The Dayton Jewish Observer, November 2020

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Hate vandalism hitsGrace strip club in Washington Township p.22 7 David Moss designs Aftervan Meals in comic book form p.

THE DAYTON Published by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton

November 2020 Cheshvan/Kislev 5781 Vol. 25, No. 3

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How the dailies covered Jewish life before local Jewish papers were here.

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For more than 30 years, congregant Itzca Zohar has led the construction of Temple Sholom’s sukkah, and this year was no exception. Zohar, who was born and raised at Kibbutz Ginosar in Israel’s Galilee region and is a veteran of the Israel Defense Forces, designed and built the frame for the Springfield temple’s sukkah a number of years ago. It features a Star of David skylight (below) as part of its roof.

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The Farrell family — Shoshana and Jon, Kipton and Aidan — stop by Chabad’s drive-thru sukkah Oct. 5 during Chabad’s Family Hour Sukkot Dinner Pick-Up program, also held Oct. 6. Chabad also continued its tradition of bringing its Sukkah On Wheels to JCC Early Childhood Services and Hillel Academy, as well as Jewish homes across the Dayton area.

Andy Snow

Temple Israel’s Rabbi Karen Bodney-Halasz watches as Bret Finster waves a lulav and etrog in the drive-thru sukkah Oct. 9 as part of the congregation’s Sukkot & Simchat Torah Drive-Thru Experience. Participants were also able to help decorate the sukkah, pick up treats including edible Torahs, hear the chanting of the Torah portion for Simchat Torah, and drop off donations to The Foodbank.

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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • NOVEMBER 2020


DAYTON

How Dayton’s dailies covered Jewish life here, long before we had local Jewish papers

Dayton Metro Library

By Marshall Weiss Reprinted with permission from Ohio Genealogy News On the afternoon of Wednesday, Oct. 7, 1863, Dayton’s 40-plus Jewish families held a grand celebration: the dedication of the first synagogue building in this city of approximately 20,000 people. Holy Congregation B’nai Yeshurun, now known as Temple Israel, had purchased the building at the northeast corner of Fourth and Jefferson Streets from a Baptist church. Two local daily newspapers, the Dayton Journal (Republican) and The Daily Empire (Democratic) presented vivid accounts of the proceedings in their issues the next day. Because of the Journal, we know the procession to the new synagogue included “a large number of pretty little girls, dressed in white, beautifully decorated, and they were marching in couples, then young ladies charmingly costumed, and exquisitely decked with head dresses and scarfs, succeeded them.” We also know from the Journal that “prominent members” of the congregation followed them, carrying three Torah scrolls, “covered with the richest velvet cloth, with crowns in decoration, followed under a canopy.” “The Jews may well be proud of their beautiful place of worship,” The Daily Empire pro-

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B’nai Yeshurun dedicated the first synagogue building in Dayton, Oct. 7, 1863 at the northeast corner of Fourth and Jefferson Streets

nounced to its readers. Over the next few days, each newspaper ran corrections about the event. Both had listed the name of the congregation’s new rabbi, “Rev. Mr. Delbanco,” incorrectly. It’s possible the congregation printed his name wrong in the event program, and the papers likely followed suit. Not only did The Daily Empire run this correction, it reprinted the entire article with two items not mentioned in the first version: a notation that “the eldest members of the congregation” carried the Torah scrolls in the procession to the new synagogue building, and that the

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mayor and city council were in attendance. This revised version of the article begins with a clear explanation: “By request of our Jewish friends we republish the account of the dedication of the Synagogue…for the purpose of correcting errors which were made in the original.” More than 150 years later, I am glad The Daily Empire did so, not only to clarify the record but to add even more detail to help later generations better visualize the scene. It’s also the first of numerous examples in Dayton’s daily newspapers — and across party lines — of their interest in and Continued on Page Four

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The pandemic has brought difficult times to so many. This has also played out in Jewish journalism. With ad revenue sinking, even Jewish papers in America’s largest cities have been felled. First, the Canadian Jewish News closed Marshall its doors. Then the New York Jewish Week Weiss ended its print edition as did The Jewish Advocate in Boston, followed by the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles. In Dayton, our ad revenue and page counts are also down. But not precipitously. We continue to bring you the in-depth coverage we always have. How are we still here? We are the beneficiaries of a rare arrangement: at the same time that we are a nonprofit published by our Jewish Federation, the Federation has always respected and protected our charge to operate as a journalistic enterprise. That’s not an easy or comfortable task. We’re here because for nearly 25 years, the Federation has championed the importance of local Jewish journalism, because of the support of our advertisers, and most importantly, because you continue to support us. We’re still here.

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Dailies Continued from Page Three

THE DAYTON

and peculiarly impressive ceremonies of a Jewish marriage at the house of Mr. L. Jacobs,” the Empire reported detailed coverage of this small Jewish Aug. 15, 1865. “May success attend community from its near-beginnings the new married pair in the realization of their fondest hopes in the through the 20th century. married life.” This was long before a Jewish The Journal also offered informapress raised its own voice in Daytion about Jewish holidays and ton, though Jews here could look for included goings-on of members of some coverage of our community in the Jewish community on its society Cincinnati’s American Israelite (espage. tablished 1854) and the Ohio Jewish “A HAPPY NEW YEAR!” That is Chronicle, based in Columbus (estabthe Manner in which Jew Greets Jew lished 1922). The first known Jewish newspaper To-Day, read a Daily Herald headline, Sept. 14, 1882. in Dayton, The Dayton Jewish Life, That year, the Daily Herald also published for about a year: from included in its society column an item the end of 1917 to the end of 1918. about an employee with Dayton’s Temple Israel attempted to publish German Jewish social club: “Mr. JoThe Dayton Jewish Record between seph Beatus, who so acceptably filled 1934 and 1935. It wasn’t until 1959 the position of janitor for the Stanwhen Dayton had its own Jewish newspaper again — the Dayton Jewish dard Jewish Club, during the past Chronicle — this time until 1995. Since nine years, has resigned the position 1996, I’ve had the honor of serving as greatly to the regret of many memeditor of the Gem City’s current Jew- bers of the Club. Joe has gone back to his old business as an optician.” ish newspaper. When I began my research into An affinity for social reform Dayton’s Jewish history, I was When James Cox started the Daypleasantly surprised to find the local dailies were such treasured resources. ton Daily News in 1898, his DemocratI read for myself that the earliest Jews ic newspaper also published informato arrive in Dayton became Dayton Metro Library tion about Jewish holidays and included Jews in its active participants in the society column. Two years betterment of the general later, with the arrival of community, and that they Rabbi David Lefkowitz to were given a seat at the serve B’nai Yeshurun synatable. And in situations gogue, Cox was present at where they weren’t, the the young Lefkowitz’s first daily papers here would sermon in Dayton. In short call it out. order, Lefkowitz became With the advent of known for his sermons on Newspapers.com, quick social reform. access to these publications Cox — a progressive helps me find information James Cox in minutes that might otherwise take Democrat who would later serve three terms in the U.S. House of weeks. Representatives and three terms as Ohio’s governor — saw to it that the Early Jewish life in Dayton Dayton Daily News began to cover The first Jews to settle in Dayton Lefkowitz’s lectures. He first showed came in the 1840s. They emigrated up in the March 31, 1900 issue of the from Prussia and Bavaria, where Dayton Daily News when Cox pubthey were prohibited from certain lished the “touching” eulogy Lefkowprofessions, places they could live, itz delivered the night before at the and often from legally marrying. synagogue in memory of Rabbi Isaac They generally met with success in Mayer Wise, the Cincinnati-based arDayton, working their way up from chitect of Reform Judaism in America peddlers to shop owners. who was also Lefkowitz’s teacher. When the first key leader of A month later, Lefkowitz appeared Dayton’s Jewish community, Joseph Lebensburger, died at age 65 in 1877, in an extensive society item in Cox’s the Dayton Journal reported: “He was paper. The rabbi had officiated at the wedding of Corrine Pollack, daughlargely known in the vicinity and highly esteemed.” We also learn from ter of Dayton’s successful whiskey wholesaler and celebrated Civil War the Journal that he was a Mason, an Odd Fellow, a member of the Ancient veteran, Isaac Pollack, to a young man from Lexington, Ky. Order of United Workmen, and the As common in society items of the Red Men. day, the report described the gowns As far back as 1860, The Daily worn by the women of the wedEmpire sporadically included inding party and shared the dinner formation about upcoming Jewish holidays, their significance, and how menu, which shows us how Dayton’s they were observed. In 1865, the pub- Reform Jews dined (decidedly not kolication included an account of a local sher, but still no pork) in those days. “The banquet hall was beautifully Jewish wedding. “We had the pleasure of witnessing decorated with lilies, palms, white roses and carnations, and the glow of on yesterday afternoon, the lengthy

OBSERVER daytonjewishobserver.org Editor and Publisher Marshall Weiss MWeiss@jfgd.net 937-610-1555 Contributors Scott Halasz, Candace R. Kwiatek Rabbi Nochum Mangel Advertising Sales Executive Patty Caruso, plhc69@gmail.com Proofreader Rachel Haug Gilbert Billing Sheila Myers, SMyers@jfgd.net 937-610-1555 Observer Advisor Martin Gottlieb Published by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton Heath Gilbert President Bruce Feldman Immediate Past Pres. Mary Rita Weissman Pres. Elect/VP, Personnel/Foundation Chair Beverly Louis Secretary Neil Friedman Treasurer Dan Sweeny VP, Resource Development Cathy Gardner CEO The Dayton Jewish Observer, Vol. 25, No. 3. 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.

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DAYTON rose-shaded candelabra gave a bewitching radiance to the festive scene,” we learn of the reception and ball at the Standard Club. “The color scheme of white and green prevailed throughout the house and the appointments were elegant.” The Dayton Daily News started listing Lefkowitz’s upcoming synagogue sermons. Non-Jews began attending Friday night Sabbath services at B’nai Yeshurun to hear what he had to say. And Lefkowitz would receive invitations to deliver lectures to civic groups and for high profile public ocTemple Emanu-El casions, which Cox would also Archives, Dallas cover. Lefkowitz, described in the Dayton Daily as “the thrilling and eloquent leader of the modern Jewish church in this city,” delivered the oration at the annual memorial service of Encampment No. 83 Union Veteran Legion in 1902, a speech to the student body of Steele High School and a “stereopticon talk” Rabbi David Lefkowitz at Christ Church about the Great Men of Israel in 1903, and the eulogy for the annual memorial services of Gem City Council, No. 3, United Commercial Travelers in 1904. The Journal and Herald began listing the rabbi’s upcoming sermon topics during that decade too. They, along with the Dayton Daily also reported on happenings in Dayton’s more recently established synagogues of impoverished Orthodox Jewish immigrants flooding into America from Eastern Europe: House of Jacob and House of Abraham in Dayton’s East End, and the multitude of Jewish clubs and service organizations that sprang up here at the turn of the 20th century.

