The Dayton Jewish Observer, February 2015

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The New Year of the Trees p. 23 February 2015 Shevat/Adar 5775 Vol. 19, No. 6

Published by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton

The Miami Valley’s Jewish Monthly • Online at Matthieu Alexandre/AFP/Getty Images

The future of Jewry in France

weddings 28

Nisman death a mystery



Argentine Prosecutor Alberto Nisman

Adderall tragedy

Address Service Requested

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


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives a speech during a ceremony at the Grand Synagogue in Paris, Jan. 11, for all the victims of the attacks in Paris in January, which claimed 17 lives

Friendship Village Retirement Community

You’re Invited To our next monthly Friday Night Shabbat featuring a traditional Shabbat dinner with all your favorites.

Program led by Joe Bettman

Friday, Feb. 27, 5 p.m. In The Atrium Dining Room

Friday Night Shabbat is $10 per person. R.S.V.P. to 837-5581 Ext 1274.

Chili Cook Off

Tuesday, Feb 17, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Try 14 different kinds of chili! Try one or all, then vote for your favorite. Each vote is $1.00, with all proceeds going to the American Heart Association.

Join our Alzheimer’s Support Group Wednesday, Feb. 18, 5:30-6:30 p.m. We meet the third Wednesday of each month in our conference room near the Coffee House. Please enter at Door 18. For more information, call Pam Hall, 837-5581 ext. 1269.


PJ Library events celebrate little ones Last year yielded a bumper crop of each other. babies to Dayton’s Jewish community “We’d like the families of these babies — at least 18 by the Jewish Federation’s to meet, begin creating connections to count. one another, and we’d like to get a group To celebrate this miniportrait that will be a great population explosion — and keepsake,” she says. to connect young Jewish chilA national program of the dren and their families across Harold Grinspoon Foundathe Dayton area — the Jewish tion with local support from Federation and its PJ Library Marcia and Ed Kress and the program will host two events Jewish Federation, PJ Library on Sunday, Feb. 15 at Run provides families raising Around Fun Town. Jewish children with a free At 10 a.m., the Federation monthly Jewish book or CD. will present the PJ Library Children from the age of Shalom Babies Brunch for the six months through 8 years Marc Rossio newest members of the comreceive the items by mail to munity and their families. introduce them to core Jewish values. Beginning at 11 a.m., all children Run Around Fun Town is located and families are invited to attend the PJ at 1218 E. Stroop Rd., Kettering. Both Library Shayna Punim Party with musi- events are free. cian Marc Rossio and storyteller CharTo R.S.V.P. for the Shalom Babies lette Jouan from Washington-Centerville Brunch and the Shayna Punim Party (by Public Library. Feb. 8) or to enroll in the PJ Library proFederation’s campaign events manag- gram, call Segalewitz at 401-1558. er, Caryl Segalewitz, says the idea is for ­— Marshall Weiss young, Jewish families to get to know

Community Tu B’Shevat eco seder Temple Israel and the Jewish Federation will present Nuts About Green: A Community Tu B’Shevat Celebration on Sunday, Feb. 8 at 11:30 a.m. at Temple Israel, 130 Riverside Dr., Dayton. The Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shevat marks the new year for the trees in Israel. The program will present a family-friendly In December, members of the confirmation classes at Temple Beth Or and Temple Israel participated in the Reform Action Center’s L’Taken Social Justice Seminar in Washington, D.C. Shown here (L to R): Temple Beth Or’s Rabbi Judy Chessin, Danielle De La Cruz, Skyler Miller, Adam Guadalupe, Merrie Mollenhauer, Temple Israel’s Rabbi Karen Bodney-Halasz, Molly Buchanan, Sara Pierce, Aaron Dickstein, Rachel Taylor, Abigail Dickstein, Bryce Lindsay, Jack Nicholaisen, Emma Pickard, and Gabrielle Frost.

Jewish Federation CEO Cathy Gardner (standing) teaches a JCC mah jongg class for beginners, at the Boonshoft Center for Jewish Culture and Education in Centerville. Shown here with Gardner (Clockwise from L) are participants Ginger Moss, Amy Bloom, Terra Omni, Audrey MacKenzie, Jackie Davis, and Gabriele Leventhal. The class is held on Tuesdays, 1-2:30 p.m., through March 3.

Join our Diabetic Support Group Tuesday, Feb. 10, 10:30 a.m. & 6 p.m. (2nd Tuesday each mo.) with Gem City Home Care Certified Diabetes Educator Mara Lamb. Friendship Village For more information call Pam Hall, 837-5581 ext. 1269. 7 a.m. - 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Located directly inside the Atrium entrance. Stop in & join us for a cup of coffee & Friendship Village Hospitality.


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

Call Pam Hall today for details

937-837-5581 Ext 1269

The coffee shop is open for area Seniors to come enjoy FREE coffee, conversation, socialization, and the Friendship hospitality! Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 Monday thru Friday

5790 Denlinger Road, Dayton, OH 45426 • PAGE 2

farm-to-table seder lunch, sessions to learn about the origins of the holiday, and the University of Dayton RiverMobile, a traveling exhibit that highlights the Great Miami River watershed. The cost for lunch is $5; all learning sessions are free. R.S.V.P. to Temple Israel at 496-0050.

The Coffee House is located just inside the Atrium entrance at Door 18. Watch for the Friendship Coffee House sign. FRIENDSHIP VILLAGE

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Leshon Ima......................................27

Calendar of Events....................20


Family Education.........................25

O b i t u a r i e s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26



Kve l l i n g Co r n e r. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 1

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Beth Jacob to test rabbinic waters permissible in Orthodox congreBy Marshall Weiss gations. The Observer According to Halcomb, it has After more than a year and a half without a rabbi, Beth Jacob been a challenge to find rabbis willing to lead the synagogue’s Congregation has announced Traditional services. that Rabbi Adam Rosenthal Rosenthal, whose father is of Cincinnati will serve as its a Conservative rabbi, grew up rabbi-in-residence for three Shabbat weekends in February, mainly in Southern California. He received his Conservative March and April. rabbinic ordination in 2007 from “We decided to start with three months, and then review,” the Jewish Theological Seminary and is now pursusaid Helen Halcomb, ing his Ph.D. in medichair of Beth Jacob’s eval Jewish history and rabbi search commitliterature at Hebrew tee and secretary of the Union College-Jewish Beth Jacob board. “I’m Institute of Religion, excited because we’ve the seminary of the gone through — how Reform movement, in many years without Cincinnati. anybody? And it’s a He also teaches huge burden on the Rabbi Adam undergraduate classes religious committee to Rosenthal at the University of conduct services on a Dayton; in the fall he taught regular basis.” Introduction to Judaism, and For the first program, now teaches two sections of a Rosenthal will lead Shabbat services on Friday evening, Feb. Holocaust course. “I know they’ve been look27 followed by a catered dinner. ing off and on for a rabbi for a Rosenthal will also lead Shabbat services on Saturday, Feb. 28 couple of years,” Rosenthal said beginning at 9:30 a.m. followed of Beth Jacob. “I spoke to them a by a kiddush lunch and a class. few years ago because people in Cincinnati had told me, ‘You’d The rabbi will return to Beth be perfect for the job, given Jacob over the weekends of your own religious proclivities.’ March 27-28 and April 24-25. I’m traditional but liberal. I’m Beth Jacob is not affiliflexible.” ated with a particular Jewish Rosenthal said it didn’t work movement but identifies itself out then because Beth Jacob as Traditional in practice, a sought a full-time rabbi. When non-egalitarian movement to Halcomb approached him rethe religious left of Orthodoxy cently, he offered to help out on but to the right of egalitarian a limited basis. Conservative Judaism. “It seems it’s a mutuallyAlthough only men lead services at Beth Jacob and count agreeable plan for now,” said Rosenthal, who will lead servictoward a minyan — a quorum es at Beth Jacob in accordance for public prayers — there is with Traditional practice. mixed seating, a practice not

Gap Bark Mitzvah Boy in Israel The Year

Thoughts from Netanya Home to French-Jewish expats


First they came for the cartoonists. Then they came for the Jews . . . c O 2015 Menachem

He said he’s comfortable attending Reform and Conservative services on occasion in Cincinnati but “the majority of the time, on Shabbat and holidays, we go to a modern Orthodox synagogue. We’re kind of all over the map, and my family’s comfortable with that.” Halcomb described the move as taking baby steps, “because everybody has to make sure it’s a good thing to do.” Since 2011, Beth Jacob has only had one year with a rabbi leading programs and services. Rabbi Hillel Fox took a oneyear sabbatical from July 2011 to 2012. At the end of the sabbatical, the board didn’t renew his 10-year contract. Fox was followed by Rabbi Martin Applebaum, whose one-year contract also wasn’t renewed. Then, after little more than a week at the synagogue, in August 2013, Beth Jacob’s officers dismissed Rabbi Martin Shorr before he could sign a planned one-year contract. Shorr has filed a lawsuit in Montgomery County against his previous employer, Temple Hadar Israel in New Castle, Pa., and Hadar Israel Board Member Bruce Waldman, claiming they interfered with his contract and employment at Beth Jacob. Unless it is settled or dismissed, the trial is set for June 22. After Beth Jacob’s officers resigned en masse at the end of 2013, Joe Litvin stepped up to serve a one-year term as Beth Jacob’s president for 2014. Litvin has now completed that term. Halcomb said no one has agreed to serve as Beth Jacob’s next board president yet.

From the editor’s desk This one is from the “wouldyou-believe-it” file. There is now a Birthright Israel-type of trip for newlyweds. In April, Honeymoon Israel, a new non-profit, will begin providMarshall ing nine-day trips to Israel for Weiss groups of couples from the same city. The heavily-subsidized cost is $1,500 per couple. According to the organization’s website,, couples must have at least one Jewish partner, be between the ages of 25 and 40, and be “within the first five years of their committed relationship.” At least one member of the couple must be a first-time visitor to Israel on an organized trip, and it’s open to LGBT couples. It’s all legit, the brainchild of Mike Wise, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo; and Avi Rubel, former North American director of Masa Israel Journey. Do you think there should be a trip from Dayton? Go to their website and let them know!

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




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After attack, spike in emigration could deplete France’s Jewish community Eliaou Zenou/JAFI


  Celebrate the 30th Anniversary Of Temple Beth Or and Our Founding Rabbi, Judy Chessin

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It is not too late for Reservations and/or Donations.


Contributors Dr. Rachel Zohar Dulin Rachel Haug Gilbert Rabbi Haviva Horvitz Candace R. Kwiatek Mark Mietkiewicz Advertising Sales Executive Patty Caruso,


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Editor and Publisher Marshall Weiss 937-853-0372

Proofreaders Karen Bressler, Rachel Haug Gilbert, Joan Knoll, Pamela Schwartz Billing Jeri Kay Eldeen, 937-853-0372 Observer Advisor Martin Gottlieb

An aliyah information fair hosted by The Jewish Agency for Israel on Jan. 11 in Paris, days after a series of terror attacks in that city. The fair was planned before the attacks took place.

By Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA PARIS — Taken alone, the attack on the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket near Paris is nothing that French Jews haven’t seen before. Arguably, the 2012 attack that caught the Toulouse community unprepared was more traumatic because children were killed. And the 1982 attack on the Goldenberg Jewish restaurant in Paris was deadlier than January’s attack and involved more assailants. Yet the deadly hostage siege at Hyper Cacher, which came amid a dramatic increase in attacks on French Jews, may nonetheless be the watershed moment that changes the community’s dynamics for the foreseeable future. That’s because it compounds the problems that are already depleting the community’s ranks. “These events are having such a profound effect because they target people who go to synagogue and eat kosher — the group that in France is simultaneously the beating heart of the community and the population likeliest to leave for Israel because of its Zionist attachment,” said Avi Zana, director of the Israel-based Ami Israel association, which facilitates aliyah (Jewish immigration to Israel) from France. France has Europe’s largest Jewish community, with anywhere from 500,000 to 600,000 members. Most live in Paris and are Sephardic, and about half belong to some Jewish social or religious framework. Community life is robust, and the country has hundreds of Jewish schools. But a number of coinciding factors — including attacks by Islamists with combat experience gained in the Middle East, the French far right’s rising popularity, economic stagnation and an increase in taxation — is creating record levels of Jewish immigration to Israel and elsewhere. Last year, a record number of French Jews — more than 7,000, twice as many as the previous year and three times as many as in 2012 — moved to Israel. Before the Jan. 9 attack on Hyper Cacher, where an Islamist killed four Jews, the Jewish Agency estimated that 2015 would bring 10,000 French Jews to Israel. But the attack will require a reassessment, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky told Continued on next page

Published by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton Judy Abromowitz President David Pierce President Elect Melinda Doner Vice Pres. Mary Rita Weissman Vice Pres. Bruce Feldman Vice Pres. Cathy Gardner CEO The Dayton Jewish Observer, Vol. 19, 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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THE WORLD Continued from previous page Jan. 13, Joel Mergui, president chi said. “Others left for safer JTA. Moshe Sebbag, the rabbi of of French Jewry’s religious afareas around Paris.” fairs organ, the Consistoire, said the Grand Synagogue of Paris, In light of this phenomenon children are likewise frightsaid he expected 15,000 French generally, Chlomik Zenouda, ened. newcomers to Israel this year. vice president of France’s “It is hard to describe how The rise in French aliyah National Bureau for Vigilance afraid our children are to go to — Hebrew for immigrating to Against Antisemitism, said, Jewish schools in France,” he Israel under its law of return “The community will need said. for Jews — can be tied at least strong leaders who will know Some Paris Jews are feeling in part to last summer, when how to downsize the commuseveral French synagogues and the aliyah-related depletion alnity’s institutions and basically ready in their own synagogues, shut it down.” Jewish shops were attacked including Bernard Mouchi, during demonstrations against Meanwhile, the accumulation president of the the Gaza war. of French-speaking Jews in IsJewish commu“We may well ‘It is hard to rael is creating a snowball effect nity of Coursee 30,000 Jews because it is drawing newcomdescribe how neuve — an imfrom that group ers to join friends and family afraid our children poverished and who left while reassuring them leave for Israel in the coming are to go to Jewish heavily Muslim of a social infrastructure that of Paris. three years, and would facilitate their absorpschools in France.’ suburb “Fifteen years tion, according to Karin Amit, that would mean ago this was the departure of a researcher with the Ruppin 15 to 20 percent of the affiliated a large Jewish community of Academic Center’s Institute for over 1,000 families,” he told community,” Zana said. “This Immigration and Social Integrahas the potential, unfortunately, JTA at his synagogue, where 30 tion who has studied French men congregated on Saturday of considerably weakening aliyah. evening, Jan. 12 under police some of the community’s insti“There seems to be a momenprotection. “Now there are 100 tutions. The community needs tum for aliyah that is fueling families, and we are actually a to prepare for it.” itself in a way within the Jewish community of pensioners.” Daniel Benhaim, the Jewish community of France,” said “Many made aliyah,” MouAgency’s chief envoy to France, Amit. Hadas Parush/Flash90 speaks of 50,000 Jews who are expected to move to Israel by 2024. “In an affiliated community of 200,000, that’s already a critical mass whose departure will deeply impact the internal dynamics remaining community,” he said, referring to Jews who are somewhat observant and attend Jewish institutions. In parallel to the increase in aliyah, there has been in recent years an increase in emigration by French Jews to Canada and the United States, Zana said. “There are not statistics on that movement, but it is definitely significantly smaller than New French immigrants to Israel seen during a welcome ceremony at the movement to Israel,” he the Ramada Hotel in Jerusalem, July 17, 2014 added. Schools are a major concern pushing Jewish parents to make aliyah, according to Zana. “On the one hand, parents increasingly are apprehensive about enrolling their children in public schools because of rampant antisemitism there,” he said. “On the other, they are KEVIN A. BRESSLER, CFP®, MBA afraid to put them in Jewish Financial Advisor schools because they are targets CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner for attacks. So Israel seems like • 29 years of experience a good choice.” Yvan Lellouche, a Jewish • Ameriprise Hall of Fame grandfather who is seeking • Ameriprise Exceptional Client to make aliyah in the coming Satisfaction Award, 2014 months, told JTA that he fears 10050 Innovation Drive, Ste 310 for the 15 children from his Miamisburg, OH 45342-4933 extended family who attend 937.312.8008 a Jewish school near Hyper Cacher. “Every minute they are there, I fear for their safety. I fear for CA Insurance: #0823959 my safety as well,” he said. Speaking at the Knesset on

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French Jewry 101: From Rashi to Dreyfus to Hyper Cacher By Gabrielle Birkner, JTA The Jan. 9 deadly hostage siege at a kosher supermarket in Paris has French Jews (and some non-Jews) proclaiming Je suis juif, or I am Jewish, in solidarity with the four people killed in the attack. Who are the Jews of France? Here’s a primer.

