Luther King weekend programs p. 2p. 22 David Martin Moss designs GraceJr.After Mealsvirtual in comic book form
THE DAYTON Published by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton
January 2021 Tevet/Shevat 5781 Vol. 25, No. 5
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Dr. Jack Bernstein: Take the vaccine
A shot at ending the pandemic
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Infectious disease specialist Dr. Jack Bernstein
A Pfizer Covid vaccine syringe seen in Jerusalem, Dec. 10
Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer's chief scientist
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ADL Regional Director James Pasch (upper L) interviews Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto for the regional ADL Annual Meeting, Dec. 17.
The Anti-Defamation League regional office’s Dec. 17 virtual annual meeting featured two mayors from its coverage area discussing how they’ve navigated mass shootings: Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto. Based in Cleveland, ADL’s regional office serves Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, and western Pennsylvania. When ADL Regional Director James Pasch asked Whaley
if there was any one thing that could make some progress combating hate, she replied, “I am not hopeful about this situation around hate and extremism. I am deeply concerned, and I struggle with what the answer is. I don’t think there is a silver bullet, frankly.” She said people’s isolation because of Covid makes the situation worse. “We are so ‘siloed’ into smaller and smaller groups, and
the only way that we are connected is through this thing I’m talking to right now (Zoom), and only to who I want to talk to. It doesn’t allow for the collision of ideas.” Whaley added she’s hopeful for the end of the pandemic, about individuals “getting back out to create real connections with people that don’t look like us, don’t think like us, don’t feel like us, don’t believe like us.” — Marshall Weiss
Martin Luther King Jr. weekend programs Omega Baptist Church and Temple Israel will present their annual pulpit exchange virtually, with the Rev. Joshua Ward delivering the sermon for Temple Israel’s Friday night service, Jan. 15 beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom; and Rabbi Karen Bodney-Halasz preaching for Omega’s Sunday service, Jan. 17 at 10:15 a.m. via livestream. For details, go to tidayton.org. Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Gerald Parker will be the speaker for Beth Abraham Synagogue’s virtual MLK weekend event in partnership with Wright Memorial Public Library, 11 a.m., Sunday, Jan 17, including a discussion with Samuel Dorf of the book Caste: The Lies That Divide Us by Isabel The Rev. Joshua Wilkerson. For details, go to bethabrahamdayton.org. D. Ward
Former Hillel Academy headmaster dies Thomas D. Tudor, who served as headmaster of Hillel Academy Jewish day school from 2005 until his retirement in 2011, died Dec. 11. He was 70. Tudor was the last headmaster of the school when it was located at Woodbury Drive in Harrison Township. He helped facilitate Hillel’s move from that site to the third floor of Beth Abraham Synagogue at Sugar Camp in Oakwood. Tudor came to Hillel after a 30-year career in several positions with Kettering City Schools, includThomas D. Tudor ing as principal of Greenmont Elementary.
BETTER WATER BETTER LIFE PAGE 2
Arts & Culture.........................18 Family Education........................16
Mr. Mazel..................................15 O b i t u a r i e s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 9
Judge Gerald Parker
Temple Beth Or celebrates 36 years Temple Beth Or will stream its Double Chai 36th Anniversary Shabbat Service at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 29 via Zoom, Facebook Live, and YouTube. For details, go to templebethor.com.
Opinion..........................8 Re l i g i o n . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 3
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JANUARY 2021
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Jack Bernstein: Take the vaccine
hospital, someInterview by Marshall Weiss one got Covid, The Observer so I’m pretty Although Dr. Jack Bernstein much there estimates he’s run between 60 alone (in infecto 100 medical studies over his tious diseases). career as an infectious disease physician, the trials for Pfizer’s But it’s no big deal. I used to be Covid-19 vaccine this fall marked the first for him and his in charge. I don’t forget how to do wife, Maryann, as participants. it. And I’ve got An emeritus professor at the residents and Wright State University Boonfellows with me, shoft School of Medicine who was head of infectious diseases so it’s OK. We have a nice little with Dayton Veterans Affairs team. Medical Center for 20 years At the VA, and also served as its associate Dr. Jack and Maryann Bernstein there are probchief of staff for research, Jack What we have available right has returned to the Dayton VA’s ably a dozen and a half, two now, if you were to have Covid dozen Covid patients. And infectious diseases department we’re a 120-bed hospital. That’s tomorrow, and we felt that you for now. were at risk for complications 10 percent of the beds. Here, he talks about why as an outpatient, we give you What we do with the Covid he and his wife — longtime patients is most- the IV monoclonal antibody. director of nursThat’s being done as a standard ly, we do things ing at Covenant ‘Please take of care. electronically: House, formerly If you deteriorate and you’re we look at them Dayton’s Jewish the two doses. admitted to the hospital and nursing home — And that’s going through glass your oxygen saturation is below doors because decided to join a certain point, we hit you with there are other the Pfizer study, to make it the docs there taking steroids and we start you up his confidence in most effective, on Remdesivir. The steroids are of them for the new vaccines, best antibodies care going to go for about a week, their breathing. and his advice 10 days, the Remdesivir is five It’s pretty for those before, against it. days. much an algoduring, and after If that doesn’t work, then rithmic apthey receive it. proach. If your oxygen is below what we’re talking about is supThis interview has been edited a certain level, we give you this portive care, try to maintain you for length and clarity. until you recover. medicine, and if that doesn’t Why did you return to the VA? work, the pulmonary doctors try to do everything they can to How did you get involved I was pressed back into with Pfizer’s trial? service. I’m wearing two masks keep you off a vent. One of my colleagues, a We give them steroids, we and a face shield. There have give them Remdesivir, and then friend, also who is a physician, been several physicians that told us about the trial, so we have gotten Covid. At the same we give them supplemental Continued on next page time as I was going to cover the oxygen.
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From the editor’s desk What will our world look like a year from now? Will the pandemic be gone? Will we return to our now-cherished pre-Covid way of living? How many more will this plague take? And what Marshall medical complications are ahead for those who recover from Covid? Maybe Weiss this is more of a lament than it is about asking answerable questions. Based on the information we have, we do the best we can. That’s why it’s vital to have the most up-to-date, accurate information. For 25 years now, we’ve done our part to bring you what journalist Carl Bernstein defines as “the best obtainable version of the truth,” the news. I never imagined this would encompass contacting Jewish organizations across our region to ask if any of their staff, layleaders, or members have come down with such a plague, to inquire if any have died from it. Journalists must be apart from the community they cover. But at the same time, we are a part of the community we love. With the new secular year, please be safe, please be well.
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JANUARY 2021
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Bernstein: take the vaccine
Continued from previous page inquired, and they picked us up. On the first day, we got some bloodwork, we got swabbed for the virus, and we got the first injection. And so the way that worked is just an intramuscular injection into your arm, not subcutaneous, meaning deep. And, in my case, it was like I got nothing. In Maryann’s case, a couple of hours later, it hurt, but by the next day she was pretty much back to normal. Three weeks later, we had a booster dose. After the second vaccine, for me it was like nothing. For Maryann, she had more severe pain in her arm within a couple of hours, and a little bit of pain under her arm. And the next day, she had a very mild transient rash. No fever. She felt off and was tired that day. She was in bed that day. But she was back to normal within 48 hours. And that was the worst it was. My supposition, which was not proven, is that she got the vaccine and that it gave her a good immune response, so with the second shot, she was reacting to the vaccine, and what happened was the proteins that were made in her arm drained into her armpit. And so the T cells were hitting her armpit because it looked like it was virus. And also, you could frequently see a slight rash, with a lot of viral diseases, which is not the virus itself, but the body’s reaction to the virus. My theory is I had placebo, though when we talked to the physician about it at the study, he said he’s known more than 50 percent of people did not have a reaction (to the vaccine) so there may be some people who just don’t have that much of a reaction. Maryann may have had a bit more (of a reaction) than many. And what she had was not inconsistent with what’s been written up. How will you be tracked moving forward? What I am told by a text message from the other physicians on the study is that those of us who got the placebo will be offered vaccine, but they don’t know the exact timeline of that, meaning I don’t know if it’s this week, this month. If it’s not going to be in the near future and it’s available at the hospital, I will get it for myself, no matter
what. But I would like to know if I had the vaccine or not, because I don’t want two doses. For lots of reasons: both the reaction and because I’d rather save it for someone else who needs it. If you’re going to maintain objectivity for the physicians, the physicians running the study can’t know what you had, because they might have an unconscious bias. ‘She got the vaccine, she looks better.’ Now that there’s a vaccine that’s under emergency authorization, is there an ethical mandate to tell us who had placebo and offer us the vaccine? This has been a big debate in the NIH for the last month or two. And some people had said, ‘No, leave them on, we want to follow them for two years, so we’re not going to tell the placebo participants whether they had the vaccine or not.’ What I think is that this has fallen by the wayside, and the present intention is to tell us — whichever of us have had placebo — and to offer us vaccination. I think one of the reasons for that is that if they don’t tell us, we’re going to drop out of the darn study and get the vaccine. Knowing how this vaccine works and how efficacious it appears to be, I have no desire to remain unvaccinated, as a person over a certain age and as a healthcare professional — both ways, even though I don’t have any major underlying diseases. I’ve seen people with no underlying diseases in the Jewish community, as you’re well aware, get very sick from this and die. This vaccine and probably the Moderna look really good insofar as it appears you have reasonable protection in 10 days, which is just amazing. When Pfizer released their analysis of the data, that’s when they broke out the fact that, counting days from vaccination and what was your chance of
getting infected, with placebo, the line went up 45 degrees. With the active, it went up the same slope for 10 days, and then plateaued and went up a very tiny bit. That tells you something. But at the second dose, we were at 95-percent efficacy. I wouldn’t tell anybody one dose is good enough to be fine. Please take the two doses. And that’s going to make it the most effective, best antibodies against it. And I reviewed a paper by a friend of mine from early on in the studies, and I looked at the antibody levels, and really, the two doses are what you need. It’s really good protection. At least, it looks that way.
after the second vaccination, you’re at your maximum antibody level and then, do what you want.
