The Dayton Jewish Observer, February 2016

Page 1

Facing hostility, American Muslims learn about Zionism p. 9 February 2016 Shevat/Adar I 5776 Vol. 20, No. 6

Published by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton

The Miami Valley’s Jewish Monthly • Online at Images: ORA

weddings 24

How social media helped free a ‘chained’ woman

Pope’s visit to shul



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Pope Francis & Chief Rabbi of Rome Riccardo Di Segni

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Friendship Village Retirement Community

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Friday, Feb. 26, 5 p.m. In The Atrium Dining Room

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Chili Cook Off

Tuesday, Feb 16, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Try 14 different kinds of chili! Directors will be cooking. 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. 17, 5:30-6:30 p.m. in our conference room near the Coffee House. Please enter at Door 18. For more information, call Pam Hall, 837-5581 ext. 1269.

Join our Diabetic Support Group Tuesday, Tues., Feb. 9, 10:30 a.m. & 6 p.m. 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.

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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

The Coffee House is located just inside the Atrium entrance at Door 18. Watch for the Friendship Coffee House sign. FRIENDSHIP VILLAGE 5790 Denlinger Road, Dayton, OH 937-837-5581 ext. 269 or 277 Call toll free: 1-800-476-5517


Cincinnati Klezmer Project director dies Steve Stuhlbarg, the convivial frontman of the Cincinnati Klezmer Project — who charmed audiences with his guitar playing, Yiddish singing, and gentle storytelling — died Jan. 3 after a brief illness. A lawyer with his own practice in Cincinnati by day, Stuhlbarg joined the Klezmer Project in 1994, a year after its founding. He became director of the ensemble in 2003. The Klezmer Project specializes in Eastern European Jewish and Israeli folk music, along with songs from Yiddish theatre. It has performed with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, at hundreds of festivals and concerts across Steve Stuhlbarg, late director of The Cincinnati Klezmer Project North America, in Belgium, and has been a popular draw at Temple Israel’s Jewish Cultural Festival in Dayton since the event’s inception five years ago. For 30 years, Stuhlbarg also served as cantorial soloist for High Holy Days services at Temple Beth Sholom in Middletown. “My strongest memory of him is how easily the two of us worked together on the High Holy Days,” said Temple Beth Sholom’s Rabbi Haviva Horvitz. “We simply flowed together.” In accordance with the wishes of Stuhlbarg’s family, in lieu of a funeral or service, Temple Beth Sholom congregants shared their memories of him Steve Stuhlbarg, shown with Temple Beth before a program at the temple on the Sholom Rabbi Haviva Horvitz, was the evening of Jan. 8. congregation’s High Holy Days cantorial soloist for 30 years — Marshall Weiss

JCC Night in Vegas

The Dayton Jewish Community Center will host A Night in Vegas on Saturday, Feb. 27 from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Boonshoft Center For Jewish Culture and Education, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. The fund-raiser will include a Texas hold ‘em tournament, blackjack, silent auction, door prizes, and drawings for Ohio State Football tickets, and a three-night getaway. Tickets in advance are $25 for general admission, $125 for Texas hold ‘em admission; at the door, tickets are $35 for general, $150 for Texas hold ‘em. To purchase tickets go to or call Karen Steiger at 610-1555.

Beth Abraham Italian Shabbat Beth Abraham Synagogue will present Viva Italia Musical Shabbat and Dinner on Friday, Feb. 19 at 6:15 p.m., with Sephardic Italian prayer melodies, and an Italian dinner. The cost is $15 for adults, $7.50 for children ages 3 to 12. R.S.V.P. to 293-9520.

Women’s spa day at Chabad Feb. 28

Shaindy Jacobson, director of the Rosh Chodesh Society of the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute, will be the guest speaker for Chabad Women’s Circle Spa for the Body and Soul, Sunday, Feb. 28 from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at Chabad of Greater Dayton, 2001 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood. Over dinner at 5 p.m., Jacobson will present the talk, Everything I Know About Happiness, I Learned From Shaindy Jacobson Sadness. The program will also feature spa services including facials, upper body massages, aromatherapy, and paraffin hand treatments; and the session Everything You Didn’t Learn In Hebrew School About Queen Esther. The cost is $36, with additional giving levels available. R.S.V.P. to Devorah Mangel at 974-8648.

IN THIS ISSUE Calendar of Events....................12


Family Education.........................21



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How social media helped free ‘chained’ woman after 8 years


Following intense public pressure, Kettering man provides Jewish bill of divorce to Adina Porat in Israel By Marshall Weiss The Observer After more than eight years of waiting, Adina Porat finally received her get — a Jewish bill of divorce — in a ceremony with the Israeli Rabbinate in Jerusalem on Jan. 7. Kettering resident Dovid Porat, known locally by the name Eli Shur, signed the get on Dec. 30, two months after the New York-based Organization for the Resolution of Agunot (ORA) launched an unprecedented social media campaign and held a rally near Shur’s home to pressure him to give the get. Agunot, Hebrew for chained, refers to women in the Orthodox world whose husbands

“The video that we created refuse to provide them with a went viral on Facebook and get, a religious bill of divorce. YouTube, followed up by the Within Orthodox halacha rally, and all the (Jewish law), a dipublicity of the rally vorce isn’t final until — all of that pressure a husband provides led to the issuance of his wife with a get. the get,” Stern says. Without one, an ORA opened the agunah is unable to website freeadina. remarry. com on Oct. 21 to Though ORA stagannounce the rally; es rallies and social the site featured a media campaigns for ORA Exec. Dir. illustration from ORA eblast on Jan. 7 announcing get resolution clients when behind- Rabbi Jeremy Stern video interview with Photo in the case of Adina Porat, showing her and two of her children in a Adina Porat and her the-scenes negotiascreenshot from ORA’s video about her plight children about their plight. Betions don’t convince husbands tween then and Shur’s signing to sign a get, ORA Executive of the get, the video was viewed Director Rabbi Jeremy Stern more than 68,000 times. says this is the first time ORA Known for our Exceptional Care In addition to coverage in The has produced a video about the Observer, the Canadian Jewish predicament of an agunah as News, Detroit Jewish News, Forpart of its strategy. Michelle Tedford ward, Huffington Post, Haaretz, and Times of Israel reported on Porat’s story. More than 80 demonstrators — primarily from Orthodox communities across Ohio and Michigan — showed up for the Nov. 8 rally near Shur’s home in Kettering. “Her (Porat’s) attorney in Israel has been involved in working out a final settlement where we took down the video, pulled the website, and we’ve promised (Shur) not to rally against him,” Stern says. “And of course we put in the get (that) we dropped all claims, Continued on next page Demonstrators at the Nov. 8 rally near the home of Eli Shur in Kettering • Small Community, personal attention


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From the editor’s desk

As joyous as the above story is for Adina Porat, her children, and all who champion social justice, it brings no pleasure to put information in front of the public that has the potential to damage an individMarshall ual’s reputation — in this case, her Weiss ex-husband. The balance between protection of individual privacy and alerting readers to wrongdoing in the community is the overarching Jewish ethical dilemma in journalism. We see the tension between these values in two commandments as they appear side by side in the Torah: “You shall not be a gossipmonger among your people; you shall not stand aside while your fellow’s blood is shed (Lev. 19:16).” The Observer’s challenge is to find the “just fulcrum” between careful prevention of lashon hora (literally evil tongue) — which can damage one’s reputation — and the need to alert readers to dangers and injustices in their midst. Navigating ishethese values as they intersect isn’t easy. And d i Y itd shouldn’t a be. But because we love our commulam Lnity, navigate them we must.

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Memories as fragile as glass are tossed into the air in Tennessee Williams’ first great masterpiece. Dreams meet reality and love becomes desperate in a shimmering drama of a family on the edge. Tom struggles in a modern day world while his mother holds tight to a fantasy of Southern gentility and his sister hides amongst the glistening crystalline creatures she collects. With an edge as sharp as broken glass, it’s a story that cuts deep into the longing of human hearts. LIVE ON STAGE AT THE LOFT THEATRE • DOWNTOWN DAYTON


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Adina Porat

Continued from previous page one against the other, and the get was issued through the Chicago Rabbinical Council.” The Chicago Rabbinical Council then sent the get to the Israeli Rabbinate via UPS, which received the document in Jerusalem on Jan. 6. According to ORA, Shur and Porat were married in Israel in 1990. He left her and their children in 2007, and refused to provide her with a get. He departed Israel for the United States a year later. The Israeli Rabbinate ruled in 2009 that Shur was required to give his wife a get. In 2010, Shur arrived in Dayton to serve as ritual director of Beth Jacob Congregation. He had presented himself as a single man with no children. Nearly six months into his work at Beth Jacob, volunteers with ORA showed up at one of his evening classes at the synagogue and urged him to sign a get for his wife. He refused. In short order, he was no longer employed by the synagogue. After Shur departed Beth Jacob, the Chicago Rabbinical Council confirmed the Israeli Rabbinate’s ruling that Shur was obligated to provide his wife with a get. A solution to the agunot dilemma that has gained traction in the modern Orthodox world — and is now making its way into segments of the haredi community — is the use of halachic prenuptial agreements to provide for a get. However the New York-based Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, a modern Orthodox organization, also advocates for changes to rabbinic law to better protect wives. “For several years now, we have been trying to resolve this case amicably,” Stern says of the Porat case. “We leave no stone unturned in trying to keep things quiet and enable everyone to move on quietly with the rest of their lives.” In this situation, Stern says, ORA felt it had no other option but to up the pressure. Get refusal, he says, is a form of domestic abuse. “It’s not just about black-and-blue marks, it’s about this repeated assertion of power and control from one over the other. Jewish law does not condone such behavior.” Adina Porat and Eli Shur each declined repeated attempts to be interviewed about the case. Stern says the Porat agunah case is the 253rd ORA has resolved since its founding in 2002. “We usually resolve about 25 cases every year, and take on about 25 new cases every year,” he says. ORA currently has 70 active agunot cases, he adds. It has held rallies since its inception, and began leveraging social media a few years ago, which Stern says has been successful in certain cases. Each case, he says, comes with its unique challenges. With the successful deployment of its first video, in the Porat case, he anticipates ORA will use this tactic again. “There’s no silver bullet in any of these cases,” Stern says. “Sometimes we don’t even come to the point of a protest rally; it’s the threat of pressure which convinces the husband to give a get.” The chances of resolving Adina Porat’s case, he says, were slim. “We saw a miracle today. We are elated. And we are tremendously grateful to the hundreds, if not thousands of people who became active in this case — those who came to the rally and all the people who were involved in promoting this case.”

Editor and Publisher Marshall Weiss 937-853-0372 Contributors Dr. Rachel Zohar Dulin Rachel Haug Gilbert Candace R. Kwiatek Mark Mietkiewicz Advertising Sales Executives Patty Caruso, Lori Cohen, Proofreaders Karen Bressler, Rachel Haug Gilbert, Joan Knoll, Pamela Schwartz Billing Jeri Kay Eldeen, 937-853-0372 Observer Advisor Martin Gottlieb 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. 20, 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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Michelle Tedford contributed to this story. PAGE 4



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Israel to close consulate general office for Mid-Atlantic region director of the Department of Academic Affairs for the consulate, said the community can help reverse the decision again. “We need to make sure that they get how important Philadelphia is to the narrative of America — and the Jewish community of Philadelphia, too,” he said. “It’s unconscionable that Philadelphia is used as a punching bag when Israel wants to cut corners.” As the third-largest Jewish

community in the country, closing the consulate is not just a local issue, Balcher said, but an American one. But because Philadelphia is in between the consulate in New York and the embassy in Washington, D.C., Balcher said the Israeli government does not see a need for a consulate in the middle. Israel also has consulates in Boston, Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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By Rachel Kurland Jewish Exponent PHILADELPHIA — In a shift that will be felt across six states — including Ohio — the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Israel announced Jan. 6 that it will be closing the Consulate General of Israel to the MidAtlantic Region by December of this year. Details are still forthcoming at this point. Beyond a confirmation from consulate spokesman Michael Alexander via a phone call, the only official statement from the consulate came in the form of a threesentence email that read: “We can confirm that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel has decided to terminate operations of the Consulate General of Israel in Philadelphia by the end of 2016. Until the Consulate ceases its activities it will continue operations and serving the Mid-Atlantic region; once closed, other Israeli missions in the U.S. will expand their reach. The Ministry will do its best to assist its local employees in this process.” Budget costs were cited in the decision. According to a report in the Jerusalem Post, resources are being shifted toward a new consulate in China as part of an effort to improve trade relations between the two countries. The ministry also released a statement on Jan. 5 announcing the establishment of a Technion Israel Institute of Technology in the Chinese province of Guangdong, which is near Israel’s consulate in Guangzhou. Israel currently has its embassy to China in Beijing, and consulates in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The fourth consulate will be located in Chengdu. The Mid-Atlantic Region consulate was first rumored to close in 2013, but Philadelphia’s Jewish community and local politicians successfully fought to keep it open. Rumors of closure again began percolating in August 2015, when reports surfaced indicating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli government would close the Philadelphia consulate and six other embassies and consulates around the world. Although this is the third time the threat of a closure has been made, Lou Balcher, former

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The pope’s synagogue visit and Catholic-Jewish relations Franco Origlia/Getty Images