How many Jews are there in France?

About 500,000, the most of any European nation and more than any other country in the world except for Israel and the United States. How does that compare to other faith groups in the country? France is home to some 66 million people; about 80 percent of them are Catholic. There are also between 5 million and 6 million Muslims, with many tracing their roots back to the Maghreb, sub-Saharan Africa and Turkey.

Where do Jews live in France?

Paris and its suburbs mostly, home to as many as 350,000 Jews. The Marais, in Paris’ 3rd and 4th districts, is the city’s historic Jewish neighborhood. It remains home to many kosher shops and eateries, synagogues and religious schools. But the trendy quarter — known today for its fashion


Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images Jews arrived from those boutiques, gay culture and pricey real estate — is much newly independent countries less of a Jewish residential in the 1950s and 1960s, and neighborhood than it once this largely Sephardic populawas. tion is widely credited with Jews today live throughout reviving religious Judaism in Paris, but particularly in the France after the Holocaust. affluent 17th district, the more working-class 19th and 20th What happened to districts, and increasingly the French Jews during the lively 11th and 12th districts. Holocaust? Hyper Cacher, where FriThe Nazi German military day’s deadly hostage siege occupied northern France, took place, is situated in the including Paris, from 1940 to 12th district, on Paris’ east1944. In the southern “free ern edge. The suburbs of zone,” the Vichy French state Sarcelles to the north of the was nominally neutral but city, Saint-Mande to the east, actually was a puppet of Nazi Creteil to the southeast, and People gather outside the kosher supermarket Hyper Cacher as Germany. During the war, Neuilly-sur-Seine, a wealthy Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pays his respect to the some 76,000 Jews from France victims of recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Jan. 12 residential neighborhood to — including about 11,000 the west of the city, also have children — were sent to Nazi though it wasn’t until 1791 that French significant Jewish populations. death camps. Most of them died at Jews were granted full citizenship. In addition, there are about 80,000 Auschwitz, but 2,500 survived. By 1945, Jews in the southern French city of Mar- (Rashi, the famed Talmud scholar and some 235,000 Jews remained in France. commentator, lived in 11th-century seilles, and sizable Jewish communities in Lyon, Toulouse, Nice and Strasbourg, France.) What are France’s most France absorbed more than 100,000 according to Toni Kamins, the author of influential Jewish institutions Central and Eastern European Jews flee- today? The Complete Jewish Guide to France. ing persecution in the years leading up The Consistoire, which dates back to to World War II. Today, however, most How did Jews get to France? Napoleonic times, oversees a network of Jews living in France have roots in MoJews have had a presence in the some 500 synagogues and religious sites, rocco, Algeria and Tunisia. Some 235,000 such as cemeteries and mikvahs. The country at least since the Middle Ages,


THE WORLD The general increase in antisemitic incidents — in addition to several high-profile attacks such as the 2006 kidnapping and murder of Ilan Halimi, the deadly 2012 shooting at a Jewish school in Toulouse, and firebombings of synagogues and Jewish businesses during last summer’s Gaza war — has created a more insular Jewish community, according to Simone Rodan-Benzaquen, the American Jewish Committee’s Paris director. “I think, to some extent, for a generation of young people, they are less and less comfortable with their general French secular identity, so their Jewish identity is more important,” Rodan-Benzaquen said, noting that Jews are increasingly choosing Jewish schools over public schools for their children. The majority of French Jews vote for the center-right and center-left parties. However, a small but growing minority of Jews, fearing antisemitic violence at the hands of France’s Muslim community, have embraced the far-right National Front. Though its current leader, Marine Le Pen, has put a more moderate face on the National Front, her father — the party’s founder — has been convicted of Holocaust denial and once referred to the gas chambers as a “detail” of history.

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Consistoire, which Remind me, has a number of what was the local affiliates, also Dreyfus Affair manages kashrut all about? certifications and In 1894, Alfred elects the country’s Dreyfus, a Jewish chief rabbi. The French army capmajority of Jewtain, was convicted ish congregations of treason in a case in France — and that many considall of those under ered even at the the auspices of the time to be a miscarCapt. Alfred Dreyfus Consistoire — are riage of justice. The Orthodox, though French writer Emile there is also a smaller number Zola came to the captain’s of Reform and Masorti (Conser- defense with a famous open vative) synagogues in France. letter titled J’accuse, in which he The CRIF, the Council of accused the French government Jewish Institutions of France, is of targeting Dreyfus because he a national federation of dozens was Jewish. Publicly stripped of Jewish groups, including of his rank as thousands of philanthropies, social services Parisians called for his death, organizations and professional Dreyfus was imprisoned for associations. The organization several years on Devil’s Island. works to fight antisemitism and In 1899, Dreyfus was pardoned other forms of intolerance, often by the French president and closely with political leaders. released, and in 1906 a military Supporting Israel and promotcommission officially exonering a peaceful two-state soluated him. tion are also among its stated priorities. How are French Jews The UEJF, France’s Jewish responding to the Student Union, represents the current surge in French interests of 15,000 Jewish colantisemitism? lege students. The organization, Last year, more than 7,000 founded in 1944, is active in French Jews left for Israel, social justice issues, Israel adwhich is more than triple the vocacy and efforts to promote number who made aliyah the coexistence, and it offers meetprevious year. That comes on ups and travel opportunities for the heels of a 91 percent yearJewish students. over-year increase in antiFrance also has more than semitic incidents and a spike in 700 Jewish schools. violent antisemitic attacks.


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In Brussels, Jewish security professionals train for next attack prompted to respond to some of the By Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA situations that often occur in the wake BRUSSELS — Seventy-two hours of an attack. One drill dealt with hanafter a deadly attack on a kosher sudling callers who gloat, threaten or give permarket in Paris, dozens of Jewish false reports directly after an attack. community officials from across Europe Another aimed to prepare responders to were operating a hectic situation room deal sensitively with distraught relaat a hotel in the Belgian capital. tives, even though urgent demands for But crisis managers and community leaders were not dealing with the horror information sometimes obstruct efforts to obtain that same information. unfolding 200 miles away in the French “Sadly, none of the people here need capital. to use their imagination,” said Arie Rather, they were preparing for Zuckerman, who has overseen the the next crisis situation, playing out a SACC project since its inception. “This practice scenario with multiple casualis a compilation of variations on situties at a Jewish facility somewhere in ations that occurred in recent years in Europe. Staffers were training to handle the deluge of queries, pleas, disinforma- communities across Europe.” Moshe Kantor, the president of the tion and even threats that often follow European Jewish Congress, initiated the attacks on Jewish facilities. SACC project in 2012 in response to the It was said to be the first pan-Euroattack on the Otzar Hatorah school in pean simulation of its kind and was the Toulouse, after which some claimed the latest step in a plan by the European grief-stricken community was caught Jewish Congress’ Security and Crisis unprepared. The school had security Centre, or SACC, after the killing last year of four people at a Jewish school in cameras but no one monitoring the video feed. The school had no guard Toulouse, France. in place when the killer, Mohammed The drill aimed to prepare communibegan shooting. ties to manage the consequenc‘We cannot Merah, Ensuring a coordinated Eues of the terrorist threats on a ropean response, Kantor said, continent with nearly nonexis- rely solely is a “basic duty.” In a meettent national borders and vast on our ing with Federica Mogherini, disparities in law-enforcement security the European Union’s foreign and crisis-management standards. on police.’ relations and security chief, Kantor said he will demand a “Unlike France or Germany EU-wide approach to defending Jewish or Austria, we have no known jihadist security. groups,” said Petr Papousek, president “When the EU wanted to tackle the of the Federation of Jewish Communidrug trade, it set up a pan-European ties in the Czech Republic. “But that agency for it because this was the only doesn’t mean we’re not exposed to that effective policy,” Kantor said. “It should risk when Prague is a two-hour train do the same with antisemitism.” ride away from Vienna.” The effectiveness of a coordinated The drill comes as many French Jews, response was demonstrated last year reeling from the attack Jan. 9 that killed during the deadly attack on the Jewfour at a kosher supermarket, have ish Museum of Belgium, Zuckerman publicly questioned whether public said. The defendant standing trial for authorities are capable of ensuring their security. On Jan. 12, thousands of French the killings, Mehdi Nemmouche, is a French national who was caught with soldiers and police were dispatched to protect the country’s 700 Jewish schools. an automatic weapon several days later in Marseille, home to France’s secondTo Pascal Markowicz, a board largest Jewish community. member of the CRIF umbrella group of “Within a few minutes, a situation French Jewish communities, the drill room was up and running and alerts reflected a perceived need for European went out to all European communities Jews to develop their own tools to deal that a killer was on the loose,” Zuckerwith security threats. In the absence of man said. those tools, Markowicz said there could The response of Belgian authorities, be widespread panic leading to mass on the other hand, was less than exememigration. plary, Kantor said. Following the attack “This morning, four children did not on the museum, which had no permashow up to my son’s Jewish school, nent police protection, the Belgian govwhich is situated a few hundred yards ernment pledged to allocate more than from where four Jews were murdered $4 million for security around Jewish on Jan. 9, because their parents were institutions. More than six months later afraid to send them there,” Markowicz the money has not yet arrived. said. “When even after a terrorist attack “We cannot rely solely on our security the Belgian government still does not on police,” he added. “We need to take keep its promises to fund and beef up our own measures, which need to be security on communities, this is a scarlet pan-European if they are to be effecletter and a major lacuna that needs to tive.” be addressed immediately,” Kantor said. In the situation room, staffers were PAGE 8



After Paris, reassessing how nations thwart attacks

Miriam Alster/Flash90

save the date

Mourners seen carrying one of the bodies for burial during the funeral ceremony at Jerusalem’s HarHaMenuchot cemetery for the four Jewish victims in Paris’ Hyper Cacher terror attack, Jan. 13

By Ron Kampeas, JTA WASHINGTON — These are the lessons of the Paris attacks for American Jews and U.S. law enforcement: Keep calm and cooperate. Enhanced communication between governments has been a key element of America’s counterterrorism successes since 9/11, experts say, and more is planned in the wake of January’s attacks in France that left 17 dead. President Obama has announced that Washington will host a summit on Feb. 18 aimed at improving communications between nations that are would-be targets of terrorists. The U.S. secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, has also outlined plans for better cooperation across national police forces and among U.S. law enforcement agencies to identify terrorist threats. “Together with our colleagues in the U.S. law enforcement and intelligence communities, this department will continue its efforts to partner with the governments of France and other key counterterrorism allies to share information about terrorist threats and individuals of suspicion,” Johnson said in a statement. “We will recommit to these engagements.” Information sharing between the U.S. and European governments suffered somewhat after the 2013 revelations by Edward Snowden, the rogue ex-National Security Agency employee who publicized classified information showing that the United States routinely spied on its allies. “U.S. authorities have been in discussion with counterparts in Europe, but the post-Snowden environment has impeded information sharing,” said John Cohen, a senior adviser to the Rutgers University Institute for Emergency

Preparedness and Homeland Security and until last year a senior counterterrorism coordinator at the Department of Homeland Security. “I suspect that (the France attacks) will change that environment and lead to better information sharing,” Cohen said. “We have to in a robust way enhance the sharing of information between European nations and the United States.” In France, following the attacks on a satirical weekly and kosher supermarket, and the shooting of a police officer, there were renewed calls for a French version of the U.S. Patriot Act, which facilitated information gathering after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Cherif and Said Kouachi, the two brothers who attacked the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, reportedly received weapons training in Yemen, had declared their allegiance to alQaida and were on no-fly lists. Amedy Coulibaly, the captor who took hostages and killed four at the kosher supermarket Hyper Cacher, also reportedly was known to U.S. security officials. French authorities are still seeking six accomplices in the attacks, French reports said, suggesting that the captors may have belonged to a larger terrorist cell. One of the threats that most concerns Western security agencies are the Western fighters who go to Middle East battlegrounds for training and experience and then return to their home countries. A study published in January by the Brookings Institution says there are about 4,000 European fighters in Syria. U.S. officials have said 100 U.S. citizens have fought for the Islamic State, the jihadist group also known Continued on next page

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Thwarting attacks

Continued from previous page as ISIS to which Coulibaly pledged allegiance. Paul Goldenberg, who directs security for the U.S. Jewish community, said that sharing information on returning fighters is frustrated by the fact that Europe represents an array of sovereign nations, each with its own security practices but with open borders. European Union regulations on data sharing are complex and replete with restrictions arising out of privacy concerns. The 10 pages of regulations governing the sharing of telecommunications data, for instance, allow member countries to retain data obtained from other countries for no more than two years. Goldenberg said terrorist sleepers often remain inactive for periods longer than two years. “These terrorist groups are very patient and methodical,” he said. Potential terrorists can travel easily through Europe’s open borders. Mehdi Nemmouche, the suspect in the killing of four people in an attack on the Brussels Jewish museum in May, was known to French authorities and had been flagged by Germany upon his return from fighting in Syria, but Belgian authorities were unaware of his presence. Goldenberg, whose Secure Community Network is funded by the Jewish Federations of

North America, said the training evident in the Paris attacks portended better planned attacks, even by “lone wolves” who act on their own but have undergone training in the Middle East. “Everyone is trying to figure out what we do to stop a wellplanned terrorist operation against a Jewish center,” said Goldenberg, who was in Paris meeting with Jewish leaders when the kosher supermarket attack took place on Jan. 9. “There were armed guards at Charlie who were executed.” As for the Jewish community, many best practices remain the same even after the Paris attacks, Goldenberg said, including training Jewish community professional and lay leaders in lockdowns and spotting suspicious behavior. Jewish communities need more such people, he said. Another key element is making sure that faith communities and law enforcement are in close coordination. In the Jewish community, that may mean authorities and community leaders keep in close contact about any suspicious behavior at or around Jewish sites. In Muslim communities, that might mean monitoring fighters returning from the Middle East who embed in those communities. Such coordination is com-

Potential terrorists can travel easily through Europe’s open borders.

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monplace in the United States but has been inhibited in Europe by mistrust among minorities of law enforcement and by a reluctance among some authorities to be seen as profiling religious communities. The Brookings study emphasized the importance of engaging Muslim communities and not alienating them. “The goal should be to move potential terrorists towards non-violence; since many are in that category already, hounding them with the threat of arrest or otherwise creating a sense of alienation can backfire,” it said. “In the past, family and community members have at times been successful in steering returned fighters toward a different path, even getting them to inform on their former comrades.” Jeremy Shapiro, one of the authors of the Brookings study, said domestic security agencies’ focus on foreign fighters distracts from the overall goal of anticipating mass attacks — many of which have nothing to do with classic terrorism. “We have had 74 school shootings in the 18 months after Sandy Hook,” he said, referring to the December 2012 massacre of 26 schoolchildren and teachers in Connecticut by a lone gunman. “The foreign fighters thing has nothing to do with that.” With such attacks notoriously difficult to anticipate because of the challenge of assessing when mentally ill individuals are true threats, U.S. law enforcement has made a priority of tracking individuals known to have terrorist ties. Last July, the Transport Security Agency enhanced security at U.S. points of entry and overseas points of departure. Now, said Homeland Security’s Johnson, he is considering further enhancements. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told the CBS news program Face the Nation that lone wolf attacks are one of his great sources of concern. “It’s something that frankly keeps me up at night worrying about the lone wolf, or a group of people, very small group of people who decide to get arms on their own and do what we saw in France this week,” he said.

