Magazine of Na’amat USA Fall 2011 Vol. XXVI No. 4
Back to the Land.....................................................4
Editor Judith A. Sokoloff
The Jewish food movement is transforming American Jewish life.
Assistant Editor Gloria Gross
By Sue Fishkoff
Art Director Marilyn Rose
Part-Time Aliyah..........................................................................................10 A number of Americans are trying out real life in Israel. Here are their stories. By Michele Chabin
Editorial Committee Harriet Green Sylvia Lewis Sharon Sutker McGowan Elizabeth Raider Shoshana Riemer Edythe Rosenfield Lynn Wax
A Man Who Bridges the Divide.....................................................................14 A physician from Gaza speaks constantly and urgently on the need for peace, hope and harmony. By Aimee Ginsburg
The Perfect Bar Mitzvah Present .................................................................17 Two grandparents and a 12-year-old discover Israel. They all had a lot to learn. By Judy Priven
Na’amat usa Officers
PRESIDENT Elizabeth Raider VICE PRESIDENTS Gail Simpson Chellie Goldwater Wilensky
By Elizabeth Raider....................... 3
TREASURER Debbie Kohn
Na’amat News......................................................... 21
FINANCIAL SECRETARY Irene Hack
RECORDING SECRETARY Norma Kirkell Sobel
Book Reviews....................................................... 26
Na’amat usa Chairs Harriet Green National Funds, Gifts, Bequests Lynn Wax Club and Council Fund-raising Na’amat Woman (ISSN 0888-191X) is published quarterly: fall, winter, spring, summer by Na’amat USA, 505 Eighth Ave., Suite 2302 New York, NY 10018 (212) 563-5222. $5.00 of the membership dues is for one year’s subscription. Nonmember subscriptions: $10.00. Signed articles represent the opinions of the authors and not necessarily those of Na’amat USA or its editors. Periodicals class postage paid at New York, NY, and additional mailing offices. Postmaster, please send address changes to: Na’amat Woman, 505 Eighth Ave., Suite 2302, New York, NY 10018. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web site: www.naamat.org
A new column on advocacy......................... 22
Around the Country............................................... 28 Our cover: The Jewish Farm School, like other participants in the fastgrowing Jewish food movement, is helping to promote good health, a greener earth and a more just society. Have a bountiful New Year, 5772! Courtesy, Jewish Farm School
Mission Statement The mission of Na’amat USA is to enhance the status of women and children in Israel and the United States as part of a worldwide progressive Jewish women’s organization. Its purpose is to help Na’amat Israel provide educational and social services, including day care, vocational training, legal aid for women, absorption of new
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21 immigrants, community centers, and centers for the prevention and treatment of domestic violence. Na’amat USA advocates on issues relating to women’s rights, the welfare of children, education and the United States-Israel relationship. Na’amat USA also helps strengthen Jewish and Zionist life in communities throughout the United States.
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he end of my first year as national president was filled with travels to Florida, Chicago and Cincinnati for special events — and culminated with meetings in Israel for the World Zionist Organization (WZO), the Jewish Agency and the Na’amat International Movement. The visits to our Na’amat USA clubs and councils gave me an opportunity to meet with local leadership, renew friendships and meet newer members. The warm reception I received at each meeting and event reinforced my feeling that, although Na’amat USA members may live in different parts of the country, we are all interconnected through our dedication to our organization. That wonderful feeling of “havershaft” continues to pervade our relationships. It has been only three years since I was last in Israel, but the changes in much of the landscape are overwhelming. New major highways, bridges and tunnels can be seen in many parts of the country. Cities are expanding with new buildings. In Jerusalem, everywhere you look there are enormous cranes, and new construction abounds — even though it seems as if there isn’t another square inch on which to build. The intense meetings of the WZO gave everyone much food for thought, particularly when it came to the subject of encouraging the young generation (ages 18 to 35) to become more fully engaged in Zionist affiliation and active participation in the Jewish community. Avraham Duvdevani, chairman of the World Zionist Organization, chal-
lenged the participants and world Jewry with a twofold message: Encourage and reinvigorate aliyah to Israel, and encourage the teaching of Hebrew in Jewish day schools and communities outside of Israel. At the Na’amat meetings, we had the chance to discuss priorities in planning for the coming year, as well as to compare the activities, programs and campaigns that our countries find successful in fund-raising, membership and getting community support. Na’amat Brazil’s president, Ceres Maltz Bin, and Na’amat Canada’s incoming president, Orit Tobe, also participated. A major highlight of the Na’amat meetings was the annual Scholarship Awards Ceremony, which was held at the headquarters of Na’amat Israel in Tel Aviv. The hall was filled to capacity with students and their families and teachers, as well as Na’amat Israel department heads and personnel. Of the 500 applicants, 180 were chosen to receive Na’amat scholarships, after a thorough review of criteria and applications. Approximately 80 percent of the recipients are under the age of 35. The recipients included an increased number of women studying technological and scientific subjects, including engineering, computer science and medicine. In addition, four research grants for doctoral studies were awarded in the areas of status of women and gender studies. It was an exciting, emotional day and a real pleasure for me to be there to bring greetings on behalf of all of our Na’amat USA members — a memory to treasure! Another special event was our visit to the new day care center on
Dizengoff Street in north Tel Aviv. Na’amat Israel representatives and city officials joined us for a tour of the state-of-the-art center. The staff is doing an excellent job ensuring that every child receives loving care and attention, and the comprehensive educational curriculum is carefully planned. At the international Na’amat meetings, we were presented with an overview of our activities and programs during the past year. Reports from the Na’amat Israel department heads included information about the programs they are currently developing. One is a course initiated for the 90th anniversary, in conjunction with Tel Aviv University, which deals with Israeli women and life cycles. As we conclude our 85th anniversary here in the United States, Na’amat USA is increasing our Life Membership numbers through our special $185 Life Membership campaign; and the response from current Life Members to reaffirm their commitment with an $85 gift has been very positive. We are looking forward to our Anniversary Mission to celebrate the 90th birthday of Na’amat Israel, November 6 to 17, 2011. If you have not yet signed up, now is the time. We have a great itinerary planned, and you won’t want to miss this unique opportunity to see Na’amat USA facilities, meet our Israeli staff and Na’amat Israel members, as well as visit unique and interesting places. Please join us for a wonderful 10 days! With my best wishes for a happy and healthy new year — Shana Tova!
The Jewish food movement is transforming American Jewish life. by SUE FISHKOFF
Photos courtesy of the Jewish Farm School
t’s opening day at Urban Adamah, a Jewish organic farm and environmental education center, built right in the middle of Berkeley, California. Hundreds of people have turned out to celebrate. Children are baking their own pizzas in a homemade cob-and-earth oven. A young man is peddling furiously on a stationary bike that powers a blender making fresh fruit and rice milk smoothies. Toddlers giggle at the hens chomping on zucchini pulp and melon rinds. At the other end of the one-acre property, farm manager Tali Weinberg is leading a garden tour, explaining the two kinds of planting systems designed for what used to be a parking lot. Before that, a printing press occupied the land, and there are concerns about possible toxins in the ground. “These are the raised beds,” she says, pointing to rows of dark green chard and kale sprouting out of 30-footlong mounds of rich black earth. “I got the idea from other urban farms, some of them literally built on asphalt. There’s a foot of wood chips covered with landscape fabric, then we put soil on top. The roots can’t penetrate the fabric, but water can, so it’s good for drainage.” The farm work is done by the residential fellows, a dozen post-college Jewish interns who spend three months living communally, growing food and studying Jewish texts related to agriculture and the land. Most of what they grow will be given away to local agencies that feed the poor, including a neighboring African-American church and a low-income medical clinic. “It feels really good to partner with a health clinic, because food is about medicine,” says Weinberg. “They see a lot of people with health problems due to poor nutrition, a lot of heart conditions and diabetes. Sure, food is about celebration, but for many people it literally saves lives.” Next to the row crops, squash, bean and herbs are planted in portable raised beds resting on wooden pallets donated by a local company and lined with reclaimed burlap sacks. Urban Adamah is in a temporary home, built on land donated by a development company, and they know they’ll have to move in a couple of years. When they go, they’ll take the farm with them.