Why did you decide to participate in the trial? I’ve spoken on the Flu of 1918 many times. I know what happened then and I didn’t like what was happening now. So I think going on the trial gave me a 50-50 chance of getting a vaccine that might have worked. I’m familiar with the technology, it’s a new technology. I thought it should be pretty effective. I thought since it had already gone through the Phase I and the Phase II trials, and I knew there were no major adverse effects, there was little for me to lose and a lot to gain.
But even with the Covid vaccines starting to be distributed, people shouldn’t let their guard down. Until you’re at least a couple of weeks out from the second dose of the vaccine, I wouldn’t let my guard down. Not at all. We’ve been successful in avoiding this, and the way we avoid it is: no big crowds, when we’re shopping at Kroger we’re wearing our masks, we wash our hands. We cannot let down our guard insofar as distancing and being careful about exposures until we see that curve coming way down. Ohio now is the highest rate. I look at the Times every day. And Ohio’s color, you don’t get any darker than Ohio’s color right now. If you look at it, it’s all over the state. And the hospitals are filling up. We don’t want to be one of those patients. So that’s the first thing. The second thing is, when you’re offered the vaccine, take it. It’s going to protect you. It’s not going to turn you into a mutant or an alien. It’s a new vaccine but it’s just a different way of presenting you with viral antigens. And I think it’s the way of the future because now if we get a new virus next year, we can produce this in months, not years. And that is just one thing this has taught us.
‘I wouldn’t tell anybody one dose is good enough to be fine.’
Once you and Maryann have both received both doses of the vaccine, how will you navigate the world around you? Number one, I will not rip off my mask in public. We will continue to wear masks because I think it’s bad form to not wear a mask in this epidemic until everybody cannot wear a mask. However, I will feel much more comfortable traveling to Cleveland, traveling to New York City, traveling on an airplane if I know I’m protected. I’d say my anxiety level will be close to zero one month out of the vaccine. Because that’s 95-percent (efficacy). A week
How long will the vaccine last? I will guess it will last a couple of years. But no one knows. This is too new. I’ve been asked many times: will we need to get vaccinated with this every year? Well, this is not flu. Now, if we look at this as analogous to a measles shot, which is another RNA virus, a measles shot lasts for years. So unless this virus does something really strange and invades in our immunity, it should last for a while. We may need boosters eventually, but it should last for a considerable while.
‘I know the importance of research’
Another local participant in Pfizer’s Covid vaccine trials is Beth Adelman. “It was the easiest shot in my life,” she said. “It makes me think I might be Beth Adelman a placebo, but the doctor said I might not be, that everybody’s reaction is different.” She supports Pfizer’s plans to adjust protocols and inform partici-
pants if they had the placebo. “I would want the vaccine. I’m kind of in the high-risk area because of my age and having had cancer.” She joined the trial because of her work in healthcare for 30 years. “I know the importance of research.” Adelman participates in two other studies: one for Parkinson’s (her father had it) and one evaluating if cocoa can help prevent heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
OBSERVER daytonjewishobserver.org Editor and Publisher Marshall Weiss MWeiss@jfgd.net 937-610-1555 Contributors Scott Halasz, Toby Klein Greenwald, Candace R. Kwiatek Advertising Sales Executive Patty Caruso, email@example.com Proofreader Rachel Haug Gilbert Billing Sheila Myers, SMyers@jfgd.net 937-610-1555 Observer Advisor Martin Gottlieb Published by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton 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. 25, No. 5. The Dayton Jewish Observer is published monthly by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton, a nonprofit corporation, 525 Versailles Dr., Dayton, OH 45459. Views expressed by columnists, in readers’ letters, and in opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the opinion of staff or layleaders of The Dayton Jewish Observer or the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton. Acceptance of advertising neither endorses advertisers nor guarantees kashrut. The Dayton Jewish Observer Mission Statement To support, strengthen and champion the Dayton Jewish community by providing a forum and resource for Jewish community interests. Goals • To encourage affiliation, involvement and communication. • To provide announcements, news, opinions and analysis of local, national and international activities and issues affecting Jews and the Jewish community. • To build community across institutional, organizational and denominational lines. • To advance causes important to the strength of our Jewish community including support of Federation agencies, its annual campaign, synagogue affiliation, Jewish education and participation in Jewish and general community affairs. • To provide an historic record of Dayton Jewish life.
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JANUARY 2021
Chabad & Hillel staff, Federation staff & officers recovering from Covid-19 By Marshall Weiss, The Observer Montgomery County’s increasing Covid-19 cases have impacted three local Jewish community organizations: Chabad, Hillel Academy, and the Jewish Federation. At the end of November, three rabbis with Chabad and two of their wives began testing positive for Covid-19: Chabad Directors Rabbi Nochum and Devorah Mangel, Rabbi Levi and Rochel Simon, and Rabbi Rabbi Nochum Mangel Shmuel Klatzkin. According to a statement Chabad distributed Dec. 17, “Our brush with Covid-19 is mostly behind us. We have been told by our health experts that we had contracted a severe case of the virus, which caused high fever, difficulty breathing, chest pains, and general weakness and fatigue. After more than two weeks, our doctors believe that we are all in recovery and can now focus on regaining our full strength so that we may continue our holy work.” Since Chabad’s staff tested positive for Covid, all inperson worship services and programs have been discontinued until further notice; Rabbi Elchonon Chaikin, who did not test positive for Covid, led Chabad’s Chanukah programs online. Chabad has conducted Shabbat and Yom Tov (holiday) services in person with social distancing procedures in place since reopening May 29 following statewide shutdowns that began in mid-March at the urging of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. “We are continually consulting with medical professionals about the Covid-19 protocol for Chabad,” the statement continued. “We will update you regarding the reopening of our center, whether for services, inperson classes, or programs, as soon as they believe it is safe to do so, and we have all tested negative for Covid-19.”
Chabad’s Rochel and Levi Simon are also instructors at Hillel Academy Jewish day school: she teaches the younger children Judaics, he teaches the older children Judaics along with math for fifth and sixth grades. Levi Simon was able to teach his classes virtually from home until Hillel’s last day before winter break, Dec. 18; Rochel Simon provided lesson plans for those covering her classes. Forty students are enrolled at Hillel from kindergarten through grade six in four multiRabbi Levi Simon Rochel Simon age classrooms. Since the school year began in August, parents of seven Hillel students have opted for online classes via Zoom. “We have additional families that think they’ve been exposed, so out of an abundance of caution, they’ve had their children at home,” said Hillel’s head of curriculum and instruction, Kathy Mecoli. “As for attendance, I would say we’re averaging 65 to 70 percent in-person attendance since Thanksgiving.”
Mecoli said the school plans to open Jan. 4 for inperson learning for most children, and online for those students “whose families have made that choice, as well as for children who may need to quarantine.” “I don’t ever read anything that says this is getting better this winter,” Mecoli said. “We were doing absolutely fine until Thanksgiving. I don’t think this is related to anything anyone was doing. The spread is just much greater in the Devorah Mangel community. I think that’s going to continue at least through January. Our intention is to be open, but we also don’t want to be in the sort of a scramble that we were in (at the beginning of December).” To help fill in teaching gaps, Hillel has hired a fulltime substitute teacher for the rest of the school year.
Along with the Simons, another Hillel family in quarantine was that of Dr. Heath Gilbert, president of the Jewish Federation. “Going through Covid with my family,” Gilbert said, “I’m struck by two things: the incredible commitment to the highest safety standards in our children’s educational programs at Hillel and the JCC’s preschool, and the importance for all of us to keep following the safety guidelines medical professionals recommend: wear a mask, keep safe distances, keep washing your hands, stay home as much as you can.” The Federation’s president-elect and vice president of personnel, Mary Rita Weissman — who also serves as chair of the Dayton JewDr. Heath Gilbert ish Foundation — was also recovering from Covid along with her husband. Two Jewish Federation employees who have worked from home since March have also contracted Covid. And the Jewish Community Center, an agency of the Jewish Federation, has cancelled its in-person winter camp program in favor of an online model. Since October, the JCC preschool has had two children who tested positive for Covid-19 and were quarantined. Cathy Gardner, CEO of the Jewish Federation, said the JCC continues to operate its Early Childhood program at limited capacity (65 children currently enrolled), as an essential-care service to the community. “During this pandemic, our priority has and will continue to be the safety of our community and staff,” Gardner said. “From the very beginning, we have diligently followed if not exceeded recommendations from the Ohio Department of Health and the CDC. “Many of our preschool parents are essential workers. Without the preschool, these parents would not have the childcare services necessary for them to continue to work and provide for their families. Knowing this, it was essential that we resumed our Early Childhood program as soon as it was deemed safe. “Thanks to our amazing staff — who meticulously follow safety protocols — and the cooperation of our wonderful preschool families, we have been able to avoid any Covid-19 outbreaks thus far.”
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JANUARY 2021
‘We owe it to our families to take care of them.’ — Gayle & Irvin Moscowitz with their parents, Milton & Harriet Moscowitz & Edward & Frieda Weisbrod
efore a vacation to New Orleans, Irvin Moscowitz researched Ancestry.com to find the cemetery where his great-grandparents were buried. “I have pictures and heard stories about my family, but standing by their graves from 1840 made me feel like I was right there with them. That’s when I knew we needed to maintain our cemeteries for future generations.” Closer to home, Irvin and his wife, Gayle, visit their parents and his grandparents at Beth Jacob’s cemetery in Dayton. They contributed to the Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Dayton campaign to “guarantee that we can take care of the people who took care of us.” As a Kohen, Irvin kept clear of cemeteries for a long time. “I’ve made peace with the ways in which I could get close to the people that mean the most to me,” he said. “I figured out a way not to trample on my heritage but to fulfill my need to be respectful and honor my family. When I walk through a well-kept cemetery, I get a feeling that I’m actually close to someone who’s no longer here. I’ll put a stone on the headstone to let them know I’m there. It always brings back a lot of warm memories.” Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Dayton is an endowment organization created to maintain our three Jewish cemeteries in perpetuity. Please join us as we strive to maintain the sanctity, care and integrity of these sacred burial grounds.