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Nisman death mystery: Hezbollah, Argentine gov’t fingered in death of AMIA prosecutor

might get out of this dead.” On Jan. 18, the guards assigned to protect Nisman said evidence. The case collapsed, Kirchner. By the night of Jan. 18, But an unnamed senior Israe- they hadn’t been able to reach By Uriel Heilman, JTA the police were acquitted, night, thousands had gathered li security source confirmed to him by telephone, and his The mysterious death of and Galiano eventually was outside the presidential palace Reuters that Israel was behind newspaper still lay untouched Argentine prosecutor Alberto removed from the case and to protest Nisman’s death, with the strike but said it wasn’t outside his apartment door. His Nisman seems ripped straight impeached. some holding aloft signs readmeant to target a senior Iranian mother was called and came out of a crime thriller. When Nisman took over, he ing “Cristina murderer.” The general. with her spare key, but the Nisman — the indefatigable launched a new, more profeshashtag #CFKAsesina — Kirch“We did not expect the lock was jammed with the key prosecutor collecting evidence ner’s initials and the Spanish outcome in terms of the stature stuck in the other side. After a of culpability in the 1994 bomb- sional investigation. In 2006, he formally charged Iran and word assassin — is one of the of those killed — certainly not locksmith opened the door, Nising of the AMIA Jewish center Hezbollah for the attack. Intertop topics trending on Twitter the Iranian general,” the source man’s body was found in the in Buenos Aires, which killed in Argentina. told Reuters. “We thought we bathroom. 85 people — was found dead in pol eventually issued In Jewish and Israeli were hitting an enemy field unit Jorge Kirszembaum, a former his apartment just hours before arrest warrants for six Iranian officials in circles, analysts specu- that was on its way to carry out president of the Argentine he was to present evidence to connection with the lated that Nisman may an attack on us at the frontier Jewish community’s political Argentina’s congress that he bombing, including have been killed by He- fence.” umbrella group, DAIA, told JTA said implicated his country’s Iran’s defense minister zbollah, whose operaCould Hezbollah have pulled that a cousin of Nisman who president and foreign minister tives allegedly carried off Nisman’s killing so quickly visited the crime scene found in a nefarious cover-up scheme. at the time, Ahmad Vahidi. out the 1994 AMIA after the airstrike in Syria? a note to the house maid with The charge? That the two The Islamic Repubbombing on behalf of It would be uncharacteristic tasks spelled out for the next agreed to suppress Tehran’s lic denied any connecIran. for the Lebanon-based group, day. role in the AMIA bombing in tion to the bombing Just hours before which typically has carried Rabbi Sergio Bergman, a exchange for oil shipments to Alberto Nisman and refused to hand Nisman’s death, six out its well-planned reprisals Jewish leader and member of energy-starved Argentina. over the suspects. Hezbollah fighters were killed months or years after Israeli Argentina’s congress, called Nisman’s body was disIn 2013, Argentina and Iran in an airstrike in southern Syria attacks. Nisman “victim 86 of the AMIA covered Jan. 18 in his 13-floor signed a joint memorandum of attributed to Israel. Among the The circumstances of Nisattack.” He leaves behind two apartment with a single gununderstanding to investigate dead were Mohammed Allahman’s death, assuming he daughters. shot wound to the head. the bombing. Nisman and Jew- dadi, a general in the Iranian indeed was murdered, certainly Now that Nisman is gone, Officials connected to the ish community leaders in ArRevolutionary Guard, and Jihad represent a failure of the Argen- it’s not clear what will happen president, Cristina Fernández gentina and abroad decried the Mughniyeh, son of the late tine authorities. with the AMIA case, or his acde Kirchner, quickly said eviHezbollah mastermind Imad Nisman had been under cusations against Kirchner and dence pointed to suicide, noting deal as a farce, and many were outraged that it was signed by Mughniyeh, who was killed in police protection, including the Timerman. that a .22-caliber pistol and a February 2008 car bombing in positioning of police guards In another one of his eerily spent cartridge was found near Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, a prominent Damascus. outside the luxury high-rise prescient comments, Nisman Nisman’s body. Argentine Jew whose father, Hezbollah accused Israel where he was found dead. told a television interviewer But the suicide theory was Jacobo Timerman, had been a of being behind the airstrike. Nisman had made several after news of his accusations dismissed out of hand on the well-respected Argentine-IsIsraeli officials, adhering to prescient references to the posagainst the president made the streets of Buenos Aires and raeli human rights activist. The protocol in such cases, declined sibility of his untimely demise, papers, “With Nisman around among people around the governments of Israel and the to comment. saying as recently as Jan. 17, “I or not, the evidence is there.” world familiar with Nisman United States also denounced and his work investigating the the deal. AMIA bombing. Instead, they Nisman challenged the deal said Nisman, 51, was the victim of foul play. The suicide theory in court as “wrongful interference” by the president in judilost even more ground Jan. cial affairs, and the probe was 20 with the revelation by the never implemented. prosecutor investigating NisA few years earlier, during a man’s death, Viviana Fein, that 2009 visit to New York, Nisman no traces of gunpowder were found on Nisman’s hand. There said a trial of the AMIA bombing should be moved outside also was no suicide note. The investigation of the 1994 of Argentina if it is to have any bombing — the deadliest terror- chance of success. Even outside Argentina, Nisist attack in Argentine history and once of the worst incidents man said, it was highly unlikely Iran would submit suspects for of anti-Jewish violence in the Diaspora since World War II — trial, but the move could bring some closure to the families of was seen as hopelessly inept the AMIA bombing victims. and corrupt until Nisman took “I’m following the wishes of over the case in 2005. relatives and looking for a way For years after the AMIA to get them some closure,” Nisbombing, which was preceded by the deadly 1992 bombing of man told JTA through a translator. “I cannot give up on ways the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, there were no significant of trying to get justice.” Among Argentina’s 200,000 arrests. After 20 local men, including 19 police officers, were Jews — the largest Jewish community in Latin America —Nisput on trial in 2001 on charges man, who also was Jewish, was of involvement in the Jewish seen as a crusading hero. center attack, the investigating So, who could have wanted judge, Juan Jose Galiano, was him dead? Many Argentines are caught on video offering one of the men a bribe in return for pointing the finger at President




The burden France’s wake-up call of student debt By Addison Caruso My college search started out like any other. I made a list of possible schools, visited those schools, and then applied. Nothing special about it, the exact same experience many other American high schoolers have, except I had my parents on the tour asking about Jewish life on campus. Also, like many other American high schoolers, I was confronted with the staggering cost of higher education in the United States. After receiving all my acceptance letters, it all came down to two schools, Miami and Michigan. I was in love with Michigan and everything about it: the academics, the school’s spirit, the campus, everything. It was also $50,000 a year, and if I had chosen to go there, I would have come out of college with $200,000 of debt given that I received no financial aid or scholarships from them. I chose Miami, where I am currently coming out with no student debt. It is a great school and I have since fallen in love with it, but like many other students, I was limited from attending the school of my dreams due to cost and the fear of incurring massive amounts of debt. Currently in the United States, the amount of student loan debt has quadrupled since 2003, which also mirrors the nearly 300 percent increases in college tuition. According to the Mint Press News, this has amounted to the federal government receiving nearly $41.3 billion in profit each year from student loan repayments. If the government were a private lender, this would place it behind Exxon Mobil and Apple as the third biggest profitable company in the world. There is a simple solution to this problem: allowing students to refinance their student loans at lower interest rates. Estimates show this would free up nearly $2,000 per student. This extra $2,000 would allow students to reinvest in the economy and start their lives earlier, instead of waiting until their late 20s or early 30s to settle down and start a family. I do not only care deeply PAGE 12

about making higher education more affordable just because it affects me, but also because of the Jewish values of the importance of education and tzedakah. In Judaism, education is one of the highest precepts, and our lifelong study of Torah shows that we are taught to learn even in adulthood. The Talmud states that the world continues to exist for our learning and that learning is not to be interrupted, even for the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. Due to the outrageous cost of education, many students must settle for a school that may not allow them to succeed. Also due to the economy, it has become almost impossible to land a decent paying job without a college degree, so while the number of those attending college has increased, the number of students coming out with debt has risen in unprecedented numbers. There is also the Jewish value of righteous giving called Tzedakah. We, as Jews, are obligated to provide for others in need, and the people in need are the nearly 40 million other Americans who hold some form of student debt. The average debt of $30,000 is tying these students down, forcing them to put off buying a house, a car, starting a family, and reinvesting in the economy because unlike other loans, student debt never goes away. This issue of higher education and how to make it more affordable is one that must be addressed if we as Americans hope to continue leading the world in the 21st century. Helping to combat this problem can be as simple as writing to your Congressional representative, voting in the next election, or even just spreading the word by talking about the importance of this issue. These little steps are all it takes to make change in this country, and with this change we can make sure our future is as bright as ever. Addison Caruso, a freshman at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and his friend, Colin Mackintosh, have started the Student Debt Reform Super PAC (

By Simone Rodan-Benzaquen PARIS — The kosher supermarket was chosen deliberately. Men, women and children were shopping and preparing for Shabbat. Only two days before the attack, terrorists had left 10 of the best-known satirical journalists and cartoonists dead at Charlie Hebdo. Three French police officers were also struck down, one of them a Muslim. Each Islamist terrorist attack targeted a symbol of the French Republic, seeking to bring the country to its knees. That Jews were targets of radical Islam was, alas, unsurprising. Four of the hostages — Yoav Hattab, Philippe Braham, Yohan Cohen, François-Michel Saada — were killed at the kosher market. Survivors of the attack are anguished. So, too, are most French Jews, who again are discussing and evaluating not only the future of our community but the fate of France itself. Let’s be clear: France is under assault. The enemy is in our midst. Extremists, faithful to a brand of Islam that celebrates violence and martyrdom, have no respect whatsoever for the core, long-standing French values of democracy, pluralism, freedom of expression — and, indeed, for life itself. Traditional forms of protest are alien to them. Instead, as seen in the carnage wrought by ISIS, al-Qaida and other jihadists in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, pure barbarism is their vehicle to achieve their perverted notion of salvation. Tragically, the events of recent days are not a new phenomenon. The Jewish community, including the American Jewish Committee in Paris, has warned for years about the developing and deepening threat that radical Islam poses to France. In March 2012, a lone, heavily armed Mohammed Merah murdered three French soldiers in cold blood and, a week later, slaughtered a

So, what do you think? Send your letters (350 words max., thanks) to The Dayton Jewish Observer 525 Versailles Drive Dayton, OH 45459

teacher and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse. The Toulouse attack was a game changer for French Jews. And although French political leaders voiced outrage, as time passed and the numbers and frequency of antisemitic incidents rose, the country seemed to get used to them — even anesthetized to this reality — while many Jews felt a sense of loneliness and isolation. The recent attacks in Paris have shocked the entire nation, indeed the entire world. What is new this time is the depth and breadth of the reactions, crisscrossing French society, the realization that combating the threat of radical Islam must be, and remain, a national priority. But will this be the necessary wake-up call for France as a whole to confront the danger? The terrorists who struck in Paris — as in Toulouse and at the Jewish Museum in Brussels last May — are not isolated lone wolves. They most likely are the tip of a radical Islamist iceberg, the small visible part. To counter this lethal trend, we must delve deeper and understand the factors that draw certain individuals to radical Islam, and find ways to counter this evil that endangers all of France. French schools must teach mutual respect and responsibility, a component of the curriculum that today is stunningly missing. Indoctrination in extremist ideologies in prisons demands attention, as does recruitment by radical, violent groups through social media and in mosques. The Toulouse and Paris terrorists spent time not only in prison but also with jihadist groups in Syria and Yemen. Hundreds more are currently in Syria and Iraq, and maybe in other Arab countries. That they could return with French passports to settle back in our communities, or in other European countries, is a nightmare. Their objective is to create fear and division in French society, of which the extreme right and populists may take advantage. So let’s have the courage not to let fear take over. The French government cannot stop this trend alone; the effort will require the active involvement of political, religious and civil-society leaders. Immediate reactions to the attack on Charlie Hebdo were

inspiring, as millions of French citizens gathered in central Paris and throughout France, communicated their outrage on social media and called for action. Unfortunately, the voices of Muslim community leaders —with some notable exceptions — have until now been barely audible. Those leaders, too, must speak loudly and clearly, as Muslims and as French citizens. Many of us in the Jewish community regretted that no large solidarity movement rose up after the gruesome kidnapmurder of Ilan Halimi nine years ago, or after Toulouse, or during last summer’s transparently antisemitic demonstrations. While the government did speak out after attacks on Jews and firmly decries antisemitism, many in French society and in the media refused to see that our French values were at stake and that Jews were indeed a target. Hatred of Jews never ends with Jews. The menace of rising antisemitism threatens French society at large. The future of France will be decided in the coming days, weeks and months. The Charlie Hebdo massacre makes clear that the war against France’s democratic values is in high gear. The Jan. 11 mass rally, with more than 3.7 million people across the country in attendance — including, in Paris, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other political leaders — was a powerful statement of outrage and solidarity against this barbarism in France and in the rest of the world. But what happens in the days and weeks ahead will truly test France. Now more than at any other time in its postwar history, the fate of France is entwined with the fate of its Jews. If France loses them, sooner or later it will also be lost. Is this the wake-up call that will help the French people understand the nature of the threat to our country, and will they respond firmly and effectively? The very soul of France is at stake. Simone Rodan-Benzaquen is the director of the American Jewish Committee’s Paris office.


Tragic reality By Ronelle Grier, Detroit Jewish News Josh Levine wasn’t a drug addict, an alcoholic or a habitual drug user. He grew up in West Bloomfield, Mich., celebrated his Bar Mitzvah there, competed in varsity athletics at West Bloomfield High School and graduated from the University of Michigan. At 22, he was living in Chicago, beginning to pursue his dream of becoming a teacher. His life ended in July. Josh collapsed on a sidewalk near his apartment after an evening with his friends, which included drinking alcohol and snorting Adderall, a stimulant medication frequently prescribed for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). He was taken to a local hospital, where he died the next day. For his mother, native Daytonian Julie Harris Buckner, Josh’s death was an unforgettable nightmare. After receiving a frantic call from Josh’s older brother, Andrew, she and her husband, Dave, drove 300 miles to Chicago from their home in Cincinnati. By the time they arrived at the hospital, Josh was unconscious. “Tubes were attached to him. He looked vacant,” Buckner said. “I took one look at his eyes, and I knew he was brain dead.” Josh never regained consciousness and died the following day. Buckner was horrified to learn the details leading up to his death: After being found on the sidewalk by a passerby who called an ambulance, he was admitted to the hospital as a “John Doe.” His wallet had been stolen and his cell phone was missing. The next day, when Andrew realized his brother had not come home the night before, he began an anxious search that ended at Josh’s bedside. He identified his brother to the hospital personnel and called their mother. “On July 19, my life was fine; on July 20, it was

Young people increasingly at risk from Adderall, alcohol, heroin starting to splinter; and on July 21, it was torn apart,” Buckner said. “This was a kid that was so loved, who touched more lives than anyone can possibly imagine.”

he commonly sees patients who are having serious reactions from illegal drugs, often in conjunction with alcohol. “I’ve seen all sorts of combinations,” Feld said. “People are coming into the ER who don’t understand the ramifications.”