This cutting-edge urban farm is part of the country’s fast-growing new Jewish food movement, an approach to dietary practice that combines back-tothe-land ideas of sustainable agriculture, organic food and local, seasonal farming with Jewish teachings about mindful consumption. The movement is based on the ecokosher initiatives of the 1970s, promulgated most famously by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, the Colorado-based founder of Jewish Renewal, and Rabbi Arthur Waskow, head of the Shalom Center in Philadelphia. These visionary thinkers, and those who came after them, looked to “bal tashchit,” the biblical commandment to avoid wastefulness, and “shmirat haguf,” the commandment to preserve one’s own body, which they interpreted to mean avoiding agricultural pesticides and keeping growth hormones out of animal feed. These have always been Jewish values, along with similar commandments to treat workers and domestic animals with justice and kindness. What is new is attaching these values to the laws of kashrut to create a particularly Jewish ethos of food production and consumption. “We are recognizing the fact that we have a tradition thousands of years old of thinking about what it means to eat in a ‘fit and proper’ way,” says food writer Leah Koenig, creator and first editor of “The Jew and the Carrot,” the new Jewish food movement’s foremost blog. “We don’t want Jews to abandon kashrut; we want them to reframe the question of what it means to keep kosher in the 21st century. Is it kosher to eat food sprayed with chemicals? Is it kosher to eat eggs from chickens crammed into tiny cages?” From a handful of young Jewish food activists, the movement has in less than a decade expanded into the mainstream Jewish consciousness. Synagogues, religious schools and Jewish camps are planting vegetable gardens. The ethics of kosher slaughter are debated in the media, from foodie blogs to the front pages of The New York Times. Jews are greening their synagogue buildings and talking about the 2012 Farm Bill, which among other things decides which crops receive federal subsidies. Even the word kosher is being re-
interpreted to mean growing, distributing and eating food in a fair and sustainable way designed to promote good health, a greener earth, and a more just society. “Food justice is the cause of this generation,” says agronomist Oran Hesterman, author of Fair Food and founder of the Fair Food Network, a nonprofit working to provide underserved populations access to healthy, sustainably grown food. “It’s happening at every level,” he says, noting that 8,000 farmto-school programs now operate in the United States, up from just four in 2003. Young Jewish environmental activists and educators are leading the way in the world of faith-based farm programs. Adam Berman, the founder and executive director of Urban Adamah, based his Berkeley project on the Adamah Jewish Environmental Fellowship, a similar program he developed seven years ago at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Connecticut. Adamah has produced a cadre of young Jewish farmers and farm educators now in charge of their own projects around the country. One is Nati Passow, a longtime Jewish educator who was part of the first Adamah cohort. In 2005, he cofounded the Jewish Farm School, a Jewish educational initiative focusing on sustainable agriculture. Working from its base at Eden Village in Putnam Valley, New York, the farm school hosts visiting classes who learn about Jewish values and farming, runs workshops for adults and families, and since 2008 has partnered with Hillel International to run alternative break programs for Jewish college students on organic farms. Like other similar initiatives, the Jewish Farm School has an integrative approach that blends Jewish values with sustainable agricultural practice. As part of its Farm-to-Table curriculum, students at the Eden Village Camp follow produce from the ground all the way to the dinner table. In early July, for example, the farm’s wheat was ready to harvest. Each camper harvested, threshed and winnowed the wheat, ground it into flour, made dough, baked the dough into challah in the farm’s cob oven, then enjoyed it at that Friday’s Shabbat meal. FALL 2011
study course that in March 2011 drew 180 people from all over the country. In 2010, the farm launched a summer kollel, a kind of yeshiva for more intensive study of what Jewish texts have to say about food and agriculture. “The demand and thirst for grounding these ideas in our tradition is huge, across all ages and across the religious spectrum,” says founding director Jakir Manela. “We have a vast tradition that ties us to the land. In the kollel, people learn about the Jewish relationship to farming through daily Torah study. It brings the Torah and learning to bear on the national food movement.” Kayam Farm welcomes more than 3,500 visitors, most of them school groups and members of the Baltimore Jewish community, for field trips, holiday celebrations, skills workshops and other activities. Its four acres of cropland and one acre of animal pasture feature a Hebrew Calendar Garden, with 12 raised beds of different crops representing the Hebrew months. On every rosh hodesh, or celebration of the new month, they plant an appropriate crop in that month’s area. In July 2011, to mark the Hebrew month of Tammuz, they planted beans. “We’re bringing the wisdom and symbology of the Hebrew calendar to life in a tangible, visual way,” Manela explains. “It’s very replicable. Other communities are already planting these gardens.” These full-time Jewish farm projects lead the way in terms of teaching large numbers of people about farming, Jewish values and food justice. But as momentum builds, more and more synagogues, schools, camps and JCCs are getting into the act.
“At dinner, some of the campers spoke about what the experience meant to them,” says Passow. “They realized how much work goes into a loaf of bread. It increased their gratitude and their joy. It was really powerful to sit back and listen to them. The potency of the experience was embedded in it — I didn’t have to add anything.” In Denver, Ekar Farm was launched in January 2010 on unused land belonging to the Denver Academy of Torah, a modern Orthodox day school. Its first year, the farm grew 8,000 pounds of produce from which it gave 6,500 pounds to the Jewish Family Service Food Pantry for distribution to the needy. Since then, the farm’s staff has helped other local synagogues start their own food gardens. “It’s a wonderful community activity,” observes Ekar’s volunteer coordinator Aaron Ney. “Spending time in the field, turning the earth together, harvesting together, is a great way to get to know each other and build community.” Each of these Jewish farm programs finds a slightly different balance between Jewish study and working the land. Coming down heavily on the side of Jewish learning is Kayam Farm, a four-year-old program of the Pearlstone Conference and Retreat Center in Reisterstown, Maryland, itself an agency of Baltimore’s Jewish Federation. One of the first farms to be tied in strongly with a local Jewish community, Kayam Farm sponsors an annual Beit Midrash, or Jewish text
Courtesy Urban Adamah
rm Kayam Fa
Rachel Cohen, sustainability program coordinator for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, says all 13 Reform movement summer camps and more than 20 congregations are doing some kind of food justice work. Some of them are growing and donating food, or leaving the corners of their fields for the poor to come and take what they need. “It’s piece by piece rather than holistic,” she says of such efforts. “But it’s becoming increasingly integrated into how we think about food justice in general.” Temple Shalom, a Reform congregation in Aberdeen, New Jersey, started Gan Tikvah (Garden of Hope) in January 2010. Partnering with Conservative Temple Beth Ahm, volunteers broke ground that May, harvested their first crop that summer, and donated 400 pounds of vegetables to the food bank of Matawan United Methodist Church. Organizer Lenore Robinson notes that it’s the first time the three institutions have worked together. “We’ve created a real community that we never had before,” she says. “And we now have volunteers from the church and sometimes from the people who receive the vegetables.” In Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation planted its first food garden in 2009, and now grows organic produce on 2,500 square feet of what used to be the synagogue lawn. Last year, they delivered more than 1,200 pounds of food to two soup kitchens and a shelter for women and children. This spring, the synagogue’s social justice committee used a grant from One Chicago, One Nation, a community organizing group, to plant a 1,000-square-
Young Jewish food activists are shown, from left, at one of Hazon’s Community Supported Agriculture projects; Urban Adamah in California; and Kayam Farm in Maryland. Background is the Jewish Farm School in New York.
foot garden at a nearby church in this largely impoverished neighborhood, says committee chair Robert Nevel. A second garden at another church will follow, and the synagogue is developing a model to help other shuls set up their own urban gardens. “To be able to say we harvested and donated more than 1,200 pounds of food last year is a lot different than me going around the South Side and talking about the lack of food access,” Nevel points out. “And to help them establish food gardens to grow their own food is a powerful thing.” The phenomenon is still new, but it’s answering a need expressed by the emergency food system itself, says Mia Hubbard, grants director for Mazon, the national Jewish nonprofit dedicated to preventing and alleviating hunger. Until recently, she says, agencies focused mainly on getting food into people’s mouths. But over the past five years, as awareness of childhood obesity and the connection between nutrition and health care costs have grown, food banks and soup kitchens have been paying more attention to the nutritional aspects of the food they give out. “There’s been a significant interest in and commitment to increasing the availability of healthy food,” Hubbard says. But getting enough fresh produce isn’t always easy, she notes. That’s where these Jewish community gardens can help. Last November,
the Jewish Community Centers of North America launched JCC Grows, a campaign to get every center and JCC camp to grow its own food garden, and to donate a portion of their produce to the hungry. Barbara Lerman-Golomb, social responsibility, greening and environment consultant for the JCC Association, says a recent survey showed that 25 JCCs have their own on-site gardens, and more than half give away at least some of what they grow. These JCC gardens and other food programs didn’t all crop up this past year. “Many of them were already in place,” she says. “Our program is a way to synthesize what they’re doing, provide resources, and be part of a larger greater good as a partner of the USDA’s People’s Garden Initiative and First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move effort.” The focal point of much of this energy around sustainable agriculture, food justice and Jewish tradition is Hazon, a main supporter and leader of the Jewish environmental movement in North America and Israel. Founded in 2000, Hazon sponsors charity bike rides in New York, California and Israel to raise money for Jewish environmental causes, publishes a wealth of Jewish educational material related to sustainable agriculture and environmentalism, and in 2004 set up the first Jewish Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project at Congregation Anshe Chesed in New York. In 2010, its network of more than 50 Jewish CSAs put $1 million of Jewish pur-
chasing power into local farms, making it the largest faith-based CSA in the country. Every year, Hazon sponsors a Jewish food conference that brings together hundreds of food activists, farmers, Jewish educators, rabbis and just plain interested folks for what has become the go-to confab for the new Jewish food movement. “Ten years ago, if you googled ‘Jewish food movement,’ you’d get nothing,” observes Nigel Savage, Hazon’s founder and executive director. “This is a decade where the Jewish community has not been growing, but the Jewish food movement is through the roof. And I believe we’re hardly scratching the surface. It’s transforming Jewish life.” Not only are more Jewish institutions every year planting gardens, growing numbers are instituting integrated food policies that go beyond the traditional kosher standards. “It’s not just is the food kosher, but how much of it are we growing? Is it organic? Do we compost? Do we invite people to talk about food policy and the Farm Bill? How does all this fit in with our traditions?” says Savage.