Jewish news without a Jewish newspaper

and helped raise funds for its victims. This was documented in detail in those papers, which also published A comfort level became apparent among the lounsigned editorials in support of the “Russian Jews” cal dailies and the somewhat Balkanized segments of who had immigrated to the United States. Dayton’s Jewish community that allowed for open, On at least one occasion, a political fight within a honest coverage of the Jewish community — and in the synagogue spilled over to a daily, with both parties absence of a sustainable local Jewish newspaper. knowingly airing their beefs in the public eye. Expect For Jews who could read English, the daily papers Big Doings At Annual Election Of House Of Jacob anenabled them to learn about aspects of Jewish life and nounced a Dayton Herald headline Aug. 2, 1910 of a sensibilities from other parts of the Jewish community “hot contest” for synagogue president between supwhich they may not have encountered in their daily porters of longtime president Nathan Bader and Harry lives at that point. Office. In some ways, this may have nudged Temple Israel “Friends of Office have their ‘knives out’ segments of the Jewish community closer for Bader’s scalp and it was said Tuesday together in the lead up to the great unifiers that even if Bader does get enough votes soon to come: the Great Dayton Flood of 1913 to be elected, steps will be taken to prevent and World War I. him from serving,” the Herald exclaimed. Zionism, which was not yet a settled issue After the election, the Herald reported across Judaism’s movements, was actively Aug. 8 that by a margin of one vote, “irregucovered, discussed, and debated in the dailarities were alleged in the annual election” lies, with local Jews weighing in. and that “court proceedings were threatAt the request of the Dayton Daily, attorened to prevent Nathan Bader from again ney Ishur L. Jacobson wrote the article, Will taking his seat as president of the congregathe Jew Return to Palestine? How the World War Rabbi Samuel S. tion.” Will Effect Zionist Movement, Sept. 5, 1915. Mayerberg But on Aug. 15, the Herald reported the Rabbi M. Lichtenstein of the Wayne Avconflict was resolved “in the interest of harmony.” Badenue Synagogue (Beth Abraham) took Rabbi Samuel Mayerberg of the Jefferson Street Temple (B’nai Yeshu- er withdrew from the presidency although he claimed he was “regularly and legally elected president.” run) to task in the March 20, 1921 Dayton Daily News, castigating Mayerberg in detail for his statement that the Jews are not a nation, but “a race with a religious A fair shake during a dark era ideal.” The 1920s and ‘30s marked the shift to the most Not only did the local Dayton papers widely cover antisemitic period in America — until the Jew hatred the antisemitic pogroms of Eastern Europe before, dur- and mass killings of Pittsburgh, Poway, Jersey City, ing, and after World War I, this coverage rallied leaders and Monsey in our time. And a century ago, Dayton’s in Dayton’s general community. They gathered public- dailies stood firm to give the region’s Jews a fair shake. ly with Dayton’s Jews, condemned the violent hatred, Continued on Page Six

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DAYTON

Dailies Continued from Page Five

‘We recognize how much he cared.’

— Andrew, Becky & Ben Weprin with their father, Bart

I

n the ultimate act of tzedakah, Bart Weprin, of blessed memory, co-chaired the project to create the Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Dayton while dying. Always looking out for future generations of his family and community, he created an organization to preserve the dignity of our cemeteries in perpetuity. Consolidating the three Jewish cemeteries made sense to him practically. More importantly, it was a way to honor the memory of his adored parents and grandparents. Leading by example, he showed his children, Ben, Andrew and Becky, the importance of caring for their hometown Jewish community. Now living out-oftown, they all contributed to the Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Dayton campaign to honor their father and to preserve the dignity of his eternal home. And they hope their participation will inspire generations of Daytonians living around the country. When Bart’s children visit Temple Israel’s beautiful cemetery, they feel a sense of connection with the generations that came before them which they now share with all of Bart’s grandchildren. Please join us to maintain the sanctity, care and integrity of these sacred burial grounds.

Preserving our Past Ensuring Our Future

The stories of physicians Dr. Leo Schram and — a generation later — Dr. Hans Liebermann, show how When Dayton became a hotbed of Ku Klux Klan antisemitism grew in Dayton over that period and how activity in the early 1920s, the dailies covered it thorthe local papers responded. Both of their lives were oughly. The Dayton Daily News trumpeted that it had well covered over several decades in Dayton’s dailies. brought to the attention of the Montgomery Wisconsin native Dr. Leo Schram, a Jew, Dayton Herald County Commission that the county had was elected president of the Montgomery allowed the Klan to book a meeting for May County Medical Association (now Society) 26, 1922, to be held at the county’s war mein 1908. He served as Dayton’s city physimorial auditorium, Memorial Hall. cian for more than two decades, conducting When the county commission failed to physicals for students in Dayton’s public and take action to stop the Klan meeting, the parochial schools. Schram was chief medical Dayton Daily reported this, and that B’nai consultant and on the executive board of MiYeshurun’s Rabbi Samuel Mayerberg, civic ami Valley Hospital. He was also a member and business leader M.J. Gibbons Jr. (Cathoof the Triangle Club, Knights of Pythias, and lic), and the Rev. John N. Samuels-Belboder, a Mason. pastor of the African American St. MargaIn 1938, physician Dr. Hans Liebermann, ret’s Episcopal Church, had filed an injuncalso a Jew, fled Nazi Germany, passed the tion to bar the Klan from rallying not only at Dr. Leo Schram Ohio State Board Medical Examination, and Memorial Hall, but anywhere in the county. then arrived in Dayton in 1939. Office buildThe attorneys who prepared the injunction were ings refused to rent Liebermann space for his practice, active in civic affairs as well as with their respective even though occupancy was low at the time. Three religious communities: Sidney Kusworm, a Jew; and hospitals at first rejected his application for privileges, John C. Shea, a Catholic. even though he had his own ear, nose, and throat A county judge granted the injunction hours before practice in Germany since 1928. He, along with another the scheduled event. All of this made the front pages Jewish refugee doctor, was rejected for membership in of the local dailies. (U.S. Supreme Court decisions that the Montgomery County Medical Association in Januwould set the bar high for freedom of speech were JFGD ary 1940 — the very society of which not yet in place.) Schram was president 32 years before. Later that year, on its Dec. 9, 1922 front page, Liebermann would later recount in the Dayton Daily reported on Mayerberg’s fiery an oral history that as soon as the local sermon of the night before at B’nai Yeshurun in papers reported on the medical society which he challenged Dayton’s Council of Churchrejections, new patients showed up at es to issue a statement condemning the Klan. his office to support him. He would “The Protestant church has a great opportunity go on to assist several hundred Jewish to teach a lesson in vigorous Americanism by families resettle in Dayton after World condemning this vile un-American organization,” War II and supplied affidavits for JewMayerberg declared. ish families to enter the United States. The next day, the Dayton Daily reported the As of three years ago, when I was council’s tepid reply: “The Dayton Council of Dr. Hans Liebermann finishing my book, Jewish Community of Churches went on record about a month ago as Dayton, the Montgomery County Medidenying certain rumored connections with the Ku cal Society had no information that Dr. Leo Schram had Klux Klan…little more than a month ago the Federal ever served as its president, even though this had been Council of the Churches of Christ in America issued a well-documented in Dayton’s dailies. Now that I think statement to the press. It was endorsed by the Dayton of it, it’s time to provide the society with this easy-toCouncil of Churches officially disclaiming any control confirm information, so the good doctor of a century over or interest in the Ku Klux movement.” ago can receive the recognition he deserves.

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Two physicians, two stories

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DAYTON Rachel Haug Gilbert

Wash. Twp. strip club van vandalized with antisemitic sticker

put on his van by one of the religious protesters who show up in front of his business on the weekends. “I have a feeling they were behind When a member of Dayton’s Jewish ism that evening on social media. it,” he said. “I can’t prove it, because community posted a photo on Facebook “Then I immediately called my we don’t have video of it — we went Sept. 16 of an antisemitic sticker pasted managers to go out and see what was on the rear of a strip club’s van, her going on and they immediately removed through all the video and we couldn’t find it,” he said. “It’s just frustrating. I’m friends could see the sticker really was it,” Liakos said. “It was disturbing and so sick of the hate and antisemitism.” on the van’s rear. upsetting to say the least.” He said protesters usually show up at Rachel Haug Gilbert and her famAfter his managers removed the rest Diamonds on Friday or Saturday nights. ily were picking up pizza for dinner of the sticker — by then missing the “They sit out front on the sidewalk in Washington Township that evening word Jews — Liakos said he called the when she noticed the sticker on the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office that with their bullhorns and do their thing,” Diamonds Cabaret van, parked in front night. The sheriff’s office report made no Liakos said. “They have a van and the of the private club at 960 Miamisburgmention of the sticker’s anti-Jewish con- whole van is wrapped with ‘Abortion Kills.’” Centerville Rd., on the other side of the tent, though after Liakos later received Since Diamonds doesn’t have a liquor outdoor mall. a copy of it, he emailed the sheriff’s deThe sticker showed an illustration of partment the original photo of the sticker license — it’s bring your own — it legally stays open until early morning. Jesus giving the middle finger with the from Gilbert’s Facebook post. “I don’t want anybody to even remessage, “F— Jews.” “It was not documented because the motely think that I would have anything Diamonds’ van, wrapped with imdeputy that responded out there had no to do with something like this,” Liakos ages of scantily-clad females, features a idea what the sticker said,” Maj. Matt said. woman’s rear on the back of the vehicle. Haines of the Montgomery County “I get it — certain people don’t like And that’s where a vandal affixed the Sheriff’s Office told The Observer. “The antisemitic sticker. person that called, who was an employee my business. And that’s fine. I comGilbert also posted that she “immedi- of Diamond’s, never saw the sticker, just pletely understand it. What I do at ately parked her car and ripped off the the aftermath of the sticker being ripped Diamonds is not for everyone. But when they start putting up hate stickers, that offensive slur,” the word Jew, and posted off by somebody. So he didn’t know more than crosses the lines in my world a photo of the sticker after she had what it said when he called us.” and I take action. Will we probably catch scraped off the word. Haines added that he was providing the people that did this? Probably not, Diamonds Cabaret owner Luke Liakos the FBI with the image Liakos emailed unless they keep doing it.” told The Observer he wasn’t at the club at to the sheriff’s office. Liakos, who isn’t An antisemitic sticker affixed to Diamonds — Marshall Weiss Cabaret’s van, shown Sept. 16 the time, but learned of the hate vandal- Jewish, is convinced the hate sticker was

THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • NOVEMBER 2020

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The Dayton Jewish Observer won one first-place and two second-place awards from Ohio’s Best Journalism Contest, sponsored by the Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus Society of Professional Journalists, which announced its 2020 honorees Oct. 1. Marshall Weiss, editor and publisher of The Observer, took first place in Best Religion Reporting for publications with circulation below 60,000 for his news coverage of last year’s Klan rally in Dayton. “An interesting look at how the city handled a potential powder keg of competing poMarshall Weiss litical demonstrations, and the impact on a Jewish business owner,” the competition noted in the judges’ comments about the piece. This is the fifth first-place award Weiss has received from Ohio’s Best Journalism Contest, the 10th overall for The Observer. Weiss also received this year’s second-place award for Best Religion Reporting in the same circulation category, for the article, Jewish families dismayed prep school won’t denounce student display as antisemitic. Observer columnist Masha Kisel received the secondplace award for Best Columnist in the same circulation category, for her column, A Bisel Kisel, in which the Jewish Masha Kisel émigré from the former Soviet Union has shared how she navigates Judaism with her young family in Oakwood today. This is the first Ohio’s Best Journalism Contest win for Kisel, who began writing her column for The Observer in 2019. Established in 1996, The Observer is published by The Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton.

