Debunking Internet rumors p. 28 June 2015 Sivan/Tammuz 5775 Vol. 19, No. 10
Published by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton
The Miami Valley’s Jewish Monthly • Online at JewishDayton.org Marshall Weiss
‘A genuine sense of gratitude’ Temple Israel’s retiring senior rabbi, David M. Sofian
Celebrating our high school graduates
Can Bibi work tight coalition?
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Temple Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 5th Cultural Festival
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The Cincinnati Klezmer Project will return to the Temple Israel Jewish Cultural Festival
With a goal of sharing Jewish traditions with the Jewish and non-Jewish communities, Temple Israel will hold its fifth Jewish Cultural Festival fund-raiser on Sunday, June 7 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. New this year will be the Oy Vey 5K, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Participants are asked to register at tidayton.org. Food vendors will include Bernsteinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fine Catering, El Meson, Pasha Grill, Smokinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Bar-B-Que, and Graeterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s.
Temple volunteers have baked and will sell challah, honey cake, hamantashen, and mandel bread. The Cincinnati Klezmer project will play again, and Schmaltz Brewing will offer its selection of kosher beers for purchase. Indoors, the templeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mitzvah Alley will register potential bone marrow donors for the Gift of Life registry. For more information about the festival, call the temple at 496-0050.
Family Fitness Day Tribute to Korean at Temple Beth Or War era veterans Temple Beth Or will present Family Fun & Fitness Day on Sunday, June 14 beginning at 8:30 a.m. with a 5K run/ walk. At 9:30 a.m., children will be able to join classes in martial arts, yoga or dance; adults will be able to join classes in pure barre, cycle logic, yoga or boxing. The templeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s babies born this year will take part in a diaper derby at 10:30 a.m., followed by more fitness class samplings for children and adults at 11:30 a.m. Lunch will be available for purchase from The Shakery at 12:30 p.m. For more information, call Temple Beth Or at 435-3400.
Jewish War Veterans Post 587 and the Jewish Federationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Community Relations Council will host a brunch and program to honor Jewish Korean conflict-era veterans on Sunday, June 14 at 10:30 a.m. at the Boonshoft Center for Jewish Culture and Education in Centerville. The kosher brunch is free for each Korean-era veteran and one guest; the cost for all others is $10. Guest speakers for the program will be U.S. Rep. Mike Turner and Lt. Gen. C.D. Moore (USAF, Ret.). R.S.V.P. to Steve Markman at 8869566.
Beth Or asst. rabbi to depart
In an April 20 letter to congregants, Temple Beth Or Director of Education and Assistant Rabbi David Burstein announced that he will step down from the full-time position as of Dec. 31 to spend more time with his family and â&#x20AC;&#x153;explore new kinds of rabbinic opportunities closer to our home and in line with my unfolding career.â&#x20AC;? Burstein, who lives in Cincinnati, came to Beth Or 14 years ago as a rabbinic intern. Since 2003 he has also served as part-time director of Kulanu: The Cincinnati Reform Jewish High School.
Rabbi David Burstein
IN THIS ISSUE Calendar of Events....................13
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W o r l d . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER â&#x20AC;˘ JUNE 2015
DAYTON Alan Halpern
‘A genuine sense of gratitude’
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Rabbi David M. Sofian at the launch of Greater Dayton Lift, Temple Israel, Oct. 10, 2010
An interview with Temple Israel’s retiring senior rabbi, David M. Sofian
creation of the Jewish family as the rabbis conceived it, which is the building block — the foundation — upon which everything else is on,” he says. This Shavuot marks Sofian’s 12th and final year of preparing By Marshall Weiss Temple Israel’s confirmands. The Observer Rabbi David M. Sofian takes He will retire July 1 and plans to make aliyah (immigrate to confirmation seriously. His Israel) with his wife, Dr. Simone goal, he says, is to challenge Lovten Sofian, later this sumteens to think of themselves as mer. Jewish adults. Sofian says if there’s an over“I want them to give up a arching theme to his 38 years in kind of kindergarten view of Judaism and to see it in its more the rabbinate, it’s been teaching: complex, meaningful version,” not only to bring youths toward an adult understanding of he says. Judaism, but to empower adults He begins the two-year toward a “greater appreciation confirmation course for ninth of living Judaism.” and 10th graders with a dis“More and more adults want cussion of Genesis, Chapter 1. “And that leads to a discussion to express an adult commitof human sexuality on an adult ment to being Jewish, through level, and how that plays a role adult Bar and Bat Mitzvah,” he in Jewish family life, and in the says of his congregants. “That
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changes the atmosphere. That creates a different kind of sense of what the place is all about.” He points out that members are now more interested in participatory worship, and that services are 65 to 70 percent in Hebrew these days. “You go back a couple of decades ago in the Reform movement and you’re going to be hard-pressed to find that kind of thing in most places,” he says. “And it just happened organically here. It’s not like we set out with that as the goal. It’s more and more people became comfortable decoding Hebrew, reading Hebrew, more comfortable with the tradition, within a Reform context.” For years, Sofian has taught four adult education classes a week, along with themed courses. On a broader level, he says Continued on Page Six
From the editor’s desk
As this issue of The Observer goes to press, we learned that Illinois is the first state to pass a bill that prohibits state pension funds from investing in companies that participate in the Marshall Boycott, Divestment and SancWeiss tions (BDS) campaign against Israel. The bill unanimously passed the Illinois House and Senate. Although Indiana and Tennessee have each passed nonbinding resolutions against boycotts of Israel, when Gov. Bruce Rauner signs this bill, Illinois will become the first state to legislate against BDS. This means the Illinois pension system will be required to remove from its portfolios companies that boycott Israel. With recent BDS activity on college campuses across Ohio — including at Ohio State, Ohio University, and the University of Toledo — it won’t be a surprise to see the Buckeye state enact such legislation in the near future.
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By Kristen Mott, Cleveland Jewish News A proposed divestment resolution at the University of Toledo failed after a threshold for approval was not met during a campus-wide referendum. Of the 1,929 students who voted in the online referendum, 57.13 percent voted in favor of the referendum while 43.87 percent voted against it, according to an email sent by Clayton Nostestine, president of student government at UT. In order for the divestment resolution to pass, 67 percent of students would have needed to vote in favor of the resolution. The Toledo chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine presented the proposed divestment resolution to student government early in February. The resolution called on the university to divest from funds that invest in companies connected to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, including Cemex, Rolls-Royce, General Electric and Hewlett-Packard. Student government initially voted on Feb. 17 that the divestment resolution was unconstitutional. But after students voiced frustration on campus, student government decided to hold an open forum meeting March 3, during which members voted 21-4 to pass the resolution. This is the first divestment resolution that has been passed by a university student government in Ohio. Members of student government approved a referendum for the divestment resolution March 31. Students had the chance to vote through their MyUT Portals online from April 20 to 11:59 p.m. on April 26. “This has been a contentious issue for student government this year and I would like to thank all student government members who contributed respectful debate of an incredibly difficult topic,” Nostestine said in his email. Jessica Moses, president of Hillel at UT, said that tackling the divestment resolution was an “uphill battle” and that she’s thankful for all the work done by her fellow students. “As a graduating senior I am glad to leave my final semester on this high note. I am glad to say that the University of Toledo will not be involving itself in this hate and divestment.” Joel Beren, community board chairman of Hillel at UT and Bowling Green State University, helped draft a letter with Moses and Elizabeth Lane, director of Hillel at UT and BGSU, thanking the Toledo community for its support. “Through the efforts of our students and professional leadership at UT Hillel we were able to encourage nearly 900 students on the UT campus to vote ‘no’,” the letter reads. “Given the obstacles that were placed in front of us over the last three months, we can celebrate that truth prevailed and lies and deception were turned away at the door.” The letter also foreshadows issues that may lie ahead for the Toledo community. “This has been a difficult and often ugly experience for all involved,” the letter states. “UT student government is a loosely organized body that operates with few rules, young leadership and almost no oversight or guidance from the university. It is no less capable today of avoiding another messy BDS controversy than it was yesterday. “All of this will likely raise its head again next year and we will again find ourselves distracted Continued on Page 25
Editor and Publisher Marshall Weiss MWeiss@jfgd.net 937-853-0372 Contributors Rabbi David Burstein Dr. Rachel Zohar Dulin Rachel Haug Gilbert Marc Katz Candace R. Kwiatek Mark Mietkiewicz Advertising Sales Executive Patty Caruso, firstname.lastname@example.org Proofreaders Karen Bressler, Rachel Haug Gilbert, Joan Knoll, Pamela Schwartz Billing Jeri Kay Eldeen, JEldeen@jfgd.net 937-853-0372 Observer Advisor Martin Gottlieb Published by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton Judy Abromowitz President David Pierce President Elect Melinda Doner Vice Pres. Mary Rita Weissman Vice Pres. Bruce Feldman Vice Pres. Cathy Gardner CEO The Dayton Jewish Observer, Vol. 19, No. 10. 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 • JUNE 2015
DAYTON Marshall Weiss
Yes, it’s David Gregory! The veteran TV journalist gets the point from Annie Self while talking with Todd and Elaine Bettman after the Jewish Federation Presidents Dinner on May 3 at the Dayton Art Institute Marshall Weiss
Beth Abraham Synagogue presented its Women of Valor Awards to this year’s honorees at a luncheon on May 6. Standing (L to R): Maryann Bernstein, Carol Finley, Rochelle Goldstein, Shelley Goldenberg. Seated: Irene Fishbein, Sandy Zipperstein, Connie Blum.
Tamar Akselrad and a friend at the JCC Early Childhood Jerusalem photo booth for the Community Israel Independence Day Celebration on April 23 at the Boonshoft Center for Jewish Culture and Education Mary Tom Watts
Film producer Nancy Spielberg meets with students in Steven Bognar’s Wright State University film program, at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on April 30 prior to the screening of her documentary, Above and Beyond at the Air Force Museum Theatre as part of the JCC Film Fest. Above and Beyond explores the founding of Israel’s air force and the significant contributions of American WWII veterans.
Temple Anshe Emeth in Piqua hosted a team for the Dayton Peace Heroes Walk on May 2, sponsored by the National Conference for Community and Justice, and the Dayton International Peace Museum: (L to R) Randi Simon-Serey, Eileen Litchfield, Judy Feinstein, Steve and Seth Shuchat, Susan and Jeff Bargemann. Each team was asked to honor a local, national or international peace hero. Temple Anshe Emeth walked in honor of Seeds of Peace, which helps teenagers from regions of conflict learn the skills of making peace.
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JUNE 2015
Another success, he says, is the temple’s Share Shabbat program. “I tried to find ways in which Continued from Page Three he’s tried to nurture the temple things that happen here strike as a place where congregants many cylinders at the same enthusiastically participate. time,” he says. “If you’re trying That was the impetus behind to find out what might be more the temple’s Jewish Cultural attractive in terms of worship, it Festival, now in its fifth year, folds into what might be more which brings more than 1,000 attractive in terms of Jewish people — mostly non-Jews — to peoplehood and community. the campus. So if you combine worship “I proposed it here, but I with food, and a potluck dinner didn’t know that we’d have following it, you end up with over 200 volunteers from Temmore people at services.” ple Israel who would particiTemple Israel has held its pate enthusiastically,” he says. Share Shabbat dinner on the “It turns out that through some first Friday evening of each luck and hard work, we hit on a month for 11 years. The servehicle that allows us to express vice is informal; Sofian shares a kind of Jewish enthusiasm in a story instead of delivering a every way: tikun olam (repair of sermon. the world) and Mitzvah Al“Last Friday night there were ley and educationally and the 120,” he says. “In January, it’s entertaining. The whole thing probably 50.” works.” Sofian is a firm believer that
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there’s no means more effective to build community than food. And for this, Temple Israel has come to count on the culinary expertise of his wife, Simone. Along with taking charge of the kitchen for each Share Shabbat, preparing the annual Simchat Torah celebration dinner, and overseeing the baking for the Jewish Cultural Festival for its first three years, Simone has prepared the temple’s secondnight Passover Seder meal each year. “For 150, she does all the chicken, all the soup, all the matzah balls, all the dessert at home, starting around Purim,” he relates. “And it’s all strictly kosher. And then on the day of the Seder, she gets some people from within the congregation to help her set it up.” This year, the temple raised $2,400 from the Seder, which is earmarked for camp scholarships. “We’ve had 130 to 150 people at our Seder every year for the last 11 years,” Sofian says, “and Simone has probably been able to contribute $25,000 to camp scholarships over that time.” The temple board, Sofian says, is now exploring ways to coordinate kitchen volunteers to keep these projects going. His years at the temple, Sofian says, have given him the opportunity to dig into projects he likely wouldn’t have taken on had he stayed at his pulpit in Chicago. “My theory of the rabbinate is that there are many, many things that are expected of you, and nobody could be great at all of them,” he says. “What you have to do is be competent at all of them, and really good at some of them.”
Rabbi David M. Sofian with his wife, Dr. Simone Lotven Sofian, at his retirement dinner
He didn’t see preaching as one of his strengths until he honed his public speaking skills here. “I got involved in community organizing and I was often asked to be the speaker that represented the Jewish community, and so I found myself speaking in larger venues,” he says. “I was involved with Lift Greater Dayton, and that gave me the opportunity to work with lots of really interesting clergy. But unfortunately we couldn’t figure out how to fund it in the long term. It allowed me to form friendships that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.” As he and Simone prepare for their move to Modi’in, Israel, Sofian says he views the greatest challenge ahead for Temple Israel and Dayton’s Jewish community as the overall shrinking Jewish population. “If people ask me, ‘How are we doing?’ I answer, I think
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we’re doing pretty well with everything that we can control: in terms of maintaining the building, in terms of our fiscal situation, in terms of our staff, in terms of our programming, in terms of what we’re trying to do with services,” he says. “But what we can’t control is the shrinking community. We can’t pretend it’s not happening. And it’s not just us. What does that mean 10 years from now? To just wait for it to come upon us and to scramble seems to me to be a mistake. “It makes more sense to think it through and make the adjustments as reality presents itself. It’s very hard to get any community to do that. I know this is true with all of my clergy friends: the Episcopal and Lutheran churches are going through the same thing. Mainstream religion in America is going through the same thing.” Seven years ago, the Sofians bought a home in Modi’in to fulfill their dream of nearly 40 years: to make aliyah to Israel. They are members of a 1,000-member Reform congregation there, and plan to volunteer with the congregation’s tutoring program. “They need Anglo-type people to tutor Israeli kids in English, particularly at-risk kids that are in the city,” he says. The Sofians’ home base will be Israel for six to seven months each year, but they’ll keep their house in Dayton and will visit each fall and spring. Their adult children and their families all live within a day’s drive of Dayton. “I’ve really loved it here,” Sofian says. “I have a genuine sense of gratitude for what the opportunity has been for the last 12 years.”
