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The Torah of drones p. 16 February 2014 Adar I 5774 Vol. 18, No. 6

Published by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton

The Miami Valley’s Jewish Monthly • Online at Flash90


SHARON 1928-2014

One of Israel’s last warrior statesmen

Wonderful Weddings Chabad comes to Miami U.



Ariel Sharon on his Negev farm, 1993

The Greenberg family

College theatres explore Shoah

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Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton 525 Versailles Drive Dayton, OH 45459


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Course on Judaism in modern society

Temple Israel Shabbat Day Of Learning

Chabad of Greater Dayton will present its next six-week Jewish Learning Institute course, To Be A Jew in the Free World: Jewish Identity Through the Lens of Modern History, on Mondays from 7:309:30 p.m. beginning Feb. 3. The course, offered at Chabad centers around the world, was co-authored by Chabad of Greater Dayton’s Rabbi Shmuel Klatzkin. Dr. Jonathan Sarna — professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University and chief historian of the National Museum of American Jewish History — served as course advisor. Sessions will explore the challenges of navigating Judaism in modern society, with examples drawn from history including President George Washington’s historic letter championing religious freedom and Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s order expelling Jews from the area under his command. Klatzkin will teach the course at Chabad, 2001 Far Hills Ave. in Oakwood. The cost is $69; scholarships are available. To register, call 643-0770 or go to

On Sunday, Feb. 23 from 8:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., Temple Israel will present its Shabbat Day Of Learning. The free program is open to the community, with lunch included. Participants can learn about Shabbat observances, Israeli folk dancing, join a challah bake-off and braiding competition, and create challah covers, candlesticks and Kiddush cups. R.S.V.P. to 496-0050.

Student Holocaust writing & art contests The Jewish Federation’s Holocaust Education Committee has announced its call for entries for the 2014 Max May and Lydia May Memorial Holocaust Art and Writing Contest. This year’s theme is The Holocaust: What Have We Learned? The contest is open to all students in grades five through 12 in the Miami Valley. Entries must be received by April 4. For more information, contact Jodi Phares at the Jewish Federation, at 6101555 or


Volunteer opportunities available — call Bridgett at ext. 1299 for details.

Call Pam Hall today for details

Learning about other religions and various Jewish movements at Hillel...students in Erin Poppaw’s social studies class at Hillel Academy Jewish day school studied comparative religions for several weeks. The children made predictions about common themes in five major world religions — Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism — learned how they’re similar and different in their beliefs, and how those beliefs play out in the world. Each student was assigned to research a world religion and created an iMovie comparison of that religion with Judaism. Since there is a wide range of practices within Judaism and at Hillel, Poppaw (back, R) invited local rabbis to talk about their particular branches of Judaism. Shown here, Temple Israel’s Rabbi Karen BodneyHalasz (L), a member of Hillel’s Hebrew and Judaics faculty, answers questions about Reform Judaism from (L to R): Jack Bounds, Nina Jacobs, Sammy Caruso, Edin German, Devorah Schwartz, and Rikki Mangel. ‘Questions varied from the afterlife and reincarnation to tattoos and Jewish burial,’ Bodney-Halasz said.

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Arts & Culture............................38

Kve l l i n g Co r n e r. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Calendar of Events.................... 32




Fa m i l y Ed u ca t i o n . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35


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DAYTON Pamela Schwartz

Marshall Weiss

Char says. “We made some musical instruments. It’s kind of like a mixture of a banjo, and then you have a bucket and you can scrape that bucket with a Chinese chopstick. Every kid put one together. We can get a lot of notes out of it. We get to keep it.” Today, Muse Machine Dance Specialist Beth Wright works with the children. “This piece is about World Harmony,” she tells the students after they warm up. “So what I thought we would do Samantha Jacobs watches as Muse is watch some videos. I Machine Art and Music Specialist thought we would take Muse Machine Dance Specialist Beth Wright works with children in the JCC Children’s Theater program for Michael Bashaw demonstrates how to ideas from movement their upcoming World Harmony performance play the instrument each child built and make them our It’s session 11 out of 18 afterschool another. It’s an appropriate title because own, and take ideas that you worked Marshall Weiss on and we’re going to go with that a workshops for the 15 students in this kids today need to learn how to live little bit more.” year’s JCC Children’s Theater program. together and play together.” Wright says the creative process for No one knows exactly what the final The students, in grades two through the World Harmony project is a twist on performance will look like. And that’s six, come twice a week for the workthe Muse Machine’s in-school propart of the plan. shops at Sugar Camp in Oakwood. grams for students in these grades. Instead of another book musical, JCC Glinter says he has students from as “I usually go into a school and we Children’s Theater teamed up with the far north as Tipp City, as far south as Muse Machine to present World HarCenterville, and as close as one building meet with the teachers prior to working (with the kids) and we choose mony, an amalgam of dance, music, and away: from Hillel Academy Jewish day some curriculum,” she says. “And acting workshops which will culminate school. JCC Children’s Theater draws the residency is about five days long, in a performance on Feb. 9. children from all of Dayton’s synaand the first four days we are creating Muse Machine Elementary School gogues and temples and is open to the together, basically curriculum. And so Artists Michael Bashaw, Michael Lippert, general community. in this one, it’s not curriculum but we and Beth Wright are facilitating sessions “I thought we were just going to do do have a theme. We are deep in the to guide the children through perforanother play. I didn’t know we were creative process.” mance traditions from around the world. going to actually make our own,” says Char says he looks forward to the “The hope is that each instructor will 9-year-old Benjamin Char, son of Debobuild upon the previous rah and David Char acting segment of the workshops, with Michael Lippert. “He worked with me one,” says Yale Glinter, the JCC Children’s Theater and of Kettering. Char in third grade at my school and it was JCC’s youth, teen, and fam- Muse Machine present World participated in last really fun.” ily program director. year’s JCC Theater Harmony, Sunday, Feb. 9, 3:30 “The kids work together not know- In the bamboo installation the children built He says World Harmony production of Schoolp.m. at S. Smithville Center, 2745 ing where they may end up,” Glinter during their unit with Michael Bashaw: (L to is an original concept. “As house Rock Live! Jr. S. Smithville Rd., Kettering. $10 says, “and that’s an exciting part of the R): Charlie Blumer, Benjamin Char, Rebecca we sat around the table “We’re actually adults, $5 children 6 and up, free creation of performance art.” Blumer, and Laila Blumer. Students hung we explored how to get for children 5 and under. R.S.V.P. making our own objects on it and played them like instruments. — Marshall Weiss the kids to appreciate one play and script,” to Karen Steiger, 853-0372.

A world of culture for JCC Children’s Theater

The Adventures of

Bark Mitzvah Boy

So Yiddishe Llama & Old Kveller, what’s the secret to a long, happy marriage?

Around here, he runs everything.

The washing machine, the vacuum, the dishwasher...


Yiddishe Llama c O 2014 Menachem

From the editor’s desk Over the past several weeks, the local media have saturated us with stories about the potential for the Dayton area as a key player in the development and Marshall testing of unmanned aerial veWeiss hicles — with or without official FAA designation as a test site. The state of Israel plays a significant role expanding technologies and uses of UAVs. And the Dayton Development Coalition, Montgomery County, and the city of Dayton are hungry to facilitate local partnerships in this field with Israeli tech companies through the Dayton Region Israel Trade Alliance with the Municipality of Haifa. In this issue, Rob Eshman, publisher and editor-in-chief of the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, examines the complex morality of UAV warfare, in search of a Torah — an ethical instruction manual — for the use of drones.

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Longtime accompanist at Temple Israel dies


A Ground-breAkinG CulturAl Milestone

Marshall Weiss

Editor and Publisher Marshall Weiss 937-853-0372 Contributors Rabbi Karen Bodney-Halasz, Dr. Rachel Zohar Dulin, Renate Frydman, Rachel Haug Gilbert, Toby Klein Greenwald, Miriam Karp, Marc Katz, Candace R. Kwiatek, Mark Mietkiewicz Advertising Sales Executive Patty Caruso, Proofreaders Karen Bressler, Rachel Haug Gilbert, Joan Knoll, Pamela Schwartz Billing Jeffrey Hollowell, 937-853-0372 The Dayton Jewish Observer Policy Committee Joan Knoll, chair Chuck Kardon Marc Katz Larry Klaben Dr. Marc Sternberg

Dr. J. Ritter Werner during a rehearsal at Temple Israel

by Harvey Fierstein featuring Jamison Stern with

Jamie Cordes

Lisa Ann Goldsmith

Patricia Linhart

Jon Hacker

Philip Thomas Stock

directed by Scott Stoney

January 30 – February 16, 2014

Join Us Online

Poignant and filled with witty, sharp humor, Fierstein’s deeply personal story of self-discovery redefined an era in gay America. What begins as a chance encounter in a New York nightclub leads drag-queen Arnold Beckoff in a hilarious, yet touching, pursuit of love, happiness and a life of which he can be proud. From a failed affair with a reluctant lover, to a committed relationship with a young model and the promise of a stable family, Arnold’s struggle for acceptance meets its greatest challenge in his intolerant mother. NOTE: This production contains adult content

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Dr. J. Ritter Werner — an organ instructor at Wright State University and religion instructor at the University of Dayton who served as piano and organ accompanist at Temple Israel for more than 16 years — died at the age of 69 on Jan. 5 from complications due to chronic leukemia. During his time at Temple Israel, Werner accompanied the choir for the High Holy Days, played during Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, and for most Friday evening Shabbat services. Werner received his Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music in 1972 and completed his post-doctoral work in organ at the Canterbury Cathedral in England. He also received a master’s degree in theological studies from United Theological Seminary, where he served as music director and lecturer in church music. But Werner, who was not Jewish, said of Temple Israel, “I feel like I am home.” In an interview with The Observer in 2011, he said his first taste of Jewish liturgical music came when he was in college. His organ instructor played at Rockdale Temple in Cincinnati; occasionally, Werner would substitute for his teacher. In 1991, Werner went to Beth Abraham Synagogue during the High Holy Days to hear the music and the choir. “When I was at Beth Abraham I was moved to tears,” he recalled. “Sometimes I helped Cantor Kopmar with the choir.” His relationship with Temple Israel began with Rabbi P. Irving Bloom and continued until last year. “Ritter was perhaps the best synagogue musician that I’ve worked with in my career,” said Temple Israel Senior Rabbi David M. Sofian. “He not only could play the music masterfully, he understood how music enhanced the Jewish worship experience. He made worship at Temple Israel all the more meaningful through his music. But perhaps best and most important of all, Ritter was a wonderful human being. He was a great friend and everyone who knew him at Temple Israel will miss him. I have no doubt that his memory will always be a blessing.” — Renate Frydman & Marshall Weiss


Published by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton Dr. Gary Youra President Judy Abromowitz Officer David Pierce Officer Melinda Doner Officer Mary Rita Weissman Officer Cathy Gardner CEO The Dayton Jewish Observer, Vol. 18, No. 6. 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 guest columnists, in readers’ letters and in reprinted opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Dayton Jewish Observer, The Dayton Jewish Observer Policy Committee, the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton or the underwriters of any columns. Acceptance of advertising neither endorses advertisers nor guarantees kashrut. The Dayton Jewish Observer Mission Statement To support, strengthen and champion the Dayton Jewish community by providing a forum and resource for Jewish community interests. Goals • To encourage affiliation, involvement and communication. • To provide announcements, news, opinions and analysis of local, national and international activities and issues affecting Jews and the Jewish community. • To build community across institutional, organizational and denominational lines. • To advance causes important to the strength of our Jewish community including support of Federation departments, United Jewish Campaign, synagogue affiliation, Jewish education and participation in Jewish and general community affairs. • To provide an historic record of Dayton Jewish life.

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Couple brings Chabad to Miami U. vor. “We live right here and are available pretty much 24/7,” Yossi says. “The students enjoy Akiva’s toddling around, seeing the example of a young, happily married couple, and having a homey place to hang out. Just last week, a student we invited had to cancel because of the flu. Mushka appeared at her dorm door with a care package of delicious chicken soup. She was shocked — and touched.” They also offer students traditional Shabbat and holiday meals at their home, and Yossi Mushka and Rabbi Yossi Greenberg with their son, Akiva leads a Talmud class. The Greenbergs will have the challenge of establishing a partnering with the entire Oxford community to make Jewish financial base of support among life that much more diverse and parents and alumni. “People that care about rich, and provide many exciting Jewish continuity will step social, educational and leadership opportunities,” Yossi says. forward and help us in making this happen,” Yossi says. “This The Greenbergs got settled is our response to the widelyjust in time for Chanukah. Together with the Hillel at Miami, discussed Pew Report: helping build knowledgeable, passionthey co-sponsored a well-attended public menorah lighting ate and proud Jewish youth, the leaders of tomorrow.” in the center of Uptown. While each Chabad center is Since then, students have remarked, “Oh, you’re the rabbi self-supporting, the 200-plus campus emissaries network, from the menorah lighting. share resources, and ideas. Nice.” “I’ve already had students Yossi says students have introduce themselves who met been welcoming. “It’s not Chabad when they were on always considered that cool to be Jewish on a college campus, exchange programs in Taiwan and Hong Kong,” Yossi says. so when they see me walk“They’re delighted to find us ing around with a yarmulke, here, and we’re excited to be it helps them stand straighter and feel confidence in who they here for them.” are. Many have said, ‘Wow! We For more information about the didn’t know that Chabad was Chabad Jewish Student Center here.’” at Miami University, go to A family environment is something students really sa-


Jeff Noble • email:


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By Miriam Karp Special To The Observer A moving truck rolled into Oxford, Ohio in November. Just another day at busy Miami University, where students, faculty and campus staff are often in transition? Rabbi Yossi Greenberg and his wife, Mushka, are the age of young graduate students or faculty, but these residents of Foxfire Drive have a different look and reason for coming to town: they’ve opened a Chabad House to serve the Miami University community. Yossi and Mushka, together with their toddler, Akiva, are Chabad shluchim (emissaries). Their task is to strengthen Jewish identity on campus and provide, in their words, “a home away from home” for students. Yossi and Mushka are both Brooklyn natives; like many Chabad youths, they were raised on the ethos of Jewish education and ahavas Yisrael, love and dedication for their fellow Jews. They’ve each worked extensively in camps and schools around the globe. Mushka is a graduate of Beth Chana Teacher’s Seminary in Israel. She spent a year working under the supervision of her uncle, Rabbi Berel Lazar, chief rabbi of Russia, where she taught in the Moscow Jewish School. Yossi graduated from the Central Lubavitch Yeshiva. He first spent time in Ohio several years ago, when he worked as a mentor figure to yeshiva students ages 13-17 in Cincinnati. “I developed many ties with rabbis and community members,” Yossi relates. “After I got married, we began looking into various outreach positions. Our passion is youth, ‘cause that’s where it’s at, and where the future is at. We knew about the success of Chabad on other campuses in Ohio, and started doing research, talking with people in New York and Oxford, and forming plans for a center at Miami. We are very fortunate to have guidance from rabbis in Cincinnati and Dayton. Rabbi Nochum Mangel of Chabad of Greater Dayton is graciously mentoring us, so that we can plant healthy roots and lay a strong foundation.” Miami, with a total student population of about 15,000, has approximately 1,000 Jewish students. “We are looking forward to

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Diminished bingo revenue shutters Hadassah office, brings temporary closure of north mikvah facility By Marshall Weiss The Observer In the absence of bingo money, which sustained their fund raising for several years, two longtime Jewish non-profit organizations based on North Main Street will close their doors at the end of January. The Dayton Chapter of Hadassah, which has maintained an office at 5045 N. Main St. since 1995, will now operate out of volunteers’ homes and the home of Dena Briskin, Dayton Hadassah’s administrative assistant. The Dayton Ritualarium Society, which oversees the Rosenberg Dayton Community Mikvah at 7020 N. Main St. — in the rear of Beth Jacob Congregation’s parking lot — will temporarily close the ritual bath facility until it can raise money to fund renovations of its furnace and pipes. “There are some repairs we’ve got to get done and we don’t have the funding for it,” said Dayton Ritualarium Society Treasurer Goldye Kopmar. “We had to end the bingo because we weren’t making enough money. We’ve been so

dependent (on bingo). Bingo at in 2008. A year later, a separate entity, the Miami Valley Mikone time was so big.” Briskin said Hadassah’s larg- vah, opened at Sugar Camp in Oakwood. est source of revenue had also In accordance with halacha been bingo. She said Hadassah (Jewish law), a mikvah is a didn’t renew its bingo license ritual purification bath where application for 2014. observant married women “We didn’t have the (bingo) funding we had earlier,” Briskin immerse themselves following their monthly cycle. Mikvahs said. are also used for conversions to “We knew it was only a matter of time until we too had Judaism and for immersion of new kitchenware products. to close our doors,” Dayton Though not required by Hadassah President Shelly Jewish law, some men immerse Tarsky wrote in the chapter’s themselves in January newsthe mikvah letter. “Bingo as a spiritual was how we exercise. financed our Kopmar office.” said the RitualBriskin, who arium Society has served as had a regular Dayton Hadasclientele of 14 sah’s part-time The Rosenberg Mikvah to 15 women administrauntil the mikvah in Oakwood tive assistant for 101/2 years, opened. Now, the number is will continue to work from her fewer than half. home a few hours each week. When she and Ritualarium She said Hadassah will set up a post office box and cell phone Society President Eva Rosenberg decided to temporarily number as well. close the mikvah, Kopmar con“We want to be sure that tacted the mikvah’s supervisor, people understand that the organization is still going, we’re Rabbi Yirmiyahu Katz of Borough Park, N.Y., for instructions not closing up,” Briskin said. on how to ensure its kosher Hadassah, the Women’s Zistatus when it reopens. onist Organization of America, “He told us what to do, to was founded in 1912. Dayton’s Hadassah chapter dates to 1921 keep it so that it’s not going to according to Briskin. Nearly 400 be contaminated in any way,” Kopmar said. “We’re putting a members are listed on the curseal over the borot (reservoirs). rent chapter roster (including They cannot be opened or conformer Daytonians); approxitaminated. So when we reopen mately 100 of these, Briskin it, it will be considered a kosher said, are active. mikvah immediately.” She said the closing of the For now, Kopmar and local chapter office isn’t conRosenberg are guiding their nected to the financial challenges facing national Hadassah clients to the Oakwood mikand its funding of the Hadassah vah. The Ritualarium Society’s phone number at the Rosenberg Medical Center in Jerusalem. Mikvah is disconnected, but According to the Forward, the hospital faces a $300 million the society has set up an email, deficit as a result of the ecoKopmar said the Rosenberg nomic downturn, and national Mikvah is equipped with a Hadassah’s $135 million in security system and that Beth losses from investments with Jacob Congregation, a separate Bernie Madoff. entity from the Ritualarium SoThough national Hadassah ciety, makes a point to keep that has shut down offices across the country, its regional office in area of its parking lot well lit. “It’s very sad,” Kopmar said. Columbus remains open, which “What we’re really hoping is also serves as the office for the Columbus chapter of Hadassah, that the new rabbi, when we the only city office to remain in hire at Beth Jacob, will take it on and help us to raise money for Ohio. it and that can continue it.” Established in 1958, the Beth Jacob has been without Dayton Ritualarium Society a rabbi since the summer. opened the Rosenberg Mikvah THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • FEBRUARY 2014

THE WORLD Mstyslav Chernov via Wikimedia Commons

Antisemitic violence frightens Ukrainian Jews amid Maidan protests police forces by catapulting By Alina Dain Sharon Molotov cocktails. Police forces fired rubber bullets and smoke Two violent antisemitic inbombs. About 30 protesters cidents that took place in Kiev, were detained. Two-hundred Ukraine, over the course of a people were injured and veweek have alarmed the Ukraihicles were torched, Bloomberg nian Jewish community. Some experts speculate that the events News reported. In November, when the “Eucould be related to the political romaidan” protests first began conflict that has engulfed the in Kiev’s Independence Square country since November 2013. in opposition to Ukrainian On Jan. 11, several men atPresident Viktor Yanukovych’s tacked Hillel Wertheimer, an decision to freeze plans to join Orthodox Jewish and Israeli a free trade agreement with the teacher of Hebrew and Jewish European Union, some Ukrainitradition, after he left a synagogue at the end of Shabbat. On an-Jewish leaders had canceled Jan. 18, a yeshiva student, Dov- events out of fear that Jews may be targeted, especially since the Ber Glickman, was severely attacked by men with their fists ultra-nationalist Ukrainian poand legs on his way home from litical opposition party Svaboda, which is viewed as an antisemita Shabbat meal. According to the general Eu- ic and neo-Nazi group by variro-Asian Jewish Congress Gen- ous Jewish organizations, was participating in the protests. eral Council, the combat boots But there was little indication of of Glickman’s attackers may have been outfitted with blades. antisemitism among protesters at the time. Glickman dragged himself to a Given the two recent vionearby synagogue’s ritual bath, lent attacks on Jews, there are where he was discovered and some who suggest that “some taken to a hospital. Glickman pro-governmental forces are told IDF Radio on Jan. 19 that “people are now afraid to leave behind the attacks in order to then blame the their homes.” nationalists and “The frighten- ‘Antisemitism ultra-nationalist ing thing is that unfortunately groups as(the attackers) with arrived by car, remains an issue sociated Maidan protestand were apin Ukraine. It ers to denounce parently orgalegitimacy,” nized,” Hillel ebbs and flows.’ their Kliger said. Cohen, chairman “Yet another of the Hatzalah version suggests the oppoUkraine emergency services site, namely that some radical group, told Yedioth Ahronot. groups like neo-Nazis and In an additional incident on ultra-nationalists are behind Jan. 18, yeshiva students dethe attack, which they then can tained a suspicious individual who, according to the students, blame on the government,” was found to possess a detailed Kliger said. Historian, politologist, and plan of the surrounding neighEAJC member Vyacheslav borhood. Likhachev said in an EAJC Sam Kliger, the American op-ed published Jan. 19 that the Jewish Committee’s director former is more likely than the of Russian Jewish community latter. affairs, believes the incidents “The large-scale civil procould be a “sinister sign indicattests known under the title ing that some are trying to use antisemitic in political confron- ‘Euromaidan’ really do include groups of radical youths whose tation in Ukraine.” slogans and actions repel even “Historically in this part of the world, a political confronta- the nationalistic All-Ukrainan ‘Svoboda’ Union Party,” Likhtion sooner or later starts to exachev wrote. But he also wrote ploit the ‘Jewish question’ and to play the Jewish card,” Kliger that such activists have been heavily occupied with protectexplained in an email. Jan. 19 saw an intensification ing the center of the Maidan protests and preparing for of the Maidan protests, which have been taking place intermit- confrontations with government forces. On Jan. 20, Yanukovych tently since November. On Jan. 21, demonstrators clashed with agreed to form a cross-party

commission to try to bring an end to the conflict, but the opposition may not participate in talks without the president, according to reports. “Considering the general direction of what is happening on the Maidan, I believe that even the most thuggish of the protesters are not interested in Jews at the moment,” Likhachev wrote. But since the Ukrainian government has been portraying protestors as a threat to minorities, according to Likhachev, pro-government forces may be instigating antisemitic incidents to then be able to blame the protesters for them. “It is possible that the second, more cruel incident happened due to the first not having enough resonance in the media,” although “15 years of experience in monitoring hate crimes tell me that usually hate crime is just a hate crime and not an element of some complex and global political plot,” wrote Likhachev. Josef Zisels, chairman of the Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities (Vaad) of Ukraine, emphasized in an official statement translated from Russian that the antisemitic attacks were synchronized

A ‘Euromaidan’ protest on Nov. 27, 2013 in Kiev, Ukraine. Due to ongoing protests, some Ukrainian-Jewish leaders canceled events out of fear that Jews may be targeted.

with the adoption of new legislation initiated by Yanukovych in mid-January that outlaws many forms of protests. The law bans wearing hardhats or masks, building tents or stages, and disseminating “extremist information” about the Ukrainian government. “Journalists and public figures, including those acting on behalf of the Jewish community, rushed without any factual basis to tie the assaults with the campaign of peaceful civil protests,” Zisels said in the statement. “Based on the fact that now the topic of antisemitism is being used heavily in the cynical political technology campaigns aimed at discrediting the politi-

cal opposition and the public protest movement, the Jewish community must remain increasingly vigilant,” he said. Both AJC and The National Conference Supporting Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia issued statements condemning the anti-Semitic attacks and asking the Ukrainian government to investigate the incidents and bring the perpetrators to justice. NCSJ Executive Director Mark Levin told that “no one really knows the full truth” yet about who is responsible for the attacks, but that he is not surprised by the incidents. “Antisemitism unfortunately remains an issue in Ukraine. It ebbs and flows,” Levin said.