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RANDI ZUCKERBERG MEDIA MOGUL & LEADING JEWISH PHILANTHOPIST RANDI ZUCKERBERG SPEAKS TO THE POWER OF LIVING AND GIVING JEWISHLY IN A DIGITAL WORLD. Randi shares her personal story of success in Silicon Valley and her powerful experience as a young Jewish professional. A passionate supporter of Birthright, and a strong supporter of Israel’s development as a booming tech hub, Randi has dug deeper into her Jewish roots as she’s grown in her faith. She carries an inspiring message for the Jewish community, calling us to find our Jewish passions and build for the next generation. PAGE 6

Pope Francis greeting Chief Rabbi of Rome Riccardo Di Segni during a papal visit to the city’s synagogue, Jan. 17

By Ruth Ellen Gruber, JTA Formal dialogue between Catholics When Pope Francis crossed the Tiber and Jews had begun only two decades River to visit the Great Synagogue of before the visit by Pope John Paul II with Rome on Jan. 17, he became the third the Vatican’s 1965 Nostra Aetate declapontiff to do so. But his 1.5-mile jourration repudiating the charge that Jews ney to the towering Tempio Maggiore were collectively responsible for killing showed that what was once unthinkable Jesus. The document also stressed the is now the norm. religious bond between Jews and Catho“According to the juridical rabbinic lics, and called for interfaith contacts. traditions, an act repeated three times For centuries earlier, as Brown Unibecomes chazaka, a habit,” Rome Chief versity historian David Kertzer wrote in Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni told the pontiff. his 2001 book, The Popes Against the Jews, “Clearly this is a concrete sign of the the Vatican had “worked hard to keep new era after all that happened in the Jews in their subservient place — barpast.” ring them from owning property, from John Paul II’s visit 30 years ago practicing professions, from attending marked a dramatic watershed in university, from traveling freely.” Catholic-Jewish relations. By crossing Jews were confined to ghettos and the threshold of the Tempio Maggiore, often subjected to expulsions, forced warmly embracing Rome’s then-chief conversions and other persecutions. rabbi, Elio Toaff, and famously referring In Rome, the Great Synagogue stands to Jews as Christianity’s “older brothwhere the papal rulers kept Jews coners,” the Polish-born pontiff broke down fined to a crowded ghetto until 1870. barriers that stretched back John Paul made fosFrancis nearly 2,000 years. tering relations between The visual impact alone of reiterated John Catholics and Jews a corthe pontiff and the chief rabbi nerstone of his papacy. embracing sent out a power- Paul II’s theme “What he did was to ful message of reconciliation. that Christianity assert that one could not During his speech to a be a Christian without is rooted in sanctuary packed with Jewish recognition of one’s Judaism. community members and roots in the Jewish representatives of the governcommunity,” said Rabbi ment, international Jewish organizations, Gary Bretton-Granatoor, a longtime the state of Israel and other faiths, Franparticipant in Catholic-Jewish dialogue cis reiterated John Paul II’s theme that and a former vice president of the World Christianity is rooted in Judaism. Union of Progressive Judaism. “You are, in fact, our older brothPope Benedict XVI, who had been a ers and sisters in faith,” Francis said. key adviser to John Paul and an archiChristians, he added, “to understand tect of his theological policy, followed themselves, cannot fail to make referJohn Paul’s lead. But Benedict lacked his ence to the Jewish roots, and the church, predecessor’s charisma, and some of his while professing salvation through faith policies strained relations with the Jewin Christ, recognized the irrevocability ish world. of the ancient alliance and constant and His visit to the Rome synagogue in faithful love of God for Israel.” January 2010 reaffirmed the continuity THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • FEBRUARY 2016

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THE WORLD of the Vatican’s commitment to Jewish-Catholic dialogue. But it came amid tensions sparked by his decision to move controversial World War II-era Pope Pius XII — whom critics accuse of having turned a blind eye to Jewish suffering during the Holocaust — closer to sainthood. Rabbi Giuseppe Laras, the then-president of the Italian rabbinical assembly, even boycotted the synagogue ceremony in protest. The Argentina-born Francis had a close relationship with the Jewish community even before his election to the papacy, when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires. Since becoming pontiff in March 2013, he has consistently demonstrated attention to Jewish issues and won over many skeptics with his warmth. He visited Israel, along with Jordan and the West Bank in 2014. In May 2014, Francis defused the Pius issue to some extent by making clear that he had no intention of fast-tracking his sainthood. And a Vatican document released in December to mark the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate reiterated at length how Christianity is rooted in Judaism. It also renewed pledges of cooperation and said the church as an institution should not try to convert Jews. Prior to this visit, BrettonGranatoor told JTA that Francis “is wholly at ease with the Jewish community and Jewish

life. His entrance into that synagogue will not be dissimilar to a Jew entering a synagogue in a new place — new, yet familiar.” Francis addressed his personal feeling of closeness to Holocaust survivors, a group of whom were seated in the first row of the sanctuary, and noted the experience of the Holocaust must serve as a lesson for the present and the future. “The Shoah teaches us that we always need the greatest vigilance to intervene promptly in defense of human dignity and peace,” he said. Francis also said the extraor-

dinary rapprochement between Jews and Catholics over the past 50 years should serve as a model for other faiths. “Conflicts, wars, violence and injustices open deep wounds in humanity and call on us to reinforce the commitment to peace and justice,” Francis said. “The violence of man against man is in contradiction with any religion worthy of the name, and in particular with the three great monotheistic religions,” he said. “Every human being, as a creature of God, is our brother regardless of his origins or religious belief.”

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NEW! Register online at or call Karen at 610-1555. THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • FEBRUARY 2016



In Paris suburb, crime, extremism spur internal Jewish exodus By Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA LA COURNEUVE, France — At this Paris suburb’s only Jewish facility, Rabbi Prosper Abenaim serves sweet tea to his synagogue’s most frequent and reliable guests: machine gun-toting troops of the French Legion. Six soldiers, posted here to defend Jews in this heavily Muslim and crime-stricken municipality bordering the capital, are the first new faces in years in this dwindling community, which has lost thousands of congregants over the past two decades to Israel and safer areas of Paris. On some mornings, the troops outnumber worshippers. That wasn’t the case when Abenaim first arrived at La Courneuve’s Ahavat Chalom synagogue in 1992. There were more than 4,000 Jews in the neighborhood then and it was a struggle to fit them all into the synagogue on Yom Kippur. “The shul overflowed onto the street,” Abenaim recalled. Since then, improved economic fortunes and repeated antisemitic attacks have driven

out all but 100 Jewish families rity measures at Ahavat Chafrom the neighborhood, where lom, which resembles a fortress drug dealers operate openly on with its heavy metal doors, mulstreets that residents say police titude of security cameras and are too afraid to patrol. The three armed soldiers in military remaining Jews are mostly a camouflage at Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images the entrance. graying bunch, stuck here for fiFor years, the nancial reasons. city has ranked “We have among the two big probmost violent lems, extremism in France, with and criminal19 assaults per ity, and they 1,000 residents often mix,” said recorded in Abenaim, who 2013. lives in Paris’ On street affluent and corners near heavily Jewish the city center, 17th arrondisegangs of young ment and has men openly encouraged his exchange drugs congregants to for cash. By leave for Israel. French police conducting an noon, prostioperation in La Courneuve, near “I understand tutes are solicitParis, Aug. 27, 2015 why people ing clients on don’t want to Pasteur Bouleraise children here. I’m here my- vard, a main traffic artery. self only because of my duties. Near the synagogue, a group Otherwise, I’d be in Israel.” of men wearing colorful sports La Courneuve’s reputation clothes stand around smoking for criminality is well estabcigarettes and marijuana on a lished and reflected in the secu- Monday morning. One of them,

a native of the Caribbean island of Saint Martin who identified himself only as Degree, said he felt safe “to do whatever here” because “police won’t come here, they’re too scared. If they come, we just kill them.” Religious extremism is more difficult to measure, but its effects are nonetheless evident. In December, La Courneuve became the final resting place of Samy Amimour, one of the suicide bombers who killed 130 people in multiple coordinated attacks in Paris in November and whose family lives nearby. Security around the synagogue was beefed up following those attacks, but the soldiers were already in place. Their presence is part of Operation Sentinel, launched in response to the January 2015 murder of four Jews at a kosher supermarket in Paris. Ahavat Chalom, which in 2002 survived a fire sparked by four firebombs, is considered especially at risk. Over the past 15 years, such attacks have spurred many Jews to leave poor Parisian suburbs

like La Courneuve in favor of safer neighborhoods, according to Bernard Edinger, a Parisbased former senior correspondent for Reuters. “Tens of thousands changed neighborhoods, pushed by the hostility of their Arab neighbors or drawn elsewhere through social mobility,” Edinger wrote in December in The Jerusalem Post. Aubervilliers, a municipality adjacent to La Courneuve, once had three synagogues and many kosher shops. Today there is one synagogue and kosher food is available on one shelf at a regular supermarket, according to the Tribune Juive weekly. Sammy Ghozlan, founder of the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism, a nongovernmental watchdog group, said that while immigration from France to Israel has reached record levels, it only accounts for about 15,000 people over the past decade. Many more French Jews have been internally displaced, Ghozlan said, moving farther from Paris or into the city’s wealthier neighborhoods.

A Women’s Freedom Seder O U R





Thursday, March 31 6–9PM @ Boonshoft CJCE $25 per person. RSVP online at or by phone to Karen at 610-1555 by March 21. Please bring peanut butter or other canned goods to this event for donation to the Food Bank. This program is made possible through a grant from the World Religion Foundation and is in collaboration with the women from Beth Abraham Synagogue, Beth Jacob Synagogue, Hadassah, Temple Beth Or, Temple Israel and The Jewish Community Center of Greater Dayton. PAGE 8



Facing hostility, American Muslims learn about Zionism friends and suffered financial conseBy Yardena Schwartz, JTA quences due to their involvement in the JERUSALEM — Alejandro Beutel program. MLI leaders requested that bowed his yarmulke-covered head and JTA not publish this story until participressed his hands and forehead into pants had left Israel. Antepli feared that the 2,000-year-old stones of the Western news of their presence “could spark Wall. After slipping a note into one of provocations.” the cracks, Beutel whispered a prayer “It’s pretty confusing,” said Khurand cried. rum Wahid, a Florida attorney who has It’s a scene that unfolds daily at the sacred site in the Old City here — except defended several high-profile terrorism suspects and whose Muslim empowerthat Beutel is a convert to Islam, the son ment nonprofit, Emerge USA, lost 15 of a Jewish father and Christian mother. percent of its funding because of his He was one of 11 Muslim activists who participation in the program. “Before visited Israel in January as part of the I was regarded as a terrorist, and now Muslim Leadership Initiative, a 3-yearsuddenly I’m being called a Zionist.” old program that brings North AmeriFor Antepli and the MLI participants, can Muslims to Israel to learn about the hostile reaction merely confirms the Judaism and the Jewish connection to urgency of the initiative. the Holy Land. “There’s a misunderstanding within The yearlong program, which is fully our community of what Zionism is covered by scholarships, begins and — that it’s an exclusive, prejudiced ends with 12-day seminars in Israel and the West Bank, and includes two retreats agenda,” said one participant who requested anonymity due in the United States and Netanel Tobias/Shalom Hartman Institute to the contention surmonthly study sessions rounding MLI. “When in between. Since its people hear we’re going founding in 2013, MLI to speak with Zionists, has brought 59 North they hear, ‘We’re going American Muslims to to meet with the KKK to Israel. hear why they hate black “I have never been people.’ That’s why this able to articulate and work is so important.” understand Jews, JudaShe continued: “I ism and Zionism, even don’t think I ever underwith Jewish relatives stood how deeply some that I have, until I went Yossi Klein Halevi (L) and Jews are attached to through MLI,” Beutel Abdullah Antepli, co-directors of this land. The risks and said. the Muslim Leadership Initiative sacrifices we’ve made The brainchild of to do this really means Imam Abdullah Antepli, the Muslim a lot to our Jewish partners. It creates chaplain at Duke University, the prothis sense of trust that we wouldn’t have gram is co-directed by American-Israeli otherwise. That’s a really valuable part journalist Yossi Klein Halevi, a senior of this program.” fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute, MLI has no illusions that it can create a Jewish education center in Jerusalem. a warm and cozy relationship between Among the program’s previous particiMuslims and Jews or solve the Israelipants is Rabia Choudry, a fellow at the Palestinian conflict. The objective, MLI New America Foundation who came to national attention for her role in the first leaders say, is to deepen understanding of the Jewish connection to the Holy season of the NPR podcast Serial. Land so that Jewish-Muslim dialogue Antepli believes MLI will breed a can be more informed. deeper interfaith dialogue than similar “It’s about getting them to simply efforts that stick to superficial issues understand,” Halevi said. while ignoring the elephant in the room Muslim critics in the United States — Israel — which, when acknowledged, have charged that MLI aims to turn often leads to screaming matches. participants into Zionist advocates or MLI “will force Jews and Muslims to apologists, but the program is a far cry diversify their sources of information from pro-Israel propaganda. about each other rather than relying on In one session, participants read Isthe voices pumping fear and suspicion rael’s Declaration of Independence and into both communities,” Antepli said. discussed why the document’s promise The vehement criticism of the proof equal rights for all citizens has not yet gram within the Muslim community is been realized. a testament to how controversial that In another, they heard from Mohamgoal is. Muslim activists have described mad Darawshe, co-director of Givat MLI as a vehicle for Israeli propaganda Haviva, which supports Israeli-Palestinand called for a boycott. Antepli has received death threats. Last year, an MLI ian coexistence efforts, who told them cohort was harassed during a visit to the that his family had lived in Palestine for generations and that their land was Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. confiscated by Israel. Participants told JTA they have lost THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • FEBRUARY 2016