Deadly combination

Adderall, sometimes referred to as the “study drug,” Susan’s story is used with alarming frequenFor Susan (not her real cy by teens and young adults name), addiction — and, to counter the effects of alcohol ultimately recovery — was a and minimize the symptoms of family affair. Susan recently being drunk. celebrated 23 years in recovery When the drug is taken by from alcoholism, which ran those who do not have ADHD, in her non-Jewish family. Her Josh Levine celebrates his University of Michigan even without the addition former husband, Steven (not graduation with his grandmother, Daytonian Lois of alcohol, the results can be his real name), who grew up Harris, and his mother, Julie Harris Buckner. He dangerous. Because Adderall died from a combination of alcohol and Adderall. in what she describes as “a is a stimulant and alcohol is a typical nice Jewish family,” depressant, taking them together poses serious perils is in recovery from addiction to alcohol and various that include risky behavior, alcohol poisoning and narcotic drugs. other life-threatening symptoms such as increased Their three sons, now in their mid- to late- 20s, all body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure, and have struggled with drug and/or alcohol abuse beginother serious cardiac problems. ning in their pre-teen years. Buckner was shocked to learn from her son Andrew “When they were 11 and 12, I found a can of lilacthat snorting Adderall while drinking was commonscented spray in their rooms,” Susan said. “They place among young adults. smoked pot in middle school, drank alcohol and “I had no idea; it knocked me for a major loop,” smoked cigarettes at Bar and Bat Mitzvahs.” she said. “The kids know, but the adults are clueless. Eventually the boys began abusing oxycodone, a Because some of the kids take (Adderall) for ADHD, potent and highly addictive prescription pain killer. they’re not afraid of it.” When they moved in with their father after Susan and Dr. Michael Feld, a doctor in the emergency departSteven divorced, their drug use escalated. ment of Henry Ford Hospital in West Bloomfield, said Continued on next page

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Tragic reality

A Community Tu B’Shevat Celebration Sunday, February 8 at 11:30AM Temple Israel, 130 Riverside Dr. Join in on the fun as we explore the roots of Tu B’Shevat through a delicious, eco-friendly seder and lunch, interactive educational breakout sessions for all ages, and a special visit from the UD RiverMobile. RSVP by January 30 to Temple Israel at 937.496.0050 $5 per person for lunch & seder

This event has been made possible through funding provided by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton Innovation Grant.


city” problem is now prevalent in upscale suburbs. There also has been a rise in prescripContinued from previous page “There was less supervision and action drug abuse, especially opiate-based countability,” Susan said. “Their grades painkillers such as oxycodone, which went down; it was heartbreaking and can serve as a “gateway” to heroin. devastating to watch.” According to statistics from the U.S. What followed was a long and rocky Department of Justice, the high level of journey that included stints in various heroin use and trafficking is caused, in rehabilitation centers, several outpatient part, by users substituting heroin for programs, 12 Step meetings and an prescription opioids such as oxycodone. ample dose of tough love, which Susan Heroin is more readily available and less found difficult but necessary. Finally the costly than many prescription drugs. healing process began. Those who become addicted to Today, her oldest son is completing his prescription pain pills often move to fourth year of dental school, and the two heroin when they can no longer get younger boys are receiving methadone legal prescriptions for the pills, and the through supervised medical programs. pills available through illegal channels “It was the only viable option,” said become too expensive. While one tablet Susan, who initially had reservations of oxycodone can sell for as much as about the use of maintenance drugs such $80 on the street, a dose of heroin can be as methadone. “I had to get over my obtained for about $10. fears and prejudice about methadone According to Sheriff Michael Bouchabecause it saved their lives.” rd of Oakland County, Mich., heroin has Since Steven began his own recovery not only become more affordable, it has program, his relationship with his sons become more potent, which is another has improved dramatically. reason for the increases in drug-related “It’s a beautiful thing,” said Susan, deaths and other medical crises. who spreads her message of hope and “Every shift I work, there’s someone recovery to those still struggling by givin the ER with some kind of addiction ing talks at local 12 Step meetings. “Adissue,” Feld said. diction is a family disease, but together we can change it into a family recovery.” Positive prevention Buckner is determined to increase Heroin: startling statistics awareness about the dangers of binge The use of heroin, especially among drinking, including combining prescripteens and young adults, has risen alarm- tion drugs such as Adderall with alcohol. ingly over the past several She has done some teleyears. The number of peoand radio reports What once was vision ple who received medical and is finalizing plans treatment for heroin abuse considered for a foundation in Josh’s or dependence doubled memory to help prevent an ‘inner-city’ from 214,000 in 2002 to other families from experi467,000 in 2012, according problem is encing similar tragedy. to statistics from the Na“I can’t let his death be now prevalent tional Institutes of Health in vain,” she said. “I need in upscale (NIH). to have his legacy be one “The age for drinking that tries to do something suburbs. and drugging is droppositive with an awful situping,” said Rabbi Yarden ation.” Blumstein of Friendship House in West Buckner recently had a “productive Bloomfield, a program of Friendship pow-wow” with several administrators Circle of Michigan that provides supat the University of Michigan, including port for Jewish individuals and families the dean of students, the head of Greek struggling with drug and alcohol abuse life, professors and health educators. The and other life crises. “A lot of high school group will continue to develop strategies freshmen are doing what used to be for combatting the risks of binge drinkdone by seniors.” ing and illegal drug use on campus. The same NIH report showed the Professionals agree that honest comnumber of admissions to publicly munication and parental involvement funded treatment facilities for heroin when kids are younger can go a long was higher than the admissions for all way toward preventing drug abuse other drugs combined. It was also noted when they become teenagers and young that the actual number of heroin abusers adults. may be even higher than indicated be“Addiction is a family disease, and it’s cause many of the new users are young progressive,” said Lisa Kaplan, educasuburbanites covered by private health tion program director for Maplegrove insurance and, therefore, not included in Center (an addiction treatment facility the study. affiliated with Henry Ford West BloomIncreased use of this dangerous field Hospital). “Early intervention is the drug means a corresponding rise in the key. Young people need to know they number of overdoses, many of which are will never become addicted if they don’t fatal. According to Feld, the majority of start using.” overdoses are accidental, and many of Psychotherapist Talia Ziv agrees that them occur when someone relapses after parents need to communicate with their not having used for several months. children clearly about their values and “The drug is stronger than they beliefs regarding drugs and alcohol and thought, especially after a period of to model the behavior they expect. abstinence,” he said. “Parents give double messages about What once was considered an “inner- Continued on Page 23 THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • FEBRUARY 2015


Jewish Federation of GREATER DAYTON Sunday, February 15 › PJ Library Shayna Punim Party 11-12:30PM @ Run Around Fun Town (1218 East Stroop Rd., Kettering) Families! Come boogie with us at our Shayna Punim Party! Enjoy guest storyteller at 11AM, followed by a children’s concert featuring local musician Marc Rossio. Snacks will be provided. Please RSVP by Feb. 8. to Caryl Segalewitz (937-4011558 or No Cost. Sunday, May 3 › Presidents’ Dinner @ the Dayton Art Institute

UPCOMMING JCRC EVENTS: Tuesday, March 10 7PM @ Boonshoft CJCE › Fighting BDS: Strategic Communications and Delegitimization (BDS: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) Wednesday, March 11 7PM @ Sugar Shack › Clashes on Campus: Countering Attacks on Israel’s Legitimacy. Teen and College Student Event. Sunday, April 12 4PM @ Beth Abraham Synagogue › Community Yom Hashoah Event Thursday, April 23 5:30PM @ Boonshoft CJCE › Israel Independence Day Community Celebration RSVPs are due at least 1 week before event. Events with no price listed are free. PLEASE CONTACT KAREN STEIGER REGARDING ALL EVENTS UNLESS NOTED OTHERWISE: 610-1555,

Lader shares experiences from his journey as a Frank Family Leadership Institute Fellowship Participant Recently I began a yearlong fellowship with the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), the Frank Family Leadership Institute. Eight young adults were selected from across the country to participate in this yearlong fellowship, which began with a trip to Krakow and Israel. Visiting the ghetto, the Jewish quarter and the Schindler Museum in Krakow, and then Auschwitz, was so meaningful. With all the books, documentaries, and movies I have seen and read about Auschwitz, nothing compared to walking the trail of so much loss and pain. Concluding the day at the Krakow Jewish Community Center, though, was inspiring, seeing determination to continue a Jewish community in a place that had seen so much destruction. Joining JCPA leadership in Israel brought meetings with an advisor to the Prime Minister

and members of the Knesset representing Likud, Yesh Atid, and Labor. The government has gone through some major transitions, having disbanded three days before we arrived. The conversations were lively, and it was fantastic to hear those different perspectives. We heard from Christian leaders of three denominations. It was interesting to hear about issues facing their respective communities. At the Peres Center we heard from a Policy Advisor to Shimon Peres and US Ambassador Dan Shapiro. Aluf Benn, Editor of Ha’aretz, offered some interesting insights into the challenges of Israel’s political situation and Israel’s perception of American Jewry. Shabbat afforded me the opportunity to spend time with my family in Har Nof. It was an important time to reflect and share some of the moments from the previous week. On our last day, we made an encouraging visit to the Hand

in Hand School in Jerusalem, an integrated school of Jews and Arabs. Two weeks before our visit, two classrooms were burned by arsonists. Thankfully, no one was injured in the blaze. It was shameful that this school has to deal with such awful acts of violence. Our final stop included meetings with the Foreign Ministry, where we discussed the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Movement, antiSemitism in Europe, and the relationship between American Jews and Israel. The access to the leaders of Israel was amazing. I am truly grateful to the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton’s nomination and the generosity of the Frank Family to have this opportunity to build my leadership skill set on a national level. The Fellowship concludes at the JCPA’s Plenum in Washington, DC in October.

(L–R) Josh Lader (Dayton), Dan Friedman (Pittsburgh), Leslie Kirby (Nashville), Marina Gafni (Silicon Valley), Leah Fuhr (Atlanta), Karen Fine (Tidewater), Brandon Rattiner (Denver), Jeff Sparks (St. Louis) outside the Schindler Factory in Krakow, Poland.

—Joshua Lader

Check back in MARCH for exciting news for the FEDERATION & its AGENCIES in the digital realm. JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON AGENCY NEWSLETTER | FEBRUARY 2015

Women’s Voices: A Passover Journey seeks to bring experiences, share stories in March.

Jewish Community Center of GREATER DAYTON Mondays & Wednesdays › INSANITY Workout 5–6PM @ Boonshoft CJCE Please bring a mat. First class free, try it, you’ll like it! $5 per


Tuesdays › Tai Chi at the CJCE Beginner: 3:30–4:30PM Advanced: 4:45–5:45PM @ Boonshoft CJCE First class free, try it, you’ll like it!

$5 per person.

Wednesday, February 4 › 2015 BBYO Board Meeting 6:30PM–8PM @ Sugar Shack

“There are stars whose radiance is visible on Earth though they have long been extinct. There are people whose brilliance continues to light the world even though they are no longer among the living. These lights are particularly bright when the night is dark. They light the way for humankind.” - Hannah Szenes “Let there be light.” Not with muscle or sinew, but with words spoken, was our world created. Words have propelled all of the great movements throughout history, and women’s voices have been among the most inspirational. These voices are the instruments that sang at the Red Sea, sought suffrage, welcomed the tempest-

tossed masses to our shore and aided and provided comfort in times of sorrow. They are the voices of your grandmother, mother, sister and daughter. Add your voice as we take a spiritual journey celebrating Passover. This unique women’s Seder will merge our voices of the present with those memorable women of the past to create new traditions, celebrate old ones and highlight the modern plagues that need our voices today, such as: poverty, homelessness, domestic violence and hunger. Raise your voice, feed your soul, pray, sing, dance and bond with your sisters in this transformative Seder. Under the direction of Israeli chef, Morris Zrihen, a

committee will prepare kosher food for the evening. Women’s Voices: A Passover Journey will be held 6-9pm, Thursday, March 26, 2015 at the CJCE (complete details to follow). This program is made possible through the Innovation Grant program of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton. It is a collaboration with Partnership2Gether and women from Beth Abraham, Beth Jacob, Temple Israel, Temple Beth Or, and the community at large.


Winter Camp Discoveries Cincinnati Museum on Wheels, one of the many memories of Winter Camp 2014. Stay tuned for Summer Camp 2015, Tikkun Olam, Caring and Sharing

Thursday, February 12 › Teen Play @ Rec West 6:30PM–8PM @ Rec West

beginning June 8, 2015.

Thursday, February 12 › JCC Speaker Series: A Tale of Two Viruses NOON @ Beth Jacob Dr. Jack Bernstein leads a discussion about Ebola and Chikungunya.

Lubow, Oren Watson, Ranon Ginsberg,

Monday, February 16 › School Days Out 8:45AM–3:45PM @ Boonshoft CJCE Grades 1-6 are invited for games and nature activities as the Boonshoft Museum comes to us! $40

Krummel Adkins, Benjamin Char and Alli

RIGHT: (Front row L to R) Ilan Kuhl, Eden Calissa Caldwell, Caleah Caldwell and Tristan Ault. (Back row L to R) – Cade Crane, Dan Striley (Instructor) Samantha Studebaker, Yetta Jordon.

Lots of Latkes!

LEFT: (L to R) Madeline Bartley, Evie Polk, Sofia Tozzi, and Anthony Donahue watch as Rochel Simon, Judaics Specialist with Early Childhood Care and Education, prepares potatoes for latkes during our annual Latke Factory experience. PHOTO CREDIT: CINDY TURNER

per child (after Feb. 4, $50).

› Children’s Theatre Presentation of Into the Woods, Jr. Saturday, February 21 at 8PM Sunday, February 22 at 3PM @ The Rosewood Arts Center Wednesday, February 25 › BBYO Girls’ Spa & Boys’ Sports Nite 6:30PM–8PM @ Sugar Shack

$5 (after Feb. 17, $10).

Saturday, February 28 › A Night in Vegas: 2015 JCC Fundraiser 7PM-11PM @ Boonshoft CJCE Try your hand at Black Jack, and rule the roost at a special Texas Hold’em tournament. RSVPs are due at least 1 week before event. Events with no price listed are free. PLEASE CONTACT KAREN STEIGER REGARDING ALL EVENTS UNLESS NOTED OTHERWISE: 610-1555,

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

Indik: \IN-dik\ Noun A turkey. Expression with fleysh: Er blozt zich vi an indik - He puffs himself up like a turkey.


S AV E t h e D A T E O P ENI NG NI G H T

TUESDAY, APRIL 21 | 7:15PM @ CINEMARK at The Greene 14


| Discussion following the film |

Do you


about the





The goal and mission of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) since 1951 has always been to secure justice for Jewish victims, administer compensation programs and offer information on other available programs for survivors worldwide. The Claims Conference administers payment programs to eligible victims of Nazi persecution in accordance with German government guidelines pertaining to persecution experience and current residence. The website: www. indicates that there is no

fee to apply for compensation. The application is online. The Claims Conference is addressing the needs of the aging population of Jewish victims through grants to organizations that provide homecare services. These essential services may include meals, transportation, socialization programs, respite care for caregivers and nursing care. With these additional services, victims are able to remain in their homes for as long as possible. Please contact Jewish Family Services at 853-0372 if you need assistance or have questions.

Stirring up fun around town Decorating cookies at the lunch program. BELOW: (L-R) Susie Zimmerman and her mother Isabelle Brown work on their creations. LEFT: Brothers (L-R) Jack and Jim Hergenrather join in on the fun.