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Israel’s circumcision interventions draw mixed reception from European Jews By Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA PARIS — The Israeli government is wading into the burgeoning European debate over circumcision and receiving a mixed reception from the continent’s Jews. On Dec. 11, Israel initiated a motion in defense of circumcision at the Council of Europe, an intergovernmental organization devoted to enhancing cooperation among its 47 member states. Intended to offset a nonbinding October resolution approved by the council’s Parliamentary Assembly that condemned non-medical circumcision of boys, the Israeli initiative will soon be reviewed and possibly put to a vote by the assembly. The earlier resolution shocked both Jewish and Muslim groups and threatened to internationalize an anticircumcision campaign that, until now, has been waged mostly by local activists working in individual European countries. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs got involved following the passing of this resolution because claims that milah (Jewish circumcision) hurts boys go against the essence of the state of Israel and its responsibility for the fate of Jews everywhere,” said Nimrod Barkan, Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO, who spearheaded the motion. The growing campaign to limit ritual circumcision of boys has generated considerable concern in Israel. The chairman of the Knesset committee on the Jewish Diaspora, Yoel Razbozov, said in October that if bans are enacted, circumcisions should be performed at

was then Israel’s chief Ashkenazi rabbi. Israeli embassies in such countries. But (Metzger has since been arrested in Israel’s incipient role as defender of EuIsrael on fraud and bribery charges.) ropean Jewry is dividing local activists, Germany’s Central Council of Jews with some warning that Israeli involvesaid that the Israelis had done more ment could complicate the lives of Jews harm than good in their response to a in Europe. German court ruling in Cologne that “Jewish communities don’t want to said circumcision amounted to a crimimistakenly be regarded as an extennal offense. sion of the political state of Israel,” said “Metzger said there was no reason Rabbi Lody van de Kamp, a well-known why we shouldn’t have a doctor present Dutch Orthodox figure. “Any involvement from the state in religious issues in at every milah. That’s not a message we want to spread,” the activist said. “He the Diaspora communities’ work in that said unhelpful things and put us in a way (is) counterproductive.” difficult position.” Representatives of Jewish groups acThe 2012 ruling in Cologne, which tive on the circumcision issue in Europe was reversed earlier this say that as an observer Some Jewish year, was one of sevstate at the Council eral recent high-profile of Europe, Israel has activists actions aimed at limitevery right to lobby on expressed worry ing the custom across issues of concern. But Europe. Most of the antiin off-the-record talks, that Israel is circumcision activity has some Jewish activists getting involved been led by secularists expressed worry that who believe the practice Israel is getting involved in an issue that children’s rights in an issue that does not does not directly violates or nationalists seekdirectly concern it and ing to limit Muslim or with which it has limited concern it Jewish influence in their experience. countries. “It’s not always The Cologne ruling prompted brief beneficial to have the Israelis wade in,” bans in Austria and Switzerland and one European activist said on condition led several Scandinavian politicians of anonymity, citing a need to maintain and health officials to express support good working relations with Israelis. for banning circumcision. Many Jews “They do things differently to how we believe those statements could be a prewould.” lude to restrictive legislation in ScandiThe activist recalled a vocal disagreenavia and beyond. ment that leaders of Germany’s Jewish Shimon Cohen, who advises the community had last year with Eli Yishai, British Jewish community on resisting who at the time was Israel’s minister of measures to limit ritual slaughter and internal affairs, and Yona Metzger, who

With Israel-EU agreement, sky’s the limit for flying to and from Jewish state By Josh Hasten, Just several months since Israel and the European Union officially signed their historic Open Skies travel agreement, providing all European and Israeli airlines with equal opportunities to launch direct service to and from Tel Aviv, a slew of airlines are already hard at work trying to expand their offerings. From legacy carriers including Lufthansa German Airlines, which is the largest airline in Europe, to low-cost carriers such as Great Britain’s easyJet, Europe’s top air-transport network, new flights to and from Israel are popping up all over the grid. The airlines’ goal is to take advantage of the agreement and give business customers and tourists more convenient, affordable travel options to reach Israel and Europe. Thanks to Open Skies, Israeli airlines PAGE 8

can already go ahead and expand.” are also getting in on the action, with An easyJet spokesperson confirmed the country’s flagship carrier, El Al, announcing additional routes to Europe that thanks to Open Skies, the airline as well as the launch of its own low-cost has already announced the addition of four weekly flights between Tel Aviv brand called Up, which will begin serand Berlin as well as vice to European destiMiriam Alster/FLASH90 three weekly flights nations this spring. between Tel Aviv and While the agreement Milan. In addition to the does not come into full 11 flights a week easyeffect for all airlines until Jet operates between 2018, Mark Feldman, Tel Aviv and London’s who has been in the travLuton Airport, the airline el business for more than says it will add three 30 years and is currently weekly flights to LonCEO of the Jerusalemdon’s Gatwick Airport, based travel agency Zion the second-largest airTours, explains that due port in the U.K. to “a grandfather clause, Israeli Tourism Minister Dr. Israeli Tourism Minan airline like easyJet, Uzi Landau describes the ister Dr. Uzi Landau which already began its Open Skies agreement as describes Open Skies service from London to groundbreaking for Israel’s as a groundbreaking Tel Aviv four years ago, transportation industry

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Former Israeli Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger addressing journalists following a 2012 court decision in Cologne, Germany (since reversed), that circumcision violates the bodily integrity of a child

circumcision, said that large European Jewish communities are equipped to handle such threats. But in countries with very small Jewish communities, a ban could get through without anybody noticing and have a precedent-setting effect. “One of the major advantages to this Israeli involvement is that, no matter what the size of the local Jewish community, there’s likely to be an Israeli embassy present with politically intelligent insight and open channels of communication with senior government officials,” Cohen said. For Barkan, the Israeli UNESCO ambassador, spearheading the procircumcision motion at the Council of Europe has been an opportunity for rare cooperation with Muslim partners — particularly Turkey, but also Albania and Azerbaijan, whose representatives signed on fairly quickly, he said. As for the criticism from Jewish activists, Barkan chalks it up to cultural differences. “European Jewish communities have very complex considerations to accommodate, and I understand that,” he said. “But I grew up in a place that taught me that if I wanted to achieve something, I better to go ahead and try.” development for the transportation industry in Israel, making travel to and from Europe “more efficient, while providing more competition at lower prices (for the consumer).” He says that the agreement is important in that it “brings Israel closer to Europe, while making (travel to Israel) accessible to larger groups.” By “lowering the monetary obstacle,” Israel can expect many more visitors from Europe who will arrive on specialty trips for pleasure, including “those who are into hiking, biking, or wine and culinary trails,” Landau says. Tal Muscal, head of Group Communications Israel for the Lufthansa Group, believes that the agreement is a “game changer” in the Israeli travel industry. Muscal says the deal “will open up Israel to many more tourists, and allow many more Israelis to travel and experience Europe, so everyone benefits.” Muscal says that Lufthansa “of course will take part in the opportunities this liberalization offers us,” Continued on Page 36


THE WORLD Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

One of Israel’s last warrior statesmen Ariel Sharon addresses a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Jan. 1, 2006

By Ron Kampeas, JTA Ariel Sharon, one of Israel’s last warrior statesmen, whose military and political careers were woven into his nation’s triumphs and failures, has died. Sharon, 85, died Jan. 11 at the Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv after eight years in a coma. “He went when he decided to go,” said his younger son, Gilad, who has become the fierce guardian of his father’s legacy. He was among the last of Israel’s founding fathers, fighting in every Israeli military conflict in the first three decades of the state. As a military general, Sharon helped turn the tide of the Yom Kippur War with Egypt in 1973. As defense minister, he plunged his nation into the crucible of Lebanon in 1982, an engagement that nearly cut short his career after he was found to bear indirect responsibility for the massacre of Palestinian refugees at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon. But Sharon would rise from the ashes of that calamity to effect an astonishing about-face as prime minister, orchestrating the evacuation of thousands of Israeli settlers from the Gaza Strip after spending the bulk of his career championing the settlement enterprise. As prime minister, Sharon began the construction of Israel’s controversial security fence in the West Bank. His overriding concern, Sharon always said, was to protect a nation built on the ashes of the destruction of European Jewry. “I arrived here today from Jerusalem, the capital of the state of Israel, the only place where Jews have the right and capability to defend themselves

by themselves,” he said in a May 2005 visit to Auschwitz to mark 60 years since the Holocaust. He forged affectionate bonds with Diaspora Jewish leaders, interspersing his English with Yiddishisms and often urging them to emigrate to Israel. “Sharon worked his entire life for the unity of the Jewish people,” said a statement from the Jewish Federations of North America. “He was closely engaged with Jewish communities around the world, and acutely aware of their needs and aspirations. In all his leadership roles, and especially as prime minister of the Jewish state, Sharon engaged with Jewish communities across the Diaspora.” Lionized and scorned for his bluntness, Sharon was nicknamed “the Bulldozer” both for his tendency to disrespect boundaries and his legendary girth. Ideological loyalties meant little to the man known in Israel simply as Arik. In 1973, he helped cobble together the Likud party from a coalition of interests that had little in common except that they had been frozen out of government Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

President Shimon Peres places a wreath at the casket of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, at the state’s memorial service, Jan. 13

for decades by the ruling Labor party. A generation later, in 2005, he bolted Likud to form Kadima, a centrist party that attracted lawmakers from Likud and Labor, including his old partner and rival Shimon Peres. As agriculture minister in the first Likud government, from 1977 to 1981, Sharon vastly expanded Jewish settlement in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, areas conquered in the 1967 Six-Day War. In 2005, he led the disengagement from Gaza, overseeing the evacuation of nearly 10,000 Israelis from 21 communities in Gaza and four settlements in the northern West Bank. “Sharon did what no one on the left was able to do,” said Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of the progressive magazine Tikkun. “Split the right, marginalize the extremists who believe that holding on to the biblical vision of the Land of Israel is a divine mandate, and acknowledge that a smaller Israel with defensible borders is preferable to a large Israel that requires domination of 3 million Palestinians.” Born Ariel Scheinermann in 1928 to Russian-speaking parents in the village of Kfar Mala in the central part of prestate Israel, Sharon for much of his career was known more for his impetuousness than his pragmatism. His bravery in the battle for Jerusalem in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence made the infantry unit commander the stuff of legend at the age of 20. He took a bullet to the stomach and, when all seemed hopeless, ordered the soldiers who were able to retreat. He eventually crawled to safety. Five years later, Sharon led a raid on the Jordan-ruled West Bank town of Kibya in retaliation for a terrorist attack that killed an Israeli mother and her two children. The raid killed 69 Palestinians, half of them women and children. Sharon claimed he hadn’t known there were people in the homes he was blowing up, but the stain marked his subsequent military and political careers. In the 1956 war with Egypt, Sharon captured the strategic Mitla Pass in the Sinai Peninsula after defying orders not to advance. During the 1973 war, he again challenged his superiors who feared crossing the Suez Canal was a risky maneuver that would incur too many losses. But Sharon

prevailed, leading his forces across the canal and trapping an Egyptian army unit, a move many consider a turning point in the conflict. His penchant for insubordination making it unlikely he would ever secure the top military job, Sharon quit the army in 1972 — returning only to fight in the Yom Kippur War — and launched his political career. His ability to keep an unruly coalition in line helped Likud leader Menachem Begin win the 1977 elections, ending the hegemony that Labor leaders had enjoyed since the founding of the state. Sharon was rewarded with the agriculture portfolio, ostensibly because of his farming roots, but also because he turned the ministry into a cash cow for the settlement movement. After another hardfought Likud victory in 1981,

Begin could hardly deny Sharon the prize he had sought for so long: the Defense Ministry. A year later, in June 1982, Sharon launched Israel’s invasion of Lebanon to push back Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization from its mini-state in southern Lebanon. The invasion rankled both the Reagan administration, which had brokered a mostly successful cease-fire with the PLO nine months earlier, and Sharon’s government colleagues. On Sharon’s orders, the army breached the 40-kilometer line the government initially said was its goal, pursuing the PLO all the way to Beirut, where it laid siege to the city. “If he gets the chance, he’ll surround the Knesset with his tanks,” Begin once reportedly joked of Sharon. Continued on next page

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Months after the disengagement was completed, he broke from Likud, much of which had opposed the operation, Continued from previous page and formed Kadima. His appetites, like his personal ambiThe Lebanon war also would give tion, knew few bounds. He routinely birth to one of the darkest stains on feasted on grilled meats on Jerusalem’s Sharon’s career — the September 1982 Agrippas Street, famous for its latemassacre of hundreds of Palestinian night eateries. He had gallstones and refugees by Israel’s Lebanese Christian kidney stones removed, suffered from allies. A state commission subsequently gout and, at 5 feet, 7 inches tall, was cleared Sharon of knowing in advance extremely obese. of the massacre, but held him indirectly In December 2005, Sharon was responsible, asserting that he should rushed to the hospital after aides nohave anticipated and prevented the ticed impairment in his speech. He was carnage. released two days later having suffered The commission recommended Sharon’s dismissal, and by the beginning of a mild stroke. Weeks later, in January 1983 he was gone from power. The exile 2006, Sharon suffered a second stroke that left him in a vegetative state from would not last long, however. Sharon which he would never recover. rebuilt his reputation, this time as a Here, too, Sharon defied expectacareful nurturer of alliances. He was an tions, holding on for eight more years, architect of the national unity governfed by a tube but breathing on his own. ments that lasted until 1990. About a year ago, scientists reported When Likud returned to power in that Sharon had exhibited brain activ1996, Sharon became national infraity in response to external stimulation, structure minister and later foreign a finding that suggested minister under Prime might have regained Minister Benjamin NeSharon showed he some ability to compretanyahu. Americans and Palestinians alike said they himself capable hend what was going on around him. appreciated Sharon’s role of putting His medical condition as an elder statesman who began deteriorating sigwould make sure Netanya- strategic nificantly in recent days, hu kept his word. Sharon considerations prompting renal failure was critical in achieving above other followed by a decline in the 1998 Wye River Acorgan function. cords that kept the peace loyalties. Throughout his career, process alive through the Sharon’s motivations were rest of Netanyahu’s term. a subject of considerable speculation. In 1999, Labor’s Ehud Barak ousted How could the man who had cleaned Netanyahu, who temporarily retired Gaza of terrorists as southern comfrom politics, and Sharon became head of the Likud. The following year, Sharon mander in 1971 and helped sire the settlement movement wind up endorsvisited the Temple Mount accompanied ing the 2003 road map for peace and by a large escort of security officers, evacuating thousands of settlers? inflaming Palestinians and — some As a soldier and statesman, Sharon have charged — helping to provoke the always maintained an acute sense of second intifada. the possible and the improbable. And The uprising derailed Barak’s efforts unlike some Likud colleagues who to accelerate peace talks and Sharon were ideologically wed to the notion of was overwhelmingly elected prime Greater Israel, Sharon showed himself minister in February 2001. In a flash, capable of putting strategic considerthe sidelined statesman and disgraced ations above other loyalties. defense minister, the soldier once “The Palestinians will always be marked as brilliant but uncontrollable, our neighbors,” the man who once was in charge. His contemporaries who had kept him back were dead, retired or bridled at the mere mention of the word Palestinian told the United Nations in marginalized. September 2005. “They are also entitled Sharon and President George W. to freedom and to a national, sovereign Bush, who assumed power at the same existence in a state of their own.” time, had an affinity dating to 1998, Sharon is survived by two sons: when Sharon hosted the then-Texas governor on a helicopter flight across Is- Gilad, 46, who has been a keeper of his rael and the West Bank. Their friendship father’s flame, tending the family farm and publishing a compilation of his culminated in Sharon’s greatest diplofather’s writings in 2011, and Omri, 49, matic triumph: the 2004 White House who served in the Knesset from 2003 to letter recognizing some of Israel’s largest West Bank settlements as realities on 2006 and carved out a niche as an environmentalist. Omri Sharon quit because the ground and dismissing the demand of a corruption probe and served a fourfor a “right of return” of Palestinian month prison sentence in 2008. refugees to Israel. Sharon’s first wife, Margalit, died in In 2005, Sharon carried out one of the an automobile accident in 1962. Two most astonishing moves of his career, years later he married her younger abandoning his longstanding support sister, Lily, who died of cancer in 2000. for Israeli settlements by evacuating A son, Gur, from his first marriage died thousands of settlers from Gaza and in a shooting accident in 1967. relocating them inside Israel proper. PAGE 10



Sharon’s unfinished business By Uriel Heilman, JTA When I first heard about Ariel Sharon’s stroke — the first one, a minor brain attack about four weeks before he suffered the massive hemorrhage that would leave him comatose for the final eight years of his life — I was having dinner at a Jerusalem restaurant with a colleague from The Jerusalem Post. We both sat transfixed as we watched the TV over the bar.

It was December 2005, just five months after Sharon had completed Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, and there was a sense that Sharon was in the midst of engineering a historic realignment of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — one that might even end the messy marriage Israel had endured with the Palestinians since its conquests in the 1967 Six-Day War. Yossi Zamir/Flash90

Israeli soldiers evacuate Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip in 2005

But then came news of the stroke, and suddenly it looked like folly to pin a nation’s hopes on an obese septuagenarian. For years, Israel had suffered from the fickleness of Palestinian negotiating partners who had shown themselves either unwilling or unable to deliver on promises of security for Israelis. First came the bombings of the mid-1990s following the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993. Then there were the devastating attacks of the second intifada on the heels of the failure of the Camp David summit between Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat in 2000. When Sharon was elected prime minister in a landslide in 2001, Israel’s responses to Palestinian attacks quickly grew harsher. One after another, militant Palestinian leaders were eliminated in targeted assassinations carried out by the Israeli military. In the West Bank, a barrier separating Jews from Palestinians took shape, keeping Palestinian suicide bombers at bay while inviting

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Ariel Sharon in Jerusalem with the Temple Mount in the background, July 24, 2000

accusations against Israel of a land grab. Though he had managed to silence Palestinian attacks with an iron fist, Sharon did not stop once the attacks had subsided. He believed that more bloody confrontations and international isolation lay ahead if Israel were to remain inextricably tied to the Palestinians, and he shocked many longtime supporters when he told Likud party lawmakers in 2003 that Israel could not “keep 3.5 million Palestinians under

occupation” indefinitely. Thus began his effort to unilaterally “disengage” Israel from the Palestinians, starting with the 9,000 Jewish settlers and soldiers in the Gaza Strip. Despite the heart-wrenching scenes of Jews being dragged from their homes and Palestinians celebrating atop the ruins of abandoned Israeli settlements, Sharon managed to complete the withdrawal as planned in the summer of 2005, and the country held its breath Continued on next page

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Sharon’s unfinished business Continued from previous page to see what would come next. Compared to the West Bank, Gaza was easy. There were relatively few Jewish settlers in Gaza amid the more than 1.5 million Palestinians, the strip offered Israel no tactical military advantages and the Jewish people did not have deep historical ties to Gaza. By contrast, the West Bank held more than 250,000 settlers, represented a strategically valuable buffer between Israel and its Arab adversaries to the east, and was a repository of Jewish history dating back to the Bible. Everyone knew disentangling Israel from West Bank Palestinians would be hard, but if anybody could do it, it was Sharon, an architect of the settlement movement and the

man who once declared that the fate of Netzarim, a Jewish settlement in Gaza, was the fate of Tel Aviv. When Gaza’s Jewish settlements were leveled amid the 2005 pullout, the nickname Sharon had acquired during his military days, Bulldozer, took on a new connotation, and many of his settler supporters turned against him. As a sign of his new direction, Sharon broke from the rightist Likud faction and founded a new centrist political party, Kadima, which peeled off moderates from the left and right and instantly became Israel’s largest political grouping. Then came the second stroke on Jan. 4, 2006, and Sharon was gone. It was obvious from the get-

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go that Israel’s accidental new leader, Ehud Olmert, could not fill Sharon’s shoes. Sharon was a warrior-statesman whose legendary battlefield feats dating back to Israel’s 1948 War of Independence had earned him the respect of adversaries and supporters alike but who seemed more at home with the sheep on his Negev ranch than with politicians in Jerusalem. Olmert was a wheeler-dealer ex-mayor with scant military experience, an affinity for expensive cigars and a habit of never turning down an opportunity to travel to New York. He quickly got into trouble. The Palestinians in Gaza tested Olmert with incessant and growing rocket fire. In 2006, when the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah attacked an Israeli military patrol and abducted two soldiers, Olmert launched a 34-day war that went on long enough to demonstrate that Israel could not quite vanquish Hezbollah. Any notion of extending Sharon’s disengagement plan to the West Bank quickly faded, Olmert resigned under a cloud of corruption, Benjamin Netanyahu was elected prime minister and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict fell into deadlock. Today, the conflict seems as intractable as ever. In the years since he was felled, Sharon’s critics have pointed to the rocket attacks

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a deeply skeptical international community. But it also probably would have resulted in a state for the Palestinians — something Sharon endorsed in 2001 — and given Israel a shot at ending the messy entanglement of the Israeli and Palestinian populations. This vision may not be so far off from what Netanyahu says he wants, but we haven’t seen much progress toward the goal. The first time I got to talk to Sharon was during a visit he made to New York as foreign minister in 1999. I was among the scrum of reporters squeezed into Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s office in City Hall during a news conference, and I asked Sharon if he had any intentions of being prime minister. Sharon responded dismissively, as if the notion of having political ambitions were beneath him. Months later he’d become Likud’s leader, and a year-and-a-half after that prime minister. Sharon quickly made clear that he was in office to take action. The wisdom of his moves could be debated — and were — but not their boldness. Eight years after his premature exit, and in the wake of his death at the age of 85, Israel remains stuck in a holding pattern waiting for some bold move that will lift the nation out of its morass with the Palestinians.

