Lunching out with the ROMEOs p. 2 January 2014 Tevet/Shevat 5774 Vol. 18, No. 5
Published by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton
The Miami Valley’s Jewish Monthly • Online at JewishDayton.org Marshall Weiss
Black and Jewish
Dayton’s Jews of color share their stories
Swarthmore’s Hillel fights Hillel Int’l.
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Out with the ROMEOs North Main Street, other locations were By Marc Katz tried. The Legacy was settled on due Special To The Observer to its central location, its food, its low Waitress Amy Kindred waits for prices and plenty of parking. them inside the Legacy Pancake House The group consists of but is not limon Keowee Street, asking an early ited to Freeman, Footer, Kulback, Levinvisitor if he wants something to drink son, Lewis, Renas, Thum, Zawatsky, as before he sits down at a long row of well as Jeff Albert, Ron Bernard, Larry two-top tables, a booth lining one side, Burick, Aaron Burke, Ken Elbaum, Dick a row of chairs on the other. Flagel, Chuck Fried, Ron Gilbert, Mike It’s a few minutes before noon on a Goldstein, George Grampp, Jason Liff, Friday. By 12:15 p.m., this section will be filled with ROMEOs: ReMarc Katz tired Old Men Eating Out. These ROMEOs are Jewish or married to Jewish women. Some of them aren’t retired and others would take offense at being called old. “We try not to get into arguments,” said Franklin Lewis, a retired attorney from Cleveland who helped found the group nearly 10 years ago, “but it doesn’t always work.” Nothing stops arguments, but the whole thing ROMEOs at Legacy Pancake House works because the men are Mel Lipton, David Marcus, Don Marger, friends (or friends of friends), are all in Ed Meadow, Dennis Patterson, Terry their senior years and know something Pinsky, Dick Prigozen, Ned Rosenthal, (or nothing at all) about the day’s news Allen Ross, Joel Shapiro, Allan Spetter, in sports, politics, and entertainment. “They’re great people,” said Kindred, Joe Weinreich, and Ivan Zawatsky. Anyone is welcome to join them. who serves the group and knows their “If you hear someone say, ‘Hey, names instantly. “They’re well-manShapiro,’ you know you’re in the right nered.” place,” said Freeman, a retired dentist She takes care of them. who many know as Mike but prefers to “I know who’s the most impatient and what most of them will order,” Kin- be called Manny. “You get to know the history of the Jewish community here. dred said. “I know what Paul Kulback You’ll hear who belongs to the different wants when he comes in the store. I Jewish groups.” have his check already prepared.” So far, it has been a males-only lunch, There is no set time for the meal to although two wives once showed up begin, and seats are not reserved. with a birthday cake for Prigozen. “We try not to sit in the same place Following the appropriate song, the all the time so we get to sit with everywives were asked to leave. body,” said Ed Zawatsky. “I think they ate somewhere else in “Sometimes, we have so many, a the restaurant,” Lewis said, “but not few have to sit on the other side (of the with us.” aisle),” Mike Freeman said. “They’re All the schmoozing comes during the outcasts. They can’t get in the arguordering and eating of the meal. By 1 ments.” p.m., there is a hurried exit for the door. It began with Lewis and pal Steve “I think if everybody came who has Renas taking Ron Footer to lunch. This been here at least once, we’d have about was about 2004. 50,” said Lewis, who also noted there “Then Jim Levinson was the fourth were no plans to expand the number of guy,” Lewis said. “Then Bob Thum. days or add dinners. Everyone started contacting people. A “I think the only day you wouldn’t few weeks ago, we had 26, an all-time have anybody is if Yom Kippur came on high.” a Friday,” Pinsky said. “You can always At first, the group met at Anticoli’s, get a minyan here on Friday afternoon.” but when that restaurant moved from
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Kve l l i n g Co r n e r. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 2
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Fa m i l y Ed u ca t i o n . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
O b i t u a r i e s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JANUARY 2014
DAYTON By Michelle Tedford Special To The Observer Janice Davies-May’s most recent steps on her lifelong spiritual journey were down the hallway at Temple Israel. It was the first Shabbat after her Oct. 19 Bat Mitzvah with the temple’s adult B’nai Mitzvah class. “When I walked through the temple that evening, I really felt different — I felt like I had come home,” says DaviesMay, 79. She felt it even before she saw her friends waiting for her, before they welcomed her with her first Magen David (Star of David), before she accepted it and cried. Her fingers reach up to rub the pendant hanging from her gold necklace. “I probably would have gone years ago if I knew I was going to be accepted,” she says. Davies-May is one of the Dayton area’s Black Jews who has found community in local synagogues. While their numbers are small, their presence is a reminder of the diversity found in Judaism. The Observer invited Jews of color to share their stories of faith and life in the Miami Valley.
Davies-May has always been one to read, study, question and learn, she says. Even as a child in Detroit, she says, she knew her family’s chosen religion, Catholicism, was not right for her. She began by reading James A. Michener’s The Source, a history of the Jewish people, then over the years adapted her religious observance to conform to Jewish practices, such as a Saturday Sabbath. She has observed Jewish dietary laws for more than 20 years. With her late husband, she began attending Messianic services, a form of Christianity with Jewish trappings that’s neither accepted in the Jewish community nor by mainstream Christian denominations. After her retirement from the federal
The Adventures of
Black and Jewish
To the source
Ayanna Williams also came to Judaism by choice. But Judaism was always in her blood. Sitting in Starbucks on Brown Street, she talks confidently of her childhood days when she would challenge her Catholic grade-school teachers to prove the principles they were teaching. She yearned for source material and felt that Judaism — the religion of her maternal grandmother — provided what she needed. “I always felt Jewish, even when I was a kid,” she says. “I just technically didn’t go through the steps until I was an adult.” Helping her on those steps was Johanna Smith, Williams’ neighbor in Yellow Springs. When Williams’ 120-pound dog would escape the yard, she would end Janice Davies-May celebrated her Bat Mitzvah on Oct. 19 up at the Smith house; this gave Wilgovernment, Davies-May met Dr. Erika She became a Jew on Aug. 29, 2011 liams and Smith opportunities to talk Garfunkel at the University of Dayton’s with her immersion in The Miami Valley about Judaism. Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. It was Mikvah at Sugar Camp in Oakwood That was nearly 10 years ago. Today, Garfunkel who first invited Davies-May under the supervision of Temple Israel’s Williams and her daughter, 16-year-old to Temple Israel and, with other women, Rabbi Karen Bodney-Halasz. MacKenzie Rocquemore, are also memhelped make her feel welcome in HeConversion made her spiritual calling bers of Temple Israel, where Williams brew classes and services. official, but it also filled a void: she was teaches students in its religious school. Davies-May credits the patient teach- finally a member of a faith community. She says she understands why her ing of Rabbi David Sofian with the edu“I saw it as a public commitment to grandmother converted the family, cation she received for her conversion. my faith and to my faith members,” she Continued on next page
Dayton’s Jews of color share their stories
Bark Mitzvah Boy
BMB’s father hangs with the ROMEOs . . .
says. While it’s taken her a long time to get here, she hopes her peace and joy serve as examples to her children and grandchildren, whose faces smile out from photographs resting on every surface of her living room furniture. She hopes their paths may someday lead them to the same spiritual place. “All of my life has quietly been a move toward this,” she says. And this constant learner still takes new steps, continuing her Hebrew studies to expand her participation in services. “I’m bound and determined to learn to read Hebrew as well as I read English,” she says.
Just call me Old Kveller, boys.
c O 2014 Menachem
From the editor’s desk With the new secular year, it’s my pleasure to introduce a new column to our pages. Dr. Rachel Zohar Dulin is a professor of biblical literature at Spertus ColMarshall lege in Chicago and an adjunct Weiss professor of Bible and Hebrew with New College of Florida in Sarasota. Rachel writes the column Leshon Ima — Hebrew for mother tongue — for Chicago’s JUF News and The Jewish News of Sarasota-Manatee. Dr. Gary Zola, executive director of the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati, suggested I take a look at her work. I was hooked and utterly charmed. In each column, Rachel delves into the origins of a Hebrew word or phrase in a way that’s easy to understand for those who aren’t familiar with Hebrew. With each explanation, she guides the reader into a lesson about Jewish values, history and culture. I hope you enjoy her column as much as I do.
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JANUARY 2014
DAYTON Marshall Weiss
we can get to the truth,” says Continued from previous page Thomas. given that Jews of color in Corinne, a doctoral candiAmerica face many chaldate working in the departlenges. ment of biomedical, industrial But Williams will chaland human factors engineerlenge you, telling you to ing at Wright State Univerlook beyond that apparent sity, and Thomas, who owns color line. She is a woman Wright Real Estate Services, of Jewish Eastern-European, grew up in different Christian African-American and Native denominations. American descent: all of these But even before they met, groups have faced and overthey knew their spiritual come hardships. search was not complete. The It’s important to pay attencouple studied, kept the Sabtion to the source material, bath and found their faith. she says. It’s a lesson she tells But they had not yet found a her religious school students, community. challenging them to not just Corinne described one of accept but to question and the first families they met at understand. Temple Beth Or, which they She also challenges her felfirst attended two years ago. low members of the Dayton The couple was interfaith, Jewish International Film Fest lesbian, with one daughter Committee to diversify the and a second child on the way. perspectives of the movies And they were completely they bring to town. integrated into the fabric of the And she’ll tell you that community. a multiracial, multiethRenee Peery has taught children Hebrew at Temple Beth Or for two decades “I remember thinking, this nic woman can thrive in a is a sign of how they treat predominantly white Jewish other people,” she says. community. for games into her classes, Peery, who remains a member On May 14 — Corinne’s At times it may be difficult, knowing that the mind needs to of her family’s Sephardic conshe says, “but it’s my life: it’s stretch and change directions in birthday and the festival of gregation. Shavuot, which celebrates the not going to be anything I’m order to fill and grow. She also She learned Hebrew by rote, not used to.” encourages her students to ask giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai crediting a late growth spurt to the Jewish people — the questions that help them form for her ability to remain in the Wright family stood on the ‘First is my faith’ a picture of their own Jewish sanctuary long after other girls bima at Temple Beth Or and acTall and strong, Renee Peery identity. were sent off with the women; cepted their Jewish names in a strikes a commanding figure And when they ask about teaching Hebrew became one of formal conversion ritual. that’s likely useful in her career her great joys. her experiences, she does not “I was just trying not to cry,” as a teacher. waiver. In the Air Force, she found But get her to talk about her “First is my faith; everything says Corinne as she talks of the herself stationed around the love of teaching, and she melts. world — Japan, Korea — yet else follows,” she says. “It’s like goodwill and good food shared by congregation members at the “When you see in them the the bones inside of me.” always able to find a Jewish reception. values you are trying to teach And, as every good teacher, community. While it may be uncommon them, it is rewarding,” says she has another lesson that goes “In some respects you have in Dayton to meet black Jews, Peery, a longtime Hebrew beyond the day’s vocabulary: to look for them, and someteacher at Temple Beth Or and times we found each other,” she “You need to love who you are. the Wrights see the spreading of Abraham’s descendants to “all a retired education-in-training If you’re going to practice a says. four corners” of the world as a officer for the Air Force Institute religion, love it, because you’ll While based in Dayton, she sign of the accessibility of Judaof Technology. be OK.” served as a layleader for an ism to all, whether by lineage or She was raised Orthodox in eclectic congregation at Wrightby example. a Jewish neighborhood in The Patterson Air Force Base. ‘My heart’s desire’ “Our souls are happy here,” Bronx inside a big extended “Being able to pray with a Don’t be fooled by 6-year-old Corinne says. “Judaism is my family and a supportive, multi- group is like getting reward on Ava Wright’s initial shyness. peace, my rock and my heart’s lingual, multi-ethnic communi- top of reward on top of reGive her 15 minutes and she’ll ty. “It was more like living in a ward,” she says. pull out her favorite Chanukah desire.” tribe than living in a city,” says Peery eventually put down Rachel Haug Gilbert book to read to you. roots in Dayton, She sits — and rolls Marshall Weiss wanting a stable and jumps — on the high school envicouch with her parents, ronment for her Thomas and Corinne, son, Michael. In in front of a roaring the mid-’90s, she fire. Ava attends Hillel received a call Academy, Dayton’s from Temple Beth Jewish day school, Or looking for a learning there and from Hebrew teacher. her parents the spiriShe began teachtual foundation her ing Sunday school parents hope will guide to third-graders, her life. and now teaches For Corinne and Hebrew to chilThomas, their spiritual dren in grades search was about findthree through ing truth. “I honestly believe Ayanna Williams in her classroom at Temple Israel seven. Corinne, Thomas, and Ava Wright became She mixes time the Torah is the closest Jews at Temple Beth Or on Shavuot, May 14 with her daughter, MacKenzie Rocquemore PAGE 4
Editor and Publisher Marshall Weiss MWeiss@jfgd.net 937-853-0372 Contributors Dr. Rachel Zohar Dulin Rachel Haug Gilbert Marc Katz Candace R. Kwiatek Rabbi Nochum Mangel Mark Mietkiewicz Michelle Tedford Advertising Sales Executive Patty Caruso, email@example.com Proofreaders Karen Bressler, Rachel Haug Gilbert, Joan Knoll, Pamela Schwartz Billing Jeffrey Hollowell, JHollowell@jfgd.net 937-853-0372 The Dayton Jewish Observer Policy Committee Joan Knoll, chair Chuck Kardon Marc Katz Larry Klaben Dr. Marc Sternberg Published by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton Dr. Gary Youra President Judy Abromowitz VP, Programs & Svcs. David Pierce VP, Admin./Treas. Melinda Doner VP, Resource Dev. Mary Rita Weissman Secretary Cathy Gardner CEO The Dayton Jewish Observer, Vol. 18, No. 5. The Dayton Jewish Observer is published monthly by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton, a nonprofit corporation, 525 Versailles Dr., Dayton, OH 45459. Views expressed by guest columnists, in readers’ letters and in reprinted opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Dayton Jewish Observer, The Dayton Jewish Observer Policy Committee, the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton or the underwriters of any columns. Acceptance of advertising neither endorses advertisers nor guarantees kashrut. The Dayton Jewish Observer Mission Statement To support, strengthen and champion the Dayton Jewish community by providing a forum and resource for Jewish community interests. Goals • To encourage affiliation, involvement and communication. • To provide announcements, news, opinions and analysis of local, national and international activities and issues affecting Jews and the Jewish community. • To build community across institutional, organizational and denominational lines. • To advance causes important to the strength of our Jewish community including support of Federation departments, United Jewish Campaign, synagogue affiliation, Jewish education and participation in Jewish and general community affairs. • To provide an historic record of Dayton Jewish life.