Preserving our Past Ensuring Our Future
daytonjewishcemeteries.org Rgolden105@aol.com 525 Versailles Drive • Centerville, OH 45459
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Mikael Dolsten, Jewish immigrant leading Pfizer’s vaccine charge, hopes U.S. stays a melting pot Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer's chief scientist, is a Jew from Sweden
By Gabe Friedman, JTA medical officer for Moderna, a competWhen Mikael Dolsten, the head scien- ing drugmaker that also announced in tist at Pfizer, heard the news in NovemNovember that its Covid-19 vaccine was ber that the Covid-19 vaccine he has nearly 95-percent effective, is an Israeli been helping develop for the better part immigrant named Tal Zaks. of a year was over 90-percent effective, The German biotech company that he and his colleagues literally leapt with Pfizer teamed up with to create the vacjoy at a corporate office in Connecticut. cine, BioNTech, was founded and is still “This may turn out to be one of the led by Turkish immigrants Ugur Sahin biggest medical advances of the past and Ozlem Tureci. Sahin told The New 100 years,” Dolsten said by Zoom from York Times that he and Bourla bonded his home office, the emotion clear in his over “their shared backgrounds as scienvoice and on his face. tists and immigrants.” He was pointing to not only the hisThe new Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, like toric need to medically combat a virus the Moderna one, is made from RNA, a that’s again ravaging the world — parrelatively new technology Dolsten says ticularly the United States — but also will allow companies to combat panthe fact that the Pfizer product is part of demics in the future with greater speed a groundbreaking new type of vaccines and effectiveness. made quickly from synthetic versions of The vaccine success rates so far have the virus’ genetic material. impressed Anthony Fauci, the country’s But when Dolsten took Drew Angerer/Getty Images top infectious disease expert, time to reflect on the who has said he was hoping for development, he also saw a 75-percent success rate. it as a proud moment for The scientist responsible for Jewish immigrants like the pioneering breakthroughs himself who have contribthat allowed for the developuted to American scienment of an RNA vaccine is Jewtific innovation. ish University of Pennsylvania “A lot of the great Prof. Drew Weissman, who breakthroughs in America once worked under Fauci at the have come from people National Institutes of Health. that immigrated,” he said, Dolsten is wary of taking pointing out the example that kind of multiculturalism of Albert Einstein and for granted. He says he grew others. “There has been up in a very different era, posta strong Jewish tradition Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla World War II, when opportuaround contributing to nity and security was guaranhumanity and a strong tradition within teed to all in Sweden and the U.S. was a medicine.” beacon to immigrants looking to make Dolsten, who moved to the New York world-changing innovations. area from Sweden in 2004, is far from the Both countries now face political and only Jewish immigrant in his field. social tensions that threaten those tradiPfizer CEO Albert Bourla is a Jew tions. from Thessaloniki, Greece. The chief “I do hope we can heal as a nation
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JANUARY 2021
THE WORLD Zeneca, which is in the process and again be a shining sun, of developing its own Covid-19 and bring people together rather than move back from the vaccine). He developed a top world,” he said. “I do hear a lot reputation in the industry and was approached by Boehringer from Europeans who miss seeIngelheim, the world’s largest ing the U.S. as the image of the private pharmaceutical comfuture, and now see the U.S. as pany, to run global research. He isolated.” worked at their Frankfurt headDolsten took a winding path quarters for a short period, then to end up as a leader in pharagreed to work for them in the maceutical development. Born in 1958, he grew up in the small U.S. His wife, also Jewish and Halmstad Municipality on Swe- also a physician, was enthusiasden’s western coast, the son of a tic about the idea. “She was keen to experience Jewish father with prewar roots a bit of the American melting in the country and a Jewish mother who escaped from Aus- pot, particularly the New York area,” he said. tria in the early days of World Dolsten eventually led War II — a “mix,” he said, of research and development at second-generation Swedish heritage and direct trauma from Wyeth, an American company known for manufacturing the Holocaust. ubiquitous drugs such as Advil. His home wasn’t very Wyeth was bought by Pfizer religiously 2009 and observant, but ‘A lot of the great in Dolsten stayed he visited Israel breakthroughs on, working on several times research and growing up, in America have development something that come from people Pfizer’s biohelped inspire logical divisions, him to spend that immigrated’ then for the nearly a year entire company. of his doctoral Today, he occasionally gets studies at the renowned Weiztime to “roll up the sleeves” mann Institute just south of Tel on research projects, but more Aviv. often oversees other scientists Dolsten trained as a physician and began his career on the and takes the “wide angle perspective” to help form the medical faculty at the University of Lund, but his experience company’s goals. “I take part and discuss in Israel learning about cuttingwhat the big problems we are edge immunology helped inspire his turn to pharmaceutical addressing in cancer, in genetic disease, inflammation, vaccines, science. and in diseases like diabetes He went on to work for and obesity, and make sure we Sweden’s two largest drug crisply focus on a few things companies at the time — Pharthat translate into medical macia, where he was asked to build a new institute to develop breakthroughs,” he said. Growing up in Sweden, medicines, and then Astra AB (which would later become part Dolsten said he benefited from the country’s large social safety of the British company Astra-
net, which included universal health care, free education, and an overarching sense of solidarity, or “caring about your neighbors.” But he said he was always conscious of Sweden’s sense of cultural homogeneity. His accent was perfect because he was born there, but he recalled that others who didn’t speak Swedish perfectly were looked at differently. Dolsten said he never personally felt any explicit antisemitism, but that has become an issue in Sweden in recent years, along with several other European countries, amid an influx of largely Middle Eastern refugees and a surge of far-right nationalism. He said he sees how his three children — one of them former JTA reporter Josefin Dolsten — could have had a very different experience from him growing up in Sweden. So Dolsten looked forward to his move to the U.S., which he also saw as the world’s scientific and entrepreneurial “frontier.” “I do think there is something historically unique in New York and some other places where the melting pot has led to this tremendous success,” he said. “Like the success of biotech and pharma...so many of the big discoveries have come from here, from this diversity of people coming here all feeling a chance to contribute.” He and his family live in Westchester County, north of Manhattan, where his Swedish accent gets noticed — but not in the way he ever expected. “In the U.S., people tell me, ‘Wow, you have such a nice accent,’” he said. “And they make (jokes) — ‘Are you from Brooklyn?’”
Hungary calls EU’s ruling against kosher slaughter ‘disgrace’ EMIH
Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén (2nd from L), meets with rabbis in Budapest, Hungary, Nov. 18, 2019
By Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA Hungary’s deputy prime minister called the Dec. 17 ruling by the European Union’s highest court in favor of banning kosher slaughter a “disgrace,” setting up the first public international clash over the landmark decision. “Yesterday’s ruling by the European Court of Justice upholding a ban on kosher ritual slaughter in Belgium is a disgrace to the religious freedom and security of the European Jewish community and is yet one more sign of the total collapse of our traditional Judeo-Christian value system,” said Zsolt Semjén, the head of the right-wing Christian Democratic People’s Party, a coalition partner of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s ruling Fidesz party. In the ruling on a petition by several Jewish and Muslim groups, the court said two governments in Belgium did not violate EU civil rights provisions with their 2019 bans on
the production of meat from animals that were not stunned before they were killed. The lack of stunning is a requirement of the process for observant Jews and Muslims. Hungary’s right-wing government, whose critics say has encouraged antisemitism, clashes often with EU institutions on multiple issues, including on illegal immigration into the bloc by asylum seekers and others. Rabbi Menachem Margolin, chairman of the Brussels-based European Jewish Association, welcomed Semjen’s intervention, saying “Hungary has consistently shown action to match its words.” The ban had a “devastating impact on the Belgian Jewish community, creating food shortages — made worse by the pandemic,” said Rabbi Shlomo Koves, leader of the EMIH federation of Jewish communities in Hungary. A slaughterhouse owned by EMIH in Hungary Continued on Page 14
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Can the bipartisan consensus on Israel be revived? The Biden administration has the chance to end the division between the parties about support for the Jewish state. It remains to be seen whether that’s what they want to do.