t’s one thing to talk about growing your own fruits and vegetables. But when the conversation turns to meat, that’s taking it up a notch. The same ethos governing the eco-kosher pioneers of the 1970s and the Jewish food movement of this decade is now being applied
able for eating,” Studley told the crowd, many of whom were witnessing slaughter for the first time. “We’re doing this old-school and hands-on. We’re doing it as a community, making meat for the conference we are about to attend. This is a project bringing us closer to the source of the food we are eating, making real the fact that we are taking the lives of animals in order to sustain ourselves.” These one-time events are educational exercises, emphasize the organizers, meant to demonstrate the many steps involved in producing meat according to a wide range of ethical, environmental and religious values. Doing such work on an ongoing basis requires much more effort, and is not for the faint-hearted. In the last few years, a handful of young Jewish food activists have taken the plunge. Inspired by similar initiatives in the non-kosher world, they’ve organized their own kosher meat and poultry operations using ethically raised, humanely killed animals. The first to make a business out of it was Devora Kimelman-Block of Silver Spring, Maryland, a former magazine editor and educational technology specialist who founded KOL Foods in 2007. KOL stands for Kosher Organic Local, and the company now ships its locally raised, grass-fed and grassfinished, sustainably farmed lamb and beef, as well as pasture-raised poultry, to clients nationwide. Kimelman-Block started the company to find meat she and her husband felt good eating. They weren’t vegetarians, but had stopped bringing meat into their home 16 years earlier because the only kosher meat they could buy came from industrial slaughterhouses that used practices they rejected, such as injectJewish Farm School in ing cattle with growth New York hosts hormones. visiting classes. In July 2007, she contracted with a Baltimore-area slaughterhouse to shecht three head of cattle purchased from a local farmer. Two of the animals went kosher, and she sold the 400
to kosher meat, as supporters of a sustainable Jewish dietary practice say if they’re going to be serious about this, they’re going to have to kill and process their own animals instead of relying on the current system of factory farming and industrial slaughterhouses. One of the first examples was set at the second Hazon Jewish food conference in December 2007, where three goats raised by a local farmer were shechted, or killed according to kosher laws, and cooked into cholent for the Friday night meal. Not everyone at the conference ate the meat. Many food activists are vegetarians, in keeping with the movement’s emphasis on living lightly on the earth. On the other hand, some longtime vegetarians tasted the cholent that night specifically because they knew where the meat came from, that the animals had led a good life, and that they were slaughtered as quickly and humanely as possible. The following year, two dozen participants in the 2008 Hazon conference showed up for a turkey shechting in a field in northern California, helping eviscerate, pluck and process the birds that fed the entire conference for one Shabbat meal. Berkeley resident Roger Studley, who organized the shechting, gathered his one-day helpers in a circle at the start of the day to explain what they were about to do. A young shochet had flown in from New York to do the actual slaughter, along with a kosher supervisor from the Orthodox Union, who would make sure kosher regulations were followed. “As Jews, we are required to take these steps to make our meat suit-
Farm School Courtesy Jewish
pounds of meat to her circle of friends and acquaintances within three weeks. Since then, her business has grown so fast she can hardly keep up with demand. She has set up buying clubs in various cities to reduce expenses, and has branched out into wholesale work, providing her meat for special events such as b’nai mitzvahs and “green simchas.” KOL Foods meat was served recently at the kick-off of the Yale Jewish alumni organization held at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. “I started this as a spiritual exercise, to provide good meat for my family and friends, occasionally, as a hobby,” she says. “The more I did it, the more interest it got from other folks. It was clearly an idea people were itching for.” In the four years since she began her work, the public has become more informed, techniques have become more sophisticated, more farmers are raising animals sustainably and organically, and the field has continued to grow. But challenges remain. One is the high cost of such meat, a drawback in a country that has become used to plentiful, cheap supermarket meat. Consumers don’t always consider the hidden costs of supermarket meat, she points out — the poor wages paid to slaughterhouse workers, the health effects of ingest-
Block’s wake, including Mitzvah Meat in Riverdale, New York; Green Pastures Poultry in Cleveland; and Brooklyn-based Grow and Behold Foods, launched in the summer of 2010 by two Adamah alumni. A recent addition to the field is EcoGlatt, a kosher, sustainable lamb operation launched in March 2011 by Rabbi Elisheva Brenner and her husband, Rabbi Hersh Saunders, of Pueblo, Colorado. EcoGlatt ships nationwide, but the couple has been raising and shechting sheep and cattle for their own local Jewish community since they bought their farm in 2008. They’re now working to refit an existing slaughterhouse with all the equipment suggested by renowned animal activist Temple Grandin, who famously designed a slaughter box that minimizes the animal’s stress level and pain. Saunders, who is also a shochet, studied with Grandin, and Grandin is advising the couple on their newest project. Brenner and Saunders are living the lifestyle they promote through their business. They grow vegetables, raise animals, and maintain the Center for Eco-Judaism that Brenner co-founded on their land. “The land is teaching us Torah,” says Brenner. “This summer, we had eight of
Courtesy Jewish Farm School
ing meat laden with growth hormones, the brutal conditions animals endure in industrial feedlots. “Changing the mentality of what people think they can afford is tricky,” she admits. “Personally, I can’t go back to eating any other meat.” A number of other sustainable kosher meat operations have sprung up in Kimelman-
Tending the raised beds at Temple Shalom’s Gan Tikvah in New Jersey.
the ten plagues, including hail, toads and an infestation of beetles!” They understand Judaism differently, she adds, now that they are living it. “Shechting has given us a lot of insight into what Judaism was back when it was an agriculture-based community. For many people, going back to that is what they need to get the spiritual charge. That’s true for me, I know.” The idea behind the new Jewish food movement is not to turn all American Jews into farmers and shochets. Rather, the leaders and activists in the movement hope to make gardening and food awareness part of mainstream Jewish life. Not every rabbi can or should be a farmer, they say, but every synagogue can have a garden. Every Jewish child can learn what Judaism says about our continued on page 24 Courtesy Jewis h Farm Scho ol
At the Jewish Farm School, above: Visitors learn about bee keeping; right: Dressed as a carrot, a volunteer picks vegetables.
Trying out real life in Israel
aurie Moskowitz and her husband, Steve Rabinowitz, had long dreamed of spending some quantity time in Israel, so when they felt the timing was right they decided to move to Jerusalem for six months. They didn’t enroll in a program or search for a structured framework. They simply lived their lives and soaked up Israeli culture. “We did it because we could,” Moskowitz said in an online interview soon after returning to Washington, D.C., her family’s home of many years. “We really thought it would be an amazing family experience. It was a period we thought we could take some time off professionally.” Their sons, who were six and eight years old when they arrived in Israel in July 2010 “were still young and wouldn’t be missing anything too substantial in school,” Moskowitz reasoned. “We felt Hebrew would be easier to learn at that age.” While the idea of actually living in Israel for an extended period was growing more appealing by the day, the couple first had to tackle a lot of logistics. A primary consideration was work. Moskowitz co-owns a political consulting firm, while Rabinowitz co-owns a company that provides media consulting and publicity. Both had business partners who could handle the day-today operations. “I had some contacts I could work with from overseas, and I took a reduction in what I earned,” Moskowitz explained. To bridge the income gap, the couple decided to rent out their house. And the four months their kids would spend 10
by MICHELE CHABIN
in an Israeli public school would spare them some hefty Jewish day school tuition fees. But they still had to search for an apartment to rent in Jerusalem, choose an elementary school with enough English speakers to make their kids feel comfortable and find a temporary home for their dog. “We pulled it together in two months,” Moskowitz said, recalling that crazy, energized period. Nobody knows exactly how many individuals and families come to Israel for an extended time to try out real life, but anecdotal evidence suggests the trend is growing. Statistics are hard to come by because the vast majority of sojourners arrive in Israel on tourist visas that they may need to renew, depending on the length of their stay. David London, director of the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel (AACI), said there are at least a few categories of people who spend months at a time in Israel, sometimes on an annual basis. The first category relates to Israeli immigrants who also spend a few months in the old country, where they often have family and business ties and sometimes a home. Then there are people like the Moskowitz/Rabinowitz family, who are immersed in Jewish life back home but who believe an extended stay in Israel will deepen their connection both to Judaism and Israel. Many of these people have close relatives in Israel, and being here is an opportunity to reconnect with them. Arguably more intriguing, London
said, is the growing phenomenon of long-term visitors who are less affiliated with Jewish life back home. “Many of these people are somewhat Jewishly aware but have had no real connection to Israel,” observed London. “They’re not the predictable ones with children already living in Israel who come to stay for a few months. They don’t necessarily fit into the classic mix.” Sometimes, he added, these intrepid visitors are in the midst of a transition in their lives — related to work, marriage or health. “Something draws them here. It depends on the person.” One indicator that long-term visits are on the rise is the growing number of foreign students enrolled in Israeli schools. Some schools in communities with a lot of Western immigrants find their rosters swelled by these students, who usually have a solid command of Jewish subjects but a lousy command of modern Hebrew. Other students, especially in the older grades, are home-schooled and may also attend intensive Hebrew-language ulpans. With no worries about grades during their time away, many children explore new areas, from archaeology to learning Arabic. Some visitors like being in Israel so much that they decide to put down some roots here. What begins as an adventure turns into a bi-continental lifestyle with two homes (or rentals), two sets of friends and two sets of interests. While spending a considerable amount of time in Israel may seem like a fantasy to those who can barely manage two weeks of vacation to a nearby lake,
What begins as an adventure turns into a bi-continental lifestyle with two homes,
two sets of friends and two sets of interests.
those who’ve made the plunge say it takes a great deal of planning, perseverance and perspective to make the experience a success and avoid potential pitfalls. Charlotte Kroot, a stylish Chicagoan who deals in art, fine jewelry and high-end trophies for sporting events like the Indy 500, has managed to move between the United States and Israel by thinking out every step. People who want to spend time in Israel “have to have their ducks in a row prior to coming,” Kroot said over a bowl of cherries in the serene shortterm Jerusalem rental she has booked for the past two years. “I need to be in Chicago in November, December and January for business and to do my taxes, and I make sure that I’m in the U.S. for birthdays, family celebrations and the High Holy Days.” Though Kroot used to spend up to half a year in Jerusalem, she cut back her
stays to three to five months when her stateside grandchildren, Adam and Alana, were born. Being away from them is the only downside to spending time in Israel, she noted. Kroot said she has been able to carve out a niche in both the United States and Israel during the 13 years she’s been commuting. “While in Chicago, I’m much more involved with my business and my family. When I’m in Israel, I feel totally free to commit myself to whatever causes I want to be involved in.” To avoid potentially complicated tax issues, Kroot doesn’t work in Israel. She volunteers. She is especially devoted to AACI, where she serves as president of the organization’s American Friends. She is also currently developing a special project for the Lone Soldier Center. This group provides much needed assistance to young people serving in the Israel Defense Forces who lack
a local family support system; most are volunteers from abroad. Kroot has a wealth of advice for would-be long-term visitors: Determine whether your health insurance from home will cover any of your Israel-based medical expenses. If not, purchase alternative coverage. She also recommends consulting a tax accountant to determine the potential implications of living in two places. She advises anyone who likes to travel to put all purchases and even utility bills on a credit card that accrues miles, and to consider renting an apartment near shopping and amenities, even if it costs a bit Frani Pollack and her husband Joel Hecker spent the past school year in Israel with their three sons.