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JANUARY 2014
At the 35th Annual Ryterband Symposium on Nov. 20, hosted by Wright State University Zusman Prof. of Judaic Studies Dr. Mark Verman (L), University of Dayton Religious Studies Prof. Emeritus Father Burt Buby (Center) and Sanders Judaic Prof. Emeritus Dr. Eric Friedland discussed the implications of Nostra Aetate on Catholic-Jewish relations. A project of UD, Wright State, and United Theological Seminary, this year’s symposium was held at UD with keynote speaker Dr. Rachel Elior of Hebrew University.
Chabad of Greater Dayton’s Rabbi Nochum Mangel lights the menorah at The Greene Town Square on the fourth night of Chanukah while Chabad Youth and Program Dir. Rabbi Levi Simon stands guard as a Maccabee. The evening began with a procession of cars, adorned with electric menorahs, from the Chabad center to The Greene and concluded with latkes, sufganiot (doughnuts), and a fire show.
Volunteers with Jewish Federation’s Women’s Philanthropy for Tzedakah made trauma dolls at Dayton Children’s Hospital on Dec. 10 (L to R): Caryn Williams, Sharon Honeycutt, Blair Dickert, Devorah Mangel, Sarah Moore-Leventhal. Not pictured: Jane Miller.
The Beth Abraham Synagogue Sisterhood donated 100 blankets to Dayton Children’s Hospital on Nov. 21 (L to R): sisterhood’s Marlene Pinsky, Dayton Children’s employees Rita Falkenback, Karen Muller, and Bethany Deines, sisterhood’s Angela Frydman and Dr. Judy Woll. Sisterhood members made the blankets.
The JCC and Chabad hosted a Chanukah dinner and fire show at the Boonshoft CJCE on Dec. 4, sponsored by a Jewish Federation Innovation Grant. At the dinner (Clockwise from L): Eva Clair, Ira Segalewitz, Jeffrey and Rina Thau, Tali and Gabriel Naaman, Anna Trakheter and Eden Lubow.
Dayton expats catch up in Chicago on Oct. 22 (L to R): Amy Friedman, Jeremy Klaben, Lauren Jacobson, Brian Horwitz, Eve Carne, Ethan Krochmal, Lauren Vandersluis, Craig Doner, and Becca Vandersluis
Sari Revkin (R) and Wendy Borodkin (Center) of Yedid show jewelry crafted by Ethiopian Jews in Israel to Temple Beth Or Judaica Shop Co-Chair Ellen Holroyd during their visit to Dayton in November. Yedid is an Israeli non-profit that helps Israelis become self-sufficient, engaged members of society. Yedid operates a school where Ethiopian immigrants in Israel learn jewelry making, design, and diamond setting.
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JANUARY 2014
THE WORLD Cnaan Liphshiz
Economic, security concerns driving record levels of French aliyah By Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA PARIS — In an overcrowded conference room in the heart of Paris’ 14th arrondissement, a hundred French Jews are losing their patience. They have gathered at the Paris office of the Jewish Agency for Israel for a lecture on aliyah (immigrating) to Israel, but the agency staff is running behind. Its 20 staffers are coping with a 57-percent jump in the number of French Jews moving to Israel over the last year and a surge of applications. In addition to four weekly public talks, they are struggling to finish 30 applicant interviews each day. “It’s hot and stuffy, we had to go through a ton of security just to get in the door and our appointment is 30 minutes late,”
one potential emigrant remarks loudly. “(It’s) a good preparation.” But the crowd in the office in December is not in the mood for jokes. Many are moving imminently and have pressing questions about the validity of their Jewish marriage contract and Israeli taxes on their cars. Others still harbor resentment over a perceived lack of security for French Jews that ultimately has led them to seek safe harbor in the Jewish state. Their stories paint a portrait of a community rich with educated professionals who are finding it increasingly hard to envision a future here amid rising antisemitism and a stagnant economy. Some profess a deep desire to become part of Israel’s vibrant
society and economy. Looming in the background is what many Jews here refer to simply as “Toulouse,” the 2012 slaying of three children and a rabbi by an Islamist at a Jewish school in the southeastern city. Many of France’s estimated 600,000 Jews, the third-largest Jewish community in the world, live in the shadow of the attack. “Since Toulouse, my family and I worry every day that my grandchildren go to school,” says Menache Manet, a 64-yearold Parisian who will be leaving for Israel in several weeks with his son and four grandchildren. “I grew up in a civilized country,” he adds, his voice trembling with anger. “Nowadays, I take off my kippah on my way to synagogue.” According to a European Union survey of nearly 6,000 Jews from nine countries released in November, France ranked second only to Hungary in the number of Jews contemplating emigration because of antisemitism, with a staggering 46 percent of 1,137 French Jews polled. France also was second in the number of Jews who feared self-identifying as such in public, with 29 percent. The figures correlate with an
French Jews await a lecture on immigration to Israel at the Paris office of the Jewish Agency for Israel on Dec. 11
explosion in antisemitic attacks registered last year: A total of 614 recorded incidents that constituted a 58 percent increase from 2011. Some 40 percent of the increase happened within 10 days of Toulouse. Ariel Kandel, the head of the Jewish Agency’s France bureau, said the figures play a role in the surge in aliyah, among other factors. Kandel would not name a figure ahead of his annual report, but said that more than 3,000 Jews will have made aliyah by January — an increase of at least 57 percent from last year and a 31 percent jump from the annual average between 1999 and 2012. Before this year, annual French aliyah totaled more than 3,000 people just four times, most recently in 2005. Since the spike in antisemitic incidents in France during the second intifada in 2002, the average annual French aliyah has increased by some 60 percent, from 1,357 immigrants per year in 1985-2001 to 2,194 in 2002-12. The latest surge began in 2012 and caught the Jewish Agency by surprise, says Kandel, himself a French Jew who made aliyah when he was 17. In 2012, his office handled a few dozen applicant interviews each month. In November 2013, it handled about 500. In parallel, French participation in Israel’s Masa program, which sends Jewish students to study in Israel for periods of up to a year, rose by 25 percent in 2013, from 750 last year. Kandel says 70 percent of French participants make aliyah within months of finishing the program, compared to less than half of American participants.
“There are more than 5 million Jews in America and about half a million in France, yet aliyah from France may surpass American aliyah,” he says. “That tells you the story right there.” While security fears seem to play a determinative role in French aliyah, community leaders say the scale has been exaggerated. Roger Cukierman, president of the CRIF umbrella body of French Jewish communities, acknowledges the discomfort of French Jews but insists that aliyah does not amount to an exodus. “It is still within the normal spectrum of 1,500 to about 3,000,” Cukierman says. Yeshaya Dalsace, a well-known Conservative rabbi from Paris, is more outspoken. “It’s a total exaggeration,” Dalsace says. “There is a worrying reality, but by and large Jews are leaving for the same reasons other Frenchmen are leaving.” Frenchmen, especially the young, are indeed leaving, according to a Le Figaro report in December showing the number of French citizens under 35 seeking work in Canada and Australia jumped by about 10 percent over 2012. Sociologists attribute this to the recession in France, which in 2013 registered a growth rate of nearly zero. Among professionals under 24, the unemployment rate stands at 24 percent. These and other factors led Standard & Poor’s to lower France’s credit in November, the second cut this year. All this is felt on the ground in the French capital, where luxury businesses are closing down and many once-popular
The latest surge began in 2012 and caught the Jewish Agency by surprise
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JANUARY 2014
THE WORLD cafes are trying to lure clients with discounts and what some are calling “crisis menus.” “I’ve been cursed at the metro a few times because I wear a kippah, but so what,” says Olivier Cohen, a university graduate in his 20s who wants to move to Israel. “Look around, there is no movement, no prospects, no jobs. I want to go a dynamic environment.” To Cohen, life in Paris provides a stark contrast with Israel, where despite lower median incomes than in France, the projected economic growth rate of 3.8 percent is more than triple the average among countries in the Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development, according to OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria. “Aliyah needs to be examined against general globalization trends in French society, whose younger generation is more open to the world and speaks better English than the previous ones,” says Avi Zana, the director of the Israel-based Ami Israel association, which encourages French immigration to Israel. The wider exodus of French Jews is hard to quantify. Kandel says he has heard reports of synagogues with growing French memberships in London, New York and Miami, but his agency has no precise figures. But Israel has an additional card to play, according to Zana: A 2008 tax reform gives new immigrants a 10-year pass on revenues earned abroad. “Compare that to France and other European countries where income tax can reach 75 percent, and you see why aliyah is tempting for free professionals,” Zana said. Zana estimates the reform has kept the number of French immigrants who return to France at approximately 10 percent, though the Jewish Agency could not confirm that figure. But for some soon-to-be immigrants, such considerations are of little consequence. “In truth, I have no pressing reason to make aliyah,” says Albert Zeitouni, an investment consultant in his 60s. “It’s an emotional thing. I already have the Jewish identity. It’s time I take up the Israeli one.”
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In hardscrabble villages, Bedouin want recognition, not relocation Yossi Zamir/Flash 90
By Ben Sales, JTA WADI AL-NAAM, Israel — In this unofficial Bedouin town of 14,000 not far from Beersheva in the Negev Desert, families live in clusters of shanties with intermittent electricity provided by generators or solar panels. A communal structure has soft plastic walls and dirt floors, with a small pit at one end for an open fire that provides the room’s only heat. Roads in many places are demarcated only by piles of rocks. For decades, Bedouin tribes like those living in Wadi alNaam and similar settlements all over southern Israel have waged a battle with the Israeli government over land rights, with the government refusing to recognize the unofficial settlements or give them electricity or infrastructure and the Bedouins refusing to move. Ismail Barfash, a local locksmith, says if he wanted to move to the nearby recognized Bedouin town of Segev Shalom, he would have long ago. “I like the quiet here,” Barfash said. “No one comes here to ask what you’re doing. I prefer to die here and not move somewhere else.” At the beginning of December, Israel was set to bring a major resolution to the dispute by enacting a law — years in the making and following months of Knesset debate — that would have legalized some Bedouin villages and given them infrastructure while forcing others
to relocate to recognized towns, where they would be given small land plots and some cash grants. But the plan was shelved with no vote after opponents on the right and left expressed concerns. Now the government must go back to the drawing board. Some opponents of the law and many Bedouin say the government wants to confiscate their land and profit from it, using it for industry or the military. The government says it wants to settle the claims so that it can use the lands to develop housing and infrastructure. The law would have addressed the status of approximately 110,000 Bedouin who live in unrecognized villages in the northern Negev. “It’s not about taking the Bedouin and making a transfer,” said Doron Almog, director of the office of Economic and Community Development of the Negev Bedouin in the Prime Minister’s Office. “It’s relocation from poverty to modernity. This will happen together with the Bedouin.” In Lakia, one of seven Bedouin towns set up by the government about four decades ago as an experiment in transitioning the historically nomadic group to a more modern, urban lifestyle, one vexing issue is what the newly resettled nomadic Bedouin would do in their new urban digs.