Jewish Family Services Jewish Foundation ofof GREATER DAYTON GREATER DAYTON Monday, February 2 11:30AM @ Boonshoft CJCE Tu B’Shevat Seder and Light Lunch with the Active Adults. RSVP by Jan. 29 to Karen Steiger (610-1555). $8 in advance, $12 at the door. Tuesday, February 3 12:30PM @ Covenant Manor Musician Lou James is back to “tickle the keys” and entertain with new and older favorites. Friday, February 6 NOON @ Covenant Manor Fresh Friday delicious home cooked meal. Prepared by Bernstein’s Fine Catering. Tuesday, February 10 12:30PM @ Covenant Manor Preventing Consumer Fraud presented by Pat Holman from the OSU Extension Services.

Apps for Better Health

“When it comes to a diagnosis, a smartphone is no substitute for a medical health professional.” Dr. Nathan Eagle, is a mobile health technology expert and Professor at Harvard School of Public Health. His statement is a result of the increased number of health-related Apps (40,000) now available for consumers and physicians. Many are free, but some are costly. Some are simple, such as calorie counters, and others are more complex, such as those that can actually measure your blood sugar. Unfortunately, Apps are not yet regulated, so there is not necessarily a way to verify their accuracy and reliability – all for your protection. Some are wonderful and safe; especially those that help collect data. Others need more scru-

tiny. The FDA has recently started to develop rules by which judgment can be made on Apps that make medical claims. In the meantime, what can you do to be safe? Be cautious if they make big promises. DO select from well-known health sources, such as government agencies and research universities. DO use the App as a sensor or monitor. DON’T rely on the App to diagnosis or cure – use it as information to take to your doctor for better understanding of your diagnosis.

Friday, February 20 NOON @ Covenant Manor Fresh Friday delicious home cooked meal. Prepared by Bernstein’s Fine Catering. 12:30PM Bingo Tuesday, February 24 12:30PM @ Covenant Manor Learn about Dayton’s most interesting and exciting women in history. Presentation by Angie Hoschouer, Program director Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum.





We are currently accepting applications for Innovation Grants. Completed applications are due February 27, 2015. Awards will be announced in April. If you would like additional information, or to request an application, please contact Jodi Phares at jphares@ or 937-610-5513.


Available to local youths planning to attend a Jewish residential camp program this summer. Completed applications are due March 27, 2015. Awards will be announced in May. If you would like additional information, or to request an application, please contact Alisa Thomas at or 937-6101796. Funding made possible through the Joan and Peter Wells Summer Camp Scholarship Fund and by a generous donation from Carole and Bernie Rabinowitz.


Available to Dayton area teens and young adults, ages 14-21, who plan to travel to Israel during the summer of 2015. Completed applications are due March 27, 2015. Awards will be announced in May. If you would like additional information, or to request an application, please contact Alisa Thomas at or 937-6101796. Funding made possible through the Wolfe Marcus Trust Youth Travel to Israel Scholarship Fund.


Available to Jewish undergraduate and graduate students for the 2015/2016 academic year. Applicants must demonstrate both academic achievement and financial need. Completed applications are due March 27, 2015. Awards will be announced in May. If you would like additional information, or to request an application, please contact Alisa Thomas at or 937-6101796. Funding made possible through the Heuman Scholarship Fund.

According to Merriam Webster, the word legacy is defined as 1.a gift by will, especially of money or other personal property or 2. something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past. These definitions, although technically correct, don’t quite capture the heart of the word. A legacy is more than just money or property. A legacy can help keep your memory alive long after you are gone. It provides a glimpse to future generations of who you were, and what you loved. It gives people the chance to experience what was so dear to you, such as arts, education, or social services. A legacy is a priceless gift that can create a connection to the past, while also enriching lives through supported programs and services. In addition to creating a legacy of your own, you can

create a legacy in memory of a loved one. It’s a great way to honor those who mean the most to you, while supporting what meant so much to them. What would you like your legacy to be? How would you like to be remembered? Maybe you are an avid supporter of the Film Festival, or Bikur Haverim (friendly visitor)? Perhaps you want to support the Jewish community where it is needed most at that moment in time? The Jewish Foundation of Greater Dayton can work with you to establish an endowment that best represents you, or your loved one. We would be honored to help you share your legacy here, in Israel, and around the world. For more information, contact Cathy Gardner, CEO, at 937-6101555.

Legacies, Tributes, & Memorials FEDERATION

UNITED JEWISH CAMPAIGN IN HONOR OF › Full recovery of Sarah Naomi Weiskind Dr. Judith Woll IN MEMORY OF › Yale Holt Donna and Marshall Weiss › Marvin Kobel › Bert Lieberman Debby and Dr. Robert Goldenberg Judy and Dr. Howard Abromowitz HOLOCAUST PROGRAMMING FUND IN MEMORY OF › Dorothy Gordon Helene Gordon Shirlee and Dr. Ron Gilbert Karin and Dr. Isaac Frydman Louis and Toni Frydman Rachel and Heath Gilbert Donna and Marshall Weiss Maxine and Marve Greenberg Sharon and Thomas Fisher Jane and Dr. Gary Hochstein Nancy and Dean Mowrey Sharon Morris Helen Halcomb Reva Slaven Melinda and Bill Doner › Gilbert Unger Helen Halcomb › Carmen Appel Cathy Gardner Kathy and Mark Gordon Shirlee and Dr. Ron Gilbert Gertrude and Robert Kahn Helen Halcomb › Marvin Kobel Helene Gordon Shirlee and Dr. Ron Gilbert

PJ LIBRARY IN HONOR OF › New granddaughter of Cindy Pretekin Marcia and Ed Kress IN MEMORY OF › Bert Lieberman › David Blumenthal › Marvin Kobel Marcia and Ed Kress BENJAMIN R. SHAMAN CULTURAL ARTS FUND IN MEMORY OF › Dr. William Serbin Dorothy Finder and Family CAROL J. PAVLOFSKY LEADERSHIP FUND IN MEMORY OF › Carmen Appel Marlene Miller LINDA RUCHMAN MEMORIAL FUND IN MEMORY OF › Jeff Blonstein Judy and Marshall Ruchman Julie Ruchman ROBERT AND MOLLIE FITTERMAN PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUND IN MEMORY OF › Robert and Mollie Fitterman Susan and Alan Witte DOROTHY B. MOYER YOUNG LEADERSHIP FUND IN MEMORY OF › Yahrzeit memory of Elmer L. Moyer › Yahrzeit memory of Sheila D. Moyer › Yahrzeit memory of Jean Cohn › Bert Lieberman Marcia and Richard Moyer



JOAN AND PETER WELLS FAMILY, CHILDREN AND YOUTH FUND IN MEMORY OF › Marvin Kobel › Bert Lieberman › Herman Levitt Joan and Peter Wells HERTA G. & EGON F. WELLS AND MARGE ARNOLD CHILDREN’S FUND IN MEMORY OF › Ruthe Stein Joan and Peter Wells ACTIVE ADULTS FUND IN HONOR OF › Birth of great grandson to Shirlee and Dr. Ron Gilbert › Birth of grandson to Marc Gilbert Helene Gordon and Joe Fodal IN MEMORY OF › Jack Kwiatek Donna and Marshall Weiss Harriett and Donald Klass › Robert Mandel K-M Antique Study Group FAMILY SERVICES

SENIOR SERVICES IN MEMORY OF › Carmen Appel Beverly and Jeffrey Kantor SOCIAL SERVICES IN MEMORY OF › Bert Lieberman Helene Gordon Andi Rabiner Marilyn Scher Shirlee and Dr. Ron Gilbert Marc Gilbert Heath Gilbert

SPECIFIC ASSISTANCE IN MEMORY OF › Jack Kwiatek Cathy Gardner Jane and Dr. Gary Hochstein › Carmen Appel › Ellin Oppenheimer Hyla and Dr. Raymond Weiskind FOOD PANTRY IN MEMORY OF › Herman Levitt Debby and Dr. Robert Goldenberg FOUNDATION

ROBERT L. AND RITA Z. CLINE BIKUR HAVERIM ENDOWMENT FUND IN MEMORY OF › Ruthe Stein Cathy Gardner JEREMY BETTMAN B’NAI TZEDEK FUND IN MEMORY OF › Carmen Appel › Herman Levitt › Bert Lieberman › Marvin Kobel Jean and Todd Bettman › Bert Lieberman Elaine and Joe Bettman JACK FUCHSMAN B’NAI TZEDEK FUND IN MEMORY OF › Herman Levitt Elaine and Joe Bettman BEN AND DOROTHY HARLAN CHILDREN’S FUND IN HONOR OF › Angela and Joel Frydman being honored at Beth Abraham Donor Dinner › Speedy recovery of Bart Weprin Marla and Dr. Stephen Harlan IN MEMORY OF › Gilbert Unger › Carmen Appel Marla and Dr. Stephen Harlan


to Jewish book fair directors and other event coordinators who use the pitches to decide which authors to bring to speak at their programs. What started as a group of book fair coordinators sitting on the floor in a hotel room now brings together more than 200 authors and 150 book fair directors each year. Hessel also partnered with philanthropist George Rohr to establish a prize in honor of his father, Sami, for By Beth Kissileff, JTA When Carolyn Starman Hessel joined writers of fiction and nonfiction who the New York-based Jewish Book Coun- are early in their careers. She plans to continue her involvement with the cil in 1994, she knew nothing about the prize even after retiring. publishing world. What’s next for the Jewish Book Since then, she’s been called the Council remains to be seen. Not only Jewish Oprah for her ability to help authors find audiences, and has enjoyed is Hessel retiring, but the group’s president of the past decade, Lawrence enormous clout and influence among Krule, is also stepping down. Hessel’s publishers. successor has not yet been hired. The soon-to-be retired director, who Englander describes Hessel as a says she simply learned on the job, helped launch the career of novelist and “keen-eyed arbiter of what makes for a good, solid culturally Jewish book.” short-story writer Nathan Englander, The writers Hessel has helped are when in 1999 she sent the then littleloyal to her. The lavish fund-raising known author on a 38-city tour. And dinner the Jewish Book she has assisted countless Council hosted in Novemothers, including Jonathan ber honoring Hessel and Safran Foer, Francesca Krule attracted prominent Segal and Dara Horn, by American Jewish writers connecting them to Jewish and featured speeches by book fair coordinators. Emory University’s Dorot Safran Foer, whose 2002 Professor of Modern Jewdebut novel Everything is Ilish and Holocaust Studies luminated won the National Deborah Lipstadt, Jewish Jewish Book Award — and Literacy author Rabbi Joseph then went on to collect Telushkin and Rabbi David numerous other honors — Carolyn Starman Hessel Wolpe, whose most recent told JTA that going on the book tour with the Jewish Book Council book, David: A Divided Heart, was just optioned to be produced as a movie. and meeting Hessel when he was 23 or Jonathan Sarna, a professor of Jew24 was “the most helpful thing that ever ish history who has written or edited happened to me.” more than 30 books, said in an email, “I don’t know that I would have had “A great many authors (including me) a chance without it,” he added. know that we owe a good portion of Hessel’s retirement, effective March our success to Carolyn. She read our 30, represents a major change for the manuscripts, advised us, encouraged Jewish Book Council, which has long us, promoted us, and was always availbeen synonymous with its director. able to us. Her loyalty explains why so Under her stewardship, the Jewish many are loyal to her.” Book Council — founded in 1925 and The 2011 winner of the Sami Rohr funded through a combination of donaprize, Austin Ratner, who is now a JBC tions and programming revenue — has board member, said that Hessel has expanded its activities and influence. given American Jewish writers “a home The council’s mission is to promote base within the larger literary world” the “reading, writing, publishing and and brought “a Jewish sense of extenddistribution of quality Jewish content ed family to that larger world.” books in English” and to serve as the She is also known for her willingness “coordinating body of Jewish literary to mentor individual writers, perhaps activity in North America.” reflecting her initial career in education. Its budget in 2012, the most recent She taught Hebrew school for many year for which tax forms are publicly years, then worked for the Jewish Eduavailable, was $914,000. cational Service of North America and Early in her tenure at the council, the Coalition for the Advancement of Hessel launched its annual event at the Jewish Education, both of which have BookExpo America convention. There, since closed. Jewish authors and authors of books on Jewish subjects give two-minute pitches Continued on Page 21

Jewish world’s book maven turns the page


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February 16, 2015 Victoria Theatre

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With the Jewish Book Council, Carolyn Starman Hessel has championed the writing of (L to R) Nathan Englander, Jonathan Safran Foer, Dara Horn, and Francesca Segal






Temple Beth Or Classes: Sundays, Feb. 8 & 22, 10:30 a.m.: Tanach Study w. Rabbi Chessin. Sundays, 1 p.m.: Adult Hebrew w. Rabbi Chessin. Wednesdays, 6-9 p.m.: Israeli Folk Dancing w. Janifer Tsou. Wed., Feb. 4, 7 p.m.: Men’s Circle w. Rabbi Burstein. Thurs., Feb. 12, 1 p.m. Socrates Café. 5275 Marshall Rd., Wash. Twp. 435-3400. Temple Israel Classes: Sundays, 9 a.m.: Tanach w. Rabbi Sofian. Mondays, 1:15 p.m.: Knitting & Crocheting. Mondays, 1:30 p.m.: Advanced Biblical Hebrew w. Rabbi Bodney-Halasz. Wednesdays, 10 a.m.: Lattes & Legends, Dorothy Lane Mkt., 6177 Far Hills Ave. Wednesdays, noon: Talmud study. Wednesdays, 2 p.m.: Advanced Beginner Hebrew w. Judy Heller. Saturdays, 9:30 a.m.: Torah study. 130 Riverside Dr., Dayton. 496-0050.


Temple Israel Ryterband Lecture & Brunch Series: Sundays, 9:45-11:45 p.m. $5 each. Feb. 1: WSU Poli. Sci. Chair Dr. Donna Schlagheck, Israel & Regional Turmoil: How

will the U.S. Respond? Feb. 22: Hillel Academy Co-Principals Dr. Kathy and Dan Mecoli. 130 Riverside Dr. 496-0050. JCC Speaker Series: Thurs., Feb. 12, noon: Dr. Jack Bernstein, A Tale of Two Viruses. Beth Jacob Congregation, 7020 N. Main St., Harrison Twp. R.S.V.P. to 610-1555.


Chabad Women’s Circle: Sun., Feb. 1, 5 p.m.: Painting & light dinner at Raise Your Brush, 169 N. Main St., Centerville. Sun., Feb. 22, 10 a.m.: Torah & Tea Class. 2001 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood. For more info., call 643-0770. Beth Jacob Sisterhood: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 8:30 a.m. Let’s Walk Group. 7020 N. Main St., Harrison Twp. 2742149.


p.m. Grades 1-6 with trip to Boonshoft Museum, games, nature activities. Boonshoft CJCE, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. $40 by Feb. 4, $50 after. R.S.V.P. to Karen Steiger, 853-0372.


JCC Teen Play @ Rec West: Thurs., Feb. 12, 6:30-8 p.m. 965 Miamisville-Centerville Rd., Wash. Twp. For more info. call Yale Glinter, 610-1555. BBYO Girls’ Spa & Boys’ Sports Nite: Wed., Feb. 25, 6:30-8 p.m. 105 Sugar Camp Cir., Oakwood. For more info. call Yale Glinter, 610-1555.


PJ Library Shalom Babies Brunch: Sun., Feb. 15, 10 a.m. Run Around Fun Town, 1218 E. Stroop Rd., Kettering. Free. R.S.V.P. to Caryl Segalewitz, 401-1558.

Chabad’s Kids in the Kosher Kitchen: Sun., Feb. 1, 12:15-2 p.m. Monthly for ages 7-11. Free with CKids annual membership of $75. 2001 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood. R.S.V.P. to 643-0770.