Debbie Hill/AFP via Getty Images
Obama rather than hurt his cause. But there was something particularly perverse about Democrats complaining about Republicans sabotaging bipartisanship when it was their side that had blown up a previous consensus that it By Jonathan S. Tobin was America’s duty to stop One of the standard laments of the organized the Iranian nuclear threat American Jewish world in recent years has been rather than to appease it. the decline and fall of the bipartisan consensus on Equally absurd was Israel. This complaint is based on the notion that the the claim that Trump’s tilt default inclination of most Americans is support for toward Israel somehow the Jewish state, and that the only reason that politics damaged the pro-Israel conhas become part of the discussion about relations sensus. His was the most between the two nations is because of the bad will pro-Israel administration of some partisans who wish to distort the debate to ever to serve, as he fulfilled advance their personal agendas at the expense of the promises to move the U.S. best interests of Israel and its supporters. embassy to Jerusalem, held For the last two decades, the focus of most of the Palestinians accountable these complaints has been on Republicans, who for their support for terrorhave been accused by Democrats of politicizing an ism, and then facilitated issue that should be above partisan considerations. normalization agreements These arguments have reached a crescendo during the last four years as President Donald Trump was Then-Vice President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands with Arab states despite the refusal of the Palestinrepeatedly accused of trying to wreck bipartisanship while giving joint statements at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, March 9, 2016. ians to make peace. That with respect to Israel. Now that he is on his way out was something that Obama’s Secretary of State John dates back to the earliest days of the republic, long and President-elect Joe Biden is on his way in, Jewish before even the formation of the modern Zionist move- Kerry said would never happen, in no small measure Democrats are claiming that the new administration because he wasn’t interested in making it happen. The ment. will restore the old consensus. Are they right? Polling shows that not only has sympathy for Israel, Democrats refusal to back Trump’s pro-Israel stands The answer is that Biden is capable of restoring indicated that they prioritized partisanship over proespecially in contrast to sentiment about the Palestinthat consensus, but it won’t be because the change in ians, not gone down but has actually remained steady Israel policies. If the consensus seemed to collapse, power in Washington has undermined Republican efthen the blame fell upon a Democratic Party that was over the years with a small increase recently. The forts to weaken it. On the contrary, the one factor that Gallup tracking poll on the issue shows that 74 percent increasingly under the influence of its radical intersechas made it increasingly difficult for unity on Israel tional activist wing that is clearly hostile to Israel. of all Americans have a favorable opinion of Israel. is not the increased support for Israel by Republicans Nevertheless, Biden won the Democratic nominaBreaking that down by party, a whopping 91 percent in recent decades but the decline among Democrats. tion in spite of the opposition of that faction of the of Republicans liked Israel. The people who broke the consensus are the Demoparty, which supported Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Though Democrats are less supportive, even there crats and, in particular, President Barack Obama and a strong majority of 67 percent viewed the country fa- whose antagonistic attitude toward the Jewish state his administration. It was Obama who sought more vorably. But when the pollsters asked whether respon- was favored by BDS supporters and antisemites like “daylight” between the two nations, achieving it with dents backed Israel in its conflict with the Palestinians, Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (Dpolicies designed to damage Israel’s security as part Mich.), and political activist Linda Sarsour, a co-chair a clear partisan split appeared. Republicans take Isof a vain effort to entice the Palestinians into peace rael’s side by an 86-5 percent margin while Democrats of the Women’s March until her antisemitism became negotiations and to appease Iran. too problematic. are nearly evenly split with Israel getting 44 percent Biden, in his capacity as vice president, was as Biden might have thought Trump’s pro-Israel tilt support and the Palestinians 38 percent. responsible for those policies as anyone else in that was unwise and may hold on to some magical thinkThat partisan divide on Israel has remained fairly administration. Indeed, he allowed himself to be used stable for more than 20 years, and it has ing about the Palestinians being willing to accept a as the focus of one spat Obama While he needed the been reflected in the policies pursued two-state solution. His determination to re-enter the manufactured with Israeli Prime Iran nuclear deal without preconditions is also deeply by Republican and Democratic adMinister Benjamin Netanyahu by votes of Sanders ministrations. When Obama quarreled troubling. But while he needed the votes of Sanders claiming that he was insulted by supporters to win publicly with Israel — doing his best to supporters to win the presidency, they have no leverthe announcement of a housing age over him now. project in Jerusalem during one of the presidency, they tilt the diplomatic playing field in the If he wishes, Biden could avoid conflicts with Israel Palestinians’ direction — Democrats his visits there. were outraged when Republicans criti- over peace talks with the Palestinians that have zero But if Biden is really determined have no leverage chance of success. He can snub the anti-Israel wing cized the administration. to restore bipartisanship to the is- over him now. of his party and reaffirm close ties with Israel. He can That dispute was exacerbated by sue, then it’s easily within his powalso take a more cautious approach to Iran that would Obama’s decision to appease Iran and to conclude a er to do so. All he has to do is to act as an ally to the be as much a matter of defending American security weak nuclear deal with Tehran that Israel’s governJewish state, rather than attempt to bully its leaders interests as those of Israel and the Arab states. into taking actions they believe imperil Israel’s securi- ment (as well as much of the Arab world) considered If he does all that, the bipartisan consensus on Israel ty. Though Democrats believe that virtually everything an unconscionable retreat from the West’s commitment can re-emerge stronger than ever. But that’s a big to regional security. When Republicans invited Israeli Trump did was wrong and that the basic purpose of the Biden administration is to erase all evidence of the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint “if,” and has been the case for years, it has little to do with what Republicans do and everything to do with meeting of Congress to urge them to reject the presilast four years, restoring the consensus means Biden whether Democrats are willing to buck their left-wing dent’s policy, this was interpreted by Democrats as will have to act more like Trump than Obama. activists and stick with the Jewish state. undermining the consensus and insulting Obama. Is he willing to do that? If he does, it will be smart Netanyahu’s decision to attempt to intervene in politics. The overwhelming majority of Americans Jonathan S. Tobin is editor in chief of Jewish News are pro-Israel. Indeed, sympathy for Zionism is baked an American political dispute (albeit one with huge implications for Israel) was a tactical mistake. It helped Syndicate. deep into the political DNA of the United States and
So, what do you think? PAGE 8
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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.
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JANUARY 2021
January JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON & ITS AGENCIES
UPCOMING EVENTS 3
Connect with us! Check out our events. For more information, check out our calendar at jewishdayton.org. Sunday, January 10 @ NOON — CABS: Amy E. Schwartz, Can Robots Be Jewish? And Other Pressing Matters of Modern Life Sunday, January 10 @ 1PM — Ohio Maccabi E-Sports Tournament
Thursday, January 21 @ 7PM — JCC Happy Hour with Mentalist and Magician Jason Silberman Friday, January 22 @ 10:30AM — JCC Book Club Tuesday, January 26 @ NOON — A Jurassic Park Tu B’Shvat Miracle in Israel
Tuesday, January 26 @ 7PM — JCRC Community Conversation: Food Insecurity in Dayton Upcoming Reoccurring Class Monday, January 4, 11 & 25 @ 7PM — Intro to Judaism Virtual Class
UPCOMING NATIONAL EVENTS Join Jewish Family Services for the launch of JFS Connects, a biweekly time of socialization and fellowship with others! The next groups will take place January 5, and January 19 at 1:00 PM.
Virtual Mission to Washington, D.C. Monday, February 1 @ 7PM
Due to COVID-19 and the colder weather, we are spending more time indoors, isolated from friends and family. It is important, now more than ever, that we stay connected with those around us. Aleka Smith, MSW, LSW, will be hosting these conversations and you can participate by either phone or Zoom. If you are interested in participating, please contact Aleka Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-610-1775 for more information.
A Jurassic Park Tu B’Shvat Miracle in Israel Tuesday, January 26 @ NOON
We look forward to connecting with you!
For more information, go to jewishdayton.org
JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES of GREATER DAYTON
Reminder! The scholarships (Residential Camp Scholarship, Travel to Israel Scholarship, Heuman Scholarship) and interest-free student loan application window is January 4 – April 5, 2021. If you have any questions, or would like an application, please contact Alisa Thomas at email@example.com or (937) 610-1796. THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JANUARY 2021
January JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON & ITS AGENCIES
GET TO KNOW YOUR PJ NEIGHBORS! Meet The Shtilman Family How many kids are in your family? 3 What are their ages? 14 and 4 year old twins How did you get involved in PJ Library? I first found out about PJ Library when I moved to the Dayton area, my twins were only 1 years old.
A Biss'l Mamaloshen Emes
Noun Truth Expression with Emes: 1 Der emes kumt arois azoy vi Boymel oyf der vasser. Truth rises to
the surface like oil on water. 2 Der emes ken arungayn a nakeder, dem Sheker darf men baklayden. Truth may walk around naked, but a lie must be clothed. 3 Der emes hot a sach ponimer. Truth has many faces.
What is your family’s favorite PJ Library book? Apples and Honey Do you have a funny or meaningful story about reading PJ Library books in your family? Apples and Honey was probably the first book that we received and it's still the kids favorite book. I love how when the twins were little they would look at the book and think they are reading the book by talking in baby talk. Over the years, they pick up the same book and now describe what is going on in the picture. Sooner or later, they will be reading the book on their own. Their big brother also reads the book to them during bedtime and I love how the twins snuggle up to their big brother and listen to the book and have a conversation of what is going on. This is definitely the book that the kids are growing up with.
Legacies, Tributes, & Memorials FEDERATION
What brought you to Dayton? How long have you lived here? My husband's job brought us to Dayton area. We have lived here for 3 years now.
UNITED JEWISH CAMPAIGN IN MEMORY OF › Steve Jacobs Roberta and Richard Progozen Barbara and Ira Kushnir › Oscar Soifer Judy Lipton
What do you love about Dayton? I love the Jewish small community, everyone is so welcoming. We made wonderful friends here. It's a lot easier for our family to get involved in the activities that are being offered, even now, during pandemic.
LINDA RUCHMAN MEMORIAL FUND IN MEMORY OF › Harold Prigozen Judy and Marshall Ruchman
What are you looking forward to this season? Spending some quality time with friends and family, and getting back to normalcy. We want to learn about YOUR family! Our families are what makes the PJ Library program in Dayton so vibrant, and we want to showcase them! To participate, please contact Kate Elder, PJ Library Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
CULTURAL ARTS & BOOK FEST IN MEMORY OF › Stanley Lerner Cheryl Hecht
JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES IN MEMORY OF › Sam Lauber Eileen and Jim Barrett Janice Maharam › Hyla Weiskind Andi and Bill Franklin Anonymous › Oscar Soifer Susan and Joe Gruenberg › Steven Jacobs Susan and Joe Gruenberg Judy Lipton › Sam Lauber Judith A. Grampp Edith Pequignot Jane and Gary Hochstein Helen and Steve Markman Judy Woll and Ronald Bernard FOUNDATION
JEREMY BETTMAN B’NAI TZEDEK FUND IN MEMORY OF › Steve Jacobs › Harold Prigozen › Richard Schuman Jean and Todd Bettman
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JANUARY 2021
January JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON & ITS AGENCIES
EDUCATE-ADVOCATE-ACT JCRC Community Conversations JCRC Community Conversations - SAVE THE DATES for 2021 with more to come! EDUCATE-ADVOCATE-ACT Tuesday, January 26, 2021 @ 7PM via Zoom Food Insecurity in the Greater Dayton Area: What we should know and what can we do? Join speakers, Melodie Bennett (Executive Director, House of Bread), Michelle Riley (CEO, The Food Bank, Inc.), Tina Patterson (CEO, Homefull), Rabbi Karen Bodney-Halaz (Temple Israel), Marcy L. Paul, PhD (Director, JCRC) and moderated by Bonnie Beaman Rice (Magistrate, Retired). Wednesday, February 10, 2021 @ 7PM via Zoom *The Conflict Over the Conflict: The Israel/Palestine Campus Debate with Author Kenneth S. Stern and moderated by Kayla Rothman-Zecher (Consultant, Human Rights Center, University of Dayton) In partnership with the JCC and the University of Dayton Human Rights Center. Thursday, February 25, 2021 @ 7PM via Zoom *When Rabbis Bless Congress with Author Howard Mortman (Director, Communications, C-Span), Rabbi Gary P. Zola (Executive Director, Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives) and moderated by Rachel Katz (Affiliate Relations Manager, C-Span) In partnership with the American Jewish Archives Wednesday, March 3, 2021 @ 7PM via Zoom Meaningful Dialogue: How to have conversations on critical issues with Paul Morrow, PhD (John M. Meagher Human Rights Fellow, University of Dayton Human Rights Center) Monday, March 8, 2021 @ 5PM via Zoom International Women’s Day Celebration Toast Join the staff of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton in a toast honoring International Jewish Women
For teens 13-18 • Free A partnership between JCC Maccabi and the JCC's of Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Youngstown
For more information, contact Meryl Hattenbach at email@example.com
Sunday, April 11 @ 1PM via Zoom JCRC/Partnership2Gether "Coming of Age" PhotoVoice Exhibit and Discussion with teens from Dayton, San Antonio, Texas, Akko and Mateh Asher, Israel Sunday, April 25, 2021 @ 11AM via Zoom *Recipes from Auschwitz with Author Alex Sternberg In partnership with the JCC and Partnership2Gether Western Galilee. *Books can be purchased at online retailers (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or IndieBound), Barnes and Noble on HW 725 across from the Dayton Mall. Also try Washington Centerville Public Library and Wright Memorial Public Library. Call to check on availability.
for more information and to register for JCRC events! DAY TO N
JCRC Jewish Community Relations Council
JCRC is looking for community members to get involved in a subcommittee to address antisemitism. If you're interested in this, or any other projects, please contact JCRC director Marcy L. Paul, PhD at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 401-1541 or JCRC Administrative Assistant Megan Ullom at email@example.com or (937) 610-1794.