“Bedouins used to plant olive trees and work the land, but that isn’t appropriate for the city,” said Nabhan El-Sana, project director for the Lakia Local Council. Life in the Bedouin Rahat is Israel’s largest Bedouin settlement towns is not easy. Accenter for young people aims cording to Israel’s to put more of the city’s young socioeconomic rating system, adults to work. It offers emno Bedouin town scores better ployment counseling, profesthan a two out of 10. Residents tend to be poor, unemployment sional certification programs is high, infrastructure is in short and entrepreneurship coaching. But Hasan Abu Zaid, the supply and municipal budgets youth center’s director, says are small. Those who work usually do so outside of town in many challenges persist. One nearby Jewish villages or cities. of the greatest is the relatively small proportion of Bedouin “The situation is very difwith college degrees. ficult,” said Talal Alkrinawi, About 46 percent of Israelis mayor of Rahat, the largest ages 25 to 64 have college deBedouin city in Israel. “The worst communities are the Bed- grees, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperaouin towns. The reason is that tion and Development, but only the government didn’t invest 6 percent of Rahat residents do. resources to develop industry “The picture is not rosy,” Abu and economy in the Bedouin cities. They didn’t worry about Zaid told JTA. “We believe that employment must be accompaquality of life.” nied by business development Alkrinawi says that 79 in the town. The Bedouin popupercent of Rahat residents live below the poverty line. In 2009, lation always worked. It’s not the unemployment rates for Ra- that they don’t want to work.” Government officials say that hat and Lakia were 12 percent programs like the youth center and 19 percent, respectively, plus a final settlement to land compared to 6 percent nationdisputes will help growth in ally. In Rahat, the average annual salary is less than $20,000, Bedouin employment rates and compared to more than $32,000 quality of life. The government is developnationally. ing an industrial park outside A government-sponsored employment program in Rahat Rahat, as well as a new neighrun out of a new community Continued on Page 10
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THE WORLD Wikicommons
Swarthmore Hillel picks fight over campus group’s Israel guidelines By Julie Wiener, JTA NEW YORK — With an estimated Jewish population of 275 undergraduates, the Quaker-founded Swarthmore College outside Philadelphia is home to one of the smaller Hillel chapters in the country. But that hasn’t stopped student activists at the small suburban school from picking a fight of potentially epic proportions with its umbrella group, Hillel International. On Dec. 8, the Swarthmore Hillel student board announced that it had voted unanimously to defy Hillel International’s guidelines for Israel activities and become the first college to join the Open Hillel movement, a campaign aimed at widening the Israel discourse on campus. Two days later, Hillel International President Eric Fingerhut responded with a letter declaring the position unacceptable. “I hope you will inform your colleagues on the Student Board of Swarthmore Hillel that Hillel International expects all campus organizations that use the Hillel name to adhere to these guidelines,” Fingerhut wrote. “No
organization that uses the Hillel name may choose to do otherwise.” The conflict comes amid growing criticism of the 2010 Israel guidelines, which some argue stifles debate and excludes too many people from the communal discourse around Israel. The guidelines forbid individual Hillel chapters from hosting groups or speakers that among other things deny Israel’s right to exist or support boycott or divestment from the Jewish state. Just how far Hillel will go to enforce the policy remains unclear. David Eden, its chief administrative officer, declined to say whether the group would strip the Swarthmore group of its name or take other punitive measures. Eden said a meeting between Fingerhut and Joshua Wolfsun, communications chair of the Swarthmore Hillel, would likely take place in January. “Hillel is an open organization,” Eden told JTA. “We embrace dialogue on all sorts of issues, especially with our students.” Israel has long been an explosive issue on college campuses, with proPalestinian groups routinely sponsoring
events like Israel Apartheid Week and pro-Israel activists struggling to determine whether to react to provocations or focus instead on promoting positive aspects of Israeli culture. The challenges have multiplied with the recent growth of the movement to boycott or divest from the Jewish state, known by the acronym BDS. Wolfsun, a sophomore from Amherst, Mass., said his board had been thinking for a while about publicly distancing itself from Hillel’s Israel policy. They were moved to act by Harvard Hillel’s decision in November to cancel an appearance by former Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg because it was co-sponsored by a student group that supports BDS. Wolfsun emphasized that Swarthmore Hillel board members represent a range of views on Israel, but are united in the belief that the chapter should be a place to discuss and disagree. “It’s not that we all support BDS or even that any of us support BDS,” Wolfsun said. “But we want to make room for everybody who does.” Ira Stup, director of the campus arm of the liberal Israel policy group J Street,
The board at the Hillel chapter of Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania is openly rejecting guidelines on Israel debate adopted by its international umbrella group
said Hillel’s hard line may have ramifications for efforts to engage Jewish students. “For so many Jewish students Israel is such an important part of their Jewish identity and how they express Jewishness, so that to not have a space where they can explore challenging issues related to Israel ultimately does them a tremendous disservice,” Stup said. But David Bernstein, executive director of the David Project, a group that works to educate college students about Israel, said Hillel International is doing the right thing. “Openness is a great general approach, but it has its limits,” Bernstein said. “I don’t believe those who advocate for BDS or for the elimination of the Jewish state should be included in
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THE WORLD an official Jewish discussion on Israel any more than angry, racist voices should be included in a campus race-relations dialogue.” Since the 2010 guidelines were established, some Hillel chapters have refused to sponsor events with the Israeli veterans’ group Breaking the Silence, which opposes Israel’s occupation of the West Bank by disseminating testimony from soldiers who served there. In 2012, the Harvard Hillel reportedly invoked the guidelines in deciding not to host an event called “Jewish Voices Against the Occupation” because a Palestinian solidarity group was a co-sponsor. In October, the University of California, Berkeley’s Jewish Student Union denied a membership application from J Street U, the campus arm of J Street, though it’s not clear whether the guidelines were a factor in the decision. Open Hillel was launched last spring “to encourage inclusivity and open discourse at campus Hillels,” according to its website. So far, 944 people have signed its petition calling on Hillel to engage with the “full spectrum” of views on the Middle East. One reason Swarthmore is the only campus Hillel so far to openly flout the guidelines may be that it has more financial independence than other branches. That, Stup said, points to a larger issue within the Hillel movement. “This highlights the disparity between the political sentiments of a lot of donors and the political sentiments and desires of students,” he said.
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American Studies Assn. votes for boycott of Israeli universities WASHINGTON — The membership of the American Studies Association endorsed its national council’s call for a boycott of Israeli universities. Two-thirds of the 1,252 members who voted approved the boycott, according to an ASA announcement Dec. 16, a day after the deadline for voting. At the time of the vote, there were 3,853 eligible voters, meaning a third of the membership participated. The membership-wide canvas was unprecedented and was undertaken in part at the behest of boycott opponents, who said at a session during the ASA annual conference in Washington in November that the matter was too sensitive to leave up to the 20-member national council, which unanimously endorsed the boycott. “The National Council en-
gaged and addressed questions and concerns of the membership throughout the process,” the ASA statement said. “During the open discussion at the recent convention, members asked us to draft a resolution that was relevant to the ASA in particular and so the Council’s final resolution acknowledged that the U.S. plays a significant role in enabling the Israeli occupation of Palestine.” The resolution, which applies to ASA as an organization, is not binding on members and targets institutions, not individuals. In its announcement, the ASA said it would invite Israeli and Palestinian academics to its 2014 national meeting in Los Angeles. ASA describes itself as “devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history.” — JTA
Ostreicher released from Bolivia WASHINGTON — Jacob Ostreicher, a New York businessman held in Bolivia since 2010, is back in the United States. Two Jewish news websites, JP Updates and Algemeiner, reported that Ostreicher returned Dec. 15 to New York. Ostreicher, who had a flooring business in New York, invested money with a group involved in a rice-growing venture in Bolivia and was managing the business when he was arrested on suspicion of money laundering. He also was accused of doing business with drug traffickers. However, in June, Bolivian authorities arrested 15 people —
including government officials — on charges of engineering his arrest in hopes of extracting cash payment. Despite those charges, Bolivia did not release Ostreicher, a haredi Orthodox father of five, and his case drew the attention of leading lawmakers in Congress, including Reps. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.). — JTA
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OPINION Sharon Bareket
‘We’ve lost our narrative’ Ari Shavit hopes his new book will revive an honest, painful, conversation on Israel By Gary Rosenblatt Ari Shavit, the popular Israeli newspaper columnist for Haaretz, seems to be everywhere in the American media these days, talking about his newly published and highly praised book, My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel. That’s a good thing for those of us who believe that the better Israel is known and understood, flaws and all, the more it will be appreciated and supported. Over the past few weeks Shavit, 57, and a native of Rehovot, was on The Charlie Rose Show and NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross; he was interviewed at the 92nd Street Y by his friend, New Yorker editor David Remnick; and his book was heralded three times in The New York Times with increasingly superlative acclaim. Shavit spent several hours at The Jewish Week, noting in an interview that he is already anticipating his next trip to the U.S., in January, when he will visit a number of college campuses. He said he hopes to engage students in a “deep and different dialogue” about an Israel that must be criticized for its treatment of Palestinians and “celebrated for the miracle it is.” “I’m a total Zionist,” he said in his rich baritone voice with the trace of a British accent. (He has family in England and spends summers there.) Unlike many of his countrymen, Shavit understands and appreciates the importance of American Jewry. Indeed, he says we need each other — that Israel cannot deal with the
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Palestinians and Iran without American Jewish support. “And you have Pew,” he says, referring to the recent Pew Research Center study showing the precipitous decline among non-Orthodox Jews in terms of religious and communal engagement. “There is no way you can keep progressive Jews in the community without us,” he said, asserting that Israel and American Jewry must find more ways to work together. But he noted that it is an uphill battle to reach those young Jews “who see Israel as an embarrassment.” “We need to make Israel attractive and sexy again,” he said, “and to connect it with the heart of the Jewish experience. My mission is to change the Israel conversation and revive the sense of a relevant, renewed Zionism.” A tall order, but Shavit lacks neither selfconfidence nor talent. And he would like to see his book, which explores and exposes Israel’s best and worst qualities, as the ticket to the anticipated conversation.
Open, honest account
Like others who have lauded My Promised Land, a personalized history of Israel over the last century, I admire its ability to confront the country’s deepest moral flaws without losing sight of the miracle of its existence, and its remarkable successes. Shavit gives us an open and honest account of the real Israel, from the early wave of European pioneers at the end of the 19th century, like his great-grandfather, who gave up a lucrative life in London to settle in the barren land, to the 2011 social protest on the streets of Tel Aviv and the foreign policy planners dealing with the existential challenge of Iran today. Along the way there are chapters on the success of the orange industry in the 1920s; the development of the country’s nuclear program in Dimona, and all it symbolized; the 1950s generation of Holo-
caust survivors who settled in Israel and quietly committed to create new life; the growth of the settlement movement; the author’s army service as a guard in a Gaza prison, an experience that prompted him to become active in the peace movement; the emergence of the haredi Sephardi party Shas, under Aryeh Deri; and the sex, drugs and hedonism of Tel Aviv in the early years of the 21st century. Most powerful, though, is the chapter on the killing of scores of Arabs and the expulsion of thousands from the city of Lydda (now Lod) during the 1948 War of Independence. With toughness and tenderness, Shavit interviews Jews involved in the fighting, and describes their confusion and anguish, and he imagines “the columns of the homeless,” more than 30,000 leaving their city in stunned silence. “Do I wash my hands of Zionism?” he asks in the book. Though “horrified” by what took place, “when I try to be honest about it,” he writes, “I see that the choice is stark: either reject Zionism because of Lydda, or accept Zionism along with Lydda.” For Shavit, the answer is clear, if not simple: “I’ll stand by the damned. Because I know if it wasn’t for them, I would not have been born. They did the dirty, filthy work that enables my people, myself, my daughter, and my sons to live.” Shavit presents Israel in all its complexity: the fulfillment of a dream that saved the lives of persecuted Jews from many countries, as well as an occupying country that maintains its strong hold on another people. “What I did was risky,” Shavit told the audience at the 92nd Street Y event. In writing about Israel’s moral dilemmas, “I was trying to touch the fire,” he said, adding that as a native Israeli deeply committed to the Jewish state and people, he has “the inner strength to deal with the taboos.” “If you don’t address the dark side,” he suggested, you
Haaretz columnist Ari Shavit
have little credibility when celebrating the accomplishments of today’s vibrant Israeli society. In the final chapter, though, ever the realist, Shavit cannot predict a happy ending for his country. “There was hope for peace but there will be no peace here,” he concludes. “Not soon.” “What this nation has to offer is not security or well-being or peace of mind. What it has to offer is the intensity of life on the edge.”
‘We lost our sense of meaning’
In our interview, Shavit attributed that intensity to “the richness of Zionism” that “was always flexible and life-loving, deeply optimistic” despite representing “the ultimate victims of the 20th century, and threatened to this day.” But “our main problem is that we lost our narrative,” he said; he hopes to revive it. “We were a story that became a reality, but we lost our sense of meaning. We need to love Israel in a new, authentic way” that both praises the society’s accomplishments and recognizes its shortcomings. It’s critical, Shavit believes, to engage both Israeli and Diaspora Jews in the discussion, recognizing that “any simplis-
Continued from Page Seven borhood in the city that will offer subsidized housing to local Bedouin. “We need to plan things and execute them slowly,” said Ami Tesler, head of the Community Relations Department for the Bedouin in the Prime Minister’s Office. “If you understand you have a certain number of families in a certain area, you have to plan schools and roads. It’s a process.” Many Bedouin living in the
tic approach is wrong” because “complexity is built into the place.” He worries that Diaspora Jews became polarized over Israel in recent years and then “refused to even talk about it” because Jerusalem’s policies so divided the community. “The more critical approach is more promising” as a remedy, he insisted. “I hope young American Jews will see how to relate to Israel without faking it.” And he added that young Israeli Jews as well are in search of historical context. It is the highest priority that they be given a reason beyond nationalism as to why they are fighting for Israel, he said. But while Israeli youths are “living Herzl’s dream, breathing a total Jewish existence,” Shavit fears that Diaspora Jewry is disappearing. The future of British Jewry, he noted, “is not pretty,” a “wonderful life for individual Jews, but shrinking rapidly,” with the exception of the ultraOrthodox. Shavit recalls that he wrote what he describes as “an apocalyptic piece” for The New York Times Magazine around the time of the millennium suggesting that American Jewry, if it is not careful, may become “a lush, comfortable graveyard of the Jewish people.” A strong sentiment, but one he still believes. “I’m very worried” about the recent reports underscoring the level of assimilation here, he said. And he is hoping that his book will help spur an honest and deeper discussion about where Israel fits into the Jewish identity of young people, here and in Israel. Gary Rosenblatt is editor and publisher of The New York Jewish Week. unrecognized villages do not see relocation as the answer, however. Attia Alasam, head of the Regional Council of Unrecognized Villages, says he prefers that the government instead recognize the unofficial villages, settling land disputes and providing the villages with infrastructure and basic services. “They need to solve this with dialogue,” he told JTA. “The state says I want to do good to you. When it destroys my village, what’s good about that?”