PJ Library Shayna Punim Party: Sun., Feb. 15, 11 a.m. Run Around Fun Town, 1218 E. Stroop Rd., Kettering. Free. R.S.V.P. to Caryl Segalewitz, 401-1558.

JCC School Day Out: Mon., Feb. 16, 8:45 a.m.-3:45


Tai Chi @ the CJCE: Tuesdays.

Beginners 3:30-4:30 p.m. Advanced 4:45-5:45 p.m. First class free, then $5. 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. R.S.V.P. to 610-1555.

Arts Center, 2655 Olson Dr., Kettering. R.S.V.P. to 610-1555. Beth Jacob Congregation Rabbi In Residence Weekend: w. Rabbi Adam Rosenthal. Fri. evening, Feb 27: Shabbat services followed by catered dinner. Sat., Feb. 28, 9:30 a.m.: Shabbat services, followed by kiddush lunch, class. 7020 N. Main St., Dayton. For Friday night dinner R.S.V.P. and times, call 274-2149.

Insanity Workout: w. Lauren Baumgarten. Mondays & Wednesdays, 5-6 p.m. First class is free, then $5. Boonshoft CJCE, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. R.S.V.P. to 610-1555.


Jewish Family Services Events: See Federation newsletter in center spread.

Tu B’Shevat

JCC Active Adults & JFS Tu B’Shevat Seder & Light Lunch: Mon., Feb. 2, 11:30 a.m. $8 in advance, $12 at door. Boonshoft CJCE, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. R.S.V.P. to 610-1555.

Community Events

Temple Beth Or 30th Anniversary Pearl Ball: Sat., Feb. 7, 6 p.m. NCR Country Club, 4435 Dogwood Trail, Kettering. $100. 435-3400. Beth Abraham Synagogue Wok N’Roll Shabbat: Fri., Feb. 20, 6:15 p.m. Kabalat Shabbat service w. Beth Abraham Band followed by Asian-inspired dinner. $15 adult, $7.50 child. 305 Sugar Camp Cir., Oakwood. R.S.V.P. to 293-9520. JCC Children’s Theatre Presents Into The Woods Jr.: Sat., Feb. 21, 8 p.m. & Sun., Feb. 22, 3 p.m. Rosewood

Temple Israel & Jewish Federation Nuts About Green: A Community Tu B’Shevat Celebration: Sun., Feb. 8, 11:30 a.m. At Temple Israel, 130 Riverside Dr., Dayton. $5 lunch. R.S.V.P. to the temple, 496-0050. JCC A Night in Vegas Fundraiser: Sat., Feb. 28, 7-11 p.m. Boonshoft CJCE, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. R.S.V.P. to 610-1555.

Sensitivity. Dignity. Compassion. CEDAR VILLAGE HOSPICE Services that are designed uniquely for each individual; care that is based on comfort and support; a team of dedicated professionals and volunteers focused on meeting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of both the patient and family—that’s what Cedar Village Hospice is all about. Built on a foundation of Jewish values, Cedar Village Hospice is here to help you or your loved one, in your own home, with the quality, sensitivity, dignity and compassion that have long been the hallmarks of Cedar Village. Cedar Village is a nonprofit retirement community, located in Mason, Ohio.

5467 Cedar Village Drive Mason, OH 45040 Tel: 513.754.3100



KVELLING CORNER Joni Watson, an art teacher with Dayton Public Schools and vice president of the Dayton Education Association, was appointed by the National

Rachel Haug Gilbert Education Association to the NEA Women’s Issues Committee. She is one of 12 women across the country appointed to this committee.

Book maven turns page Continued from Page 19 In a recent meeting with Gon Ben Ari, a young expat Israeli writer in New York, Hessel said she advised him, “Become familiar with American culture. Play the game the way Americans play.” She added that since Ben Ari is “cute,” she is sure “every single grandmother will come up to him” to either suggest a single granddaughter or buy his book. Herself a grandmother, Hessel has been married for 55 years. She attended Midwood High School, a Brooklyn public school whose alumni include Woody Allen and Erich Segal. While many in publishing fret about changes in the industry and the impact of technology, Hessel isn’t phased. “We will always have the written word,” she says, adding, “I don’t care if it is an e-book or on a piece of stone, since it is the word that is important — the idea behind it.” Hessel is neither a literary snob nor a prudish librarian. Rabbi Daniel Gordis said that when he told Hessel he’d written a novel, her first question was, “Does it have sex?” Before he had answered the question, she said, “Add more sex. People like sex.” But Gordis said that when the conversation turned to the novel’s content, it “quickly became clear that Carolyn was about as knowledgeable about the book industry as virtually anyone I’d ever met. She knew every agent, every editor, every publisher.” He said, “she had a keen sense of market, of quality. And she had a love of books and a deep, abiding commitment to Jewish literature, Jewish writing, Jewish authors.”

Stanford “Shep/Shepsle” Rosen and his wife, Phyllis, celebrated Shep’s 90th birthday on Dec. 28. Their son, Eric Rosen of Denver, and daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren Lori, Stephan, Rachel, and Alan Rubin of Houston, hosted the festivities at Coco’s Bistro. Family and close friends traveled from near and far to bestow blessings, toast, and even serenade Shep. The Levin Family Foundation and its executive director, Karen Levin, will be honored on March 13 at the People of Vision Award Luncheon, hosted by The Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness and US Bank. The luncheon will be held at The Racquet Club. Prevent Blindness addresses the challenge to prevent blindness and preserve sight through investment of community support in programs and services. Jonathan Katz, son of Linda and Allan Katz of Dayton, has been named administrator of the Oregon Specialists Surgery Center in Salem, Ore. Jonathan holds degrees from Ohio State, Texas A&M, and

Christa and Jonathan Katz

UT Tyler, and was a registered nurse in Austin, Texas before assuming his current position. Last February, Jonathan was married to Christa Vargo, daughter of Betty and Ron Vargo of Horseshoe Bay, Texas, at Congregation Agudas Achim in Austin. Christa holds degrees from Baylor and UT Austin and was a social worker for Hospice before assuming her new position as a mental health counselor in Salem. Send your Kvelling items to or to Rachel Haug Gilbert, The Dayton Jewish Observer, 525 Versailles Drive, Centerville, OH 45459.


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Beth Abraham Synagogue Conservative Rabbi Joshua Ginsberg Cantor/Dir. of Ed. & Programming Andrea Raizen Monday through Friday 6:50 a.m. & 5:30 p.m. Fri., 5:30 p.m. Sat. 9 a.m. Sundays at 8:30 a.m. 305 Sugar Camp Circle, Oakwood. 293-9520. Beth Jacob Congregation Traditional Saturdays 9:30 a.m., Sundays 8 a.m., Sunday through Friday, 7 p.m. 7020 N. Main St., Dayton. 274-2149. Temple Anshe Emeth Reform Sat., Feb. 21, 10 a.m. led by Rabbinic Intern Tina Sobo. 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. 435-3400. 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, Teen & Young Adult Prog. Dir. Rabbi Hershel Spalter. Beginner educational service Saturdays 9 a.m. adults, 10 a.m children. Sundays 9 a.m. Tuesdays & Wednesdays. 6:45 a.m. 2001 Far Hills Ave. 643-0770. Yellow Springs Havurah Independent Services 1st & 3rd Saturdays, 10-noon. Antioch College Rockford Chapel. Contact Cheryl Levine, 937-767-9293.

Tragic reality



Continued from Page 14 pot,” she said. “It becomes like a norm, and the kids grow up thinking it’s a norm. Modeling and talking and enhancing on the age of the horse on Jan. on the Passover seder, this Tu family relationships could be an By Rabbi Haviva Horvitz 1. Therefore, the first of January B’Shevat meal included four antidote.” Temple Beth Sholom is the new year for the horse. cups of wine and seven foods Ziv said it’s important to Middletown In other words, the 3-yearrepresentative of those found in teach children to handle stress in The question is asked: Which old horses on Derby the Holy Land. ways that do not involve reachmonth has 28 days? The anDay can range from In the late 19th ing for a pill or a drink. swer is, of course, all of them. barely 3 to almost 4. century, Tu B’Shevat “People don’t know how to However, three years out of With regard to the became a celebratory manage their difficulties — they every four, February has only trees, there are various way for Zionists to go for the quick fix. Instead of 28 days. tithes that Israelites link the Jews with dealing with what’s going on, Have you ever considered their land. take a pill.” how many holidays there are in took from produce grown in the ancient The holiday beOne way to prevent teens such a short month? Groundland of Israel. These came one of rededica- from “borrowing” medication hog Day is Monday, Feb. 2; tithes differ from year tion to the ecology that doesn’t belong to them is President Lincoln’s birthday to year in a seven-year Rabbi Haviva Horvitz of the land and the to keep prescription drugs in a cycle. planting of trees or secure place. Tu B’Shevat is the point at donating money to plant trees Professionals also agree that which a budding fruit is consid- in Israel. teens or young adults should is Thursday, Feb. 12; President In our day, as concern for not be afraid to ask for help Washington’s birthday is Mon- ered to belong to the next year the environment grows, Tu when someone they know is at day, Feb. 16, and Presidents Day of the tithing cycle. So, for example, if you were B’Shevat has taken on the adrisk. Many drug-related tragis also celebrated on Feb. 16. a farmer in ancient Israel and ditional meaning as a day on edies occur because teens fear On the Jewish calendar, we you had an orchard, you gave which Jews can express and act they will be penalized by calling celebrate Tu B’Shevat, the 15th a certain amount of fruit to the on their concern for the ecologi- for help when a friend has overday of the month of Shevat, Kohanim (Temple priests), to the cal well-being of the world in dosed on drugs or alcohol. which, this year begins on the poor, or for those eating it in which we live. “If a teen calls the police for evening of Tuesday, Feb. 3 and Jerusalem. The biblical book a friend, the caller won’t get in lasts through Wednesday, Feb. The cut-off date Tu B’Shevat of Deuteronomy, trouble,” Patton said. “We’re 4. that divides beChapter 20, Verse trying to save people’s lives.” Most holidays on the list is the point 19, states: “When Ziv said more education and above celebrate people on their tween one year’s at which the crop and the next you besiege a city parental supervision are critibirthdays; Groundhog Day, acbudding fruit is for many days to is based on the cal to prevent teens and young cording to folklore, determines day when most of considered to wage war against adults from developing dangerif spring will come early or if the rainy season it to capture it, you ous habits. the winter weather will persist has passed, which belong to the shall not destroy “Kids are not stupid, but they for six more weeks, depending act stupid,” she said. “Their on the rodent not seeing (or see- is the 15th day of next year of the its trees by wieldShevat. ing an ax against brains are not completely deing) his shadow. tithing cycle. There are those them, for you may veloped until age 25 or 26. The Which is most similar to Tu who believe that it eat from them, but younger they start using, the B’Shevat? If you answered the is on the 15th day of the month you shall not cut them down. Is stronger the likelihood they will birthdays, you are right. Tu the tree of the field a man, to go develop addictions in adultB’Shevat is the birthday or new of Shevat when the tree, which was dormant all winter, wakes into the siege before you?” hood. Parents need to think year for the trees. up and the sap begins to flow. It is from this verse that we about what their values are and In addition, it has become a As you might suspect, after learn respect for trees. This how to enhance those.” day to connect with and rejoice the destruction of the Second lesson can also be found in the Ziv urged parents to exerin the land, and especially the Temple in Jerusalem, in 70 C.E., book by Dr. Seuss called The cise their authority, to insist on land of Israel. Lorax. knowing where their teens are Why do we need a new year the holiday of Tu B’Shevat lost much of its relevance. Whether we observe the going and whom they will be for trees? Actually, it is a legal For that matter, why should birthday of the trees or celwith, and to make sure they are distinction. A similar example, not attending unsupervised parwhich I learned when I married we, who are not living in Israel, ebrate the importance they celebrate such a seemingly have in our world today or use ties and sleepovers. a man from Louisville, Ky., is meaningless holiday? Tu B’Shevat as a convenient “Children don’t know what’s the concept of a horse’s birthIn the Middle Ages, the opportunity to connect with good for them,” she said. “They day. Although one may celholiday was rediscovered by Israel, may we take the time to are more susceptible; their deebrate the specific date of birth Jewish mystics of Tzfat, who appreciate the holiday and all it fenses are down when they are for a pet horse, determination developed a ritual meal. Based has to offer. intoxicated. They learn about of eligibility for a race is based the high from other kids, and they want the same thing.” At Josh’s funeral service, his Torah ebruary brother delivered a eulogy that Portions ended with an appeal to the hevat/ dar “20-somethings” in the room. February 7/18 Shevat “This was an accident, but Yitro (Ex. 18:1-20:23) if it can happen to him, it can Shabbat happen to any of us,” Andrew February 14/25 Shevat Candle Lightings said. “I want you to think about Mishpatim (Ex. 21:1-24:18, 30:11-16) February 6, 5:44 p.m. the hurt in your heart; the hole Tu B’Shevat that you feel right now…Use the February 21/2 Adar New Year for Trees February 13, 5:52 p.m. pain that you feel today and let Terumah (Ex. 25:1-27:19, Num. 28:9-15) February 4/15 Shevat it motivate your decisions going Marks springtime in Israel. February 20, 6 p.m. forward. Don’t do to your famFebruary 28/9 Adar Celebrated with picnics, ily what Josh inadvertently did Tetzaveh (Ex. 27:20-30:10) fruit and planting trees. February 27, 6:08 p.m. to all of us here today.”

The New Year of the trees









Egregious fallacies

Myths and Misconceptions series Years ago, my girlfriend noticed her new co-worker surreptitiously examining her throughout the day. Puzzled, she finally asked why and was stunned to learn that her co-worker was looking for horns.