Sunday, January 10 @ 7PM
Jewish Youth Group Event for students 8th-12th grade. Please contact Sydney Feibus at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!
BBYO is meeting virtually every month! Contact Sydney Feibus to get involved!
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JANUARY 2021
January JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON & ITS AGENCIES
VIRTUAL Our first Virtual Cultural Arts & Book Series continues into 2021! Register for any CABS event and be entered in a raffle to win a special Meet & Greet with one of our featured authors. All Author events are free, register today!
Sunday, January 10, 2021 @ NOON via Zoom
Thursday, February 18, 2021 @ 7PM via Zoom
Amy E. Schwartz, Can Robots Be Jewish? And Other Pressing Matters of Modern Life
Howard Blum, Night of the Assassins: The Untold Story of Hitler's Plot to Kill FDR, Churchill, and Stalin
When Moment Magazine arrives every other month, loyal readers turn to its long-running “Ask the Rabbis” feature. In this column rabbis of diferent denominations — Independent, Humanist, Jewish Renewal, Reconstructionist, Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Sephardic, and Chabad — consider some of the most provocative questions of the day.
2 0 2 0 -
2 0 2 1
The New York Times bestselling author Howard Blum returns with a tale as riveting and suspenseful as any thriller: the true story of the Nazi plot to kill the leaders of the United States, Great Britain, and the U.S.S.R. during World War II.
S P O N S O R S JCC CULTURAL ARTS PROGRAMMING IS MADE POSSIBLE BY COMMUNITY SUPPORTERS, COMMUNITY DONATIONS, OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH THE JEWISH BOOK COUNCIL. OUR JCC CULTURAL ARTS AND BOOK SERIES RECEIVES FUNDS FROM AN OHIO ARTS COUNCIL SUSTAINABILITY GRANT.
You can purchase books through online retailers Or in person at Barnes and Noble on 725, across from the Dayton Mall (curbside pickup is available). For our full Cultural Arts & Book Series lineup and more, go to For questions or more information, contact Amy Dolph at email@example.com or by calling (937) 610-1555
Thursday, January 21 @ 7PM
With over two decades of performing experience, Jason Silberman’s unique blend of magic and mind-reading has quickly made him a go-to choice for clients all over the Tri-State at private and corporate events. He developed a love for magic at a very young age and what started as a hobby became a lifelong passion. Now he has adapted his performance to a virtual platform. You will experience not only magic and mind reading on screen, but Jason will also interact with everyone and allow you to take part in special mind-blowing moments.
Register online at PAGE 12
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JANUARY 2021
Israeli chief rabbi gives his blessing to institutions in UAE, marking new era of religious Jewish life in Dubai and beyond Dubai JCC
learned of the Abraham AcBy Asma Ali Zain, JTA cords through the media. DUBAI, United Arab “Until a few months ago Emirates — As part of a I dared not tell anyone here historic trip through the that I am a Jew,” he said, United Arab Emirates, the “but things have changed for chief Sephardic rabbi of the good now.” Israel gave his Orthodox Gulya met his wife, an certification to the Jewish Ethiopian, here in the UAE. community center here, “She is ready to convert to a fledgling synagogue in the Jewish faith, and I’ve alAbu Dhabi, and other Jewready had a word with Rabbi ish institutions, to mark a Duchman in this regard,” new era of religious Jewish Gulya said. life in the country that reDuring his four-day visit cently struck a normalizato the UAE, the chief rabbi tion agreement with Israel. also approved the nation’s Chief Rabbi Yitzhak first Jewish school, which is Yosef helped the Dubai being called Mini Miracles, center start writing a Torah and viewed the plans and scroll Dec. 19 after Sabbath proposed site for the comand invested Rabbi Levi munity’s new mikvah (ritual Duchman as the commubath) in Dubai. nity’s leader. Israeli Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef (Center),writes part of a Torah scroll at “We have 20 students “The survival of a Jew- the JCC in Dubai, Dec. 19, seated with the center's leader, Rabbi Levi Duchman. waiting to be enrolled in the ish community depends kindergarten, which will open on its adherence to Torah valtion.” which had its license approved for registrations from Jan. 3,” ues and Torah learning,” Yosef Addressing the gathering, in September and is searching Seal said. told the approximately 80 com- for a suitable location. the rabbi said he and others Concluding his visit Dec. 20, munity members in attendance. were working on building the “We are now entering a new Yosef traveled to Abu Dhabi to Referring to Duchman, he Jewish community in all seven stage of planning and growth, meet with senior UAE governsaid, “The Jewish community Emirates. not only for the resident comment officials to discuss ways in the Emirates is fortunate Seal estimated about 2,000 munity, but also for the many to continue to promote mutual to have a rabbi that not only Jews live in the UAE. Israelis who come to visit,” teaches Torah, but is working “We do not have understanding between Jews said Daniel Seal, a and Muslims across the region. to grow the community and its spokesman for the The rabbi said an exact number For Seal and others, it was a institutions.” Abu Dhabi commu- he and others because they have hopeful trip that could lead to The ceremony included never been countnity and Beit Tefilmore. prayers in Hebrew, English and lah board member. were working ed,” he said. “While geographically Arabic. Yosef also expressed For Andreas “It’s an exciting on building speaking, the Middle East, and his appreciation for the UAE Gulya, a German time for the comhistoric Arabia, was home to government. The Emirates, Jew who has lived munity, and I look the Jewish the Sephardic Jewish coma collection of seven oil-rich in the UAE for 10 forward to working community munity, today there is much cities in the Persian Gulf, had years, it’s time to with Rabbi Duchin all seven greater integration between the not diplomatically recognized come out of the man on the many two communities around the Emirates. Israel as a state before August, shadows. projects we have world,” Seal said. “As such, when the two nations signed an planned.” “The entire turn it was perhaps logical Chief accord opening up formal relaof events has left me speechDuchman, who has been in Rabbi Yosef was first to visit, tions, trade and tourism. Since the UAE for six years, said “We less,” he said. but of course, we look forward then, more than 50,000 Israelis Attending the ceremony have been waiting for this occato welcoming the Ashkenazi have traveled to the country. sion for years to be able to sit as with his three children, Gulya, chief rabbi, too.” Before the accords with the an investment banker, said he a community and get recogniUAE and other Arab countries that followed suit, including Sudan and Morocco, Israel had Torah formal relations in the region Portions evet/ hevat only with Egypt and Jordan. “Dubai has already seen a January 2 wave of Israelis visiting since Shabbat Veyechi (Gen. 47:28-50:26) the Abraham Accords, and Candle January 9 this is just the beginning of the Shemot (Ex. 1:1-6:1) Lightings potential for tourism and coopTu B’Shevat January 16 eration between Israel and the January 1, 5:05 p.m. New Year for Trees Vaera (Ex. 6:2-9:35) Emirates,” said Solly Wolf, the January 28/15 Shevat January 8, 5:12 p.m. president of the Dubai center. January 23 Marks springtime in Israel. January 15, 5:19 p.m. At the ceremony, Yosef also Bo (Ex. 10:1-13:16) Celebrated with picnics, gave his certification to the January 22, 5:27 p.m. fruit and planting trees. January 30 Beit Tefillah Synagogue in Beshalach (Ex. 13:17-17:16) January 29, 5:35 p.m. the capital city of Abu Dhabi,
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JANUARY 2021
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, worship schedules have been adjusted and some services are offered virtually instead. For the latest information, check with the organizations below via their websites, Facebook pages, and by calling them directly.