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JANUARY 2014
CALENDAR OF EVENTS Classes
Beth Abraham Synagogue Classes: Sat., Jan. 4, 12:30 p.m.: Why Jews Do What They Do w. Rabbi Ginsberg. 305 Sugar Camp Cir., Oakwood. 293-9520. Temple Beth Or Classes: Wed., Jan. 8, 7 p.m.: Spirituality w. Rabbi Burstein. Sun., Jan. 12 & 26, 10:30 a.m.: Tanach w. Rabbi Chessin. Sun., Jan. 12, 19 & 26, 1 p.m.: Adult Hebrew w. Rabbi Chessin. 5275 Marshall Rd., Wash. Twp. 435-3400. Temple Israel Classes: Mondays, noon: Intermediate Hebrew w. Rabbi BodneyHalasz. Mondays, 1:15 p.m.: Knitting & Crocheting. Tuesdays, 5 p.m.: Beginner Hebrew w. Judy Heller. Tuesdays, 6 p.m.: Advanced Beginner Hebrew w. Judy Heller. Wednesdays, 10 a.m.: Lattes & Legends w. Rabbi Bodney-Halasz at Wash. Sq. Dorothy Lane Mkt. Wednesdays, noon: Talmud w. Rabbi Sofian. Saturdays, 9:30 a.m.: Torah w. Rabbi Sofian. Sundays, 9 a.m.: Tanach w. Rabbi Sofian. 130 Riverside Dr., Dayton. 496-0050.
Temple Israel Brotherhood Ryterband Lecture & Brunch Series: Sundays, 10 a.m. Jan. 12: Rabbi Karen BodneyHalasz, The New Pew Study. Jan. 26: Dr. Robert Barr, Cong. Beth Adam, Cincinnati, Why Judaism Needs Science. $5 per brunch. 130 Riverside Dr., Dayton. 496-0050.
392. R.S.V.P. to Hilary Zappin, 853-0372.
Temple Beth Or Fusion Families: Sun., Jan. 12, 3:30-5 p.m. w. Rabbi Chessin. Baby-sitting provided. 5275 Marshall Rd., Wash. Twp. R.S.V.P. to 435-3400.
Jewish Family Services Events: See Federation newsletter in center spread. JCC Lynda A. Cohen Yiddish Club: Sun., Jan. 26, 1:303 p.m. Stories of Chelm. Starbucks, 2424 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood. R.S.V.P. to Judy Woll, 470-0113. JCC Active Adults: Mon., Jan. 27, noon: Safety Program w. Steve Markman. Free, bring lunch. Boonshoft CJCE, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. R.S.V.P. to Karen Steiger, 8530372, by Jan. 24.
Max May Memorial Holocaust Art Exhibition: Through Jan. 12. Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park N. 223-4ART. Lithographs of Marc Chagall: Through Feb. 23. Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park N. 223-4ART.
Temple Israel Chili Cook-Off: Fri., Jan. 10, 6 p.m. Services followed by cook-off. Bring pot
of chili (no pork), get in free. $5 adult, $3 ages 4-13, free 3 and under. 130 Riverside Dr. R.S.V.P. to 496-0050. Temple Israel/Omega Baptist Pulpit Exchange: Fri., Jan. 17, 7:30 p.m.: The Revs. Vanessa & Dr. Daryl Ward give sermons at Temple Israel, 130 Riverside Dr. Sun., Jan. 19, 11:15 a.m.: Rabbi David Sofian gives sermon at Omega Baptist, 1821 Emerson Ave. Scout Shabbat: sponsored by the Dayton Jewish Committee on Scouting. Fri., Jan. 31, 7:30 p.m. Temple Beth Or, 5275 Marshall Rd., Wash. Twp. 4353400.
Friendship Village & JCC Tu B’Shevat Seder Lunch: Thurs., Jan. 9, noon. At Friendship Village, 5790 Denlinger Rd., Trotwood. $7.50 in advance, $10 at door. R.S.V.P. to Karen Steiger, 8530372, by Jan. 2. Beth Abraham Synagogue Tu B’Shevat Seder: Sun., Jan. 12, 10 a.m. Includes brunch. $5. 305 Sugar Camp Cir., Oakwood. R.S.V.P. to 293-9520. Sharing Traditions Community Tu B’Shevat Seder: Thurs., Jan. 16, 5:30-7 p.m. Sponsored by JCC & Chabad.Dinner and family fun. Free. Boonshoft CJCE, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. R.S.V.P. to Karen Steiger, 853-0372.
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JCC School’s Out: Mon., Jan. 20, 8:45 a.m.-3:45 p.m. Drop-off & pick-up at the Boonshoft CJCE, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. Fun at UD’s RecPlex. Bring a lunch. For grades K-6. $45. R.S.V.P. to Karen Steiger, 853-0372.
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B’nai Tzedek & BBYO Winter Bash at Perfect North: Sun., Jan. 19, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Drop-off & pickup at Boonshoft CJCE, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. Snow tubing. $25. Lunch not included. R.S.V.P. to Karen Steiger, 853-0372.
Volunteering with Women’s Philanthropy for Tzedakah: Tues., Jan. 7, 10 a.m.-noon. At Clothes That Work, 1133 S. Edwin C. Moses Blvd., Suite
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Josh Halpern is scheduled receive a Brass Ring Award from the International Association of to make his Carnegie Hall Amusement Parks and Attractions debut as part of the New York String Orchestra in against global industry giants concerts on Dec. 24 and 28. including Disney, Universal, Now in its 45th year, The New and SeaWorld. Scene75 also beat out nominees such as The Moore-Delzeith Beach Waterpark in Mason and Timothy and Robin Moore The Track Family Fun Parks announce the marriage of their Rachel in Branson. Several members daughter Lauren Jennifer Moore Haug Gilbert of the Scene75 team, including to Jonathan Edward Delzeith, Chief Entertainment Officer son of Thomas and Shawna Jonah Sandler and his parents, Delzeith of Brookville. The Renee and Les Sandler, were couple was married on Aug. there to celebrate. York String Orchestra Seminar 31 at Polen Farm in Kettering, offers professional training to with Rabbi Karen BodneyJean and Todd Bettman have Halasz officiating. Karen Moore, young musicians who have reached a formative point in the launched a fund to provide the bride’s sister, served as relief for the Basic Education development of their musical maid of honor. Bridesmaids understanding and professional Christian Community Academy included the groom’s sister, in the Philippines, which was Danielle Delzeith of Brookville, goals. All participants receive damaged in Typhoon Haiyan. a full scholarship to the 10-day as well as Stephanie Bowser of They and Jean’s parents, who seminar. Josh, a sophomore Vandalia and Jillian Beekman live in the majoring of Cincinnati. Justin Dern, of Philippines, in cello Boston, served as best man. helped establish performance Groomsmen included the the school at Rice bride’s brother, Daniel Stokes, several years University’s of New York, as well as Kevin ago to provide Shepherd Wissing and Cody Munn, both solid educational School of of Brookville. The bride is the opportunities Music, is the granddaughter of the late Hal for children in and Jean Kamin and the late Dr. son of Alan and the Cebu area. Julie Halpern. W. Amos and Mildred Moore. The BECCA The groom is the grandson school sustained A new era at of Patricia Rush of Phoenix, Fred and Stephanie Weber severe damage Weber Jewelers the late Phil Rush and the late in the typhoon, losing its has begun with Fred Weber’s John and Myra Delzeith. The library, science laboratory announcement that he is couple resides in New Bern, and computer area. It also N.C. where Lauren is employed retiring after nearly 60 years absorbed 67 students from areas and is completing her degree in in his family’s fine jewelry devastated in the typhoon. history. Jonathan is a member of business. The company dates The Bettmans hope to raise the U.S. Marine Corps, stationed to the early 1930s when Fred’s $100,000. Any additional funds father opened his first jewelry at nearby Cherry Point, N.C. will go toward resettlement and shop. Fred continued to grow educational efforts for displaced the family business, and now Send lifecycles to: The Dayton passes the torch to his daughter families. Todd says the project Jewish Observer, 525 Versailles is a “long overdue thank-you Stephanie Weber. Stephanie is Dr., Centerville, OH 45459. from our people to theirs.” a graduate gemologist and has Email: MWeiss@jfgd.net. been with Weber Jewelers since During the Holocaust, the There is a $10 charge to run a Philippines took in Jews when 1990. photo; please make checks few other countries would do payable to The Observer. so. Jean and Todd and their Scene75 Entertainment Center sons, Michael and Jeremy, plan in Dayton was honored with to visit the Philippines at the two Brass Ring Awards from end of December with the first the International Association of the contributions toward the of Amusement Parks and project. Attractions at its convention in Orlando on Nov. 20. The Brass Send your Kvelling items to Rachel Ring recognizes marketing at firstname.lastname@example.org or to excellence in the attractions industry. Scene75 was an international finalist for Best Rachel Haug Gilbert Public Relations Program, The Dayton Jewish Observer and Best Digital Marketing 525 Versailles Drive 2315 Far Hills Avenue Campaign, and competed Centerville, OH 45459 Oakwood • 299-5282 THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JANUARY 2014
MARKETING: Ready, ® Set, Launch
› Clothes That Work Tue, Jan 7 10AM-NOON @ Clothes That Work Sort and organize clothing donations for Clothes that Work which provides professional clothing and services to over 2,000 people a year within the Miami Valley.
This new year will see the beginning
OF GREATER DAYTON of a new way to tell our story. You will
Jewish Federation of GREATER DAYTON Sunday, January 12 › Max May Memorial Holocaust Art Contest Reception 3 - 5PM @ The Dayton Art Institute Reflect on submitted artwork by local students for the Max May Memorial Holocaust Art Contest. Sunday, January 19 › B’nai Tzedek & BBYO Winter Bash 9:30AM - 4PM, Drop-off & pick-up at the Boonshoft CJCE, event at Perfect North. Join B’nai Tzedek and BBYO teens for snow tubing and winter fun at Perfect North. Lunch not included. $25 per person
see a number of changes. However — the most important things that we do: caring for those in need, strengthening Jewish life and creating connections among Jews, locally and globally — will not change, but get better. I’d like to focus on the rebranding for a moment. This project has been in the works for a full year. The many creatively savvy professionals on our Marketing Committee; chair Linda Kahn, immediate past chair Erv Pavlosky, Jean Bettman, Mike Emoff, and Robert Klaben, along with Federation marketing director Katie Lehner, worked to build a visual voice that’s in tune with our community, and that tells our story with renewed vitality. The Dayton Jewish community has been a part of our world for over a century. There are many components that work together to fulfill our powerful mission. Each one of these components has a strength all its own. The community leaders and staff, past and present, have guided these divisions of the Federation to produce a lasting and meaningful impact here in Dayton. The goal was to bring to you and the community at large, an identity for these components and an understanding that they are part of an important and cohesive family of agencies. Oh,
› Dayton Children’s Tue, February 11 10AM-NOON Federation executive vice president/CEO Cathy Gardner (left) and marketing @ Dayton Children’s Hospital director Katie Lehner. Provide comfort assembling trauma dolls ® for Dayton Children’s OF GREATER DAYTON OF GREATER DAYTON OF GREATER DAYTON OF GREATER DAYTON Hospital. Lunch provided by Dr Mike Albert.
Jewish Community Center Jewish Foundation Jewish Family Services Jewish Federation
Jewish Community Center
and to LOOK GREAT doing it. In the words of our marketing director, Ms. Lehner, “Showing unity across all our agencies is key, and if we can accomplish that while highlighting their individual strengths, it will lead to a strong understanding throughout the Dayton community.” The new logos you see above are the foundation for how we tell our story with oomph. In this edition of our Jewish Ob-
Jewish Jewish Family Services Foundation
server, you can already see a new look to The Federation Pages. Our newsletter will give you information by highlighting the events, activities and great work being done by each one of our divisions. Please let us know what you think. Email us at email@example.com.
Cathy L. Gardner
Executive Vice President/CEO Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton
Sunday, February 23 › Day of Caring Breakfast 9:30AM - 12PM @ Boonshoft CJCE $6 Adults, $4 Children & Seniors.
PLEASE CONTACT KAREN STEIGER REGARDING ALL FEDERATION EVENTS: 610-1555, firstname.lastname@example.org
9:30-NOON @ Boonshoft CJCE Give back to the community by taking to the phones on Tzedakah Sunday. Breakfast will be served. Check here every month for upcoming Volunteer Corps opportunities.
Martin Fletcher leads Q&A, shares stories
Community member Andy Schwartz snuggles in with his children Devorah, Seth, and Judah.
PJ Library pairs with CABF Cats on Ben Yehuda Street brings warmth, laughter and snuggles to all
RSVPs are due at least 1 week before event. Events with no price listed are free.
› Tzedakah Sunday Sun, March 2
2013 Leadership Dinner
Sunday, March 2 › Tzedakah Sunday @ Boonshoft CJCE 9:30AM-NOON CHAIRS: Cadi Polk & Andy Schwartz March 16-18 JFNA TRIBEFEST @ New Orleans $450 if registered by Jan. 20, $350 subsidy available for Jewish Dayton residents between the ages of 21 & 45.