Ellen Shindelman Kowitt

Sunny Jane Morton

Veteran Jewish records researchers Ellen Shindelman Kowitt and Sunny Jane Morton will present Comparing Jewish Resources on the Genealogy Giants, via Zoom at 10 a.m., Sunday, Nov. 8 as the next program of Miami Valley Jewish Genealogy & History, in partnership with Beth Abraham Synagogue Men’s Club Speaker Series, and Temple Israel’s Ryterband Lecture Series. Kowitt and Morton will compare Jewish resources across websites Ancestry, FamilySearch, Findmypast, MyHeritage, and JewishGen and will provide tips on when searching one site over another might be advantageous. Kowitt has volunteered in worldwide genealogy activities for 25 years. Based in Erie, Colo., she has organized records acquisition, indexed, and managed translation projects in the United States and abroad. Morton, an award-winning genealogy writer, editor, and speaker based in Euclid, Ohio, is a contributing editor at Family Tree Magazine, editor of Ohio Genealogy News, and an official blogger at the world’s largest free genealogy website, FamilySearch. JG&H is a project of the Jewish Federation. Support for this free event is provided in memory of Marcia Jaffe. Register at jewishdayton. org/events. The session will also be available via Facebook Live at the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton Facebook page.

MARSHALL LACHMAN

FOR

JUDGE

OF THE SECOND DISTRICT COURT OF APPEALS

Experienced. Qualified. Trusted.

marshallforjudge.com Paid for by the Committee to Elect Marshall Lachman PAGE 8

THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • NOVEMBER 2020


THE REGION

Bill seeks to improve Holocaust understanding in Ohio Ohio Statehouse

By Tyler Buchanan Ohio Capital Journal Most young Americans believe antisemitism exists in the United States today. Yet a striking number have little to no knowledge about the Holocaust. That’s a problem Ohio legislators hope to resolve through a proposed commission to better educate people about the atrocities of genocides. Around one in eight Millennials and The Ohio Holocaust & Liberators Memorial, members of Generation Z have never Ohio Statehouse grounds, Columbus heard of the Holocaust. Of those who have heard of it, one in four either think tions about how horrors like the Holothe Holocaust is a myth or that the num- caust can be perpetrated by even the most civilized and sophisticated people,” ber of Jews who were killed has been Rulli said. “We know that simply pledggreatly exaggerated. ing to never forget is not enough as Those are the results of a nationwide sadly, genocide continues to this day. My survey on Holocaust knowledge and hope is that Ohio’s youth will become awareness conducted earlier this year enlightened as a result of this legislation by the Claims Conferto avoid such atrocities from ever hapence, which facilitates pening again.” restitution and reparaSeveral Jewish leaders in Ohio have tions for Holocaust complimented the effort, including Howsurvivors and presents ie Beigelman, executive director of Ohio Holocaust education Jewish Communities, who described a programs. Its research “glaring” lack of knowledge about the firm interviewed Holocaust among the general public. 1,000 people ages 18 One Claims Conference survey questo 39 from each state and found Ohio fared Ohio Sen. Michael tion found that 15 percent of Millennials and members of Generation Z think it worse than average. Rulli is “acceptable for an individual to hold Ohio Sen. Michael neo-Nazi views.” Rulli, R-Salem, has introduced Senate In April, several people appeared at Bill 372 which would create the Hoa Columbus protest of Covid-19 locklocaust and Genocide Memorial and downs with various antisemitic signs. Education Commission. One of the cosponsors of Rulli’s bill The proposed 15-member group is Ohio Sen. Andrew Brenner, R-Powell, would comprise legislators, state officials, educators, and researchers with the who was widely condemned in April for a Facebook post viewed as antisemitic. goal of improving widespread underIn that post, made on Holocaust Rememstanding about genocide. brance Day, Brenner said he would not Assisting the commission would be let then state health director, Dr. Amy a new Holocaust and Genocide MemoActon — who is Jewish — turn Ohio into rial and Education office, with $275,000 Nazi Germany. in funding to pay for a director Brenner received widespread and other expenses. The office criticism from Senate President would, among other things, work Larry Obhof, R-Medina, Gov. to secure grant and gift funding Mike DeWine, and a number of to further these education efforts other officials. He later apoloaround the state. gized and now is offering his Those involved would study support for creating this genothe existing memorials, procide education commission. grams, and initiatives in Ohio and OJC Exec. Dir. Another Republican legislalook to fill a gap in the public’s Howie Beigelman tor, Ohio Rep. Nino Vitale of understanding. The bill envisions Urbana, was similarly condemned by the a partnership between the commission and organizations across Ohio, including Anti-Defamation League for having repeatedly referred to Acton as a “globalist the Nancy and David Wolf Holocaust and Humanity Center in Cincinnati, the health director,” using a word often used by antisemites as a slur against Jews. National Veterans Memorial and MuseBeigelman said OJC has developed a um in Columbus, the Maltz Museum of protocol for handling antisemitic comJewish Heritage in Beachwood, and the ments from public officials due to their National Museum of the U.S. Air Force frequency. He’s now glad to see this near Dayton, which permanently diseffort from the legislature. plays Prejudice and Memory: A Holocaust “This bill, led by Senator Rulli and so Exhibit, curated by Dayton Holocaust many bipartisan co-sponsors, will help Committee Chair Renate Frydman. “Given the heightened tensions in our leverage Ohio’s schools, teachers, and nation, I believe now more than ever we community resources to teach this critical history,” Beigelman said. need to help educate the next genera-

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THE WORLD

New initiative will significantly lower price of Jewish teen extended trips to Israel By Josefin Dolsten JTA A new initiative will significantly lower the cost of extended group trips to Israel for JewishAmerican teens. The Jewish Education Project announced that it has received a $20 million gift from The Marcus Foundation for its RootOne initiative. The funds will subsidize trips by five Jewish youth groups — the pluralistic American Jewish teens participate on a trip to Israel organized by BBYO BBYO, the Orthodox NCSY and the Reform NFTY, along with USY and Ramah, both college campuses with deep affiliated with the Conservative movement. connections to Israel and With the subsidies, the groups can lower the strong Jewish identities,” cost of the trips by $3,000 per participant. Marcus Foundation Chairman The cost typically ranges from $4,500 to $8,000 Bernie Marcus said in the for trips lasting three to six weeks. statement. The initiative hopes to increase the number The first trips to Israel to of teens participating in the trips by 40 percent be financed through the Root every year, according to a statement. One initiative are expected to “We want young people stepping onto their take place next summer. Bernie Marcus

BBYO

May your Thanksgiving be filled with joy and the warmth of a grateful heart.

We are grateful to the Dayton Jewish community, the Sinai Foundation, our donors, parents and students for helping to keep Hillel Academy strong and growing!

daytonhillel.org • 937.277.8966 • dkmecoli@daytonhillel.org PAGE 10

THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • NOVEMBER 2020


November JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON & ITS AGENCIES

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IMPORTANT DATES FOR NOVEMBER 3, 2020 GENERAL ELECTION

ABSENTEE/VOTE-BY-MAIL

• November 2, 2020 – Absentee/Voteby-Mail ballots postmark deadline • November 2, 2020 – Early in-person voting ends at 2:00pm • November 3, 2020 – Election Day Polls open from 6:30am-7:30pm. Drop off for Absentee/Vote-by-Mail ballot to Board of Election Office by 7:30pm

UPCOMING EVENTS

Connect with us! Check out our events. For more information, check out our calendar at jewishdayton.org. Monday, November 2 @ 7:30PM — JCC Early Childhood Care & Education and PJ Library Author Event: When the World Feels Like a Scary Place: Essential Conversations for Anxious Parents and Worried Kids with author Abigail Gewirtz Wednesday, November 4 @ 7PM — JFS Active Adults Trivia Night Thursday, November 5 @ 7PM — CABS: Amy Fish, I Wanted Fries with That: How to Ask for What you Want and Get What you Need Sunday, November 8 @ 10AM — Comparing Jewish Resources on the Genealogy Giants Tuesday, November 10 @ 7PM — CABS: Yousef Bashir, Words of My Father: Love and Pain in Palestine Thursday, November 12 @ 7PM — CABS: Janice Kaplan, It’s the Genius of Women: From Overlooked to Changing the World Saturday, November 14 @ 7PM — CABS: Alan Zweibel Laugh Lines: My Life Helping Funny People Be Funnier Sunday, November 15 @ 10AM — LIFE & LEGACY Webinar with Dr. Eric Weiner Sunday, November 15 @ 2PM — Dayton Junior Youth Group (grades 6-8) Geocaching Thursday, November 19 @ 7PM — CABS: Talia Carner, The Third Daughter Friday, November 20 @ 10:30AM — JCC Book Club Upcoming Reoccurring Classes Go to jewishdayton.org/events to register for our upcoming classes! Monday, November 2, 9, 16, & 30 @ 7PM — Intro to Judaism Virtual Class Wednesday, November 4, 11 & 18 @ 1PM — Unleash Your Inner Author with novelist Martha Moody

REMINDER! JFS Let's do a Knitzvah! runs through November 18. Please call Jewish Family Services to coordinate a drop off time for completed projects.