CONGREGATIONS Beth Abraham Synagogue Conservative Rabbi Joshua Ginsberg Cantor/Dir. of Ed. & Programming Andrea Raizen 305 Sugar Camp Circle, Oakwood. 937-293-9520. BethAbrahamDayton.org Beth Jacob Congregation Traditional Rabbi Leibel Agar Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. 7020 N. Main St., Dayton. 937-274-2149. BethJacobCong.org Temple Anshe Emeth Reform Rabbinic Intern Tzvia Rubens 320 Caldwell St., Piqua. Contact Steve Shuchat, 937-7262116, AnsheEmeth@gmail.com. ansheemeth.org Temple Beth Or Reform Rabbi Judy Chessin Asst. Rabbi/Educator Ben Azriel 5275 Marshall Rd., Wash. Twp. 937-435-3400. templebethor.com Temple Beth Sholom Reform Rabbi Haviva Horvitz 610 Gladys Dr., Middletown. 513-422-8313. templebethsholom.net Temple Israel Reform Senior Rabbi Karen Bodney-Halasz Rabbi/Educator Tina Sobo 130 Riverside Dr., Dayton. 937-496-0050. tidayton.org Temple Sholom Reform Rabbi Cary Kozberg Fridays, 6 p.m. 2424 N. Limestone St., Springfield. 937-399-1231. templesholomoh.com
ADDITIONAL SERVICES Chabad of Greater Dayton Rabbi Nochum Mangel Associate Rabbi Shmuel Klatzkin Youth & Prog. Dir. Rabbi Levi Simon, Teen & Young Adult Prog. Dir. Rabbi Elchonon Chaikin. 2001 Far Hills Ave. 937-643-0770. www.chabaddayton.com Yellow Springs Havurah Independent Antioch College Rockford Chapel. Contact Len Kramer, 937-572-4840 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
EU ruling Continued from Page Seven has mitigated the shortages in Belgium. Jewish community leaders and organizations have sharply protested the ban. European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor has called it “tragic” and said it tells Jews “that our practices are no longer welcome,” and therefore it is “a short step from telling Jews that we are no longer welcome.” In Western Europe, liberals and right-wing nationalists have united over the past few years to oppose the ritual slaughter of animals and the circumcision of boys. Liberal circles cite animal and child welfare concerns, while nationalists perceive the foreign imports need to be limited to mitigate perceived effects of the arrival of millions of Muslims to Europe in recent years. Jews have strict laws to make the slaughter of animals as quick and painless and possible, requiring a trained professional slaughterer and extremely sharp and large knives, among other requirements. Advocates of the custom reject claims that it is crueler than other methods. The ruling by the EU court, based in Luxembourg, is likely to encourage other European courts to enact similar bans, warned Dutch Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs. The Netherlands’ parliament banned ritual slaughter in 2011, but the Dutch senate reversed the ban the following year, citing the need to observe freedom of worship for minorities.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, all programs below are presented virtually unless listed as otherwise. For the latest information, check with the organizations via their websites, Facebook pages, and by calling them directly.
Beth Jacob Virtual Classes: Sundays, 2 p.m.: Conversations w. Rabbi Agar. Tuesdays, 7 p.m.: Weekly Parsha w. Rabbi Agar. Thursdays, 7 p.m.: Jewish Law w. Rabbi Agar. Email Tammy at email@example.com. Temple Israel Virtual Classes: Mon., Jan. 4, 11 & 25, noon: Coffee w. Rabbi Bodney-Halasz. Saturdays, 9:15 a.m.: Torah Study. For details, call 937-4960050.
Jan. 14, 8 p.m. Virtual celebration of National Bagel Day, discussion about the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Email Grant Halasz, firstname.lastname@example.org.
JFS Connects 2.0: Socialization & fellowship with JFS Social Worker Aleka Smith via Zoom. Tues., Jan. 5 & 19, 1 p.m. Contact Aleka Smith, asmith@jfgd. net or 937-610-1775.
JCC Virtual Cultural Arts & Book Series
Amy E. Schwartz, Can Robots Be Jewish?: Sun., Jan. 10, noon. Free. Info. at jewishdayton.org/events.
Temple Israel Share Shabbat & Game Night: Via Zoom. Camp-style service, dinner, trivia. Fri., Jan. 8, 6 p.m. Info. at tidayton.org.
Children & Youths
Beth Abraham@Home, Let The Games Begin: Virtual game show. Sat., Jan. 9, 7 p.m. Info. at bethabrahamdayton.org.
JCC Virtual Book Club: Fri., Jan. 22, 10:30 a.m. Info. at jewishdayton.org/ events. Ohio Maccabi E-Sports Tournament: Sun., Jan. 10, 1 p.m. For teens 13-18. Free. Info. at jewishdayton.org/events. BBYO Virtual Meeting: Grades 8-12. Sun., Jan. 10, 7 p.m. For info., contact Sydney Feibus, email@example.com. Temple Israel Dayton Youth: Thurs.,
JCC Virtual Happy Hour With Mentalist & Magician Jason Silberman. Thurs., Jan. 21, 7 p.m. Free. Info. at jewishdayton.org/events. JCRC Virtual Community Conversation, Food Insecurity in
Dayton: Tues., Jan. 26, 7 p.m. Info. at jewishdayton.org/events. Temple Beth Or 36th Anniversary Virtual Service: Fri., Jan. 29, 6:30 p.m. Info. at templebethor.com.
Omega Baptist Church & Temple Israel Virtual Pulpit Exchange: Fri., Jan. 15, 6:30 p.m.: Temple Israel Shabbat service w. the Rev. Joshua Ward’s sermon. Sun., Jan. 17, 10:15 a.m.: Omega’s service w. Rabbi Karen Bodney-Halasz’s sermon. Info. at tidayton.org. Beth Abraham Synagogue MLK Virtual Program: Sun., Jan 17, 11 a.m. W. Common Pleas Judge Gerald Parker & Sam Dorf. Partnering w. Wright Memorial Library. bethabraham.org.
JCC Jurassic Tu B’Shevat Miracle in Israel: Tues., Jan. 26, noon. How Arava Institute’s Dr. Elaine Solowey recreated the long extinct native Judean Date Palm. Free. Info. at jewishdayton. org/events. Beth Jacob Congregation 2nd Annual Tu B’Shevat Kabalistic Seder: Via Zoom. Wed., Jan. 27, 7 p.m. Register by Jan. 24 to Tammy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Temple Beth Or 5275 Marshall Road Dayton, Ohio 45429 www.templebethor.com 937-435-3400 PAGE 14
Today...and for Generations THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JANUARY 2021
THE MARVELOUS MR. MAZEL A successful artisan pizza baker out of her Brooklyn apartment, Dayton native Miriam Weiskind routinely sells out weeks in advance. She accepts donations and provides pizzas free of charge for those who can’t afford to pay, for whatever reason. Hundreds have munched on the myriad varieties of pies she’s made during the Covid-19 pandemic. But there’s one person Miriam really wanted to be able to sample her creations: her mother, Hyla, who died in August of Covid. To memorialize her mother, who always gave back and paid it forward as a senior outreach
Scott Halasz professional with Dayton’s Jewish Family Services and the JCC, Miriam writes “For Mom” and draws a heart inside each pizza box lid. “She’s always been like a huge inspiration of pizza, one thing we always shared,” Miriam said during a 14-minute video featuring her pizzas on Munchies Food by Vice. “She was the kind of woman who would drive around on Rosh Hashanah and give away 200 bottles of honey to make sure everyone she knew would start off with a sweet new year. I kind of feel like I am my mother. I’m taking pizza and I’m helping to make life easier and brighter. She’s here in spirit.” Pizza was even part of Miriam’s birth. Hyla was in labor so long that her husband, Ray, and the doctor ordered pizza while waiting for Miriam to arrive. “Mom was a huge inspiration,” Miriam said. “Those who know the ‘For Mom,’ I think that’s part of the story. That’s part of the reason people come back for more pizza. It’s the story that goes into it. It’s almost like every pie I bake is like another beat of my Mom’s heart. It’s what’s keeping me going. Knowing that she’s looking down and so proud.” Miriam gave up her successful career as a freelance art director to start baking pizzas full-time after Covid hit. At first, she baked them for people in her building — elderly neighbors, families who needed a meal, people who lost a job.
Vice’s documentary about Miriam Weiskind
tive experience with residents, family, and staff,” David said of The Stillwater Experience. “The Holocaust began with euthanasia of people with severe disabilities and was facilitated by physicians. As part of the course, students are given questions to prompt an Sandy Mendelson, owner essay and a three-minute-talk of Mendelson’s Liquidation to the class. These questions Outlet in Downtown Dayton, include: What is a person? Are recently had a day of his own in Dayton. Mayor Nan Whaley there lives which are not worth living? proclaimed Friday, Dec. 11 “The compasSandy Mendelson Day sion demonstrated to honor the longtime by the residents, business owner. Sandy is families, and staff set to close the business of Stillwater teachDec. 31. He’s sold his es the medical building to developers, students the unwho have major plans for forgettable lesson it. In business for 60 years that our humanity and at 340 E. First St. makes us human. since 1981, Mendelson’s The Medicine and was known as “The First the Holocaust Place to Look for Every Dr. David Shuster students who have Last Thing,” as it sold visited Stillwater over the last just about any and everything five years will never forget the from electronics, furniture, experience; more importantly, and housewares, to packing the Stillwater experience will material, arts and crafts, inspire them to action.” baskets, and furniture. “That helped give me hope,” Miriam said. “It just blossomed into this beautiful thing. If you were to measure happiness in money, I’m probably the wealthiest pizza baker in the entire world.”
The Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities Services has honored Dr. David Shuster with its 2020 Erin Ritchey Memorial Educator Award, which recognizes individuals whose personal efforts have contributed significantly to improving the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities. A clinical assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery, David teaches Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine’s Medicine and the Holocaust course. As part of the course, David developed and facilitates The Stillwater Experience, in which the class visits Montgomery County Stillwater Center, a residential facility for people with severe disabilities. “We now have over 40 fourth-year Wright State Boonshoft School of Medicine students visiting for an interac-
Carol Graff has received the Honorary Alumni Award from the Wright State University
Alumni Association. A longtime faculty member, Carol has served for nearly 17 years as an adjunct instructor in the College of Engineering and Computer Science. She was also an adjunct instructor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics for more than a decade. Carol was a twotime mayor of Beavercreek and has served on the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, Greene County Water-Wastewater Advisory Committee, Greene County Health District Advisory Committee, and has been president of the Greene County Library Board since 2017. Dr. Felix Garfunkel shared his story of how he survived the Holocaust, in a presentation to 70 students at the Alexander Muss High School in Israel in November. Among the students who saw his livestream talk about his childhood in Romania and Ukraine was his granddaughter Elliana Garfunkel. A student at Sycamore High School in Cincinnati, Ellie spent her fall semester at the pluralistic study-abroad program at Hod HaSharon. Addison Caruso, son of Patty and Mike Caruso, will participate in an externship program with the Environmental Protection Agency. He’ll work on water safety and sustainability issues beginning virtually in January during his final semester at Duke Law School.
Isaac Samuel Rosenberg Michael and Karen Weprin are overjoyed to announce the birth of their grandson, Isaac Samuel Rosenberg, born to Allie and Eric Rosenberg of Columbus. Izzy was born Nov. 8, weighing 5 lbs., 15 oz. and measuring 18.5 inches long. Send lifecycles to MWeiss@jfgd.net.