Volunteer volunteer corps Corps
Thirty-seven adults and twenty-six children braved the torrential downpour and tornado sirens Sunday, November 17th at Morris Home Furnishings to attend the PJ Library Pajama Party event, co-sponsored by the JCC’s Cultural Arts and Book Fest. Award-winning picture book writer, Ann Redisch Stampler, recipient of the National Jewish Book Award in 2010, brought to life Cats on Ben Yehuda Street, for children, parents and grandparents. It was won-
derful to see so many generations gathered together in the mattress department of Morris listening to this heart-warming tale. “We had a great turnout for the PJ Library event. The kids really enjoyed jumping around on the mattresses in their PJs and loved listening to the author read her book. The JCC did a great job organizing the event and we appreciate the sponsorship of the Kresses and the Klabens.” said Andy Schwartz.
“It was so great to see the children not only snuggling with their parents, but grandparents as well ... the (stuffed toy) kitten to take home was a special treat on top of a wonderful evening,” said Lauren Baumgarten. If the storms kept you away, no worries; stay tuned for future events.
Community Outreach Manager Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton
On November 19th a leadership dinner, featuring special guest Martin Fletcher, was held for donors committing $5,000 or more to the 2014 United Jewish Campaign. Martin Fletcher is one of the most respected television news correspondents in the world and is also rapidly gaining an equally impressive reputation as a writer. Attendees were able to mingle with Martin, and participate in a Q & A session with him. Guest Angela Frydman said she was eager to attend the event because Martin Fletcher is such a well-known war correspondent and expert on the Middle East. “I looked forward to being in a small group setting prior to the community event and having the opportunity to meet him personally. Mr. Fletcher was so interesting and comfortable with us, it felt like discussing politics with an old friend. I could have listened to him all night.” After dinner, attendees joined Martin for his author event presented by the Jewish Foundation of Greater Dayton’s Brandeis-Joffe Scholarship Fund in Memory of Eugene and Pearl Joffe and the JCC’s Cultural Arts & Book Fest, where he discussed his book, Jacob’s Oath.
Administrative Assistant Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton
JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON AGENCY NEWSLETTER
Jewish Community Center OF GREATER DAYTON
Jewish Community Center of GREATER DAYTON Thursday, January 9 › Active Adults Tu B’Shevat Seder NOON @ Friendship Village Honor trees, enjoy their fruits, & nosh. $7.50 / $10 at the door Thursday, January 16 › Community
Tu B’Shevat Seder 5:30PM - 7PM, @ Boonshoft CJCE Celebrate the new year for trees while we dine with friends. Co-sponsored by Chabad, funded through Innovation Grants. Sunday, January 19 › B’nai Tzedek & BBYO Winter Bash 9:30AM - 4PM, Drop-off & pick-up at the Boonshoft CJCE, event at Perfect North Slopes. Snow tubing and winter fun at Perfect North. Lunch on your own. $25 per person Monday, January 20 › School’s Out Program 8:45AM - 3:45PM, Drop-off & pick-up at the Boonshoft CJCE, event at UD RecPlex. Kids grades K-6 are welcome for a day of fun at the University of Dayton’s RecPlex, please pack a lunch. $45 per person Sunday, January 26 › Yiddish Club 1:30PM, Oakwood Starbucks Bring your Chelm story - in Yiddish - to share. JCC’s Yiddish Club is dedicated in memory of Lynda A. Cohen Monday, January 27 › Safety Program NOON, Boonshoft CJCE 5th-degree blackbelt Steve Markman shares self-defense tips. Please pack a lunch, dessert provided. RSVPs are due at least 1 week before event. Events with no price listed are free. PLEASE CONTACT KAREN STEIGER REGARDING ALL EVENTS: 610-1555, email@example.com
EARLY CHILDHOOD: Time to make the latkes! Noah Baumgarten stirs the potato mixture while Topaz Harbor and Daniel Barnabas have fun while making latkes with “Miss” Rochel in Judaics class.
Theatre Camp teams up with Muse Machine for one-of-a-kind experience World Harmony premieres in February Our Jewish Community Center’s Youth Theatre Program in partnership with the Muse Machine proudly presents World Harmony — an original performance which included workshops in improv, instrument creation, understanding diversity through music, dance, and acting through the lens of living together on the globe. Students in grades 2-6 throughout the Miami Valley have been rehearsing for the production since November, under the direction of Muse Machine artists in residence Michael Bashaw, Beth Wright and Michael Lippert. The performance provides an opportunity for students from both public and private schools to work cooperatively and learn from each other while developing their performing arts skills set. According to Michael Bashaw, “The children seem to be very engaged and excited in the project and are willing to experiment while taking chances in several different
Theatre camper Sophia Dull poses for the camera.
mediums that they were unfamiliar with. The children are developing skills and creative thinking and we have already seen growth from the children.” The performance will be held at 3:30 pm on February 9 at South Smithville Center (2745 S. Smithville Rd, Dayton, OH 45420). Parking is located behind the building. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children, kids 5 and under are free. Tickets are on sale through Karen Steiger at the JCC, starting January 15.
Yale Glinter Youth, Teen, & Family Director
CAMP SHALOM 2014: Gear up for summer fun Oodles of fun await with programs full of exploration, adventure and energy, all provided in a safe and nurturing environment. We offer a wide variety of activities, including swimming, arts and crafts, cooking, drama, sports, indoor & outdoor games, nature, and team building. In addition, campers participate in weekly community service and field trips. Explore and create memories with the Camp Shalom community in 2014. Camp Shalom includes one-week sessions from June 9 through July 25. Look for more information in February!
JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON AGENCY NEWSLETTER
2014 WOMEN’S RETREAT Rejuvenation, wellness and relaxation themes for this year’s weekend event The second annual women’s retreat is March 7-9 at Glen House Inn in Yellow Springs. Activities include healing meditation, spa treatments and services focusing on spirituality. Registration details will be available the beginning of January online at jewishdayton.org. This event has been made possible through funding provided by The Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton Innovation Grant and is co-sponsored by Chabad.
A little bit of Yiddish to share with friends, courtesy of the JCC Yiddish Club, in memory of Lynda A. Cohen.
Bafeln : \ba-FEL-en\Verb To command, order, convey, communicate. Phrases with bafeln: 1. Bafeln emetsn az - to send word to, give someone a message that ... 2. Gebn a bafel - to give an order
Volunteers: Family Services to the rescue
Need help getting around town this year? We’re here to help! Did you know that in addition to the ongoing transportation services provided by our staff, Jewish Family Services is very fortunate to have dedicated and reliable volunteers who can also assist with day to day transportation needs? A trip to the grocery store on a cold winter day can be difficult for seniors. Why not let us take care of it for you? Using the regular transportation punchcard, volunteers are able to grocery shop and run other important errands for you. Some
volunteers are also able to drive you on your errands. All it takes is one phone call to Joyce Anderson, Jewish Family Services Transportation Coordinator at 853-0377. After the necessary paperwork is completed and a punchcard is purchased, a time will be scheduled based on volunteer and staff availability to help you complete your errand. We also offer our Handyman Service for small household repairs or advice on who to call for larger
needs. Please call Joyce Anderson to make an appointment. › Volunteers Needed Are you a handyman who would like to help our seniors? We offer our Handyman Service for small screwdriver/pliers-type repairs and could really use your help, especially in the south suburbs. You choose the time you are able to help with services such as installing smoke alarms or replacing the batteries, changing ceiling light bulbs, and small repairs
such as weather stripping on doors or interior caulking. If a job is more complex, you can recommend a reputable contractor. If you are interested in volunteering to assist with accompanied or unaccompanied errands or our Handyman Service, please call me at 401-1558.
Janice Kohn Senior Program Director Jewish Family Services of Greater Dayton
Jewish Family Services of GREATER DAYTON Tuesday, January 7 12:30PM @ Covenant Manor Playing the Keys with pianist Lou James, the “Musical Locksmith.” Wednesday, January 8 1:30PM @ Covenant Manor Quilting Mavens. Friday, January 10 NOON @ Covenant Manor Fresh Friday delicious home cooked meal. Prepared by Bernstein’s Fine Catering. 12:30PM Bingo Game. Monday, January 13 12:30PM @ Covenant Manor Winter Craft Circle. Tuesday, January 14 12:30PM @ Covenant Manor Musical Entertainment featuring Bob Farley and Raggedy Edge. Tuesday, January 21 12:30PM @ Covenant Manor Musician, Mary Jane Munson.
ABOVE: Celtic musical group The Collins Musical Connection performed to the delight of the audience at a recent lunch program. Our lunch programs take place every day, Monday through Friday at Covenant Manor. Call Cheryl Benson for more information at 854-6319. RIGHT: Quilting Mavens instructor Maryann Bernstein (left) and Sis Litvin consult over a quilt design, as part of this year’s quilting series. Quilting Mavens is held on Wednesdays at Covenant Manor.
Wednesday, January 22 12:30PM @ Covenant Manor Wild, wacky and wonderful word games. 1:30PM Quilting Mavens. Friday, January 24 NOON @ Covenant Manor Fresh Friday delicious home cooked meal. Prepared by Bernstein’s Fine Catering. Tuesday, January 28 12:30PM @ Covenant Manor Dayton Honor Flight presentation by Al Bailey.
PLEASE CONTACT CHERYL BENSON REGARDING ALL COVENANT MANOR EVENTS : 854-6319 JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON AGENCY NEWSLETTER
PLANNED GIVING: Leaving a legacy Jewish Foundation your financial goals. Several op“I did not find the world desolate OF GREATER DAYTON when I entered it. And as my ancestors tions for establishing an endowplanted for me before I was born, so do I plant for those who will come after me.” Ta’anit 23a
Jewish Foundation of GREATER DAYTON
GRANT & SCHOLARSHIP DEADLINES: INNOVATION GRANTS
› Request for proposals for programs taking place July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015. Applications can be requested from Jodi Phares beginning January 2, and applications are due to Jodi Pares by March 15. (610-5513, firstname.lastname@example.org) Awarded grants will be announced in May. JEWISH RESIDENTIAL CAMP SCHOLARSHIPS › Available to local youths to participate in a Jewish residential camp program. Funding made possible through the Joan and Peter Wells Summer Camp Scholarship Fund and by a generous donation from Carole and Bernie Rabinowitz. Applications can be requested from Alisa Thomas, and applications are due to Alisa Thomas by noon on March 28. (610-1796, email@example.com) Awarded grants will be announced in May. JEWISH FOUNDATION COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS › Available to Jewish undergraduate and graduate students for the 2014/2015 academic year. Applicants must demonstrate both academic achievement and financial need. Funding made possible through the Heuman Scholarship Fund. Applications can be requested from Alisa Thomas, and applications are due to Alisa Thomas by noon on March 28.
Planned giving is one of the most meaningful things a person can do to ensure that our Jewish history and values are never forgotten. The Jewish Foundation of Greater Dayton can help you create a permanent legacy that perpetuates your tradition of Tzedakah. When you establish an endowment with the Jewish Foundation, only the interest generated from your gift is used (approximately 5% each year), which means your name and generosity will touch lives for endless generations to come. Our staff will work with you one-on-one to create a legacy that fits you and
ment include: › Making an outright gift using cash or appreciated assets › A charitable bequest in your will or trust › Designating the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton as a beneficiary of your IRA or pension plan › Naming the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton as a beneficiary of your life insurance policy › Creating a Charitable Gift Annuity or Remainder Unitrust › Creating a Charitable Lead or Remainder Annuity Trust › Creating a deferred Payment Annuity Trust You may designate your legacy gift to support one of the Federation’s agencies or a specific pro-
gram, or allow for unrestricted funds to be directed where they are most needed. The choice is yours. Joel Frydman, Foundation Board chair and Bob Heuman, Investment Committee chair, along with the Foundation Board, meet quarterly to review our funds with independent investment consultants from Fourth Street Performance Partners, who work tirelessly to ensure our investments provide the best return possible. The Jewish Foundation of Greater Dayton currently ranks in the top 5th percentile when compared to the performance of roughly 200 other endowments and foundations of similar size. What will be the future challenges locally, in Israel and around the world? We cannot know what they
will be, but with a legacy gift from you, we know whatever that need may be, we will have the resources to respond. And that is priceless. We encourage you to speak with your attorney or financial advisor, and then call Cathy Gardner, executive vice president/CEO or Cheryl Carne, chief development officer at 610-1555 to schedule an appointment to discuss establishing an endowment. Look for information about philanthropic funds through the Jewish Foundation of Greater Dayton in the February Observer.
Administrative Assistant Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton
Legacies, Tributes, & Memorials UNITED JEWISH CAMPAIGN IN HONOR OF › Mara Sanderow’s Bat Mitzvah Beverly Louis › Carole and Bernie Rabinowitz being honored by Beth Abraham Judy and Dr. Howard Abromowitz IN MEMORY OF › Sally Gottfurcht Toby Blume › Doris Tolpen Sandy and Amy Horn & Family JEWISH FEDERATION SOCIAL SERVICES SPECIFIC ASSISTANCE IN HONOR OF › Recovery of Shirley Frankowitz Hyla and Dr. Raymond Weiskind IN MEMORY OF › Joseph Greenberg Hyla and Dr. Raymond Weiskind › Husband of Gloria Williams Andi Rabiner Marilyn Scher JEWISH SOCIAL SERVICE AGENCY IN MEMORY OF › Ernest Ostreicher Jane and Dr. Gary Hochstein
Awarded grants will be announced in May.