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from Gaza and the missile threat from Lebanon as evidence that any unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank would have been a disaster for Israel, bringing its heavily populated center, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, within range of enemy rockets. Would Sharon have come to believe that his withdrawal from Gaza was a mistake? I doubt it. He believed that diverting copious military resources to keep a few thousand Jews amid a sea of Palestinians in a strip of land Israel never wanted in the first place was not sustainable militarily or diplomatically. Would Sharon have replicated his model of withdrawal in the West Bank? He believed that time was not on Israel’s side, that the occupation was bad for Israel’s diplomatic standing, cost too much in terms of money and lives, and was a demoralizing drain on the Israel Defense Forces and the Jewish people. By all indications, Sharon’s plan for the West Bank was to redraw Israel’s borders unilaterally to keep as many Jewish settlers as possible, as few Palestinians as possible and as much open territory as possible — including the strategically valuable Jordan Valley. If he could have pulled it off, it would have angered Israeli nationalists and Palestinians, and Sharon would have faced




noting that a shrinking Reform movement helped reverse its decline in the 1930s by repositioning itself to be more open to traditional Jewish practice and Zionism. “We adjusted our concept of who we are and what was needed to strengthen Jewish life,” he said. “We must be as open to reinventing ourselves today as in the past.” At session after session, the talk was about how to reinvent synagogues, the central pillar of Reform Jewish Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the president of the Union for Reform Judaism, taking questions from rabbis during a session at URJ’s biennial in San Diego, Dec. 13 life. “My 20-year-old son By Uriel Heilman, JTA wouldn’t be caught dead doing come.” SAN DIEGO — What do you anything our synagogue does,” Though Reform is the largget when you bring together one audience member anest denomination in American 5,000 of the Reform movement’s Jewish life, there was palpable nounced in a session on North faithful for a conference in sun- concern at the conference that America’s top models of engagny San Diego in mid-December? the movement is headed for a ing Jews in their 20s and 30s. Four days of singing, learnBut the variegated dynadiminished future. The fastesting, schmoozing and worrying mism on display at the biennial growing group in American at a gathering that seemed equal Jewry is Jews of no religion, and also belied the demographic parts pep rally and intervention the denomination doing best at challenges of a religious movesession. holding its own is Orthodox, ac- ment whose median age is 54 For pep, there were the spirand only 17 percent of whose cording to the Pew survey. ited prayer services, the mornmembers, according to Pew, say Reform membership is ing-till-night stream of musical they attend synagogue services dwindling, synagogues are performances and Rabbi Rick at least once a month. struggling to secure their botJacobs, the president of the The five morning services tom lines and, as Jacobs noted Union for Reform Judaism, or at the last biennial, 80 percent of offered at the biennial ranged URJ, who compared the chalReform Jews are “out the door” from Yoga Shalom: A Shacharit lenges facing the movement to by the end of high school. Many Embodiment of Prayer to a visugiant waves, crying “Surf’s up!” never return: Fewer than half al service with no prayer book “Big waves require more skill of Reform parents have their to an Israeli-led service integratand courage to ride, but if riding prayer with pop music and children enrolled in some kind den artfully they enable us to go of Jewish youth, camp or educa- poetry. Plenty of kippot were in faster and further than ever be- tional program, the Pew survey evidence, sported by both men fore,” Jacobs said, a giant screen showed. and women. projecting a swell behind him. The virtual smorgasbord of Jacobs has promised to “reFor the intervention, there conference sessions offered up boot” the movement, and he is was session after session devot- focusing his efforts on young to 33 concurrent options at some ed to the challenges facing the points. Participeople. movement, especially the quespants could hop In his Dec. 12 tion of how to engage young from The Synabiennial speech, adult Jews who, by and large, gogue as a CenJacobs pushed are steering clear of Reform ter of Health for Reform synagogues. and Wellness communities to “I think the Reform moveto Meaningful practice “audament needs to remember that Routes to Incious hospitalno matter how much we double ity” by being volvement with down on great programming, it as welcoming Israel to Clergy might not increase the likeliRetirement: Preparing for Conas possible to intermarried hood that those young people gregational Transition. families and unengaged Jews; are going to walk in,” Rabbi B. On Saturday morning, Jacobs announced that URJ had just Elka Abrahamson, a Reform teamed with Cantor Angela sold half of its office space in rabbi who is president of the Buchdahl of New York’s Central Manhattan and was investing Wexner Foundation, said in a Synagogue to lead a Shabbat $1 million from the proceeds conference session focused on service replete with singing, to reshape its youth engagethe recent Pew Research Center ment strategies; and detailed dancing, interludes of reflecsurvey of U.S. Jewry. “I think the ways the union was making tive prose and Storahtelling, that’s really hard for this gather- youth engagement a priority, showcasing how far the moveing to keep in mind because we including expanding Reform ment has moved away from the are the people who love what Germanic, High Church-style summer camps and NFTY, the we do, and we just think if we Reform that was popular in the National Federation of Temple do more of it and do it better mid-20th century. Youth. and do it more often and do Biennial organizers also invit“Trends are a wake-up call, it faster that they’re going to ed several Jewish leaders from not our destiny,” Jacobs said,

Reform Judaism tries reboot in face of challenges

At session after session, the talk was about how to reinvent synagogues

outside the movement to share their ideas for revitalization, including Rabbi Sharon Brous, a Conservative rabbi who heads the popular nondenominational IKAR community in Los Angeles; Ron Wolfson, a professor of education at American Jewish University; and Rabbi Donniel Hartman, an Orthodox rabbi who leads the Shalom Hartman Institute and accepted an award from the URJ honoring his late father, David Hartman, also an Orthodox rabbi. Absent from the conference was any representative from the other major force in Jewish life focused on outreach, the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, though it was the subject of some curiosity, envy and anxiety at the biennial. Many spoke of their struggles competing with Chabad for adherents, asking how their cash-strapped synagogues can compete with

Chabad’s free or lower-cost offerings. At one session on engaging Israelis in America, Rabbi Meir Azari, executive director of the Daniel Centers for Progressive Judaism in Israel, warned, “If you don’t adopt Israelis, Chabad will be very happy to adopt them.” At a clergy luncheon, rabbis peppered Jacobs with questions about his recent experience at the Chabad conference of emissaries, or shluchim, and his meeting with Chabad leader Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky. Jacobs also talked about Chabad in his keynote address. “I believe with the very fiber of my being that young Jews are hungry, but not for a Judaism frozen in a distant time, no matter how loving and warm the purveyors — including Chabad, in particular — might be,” he said.

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Menachem Stark, slumlord or saint? Depends who you ask

~ A Panel Discussion ~

Rabbi Judy Chessin Temple Beth Or

Rabbi Joshua Ginsberg Beth Abraham

Rabbi Nochum Mangel Chabad

Rabbi David Sofian Temple Israel

Philosophical and Theological Underpinnings Of Judaism

Beth Abraham is Dayton’s only Conservative synagogue, affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.

Sunday, March 2, 7 p.m. We are an enthusiastically egalitarian synagogue.

With dessert reception to follow. Free and open to all.

Beth Abraham is Dayton’s We also have an eneronly Conservative getic Keruv program that synagogue, affiliated with reaches out to intermarried the United Synagogue of couples and families in our Conservative Judaism. synagogue and in the Dayton Jewish We arecommunity. an enthusiastically

raham is Dayton’s nservative gue, affiliated with ed Synagogue of ative Judaism.

an enthusiastically ian synagogue.

have an enerruv program that out to intermarried and families in our gue and in the Dayton community.

egalitarian synagogue. For a complete schedule of Forevents, a complete our go toschedule of our events, go to

mplete schedule of nts, go to

To Art, To Art, L’Chaim!

Join us at Raise Your Brush 169 N. Main St., Centerville for an evening of art and wine.

Saturday, Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m. $35. Wine, other beverages and snacks will be available for an additional charge. Contact Laura at Raise Your Brush, 470-5487, to reserve your spot.

Sunday Brunch Series $5 per brunch. Breakfast buffet includes lox, bagels, eggs, pastries, juice & more. R.S.V.P.

Feb. 2, 10 a.m.: Dr. Judy Woll, Finding Jewish Roots in Belarus Feb. 9, 10 a.m.: Cherie Rosenstein, An Orphan’s Odyssey


By Talia Lavin, JTA NEW YORK — The murder of Menachem Stark has sparked intense media scrutiny of the Brooklyn real estate developer’s troubled business record, prompting the New York Post to ask “Who didn’t want him dead?” on its front page. But while mainstream media outlets scrutinized the Satmar chasid’s relationships with tenants, contractors and lenders, haredi Orthodox publications offered a decidedly different take — looking not for clues to why someone would kill Stark, but celebrating his many virtues. Yated Ne’eman, a prominent haredi weekly, praised Stark as a “loving father and baal chesed,” or charitable giver. Hamodia, a leading haredi daily, called Stark a “greatly beloved member of the Williamsburg community,” citing anecdotes that showed his generosity within his Chasidic neighborhood. Another Hamodia article condemned the Post for publishing “a litany of untruths to malign the integrity of Mr. Stark,” though it made no mention of the nature of the tabloid’s allegations. “It’s irrelevant if the allegations are true or not,” Yochonon Donn, the Hamodia editor who wrote the article, told JTA. “Now is not the time to dance on the family’s blood.” The haredi media’s approach to the case reflects its journalistic ethos, which aims to report the news while complying with traditional Jewish prohibitions against lashon hora, or “evil tongue,” a term that encompasses gossip, slander and malicious speech. “The contrast between the haredi media’s treatment of the case and that of the general media reflects the chasm between how journalism is defined by each,” Rabbi Avi Shafran, director of public affairs for the haredi umbrella group Agudath Israel of America, wrote in an email. “Halacha-respecting journalism will always endeavor to shun the negative, particularly when it is sourced in innuendo and one-sided ‘interpretations.’” Stark was abducted Jan. 2 outside his office in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood. Video footage from the scene showed Stark struggling in a snowstorm with assailants who forced him into a white van. The following day, Stark’s partially burned body was found in a dumpster on Long Island. A medical examiner concluded he had died from compression asphyxiation. New York Police Commis-

sioner William Bratton said police have “no significant leads” in the case. Stark, who reportedly owned 17 properties in Brooklyn, was a prominent figure in Williamsburg’s Satmar Chasidic community. At the time of his murder, however, he was deeply in debt. In 2008, Stark and his business partner, Israel Perlmutter, defaulted on a $29 million loan, and they declared bankruptcy the following year, according to The New York Times. New York newspapers reported on numerous tenant complains and building code violations at Stark’s properties. While some tenants criticized conditions in his buildings in online postings and elsewhere, other tenants have come to their late landlord’s defense. The Post’s controversial cover story called Stark a “slumlord” and cited anonymous lawenforcement sources who suggested he was a “scammer” with plenty of enemies. But coverage in the haredi press sidestepped Stark’s business woes and allegations of improprieties. This is consistent with the high regard in which he was held in his community, where one of the Satmar sect’s two rebbes, Zalman Teitelbaum, delivered an emotional eulogy. In a December 2013 editorial, Hamodia publisher Ruth Lichtenstein explained her publication’s general approach, noting that the paper’s concern not to “inadvertently embarrass or hurt an organization, individual, or child” plays a large role in editorial decisions. “A crucial part of our mission is protecting our readers’ right ‘not to know,’” Lichtenstein wrote. “Far more difficult a task than providing you with newsworthy and ethical reading material is ensuring that you, our loyal reader, aren’t exposed to material you would find unfit to enter your home, your mind, and your heart.” Meanwhile, the haredi community has rallied against the Post, organizing a Jan. 5 press conference with local elected officials at Brooklyn Borough Hall. Brooklyn’s borough president, Eric Adams, denounced what he called “hateful coverage.” New York City’s public advocate, Letitia James, accused the Post of having “given license to murder” and called on elected officials to stop placing advertisements in the paper. In a letter to the New York Post, the Anti-Defamation League called the Post’s headline “insensitive” and also took issue with the accompanying article for referring to Stark as a “millionaire Chasidic slumlord” in its lead sentence.



Snowden revelations boost calls for Pollard’s release By Ben Sales, JTA TEL AVIV — The disclosure that American intelligence spied on former Israeli prime ministers has given new momentum to the effort to secure a pardon for convicted spy Jonathan Pollard. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and several leading members of Knesset members have called in recent days for Pollard’s release following reports that documents leaked by former defense contractor Edward Snowden showed U.S. intelligence had targeted the email addresses of Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert. Pollard’s case “isn’t disconnected from the U.S. spying on Israel,” Nachman Shai, co-chair of the Knesset caucus to free Pollard, said. “It turns out, it’s part of life. And what he did is a part of life.” Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein accused the United States of “hypocrisy” for holding Pollard, who as a civilian U.S. Navy analyst spied on the United States for Israel, even as it spied on Israeli leaders. Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said he wants the Israeli government to demand Pollard’s release and insist the United States cease its espionage operations in Israel. And opposition leader Isaac Herzog said Pol-

lard’s punishment “has long passed the limits of sensibility.” “We hope that the conditions will be created that will enable us to bring Jonathan home,” Netanyahu said Dec. 22 at the Israeli Cabinet’s weekly meeting. “This is neither conditional on, nor related to, recent events, even though we have given our opinion on these developments.” When Pollard’s crimes first came to light in the mid-1980s, his activities seemed like a major act of betrayal given the close alliance between Israel and the United States. But the Snowden revelations show that spying by the United States and Israel was a two-way affair, prompting a new round of calls for the release of Pollard. Support for freeing Pollard represents a rare point of consensus in Israeli politics, with 100 Knesset members among the 120 signing a letter asking Obama to release Pollard, according to Shai. Eighty members signed a similar letter in 2012. But Ronen Bergman, an expert on Israeli intelligence who is writing a history of Israel’s spy agencies, says Israeli pressure is unlikely to convince President Obama to free Pollard in the short term. “I’m quite positive that it won’t happen tomorrow because otherwise it will

Yonatan Sidnel/Flash90

Jewish Agency chief Natan Sharansky called for the release of Jonathan Pollard in his speech to the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly in Jerusalem, Nov. 12

look as if the president of the United States accepts the claim that following the recent revelations from Edward Snowden, he should parole Jonathan Pollard,” Bergman told JTA. “But once the Americans were caught with their hands in the cookie jar, it paints the Pollard issue in a different color.” The clamor for Pollard’s release has grown steadily over the past two years, with the late U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey and former Secretary of State George Shultz expressing their support. Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman Natan Sharansky, a vocal advocate for

Pollard’s release who raised the issue in November in his speech to the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America, told JTA that American calls for the release of Pollard hold more sway than Israeli advocacy. “What really matters is what American public opinion and American professionals and the American Jewish community feel,” Sharansky said. “I want to be cautious, but I think we passed a checkpoint. Now we don’t see people thinking (Pollard’s release) is unthinkable.” Supporters of Pollard have long argued his three decades of incarceration for spying on an ally is excessive. Revelations of American espionage may strengthen the rhetorical argument on Pollard’s behalf, they say, but the merits of the case for release stand on their own. “Without any connection to the recent news, there’s no question that the time has already come when the Israeli public and senior officials want this tragedy to come to an end,” said Adi Ginsburg, a spokesperson for the advocacy group Justice for Jonathan Pollard. “American justice and shared values between the two countries, like justice and mercy, necessitate Pollard’s freedom.”

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The Torah of drones Examining the complex morality of drone warfare Terraxplorer

By Rob Eshman, The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles


n 2009, an Israeli drone flying over the Gaza Strip transmitted back to its command station an image of a telltale rocket trail streaking toward Israeli territory. Many kilometers away, a young Israeli operator, Capt. Y, quickly maneuvered the unmanned aircraft to get a look at the young Palestinian who had just launched the deadly missile. Y’s drone squadron already had authorization to take him out. In an instant, a rocket struck the hidden launch site, followed by a flash of fire. When the smoke cleared, Y saw images of the shooter lying flat on the ground. Twenty seconds passed. And then Y saw something even more remarkable — the man began to move. Severely wounded, the Palestinian began to claw his way toward the road. Y could clearly see the man’s face, and in his youth and determination Y must have recognized something of himself. So, now Y and his team had a decision to make: Would they let the wounded terrorist escape, or circle the drone back and finish him off? Y told me this story in the lobby of the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. He is 23, wiry and intense. When I arrived for our interview, arranged through the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, Y was sitting in a small atrium, getting in a last smoke. For security reasons, I cannot use his real name, so I agreed to refer to the captain as Y, and to his fellow drone operator, a lieutenant, as M. M is calmer. She is 25, has large blue eyes and wears her blond hair pulled back into a ponytail — Scarlett Johansson’s tougher twin sister. Unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, as drones are otherwise known, have been in use militarily since World War I. In 1918, Charles Kettering of Dayton invented the Kettering Bug, an aerial torpedo Engineers Club of Dayton

Dayton’s Charles Kettering invented the first unmanned aerial vehicle in 1918 PAGE 16

about the morality of this advancing technology, so I talked to people who have studied drones, who have thought about their ethical implications, and who, like Y and M, actually use them. I hoped that through them I might come to understand how we, as a society, should think about the right way to use these remarkable, fearsome tools. I wanted to know if there exists, in essence, a Torah of drones.

F Boeing X-45A Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle, part of the collection at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, since 2006

to check. Just a day before I met with the two Israelis, two influential human rights groups released reports asserting that the number of civilian deaths resulting from America’s largely secret “drone wars” was far greater than the government had claimed. Human Rights Watch reported that since 2009, America’s anti-terrorist drone strikes in Yemen had killed at least 57 civilians — more than twothirds of all casualties resulting from the strikes — including a pregnant woman and three children. In Pakistan, Amnesty International found that more than 30 civilians had died from U.S. drone strikes between May 2012 and July 2013 in the territory of North Waziristan. To Americans, news of anonymous civilians dying in faraway places may Greg Hume not resonate deeply, even if we are the ones who killed them. But these two humanitarian groups’ reports point to the rapid increase in the United States’ use of unmanned aerial vehicles as weapons of war, and they underline the lack of clear international ethical codes to guide that use. Who gets to use drones? How do commanders decide whom to target, whom to spy on? If a drone operator sitting in a command room in Tampa, Fla., can kill a combatant in Swat, in northern Pakistan, does that make downtown Tampa a legitimate military target, A reproduction of the Kettering Aerial Torpedo, on display at the as well? National Museum of the U.S. Air Force I wanted to learn more with a preset gyroscope to guide it into enemy trenches. In World War II, the Nazis deployed “the Fritz,” a 2,300-pound bomb with four small wings and a tail motor. But it is only in the past few years that UAVs have made almost-daily headlines. These days, the United States, in particular, has widely employed UAVs in the far reaches of Pakistan and Afghanistan in its fight against terrorists. As recently as Nov. 1, a U.S. drone strike killed Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud, demonstrating once again the deadly effectiveness of, and the growing reliance upon, these weapons of war. But like all revolutionary new weapons, this success comes at a price, and it’s a price we in America prefer not

rom 12,000 feet up, the Heron drone Capt. Y was piloting that day during Operation Pillar of Defense offered a perfect view of the wounded Palestinian. “You see everything,” Y told me. “You could see him lying on the ground, moving and crawling. Even if you know he’s the enemy, it’s very hard to see that. You see a human being who is helpless. You have to bear in mind, ‘He’s trying to kill me.’ But, in my mind, I hoped somebody would go help him.” Y’s father is French, and his mother is Israeli. He lives in Beersheba, where his wife is a medical student. Y’s brother was killed in the Second Lebanon War by a Hezbollah rocket while he was piloting a Yasur combat helicopter. Y was 18 at the time. “I believe some of the way to mourn is to go through the same experience of the man you loved,” Y said. Lt. M’s parents both are French immigrants to Israel, staunch Zionists, and, she said, she always knew one day she’d be an Israel Defense Forces officer. In Israel, those who cannot complete pilot-training very often enter the drone corps. It may not hold the cachet of becoming an Air Force pilot, but both of these soldiers believe drones are the future. “I like the idea that every flight you do, you’re helping your fellow citizens,” M said. “We feel we contribute more than other people,” Y said. “But today, in the modern day, you don’t have to take risks. If you risk your life, it doesn’t mean you contribute more.” In the United States and Israel, where the reluctance to put boots on the ground is at a high point, the fact that drones offer significant military capabilities with far less risk accounts precisely for the tremendous increase in their use. Israel has led the way. Its effective use of drones during the 1982 Lebanon War rekindled American interest in UAVs. During America’s first Gulf War, in 1991, the U.S. Navy bought a secondhand Pioneer drone from Israel and used it to better aim heavy artillery. At one point during that war, a squad of Iraqi soldiers saw a drone overhead