While in Chicago, I’m much more involved with my business and my family. When I’m in Israel, I feel totally free to commit myself to whatever causes I want to be involved in. more — if it means not having to rent a car. “If you can walk to places it will save you in the long run,” Kroot said. An avid reader, she suggests investing in an e-book reader, which is both light weight and can accommodate many books. “Books are extraordinarily expensive in Israel,” she noted. Although relatively affordable in some ways, Kroot said, Israel is a lot more expensive than it used to be, so take that into consideration. “The price of goods is through the ceiling and gas is in the stratosphere,” she warned. And because the dollar is very weak right now, Americans can buy much less for their money. The recent steep devaluation of the dollar against the shekel was a concern for Massachusetts residents Dena Bach and her husband, Gary Elovitz, who had budgeted a certain amount of money for their year-long stay in Israel. “Because of the lower dollar, things became more expensive for us,” said Bach, an illustrator and calligrapher. “That’s
one of the things you have to take into consideration when you live abroad.” Seated in the garden of their cozy Jerusalem rental apartment, Elovitz, a construction engineer, explained how he continued to work throughout his year in Israel, a fact that made the move possible. Renting out their home in Massachusetts also helped. “I worked remotely, and I went back and forth to the States five times, each time for one or two weeks. My partner, who is also my brother, has been able to stand in for me a few times.” Elovitz said his clients were very understanding, “even enthusiastic on some level,” about his temporary move to Jerusalem. His business didn’t suffer at all. Bach, in contrast, worked very little while in Israel, in part because she was studying Hebrew and Jewish texts, but also because she needed to help her three youngest children (the fourth joined them half-way through) acclimate to life and school in Israel. While the couple’s 12-year-old twins
did extremely well, both socially and educationally, in the Israeli elementary school they attended, their 15-year-old brother had a much harder time. “We might have made a better school choice for him,” Elovitz admitted. “He didn’t feel comfortable socially, and his homeroom teacher didn’t get him,” Bach recalled. “But to his credit, he stuck out the school year, even though we told him he could be home-schooled.” The couple’s oldest son, who is 19, said he resented his parents’ decision to spend a year in Israel, where he, himself, did not want to live. “I think it was a bad idea,” he remarked. “I had a tough senior year of high school, and I think part of the problem was the stress around the house as they were preparing for Israel.” Frani Pollack, a clinical psychologist who spent the past school year in Israel with her husband, Joel Hecker, an academic, and three children, agreed that “the biggest challenge of coming to Israel was bringing the kids. I know
From left: Elana Cohen extended her time in Israel following a Birthright trip; Steve Rabinowitz and Laurie Moskowitz and their sons visit Masada; Charlotte Kroot has been commuting to Israel for 13 years.
Most important is to go with the flow. If you’re the type of person who feels the need to feel in control, you’ll never make it here. You have to look at the experience as an adventure. the problem boys (the school was not successful). “He ended up transferring to another school where he was accepted and flourished socially. He came home feeling great about Israel and Israelis; at the previous school, he couldn’t wait to leave the country.” Pollack’s family encountered “many wonderful people” who are trying to make Israel a better place to live. “But at the same time, there’s a level of aggression,” she said, referring to the inyour-face style many Israelis employ in their interactions with others. Pollack observed that some Israeli educators lack an understanding of what is and isn’t appropriate adolescent behavior. “People aren’t willing to acknowledge what they don’t know and that they could learn more.” While all three of their kids picked up Hebrew to some degree, the couple’s youngest child absorbed the language like a sponge. “Our three-year-old went to a Hebrew-speaking preschool and had an extraordinary teacher. Within
five other families from abroad who came for the year, and they all had challenges with their children.” By integrating into Israeli life and sending their children to Israeli schools, Pollack and Hecker said they experienced the real Israel in a way few tourists can. Pollack’s middle child, a 12-yearold, had to adjust to the fact that there were 37 kids in his class, “and that wasn’t great,” his mother commented while packing up clothes and books for their move back to a Philadelphia suburb. “But, fortunately, he had a good class, and he had met a couple of his classmates in the summer before school started. We got their names from the school.” Her oldest son had a much more difficult time. “Finding the right school for him wasn’t easy,” said Hecker, who proceeded to describe the bullying and general aggression his 13-year-old son was forced to endure, despite the couple’s pleas for the school to deal with
Gary Elovitz and Dena Bach (not shown) and three of their children spent a year in Jerusalem while they rented out their home in Massachusetts.
a month he was answering in Hebrew,” said Pollack, clearly pleased. One of the more poignant experiences of the year occurred when the youngest surviving child of Ruth and Udi Fogel — the Israeli couple murdered along with three of their children in their home in Itamar — was enrolled in the Pollack child’s preschool (by his maternal grandparents, whom he had gone to live with). “There was a lot of emotion in the school,” said Pollack. Pollack advises parents considering a lengthy stay in Israel to be flexible. “Apply to schools early, and if one choice doesn’t work out, have an alternative. It’s also important to feel you can move your kids from one framework to another.” To prepare their kids for an allHebrew environment, the couple enrolled their two older boys in a private intensive language program when they arrived in Jerusalem. “Kids should enter school with a certain level of Hebrew,” she recommended. Most important, according to Pollack, is to go with the flow. “If you’re the type of person who feels the need to feel in control, you’ll never make it here. You have to look at the experience as an adventure, which it is. I sometimes took the kids out of school to do fun things.” Like the other families, the Moskowitz/Rabinowitz family made time to travel extensively around the country and to simply spend time together — something that tends to be more difficult back home, with work and school responsibilities. “We wanted the kids to have fun,” Moskowitz noted. They also made a point of spending time with “real” Israelis. “You have to make an effort and seek out opportunities to get to know Israelis,” said Moskowitz. “Yossi, a young guy who had done his National Service in our community in America, lived with us — and continued on page 25 FALL 2011
Women Win Scholarships
his year, more than 500 students, a recordbreaking number, applied for Na’amat scholarships. Stipends were awarded to 180 women working toward their bachelor’s and master’s degrees, with a significant rise in the number of recipients working in the fields of science, technology, engineering and medicine. Four grants for doctoral research in women’s and gender studies were also awarded. Among the topics being researched is the decision-making process involved in using an alternative to the conservative methods of prenatal genetic diagnosis; another study involves a social and cultural comparison of married couples, Arab and Jewish, in Israel. Leaders from Na’amat in the United States, Canada and Brazil attended the scholarship ceremony, including Elizabeth Raider, president of Na’amat USA; Harriet Green, chair, National Funds, Gifts and Bequests; Ceres Maltz Bin, president of Na’amat Brazil and Orit Tobe, incoming president of Na’amat Canada. Mechanical engineering student Nitzan Ben Haim, respresenting the recipients, thanked Na’amat and all supporters of the scholarship fund for helping the students advance their education and realize their career goals.
and other Israeli women’s organizations that operate day care centers that are overseen by the government called on parents to join the housing protests and take part in demonstrations this past summer. For the last few months, protests have swept Israel in a number of cities and towns, calling for more government price controls on rental housing, equal educational standards throughout the country, less expensive child care alternatives, free university tuition, lower-cost health care, and higher salaries and benefits, among other demands.
in Israel. “Who cares about missiles when there isn’t enough money for diapers?” and “What’s the point of security when I can’t afford day care?” the parents chanted as they pushed strollers and walked with their young children until they reached the tent city protesters outside the Habima National Theater. Other demonstrations by parents took place in more than 10 cities on the same day. The organizers listed as their demands Tent city protesters demand social justice. a law that will make
At a large demonstration at the end of July, thousands of mothers and fathers marched down Ben-Zion Boulevard in central Tel Aviv to protest what they said was the unsustainable cost of raising children Rivka Finder
Following is an excerpt from a speech by Shirli Shavit, head of the Na’amat International Department, at the opening of the 2011 scholarship ceremony. The history of the Na’amat Movement is interElizabeth Raider, twined with the history of the entire Zionist enterprise. The beginning left, president of was marked by the efforts of immigrant women from the Second Aliyah Na’amat USA, and and Third Aliyah, who came with Zionist fervor and faith to build their Masha Lubelsky, homeland here — and it continues up to the present day. WZO Executive Committee, Na’amat was established with the intention of promoting the status congratulate one of women in Israel — bringing about a social change to achieve gender of the scholarship equality in the family, at work, in the society and in the economy. recipients. Ninety years ago, in 1921, delegates from across the country, representing about 500 working women from 36 different workplaces gathered at Moshav Balfouria in the Jezreel Valley. This turned out to be the founding conference of the movement. Four years later, in 1925, Rachel Yanit Ben-Zvi, one of the leaders in those times, asked some women friends in New York to raise money to dig a well, which was needed to provide water for her agricultural farm near Jerusalem. These women helped to raise the money [which was used to build a cistern]. As a result of this success and their belief in the Zionist enterprise, the group decided to become the first American sister organization of the Council of Working Women (now called Na’amat). They called themselves Pioneer Women (now Na’amat USA). Later on, other sister organizations were established, providing the basis for the Na’amat World Movement. Today, there are branches in eight countries — United States, Canada, Brazil, Belgium, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru and Australia. I want to convey the appreciation of the scholarship recipients and to thank all our friends abroad for their commitment and dedication to our movement and to the future of our children. The NA’AMAT Scholarship Fund exists thanks to the hard work and the fund-raising efforts that have been carried out for so many years by our friends in the United States and Canada.
education free from the age of three months (currently it is from age three), price regulation for products including diapers and formula, an extension of maternity leave, an end to the extra fee for strollers on public transportation, equal pay for mothers and further tax credits for parents. “Na’amat has been campaigning and advocating for free early childhood education for five years,” pointed out Shirli Shavit, head of the Na’amat International Department. With some 300,000 Israelis participating in a social justice demonstration on August 7, she added, “there has never been such an uprising in Israel.”