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JANUARY 2021
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JEWISH FAMILY EDUCATION
The world begins to create Considering Creation
Recognizable by its colorful blocky graphics, the video game Minecraft encourages endless experimentation and creativity while the player explores, builds, and interacts within fantastical 3D virtual worlds.
Candace R. Kwiatek Taking their cues from the known universe, game architects construct every detail — visual settings, natural cycles of daylight and seasons, voices and ambient noise, laws of physics, animation — all continuously adjustable for player perspective and movement throughout the world, all meticulously coded. According to GamingBolt journalist Landon Wright, such games are “massive, mammoth feats of engineering and software programming…almost inhumanly massive in scope and ambition.” In terms of originality and
complexity, Minecraft’s virtual worlds and the real world of Genesis 1 are not even in the same universe. Yet, they do have two things in common: they both arise not from randomness, but from a purpose and a blueprint. We begin to get glimpses of both early in the first chapter of the Torah. At the beginning of Genesis, God creates light, affirms its goodness, and names light and darkness Day and Night. On the following day, God makes an expanse named Sky to separate the waters of earth from those above but makes no mention of goodness, leaving the second day incomplete. Then: “God said, ‘Let the water below the sky be gathered into one area, that the dry land may appear.’ And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering of waters He called Seas. And God saw how good this was. “And God said, ‘Let the earth sprout vegetation: seedbearing plants, fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.’ And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation: seed-bearing
plants of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw how good this was. “And there was evening and there was morning, a third day (Gen. 1:9-13).” By the third day, the world’s architecture is taking on a more recognizable shape. As the lower waters cluster and reveal dry land, the process begun on Day Two is finally acknowledged as complete and good. It is immediately apparent why. Now supported by sky, waters, and land, myriad vegetation can grow and reproduce, and God affirms this is good, too. Although science provides much more detail, there is an overall consistency between it and the biblical creation narrative. Based on rock and mineral analyses, the oceans and land masses formed very early in earth’s development, at least 4.2 billion years ago. Recent Canadian and Australian discoveries of fossilized microorganisms estimated to be at least four billion years old suggest tiny single-celled algae-like plant life emerged almost instantaneously after the formation of large bodies of water on earth. And it’s common knowledge that oceans play a primary role
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not only in the water cycle, but also in climate control and the production of atmospheric oxygen essential to life. However, the real significance of Creation is found elsewhere, in the text itself. An unusual verb expresses the gathering of waters into seas: not the Hebrew kanas like knesset, nor kavatz as in kibbutz, but kavah as in mikveh. The primitive root of kavah means not only to collect but also to bind together. The earth’s lower waters, collected and bound together in their limited waterways, are also inextricably bound together with the sky and the land. On this day, the word good is doubled. When the waters are gathered into seas and dry land is established, each designed to support further creation, God sees it is good. And then God imbues earth with the power to generate plant growth, all manner of plants and trees able to reproduce, and God sees this development is good, too. Unique and purposeful, each
component of creation is good. The Hebrew zera, translated as seed, is used more than twice as often in the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) to mean offspring. Reading the text as “offspring-sowing plants of every kind” captures the fullness of plant life with their myriad modes of sprouting growth from spores to seeds. The world itself now begins to create. Until midway through Day Three, God creates, organizes, and names the components of creation’s framework. When turning from ordering to populating the world, however, God stops naming. Why? After all, naming and power have been linked throughout history, and the Bible links naming with destiny as well. It would appear that power and the destiny of the world were never designed to remain solely in God’s hands. By the end of Day Three, the world’s foundation is complete and uniquely devised to cultivate new creations, which in turn can create. God’s blueprint is coming to life. In this day’s creation story are lessons about vision, preparation, orderliness, and design. But its most significant message is that of the interconnectedness of God and every element of Creation. Each fulfills a purpose: some support, some nourish, and some create, and each is essential to the whole of creation. In the words of Rabbi Bradley Artson, Creation’s insight is that “it is not God alone who is one. All is one. We are related to each and to all, as is the Creator.”
Literature to share Hannah’s War by Jan Eliasberg. Based loosely on the story of physicist Dr. Lise Meitner, Hannah’s War is a fast-paced tale of the race to develop the atom bomb during World War II. Among the refugee European scientists at Los Alamos was a single female physicist, an Austrian Jew who had worked on Germany’s nuclear project before escaping Europe. But her background and odd personality make her a suspect of espionage. A blend of historical fiction and espionage thriller, this novel is provocative and highly enjoyable. Too Far From Home by Naomi Shmuel. Born in northern Israel, Meskerem takes pride in her mixed Ethiopian American heritage. But when her family moves to the center of the country, many of her classmates have never met a Jew of color and assume she’s a new, “ignorant” Ethiopian immigrant. Their taunting and bullying challenge Meskerem to take an unexpected stand. While an explanation of Operation Solomon would provide helpful context, this novel is a welcome addition to middle school literature on Ethiopian Jewry, as well as themes of tolerance and cultural differences.
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JANUARY 2021
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Hunker down with this hearty Caramelized Cabbage & Beef Soup By Crystal Rivera, The Nosher This comforting soup is a cross between a meaty borscht and my current obsession: caramelized cabbage. Both the flanken (short ribs) and cabbage lend a hand in its richness. You might just find yourself not needing any bouillon for this one. If you can’t find golden beets, any beet will do. I just love the goldenness it promotes in the broth. Please do not, however, cut any of the cabbages’ cooking time; the longer you cook them, the better. To make this vegetarian, add dried mushrooms for umami, and double the vegetables in the broth to make it heartier. A cup of pearl barley would be a nice addition, too. For the cabbage: 1/3 cup olive oil 11/2 lb. green cabbage, chopped 1/2 cup leeks, halved and sliced 1/2 Tbsp. kosher salt 2 tsp. sugar (optional) For the broth: vegetable oil 1-11/2 lb. flanken (short ribs) 2 carrots, unpeeled 2 celery stalks 1 head of garlic, unpeeled, halved crosswise 1 onion, unpeeled 1/4 cup fresh herbs of your choosing 10 cups water 21/2 tsp. salt
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For the soup: 21/2 cups golden beets, peeled and diced 2 carrots, peeled and sliced salt and pepper, to taste fresh herbs, to taste (optional) Start by making the cabbage. Set a deep, large pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. Add the cabbage, leeks, salt, and sugar. Immediately turn the heat down to low. Stir every eight to 10 minutes (be careful to not interrupt the browning process by moving the cabbage around a lot) until the mix turns a deep brown, about 40 minutes. If at any point the pan looks too dry, gradually add a little more olive oil. Once cooked, set the cabbage aside in a bowl lined with a paper towel. Pat down with more paper towels to remove any excess oil. To make the broth, heat a large pot over high heat. Brown the flanken in batches, returning them to the pot when the last batch is done. Add the vegetables, herbs, salt, and water. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, and turn down to a simmer. For the first 15 minutes, check on the broth to remove any scum that rises to the top. I like to skim off some of the fat as the flanken simmers, but you may find it easier to do this once the soup cools down and the fat solidifies. After 1.5 hours, discard the vegetables and herbs, and add the beets, carrots, and caramelized cabbage. Continue to cook for another 30 minutes, or until tender. Add salt and pepper to taste, and fresh herbs, if you’d like.
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JANUARY 2021
Best of Moment Magazine’s Ask the Rabbis feature in new book
Elaine Pack Jaffe Brinn, age 89, passed away Dec. 12 in Sarasota, Fla. She was born July 6, 1931 in Dayton. She was the loving wife of the late Albert Brinn and previously Louis Jaffe. She was predeceased by her parents, Manny and Sara Pack. Beloved mother of Leslie (Mitch) Marantz, Marc (Becky) Jaffe, Susan (Gary) Miller, and Scott It’s all expertly edited by By Toby Klein Greenwald (Laureen) Amy E. Schwartz, who also Special To The Observer Jaffe; dear edits the Ask the Rabbis feature Jewish robots? This is one sister of of Moment Magazine, a section of the “pressing questions of Richard (Ann) created in 2005 by Editor Namodern life” taken on by 61 Pack, Linda dine Epstein, from which these rabbis in Can Robots be Jewish? Baker, and pearls were culled. Schwartz published by MomentBooks David (Shari) opens each section with her and Mandel Vilar Pack; devoted grandmother of own commentary. Rabbi Press. The topics Lauren (Stephen) Tanenbaum, Irving “Yitz” Greenberg they parse are far Cameron Marantz, Sara writes the foreword; Rabbi more immediate, (Michael) Jaffe Berman, Melissa Shira Stutman writes the relevant, serious, (Austin) Jaffe Peters, Rossi Amy E. Schwartz, Moment Magazine’s opinion and book editor, also afterword. and potentially Anne Jaffe, Lawson Jaffe, and edits its Ask the Rabbis feature Among the questions: divisive than the Nicole Jaffe; great-grandmother Are there things that can’t opening shot. practice during the pandemic. disagree and it’s not the end of Jackson Tanenbaum, Stella be forgiven? Is democracy a of the world,” Schwartz said. The rabbis repMaybe something like, ‘Of all Tanenbaum, June Berman, resent Humanist, Renewal, Or- Jewish idea? Does Jewish law the new ways of living we’ve “We need models of healthy Ruby Peters, and Nolan Peters. forbid racism? Should we edit thodox, Conservative, Haredi, disagreement and civil dispute. invented to get through, what is She attended the University of our children’s genes? What Reform, Chabad, independent, For every question, we included worth keeping?’” Pennsylvania and resided in Reconstructing, Modern Ortho- about contraception, and how Schwartz herself feels welall the answers we got to that Richmond, Ind., Dayton, and dox, and Sephardic viewpoints. to talk to your children about question. I can only think of one come in numerous movements Cincinnati. Mrs. Brinn was a They reveal a broad, deep famil- sex? There are questions about across the Jewish spectrum of case where a regular contribudedicated mother who devoted iarity with Jewish sources, with organ donation, social media, tor declined to answer, and that belief and observance. occasional humor to temper the addiction, “I grew up in New York City her life to her family. She was was the contrasuch a kind, caring, and loving tattoos, arerudition. and was educated in a Modern ception quesperson with an infectious rogance and tion, which the Orthodox shul, then ended smile, an impressive, quicklove. Should up in a traditional egalitarian Chabad rabbi witted sense of humor, and Jewish children didn't want to minyan within the Conservative a beautiful, bright mind. She sing Christmas answer because movement,” she said. “I also carols? Do Jews run a small nondenominational was musically talented on the he thought it accordion and piano. She was believe in the Jewish adult education institushould come wise beyond her years and very afterlife, the from a woman, tion called the Jewish Study clever. Mrs. Brinn made every Messiah, in God Himself? Center in D.C. The feature, Ask but they don't have female single conversation meaningful The rabbis’ answers are com- rabbis, and I said it had to be a the Rabbis, is a good match for and lighthearted. She was a pacted into approximately 200 me, since I'm comfortable with rabbi.” wonderful weekend golfer, words each: a miracle. a range of different practices Elie Wiesel and writer Schwartz will talk about the and am fascinated by compara- bowler, and sports enthusiast. Leonard Fein founded Moment She never missed her children’s book project and long-running tive theology. I love talking to Magazine in 1975 as a North magazine feature as part of the American Jewish publication rabbis. My colleagues think it’s baseball, basketball, and dance recitals. She affected all the JCC’s Virtual Cultural Arts & independent of any Jewish ide- funny. A lot of Jews are afraid of lives that she touched with her Book Series, Jan. 10. rabbis.” ology or denomination. generosity and her gracious “Right now seems like an Schwartz is also Moment’s In the midst of Covid, spirit. The Jewish tradition important time to put out a Schwartz’s plan for Moment is to opinion and book editor. She teaches us that it is righteous book that demonstrates that ask rabbis “what we've learned was a longtime editorial writer to give charity in honor of people, including rabbis, can about ourselves and our Jewish and op-ed columnist for The one’s memory. For those of you Washington Post and worked who would like to donate in for Harper’s, The New Republic, honor of Mrs. Brinn, memorial and The Wilson Quarterly. She runs nationwide workshops on contributions may be made to the women’s organization topics of Jewish commentary, Hadassah, which is committed Psalms, and literature, and deto women’s well-being, to scribes herself as a “recovering Israel, and to Jewish culture and pundit.” values, at Hadassah.org. Oh, and about the opening with The Dayton Jewish Observer’s Marshall Weiss question, “Can a robot be Jewish?” Some of the rabbis answer Listen to an update of the week’s Jewish news it seriously. Golem, anyone?