Second, has the target met the threshold level of and, expecting to be bombarded, waved a white sheet. “Since when is the intelligence agency supposed intelligence? The drone team must have a deep knowl- to be an Air Force of drones that goes around killing It was the first time in history that soldiers had suredge that its target meets the first condition, verified rendered to a drone. people?” McCain said recently on Fox News. “I beby more than one source. Today, the United States increasingly uses drones lieve that it’s a job for the Department of Defense.” Finally, who is the supervising body? There must be for both civilian intelligence — as in Yemen and “The killing is creating more anger and resulting Pakistan — and militarily. Currently, some 8,000 UAVs independent oversight outside the hands of the drone in the recruitment of more people to pursue revenge,” operators and the IDF. are in use by the U.S. military. In the next decade, U.S. former Pakistani Minister of State Shahzad Waseem To Dr. Moshe Halbertal, these three conditions form told me. “The minimum you can do is to come up defense spending on drones is expected to reach $40 billion, increasing inventory by 35 percent. Since 2002, the basis for the moral exercise of deadly drone force. openly with some kind of treaty or set of rules to give Halbertal is a professor of Jewish phi400 drone strikes have been conducted by it a legal shape, mutually accepted by all sides.” losophy at Hebrew University, the Gruss U.S. civilian intelligence agencies. Will Americans rise up to make a stink over this? Professor of Law at the New York UniverAt least 87 other countries also have That may be a tall order for a populace that seems sity School of Law and one of the drafters of to take each revelation of intelligence community drones. Last year, Israel announced it was the IDF’s code of ethics. decommissioning two of its combat helioverreach — from drone deaths to National Security Shortly before Halbertal came to Los copter squadrons — to replace them with Agency spying — with a collective yawn. Will the Angeles to serve as scholar-in-residence in drones. international community begin to create a framework November at Sinai Temple, I spoke with “We’re at the very start of this technothat at least sets standards for drone use and misuse? him about Israel’s experience with drones. logical revolution,” Peter Singer, author Unfortunately, humans, particularly in developing From what he could tell, he said, Israel has a technology, have a way of advancing faster on the of Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution more developed ethical framework. and Conflict in the 21st Century, told me by battlefront than on the legal or moral fronts. It took In the American attacks, Halbertal said, phone. “We’re in the World War I period of the Holocaust, Singer pointed out, for humanity to “The level of collateral damage is alarmrobotics. The cat’s out of the bag. You’re not Wired for War author come up with the Geneva Conventions of 1949. What ing.” going to roll it back. But you do want to set Peter Singer fresh hell must befall us before we at least attempt to In Israel, he said, “There is a genuine atnorms.” codify behavior for the Age of Drones? tempt to reduce collateral killing. If this were the level Singer’s book, first published in 2009 when the And even if we set standards and nations abide of collateral damage the IDF produces, it would be public debate over drone ethics was nonexistent, is by them, it seems inevitable that the very nature of very bad.” still the best road map to a future we all have reason drones one day will allow non-state actors — the likes The fact that drones are less risky is not what makes of al-Qaeda — to follow the lead of Hezbollah in using to fear, but must face, in any case. their use more prone to excesses, Halbertal said. I called Singer to see where he stands on the ethical them, as well. “Because military operations involve more risk, issues raised by civilian drone deaths. If, in the 1940s and ’50s, the best and the brightest Actually, he pointed out, his book dealt largely with there is more care in applying them,” Halbertal said. scientific minds went into nuclear physics — and gave “But, on the other hand, soldiers military use of these technologies. Even he wouldn’t us the atomic bomb — these days, A landmark Israeli make mistakes out of fear in the have predicted such widespread use of drones by those talents are all going toward heat of combat that drone operasurveillance agencies that are unversed in the rules of artificial intelligence. At the high Supreme Court war and that operate without the safeguards built into tors don’t.” end, a future filled with autonoThe danger with drones, he said, decision on targeted military actions. mous, intelligent killing drones is that because the political risks of That, for Singer and others who parse the ethics awaits us. killing provides the deploying them, versus deploying of drones, is the rub. In the military, there are rules At the low end, consider this: ethical framework for live troops, are much of engagement. There is the risk of courtSinger also serves as a consultant Tzahy Lerner less, they can be used martial. Strategic training is better in the for the video game Call of Duty, for IDF drone operators. which he more wantonly. military than in intelligence agencies. was asked to envision a I asked Capt. Y if he’d “One group goes to war college,” Singer homemade drone of the not-toohad experience with collateral damage. said, “the other doesn’t. And it’s very difdistant future. He and others came up with a Sharper “It’s happened to me,” he said. “We had ferent when you’re a political appointee, Image toy helicopter, controlled by an iPad and a target and asked (intelligence officers) if rather than a military officer. Some tactics mounted with an Uzi. A promotional team actually there were civilians in the area. We received made a fully functional version of this weapon for a would not be allowed in a military operaa negative. Later, we heard in the Palestintion.” YouTube video, and 17 million hits later, the Defense ian press that there were casualties. We I asked Singer for an example. He chose Department telephoned, perturbed. checked, and it was true — a father and his one from the CIA operations just now un“Unlike battleships or atomic bombs,” Singer told 17-year-old son. What can we do? I didn’t der scrutiny by human rights groups. me, “the barriers to entry for drones are really low.” have a particular emotion about it.” “Double-tapping,” he said. “That would That doesn’t mean we should give up on establishThe people who know the people getting ing ethical norms for nations — or people — but we never make its way past a military officer.” killed do have emotions about it. And that Double-tapping is when an aircraft, do need to keep our expectations in check. Dr. Moshe Halbertal grief and anger can work to undo whatever manned or not, circles back over a targeted We may be heading toward a world of what Halsite and strikes a second time — either to finish off the benefits drone kills confer. bertal describes in the Israeli context as “micro wars,” “I say every drone attack kills one terrorist and wounded or to take out forces that have rushed in to where each human is empowered with military-like creates two,” Adnan Rashid, a Pakistani journalist, help. Exactly the ethical question Capt. Y. faced. capacity and must make his or her own ethical choices told me. In the Swat Valley, where he lives, the fear of on the spot. American drones and the innocent lives they’ve taken Capt. Y made his own moral choice that day durhave been the extremists’ best recruiting tools, Rashid hen Y saw that he hadn’t killed the ing Operation Pillar of Defense. He watched as the said. Palestinian the first time, he and his team wounded Palestinian man managed to get to the road, If that’s the case, better oversight and clearer rules faced one of the most difficult, urgent where a group of civilians came to his aid. for drones may not just be the right thing to do but in questions of drone combat: Should they double-tap? Why didn’t Y double-tap? Ethical issues in drone combat come up all the time, our self-interest as well. “He was no longer a threat,” Y told me, matter-ofM said — in training, in operations and, afterward, in factly. “And several people gathered around him who frequent debriefing and analysis. weren’t part of the attack.” That was that: The rules of o war is ever clean. But that doesn’t mean “I have so many examples of that, I can’t count,” Y engagement were clear. drone use should increase without the told me. In a micro-war, a soldier in combat — not just genimplementation of the kind of national and A landmark Israeli Supreme Court decision on tarerals at a central command — must determine in the international norms Singer now finds lacking. geted killing provides the ethical framework for IDF heat of battle who is a terrorist and who is a civilian, If the United States doesn’t adopt the kinds of drone operators. who shall live and who shall die. oversight Israel already has in place, at the very least, In 2009, the court found there is nothing inherently In his book, Singer envisions a future in which artiSinger believes, we should move the drone program wrong with a targeted killing — whether by an F-16, ficial intelligence will also enable us to provide ethical from the intelligence agencies to the military. Apache helicopter or unmanned drone. decision-making to the machines we create. It would It’s a call that has increasingly vocal support from But, the court added, in order for the action to be be our job to program Torah into these machines — America to Pakistan. Sen. John McCain (R.-Ariz.), a acceptable, the soldiers must satisfy three questions: and then let them do with it as they will. Much like member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as Someone has done with us. The first is, what is a legitimate target? The target, the court said, must be an operational combatant seek- well as the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services, argued Congress could exercise better oversight of a ing to do you harm — not a retired terrorist or someRob Eshman is publisher and editor-in-chief of The Jewish drone program operated by the military. one you want to punish for past sins. Journal of Greater Los Angeles.






Rampaging minority politicized MLA conference By Amy Schwartz The Modern Language Association, which held its annual conference in Chicago Jan. 9-12, has approximately 28,000 humanities scholars in its membership, about 4,000 of whom attend the annual conference. The conference features hundreds of workshops and panels discussions on topics ranging from Italian-American literature to comics and graphic novels to old Norse language and literature. The campaign to boycott Israel — commonly known as the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, or BDS — was surely the last thing on the minds of most MLA attendees in Chicago. So why did this year’s program include a roundtable panel discussion on academic boycotts of Israel and a factually flawed resolution alleging that Israel bars academics seeking to enter the West Bank? In my view, it was nothing more than the political rampaging of a small cadre of MLA members intent on politicizing the event and taking advantage of the membership’s general lack of awareness to foist a wholly non-academic issue to the forefront of the conference. Talking to friends and fellow MLA members, it was striking that none of them had heard of the academic boycott panel or the resolution. Indeed, MLA members seemed acutely unaware of the larger political context and agenda of the panel discussants and resolution proposers, including Omar Barghouti and David Lloyd, who are major players in the BDS movement. The roundtable discussion was a closed session open only to MLA mem-

bers. Those who attended were largely a self-selecting group of supporters. The room was half filled with about 100 people, although three security guards stood at the door. The atmosphere was similar to a pep rally, complete with much applause and grandstanding. There was nothing academic about the panel discussion. Rather it was a hostile, politicized circus in the guise of an intellectual and academic discussion. It got worse when MLA delegates moved to a discussion of Resolution 2014-1 charging that Israel bars academics seeking to enter the West Bank. The propaganda and polemics of resolution supporters were astounding. In light of these events, I decided to step up to the microphone to speak out against the resolution at the open hearing of the Delegate Assembly. I spoke to the integrity of the MLA as an academic organization and the imperative that it remain apolitical. If organizations like the MLA become vehicles of the political agendas of its members, this respected group will be compromised, resulting in more harm to the already suffering state of the humanities. Such results are being seen in other academic circles. Just look at the recent backlash to the American Studies Association’s vote to impose a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. More than 150 university presidents have publicly criticized academic boycotts. Several universities have withdrawn their institutional membership in the ASA. The response to my testimony was predictable. Lloyd claimed BDS proponents were being “unfairly attacked, intimidated and threatened to suggest

there would be a backlash against the MLA for this resolution.” The Delegate Assembly on Jan. 11 was sheer chaos. The chairperson, Margaret Ferguson of the University of California, Davis, had little control over the room and seemed to change the rules as she went along, quashing those who simply wanted to be heard and eventually moving to suspend the rules of order expressly meant to govern the proceedings. I can’t say those of us who knew in advance of the roundtable and the resolution were surprised by the insidious atmosphere. There was an expectation that most MLA delegates would be largely uninformed about these issues, and the delegates would vote on impulse without doing their due diligence and reading the background material. The warnings were sadly apt. It surprised me to be in a room of accomplished scholars from highly respected universities and hear them respond to the resolution with a profound lack of awareness of its political context and implications. In the end, while the body voted down consideration of an emergency resolution condemning “attacks” and “intimidation” of the ASA for its boycott, Resolution 2014-1, passed by a vote of 60-53, exhorted the U.S. State Department to investigate alleged “denials of entry” of American scholars traveling to pursue academic research and teach in the West Bank. The resolution advances to the executive committee meeting in February and, if it passes there, will go to before

MLA members for a vote. At that point, the resolution must be supported by a majority of voting members whose number equals at least 10 percent of the overall membership. Colleagues who have attended MLA meetings for decades say they have never seen anything like what occurred. Several members who first learned of the agenda at the conference expressed such disgust that they threatened to cancel their membership if the resolution passes. A serious backlash by members this spring would not be surprising. Preemptive preparations for this uphill battle were thorough and thoughtful. The impressive group of Jewish intellectuals who fought the resolution, led by highly respected professors Cary Nelson of the University of Illinois and Russell Berman of Stanford University, helped organize an alternative discussion on academic freedom immediately after the academic boycott roundtable. Clearly the effort to counter the mainstreaming BDS initiatives within academic organizations is only beginning. MLA Scholars for Academic Freedom and anti-BDS forces such as the Israel Action Network, the Israel on Campus Coalition, the Anti-Defamation League and others will continue to educate and inform the MLA membership and initiate outreach to other academic organizations to promote responsibility, academic freedom and integrity. Amy Schwartz, the assistant regional director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Chicago office, is a member of the Modern Language Association and a former adjunct professor at Northwestern University.

On the rights of non-Orthodox rabbis, where’s the outrage? By Julie Schonfeld The good news is in: Rabbi Avi Weiss’ conversions will be accepted in Israel. I am glad to see that the religious integrity and leadership of Rabbi Weiss has been acknowledged. Undoubtedly, this course correction on the part of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate is due in part to the hue and cry of influential Jewish leaders, many of whom are not Orthodox, who are to be praised for speaking out. Of course, my conversions are not recognized in Israel. Nor are those of my 1,700 Conservative colleagues, my 2,000 Reform colleagues and my 300

What do you think? Send your letters (300 words max., thanks) to The Dayton Jewish Observer 525 Versailles Drive Dayton, OH 45459 PAGE 18

Reconstructionist colleagues. That Jewish leaders and major organizations are stepping up to address the issue of pluralism is a wonderful step forward and one that we should all applaud and encourage. But why does this only happen when an Orthodox rabbi’s character is at stake? Where is the statement on behalf of the nearly 4,000 rabbis and the 85 percent of Diaspora Jewry we represent when the derogation of our Judaism is black letter law in Israel? Weiss himself wrote in October in the Times of Israel that “Israel as a state should give equal opportunities to the Conservative and Reform movements. Their rabbis should be able to conduct weddings and conversions.” Leaders of Jewish organizations and public figures have criticized Israel in defense of

Weiss, something far too few have been willing to do for the Conservative and Reform movements. To those who issued statements in defense of Weiss that were both bold and effective, I thank you. And I call upon you to now issue a statement for Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist rabbis. Notify your board members and donors that the rabbis who married them, Bar Mitzvahed their children, buried their parents, and converted their sons and daughters-in-law do not deserve to be called rabbis in the eyes of the Israeli rabbinate. Tell them none of their life-cycle events count and that Israel does not really think they are Jews for religious purposes. The American Jewish establishment won’t stand for the discrediting of someone known as an Orthodox rabbi.

Better than nothing, I suppose, but far less than the Jewish public deserves. Where is the outrage for us? Has the Chief Rabbinate exported its hatred of the streams? Has the Israeli political leadership exported its willingness to ignore the mistreatment of the vast majority of the world’s Jews by an extremist minority? The best explanation probably comes from a paraphrase of the famous Pogo cartoon, “We have met the enemies and they are (also) us.” Structural intolerance and discrimination do not only harm the abused but obscure the human dignity of every individual. Such intolerance, allowed to not only survive but thrive, engenders an atmosphere in which it is impossible to treat even your friends and colleagues as your equals. No one asks any rabbi or Jew

to hold personally by the interpretations of a community or a rabbi with whom they do not agree. But all must be equally respected and acknowledged. American Jewish leaders derive legitimate authority only on the basis of their integrity and willingness to seek and grasp the convictions of the people they represent. In my experience, the colleagues I serve with are dedicated beyond measure to these ideals. That is what has made this chapter so chilling. We are becoming invisible to ourselves. As it is written in Ethics of the Fathers, “Other people’s dignity should be as precious to you as your own.” Rabbi Julie Schonfeld is executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly, the international association of Conservative and Masorti rabbis.


INNOVATION GRANTS: A Year of Community Grant opportunities encourage local collaboration across the Miami Valley Jewish Federation of GREATER DAYTON Sunday, February 23 › Day of Caring Breakfast

9:30AM - 12PM @ Boonshoft CJCE, $6 Adults, $4 Children & Seniors Thursday, February 27 › United Against Nuclear Iran Briefing 7 - 8PM @ Boonshoft CJCE

COMING UP: Sunday, March 2 › Tzedakah Sunday 9:30AM-NOON @ Boonshoft CJCE CHAIRS: Cadi Polk & Andy Schwartz March 16-18 JFNA TRIBEFEST @ New Orleans $450 if registered by Jan. 20, $350 subsidy available for Jewish Dayton residents between the ages of 21 & 45.

Volunteer Corps › Dayton Children’s Tue, February 11 10AM-NOON @ Dayton Children’s Hospital Provide comfort assembling trauma dolls for Dayton Children’s Hospital. Lunch provided by Dr Mike Albert. › Tzedakah Sunday Sun, March 2 9:30-NOON @ Boonshoft CJCE Give back to the community by taking to the phones on Tzedakah Sunday. Breakfast will be served. RSVPs are due at least 1 week before event. Events with no price listed are free. PLEASE CONTACT KAREN STEIGER REGARDING ALL FEDERATION EVENTS: 610-1555,

It has been more than one year since I began serving the Jewish community here in the Miami Valley as CEO of the Jewish Federation. I have learned a great deal about this region and the wonderful people who live here. The Jewish people here have a great legacy and many are building on this legacy to carry through into the promising future. We have faced some challenges and some of these are still on the horizon. Here’s what I see and feel on a daily basis. You care deeply about your community. That fact makes my job a delight. Thank you all for giving me the opportunity to serve as your partner in making this community’s dreams come true. One of the dreams you shared with me, as early as my first trip to Dayton as a candidate, was the Innovation Grants project. This community-building program resulted from the strategic planning process that Dayton completed a few years ago. The idea is simple: award grant money to help new programs develop that bring the Jewish community together by partnering with one or more agencies or synagogues. I have seen the first year of grants take shape. The Grants Committee has worked hard reviewing proposals, making recommendations and improving the process. Shortly we will begin a new cycle of proposal submissions. I look forward to seeing what ideas are proposed. For details on submitting grant applications, make sure to visit the Foundation page (back page) of the Federation newsletter. Thank you again for helping me find a bright new home in Dayton.

Cathy L. Gardner

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton

JCC & Chabad Women’s Retreat Participants came together for a weekend of growth, camaraderie & relaxation. (L to R Shelley Goldenberg, Devorah Mangel, and Shelly Dembe.) Temple Beth Or Religious School Social Action Initiative - Every year TBO chooses a social action cause. In 2013 they supported people affected by war.

JCC & Partnership2Gether Camp Shalom Shaliach Program Israeli emissary joins Camp Shalom to infuse Israeli and Judaic programming into summer camp. (Pictured: Gretta Gaester, Shahaf Zur, and Ava Harvey.)

JCC & Chabad Sharing Traditions Intergenerational programs that focus on select Jewish holidays and Shabbat traditions. (ABOVE: Shirlee Gilbert)


› JCC & Chabad Women’s Retreat

JCC Teen KehilhatNoar Project Programs focused on bringing local teen groups together for joint activities.

MARCH 7, 8, & 9

› JCC & Chabad Sharing Traditions PESACH (PASSOVER) APRIL 3

› JFGD & TBO Yom Ha’atzmaut MAY 4

› JCC & Hillel Youth Workshops ART BY DESIGN SESSION 1 STARTS FEB. 24

2014 Day of Caring Pancake Breakfast The 23rd Annual Day of Caring Pancake Breakfast will be held on February 23, at the Boonshoft CJCE from 9:30 am until noon. As one of numerous sites around town, the CJCE location is the only one that will be serving a kosher breakfast. Entertainment will be provided. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for children and seniors and can be purchased in advance at the CJCE or at the door the morning of the breakfast. Established in 1991, Day of Caring is a grass-roots organization made up

Hillel Academy Youth Workshop Program Hillel offered two enrichment workshops: one robotics, the other dance, with dancers from the DCDC Dance Company.

of volunteers committed to increasing personal awareness and involvement toward confronting the ever-increasing plight of hunger and homelessness. 100% of ticket sales from the event benefit hunger and homelessness organizations which fund food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters in our communities. For more information, contact Karen Steiger at 610-1555.

Beth Adelman


United Against a Nuclear Iran to hold special briefing at CJCE United Against A Nuclear Iran (UANI) will hold a special briefing from Bob Feferman, outreach coordinator of UANI on February 27 to discuss the nuclear Iran issue. The meeting will take place at the Boonshoft CJCE from 7-8 pm. There will be time for questions following his talk. Refreshments will be served. Please contact Karen Steiger for more information.

Beth Adelman COMMUNITY RELATIONS COUNCIL DIRECTOR Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton


CAMP SHALOM: Mishpacha Magic Jewish Community Center of GREATER DAYTON Saturday, February 1 › Hangin’ @ the J 7 - 9PM, Overnight pickup at 8AM @ Boonshoft CJCE Kids grades 1-5 are invited to join us for an evening of fun. Evening only: $15 / Overnight: $25. Sunday, February 2 › Working, The Musical

2PM @ The Dayton Playhouse (1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave) Enjoy an entertaining afternoon out with the Tony-nominated musical, Working. $13 per person.

At Camp Shalom, we pride ourselves on tradition, values, friendship and fun! We continue to have the same solid foundation that has existed in the Dayton community since the early 1930s. Our goal is to provide children with meaningful experiences rich in Judaic spirit. Campers will learn skills, take on challenges, and build friendships in a safe and nurturing environment. Children of diverse faiths and cultures as well as members and nonmembers of the JCC are welcome at Camp Shalom. Deb Kirschman Klopsch feels “Camp Shalom has provided my kids a safe and fun-filled environment to spend their extra free time for the past several years. They have grown up going to Camp Shalom (winter and summer camps). The schedule is flexible, the fees are reasonable, and transportation is available, which for a working parent, is a huge plus! I also enjoy that my kids get to meet other kids that they don’t go to school with, and they have created new friendships as a result. Yale has tireless energy and patience, and his staff has lots of energy to keep the kids engaged and having fun. The scheduled activities are both culturallyrelevant and kid-appropriate for any given age. It’s


camp shalom FAMILY


a great time.” Katy Linville and her family love Pre School and Upper Camp Shalom! “ It is by far the best camp ever! It is very well rounded. It offers several field trips, swimming almost daily, and we love that it incorporates community service projects also! My son has THE BEST time! He got upset last year when we went on our family vacation and had to miss camp.”   According to Deb and David Char, “There are many reasons we have sent Benjamin to Camp Shalom. We love the fact that it is a Jewishbased camp giving him opportunities to interact with Jewish (and non-Jewish) children from other communities, and to continue to learn and experience Judaica. He has made many friends he likely would not have had the opportunity to meet. Camp Shalom has evolved over the past few years, adding important programming such as Community Service Day, which is another

wonderful opportunity for the kids they might not have at another day camp. Benjamin never complains about going to Camp Shalom - he loves it there and feels loved as well.”

›› Preschool Camp Shalom is available for children 18 mo.-K, June 9 through August 1. Upper Camp Shalom is for kids 1-7th grade, from June 9 through July 25. We are VERY excited to have a theme this year that encompasses ALL age groups. For further information regarding preschool Camp Shalom, contact Audrey MacKenzie, Early Childhood Director, at or 853-0373. Upper Camp Shalom campers will work together to build their Camp Shalom family through leadership, community service, and social networking. Activities include: swimming, arts and crafts, cooking, drama, sports, nature, games, team building and a variety of field trips. For further information regarding Upper Camp Shalom, contact Yale Glinter, Youth, Teen and Family Director, or at 401-1550.

Sunday, February 9 › World Harmony JCC Children’s Theatre Performance 3:30 - 4:30PM @ South Smithville Center (2745 Smithville Rd) Marvel at the performance art our kids crafted with the guidance of the Muse Machine. $10 adults, $5 kids. Children 5 and under are free. Monday, February 17 › School’s Out Program 8:45AM - 4:45PM, Drop off & pick up at Boonshoft CJCE, event at Rosewood Art Center. Kids grades K-6 are welcome for a day of fun. Please pack a lunch. $45 per person. Monday, February 24 › Fun by Design, Session 1 @ Hillel Academy Afterschool workshops in robotics and art. $35 Session 1 (5 classes). Thursday, February 27 › Kettering Kickers Jamboree 1:30PM @ Boonshoft CJCE Enjoy an upbeat musical jamboree with the JCC Active Adults. $5 per person. RSVPs are due at least 1 week before event. Events with no price listed are free. PLEASE CONTACT KAREN STEIGER REGARDING ALL EVENTS: 610-1555,


A little bit of Yiddish to share with friends, courtesy of the JCC Yiddish Club, in memory of Lynda A. Cohen.

Bild : \BILD\ Noun

EARLY CHILDHOOD: Hanging out (to dry!)

ABOVE: Joshua Harris hangs clothes like Laura Ingalls Wilder’s family in the Brachot Cheder. UPPER RIGHT: Andy Schwartz of Lion Apparel demonstrates fire safety gear with his son Seth in the Chaverim Cheder. PHOTO CREDIT: Lisa Siegel / Pat Jones

A picture, image, sight. Phrases with bild: 1. Bild sheyn - pretty as a picture 2. Lebedik bild - a pageant (lit., an animated, lively picture.) 3. Shtikn a bild fun kop - to fantasize (lit., to sew a picture from one’s head.)

2014 WOMENS RETREAT: Relax & Refuel for the new year, March 7, 8, & 9 Get ready for a weekend full of world-class pampering and introspection for the coming year. Healing meditation, spa treatments, and services focusing on spirituality are just some of the relaxing activities in store. This year’s featured speakers are Rabbi Debrah Shenefelt and life coach Helana Herman. Debrah is the spiritual leader and founder of Or Ahavah, Light of Love, a welcoming community dedicated to personal transformation and healing the world through Jewish traditions and practices. Helana Herman is a rebbetzin, wife, mother, teacher, kallah instructor and life coach. Helana helps women improve their lives and relationships. RATES VARY DEPENDING ON LENGTH OF STAY & ROOM SELECTION. Registration forms and information are available online at Registration priority is given to two-night stays on a first come first serve basis by February 10. CONTACT RACHEL WILSON at or 401-1541 for more information.


Volunteers: Bringing Us Good Fortune!