Na’amat Brazil Celebrates
Brazil held its national convention, XVIII Kinus Artzi, at the end of July in Porto Alegre with close to 150 participants from all parts of Brazil and also some members from Na’amat in Argentina and Uruguay. Zelda Oliven helped to found Na’amat Brazil The lively four-day event, held in tribute to the 90 years in 1948. She is shown, above, with Talia of Na’amat Israel, was filled with discussions, lectures, Livni, president of Na’amat Israel. music and festive dinners. Ceres Maltz Bin was reelected as president for the next two years. Talia Livni, president of Na’amat Israel, addressed the convention on the topic Na’amat in the public arena, and Shirli Shavit, head of the Na’amat International Department, updated the gathering on the organization’s multifaceted services. Many of the discussions focused on developing future leadership and recruiting new members. An outstanding panel of experts discussed domestic violence and women’s rights. The two Na’amat Israel leaders also traveled to São Paulo and Rio de Happy 90th birthday to Na’amat Israel! Left, Na’amat Brazil Janeiro, where they met with hunpresident Ceres Maltz Bin. dreds of members, young and old.
Leaders Visit Day Care
Call to Action
Na’amat leaders from the United States, Canada and Brazil visit the Dizengoff Day Care Center in Tel Aviv, which was opened in September. Eighty-five children of middle-class working families enjoy the facilities of the attractive new building, including many children of single parents. Some 60 children are on the waiting list. “We need more day care facilties in Tel Aviv!” say Na’amat officials. Sitting with the children are Orit Tobe, incoming president of Na’amat Canada, left, and Ceres Maltz Bin, president of Na’amat Brazil.
Here are some steps you can take to be an effective advocate. • Educate yourself on the issues. Refer to mainstream media and specialty periodicals, radio and television news as well as information from non-partisan organizations. • Initiate or join grassroots advocacy efforts like e-mail or letter-writing campaigns. • Letters, faxes and e-mails are all important ways of communicating with your legislators. You can e-mail your senators or representative about “hot” legislative issues by entering your state name, the name of the senator or representative + gov in the e-mail address and follow the instructions. • Build coalitions with elected officials and community leaders in local community organizations.
Welcome to a new column on advocacy. It will highlight American public policy issues and items of interest that concern us as Jews, women and Zionists. Since its inception, Na’amat USA has spoken out for progressive policies, especially in the area of equality and justice for women. This issue’s column focuses on Na’amat USA ’s stand on women’s reproductive rights and child care. Join us in speaking out for policies that defend the rights of women, children and families.
Na’amat Usa Opposes Limits on Abortion
USA strongly opposes current attempts by a number of United States lawmakers to eliminate abortion and family planning funding. These attempts are occurring on the state and federal levels, such as the effort to eliminate or restrict support for Title X, the federal program devoted to providing family planning services. Anti-choice politicians in a number of states — including North Carolina, Indiana, Nebraska and Kansas — are putting forth an energetic effort to block federal funding for Planned Parenthood clinics. Other examples are the attempts to ban abortion funding to public facilities, and to penalize subscribers to private insurance plans that cover abortion. The number of anti-choice bills in state legislatures has increased from 175 total measures in 2010 to an astounding 469 measures in just the first six months of 2011, according to NARAL Pro-Choice America. These actions constitute an assault on women’s rights and disdain toward the individual freedoms of women, men and families in the United States. Such measures roll back strides gained over many years and constitute an anachronistic affront to our freedom of choice guaranteed in Roe v. Wade (1973). Abortion, medical care and family planning are private matters and (under normal circumstances) should not concern the government. The impact of such proposed cutbacks would be devastating not only to women, but also to men and families needing preventative medical care, treatment for sexually transmitted disease and cancer screening. Those restrictions would threaten low-income families, women of color, the poor, the underserved and those living in rural areas whose only access to medical care is through a comprehensive health care facility. This ideological attack by the few on the rights of the many would strike at the hearts of a vast segment of the population and should not be tolerated. The rights of all citizens should be respected. Allowing such restrictions could open the door to the usurping of other rights and the destruction of the safeguarding of individual freedoms.
The mission of Title X of the Public Health Service Act is “to provide individuals with the information and means to exercise personal choice in determining the number and spacing of their children.” Established in 1970, Title X provides federal funds for project grants to public and private nonprofit organizations for the provision of family planning and services. Over the last few decades, the network of Title X clinics has played a critical role in ensuring access to confidential family planning services, including birth control for millions of uninsured, underinsured and low-income women at no cost or at a reduced cost. For many women, Title X serves as an entry point into the health care system, as well as a source of primary health care services. These services have significantly reduced the rate of unintended pregnancy and lowered the rates of sexually transmitted diseases. Title X services provide gynecological examinations and basic lab tests; breast and cervical cancer screenings; contraceptive counseling and supplies; testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases; HIV testing and risk reduction counseling; pregnancy testing; general health screenings for high blood pressure, diabetes and anemia; community education and outreach. Title X does not fund abortion.
Na’amat Usa Favors Government Subsidies for Child Care for Working Women
hild care is of vital importance when someone chooses to work, pursue education or care for family members. The traditional husband/breadwinner-mother/homemaker family is no longer the typical family structure in the United States. While mothers ordinarily provide the larger share of child care from birth through childhood and adolescence, those responsibilities can interfere with and impede success and advancement in employment. Families headed by single mothers are common today, and feminists have argued that the absence of state support of child care deprives mothers from competing with fathers and unmarried people in the work force. For many years, the United States government has subsidized child care for indigent families at or below 85 percent of the state’s median income for families of their particular size. States may choose to designate funds from welfare or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) grants, and to provide additional child care subsidies to low-income households through the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). The tax code permits a credit on federal income taxes for families needing child care while working or looking for work. Additionally, certain employers subsidize child care as part of employee benefit packages. Despite a substantial increase in federal support for subsidized child care, which has enabled some states to eliminate cuts, others have trimmed support, and most have failed to keep pace with rising demand. That has left growing
numbers of low-income families struggling to coordinate demands of work and parenting as they confront a difficult job market. The cuts to subsidized child care challenge a central principle of the welfare overhaul adopted in 1996, which imposed a five-year lifetime limit on cash assistance. Under the change, low-income parents were forced to give up welfare checks and seek employment, as they were promised support that would enable them to work. Now, in this time of painful budget cuts, with more than a dozen states placing children eligible for subsidized child care on waiting lists, only two kinds of families are securing aid: those under the supervision of child protective services, which oversees cases of abuse and neglect, and those receiving cash assistance. In short, the United States government funds a patchwork system of subsidies for child care for working women who are American citizens. Families often look to immigrant workers to find high-quality in-home child care at rates significantly lower than those demanded by American workers. Often women are brought from impoverished countries to work as nannies, leaving their own children at home. This imbalance takes an emotional toll on the nannies and their home communities. Na’amat USA supports reform of the subsidy system and an increase in uniform government subsidies for child care for working women, citizen and immigrant alike, to alleviate a serious burden on low-income families. In contrast, Israel’s government subsidy goes according to salary per person in the family. The lowest salaried people receive a subsidy of about 75 percent on a sliding scale. Above a certain salary (less than the average salary), the tuition is full. Even for a working middle-class couple where both parents are working, the cost for a child in a day care center is substantial. Therefore, Na’amat Israel is campaigning for free early childhood education or at least an increased government subsidy. — Marcia J. Weiss Na’amat USA National Advocacy Chair For more information or suggestions, please contact Marcia Weiss at email@example.com.
Resources AIPAC: American Israel Public Affairs Committee www.aipac.org American Jewish Committee www.ajc.org Anti-Defamation League www.adl.org League of Women Voters www.lwv.org NARAL Pro-Choice America www.naral.org Planned Parenthood Federation of America www.plannedparenthood.org Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice www.rcrc.org
The Man Who Bridges the Divide continued from page 16 of my girls.” The doctor said: “People ask, ‘Don’t you hate the Israelis?’ I ask them which Israelis I am supposed to hate? The doctors and nurses I work with? Those who saved Ghaida’s life and Shatha’s eyesight? The babies I delivered?” By now, the entire audience was quietly weeping. “This I know,” he said, “that revenge and counter revenge are suicidal, that mutual respect, equality and coexistence are the only reasonable way forward, and I firmly believe that the vast majority of the people who live in this region agree with me.” After his talk, I went to him, to thank him, make contact and ask for an interview. When I introduced myself as the India correspondent for Yedioth Achronoth (Israel’s largest daily), his face broke out into a huge smile and he answered in Hebrew, “Shalom! I am so happy to meet you. I miss you all so much!” Despite the message he had delivered, I was taken aback. How can that be? I asked. “We are one family, don’t you know? We are allies, partners. We need each other to heal our common sickness. Don’t you know how many dear friends I’ve left behind?” Despite the crowd of international journalists vying for his attention, Abuelaish, who had come to India from Canada for a mere 48 hours to give this talk (“I have kids waiting at home,” he explained), told them all, “Yes, of course I will talk to you but you have to understand, talking directly to the Israeli public — that is my holiest work of all.” “The first thing we have to do,” he said to me during a subsequent Skype conversation, Goa to Toronto, when I asked him what practical steps could each of us take to end the conflict, “is to change the language we use. We have to stop speaking the language of separation — us and them — and speak only in the words of unity. Our disease. Our fighting. Our future. Our children. Our peace.” Like Martin Luther King, he says, he too has a dream. “My dream is that my children — all Palestinians and their children and our cousins the Israelis and their children, will be safe, secure, well fed, with their own identity and citizenship. But this vision of mine 24
is not going to come true with words alone. Each of us has to contribute to creating harmony and coexistence. If we think collectively instead of individually, we will live as one family where we take care of each other.”