Lost opportunity By Douglas Bloomfield No sooner was implementation of the Iran nuclear pact announced than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took credit for the historic deal he so bitterly fought and still opposes. “Were it not for our efforts to lead sanctions and thwart Iran’s nuclear program, Iran would have had nuclear weapons some time ago,” the modest Israeli leader said. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t wish it never happened and won’t continue fighting it, but there is some truth to his claim of credit. Netanyahu and pro-Israel groups put the subject on the international agenda and pressed friendly governments to apply intense economic, diplomatic and political sanctions on Iran to abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions. His goal was the total elimination of Iranian nuclear activity, military and civilian; anything less, he preached, was capitulation. Still, his opposition and collaboration with partisan Republicans determined to thwart any Obama administration foreign policy initiative did incalculable harm to the U.S.-Israel relationship. The sanctions that were lifted applied to Iran’s nuclear program; others aimed at its terrorism role continue, and the Obama administration imposed new ones on its ballistic missile program. When the nuclear sanctions achieved their goal of bringing the Iranians to the table to negotiate away their nuclear weapons, Netanyahu was the first and loudest to object. Instead of helping shape the negotiations and the ultimate agreement, working to get a deal more to his liking, he declared war on the president. The low point was allying himself with the Republican opposition and giving an unprecedented address to Congress; for the first time in history a foreign leader used that platform to attack a sitting president and his policies. It was also a historic blunder that did enormous damage to relations with American Jewry. How much influence could Israel have had in shaping the final agreement if its prime minister had tried to play a constructive role instead of an obstructive one? Uzi Arad, his former national security advisor, said Netanyahu’s strident campaign against the deal weakened Israel’s influence. “To judge by the outcome, we lost. In any event, (Iranian) diplomacy won, and that’s a pity,” he told Israel Radio. The military and intelligence establishment did not share Netanyahu’s apocalyptic view of the agreement, but were ordered to hold their tongues. The IDF chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, said the agreement contains “many risks” for Israel but also “opportunities.” He expects Iran to honor the deal and turn its attention to other PAGE 10

foreign policy objectives in the region. Netanyahu disagrees. He’s convinced the Iranians will secretly pursue nuclear weapons. And he wants to see the screws tightened, not relaxed. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) bans Iran from developing nuclear weapons for at least 10-15 years. The International Atomic Energy Agency and the major powers will be responsible for assuring compliance. Netanyahu has said Israel will also “monitor the implementation” of the pact and “warn about any violation.” Iran, in his view, still dreams of obtaining nuclear weapons. He may be right. He rightly warns that “Iran will now turn its resources toward its terrorist activity,” particularly Hezbollah, and the international community must scrutinize Iran’s behavior and be prepared to take “an appropriate response to every violation.” Netanyahu intends to keep the pressure on Iran. The 2016 elections will be tempting for someone with his proclivity for meddling in American partisan politics. Don’t expect his ambassador, former Republican operative Ron Dermer, to be neutral. He is the one who worked secretly with House Republican leadership to arrange Bibi’s combined congressional/campaign speech on the eve of the Israeli elections. The Democratic presidential candidates have all declared support for JCPOA — Bernie Sanders even called for the United States to “aggressively” move to “normalize relations with Iran.” The Republican hopefuls are more adamantly opposed to the Iran deal than the Israeli leader, with several vowing to shred it upon arrival in the Oval Office. Republicans unanimously opposed the JCPOA in the Congress, and throughout this election year will be try to impose new sanctions for Obama to veto so they can go to supporters claiming to be the real friends of Israel while the Democrats are siding with Iran. Bibi also can expect pressure to join the fray from Sheldon Adelson, who is expected to invest tens of millions to elect Republicans this year. But Bibi should bear in mind that American Jewish voters ignored his call to arms and supported the Iran nuclear deal. They also voted more than two-toone against his choice for president four years ago. And this year, as for generations of elections, they can be expected to vote overwhelmingly Democratic. Don’t be deceived by the hidebound Jewish organizational leaders who are more loyal to the Likud and to wealthy, conservative donors than to their own rank and file. Douglas Bloomfield is a Washington, D.C. based freelancer writer.

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The humiliation of America By Ben Cohen So numerous were the omissions, distortions, and flights of fancy in President Barack Obama’s Jan. 12 State of the Union address that you’d be hard-pressed to pick the most egregious passage. For what it’s worth, I offer my personal selection. “On issues of global concern, we will mobilize the world to work with us, and make sure other countries pull their own weight,” Obama said. “That’s our approach to conflicts like Syria, where we’re partnering with local forces and leading international efforts to help that broken society pursue a lasting peace.” I was dumbfounded by the notion that Syria is in a position to “pursue a lasting peace.” With the civil war entering its fifth year, Syria no longer exists as a unified country. That half of the country’s population of 11 million has either been killed or forced to flee is a gruesome testament to that fact, as well as the unmitigated failure of our policy. The Iranian and Russian-backed regime of Bashar al-Assad didn’t merit a mention in Obama’s remarks, perhaps because doing so would have reminded the president’s audience that Tehran and Moscow are calling the shots in Syria. Assad’s continued survival is largely down to Obama’s refusal to solidify his vague commitment to a future for Syria without the dictator in place. And while Obama would have us believe there is no long-term future for Assad, the Russians and the Iranians have put boots on the ground to ensure that he has one. Which brings me to the siege of Madaya, a town to the north of Damascus. For more than a year, Madaya has been an open-air concentration camp. In early January, photos emerged of some of its 40,000 starving and emaciated residents, who have subsisted on stray dogs and boiled leaves for several months. An outcry over these images persuaded the Syrian regime to allow a U.N. aid convoy entry into the town. But the underlying strategy here — using the denial of food and medical assistance as a weapon of war — has not changed. Responsibility for this crime against humanity lies squarely with Assad’s forces and their allies from Hezbollah, the Lebanese Islamist terror group that is also heavily supported by Iran — and not with Islamic State. And if the mockery of Madaya’s plight by Assad’s supporters on social media is anything to go by, it is a crime this brutal and vicious regime is extremely proud of. On Facebook and Twitter, Assad loyalists have posted photographs of sumptuous banquets — huge plates of kebabs, grilled fish, salads, desserts, and the like — “in solidarity with the siege of Madaya.” As Beirut Syndrome, a blog, pointed out, some of these people have fallen for the regime’s propaganda that the siege is a myth. Others, however, are positively rejoicing at the suffering of Madaya’s inhabitants, and are using the

images of food for their amusement. Take, for example, Jihad Zahri, a cameraman with Lebanon’s Al Jadeed TV, who posed for a selfie in front of his well-stocked refrigerator. Or take Charbel Khalil, a Lebanese television producer, who posted an image of starving Somalis on Facebook with the caption, “The Mayor of besieged Madaya and some members of the town council.” Western policy has enabled this behavior. Our collapse in the face of these war crimes encourages the dehumanizing rhetoric that Madaya’s people have been subjected to. That it has now reached the level of gloating is not an aberration, but a natural outgrowth of the Syria policy that this White House has pursued. Madaya would very likely have been spared the siege had Obama made good on his 2013 threat to bomb Assad’s forces following their deployment of chemical weapons against their own population. Any talk from Obama about healing Syria’s broken society is nauseating. The president’s imperative is to keep the nuclear deal with Iran alive, and he won’t even look at a policy that might undermine this critical component of his legacy. That is why Assad, Hezbollah, and their Iranian backers will get away with these monstrous atrocities in Syria. It is why Islamic State has been able to exploit Sunni Arab resentment against the ruling Alawite minority to deadly effect. It is also why the Iranian regime can seize U.S. naval personnel, parade them before news cameras and then secure the gratitude of our own secretary of state, John Kerry, for finally releasing them. And it is why, when Obama makes the fatuous claim that the “people of the world do not look to Beijing or Moscow to lead — they call us,” America’s adversaries laugh as heartily and cynically as those who gain pleasure from the suffering of Madaya. There is an alternative, as there always has been: working for the elimination of the Assad regime and Islamic State. Make that point to White House officials, and you will encounter a patronizing grin followed by an explanation as to why we can’t be the world’s policeman, why we can’t afford to antagonize Russia and Iran, and why the threat to our own security from the Middle East has been grotesquely exaggerated by folks who don’t realize that the real challenge is climate change. Excuse follows excuse to camouflage America’s international humiliation. But make no mistake: we have been humiliated, and Obama’s successor will have to forge a foreign policy from this point of departure. Ben Cohen, senior editor of TheTower. org & The Tower Magazine, is the author of Some of My Best Friends: A Journey Through Twenty-First Century Antisemitism.



Rabbi Lila Kagedan poised to make history with job at Orthodox shul By Uriel Heilman, JTA NEW YORK — When Rabbi Lila Kagedan spends her first Shabbat at the Mount Freedom Jewish Center in Randolph, N.J. at the end of January, she will be making history. A recent graduate of Yeshivat Maharat, Kagedan, 35, is the first person ordained at the Orthodox women’s clergy training institute in New York to adopt the title of rabbi and land a job at an Orthodox synagogue. In her new position, Kagedan will be part of the synagogue’s spiritual leadership, teaching and doing youth outreach. “There are so many other women who have come before me who are doing this work already, including graduates of Yeshivat Maharat already working in pulpit positions,” Kagedan told JTA. “I feel that I’m standing on the shoulders of giants. I learn from them and they inspire me. It’s because of the variety of Jewish learning opportunities that already have been made for women that I have this opportunity.” Rather than confer a particular title upon graduates, Yeshivat Maharat leaves it up to the ordainees. Some of the yeshiva’s dozen or so graduates go by maharat, an acronym for the Hebrew words meaning a leader in Jewish law, spirituality and Torah. Others, including dean Sara Hurwitz, go by rabba, a feminized version of rabbi. Alissa Thomas-Newborn, a clergywoman at the Los Angeles synagogue B’nai David-Judea, goes by morateinu, Hebrew for our teacher. “I’m by nature a very traditional person,” Kagedan told JTA. “I really didn’t want to look outside our tradition for new titles. I have rabbis and mentors in my life who I really look up to and have learned so much from, and I always appreciated that their title told me exactly who they were and what their training was.” Many Orthodox Jews are vehemently opposed to the idea of women rabbis, and several mainstream Orthodox rabbis and institutions have ruled that ordaining female rabbis violates Jewish law. In October, the main association of modern Orthodox rabbis, the Rabbinical Council

Lila Kagedan

of America, passed a resolution reaffirming its opposition and barring member rabbis from hiring women with clergy-like titles. The haredi Orthodox Agudath Israel of America has said that institutions like Yeshivat Maharat that support female rabbis “reject the basic tenets of our faith, particularly the authority of the Torah and its Sages.” Mount Freedom’s rabbi, Menashe East, told JTA that hiring Kagedan was an easy decision. “We needed support in the areas of Torah teaching, women’s engagement, youth programming, B’nai Mitzvah training — to name a few,” East wrote in an email. “Those are areas that Lila comes highly credentialed and well-qualified to lead. The major considerations for this position was for the candidate to be inspired and inspiring, to be learned and approachable. Lila brings with her a great learning background and a love and faith in the Jewish people.” Kagedan said the synagogue still hasn’t worked out her specific job title. East is himself a graduate of Maharat’s sister institution, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, a rabbinical seminary for men founded in 1999 by Rabbi Avi Weiss, a New York Orthodox rabbi who has staked out maverick positions on women’s issues. Weiss also founded Yeshivat Maharat, in 2009, and ordained DJO216

Hurwitz, who serves in a clergy position at his synagogue. Though Kagedan will be the first woman ordained by an Orthodox institution to call herself rabbi, Hurwitz was the first to obtain Orthodox ordination. Kagedan’s position is funded in part by Zelda R. Stern, a Jewish philanthropist who supports Orthodox women’s advancement. Stern also is a backer of Yeshivat Maharat. Kagedan graduated Yeshivat Maharat last summer and currently lives in Brookline, Massachusetts. For the time being, she will commute to her new, part-time gig in New Jersey. She also does consulting work in biomedical ethics and some teaching, including at Touro College and New York Medical College. Before Yeshivat Maharat, Kagedan obtained a master’s degree in theology and ethics at Harvard and founded a Jewish afterschool program in the Boston area called Sulam. She grew up in Ottawa, Canada. Kagedan says that since the news broke in December of her decision to call herself rabbi, she has received mostly positive feedback — though she notes that she doesn’t have any profiles on social media, where feedback can tend toward the vitriolic. “The response has been overwhelmingly positive,” Kagedan said. “There’s a lot of excitement and a lot of support.”

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Chabad Jewish Course of Why: Mondays, Feb. 8-March 14, 7-9 p.m. $69. 2001 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood. Register at or 6430770. JCC Fitness: Insanity: w. Lauren Baumgarten. Mondays & Wednesdays, 5-6 p.m. Tai Chi w. Debra Stewart. Thursdays, 4-5 p.m. Yoga w. Debra Stewart. Thursdays, 5-6 p.m. $5 per class. Boonshoft CJCE, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. R.S.V.P. to Karen Steiger, 610-1555.


Here is YOUR chance to learn Hebrew! Tuesdays at 5:30pm March 1 - April 26 Call to register by February 26.