Volunteers nosh at annual Jewish Family Services recognition lunch Covenant Manor was the perfect backdrop for the festivities and scrumptious Chinese lunch served at the annual volunteer recognition December 18. Federation CEO, Cathy Gardner told the group of volunteers, “To the world you may just be one person, but to one person you may just be the world.” Volunteers introduced themselves and explained their volunteer duties. Each volunteer received a box of custom-made fortune cookies to go along with the theme of the day, We are Fortunate for Our Volunteers. Volunteers have generously donated more than 756 hours of their time to Jewish Family Services since June. We thank the following people for their ongoing dedication and commit-

ment to the seniors in the community: Helen Abramovitz, Maryann Bernstein, Connie Blum, Stanley Blum, Kenny Brandon, Bernice Brant, Bob Feist, Larry Figures, Shlomoh Fullenhull, Shirlee Gilbert, Helene Gordon, Tim Henderson, John Hoover, Linda Katz, Paula Kern, Paul Kulback, Joan Marcus, Darrell Marlow, Myrnie Moscowitz, Ron Nelson, Linda Novak, Lisa Pavlofsky, Wendi Pavlofsky, Lisa Pierce, Lynn Roberts, Pat Saphire, Felice Shane, Arlene Stine, Audrey Tuck, Josh Tye, Marci Vandersluis, Kathy Wassenich, Ed Zawatsky, Irv Zipperstein, Sandy Zipperstein

Jewish Family Services of GREATER DAYTON Tuesday, February 4 12:30PM @ Covenant Manor The Ragtime Riverboat Rats. Ragtime, Dixieland and good oldfashioned toe tapping music. Friday, February 7 NOON @ Covenant Manor Fresh Friday delicious home cooked meal. Prepared by Bernstein’s Fine Catering. 12:30PM Learning about Food Safety, Part 1 presented by Katie Schroeder, Registered Dietician. Tuesday, February 11 12:30PM @ Covenant Manor To Sing With Love, presented by musical vocal group, Contare. Tuesday, February 18 12:30PM @ Covenant Manor The Packard Museum, Dayon’s Gem. Presented by Alan Hounshell, Museum Docent.

ABOVE & LEFT: Volunteers Maryann Bernstein, Arlene Stine, Bob Feist, and Paul Kulback enjoy the Chinese themed luncheon.

Four Helpful Stress Relief Tips from the Mayo Clinic The effects of stress can weigh us down. Happy events, as well as unhappy events can cause stress. When you are no longer able to cope due to your stress level, a balance needs to be restored. Your stressors need to be reduced and/or you need to increase your ability to cope. ›Avoid: you may be able to avoid a lot of stress. Try to take control of your surroundings, try to stay away from people who bother you, learn to say

no, and don’t feel like you need to complete everything on your to-do list. ›Alter: when you feel stressed, attempt to change your situation. Make an attempt to ask others to change their behavior, try to communicate your feelings openly, manage your time better, and state time limits in advance of a conversation, if necessary. ›Accept: sometimes you have to accept things as they are and it can be

difficult. Try to talk with someone, forgive, be positive, and attempt to learn from your mistakes. ›Adapt: sometimes you may think that you can’t cope and that is a huge stressor. Try to change or lower your expectations, and your level of stress may decrease. Don’t allow yourself to constantly replay a stressful situation in your head. Look at your situation from a different angle and it may provide you with a positive outlook.

Friday, February 21 NOON @ Covenant Manor Fresh Friday delicious home cooked meal. Prepared by Bernstein’s Fine Catering. 12:30PM Learning about Food Safety, Part 2 presented by Katie Schroeder, Registered Dietician. Tuesday, February 25 12:30PM @ Covenant Manor Don’t Wait Until Spring. Presented by Betty Hoevel, Education Director from Five Rivers MetroParks. Friday, February 28 12:30PM @ Covenant Manor Bingo.



PHILANTHROPIC FUNDS: Create your own “Foundation”

Jewish Foundation of GREATER DAYTON


› Request for proposals for programs taking place July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015. Applications can be requested from Jodi Phares beginning January 2, and applications are due to Jodi Pares by March 15. (610-5513, Awarded grants will be announced in May. JEWISH RESIDENTIAL CAMP SCHOLARSHIPS › Available to local youths to participate in a Jewish residential camp program. Funding made possible through the Joan and Peter Wells Summer Camp Scholarship Fund and by a generous donation from Carole and Bernie Rabinowitz. Applications can be requested from Alisa Thomas, and applications are due to Alisa Thomas by noon on March 28. (610-1796, anelligan@ Awarded grants will be announced in May. JEWISH FOUNDATION COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS › Available to Jewish undergraduate and graduate students for the 2014/2015 academic year. Applicants must demonstrate both academic achievement and financial need. Funding made possible through the Heuman Scholarship Fund. Applications can be requested from Alisa Thomas, and applications are due to Alisa Thomas by noon on March 28.


Awarded grants will be announced in May.

We are grateful to the generous members of the Dayton community who have established endowment funds or provided donations that offer support for us to recognize and reward deserving community members.

Are you looking for a way to simplify your charitable giving? Does the idea of having your own Foundation appeal to you? Then a donor advised fund through the Jewish Foundation of Greater Dayton might be a great option. By opening a donor advised fund (also referred to as a philanthropic fund), you can easily fulfill your philanthropic goals and manage your giving, all from one account. Unlike a restricted fund, a donor advised fund allows you, or anyone you designate, to make grant recommendations to qualified 501(c)(3) organizations (commonly referred to as charitable organizations). Requests are not limited to Jewish 501(c)(3) organizations – any qualifying 501(c)(3) organizations can be recommended. The Jewish Foundation of Greater Dayton makes recommending a grant simple, and it only takes a minute or two of your time. Once you establish a fund, simply notify us with the name of the 501(c)(3) organization you would like to recommend a grant to and the amount – and that’s it! We handle the rest. The Foundation staff will make sure your requests are processed accurately and in a timely manner (usually 3-5 business days). How easy is that? A donor advised fund can also help in tax and financial planning. If someone has an unusually high income or substantial long-term capital gains in a particular year, they can contribute to their donor advised fund, receive a charitable tax deduction that year, and recommend grants in future years. We recommend speaking with your attorney or financial advisor regarding any tax questions you may have.

It was important for us to establish our fund with an organization that we trust and whose work in the Jewish community is something we believe in and support. We both feel it is our responsibility and privilege to give to those who are less fortunate than we are. We like the fact that as grantors of our fund, we have input into how the money is donated. - Angela & Joel Frydman

Joel Frydman, chair of the Jewish Foundation of Greater Dayton Board, and his wife, Angela, have a donor advised fund. Joel and Angela like the idea of investing their money in a fund that benefits the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton, which receives an administrative fee on all donor advised funds. It also provides Joel and Angela with an effective way to donate their money. “It was important for us to establish our fund with an organization that we trust and whose work in the Jewish community is something we believe in and support. We both feel it is our responsibility and privilege to give to those who are less fortunate than we are. We like the fact that as grantors of our fund, we have input into how the money is donated.” Bob Heuman, chair of the Investment Committee, and his wife, Vicky, also have a donor advised fund. They are very happy with how the Jewish Foundation of Greater Dayton funds perform. “Past performance is good and grant recommendations have always been honored in a timely manner. In addition, the Investment Committee sticks to a disciplined approach, which allows the Jewish Foundation of Greater

Dayton to outperform most other foundations.” The Foundation Board meets quarterly with independent investment consultants from Fourth Street Performance Partners to review the performance of the funds and ensure our investments are providing the best possible return. Quarterly statements are sent to fund holders so they can track their fund’s activity and performance. If you would like more information about donor advised funds, or if you are ready to set up a fund, please contact Cathy Gardner, Executive Vice President/CEO or Cheryl Carne, Chief Development Officer, at 937-610-1555. We look forward to speaking with you. In compliance with requirements imposed by IRS Circular 230, please be advised that any tax advice contained in this article is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the IRC or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or other matter addressed herein.

Alisa Thomas

Development Coordinator Jewish Foundation of Greater Dayton

Legacies, Tributes, & Memorials JFGD CAMPAIGN IN HONOR OF › David Pierce Mary Rita and Norman Weissman IN MEMORY OF › Shirley Mintz Mimi and Stuart Rose › Sidney Shane Mary and Dr. Gary Youra OBSERVER ENDOWMENT IN HONOR OF › The 60th wedding anniversary of Evelyn and Richard Solgan Martha and Edward Kimball IN MEMORY OF › Carol Pavlofsky Keri and Don Cohen JFS SPECIFIC ASSISTANCE FUND IN MEMORY OF › Sidney Shane Hyla and Dr. Raymond Weiskind SOCIAL SERVICE AGENCY IN HONOR OF › Special birthday of Ned Rosenthal › Special birthday Walter Ohlmann › Special anniversary Elaine and Melvin Mayerson › Special anniversary Sylvia and Ralph Heyman Susan and Jonas Gruenberg IN MEMORY OF › Sidney Shane Cathy Gardner


SENIOR SERVICE AGENCY IN MEMORY OF › Sidney Shane Esther and DeNeal Feldman Ellie and Bob Bernstein Lisa and Jeff Samuelson BEN AND DOROTHY HARLAN CHILDREN’S FUND IN MEMORY OF › Sidney Shane Marla and Dr. Stephen Harlan LINDA RUCHMAN MEMORIAL FUND IN HONOR OF › 91st birthday of Rick Harris Judy and Marshall Ruchman IN MEMORY OF › Ernest Ostreicher › Bernie Fisher Diane and Jim Duberstein JEREMY BETTMAN B’NAI TZEDEK YOUTH PHILANTHROPY FOUNDATION IN HONOR OF › Mary Rita Weissman receiving the Humanitarian Award from the NCCJ Jean and Todd Bettman IN MEMORY OF › Sidney Shane Jean and Todd Bettman HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL FUND IN HONOR OF › 90th birthday of Robert Kahn Ellie Brown

ROBERT AND MOLLIE FITTERMAN PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUND IN MEMORY OF › Robert and Mollie Fitterman Susan and Alan Witte ROBERT L. CLINE AND RITA Z. CLINE BIKUR HAVERIM FUND IN HONOR OF › Continuing good health to Bobbie Kantor Meredith A. Cline IN MEMORY OF › Kay Sokol › Roz Klein Nelson Meredith A. Cline DOROTHY B. MOYER YOUNG LEADERSHIP FUND IN MEMORY OF › In Yahrzeit memory of Elmer L. Moyer › In Yahrzeit memory of Sheila D. Moyer Marcia and Richard Moyer & Family BENJAMIN R. SHAMAN COMMUNITY RELATIONS FUND IN MEMORY OF › Ruth Rosset › Zachary Abuza Dorothy Finder and Family › Ruth Rosset Beth Kornberg and Family JCC EARLY CHILDHOOD FUND IN HONOR OF › Speedy recovery to Suzanne Vlahos Jane and Dr. Gary Hochstein

ranging a wedding from afar, a But hotels and event halls wedding planner seems almost aren’t the only options. “Many a necessity, though a wedding weddings are held in private can be arranged without one. homes,” says photographerThere are so many components turned-planner Danny Marx. to coordinate: venue, menu, “We planned an amazing drinks, table décor, flowers, wedding of two days in the band, photographer, ceremony, desert for a couple from New the rabbi, and more. York — 200 guests stayed the “I think it’s very, very hard, night and enjoyed the experiaside from it being my busience of a special desert breakness,” Tabor says. “One reason fast and camel tour.” that gets overlooked is that I Some weddings may have will get better prices than a fora theme revolving around eigner who picks up the phone the food, a favorite color, or a and calls the venue speaking movie. only English — they’re going to “I planned a wedding where get the ‘tourist’ price.” the theme was entirely Alice in “Planners are highly skilled Wonderland,” Fenton recalls. and experienced people in the “We even made the aisle to the wedding field chupah multihere that will colored stripes ‘You absolutely make your wedto match the know from May ding day dreams theme.” come true and Outdoor wed- to September will be able to do dings in Israel you’re not going all that through are especially long-distance popular, with to have rain.’ planning,” Mathose in deserts, tias says. by the water their families and the couples Tabor says the popularity of (Red Sea, Dead Sea, Mediterrachose Israel because they Israel as a wedding destination nean, Lake Tiberias), on farms, love the country — therefore has almost tripled since she at vineyards, or in forests. the energy in the wedding is started. “You absolutely know from electric and has a whole lot of The cost for a destination May to September you’re not soul. I wouldn’t want to work going to have rain,” says Tabor. wedding can range, but several on weddings anywhere else wedding planners agree that “You can choose your dates in because they are so special and peace.” And if you want a win- rates can start around $200 per beautiful here.” person—this includes the locater wedding, head way south. Matias agrees. “Because tion, meals, etc.; planners may “It’s amazing to get married in Israel is so unique and diverse, charge a set fee, or a percentage Eilat in January—it feels like it abounds in wonderful locaof 12-15 percent, depending on June or July.” tions and venues for wedthe size. Given the logistics of ardings.” And couples marTel Aviv-Jaffa is the Nikki Fenton rying in Israel do need most popular location, to apply for an Israeli followed by Caesarea, marriage registration if Jerusalem, and the they want the wedding Galilee. to be considered valid in Venues include hoIsrael. tels, each with its own This can be a bucharacter. The 24-story reaucratic process (it David Intercontinental includes providing in Tel Aviv is good for documents verifying larger groups that want that both bride and the backdrop of modern groom are Jewish and Tel Aviv. single). A good wedding The boutique-style planner helps take care modern-meets ancient of this too. Mamilla Hotel outside “I know how to do the walls of the Old City it chik-chak (quickly), I of Jerusalem has a roofdo it all the time,” says top space and a fashionTabor. able elegance. A chupah in Jerusalem Oren and Assi Eitan

Weddings in Israel

A rooftop chupah with the Israeli city of Jaffa in the background.

“Most Israelis dress down By Lisë Stern, for weddings, while Americans Picture a wedding in an and others dress up. Israelis are ancient Roman amphitheatre very relaxed, with no speechon the shores of the Mediterraes,” she says. “Most of my clinean. Or in the mystical city of ents have a more intricate plan, Safed, the sun setting over the a precise sequence of events. Galilean Hills. Or in the multiFor the meal, most Israelis level garden by the Tower of do a buffet.” The sit-down David in Jerusalem. meal approach is now called All these are possible op“American style” in Israel. And tions for destination weddings then there’s the invitation — in Israel, a growing industry. because of the nature of “It is estimated that the wedding (namely there are over a that travel plans are thousand wedneeded), many dings annually couples send out of people from invitations or abroad coming save the date to get married notifications six in Israel,” says to 12 months in Lian Matias, advance comwho operates onderful pared to the two the website hatueddings weeks’ notice or so with for Israeli weddings. Tracey Goldstein. Israeli weddings also The two-year-old organization, described as “The tend to be huge, with 400-600 people and more; (the tradiEnglish speaker’s guide to tional gift for such nuptials planning a wedding in Israel,” is almost exclusively cash. acts as a clearinghouse for deDestination weddings can be tails on the wedding industry, that large, but the average is with links to planners, venues, closer to 150-200, and some are photographers, and more. Weddings held by foreigners as small as 20-50. Nikki Fenton of Bespoke in Israel differ somewhat from Weddings made aliyah from native Israeli weddings, says planner Naomi Tabor, owner of England in 2007, and has been planning destination weddings Imagine Weddings in Israel. in the Jewish homeland ever A native of France, she since. started planning weddings in “The energy of weddings in Israel six years ago, when she Israel is unexplainable,” she married an Israeli. Tabor notes says. “Many of the guests are that Israeli-style weddings are on holiday and have come begenerally quite different from cause they love the couple and those of out-of-staters.


Related Who Can Marry In Israel................................27 Israeli Weddings Break New Ground......30





But Steve Meranus, managing partner of EBE Events & Entertainment, says that few of his bridal couples want to do crownings. “I find that if the parents are older and steeped in tradition, they want it,” he says. “But for younger people, their parents are not involved in their dating — unless it’s telling them to go on Jdate. So the bride and groom don’t want to stop the party for it. There’s nothing wrong with the krenzel ceremony — and we still do them sometimes — but many people in their 20s think it’s odd and antiquated to congratulate a mother on marrying off her children.” “Bull,” responds Sally Mitlas, owner of Sally Mitlas Melissa Jacobs Productions. She agrees with Weitz that crownings are The Philadelphia Jewish Exponent wonderful ways to honor mothers. In fact, Mitlas has “If there is a good way to acknowledge your mothexpanded crownings to include fathers. “The krenzel er at your wedding, why wouldn’t you do it?” With ceremony is a lovely way to say to Mom and Dad, that sentiment, Adam Weitz, executive director of A ‘Thank you for your love and support and for helping Sharp Production, embraces the krenzel, the crowning me reach this point in my life.’” ceremony in which a wreath is placed on the head While Weitz reserves the krenzel just for mothers, of the mother during the wedding reception all three entertainers do multiple crownings if of her last child to be married. “It used to both the bride and groom are the last chilbe done just when the last daughter was dren to be married from each family. married, but now we do it for the last However, parental politics may come child, whether that is a daughter or into play, just as they do when the bride son.” dances with her father. What if the While acknowledging that some bridal couple has a closer relationship traditions from previous generations with their stepparents than their birth — like removing the bride’s garter — parents? Who should get crowned? are no longer done at most weddings, “All or any of them,” is Weitz’s anonderful Weitz feels that crownings are in a difswer. “It’s up to the bride and groom to eddings ferent category. “It is one of our customs, select who they dance with and who they and it defines a wedding as a distinctly Jewish crown. We figure that out well in advance, one,” Weitz says.“Is there anything religious about during the planning consultations. We ask specific it? No. Is it written in the Bible that you have to do it? questions about that so the bridal couple can discuss it No. It originated in Eastern Europe and was brought at length before they make decisions.” to America by our ancestors. Is it a lovely moment in Weitz also points out that, from the bandleader’s the reception that people remember with happiness? point of view, the krenzel ceremony provides a good Absolutely.” segue from dinner into dancing. “I do the crowning

Crowning Achievement Krenzel honors the mother when her last child is wed


after dessert to transition back into the party,” he says. “It’s a great way to get something going on the dance floor that involves all of the guests.” What exactly is the krenzel ceremony? “I come out to the middle of the dance floor where we have placed chairs in the right places for the photographer, videographer and audience to see,” Weitz explains. “I say, ‘We have a very special custom to share with you. Please rise to join us.’ I announce the mother and father, and the in-laws, too, even if that mother is not being crowned. They are seated in the chairs. Then, I ask the court — the bride, groom and all of the bridesmaids and groomsmen — to stand behind the mom being crowned. If it’s a small bridal party, I ask them to bring their spouses.” Mitlas conducts the krenzel a bit differently. “I bring up the immediate family to stand behind the parents being honored,” she explains. “The parents are seated in two chairs in the middle of the dance floor. Their children stand behind them. I invite the rest of the room to join us.” Then comes the actual crown. A wreath of freshly cut, small, usually white flowers, the crown is created by the florist and delivered to the emcee or DJ before the reception begins. To be extra cautious, most entertainers pack a spare crown made of dried flowers. “While I’m holding the crown, the band starts to play Di Mezinkeh Oysgegeben (I Gave Away My Youngest Daughter) — slowly — and I start to tell the story behind the krenzel ceremony,” Weitz says. “‘Many moons ago, there was a tradition created to celebrate the mother of the bride, because all of her life she was treated like daddy’s little girl and like a...what?’ And the audience answers, ‘A princess.’ I keep going and say, ‘Then the princess got married to Sam — or Joe, or whatever the dad’s name is — and he took care of her and made sure that she was still treated like a princess. Tonight, in giving away her last child, she goes from being a princess to being a queen.’ At that


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point, the band starts to play the music a little faster.” Both bandleaders explain that the crowd will circle the parents three times. For Mitlas, those three times symbolize mazel tov, simcha raba (a lot of happiness) and the circle of life. Weitz has a different take. “The first time is to recognize the past and Mom’s dedication and sacrifice in raising her children,” he says. “The second time symbolizes the present and this celebration we are sharing. The third time represents the future when Mom will become a bubbe-bubba-nana-grandma — I rattle off a bunch of names that grandmothers use. Then, the bride and groom place the crown gently on her hair, and then we go into a hora.” Mitlas says that family and friends — Jewish and otherwise — get very emotional during crownings. “A Jewish wedding is a perfect expression of Jewish values, and chief among them is marriage,” Mitlas says. “Marriage is a mitzvah and a strong part of our culture. We are taught that our children’s match in life — their bashert — is chosen at birth. So when your child has found his or her bashert — and all of your children have done so — it is time for celebrating. When your child steps into a life role as a wife or husband and eventual parent, this is their moment of happiness. In Jewish weddings, it’s not just about partying and favors and food and time to go home. It is about passing on our values.”

The Delicate Art of Chupah Music By Binyamin Kagedan, The hall has been booked, the dress fitted, the flowers selected, the food tasted, the photographer approved, the bands auditioned, the rings engraved, and the honeymoon suite reserved. With all the material components of the wedding in place, the focus now turns to the intangibles. What makes a Jewish wedding truly moving and memorable is not what is seen, but what is heard. The emotional tone of the ceremony won’t be set by the size of the bride’s bouquet, but by a heartfelt blessing, a unique vow, or a special song. That’s where I come in. A musician and singer by hobby, I have had the happy fortune of being asked to sing under the chupah at the weddings of most of my best friends, as well as close family members. The Jewish wedding ceremony is rich in opportunities for powerful emotional expression, especially in its music. Songs about holy love punctuate and enliven each step of the process: the groom’s entrance, then the bride’s; the last of the seven blessings; the breaking

of the glass. The quality and combination of the tunes used for these moments lend each and every chupah a unique emotional texture. I view my role in these weddings not just as cantor or entertainer, but as consultant. In order to create a “score” that channels the couple’s individual personality, I provide them with a range of options for each musical moment, and give ideas and tips on how to fit the music into the complex choreography of their chupah. Some couples like the more elegiac melodies, while others prefer a more cheerful ambience. Some include pop music in their ceremony, others keep to the traditional Hebrew verse. Certain brides want guitar accompaniment, others request pure voice or prefer that I sing with the band they hired. A few grooms will break the glass underfoot while I am still singing, If I forget thee o Jerusalem, but most will wait until after the last note, letting the sound of the shattering signal the eruption of “Mazel Tov!” from the crowd. Chupah music is an art, and like all good art, it comes together in the details. Attention to detail is essential to creating a seamless esthetic experience for the bride, groom, and assembled guests, and for my part, is a gesture of love and dedication toward the marrying couple.

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I begin rehearsing weeks before the event, nailing down the perfect tempo, finding the optimal key for my vocal range and making certain that I can comfortably hit the lowest and highest notes. When the specifics are set, I get in touch with the band leader to bring him or her up to speed. Come the wedding day, I drag the keyboardist out of the smorgasbord to run through the set with me in person, just to be sure that nothing is left to chance. There are few acts more gratifying than to enhance the sweetness of the wedding day for dear friends. I got to experience one of them recently, as I designed and performed (along with my new sister-in-law) the vocals for my own chupah. Singing to my glowing bride as she circled around me seven times, I felt as though all the time and care I had put into every previous chupah performance, all of the logistical and esthetic expertise I had accumulated, all of it was meant to prepare me for that moment, for her. And though the October weather was perfectly unseasonable, the hanging candles perfectly placed, and her dress perfectly tailored, it was the music that made the night so perfect. Binyamin Kagedan has a master’s in Jewish thought from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

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When Your Child Gets Engaged to Someone Who Isn’t Jewish By Rabbi Robyn Frisch As a rabbi, it’s not unusual for me to get a call from a Jewish parent whose child is engaged to someone who isn’t Jewish. The parent usually asks if we can get together to talk; sometimes they want to talk because they’re having a hard time accepting their child is going to be in an interfaith marriage and other times they want to discuss

a particular issue that has come up. Here is some advice that I often give to such parents: 1. Your child’s marrying someone who isn’t Jewish isn’t necessarily a rejection of Judaism…or of you. As I wrote in my recent blog, Marrying Out Is Not Abandoning Judaism, just because a person falls in love with someone of another religion (or no religion) it doesn’t mean that they don’t value their Judaism.