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The JCC Cultural Arts & Book Series presents Amy E. Schwartz via Zoom, noon, Sunday, Jan. 10. Free. Register at jewishdayton.org/program/ cultural-arts-and-book-series.
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JANUARY 2021
OBITUARIES John Gelman, age 97, of Kettering, passed away Dec. 8 at Oak Creek Terrace. Mr. Gelman was a retired manager for the Elder-Beerman Shoe Stores and a member of Beth Jacob Congregation. He was preceded in death by his parents, Mordka and Fala Gelman; brother and sister-in-law, Jack and Juliette Gelman. Mr. Gelman is survived by his sister, Mariam Heider of Florida; nephews, Robert Gelman of Texas and J. Heider of Florida; niece, Patricia Heider Wainer of Massachusetts; other relatives and friends. Interment was at Beth Jacob Cemetery. Annette Saidleman Goodman, age 79, of Atlanta, formerly of Dayton, passed away Dec. 13. Mrs. Goodman was a member of Beth Abraham Synagogue. She was preceded in death by her parents, David and Sarah Saidleman; and sister, Marilyn Lipp. Mrs. Goodman is survived by her loving husband, Gary M.; daughter and son-in-law, Marci and Hilliard Creath of Georgia; son and daughter-in-law, Randy and Felicia Goodman of Georgia; grandchildren, Jonah Goodman, Alexandra and Benjamin Creath; five nieces and one nephew; and other relatives and friends. Interment was at Beth Abraham Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the National Kidney Fund in Mrs. Goodman’s memory. Harold S. Prigozen, age 102, passed away peacefully, Nov. 29 at Grace Brethren Village in Englewood. Mr. Prigozen was born May 14, 1918 in New York City. He graduated from Lawrence High School on Long Island in 1936. He enrolled at The Ohio State University, where he met his future wife, Miriam Stein of Dayton. He later transferred to Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute in New York where he received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1941. He and Miriam (Midge) were married later that year. Their blessed union lasted until her death in 2008, just short of 67 years. While in New York, they had two sons, Richard and Marc. Following World War II, Mr. Prigozen moved his family to Florence, S.C. for a short stint as a consulting industrial engineer. However, in 1948, the
family moved to Dayton. Mr. Prigozen had several positions during the family’s first decade in Dayton, but in 1959, he was hired by Schriber Sheet Metal and Roofers to run their brandnew industrial division. Over the years, this division became, first, a wholly-owned subsidiary, and eventually a stand-alone company, Schriber Industries Inc., which Mr. Prigozen owned entirely. Mr. Prigozen retired in 1986 and spent 34 wonderful years traveling, playing tennis, and biking. He also enjoyed senior classes at Sinclair and UDOLLI. Mr. Prigozen was an early president of the Dayton Art Institute Associate Board of Directors. The Oktoberfest, which became an Art Institute fundraising staple, was begun during his watch. Mr. Prigozen also served as president of Temple Israel. When Temple Israel moved to its new location in 1994, Mr. Prigozen and his BFF Dr. Burt Saidel organized the God Squad to build the Great Ark. This amazing structure was built in Dr. Saidel’s basement workshop and assembled on site. But the work didn’t stop there! For several years thereafter, the God Squad designed and built beautiful woodworking projects for religious and public institutions throughout the Miami Valley. One of Mr. Prigozen’s most treasured memories was of a bike trip through Austria and Germany along the Danube with Dr. Saidel. Mr. Prigozen was preceded in death by his wife, Miriam, truly the love of his life; and by his three siblings, brothers, Larry and Peter; and sister, Barbara. He is survived by his sons, Richard (Roberta) Prigozen and Marc Prigozen; his grandchildren, Amy (Richard) Zeno, Lisa Prigozen, Marnie (Mark) Lowden, and Jason Prigozen; and by greatgrandchildren Sarah Zeno, Leo and Iris Powell, Susie Prigozen, and Solomon and Jaqueline Prigozen. Interment was at Riverview Cemetery. Ruth Fay Rafner (nee Lesser), born Aug. 14, 1922, passed away Dec. 15. Preceded in death by parents Sara and Herman Lesser; brother Ray Lesser (Molly); and husband of 59 years, Alter Rafner. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Mrs. Rafner was employed by the Dayton Area Chapter, American Red Cross for 27 years. She served community and military families, veterans, and assisted with disaster casework. Mrs. Rafner was a
life member of Hadassah and of the Covenant House Guild, where she volunteered. She held membership in the national Kappa Delta Sorority for 65 years. Professional affiliations were the American Association of University Women and the National Association of Social Workers. Survivors include nephews Richard Lesser (Mary) and Howard Lesser (Ellen), and special cousins Minnette Weiss and Jacqueline Miner. Interment was at Beth Abraham Cemetery. Contributions may be made to Beth Abraham Synagogue or The Miami Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross. Claire Soifer, 91, an extraordinary woman, wife, mother, grandmother and friend, died peacefully at home Dec. 11. Small in stature, but inwardly a woman of steel in hats and heels, Mrs. Soifer was every woman, yet unlike any other! Her loving and tenderhearted spirit were graceful partners to great strength and integrity. Born in Cincinnati to Belle and Harry Sherman, Mrs. Soifer and her late husband, Oscar, were married 73 years. Mrs. Soifer’s children are Marlene Soifer Berlow, Bruce Soifer (Sue), and Robert Soifer (Stacey). Her grandchildren are Jason Soifer (Rachel), Scott Soifer, Ben Berlow (Nellie), Aaron Berlow (Samantha), Gail Soifer Mitch, Carey Soifer Hilofsky
(James), and Sam Rubens. Covid restrictions thwarted Mrs. Soifer’s plans to visit all of her 13 great-grandchildren, however she devotedly knitted tiny watch caps and blankets for each one. Mrs. Soifer held high expectations for her children based on an uncompromising moral code and the teachings of Judaism. Marlene, Bruce, and Bob were grateful for their mother’s dedication to teaching them the “right thing to do.” Several organizations and charities benefited from her participation and leadership. She was an active member in Beth Abraham Synagogue Sisterhood and Hadassah, and presented the Dolls for Democracy program in Dayton public elementary schools. She was also Marlene’s Brownie and Girl Scout troop leader for many years, and took turns serving as homeroom mother in each child’s classroom. Mrs. Soifer was president of Dayton’s local chapter of B’nai B’rith Women, acted in its plays, and was instrumental in raising money for the Hillel building at Miami University in Oxford. As a young wife, she fundraised as a board member of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton. She passionately supported the Anti-Defamation League and Planned Parenthood. Her elegance was evidenced in her fashion sense. Whether she dressed to go out or simply serve dinner at home, she was
styled to the max. Beaded or embroidered caftans were her fondly remembered “house dresses.” And dinner at the Soifers’ meant an open table. Everyone was welcome and felt lucky to be there! Mrs. Soifer baked, roasted, sautéed, and simmered with finesse. Turkey, brisket, matzah ball soup, teiglach and mandel bread were just some treasured favorites. Her brownies were renowned! Never let it be said that Mrs. Soifer was all work and no play. Golf and tennis matches, mah jongg, canasta, and bridge games were on her weekly calendar. She and her husband traveled the world, invited their family on cruises, and threw elegant parties where they commandeered the dance floor. “Claire would be at three parties at one time if she could,” Mr. Soifer would joke to friends. A true believer that everything would turn out alright, Mrs. Soifer lived a joyous life. Her beloved children and grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, and dear friends cherish her memory and will forever be grateful that she was in our lives. Interment was at Beth Abraham Cemetery. The family welcomes donations in Mrs. Soifer’s memory to the Anti-Defamation League, Planned Parenthood, or Hospice of Dayton.
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