Temple Israel • • 937.496.0050 130 Riverside Drive, Dayton, OH 45405 A Reform Synagogue open to all who are interested in Judaism. Childcare provided during Friday services and Sunday school. PAGE 12

JCC Renaissance Art Class: Fridays, Feb. 5-Apr. 15, 10 a.m. Boonshoft CJCE, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. $50. Register with Karen Steiger, 6101555. Temple Beth Or Classes: Sun., Feb. 14 & 28, 10:30 a.m.: Tanakh w. Rabbi Chessin. Sun., Feb. 14, 21 & 28, 1 p.m.: Adult Hebrew w. Rabbi Chessin. Thurs., Feb. 11, 1 p.m.: Socrates Café. 5275 Marshall Rd., Wash. Twp. 435-3400. Temple Israel Classes: Sundays, 9 a.m.: Tanakh Study w. Rabbi Bogosian. Sundays, noon: Exploring Reform Responsa w. Rabbi Bodney-Halasz. Mondays, noon: Advanced Biblical Hebrew w. Rabbi Bodney-Halasz. Tuesdays, 5 p.m.: Beginner Hebrew w. Judy Heller. Wednesdays, 10 a.m.: Coffee & Commentary, Dorothy Lane Mkt., 6177 Far Hills Ave., Wash. Twp. Wednesdays, noon: Talmud Study w. Rabbi Bogosian. Wednesdays, 5 p.m.: Intermediate Prayerbook Hebrew w. Judy Heller. Saturdays, 9:30 a.m.: Weekly Torah Portion w. Rabbi Bogosian. 130 Riverside Dr., Dayton. 496-0050.


Beth Abraham Men’s Club Brunches: Sun., Feb. 21, 10 a.m.: Judge Walter Rice. $5. 305 Sugar Camp Cir., Oakwood. 293-9520. Temple Israel Ryterband Brunch Series: Sundays, 9:30 a.m.-noon. $5. Feb. 7: Dr. Donna Schlagheck, Wright State, American Policy in the Middle East. Feb. 21: Dr. Matt Adkins, Cincinnati State Community College, The Crucifixion of Jonathan Israel. Feb. 28: Rabbi Robert Barr, Congregation Beth Adam, Different Approaches to God. 130 Riverside Dr., Dayton. 4960050.

JCC Book Club: Fri., Feb. 19, 10:30 a.m. The Girl from the Train by Irma Joubert. At Temple Israel, 130 Riverside Dr., Dayton. R.S.V.P. to Linda Shapiro, 832-1086.


JCC School Days Out: Mon., Feb. 15, 8:45 a.m.-3:45 p.m. $40. Boonshoft CJCE, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. R.S.V.P. to Karen Steiger, 610-1555.


Chabad Rosh Chodesh Society Jewish Learning Institute: Dance Movement & Relationship. Sun., Feb. 14, 10 a.m. 2001 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood. $15. 643-0770. Chabad Women’s Circle Spa for the Body & Soul: Sun., Feb. 28, 3:306 p.m. Spa services, dinner, guest speaker Shaindy Jacobson, Everything I Know About Happiness, I learned From Sadness. 2001 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood. $36. 643-0770.


JFS Yiddish Club: Sun., Feb. 7, 1:30 p.m. Starbucks, 2424 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood. Topic: Sholem Aleichem. R.S.V.P. to Dr. Judy Woll, 470-0113. JFS Active Adults Dine Around: Thurs., Feb. 11, noon. Burkey Family Restaurant, 670 Shiloh Springs Rd., Trotwood. R.S.V.P. by Feb. 8 to Karen Steiger, 610-1555.

Community Events

Beth Abraham Synagogue Viva Italia Musical Shabbat & Dinner: Fri., Feb. 19, 6:15 p.m. 305 Sugar Camp Cir., Oakwood. $15 adults, $7.50 children 3-12. R.S.V.P. to 293-9520. JCC Children’s Theatre Presents Seussical Jr.: Sat., Feb. 20, 8 p.m. & Sun., Feb. 21, 3 p.m. Rosewood Arts Center, 2655 Olson Dr., Kettering. In advance: $10 adults, $5 children 6 & up. At door: $12 adults, $7 children 6 & up. Children 5 and under free. R.S.V.P. to Karen Steiger, 610-1555 or JCC Night in Vegas: Sat., Feb. 27, 7-11 p.m. Boonshoft CJCE, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. In advance: $25 general admission, $125 Texas hold ‘em. At door: $35 general, $150 Texas hold ‘em. R.S.V.P. to Karen Steiger, 610-1555 or at

Are you reading this? So is the entire Jewish community. Contact Patty Caruso at or Lori Cohen at to advertise in The Dayton Jewish Observer. THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • FEBRUARY 2016

Jewish Federation of GREATER DAYTON

› Innovation Grants If you have any questions, or would like to request an application, please contact Jodi Phares at 610-5513 or Completed applications for Innovation Grants are due March 25. Awards will be announced in May.

SAVE THE DATE Sunday, May 15 › Presidents Dinner

Tikkun Olam in Eastern Europe: Frequently Asked Questions Need more information about this year's Mission Trip? We've got you covered with our FAQs! "Where exactly are we going?"

"What is the cost of the trip?"

flights? Will there be a Travel The cost of the trip is $2,225 per person Agent to assist me?"

We're exploring Jewish roots in Prague, Vienna, and Budapest. There is an additional Berlin extension available.

not including airfare.

If you choose to book your flights on your own, please contact Jodi Phares at "How many people are going?" "Is there a stipend available?" to get a list of pertinent cities, dates, and times to help with The minimum number of participants is If you wish to use the stipend, the cost will be $1,995 per person. The donation these arrangements. If you wish to use 20, the maximum is 40. requirement is two fold: you are asked a travel agent, we are narrowing our CURRENCY to donate $180 for three consecutive search, stay tuned! › Prague: Czech Crown and Euros. years to the Dayton Jewish organization Some restaurants, hotels and shops take Euros as well, but most of your choice (not including synagogue "Which hotels will we be accept only Czech Crowns. dues) and a meaningful donation to the staying in?" › Vienna: Euros Hotel Grandior in Prague, Mercure Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton's › Budapest: The official currency Grand Hotel Biedermeier in Vienna, 2016 Annual Campaign. is the Hungarian Forint (HUF). and Hotel Mercure Korona in Budapest. However you can pay with Euros at several places. › Berlin: Euros WEATHER › Prague & Vienna in June: highs in the mid 70’s, lows in the mid 50’s › Budapest in June: high in the mid to upper 70’s, lows in the mid 50’s

"What about Berlin?"

For any additional

Hotel, flight, and tour arrangements are information or questions, being finalized.

please contact Jodi Phares at "Do I need to schedule my own

One Community, One Heart, One Gift: "A Community Event Saved My Life" When community member Jan Maharam attended the Hadassah/Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton program "Every Beat Counts, Putting the He-He in Heart Health” last year, she had no idea it would save her life. But it did. Your gift to the Federation made this event possible. Jan, among the many lives our programs and services touch, can attest to the difference we make in our community 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: 610-1555,

and around the world. Hear Jan’s story and those of others whose lives have been directly impacted by what we accomplish each and every day. Come to the Federation’s 2nd Annual Presidents Dinner on Sunday, May 15, featuring keynote speaker, Randi Zuckerberg. Be amazed. Be proud of what we do - we are One Community, One Heart, One Gift.

Jan Maharam


L–R: Elise Hunter,

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Sarah Nicholaisen, Josephine Nehrbass,

In the Kitchen with Rochel

Amara Lynn, Samantha Studebaker, and Grant Crane practice their steps

Jewish Community Center of GREATER DAYTON Monday, February 15 › School Days Out 8:45AM–3:45PM @ Boonshoft CJCE Come enjoy indoor gaga, story reading, acting, gaming, and more! Don’t be bored at home on your day off school! $40.

at Children's Theatre rehearsal. PHOTO CREDIT: MARY WYKE ANNOUNCING

the 2016 Film Festival Line Up!

I AM SOOOOOO EXCITED!!! To be a part of this year’s Children’s Theatre program, to be able to join in on rehearsals and watch our budding actors growFriday, February 19 ing into their parts- this has › Book Club 10:30AM @ Temple Israel been an inspiring highlight in (130 Riverside Dr, 45405) my career! The many books The Girl from the Train by Irma of Dr. Seuss have always Joubert. RSVP to Linda Shapiro brought me joy and comfort, at 832-1086. and seeing these stories come to life with an energetic and Saturday, February 20 dedicated cast is a beautiful 8PM @ Rosewood Arts Center way to reminisce the magic (2655 Olson Dr, 45420) of ‘Seuss’. Sunday, February 21 For this year’s production 3PM @ Rosewood Arts Center you may recognize last year’s (2655 Olson Dr, 45420) Assistant Director, Stephanie › Children’s Theatre Radford. We are very happy Performance of Seussical Jr. to have her on board as this See ad on page 21 for ticket prices. year’s Director – you might say she ‘had her eye on the Saturday, February 27 position’ and she has earned › A Night In Vegas it! Stephanie’s skills in work7PM–11PM @ Boonshoft CJCE JCC Annual Fundraiser. For more ing with the children shine details and ticket information, more as each week’s rehearssee the ad on page 20. al moves into the next. Stephanie brings with her years of Fridays, experience in the Dayton and February 5–April 15 regional theatre community. › Renaissance Art Along with graduating from 10AM @ Boonshoft CJCE Berea College with a B.A. in Continue studying Renaissance Theatre, she has appeared in Art of France, Germany, Italy regional shows - Shrek, Legally and Spain. New students Blonde, Junie B. Jones, and Bare welcome! $50 per student. and also toured with the Lexington Children’s Theatre. Our long time Music Director, Michelle Nehrbass has also returned for this year’s RSVPs are due at least 1 week Children’s Theatre. This will before event. Events with no be her fifth season workprice listed are free. ing with the JCC Theatre PLEASE CONTACT KAREN STEIGER REGARDING ALL EVENTS UNLESS NOTED: 610-1555,

Program and we are very pleased to have her experience with us again. She has a natural way of putting our young actors at ease, and this encourages them to put their ‘best voice forward’. And most importantly, this year’s cast is an outstanding group of enthusiastic young actors, dancers and singers. Try not to act too surprised as they take you from ‘silly’ to ‘serious’ as naturally as if they had written the parts themselves. No part is a small part in this musical, (even in the group scenes!) as every cast member has the ability to ‘step up’ and ‘step out’ in their own creative interpretation of their character. Not to forget, our great cast would not exist without the supportive group of parents and family members who run our actors back and forth from rehearsals and are subjected to the repetitive listening of music and lines; we could not do it without them! With all of this in mind, we look forward to seeing everyone at the JCC Children’s Theatre, February 2016 production of Seussical Jr.! Most Sincerely,




Once in a Lifetime APRIL 6 @ 7PM

Once in a Lifetime APRIL 7 @ 7:15PM

Atomic Falafel APRIL 10 @ 7:15PM

The Last Mentsch APRIL 12 @ 10AM

Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem

Thursday, March 17 6PM @ Boonshoft CJCE

Join Rochel Simon from Chabad for a "hands on" demo on making your very own homemade hamantaschen, from scratch! $10 per person, all supplies and ingredients included. RSVP by March 9. Purim & Wine Pairing

Sunday, March 20 3PM @ Rumbleseat Wine (5853 Far Hills Ave, 45429)

Discover wine varieties to enhance your favorite hamantaschen flavors. Savory and sweet hamantaschen Savory and sweet hamantaschen provided by Rochel of Chabad, wine available for purchase. Fun and festive songs provided by 'Little Mary'. $5 in advance, $8 at the door. RSVP by March 15.

APRIL 12 @ 7:15PM

Borrowed Identity APRIL 14 @ 7:15PM

Apples from the Desert APRIL 14 @ 7PM

Secrets of War APRIL 17 @ 7:15PM

Dough APRIL 19 @ 7PM



Camp out under the Rainbow with us! Camp begins June 6!

(L–R) Henry Drerup,

Flynn Aselage, Kipton Farrell and Eden Atzmon take time for a photo op with the guest of honor at the Happy Minion Eve party for Winter Camp Shalom and Early Childhood. PHOTO CREDIT: TASHA LAWSON

ANNUAL EARLY CHILDHOOD FLOWER SALE going on now! Flower pick-up Wednesday, May 4 & Thursday, May 5. Orders must be placed by February 29. Call Shawna at 853-0376 for more details.


Saying Farewell to JANICE KOHN On January 22, Janice Kohn retired from JFS. Upon her retirement, Janice leaves a legacy of 37 years of service in the Jewish community, the same community in which she grew up! Though her work changed over the years, from Activity Director at Covenant House starting when she was just one year out of college (1979 – 2010) to Program & Volunteer Director for JFS (2011 – 2016), Janice always enjoyed her work. When asked why she stayed in the community for her entire career, Janice talked about her work as a privilege. Janice saw herself as the guest of the residents Picture from September 16, 1982 issue Janice in December 2016. PHOTO of Covenant House and of the JFS clients. Janice enjoyed speaking with of the Dayton Jewish Chronicle. CREDIT: TARA FEINER clients and listening to their stories. She and Jewish Family Services. It has been her honor to be a loved making a difference in their lives. During her 37 years, Janice had the privilege to be a guest, part of their lives. JFS and the Dayton community she served are honored not just in people’s homes, but in their lives, too. Being and privileged to have had the opportunity to work with there for clients through the celebrations and the tough Janice. Janice’s presence will be missed. However, we look times were experiences that helped Janice grow through forward to seeing her out and about in the community, the years. Having learned so much from the community, Janice cherishes the memories of the many people she was making memories and making history in the next chapter of privileged to know through her work at Covenant House her life, retirement.