DAYTON AREA JEWISH SENIOR SERVICE AGENCY IN MEMORY OF › Joseph Greenberg › Shirley Mintz Beverly and Jeffrey Kantor BEN AND DOROTHY HARLAN CHILDREN’S FUND IN HONOR OF › New grandchild of Gayle and Dr. Stewart Weprin Marla and Dr. Stephen Harlan LINDA RUCHMAN MEMORIAL FUND IN MEMORY OF › Janice Garfunkel Helen, Allen and Rick Ross › Joseph Greenberg Marshall and Judy Ruchman JEREMY BETTMAN B’NAI TZEDEK YOUTH PHILANTHROPY FOUNDATION IN HONOR OF › Carole and Bernie Rabinowitz being honored by Beth Abraham Jean and Todd Bettman
ACTIVE ADULTS FUND IN HONOR OF › New granddaughter of Cheryl and Rick Carne Elaine and Joe Litvin ROCHELLE AND MICHAEL GOLDSTEIN CULTURAL ARTS FUND IN MEMORY OF › Leonard Katz Cathy Gardner THE TALA ARNOVITZ FUND IN HONOR OF › Recovery of Ruth Scheuer Beverly Saeks IN MEMORY OF › Jeannette Zimon Beverly Saeks BBYO LEADERSHIP FUND IN MEMORY OF › Joseph Greenberg › Father of Steve Goldberg Jane and Dr. Gary Hochstein
IN MEMORY OF › Ernest Ostreicher Jean and Todd Bettman
SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE FOR TEEN TRAVEL TO ISRAEL We are grateful to the generous members of the Dayton community who have established endowment funds or provided donations that offer support for us to recognize and reward deserving community members.
The Wolfe Marcus Travel to Israel Scholarship supports youth travel, ages high school through 21, who demonstrate financial need, and plan to travel to Israel during 2014. This opportunity is offered to strengthen their knowledge of and commitment to the Jewish people and the land of Israel. Up to $1,500 in scholarship funds are available. Applications are available beginning January 2, 2014 and are due by January 31, 2014 with announcements made at the end of February. Contact Alisa Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-1796 to request an application or for more information.
JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON AGENCY NEWSLETTER
New initiative seeking to improve Hebrew literacy among American Jews By Julie Wiener, JTA NEW YORK — For the first 31/2 weeks of the summer, one group of 5-year-olds at Ramah Day Camp in Nyack, N.Y., was “very quiet” as the children went about the typical camp activities, according to Amy Skopp Cooper, the camp’s director. But in the fourth week, the talking started — in Israeli-accented Hebrew. By the end of the summer, evaluations revealed that most of the 20 children — all of whom had started out as Hebrew novices — “had gone up multiple levels” in their Hebrew proficiency, Cooper said. The campers were participants in a pilot Hebrew immersion program at the Jewish day camp 25 miles north of Manhattan. And if leaders of a new group promoting Hebrew literacy have their way, those campers will soon be joined by many others. The Hebrew Language Council of North America, which held its inaugural conference in November in New Jersey, aims to make Hebrew a more central part of American Jewish culture. Established by a partnership among several organizations including
Ramah Day Camp
Campers at Ramah Day Camp in Nyack, N.Y., participate in a pilot Hebrew immersion program
the World Zionist Organization and the Israeli Ministry of Education, the council is launching as growing numbers of Jewish educational programs are rethinking their approach to teaching Hebrew and as signs emerge of low Hebrew literacy among American Jews. “Judaism is not just a religion, it’s a people,” said Arnee Winshall, CEO of Hebrew at the Center, one of the groups involved in starting the council. “We talk a lot about am Yisrael (the people of Israel), and a language is part of what distinguishes a people.”
Many Jewish educators consider Hebrew a core feature of Jewish identity building. But according to the Pew Research Center’s recent study of American Jewry, just 52 percent of American Jews know the Hebrew alphabet and only 10 percent can carry on a conversation in Hebrew. Even among those who attended yeshiva or Jewish day school, the numbers are scarcely better, with only one-third saying they can converse in Hebrew. The number rises to 64 percent for those with 10 years or more of day school education. Experts variously attribute the low numbers to poor teaching, lack of clarity about why Hebrew language acquisition is important and the few opportunities to speak Hebrew in American Jewish life. “We know many if not most day schools claim to be interested in (conversational) Hebrew proficiency, but the reality is they face limited time and unless you’re really committed, it’s not easy,” said Jonathan Woocher, president of the Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah and a longtime CEO of the now-shuttered Jewish Education
Bethany Village Quality Care…
Service of North America. Day school directors face a “dilemma about where to put the emphasis and resources and how to deal with the fact that except for Israelis, there isn’t a community of active Hebrew speakers in America,” Woocher said. The emergence in the past six years of publicly funded Hebrew charter schools may help change the equation. There are now 10 such schools in the United States teaching Hebrew language and Jewish culture, but like all public schools they are prohibited from teaching Jewish religion. The schools are “forcing us to up our game,” said Rabbi Andrew Davids, head of Beit Rabban, a small, nondenominational Jewish day school in Manhattan now revamping its Hebrew curriculum. Davids said four Beit Rabban families transferred their children to a new Hebrew charter school in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood this year. And while he recognizes his school can never compete with the free tuition of a charter school, Davids said he wants to make sure his school can offer a Hebrew program as good as the charter school. “We don’t want Hebrew to be the reason they leave,” Davids said. The new council joins a number of Hebrew teaching efforts that have been percolating for the past decade. Continued on next page
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EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY
Are you reading this? So is the entire Jewish community. Contact Patty Caruso at email@example.com to advertise in The Observer.
Join us for Sinai.
Continued from previous page In addition to Ramah Nyack, several other Jewish camps have experimented with Hebrew immersion. In Chicago, a program called Moadon Kol Chadash (New Voice Lounge) offers Hebrew-immersion Jewish preschool. And seven suburban public high schools, with support from the Jewish nonprofit Shorashim, are offering Hebrew-language courses. Hebrew at the Center (HATC), a 6-year-old organization that recently partnered with Middlebury College in Vermont to create the Middlebury-HATC Institute for the Advancement of Hebrew Language, has helped train teachers for many of the programs. The Middlebury-HATC Institute is launching master’s and doctoral programs to train Hebrew teachers and support scholarly research. Until now, Winshall said, most Hebrew teachers in the United States have had little formal training and many Jewish day schools recruit local Israelis with little expertise in teaching language. The Hebrew Language Council is planning to sponsor
an annual three-day Hebrew language and Israeli culture conference, form a professional association for Hebrew teachers in North America, convene an online forum for sharing information about various Hebrew programs, and raise money for Hebrew education initiatives. “We have to bring under one umbrella all the people who care about Hebrew,” said Simcha Leibovich, the World Zionist Organization representative in North America. While Winshall knows of no studies showing the impact of Hebrew literacy on Jewish identity, she said there is significant research on how language mastery influences a sense of connection to the culture in which that language is spoken. “When I spent a year-anda-half in Israel, I had a different experience than my other American friends there who couldn’t speak Hebrew or could only function at the lowest level,” Winshall said. “I was invited to different things because people said they didn’t want to always worry about speaking English.”
Now accepting Miami Valley/Sinai Scholar applications for 2014-15!
Sinai Scholars’ Foundation provides scholarships for qualified Jewish students in grades six to twelve to attend The Miami Valley School, a non-sectarian, private prep school in Washington Township. Sinai currently supports 23 students at MVS and the Judaics classes offered as part of the MVS curriculum. Our aim is to expand to 30 students.
Contact Patti Schear at PSchear371@aol.com
The Sinai mission: To develop great Jewish kids who are proud of themselves and their religion. PAGE 18
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JANUARY 2014
Hebrew: our leshon ima This is a column for reflection. A column designed to briefly analyze Hebrew words, to look for their roots and their meanings in order to better understand concepts we sometimes take for granted. The hope is that through this exploration we will better appreciate the ideas we share and deepen our insight into the culture we love.
Dr. Rachel Zohar Dulin We call this column Leshon Ima, mother tongue, knowing full well that for most of us Hebrew is a second language or even a foreign language. However, Hebrew — Ivrit — is the Jewish mother tongue, our people’s leshon ima. Our Bible was written in Ivrit, and our prayers are recited in Ivrit. And although Ivrit went through great changes across the years in vocabulary, sounds and grammar, a person can read contemporary and old texts with a fairly good understanding in an alphabet formed at about the second century B.C.E. It is true to say that Ivrit, the language of our people, defines us historically and culturally. It was spoken in the streets of biblical Israel and Judea and became the literary language of Jews for centuries. Ivrit reemerged over the last 200 years as a vibrant, spoken and literary language, once again to be heard in the streets of the state of Israel. There, people speak Ivrit, read Ivrit, transact business in Ivrit, laugh and cry in Ivrit. Yet, the origin of the name Ivrit is puzzling. Ivrit is a Northwest Semitic language, related to Aramaic, Phoenician and other Canaanite dialects. Surprisingly, even though it was spoken in Israel from early antiquity, the proper noun Ivrit, as a name of the language, was not mentioned in the Bible. As a matter of fact, the language spoken in the geographical region of Judea was called Yehudit, Judean, even to the late date of Nehemiah (II Kings 18:26,28; Is. 36:11,13; Neh. 13:24). In Rabbinic literature, the language of the Bible is called
the Hebrew (Gen. 14:13) and leshon hakodesh, the holy his descendents were Ivrim, tongue, and Ivrit was used Hebrews (Deut. 15:12, Jonah only in reference to a dialect 1:9). It is not surprising that spoken by Jews in the Land with the years, the language during the period of the Second Temple. So why do we call of the Ivrim became known as Ivrit. the language Ivrit? Ivrit, then, a language idenThe earliest reference to Ivrit as the language can be found in tifiable with Jewish culture, has a long history. From early bibliwritings of the Greek era (300cal times to the Greek era, from 200 B.C.E.) connecting Ivrit The Church into the Middle to a Semitic tribe called Ever. Ages and on, the grammar, Much later, in the Middle Ages the syntax and the meaning (800-1200 C.E.) the term Ivriya of words in Ivrit were studied and Leshon Ever were used to by Jews and non-Jews alike, as connect biblical Hebrew with part of the effort to understand the same Semitic tribe of Ever. the Bible and the culture. Why? Who was Ever? How With the revival of Zionism, are we connected to this tribe? Ivrit became the language spoAccording to the Bible, Ever ken by most was a greatJews active in great-grandson the movement of Noah (Gen. Join me in the and with the 10:21), whose quest for the establishment most promimeaning behind of the state of nent descenIsrael, it was dent was words and recognized Abraham our concepts of this as its official patriarch. The biblical beautiful language language. I invite you writer reminds we all share. to join me in us that our the quest for forefathers the meaning lived be-ever habehind words and concepts of nahar, “on the other side of the this beautiful language we all river (Josh. 24:2).” Ever, means share. Let Ivrit be our guide to beyond or on the other side. The name of the Semitic tribe better understand our culture and our values. to which our patriarchs are traditionally connected, echoes the fact that the tribe originated Dr. Rachel Zohar Dulin is a professor of biblical literature at on the other side of the EuSpertus College in Chicago and phrates River, the same region where Abraham started his trip an adjunct professor of Bible and Hebrew at New College of Florida. to the Promised Land. Biblical tradition stresses this She lectures and writes in the fields of Hebrew language and connection by reminding us biblical literature. that Abraham was called Ivri,
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JANUARY 2014
Compassion, justice & love on Tu B’Shevat
Adam Berman is the executive director of Urban Adamah (urbanadamah.org).
early childho C
passion shall be built (Psalms 89:3). The Torah teaches: Justice, justice, you shall pursue (Deut. 16:20 ). The Torah teaches: Love your neighbor as yourself (Lev. 19:18). Compassion, justice and love are concepts that most would identify as core Jewish values. If we give heed to what the scientific community is telling us about what we are doing to our home and to ourselves, we need to look no further than these values for the inspiration to act. As in every generation, our challenge is to apply these values to the suffering that we find in our midst. And yet, the link between the Jewish tradition and environmental stewardship goes beyond these primary core values. The job of the Jewish environmental educator is not only to make this link, but also to reframe timeless Jewish practices in light of current realities. What practices am I speaking of? Here are just a few. Shabbat is the one day a week when our tradition asks that we pause in our ceaseless activity of production and consumption. By pausing on this one day, our carbon footprints drop by oneseventh. Kashrut. For generations, we have defined a way of eating that brings us closer to each other and to the source of our sustenance. Today we are clear about the consequences of thoughtless consumption. Redefining ethical eating is a challenge and opportunity we must embrace. And finally, brachot (blessings). Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote, “Human beings will not perish for lack of information, but for lack of appreciation.” Our tradition implores us to cultivate gratitude for the abundance that is before us. In doing so, we remember that we have enough, and that we are enough, a lesson as important to solving our environmental crisis as buying a Prius. So this Tu B’Shevat, ask yourself, “What are my core values?” and “What would my life look like if I embodied them more fully in relationship to myself, to others and to the world?”