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JUNE 2015
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White House set to approve Iran deal, options to shape outcome remote By Ron Kampeas, JTA WASHINGTON — The Iran deal may not be done, but bids by its opponents to shape it are all but buried. Skeptics of the nuclear negotiations have all but given up on a congressional role before the June 30 deadline for an agreement between Iran and the major powers. “I’m not sure there’s anything anyone can do now to ensure a better deal,” Mark Dubowitz, the director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a think tank consulting with Congress and the administration on Iran, said in an interview. Attempts to limit sanctions relief on Iran, to roll back further its uranium enrichment program, and to link the deal to changes in Iranian relations with Syrian and Yemeni leaders — all goals sought by skeptics — are off the table, at least for now. On May 7, the Senate in a 98-1 vote approved a bill mandating congressional review of any deal. A week later, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the bill 400-25, and President Barack Obama has said he will sign it. In order to secure the necessary bipartisan support, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, worked with Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., to strip out what the Obama administration had deemed “poison pills”: provisions that would determine what a deal looked like, for instance requiring Iran to give up its backing for terrorism. Instead, the bill simply gives Congress an up or down vote on the deal. Even if the Congress disapproves, Obama has veto power. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the proIsrael powerhouse that for two decades has led efforts to isolate Iran, signed off on the formula. “Our priority is to make sure the bill gets passed with the strongest bipartisan majority as soon as possible so that Congress is guaranteed the opportunity to pass judgment on the final agreement,” an AIPAC source said. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu still hopes to influence the outcome. “We view the greatest challenge to the security of the Middle East, of Israel and
the 149 votes required to avoid a of the world Iran’s quest for veto override. empire coupled with its quest Dylan Williams, the vice presfor nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said May 12 after meeting ident of government affairs for J Street, the liberal Jewish Middle Ursula von der Leyen, the German defense minister. Germany East policy group that helped circulate the letter, said Demoand the United States, along with Russia, France, Britain and crats — and probably a handful of Republicans — would not China, are negotiating the deal want to kill a deal that comportwith Iran. ed with the terms governing the “We hope that this can be talks now underway, including prevented, preferably by dipan invasive inspections regime, lomatic means,” Netanyahu said. “We think Win McNamee/Getty Images an enrichment rollback and a better deal is staggered sancrequired than tions relief. the one that is “Sufficient proposed in numbers of Lausanne (the Democrats will city in Switzerunderstand land where the it’s a choice talks were being between the held), and I agreement and believe that this a complete is important for breakdown in our common diplomacy and future and our international common secuSenate Foreign Relations sanctions,” Wilrity.” How Netan- Committee Chair Sen. Bob Corker liams said. (L) with ranking member Sen. Ben Once a deal yahu plans to Cardin during a committee markup go about shap- meeting on the proposed nuclear would be in place — as ing a better deal agreement with Iran, April 14 early as next is unclear. He thought his best bet was speak- fall, given that Congress has up to 52 days to review a deal ing to Congress, and risked a rupture with the Obama admin- after the June 30 deadline — the avenue to register opposition istration when he accepted an invitation to address the body in would be the law’s requirement that the president certify to ConMarch without consulting with gress Iranian compliance with the White House. the deal every 90 days. That avenue is now closed, Without existing sanctions in according to opponents of place, it would be difficult for the deal. Congress, under the Congress to reverse a bad deal, Corker-Cardin bill approved in the Senate and House, may dis- even should it find Iran is not compliant, Foundation for Deapprove of the deal, but is not fense of Democracies’ Dubowitz likely to garner the two-thirds said, noting the difficulties of majority in both chambers to corralling businesses and other override a presidential veto of countries into reimposing sancits disapproval. tions. “It won’t be easy for Con“The administration is putgress to override a presidenting the United States on a tial veto of a joint resolution trajectory where it will be very of disapproval on a final Iran difficult for a future president agreement,” a senior GOP or Congress to fundamentally congressional staffer said. “It’s not even certain the Senate will change the terms of this deal,” Dubowitz said. get cloture for a resolution of “It will be very difficult if disapproval,” the staffer added, referring to the 60 votes needed not impossible to reconstitute the sanctions regime and then to end debate. In the House, 151 Democrats there will be only be two options” should Iran breakout to signed a letter to Obama supa nuclear weapon. “One is to porting diplomacy with Iran. concede an Iranian nuke, two The letter did not directly adis to use force to forestall that dress the Iran deal, but leading the signatories was Rep. Nancy possibility.” Pelosi, D-Calif., the minority Melissa Apter of the Washington leader. Leaders rarely sign letJewish Week contributed to this ters, and her signature was a signal that Pelosi had more than report.
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JUNE 2015
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Can Netanyahu make new narrow coalition work? But Hebrew University political sciBy Ben Sales, JTA ence professor Gideon Rahat said the TEL AVIV — Seven weeks after he small coalition may make the governwon reelection, Benjamin Netanyahu ment more stable, as partners will avoid finally secured a fourth term as prime conflicts that could break up the governminister. ment. With 90 minutes to go until a May 6 “In wide coalitions there are ideodeadline to form a governing coalition, logical differences and people in the Netanyahu concluded an agreement coalition think you can disagree and the with the religious, pro-settler Jewish coalition won’t fall,” he said. “In a small Home party that gives him the narrowcoalitions they think that if you make est of parliamentary majorities – 61 of small waves, the whole business can the Knesset’s 120 seats. collapse.” Along with three other right-wing Likud, with 30 seats, will control the and religious factions — United Torah foreign and defense ministries in the Judaism, Kulanu and Shas — the fivenext government, along with the corparty Likud-led coalition skews right responding Knesset on diplomacy and defense and, for committees. Economic the first time in at least a decade, policy will be run by includes no parties that support the the 10-seat Kulanu, establishment of a Palestinian state founded last year by in the foreseeable future. ex-Likudnik Moshe The agreement represents someKahlon, who will serve thing of a setback for Netanyahu, as finance minister. who called for new elections last “The Israeli market year in order to strengthen his grip needs reforms, and we on a legislature he considered to be in the Kulanu party, toungovernable. Israeli Prime Minister gether with the Likud The new coalition is largely in party, the prime minisagreement on the question of Pales- Benjamin Netanyahu ter, and the ministers, tinian statehood. Having previously will lead it,” Kahlon wrote on Facebook voiced support for a Palestinian state, after signing an agreement with Likud. Netanyahu said before the March elec“As we promised, in the next governtion that the Palestinians would not get ment we will advance reforms in housa state on his watch (and then walked back those comments). Jewish Home is ing, in banking, and we will work to ideologically opposed to any withdraw- narrow gaps in Israeli society.” Jewish Home, with eight seats, real from the West Bank and strongly supports settlement growth. Kulanu would ceived the education and justice portfolios, while the seven-seat Sephardi limit expansion to major settlement haredi Orthodox Shas party will run the blocs but says statehood is not feasible under the current Palestinian leadership. Religious Affairs Ministry. The Ashkenazi haredi United Torah Judaism, with The haredi Orthodox parties have been agnostic on Palestinian statehood in the six seats, will not appoint any ministers out of an ideological opposition to Zionpast, though recent years have seen the ism, though it will have several deputy haredi settler population swell. “We are against giving one centimeter ministers. Netanyahu had a hard time just getof land to the Arabs, both from moral grounds and security grounds,” Naftali ting to 61. According to Israeli reports of the secretive coalition talks, Likud’s Bennett, Jewish Home’s leader, said in prospective partners sparred with each a Feb. 24 speech. “The biggest mistake other on policy and demanded top is to copy and paste what happened in ministries. Gaza in Judea and Samaria,” he added, The prime minister succeeded by using the biblical names for the West granting significant concessions to his Bank. partners. UTJ demanded a rollback of Despite agreement on that point, the religious reforms passed by the previnew coalition is split on other issues, including economic policy and religious ous government, Shas received key ministries and Kulanu won the power to affairs, which could pose a challenge as enact housing and land reforms. Netanyahu works to keep his 61 lawThe justice minister is Jewish Home’s makers in line. Ayelet Shaked, 39, who entered Knes“Anyone who’s worried about govset just over two years ago. As minister, ernance in Israel and political stability Shaked will aim to limit the Israeli Sushould be worried about a government of 61 seats,” Yohanan Plesner, president preme Court’s power to overturn laws. Last year, the court invalidated a law of the Israel Democracy Institute think allowing long-term detention of African tank, told JTA. “It’s a government that will find it hard to instigate much-need- migrants, one of Shaked’s key issues. “There’s no situation in the world, ed economic reform and even to deal as there is in Israel, where judges apwith more mundane affairs of state like passing a budget without being extorted point themselves and invalidate laws,” Shaked wrote on Facebook. by backbenchers in the coalition.” PAGE 8
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JUNE 2015
Back in power, haredi parties aim to roll back religious reforms Nati Shohat/Flash90 cal that the law would By Ben Sales, JTA TEL AVIV — Israel’s ever have a real effect. last governing coalition — Haredim argued that the divided on war, peace and law threatened to aneconomics — did agree on tagonize moderates who one thing: Israel’s relimight have joined the IDF gious policies needed to voluntarily. The year the change. law was passed, haredi Now it appears that the enlistment increased only incoming coalition will 11 percent — a substanbe organized around the tial decline from the 28 opposite principle: Those percent increase from the changes must end. previous year. Yaakov Litzman (L), head of United Torah The coalition agree“United Torah Judament between the Likud Judaism, and Shas leader Aryeh Deri at the ism says, ‘We’re ready to opening of the 20th Israeli Knesset, March 31 party led by Prime Mintake part in equalizing the ister Benjamin Netanburden, but in a fair way and UTJ lawmaker Uri Maklev. yahu and the haredi Orthodox not in a populist way,’” said “We have an opportunity in United Torah Judaism faction Shmuel Drilman, CEO of Wethe present government to promises to dismantle a raft of Better, a new media company strengthen Israel’s definition as legislation enacted in the last focused on haredi advocacy. two years that chipped away at a Jewish state.” “It’s a process, and United ToHaredi Israelis are celebratseveral long-standing entitlerah Judaism is committed to it, ing the agreements as a return ments enjoyed by the haredi as opposed to Lapid, who just community. Shas, the Sephardic to a comfortable status quo, but wants to fight.” advocates for religious pluralharedi party, signed its own When he called elections coalition agreement with Likud ism are struggling to figure out last year, Netanyahu said he how to advance their cause, that will cement the power of wanted to partner with the which has significant public religious parties in the new haredi parties, which have long backing. A September poll by government. protested Yesh Atid’s reforms. the religious pluralism advoLed by the upstart Yesh Now religious pluralism activcacy NGO Hiddush found that Atid party, the last governists who welcomed the reforms two-thirds of Jewish-Israelis ment passed laws to include hope to forestall their repeals back legalizing civil marriage haredim in Israel’s mandatory through grassroots mobilizaand 64 percent support recmilitary draft and encourtion, lobbying and legal action. ognizing Conservative and age the teaching of math and Hiddush CEO Uri Regev Reform conversions. A 2011 English in government-funded hopes that Israel’s Supreme Hiddush poll found that 87 haredi schools. The governCourt will rule a renewed percent of Jewish-Israelis supment, which did not include haredi draft exemption illegal, ported the drafting of haredim the haredi parties, also allowed as it did in 2012. into the Israel Defense Forces. dozens of municipal Orthodox “The public needs to tell its rabbis to perform conversions, leaders what it wants,” Knesset vastly increasing the number member Ofer Shelach of Yesh of conversion courts from the four controlled by the haredim. Atid told JTA. “The public’s role doesn’t end with voting in Other laws cut subsidies to haredi yeshivas and large fami- the election. The public needs to make clear that if a majorlies, many of whom are haredi. ity of the public thinks there The Likud-UTJ agreement needs to be partnership in (IDF) promises to repeal the converservice and work, they need to sion decision, increase subsidies to yeshivas and large fami- express it.” The draft law, which passed lies, and relieve haredi schools in March 2014 despite mass of the obligation to teach secular subjects. The agreement haredi street protests, aimed to right a historic imbalance also gives the incoming dein Israeli society. Mandatory fense minister sole authority to military service is a rite of pasdecide whether to implement sage for most Israelis, one from the draft law — effectively which haredi Israelis had been allowing him to choose not exempt since the state’s foundto enforce it. A UTJ lawmaker ing in 1948. Yesh Atid’s chairwill head the powerful Knesset Finance Committee, while Shas man, Yair Lapid, touted the law as a realistic compromise that will control the Religious Serwould “equalize the burden” in vices Ministry, which handles Israeli society. most religion-state policies. But the three-year delay “In the last Knesset, people in its implementation — its tried to blur Judaism and toughest provisions were not to strengthen democracy at due to go into effect until 2017 Judaism’s expense,” said Yair — made many Israelis skeptiEiserman, a spokesman for
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New cohort of clergy tests Orthodox readiness for women rabbis said in his Shabbat St. Louis. “We switch off who gives the sermon announcdrasha (sermon) every week, I teach ing Thomas-Newclasses, I’m available for counseling, I coordinate some of the programs. I have born’s hire. “We sought a title which not yet done funerals or weddings, but I can. My job description would parallel communicated communal leaderan assistant rabbi’s position.” ship, conveyed Like the rest of the maharats, howevspiritual leaderer, Neiss is not called an assistant rabbi. ship, and which Her title is director of programming, education and community engagement. emanated from Judaism’s deepest What to call these clergywoman is a Rabbi Jeffrey Fox, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivat Maharat, teaching a soul.” hotly contested issue. The yeshiva conclass in Jewish law to the seminarians Many of the fers on them the title of maharat, which the same level as my male colleagues synagogues that have hired maharats was coined by Weiss as a less incendiand deal with issues that my male colare closely associated with Weiss. ary label than rabbi or rabba. The term leagues would not be as experienced to Kanefsky is a former associate rabbi is an acronym for the Hebrew words deal with,” said Miriam Gonczarska, a at Weiss’ Bronx shul, the Hebrew Instimeaning a leader in Jewish law, spiritunative of Poland set to be ordained by tute of Riverdale. So is the rabbi at the ality and Torah. Yeshivat Maharat in June. Washington synagogue that employs But most Orthodox Jews are un“Sometimes being a female helps you 2013 Maharat graduate Ruth Balinsky familiar with the term, and plenty of reframe situations — both pastorally, Friedman. Another maharat graduate, Orthodox institutions are unwilling to but also in framing halachic discourse,” recognize female clergy in any iteration. Victoria Brelow, works at a congregashe said. “It may or may not affect the tion in California led by a graduate of Even many that do find the maharat outcome, but it’s an important part of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, the rabbinidesignation problematic. the process.” cal school for men that Weiss founded The modern Orthodox Los Angeles The curriculum at Yeshivat Mahain 2000 as a liberal high school Shalhevet rat is modeled on that of a rabbinical alternative to Yeshiva offered a job recently to Plenty of University’s rabbinical school, with a strong focus on Jewish Ramie Smith, one of the law and Talmud study and plenty of seminary. women set to be ordained Orthodox pastoral training. The program also tries Hurwitz, who is in June by Yeshivat Mainstitutions are to prepare the women for the challenges on the clergy staff at harat, but the job reportthey’ll face as female Orthodox leaders. Weiss’ synagogue, edly fell through after the unwilling to “The program in Yeshivat Maharat is says she hopes that school refused to agree to recognize female the women graduata responsible program for responsible call her maharat. Smith leadership — halachic but also social ing from the yeshiva declined to discuss the de- clergy in any and emotional and feminist,” said Anat today eventually may tails of the failed job offer. iteration. Sharbat, an Israeli who will be ordained become senior rabbis “Yeshivat Maharat is in June. “We acquire knowledge and in their own right. ordaining women as spirihalachic skills, and we also learn pasto“We would love to see women tual leaders,” she told JTA. “Outside ral studies where we encounter social become the sole clergyperson in a of New York people are still getting to sensitivities.” synagogue,” Hurwitz said. “Some of know us. We’re introducing them to a The yeshiva is in the midst of a our current students have that goal in concept.” transition. It is currently housed at the mind.” Another imminent graduate of the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education, In a movement where gender roles yeshiva, Alissa Thomas-Newborn, remain distinct, Orthodox female clergy a women’s Jewish learning center on was just hired for a new clergy posiManhattan’s Upper West Side, but will face some unique challenges. For one tion at B’nai David-Judea, a modern be moving in the fall to Weiss’ synathing, they can’t count for a minyan (the Orthodox congregation in Los Angeles gogue in the Riverdale section of the quorum of 10 men required for prayer where she has been interning over the Bronx. Some of its 20 students particiservices), lead services or serve on a last year. But that pate remotely, via videoconferencing, Jewish religious court, or beit din. congregation, but next fall the school will require all Even in synagogues that have weltoo, eschews the students to be on site for the weekday comed maharats as visiting scholars, maharat title; the many will not allow a woman to ascend program. shul will address A few of the students who have to the pulpit during services to deliver a Thomas-Newborn spent significant time studying elsesermon. In those cases, the sermon may as morateinu — where have been allowed to fast-track be deferred to the end of services or Hebrew for “our their studies by filling in the gaps and delivered from the women’s side of the teacher.” taking the exams, but most students go sanctuary rather than from the pulpit “One of the through the entire four-year program. itself. most interesting But the spiritual work that comprises Tuition is free, and students receive a questions that stipend of $10,000 to $12,000 per year. the bulk of a rabbi’s work can be done we engaged was The yeshiva’s annual budget is under just as well by a woman as by a man – by what title we $1 million and is funded largely by famand women can offer added value, the would now begin ily foundations. calling Alissa,” the maharats say. Yeshivat Maharat expects six to eight “This is my definition of a female synagogue’s rabbi, rabbi in Orthodoxy: To be competent on new students in the fall. Yosef Kanefsky, Melissa Scholten-Gutierrez is in Yeshivat Maharat’s 2018 class Story and Photos By Uriel Heilman, JTA NEW YORK — When Yeshivat Maharat ordains six women in June, the New York institution will more than double the number of Orthodox clergywomen in the field. For the past couple of years, the clergywomen have been establishing themselves in Orthodox communities while serving as synagogue interns, delivering sermons, preparing Bar and Bat Mitzvah students, and offering pastoral counseling to congregants. Many of them have found professional homes in synagogues led by disciples of Rabbi Avi Weiss, who founded Yeshivat Maharat in 2009 as an Orthodox rabbinical school for women. Yet even as they have found jobs, the maharats and the institutions they serve are grappling with how to define their roles as clergywomen in a movement that still does not accept women as rabbis. “We recognize that the path toward female leadership is slow and is an evolution, and part of the mission of Yeshivat Maharat is to open communities up to the possibilities of women serving in leadership positions,” said Sara Hurwitz, the dean of Yeshivat Maharat and the woman Weiss ordained in 2009 as a “rabba” — a feminized version of rabbi. “We know that there are parts of the Orthodox community that are not open and not ready for Orthodox female leadership, but many are.” Of the five women who have been ordained by the yeshiva — three in 2013 and two last year — four are working in synagogues, serving essentially as assistant rabbis. The fifth is a Jewish educator in Montreal. “The rabbi and I have a great relationship; we share a lot of the responsibilities,” said Rori Picker Neiss, a maharat who works at Bais Abraham, a modern Orthodox congregation in