What Can JFS Do for You? Guided by its mission: Guided by Jewish traditions, Jewish Family Services (JFS) of Greater Dayton provides individuals and families within the Miami Valley with the tools and services to lead a happier and healthier life. JFS currently offers numerous services to the

Greater Dayton community. Services include:

› Needs Assessments

» Volunteer Opportunities » Information and Referral » Recreational Programs, incl. › Active Adults Dine Arounds › Holiday Celebrations » Bereavement Groups » Case Management, incl. › Advocacy

Evaluation and Planning


SUPPORTING FAMILIES at Dayton Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit JFS and the community are in the process of assembling the gift bags for the babies and their families at the Dayton Children’s NICU. More information and pictures about this project to follow soon!

› Living Arrangement › Friendly Visits › Telephone Reassurance › Transportation Services › Medicare Counseling › Specific Financial Assistance › Counseling

We are in the process of

updating our website to include information about each of these services. In addition, we will feature information about one or two of these services in each of the upcoming issues of the Observer. Also, watch for new programming and services as we implement our new strategic plan!

Student Loan Application Deadline:

Friday, March 4

Applications for InterestFree Student Loans are available through March 4 for undergraduate or graduate students. Applicants must be Dayton area residents. Awarded annually, loans are distributed based on academic achievement, financial need, and funds available. If you have any questions or would like to request an application, please contact Alisa Thomas at or 610-1796.

Jewish Family Services Jewish Foundation ofof GREATER DAYTON GREATER DAYTON Sunday, February 7 › Yiddish Club 1:30PM @ Starbucks (2424 Far Hills Ave, 45419) Sholem Aleichem. Contact Judy Woll at 470-0113. Thursday, February 11 › Active Adults Dine Around NOON @ Burkey Family Restaurant (670 Shiloh Springs Road, 45415) Please RSVP by February 8. › Need Assistance Finding a Food Pantry Near You? Call the United Way Information & Referral Line, 225-3000 or Dial 2-1-1. › Are you caring for a loved one who is not in the Greater Dayton area? Visit senior-resource-connect/ to find supports and services provided by Jewish agencies nationwide. › Did you know that the Jewish Federation is a donation site for Clothes that Work? You can drop off new and gently-worn men and women’s clothing and accessories at the Boonshoft CJCE. › Don’t know what to donate in the Food Barrels? How about peanut butter? The Dayton Bar Association, in collaboration with the Greater Dayton Volunteers Lawyer Project, just launched the “Bar Hunger: Peanut Butter and Justice Challenge.” We can show our support for this initiative by filling our barrels with peanut butter! PLEASE CONTACT KAREN STEIGER REGARDING ALL ACTIVE ADULT EVENTS: 610-1555


Scholarship Opportunities Jewish Foundation of GREATER DAYTON Through March 4, the Jewish Foundation of Greater Dayton will be accepting applications for the Vicky & Robert Heuman Scholarship. Since its creation in 2006, the Heuman Scholarship has been awarded annually to an undergraduate or graduate student who demonstrates both academic achievement and financial need. Jewish Dayton area residents are invited to apply for this award. Completed applications and supporting documentation must be received by March 4. Awards will be announced on April 8. Questions? Contact Alisa Thomas at or 610-1796.

» RESIDENTIAL CAMP SCHOLARSHIP: Funds are available for local youths planning to participate in a Jewish residential camp program during the summer of 2016. This scholarship is made possible through the Joan and Peter Wells Family, Children and Youth Fund and by a generous donation from Carole and Bernie Rabinowitz. » TRAVEL TO ISRAEL SCHOLARSHIP: Dayton area Jewish teens and young adults, ages 14-21, are invited to apply for the Wolfe Marcus Trust Youth Travel to Israel Scholarship. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and plan to travel to Israel during the summer of 2016.

If you would like to request an application, please contact Alisa Thomas at or 610-1796. Completed applications and supporting documentation must be received by March 4. Awards will be announced on April 8.

The following scholarships are available for BBYO Members: » BBYO LEADERSHIP SCHOLARSHIP: High School youth planning to attend a BBYO Leadership Conference are invited to apply. This scholarship is made possible by the BBYO Leadership Fund. » BBYO CONVENTION SCHOLARSHIP: High School youth planning to attend a BBYO conference are invited to apply. This scholarship is made possible by the Feldman Family BBYO Youth Fund.

Contact Alisa Thomas at or 610-1796 for more information.

Legacies, Tributes, & Memorials FEDERATION

UNITED JEWISH CAMPAIGN IN HONOR OF › Wedding of Teddy and Alicia Goldenberg Mary and Dr. Gary Youra Renee and Dr. Frank Handel & Family IN MEMORY OF › Carole Rabinowitz Carolyn and Mel Caplan Sherry and Michael Berks Judy and Dr. Howard Abromowitz Mary and Dr. Gary Youra OBSERVER ENDOWMENT FUND IN MEMORY OF › Evelyn Barnett Marilyn and Larry Klaben PJ LIBRARY FUND IN MEMORY OF › Carole Rabinowitz Marcia and Ed Kress CAROL J. PAVLOFSKY LEADERSHIP FUND IN MEMORY OF › Carole Rabinowitz Lisa and Gary Pavlofsky Marlene Miller LINDA RUCHMAN MEMORIAL FUND IN MEMORY OF › Jerry Kantor › Carole Rabinowitz Judy and Marshall Ruchman MIRAM SIEGEL MARKS AND MILTON A. MARKS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUND IN MEMORY OF › Richard Marks Meredith Cline Marks


FILM FESTIVAL IN HONOR OF › Speedy recovery of Dr. Ron Gilbert Jane and Dr. Gary Hochstein IN MEMORY OF › Jerry Kantor › Carole Rabinowitz Jane and Dr. Gary Hochstein JOAN AND PETER WELLS CHILDREN’S, YOUTH AND FAMILY FUND IN HONOR OF › Connie Blum receiving the Beth Abraham Women of Valor Award › Shelley Goldenberg receiving the Beth Abraham Women of Valor Award › Maryann Bernstein receiving the Beth Abraham Women of Valor Award › Carol Finley receiving the Beth Abraham Women of Valor Award › Irene Fishbein receiving the Beth Abraham Women of Valor Award › Rochelle Goldstein receiving the Beth Abraham Women of Valor Award › Sandy Zipperstein receiving the Beth Abraham Women of Valor Award › Marci Vandersluis’ good deeds Bernard Rabinowitz


IN MEMORY OF › Harriett Zawatsky › Gary Shapiro › Carole Rabinowitz Joan and Peter Wells › Elaine Mayerson Bernard Rabinowitz FAMILY SERVICES

JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES IN HONOR OF › Bobbie Kantor Brenda Roediger IN MEMORY OF › Evelyn Barnett Judy and Dr. Howard Abromowitz Cathy Gardner Sandy Schoemann Jane and Dr. Gary Hochstein Shirlee and Dr. Ron Gilbert Dorothy Englehardt › Carole Rabinowitz › Gary Shapiro Susan and Jonas Gruenberg › Jerry Kantor Brenda Roediger › Carole Rabinowitz Pat and Scott Shapiro Sandy and Irv Zipperstein Kantor and Meadow Families › Harriett Zawatsky Beverly and Jeffrey Kantor FOUNDATION

JEREMY BETTMAN B’NAI TZEDEK FUND IN MEMORY OF › Evelyn Barnett › Richard Marks › Jerry Kantor › Harriett Zawatsky › Carole Rabinowitz Jean and Todd Bettman › Evelyn Barnett Elaine and Joe Bettman

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

Raysn : \RAYS-en\ Verb To tear, rip, pull, rend. Expression with vartn: › Kleyne meydlekh tseraysn di shertsn; groyse meydlekh tseraysn di hertsn. Little girls tear dresses, big girls tear hearts. › Zey lebn vi di toybn un raysn zikh vi di kets. They live like doves and fight like cats (said of a couple who appear at peace to the outside world but are constantly fighting at home). › Var kinder, tserayst men a velt. For your child’s sake, you would tear the world apart.

KVELLING CORNER Meaghan Malloy, daughter of Elisheva Malloy, competed on the U.S. collegelevel women’s volleyball team at the 13th Pan Am Maccabi games in Santiago, Chile, Dec. 28-Jan. 4. This was her third Maccabi delegation. During

Rachel Haug Gilbert their off time, the U.S. participants gave free eye exams and glasses to children in need, and delivered food baskets to Jewish families. They distributed about 400 pairs of glasses in all. Her team took a silver medal. Danielle De La Cruz won a Scholastic Golden Key photography award for the Ohio, Indiana, Northern Kentucky region. She was the only student at Lakota East High School to win the award this year. She is automatically entered in the national Scholastic Golden Key competition. Danielle’s parents are Miriam and Victor De La Cruz. The University of Dayton has announced that Prof. Scott Segalewitz will be named associate dean for experiential learning and student success in the School of Engineering beginning July 1. In addition to teaching, Scott is the school’s goal coordinator for its Strategic Plan Goal 2: Cultivate Transformational Learning Experiences. Scott has worked in a variety of capacities with the Department of Engineering Technology,

the School of Engineering and the University of Dayton including as department chair, school representative to the American Society for Engineering Education, and director of industrial and technical relations for the China Institute. Montgomery County Commissioner Debbie Lieberman has been elected by the County Commissioners Association of Ohio to serve on the National Association of Counties Board of Directors. Debbie is a past president of the County Commissioners Association of Ohio. Stephen Levinson is now a staff writer with The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. He is the son of Meredith Moss Levinson and Jim Levinson. The Jewish Council for Public Affairs has hired longtime Jewish advocacy professional David Bernstein as its new president and CEO. David has served as executive director of The David Project and director of the American Jewish Committee’s Washington, D.C. regional office. For the past year, David traveled across the United States, working with Jewish Federations and national foundations as the president of CultureSolutions. JCPA is the umbrella organization of the 125 Jewish Community Relations Councils across the United States. David is a son-inlaw of Bernie and the late Carole Rabinowitz. Send your Kvelling items to kvellingcorner@ or to Rachel Haug Gilbert, The Dayton Jewish Observer, 525 Versailles Drive, Centerville, OH 45459.

New & Renewing Voluntary Subscribers • Dec. 8 - Jan. 6 Renewing Guardian Angels Current Guardian Angels Marilyn & Larry Klaben Howard & Judy Abromowitz Howard Michaels Renewing Angel Walter Ohlmann Mrs. Melvin Crouse Andrea Rabiner New Angels Susan & Joe Gruenberg Double Chai Frieda Blum Mr. Bill Dirr & Dr. Judy Riback Mr. & Mrs. Jeff Gordon Mark & Kathy Gordon Michael Lieberman & Randi Abramson Marvin & Susan Mason Dr. & Mrs. Gerald Rubin Subscribers Susan & Rich Davis & Jake & Joey Ms. Stacy Emoff Marilyn Galinkin Lois Harris David Hurwitz Peter Miller Michael & Ruthie Precker Judy Schwartzman Mr. & Mrs. Lawrence Skal Ms. Louise Stein Jim & Janice Winnegrad

Maxine & Jeffrey Hoffman Steve and Rachel Jacobs Dr. & Mrs. David Joffe Dennis Kahn & Linda Ohlmann Kahn Joyce & Chuck Kardon Current Angels Susan & Stanley Katz Ken Baker, K.W. Baker & Assoc. Mrs. David Laderman Michael & Connie Bank Gabriele & Todd Leventhal George & Ruth Barnett & Family Shirley Leventhal Skip Becker Jean Lieberman Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Bettman Beverly Louis Amy & Michael Bloom Dr. David & Joan Marcus Hy & Sylvia Blum Suzi & Jeff Mikutis Betty & Don Chernick Irvin & Gayle Moscowitz Lori Appel-Cohen Myrna Nelson Dr. & Mrs. Scot Denmark Martin Nizny Mr. & Mrs. Bruce Feldman John & Sharyn Reger Esther & DeNeal Feldman Russ Remick Lynn Foster Jan Rudd-Goenner M.J. & Bella Freeman Felice & Michael Shane Dr. Eric Friedland Mr. & Mrs. Henry Stern Erika & Felix Garfunkel Dr. Marc & Maureen Sternberg Rabbi Joshua Ginsberg & Col. Jeffrey Thau, USAF, (Ret.) Hazzan Jenna Greenberg & Rina Thau Kim & Shelley Goldenberg Joel & Jennifer Tobiansky Debby & Bob Goldenberg Julie & Adam Waldman & Family Judi & George Grampp Judith & Fred Weber Art & Joan Greenfield Michael & Karen Weprin Dr. & Mrs. Stephen Harlan Dr. Judith Woll & Ron Bernard Robert & Vicky Heuman Thank you. Sylvia & Ralph Heyman