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Many people today don’t see loving someone of a different faith and having a strong Jewish identity as being mutually exclusive. Your child can love their partner and they can love being Jewish — and they can love you too! 2. Give your child the time and space to make his or her own decisions. You probably have lots of questions: Will they have a Jewish wedding? Are they going to have a Jewish home? How are they going to raise their children? While you may want to know the answers to all of your questions now, your child and his or her partner may not have all of the answers yet, and even if they do, they may not be ready to share them with you. Let them know (through your words, and even more importantly, your actions) that you respect their right to make decisions on their own time frame and to share them with you when they are ready. 3. Accept that these are your child’s and his or her partner’s decisions to make. Notice that I didn’t say that you have to agree with — or even like — all of their decisions. It may be very upsetting to you that your daughter has decided not to be married by your rabbi or that

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it, or you propose a solution that ends up not working for her and her fiancé, the result is that she will be mad at you. So how do you know what she wants? Ask. You can simply she is going to have a Christmas say: “Do you want to just vent tree in her home. But she is an and I’ll listen to your feelings, or adult and these are decisions for do you want to hear my opinion her and her partner to make, not and my advice?” for you to make. That way, you’ll know her Odds are that she already real purpose in sharing with knows how you feel about these you and you can respond acthings and if you critique every- cordingly. And if she tells you thing she tells you then she may that she wants you to just listen not want to keep sharing with but not offer your opinion, but you. this is too difficult for you to 4. Be honest, but respectful. do, then you should be up front It’s OK to be honest about how about it and not get into a conyou feel. You can tell your son versation that won’t be producthat it makes you sad that he tive for either of you. won’t be married in a syna6. Get to know your child’s gogue or that his fiancée isn’t partner. Your son fell in love converting to with the womJudaism. Many people today an he’s going to Most of us marry, so predon’t see loving aren’t such great sumably there’s actors anyway someone of a something very and it’s always about different faith and special best to be honher. having a strong est — while If you recognizing haven’t already Jewish identity that sometimes, done so, then as being mutually as we learned get to know her as children, “if exclusive. and treat her you don’t have with kindness something nice and respect. Into say, then don’t say anything vite her to participate in Jewish at all.” events and celebrations — that As you share your feelings, is, if these are things you would make sure that you are clear be doing anyway. that they are your feelings — If you have Shabbat dinner and while they are real and will as a family, invite your son and hopefully be acknowledged by his fiancée to join you so she your son, remember that he and can share the beauty of Shabbat his partner are going to make with your family. their own decisions and that Be welcoming and explain while the intent of these decito her what’s going on, while sions isn’t to make you sad, this being careful not to be patronmay be the unfortunate byprod- izing. uct of some of their decisions. But if you don’t regularly 5. Ask your child if he or she go to synagogue on Saturday wants your opinion or advice. mornings, don’t invite her to Your daughter may share with synagogue with you just so you you some of the challenges she can “counteract” the fact that is dealing with in her interfaith she isn’t Jewish. relationship. 7. Talk to other parents whose For example, she may tell you children have intermarried. As that she’s angry at her fiancé for in many situations, it’s often insisting that she go to church nice to feel like you’re not alone. with his family on Easter, or that It can be helpful to speak with she’s hurt that her fiancé won’t someone who has had a similar come with her to synagogue on experience, who can understand Yom Kippur. how you are feeling and who Odds are that if you offer ad- can provide you with advice vice and she doesn’t really want and support.

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The Man Who Decides Who Can Marry in the Jewish State widespread outrage that Weiss, a longtime synagogue leader in New York who had vouched for the Jewishness of many Israeli immigrants in the past, was suddenly having his reliability called into question. Tubul rejected the letter from Weiss after two members of the Rabbinical Council of America, Itamar Tubul, head of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate’s personal status the Modern Orthodox rabbinic division organization of which Weiss is a long-standing member, quesBy Ben Sales, JTA tioned Weiss’ commitment to JERUSALEM — To be marOrthodox Jewish law. ried in Israel, immigrants must “They said there were probprove their Jewish ancestry to lems with his worldview,” Tuthe country’s Chief Rabbinate. bul told JTA. “His system raised Couples can solicit a letter doubts regarding his non-devifrom their hometown rabbis or ation from what is accepted in present their parents’ Jewish matters of proof of Judaism and marriage contracts. Sometimes personal status.” they even bring a YiddishThe Chief Rabbinate says it speaking grandmother before a is considering whether it can rabbinical court. trust Weiss, who has pioneered In the end, every claim has to a number of controversial pass through one man: a midinnovations in the Orthodox level bureaucrat named Itamar world, most recently with his Tubul. The soft-spoken rabbi, decision to ordain women as 35, heads the Chief Rabbinate’s clergy through a new religious personal status division — a seminary called Yeshivat Majob that places him at the center harat. Critics say the process of a brewing crisis between for evaluating American rabbis the Chief Rabbinate and the lacks transparency and objecAmerican Modern Orthodox tive standards. community. To make his recommendaIn October, Tubul rejected a tions, Tubul relies on a network proof-of-Judaism letter from of personal contacts. His first Avi Weiss, a liberal Orthostep is to confer with judges on dox rabbi. The move sparked nine U.S. rabbinical courts ap-

proved by the Chief Rabbinate. he investigates and never rejects a letter based solely on an initial If the judges don’t know the negative recommendation. rabbi in question or doubt his “We check every possibilcredentials, they refer Tubul to ity to complete the puzzle,” he local colleagues. said. “If someone says you can’t After soliciting their recomtrust (a letter), we don’t reject mendations, Tubul accepts or it. Sometimes rejects the Tubul’s job places there are interletter. ested parties him at the center “There that we don’t aren’t enough of a brewing crisis want to deal checks and between the Chief with, so we balances in investigate the system,” Rabbinate and the further.” said Rabbi American Modern In the wake Seth Farber, Orthodox community. of the Weiss the founder decision, the of Itim, an Israeli organization that guides Chief Rabbinate has entered necouples through the Chief Rab- gotiations to give the RCA more say in the evaluation process. binate’s bureaucracy. “This is According to a draft agreement all capricious. It’s all who they obtained by JTA, the Chief happen to know. That’s not a Rabbinate will consult with the way to run a state.” Tubul said he corresponds with at least three rabbis regarding every American letter

RCA on every questionable letter before making a decision. In addition, the RCA would provide the Chief Rabbinate with a list of rabbis accredited to give proofs of Judaism, marriage and divorce. “For the Chief Rabbinate to rely more formally on the RCA for approval of these letters is a question of helping the process along,” Rabbi Mark Dratch, the council’s executive vice president, said. “Cooperation will help both sides be able to serve more appropriately and prevent the kind of embarrassment that exists from time to time.” The RCA does not have the power to override Tubul’s decisions. Rabbinate spokesman Ziv Maor told JTA that the RCA will be a partner in the process, but Continued on next page

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Naming the Stranger Discussing the ketubah presents a defining interfaith moment

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special time when they are filled with love and hope for the future. My willingness and intention to officiate at interfaith weddings has always been to become a “loving portal” of connection to Judaism. I believe that a friendly rabbi goes a long way to serve the “yet to be affiliated” interfaith family. I have met many different kinds of couples over the years. Those with one strongly-identified Jew, or two “we’re not so religious” types, or perhaps the Jewish partner is the ambivalent one and the other partner has strong faith in a spiritual force. It has been fascinating to witness what becomes important and meaningful as the wedding planning unfolds. When I explain the Jewish wedding customs and offer contemporary meanings for them, it is often the partner who isn’t Jewish who insists on breaking the glass or wearing a kipah. One of my favorite conversations to have during the planning is about the ketubah, the wedding document. To me this is the defining moment of what direction a couple’s lives will take, and can determine whether they will raise a Jewish family. The ketubah has come a long way; earliest versions guaranteed that the groom would provide food, clothing, and sex to his wife, and in exchange she became the property of her husband. The then black-andwhite printed ketubah was put away somewhere in a drawer — it wasn’t seen as anything more than a contract. Although the traditional ketubah, using this guaranteed exchange and printed out simply, is still used in Orthodox circles, most of my interfaith couples select a gorgeous flowery text in Hebrew and English, beautifully calligraphic, and embellished with other design features to hang on their wall.

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Shlomo, I knew that this moThe ketubah is not generic: ment would define him and his both partners’ names are inspiritual journey for years to cluded in the text. While most come — even if his bride was Jews are given a Hebrew name ambivalent about her tradition. at or shortly after their birth, Using the category of ger interfaith marriages provide a toshav also clarifies a murky challenge. How do we fill out status. I had a counseling sesthis ketubah using Hebrew sion with an interfaith couple names when one partner does stuck on how to raise the chilnot have a Hebrew name? I have always found it odd to dren. The groom, a grandson of Holocaust survivors, was transliterate Chris or Christine in Hebrew for a ketubah. I have adamant that his children be used this moment in discussion Jewish. The young Catholic bride with my couples to present the burst into tears saying, “Give concept of ger toshav (resident me the rationale for why I stranger). I explain that there should put aside my faith to were two kinds of converts in ancient Israel: the righteous con- raise these children Jewish. I’m vert, ger tzedek, and the one who not Jewish!” I replied, “Perhaps your own dwells among us, ger toshav. I efforts to raise these children explain, “It’s like having your green card with the Jewish peo- Jewishly will go a long way on some cosmic level tople.” The ger toshav ward the healing of agrees to raise the the Christian history children with Jewish toward the Jews.” customs, to be an “But I won’t be ally of the Jewish Jewish or Catholic, people. To be a ger I’ll be nothing,” toshav can also but she countered. My not always begin response was to tell a journey toward her that as a ger conversion. toshav, you align One couple, an yourself with the ambivalent Israeli mixed multitudes bride and a lapsed Tree of Life ketubah who left Israel, creatCatholic groom, ing the paradigm of grappled with what by Leo Loebman freedom. The Jewish to do about future children. “A little of both,” they people have a deep and rich history; by your willingness you agreed. However when we help pass on ancient wisdom got to the moment of deciding and meaning, you further this what Chris should be called history. This satisfied her angst in Hebrew in the ketubah, he and she agreed to bring the immediately said, “Shlomo — children up Jewish. She’s now I’ve always loved that name.” in search of her Hebrew name The bride was shocked; he had for the ketubah. never said that before. At that I use the ketubah moment to moment I knew that taking a Hebrew name would change his begin the discussion of children, allegiance and affiliation with destiny forever. Jews believe that names carry the Jewish people, taking new names, and spiritual journeys. It power. We don’t even utter the name of our God it is so power- opens many avenues to discussion and is clearly a defining ful. Instead, the names used in moment of transformation. prayer are nicknames. We have a tradition of changing a sick child’s name to Chayim (life) or Rabbi Geela Rayzel Raphael is a rabbi in private practice in the Alter (old) to fool the angel of Philadelphia area. death. So when Chris became

The Man Who Decides Continued from previous page final authority will still rest with Tubul. Nothing in the draft precludes individuals within the RCA from conveying their concerns about particular rabbis directly to the Chief Rabbinate. And while Dratch told JTA that the organization stands by Weiss’ authority to vouch for Jewishness, he acknowledged that most of the group’s members do not support the various innovations by Weiss. “A majority of RCA members feel that some of his decisions are pushing the halachic red line or beyond that,” Dratch said. “Our goal is to be able to support the rabbis of the RCA, to be able to make

sure that their letters are accepted by the Chief Rabbinate’s office.” It’s unclear whether the reforms being developed will satisfy the Chief Rabbinate’s critics, Weiss included. His lawyer in Israel, Assaf Benmelech, told JTA that further formalizing the process could end up creating unnecessary bureaucracy. Better, Benmelech said, for the Chief Rabbinate to simply take a wider view of who counts as Orthodox. “When you have a known rabbi who knows Jewish law, he should be trustworthy,” he said. “To place formal boundaries is stupid. It’s all about personal trust.”



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Israeli Weddings Break New Ground as they Break the Glass Toby Klein Greenwald The Agreement for MuSpecial To The Observer tual Respect is available in five Weddings are about tradilanguages in an international tion, but they are also about version on the International individuality. A number of Young Israel Movement’s site intriguing, beautiful customs, supported by have begun to appear at Israeli the Jewish Agency. weddings in recent years that The couple reads a prayer symbolize the creative thinkthat includes lines from the ing of a new generation of Traveler’s Prayer under the brides and grooms. These new chupah. I saw this at a wedding customs ensure the bride and where the groom was the son of groom’s spiritual and social Rabbi Beni Lau, director of Beit values are reflected on their Morasha’s Center for Judaism special day of joy. and Society, Institute for Social The master of ceremonies is Justice and the Israel Institute a mistress of ceremonies. This for Conversion Policy. is a new phenomenon at some Just a few days earlier, while modern Orthodox ceremonies I was in the midst of saying the in Israel. Since men recite the Traveler’s Prayer on a trip, I seven blessings under the had thought about how it has chupah, there are families who basically everything in it: we give the honor of welcoming ask that God guide our steps in the guests and announcing the peace, bring us to our destinavarious blessings to a sister of tion in life, joy, and peace, save the bride or groom, adding to us from enemies, robbers and the gender equality by having wild beasts, and every kind of a woman up there calling the destruction or danger. We ask shots. God to bestow blessing upon I have also been at sheva the work of our hands and to brachot dinners during the grant us grace, kindness, and seven days of feasting after the mercy in His eyes and in the wedding, where women also eyes of all who see us. How recited the blessings. appropriate, as the couple begin The signing of their new journey the Agreement in life. These new for Mutual ReThe eighth customs ensure blessing. This spect, Hesekem L’Kavod Hadadi. the bride is adapted from This document, a prayer that usually signed be- and groom’s appears in the fore the chupah, prayer book of spiritual and is becoming more Rabbi Saadia social values and more comGaon, who lived mon and some in the ninth cenare reflected rabbis insist on it tury, and it has before performing on their special become fashiona marriage. able at some day of joy. Dr. Rachel modern religious Levmore, one of weddings in Isthe authors of the Israeli prerael to read it under the chupah, nup, explains: “The prenuptial often by a woman. Here is an Agreement for Mutual Respect excerpt from the text; note that is designed to prevent get-reit includes the community in fusal, thus insuring a dignified the good wishes for the bride marriage as well as a get, (Jew- and groom: ish bill of divorcement) — if May there be joyful occasions unfortunately it should become in Israel, and may sighs disapnecessary. Through a monetary pear from Israel. incentive, the agreement brings May there be good tidings in spouses to talk to each other in Israel, and many deliverances a time of crisis and to reach an in Israel, May there be comfort agreement — toward reconcili- in Israel. ation or toward divorce. It has May love increase in Israel, proven to be effective in bringmay blessing increase in Israel, ing husbands who initially May joy increase in Israel, refused to give a get, thus turn- may delight increase in Israel, ing the wife into an agunah (a May splendor increase in ‘chained’ woman), to give a get Israel, may unity increase in quickly after being reminded of Israel, the signed prenup.” May merit increase in Israel,

may grooms increase in Israel, May holidays increase in Israel, may brides increase in Israel. May the groom and bride be successful, and may they take joy in each other. May they delight in each other, may the groom be joyful with the bride and the bride joyful with the groom. Blessed art Thou who brings joy to the groom with the bride and to the bride with the groom. Blowing the shofar at the conclusion of the chupah. The first time I heard this it was quite a surprise. I could not find a source for the custom but there are two instances in which we would usually blow the shofar. The first is a call to teshuva, repentance, as we do during the month of Elul and on Rosh Hashanah. The second is to herald the coming of the messiah, bringing with it the ingathering of the exiles to the land of Israel and a new life of redemption, as written in Isaiah. There is something very beautiful about concluding the chupah ceremony with the message, “We, the couple, are leaving behind our past and looking forward to our new life.” The couple bless their friends over the course of the evening. This is something I’ve noticed in the last decade, and it still moves me. During a break in the dancing, the close friends of the bride and groom line up and receive blessings: for their bashert (intended), for health, for whatever they seek in their heart. Donating to a food bank. There is always extra food prepared at a wedding, and not everything makes it out of the kitchen and onto the festive tables. Wedding halls will usually pack up the leftovers for the families to take home and enjoy. Many families choose instead to “pay their joy forward” to food banks, to benefit those in need. Toby Klein Greenwald is an educator, journalist and playwright about to marry off her fifth child. She is the recipient of the Israel Ministry of Education Egerest Award for Jewish Culture.


KVELLING CORNER Beth Abraham Sisterhood has announced its 2014 Women of Valor honorees: Melinda Doner, Helene Gordon, Susie Katz, Harriet Klass, Ellen Leffak, Gayle Moscowitz, and Patti Schear. The awards luncheon, to be held May 7, will also posthumously honor Carol Pavlofsky. Event chairs are Elaine Bettman and Randi Fuchsman. Cantor Jerome B. Kopmar, cantor emeritus of Beth Abraham Synagogue, will present a vocal recital on Sunday, March, 2, at Stivers School for the Arts,

Rachel Haug Gilbert accompanied by pianist Bernadette O’Connor. Two of his students, Julie Davis and Brigid McCabe, will also perform. They’ll present works by Beethoven, Handel, Franck, Schubert, Verdi, and selections in Yiddish and Hebrew. A prolific composer of Jewish liturgical settings, Kopmar served as Beth Abraham’s cantor from 1969 to 1996, was an adjunct professor of voice at Sinclair Community College for fifteen years and now maintains a private voice studio. Hospice of Dayton has joined 60 hospices nationwide in becoming accredited with the National Institute for Jewish Hospice. The accreditation links Hospice of Dayton with NIJH, which provides staff training and insights on treating Jewish patients who are terminally ill, and access to resources and education about Jewish customs and practices that may arise while caring for a hospice patient who is Jewish. Hospice received the accreditation after team leader for chaplain services, Gayle Simmons, attended NIJH’s 28th Accreditation Conference in New Jersey. Hospice of Dayton’s senior medical director is Dr. Jules Sherman. Gary Zaremba of New York has purchased The Livery building in the Oregon District. Gary’s real estate business, PepZee Realty, owns and manages nearly 300 housing units in the Montgomery County area; Gary and PepZee have renovated 65 buildings in the Dayton area since he entered the local


market in 2008. He’s now exploring uses for The Livery. Evan Sherbet, son of Dr. Ann and Steve Sherbet, recently became an Eagle Scout with Troop 316 in Centerville. For his Eagle Scout project, he constructed a garden area and picnic table for the volunteers at the Good Neighbor House in Dayton. The Good Neighbor House is a non-profit medical, dental, eye clinic, and food pantry for those without health insurance. Participants in Evan’s Eagle Scout ceremony included Steve Markman, representing the Jewish War Veterans, and Scott Segalewitz, representing the Dayton Jewish Committee on Scouting. Evan is a senior at Centerville High School and plans to major in computer science. Oakwood High School senior Addison Caruso, who was selected to attend the American Legion 2013 Buckeye Boys State program, was nominated and selected as first alternate for the William Randolph Hearst United States Youth Senate Program 2014. Two delegates are selected from each of the 50 states to take part in senatorial sessions with their respective state senators. Delegates are selected based on nominations from Buckeye Boys State, scores on an extensive civics exam, academic standing, recommendations, and leadership. Addison is the son of Patty and Mike Caruso. Send your Kvelling items to Rachel at or to Rachel Haug Gilbert The Dayton Jewish Observer 525 Versailles Drive Centerville, OH 45459

Briones-Horenstein Aaron Horenstein and Dr. Frances Briones were married in October at Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden on Staten Island. Aaron is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and Columbia University and is currently employed by City University of New York in Brooklyn as a research analyst in the Research and Evaluation Unit. Frances studied at the University of the Philippines Manila, the medical school at the University of Santo Tomas, and completed her residency at Harlem Hospital in N.Y. where she is currently a second-year fellow in gastroenterology. Aaron is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Steve Horenstein of Dayton; Frances is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Briones of Manila. The couple resides in Manhattan. Send lifecycles to: The Dayton Jewish Observer, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville, OH 45459. Email: There is a $10 charge to run a photo; please make checks payable to The Observer.

Max Mader Max Mader will celebrate his Bar Mitzvah on March 1 at Temple Beth Or. A seventhgrader at The Miami Valley School, Max is the son of Jenifer and Joe Mader, brother of Sam, nephew of Rachel Wilson, and grandson of Anita Wilson of Sarasota. For his mitzvah project, Max donates and reads books to children at St. Vincent DePaul’s Gateway Shelter for Women and Families. So far, he’s collected and donated more than 1,100 books to St. Vincent’s shelter.

Jacob Garrett Kushnir Barbara and Ira Kushnir are delighted to announce the birth of their new grandson, Jacob Garrett. The proud parents are Patricia and Craig Kushnir of Boca Raton. Jacob was born Nov. 11 and joins older brother, Marco Solomon, who is 3. Ellie Brown is thrilled to announce the birth of her first great-grandchild, Isla Avery Albery. Dayton grandparents are Alan and Cathy Brown. Isla’s parents are Allison and Matt Albery of Chicago.

Bradley Carson Winograd was born Oct. 12 in Cleveland to Emily and Scott Winograd. Grandparents are Vicki and Bruce Bernie of Washington Township and Karen and Dale Winograd of Beachwood. On Oct. 19, Vicki and Bruce’s son Andrew Bernie married Kristen Soderberg in Great Falls, Va. Andrew is a corporate lawyer in Washington, D.C. Kristen is a health care policy analyst. They reside in Arlington, Va. Parents of the bride are Susan and Terry Soderberg of Great Falls.



Session 1 starts February 24 After school workshops in robotics or art are being offered for children in grades K-6. Sessions will take place at Hillel Academy after school hours (3:45 - 4:45PM). Please contact Yale Glinter or Dan Mecoli for complete schedule. COST: $35 (Includes 5 classes within Session 1). Transportation available. CONTACT: Dan Mecoli, 277-8966, or Yale Glinter at 401-1550,






Beth Abraham Synagogue Classes: Sat., Feb. 1, 12:30 p.m.: Why Jews Do What They Do w. Rabbi Ginsberg. 305 Sugar Camp Cir., Oakwood. 293-9520. Chabad Jewish Learning Institute: To Be A Jew in the Free World: Jewish Identity Through the Lens of Modern History w. Rabbi Klatzkin. Mondays, 7:30 p.m., Feb. 3-Mar. 10. $69. 2001 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood. 643-0770. Temple Beth Or Classes: Sun., Feb. 2, 9, 16, & 23, 1 p.m.: Adult Hebrew w. Rabbi Chessin. Sun., Feb. 9 & 23 10:30 a.m.: Tanach w. Rabbi Chessin. Wed., Feb. 5, 12, 19, & 26, 6-9 p.m.: Israeli Folk Dancing w. Janifer Tsou. Wed., Feb. 5, 6 p.m.: Men’s Circle w. Rabbi Burstein. Wed., Feb. 12, 7 p.m.: Spirituality w. Rabbi Burstein. 5275 Marshall Rd., Wash. Twp. 435-3400. Temple Israel Classes: Mondays, noon: Intermediate Hebrew w. Rabbi Bodney-Halasz. Mondays, 1:15 p.m.: Knitting & Crocheting. Tuesdays, 5 p.m.: Beginner Hebrew w. Judy Heller. Tuesdays, 6 p.m.: Advanced Beginner Hebrew w. Judy Heller.