EDUCATE-ADVOCATE-ACT JCRC Community Conversations

Honoring RBG October 29 @ 7PM

Join Dayton’s Bonnie Beaman Rice, Magistrate (Retired), as she facilitates a community conversation of Jeffrey Rosen’s book Conversations with RBG: On Life, Love, Liberty, and Law. Register online at JewishDayton.org/events

voteohio.gov For more information, visit jewishdayton.org/vote

&

THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • NOVEMBER 2020

Jewish Community Center OF GREATER DAYTON

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November JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON & ITS AGENCIES

GET TO KNOW YOUR PJ NEIGHBORS! Meet The Harel Family

Building Your Legacy with Dr. Eric Weiner Sunday, November 15 @ 10AM What kind of legacy do you want to build? What philanthropic goals do you envision for you and your family? Join Dr. Eric Weiner, author of the book Words from the Heart, Writing an Ethical Will for a meaningful discussion about leaving the legacy you imagine. Hosted by the Jewish Foundation of Greater Dayton and LIFE & LEGACY. Register online at JewishDayton.org/events

How many kids are in your family? 5 What are their ages? 15, 13, 10, 8, 2 How long have you been receiving PJ Library books? Since the kids started preschool in Maryland over 9 years ago. What is your family’s favorite PJ Library book? Inquisitor's Tale Do you have a funny or meaningful story about reading PJ Library books in your family? The kids get excited every book we get no matter what age it is for and all read them all! How long have you lived in Dayton? 6 years What do you love about Dayton? The warmth and friendliness of the people. What are your family’s favorite TV shows or games? Board games and laser tag What are you looking forward to this season? To cuddle up with the kiddos near the fireplace reading books, watching movies, and playing board games. Do you have a favorite Holiday tradition or a new idea to try this year? We have special Iraqi food Mom and the kids always make before Yom Kippur for breaking the fast - Cheese Sambusak (cheese filled yeast dough). And for Rosh Hashana, we make a full seder of blessings with 9 different vegetables and fruits we bless on. We always try to add one new fruit we have never eaten before to bless Shehecheyanu on.

Jewish Foundation OF GREATER DAYTON

Legacies, Tributes, & Memorials FEDERATION

JEREMY BETTMAN FUND IN MEMORY OF › Chuck Levin Elaine & Joe Bettman JCC

JOAN & PETER WELLS CHILDREN’S YOUTH FUND IN HONOR OF › Special birthday of Barbara Sanderow Joan & Peter Wells › Special birthday of Babs Miller Joan & Peter Wells JFS

› Hank Stern Jane & Gary Hochstein › Bernice Ezekiel Brant Jane & Gary Hochstein › Gary Isaacson Claire & Oscar Soifer › Dr. Mory Summer Ellen & Alvin Stein ROBERT L. & RITA Z. CLINE BIKUR HAVERIM ENDOWMENT FUND IN MEMORY OF › Hyla Weiskind › Robert L. & Rita Z. Cline IN APPRECIATION OF › Marshall Weiss IN HONOR OF › Ruthe Meadow 90th birthday Meredith A. Cline

JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES IN MEMORY OF › Hyla Weiskind Roberta & Richard Prigozen Lynn & David Goldenberg Susan & David Joffe Mary & Gary Youra Ellen & Alvin Stein

When The World Feels Like a Scary Place with author Abigail Gewirtz, PhD Essential Conversations for Anxious Parents & Worried Kids

We want to learn about YOUR family! Our families are what makes the PJ Library program in Dayton so vibrant, and we want to showcase them! To participate, please contact Kate Elder, PJ Library Coordinator at kelder@jfgd.net

Join us for a special event and Q & A brought to you by JCC Early Childhood & PJ Library on Monday, November 2 @ 7:30PM. Register online at JewishDayton.org/events Thank you to our 2020 Author Event Corporate Sponsors

JCC PROGRAMS RECEIVE FUNDS FROM AN OHIO ARTS COUNCIL SUSTAINABILITY GRANT

early childhood

care & education

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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • NOVEMBER 2020


November JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON & ITS AGENCIES

Virtual Community Chanukah Party

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

Comparing Jewish Resources on the Genealogy Giants

Sunday, November 8 @ 10AM via Zoom

Each of the giant genealogy websites — Ancestry, FamilySearch, Findmypast, MyHeritage, and JewishGen — offers unique tools and/or record collections relevant to researching Jewish ancestry. Ellen Shindelman Kowitt and Sunny Jane Morton will give us a comparative overview of the Jewish resources across all of these sites, and tips on when searching one of them over another might be advantageous, including an examination of JewishGen data found on Ancestry. Register online at JewishDayton.org/events. Presented in partnership with Beth Abraham Synagogue Men’s Club Speaker Series, and Temple Israel’s Ryterband Lecture Series. Support for this event is provided in memory of Marcia Jaffe.

JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER of GREATER DAYTON

JG&H Miami Valley Jewish Genealogy & History

Ellen Shindelman Kowitt

Sunny Jane Morton

Join Us in Welcoming Sydney Feibus our new BBYO Coordinator!

JFS Active Adults Virtual Chanukah Brunch

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

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

Sydney Feibus is a BBYO Alum from South Jersey Region BBYO who held roles at the chapter and regional leadership levels during her teen years. She is a graduate from Towson University in Maryland and currently works in Digital Marketing at Reynolds & Reynolds in Kettering. She has lived in the Dayton area for the last four years and looks forward to helping Dayton teens have as impactful of a BBYO experience as she had as a teenager. >> Teen Travel to Israel RootOne is an ambitious new initiative of The Marcus Foundation and The Jewish Education Project that aims to help bring Jewish teens from the US to Israel on immersive summer teen trips. The program provides travel vouchers in the amount of $3,000 to teens entering grades 10, 11, 12 or 2021 high school graduates. Get more information online at rootone.org.

JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES of GREATER DAYTON

THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • NOVEMBER 2020

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VIRTUAL

For more information and to register for events, go to jewishdayton.org Books can be purchased through online retailers (Amazon, Barnes & Noble), and in person at Barnes and Noble on 725, across from the Dayton Mall. For our full Cultural Arts & Book Series lineup, go to

Thursday, November 5 @ 7PM

Wednesday, December 2 @ 7PM

Amy Fish, I Wanted Fries With That: How to Ask for What You Want and Get What You Need

Libby Copeland, The Lost Family: How DNA Testing is Upending Who We Are

Partners: Miami Valley Jewish Genealogy & History

Support for this event is provided in memory of Marcia Jaffe

Tuesday, November 10 @ 7PM Yousef Bashir, Words of My Father: Love And Pain in Palestine

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

Thursday, November 12 @ 7PM Janice Kaplan, It’s the Genius of Women: From Overlooked to Changing the World

Tuesday, December 8 @ 7PM

Saturday, November 14 @ 7PM

Monday, December 14 @ 7PM

Alan Zweibel, Laugh Lines: My Life Helping Funny People Be Funnier

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Stephanie Butnick, Liel Leibovitz, and Mark Oppenheimer, The Newish Jewish Encyclopedia

Partnering with: Jacksonville, FL JCC; Toledo, OH JCC; Worcester, MA JCC

Live Virtual Exhibition Tour with the Illinois Holocaust Museum

V I R T UA L E X H I B I T I ON T OUR HOSTED BY ILLINOIS HOLOCAUST MUSEUM Monday, December 14, 2020, 7:00pm Email jhochstein@jfgd.net for more information.

Thursday, November 19 @ 7PM Talia Carner, The Third Daughter

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.

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S P O N S O R S

THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • NOVEMBER 2020


OPINION

CALENDAR

How to save a corrosive political culture

Note: Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, all programs listed here 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.

The friendship between the late justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia provides a model for how all Americans should interact with political foes.

other were never in question. No case, tive successor to Ginsburg. Others are no matter how contentious, ever came threatening to pack the court with liberals should Democrats gain control of the between them. How did they do it? And how can government next year (something Ginssociety emulate their example? burg specifically opposed). Her grandThe answer comes not just from the daughter reportedly said her dying wish was to be replaced by the next president, nobility of spirit that both embodied, but whom she likely hoped would be former from mutual values that transcended ideological differences. They could care Vice President Joe Biden. By Jonathan S. Tobin about each other while also disagreeing There’s plenty of hypocrisy on both U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth sides of the argument about the future of because of a shared morality. Bader Ginsburg — who died Sept. 18, In his new book titled Morality, Rabbi the court. Due to the way Congress has the eve of Rosh Hashanah, at the age of Jonathan Sachs, former chief rabbi of abdicated its responsibilities, the court 87 — was a symbol of female empower- is the only effective check on the growth the United Kingdom, explains that ment, as well as a renowned scholar and of the administrative state controlled by people act in this manner because they jurist. Though not religious, she was a see themselves “as part of the same the executive branch. In effect, it is the proud Jew, and her achievements as an framework of virtues and values, rules super-legislature that has more to say attorney in an era where women were and responsibilities, codes and customs, about the disposition of key issues than not fully accepted in the legal profession the other branches of government. That conventions and constraints.” and then as a principled judge justify the struggle to control the court is therefore As Sachs points out, “morality many laudatory eulogies about her. achieves something almost miraculous, a life-and-death affair for both parties. But Ginsburg’s status as a pop-culture and fundamental to human achievement And it has turned Ginsburg’s death icon and idol of liberals, feminists, and and liberty. It creates trust. It means that into one more excuse for Americans to others, who nicknamed her the “Nototo the extent that we are part of the same attack and demonize each other. rious RBG” after a rap star, made her But it doesn’t have to be that way, and moral community, we can work together known popularly in a way no other Ginsburg’s own life provides Michael Kovac/Getty Images without constantly being American judge has ever been. on guard against violence, an example of how to return As such, President Donald Trump, betrayal, exploitation or to treating opponents as whom Ginsburg’s many fans detest, deception. The stronger the fellow human beings we can naming her successor has added more bonds of community, the respect and like, even when fuel to the fire of a political conflict that more powerful the force of we disagree with them. already seemed more like a tribal culture trust, and the more we can One of the most inspiring war than a presidential election. But achieve together.” stories about Ginsburg is rather than succumb to the temptation to about friendship, not legal This is a powerful lesson treat political differences as proof of evil, combat. that those two judges, each we should be learning from her to emrevered by their own side of Scalia, whose death in brace our opponents as fellow humans the political divide, under2016 triggered a previSupreme Court Justice without giving up our principles. stand intuitively. ous court controversy, was Ruth Bader Ginsburg By the time she passed away, GinsThe trouble with all too Ginsburg’s conservative burg had since ceased being merely an many Americans right now — on both counterpart. Like her, his opinions were honored female pioneer or the intellecthe right and the left — is that they are intellectual and often fiery critiques of tual leader of the high court’s liberal fac- what he considered the flawed thinking so drenched with hatred of political tion, as well as an admirable role model of colleagues. On the most contentious opponents that they no longer see them for Jewish women and girls. issues that divide Americans, Scalia and as part of the same community. Those The transformation of a deeply seriwho view things differently are foes not Ginsburg stood on opposite sides. ous and cultured judge into a badass merely to be defeated, but to be delegitiIn the political culture of America in culture-war figure gave her significance 2020, such disagreements have become mized and destroyed. that transcended the legal battlefields Scalia and Ginsburg taught us that the moral equivalent of religious war in where she had labored. “RBG,” who we can still be friends while strongly which compromise or even mutual reinspired “I dissent” T-shirts, coffee spect is impossible. That’s not how Scalia disagreeing with each other. Engaging mugs, bobblehead dolls, action figures, in civil discourse between left and right and Ginsburg looked at it. coloring books, and a character on SNL may no longer seem possible. The two served as colleagues on the played by Kate McKinnon, was a symbol prestigious federal Court of Appeals Being willing to agree to disagree, of the “resistance” to political conserva- for the District of Columbia Circuit and and to respect each other’s opinions and tives in general and Trump in particular. were eventually reunited on the Sucredit each other with good motives, Conservatives like the late U.S. has gone out of style with unknowable preme Court. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia consequences for the future of American On both benches, they jousted on a believed that the original intent of the democracy. host of cases, with neither of them sparframers should dictate how the ConstiWe can learn from the two judges that ing each other’s positions from scorn in tution should be interpreted. civility and mutual respect don’t require their opinions. Ginsburg upheld the liberal tradition And yet, they were also close personal agreement as much as commonalities at that took a more activist view of the the core. friends The two shared a love of opera, Constitution as a living document that Instead of using Ginsburg’s death as which they often attended together. Incould change in order to justify what she deed, their friendship was immortalized an excuse to make these divisions worse considered necessary changes. in a comic opera called Scalia v. Ginsburg. with threats and insults, we should be A secular saint of the political left, her They also loved food, and along with remembering her example and stop desudden passing has further inflamed monizing our opponents. May both their their spouses, shared meals and even divisions in American society. Those traveled together. While their personali- memories be for a blessing. who claim to venerate her memory are ties were different — Scalia was more now threatening to “burn it all down” Jonathan S. Tobin is editor in chief of JNS — voluble and Ginsburg more reserved if Republicans confirm their conservaJewish News Syndicate. — their respect and affection for each