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JUNE 2015
What’s your Jewish handshake? By Andrew Silow-Carroll Almost 20 years ago, I was at a conference of Hillel leaders, where I met a Reform rabbi from a big Midwestern university. Dinner was ending, and most of the adults and kids in the room began a raucous rendition of Birkat Hamazon, the Hebrew grace after meals. The Birkat is a 2,000-word, all-Hebrew oratorio about gratitude, sustenance, Messiah, history, the holidays, charity, exile, return, and peace-making — basically, the Jewish greatest hits. Nearly all of it can be sung or chanted, often (if you’re at a school, camp, or conference of Hillel leaders) very loudly, with lots of time-honored shtick — table-banging, harmonizing, and call-and-response. “This is where I feel for kids who grew up in our movement,” said the rabbi. “Most of them don’t learn the bentsching, and they just sit sheepishly until it’s over.” I knew what he meant. Things might have changed since I was a kid, but my own Reform synagogue didn’t teach
us the Birkat. When, years later I first started to become more observant and was invited to Shabbat meals, I sat dumb through the bentsching. My wife, who spent a few summers working at Camp Ramah, patiently taught me the words and melodies. I still fake it through most Israeli folk songs, and plod my way through the Amidah (that would be, ahem, what even Wikipedia calls the central prayer of the Jewish liturgy). But damn if I can’t sing a good Birkat. Jewish schools and synagogues spend a lot of time discussing what to teach the kids, especially if they are supplementary schools and time is limited. Most Hebrew schools teach the basics and probably more about the holidays, the big plot points from the Five Books of Moses, and the essential Jewish values, like tzedakah (righteous giving), gemilut hasadim (acts of lovingkindness), and, at least in recent years, tikun olam, repairing the world through social justice. Consensus breaks down
when it comes to skills. I grew up in an era when Hebrew school meant we were taught the Hebrew alphabet, and thus were able to “read” a language we couldn’t understand. Schools and curricula have gotten much better at introducing conversational Hebrew, although with limited hours, there’s only so much a kid can learn. When it comes to liturgy, it depends on the denomination. Reform synagogues don’t teach many of the traditionalist prayers that worshipers are expected to recite in Conservative and Orthodox congregations. Whether that makes Conservative schools more rigorous or Reform schools more innovative I’ll leave for others to debate. But for the most part, Conservative kids can enter an Orthodox synagogue and know what’s going on, while a Reform kid would be lost in a Conservative or Orthodox service. None of this, I grant you, gets to the “Why?” of Jewish education. No one wants to
raise an expert Jewish “davener” who doesn’t understand the first thing about tzedakah or chesed. We want our kids to be literate, but we also want them to be menschen (humane), and experience their Jewish educations in ways that make them feel positive about Judaism and actually want to show up. Many schools have dropped rote learning in favor of “electives” that celebrate Jewish values through hands-on activities and experiences. But what if the pendulum swings too far, and kids come out feeling good about Hebrew school but without the skills to join or lead a Jewish community — from the smallest chavura to the largest congregation? My friend Norman Levin, who has worked as executive director at both Conservative and Reform synagogues, told a story the other day about a Reform temple that taught its kids the full Birkat. When asked why they bother, since most of the kids wouldn’t bentsch at home, the teacher explained: “Because birkat is the Jewish handshake.” When it comes to Jewish education, I don’t have all the
When Israel turns its back on pluralism By Steven C. Wernick The last few weeks have been exhausting. It began with the uplifting gala of the Masorti (Conservative) Foundation and a conference celebrating 30 years of women’s ordination, but was immediately followed by the soul-draining news that the ultra-Orthodox mayor of Rehovot, Israel, decided to cancel the B’nai Mitzvah ceremony of children with disabilities because it was to be held in a Conservative synagogue. At the conference gala celebrating women’s ordination, Rabbi Gordon Tucker spoke about the Zionism of love, a new relationship paradigm for the times we find ourselves in. This Zionism is built upon the tenets of any good relationship: it receives, honors and returns the love it is given. Yet what took place in Israel is the hallmark of a toxic or abusive relationship. The response to our love was a smack in the face. For the past 25 years, the Masorti Foundation has been the sole provider
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of Bar and Bat Mitzvahs to children with disabilities in Rehovot, a distinction of which we are proud. Such events are the essence of a kiddush Hashem, an act that sanctifies God’s name. At the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, we have a deep commitment to the mitzvah of inclusivity. Funded by the Ruderman Foundation, one of our initiatives is to make our congregations accessible to every worshipper regardless of ability or need. The shocking ruling by Mayor Rahamim Malul struck a deep blow; its cynicism and heartlessness was felt around the world. Trammeling on a moment of holiness, it was the essence of a chilul Hashem, or desecration of God’s name. It left me personally heartbroken and spiritually depleted. The Rehovot incident is merely the latest in a string of insults against nonOrthodox Jews in Israel. Although Rabbi Tucker can preach movingly about the necessity of promoting the Zionism of love, we are being confronted with the Zionism of fear and prejudice, a Zionism that has been hijacked by an extremist, coercive and inflexible rabbinate. To be a committed Conservative or Masorti Jew in Israel is to be subjected to a series of assaults against your religious freedom. Some are physical, as evidenced by April’s shocking attack by haredi Orthodox men at the Western
Andrew Silow-Carroll is editorin-chief of the New Jersey Jewish News.
of personal advocate of the vulnerable individual, reminding the reader that their actions are being observed and overseen. I wondered how Mayor Malul might trammel upon the eight months of intense preparation undertaken by Rabbi Mikie Goldstein of Congregation Adat Shalom-Emanuel, the children, their families and a variety of volunteers, and then attend synagogue on the very Shabbat where we are commanded to protect and respect the deaf and blind. Did he hear the Torah’s message? Is it possible that he is blind to the chilul hashem that he committed, deaf to the disappointment of the children and their families? I insist on an Israel where all Jews are treated equally before the government. I insist on an Israel that returns the love that I feel for her, that loves me — and mine — back with the same passion and commitment. I worry that the incident in Rehovot, the assaults on non-Orthodox Jews davening at the Kotel, the denigration of Conservative and Masorti rabbis and other events, are rapidly becoming the new normal. We cannot allow this. We have changed the face of contemporary Judaism. Now we must change the face of contemporary Israeli society. What is taking place is intolerable. For the sake of Zion, we cannot be quiet.
Wall, where a dear friend had his chest and head pounded. Others are to human dignity, as in the Rehovot case. I cannot help loving Israel, but lately it seems that Israel simply does not love me back. Israel doesn’t want our rabbis. Israel doesn’t want our synagogues, our schools, our camps or, evidently, our brand of open, tolerant, pluralistic Judaism. We have to beg for funding at every turn. Yet if the campaign against nonOrthodox Judaism in Israel is old news, why keep kvetching about it? Why even try to build our communities there, to fight for our foothold in the increasingly complicated state of Israel? It is not for my personal sake, nor even my children’s sake — they’re all girls, so the stakes are high. It is for Zion’s sake, for the viability of Israel herself. The Zionism of fear and prejudice leads us to a dark and narrow place, obscures the horizon, cuts off the blood supply to the heart of the Holy Land, hastens the expiration date of Herzl’s dream. In the Torah, we read: “You shall not curse the deaf and you shall not place a stumbling block before the blind. You shall fear your God; I am the Lord.” (Lev. 19:14) This verse is one of a number of instances where God takes the position
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answers, and not even most of the questions. Jewish education is always going to be a compromise between tradition and innovation, “skills” and “values,” literacy and creativity. But here’s one thing I would do: close the bentsching gap. Teach the kids the words, the melody, and the shtick. Bentsching is both a concrete example and symbol of the kinds of “handshakes” that bring Jews together in community. Or you can probably come up with your own list of the Top Five Things Every Jew Needs to Know How to Do With Other Jews. It’s literacy in the service of community. In 1992, on a trip to Rio, I shared a Friday night meal with some Brazilian Jews. Most of the evening had been an awkward Babel of bad Hebrew and worse Portuguese. And then they passed out the bentschers. Soon everyone was singing, and clapping, and harmonizing. For the first time that night, we Jews were literally on the same page.
Rabbi Steven C. Wernick is CEO of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.
To the man who attacked me at the Kotel By Alden Solovy On a sunny morning in April, I was swept into the women’s section of the Western Wall in Jerusalem in a flurry of aggression directed at the Women of the Wall, the Israeli group fighting for women’s prayer at Jerusalem’s holiest site. One of the group’s male supporters, Charlie Kalech, was strangled and thrown to the ground. I was stomped on in the stomach by an enraged man. A month after this brutal attack, I’ve finally woken up from the shock and horror of fellow Jews inflicting bodily harm on me, on Charlie and on other men. It’s time to speak. Here’s what happened: After we men finished reading the Torah in our simultaneous service, a woman took the Torah through a gate in the mechitzah, the fence separating the genders. We broke out in spontaneous song and dance. It was pure joy to know that Torah — a gift given by God to all of us — would be chanted by women at the Kotel. The morning continued peacefully for perhaps another 15 minutes or so. For an instant it seemed as though the violence that had previously
struggle. I promise to do marred women’s it as a supporter, a poet, prayer at the Kotel a writer — but not as a might just be avoided. 155-pound untrained Then a handful middle linebacker. The of men showed up. cause of Women of the They manhandled us, Wall is just. The call to attempting to get to religious freedom is the gate in the mechitholy. I swear by peaceful zah, their intentions resistance. unclear but their deTo those who would meanor aggressive. stomp on Jewish practicCharlie and I es not their own: Tyranny were near the gate. Alden Solovy, on the ground, being stomped on by never survives, but there We tried to hold our are casualties along the ground against larger another worshipper at the Western Wall, April 20 way. Stop preaching hate. men, but the gate breaking my grip on the man, Stop trying to control Jewish was somehow opened. Charlie who jumped up and stomped practice with oppression and called out for the police and on my stomach. was assaulted. To the man who stomped on violence. This will not earn a place in heaven. It harms us as I saw an ultra-Orthodox me: I’m disgusted by your bea people. man trying to charge through. havior. You are the face of sinat To the Israeli government: He appeared violent. In that chinam, baseless hatred by Jew It’s time to run Jewish religious moment there were no good against Jew. I am still injured sites equitably and responsibly. choices. Let him run through and in pain. Yet this is what I We all should be able to pray and perhaps hurt someone? said in synagogue last Shabat the Kotel according to our Use myself, my body, as a barbat: “Do not hate the man who diverse and beautiful traditions. ricade? stomped on me. Rail against The Supreme Court ruling that I wrapped my arms around his misogyny, object to what women can read Torah at the him and used my body as dead he was taught, condemn his Kotel should be enforced. weight to bring him to the behavior, seek justice against To those who’ve given up on ground. his violence, if that’s even posOn the ground, I felt the sible, and seek change in Israeli the Kotel: Have you forgotten how you felt on that day in 1967 headpiece of my tefillin coming democracy. But don’t use what when the Kotel was won? Have off. My focus shifted to prohappened to me to justify hate you forgotten the day you first tecting the tefillin from hitting or prejudice of anyone.” touched those majestic stones? the stone — an ironic mistake To my daughters: I’m sorry Have you forgotten that we regarding my own safety. I took for the fear this caused. I’ll pray daily for a renewed and the head piece in my left hand, continue to participate in the
rebuilt Zion? There should be thousands of us at the Kotel demanding that the governing authorities at the Western Wall uphold the law of the land. The Kotel should not be a de facto haredi Orthodox synagogue. None of our holy sites should be run by any one branch of our great tradition. Real men stand with women who fight injustice, with women willing to face violence and arrest to claim the rights denied them. When called upon, real men put themselves on the front lines. But the heroes are the women who have fought this fight year in and year out. The fact that I helped is a privilege. I believe that this act earned us merit in heaven. If not, so be it. It should. Either way, that’s between me and God. No man has the right to plant his foot in my gut. No man has the right to shove Charlie to the ground. No man has the right to deny Torah to women. On the first of the Hebrew month of Iyar, in the year 5775, we stood with our sisters for the sake of Torah. For a moment, for a heartbeat, heaven rejoiced. Alden Solovy is a Jewish poet, liturgist and teacher.
Why more American Jews are voting Republican By Lee Zeldin America has good allies all around the world, but there is no greater ally than Israel, a beacon of democracy, freedom and liberty in a part of the world filled with darkness. However, the Obama administration continues to create more and more daylight between itself and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The rest of America is watching with deep concern. Last summer, when Israelis said enough was enough of the daily running to bomb shelters as a result of Hamas attacks, Israel went on the offensive to secure the country. Instead of
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standing with our ally, President Obama chose to urge patience on the part of the Israelis while praising the Palestinian Authority. The president continues with his dangerous foreign policy that is only further contributing to the destabilization of the Middle East. The president’s current P5+1 negotiation with Iran, a government involved in statesponsored terrorism, is on pace to trigger a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. When the prime minister of Israel came to address a joint session of Congress, I was honored to serve on the escort team bringing him into the chamber that day and listen to his historic address. Sadly, too many of my Democratic colleagues chose instead to protest. It is a combination of human nature and intelligent policy that the bond between Americans and Israelis should be as strong as possible. We share the
same enemies and we understand that a strong, loyal friendship strengthens each nation. An unbreakable loyalty puts the security of both countries on a stronger footing. There are many reasons why more and more American Jews are choosing to vote Republican, but foreign policy may be the highest-profile reason. Additionally, the president hasn’t done enough to combat the rising tide of antisemitism in America and around the world. While antisemitic violence is rising across the globe, this administration refuses to confront these senseless acts for exactly what they are. Just a few months ago, the president called the shooting at a kosher deli in Paris a random act. The White House press secretary then backed up that misfired statement. Recently, when world leaders joined together for a unity rally in Paris, our president was nowhere to be found. James Taylor
was sent a week later to sing a song. At the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, President Obama again chose to be somewhere else. Our next president will be faced with many challenges left behind by this administration, which will make foreign policy an important issue for voters in 2016 — voters who will want a president to lead our country’s foreign policy in a better direction and reestablish the strongest possible relationships with America’s friends. Some voters will always vote Democrat or Republican no matter what, but for good reason, many American Jews who have voted Democrat their entire life are now voting Republican. In 2008, 22 percent of Jewish Americans voted for Sen. John McCain, compared to 2012, when 30 percent voted for Gov. Mitt Romney. This trend is continuing today. At the end of April, I at-
tended the Republican Jewish Coalition’s spring meeting in Las Vegas. I left with the firm belief that the Republican Party is more unified than ever in our support for Israel, our commitment to protect America’s interests at home and abroad, and our resolve to pursue a stronger, more consistent foreign policy. It is going to be a challenge for whoever the Democratic candidate is to hold at bay the elements of their party that seem to be demanding a dangerous course correction with American alliances abroad. It’s clear that Jewish voters in the United States are distancing themselves from the direction of this administration’s foreign policy and are approaching their decisions at the ballot box with a more open minded, independent thought process. Rep. Lee Zeldin, the sole Jewish Republican in Congress, represents a New York district on eastern Long Island.