Candace R. Kwiatek Egregious misconceptions about Jews and Judaism are common: Jews are a race; all Jews are smart, affluent, and Democrats; “chosen people” means superior; Jews use human blood for rituals. Fallacies surrounding the Hebrew Bible are equally abundant. In no order of importance, here are some of the more frequent and interesting misconceptions about Judaism I have encountered. Jews have horns. Michelangelo sculpted his famous image of Moses with two horns protruding from his head based on an early mistranslation of the Hebrew word karan in the Bible, which describes Moses’ face as he descended Mt. Sinai with the Tablets. In context, karan meant shone, radiated, or beamed. But karan also means ray (as in light) or horn (as for a ram). Unfortunately, when translated into Greek and Latin, Moses’ face was inaccurately described as horned rather than radiant. In the era of the Crusades,

this mistranslation was seized upon to depict all Jews with horns, like the devil, an antisemitic image that persists in some quarters even today. There’s little difference between reading the Bible in translation or in the original Hebrew. Karan is not the only mistranslation with far-reaching consequences. In the Decalogue, the sixth commandment is often written as “Thou shalt not kill,” although the Hebrew clearly states lo tirtzach, do not murder. Connotation can also influence translation: the Hebrew in Isaiah 7:14 describes a young maiden, alma, about to give birth to a son named Immanuel. Using the connotation of virgin rather than the literal meaning young maiden for the word alma, this verse appears in the Greek as a virgin giving birth, familiar imagery in Christian tradition. Words may be changed in a translation. Perhaps influenced by Greek mythological symbols, the Latin version transformed Eve’s unidentified forbidden fruit into an apple, an image later popularized by Renaissance art. Not everyone can read the Hebrew text, but be aware of these and other pitfalls of translations. The Jewish people are legalistic. The word Torah means direction (from its root in archery, yareh, meaning to shoot an arrow to hit its mark), teaching, instruction, or doctrine. The same root is at the core of teacher, moreh, and parent, horeh. Torah’s direction includes laws, traditions, ethics,

Literature to share The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah by Leslie Kimmelman. A familiar children’s tale is retold with a bit of Yiddish, some unexpected twists, and lots of humor. Perfect for early elementary ages, it includes a recipe for matzah-making and a brief explanation of Passover. A great addition to a family book collection. An Officer and a Spy: a Novel by Robert Harris. Named Thriller of the Year by the Crime Writers’ Association, this captivating fictional account of the Dreyfus Affair is cleverly narrated by the investigator who broke open the case, Georges Picquart. Fans of crime novels, historical fiction, and legal thrillers will be gripped by the chilling tale and Harris’ masterful storytelling.

rituals, history and more. However, when Greek and Latin scriptures translated Torah as “law,” they ignored its linguistic roots and captured only a sliver of its meaning, conveying the image of a narrow legalism rather than a rich multi-faceted tradition. Kashrut is a primitive health code. Certainly a kosher diet emphasizing fruits, vegetables, and grains along with those animals least likely to carry disease offers many health benefits. But how do prohibitions against boiling a kid in its mother’s milk, using the blood, or engaging in hunting or trapping fit the health code notion? Furthermore, if health were at stake, how could the Torah explicitly allow the sale or donation of nonkosher foods to strangers or foreigners (Deut. 14:21), in direct conflict with the command not to wrong or oppress a stranger? Kashrut is a pathway to selfdiscipline, moral sensitivity, and holiness and only tangentially to a healthy diet. The Hebrew Bible commands love, not hate. “Love your neighbor as yourself,” the Torah teaches, and expressions of loving are woven throughout the biblical text. But don’t

be misled; the Bible also commands hate, as expressed in Ecclesiastes: “A season is set for everything… A time for loving and a time for hating…” But biblical hatred is limited to one target: evil. If we don’t hate evil, commentator Dennis Prager cautions, we will try to avoid it, ignore it, or escape it with dire consequences. Only hatred can incite us to morally transform evil. In the Bible, Abraham smashes idols, Moses grabs coals, and spiders save David. Midrash, rabbinic commentary to clarify or interpret a law or text, is often mistaken for the text itself, especially when written in story form. Such is the case of these three commonly but wrongly attributed tales. All three are midrash and cannot be found anywhere in the biblical text (you can find these tales in midrash, folktales, and online). The Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) and the Christian Old Testament are identical. While all Bibles begin with the Five Books of Moses and generally contain the same books, the Tanakh and Old Testament are different. The Tanakh continues with Prophets — Joshua through Kings followed by the Minor

Here are some of the more frequent and interesting misconceptions about Judaism I have encountered.

Prophets — and ends with the Writings, including such books as Esther and Psalms. The Old Testament continues with the Historical Writings (Joshua through Kings, Chronicles, Ruth and Esther); Poetry and Wisdom (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon); and Prophets. This rearrangement places the Prophets closest to the New Testament. Despite the altered arrangement of texts, occasional differences in verse numbers and texts, and additional books in Catholic Bibles, I find a variety of Bibles in research and classroom studies enhances the learning potential. Ben Azzai is quoted in the Talmud as saying, “He who, for the sake of learning, lowers himself by exposing his ignorance, will ultimately be elevated.” Exposing our myths and misconceptions works much the same. Join the journey to a higher elevation. Family Discussion: Which of these misconceptions was familiar? A surprise? What misconceptions about the Bible might you hold, and how would you know? Candace R. Kwiatek is a writer, educator and consultant in Jewish and secular education. She is also a recipient of an American Jewish Press Association Simon Rockower First Place Award for Excellence in Commentary, and an Ohio Society of Professional Journalists First Place Award for Best Religion/Values Coverage.

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OBITUARIES Tom Blum, age 95 of Dayton, passed away Dec. 31. Mr. Blum was a suit salesman at Rike’s for many years, a member of Beth Jacob Congregation, Army veteran of World War II, member of Jewish War Veterans Post 587, and Disabled Veterans of America. Through the years he was an active member of the YMCA playing handball and racquetball. Mr. Blum was preceded in death by his sisters Fannie Friedman, Sara Shapiro, and Mildred Blum; brothers Morris and Arnold Blum; niece, Barbara Shapiro and nephew, Howard Shapiro. He is survived by his sister, Marilyn Garison of Dayton; nieces and nephews Leslie Goldstein, Gary Garison, Peggy Garison Fogelman, Linda Shapiro, Harley Friedman, Gaye Feldman, and Patty Thomas. Interment was at Beth Jacob Cemetery. Sylvia Sherman Cohen, age 95 of Deerfield Beach, Fla. passed away Dec. 30. Mrs. Cohen was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Philip E. Cohen, and her brother, Nat Sherman. She is survived by her children, Harlene (Stephen) Johnson of Parkland, Fla., Herbert Cohen of Deerfield Beach, and Dr. Steven (Jude) Cohen of Centerville; five grandchildren: Karen (Dr. Craig) Dean, Teri (Mark) Spence, Kelly Cohen, Daniel Cohen and Alex (Rebekah) Cohen; four greatgrandchildren: Sarah and Evan Dean, Ethan Spence and Isla Cohen; her sister, Lillian Sherman Meyer of Cincinnati, and many nieces and nephews.

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Mrs. Cohen worked at Temple Israel for many years and was a lifelong member. She enjoyed her retirement years in Florida immensely. Interment was at Riverview Cemetery in Dayton. Memorial contributions to the charity of your choice may be made in her memory. Marvin Alan Kobel, age 92 of Kettering, passed away Dec. 28. Formerly of Boynton Beach, Fla. and Fairfax, Va., he was a native of Gloversville, NY. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Lorraine; two daughters, Fran Linda (Jordan) Tannenbaum, Deborah (Bruce) Feldman; five grandchildren: Amy Knopf (Gary), Jason Feldman, Michael, David and Rebecca Tannenbaum and great-granddaughter Ava Knopf. A 1947 graduate of the University of WisconsinMadison School of Journalism, Mr. Kobel was a public relations executive in the life insurance business. He was an insurance and business trade journal editor in Louisville, Ky.; an editor in the public relations division of Metropolitan Life in New York, and vicepresident of public relations for the National Association of Life Underwriters in Washington, D.C. from 1955 to 1990. In that capacity, he helped to initiate and implement the Association’s expansive public service and consumer education programs and managed its annual convention. After his retirement in 1990, he was a public relations consultant and worked with the then House of Representatives Hunger Committee. While at

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the University of Wisconsin in 1940 and 1941, he was a sports reporter and columnist for the Daily Cardinal. He joined the U.S. Air Corps in 1942 and served in the ChinaBurma-India theatre until early 1946. He returned to the university and was an editorial writer and columnist for the Cardinal. His memberships included the National Press Club, Public Relations Society of America, Association Executives Society, Disabled Veterans of America; Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi (Professional Journalism Fraternity), and Wisconsin Alumni Association. In addition to graduating from Wisconsin, he studied for advanced degrees at New York University, and received the Chartered Life Underwriter designation from the American College of Life Underwriters. He was active in the Democratic Party in New York and Northern Virginia. Interment was at Beth Jacob Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Dayton Children’s Hospital or the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Herman W. Levitt passed peacefully in his sleep at home on Dec. 28 with his beloved wife of 67 years, Shirley, by his side. Interment was at Riverview Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to any hospice or local food bank. Bert Lieberman, age 88, died Dec. 26. He is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Jean (Kolstein) Lieberman, and loving children and

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grandchildren: daughter Marilyn Klaben and son-inlaw Larry Klaben of Dayton and their children Max, Sara, and Jeremy; son Michael and daughter-in-law Randi Abramson of Washington, D.C., and their children Eve and her husband, Ian Rayder, Hannah, and Yonah; and daughter Diane Slovin of Cincinnati and her children Aaron, Matt, and Joey; and his adoring sister, Claire Lee Lieberman, of Cincinnati. Born in Dayton on Nov. 14 1926 to Morris and Sadie Lieberman, Mr. Lieberman was a proud World War II veteran. He never forgot that he was a son of immigrants to America. A young entrepreneur, he founded Morris Furniture in 1947 with his father and led the company until current president and CEO Larry Klaben purchased it in 1998. Success in the furniture business helped Bert and Jean travel the world. He found tremendous happiness with their friends — especially the five other couples that constituted “The Club” that met for dinner once a month for decades. His greatest joy was his family and he took tremendous pride in their accomplishments and involvements. A lifelong member of Beth Jacob Congregation, Mr. Lieberman was a compassionate and generous philanthropist, a longtime leader and board member of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton and former chair of Covenant House. Contributions may be made to Human Race Theatre (humanracetheatre. org), the Anti-Defamation League (, Cedar Village (, or the charity of your choice. Rabbi Hillel Fox officiated at the funeral services, held at Beth

Jacob Congregation. Freyda G. Perlmutter of Dayton passed away Dec. 27. She was preceded in death by her husband, Isaac, and brother Leo Gordon. Mrs. Perlmutter is survived by her daughters, Bryna (Paul) Simkin, and Debbie (Jason) Witow; grandchildren, Emily Simkin, David Simkin, Maia, Yael and Lior Witow; sister, Charlotte Levy. Interment was at Beth Abraham Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Jewish National Fund or the charity of your choice. Stuart A. Rosenstein, age 73, of Dayton, passed away Jan. 11 at Miami Valley Hospital. Mr. Rosenstein was a retail salesman for Morris Furniture for more than 25 years and after retirement enjoyed being a shuttle driver. He was a member of Beth Abraham Synagogue, the men’s club, a former member of Beth Jacob Congregation, past president of Beth Jacob Congregation, Beth Jacob Men’s Club and Chevra Kadisha. Mr. Rosenstein was part of the “Breakfast Club,” loved traveling, was an Army veteran stationed in Germany, was a member of the Jewish War Veterans and the Masons. He was preceded in death by his parents, Irvin and Esther Rosenstein. Mr. Rosenstein is survived by his wife, Cherie; daughter and son-in-law, Shani and Dan Kadis of Cleveland; son, Johnny Rosenstein of Calif.; sister and brother-inlaw, Bunny and Jerry Callis of Arizona; grandchildren, Spencer and Gabriel; and many other relatives and friends. Interment was at Beth Abraham Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be sent to Jewish War Veterans or Dayton Chapter of Hadassah.

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Eating kosher and vegetarian

Tevah, nature

Part Two

Kosher and vegetarian. Sounds easy: just drop the meat and dig right in. Cutting meat from your diet — and from your kitchen — may simplify things, but there still are kashrut pitfalls out there, as we’ll see. Keep in mind that looking for a reliable kosher certification is the surest way to not inadvertently consume a food that might seem to be vegetarian but in the end isn’t kosher.

Mark Mietkiewicz For a people whose traditions revolve around foods like chicken soup and gefilte fish, finding vegetarian replacements can be a bit of a challenge. But help is at hand. How about a steaming bowl of NotChicken Soup ( and a generous piece of Mock Gefilte Fish? Based on the illustration, it’s amazing what you can do with onion, celery, carrot, garlic, chickpeas, dulce flakes, kelp, cayenne pepper, olive oil and some know-how (bit. ly/jveg46). But Jews don’t live by Not-Chicken Soup and Mock Gefilte Fish alone. You can feast on more than 1,000 kosher vegetarian recipes at the Joy of Kosher site ( At the Jewish Cuisine newsgroup, there are more than 150 recipes including Buricche with Eggplant Filling, Mushroom Schnitzel, Quinoa Pilaf and five varieties of good-old mock chopped liver ( Taking meat out of your diet and kashrut is simple, right? Simpler perhaps, but just because a product seems to be meat-free doesn’t mean it’s necessarily kosher. These days, unless you have a degree in advanced biochemistry, it can be daunting trying to understand the origin of the chemicals that go into our food. For example, you can go ahead and eat something with

Mock Gefilte Fish at

dilauryl thiodiproprionate (bit. ly/jveg52). It’s a synthetic preservative that doesn’t require kashrut supervision. But watch out for alpha amylase. It’s sometimes used in flour to break down starches and it comes from hog pancreas. Check out the story behind more than 100 other tongue twisting ingredients and their uses ( Two confusing ingredients for vegetarians who keep kosher are rennet and gelatin. Gelatin is a tasteless, odorless substance extracted by boiling bones, hoofs and other animal tissues. It is often used as a gelling agent for thickening in foods ( Some points of view maintain that since gelatin is so far removed from its original form, it does not need to be derived from a kosher animal. ( jveg55). However, Orthodox certifications require it. And vegetarians should be aware of yet another twist. Gelatin from kosher animals is considered pareve and is labelled as such ( Some kosher gelatins, though, are derived from vegetablebased agar ( Rennet is a substance containing an enzyme used to coagulate milk and create cheese ( A common source of rennet is the stomach of slaughtered newly-born calves, although microbial enzymes are used in kosher cheeses. As with gelatin, some people maintain that rennet is so far removed from its origins that it is permissible from any source. Even if a cheese has rennet that is microbial in origin (or is rennet-free), it will not receive Orthodox certification unless it was manufactured under Jewish auspices (

It can be daunting trying to understand the origin of the chemicals that go into our food.

Specifically, the Talmud requires hard cheeses to be produced with the setting of the enzyme supervised by a Jew. Soft cheeses, such as cottage cheese, don’t require this. Even so, they need kosher supervision because there are issues at hand such as the equipment used and non-kosher additives. But there doesn’t need to be a rabbi present at each production, as with hard cheese. Kosher vegetarians may not have to worry about having two sets of dishes but they do have to worry about insects, which are not kosher. Like those aphids in the artichokes or the thrips in the strawberries. The COR Produce Inspection Guide lists 75 vegetables, fruits, herbs, spices and fungi with instructions for what to look for and how to make sure what you’re about to eat is bug-free ( If you’re not in the mood to check your veggies tonight, you may want to take in a kosher vegetarian restaurant. The Kosher Restaurant Database has information about establishments around the world where you can enjoy a kosher vegetarian meal ( And if you really want to be pampered, there’s the Israeli vegetarian village of Moshav Amirim. Located in the Upper Galiliee, Amirim was founded more than 50 years ago by a group of vegetarians and vegans, and was declared the country’s first tourist village. You can frequent several vegetarian restaurants, bed and breakfasts or rent a cottage with a kitchenette ( I’ll leave the last word to a tale about the power of a vegetarian lifestyle that I found on the Amirim home page, which is in Hebrew ( Amirim guest: “Excuse me, may I ask you a question? They say that this village is so clean, quiet and relaxed, and the food is so healthy, you can recover and get stronger here. Is that true?” “Absolutely. When I arrived, I was all bent over and weak. I couldn’t even speak and stand on my feet. I had no teeth, and I barely had hair...and just look at me now!” “Wow, that’s amazing! How long have you been here?” “I was born here.” Mark Mietkiewicz may be reached at

Nati Shohat/Flash90

Selecting plants in a nursery in Eshtaol, Israel to celebrate Tu B’Shevat

It is hard to believe that again we are celebrating the lovely day of Tu B’Shevat, a day known as The Holiday of the Trees and celebrated on the 15th day of the fifth month of the Hebrew calendar. In Israel, at this time the landscape is covered with beautiful blossoms of wildflowers and the almond trees are budding all around.