So, what do you think?

Send letters (350 words max.) to The Dayton Jewish Observer, 525 Versailles Dr., Dayton, OH 45459 • MWeiss@jfgd.net

Classes

Beth Jacob Classes: Tuesdays, 7 p.m.: Weekly Parsha w. Rabbi Agar. Thursdays, 7 p.m.: Jewish Law w. Rabbi Agar. Email Tammy at bethjacob1@aol.com. JCC Classes: Wednesdays, 1 p.m., through Nov. 18: Unleash Your Inner Author w. Novelist Martha Moody. Register at jewishdayton.org/events. Temple Beth Or Chai Mitzvah Adult Ed: Thurs., Nov. 5, 7 p.m. Call Jan Maharam, 937-361-8157. Temple Israel Classes: Mondays, noon: Coffee w. Rabbi Bodney-Halasz. Wednesdays, noon: Coffee w. Rabbi Sobo. Saturdays, 9:15 a.m.: Torah Study. For details, call 937-496-0050.

Discussions

JCC Early Childhood Care & Education/ PJ Library Author Event: Abigail Gewirtz, When the World Feels Like a Scary Place: Essential Conversations for Anxious Parents and Worried Kids. Mon., Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m. Info. at jewishdayton. org/events. Beth Abraham Men’s Club Virtual Speaker Series: Sundays, 10 a.m. Oct. 25: Larry Burick, The Supremes under Roberts’ Direction. Nov. 1: Jim Nathanson, 2020 — Political War or Cultural War. Nov. 8: Ellen Shindelman Kowitt & Sunny Jane Morton, Comparing Jewish Resources on the Genealogy Giants. Nov. 15: Joel Shapiro, Why the Jews Rejected Jesus. Nov. 22: Dr. Jack Bernstein, It’s 1918 All Over Again. Info. at bethabraham.org. Comparing Jewish Resources on the Genealogy Giants: W. Ellen Shindelman Kowitt & Sunny Jane Morton. Sun., Nov. 8, 10 a.m. Presented by JG&H, Beth Abraham & Temple Israel. Register at jewishdayton.org/events. Life & Legacy Webinar: Eric Weiner, Words from the Heart, Writing an Ethical Will. Sun., Nov. 15, 10 a.m. Register at jewishdayton.org/events. JCC Book Club: Fri., Nov. 20, 10:30 a.m. Info. at jewishdayton.org/events.

Children & Youths

Dayton Junior Youth Group (Grades 6-8): Geocaching. Sun., Nov. 15, 2 p.m. Info. at jewishdayton.org/events.

JCC Cultural Arts & Book Series For complete schedule, see Page 14.

Community Events

Honoring RBG, A JCRC Community Conversation: Thurs., Oct. 29, 7 p.m. Facilitated by Bonnie Beaman Rice. Register at jewishdayton.org/events. Temple Beth Or Veterans Day Recognition Program: Wed., Nov. 11, 7 p.m. Info. at templebethor.com.

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 • NOVEMBER 2020

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RELIGION

Note:

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, worship schedules have been adjusted and some services are offered virtually instead. For the latest information, check with the organizations below via their websites, Facebook pages, and by calling them directly.

CONGREGATIONS Beth Abraham Synagogue Conservative Rabbi Joshua Ginsberg Cantor/Dir. of Ed. & Programming Andrea Raizen 305 Sugar Camp Circle, Oakwood. 937-293-9520. BethAbrahamDayton.org Beth Jacob Congregation Traditional Rabbi Leibel Agar Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. 7020 N. Main St., Dayton. 937-2742149. BethJacobCong.org Temple Anshe Emeth Reform Rabbinic Intern Tzvia Rubens Fri., Nov. 27, 7:30 p.m. via Zoom. 320 Caldwell St., Piqua. Contact Steve Shuchat, 937-7262116, AnsheEmeth@gmail.com. ansheemeth.org Temple Beth Or Reform Rabbi Judy Chessin Asst. Rabbi/Educator Ben Azriel 5275 Marshall Rd., Wash. Twp. 937-435-3400. templebethor.com Temple Beth Sholom Reform Rabbi Haviva Horvitz 610 Gladys Dr., Middletown. 513-422-8313. templebethsholom.net Temple Israel Reform Senior Rabbi Karen Bodney-Halasz Rabbi/Educator Tina Sobo 130 Riverside Dr., Dayton. 937-496-0050. tidayton.org Temple Sholom Reform Rabbi Cary Kozberg Fridays, 6 p.m. 2424 N. Limestone St., Springfield. 937-399-1231. templesholomoh.com

ADDITIONAL SERVICES Chabad of Greater Dayton Rabbi Nochum Mangel Associate Rabbi Shmuel Klatzkin Youth & Prog. Dir. Rabbi Levi Simon, Teen & Young Adult Prog. Dir. Rabbi Elchonon Chaikin. Beginner educational service Saturdays 9 a.m. adults, 10 a.m children. Sundays 9 a.m. 2001 Far Hills Ave. 937-643-0770. www.chabaddayton.com Yellow Springs Havurah Independent Antioch College Rockford Chapel. Contact Len Kramer, 937-572-4840 or len2654@gmail.com.

PAGE 16

A little candle with a big flame Contributed

By Rabbi Nochum Mangel Chabad of Greater Dayton My granddaughter Kenny just celebrated her third birthday. Her parents — my daughter Sarah and her husband, Henoch — threw a big party late Friday afternoon, the day of her actual birthday, for this special occasion in addition to the birthday bash she had with her friends at school.

and meaning of the cism as well. event. I could see how We need to connect much Kenny was enjoyand reengage our own ing her moment in the happy, cheerful little limelight, and I sud3-year-old. We must tap denly realized the reality into that deepest level of how this moment so of faith within us, to see early in life can be lifethe world as a place of changing. possibilities and opporThe Talmudic sage tunities. Abaye, was asked by a The Rebbe, Menachem rabbi how he rememMendel Schneerson, bered a particular oboften quoted the Book scure law, and he replied of Psalms — Mi pi olelim — girsa deyankusa — this veyokim yasadta oz — is something I learned “From the mouths of baas a small child, and it They invited their friends bies and nursing infants, never leaves. and community to participate you have set foundations In Pirke Avot, Ethics in an outdoor celebration, of of strength.” of Our Fathers, Elisha course, observing proper disWhen the world has ben Avuya compares the tancing and masking. lost its reference points effect learning has on us Why the big party? It marks and lost its moorings — when we are young to an important milestone in her that is when we must its effect when we are life — she will now begin to look to the pure and lifeolder. light her own Shabbat candle changing recognition a When we are young, every Friday night and Jewish little child like Kenny has it is as if we are writholiday. that they matter and that ing on a clean sheet of At her party, all received a they can bring light. paper and the letters are Kenny Rosenfeld, 3, lights her first Shabbat candle party bag filled with the ShabIn this time of so many with help from her mother, Sarah Rosenfeld crisp and clear; when we bat essentials like challah, mattroubles, this simple and could sense how, even as a are old, it is more like trying zah ball soup, and a delicious message is crucial. The simple young 3-year-old, even she can to write on a paper on which dessert. The party favors inconfidence of a 3-year-old that drive away much darkness by cluded in the gift bag were two writing has been written and we can bring light to the world lighting one small candle. erased several beautiful Shabbat and drive away the darkness, Our great Chasidic masters, times — much candles and a note no matter how small we may the Rebbes, harder to read. asking all women be, is something The more taught us that Modern neuto please light the that all the talkthe more sorological science candles in their ing heads of the sophisticated phisticated we confirms the own homes that world cannot we are, the are, the more powerful nature evening. supply. we need to learn more we need of early memories Then as the We can and and rely on and impressions. sun was about to do make a to learn and rely difference. We the incredible They are embedset, Kenny, my ded and imprinted power of simple, on the incredible can shine our daughter Sarah, deep in our brains. innocent faith. and my wife, Deown light, and power of simple, together with We who are They influence vorah — Kenny’s older may have innocent faith. our thoughts, our grandmother — the lights of Rabbi Nochum Mangel emotions, and our more practical stood around the others, we will knowledge and actions years later set Shabbat table, ultimately make experience of how the world in a profound way. ready to usher in the holiness the world a more peaceful, betAlthough it might only be in works, but along with that and sanctity of Shabbat by ter, warmer, and brighter place understanding comes worry, our subconscious mind, it has lighting their candles placed at with the imminent coming of an ongoing and lasting impact. skepticism, and at times cynithe center of the table. Moshiach (Messiah). It is not a process of reason, Little Kenny dressed in the but on the core outlook of the most stunning new Shabbat world and our place in it; it dress with a crown of flowers serves as a foundation for the on her head. Her face radiated entire structure of our intelliwith excitement and joy as she Torah heshvan/ islev gence and our emotional life. stood on a chair between her Portions I vividly felt — What a mother and grandmother, performing this great mitzvah that wonderful lifelong gift Kenny November 7 was receiving. She was learnconnected her with righteous Shabbat Vayera (Gen. 18:1-22:24) ing that her pure and innocent Jewish women throughout Candle child’s faith could help people history. November 14 Lightings Chayei Sarah and make the world better, that Of course, as a grandparent, (Gen. 23:1-25:18) she was able to do things just I was kvelling, what nachas — November 6, 5:11 p.m. like her dear mother (and fapride — what an excellent job November 21 November 13, 5:04 p.m. ther) that help make the world Sarah and her husband did Toledot (Gen. 25:19-28:9) a brighter and warmer place. raising their child. November 20, 4:59 p.m. November 28 She saw how she could bring But beyond those feelings, I November 27, 4:56 p.m. Vayetze (Gen. 28:10-32:3) some more light into the world was also struck by the power