he Abuelaish family now lives in Toronto. Their father reports that Dalal, Shatha, Raffah, Muhammed and Abdullah are doing OK, as well as can be expected. The older ones study at the university where they top their class; the younger ones are in grade school where the other children show them tender loving kindness. While missing their home in Gaza, especially the graves of their mother and sisters, they have settled in for now. “I want to be where I can be most effective,” says Abuelaish. “And tragedy cannot be the end of our lives.” He travels frequently, urgently, speaking on peace, unity, hope and faith in mosques, synagogues, universities, libraries, parliaments, and he has also started an organization called Daughters for Life, which helps five girls in each of seven Middle Eastern countries, Israel included, to study to become professionals in the humanitarian fields (the proceeds from his lectures fund the scholarships). In 2010, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. “I am a man of deep faith,” Abuelaish says to me in Jaipur. I had just spent two hours searching for him desperately, after a misunderstanding about time and place. While I ran here and there I felt an overwhelming panic and grief, as if finding him was my, our, only chance at holding onto some hope for our beloved and tragically torn family — we Israelis and Palestinians who have hurt and been hurt by each other so terribly for too long. When I finally find him, I’m an emotional wreck; he smiles calmly, and beckons me to sit by his side. Abuelaish tells me that Bessan, Mayar, Aya and Noor are with him at all times, and that he promises them daily that he will not stop his work until their vision of peace is achieved. “I believe with all of my heart that God does things only for the good, never for the bad, and even if we can’t understand it, we have to accept it,” he says. I ask him if he has managed to find the good in what happened to his family. “Well,” he answers, big round tears
have started to fall from his eyes — as they often do while he talks, streaming along the deep reddened lines down his cheeks, not wiped aside, “I think about it a lot. When I lost my daughters I started to think how and why this had to happen. I don’t have an answer yet.” Abuelaish is quiet for a moment, and on his face there is some kind of faraway light. “But I have come to realize why their mother had to die when she did,” he finally says, his voice now so soft I must lean in close to hear. “I am strong, but their mother would not have survived seeing her darling daughters killed.” Aimee Ginsburg is the India correspondent for the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Achronoth and also writes for Marie Claire, the Indian news magazines Outlook and Open. Born in Cincinnati, she resided in Israel for many years and has been living in India for the past 14 years. She wrote “Rediscovering” in our summer 2009 issue.
Back to the Land continued from page 9
relationship to the land, as well as to the food we grow and eat. And every Jewish community can sponsor such initiatives. Nigel Savage of Hazon hopes that within two decades, Jewish food education will be a standard part of the Jewish curriculum, with Jewish food educators on staff at synagogues, religious schools and JCCs. And when today’s children grow up, the ideas that are considered so cutting-edge now will be second nature to them. “I believe that in 20 years, the Jewish food movement will transform how American Jews relate to the physical world,” he predicts. “It’s already transforming Jewish life, and beginning to make a change in wider food policies. “It’s good for the Jews, it’s good for America, and it’s good for the world.” Sue Fishkoff is the editor of J., the Jewish news weekly of Northern California. She is the author, most recently, of Kosher Nation.
Part-Time Aliyah continued from page 13
while here, we got to spend time with him and to know his family.” For another uniquely Israeli experience, the family made regular trips to the frenetic Mahane Yehuda shuk (market), and to their local greengrocer up the block. “One of the guys there would give me recipes,” Moskowitz recalled fondly. Dena Bach’s family took two weeklong trips in Israel. “Ilan, one of our twins, loves castles, and you could say we spent the year chasing fortresses and seeing history,” Bach said. It was exciting for her sons, who were then studying the Bible in school, in Hebrew, to travel to a place like Sdom (as in Sodom and Gemorra), just off the highway. “Actually seeing the places they’ve been learning about for so long really meant something to them.” Her husband, Gary, spent much of his time discovering Jerusalem on a bicycle the landlord had left in the garden. “I rode around the walls of the Old City. I took in the atmosphere,” he said, smiling at the memory. Just as Israelis feel free to criticize their country, long-term visitors aren’t afraid to voice their pet peeves about the drivers, the litter and the inefficiency. “The downside of my time in Israel has been the bureaucracy and the hostility I’ve encountered while doing everyday things,” said 23-year-old Elana Cohen, who earlier this year extended her time in Israel following a Birthright Israel trip. “I do know Hebrew, but it’s no fun dealing with the cell phone company, arranging health insurance or opening a bank account,” Cohen remarked during a visit to the Mahane Yehuda shuk with her Israeli boyfriend, Gideon. Elovitz noted that Israelis, “though generally gracious and hospitable” when you meet them one-on-one, tend to be “rude and pushy” in the public sphere. “They don’t think about anybody else’s personal space or needs.” On the busy corner opposite his twins’ elementary school, parents created a huge traffic jam every single morning, rain or shine. “For 20 minutes, the same people honk their horns at the same people. They can’t get beyond the honking.”
Charolotte Kroot recalled the time her Israeli landlord tried to kick her out of the apartment she had just rented, with a contract, simply because the former wanted to give the flat to family members. “I contacted a lawyer who said I could stay, but the landlord made it so difficult for me, I eventually left.” She strongly advises potential tenants to nail down every detail of a rental in writing, including what is included in the fee (city taxes, cleaning, utilities). Despite such challenges — and every country presents some — those who’ve spent a serious amount of time in Israel insist the pluses far outweigh the minuses. “It was really, really nice to be in Israel and live without a day-today agenda,” Moskowitz said. “We did more things together as a family and picked up the kids from school every day. I arrived home refreshed.” “I had an extraordinary year,” emphasized Joel Hecker. “I was on sabbatical, translating parts of the Zohar in the office at the Shalom Hartman Institute, with great access to colleagues. It was wonderful.” Cohen said living abroad has helped her grow in new ways. “I’ve overcome the anxiety I’ve always had about being away from my comfort zone for a period of time,” she observed. “Before I came to Israel I was very anxious. Now I’ve done it, and it feels like a victory.” Kroot, who comes back to Israel year after year, said it is “deeply rewarding” to be in Jerusalem at this point in her life. “I’m finally able to contribute my small bit for Israel. Not having the financial resources to be a great philanthropist, I realized early on that there were a number of ways I could contribute my time, business and life experience to one of the many worthwhile non-profit organizations that exist here. “I’ve found that being a part of the community definitely expands and enhances my experience here. The rewards are ongoing.”
below. Once, Sam stopped and sat on the steps to watch three Arab boys his own age playing stickball on a littered paved court. Lew was more excited about snapping the burnished golden Dome of the Rock, close-up and photo-perfect, a dazzling jewel in the lateafternoon sun. As for me, I carefully wrapped each precious moment of the day deep inside me, tucking it away for savoring later on. Walking back through the Old City, at Sam’s request, we stopped at the Wall for one last time. By now, the ancient stones radiated warmth from the late afternoon sun. As usual, I placed my fingers on the lowest blocks and tried to feel the spirit of my ancestors, whose hands had built and smoothed this same wall thousands of years ago. Suddenly, Sam’s image came to me, unbidden — the red, glowing cheeks and enthusiastic voice, the tousled hair, with his head leaning forward to listen and laugh. After trying unsuccessfully to look over at Lew and Sam on the other side of the barrier separating men and women, I turned back to the wall again. This time, my fingers felt the warmth of my mother, her auburn hair neatly parted to the side, full cheeks smiling, as she was when we were together at this very spot, just five years before. “Are you happy today?” she asked. “Very,” I replied. “I’m very happy.” “It’s time to say goodbye,” I told Sam as we approached the gate at Kennedy Airport, where he was to catch a plane back to Berkeley. He stopped, surprised. “I’ve been with you two whole weeks,” he murmured, with just a tinge of regret. And then came the big reward Lew and I had been waiting for, as Sam put down his backpack, turned around to face us and gave us each the biggest hug ever.
Michele Chabin is a journalist living in Jerusalem. She covers the Middle East for the New York Jewish Week and other publications. A frequent contributor to Na’amat Woman, she wrote “Traveling Green” in our summer 2010 issue.
Judy Priven is a freelance writer living in Bethesda, Maryland. She is the author of Hello! USA: Everyday Living for International Residents and Visitors and has published several stories on Jewish immigration to the United States.