The Jewish TV show you should be watching By Linda Buchwald, JTA If the ratings for CW’s newest show, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, are any indication, you probably aren’t watching it. If not, you’re missing out. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s creator and star Rachel Bloom, who just won a Golden Globe, is hilarious and zany, and as it happens, the show addresses Jewish identity in unexpectedly profound ways. The series is the story of Rebecca Bunch, a successful New York lawyer who follows her summer camp ex-boyfriend to small-town California, never mind he’s in a serious relationship with someone else. The musical comedy features lots of singing and dancing: the campy products of Rebecca’s wild imagination. These aren’t your typical Broadway numbers, though the show features the talents of stage veterans Santino Fontana and Donna Lynne Champlin. Rebecca’s Judaism is a huge part of the series, recurring in ways both explicit and subtle. Few other shows — Amazon’s Transparent excepted — deal with Jewish identity this deeply. Typically on television, Judaism is little more than a plot device — like on Friends, where the Jewishness of Ross and Monica Geller is most likely to come up with a token Christmastime mention of Chanukah. Or characters like Schmidt

on New Girl, who uses Jewish Ex-Girlfriend hilariously nails. phrases all the time, but typically In one episode, after Rejust plays them for laughs. becca takes a Tinder date back On Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Judato her place, she performs ism is more than just a punchline a slinky number with the — though it’s certainly that, too. refrain: “Hey sexy stranger, This was apparent during the come back to my place, and I midseason finale, which begins hope you’re not a murderer.” on a boat from Europe to AmeriIf there’s one line that best ca in 1901. captures how Judaism plays “I know we are fleeing,” a in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, it’s mother tells her daughter, “but the riposte by the mother to you couldn’t comb your hair?” Rebecca’s claim that if she has Jewish daughters will proba child, she would only want ably laugh in recognition. But her to be happy. what’s significant here is that “Our people are not about the entire scene is in Yiddish. A happy,” the mother says. sprinkling of Yiddish phrases “We’re about survival.” may be heard on television here In Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Rachel Bloom, the creator and star of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, in and there, but name another Rebecca moves across the a musical scene from the series mainstream show that’s had an country to be happy, but entire scene in the language. it’s not easy. She struggles. She suffers many ways to hint that her daughter Other comedic moments point to larg- should be married. through bad dates and endures pretty er truths. As Rebecca replaces Christmas girls who poke at her self-esteem. She After finding a stash of condoms, for decorations with Chanukah ones before example, she tells Rebecca she won’t faces everything else life throws at her her mother’s visit, she wonders: “Cha— and comes out (relatively) intact on get a husband “that way.” The relationnukah. Hanukah. Hanukkah. Which the other side. What could be more Jewship is reminiscent of Valerie Harper as one of you is right?” It’s a moment both Rhoda Morgenstern, the prototypical ish than that? funny and familiar, with a nod toward Although the ratings haven’t been single Jewish female, and Nancy Walker informal comfort that many young Jews as her mother on Rhoda, a spinoff of The great, CW has ordered more episodes today feel among Christian symbols. for a total of 18 for the first season. The Mary Tyler Moore Show. For single Jewish women, the show show returns Jan. 25, so you have plenty Rhoda, however, never had to deal hits another nerve: Rebecca’s mother, of time to catch up. with the minefield of online dating — a perfectly cast Tovah Feldshuh, finds You can thank me later. another cultural phenomenon that Crazy

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5467 Cedar Village Drive Mason, OH 45040 Tel: 513.754.3100 PAGE 18




Why co-officiating weddings is a joy of my rabbinate By Rabbi Ari Moffic InterfaithFamily There are many reasons I enjoy co-officiating weddings with clergy from other religions. Here are some of the important ones. 1. Partnership: Working with clergy of other faiths is extremely rewarding. Through planning the wedding, I have the opportunity to build a relationship with a clergy person of another faith and this enables me to teach about Judaism and to learn the tenets

Perspectives and practices of Catholicism and Hinduism, for example, from a true teacher. I also have the privilege of growing a community of liberal, progressive, open-minded clergy who support each other. I have enjoyed talking with them about families who want both faiths in their lives, how they deal with membership, and other spiritual and community-building ideas that we share. The last Jewish-Hindu wedding I led, the pundit asked me about the length of a Jewish wedding. I said, “Oh, about 12 minutes” with a chuckle. He looked at me with a smile and said, “Hindu weddings are 6 days long.” 2. Teaching: I’m able to think about Jewish rituals, symbolism and meaning in different ways when I’m required to explain them to half or more of the wedding attendees who are of a different faith. I think about how I can fit, as a rabbi, within a multicultural celebration. Through conveying warmth and joy and through shar-

It’s such a privilege to talk to a couple just getting married about how to enhance their own religious lives now, what practices they may want to take on and to be a positive, supportive presence as they ing timeless blessings with ding where hundreds of people tell me about how they want to universal themes, I am able to may be in attendance. I can pass on cultural and religious show that Judaism can be apshow that the people Israel is a aspects of Judaism and pospreciated and experienced by a diverse people, and this gives sibly other religions to the next diverse community. I am able us strength and adds beauty to generation. to share the ever-new Jewish our expression. This is a truly fascinating messages of continual creation, I can show that the Jewand profound conversation to partnership, commitment, ish community is made up of have with a couple who is seriappreciation and thanksgivpeople who have grown up ous about observance, about ing and so many other themes with Judaism, people who have how this will look and feel. which are relevant and inspircome to Judaism as adults and 7. Focus on What’s Shared: ing. those who are not When I started officiating with 3. Respect: I am Jewish but who love, Catholic priests, I would write able to work with partner and support out the English to the Priestly couples who care members of their fam- Benediction for them so that deeply about their ily who are Jewish. I could say it in Hebrew at religious upbringing, I can show that the end of a wedding and the current beliefs and Judaism can be expepriest could translate it into connections to their rienced and practiced English. family. Neither one by those who are Finally, one priest told me of them can give up not Jewish. This is that they say it at weddings their religious and seen when a bride or too, and know it. I have studRabbi Ari Moffic cultural identities groom who isn’t Jewied the Lord’s Prayer more and and want them presish signs a ketubah (marriage more and see its Jewish roots ent at this most sacred moment contract), breaks the glass or so clearly now. in their lives. shares in the Kiddush (the blessI find the number seven, These are couples who are ing over wine), for example. It our number of completion and eager to talk about process, is with pride, love and respect perfection — which is alluded meaning and symbolism. They that the two to in the seven have a depth of respect for each partners share circles as well I am often other and a sense of comproin each other’s as in the seven invited to help mise that is inspiring. traditions. blessings — to 4. Pastoral Care: I am able 6. Continuity: also be woven bless their to help parents — the future I make sure that throughout grandparents — because, let’s in my pre-wed- babies, or to Hindu wedface it, it’s the future babies on ding meetings ceremohelp them affix ding parents’ minds at the time of with a couple nies. the wedding. who will have Co-officiata mezuzah at I am able to engage in mean- a co-officiated ing weddings their new home. has been a ingful pastoral care with parwedding, that ents of the couple to sort out we talk through highlight of what it means that their child what their religious and spirimy rabbinate. I am honored is marrying someone who is an tual lives look like as a couple. at each wedding, to be able to active participant in a different We talk about continued support the Jewish family who religion. learning opportunities. We talk is proud and fulfilled to have a This is a time parents think about where they struggle with rabbi with them on this sacred about the role they will play their own faith traditions. We occasion. with grandchildren one day in talk through questions they We form a bond that is soterms of passing on Judaism have about Judaism. lidified under the chupah (wedand Jewish values. We also talk about how they ding canopy) and continues 5. Inclusivity: I am able to will pass on religious literacy in the years ahead when I am be a representative of liberal and experiences to their chiloften invited to help bless their Judaism at an interfaith weddren. babies, or to help them affix a mezuzah at their new home. Together, we continue to learn, brainstorm and mark Torah time with meaning.

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

Shabbat Candle Lightings February 5, 5:43 p.m. February 12, 5:51 p.m. February 19, 5:59 p.m. February 26, 6:07 p.m.


February 6/27 Shevat Mishpatim (Ex. 21:1-24:18) February 13/4 Adar I Terumah (Ex. 25:1-27:19) February 20/11 Adar I Tetzaveh (Ex. 27:20-30:10) February 27/18 Adar I Ki Tissa (Ex. 30:11-34:35)

Rabbi Ari Moffic is director of InterfaithFamily/Chicago.



Annual Observer special section Page 24


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 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 Educator/Rabbi Ari Ballaban Fridays 7:30 p.m. Kabalat Shabbat 4th Friday, 6 p.m. followed by potluck. 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 Interim Rabbi Ilene Bogosian Assoc. Rabbi/Educator Karen Bodney-Halasz 1st & 2nd Fri., 6 p.m. Other Fri., 7:30 p.m. Saturdays 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.





The Eternal Jew Jew in the Christian World During a recent conversation, a Jewish friend criticized a Forward article highlighting the wealthiest Jews in America, concerned that it would validate stereotypes of Jews as greedy, wealthy controllers of the economy. Her concern is not unfounded, as recent Anti-Defamation League studies about Jews and money have shown.

Candace R. Kwiatek According to the ADL, while only 10 percent of Americans are appraised as being definitively antisemitic, worldwide that number jumps to 26 percent, or 1.1 billion adults. Jew-hatred has been a permanent feature of Jewish history. Although its statistics have varied across the centuries and continents, “no hatred has been as universal, as deep, or as permanent as antisemitism,” conclude authors Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin in their 1983 book, Why the Jews? The Reason for Antisemitism. Why? Historians offer a partial answer.

Pagan bewilderment

The biblical Israelites’ belief in a single invisible God and their unwillingness to acquiesce to the gods and traditions of the dominant pagan culture aroused curiosity and bewilderment. This refusal to conform periodically generated suspicion and accusations of disloyalty, civil and political tensions, and strategies for forced assimilation, exile or genocide. By the cusp of the Common Era, Judaism had become both a cultural threat to universal Hellenism and a political threat to Rome’s military image. To undermine the Jews, classic rhetoric began to vilify them not only as being disloyal and troublemakers, but more specifically as “a diseased race of lepers and a godless people,” barbaric, superstitious, and lazy; guilty of “kidnapping Greeks to fatten and sacrifice,” and “conspiring to take over the empire.”

Religious demonization

Using biblical text and tradition, early devotees of Jesus tried to persuade fellow Jews to join their new sect. Pointing to the destroyed Temple and Jewish dispersion as evidence that God had rejected the “Chosen People” and the Law (Torah), early Christians championed the believers in Jesus as God’s “new Israel,” keepers of the “new covenant” of faith. However, Jews largely rejected this. Bitter about this roadblock to Jesus’ return, Christianity condemned the Jewish response as a rejection of God, a sign of “possession by the devil.” As Jewish intransigence continued, it threatened the notion that Christianity replaced Judaism and the Jews. A campaign of delegitimization followed: Judaism was equated with devil worship; synagogues were castigated as dens of thieves; Jews were described as miserable and degenerate, perpetrators of deicide, and justifiable targets of violence. Jews were to be humiliated and defeated, living examples of the consequences of rejecting God’s truth. By demonizing and dehumanizing the Jews, church leaders effectively relegated them to permanent outsider status. As Christianity swept through Europe, justification for Jew-hatred shifted. Largely ignorant, fearful, superstitious, and xenophobic, medieval Christians blamed the despised Jews for every disaster. Skilled in commerce and urban trades, Jews were accused of unfair competition and stealing jobs. Accomplished in finance, Jews were resented for

Poster for The Eternal Jew, an antisemitic Nazi propaganda exhibition in Munich, 1937

their affluence, accused of owning the banks and controlling the economy, and blamed for all financial woes. Ritually and culturally foreign, Jews were the targets of perfidious allegations: the blood libel, ritual murder, and poisoning wells. As in earlier pagan societies, Christian Europe devised strategies to excise the Jews through marginalization, forced conversion, exile and annihilation.

murder. While Montesquieu and other leaders called for the Jews to renounce Judaism and become enlightened, the German philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte theorized that Jews were unchangeable and incapable of conversion, resolvable only by “cutting off all their heads,” foreshadowing things to come. Meanwhile, with the Enlightenment came emancipation, and Jews took advantage of new opportunities in occupations, education, and cultural life. Highly successful, they were accused of controlling the banks, media and film industries, and politics; denounced as communists, capitalists, and exploiters of labor; and condemned for causing wars, inciting nationalism, and aspiring

to world domination. After three millennia of such degradation, marginalization, and dehumanization of the Jews, the Holocaust was a foregone conclusion. Historians have suggested that political, cultural, religious, and economic factors have variously caused antisemitism, but in reality these have only been its transitory battlefronts. The source of Jew-hatred has always been Judaism itself, Prager and Telushkin conclude, an inspired tradition that testifies to a single God who demands ethical behavior. This tradition of beliefs, values, laws and customs has been upheld by its defiantly enduring and thriving people, challenging all other ideologies in every age and place.

Secular pseudoscience

When the Enlightenment arrived in Europe, it replaced religion and tradition with reason and scientific knowledge. Increasingly secular, the values of liberty and equality it championed encouraged freedom from religious conventions and equality through assimilation. Exclusion could only be justified by “scientific” evidence. Race, defined as “observable physical traits and moral qualities,” became the yardstick by which Jews were measured. Jews were backward, clannish, usurious, and maleficent. Judaism nurtured illiteracy and superstition, ridiculous customs, and “historically proven” traits of dual loyalties, anti-Christian bias, and ritual

Journey to the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss with JCC Children’s Theatre’s annual production.

Saturday, February 20 @ 8PM

&Sunday, February 21 @ 3PM Rosewood Arts Center (2655 Olson Dr., 45420)

Literature to share Playing with Fire by Tess Gerritsen. From a bestselling author of romance, medical, and crime novels comes this historical thriller. Beginning in Rome with a violinist’s discovery of an unusual musical score in an old bookstore, two stories of the music’s diabolical effect on the musician’s young daughter, and the discovery of its origins in 1930s Venice collide. The Girl in the Torch by Robert Sharenow. Drawing from his own family’s background, this award-winning author of young adult literature offers a thoughtful picture of the immigrant experience at the turn of the 20th century. Set at Ellis Island and the Lower East Side, this adventure tale highlights universal themes of grit and adaptability that transcend the diversity of ethnicities and situations.