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JUNE 2015
CALENDAR OF EVENTS Classes
JCC Mah-Jongg: Tuesdays, 6:30-8:15 p.m. Beginner and intermediate levels. Boonshoft CJCE, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. $25. R.S.V.P. to Karen Steiger, 610-1555. Temple Beth Or Classes: Wed., June 3, 7 p.m.: Men’s Circle. Thurs., June 11, 1 p.m.: Socrates Café. Sundays, 10:30 a.m., June 14 & 28: Tanach w. Rabbi Chessin. Sundays, 1 p.m.: Adult Hebrew w. Rabbi Chessin. Wednesdays, 6-9:30 p.m.: Israeli Folk Dancing w. Janifer Tsou. 5275 Marshall Rd., Wash. Twp. 435-3400. Temple Israel Classes: Mondays, Noon-1 p.m.: Advanced Hebrew. Mondays, 1:15-2:30 p.m.: Learn to Crochet or Knit. Wednesdays, 10 a.m.: Lattes & Legends, Dorothy Lane Mkt., 6177 Far Hills Ave. Wednesdays, noon: Talmud study. Wednesdays, 5-6 p.m.: Beginning Hebrew. Saturdays, 9:30 a.m.: Torah study. 130 Riverside Dr., Dayton. 496-0050.
JCC Book Club: Fri., June
19, 10:30 a.m. -noon. The Housemaid’s Daughter by Barbara Mutch. At Temple Israel, 130 Riverside Dr. Contact Cheryl Lewis, 320-9962.
JCC Camp Shalom: June 8-July 24: Upper Camp, entering grades 1-7. Contact Yale Glinter, 401-1550. June 8-July 31: Preschool Camp, 18 months-K. Contact Audrey MacKenzie, 853-0373.
Insanity Workout: w. Lauren Baumgarten. Mondays & Wednesdays, 5-6 p.m. $5. Boonshoft CJCE, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. R.S.V.P. to 6101555. Tai Chi @ the CJCE: Tuesdays.,4-5 p.m. $5. 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. R.S.V.P. to 610-1555. Line Dancing @ the CJCE: Tuesdays, 5-6 p.m. $5. 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. R.S.V.P. to 610-1555.
Jewish Family Services Events: See Federation
newsletter in center spread.
JCC Movie Night @ Dixie Drive In: Thurs., June 4, 8:15 p.m.: Games & snacks. 9:15 p.m.: Big Hero 6. Free. 6201 N. Dixie Dr. R.S.V.P. to Karen Steiger, 610-1555. Temple Israel Jewish Cultural Festival: Sun., June 7. 10:30 a.m.: Oy Vey 5K. 11 a.m.7 p.m.: festival. Free. Food & beverages available for purchase. 130 Riverside Dr. 496-0050.
Series: Thurs., June 18, 6 p.m. With Dr. Jack Bernstein, Staying Healthy. Boonshoft CJCE, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. $8 in advance, $12 at door. R.S.V.P. by June 11 to Karen Steiger, 610-1555. Temple Israel Farewell Shabbat for Rabbi Sofian: Fri., June 26, 6 p.m.: service
JCC Cookout & Speaker
Beth Abraham Opera Afternoon: Barber of Seville w. Cantor Jerome P. Kopmar. Sun., June 28, 2 p.m. 305 Sugar Camp Cir., Oakwood. 293-9520.
Garden Court AN EMBASSY HEALTHCARE COMMUNITY
think garden court
Skilled Nursing &
Temple Beth Or Family Fun & Fitness Day: Sun., June 14. 8:30 a.m.: 5K run/walk. 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: activities. Free. 12:30 p.m.: Lunch available for purchase. 5275 Marshall Rd., Wash. Twp. 435-3400. Korean War-Era Jewish War Veterans Brunch: Sun., June 14, 10:30 a.m. Boonshoft CJCE, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. Free for Korean War veterans and a guest. $10 all others. R.S.V.P. to Steve Markman, 8869566.
followed by Oneg. Sat., June 27, 10:30 a.m.: service followed by kiddush lunch. 130 Riverside Dr. R.S.V.P. to 496-0050 by June 17.
Rehabilitation. 43 private suites Large semi private rooms Renovations ongoing Short term rehab stays Long term care Serene setting 4911 Covenant House Dr. Dayton, Ohio 45426
Located behind the United Theological Seminary on Denlinger Road.
For more information or to schedule a tour, please contact Shannon Ryan, Director of Admissions and Marketing at
Shelter. Support. Care. SHALOM CENTER. The Shalom Center provides shelter for eligible seniors, aged 65 and over, within the walls of the existing long-term facility at Cedar Village. It offers a safe haven for older adults who are victims of abuse, including a full range of health care and supportive services and a coordinated system of care. For more information, or to make a referral, please contact us at 888.295.7453 or by email at email@example.com.
Cedar Village Retirement Community 5467 Cedar Village Drive | Mason, Ohio 45040 | Tel: 513.754.3100 | www.cedarvillage.org
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JUNE 2015
P R ES I D EN TS
D I N N ER 2015
Photo Gallery FIND MORE PRESIDENTS DINNER PHOTOS ONLINE AT FACEBOOK .COM/JFEDDAY TON
UPPER LEFT: Richard Broock talks with David Gregory. UPPER MIDDLE: David Gregory speaks. UPPER RIGHT, POMEGRANATES: L–R: Linda Horenstein, Shirlee Gilbert, Lisa Pierce, Kim Dinsmore, Lynn Goldenberg, Beverly Lewis. NOT PICTURED: Helen Abramovitz, Rabbi Judy Chessin, Bethany Einstein, Renate Frydman, Bea Harris, Jane Miller, Wendi Pavlofsky, Cindy Pretekin, Maxine Rubin, Ann Sherbet, Susan Speigel, Zerla Stayman, Judy Woll.
ABOVE, LIONS OF JUDAH: L–R, BACK ROW: Marilyn Klaben, Cheryl Carne, Darlene Gutmann, Judy Abromowitz, Vicky Heumann, Cathy Gardner, Gayle Moscowitz, Elaine Bettman, Susie Katz, Ellen Leffak, Angela Frydman, Jean Bettman, Mary Rita Weissman, Felice Shane, Melinda Doner, Judy Lipton. L–R, FRONT ROW: Sandy Zipperstein, Pat Patterson, Debby Goldenberg, David Gregory, Carole Rabinowitz, Debbie Feldman, Mary Youra. NOT PICTURED: Esther Feldman, Teri German, Marla Harlan, Sylvia Heyman, Susan Joffe, Susan Katz, Joan Knoll, Marcia Kress, Jean Lieberman, Renee Rubin Handel, Randee Saldoff, Maureen Tomchin
THA NK YOU! THANK YOU TO OUR CORPORATE SPONSORS LEAD SPONSOR Bernstein’s Catering PRESIDENTS ADVISORS Morris Home Furnishings The Flower Shoppe Coolidge Wall PRESIDENTS CABINET Economy Linen and Towel, INC. Houser Asphalt & Concrete Premier Produce One PAGE 14
WE’D LIKE TO THANK EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED IN THIS YEAR’S PRESIDENTS DINNER. IT WAS SPECTACULAR EVENT, AND WE CAN’T WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR!
PRESIDENTS SUPPORTERS Crowne Plaza Dayton Gastroenterology Inc. McGohan Brabender Prime Time Party Rental Square One Salon and Day Spa THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS TABLE PATRONS Cathy Gardner Debby & Bob Goldenberg Lynn & David Goldenberg Marti Moody Jacobs & Marty Jacobs
Susie & Eddie Katz Bernie & Carole Rabinowitz Judy & Howard Abromowitz and Mary & Gary Youra THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS PATRONS Elaine & Joe Bettman Cindy & Larry Burick Angela & Joel Frydman Darlene Gutmann-Marlowe & Brian Marlowe Julie Liss Katz & Marc Katz
Gabriele & Todd Leventhal Judy & Mel Lipton Russ Remick Barbara Sanderow Felice & Mike Shane Susan Spiegel & Lisa Hanauer Mary Rita & Norman Weissman
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JUNE 2015
1 0 0 D AY S
Jewish Federation of GREATER DAYTON Tuesday, June 9 › YAD Trivia Night 7PM @ Harrigan’s Tavern Sunday, June 14 › Korean War Veterans Brunch 10:30AM @ Boonshoft CJCE RSVP to Steve Markman, 8869566 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost: $10 (no charge for veterans and one guest). Friday, June 19 › YAD Shabbat Dinner 7PM Contact Ehud Borovoy for more details.
COMING UP Thursday, July 16 › Speaker Series: Dr. David Schuster 7PM @ Wright Memorial Public Library (1776 Far Hills Ave, Oakwood) Medicine and the Holocaust: From Ashes to Action Thursday, August 20 › Speaker Series: Daniel Ravitch 7PM @ Boonshoft CJCE Behind the Iron Dome
RSVPs are due at least 1 week before event. Events with no price listed are free. PLEASE CONTACT KAREN STEIGER REGARDING ALL EVENTS UNLESS NOTED: 610-1555, email@example.com
Falling in Love with Israel, Economically “I’d never been to Israel before, I’m 58 years old now, I was 57 when I went. I said to myself, ‘I’m long overdue’, I really want to go. I may or may not go after this, but I really want to go”, recalled Steve Renas, a retired forensic economist professor from Wright State University, with a PHD in forensic economy from Georgia State University. Steve and Aileen Adams visited Israel for the first time this past fall, and became connected to the region in a way he’d never thought he would. Steve’s experiences in Israel opened up a connection to Israel he never thought he’d have. From seeing the coastline from the plane to visiting the Western Wall, he found himself enamored with the history and culture, as well as concerned . Their tour company happened to be visiting Jerusalem on November 18, the same morning as the devastating terror attack at Kehilat
Bnei Torah, an orthodox synagogue located roughly 5 kilometers from the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial. Five Israelis were killed and several others were wounded. Steve recounts “When I found out, it tore me up”. The culmination of these experiences led to one certainty -- he had to go back. Pinpointing how and why he wanted to return was very important to him. With Israel being a country with very strong spiritual ties for some, Steve wanted to focus on something that meant a lot to him -- economics. As Steve puts it, “You do what you know, and that’s what I know”. Once he returned to the states after his trip, he became extremely interested in Israel’s economic layout and structure. CONTINUE TO READ STEVE’S TIKKUN OL AM STORIES ALL SUMMER ONLINE AT JEWISHDAY TON .ORG/BLOG
STEVE RENAS AND AILEEN ADAMS ON THEIR TRIP TO ISRAEL IN FALL OF 2014.
LIKE THE FEDER ATION ON FACEBOOK AT FACEBOOK .COM/JFEDDAY TON
DINNER 2 015 THA NK YOU!
UPPER LEFT: L–R: JFGD President Judy Abromowitz, David Gregory, and Past President Debby Goldenberg.
PRESIDENTS DINNER COMMITTEE Debby Goldenberg - Event Chair Mary Youra - Campaign Chair Roger Apple Joe & Elaine Bettman Larry Burick Debbie Feldman Shirlee Gilbert Lynn Goldenberg Helene Gordon Ralph Heyman Marty Jacobs & Marti Moody Jacobs Susie Katz Jennifer Pickard Bernie Rabinowitz Barbara Sanderow
Jonah Sandler Gary Youra Irv Zipperstein JEWISH FEDERATION OF GREATER DAYTON
Judy Abromowitz - Board President Cathy Gardner - CEO CAMPAIGN PROFESSIONALS
Caryl Segalewitz - Campaign Events Manager Alisa Thomas - Development Coordinator
FIND MORE PRESIDENTS DINNER PHOTOS ON PAGE 14 OF THIS ISSUE OF THE OBSERVER , AND ONLINE AT FACEBOOK .COM/JFEDDAY TON
JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON AGENCY NEWSLETTER | JUNE 2015
LEFT: Nancy Spielberg discusses her film Above and Beyond with Karen and Ryan Levin RIGHT: Martin Gottlieb presents a plaque to Film Festival Chairperson Brian O’Koon at Closing Night
Jewish Community Center of GREATER DAYTON Thursday, June 4 › Movie Night @ the Drive In 8:15–11PM @ Dixie Twin Drive In (6201 N. Dixie Dr, Dayton) Enjoy family fun and games before snacks and Pixar’s Big Hero 6 outdoors. Thursday, June 18 › JCC Speaker Series & Cookout 6PM @ Boonshoft CJCE Staying Healthy: A Discussion with Dr. Jack Bernstein. RSVP by June 11. $8 in advance, $12 at the door. Friday, June 19 › Book Club 10:30AM–NOON @ Temple Israel (130 Riverside Dr., Dayton) The Housemaid’s Daughter by Barbara Mutch. Contact Cheryl Lewis, 320-9962. MONDAYS & WEDNESDAYS › Insanity 5–6PM @ Boonshoft CJCE TUESDAYS › Line Dancing 5–6PM @ Boonshoft CJCE › Tai Chi 4–5PM @ Boonshoft CJCE › Mahjong for Beginners 6:30–8PM @ Boonshoft CJCE
SUMMER AT THE JCC IS OVERFLOWING WITH FUN
The JCC is thrilled to be offering a variety of summer programs. Don’t miss out on the fun and special programs we have to offer! › WELLNESS CLASSES Our wellness classes continue to grow with the addition of line dancing, Tuesdays, June 2–September 1, 5–6PM, with instructor Debra Stewart. The class will feature music of all genres and instruction for beginners with dance sheets. Every dance will have a walk through to build familiarity with steps & rhythm. We will explore advanced line dance patterns from other cultures & countries. Tai Chi (4–5PM) & Insanity (5–6PM) summer sessions will resume in June at the CJCE. Interested in mahjong? We have something for all skill levels. Mahjong for beginners (6:30–8PM) will be Tuesdays June 9, 16 and 23, with open mahjong available 6:30–8:15PM, June 9–September 1. Cathy Gardner will lead calligraphy for beginners in July (7, 14, and 21). › FAMILY FUN Looking for family fun? Back by popular demand, Movie Night @ the Drive-In returns on June 4 with Big Hero 6 and our Day at the Dragons on July
12. We will also begin our Sunday Funday Outdoor Play series (July 19 and August 16), inviting families for an afternoon of fun, friendship and activities. Bring your family and games to share while meeting other families at a local park (locations vary). › SPEAKER SERIES & COOKOUTS This summer will also feature three outstanding speaker series events. First on June 18, we will offer a cookout and discussion on staying healthy with Dr. Jack Bernstein. Dr. Bernstein is a native New Yorker who has called Dayton his home since 1985. He is an Infectious Disease specialist who is Professor of Medicine and Pathology at the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine and is Associate Chief of Staff for Research at the Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Learn what the viruses are, what the signs & symptoms are, how the viruses are diagnosed & treated, & how to protect yourself & your family. Remember, knowledge about the viruses is key. Then on July 16, David Shuster will present “Medicine in the Holocaust: From Ashes to Action” and August 20, “Behind the Iron Dome” with Daniel Ravitch.