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BOOK REVIEWS The Last Brother By Nathacha Appanah Minneapolis, MN: Graywolf Press 164 pages, $14 (paperback)
athacha Appanah’s novel, The Last Brother, is based on a tragic, almost forgotten historical event that is now becoming better known thanks to the writer’s luminous, lyrical prose and sad story of brotherhood. In 1940, Jewish refugees from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia arrived in Haifa. The British, eager to solve the immigrant problem, decided to send them to their colony in Mauritius. The Haganah tried to prevent the deportation by blasting a hole in the ship, the Patria, resulting in the unintended deaths of some 260 passengers. The Patria survivors remained in Israel, but 1,584 refugees were sent to Beau-Bassin, Mauritius. In Mauritius, they were imprisoned in a camp. After the war they were allowed to return to their countries or go to Israel. Those who died in the camp were buried in the cemetery at Saint Martin in Mauritius. Appanah, a French-Mauritian of Indian origin, was startled to find out about the detainment camp for Jewish prisoners. (In the novel, many of the inhabitants of the island, too, are ignorant about its existence.) The writer worked as a journalist in Mauritius, where she was born, before emigrating to France. The Last Brother, her fourth novel, has garnered two French prizes. It has been translated by Geoffrey Strachan, an award-winning translator, who has done a wonderful job of rendering the prose into English. Raj is a septuagenarian who narrates the story through the lens of his younger eight- and nine-year-old selves. Appanah keeps his voice faithful to his years, and we are treated to prose that can be enjoyed for its own sake. In fact, The Last Brother can equally enchant lovers of sentences and lovers of stories, though the tale is a slow moving one. The novel
has a fairy tale quality, which gets stronger as the narrative gathers force. It is a story in 164 pages of a survivor and his guilt; of a family suffering from poverty and an abusive father; of brotherhood between a Jewish and a Mauritian boy; of the struggle between good and evil; of loss, loneliness and longing; and of the dominance of nature over man. The short first chapter begins with the protagonist as an old man. He has just woken up from a dream he had of David. Raj’s love for David piques our interest. We want to know more about this person who draws out so much emotion from Raj. He asks his son to drive him to the cemetery at Saint Martin. Viewing the 10-year-old David’s grave, he provides a flashback to his childhood. The child Raj and his two brothers live in a village called Mapou. Their father works in the cane fields, and life is hard, not just because of their poverty but also because of nature’s extremes. The father is a drunkard and abusive, like many of the other fathers who are laborers. The hard life of the family as well as the myriad aspects of nature are vividly portrayed. Appanah’s words paint landscapes, portraits and scenes, unfolding the novel in a series of moving vignettes. “On days when the sun shone, which is to say for nine months of the year, an acrid red dust arose from the soil and it dogged us all. And woe betide us if the wind got up, for then, like a bullet from a gun, the mountain on the far side would send us a howling blast laden with this grit that came swirling around our wretched dwellings and seemed bent on only one thing: burying us once and for all.” Not all is bleak in Raj’s life, however, as the three brothers have one another, but soon the narrator’s younger and older brothers die in a flash flood and he and his parents leave the village for a
different existence. Their new surroundings are a cottage in a wood, where his mother makes decoctions to get rid of rodents, snakes and insects. His father has a new job as a guard in the British camp for Jewish prisoners. He misleads his son into thinking the place is for “the dangerous ones, the runaways, the robbers, and the bad men.” For a child used to extreme poverty and dire conditions, the camp actually impresses him with the biggest mango tree he’s ever seen; flowers; a house, the likes of which he’s only seen in postcards at school; and curtains, which for him represent luxury. Later, he will realize the picturesque nature of the place was a deception. Raj takes to spying on the place, mesmerized by David, a boy only a year older than he is. He is particularly taken with David’s golden curls, which are described over and over again in the novel, always conjuring up the emaciated boy’s ethereal look. When Raj is injured by his abusive father, he is taken to the camp’s hospital where he and David, who has malaria, become friends. They gravitate toward one another as kindred souls who have lost loved ones and need each other. Raj is the protective one, a kind of adoptive older brother. He is ignorant about what being Jewish means and he thinks it is a kind of illness. He hasn’t even heard of Germany. He comes to understand that the prisoners aren’t from the island and he wonders why they are locked up. They pine to go to Israel, but a policeman dashes their hope by telling them the ship that should have arrived hasn’t come and that the war isn’t over. Raj promises to help David escape the camp, but we already know the end will be sad. Appanah has her readers enthralled as they run away together. Though she mainly keeps us in Raj’s past until the book is almost over, we occasionally see him as the old man that he is and know he has a caring son. Fairy tales highlight the goodness and cruelty prevalent in the world. After presenting Raj’s parents as good and evil forces, Appanah lets us see which parent Raj takes after. Most important,
her narrative encompasses the dual truths of the world, casting a spotlight on Mauritius during World War II. She keeps her novel within the boundaries of literary genre in spite of giving it the feel of a fairy tale. She neither leaves us depressed about the brutalities of the world nor makes us happy about the love that does exist in families. The loss of David is undeniably tragic, yet we have a glimmer of hope because Raj is a survivor and through him David lives on year after year and his story will be passed on to Raj’s descendants. — Tara Menon Menon has published many short stories, articles and poems.
The Uncoupling by Meg Wolitzer New York: Riverhead Books 271 pages, $25.95
eg Wolitzer, like a few other authors I’ve read over the years — Cathleen Schine, Amy Bloom, Anne Tyler, Grace Paley — is the kind of woman we would want to be our friend. Funny, chatty, intelligent — hers is a good voice from the beginning. What a good voice is not so easy to say. There are some people who call on the phone, who write a sentence or begin to speak — and we just want to listen. It’s not about content. In writing classes I’ve taken, and in writing classes I teach, we’ve often spend long periods trying to answer the question: What makes a writer’s voice appealing? After all these years, I’m still waiting for a clear answer. But I do know that Meg Wolitzer has a good one, a charming and insightful voice. Her book is her way of sitting right next to you, telling her story, knowing you’ll be interested because it’s about relationships between women and men, between adults and teenagers, the ups and downs of marriages, and sex. Her right-on observations about people will make you laugh. This is not the first time that sex has
a major role in a Wolitzer book. In The Ten-Year Nap and in The Position, two of her most popular novels, she describes, as a modern Jewish Jane Austen sort of writer, the sex lives of her characters. The idea for The Uncoupling comes from an Aristophanes comedy, Lysistrata. I didn’t remember Lysistrata from college, so for this review, I read it again. It’s an unusual story. In ancient Greece, 411 B.C., Lysistrata (could she have possibly been a feminist?) organizes all the women in Greece with the intention of ending the Peloponnesian War. She persuades them to refuse sex with their husbands until they negotiate a peace treaty. The Uncoupling takes place in Stellar Plains, a suburban town in New Jersey — pleasant enough, one of those towns where everything seems OK — until a kind of spell falls on the women. Much of the story takes place in the local high school, where a worldly new drama teacher, Fran Heller, comes to the school. She chooses Lysistrata as her first production and somehow manages to cast a spell. (Does she really? Is it coincidence? Is it actually about the Afghanistan war? About all the wars that have occurred throughout history?) All of a sudden, the scenes in the bedrooms of the town are transformed. There’s a “low, hard wind…starting to blow in and out of bedrooms, under blankets, nightgowns, skins.” Out of the blue, all the women — even the gorgeous guidance counselor with a slew of lovers, and the high school’s favorite teachers, the stars of this novel, Rory and Dory Lang, and even the sexually preoccupied teenage girls — are not interested in having sex — and they don’t quite know why. Rory and Dory and their teenage daughter Willa appear to be, in the beginning anyway, as perfect a family as any family can get. Engaged in life, working, eager, even fulfilled, they are
in the what-can-go-wrong-with-them category. When the Langs stop having sex along with the rest of the town, who they are — and how they are — slowly and surely changes. Wolitzer’s message in The Uncoupling might be about how tenuously daily life is held together by ritual and routine; about the subtlety of the nature of the glue that keeps marriage together, that holds people to one another. Sex isn’t the answer. It’s just one of the questions. How everyone becomes happy again, how normalcy shifts and becomes redefined, and what is learned from the surprising peculiar period of abstinence is the subject of The Uncoupling. Because there is, of course, a recoupling, too. Meg Wolitzer’s mother, Hilma Wolitzer, is also a good writer. Many years ago, when I started reviewing books for Na’amat Woman, I reviewed a wonderful book by Hilma called Ending. Like mother, like daughter — they both seem to know a lot about life. The Uncoupling is witty, intelligent and a lot of fun to read. — Esther Cohen Cohen’s new novel, in progress, is about upstate New York, Jews, neighbors and the weather.
MOVING? Send your new address to our new address! Na’amat USA 505 Eighth Avenue, Suite 2302 New York, NY 10018 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your old address and membership ID number.
AROUND THE COUNTRY
πPalm Beach Council celebrates Na’amat USA’s 85th anniversary with a luncheon attended by 150 members and friends. Featured speaker Marjorie Moidel, Southeast Area coordinator, thanked members for their devotion to the organization and talked about the importance of going on the Anniversary Mission to Israel in November. From left: Anita Kanowitz, donor chair; Rhoda Birnbaum, new president; and Raena Zucker, outgoing president and national board member.
πPittsburgh Council served delicious desserts at its installation of officers and donor event. From left: Roselle Solomon, membership vice president; Marcia J. Weiss, executive vice president and national board member; Norma Kirkell Sobel, Spiritual Adoption/ scholarship co-chair and national board member; Judy Kornblith Kobell; president; Dorothy Greenfield, cultural co-vice president; Barbara Rosenstein, recording secretary; and Barbara Oleinick, cultural co-vice president.
πMembers of the South Shore club (Long Island/Queens Council) and the Chai Tikvah Kinneret club (Palm Beach Council) participate in a festive Spiritual Adoption luncheon at the Florida home of Rhoda Orenstein, treasurer of South Shore club. Standing in the back is Rhoda Orenstein; in front of her is Sherry Dillon, president of Chai Tikvah Kinneret club. πBroward Council celebrates Na’amat USA’s 85th anniversary at a fund-raising luncheon highlighted by guest speaker, national president Elizabeth Raider. From left: Co-president Bess Frumen; Elizabeth Raider and co-president Ruth Racusen.
πBoston Council honors Loren Galler Rabinowitz, Miss Massachusetts 2010, with a Spiritual Adoption at its Spiritual Adoption luncheon. The Harvard graduate, who has won ice dancing championships, aspires to be a physician and published poet. She poses with the members of the council.
πSimcha club of Youngstown, Ohio, holds its 74th annual Donor Luncheon honoring Hilda Albini. A patron of the Golda Meir Child Development Fund, she received an engraved glass sculpture. Singer Paul Farbman provided entertainment; he is a third-generation member — his late grandmother, Evelyn Farbman, was past president, and his mother Kathleen is a very active member. From left: Hilda Albini; Ruth Katz, event chair; Bertha Froomkin, president; and longtime treasurer Edith Peskin.
√Long Island/Queens Council holds its End of the Year Gala. The theme was the advancement of women, and members were encouraged to bring their daughters, granddaughters, female relatives and friends. The guest speaker was Rabbi Emily LosbenOstrov, and the highlight of the day was a hat show, in which members wore hats, each with a story behind it. From left, seated: Sorell Balaban, narrator; Doris Shinners, copresident; Doris Katz, co-president; Debbie Kohn, national treasurer; standing: Tal Ourian, Nadine Simon, Shelley Ourian, Shiri Ourian, Reggie Rog, Diane Hershkowitz, Susan Sparago, Millicent Kantor and Jamie Rog. πDoris Shinners, above, Long Island/ Queens Council president for the last 15 years, is honored for her 50 years of dedication to Na’amat USA. Joyce Fabricant, below, was also honored for her 50 years of enthusiastic membership. A very talented pianist, she has enlivened many of the council’s parties and events.