JCC School’s Out Program: For grades K-6. Mon., Feb. 17, 8:45 a.m.-4:45 p.m. Drop-off and pick-up at Boonshoft CJCE, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. Includes an event at Rosewood Arts Center. $45. Pack a lunch. Discussions R.S.V.P. to Karen Steiger, 853Beth Abraham Synagogue Sunday Brunch Series: Sundays, 0372. 10 a.m. Feb. 2: Dr. Judy Woll, Women Finding Jewish Roots In Belarus. Chabad Cook & Kibitz Feb. 9: Cherie Rosenstein, An Orphan’s Odyssey. $5 per brunch. Gathering: for Loaves of Love and More program. Sun., Feb. 305 Sugar Camp Cir., Oakwood. 9, 10 a.m. 2001 Far Hills Ave., R.S.V.P. to 293-9520. Oakwood. R.S.V.P. to 643-0770. Temple Israel Brotherhood Volunteering with Women’s Ryterband Lecture & Brunch Philanthropy for Tzedakah: Series: Sundays, 10 a.m. Tues., Feb. 11, 10 a.m.-noon. Feb. 2: Dr. Matt Adkins, prof. At Dayton Children’s Hospital, 1 of humanities, Columbus State Children’s Plaza. R.S.V.P. to Karen Community College. Feb. 9: Dr. Donna Schlagheck, prof. of political Steiger, 853-0372. science, Wright State University. Young Adults $5 per brunch. 130 Riverside Dr., Chabad Young Professionals Dayton. 496-0050. Super Bowl Party: Sun., Feb. 2, 6 p.m. 105 Sugar Camp Cir., Children Hangin’ @ the J: Sat., Feb. 1, 7-9 Oakwood. Free. R.S.V.P. to 6430770. p.m. Overnight pickup at 8 a.m. Grades 1-5. Boonshoft CJCE, 525 Seniors Versailles Dr., Centerville. $15 Jewish Family Services Events: for evening only, $25 overnight. See Federation newsletter in R.S.V.P. to Karen Steiger, 853center spread. 0372. Wednesdays, 10 a.m.: Lattes & Legends w. Rabbi Bodney-Halasz at Wash. Sq. Dorothy Lane Mkt. 130 Riverside Dr., Dayton. 4960050.


o f

JCC Active Adults: Sun., Feb. 2, 2 p.m.: Working, The Musical at Dayton Playhouse, 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave. $13. Thurs., Feb. 27, 1:30 p.m.: Kettering Kickers Jamboree at Boonshoft CJCE, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. $5. R.S.V.P. to Karen Steiger, 853-0372.

max. R.S.V.P. to Jane Pearl, 8859531.


Wright State University Theatre presents The Magic Fire: Jan. 30-Feb. 9. Festival Playhouse. 775-2500.

Beth Abraham night at Raise Your Brush: Sat., Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m. 169 N. Main St., Centerville. $35. R.S.V.P. to Raise Your Brush, 470-5487.

Sinclair Community College presents A Shayna Maidel: Feb. 7-15. Black Box Theatre, 4th Floor, Bldg. 2. 512-2808.

Temple Israel Shabbat Day of Learning: Sun., Feb. 23, 8:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. 130 Riverside Dr., Dayton. 496-0050.

JCC Children’s Theater & Muse Machine Present World Harmony: Sun., Feb. 9, 3:30 p.m. S. Smithville Center, 2745 S. Smithville Rd., Kettering. $10 adults, $5 children 5 and up. Free for children 5 and under. R.S.V.P. to Karen Steiger, 853-0372.

Day of Caring Breakfast Kosher Site: Sun., Feb. 23, 9:30 a.m.noon. Boonshoft CJCE, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. $6 adults, $4 children under 12. R.S.V.P. to Karen Steiger, 8530372.

Community Events

Cafe Chabad Kosher Deli Dinner: Sat., Feb. 8, 8 p.m. 7020 N. Main St., Oakwood. Early bird prices by Jan. 26 $15 person, $25 couple. After Jan. 26, $20 person, $35 couple. R.S.V.P. to 643-0770.

Temple Beth Or 3rd Annual Soup Cook-Off: Sat., Feb. 1, 6 p.m. 5275 Marshall Rd., Wash. Twp. $5 w. soup to enter (to serve 10-12), $10 w.o. soup, $20 family

United Against Nuclear Iran Briefing: Thurs., Feb. 27, 7 p.m. Sponsored by JCRC, w. UANI Outreach Coord. Bob Feferman. Boonshoft CJCE, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. R.S.V.P. to Karen Steiger, 853-0372.


B R E A K FAST Established in 1991, Day of Caring is a local, grass roots organization made up of volunteers committed to increasing personal awareness and involvement toward confronting the ever-increasing plight of hunger and homelessness. 100% of ticket sales from the event benefit hunger and homelessness organizations which fund food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters across the Miami Valley.

Sunday, February 23, 9:30AM-NOON @ the Boonshoft CJCE

COST: $6 adults, $4 children under 12

Dietary laws will be observed, entertainment will be provided. RSVP: Karen Steiger, 853-0372

& PAGE 32




CONGREGATIONS Beth Abraham Synagogue Conservative Rabbi Joshua Ginsberg Cantor/Dir. of Ed. & Programming Andrea Raizen Daily services 6:50 a.m. & 5:30 p.m. Fri., 5:30 p.m. Sat. 9 a.m. and sundown Sat. eve. Sundays at 8:30 a.m. 305 Sugar Camp Circle, Oakwood. 293-9520. Beth Jacob Congregation Traditional Sun. 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Sat., 9:30 a.m. 7020 N. Main St., Dayton. 274-2149. Temple Anshe Emeth Reform Saturday, Feb. 8, 10 a.m. Rabbinic Intern Marc Kasten 320 Caldwell St., Piqua. Call Eileen Litchfield, 937-5470092, Correspondence address: 3808 Beanblossom Rd., Greenville, OH 45331. Temple Beth Or Reform Rabbi Judy Chessin Asst. Rabbi/Educator David Burstein Fridays 7:30 p.m. Tot Shabbat 4th Friday, 5:30 p.m. Saturdays 10 a.m. 5275 Marshall Rd., Wash. Twp. 4353400. Temple Beth Sholom Reform Rabbi Haviva Horvitz See Web site for schedule. 610 Gladys Dr., Middletown. 513-422-8313. Temple Israel Reform Rabbi David M. Sofian Rabbi/Educator Karen Bodney-Halasz 1st & 2nd Fri., 6 p.m. Other Fri., 7:30 p.m. Tot Shabbat 4th Fri., 6 p.m. Sat., 10:30 a.m. 130 Riverside Dr., Dayton. 496-0050. Temple Sholom Reform Fridays 6 p.m. 2424 N. Limestone St., Springfield. 399-1231.

ADDITIONAL SERVICES Chabad of Greater Dayton Rabbi Nochum Mangel Associate Rabbi Shmuel Klatzkin Youth & Prog. Dir. Rabbi Levi Simon. Beginner educational service Saturdays 9 a.m. adults, 10 a.m children. 2001 Far Hills Ave. 643-0770. www. Yellow Springs Havurah Independent Services 1st & 3rd Saturdays, 10-noon. Antioch College Rockford Chapel. Contact Cheryl Levine, 937-767-9293.

Superman Sam and his community By Rabbi Karen N. BodneyHalasz, Temple Israel Rabbis Phyllis and Michael Sommer have been friends of mine since we served on staff together at Goldman Union Camp Institute 15 years ago. They are down to earth, outgoing, loving, and to top it off, they are incredible writers, able to express themselves with ease. Phyllis’ Ima on (and off) the Bima blog put her on the cutting edge of the Jewish blogosphere. In the face of people who question the authenticity of online com-

plans....We sent texts. We made calls. We wrote emails. And we cried....Sam has cancer. Acute myeloid leukemia. And our lives will never be the same.” Indeed, the Sommers’ lives would never be the same again, but due to the power of the community she and her husband created, thousands of others’ lives will never be the same after travelling along this path with them. Team Superman Sam quickly formed when Sam, while reciting Mi Shebeirach with his parents, wouldn’t believe them when they told him that there were people all over the country (maybe even 500) praying for munity, the far-reaching effects of Phyllis’ blogs prove that com- him on their Mi Shebeirach lists munity can also be built online. as well. And so blog readers were Her writing quickly attracts readers who appreciate her hon- invited to take pictures of esty and candor in addressing themselves in Jewish life and parenting. superhero clothing and send A community is born them to Sam so A little more than a year and he could see those a half ago Phyllis’ lighthearted faces of support entries about Jewish parenting on his wall and began to take on a new tone. On June 14, 2012, Phyllis posted know that he Rabbi Karen N. was not alone that she had begun to write Bodney-Halasz in his struggle. a third blog, Superman Sam. Because of the powerful conIn that entry she shared with nections formed online through hundreds of followers that her Superman Sam’s blog, the same 6-year-old son, Sam, had been child who had trouble believdiagnosed with leukemia. ing that hundreds of people Where many parents would retreat into a protective shield of were praying for him in the first few weeks of his illness, would privacy, Phyllis invited huneventually be mentioned on dreds if not thousands to journey into “Cancerland” with her the front page of the Chicago Tribune, featured on, family. She explained: “I want to tell Sam’s story...for ourselves and in newspapers throughout the United States, Israel, and and our family and friends. I England. hope the blog is really, really, really short. And I am planning for a happy ending.” Making everything count Only two days after her son’s What I found in the Superdiagnosis, in her first official Su- man Sam blog was a glimpse at perman Sam blog, Phyllis wrote, a young and vibrant soul, the “My whole universe collapsed raw emotion of a family findin on me at 4:30 p.m. on a ing its way, a personalized path Tuesday. My sweet little Sammy. through Jewish living, and the We asked questions. They made power of people to become, as


February • Adar I A Jewish leap year On the Jewish calendar, months follow the cycle of the moon. However, there are approximately 12.4 lunar months in a solar year. The solution is a 19-year Jewish calendar cycle with a second month of Adar — Adar II — added in the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 17th and 19th years.

Shabbat Candle Lightings February 7, 5:45 p.m. February 14, 5:53 p.m. February 21, 6:01 p.m. February 28, 6:09 p.m.

Phyllis coined, “super-menches.” As rabbis, Phyllis and Michael view the world through a Jewish lens. Sam’s blog often described the meaning of Jewish time, such as counting the Omer and the days of Elul, but this experience raised other significant ways of counting, such as by numbers of blood cells, shehechiyanu moments, days post-transplant, and eventually, the days of mourning. Sammy and his parents used the power of their blog to galvanize people to help them make Sam’s struggle count as well, especially raising awareness of childhood cancer. Sam and his parents would, from time to time, ask blog followers to give back to their communities and in so doing they raised considerable amounts of money for the MACC Fund Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, completed a vast movie collection for their Ronald McDonald House, and inspired many, including me, to hold bone marrow donor drives. The family also generously shared the gifts showered upon their son with the other children at the hospital. The 18 months following Sam’s diagnosis were a roller coaster. Within 520 days, Sam was declared in remission after chemotherapy and radiation treatments, recited Birkat HaGomel when ringing a celebratory bell at the hospital, and last summer underwent a bone marrow transplant after the cancer returned. We all hoped his story would have the happy ending for which his family prayed. But in November, Sammy’s refractory leukemia returned with a vengeance and his family was faced with the knowledge that there was nothing left to do except make every moment and every

Torah Portions February 1/1 Adar I Terumah (Ex. 25:1-27:19) February 8/8 Adar I Tetzaveh (Ex. 27:20-30:10) February 15/15 Adar I Ki Tissa (Ex. 30:11-34:35) February 22/22 Adar I Vayakhel (Ex. 35:1-38:20)

The Sommer family

Samuel Asher Sommer

breath matter. I read each blog with tears in my eyes as Sam’s parents described how they explained this reality to Sam. And I was not alone. Dozens of Reform rabbinic colleagues stepped forward to make a bold statement for pediatric cancer research. The Sommers often pointed out that only 4 percent of government support for cancer research is given for pediatric cancer, and so it was the most obvious recipient for our efforts. Through work with an organization called St. Baldrick’s — which provides funds for childhood cancer research through communities that sponsor volunteers who shave their heads — more than 80 rabbis sponsored an event called 36 Rabbis Shave for the Brave. More than 50 rabbis will shave their heads at the Reform movement’s Central Conference of American Rabbis convention on March 31. By the beginning of January more than $265,000 was raised toward the goal of $360,000. My colleague, Rabbi David Burstein at Temple Beth Or, is one of these shavees and my assistant, Ellen Finke-McCarthy, will shave her head to raise money for the project. For details, go to


In a blog post entitled Tears, Phyllis shared a conversation with her son: “I don’t want to die! I want to grow up and marry someone! I want to learn to drive! I want to have a Bar Mitzvah! I want to see David (his brother) be president! I Continued on next page



Superman Sam


Continued from previous page want to see Dad get old and wear diapers!...You’re going to put me in a box and put me in sovereignty over the world. the ground. I’ll never get to do in biblical times using olam to Adon Olam (Master of the all the things I want to do. Why elucidate the concept of time. Universe), a prayer sung daily did I have to get cancer when I Examples of this are phrases and attributed to Ebin G’virol, was just a kid before I got to do such as meatah v’ad olam (from a Spanish philosopher and things?” now to eternity), l’olam (forpoet of the 11th century, only These are questions no parent ever), m’olam (from time imenhances this conviction. should ever have to answer. To memorial), m’olam lo (never), Ethically, olam is at the do so requires such enormous brit olam (an eternal covenant), center of the famous saying: al amounts of courage and love. l’olam chasdo (His mercy is shloshah devarim haolam omed: al The Sommers have found their forever). haTorah al haavodah v’al gemilut courage through the incredible Only with the influence of chasadim, literally, the world is support of both the community the Greek and Roman worlds sustained on three principals, in which they live as well as did the meaning of olam exthe Torah, namely the Law, their virtual community. Healpand and receive new nuances worship and charity (Ethics of ing does not occur in a vacuum. and understandings. It is fueled by the loving hearts Now, olam is conceptualized the Fathers, 1:2). Moreover terms like shem and hands of a community. I more in terms of the world, the olam, meaning world’s renown am thankful they let so many physical universe we live in, and Am Olam describing the people in to help provide that as the idea of actual space was People of Israel as the Eternal strength, as so many others incorporated into the notion of People also should be noted. would have chosen otherwise. time. We should menMore than a thousand New terms imtion the phrase lo people showed up for Sammy’s merged like haolam Olam is hayu d’varim me-olam funeral, many of whom had hazeh (this world), understood which means nothonly known the family through versus haolam habah ing of the sort ever the blog, and hundreds more (the world to come), in the Bible happened (Eruvin were thinking of him during the spiritual place of to express 40) and the idiom difficult hour from afar. the righteous. long duration olam keminhago noheg that The Sommer family has been The Chasidic of time meaning it is the way, carried through its grief and adage, kol haolam the custom, of the pain knowing that they are not kulo gesher tzar meod world (Avodah Zarah 54). alone. They are not the only (the whole world is a narrow Of course we cannot forget family to have undergone such bridge) only enhances this the term tikun olam, repair of tragedy because of cancer. But spatial comprehension. Short is the space to mention the world, which is the motiva- they are the first family I have tion behind social action as we ever been able to walk this path all the phrases and terms of seek to maintain the world’s with as their story was unfoldpost-biblical Hebrew in which social justice (Gittin 4:2). ing. Being welcomed into their olam is at the center. family has made it possible for Suffice it to say that rabbinic Dr. Rachel Zohar Dulin is a thousands of people, includliterature had a great influence professor of biblical literature at ing me, to more fully grasp the on terms and idioms using blessings of our own lives and olam to express time and space. Spertus College in Chicago and an adjunct professor of Bible and to open our arms a little wider For example, the terms Melech Hebrew at New College of Florida. to provide their support for a Haolam (King of the Universe) She lectures and writes in the family in need. and Ribon Olam (master of the fields of Hebrew language and The Sommers’ choice to be world) are appellations given biblical literature. transparent throughout this to God, acknowledging His

Olam: a concept of time and space This month, we explore the Hebrew word olam, which is often translated as world or universe. The question arises: did the Hebrews of biblical times who coined the word, comprehend the concept olam in the same way we do? In other words, was olam for them an encompassing word denoting planet, universe, world and the earth

Dr. Rachel Zohar Dulin with its inhabitants, as it is for us? In the Bible, where olam is mentioned more than 430 times — with maybe one exception (Ecc. 3:11) — it is used in reference to time not to space. That is to say, olam is understood in the Bible to express long duration of time, antiquity, continued existence and even eternity or uninterrupted future, but it is not understood in terms of the spatial vast universe. Some scholars point out that the noun olam is derived from the verb alam meaning hidden, concealed and unknown time. There are others who point to the Akkadian word ullu meaning remote time, as the origin of the Hebrew concept. Either way, olam is the Hebraic conceptualization of time not of space or location. Many phrases were coined

New & Renewing Voluntary Subscribers, Dec. 3 - Jan. 2 Renewing Angels Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Bettman Kim & Shelley Goldenberg New Angel Lawrence A. Lasky Double Chai Freida Blum Mrs. Marilyn Scher Fred & Ruth Scheuer Subscribers Rachel & Evan Fetter Dorothy Finder Alan D. Gabel, Attorney Lois Harris Rabbi and Mrs. Shmuel Klatzkin David & Randye Korte Scott & Ann Liberman Henny Lubow Steve & Helen Markman PAGE 34

Max Markman Mr. Richard Mutzman Marc Prigozen Mr. David Rothschild Raymond Smith The Sobol Family Jeff & Cathy Startzman Mrs. Florence Tannenbaum Esther Teplitz Mrs. Kathy Wassenich Stuart Weprin Dr. Kenneth H. Wilson Current Guardian Angels Marilyn & Larry Klaben Walter Ohlmann Dr. Nathaniel Ritter Mrs. Dorothy Shane Current Angels Ken Baker K.W. Baker & Assoc. Skip Becker

Michael & Amy Bloom Hy & Sylvia Blum Betty & Don Chernick Mrs. Betty Crouse Mr. & Mrs Bruce Feldman Esther & DeNeal Feldman Lynn Foster M.J. & Bella Freeman The Gaglione Family Felix & Erika Garfunkel Debby & Bob Goldenberg Mark & Kathy Gordon Drs. John & Elizabeth Green Art & Joan Greenfield Sydney Gross Susan & Joe Gruenberg Robert & Vicky Heuman Ralph E. Heyman Steve & Rachel Jacobs Dr. & Mrs. David Joffe Rice Jones Jr. Joyce & Chuck Kardon

Susan & Stanley Katz Dr. & Mrs. Charles Knoll Bert & Jean Lieberman Beverly Louis Dr. David & Joan Marcus Suzi & Jeff Mikutis Irvin & Gayle Moscowitz Myrna Nelson Russ Remick Franklin & Renee Handel Felice & Michael Shane Zerla Stayman Dr. Marc & Maureen Sternberg Col. Jeffrey Thau, USAF, (Ret) & Rina Thau Joel & Jennifer Tobiansky Julie & Adam Waldman & Family Judith & Fred Weber Caryl & Donald Weckstein Michael & Karen Weprin

Thank you.

struggle has personally helped me become a better person, a better rabbi, a better spouse, and a better parent. When a child is unsure about becoming a Bar Mitzvah, I think of Sam’s wish only to have such an opportunity and his courage to do everything he could to make that happen. When I sing the Shema at night with my son Jonah, I hold him just a little bit tighter. I never let a moment pass when I don’t tell my family that I love them. And every Shabbat I am reminded of the last moments of Sammy’s life: “The house filled up with family and loved ones. Sam slept quietly through it all. Our Kiddush wine was salty with tears. The hour grew late...the house emptied out. Around midnight, the last ones left. I took the first shift and sent Michael up to sleep. I quietly sat down next to him and very, very, very softly sang his bedtime prayers. Shelter us beneath thy wings...guard us from all harmful things. He was always terribly impatient with me when I would cry during these prayers. So I made sure not to cry. Shema Yisrael Adoshem Elohkeinu Adoshem Echad...I whispered in his ear....I love you. And then I settled down beside him on the couch, my hand on his back. Only a few minutes went by. His breathing began to change. There were long pauses between the breaths. I caught myself holding my breath and the nurse and I exchanged a momentarily-frightened glance. We turned on the lights, we got Michael from upstairs. We held our child close. He took one final breath...Sam was not alone for a single moment of his life. He died peacefully and calmly and quietly at 12:33 a.m. He was not in fear or in pain. And for that I am eternally grateful. For the first 10,543 days of my life, I was not Sammy’s mother. And then I had 2,959 days of Sam. Now I face thousands of days without him. I once lived 10,543 days without him. But I didn’t know what I was missing.” I will never take another day for granted. I am forever changed. Thank you, Superman Sam, for inviting me into your life and giving so many people the courage to face challenges far less difficult than yours. May your memory always and only be for a blessing to all who came to be a part of your community. To read the Superman Sam blog, go to supermansamuel.blogspot. com.



Mishpacha & Menschlichkeit

natural to the human condition were categorically rejected by the Bible, based on the radiThe Jewish Family Identity Forum cal concept that humans were all created “in God’s image” (Gen. 1:27), equal and with intrinsic worth. From its very beginnings, America chose to enshrine the biblical notions about human life in its Declaration: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are In the calendar of the annual to all that proceeds out of his endowed by their Creator with re-reading of the Torah, the mouth,” this value was encertain unalienable Rights, that focus is now on the Book of shrined by America’s Founders among these are Life, Liberty, Exodus, recounting the tale of in the Constitution: “No state and the pursuit of Happiness.” the Israelites as they left Egypt, shall pass any law impairAre the choices we make set up a system of judicial ading the obligation of contracts today — from our families to ministration, received the Law (Article I:10:1).” Isn’t today’s our schools to our government at Mount Sinai, went astray emphasis on “going around — designed to honor and rewith the golden calf, and estab- the law,” “getting away with spect life, equality, and human doing less,” “taking advantage of loopholes,” and “denying re- worth, or do they undermine sponsibility” a reflection of how individual initiative, integrity, self-respect, and liberty? Candace R. businesses, employees, stuRule of law and fair trial. dents, and even parents have Kwiatek When a king of Israel takes the forgotten the moral component throne, he is to keep a copy of of their contracts? The value of life, equality of the Torah with him and observe every word of lished a sanctuary with the Law humans, and inin their midst. These biblical dividual worth. America and the it so he doesn’t become haughty events find unexpected paralWhen the phaBible are filled and think he is lels on the secular calendar raoh “who knew with parallel above the Law during January and February: not Joseph” the Emancipation Proclamadetermined the ideals, as well as (Deut. 17:18-20). tion; the birthdays of WashingIsraelites were parallel conflicts Furthermore, the Law applies ton and Lincoln, Martin Luther too numerous, and challenges. equally to citizens King Jr. and Rosa Parks, and he first embitand “strangers” numerous signers of the Dectered their (Ex. 12:49) and must be applied laration of Independence; the lives through slavery and fairly: “You shall not give perratification of 28 states; and the then through infanticide. The verse testimony in a dispute in secession of the majority of the midwives, however, let the favor of the mighty — nor shall southern states from the union. baby boys live (Ex. 1:8-17), a you show deference to a poor In both calendars we find a decision that went counter to man in his dispute (Ex. 23:3).” rejection of slavery, significant the practices of ancient culThese principles are echoed leaders, the development of a tures where infanticide, human in America’s legal system, new nation, conflict between sacrifice, and amphitheater for starters in the Fourteenth ideals and status quo, and a contests to the death were Amendment’s Equal Proteccommitment to new social and routine. The ideas that life had tion Clause, the adage “Equal legal models — a parallelism in little worth; life’s station was Justice Under the Law,” and the both history and values. predetermined by race, class Equal Treatment Bench book for This got me thinking: What and gender; and slavery was would it be like to look at the whole Torah through American eyes? Could I randomly open to any text and find the wellsprings of America’s unique ideals? Could such an experiment also highlight where America has gotten off track and how it might return to its roots? Here’s what I found. Promises, oaths, and contracts. Esau sold Jacob his birthright for a bowl of stew, swearing to uphold the arrangement (Gen 16:29-34). Such “handshake deals” have been part of American contract law since its very beginnings and they carry legal weight, suggesting that moral obligation is a significant factor in the making of agreements. Explicitly stated in Numbers (30:2), “(a person) shall not break his word, he shall do according

Through American eyes A look at the Holy Book series

fairness in courts and tribunals. Yet, if America is a country governed by the rule of law, how can a president do end runs around Congress, judges make laws from the bench, and representatives opt out of legal initiatives incumbent upon its citizens? Why do some big corporations get special preferences while others are penalized? What allows wealthy defendants to buy their way out of prison while the poor are incarcerated for identical crimes? Who allows illegal aliens and foreign diplomats to get a “pass” in legal matters? Shouldn’t we see an equal application of the law to leaders, citizens, and strangers? History. Story. Memory. “You have but to inquire about bygone ages…Has anything as grand as this ever happened, or has its like ever been known (Deut. 4:32)?” Moses’ final act was to retell the Israelite story, reminding the people of their history and values. “Watch yourselves scrupulously, so that you do not forget...And make them known to your children

and to your children’s children (Deut. 4:9).” Moses exhorted more than once. I remember growing up with the Pledge of Allegiance, the Founders as heroes, and the Puritan ethic. Can today’s Americans identify and explain our country’s core values? Does America celebrate its heroes like Jews do Moses, David, and the Judges, despite their failings? Is historical revisionism undermining the grandness of America? How well are we doing retelling the American story to our children and grandchildren? By design of the Founders, America is a unique reflection of the biblical story and values. America and the Bible are filled with parallel ideals, as well as parallel conflicts and challenges. What might you learn as you look at the Bible through American eyes? Family Discussion: Open the Chumash (Torah) to any page and look for an underlying biblical principle, theme, or experience that has echoes in the American past or present.