By Adam Berman j. weekly SAN FRANCISCO — On the evening of Wednesday, Jan. 15, the holiday of Tu B’Shevat begins. It’s the time of year when my phone really starts to ring. During this one-day holiday, the de facto Jewish Earth Day, people want to hear what our tradition has to teach us about our relationship to the natural world. On this day, throughout the world, we host seders, deliver sermons and offer school programs that are designed to inspire us to become more active in solving the environmental challenges we currently face — and to remind us that our tradition calls on us to make a difference, l’taken olam, to repair the world. Tu B’Shevat teachings usually include some of the old eco-Jewish favorites: bal tashkit, the law from Deuteronomy that tells us not to be wasteful; tzar ba’alei chayim, the ancient injunction against treating animals poorly; and shmita, the law that requires us to let our land in Israel rest every seven years. I taught these concepts during the Tu B’Shevat seders for years until I realized that introducing these unfamiliar concepts was making my job more difficult than it needed to be. Today we live in a world in which human behavior is having an impact on the environment in ways that are causing enormous human suffering around the globe on a scale unimaginable by our ancestors. Climate change affects the lives of millions, as we pump ever more carbon into our atmosphere with each passing year. According to the United Nations, there is now more carbon in our atmosphere — due primarily to human activities — than at any time in the last 650,000 years. The Jewish imperative to act, given the current circumstances, need not come from concepts that are unfamiliar to most people in our community. Instead, we can turn to the values considered to be the central tenets of our tradition. At Urban Adamah, the Jewish community farm and education center in West Berkeley, Calif., we understand these tenets to be chesed (kindness), tzedek (justice) and ahava (love). The Torah teaches: A world of com-
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JANUARY 2014
CONGREGATIONS Beth Abraham Synagogue Conservative Rabbi Joshua Ginsberg Cantor/Dir. of Ed. & Programming Andrea Raizen Daily services 6:50 a.m. & 5:30 p.m. Fri., 5:30 p.m. Sat. 9 a.m. and sundown Sat. eve. Sundays at 8:30 a.m. 305 Sugar Camp Circle, Oakwood. 293-9520. BethAbrahamDayton.org Beth Jacob Congregation Traditional Sun. 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Sat., 9:30 a.m. 7020 N. Main St., Dayton. 274-2149. BethJacobCong.org Temple Anshe Emeth Reform Saturday, Jan. 25, 10 a.m. Rabbinic Intern Marc Kasten 320 Caldwell St., Piqua. Call Eileen Litchfield, 937-5470092, email@example.com. Correspondence address: 3808 Beanblossom Rd., Greenville, OH 45331. ansheemeth.org Temple Beth Or Reform Rabbi Judy Chessin Asst. Rabbi/Educator David Burstein Fridays 7:30 p.m. Tot Shabbat 4th Friday, 5:30 p.m. Saturdays 10 a.m. 5275 Marshall Rd., Wash. Twp. 4353400. templebethor.com Temple Beth Sholom Reform Rabbi Haviva Horvitz See Web site for schedule. 610 Gladys Dr., Middletown. 513-422-8313. thetemplebethsholom.com Temple Israel Reform Rabbi David M. Sofian Rabbi/Educator Karen Bodney-Halasz 1st & 2nd Fri., 6 p.m. Other Fri., 7:30 p.m. Tot Shabbat 4th Fri., 6 p.m. Sat., 10:30 a.m. 130 Riverside Dr., Dayton. 496-0050. tidayton.org Temple Sholom Reform Fridays 6 p.m. 2424 N. Limestone St., Springfield. 399-1231. templesholomoh.com
ADDITIONAL SERVICES Chabad of Greater Dayton Rabbi Nochum Mangel Associate Rabbi Shmuel Klatzkin Youth & Prog. Dir. Rabbi Levi Simon. Beginner educational service Saturdays 9 a.m. adults, 10 a.m children. 2001 Far Hills Ave. 643-0770. www. chabaddayton.com Yellow Springs Havurah Independent Services 1st & 3rd Saturdays, 10-noon. Antioch College Rockford Chapel. Contact Cheryl Levine, 937-767-9293. PAGE 22
Good and happy
ings, it is clear that in each case, the joy was in a context. The Torah consistently tells us that when we serve God, when we engage in a mitzvah, Smith wrote in The Atlantic, By Rabbi Nochum Mangel then we should be joyful. These “For at least the last decade, Chabad of Greater Dayton positive activities should be the happiness craze has been I carry around in my pocket done in a happy way. building. In the last three every day dollar bills that I In other words, happiness is received when I went to see the months alone, over 1,000 books not set as a goal in and on happiness Lubavitcher Rebbe, may his of itself, but is urged as merit shield us, on my birthday. were released on the mode in which we When I told the Rebbe that it Amazon, includshould do the essential was my birthday, he replied by ing Happy Money, work, doing good. wishing me a “shnas hatslacha (a Happy-People-Pills Today’s researchers For All, and, for year of success).” Some years, spell out why there is those just starting the Rebbe would add “uvracha so much sense in the out, Happiness for (and of blessing).” Torah’s emphasis on Beginners.” good first, happiness The greetings of afterward. Dr. Nicholas Happy Birthday Kardaris writes in a and Happy New He did not use the more recent issue of PsycholYear reflect our common “yom huledet sameach Rabbi Nochum Mangel ogy Today, “As anyone (happy birthday),” but deliber- general emphasis who ever indulges in a feelately chose something different. on happiness quite well. good vice understands all too What distinctive values are I believe he meant to convey a well, the euphoria of the initial reflected in the choice of the profound message. feel-good experience leads Rebbe to wish for a successful There is something similar to a hunger and craving for or blessed year, or in the wideevery time we mark each New more — an addictive cycle that Year. Jan. 1 is approaching, and, spread Jewish custom of wishpsychologists call ‘the hedonic ing each other a good year at whether by email, by actual treadmill.’” Rosh Hashanah? Is it because greeting cards or face to face, In The Atlantic, Smith cites Judaism thinks happiness is people regularly offer each the work of scientists on the unimportant or even that it is other greetings for the New biological level. The researchnegative? Year. The most If we want a ers found that “people who are One doesn’t popular of these happy but who have little to no have to delve is the simple and happiness that deeply into the Tan- sense of meaning in their lives straightforward is good for us, — proverbially, just here for the ach (our Bible) to “Happy New find that happiness party — have the same gene Year.” We Jews as it seems we expression pattern as people well greet each need to do good is important. who are responding to and “Serve God in other with New and seek the enduring chronic adversity.” joy,” says Psalm Year’s wishes at happiness of In other words, happi100. The great the Rosh Hashaothers. ness divorced from meaning, Kabalist, the Ari of nah season, but from the work of doing good, blessed memory, our greeting is as doesn’t seem to be very good pointed out that the Torah tells distinctively different from the for us. If we want a happiness usual, as was the Rebbe’s birth- us negative results come even if one does mitzvot but without that is good for us, it seems we day greeting: “L’shanah tovah joy: “Because you did not serve need to do good and seek the (May it be a good year).” happiness of others. As Mark God with joy and a good heart The words we use to greet Twain put it: “The best way to each other all convey meaning: (Deut. 28:47).” cheer yourself is to try to cheer The rabbis of the Talmud they indicate our values. Our add to this their own emphasis: somebody else up.” society values happiness very Do the good deed: the hap“God’s Presence only manifests highly. itself in the midst of the joy of a piness will come. Let’s keep The idea of the pursuit of that message in mind as we mitzvah.” If happiness and joy happiness helped to express flip the calendar once more. are related to each other, then the American ideal when we May this be a shanah tovah, a declared independence, and to- Judaism certainly teaches that good year, in which we do that day, the emphasis on happiness happiness is important. which is good, with joy and But looking back over these continues stronger than ever. happiness. quotes from our holy teachIn August, Emily Esfahani
Shabbat Candle Lightings January 3, 5:06 p.m.
New Year for Trees January 16/15 Shevat Marks springtime in Israel. Celebrated with picnics, fruit and planting trees.
January 10, 5:13 p.m. January 17, 5:20 p.m. January 24, 5:28 p.m. January 31, 5:37 p.m.
Torah Portions January 4/3 Shevat Bo (Ex. 10:1-13:6) January 11/10 Shevat Beshalach (Ex. 13:17-17:16) January 18/17 Shevat Yitro (Ex. 18:1-20:23) January 25/24 Shevat Mishpatim (Ex. 21:1-24:18)
Annual Scout Shabbat service Jan. 31 The Dayton Jewish Committee on Scouting will host its Annual Scout Shabbat on Friday, Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. at Temple Beth Or, with Rabbi Judy Chessin officiating. Scouts and adult Scouters of all faiths are invited to attend the service. Area Jewish Scouts from all congregations are welcome to participate in the service. All Scouts are encouraged to wear their uniforms. Each Scout in attendance will receive a Scout Shabbat patch. The service will be followed by an Oneg Shabbat. To participate in the service or for more information about the religious emblem programs for Jewish Scouts, contact Scott Segalewitz at segalewitz@ udayton.edu or 885-6868.
Temple Israel/Omega Baptist pulpit exchange Temple Israel and Omega Baptist Church will host their 22nd annual pulpit exchange over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. On Friday, Jan. 17 at 7:30 p.m., the Rev. Dr. Daryl and the Rev. Vanessa Ward will give the sermons during the Shabbat service at Temple Israel, which will be followed by an Oneg reception. On Sunday, Jan. 19, Rabbi David Sofian will deliver the sermon at Omega’s 11:15 a.m. service. For more information, call Temple Israel at 496-0050.
New officers at Beth Jacob At its meeting on Nov. 21, Beth Jacob Congregation’s board approved a new slate of officers to begin their terms on Jan. 1. Joe Litvin will serve as the synagogue’s president, Lisa Harlan as vice president, Helen Halcomb as secretary, and Dr. Robert Margolis as treasurer. In October, Beth Jacob President Dr. Herman Abromowitz announced that he and the synagogue’s three other officers would resign effective Dec. 31.
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JANUARY 2014
JEWISH FAMILY EDUCATION The Jewish Family Identity Forum
Truth be told A look at the Holy Book series
Check out recent news reports and you’ll find that the Bible is a popular subject. North Korea publicly executes citizens for possessing a Bible. Ancient inscriptions suggest Hebrew was spoken 3,000 years ago. A new mobile app puts the Bible in the hands of millions. Robotic technology unearths evidence for the
novel calls his planet an asteroid. These factual details don’t address the meaning, the truth of the tales. Yet, numerous scientific disciplines continue to engage with the Bible, including archaeology, anthropology, astronomy, biology, and history, testing the factual validity of the text. Not infrequently, intriguing new discoveries suggest an amazing correspondence with biblical details. Just one example is the domestication of the camel — long thought to be anachronistic in the Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph stories — now conclusively dated as far back as the third millennium B.C.E. in the Middle East, before the era of the forefathers.
Is the Bible relevant?
As the Bible remains the bestselling book, the question of whether it is relevant — deserving of consideration or worthy of raising in the context of discussion — seems to be answered. It is unquestionably included in the canon of wisdom literature. It is the inspiration for sermons, text studies, college and online courses, scholarly pursuits, publishing houses, and even creative apps. But is relevance enough? Do we ever go beyond the aphorisms, study, and discussion? The Greek learning ideal, Howard Witkin explains in Active Learning: Pirkei Avot 1:4, centers on the acquisition of knowledge for its own sake.
By contrast, the Jewish view is that learning alone is insufficient, for its purpose is to make a better individual and to positively influence the world. If the Bible is truth and the Bible is relevant, shouldn’t we be doing a better job of putting it into practice? Truth be told, I sometimes think the Enlightenment wasn’t so enlightening after all. Family Discussion: Look at the weekly Torah portion and discuss its relevance. What biblical truth do you discover? How can you put it into practice? Candace R. Kwiatek is a writer, educator and consultant in Jewish and secular education. She is a recipient of first-place awards from the American Jewish Press Association for Excellence in Commentary and from the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists for Best Religion/Values Coverage. Weddings, Showers, Birthdays, Holidays
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with thousands of others) correspond to reality, then the Bible must be true. With its origins in Old English meaning “trusty, faithful,” even earlier definitions of “steady, firm,” and a predominance of synonyms that suggest validity — including authentic, honest, and genuine — the word truth as a characterization of the Bible is difficult to deny. However, in today’s scienCandace R. tific age, truth has been limited to factual, as if truth can only Is the Bible divine? Kwiatek be found in the scientific, in The truth versus fact apmeasurable details. So the proach to the Bible highlights underlying question for many two different views about the Flood. The new bestseller in becomes: is the Bible factual? text itself. Norway is the Bible. The problem with the factual The traditional view is In an increasingly secular approach is that it presumes that the Torah — the first five Western society, it’s no surthe Bible to be a scientific textbiblical books — is divine or prise that the Bible is the most book. Questions divinely incontroversial literary work, as like, “How could The problem spired, while the reported by listverse.com. Abraham have liberal view is with the factual that the text is But a bigger puzzle is: what traveled in a is it that keeps the Bible in the camel caravan,” approach is that man-made. news regularly and maintains “How could two Both groups it presumes its status as a bestseller? million Jews regard the After decades of teaching, wander through the Bible to remaining books reading, and writing, I have the wilderof the Hebrew concluded that three basic ness during the be a scientific Bible, from questions fuel its fame. Exodus,” and Joshua onward, textbook. “How could as man-made. the universe be Those who Is the Bible true? created in six days” dominate subscribe to a divine origin Siblings fight. Idol-worship these discussions, missing the approach the text with the is rampant. Children leave whole point of the text. express purpose of underhome. Favoritism leads to That’s like asking if the standing God’s relationship disaster. Leadership is fraught very hungry caterpillar in Eric with and message to humanity with difficulties. War is someCarle’s classic would really eat in general and to the Jewish times necessary. Character an ice cream cone or a pickle, if people in particular. alone determines the worthy the court trial in Dickens’ A Tale The result is an extensive and legitimate leader. Liberty of Two Cities is an accurate acand ongoing body of exegesis is freedom with obligation. count, or why the little prince in the form of commentary, Rulers must adhere to the law. in Antoine de St.-Exupery’s law, Midrash, Kabalah, storyIf these biblical notions (along telling, and the like. This point of view leads to two critical conclusions: good Literature to share and evil are objective realities, measured by their harmony or The Path of Names by Ari Goelman is not your typical incompatibility with biblical heroine at summer camp story. Targeted to the middle-school teachings. crowd, Names is a sophisticated tale incorporating camp The second is that “if there is pranks, Kabalah, mystery, and a bit of the ghostly. For readers a difference between my view looking for an unusual and skillfully-told adventure. and that of the text, the text is right and I need to figure out Tevye the Dairyman by Sholem Aleichem is a classic by why I am wrong.” the notable Jewish Mark Twain. Familiar to most from the Approaching the text as musical Fiddler on the Roof, the collection of tales about a turnhuman in origin leads to very of-the-20th century Jewish family of seven daughters living different outcomes. Instead of in a Russian shtetl is even better in the written version. A asking about biblical truths, classic of Yiddish literature, many versions include historical modern scholars ask about the background, a Yiddish glossary (some words just can’t be origin, composition, preservatranslated into English), and even the Jewish mind-set of the tion and transmission of the times. It is a must-read, perfect for winter reading. text, a process known as bibli-
cal criticism. In this view, the Torah is regarded as a culturally-modified assemblage of pre-existing documents and politically-motivated discourses revised and edited by yet other parties with their own agendas. Its stories are interesting artifacts of a cultural mythology. It’s an appreciable source of ethical and moral values. It’s great literature. But without a divine origin, its perspectives on good and evil are necessarily subjective, culturally defined norms, meaning there is no absolute good or evil. The Bible states theft and murder are wrong and children should honor their parents, but different or opposing ideas can be equally valid. Furthermore, the individual can choose to agree or disagree with the text at will, since its authors are equally human.