Call Karen at 610-1555 to reserve your seats, or visit our website at Music by STEPHEN FLAHERTY. Lyrics by LYNN AHRENS. Book by LYNN AHRENS and STEPHEN FLAHERTY. Co-Conceived by LYNN AHRENS, STEPHEN FLAHERTY and ERIC IDLE. Based on the works of Dr. Seuss. Music Supervised, Adapted and Produced by BRYAN LOUISELLE. SEUSSICAL JR is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.



OBITUARIES Richard Flagel, 76, a native of Dayton, passed away unexpectedly on Dec. 27. A graduate of Fairview High School and Indiana University, Mr. Flagel got his start in commercial real estate with Beerman Realty and went on to open Richard Flagel Realty, which he ran for more than 40 years. He was past president of the Dayton Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Parks and of Centerville Rotary, and was a member of the Dayton Area Board of Realtors. Mr. Flagel was a passionate supporter of the Jewish community. He briefly studied at Hebrew Union College, and engaged in a variety of Jewish study groups, causes, and organizations. He served on the local boards of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton, Temple Beth Or, and the Community Hebrew School. He had a lifelong love of theatre, music, singing


and song. In high school, he played the alto saxophone and managed a dance band. In the 1970s, he started the Trotwood Municipal Band and later started the Centerville Community Chorus. Most recently, he was a member of Temple Beth Or’s choir. He was president of Trotwood Circle Theater and a past board member of The Human Race Theatre Company. Mr. Flagel was preceded in death by his father, David E. Flagel. Mr. Flagel is survived by his 102-year old mother, Edna, of Naples, Fla., and his two brothers, Jerry (Barbara) of Naples, and Bert of San Bernadino, Calif. He is also survived by his loving wife, Marlene “Marni”; son, Andrew (Jennifer) of Boston; daughter, Alyson Goldberg (Dr. Jeffrey) of Louisville, Ky.; and his two grandchildren: Joshua Flagel and Sophia Goldberg. Interment was at David’s Cemetery. Memorial



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contributions may be made to Temple Beth Or, Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., or the charity of your choice. Dr. Herman Katz, 92, passed away Dec. 20. Dr. Katz was preceded in death by parents Nathan and Molly Katz, and five older brothers, Maurice, Paul, Louis, Samuel and Zelique, all of Dayton. Survivors include Barbara, his wife of 62 years; children Gail Rubinfeld, Nanette, Mitchell, Timothy and Joel; grandchildren Sarah, Rachel, Jacob, Samuel, Jackson, and Emmett; many nieces and nephews. Dr. Katz practiced dentistry for more than 50 years, was a lifetime member of Alpha Omega Dental Fraternity, and a former member of Temple Israel and Beth Abraham Synagogue. He was a veteran of the U.S Navy. Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of your choice. Dr. Sidney F. Miller, age 72, passed away on Jan. 18. Dr. Miller was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Sarah Miller. He is survived by his wife, Babs Miller; daughters, Amy (Frank) Fiorella and Debra (Jim) Gaetano; sister, Elaine (Arthur) Atlas; grandchildren, Brooke Fiorella, Andrew, Jayson and Matthew Gaetano. Dr. Miller graduated from Indiana University Medical School. He practiced general surgery

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at Miami Valley Hospital and was a professor at Wright State University. Dr. Miller moved to Columbus to establish the Burn Center at The Ohio State University. He was also a past president of the American Burn Association. He was active with the Columbus Jewish Federation, served on the board of the JCC Columbus and board of JCC Association of North America. Dr. Miller traveled internationally teaching doctors how to establish burn centers. Interment was in Indianapolis. Donations are preferred to Congregation Tifereth Israel in Columbus, the American Burn Association, or charity of donor’s choice. Ruth Spialter, age 92, formerly of Dayton, passed away Jan. 10 in Columbus. Mrs. Spialter was born in Newark, N.J. in 1923, and was the wife of 69 years to the late Leonard Spialter. She was an accomplished musician, playing both piano and flute, and gave piano lessons to neighborhood children for many years. Mrs. Spialter was a longtime member of Beth Abraham Synagogue, serving in many capacities, including as a volunteer for its Chevra Kadisha Society, and was also a lifetime member of Hadassah. She is survived by two children, Eila (Phillip) Sherman and David (Ellen) Spialter, and three grandchildren, Leia Spialter, Jennifer Sherman and Benjamin Spialter. Interment was at Beth Abraham Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Beth Abraham Synagogue or Wexner Heritage Village, Columbus. Daniel Aaron Summer died in his home on Jan. 14 at the age of 55 after a long and courageous battle with ALS. He was with his family and his loyal dog, Shiner. Mr. Summer is survived by his beloved wife, Chandelle; his children, whom he adored, Joey, Jack, Jake, Jeffrey and Georgia Summer; as well as his father, Dr. Mory Summer; and his sister, Jenny. Mr. Summer was born in Chicago on Oct. 29, 1960 to his parents, Mory and Ghita Summer. The family moved to Dayton a year later where Mr. Summer lived until he graduated from The Miami Valley School in 1978. Mr. Summer attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison where he graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in economics with honors in three years. Mr. Summer

moved to Atlanta, where he attended Emory University Law School graduating in 1985. Mr. Summer spent his first five years in practice with the Hall County district attorney’s office, where he distinguished himself as a tremendously successful trial lawyer. Mr. Summer entered private practice in 1989 with his wife and law partner, Chandelle Summer, and they practiced law together for more than 25 years. Mr. Summer’s many significant contributions to the practice of criminal defense included a groundbreaking genetic defense in a capital murder case, the repeal of mandatory life sentences for certain felonies, in addition to establishing new protections for criminal defendants at trial. Mr. Summer’s leadership in the legal community was recognized in 2011 when he was selected by the governor of Georgia to serve on the committee that appoints judges throughout the state. One of Mr. Summer’s passions was his love for and the preservation of the historic treasures of his community. Mr. Summer realized his vision for the downtown square by restoring and renovating many of Gainesville’s original landmarks. One need only walk the downtown square to appreciate his architectural achievements and artistic contributions such as the Coca-Cola mural. Please make any donations to The Salvation Army, 711 Dorsey St., Gainesville, GA 30501. Rochelle “Shelly” Tarsky, age 61 of Englewood passed away unexpectedly on Jan. 12 at the home she shared with her father. Ms. Tarsky was preceded in death by her mother, Lillian Tarsky. She is survived by her father, Joseph Tarsky; two brothers, Robert (Eileen) Tarsky of Boston, William (Ilene) Tarsky of North Carolina; nephew Joshua (Jenny) and grandniece Aviva, all of Cambridge Mass., and nephew Adam of North Carolina; also many loving cousins and friends in the Dayton area. Ms. Tarsky loved animals, the theatre and spending time with her family. She was active in the community and was a past president of the Dayton Chapter of Hadassah. Interment was at Beth Jacob Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of your choice.




After the terror: Israel’s emergency workers, part two

Yom Hanesiim — Presidents Day

We continue our look at Israel’s emergency workers this month with a focus on the dedicated volunteers who deal with the heartbreaking aftermath. But first a look at those who risk their lives to prevent a tragedy. Members of Israel’s bomb squads — or sappers — risk their lives trying to neutralize suspicious objects before they can do any harm.

Mark Mietkiewicz Jewish Homemaker magazine devoted a lengthy article to the stories of Gal, Rami and Yaacov, members of Jerusalem’s bomb squad. “Much of the work is pretty routine,” said Rami, “but as soon as you’re faced with a real event, a switch goes off in your head; you go into a different gear. You don’t think about the danger. You think how you’re going to diffuse the package (” The article asks, “Has Rami, this super-cool Israeli with a crew cut and perpetual macho smile ever felt his hands shake?” His response, “If you think about being injured, you can throw in the towel. All you can think of is how to do the work most efficiently and safely. Afterwards, you go over it in your head and then the shock of what you went through hits you.” Israeli sappers were joined in 2011 by Inbal Gawi, Israel Police’s first female sapper. “At first I wanted to break the limits, mostly for my own sake, but now I feel like I did it for other women as well,” said the 26-year old Haifa native (http://

ZAKA’s website

Immediately after a disaster, one of the most distressing duties falls to ZAKA. Members of ZAKA, most of whom are Orthodox Jews, arrive at the first word of a terrorist attack or civil emergency. Wearing black kippot, tzitzit fringes and bright orange emergency vests, their task is to search for limbs and scrape down buildings splattered with blood and flesh ( isemerg12). According to Jewish tradition, bodies must be treated with respect and all body parts must be given a proper burial. While rescuers work against the clock to save the living and police make legal identification of corpses, ZAKA is concerned with kavod hamet, the halachic (Jewish legal) concept of proper burial. The letters ZAKA are a Hebrew acronym for Zihui Korbanot Ason, Disaster Victim Identification. However, the organization prefers the name Identification, Extraction and Rescue — True Kindness ( “It’s a holy act,” says founder Rabbi Elazar Gelbstein. “God created us in his image and we must do his deeds. This is our job. It’s hard and it breaks us but it must be done (” A look at the Breaking News page on the ZAKA website is impressive and sobering ( ZAKA’s Rapid Rescue Unit’s paramedics provide immediate emergency assistance across Israel. Although members of ZAKA are best known for their tireless efforts within Israel, the organization’s Matti Goldstein explains why his rescue team came to Haiti following its devastating 2010 earthquake, and continued to work even on Shabbat. “People asked, ‘Why are you here? There are no Jews here,’

but we are here because the Torah orders us to save lives. We are desecrating Shabbat with pride (” Ezer Mizion is best known as an Israeli health support organization that focuses on the country’s sick, disabled and elderly, as well as running the world’s largest Jewish bone marrow donor registry — 1,971 transplants since 1988 (http:// But they also marshal their impressive resources to provide support, such as after the harrowing 2014 murders at the Bnei Torah Synagogue in Har Nof, Jerusalem. Ezer Mizion assisted in organizing a special evening attended by 400 people to offer an immediate response to the attack. Rebbetzin Tzipporah Heller, mother-in-law of one of the injured, credits “the women of Ezer Mizion (who) kept us well supplied with food, calming conversation and practical advice (” As Israel’s largest volunteer organization, Yad Sarah operates a variety of programs including fitness centers for people with special needs, geriatric dental clinics — as well as a meeting place in Jerusalem for victims of terror (http://bit. ly/isemerg20). Haim Gelernter was bringing in the laundry from his Jerusalem apartment porch when a sharpshooter from Beit Jallah fired a bullet that destroyed his right eye. Years later, Gelernter attends the support club not for treatment but to talk. “If there was no Yad Sarah, I would have a problem. This is a way to fight off depression — this great place, and my nine dear grandchildren.” Social worker Noa Talshir adds, “Together in the group, this loneliness is alleviated. They feel that they are not alone, that there are others nearby who also bore the brunt of the nightmarish event of a single moment in which their lives changed forever (http://” Mark Mietkiewicz writes about resources for Jewish life to be found on the Internet. Contact him at

In 1968, when Congress created a uniform system of federal holidays, it declared Presidents Day as an official holiday, to be celebrated on the third Monday in February. Although it became the law of the land in 1971, Presidents Day is based on a long history of celebrations of both Washington’s and Lincoln’s

Dr. Rachel Zohar Dulin birthdays on the 22nd and 12th of February respectively. Not all states agreed to the change made by Congress, nor did all adhere to the new name given to the day. Nevertheless, Presidents Day was popularized in several states as a marketing phenomenon, capitalizing on a three-day weekend for sales and shopping sprees. This month, let’s discuss two Hebrew terms pertaining to the occasion: The first is nasi meaning president (nesiim in the plural) and the second is yom huledet, meaning birthday. The Hebrew word nasi is mentioned in the Bible 129 times and it means chief, prince and ruler. In post biblical Hebrew, we find nasi used to indicate the head of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish legislative authority (B’rakhot 13); and in Modern Hebrew, nasi evolved further to mean president, the head of state, and a CEO of an organization. The noun is derived from the verb nasa, which means lifted up, exalted or, as some say, speaker, for a president usually “lifts up the words” to


advocate the people’s cause. Either way, in ancient times, the nasi was the head of a tribe (Num. 7:24), the head of a group (Josh. 22:14), a king (Ezek. 37:25) as well as a representative of a whole nation (Gen. 23:6). It is not surprising that nasi has made an easy transformation to the modern political parlance to mean a president of a country. Unlike in the United States, where the nasi is a political figure, in Israel the nasi is a figurehead with no political power. As for yom huledet, this compound word, constructed of two nouns, was mentioned three times in the Bible. In Hebrew, like other semitic languages, yom means day, time and year and appears in the Text almost 2,300 times. And huledet, which means birth, is derived from the verb yalad meaning bear, bring forth, and beget. Not many phrases can be found using the words nasi or huledet. However there are many phrases where yom is at the center. For example, yom tov means holiday and yom yom means daily. Bin yom means quick and beyom min hayamim means someday or as we say in jest, one fine day. Now that we are about to celebrate the yom huledet of both Washington and Lincoln, a time declared in America as yom tov, let us not forget the contribution each nasi had in shaping America’s history and helping it become a unique nation among nations. 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.