πCleveland Council holds its annual donor brunch, featuring “Jewish Composers and Performers,” performed by Marshall Griffith, an improvisational musician and professor at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and his wife, Anne Taslitz. From left, seated: Diana Packer; Pauline Leber; Eda Weiss and Eileen Gordon; standing: Rhoda Shapiro, Raycine Spector, Ellen Saltz and Ruth Tucker.
πNili club (San Fernando Valley Council) holds its installation of officers event at a gala dinner. National president Elizabeth Raider presented outgoing club president Gail Simpson with a Na’amat scholarship. The installing officer was the new council president Susan Isaacs. From left, first row: Esther RadomPullan, program vice president; Ellen Ginsburg-Caplan, scrip chair; Sylvia Tillman, fund-raising co-vice president; Elaine Skopp, membership vice president; second row: Elizabeth Raider; Helen Lee, dues chair; Phyllis Sandground, secretary; Miriam Levitan, tribute chair; Thalia Faye, treasurer and bulletin chair; Susan Isaacs.
πAvodah club of Syracuse, N.Y., hosts a donor and Perpetual Scholarship luncheon. Speakers Jan Gurvitch, national board member, and Debbie Troy-Stewart, Eastern Area coordinator, updated the members on the activities of Na’amat Israel. Lois Weiner, co-president, was honored for becoming a life member. From left, seated: Norma Groskin, Alice Pearlman, Judy Franklin and Arliene Stempler; standing: Anita Weinberger, Carolee Smith, Jan Gurvitch, Dina Vincow, Bette Siegel, Lois Weiner, Karen Beckman, Faith Van Voolen, Debbie Troy-Stewart, Nancy Barnett and Alice Honig.
Na’amat Woman Wins Top Awards
ongratulations to Na’amat Woman for winning three first-place 2010 Simon Rockower Awards for excellence in Jewish journalism. The awards were presented by the American Jewish Press Association this past June. The magazine won the top-place awards in the personal essay category for “Shabbat With My Mother” by Leeat Granek, and in the excellence in news reporting category for “Raphael Lemkin and the Genocide Convention” by Aviva Cantor. The Noah Bee Award for excellence in illustration was awarded to the magazine for art work by Avi Katz, Yevgenia Nayberg and Marilyn Rose for the articles “An Empty Nest,” Big Issues on Campus,” Rumiya and the Shofar,” “Rock Stars of the Senior Singles” and “When the Kibbutz Was a Kibbutz.” “We are extremely gratified by these awards, as they reflect the superb articles and illustrations published continually by our magazine,” said editor Judith Sokoloff. To read these articles, go to the Na’amat USA Web site: www.naamat. org and click on magazine.
Welcome to the New Life Members of Na’amat USA EASTERN AREA Karen Anderson Cherry Hill, N.J. Eileen Bergman West Orange, N.J. Ruth S. Bernards Rockville, Md. Frances Ehrlich Plainview, N.Y. Rhoda Eisenberg Brooklyn, N.Y. Rhonda Eisenstadt Jericho, N.Y. Phyllis Elman Staten Island, N.Y. Harriet Forman Lido Beach, N.Y. Ruth Frankfurt Hartsdale, N.Y. Joan E. Garfinkel Narragansett, N.Y. Myra Goldstein Gaithersburg, Md. Adar Gurvitch Scarsdale, N.Y. Miriam Hyman New York, N.Y. Molveine D. Karan Brooklyn, N.Y. Debra Mellitz Cherry Hill, N.J. Bracha Moshe Stamford, Conn.
Penny Neisser Voorhees, N.J. Blanche Rudin Brooklyn, N.Y. Harriet Schulman Westfield, N.J. Ruth Schutzbank Stewartsville, N.J. Laura D. Smith Jericho, N.Y. Lois Weiner Dewitt, N.Y. SOUTHEAST AREA Camille Abady Aventura, Fla. Audrey Abitbol Aventura, Fla. Nancy C. Brown Naples, Fla. Ruth Baruch Hollywood, Fla. Lidia Di Capua Aventura, Fla. Sally Greenwald W. Palm Beach, Fla. Etah R. Levine Pembroke Pines, Fla. Goldie Levine Pembroke Pines, Fla. Shirley Lipke Pembroke Pines, Fla.
Marilyn Rossoff Tamarac, Fla. Twyla Sable Hilton Head, S.C. Marcia Sunderland Boynton Beach, Fla. MIDWEST AREA Barbara Adler Akron, Ohio Rhonda Averbach Pittsburgh, Pa. Enid German Beck Shaker Hts., Ohio Natalie Berger Pittsburgh, Pa. Suzanne Berman Pittsburgh, Pa. Cindy M. Brodsky Lyndhurst, Ohio Beverly Colton Milwaukee, Wis. Joan Flinker Shaker Hts., Ohio Eva Friedman Pittsburgh, Pa. Bernice Gollup Milwaukee, Wis. Amy Hendricks Youngstown, Ohio Nora Kancelbaum Cleveland, Ohio
Joyce Garver Keller Bexley, Ohio Anita Kornblit Pittsburgh, Pa. Barbara Kuhn Oshkosh, Wis. Shirley Kurtz Pittsburgh, Pa. Sara Newman Kent, Ohio Mimi Ormond Beachwood, Ohio Carla Rosen St. Louis, Mo. Beverly Rothal Akron, Ohio Arlene Shapiro Pittsburgh, Pa. Tobie Shapiro Pittsburgh, Pa. Annette Solomon Beachwood, Ohio Marcia J. Weiss Pittsburgh, Pa. Rona Weiss South Euclid, Ohio Robin Wexler Temperance. Mich. Natalie Wolf Pittsburgh, Pa. Reva Zaretsky Moreland Hills, Ohio
WESTERN AREA Lilian Hartley Palm Springs, Calif. Sarah Hershberg Encino, Calif. Lois Joseph Las Vegas, Nev. Nadolyn Karchmer Las Vegas, Nev. Deborah Maddis Santa Monica, Calif. Merle Mitzmacher Las Vegas, Nev. Luping Perkins Paradise Valley, Ariz. Karen Piretti Rosen Ukiah, Calif. Susan Rudolph Paradise Valley, Ariz. Cindy Weiser Scottsdale, Ariz. FRIENDS Stanley Kaplan Pembroke Pines, Fla. Albert Perdeck Manchester, N.J.
HANUKKAH PRESENT EXTRAORDINAIRE! Affiliate Life Membership Sale For this Hanukkah only, we slashed the Affiliate Life Membership price from $250 to $185 in honor of the Na’amat USA’s 85th anniversary. Why not present your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews with a gift that will last a lifetime?
Your Name Address City/State/Zip Phone E-mail Club/Council New Affiliate Life Member’s Name Date of Birth Address City/State/Zip Phone E-mail
For only $185 for one affilate or two for $250 you can make them a part of an organization that has been helping the women and children of Israel for 85 years, while teaching them the importance of being part of the Jewish people and Israel. This affiliation also strengthens their connection to you. Affiliate Life Membership is a gift that keeps on giving. New affiliate life members will receive a Hanukkah card from NA’AMAT USA informing them of their gift. This offer is good through 2011.
■ Enclosed is my check for $185, payable to Na’amat USA, 505 Eighth Ave., Suite 2302, New York, NY 10018. ■ Charge $185 to my credit card: __ Visa __ MasterCard __ Amex Card # Signature
Calling All Life Members! Na’amat USA has been serving the needs of Israel’s women and children for 85 years. Commemorate this momentous achievement by renewing your lifetime commitment to Na’amat with a special gift of $85. You will be recognized in Na’amat Woman magazine and on the Na’amat USA Web site. The families helped by Na’amat Israel thank you! Please send check or credit card information to Na’amat USA, 505 Eighth Ave., Suite 2302, New York, NY 10018.
Celebrate the 85th anniversary of Na’amat USA by becoming a Patron of the
GOLDA MEIR Child Development Fund
This fund was established as a living tribute to our beloved Golda, head of our organization in the early 1930s. It serves as a direct contribution to the love of her life: the children of Israel. The names of the Golda Fund donors, or their loved ones, are permanently inscribed on a beautiful plaque in Bet Hachavera in Jerusalem. Donors will receive an exquisite, engraved glass sculpture. The Golda Meir Child Development Fund is used to provide quality day care for the challenged children, mostly from distressed families, in Na’amat ’s multipurpose day care centers. Here they experience love, security, educational and social enrichment, and counseling. Pledges to the Golda Meir Child Development Fund are $5,000, payable over a two-year period in cash, by credit card, or with State of Israel Bonds. Quota credit will be given. This is the first fund-raising campaign authorized by Golda’s family to carry her name.
Circle of Hope Donors Na’amat USA is grateful to the following for their
generosity. Thank you for helping at-risk Israeli teenagers achieve scholastic success and personal growth in Na’amat technological high schools. One ($1,600) or More Drorah club (Los Angeles) In honor of Debbi Rosenberg by Chicago Council Jay Carl Rothman In honor of Sandra Silvergrade by Chicago Council Others Lucille Helman Sandy Kaltman
Yes, I would like to become a Patron of the Golda Meir Child Development Fund. ■ Enclosed is my check for ____$5,000 ____$2,500 (I’ll pay the balance next year.) ■ Please charge my credit card: __VISA __MASTERCARD __AMEX Card No._ ________________________________________ Expiration Date_____________ Signature____________________________________________________________________ ■ I hereby pledge $5,000 to the Golda Meir Child Development Fund. ■ Please send additional information on the Golda Fund. Name________________________________________ Phone No._____________________ Address_ ____________________________________________________________________ City/State/Zip________________________________________________________________ Club/Council________________________________ E-mail___________________________
Estate of Mildred Meron Please make checks payable to Na’amat USA, 505 Eighth Ave., Suite 2302, New York, NY 10018.
NA’AMAT is celebrating 90 years as one of the largest Jewish women’s organizations united to enhance the quality of life for women and child...