For cost and details on all programs, contact Karen Steiger, 610-1555.
Happy Birthday, Israel! Mitzvah Cheder celebrates Israeli Independence Day with individual flags made as a class project. FRONT (L–R) Samuel Rott, Sebastian Steiger, Isabella MacKenzie, Maya Currie, Nola Suzcs, Wren Leubke, Anthony Donahue, Hudson Reed, Bernie Kuhl. BACK (L–R) Ehud Borovoy, Colin LaSelle, Joan Anthony, Sofia Tozzi, Joshua Harris, Maggie Gaster, Madeline Bartley, Yvonne Polk, Porter Studebaker, Karen Douglass (PHOTO CREDIT: CINDY TURNER)
› Mahjong 6:30–8:15PM @ Boonshoft CJCE
›A littleMamaloshen bit of Yiddish to share with friends, courtesy of the JCC Yiddish Club, in memory of Lynda A. Cohen.
Licht: \LICHT\ Noun A light, candle. Expression with licht: › Zol er/zi lichtik ruen un lang vartn May he/she rest in peace and have a long wait (til I die and join him).
RSVPs are due at least 1 week before event. Events with no price listed are free. PLEASE CONTACT KAREN STEIGER REGARDING ALL EVENTS UNLESS NOTED: 610-1555, firstname.lastname@example.org JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON AGENCY NEWSLETTER | JUNE 2015
› Oyb er volt gehandelt mit licht, volt di zun nisht untergegange [He has such terrible luck that] if he were to deal in candles, the sun would not set. › Er tut es a minut far lichtbentshn He does it at the eleventh hour (lit., a minute before lichtbentshn).
RIGHT: The 30 member Kettering Senior Show Choir performed a variety of tunes, along with choreographed steps. There was a lot of handclapping and dancing at the Active Adult event at Beth Jacob that day! BELOW: Trumpeter Roderick Wilson and keyboardist Ken Baccus played Jazz favorites for the audience at the lunch program.
Jewish Family Services Jewish Foundation ofof GREATER DAYTON GREATER DAYTON AT COVENANT MANOR:
The Jewish Family Services handyman service is available in the homes of seniors and people with disabilities based on volunteer availability. This service is designed to assist with light household chores and repairs such as: changing ceiling fan light bulbs, replacing door knobs, fixing a leaky faucet, changing furnace or air conditioning filters, installing smoke alarms and batteries. Handyman services are available by appointment by calling Karen Steiger at 853-0377.
SPOTLIGHT on SENIOR SAFETY: SMART, SAFE WAYS TO BEAT THE SUMMER HEAT
Summer will soon be here. With rising temperatures, everyone should stay on the lookout for heat related illnesses and conditions, especially our seniors. Please use the following tips as a guide to stay safe and cool. Find more tips online at www.cdc.gov » If possible, stay out of the sun. When in the sun, wear sunscreen and a hat to protect your face and head. » Use an air conditioner if you have one. Set the thermostat no lower than 75 degrees. » Fans work best at night, when they can bring in cooler air from the outside. » Drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty. It is always important to watch fluid intake, especially since as we age, we have diminished thirst signals. Be sure to have water in addition to other beverages. » Wear light colored, loose-fitting clothing made of natural fiber, such as cotton. » Eat regularly, but watch salt intake (salt can be dehydrating).
» Avoid alcohol, which can be dehydrating as well. » Stay indoors during those peak temperature times; usually the late afternoon. » If keeping your home cool is an issue, consider regular visits to the mall, the library or the movies during those peak hours of heat during the day. » Remember that some medications can interfere with sweating mechanisms as well as cause reactions in sunlight. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if your medications put you at increased risk for heat related illness. » If you live alone, arrange for someone to check on you with a phone call or short visit and check on your neighbors.
› Tuesday, June 2 @ 12:30PM Wild, wacky, wonderful brain teasers and trivia › Fresh Friday Friday, June 5 @ NOON Enjoy a delicious home cooked meal prepared by Bernstein’s Fine Catering. › Tuesday, June 9 @ 12:30PM Musical Entertainment with David Simpson, Guitarist and Vocalist › Fresh Friday Friday, June 19 @ NOON Enjoy a delicious home cooked meal prepared by Bernstein’s Fine Catering. @ 12:30PM The Odd Lots Dulcimer Group will be entertaining at lunch. › Tuesday, June 23 @ 12:30PM Entertainment with Lou James, Pianist
PLEASE CONTACT CHERYL BENSON REGARDING ALL COVENANT MANOR EVENTS : 854-6319
ACTIVE ADULTS: › Dine Around Thursday, June 11 @ 5PM La Fiesta Restaurant 8331 North Main St, Dayton Enjoy dinner with your friends at the Clayton area’s newest restaurant. Cost of dinner is on your own.
PLEASE CONTACT KAREN STEIGER REGARDING ALL ACTIVE ADULT EVENTS : 610-1555
JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON AGENCY NEWSLETTER | JUNE 2015
Jewish Foundation of GREATER DAYTON
Do you want to know more about the Jewish Foundation of Greater Dayton? Are you interested in establishing a Philanthropic Fund or Endowment Fund? Please call us at 937610-1555!
FROM L–R (BACK ROW): Pat Patterson, Darlene Gutmann-Marlowe, Judy Abromowitz, Debby Goldenberg, Carole Rabinowitz, Debbie Feldman, Mary Rita Weissman with David Gregory. NOT PICTURED: Elaine Bettman, Teri German, Marla Harlan, Ronnie Wasserman Harlan, Sylvia Heyman, Susan Joffe, Joan Knoll, Barbara Sanderow.
On Sunday, May 3rd, the Jewish community joined together for the Presidents Dinner. This premier event, held at the Dayton Art Institute, featured Keynote Speaker David Gregory and Special Guest, Molly Rosen. Our LOJE (Lion of Judah Endowment) had the opportunity to meet and mingle with David and Molly at the VIP Reception, prior to the dinner. A woman may become a Lion of Judah Endowment by establishing a fund with a minimum of $100,000. This will provide a yearly gift of at least $5,000 a year to the Annual Campaign in the donor’s name posthumously, providing a legacy for herself, her family and her community. A woman who becomes a LOJE may choose to have a flame, known in Hebrew as or l’atid, added to her Lion of Judah pin, recognizing her commitment to tzedakah and tikkun olam.
Legacies, Tributes, & Memorials FEDERATION
UNITED JEWISH CAMPAIGN IN HONOR OF › Wendy and Ervin Pavlofsky Renee and Dr. Frank Handel & Family › Shelly Goldenberg receiving the Beth Abraham Women of Valor Award › Rochelle Goldstein receiving the Beth Abraham Women of Valor Award Henny Lubow IN MEMORY OF › Minnie and George Rudin Natalie and Franklin Cohen
JOAN AND PETER WELLS FAMILY, CHILDREN, AND YOUTH FUND IN MEMORY OF › Rebecca Linville, daughter of Joan and Peter Wells Sylvia and Ralph Heyman Walter Ohlmann Sanford Fogel Jean and Todd Bettman
CAROL J. PAVLOFSKY LEADERSHIP FUND IN HONOR OF › Birthday of Wendy Pavlofsky › Birthday of Ervin Pavlofsky Esther and DeNeal Feldman Melinda and Bill Doner Sarah Pavlofsky › Speedy recovery of Marlene Miller Esther and DeNeal Feldman Melinda and Bill Doner Myrna Miller Sarah Pavlofsky
ACTIVE ADULTS IN HONOR OF › Speedy recovery of Dr. Raymond Weiskind Sylvia Linsker
JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON AGENCY NEWSLETTER | JUNE 2015
FAMILY SERVICES IN HONOR OF › Maryann Bernstein receiving the Beth Abraham Women of Valor Award › Sandy Zipperstein receiving the Beth Abraham Women of Valor Award Henny Lubow
JEWISH SENIOR SERVICES IN HONOR OF › Connie Blum receiving the Beth Abraham Women of Valor Award Henny Lubow IN MEMORY OF › Barbara Levine Lillian Winnegrad FOUNDATION
JEREMY BETTMAN B’NAI TZEDEK FUND IN HONOR OF › The marriage of Lindi Shane Jean and Todd Bettman
KVELLING CORNER At this year’s Cantors Assembly Convention, May 3-7 in Chicago, Beth Abraham Synagogue Cantor Andrea Raizen and Cantor Jenna Greenberg performed two new duets composed by Beth Abraham Cantor Emeritus
Rachel Haug Gilbert Jerome P. Kopmar. They sang for a session to introduce Jerry’s new publication, Lishmoa El Harina: High Holiday Selections for Two Voices. The Cantors Assembly is the international association of cantors affiliated with Conservative Judaism. Beth Abraham Synagogue contacted more than 100 former members of the Beth Abraham Youth Chorale — which Jerry created and led from 1971 to 1983 — to underwrite the new publication. Andrea and Jenna will present duets from Jerry’s new publication for the synagogue’s Selichot service in September. In the
meantime, you can listen to their performances from the Cantors Assembly Convention at bethabrahamdayton.org. Shelly Switkin, executive director of Dayton’s Jewish Family Services from 1982 to 2002, was honored at the annual meeting of the Rabbinical Assembly on the 50th anniversary of his ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary. The Rabbinical Assembly is the international organization of Conservative rabbis. Shelly, a licensed independent social worker with supervisory status, presently serves as a community professor of social work at Ohio State. AJ Lauber was selected as vendor of the year by Ricker Oil Company out of 200 possible candidates. AJ is a territory trade marketing manager for RJ Reynolds. He is the son of Sam and Ellen Lauber. Aaron Natarus, son of Mark and Sharon Natarus, graduated summa cum laude from Ohio State with honors
LIFECYCLES Send lifecycles to: The Dayton Jewish Observer 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville, OH 45459 • Email: MWeiss@jfgd.net There is a $10 charge to run a photo; please make checks payable to The Dayton Jewish Observer.
in pharmaceutical sciences. He is the grandson of the late Maxine and Maurice Gordon, and Darrell and Renee Natarus. The Miami Valley School’s Middle School Quiz Bowl Teams were on a roll this spring. Team A placed eighth out of 128 teams vying for the national championship in Dallas, May 9-10. Members of Team A included team captain Max Mader, son of Jennifer and Joe Mader; and John John and William Groger, sons of Dr. Kaili Fan and Dr. Richard Groger. Team B made it as far as the Ohio Middle School State Championship and won third place in the state. Elena Cebulash, daughter of Rachel Stanzione and Glen Cebulash, was a member of Team B. Max, Elena, and John John were among the top 10 individual scorers at the state level.
Send your Kvelling items to email@example.com or to Rachel Haug Gilbert, The Dayton Jewish Observer, 525 Versailles Drive, Centerville, OH 45459.
A new home for you ...
... a more carefree lifestyle, too.
Keep your grads connected to Jewish Dayton. Send them The Observer.
Carne-Holger Rick and Cheryl Carne are proud to announce the upcoming marriage of their daughter, Natalie, to Greg Holger, son of Forrest and Cindy Holger. Greg and Natalie went to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Greg then went to law school at the University of Cincinnati and Natalie went to the University of Michigan for her MBA. The couple lives in Washington, D.C. where Greg is an attorney at Utrecht, Kleinfeld, Fiori, Partners and Natalie is a consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. The couple will marry in Dayton in September.
Email addresses to MWeiss@jfgd.net
Bethany Village has immediate openings in our apartments and cottages ... ready for you to move in and embrace an easier way of living. Get to know a carefree lifestyle and discover whether an apartment or cottage suits you best:
Cozy 1 and 2 bedroom with open floor plans
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Located in a beautiful setting
Resort-like atmosphere with great views
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Delicious cuisine at Fountain Place restaurant
Underground parking garage
VISTA PLACE APARTMENTS
Comfortable studio or 1 bedroom apartments
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(937)701-0603 • BethanyLutheranVillage.org THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JUNE 2015
Committed to providing the best service, creativity, and value.
Featuring a stunning selection of bouquets for your graduate
Our new location
2316 Far Hills Avenue Oakwood, Ohio 45419 In The Shops of Oakwood
The Class of 2015
Celebrating our high school graduates across the Miami Valley Isaac Faust
Parents: Mitchell & Sara Faust Grandparents: Ellen & Howard Faust, Haya & the late Yosef Meyerowitz School: Oakwood Activities: Trumpet, Marching & Jazz Bands, Battle Bots, Photography, Animation, Temple Israel Dayton Youth Board Volunteering: House of Bread Honors: Superior Rating, Class A Piece at OMEA, 1st Place in Photography Competition, Honor Roll Congregation: Temple Israel After Graduation: Aeronautical Engineering & Aviation, Ohio State
Craig Lawrence Fishbein
What do you stand for?
At The Miami Valley School— Dayton’s only independent day school—we stand for personal excellence, experiential learning, intellectual curiosity, leadership development, individuality, and community. As a parent, if you stand for the same, we invite you to learn more by scheduling a tour or visiting us anytime online at mvschool.com.
Parents: Irene & Dr. Gary Fishbein Grandparents: Judy & Alan Raphael, Jack & Gilda Fishbein School: Butler Activities: Temple Israel Dayton Youth President, Nat’l Fed. Temple Youth Ohio Valley Regional Song Leader, Butler Marching Band Field Commander, Symphonic Band Trumpet Section Principal Chair, Brass Quintet Lead Trumpet, Musical Orchestra Lead Trumpet, Junior Council of World Affairs Secretary, Latin Club, Art In Architecture Design Competition Volunteering: Madrich Music Teacher, Temple Israel Religious School Honors: National Honor Society, 2nd Place Model Construction at Ohio State Fair, 1st Place Design of Commercial Structure, 1st Place Design of Residential Structure, 3rd Place overall in state Congregation: Temple Israel After Graduation: University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, architecture major and music minor
Here, they become. Patronize our advertisers. Tell them you saw it in The Observer. PAGE 20
Parents: Irene & Dr. Gary Fishbein Grandparents: Judy & Alan Raphael, Jack & Gilda Fishbein School: Butler Activities: Temple Israel Dayton Youth Religious & Cultural VP, Innovators Robotics Captain, Butler High School Marching Band Saxophone Section Leader, Symphonic Band Saxophone Section Principal Chair, Wind Quintet Oboe, Saxophone Quintet Lead Saxophone, Musical Orchestra Wind Section Lead Instrumentalist, Tri State Honor Band, District XII Honor Band Saxophone Section Principal Chair, Latin Club, Boy Scout Troop 204. Volunteering: Madrich Office Staff with Temple Israel Religious School Honors: National Honor Society, District XII Solo & Ensemble Competition Four Superior Rating Awards, First Dean’s List Finalist Congregation: Temple Israel After Graduation: Computer Engineering major, business minor, Ohio State Honors Program
Parents: Barbara & Harry Gerla Grandparents: Doris & Louis Ullman School: Centerville Activities: Centerville Band, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Band, Pep Band Congregation: Temple Beth Or After Graduation: Sinclair Community College
Clean out your closet. Fill up your wallet.
Students don’t just come here.
Phillip Cole Fishbein
Join us for Third Friday After Hours in the Heart of Centerville. May through August, 5-9 p.m.
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Parents: Esther & Jeff Green Grandparents: Sylvia & the late David Singer, Glenna & the late Lowell Green School: Miami Valley Activities: Varsity Soccer, Piano, March of the Living 2015, Temple Israel Religious School Madrich Volunteering: Yellow Springs Youth Baseball Coach Honors: AP Scholar With Distinction, Teacher Assistant for AP Biology at MVS Congregation: Temple Israel After Graduation: Neuroscience, Washington University, St. Louis
Parents: Melissa & Harold Guadalupe Grandparents: Carol & Spencer Layman, Segundo & Maria Guadalupe School: Kettering Fairmont Activities: Soccer, Latin Club, Boy Scouts, BBYO Volunteering: Through above organizations Honors: National Merit Semifinalist, Academic All-American, Soccer CoCaptain, National Honor Society Congregation: Temple Beth Or After Graduation: Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pa.