Literature to share Paper Children: An Immigrant’s Legacy by Marcia Fine: Part memoir, part historical fiction, this novel traces the stories of an immigrant Polish mother, her rebellious ‘60s daughter, and her seeking granddaughter whose roots are in the Holocaust but whose lives are primarily in America. Fast-paced and emotionally captivating, Paper Children is a fascinating view of the Holocaust from the other side of the ocean. Not to be missed. The Things a Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt: Through the eyes of a returning Marine’s younger brother, this novel explores some of the heroic, confusing, and brutal impacts of war on family and community. It’s not an action novel, but rather a social commentary and coming-of-age story in the best sense. A good read for teens.



OBITUARIES Kathy Lee Ellison, 67 of Dayton, died on Jan. 4. She surrendered gracefully after an 18-month fight with breast cancer. Ms. Ellison lived in Oxford, Ohio from 1989 until the onset of the cancer in 2012. She was born in Mansfield to Joseph and Lois Ellison. She graduated from Smith College in 1968 with a degree in sociology, and later earned a master’s degree in education from The Ohio State University, and a J.D. from University of Dayton. After she completed law school, she hung out her own shingle. As a sole practitioner, she provided affordable legal services to working-class families in Dayton for more than a third of a century. Ms. Ellison was active in the women’s movement, Girl Scouting, the Dayton Jewish International Film Festival, volunteer gardening through MetroParks, fair housing, Democratic politics in Butler County, preservation of SunWatch Indian Village, Lunafest (a festival of short films by, for, and about women), and other progressive causes. She was profiled in Judith Ezekiel’s 2002 book Feminism in the Heartland, as a key organizer of the Dayton women’s movement in the 1970s. She was also an avid reader and a film enthusiast. In 2002, she was honored with the Classical Association of the Middle West and South Award for helping her daughter, Lindsay, reinstate the Latin department at her high school in Oxford. Surviving her are: her daughter Lindsay Meck of New York; her partner and caregiver Phil Hinrichs of

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Dayton; her sister Jane Ellison Usher and her sons, Sam and Jack Usher of Los Angeles; her brother Robert Ellison and his wife Karen of Parkersburg, W.Va. and their children, Jennifer Ellison of Madison, Wisc., and Joseph Ellison of Columbus; her brother Peter Ellison of Mansfield and his daughter, Jaime Wheeler of Santa Monica; and her former husband of 33 years, Stuart Meck of Trenton, N.J. Before she died, Ellison requested that any memorial contributions be made to Planned Parenthood, Dayton Project Minors Fund (2314 Auburn Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45219). Or alternatively, in her words, “take Phil Hinrichs to lunch.” Stephen M. Friedberg, age 63, of Dayton, passed away unexpectedly Jan. 5 at his residence. Mr. Friedberg, a graduate of Fairview High School Class of 1968, was the owner of Stephen’s Furniture since 1985. Throughout his life, Mr. Friedberg cherished the company of his family and friends, and shared with them his love of luxury cars, music, and movies. Always a loving, caring, and giving person, he will be remembered for his kindness and big heart. Mr. Friedberg was preceded in death by his parents, Jerome and Mardelle (Levin) Friedberg; uncles David and Sam Levin; aunts Barbara and Leah Levin, Bea (Harry) Kruger, Gertrude Friedberg, Dorothy (Samuel) Segelin, and Belle (Leon) Simon. Mr. Friedberg is survived by his brothers, Gary of Pittsburgh and Howard of Dayton; uncles, Louis Levin (Sarah Litwin) and Allen Levin both of Washington Twp.; aunt Karen Levin of Washington Twp.; nephews and nieces Michael (Lauren) Friedberg, Christina Friedberg, Carolyn Friedberg, Lauren Michaels (Nisan Earnest), Lisa Michaels and David Michaels; greatniece, Samantha Friedberg; cousins, Malcolm (Marsha) Segelin, Diane, Elaine, Bobby, and Mikey Levin, Charlotte, Jeff, and Robbie Handler, Danielle Young, and Ryan Levin; and numerous devoted, terrific close friends. The family requests contributions be made to a cool charity of your choice in Mr. Friedberg’s memory. Charles B. Jenefsky passed away on Dec. 30. Born on Oct. 1, 1929 in Dayton, Mr. Jenefsky move to Tucson,

Ariz. at age 9. Mr. Jenefsky graduated from Tucson High and went on to receive his degree in architecture at Arizona State University — remaining forever dedicated as an ASU Sun Devil. Mr. Jenefsky proudly served in the U.S. Army and upon returning from Germany opened the doors to his fastener company, Industrial Bolt & Screw Supply, serving the valley for more than 30 years. He was a life member at Temple Beth Israel, the El Zaribah Shrine, volunteered for the USO, and touched many lives on his journey through life. Mr. Jenefsky is survived by daughters Susan Jenefsky and Mari Jenefsky-Titus; his favorite son-in-law, DonnAllan; grandsons Sean and Jonathan; his brother Howard; and companion Beverly Louis. He will be greatly missed. May his memory be for a blessing. Contributions may be made in Mr. Jenefsky’s memory to Honor Flight Network, 300 E. Auburn Ave., Springfield, OH 45505 or to a charity of your choice.

Sky’s the limit Continued from Page Eight explaining that beginning in March, the airline is adding six more weekly flights to Tel Aviv for the start of the summer season — three from Frankfort and three from Munich — increasing the airline’s total number of weekly flights to Israel to 27, not including the company’s subsidiaries. Feldman says that at least 20 new routes have opened up so far thanks to the agreement, mainly offered by low-cost carriers. He believes Open Skies has the potential to greatly benefit Israel’s economy through a significant increase in European tourist money spent on nights in Israeli hotels, and restaurant expenditures. The agreement “will have a major benefit for the Israeli consumer as well,” according to Feldman. “He or she can fly to Europe at a substantially cheaper rate than in 2013, so it’s a win-win

Morton Nelson M.D., age 83 of Kettering, passed away on Dec. 23 at Kettering Hospital. Dr. Nelson was born Jan. 29, 1930 in Minneapolis to the late Solomon and Sarah (Earenberg) Nelson. He served in the U.S. Army from 1948-52, and later served in the U.S. Army Reserve in the Medical Corps, attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel. After his first discharge from the army in 1952, he attended UCLA and then the University of California, Irvine, from which he earned his M.D. He later earned a master’s in public health from UC Berkeley. He served as county health officer for Alameda and Orange Counties, Calif. before moving to Dayton in 1983 to become Montgomery County Health Commissioner. He served in this role for more than 20 years. During this time period and beyond, he also served as a professor at the Wright State School of Medicine. Dr. Nelson was married for 51 years to Lois (Miller) Nelson, and for nearly seven years to Roslyn Klein, both of whom preceded him in death, as did his brothers Kurt and Irving and sister Eta. He is survived by his son and daughter-inlaw, Steven Nelson and Monica

Dillon-Nelson of Lisle, Ill., sister-in-law and husband Meri and David Bender of Los Angeles, stepdaughter and husband Ellen and Robert Rinsky of Cincinnati, stepgrandchildren Jessica and Ben, along with cousins, nieces, and nephews. Interment was at David’s Cemetery. Donations may be made to the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association, or any charity of the donor’s choice.

for Israel’s economy and the Israeli consumer flying aboard,” he says. Feldman states emphatically that since he is “a big believer in (the) consumer (coming) first; the only caveat is that the Israeli government needs to ensure consumer protection.” He says that over the past few years, there were several occasions in which travelers got burned because after they purchased airline tickets, the airlines stopped operating. Israel’s main concern “is safety and not consumer protection,” explains Feldman. He notes that if an airline goes belly-up while you are away, “you are either stuck abroad, or you lose your money.” “In contrast with North America, where you can cancel payment, here you can’t,” he says. Feldman also says changes are necessary for Israel’s local carriers to remain competitive in the aftermath of the Open Skies agreement. He cites issues such as poor management and a scarcity of aircrafts, suggesting that Israel’s three carriers (El Al, Arkia, and Israir) should merge their fleets and

work together for the greater good, in addition to focusing on adding more profitable routes like those to North America and the Far East. Yet the Israeli Ministry of Tourism — citing data from the Federation of Israeli Economic Organizations — says that when the Open Skies agreement is fully implemented, it will lead to an increase of 250,000 European tourists coming to Israel during the first year it is implemented. The ministry says this will create 10,000 new Israeli jobs. Feldman, however, believes that “until we see a massive growth in new hotels (in Israel),” new jobs for Israelis “will be far less than forecast.” He explains that as a direct result of the new Open Skies policy, Israel’s hotel association is for the first time reporting an average price of as high as $400 per room per night. While that represents an increase in revenue for Israel, Feldman says an additional supply of hotel rooms is still needed to meet the demand presented by an increased number of tourists visiting Israel.

Ruth M. Rosset, age 92 of Dayton, passed away Dec. 18. Mrs. Rosset was an interior designer who worked on numerous commercial and residential sites. She was preceded in death by her husband Donald; her brothers, Louis, Arthur, Milton and Victor Marks. She is survived by her two daughters, Jill S. Rosset, M.D. ( John A. Fleishman, M.D.) and Anne M. Rosset; three grandchildren, Madisen Fleishman, Lauren (Brooks) Cronin and Adam Henry; brother Herbert Marks, numerous nieces, nephews and friends. Interment was at David’s Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Crossroads Hospice or the charity of your choice.



Is your iPhone sacred? When it comes to the intersection of halacha (Jewish law) and mobile technology, some queries are quite serious. Others are posed with the tongue planted firmly in one’s cheek. Q. Can I bring my iPhone into the bathroom? A. This question was fielded by Rabbi Adam Schwartz, rabbinical counsel for, one of the leading creators of Jewish apps. Holy Scriptures, such as a Torah scroll, have implicit holiness. Although text displayed on a LED screen is not considered a halachic text, it is not

using the Siddur (prayer book app), do you have to kiss it? • Can one leyn (chant) from an iPad Torah? • Can you use a smart phone application to check lettuce for bugs (http://bit. ly/jdigital7)? One modern phenomenon tied to mobile platforms which is no laughing matter is a trend called “half Shabbat (or Shabbos),” in which teenagers who generally observe the day continue to send text messages on Shabbat. For a very good overview of the halachic and social implications, I recommend two articles from the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action. Jonathan Rosenblum has written Half Shabbos is No Shabbos ( And in Mark Is Half-Shabbos Really No Shabbos? Rabbi Mietkiewicz Shalom Baum responds that, “We do not tell one who has tragically violated even several prohibited activities to throw in the towel with regard to observing the appropriate for one to have the text displayed in a restroom, for it may cause rest of Shabbat (” In his essay, The Use of Electrical and people to think about or say what they Electronic Devices on Shabbat, Rabbi Danare reading, which is also prohibited in iel S. Nevins of the Jewish Theological an unclean place. However, since the text on the iPhone Seminary takes a break from examining the halachic intricacies to address the is stored internally on a flash memory impact technology has on the spirit of drive, it’s not considered halachic writthe day. “Contemporary families spend ing — just electronically charged ones much of their time together focused on and zeros which has no sacred status individual electronic devices. Faces lit whatsoever. So, you may bring your iPhone into a by glowing screens large and small, ears restroom, just be careful not to read any attached to headphones, they busily interact with friends and strangers across of the content while there ( the world while making minimal contact jdigital5). Q. Similarly, are you allowed to erase with the people around them. Shabbat can and should be different (http://bit. God’s name on a cellphone? ly/jdigital10).” A. Relax. Most religious authorities Nevins adds, “Shabbat can be a day rule that God’s “name written on a to reclaim interactive entertainments screen can be erased and they have no sanctity as the pixels which make up the occurring in real time without the mediation of technology. Focusing on the letters on a computer screen are being people around us rather than on comrefreshed many times a second and are munication with those far away creates considered to be more virtual than real a powerful sense of community which is (” not virtual.” And the questions keep on coming. These, however, come from the site Mark Mietkiewicz may be contacted at • If your iPhone drops while you are


this week’s Jewish news with Radio Reading Service. Do you know someone who is visually impaired and would like to keep up on the Jewish news? Join Marshall Weiss every Sunday at noon and 6 p.m. for the Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley Radio Reading Service broadcast of The Jewish News Hour. Radio Reading Service provides audio access to newspapers, magazines and other print media for those unable to read on their own. Listeners tune in with special radio receivers.

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                        

If you know someone who might qualify to receive a Reading Service radio, call 528-6525 THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • FEBRUARY 2014



Israeli choreographer’s world premiere for DCDC By Miriam Karp Special To The Observer To celebrate its 45th anniversary, DCDC will present world premieres at its Feb. 8 and 9 performances from three choreographers: Donald Byrd, who received a Tony nomination for The Color Purple; Ray Mercer, who choreographed The Lion King for Broadway; and Israeli Ronen Koresh, artistic director of the Koresh Dance Company in Philadelphia. A sabra, (native-born Israeli), Koresh’s early dance influences came from his mother, a folk dancer in the Yemenite tradition. Koresh trained with her, as well as with a Tel Aviv folk group. He also studied with great Israeli dancers, eventually joining the Martha Graham Batsheva 2 Dance Company. Koresh continued his dance training while he served for three years in

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Israel’s army. In 1983, he came to the United States and trained with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. In 1991, he formed his own company in Philadelphia. He has also served on the faculty of The University of the Arts in Philadelphia since 1986. “The best part of me is that I love what I do,” Koresh says. “I live it. I sleep with it. It is what I am.” He says he’s had a long-standing admiration for DCDC. “I’ve known about them for many years, since I came to the U.S. I met Jeraldyne Blunden, the founder, many years ago, when I was in Dayton. We talked, and I showed her my material. She passed away before we could work together. Years later, I received a phone call from Debbie Blunden-Diggs, the current artistic director of the company. She invited me to

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Observer mascot Bark Mitzvah Boy

Ronen Koresh

join this program and I was honored.” He describes his work as internal, an expression of an idea or state of mind. “It’s not based on a technique,” Koresh says. “Technique is a tool to help the dancers more eloquently express an inner idea. The focus is less on them as a dancer, and more on the person, a human being who can dance.” He worked with DCDC’s dancers on his new piece for eight days. “I gave them my vocabulary,” Koresh says. “They express the feelings that are already in them, through this vocabulary. They are very hard working and talented — so kind, so generous, from the top down, throughout the whole company. Not every place gives you the freedom, without any limitations, to allow you to be the artist you can be. It

was a fantastic experience. The dream of a choreographer.” Both the Koresh Dance Company and DCDC bring the freedom and confidence of dance to youths. The Koresh Kids Dance program provides weekly instruction to students in Philadelphia public schools. DCDC is heavily involved in outreach and education, working with local students from preschool age through university. Koresh will visit Hillel Academy, Dayton’s Jewish day school, on Feb. 10 to talk with some of the students, in conjunction with their yearlong leadership program. “Our sixth graders have been meeting with community leaders to discover their ideas about living a meaningful life,” says Hillel Co-Principal Dr. Kathy Mecoli. “Having worked with DCDC last year, the students are excited to meet Mr. Koresh and learn how his experiences and culture inform his choreography.” “It will be wonderful,” Koresh says about the visit. DCDC presents Revisioning 45: New Works Unveiled on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 9 at 3 p.m. at the Victoria Theatre. Tickets are available at or 228-3630.


World Harmony Sunday, February 9 3:30-4:30PM @ South Smithville Center (2745 S Smithville Rd. Dayton 45420)

Marvel at the performance art our kids have crafted with the guidance of the Muse Machine’s wonderful instructors. COST: $10 per adult, $5 per child 6 and up, children under 5 get in for free RSVP: Karen Steiger, 937-610-1555,

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Onstage, area colleges explore life after the Shoah By Marc Katz Special To The Observer Two college theatre productions dealing with Holocaust themes come to area stages this month, plumbing coincidental learning experiences for both performers and audiences. In addition to training theatre students and entertaining audiences, these productions — Wright State’s The Magic Fire by Lillian Groag and Sinclair’s A Shayna Maidel by Barbara Lebow — contain educational themes as well. “For me as a director, the thing that captivated me about the play (The Magic Fire) is it is so intensely rich with ideas,” said Lee Merrill Hapner, director of the play at WSU. “I see the capacity of theatre to change people, to challenge them…provoke them; not merely entertain them. But to shake them up and make them pay attention. And make them wake up and transform them.” Because Hapner is also in a university setting, she doesn’t want to waste the opportunities for learning, especially with the play she has, involving a family that escaped the Nazis in Europe and ends up in Argentina, where the fascist Peron dictatorship has taken over. A boy, trying to get away, wants the newly-arrived European family to take him in. It is the bystander dilemma all over again. “Oh my gosh, yes,” Hapner said when asked if there was a learning component beyond theatre, “about ideas and the world. We invested the first two weeks (in play preparation) talking

about (events in the play). These kids don’t know anything about opera, and there’s all the historical references. It’s no longer a world about McDonalds and blue jeans and hip hop. “The play invites you into caring about something more than what is familiar in this tiny, tiny little world that we live in,” Hapner said. “That’s not only the function of theatre in an educational institution, but the function of theatre in our society.” The Magic Fire begins with the central family, the Bergs, listening to a bit of Puccini’s Tosca, which is never explained, but deals with a political prisoner fleeing from a repressive government in Italy in the year 1800. There are also references to Wagner’s operas throughout the play. Even though Wagner died in the 19th century, he was a favorite of the Nazis, who particularly delighted in his anti-Jewish writings. “It’s a very complex play,” Hapner said. She helped choose the production from a pile of plays WSU Theatre Department Chair W. Stuart McDowell handed her more than a year ago. “The one on top,” he said, “now this one should have won a Pulitzer Prize.” For Gina Neuerer, director of theatre at Sinclair, it had been eight years since the community college put on a play with a Holocaust theme. It was time to visit that emotional historic black hole again. “We have a rotation of the types of plays we offer,” Neuerer said. “We want to make sure we’re dealing with diver-

‘They’re not just in a, they’re deeply involved.’

Jennifer Smith (L) and Leah Mikesell in Sinclair Community College’s A Shayna Maidel

The cast of The Magic Fire at Wright State rehearses a scene

sity, the social issues. “It’s important to our kids and our audience to be exposed to that. We do a lot of docudramas.” Sinclair has produced The Laramie Project, The Women of Lockerbie, and now wants to do that with A Shayna Maidel. “We try to make sure we’re doing plays that have this dramaturgical approach to them,” Neuerer said, “where our students are going to learn something about history.” A Shayna Maidel (Yiddish for a pretty girl) is about two sisters who grew up apart: one escaping Europe prior to the Nazi takeover, the other left behind. After the war, they reunite for the first time in 20 years, with completely different experiences. To ensure the learning experience, Neuerer and director Kimberly Borst took the cast (four students, a teacher and local actor Saul Caplan) to The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education on the campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati. Sinclair Theatre, in partnership with Sinclair’s Holocaust Remembrance Committee, will present three exhibits about the Holocaust and a cast panel discussion during the run of the show (see sidebar). “They’re not just in a play,” Neuerer said. “They’re not just reading it in a textbook, not just taking a class about it. Now, they’re deeply involved.” Borst said it’s important to put research into every play. “It’s important for (the students) to know whose story they’re telling,” she said. “They’re very aware of what they’re telling, even though they didn’t know much about it before. It’s very powerful.”

Wright State University Theatre presents The Magic Fire, Jan. 30-Feb. 9 in the Festival Playhouse. Call 775-2500. Sinclair Community College presents A Shayna Maidel, Feb. 7-15 in the Black Box Theatre, Fourth Floor, Building 2. Call 512-2808 or go to tickets.

Related programs at Sinclair

In conjunction with Sinclair Theatre’s production of A Shayna Maidel, Sinclair Theatre and Sinclair’s Holocaust Remembrance Committee will present three Holocaust-related exhibits and a panel discussion during the run of the show. • A Shayna Maidel cast and director will discuss their Holocaust research and its impact. Thursday, Jan. 30, 12:30 p.m. in Blair Hall, First Floor, Building 2. • Her Story Must Be Told: Women’s Voices from the Holocaust presents the memories, photos and stories of 15 Jewish women who survived the Holocaust. An exhibit from the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education in Cincinnati. • Bystander to Upstander addresses examples of bystanders who remained silent in the face of Nazi persecution and genocide, and explores the motivation of ‘upstanders’, those who spoke out against the Nazis. An exhibit from the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education in Cincinnati. • Digital presentation of photos depicting concentration camps then and now, by Amanda Hayden, assistant professor in religion, philosophy and humanities, and Sinclair coordinator of religion.



Developing and Encouraging Life-long Independent Learners and Thinkers within a Pluralistic Judaic Environment. The Hillel Academy Students Experience and Engage in: • Professional art and science residency programs • Project-based learning connected to community and civic issues • Critical thinking and leadership skill development

• Hebrew Language immersion through the Tal Am Program fostering an aptitude toward language proficiency for all language acquisition Hillel provides an excellent foundation for students to thrive in all of their future academic and personal endeavors and pursuits. (Hillel students receive preference for Sinai scholarships at Miami Valley Upper School!)

Did You Know? – Hillel has been around for over 50 years! The numbers of students attending the school has doubled in the past two years. Currently accepting applications for the 2014-15 school year. Explore the Possibilities...

Contact Dan or Kathy Mecoli | (937) 277-8966 | PAGE 40


The Dayton Jewish Observer, February 2014  

The Dayton, Ohio area's Jewish monthly