Perspectives

November

C

K

THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • NOVEMBER 2020


JEWISH FAMILY EDUCATION

Let there be light

bringing hope to a difficult situation, or do things with a light heart, radiating cheerfulness and optimism in the world. In the Kabalistic view, our job is to gather the sparks of God’s scattered light — tikun — and use Theory, an initial exploding them to help repair the world. expansion of radiation from a As the Jewish expression goes, single timeless and spaceless “A little bit of light pushes primeval atom of extremely away a lot of darkness.” high density and temperature In Proverbs 6:23 we read, suffused space with a bright “For the commandment is a light that would not have been lamp, and the teaching is light.” visible to the human eye. A popular folk song captures As the universe cooled, the the same sentiment with words radiation differentiated into from the Zohar, “Torah orah, various wavelengths including Hallelujah — the Torah is light, visible light. Hallelujah!” Torah study brings Primordial elements coenlightenment. alesced, creating stars and galThe lights of candles and axies. Surrounding them arose lamps express the sanctity of a form of unseen dark matter time (on Shabbat that doesn’t emit, and festivals), the absorb, or reflect How can ‘Let sanctity of place (in light but has mass there be light’ the Holy Temple and gravitational pull, echoing the and ‘God saw it and synagogue), biblical notion of was good’ help and the sanctity of (for darkness. Remarkus understand remembrance yahrzeit and Yad able, no? the purpose of Vashem). And yet, sciCommenting on ence only tells us being and the the Temple menowhat exists. Torah rah, the late Rabbi is a guide to why way to live? Adin Steinsaltz we exist and how noted that it served no practical to live. So how can “Let there purpose: its light serving only be light” and “God saw it was as a symbol of the holiness of good” help us understand the that place. purpose of being and the way Yet, when the Temple was to live? destroyed, the menorah came “Light” expresses much to be the premier symbol of more than an electromagnetic Jewish existence. Light conveys wavelength. We can shed light on something or bring something to light; enlighten someone or see the light ourselves; or see someone or something in a new light. If something sees the light of day, it comes into existence or is made known to the public. Light signifies perception, recognition, insight, and creativity. We can be a ray of light,

Considering Creation: A New Series Creation began with an infinite divine light, the Ohr Ein Sof, according to the Torah’s mystical interpretation found in the Kabalah. To create an empty space where physical and spiritual worlds could be created, God contracted the divine light (tzimtzum) and created vessels to hold its concentrated energy.

Candace R. Kwiatek Not strong enough, the vessels shattered (shevirat ha-kaylim), sending sparks of celestial light throughout the universe. While this Kabalastic interpretation of Creation may seem fanciful and farfetched, it accords surprisingly well with the biblical text. “God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. God saw how good the light was, and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, a first day (Gen. 1:3-5).” Although stylistically very different, both the Bible and Kabalah are of like mind about the distinctive identities of dark and light, the transcendent nature of light, and light’s quality of goodness. It is noteworthy that these ancient texts foretell modern science’s account of the evolution of the universe. According to the Big Bang

NASA

the sanctity of time, place, memory, and continuity. Straightforward and uncomplicated, “God saw it was good” expresses the inherent optimism in Creation, that good will ultimately prevail, suggests author and commentator Dennis Prager. Biblical commentator Leon Kass explains it is an affirmation that what Image of the Omega Nebula by the Hubble has been created — divine light — is complete Space Telescope One enveloped Himself in it and fitting for its purlike a cloak, and the light of its pose in relation to the unfoldsplendor shone from one end of ing whole. the world to the other.” Looking through the lens The light that permeates of social anthropology, Rabbi all Creation is divine, and it is Nachum Sarna notes, “It banvisible to those who look for it. ishes the ancient pagan notion But it is inert unless we put it of inherent, primordial evil,” a to use. Our job is to bring more cosmos built on a mythological light into the world. Ignite the brew of fates and evil forces. light. In the biblical view, Creation is Shine a light to improve infused with divine goodness, perception, recognition, insight, and evil’s place is only as a and creativity. moral quality. Bring the lights of hope, The Lubavitcher Rebbe cheerfulness, and optimism to proposed that God means both the world. light and darkness have the Gather sparks of light and potential for goodness. “All the help repair the world. world — even the darkness — Immerse in the light of should become a source of light Torah. and wisdom.” Kindle lights to sanctify time, The Midrash asks, “From place, memory, and continuity. where was the light created?” Create light in the darkness. The answer is whispered: “The How will you ignite the light was created from the place divine light today? of the Holy Temple. The Holy

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Literature to share I Wanted Fries with That: How to ask for what you want and get what you need by Amy Fish. This is more than just a practical handbook — it’s a delightful read. An experienced professional problem solver, Fish divides this slim volume into three parts: I want my problem solved, I want you to change, and I want justice to be served. In each section, she provides clear methods for addressing a variety of troublesome scenarios, illustrated with realistic and humorous examples. I read this in one sitting and plan to read it again. American Golem: The New World Adventures of an Old World Mud Monster by Marc Lumer. The legendary tale of the Golem of Prague takes a new twist in this American immigrant story with real kid-appeal. Newly arrived from the Old World, a young boy builds a golem for protection against bullies and other dangers. But he soon discovers America is a very different place, and the golem needs a new job. Historical photographs of New York City and graphic novel-style illustrations are a perfect complement to the narrative in this delightful tale for elementary readers and families.

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PAGE 17


THE MARVELOUS MR. MAZEL Steven and Mary Solomon earned a pretty cool honor from Preservation Dayton Inc. After purchasing a prairiestyle house on Squirrel

Scott Halasz Road in Dayton’s Five Oaks neighborhood, Steven and Mary fixed it up from top to bottom and for their efforts

received an Excellence in Preservation Award. They bought the house in 2018 and had structural improvements made to the roof, plumbing system, fireplace, and chimney. The house — built in 1916 according to county property records — was designed by Dayton architects Schenck and Williams, known for the Engineers Club, Liberty Tower, and the Wright family’s Hawthorn Hill home. The Solomons requested the city’s approval to rezone the property from HD-1 overlay,

one of the least restrictive historic designations, to HD-2 overlay, one of the most restrictive, and requires a certificate of appropriateness for any exterior work. All boards voted to approve the rezoning, confirming that the house is the finest example in the prairie-school style. It is now designated as a Dayton Historic Landmark. Mathew Klickstein is celebrating the release of his newest book, The Kids of Widney Junior High Take Over the

SEASONAL

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World, aimed at younger readers and features an entire group of characters with various developmental disabilities. It’s a work of fiction based on the real rock band Kids of Widney High, which is made up of singersongwriters with disabilities. Mathew is giving a portion of the proceeds Mayim Bialik’s Tweet about Mathew Klickstein’s book to a non-profit in Business Networking that works with people with program 2021 class of Top 25 disabilities as well. Actress Women of Impact (formerly Mayim Bialik of Blossom and Top 25 Women To Watch). The Big Bang Theory fame, gave She was also named one of Mathew’s book a shout-out on the Dayton Business Journal’s Twitter, calling it tender and Power 50, which lists the 50 funny, and added that “it’s most influential women in the perfect to read with your kids Dayton region. & it gives me hope.” This led the book to Amazon bestseller Dayton City Manager Shelley status in the category of books Dickstein, Boost Engagement about kids with disabilities. Chair Anita Emoff, Dayton “The first run of the book also Children’s Hospital President sold out in two days,” Mathew and CEO Deborah Feldman, said. His 2010 documentary and Montgomery County film about the band, Act Your Commissioner Debbie Age: The Kids of Widney High Lieberman join Karen on the Story, was screened at The Power 50. Debbie Lieberman Neon on Oct. 22 in conjunction also received the U.S. Small with the book release, and was Business Administration’s included in The Columbus 2020 Phoenix Award for ReelAbilities Film Festival Outstanding Contributions to online in October. The film is Disaster Recovery by a Public being picked up by streaming service Troma Now and will be Official. In a post on Facebook she said, “While this is quite available soon. an honor, the praise should go to all the citizens, public My wife, Rabbi Karen employees, elected officials Bodney-Halasz of Temple from across the region and the Israel, was named to the Better many volunteers from all over Business Bureau’s Women the country. So many came together to assist in countless ways for thousands of our neighbors, friends, family and strangers affected by the tornadoes.”

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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • NOVEMBER 2020


Arts&Culture

American Israeli novelist addresses sex trafficking in Third Daughter By Judy Bolton-Fasman JewishBoston.com Sex trafficking and exiting prostitution have been longstanding concerns for American Israeli author and social justice activist Talia Carner. She addresses it directly in her new novel, The Third Daughter. Carner first encountered the topic in 1995 when she attended the fourth World Conference on Women, in Beijing. At the conference, Carner, who was then on the business side of magazine publishing as the publisher of Savvy Magazine, gave entrepreneurial workshops on economic selfreliance for women. She recalled how the conference changed her views on freedom from violence. “I knew about sexual violence and rape as a tool of war,” Carner said. “But I then learned about genital mutilation in Africa and the Middle East, the burning of brides in India over family and dowry disputes, and the sexual enslavement of women. The height of sexual violence against women is sex trafficking, something I depict in my latest novel.” Carner noted that two-thirds of prostitutes in the United States are lured from other countries by false promises of jobs. Once they cross the border, their passports are taken away and they are effectively enslaved. Most of these women don’t know the language. They have an innate distrust of law enforcement, which is often corrupt in their countries, and they are not aware of their legal rights. The other third of prostitutes are American girls. Carner said that most of these girls are beThe JCC Cultural Arts & Book Series presents novelist Talia Carner via Zoom, 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 19. Free. Register at jewishdayton. org/2020-virtual-cabs-line-up.

tween the ages of 12 and 14. The Third Daughter is a realistic, timeless depiction of how young women are trapped into prostitution. Taking place in late 19th-century Buenos Aires, the novel is set in a little-known period of Jewish history when poor girls from Eastern Europe went to Argentina holding on to a false promise of advantageous marriages. Carner, the author of previous novels that have also concentrated on women’s issues, learned about this shameful episode when she came across a Sholem Aleichem story called The Man from Buenos Aires.