Jonathan ‘Jack’ Herrick
Parents: Lori & Guil Herrick Grandparents: Sandy & Warren Bookman School: Miami Valley Activities: Soccer, Basketball, Green Club, Model UN, Spring Musical, Sinai Scholar, Games Associate at Kings Island Volunteering: MVS Student Ambassador, Beth Or Temple Youth, Community Service Projects including with Dayton Public Schools Honors: Varsity Soccer Team Captain, Social Action VP, BOTY Religious & Cultural VP, All-Metro Buckeye Conference Soccer Team, Kings Island Associate of the Month. Congregation: Temple Beth Or After Graduation: Bowling Green State University
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The Class of 2015
Celebrating our high school graduates across the Miami Valley Heather L. Honeycutt
Parent: Sharon Honeycutt Grandparents: Maureen & the late Frank Singer School: Belmont Activities: PartTime at Auto Zone, Naval Jr. ROTC Volunteering: Presiding Judge, Belmont H.S. Board of Elections Honors: High Honor Roll Congregation: Beth Jacob After Graduation: Phlebotomy, Hematology
Andrea Shira Liberman
Parents: Ann & Scott Liberman Grandparents: Marilyn & Harvey Liberman, Conrad Rennemann Jr. & the late Annette Rennemann School: Centerville Activities: Centerville Coeds Varsity Dance Team Squad Leader, Flute with Wind Symphony, Key Club President, Student Government, BBYO President Volunteering: Raised more than $2,400 for Homeful Charity, Started Unified for Uganda Chapter at CHS, Junior Leadership Dayton, Impact DC through BBYO Matthew Cauper Klein Parents: Barbara & Omar Mendoza, Honors: National Merit Scholar, AP Scholar With Distinction, National Douglas Klein Grandparents: Marilyn & David Klein, Honor Society, French Honor Society, the late Eunice & Scholar Athlete Award, Centerville Coeds High GPA Award Martin Cauper School: Oakwood Congregation: Beth Abraham Activities: Varsity After Graduation: Cognitive Studies, Soccer, Concert & Vanderbilt University, Nashville Marching Bands, Varsity Track Kara Lillian Markman Congregation: Parents: Tammy & Jacob Markman Temple Beth Or After Graduation: Grandparents: Helen & Steve Markman Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts School: & Management, then a Culinary Centerville Institute with plans to open a Activities: Beth restaurant Or Temple Youth, Circle of Friends, BBYO, Ariel Rebecca Kravitz Young Scholars, Parents: Nancy & Kevin Kravitz Yearbook, Sinai Grandparents: Elaine & Stan Kravitz, Sunday Program Betty & Don Baxter Volunteering: School: Oakwood Chabad Camp Gan Israel, Cooking at Activities: Student Council, Speech Chabad, People Gym & Debate President, OMUN, Field Hockey, Heartland Club Field Hockey, Congregation: Temple Beth Or After Graduation: Sinclair Community Oakwood Foundation Student Advisory Council, College Socially Oakwood Founder, Athlete’s Council, Benjamin ‘Ben’ Pierce Parents: Lisa & David Pierce Principal Grandparents: Marlene & Sonny Superintendent Pierce, Helene & Bill Sedwick Advisory Board, Dayton Lacrosse, School: Oakwood Activities: Orchestra Varsity Football, Volunteering: All-League OCC Field Hockey Coach, Peer Honorable Mentoring, Founder of Girls on Mention the Run, Freshmen Orientation Defensive Back, & Challenge Group Leader & Varsity Lacrosse Coordinator, Tutoring Team Captain Honors: National Merit Commended Volunteering: Scholar, State Qualifier Speech & Temple Israel Debate, Best All-Around Oakwood Madrich, Volunteer Youth Football & Junior Girl 2014, National Honor Lacrosse Coach Society, French Honor Society, AP Honors: National Honor Society, Scholar Award, OMUN Outstanding High Honor Roll, AP Scholar With Delegate, Varsity Field Hockey All Distinction, Scholar Athlete Conference 2nd Team, Academic Congregation: Temple Israel All-Ohio All Conference Honorable After Graduation: Fisher College of Mention, SWBL Scholar Athlete, Business, Ohio State Honors Program National French Exam 2nd Place Congregation: Temple Israel After Graduation: Chemistry, Women & Gender Studies, GW, Duke, or College of William & Mary
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Parents: Patti & Lee Schear Grandparents: Doris & the late Gene Schear, the late Vivian & Joseph Stoler School: The Ethel Walker School, Simsbury, Conn. Activities: Varsity Volleyball, Varsity Cheerleading, Red Cross Club, Writing Tutor, Diversity Club Volunteering: Community service trips in South Africa, Nepal, Costa Rica Honors: High Honor Roll, Honorable Mention for Volleyball, Nominated for NYLC Conference in Washington, D.C., Sinai Scholar Congregation: Beth Abraham After Graduation: Fisher College of Business, Ohio State Honors Program
Parents: Caryl & Scott Segalewitz Grandparents: Ira & the late Zelda Segalewitz, the late Phyllis & Samuel Stein School: Centerville Activities: Soccer, Track, Athletic Training, Volleyball, Leadership Academy, Spanish Club, Elk Connectors, Key Club, BBYO Volunteering: Dayton Children’s Hospital, SICSA, Leadership Academy Volunteer, Alternative Spring Break with Temple Beth Or Honors: Blue Ribbon Award, Scholar Athlete, Varsity Letters for Athletic Training in Baseball, Basketball, Track Congregation: Temple Beth Or After Graduation: Criminal Justice, University of Dayton
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JUNE 2015
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Parents: Jean Silverstein & Jeffrey Silverstein School: Centerville Activities: Piano, Work at Panera, French Club Volunteering: J-Serve, Friendship Village, Daybreak Congregation: Temple Israel After Graduation: Urban Planning, University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning
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Preparing for college? Consider the Israel factor By Gary Rosenblatt The New York Jewish Week Dear High School Senior: The end of your senior year is an exciting time in your life. You most likely are feeling a well-deserved sense of accomplishment on the verge of completing your high school career and, for those of you going on to college in the fall, a sense of anticipation as you look forward to campus life and a new level of independence. But there may also be a healthy dose of anxiety as to how you will fare on your own. Many Jewish students seek out colleges with a strong Jewish presence, including a critical mass of co-religionists and an active Hillel and/or Chabad House. I wonder, though, how many of you have taken into account The Israel Factor on your intended campus. For example, do you know the level of student activity regarding the Mideast conflict, especially at a time when the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement against Israel, much of it generated by non-students, is growing on liberal campuses around the country? Are there pro-Israel groups at the college of your choice? These days, unfortunately, the government in Jerusalem is a target of widespread criticism, particularly regarding its Zionist ideology and its dealings with the Palestinians. I worry that too many Jewish students are not aware of what they will face and what they will be hearing in the classroom and on campus, from professors and fellow students, about Israel the oppressor, Israel the apartheid state, etc. The tactics of the BDS advocates often are over the top. They are meant to shock and grab attention and they can be disturbing to encounter. You may face “die-ins,” where pro-Palestinian students play dead in protest of civilian deaths during the most recent Gaza war. You may face mock checkpoints, where you will be asked for your ID, echoing the treatment of Palestinians seeking entry into Israel proper. And you may face mock eviction notices where students find notes taped to their dorm room doors in objection to the fact that some Palestinian homes are cleared out to make room for Jewish residents.
Many of you have positive That’s why a number of profeelings about Israel in your Israel education and advocacy gut, developed over the years groups have come on the scene. from your home life or involveWhether or not you feel you ment with a synagogue and/or have a solid understanding Jewish education in your early of modern Israel, you should years. Perhaps even a trip to Isknow that there is a wealth of rael. But you may feel less than information available online, confident if called on to explain in books and in documentary or defend some of Israel’s confilms. For a sampling of sources troversial policies. that offer range and depth in Is Israel the main source of learning more about Israel toblame for the lack of a peace day, you can check out websites agreement with the Palestinlike israeled.org, standwithus. ians? org and myjewishlearning.com; How is it that Israel came to recent bestselling and highly control Arabs living in the West praised books like Yossi Klein Bank? Why does the United Halevi’s Like Dreamers: The StoNations pass so many resolury of the Israeli Paratroopers Who tions critical of Israel? Reunited Jerusalem and Divided Are the charges true that a Nation and Ari Shavit’s My the Israeli army is brutal in its Promised Land: The Triumph and methods of warfare? Tragedy of Israel; and inspiring How would you respond to new films on the Israel Defense a BDS protest? Forces such as Above and Beyond The Mideast is not a burnand Beneath The Helmet. ing issue on many college Your college years are not campuses, and some pro-Israel just about academics and career advocacy groups exaggerate paths. They are about growth the problem so as to enhance on all levels, including a time their fund-raising to appreciate and You owe it to appeals. deepen your Jewyourself to But Jerusalem ish identity and is increasingly on see why your discover personal the defensive as ties to the culture, countries around connection to people and society the world voice the state of of our ancient support for the Israel should be homeland. You creation of a Palare likely to find estinian state, and viewed as a deep that the rebirth much of the grow- source of pride of modern Israel ing anti-Israel is, if not miracusentiment in this lous, one of the country emanates from college great success stories of the 20th campuses. century. It’s about an ancient The truth is that succespeople reviving the Hebrew sive Israeli governments have language and setting out to sought to make peace with the fulfill its dream of recreating a Palestinians and have been state for all Jews. willing to make major comIt’s about establishing a safe promises, including ceding harbor in a turbulent world, territory to make it happen. But a vibrant democracy where each effort has been rejected religious tradition and cuttingwithout a counteroffer, and Pal- edge innovation can coexist, estinian leaders have promoted not always easily, but with or allowed violent attacks on great energy and potential. Israeli civilians. And all of this taking place in a Yes, the Israeli-Palestinian tiny land surrounded by those conflict is complicated, with hostile to the very concept of a each side clinging to parallel Jewish state in the region. narratives that never seem to It’s an inspiring story, but meet. The result is that many don’t take my word for it. You young American Jews, conowe it to yourself to see why fronted with a complex history your connection to the state of of charges and counter-charges, Israel should be viewed as a simply walk away from the source of deep pride, even as issue rather than explore the we strive to see it fulfill its bibfacts. It’s especially difficult to lical mandate, and ours, to be a respond to a group of passionlight unto the nations. ate anti-Israel advocates on a college campus when you are Gary Rosenblatt is editor and unsure of what’s true and what publisher of The New York isn’t. Jewish Week. THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JUNE 2015
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JUNE 2015
CONGREGATIONS Beth Abraham Synagogue Conservative Rabbi Joshua Ginsberg Cantor/Dir. of Ed. & Programming Andrea Raizen Monday through Friday 6:50 a.m. & 5:30 p.m. Fri., 5:30 p.m. Sat. 9 a.m. Sundays at 8:30 a.m. 305 Sugar Camp Circle, Oakwood. 293-9520. BethAbrahamDayton.org Beth Jacob Congregation Traditional Saturdays 9:30 a.m., Sundays 8 a.m., Sunday through Friday, 7 p.m. 7020 N. Main St., Dayton. 274-2149. BethJacobCong.org Temple Anshe Emeth Reform Fri., June 19, 7:30 p.m. led by Rabbinic Intern Tina Sobo. 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. 435-3400. 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, Teen & Young Adult Prog. Dir. Rabbi Hershel Spalter. Beginner educational service Saturdays 9 a.m. adults, 10 a.m children. Sundays 9 a.m. Tuesdays & Wednesdays. 6:45 a.m. 2001 Far Hills Ave. 643-0770. www.chabaddayton.com Yellow Springs Havurah Independent Services 1st & 3rd Saturdays, 10-noon. Antioch College Rockford Chapel. Contact Cheryl Levine, 937-767-9293. PAGE 24
The Eternal is her portion casualty in the war against By Rabbi David Burstein cancer. She was 45 years old, a Temple Beth Or loving mother, wife, and rabbi I remember meeting my who charted her own path. My friend Vicki for the first time heart is broken. in the parking lot of In March, I led a Hebrew Union Colspiritual retreat for 19 lege-Jewish Institute of men. The topic was Religion in Cincinnati. transition, change and I had returned after loss. As I get older — taking a year and a almost 50 — one of the half off to collect my transitions that rocks head and recover from my core is burying a medical procedure. my friends. Two years I was going to be ago it was my friend entering with a whole Rabbi David Scott, 42, who died of new class of strangers Burstein lung cancer. He left a and was feeling a bit wife and 8-year-old daughter uneasy. Vicki was very, very behind. Recently a friend was given a terminal diagnosis and asked me to do his funeral. pregnant with her first child My Mom is and was trying to extricate her getting older. oversized book bag from the My Dad is gone. back seat of her car. I ran over and offered to help. She looked We, as humans, live in a world up and gave me a smile that I of transition can remember today, almost 20 and change. We years later. should get better She was the first person at it, at least on I met in my new class and paper. would become a close Our tradiand lifetime friend. tion teaches She and her husband, us that these transitions Rob, were the exneed to be honored with perienced parents I rituals and teachings that called when we had will help us get up the Emma; Vicki and I next morning, get dressed, spent hours talking and greet the day with about our dreams for hope and faith. what the rabbinate The rituals Vicki’s could be; we shared Rabbi Vicki family engaged in helped dinners and Seders the family. The rituals I as our families grew, Tuckman bore witness to and parand when we ran into ticipated in as a friend helped each other after ordination, it me. That is the beauty of our was like we had never been religion. The day of a funeral apart. unfolds at its own pace, but On April 9, Elizabeth and I is led by the wisdom of our flew to Princeton, N.J. to stand with Rob and his three children ancestors. Dr. Ruth Langer, professor as they buried Vicki — another
of Jewish studies at Boston College, writes: “Among all ‘life-cycle’ events in traditional forms of Judaism, the rituals surrounding death are at the same time the most tightly choreographed and the least liturgical. While, in general, Jewish rituals tend to be accompanied by a relative torrent of encoded verbal prayers, the performance of funerary rituals are striking in their combinations of silence and free speech. The result is the creation of a time that is markedly different, that responds powerfully to the emotions of the moment, and that effects the dual transition of accompanying the deceased to the grave and only then of comforting the mourners.” On April 10, I witnessed and participated in a funeral service infused with kavanah, intention. Each ritual was woven together to create the picture of Vicki and honor her as a complete person. She wrote her own service, designing the ritual around the themes of music, triumph, and transcendence. The ritual, with her creative and powerful additions, held us. Her family was held in love by more than 1,500 people who participated fully, emotionally and spiritually, in the service. Judaism helped my dear friend transition from life, to life everlasting; it also helped us all to transition from a life with her to one without. The emptiness was lessened by the intention of the day. I dedicate this column to my friend Rabbi Vicki Tuckman, her husband, Rob, and to their children, Jonah, Elon, and Yael. God full of compassion who dwells in the high heavens, grant perfect rest beneath the wings of Your In-dwelling Presence (Shekhinah), in the exalted places among the holy and the pure, to the soul of Vicki who has entered eternity. May her resting place be in the Garden of Eden. Please, Master of Compassion, shelter her under the cover of Your wings forever; and may her soul be bound up in the bond of eternal life. The Eternal is her portion; may she rest in peace.
Judaism helped us all to transition from a life with her to one without.
June • Sivan/Tammuz Torah Portions Shabbat Candle Lightings June 5, 8:43 p.m. June 12, 8:47 p.m.
June 6/19 Sivan Behalotecha (Num. 8:1-12:16) June 13/26 Sivan Shelach (Num. 13:1-15:41) June 20/3 Tammuz Korach (Num. 16:1-18:32)
June 19, 8:50 p.m. June 26, 8:51 p.m.
June 27/10 Tammuz Chukat (Num. 19:1-22:1)
1 in 6 Jews are new to Judaism – and 9 other new Pew findings By Uriel Heilman, JTA The Pew Research Center’s newly released 2014 U.S. Religious Landscape Study offers a trove of data on American Jews based on interviews with 35,071 American adults, 847 of whom identified their faith as Jewish. Here are some of the more interesting findings about the Jews.
