired Navy at The Ohio State University and SEAL Michael Raymond married three years later. Mr. “Goody” Goodboe died on Nov. Schriber loved Yoga, hiking with 24, 2020 from injuries sustained his dogs, camp trips with his while serving his country overseas. lifelong buddies, and just spending To say that Goody was a giant in time with his many, many friends. the special operations community He served on numerous community is to understate his reputation and charitable boards over the years in the U.S. military and special and was well respected as a leader. operations community. Goody Mr. Schriber was predeceased in served his country with distinction death by his father, Paul, mother, in multiple theaters including Iraq, Maryan, and brother-in-law, Mario Afghanistan, Eastern Europe, and Iglesias. He is survived by his wife Africa. of 55 years, Connie; daughters, Goody retired from the Navy Pam Vitaz (Todd) and Bayla as a Chief Warrant Officer (CW2) (Jason); grandchildren, Elliot, after a distinguished career as a Ethan, Xanthe, Azalea, and Jorma; Navy SEAL in which he earned the sisters, Sheri Udisky (Allen), Judy Silver Star Medal for extraordinary Wargo (James), Deborah Schriber heroism, four Bronze Star Medals (Mario), as well as many beloved (two with Valor Device), three De- nieces, nephews, and cousins. fense Meritorious Service Medals, Interment was at Beth Abraham the Joint Service Commendation Cemetery. Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Joint Kathe Mueller Slonim of Service Achievement Medal with Southport, N.C., formerly of Valor Device, three Joint Service Dayton, passed away peacefully on Achievement Medals, the Navy and Oct. 23, 2021. Born in Stuttgart, Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Germany, July 1, 1927, she and Combat Action Ribbon, Navy her family were survivors of the Presidential Unit Citation Medal, Holocaust. The Nazis took her Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq father to the Dachau concentration Campaign Medal, Global War on camp. In an effort to save their

only child, Mrs. Slonim’s mother brought her to the Catholic Church in Stuttgart where she was hidden until her father and mother were able to escape and take her to Luxembourg. Once there, they waited a year for papers to let them enter the United States. Mrs. Slonim was 12 years old when they arrived in Albany, N.Y. She attended Albany Business College and Sarah Lawrence College. She married in 1951 and moved to Dayton. She worked for 40 years as a school secretary for the City of Dayton Department of Education, Cornell Heights Elementary School, and Hickorydale Elementary School. She was loved by all the staff and students who never hesitated to drop by the office for her support and advice. She was a supporter of literacy and for many years after her retirement she volunteered her time in the schools where she read to students and helped many students learn to read. For 45 years she volunteered for the Hillel Academy bingo fundraiser. She volunteered at the Dayton State Hospital for the mentally challenged. She was a world traveler who visited countries on every continent. She was independent and adventurous as she traveled to Chile, Buenos Aires, Brazil, Australia, Africa, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Israel, Egypt, and nearly every country in Europe. She particularly enjoyed her many visits to Tokyo, Japan where her daughter Elyse and son-in-law Ed lived for five years. She was a woman of many talents: an artist, a musician, a seamstress, an amazing cook and baker. She never hesitated when asked to provide all the baked goods for family and friend’s events. She was an expert at finding treasures at flea markets and antique shows. She loved spending time with her grandchildren, especially challenging them at her favorite pastime game, Rummikub. She is survived by her three children: Dr. Charles Slonim of Tampa, Susan (Slonim) Servais of Boston, and Elyse (Slonim) Brown of Southport; and her beloved sonsin-law Ed Brown, Arnie Servais, and daughter-in-law Barrie Slonim. She is also survived by seven grandchildren: Dr. Elliot (Karly) Servais of Wellesley, Mass., Dr. Andrew (Rebecca) Servais of Boston, Dr. Jackie Servais (Josh) Kram of Bethesda, Md., Erik Brown of Durham, N.C., Jessica Brown (Ted) McCarthy of Woodbridge, Va., Arlie Slonim (Herbie) Ziskend of D.C., Emma Slonim of D.C., and four greatgrandchildren: Matthew, Emily, William, Ellie with two on the way. Her funeral was held in Albany, N.Y. Donations can be made to: The Restoration Campaign of Temple of Israel, 922 Market St. Wilmington, NC 28401; or the SECU Hospice House of Brunswick, 955 Mercy Lane, Bolivia, NC 28422.



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