She was fascinated that Aleichem wrote about a character that she described as “creepy and sleazy.” She read several translations of the story in Hebrew to get to the essence of the culture and speech. “I channeled Sholem Aleichem as I was writing (The Third Daughter),” she said. “Tevye’s banter with God was so interesting that I incorporated that voice in my work,” she added, referring to Aleichem’s most popular short stories, involving Tevye the dairyman and his daughters. Carner tells the story of Batya, a 14-year-old girl whose parents accept the marriage proposal of a much older, seemingly wealthy man on her behalf. Unbeknownst to them, they deliver their daughter into a life of prostitution. Carner’s research uncovered that these girls were raped and tortured on ships from Russia to South America. To give her story verisimilitude, she learned more details, from the street names in the Argentinian capital from 120 years ago to how women in a brothel in Buenos Aires dressed and ate to how a Jewish union of pimps operated with impunity in South America from 1870 to 1939. “The rest was completely my imagination,” Carner said.

Talia Carner

As for breaking the ongoing cycle of prostitution in the 21st century, Carner believes it starts with education and exposure. “We need to reveal men like Jeffrey Epstein,” she said. “People knew about his crimes a decade ago.” According to Carner, businesses such as airlines, hotels, and credit card companies are “doing something important to change society’s focus from the victims — the prostitutes — to the victimizers, the men who pay for sex. Besides these men’s vulnerability to public exposure, it’s the demand side that drives the business.” She further noted that it is paramount to understand that these women do not benefit directly. “Rather, it’s a third party that reaps the financial benefit,” she said. “By understanding the humanity of these women — and viewing them as exploited victims — the demand can be lowered.”

“All I needed to know was that Batya was tortured, raped, caged, and starved on the ship, and I imagined myself there. There were no diaries found by these women. There were no firsthand accounts.” Carner asserted that fictionalizing these women’s stories enabled her “to bring out their humanity.” She noted that these women, pariahs in the Jewish communities where they worked, were considered “impure” and shunned. They were denied Jewish burials or entry to synagogues. Yet as Carner pointed out, many of them still retained their faith in God and “wanted to meet their creator as pure.” They took it upon themselves to wash the bodies of their sister prostitutes ritually in preparation for burial. “Many of the prostitutes believed that a dead person carried prayers and good wishes to someone’s relatives already in the next world,” she said.

Fictionalizing these women’s stories enabled her ‘to bring out their humanity.’

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Arts&Culture

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Nov. 15: Joel Shapiro, Why the Jews Rejected Jesus Nov. 22: Jack Bernstein, M.D. It’s 1918 All Over Again or A New Pandemic Arises Need a spiritual uplift? Need to say Kaddish? Join our virtual evening minyan. Now at 5:30 p.m. The link is available at our website and Facebook page.

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By Gerri Miller Los Angeles Jewish Journal You may not be familiar with writer Alan Zweibel, but you definitely know the comedy legends who have delivered his jokes. As a double Emmy winner for Saturday Night Live (197580), he created characters and sketches for Gilda Radner and her castmates; co-created It’s Garry Shandling’s Show (1986-90); won a Tony Award for Billy Crystal’s Broadway hit 700 Sundays (2005); and has collaborated with Larry David, Martin Short, and many others. In funny anecdotes and bittersweet reminiscences of the late Radner and Shandling, Zweibel chronicles his experiences in the comedy business in his 11th book, a memoir titled Laugh Lines: My Life Helping Funny People Be Funnier. Dedicated to his late sister Franny, it has a foreword by his longtime friend Billy Crystal. “It’s my story and how I got to be who I am now, and a history of comedy from the Catskills and SNL through Curb Your Enthusiasm to Here Today, the new movie I just made with Billy Crystal — all the stuff I had the privilege and good fortune to do,” he said. Zweibel said he hadn’t planned on writing the memoir, but Shandling’s death in 2016 touched a nerve. “I wanted to write down everything I could remember about our relationship.” Although it wasn’t his intent, he thinks that publishing it in the midst of a pandemic might provide respite from dire news. “With the number of cases and deaths going up every day, people are hoping for a diversion, something that has nostalgia to it that will make them laugh,” he said. Of Polish and Russian Jewish heritage, Zweibel was born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island in a Conservative, kosher home, attending Hebrew school five days a week. He grew The JCC Cultural Arts & Book Series presents comedy writer Alan Zweibel via Zoom, 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 14. Free. Register at jewishdayton. org/2020-virtual-cabs-line-up.

up “steeped in Jewish humor,” idolizing Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, and Woody Allen, and listening to his parents’ comedy albums, Allan Sherman’s My Son, The Folk Singer and Booker and Foster’s You Don’t Have to Be Jewish among them. He made classmates and teachers laugh in grade school, and stepped up his game as the new kid at Hewlett Veteran comedy writer Alan Zweibel High School. on Saturday Night Live, ” Zwei“Being funny endeared me bel said. His starting salary was and helped me make friends,” he said. “I wrote notes to teach- $325 per show. “It wasn’t without its presers about why we shouldn’t take a test. They still failed me — but sures. We had to put on a live show every week,” he said. they laughed while they were “But it was a lot of fun, and my doing it.” friendship with Gilda lasted He recalls going to the beyond the show.” Catskill Mountains with his So has his relationship with parents, where he’d sneak a production assistant named into the hotel nightclubs to see Robin Blankman. Now parents Alan King, Totie Fields, and Red Buttons perform stand-up. of three grown children and five After college, he wrote jokes for grandchildren, they celebrate their 41st anniversary in Noother Catskills comedians, at a vember. princely $7 a pop. He has his In a career full of highlights, mother to thank for that. She some projects stand out for approached comedian Morty Zweibel, in addition to the Gunty after seeing him in a club, told him about her son the aforementioned work. These aspiring comedy writer, and got include Bunny Bunny (1994), his “platonic love story” book about Gunty’s phone number. Zweibel soon was writing for Gilda Radner; his Thurber Prizewinning novel Gunty and his Catskills cronies. ‘I wrote notes to The Other Shulman (2005); his “But they were teachers about children’s book, my parents’ age. It wasn’t what I why we shouldn’t Our Tree Named wanted to write take a test. They Steve (2005); his about,” Zweibel still failed me — collaboration with Dave Barry said. but they laughed and Adam ManArmed with sbach on A Field his unsold jokes, while they were Guide to the Jewish Zweibel hit doing it.’ People (2019); the New York and the Passover comedy clubs, Haggadah parody For This We hoping to get an agent or a Left Egypt? (2017). manager. Two life-changing He’s also had his share of things happened. He met fellow Long Islander Billy Crystal, and disappointments, including the they’d ride into the city together, “great embarrassment and defeat” that was the movie North critiquing each other’s sets on (1994). “I didn’t let it paralyze the way home and forming a me,” he said. “You just ride it friendship that continued as both moved west. They were of- out and keep going.” Now 70, Zweibel said he’s ficemates at Rob Reiner’s Castle Rock Entertainment in the 1990s grateful to do what he’s doing. He hopes that Laugh Lines readand remain close. He’s “Uncle ers come away having learned Billy” to Zweibel’s kids. that “a nice guy who has faith in As for the second event, “Lorne Michaels saw me bomb himself and good friends and a wonderful, supportive wife can onstage, but he liked my material and hired me to be a writer have good fortune in life.”

THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • NOVEMBER 2020


Arts&Culture

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The Genius of Women explored By Lois Goldrich The Jewish Standard What is genius? Is it innate? Does it require both talent and recognition? And who decides who is a genius, anyway? Janice Kaplan will address these questions Nov. 12 as part of the JCC’s Virtual Cultural Arts & Book Series. A journalist, television producer, and author of 15 books, Kaplan will discuss her latest book, The Genius of Women: From Overlooked to Changing the World. A previous work, The Gratitude Diaries, was a New York Times bestseller. In The Genius of Women, she seeks both to explain why the extraordinary talents of so many women have been brushed aside, and to celebrate the achievements of notable women who have managed to beat the odds. The former editor in chief of Parade magazine and executive producer of the TV Guide Television Group, Kaplan said she’s been writing about these topics all of her life. Yet in doing research for her new book, she said, she has come to think about the issue in a new way, “seeing it from a new perspective.” “We tend to think of genius as a natural state, but I’ve discovered that who we call a genius changes over time, with who is telling their story and how it is told,” she continued. “The greatest difference is not in talent or ability or hard work. It’s in the ability to set the rules.” Up to now, and even today, she said, “it is men who have determined who is a genius.” Her book, Kaplan said, “looks at some of the issues that women have had to overcome right up to the present day. It redefines genius in several surpris-

ing ways, one for now and one for the future. As more women get into positions of power, the definition will change.” One definition of genius, she said, explains it “as the place where extraordinary talent meets celebrity,” with celebrity defined in terms of getting your work recognized. Women traditionally have been successful at “one half of that equation” — they have the talent but fail at getting it noticed. And without recognition of their work, “they can’t have an impact on future generations.” At least part of this, she said, is because of “a deeply ingrained unconscious bias, seen over and over again. We see it in historical accounts of women who did the work, but the Nobel Prize went to someone else.” Kaplan cited several examples of women who have been denied recognition; her list includes Lise Meitner, who discovered nuclear fission, and Fannie Mendelssohn, a great composer compelled to publish under the name of her brother, Felix Mendelssohn. The Genius of Women includes dozens of interviews with a wide range of women geniuses, in fields from the sciences to the arts and business. These include Frances Arnold, who won a Nobel Prize in chemistry; Broadway director Tina Landau, and success-

‘Who we call a genius changes over time, with who is telling their story and how it is told.’

The JCC Cultural Arts & Book Series presents Janice Kaplan via Zoom, 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 12. Free. Register at jewishdayton.org/2020-virtualcabs-line-up.

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BUILDING THE HEART OF BUSINESS

Janice Kaplan

ful business executive Monica Mandelli. Kaplan said it’s important not “to lump” men or women into stereotypical categories, since people of either gender may be loners or leaders. “We unwittingly undermine ourselves by doing that,” she said. “When you push people into categories, you stop looking at the individual.” She will also talk about the influence of parents on children, and how parents, even without meaning to, often send different messages to their sons and their daughters. “People will be stunned to discover how often they send different messages,” she said. Kaplan said her new book “feels like a special project, and it’s particularly important to me to be spreading this message.” And though it wasn’t intended to be a Jewish work, she is speaking to a lot of Jewish organizations. “I also realized that many of the geniuses in the book are Jewish women, such as Fannie Mendelssohn, Lise Meitner, Tina Landau, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.” Speculating on the reason why that might be, Kaplan suggested “our community has had a large focus on education for a long time, though we’re as guilty as anyone else of holding women back.” She hopes that in talking about what women geniuses have in common, she will inspire others to reach their own potential, “to encourage our own genius, and encourage our children and grandchildren. “One reason I wrote this book is to remind us all of what we can do, and how we can do it better.”

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Jeff Noble • mridayton.com • info@mridayton.com

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Arts&Culture

‘Forward, Yousef’ Forgiveness is the first step toward reconciliation.