Wedding glass to last a lifetime By Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman The final step of a Jewish wedding ceremony is the moment the groom steps on the glass to shouts of “Mazal Tov!” There are countless interpretations for the tradition of breaking a glass. Some see it as a reminder of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Others say it is meant to remind us that marriage is as fragile as glass. It also has been interpreted to demonstrate how life is so fragile that the couple should enjoy every day as if it were their last together. “Can you imagine — you can take a perfectly formed object and smash it...We are so perfectly formed as we stand under the chupah (wedding canopy). It is true that life is fragile and sometimes fragmented, but Hashem (God)

responds to a broken heart,” says Chana Perelman, director of Whether progressive or traditional, religious or secular, Jewish weddings almost always include the breaking of a glass. At some weddings, people use light bulbs or wine goblets wrapped in cloth napkins. But today, artists design vibrant, trendy, and often hand-blown Jewish wedding breaking glasses, and ultimately imaginative keepsakes in which to keep their shards. Perelman says it was artist Gary Rosenthal who popularized selling beautiful breaking glasses. She highlights the breaking glasses of artist Sara Beames, who produces two different lines of glasses to smash — eight colors in hand-blown glass and five that come in a

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box that comes with an engraving of the couple’s first names and the date of the wedding in black, blue, red, gold, silver, or frosted. Glass shards are shipped to the company, which then returns the gift ready and made.

incorporated into any of these items. “My personal favorites are keepsakes that help you perform a mitzvah,” says Perelman, who says these types of wedding keepsakes sell well. She says a couple and their children can place the tzedakah box by their candlesticks and give tzedakah as a family every Friday evening.

silk organza bag embroidered with the phrase from the Song of Songs, “Ani l’dodi v’dodi Make a wedding li, I am my Bag it memory beloved’s, Shari Broken glass wedding and my Klein crebeloved is ated a keep- albums, photo frames, and ketubah (marriage contract) mine.” sake to help frames are also popular. “Assign a engage her Rosenthal’s Ahava wedding reliable person stepchildren glass keepsake photo frame, — family memin the wedding made with the glass shards, is ber or friend — to ceremony. Today, take care of getting it beautifies her new a large round frame that holds the glass from home. It was a do- an eight-inch circular photo under the chuit-yourself project. in a brass ring. It features a pah,” Perelman She purchased an laser-cut version of the word ahava, meaning love in Hebrew. says. “The off-white Artist Gary Rosenthal’s Ahava broken The shards are displayed in an wedding glass keepsake photo frame last thing muslin attached tube. The couple puryou want is bag with a chases the frame and receives for it to get swept away by the drawstring and fabric crayons. step-by-step instructions to hall.” The children — two boys, ages assemble it. What can you do with those 6 and 8 — were asked to draw Perelman advises that if shards? Here are seven ideas: what they felt depicted the couples pick out a keepsake, special day on which their dad they should check to see if the Box it up would marry his new wife. If you choose a breaking “When we brought it glass in a vibrant color, boxto the chupah, the rabbi ing the shards in a Lucite or was able to acknowledge glass container can be a real it, and it made the boys attraction. The box can sit on a feel good and included,” bookshelf or a countertop. The says Klein, explaining that box can be purchased at a craft now they are planning to or jewelry store. Keeping such frame the drawing with a box around, says Perelman, the glass and put it up in reminds the couple of that their home. happy mazal tov moment. Ketubah Store offers a Lucite Use it for a mitzvah Artist Faye Miller says that among her most popular keepsakes are mezuzahs and Kiddush Klein preserves the broken glass cups. Beames says tzeda- Shari from her Jewish wedding in a bag, which kah boxes are among her features an illustration by her husband’s hottest buys. Broken glass children depicting the day on which their from a wedding can be dad would marry his new wife




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artist requires them to use one of his or her breaking glasses before moving forward.

Design a piece of jewelry

The bride can take a piece of glass and commission a keepsake piece of jewelry. A search on reveals a lampwork necklace from the broken glass of a Jewish wedding, created by Sari Glassman, who explains on the product page that she melted the pieces from the broken glass and added 22karat gold leaf to them. “Do you know a woman who wants to get married? This necklace will bring her luck,” writes Glassman — though it will also be a piece to cherish for a woman who has already married her soulmate.

Create pottery

Perelman also suggests embedding wedding glass shards in a piece of pottery. One can visit a paint-and-glaze store and ask to use the glass as part of a mosaic pottery project, or commission an artist to create the ideal piece.

Search for another idea or come up with your own

Pinterest is an excellent platform for finding creative ideas for what to do with your broken wedding glass shards. Put “broken glass art” in the search bar and you’ll find everything from mirrors, to mosaics, to glass bottle collectibles, to garden stepping stones. Miller says it’s a joy to work on breaking glass keepsakes. “I think the glass shards themselves are beautiful, and the fact that they harken back to the earliest days of the Jewish people is very meaningful,” she says. “How wonderful to have a piece in your home that evokes memories of our people as well as the special moment when you became husband and wife. I love my job and consider it an honor when brides and grooms select my art for their wedding glass.”

Dress-up nation? Stunning, exquisite bridal arrangements A Berta Bridal dress

Bridal fashionista ready for the challenge By Karen McDonough It’s already known as the “start-up nation.” But can bridal fashionista Berta Balilti turn Israel into the dress-up nation? Balilti, owner of Berta Bridal, presides over an internationally successful business, creating luxurious, glamorous wedding gowns sold worldwide. From her fashion house in the southern Israeli port city of Ashdod, she exports gorgeously detailed gowns to boutiques and stores in more than 20 countries. Berta Balilti You can feel the love on the company’s social media sites from more than 1.2 million followers — most of them on Instagram —who routinely gush over brides from around the globe pictured in her dresses.

This isn’t your mother’s wedding dress. Balilti is known for her shapely modern designs with signature daring bare backs, dramatic trains, and intricate lace and tulle. She has certainly found her place in the multi-billion dollar wedding industry — $60 billion a year in the U.S. alone. And with the worldwide appeal of her designs, Balilti’s spot as a high-end wedding gown designer has helped place Israel at the top of bridal haute couture fashion. “There’s nothing like Berta’s dresses,” said Renata Kukielka, the buyer for L’Fay Bridal in New York. “She has brought something unique to this market — classic and sexy designs. Brides try her dresses on and most are in disbelief: they feel Continued on next page

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Berta Balilti Continued from previous page so gorgeous they don’t want to take them off.” Balilti’s success may have seemed unimaginable just a generation ago. Born in Cairo, Egypt, she émigrated at age 3 with her parents to Israel just prior to 1967’s Six-Day War, which had devastating consequences for Egyptian Jews. Years earlier, some of her family migrated to Paris with the help of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society before coming to America. Though Balilti’s large Jewish family lived there for many generations, Jews weren’t accepted citizens of Egypt, but were considered a people without a country. Her maternal grandfather, Mordachai Elgazzar, had owned a jewelry

store in Cairo, but life wasn’t easy for Jews. Her family experienced antisemitism, bombings, threats, and devastating repercussions from the 1948 war once Israel became a country. With the fall of King Farouk in 1952, Jewish families lost everything. Under Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, in 1956, the country declared all Jews enemies of the state, ordering thousands to leave. Each person was permitted to take only one suitcase and a sum equivalent to $25, as the government confiscated Jews’ property. When the 1967 war broke out, Egyptian Jewish men were rounded up and sent to prison camps. Once Balilti’s family settled in Israel, her father, after suffering an injury while working on a boat, could no longer work. Every hardship and triumph her parents experienced later played a role in their daughter’s success.

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From immigrant family to international achievement Growing up in Israel offered Balilti a far different childhood than that of her parents. She found her flair for fashion and dreamed of designing the ultimate dress for a woman’s most important day. After graduating from Ramat Gan’s Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, she worked during the day as a seamstress, and later, as a junior designer at a readyto-wear company in Tel Aviv. At night, she sketched and sewed wedding gowns at A Berta Bridal dress home, determined to make in terms of production and her dream come true. the level of service I expect In 1995, she opened her first my team to grant my brides,” bridal salon, La Belle, a small Balilti told “Then we shop where she was the sole decided to move to our new designer and had a staff of place.” about 25 people working for By 2005, the company had her. From the beginning, her 15 retailers, and a year later business has been closely held, more than 30 stores were carwith family members helping rying the Israeli-made gowns. out. Her daughter is one of her A few years later in 2012, when models. her son-in-law Nir Moscovich Less than a decade later, in joined the team, he took the 2004, Balilti expanded — movcompany international, overing her operation into a larger seeing its global operations. space, turning her boutique On her journey to success into a full-fledged fashion were encouraging parents house, and taking on the name who inspired her to never Berta Bridal. quit pursuing her goals. Their “We had reached a point example of persevering even in in which I felt like the place became too small for my needs, the toughest circumstances set

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a lasting foundation for her to build upon. “My parents raised me to believe I can be anything I want, so I just went ahead and chased my dream,” Balilti said. “I didn’t let go until I found my way. My family’s history (in Egypt) wasn’t very positive at the end. But I grew up in a family that always cherished the positive things they had there. I am obviously a proud Israeli, and do not take anything we have here for granted.” When her first major retailer, L’Fay Bridal, placed its initial order, Balilti was on the road to industry respect. “The very first time I saw one of her dresses, it was style #12-32 with long sleeves, (with a deep V-cut) and a sparkling top and I knew it was going to be a big seller,” said L’Fay’s Kukielka, who’s spent 15 years in the bridal business. “The first dress we ordered, the bride put it on, and that’s all she wanted and she started crying.” Things took off when her dresses were featured in top fashion magazines, including Vogue and Elle and the bridal magazines Martha Stewart Weddings, Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, and Brides, as well as on popular blogs. “Everything happened really fast in the international scene,” she said. “We were constantly getting inquiries from brides and many retailers all over the world who wanted to carry my line.” Today, her gowns are sold at more than 60 retailers in close to two dozen countries, including in the U.S. department store giants Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom. Though she has made her dream come true, Balilti isn’t complacent. “I still chase my dreams,” she said. “I’m grateful for all I have achieved so far, but there’s much more ahead, and I have no plans of taking a break.”


Second-time brides share what to wear Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman, Every bride wants her wedding day to be special, whether it’s her first or second nuptials. But there are many more considerations the second time around. Often, there are children involved. Usually, the couple pays for the event on their own, so finances can factor in more. There’s also the question of what was done the first time and how you want to make wedding No. 2 the same — or totally different. The message from second-time Jewish brides and their stylists is that anything goes. “The bride should wear what she feels most comfortable in,” says Nicole Borsuk of Nicole Borsuk Personal Shopper in Atlanta. “It all depends on the bride.” Melinda Michel of Baltimore remarried in June 2015 at the age of 48. She says she used Pinterest to start her bridal dress search. “I thought it was really fun shopping for wedding dresses, and Pinterest was like virtual window shopping,” Michel says, noting that when she explored the virtual shop, she discovered wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses, and cocktail attire in a variety of colors and cuts. She would pin the dresses she was drawn to and then try to find them in a local bridal store or department store. “I think (second-time) brides should consider bridesmaid dresses,” says Michel. For one, bridesmaid dresses are significantly more affordable — usually as much as 50 percent less expensive than a bridal gown. They still have that bridal party feel. “I don’t know that my taste was as defined at 23 as it is now,” says Michel of the difference between shopping for her dress the first and second times around. Shari Klein, 50, seconds that notion. Remarried in June 2015 in New York, she ended up with a white bridesmaid dress deeply emblazoned with silver beading. She searched for the perfect ensemble for two months. Her married daughters helped, sending her pictures and suggestions when they found something that might work for the blazing redhead. “I needed something that was a little atypical and that fit my personality — sexy and flirty and fun, but I didn’t want to look like a grown-up trying to be a kid,” says Klein, whose dress gave her that “princess feel” she desired, effusing a combination of modesty, sophistication, and beauty. She found the dress two days before her wedding. Michel’s dress was a blush pink. She says she knew the closest she would get to white was ivory, but explored a gamut of colors. Borsuk says second-time brides often opt for their favorite colors or ones they know look good on them. She has helped brides find dresses in trendy seasonal colors. For example, pink quartz is in now. There’s also a popular cool blue that’s making its way to the dress scene.

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Second-time bride Shari Klein shares a Cinderella moment with her husband, Elie

Fair-skinned brides should go with pastel colors so that they don’t become washed out by their dress. Olive-skinned brides can go more vibrant, Borsuk says, noting, “Orange is really in. So is fuchsia.” What do the kids wear to a second wedding? “Let’s say a bride is not having a traditional wedding and she’s opted for a blue dress, then I would suggest the children have blue in their wedding outfits,” says Borsuk, explaining that even at a second wedding it is traditional to coordinate between the bride, groom, and bridal party. At Michel’s wedding, her groom wore a pink tie to coordinate with her dress. The flower girl wore a dress from the same company that was ivory and pink. Klein’s older daughters wore gowns. She says, “They wanted everyone to know they were the daughters of the bride.” Another way to consider your wedding gown is based on venue. Michel was married in a historic inn in Baltimore that she says had the feel of an English barn. The dress lent itself to the venue. She notes that if a bride would get married in a funkier venue, a funkier dress might work. Finally, accessorize. Michel says one can go with a simpler dress and then accessorize with the right bridal belt or shoes. Borsuk recommends that if going with a simpler dress, add some fun and tasteful costume jewelry. In Klein’s case, the shoes were the highlight. She selected high heels with sequins, silver straps and rhinestones. “When you get married the second time around, you need to know this person is always going to be your prince charming,” says Klein. “There is a picture when he is putting the shoe on me. It is a Cinderella moment and a Cinderella picture — the shoes, that picture, captured it all.”

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August 20 – School Begins

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