We’re highly educated
There are more American Jews with two or more university degrees than those who have just one — 31 percent have a graduate degree and 29 percent have just a bachelor’s degree. With a college graduation rate of about 59 percent (more than twice the national average of 27 percent), American Jews are the second most-educated religious group in America after Hindus, at 77 percent.
We’re the biggest religious minority
Judaism is the largest faith group in America after Christianity, and its relative size in America has grown slightly since 2007 — from 1.7 percent of the U.S. population in 2007 to 1.9 percent in 2014. The denominational breakdown of Jews who identify with the Jewish faith (“Jews by religion”) is 44 percent Reform, 22 percent Conservative, 14 percent Orthodox, 5 percent another movement and 16 percent no denomination.
We’re not as white as we used to be
American Jewish adults are 90 percent white, 2 percent black, 4 percent Latino, 2 percent Asian-American and 2 percent “other non-Hispanic.” That’s a notable change from 2007, when whites comprised 95 percent of American Jews, Latinos comprised 3 percent, blacks comprised 1 percent and the percentage of Asians was negligible.
A quarter of us are losing our religion
When it comes to religious retention rates, American Jews Continued on Page 26
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JUNE 2015
LESHON IMA — MOTHER TONGUE
Haskalah, enlightenment The school year is ending, and for those who are leaving the formal educational system, this is a time of inner searching, a time to look toward the future. In honor of our graduates, let’s discuss the Hebrew word haskalah, a term in which education, knowledge, intelligence and enlightenment coalesce.
Dr. Rachel Zohar Dulin The modern term haskalah is rooted in the biblical verb sakhal, which appears 61 times in the text, with several meanings. In the story of the Garden of Eden, for example, the word lehaskil means source of wisdom. In the Book of Proverbs the root sakhal means success or insight. In Psalms, sakhal variously means perceive, consider, be prudent or be enlightened. In the Book of Daniel, the word maskil means proficient or wise. And in the prophetic literature, lehaskil means succeed (Josh 1:7), thinking abilities (Isa. 44:18) or skill (Jer. 3:15). It becomes obvious that already in the time of the Bible, the verb sakhal received wide meaning connected with wisdom, intelligence and acquired knowledge. In Modern Hebrew, in addition to all the above meanings to the verb sakhal, we find the word haskalah, which means enlightenment and education. Haskalah is also the name of the intellectual and social movement of 18th-century Europe, known as The Enlightenment, which fought for freedom of expression, civil rights and freedom from religious oppression.
University of Toledo Continued from Page Four from the real mission of Hillel at UT — providing a safe and homelike place for Jewish students to hang out, socialize, celebrate and share all that is good about our heritage with each other and the entire university community.” Lane said the resolution failed because “enough UT students understood it was highly misleading, would not promote a just and lasting solution in the Middle East and would hurt many Toledo students who benefit from job opportunities provided to students by some of the large Ohio employers involved.” Joel Marcovitch, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Toledo, said
This movement had a very strong influence on Jewish culture, which continues to this day. Civil rights for Jews were advanced because of this movement. Jewish education broadened beyond religious studies and the Hebrew language became again a spoken living language. Indeed, Haskalah brought the revival of Jewish and Hebrew literature, and secular studies blossomed within the Jewish milieu. As a result, to this day, anyone who peruses studies to further one’s education is called in Hebrew maskil (m) or maskilah (f) and one who attains a university degree is described as baal haskalah gevohah, literally, owner of a high haskalah, higher education. To end, let’s look at two phrases in Hebrew that are used today but have roots in the sagacity of the past. Based on the verb sakhal, the writer of Proverbs coined the phrase musar has-kel, meaning moral lesson. Using the same verb, the writer of Psalms coined the phrase, mikol melamdye hiskalti, which originally meant, “I became wiser than all my teachers (Ps.119: 99).” However, with rabbinic influence, the meaning of the statement changed to infer that wisdom is gained by learning from all people: teachers, colleagues, and particularly students (Ethic of the Fathers 4:1; Ta’anit 7a). The musar haskel, the moral lesson, of this shift in meaning is that ideas are fluid and learning brings wisdom and intellectual growth. I wish all our graduates a happy and fruitful journey in the pursuit of haskalah, enlightenment. Dr. Rachel Zohar Dulin is a professor of biblical literature at Spertus College in Chicago and an adjunct professor of Bible and Hebrew at New College of Florida. the Hillel students and Lane worked “extraordinarily well under difficult circumstances.” “They should be congratulated to the highest degree on defeating this discriminatory referendum,” Marcovitch said. “They know that there is a long road ahead and that building stronger and new bridges with diverse groups on campus will help combat and fight against discrimination and antisemitism.” Nagi Naganathan, interim president of UT, and Brenda Lee, president of the UT Foundation, issued a joint statement after the referendum was approved saying that neither the university nor the foundation supports divesting from companies that engage in business with Israel.
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JUNE 2015
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Gerald B. Jacoby, age 91, of Sarasota, Fla., formerly of Dayton, passed away May 14. Mr. Jacoby was a retired mechanical engineer from Delco Moraine with 35 years of service. He received his bachelor’s degree from Purdue University, was a U.S. Army Veteran of World War II, serving in the Pacific, and a member of Temple Israel. Mr. Jacoby was preceded in death by his first wife of 36 years, Irene R. and his second wife of 19 years, Joy; brother, Mitchel Jay and sister, Carol May. He is survived by his daughters and sons-in-law, Cathy and Alan Brown, Laura and Marc Friedman, all of Dayton; son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Susan Jacoby of Winnetka, Ill.; grandchildren, Allison (Matt) Albery, Stacey (Andrew) Murray, Julie Brown, Andrew and Jack Jacoby, Amy and Melissa Friedman; greatgranddaughter, Isla Albery.
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Interment was at Riverview Cemetery. If desired, memorial contributions may be made to the following charity in Mr. Jacoby’s memory: E.S. Kraus, M.D. Endowment for Young Investigators, c/o Anne M. Kennan, Fund for Johns Hopkins Medicine, 5200 Eastern Aven., MFL Center Tower, Suite 355, Baltimore, MD 21224. Rebecca (Becca) Wells Linville, age 38, passed away April 25 after a long and courageous battle with cancer, in Westfield, Ind. Mrs. Linville was a 1994 graduate of Northmont High School in Dayton, and a 1998 graduate of Indiana University in Bloomington, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing and a certificate in Jewish studies. Mrs. Linville was an active member of the Ohio Valley region of the National Federation of Temple Youth, and spent a summer in Israel on a NFTY program. In 2004 she began teaching at The Orchard School in Indianapolis, where she proudly and
Continued from Page 24 come in third, retaining 75 percent of those raised Jewish. By comparison, Hindus retain 80 percent and Muslims 77 percent. Behind the Jews are Evangelical Christians at 65 percent; Mormons, 64 percent; Catholics, 59 percent; and mainline Protestants, 45 percent. Jehovah’s Witnesses retain only 34 percent.
But 17 percent of us have found Judaism
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Seventeen percent of American Jews say they were raised in another religion. Six percent say they were raised unaffiliated, 4 percent as mainline Protestant, 3 percent as Catholic, and 2 percent each as Evangelical and in some other religion.
Who are we marrying?
Sixty-five percent of American Jews who are married or living with a partner are with a Jew and 35 percent are with
gratefully taught for more than 10 years in its elementary school. In 2003 she married the love of her life, Kyle Linville. Mrs. Linville was fortunate to spend three years living in Germany and travelling throughout Europe with her beloved young daughters and husband. While there, she was an active volunteer at the Frankfurt International School. Mrs. Linville managed to be both friend and mentor to all whose lives she touched, from friends and fellow moms to coworkers, students, and fellow volunteers. She filled her life with acts of lovingkindness and tzedakah, always looking for opportunities to give of her time and talent, particularly to those in need or at risk. This powerful legacy of selfless giving will never be forgotten by all who knew and loved her. Mrs. Linville is survived by family members whom she cherished dearly and loved fully: her husband, Kyle Linville; her children, Madeline and Lauren Linville; her sister, Jennifer Wells; brother-in-law, Shannon Smith; her parents,
Joan and Peter Wells; Kyle’s parents, Rita and Mike Linville; grandmother, Marge Mitchell; brother and sister-in-law, Andy and Jennifer Linville; nieces, aunts, uncles and cousins. The family wishes to thank the wonderful caring friends, colleagues, extended family, and rabbis for the outpouring of support we’ve received throughout this horrendous time. Tax-exempt donations can be made in Mrs. Linville’s memory to the Rebecca Wells Linville Donor Advised Fund at the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis (jewishindiananpolis.org). Her husband will be able to make recommendations on distributions from this fund to non-profit organizations that were important to her. To contribute to a fund (non tax-exempt) for the near-term direct benefit of the Linville daughters, visit gofundme. com/rebeccalinville, or contributions may be made to the charity of your choice. Rebecca Wells Linville’s life and memory will forever be a blessing.
a non-Jew. Nine percent of American Jews are partnered with Catholics, 8 percent with mainline Protestants, 4 percent with peoples of other faiths and 11 percent with unaffiliated Americans.
in the Americas, 2 percent in the Middle East and 1 percent in the Asia-Pacific region.
Nu, when are we going to get married already?
The percentage of Jewish adult singles is growing — up from 19 percent in 2007 to 23 percent in 2014. Fifty-six percent of Jewish adults are married, and another 6 percent are living with a partner. Fifteen percent were married but are now separated, divorced or widowed. The Jewish fertility rate is 2.0 children, compared to 2.1 children for all Americans.
We’re mostly American born and bred
Sixty-six percent of Jewish adults are Americans born to American-born parents. Of the 12 percent of American Jews who are immigrants, 5 percent were born in Europe, 4 percent
We still heart New York
Where do America’s Jews live? Forty-two percent in the Northeast, 27 percent in the South, 20 percent in the West and 11 percent in the Midwest. In the Northeast, where Jews are most numerous, Jews comprise roughly 4 percent of the total population. Eight percent of the New York City area is Jewish.
We’re rich, but also poor
American Jews (44 percent) are more than twice as likely as average Americans (19 percent) to have annual household incomes over $100,000. But 16 percent of Jewish adults have annual household incomes of $30,000 or less, and 15 percent live in households that earn between $30,000 and $50,000. (The Jewish data in the survey has a margin of error of 4.2 percentage points.)
Let us know what you think. Send your letters (350 words max., thanks) to: The Dayton Jewish Observer, 525 Versailles Drive Dayton, OH 45459 • MWeiss@jfgd.net THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JUNE 2015
JEWISH FAMILY EDUCATION
Amazing but divergent concepts of grace
as in the Lord “gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians“ or “made the Egyptians look on the people with favor.” On the other hand, both Christian and Jewish texts consistently translate chen as Jew in the Christian world series grace when Esther, the Jewish maiden readied for a royal Immortalized in the most translated as follows: tryst, gains more of the king’s popular of Christian folk• But Noah found grace “grace and favor” than all the hymns, grace seems an unin the eyes of the Lord (King other maidens (Esther 2:17). likely topic for a Jewish Bible James Version) How can these inconstant study class. • But Noah found favor in translations of chen be exWell-known to Christians, the eyes of the LORD (New plained? the term is generally familiar International Version). The term chen derives from to Jewish audiences only in the • But Noah found favor in the Hebrew root meaning expression grace after meals the eyes of YHWH (Everett pardon, favor, graciousness, (birkat hamazon). It doesn’t apFox, Hebrew literal). • But Noah found favor with compassion, and mercy. In a biblical context, chen the LORD (Jewish Publication connotes the unmerited favor Society, Conservative) of one human toward another, • But Noah found grace in Candace R. or of God toward humankind. the eyes of HASHEM (Stone, Kwiatek It is numbered among God’s Orthodox). principal atChen also In Jewish thought, tributes (chanun, appears with pear in Jewish vocabulary lists, varying transla- it is through doing gracious or grace-giving, in on informational websites, or tions when the that we open Ex. 34:6-7). throughout indices of hunonly characters Thus, while the door to tikun dreds of Jewish print resources are human, translations on basic Judaism, God, spirituas when the olam and God’s may vary in ality, Bible, theology, or values. estranged twins other respects, And yet, it frequently appears reconcile (Gen. favor, mercy, and in both Jewish in English translations of the 33:10) and Jaforgiveness. and Christian biblical text, triggering student cob requests of Bibles the use of queries. Esau to accept the word grace always signals According to Strong’s Conhis gift: God’s role as a main character cordance (an alphabetical index • If now I have found grace or implies God’s behind-theof biblical words and their cita- in thy sight, then receive my scenes involvement. tions), the word grace appears present… (KJV) In Christian theology, grace 38 times in the King James • If I have found favor in is the unearned, undeserved version of the Hebrew Bible your sight (eyes)… (New divine gift of unconditional (Tanakh) as a translation for the Living Translation, Fox, and love, mercy, favor, acceptance, Hebrew word chen. Stone). forgiveness, sustenance and However, chen appears an Here are some equally salvation from God through additional 31 times in the text surprising patterns. Just prior Jesus to those who accept him where it is translated as favor to the Exodus, the Egyptians as messiah and savior (Romans or occasionally as gracious, gladly turn over their riches 5, Ephesians 2). precious, or pleasant. to the Israelites in a text where This fundamental tenet is the There seems to be no consischen is almost universally cornerstone of Christian faith tency among either the Christranslated as favor (Ex. 11:3), tian or Jewish translations. Note the following examples. In the introduction to Noah (Gen. 6:8), chen is variously
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image of God, to obey the commandments in their quest to repair the world, and to repent when we miss the mark. The great 13th-century Spanish Torah scholar Nachmanides (Ramban) captures this balance between mercy and justice and the conditional nature of grace: “When Thine is the love, O God, and Thine the grace, that folds the sinner in its mild embrace: Thine the forgiveness bridging o’er the space ‘Twixt man’s works and the task set by the King.” In Jewish thought, it is through doing that we open the door to tikun olam (repair of the world) and God’s favor, mercy, and forgiveness. In Christian thought, it is through believing that the door to God’s grace and personal salvation is opened. Because this Christian notion is generally associated with “grace,” the English term rarely appears in Jewish literature. Chen: Such a tiny word to embody two fundamentally different religious philosophies: amazing grace.
Literature to share The Little Russian by Susan Sherman: Don’t miss this debut novel that realistically captures the sights, sounds, and experiences of Jewish life in early 20-century Russia while telling a thoroughly enjoyable epic tale. Fast paced, dramatic, and filled with plot twists and engaging but not always likeable characters, this is historical fiction at its best. Under the Egg by Laura Fitzgerald: Targeted to middle school students, this unexpectedly smart and fast-paced mystery novel with an interesting female protagonist introduces a little-known aspect of the Holocaust: Nazi theft of Jewish art. Some familiarity with the Holocaust would be advantageous, but the story stands on its own. A recommended addition to the library of young teens.