Dr. Rachel Zohar Dulin Indeed, Tu B’Shevat brings to mind the word tevah, the Hebrew word for nature in all its glory. Tevah is a post-biblical word, close to the Aramaic tivah. It is derived from the verb tava, which means sink, impress, coin, stamp and formulate. As a noun, tevah has several meanings. Tevah is an all-inclusive term for everything created. Trees, animals, seas, land, sky and luminaries, are all part of the tevah. Tevah also means element or substance. It is used in reference to the prime elements: water, fire, earth and air, known as the t’vaim (plural of tevah), formerly believed to constitute all physical matter from which God created the world and all in it (Bamidbar Raba 14). And yet another meaning for the word tevah is characteristic or character of a living being or a substance (Megilah 14; Yerushlmi, Brakhot 9:2). The multiple meanings to the word tevah give rise to many interesting phrases in Hebrew. For example, tevah haadam, literally the nature of a human being, is a term that comes to


us from the literature of the Middle Ages, pointing to all kinds of behavioral patterns typical of human beings. Tevah sheni, on the other hand, translated as second nature, refers to a learned behavior, which has become a part of one’s nature. And since we are discussing human nature, we should also mention the idiom yatza tivoh baolam referring to a person whose reputation is worldrenowned (Megilah 14). This meaning is founded in the fact that the faces of famous people were struck on coins, and their fame spread as the coins circulated. Tevah is also used in phrases describing both the violent forces of nature and its pastoral quality. The phrase, eytahnay hatevah, means natural forces and is used in reference to earth quakes, eruptions of volcanoes, floods, etc. In contrast, the term chayk hatevah, the bosom of nature, refers to the countryside, implying a quiet bucolic place, far from the noise and the hustle of the city. Since Tu B’Shevat is a holiday in Israel (Rosh HaShannah1:1), it is mitevah had’varim, from the nature of things that it will be a day enjoyed in tevah. Most Israelis spend the holiday in chayk hatevah, in the countryside, planting trees, eating different fruits, relaxing and enjoying the beauty of tevah. May Tu B’shevat, The Holiday of the Trees, bring us all closer to the tevah and may we continue to celebrate its beauty. Dr. Rachel Zohar Dulin is a professor of biblical literature at Spertus College in Chicago and an adjunct professor of Bible and Hebrew at New College of Florida.


By Maayan Jaffe, Mazel tov! You’re getting married…again. Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin, a certified practitioner in Imago relationship therapy and author of The Marriage Restoration Project: The Five Step Plan to Saving Your Marriage, notes that around 50 percent of married adults in America get divorced at least once, meaning the likelihood of being a stepparent is becoming increasingly high. It can work, but it takes tremendous commitment and communication, Slatkin says. Raising someone else’s children poses uncharted challenges and opportunities for couples who must balance their own relationship with the relationships they must form with their stepchildren. It isn’t easy to create a blended and successful family unit. Chayim Lando, who is now in his third marriage and has 19 children and stepchildren between the ages of 5 and 28, has dealt with a number of stepparenting issues over the years, such as: What should the children call the stepparent? Who is allowed to discipline the stepchildren? How can you ensure that the stepchildren don’t feel like you have usurped their biological parent? “You have to figure out the appropriate thing for each child,” Lando says. For example, this time around, Lando has asked that his older children from previous marriages call his new wife by her first name.

Take two Juggling challenges of second marriages “The children are older, and we don’t want them to feel like someone is (swooping in) to be a new parent,” Lando explains. “It’s a message of, ‘You have a father and a mother. I am just here to help out, make your life better.’” Melinda Greenberg and Keith Michel are handling their second marriage similarly. Each has two children in high school or older. Greenberg says Michel’s kids call her by her first name, and vice versa. “We are both really respectful of the fact that the biological parents are very much involved in their children’s lives and neither of us wants to do anything

to usurp that role,” Greenberg says. When Greenberg and Michel discussed moving in with each other, they talked about the need for father-children time and mother-children time and about how to be comfortable with the fact that “just because we are all moving in together and living in one house doesn’t mean we have to do everything together,” Greenberg says. Daniel, Greenberg’s second son, has Asperger syndrome, which can lead to some communication challenges. There are times when Daniel and his stepfather are alone in the house, and Michel wants to

Mazel Tov... Let’s Eat!


pizzas some and behavior. What correct much more happens if Daniel is not receptive? “Keith has prepared himself for Daniel to say, ‘You are not my father,’” Greenberg says, noting that the couple roleplayed these scenarios. “Keith will respond, ‘I am an adult who cares about you and I see you doing something wrong, a problem, and I want to be able to address that with you.’” Lando says some stepparents make the mistake of saying, “I am the new sheriff in town,” and that it rarely goes over well. Slatkin also says it’s important not to make too many demands on stepchildren, but to recognize they will need time to transition to this new life and to build trust with their stepparent. “It is important to discuss how you will co-parent,” Slatkin says. “While you want to run the family together,”

he says, you should be aware that the other parent’s children might not feel comfortable with a stepparent administering discipline. One thing to keep in mind is how in-laws deal with stepchildren. Slatkin says he’s seen situations in which in-laws favor the biological children or get gifts for those children but not for the stepchildren. He says parents shouldn’t be shy about talking to grandparents about this scenario, to ensure that they don’t play into strained family dynamics. Blended families also need to work out how to share simchas (happy occasions). For United Kingdom-based Rabbi Michael RosenfeldSchueler, there were additional items to consider. He received sole custody of his daughter, Shalva, just a few months after he and his second wife, Tracey, were married. “Were there challenges? Yes, there were most definitely challenges,” Rosenfeld-Schueler says, noting that today the situation is “very positive indeed.” Rosenfeld-Schueler says he and Tracey worked with professionals and read several books together to help smooth the transition. Among his top picks are Blessing of a Skinned Knee by Wendy Mogel and How to Talk So Kids Will &Ave. 515 Listen Wayne Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele in beautiful Faber and Elaine Mazlish. Downtown Dayton He explains there’s a “mas937-496-5268 sive lacking” of Jewish books Monday-Saturday on related subjects but he 11am – 10pm found these to have universal Closed Sunday messages. Tracey’s approach to being a stepmom was very much led by daughter Shalva and what she wanted. For example, Tracey only offered affection if Shalva initiated it, and then she Continued on Page 30



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A new kind of wedding could not deny By Gary M. Kramer my mother the The Jewish Exponent chance to see PHILADELPHIA — her gay son get I covered weddings for married. the Jewish Exponent for As we many years, but I nevreviewed the er thought I’d have the elements of the chance to write about ceremony, we my own nuptials. As discussed the a gay man, marriage Stunning, options. We was not a reality for exquisite bridal did not want a Mike, my partner of arrangements chupah (wed17 years, and me. That ding canopy), in is, until May 20, 2014. part because we The minute same-sex 1132 Brown Street decided to hold marriage was allowed Dayton, Ohio 45409 Committed to in Pennsylvania, Mike Mike (L) and Gary are showered with confetti after their ceremony the ceremony in Easy access parking providing the best our apartment emailed me with the available on the day we wanted and not a synagogue. But I did behind the Shoppe subject line: WYMM. I respond- to marry. service, creativity, want to uphold the ritual of ed, “Of course!” Rabbi Alpert met with us at 937-224-7673 and value. breaking the glass. Rabbi Alpert I think we were both too her home, and we discussed explained that this tradition excited by the possibility of same-sex weddings. She and was sometimes interpreted getting married to worry her partner had been married about bended knees and other outside Pennsylvania, but now, as the breaking of the hymen. But she elaborated that it also traditional wedding rituals. thanks to the court’s decision, represented something “broken But I couldn’t help but ask him: they were able to enjoy all the in the world.” There are many “Will I have to tell folks you benefits of marriage — from interpretations of what that proposed over email?” home ownership to hospital And this is what is kind visitation rights to joint income means, of course, but I thought this one fit best: To me, it was of great about gay marriage. tax filing and even inheritance the breaking of the law that There is no proper way to do laws — in the state in which it. Folks are becoming more they lived. There were so many prohibited same-sex couples from marrying. accepting and supportive of rights heterosexuals may not Rabbi Alpert also directed same-sex marriage. Our wedrealize LGBT folks don’t have us to have the traditional seven ding would be a new, historic simply because of marital blessings (sheva brachot) read experience for our friends and status. family. We could show them As we discussed the ceremo- at the ceremony. We looked Bring in this ad and receive $10 off your over a sheet she gave us and how to put a new spin on some ny, I started getting nervous. next in-store purchase of $60 or more* assigned blessings (in English) old traditions. On the other Excited, yes — this was a big to various friends and family hand, while we have rarely step I never thought we’d take Expires 10.31.2015. been publicly affectionate, sud- — but I was also anxious; there members at the ceremony. The *Some exclusions apply. idea was to incorporate them in denly, we were going to be at were many things to consider Not valid on wine, candy, or delivery. the wedding as a kind of chorus the center of attention. and prepare in such a short that echoed our sentiments and Preparing for our wedding period of time. 1306 Troy Street • Dayton, Ohio 45404 was a sprint after a longOur rabbi was extremely ac- created a feeling of love and (937) 223-1213 • inclusion. distance run. After 17 years commodating with our wishes We talked about vows and together, our plan was to get as she outlined the ceremony. “I hitched as quickly as possible. could just sign the license right other elements to the wedAre you reading this? So is the entire Jewish community. We gave ourselves three weeks now,” she offered, but we knew ding — that we would not walk to put the ceremony together. we wanted to stand up in front down an aisle (our apartment Contact Patty Caruso at This was in part because there of friends and family. Besides, I Continued on Page 31 to advertise in The Observer. was a potential legal development if then-Gov. Tom Corbett challenged the federal court decision. (It didn’t happen, but that didn’t mean we wanted to wait.) The first hurdle was to get the marriage license. When we entered Philadelphia City Hall on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, we were asked various questions, including — because the computers had not yet been updated for samesex couples — “Which one of you should I put down as the bride?” The clerk was sheepish and, as Mike looked at his shoes, I manned up and said, “Well, since he proposed…” Dayton History offers an array of unforgettable venues for weddings and special events! So with license in hand, Whether you are planning a wedding, rehearsal dinner, or bridal shower, Dayton History’s venues I contacted Rabbi Rebecca offer an extraordinary combination of natural beauty and distinctive spaces. Alpert, whom I have known for 15 years, to ask if she would Contact us today for more information! Call 937-293-2841 ext. 106 or email officiate. She agreed, and was

for your




Take two

An Original Purim Shpiel Written & Directed By Chaya Vidal

Wednesday March 4

Continued from Page 28 reciprocated warmly. “We found this approach built up trust,” says Rosenfeld-Schueler. Shalva’s biological mother chose not to have contact with her daughter soon after the court made the custody decision. Within a year, Shalva started calling Tracey “Mum,” “Mummy,” or “Ima,” which was welcomed by the stepmother — but not ever suggested or requested. From there, the relationship has continued to deepen. “Day-to-day it is a mother-daughter relationship. That’s what’s happened,” Rosenfeld-Schueler says, noting strong and open communication between him and his wife was essential to making the transition work. He adds that keeping in mind what is best for the child is “ultimately the most important thing” that helps the couple make decisions. Since then, the Rosenfeld-Schuelers have welcomed a new baby to the family and that, too, has been a wonderful gift for their older daughter. Shalva says she is happy “because I got a baby brother and it doesn’t really matter (that he is from another mother). I call them my family because… they are my family!” Slatkin says that to make the transition to a second marriage easier, it’s important that when divorced parents are dating, the kids are part of the equation from early on. He says individuals need to remember that when you marry

a mother or father, you aren’t just marrying that person, but also his or her children. According to Slatkin, it’s also important to take trips together and incorporate other bonding activities before and after the marriage, to encourage additional connection between stepchildren and stepparent. He also notes that having children can make it challenging for the parents to prioritize their own relationship and find time for private bonding, which is also essential. Lando says not to let outside influences, stigmas, or statistics stand in the way of a new healthy relationship. In the Jewish community—and more acutely in the Orthodox community— there remains a tremendous stigma against divorce, Lando points out. Rosenfeld-Schueler says that stigma can be isolating at times and emphasizes the importance of looking for a support network of people who have gone through similar situations. Slatkin says that roughly 70 percent of second marriages end in divorce, but that he has nonetheless witnessed many successes firsthand. Remarried couples may be more motivated to make their union work because they have already seen a failed relationship, he says. Whether it be a first or second marriage, in Slatkin’s estimation, it all depends on “how committed they are to working on the relationship no matter what.” Is it worth all the work? “It is always worth it to be in a healthy relationship,” says Lando.

5:30 p.m. Megillah Reading 6:30 p.m. Dinner • 7:30 p.m. Shpiel R.S.V.P.

Wok N’Roll


Friday, Feb. 20 6:15 p.m. Kabbalat Shabbat service with the Beth Abraham Band, followed by an Asianinspired dinner. $15 adults $7.50 children R.S.V.P.

305 Sugar Camp Circle Dayton, Ohio 45409 937•293•9520 PAGE 30


New kind of wedding Continued from Page 29 wasn’t designed for such a procession) and that we would throw confetti (not rice) to celebrate the union. She helped us plan and think carefully about the traditions and rituals of the marriage ceremony and what it meant to us. I was grateful for her guidance. Given her appreciation of the Phillies (despite their lousy performance last year), we traded her baseball tickets for her services. It was her idea, and she indicated that she enjoyed our seats. Our preparations went along swimmingly. My mom helped Mike pick out a suit for the wedding — a gorgeous blue one from Brooks Brothers that brought out his eyes. She also accompanied us to pick out rings at Tiffany since Mike found one he liked on the company’s website. I selected the same one, independently, which only shows how much we think alike. When mom suggested that I wear a bow tie for the occasion, I enthusiastically agreed. I know my mom felt good to be included in these preparations. She went with me to the restaurant near our apartment where we held the reception in their upstairs room. We selected the menu and wine options, fixed the seating arrangements and made other decisions: no centerpieces were necessary at the tables; no flowers at the ceremony — just boutonnières for the grooms and best people; a Champagne toast rather than a cocktail hour; and no band or DJ (alas, no mother/son dance). We encouraged friends who were hobbyist photographers to take pictures at the wedding and, reluctantly, we agreed there would be no wedding cake. Part of the strategy of having a low-key wedding was cost. According to the 14 Stories Gay Wedding Institute, 84 percent of gay men and 73 percent of lesbians pay for their weddings themselves. We were part of that majority. But more impor-

tantly, we wanted our friends’ and family members’ first same-sex wedding to be an intimate, loving affair, not some wild bacchanal that would scandalize them. The cozy tone was perfect. By keeping the guest list small — 20 family members and 12 of our closest friends — we were able to make everyone feel comfortable. There were no big bachelor parties and no registry. We asked folks for donations to LGBT charities. As for the wedding itself, we got hitched without a hitch. Well, except when it came time to break the glass. Mike teased “Don’t miss,” just as I was instructed to step on the lightbulb wrapped in a napkin. (It makes a better “pop” than a glass.) But I did miss it on the first try. I got it the second time around. Talk about performance anxiety.

I also think I said my vows in the thinnest voice possible, I was so nervous. My twin brother served as my best man, and Mike said he was very emotional as I read my vows. Probably best that I didn’t see him — I would have broken down completely. At the reception, my twin gave a terrific speech, paying back the honor that I had when he got married. But it was our close friend, Jennifer Steinberg, Mike’s best person, who eloquently summed up our thoughts about gay marriage. “You can’t choose your family,” she said, “but you can choose your friends and make them your family.” For her, Mike and I were part of an extended family — given that we spend such quality time together. It was a fitting tribute to same-sex marriage — whatever choices we make going forward will still be our own, but they will now be done with a legal imprimatur.

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What do you stand for?

At The Miami Valley School— Dayton’s only independent day school—we stand for personal excellence, experiential learning, intellectual curiosity, leadership development, individuality, and community. As a parent, if you stand for the same, we invite you to learn more by attending our next

Open House on February 8. Or visit us anytime online at

Open House Feb. 8, 1:30 p.m. 2313 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood 937-293-1196 family owned and operated military discount

Students don’t just come here.

Here, they become.

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



August 20 – School Begins

“Call them not your children, Call them your builders” -Talmud

Educating our builders for today and tomorrow Hillel Academy helps develop our “builders” with a foundation of Tikkun Olam . . . “repairing the world one block at a time”. When our “builders” leave Hillel, they are prepared to make a positive impact individually, in the community and globally.

Time to start thinking about 2015-2016. Call Hillel Academy to arrange your personal tour.

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