By Yousef Bashir Brandeis Magazine I was born and raised in the Gaza Strip. For years, Israeli soldiers based in Kfar Darom were my “neighbors.” Although the soldiers’ settlement was illegally established on my father’s land, he never gave me any reason to feel hostile toward them. “We are all the children of Abraham,” he would declare. From 1995 to 2000, these soldiers went about their own business. They never threatened my family members’ lives. Then one night after dinner, the walls of our home were breached by the soldiers’ bullets. As my brother shut off the kitchen lights, bullets hit the wall right in front of me. We crawled to the living room, in the center of our house, where we were the safest. In the morning, soldiers came to our home and told my father it was time for him to leave. It was no longer safe for us to live there, they said. My father replied that he was not going anywhere, that he was a peaceful man, that he should not be asked to leave his home and his land. From then on, soldiers occupied our second and The JCC Cultural Arts & Book Series presents Yousef Bashir via Zoom, 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 10. Free. Register at jewishdayton.org/2020-virtual-cabs-line-up.

third floors, and our roofof my childhood. top. We were not allowed The soldiers continued to harass my father, yet they to go above our first floor never came close to breaking his resolve until Feb. or into the backyard. 18, 2004, when an anonymous soldier shot me in the Anyone who broke the spine, in front of my father and three U.N. officers who rules would get shot, were visiting the house. I had just turned 15. When I the soldiers told us. My saw the tears in my father’s eyes, I wondered if they father did not try to stop had finally gotten to him. what was happening. He My father kept telling me I was not going to die. I gave up his freedom in apologized for my low grades (at the time, playing sochis own house, because cer and games was more important to me than speakhe thought this might ing English or reading the books he bought for me). allow him to keep his As I began to feel the bullet more intensely, my father house once the soldiers begged me not to close my eyes. I focused on looking left. Every night, the at the blue sky until we got to the hospital. soldiers came downstairs At the hospital, I overheard people say I might nevand locked us into the er walk again. I was paralyzed, and the hospital lacked Yousef Bashir living room. Sometimes, the resources to treat someone with an M16 bullet in we were locked in for days, even weeks. A soldier his spine. So I was transferred from Gaza to a hospital came with us every time we needed to use the bathin Israel. My father was permitted to accompany me. room or go to the kitchen. A few days earlier, I had been shot by an Israeli solMy house was no longer my home. Yet my father dier. Now I was being saved by Israeli doctors. was still living life as though nothing had changed. His While I was in the hospital, my father talked to me attitude drove the soldiers — and his family — crazy. about many different subjects, and I listened deeply. No one really understood him or his belief in peace. He told me I was going to have a big future and I was The soldiers repaid his calm with growing aggression going to make him proud. He said, “A new door just toward him and the 11 members of our family. opened for you.” Paralyzed, trapped They wanted us to leave, but my father kept in my hospital bed, I felt incredibly declining their demands. They offered him frustrated. I didn’t understand what money. They beat him. They destroyed his he meant by “a new door.” Somefarms and everything he had. Still, he refused times, I’d start screaming and tell him to leave. to get out. Now I know he was right. But he also refused to hate — that would After four months, the doctors have been the ultimate defeat. I remember transferred me to Shikum Yiladem, hearing a soldier ask my father, “Why don’t a rehabilitation center. I was in a you leave this house?” My father, in his beaudepartment with 12 Israeli kids. We tiful voice, responded, “Why don’t you leave were all in wheelchairs, and we were my house?” By that point, the conflict taking Yousef Bashir with his all together. The Israeli kids felt complace inside our living room had become part father, in the mid-2000s fortable around me even after they

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learned what had happened. And I learned to walk again, which I consider my biggest achievement. Eventually, I returned to my home in Gaza. The soldiers were still there. They would look away whenever I looked them straight in the eye. I think I scared them more than they scared me. Their guns no longer frightened me. I thought to myself, “If you want to get rid of me, you will have to shoot me twice next time, but you will do that only if you are truly lost. I am back in my house. Sooner or later, you will leave me and my family in peace.” In 2006, I was accepted to Wasatch Academy, a collegeprep boarding school in Utah. I left Gaza around the time the Israeli army began to unilaterally withdraw from the Strip. After the last group of soldiers left our home, my father ran upstairs for the first time in years. He raised his hands and declared, “I told you we were going to get the house back.” That’s when I fully came to terms with his philosophy. He saved not only our home but his humanity, resolve, and dignity. Now his dream was to live to see an end to the conflict. As he drove me to the Egyptian border so I could travel to the States, he said, “Forward, Yousef.” That was the last time I saw him. He died in 2009, on his birthday. I relive my childhood experiences every day. I believe people everywhere can benefit from my story and, most important, from my father’s wisdom. Good things and good men like my father do exist in places that are filled with warfare and hatred. Forgiveness must start with you, my father taught me. Although forgiveness can be inexpressibly hard, writing my memoir, The Words of My Father, has been a good place to start. I will not see my son get shot in front of me. I will not stop dreaming of a true end to our disputes and conflicts. I will feel truly human only when I see war die and crumble before my eyes. I know I will see my father again, and I must have something to show him. I hope to make him proud. Yousef Bashir is the author of The Words of My Father: Love and Pain in Palestine. A resident of Washington, D.C., he is a Gather Fellow at Seeds of Peace and a former member of the Palestinian diplomatic delegation to the United States. Bashir received his master’s degree in conflict and coexistence from Brandeis University.

OBITUARIES Rosetta E. Friedman, 74, of Miamisburg, passed away Oct. 5 at Sycamore Hospital. She was born June 11, 1946 in Germantown. She is survived by her husband of 40 years, Alan G. Friedman; daughters, Melissa (Goldie) and Scott McCollum, Amanda (Goldie) and Bret Howard and Elizabeth (Friedman) and Frank VanSkoyck; sisters, Sandy Brest and Debbi Vaughn; seven grandchildren, Caitlyn, Rachel, Sam, Xander, Skyler, and Brayden; two great-grandchildren, Delaney and Olivia. She was preceded in death by her parents and granddaughter Brooklyn Rose. You may express online condolences to the family at gebhartschmidtparramore. com. Randal “Randy” Stephen Knight, Magistrate at the Montgomery County Juvenile Court and longtime resident of Dayton, passed away suddenly Sept. 17 at the age of 61 at his home. Mr. Knight is survived by his beloved wife of 33 years, Dr. Eve Wolf, his children, Arien (27) and Sarah (25) Wolf-Knight, as well as his three cats, Oscar, Maya, and Weiner. Born April 2, 1959 in Waycross, Ga. and raised among family in Cocoa Beach, Fla., Mr. Knight graduated magna cum laude from Kent State University with a bachelor of arts in history (1988) and later received a juris doctor from the University of Dayton School of Law (1992). Mr. Knight spent many years in private practice advocating for the little guy in all areas of commercial and contract law, particularly consumer protection. Mr. Knight was a deeply loving husband and father. He lived a full and prosperous life immersed in his many hobbies and interests. While Mr. Knight spent most of his time in the courtroom in his robe, he felt just as at home tending to his garden in his Chuck Taylors. An evening spent with Mr. Knight meant the warmth of jazz records echoing through the doorway and hours of loving and witty banter; it meant vibrant aquariums full of fish that only he knew the names of, vintage furniture, and quirky video game memorabilia. Mr. Knight graced those around him with a unique sharpness and unmatched sense of love. A big boisterous fish who truly stood out in his pond, Mr. Knight will be sorely

missed, always loved, and never forgotten. Interment was at David’s Cemetery. A memorial celebrating Mr. Knight’s life will be held at a later date. Memorial donations to the campaign to elect Joe Biden may be made online at joebiden.com or mailed to Biden Victory Fund, PO Box 96663, Washington, DC 200777085. Howard M. Pavlofsky, age 62, passed away Oct. 11. Mr. Pavlofsky was preceded in death by his parents, Vernon and Carol Jean Pavlofsky. He is survived by his wife, Kathy Pavlofsky; daughters, Veronica Pavlofsky, Ashley (Eric) Munoz, Cori Pavlofsky, Victoria Hayes and Erika Hayes; son, Andrew (Elisabeth) Pavlofsky; sister, Marlene (David) Miller; brothers, Gary (Lisa) Pavlofsky and Ervin (Wendi) Pavlofsky; 15 grandchildren; five greatgrandchildren; many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. Interment was at Franklin Hills Memory Gardens, Canal Winchester, Ohio. Contributions may be made in Mr. Pavlofsky’s memory to the Make It Fit Foundation, makeitfit.org.

family welcomes donations to Beth Abraham Synagogue or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, two of Mr. Soifer’s best-loved institutions.

Oscar Soifer, 95, devoted family man and Dayton and Piqua businessman, died peacefully in his home on Oct. 14. He was an original founder of a retail furniture business, now known as Town and Country Furniture. Born in Cincinnati to Sylvia and Max Soifer, Mr. Soifer is survived by his wife, Claire Sherman Soifer, whom he met and married in Cincinnati 73 years ago; and children Marlene Soifer Berlow, Coconut Grove, Fla.; Bruce Soifer (Sue), Dayton; and Robert Soifer (Stacey), Dayton. His grandchildren are Jason Soifer (Rachel) Bethesda, Md.; Scott Soifer, Nashville, Tenn.; Ben Berlow (Nellie) Brooklyn, N.Y.; Aaron Berlow (Samantha), Harrison, N.Y.; Gail Soifer Mitch, Columbus; Carey Soifer Hilofsky (James), Columbus; and Sam Rubens, Dayton. Mr. Soifer leaves 13 great-grandchildren and cherished nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was a proud World War II veteran and recipient of two presidential honors. Mr. Soifer served in the Navy and the Marines and fought in the Battle of Okinawa as a pharmacist’s mate first class, gunnery sergeant in the 6th Marine Division. Mr. Soifer was a member of Beth Abraham Synagogue. Interment was at Beth Abraham Cemetery. The

Sherman A. Vangrov died suddenly Aug. 17 in Cincinnati. He was 93 years old. He was born in Dayton to Charles and Jennie Vangrov. Mr. Vangrov was preceded in death by his wife of 39 years, Helene Rinsky Vangrov, his brother, Stanley, and sister, Charlotte. He is survived by his wife Beverly Tonkens Vangrov, his daughter Judy (Jay) Kelman, sons Barry (Theresa) and Ron (Jodie), and his grandchildren, Jordan and Rebecca Kelman and Jeremy and Stephanie Vangrov. He is also survived by his stepchildren Marji (Don) Mendelsohn, Steve (Paula) Ganson, stepgrandchildren Jamie, Katie, and Julia, and great-grandchildren. Mr. Vangrov is also survived by many nieces and nephews. Mr. Vangrov not only loved his family, but was very active at Beth Abraham Synagogue, where he served two terms as president. He also loved jogging, architecture, gardening, and the opera.

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