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If you know someone who might qualify to receive a Reading Service radio, call 528-6525
memorialized in John Newton’s famous lyrics: “Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me!... How precious did that grace appear, The hour I first believed.” In Jewish thought, grace — more often expressed as God’s lovingkindness or mercy — is balanced by God’s justice. The rabbis of the Talmud explain that God created the world with both, because lovingkindness alone would have allowed sin to proliferate and justice alone would have condemned all of creation (Genesis Rabbah 12:15). Therefore, the rabbis continue, that God’s favor, forgiveness, and mercy are not automatic, for that would unbalance justice. Nor are those attributes earned or deserved, because that would suggest human control over God. Throughout the Torah and expressed directly by the prophets (Isaiah and Joel, in particular) is the notion that God’s mercy is conditional upon our attempts to act in the
Bring your family and games to share while meeting other families at a local park. July 19 ORCHARDLY PARK (Oakwood 45419)
August 16 POLEN FARMS (5099 Bigger Rd 45440)
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JUNE 2015
FOOD THE JEWISH INTERNET New & Renewing Voluntary Subscribers • April 7-May 4 Renewing Angels Ken Baker, K.W. Baker & Assoc. Hy & Sylvia Blum Dr. & Mrs. Scot Denmark M.J. & Bella Freeman Art & Joan Greenfield Myrna Nelson Russ Remick Col. Jeffrey Thau, USAF, (Ret.) & Rina Thau Michael & Karen Weprin New Angel George & Ruth Barnett & Family Gabriele & Todd Leventhal Double Chai Linda Blum Jack & Bernice Bomstein Alex & Jane Briskin Bob & Sharon Burick Alan & Lynda Cohen Dale Goldberg & Mark Dlott Howard & Ellen Faust Marni & Richard Flagel Joan & Martin Holzinger Gloria Karsch Mr. & Mrs. Paul Kulback Shirley & Marcie Mazer Shel & Irene Miller Sis & Phil Office Marlene & Terry Pinsky The Rothkopf Family William Schoenfeld Barbara & Jim Weprin Subscribers Marilyn Abrams Larry & Sydelle Balas Beatrice Ballas Rabbi P. Irving & Pat Bloom Dr. & Mrs. Steven Blumhof Katherine Cooper Craig & Marilyn Crossley Cissy Ellison Dorothy Shaman Finder Bernice Gable Harry & Barbara Gerla Marc R. Gilbert Jeff & Esther Green Neil Katz & Karin Hirschkatz Elli Kent Barbara Kessler Shirley Beook Klausner Bonnie & Alan Klein Richard Lesser Richard Lieberman Helen & Steve Markman Renett Mason Janice May Jennifer Oppenheimer
Mr. & Mrs. Alvin Phinick Ruth F. Rafner Fran & Irwin Roberts Allen & Helen Ross Ms. Elaine B. Rothstein Phil & Suzanne Rubin Mory Summer, MD Steven & Patty Wyke Mr. & Mrs. Ivan Zawatsky Mr. Eric Zied & Dr. Dena Mason-Zied Mr. & Mrs. Don Zulanch Current Guardian Angels Howard & Judy Abromowitz Stanley Cherny Marilyn & Larry Klaben Walter Ohlmann Helene Perez Andi Rabiner Current Angels Michael & Connie Bank Skip Becker Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Bettman Michael & Amy Bloom Betty & Don Chernick Lori Appel-Cohen Mrs. Melvin Crouse Mr. & Mrs. Bruce Feldman Esther & DeNeal Feldman Lynn Foster Felix & Erika Garfunkel Rabbi Joshua Ginsberg & Hazzan Jenna Greenberg Debby & Bob Goldenberg Kim & Shelley Goldenberg Mark & Kathy Gordon Judi & George Grampp Dr. & Mrs. Stephen Harlan Robert & Vicky Heuman Sylvia & Ralph Heyman Maxine & Jeffrey Hoffman Steve and Rachel Jacobs Dr. & Mrs. David Joffe Susan & Stanley Katz Sarah Moore Leventhal Beverly Louis Dr. David & Joan Marcus Suzi & Jeff Mikutis Irvin & Gayle Moscowitz Ron & Sue Nelson John & Sharyn Reger Felice & Michael Shane Mr. & Mrs. Henry Stern Dr. Marc & Maureen Sternberg Joel & Jennifer Tobiansky Julie & Adam Waldman & Family Judith & Fred Weber Caryl & Donald Weckstein Dr. Judith Woll & Ron Bernard
Debunking internet rumors Did you get that email about the company that’s boycotting Israel? Or the message about what that antisemitic actor said? Or the politician who trivialized the Holocaust? Actually, those events may never have happened. You could
Mark Mietkiewicz be on the receiving end of an Internet hoax. I regularly get emails warning me not to patronize a company because it’s adopted an anti-Israel policy. After a bit of investigating, the rumor often turns out to be just that. Israel and world Jewry have enough real enemies without maligning innocent organizations or individuals. When you blindly forward something that’s not true, you provoke fights against injustices that simply aren’t there. Here’s how you can spot whether that accusation really is true, or is merely unsubstantiated lashon hara (gossip): • Be wary about statements like “This is NOT a hoax.” It probably is. • Look for the telltale phrase, “Forward this to everyone you know!” The more urgent the plea, the more suspect the message. • Watch for overly emphatic language, as well as frequent use of UPPERCASE LETTERS and multiple exclamation points!!!!!!! (bit.ly/jrumor1) Oh, and one more thing. If you happen to get a letter from a wealthy benefactor in Nige-
ria, don’t give up your day job just yet (bit.ly/jrumor2). Once you’ve discarded those emails, you are left with some that seem plausible, but you’re just not sure. Here are some that made the circuit recently: • CNN fired Israeli Jews at its Jerusalem Bureau while keeping its Arab employees. False. According to CNN, it reorganized its bureau in 2012 employing four Jewish employees out of seven. • Celebrity chef Paula Deen has blamed “the Jews” for her firing from the Food Network. False. The rumor originated at the humor web site, The Daily Currant. • Norway will soon be “Judenrein” (clean of Jews) as its last 819 Jews are emigrating due to the rise of antisemitism. False. The Jewish population of Norway is approximately 1,700 and there has not been any significant emigration recently. • Nike shoes ran an ad showing an apparent suicide bombing in Israel. The text of the ad next to Nike’s trademarked Swoosh reads, “You may not survive the blast. But your shoes will.” False. The Anti-Defamation League has an entire section on its website geared to debunking rumors and calls the email a forgery. That so-called ad “was not authorized by Nike and has no affiliation with the company.” The above examples of falsehoods were gathered — and debunked — at the Internet
When you blindly forward something that’s not true, you provoke fights against injustices that simply aren’t there.
JCC Early Childhood is Now Hiring! Early Childhood Care and Education at the Jewish Community Center of Dayton is seeking a highly motivated Early Childhood Teacher to join our dynamic team of educators. The successful candidate will hold a degree in Early Childhood Education or related field, have experience working in the early childhood field, and be a warm and loving individual. Please submit your confidential resume and cover letter to email@example.com, or mail to Audrey MacKenzie at 525 Versailles Drive, Dayton OH 45459. No phone calls please. A drug-free, smoke-free environment. EOE. PAGE 28
Rumors page of the Anti-Defamation League website (bit.ly/ jrumor3). • Angelina Jolie hates the state of Israel and wants its destruction together “with those people.” False. I turned to boycottwatch.org to set the record straight on this baseless one (tinyurl.com/jrumor21). • Iran passed a law requiring Jews and Christians to wear badges identifying them as religious minorities. False. For this one, I consulted snopes.com which reprints the original accusation and explains how it is untrue (tinyurl.com/jrumor22). When deciding whether to spring into action, I recommend the ADL and two other sites which do a very good job at disproving — or validating — online rumors: snopes.com and truthorfiction. com. These sites deal with all types of rumors, and specifically, the inordinate number of questionable stories about Israel and Jews out there. Slightly different but also worth visiting is factcheck.org, which focuses on setting the record straight on American politicians and politics. Sometimes mistakes occur and the party involved takes responsibility, apologizes and corrects the record. Or at least tries to. The steamroll of angry emails fails to take note of the apology or offer forgiveness. A few years ago, an Israelibased travel agency did receive a letter from the Marriott hotel chain designating Jerusalem as “Occupied Palestinian Area.” Emails went out calling for a boycott. Marriott corrected the error and acknowledged that it was remiss in not sending a letter of apology to the offended Israeli travel agent earlier. But who knows how many accusatory emails are still travelling through cyberspace (bit. ly/jrumor4)? Keep that in mind before you forward that email. Mark Mietkiewicz writes about resources for Jewish life to be found on the Internet. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JUNE 2015
Analytical memoir of survival tions of the American Jewish Archives, By Marc Katz & Marshall Weiss United States Holocaust Memorial MuThe Observer seum, and Center for Jewish History. Felix Garfunkel was lucky. He lived. “We had a very good middle-class The Holocaust survivor found his life,” Garfunkel said of his childhood in life’s love in Erika, had three children, became a doctor and has lived since 1958 Czernowitz. “We had a maid. We were going on vacations. I was learning the in the United States, mostly in the Daypiano. I had a tutor come in to teach me ton area, where he is now retired. Hebrew and Talmud Torah.” Garfunkel survived concentration He described his religious upbringing camps and ghettos. His life was in conas traditional. stant turmoil from the age of 10 to 13, “We were kosher. We were going to when first the Soviets and then the Nazis the shul (synagogue) Friday night and rolled through Czernowitz, Romania. kept the holidays,” Garfunkel said. “We Czernowitz, which had previously did not wear peyos (sidelocks), we were been under Moldavian and Austrian control, was home to an estimated 50,000 not ultra-Orthodox. If anything, most (Jewish) people were Jews when GarfunMarc Katz more assimilated in kel was a child. my town. And there The Jews of were some ultra-OrCzernowitz contemthodox, Chabadniks, plated which would originally from that be worse: to immearea. And they were diately perish at the making fun of them, hands of the Nazis, those who were asor to wait out the similated.” years starving unJune 1940 brought der the Soviets, not a shock to the people knowing how near of Czernowitz when death was, only that the Soviets rolled it was near. in, Garfunkel said. Garfunkel, who “However, they will turn 84 in July, were not there to kill occasionally speaks us (the Jews). They to student groups did not shoot or about the Holoburn or hit anybody, caust, but doesn’t but they made a detail the suffering dictatorship where he endured. everybody was “I had repeated, afraid of tomorrow.” repeated traumas,” Garfunkel’s famhe said. “We had ily remained in Czterrible conditions. Dr. Felix Garfunkel with a miniature Torah scroll he received as a boy. At his children’s ernowitz until June We were starved, we were emaciated, urging, he wrote and published his memoir 22, 1941, when the Nazis broke a shaky we were obviously truce with the Soviets. going to die. They (the Nazis) wanted “When they marched in, that’s when us to die. I knew all the two-and-a-half chaos ensued,” Garfunkel said of the years before we were liberated — every Nazis. “In a matter of two weeks, they moment — I knew that I was supposed to die, was going to die, and didn’t know made a ghetto. You could not live anywhere else if you were a Jew. You had that I was going to survive.” He said his approach when he speaks to wear a yellow star. You had to move in this tiny area here between this street in public is to emphasize “more of the triumph, the good, what you can do, and and this street, or you would be shot.” After two months in the ghetto, Czernot dwell on the problem.” nowitz’s Jews were relocated to Ukraine. Garfunkel said he and Erika, also a Garfunkel and his family were sent to survivor, didn’t talk with each other about their experiences in the Holocaust. the Mogilev concentration camp. “We were doubly scared,” Garfunkel And other than bits and pieces, he hasn’t said. “Those who were occupied by Sotalked about it with his children or viets were considered now Communists, grandchildren either. besides being Jewish. I was 10. I under“I did not want to get the kids instood we were in peril of death. I knew volved in those stories,” he said.”My exactly what was going on. I looked at oldest son told me last year, after I had the planes fighting above. I looked at this meeting with students in Springthem bombarding the railroad station.” field, that they (Garfunkel’s children) Garfunkel and his family were among don’t know the whole story. So many the Jews in Mogilev put on a death times they told me to write it down.” That led Garfunkel to finally write his march in 1943 to the Skazinetz death camp. The men in Skazinetz, including memoir, From Czernowitz (Chernivtsi): his father, were used for labor each day. A Life In Three Continents. Now in its “We didn’t know if the men were second printing, From Czernowitz is available at Amazon. Garfunkel’s memoir has coming back in the evening,” Garfunkel also been accepted as part of the collecContinued on next page
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JUNE 2015
Memoir Continued from previous page said. “Some didn’t come back. We were there for three months, starving.” Aware they had no hope for survival, his mother and aunt found a way for the family to escape. “There were sometimes peasants going through there on the outside of the barbed wire in their fields,” he said. “And sometimes we can exchange a piece of clothing for some food. “I don’t know what they gave them (the peasants), but they cut a hole in the barbed wire for us to escape and we got out there at night. And then we walked,
B R E A K F A S T
hiding between the cornstalks for a long time, back to the city of Mogilev ghetto where we came from.” When the Soviets liberated Ukraine in 1944, the Garfunkels first returned to Czernowitz, then made their way to Paris, then Ecuador, one of the few places accepting displaced Jews. An uncle in New Jersey sponsored their immigration to the United States in 1958 through the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. “I really wanted to live,” Garfunkel said. “I was thinking, why did I have to die so young just because I was Jewish? I was reading the Torah, wondering why there wasn’t some miracle.” The miracle came with the 1944 liberation. Garfunkel passed a syna-
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gogue and was called inside. He recited the blessings over the Torah and was declared a Bar Mitzvah. He has a miniature Torah from that time, but doesn’t remember where he obtained it. Garfunkel received his medical degree in Ecuador, married in 1954 (his wife became a dentist), settled in Dayton in 1965, and tried to forget. It wasn’t until the early 1980s that he agreed to talk publicly about his experiences, but with a more analytical than emotional approach. “Dr. Eric Friedland asked me to talk with his students at UD because he was teaching a course on the Holocaust,” Garfunkel said. “There was the general consensus that it was better to educate the public, so that people will be on guard against anything like that happening again.” Twice before, Garfunkel has documented his story: in 1981 in a video interview with Renate Frydman as part of Wright State University’s Faces Of The Holocaust series, and in 1993 for Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Visual History Foundation. Frydman also arranged for him to speak at schools over the decades. For 27 years, Garfunkel was director of radiology at Greene Memorial Hospital in Xenia. He then retired from the Dayton VA in 2010. These days, he keeps in contact with survivors from Czernowitz via email through an organized group.
“Every day I get six or eight emails, pictures of old times, remembering, (information about) meetings and books that have been written,” he said. But he hasn’t reconnected with any of his friends from childhood; two thirds of the Jews deported from Czernowitz perished. “None of them. My dear friends, they did not survive.” When asked if he believes in God, he said yes. “I have more of a general belief. It’s very important to be spiritual and moral. But I don’t much believe in a personal God, except on Yom Kippur, when I pray for forgiveness. Quite honestly, I have periods when I don’t believe in God, and other periods when I do believe in God, in the same year.” Until now, Garfunkel said he has relied on relatives and his wife to pass on their testimonies about the Holocaust to his children and grandchildren. “I should say, our granddaughter Aliza, who goes to school in Cincinnati, took us once to her class, and we had a few minutes to talk about it with her class,” Garfunkel said. Aliza and her sister, Eliana, are the daughters of the late Rabbi Janice Garfunkel, who died two years ago after a long battle with breast cancer. “I should be talking to them,” Garfunkel said of his grandchildren. “But I just have happy time with them. Not unpleasant time.”
New can r Cam eceiv e a m per inimu s m
1,700 mayb Gran e t MORE! s!
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jewish cultural festival
at Temple Israel
Sunday, June 7. 11am to 7pm • free 130 Riverside Drive, 45405 • www.tidayton.org/festival
Acrobats from Hand 2 Hand Gym
Courtney Cummings, Cantor Jenna Greenberg, Cantor Andrea Raizen, & Mary Wyke
Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players
The Cincinnati Klezmer Project back by popular demand
3:00 3:45 4:00 4:30
The Shimmy Cats Israeli folk dancing Rabbi David Sofian
All Day Long
Visit Mitzvah Alley or take a self-guided tour
Fun For All Ages! games • crafts Israeli dancing self-guided Temple tours
What Makes a Jew Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform?
An Outdoor Market Judaica • jewelry accessories clothing • more
Entebbe: An Israeli Response to Terrorism
Eat! Eat! El Meson • Pasha Grill Bernstein’s Fine Catering Smokin’ Bar-B-Que Graeter’s • Dr. Brown’s sodas • kosher beer challah and cookies
Kindertransport: A Personal Story What Makes Cooking Jewish?
Sing along & storytelling
Miami Valley Music Men Barbershop Classics
Tim Pritchard & the Boxcar Suite rock and roll
Can You Identify These Jewish Objects?
Visit Mitzvah Alley Learn about ways you can improve our world! Visit Greening Learn to go green and enjoy fun activities!
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Learn more, become a sponsor, buy raffle tickets, and check out the most up-to-date schedule online! www.tidayton.org/festival
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • JUNE 2015