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OBITUARIES Joan (Joni) Lustig, age 77 of Dayton, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Nov. 23. She was preceded in death by her husband of 45 years, Sanford (Sandy). She is survived by her sister, Phyllis Levin (Gearge) of Boynton Beach; her children, Steven Lustig (Nora), David Lustig (Dottie) and Susan Stomel (Bob); and her grandchildren, Adam Smith, Sam Lustig, Chloe Smith, Caleb Lustig, Daniel Lustig, Matthew Stomel and Ethan Stomel. She was a longtime member and former president of B’nai B’rith Women’s Bowling League. Later in life she managed bingo operations for Beth Abraham and Beth Jacob synagogues. Mrs. Lustig was a very social person who loved spending time with her family and friends. She enjoyed playing canasta and mah jongg with her friends, and participated for many years in a monthly bridge club with husband. Interment was at
Riverview Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Butler and Warren Counties or the charity of your choice. Sidney ‘Sid’ Shane, age 88 of Boca Raton, passed away Dec. 4. Mr. Shane graduated from Central High School (’43) in Evansville, Ind. where he lived for almost 60 years. He earned his bachelor’s degree and MBA from Northwestern University prior to entering the Navy where he served during World War II and the Korean Conflict. In 1948, he married his first wife, Phyllis Bader, with whom he remained happily married until her passing in 1994. After their marriage, Mr. Shane went to work for the family business, Shane Uniform and Manufacturing Co., where he spent his career, eventually becoming its president and CEO and orchestrating its sale in 1979. Mr. Shane served on numerous civic and philanthropic boards,
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including as president of Kiwanis, the United Way and Washington Avenue Temple. Mr. Shane was also appointed by the mayor of Evansville to serve on the School Board of Vanderburgh County. Mr. and Mrs. Shane moved to Dayton, where he lived until after Mrs. Shane passed away. After that he married Roberta Tavel Shane, with whom he spent the last 18 years, splitting their time between Indianapolis and Boca Raton. Mr. Shane was preceded in death by his mother, Margaret L. Shane, his father, Norman A. Shane Sr., his brother, Norman A. Shane Jr., his first wife, Phyllis Bader Shane, his daughter, Margaret L. Shane, his infant son, Frederick Shane, and his son-in-law, Ronald S. Pretekin. Mr. Shane is survived by his loving wife, Roberta Tavel Shane of Boca Raton; his children, Cindy Pretekin of Clayton, Michael Shane (Felice) of Dayton; six grandchildren, Jodi Watts (Jeremy), Brian Pretekin, Dan Pretekin (Suzie), Lindi, Allison and Jordan Shane; and his greatgrandson, Brandon Watts. Mr. Shane is also survived by Roberta’s children, Andy Tavel (Lorin) of Scarsdale, N.Y., Michael Tavel of Indianapolis, and Julie Weiler (Mark) of Cincinnati, and Roberta’s seven grandchildren whom he always thought of as his own, Matthew Tavel, Maddi, Laini, and Eli Weiler, and Jackson, Logan and Keaton Tavel. Private graveside services were held. Memorial contributions in Mr. Shane’s memory may be made to a charity of your choosing.
Nearly 50 years later, Fiddler still resonates By Michele Alperin, JNS.org Worldwide performances of Fiddler on the Roof attest to its cultural power, as it evokes the yearning for tradition in a changing world. What is behind its staying power? According to Alisa Solomon, author of the new book, Wonder of Wonders: A Cultural History of Fiddler on the Roof, it is the show’s balance between the universal and the particular. During a recent symposium at Princeton University celebrating the upcoming 50th anniversary of the musical’s Broadway opening on Sept. 22, 1964, Solomon, a professor at the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, said the show “quickly belonged to everyone.” She shared an anecdote about a Tokyo rehearsal where a local producer asked Joseph Stein, who wrote the musical’s book, whether Americans really understood Fiddler. A very surprised Stein quickly asked “Why?” and received the response, “Because it’s so Japanese!” While its appeal is universal, for Jews Fiddler calls forth the “old country.” “To this day it is taught as a document of shtetl life and thus
came to stand for Jewishness itself,” Solomon said at the Nov. 14-15 Princeton symposium, which probed the play’s roots, its creative development, and its cultural resonances at home and abroad. Solomon suggested that the key to the show’s abiding power, in a way its authors couldn’t have guessed, is that it is “focused on tradition rather than Torah or law.” The idea of tradition, she adds, is dear to any culture in the modern world. “It is a way of embracing a legacy without having to adopt its strictures,” she said. By successfully representing the idea of the East European Jewish past and an idyllic idea of the shtetl, said Solomon, the show “served a need of American Jews, who both needed to honor, recognize, claim, and embrace a heritage and life that was no more and at the same time needed to distinguish themselves from that.” In pondering the implications of her own profound response to the music of the Sabbath Prayer song in the show, Jenna Weissman Joselit, professor and program director of Judaic studies and professor of history at George Washing-
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Behold How Good It Is When We Dwell Together
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ton University, noted that in the new world “the Sabbath experience was more in the breach than in observance.” The power of Sabbath Prayer, she said, is that it “directly assuaged the concern of the American Jewish community — its future. “It raised the possibility that in abandoning the Sabbath, American Jews had missed something special, but it was not too late to stage its resurrection,” Joselit said. But at the same time, this Debbie Rosichan (L) and Jane Segal at Sing-A-Long “prayer” is not from the Fiddler on the Roof Live! at Dayton’s Loft Theatre, liturgy, but was totally fabDec. 1. The first sing-along with a live production of the ricated by the creative team, show, it was sponsored by The Human Race Theatre and language like “keep them Company and the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton. from the stranger’s way” and tive. He recalled that on the first day of “defend them” was included purposerehearsal, which is kind of a meet and fully, said Joselit. greet among participants, the cast won“It was designed to encapsulate dered what would happen when the conditions at the time of play,” she said. two men met. Mostel arrived first. When “The language was designed to inteRobbins walked in, Harnick recalled, grate the self into the body of the play “Zero said, ‘Hi there, blabbermouth.’ and concerns about exogamy, change, Luckily everyone in the cast and Roband the need to preserve the Jews.” bins laughed.” His perspective was that The play came to be at a moment after that incident, Mostel kept his feelin the U.S. when the counterculture ings to himself and worked very hard. was growing, feminism was coming to According to Solomon, Fiddler also the fore, and U.S. involvement in the got entwined in the 1968 controversy Vietnam War was increasing. Solomon between the United Federation of Teachnoted that its audiences saw the develers — which was 90-percent Jewish and oping “generation gap” through the entirely white — and the experimeneyes of both Tevye and his daughters. tal school districts over local control “Part of the genius of the show is to of schools. The conflict climaxed in a have both perspectives,” she said. citywide public strike that shut down To illustrate this, Solomon alludes to New York City schools through the fall the arrival in Anatevka of Perchik, who of 1968. During the teachers’ strike, the will eventually marry Tevye’s daughter drama teacher in a middle school on the Hodel, but early on mocks Tevye and edge of Ocean Hill-Brownsville decided his friends. When they ask where he is to present Fiddler as the spring musical. from, Perchik responds that he is from Some Jews were against this for fear the university in Kiev. A townsman that black and Puerto Rican student then asks, “ Is that the place where you actors would use it to make fun of Jews, learned how not to respect your elders?” Solomon observed that, given the although a clip shown by Solomon suggested that the actor and actress who developing gap between parents and children in the early 1960s, the musical’s played Tevye and Golde, ages 13 and 14, respectively, played their parts with audiences “know why that was a joke great integrity and talent. in ’64.” Another political use of Fiddler has Politics also affected the actors themselves during the first Broadway perfor- been in Eastern Europe, where the musical has been used as a way to delve into mances of Fiddler. Joanna Merlin, who the history of a locale’s vanished Jews. originated the role of Tzeitel, the eldest of Tevye’s daughters, related the tension Its performances are accompanied by booklets that detail what happened to that remained between Zero Mostel, the area’s Jews during World War II. who played Tevye, and the show’s In the end, the legacy of Fiddler on director/choreographer Jerome Robbins the Roof may be its ability to reach both because of their different experiences backward and forward. Joanna Merlin’s with the House Un-American Activities favorite moment was the farewell scene. Committee. Robbins had been a coop“It was very reminiscent for me of my erative witness, eventually “naming grandmother leaving,” she said, noting names” to the congressional committee that investigated allegations of Commu- that the final scene was a prelude to an unknown future. nist activity in the U.S. during the early “I was kind of experiencing what years of the Cold War, whereas Mostel they were looking forward to when they had been blacklisted. were leaving each other, in addition to Merlin was blunt about the two men’s relationship. “Zero hated him but having to say goodbye to each other, as they were all going to different parts of agreed to work with him because he rethe world,” Merlin added. “It was very spected him as a director, and he didn’t close and personal for me.” hide his feelings,” she said. “Jerry felt George Washington University’s very guilty and humiliated. There was a Joselit touched on Merlin’s sentiments, lot of tension during rehearsals because but in a different way. “What the play is of that.” about, despite moments of wrenching Sheldon Harnick, the lyricist for Fidloss, is possibility,” she said. dler on the Roof, had a different perspec-
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Digital conundrums out a website located where it is the day of rest, are you permitted? The response: it depends. If the website is automated and is not staffed by Jews, there’s no problem. However, if you are benefitting from the efforts of Jews who are working on Shabbat, you should stay clear. Check out Yeshiva.org.il for its take on webcams, downloads and online financial transactions which take place on Shabbat (http://bit.ly/jdigital1). Judaism values prayer in a minyan (quorum). But if you’re alone, can you have a virtual reality minyan with other worshippers all praying simultaneously? The Ohr Somayach rabbi quotes Mark from the Shulchan Aruch, a 16th-century Mietkiewicz codification of Jewish law: “We require that all 10 be in one place and the shliach tzibbur (prayer leader) must be with length responses address a wide variety them.” So if you want to be counted, of halachic queries, including tech-relat- you’ve got to show up. However, the rabbi mentions that if due to extenuated ones. A sampling: Q: Is it permissible to try on shoes in a ing circumstances someone is not able store to know the right size so that I can to attend an “already existing minyan,” there is an established tradition of atorder them on the Internet? tempting to pray at the same time as the A: You should request permission in group. The lone worshipper could take the store. advantage of technology to align himself Q: Is it possible to sell chametz over with a local congregation (http://bit.ly/ the Internet? jdigital11). A: Yes. It is a form of appointing an Mi Yodeya (Who Knows) is more of a agent. clearinghouse for discussion and debate Q: My wife caught me looking at immodest sites on the Internet and feels about the intersection between halacha and technology. The answers aren’t that I have betrayed her. What should I definitive and the back-and-forth argudo? ments seem reminiscent of traditional A: She is right. You must pacify her. This will take time. It is similar to a bro- Jewish disputations. Here are some topics: ken arm which requires both a cast and • If your neighbor has Wi-Fi, can you time to heal. connect into it? Is there an issue of stealQ: Is it permissible to download ing? things from the Internet for free when • What are the halachot of identity they are for sale elsewhere? A: It is forbidden because of copyright theft or misrepresentation online? • Is participating on a teacher rating laws. site a violation of lashon hora (laws of In fairness, the rabbi does address derogatory speech)? some topics at length such as the previ• If a corporation responds to your ous question in an essay titled, Don’t complaint, can you publish their reCopy (http://bit.ly/jdigital2). sponse online? Many of the contemporary questions • Is it acceptable to use software that at Yeshiva.org.il focus on the Internet. blocks ads? For example, if it’s not Shabbat where Next time: is your iPhone sacred? you are located and you want to check Rabbis have long grappled with how to apply halacha (Jewish law) to modern situations. But sometimes questions come along that make our scholars scratch their heads. Here is a look at some Jewish digital conundrums — and possible solutions. Please remember that any rulings should be discussed with an authority who is well-versed on the situation and the halachic issues involved. If you like rabbis who get to the point, you’ll love Shlomo Aviner. His tweet-
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The Dayton area's Jewish monthly