Magazine of Na’amat USA FALL 2012 Vol. XXVII No. 4
Greening Jerusalem.....................................................................................4 With a new light rail system, community gardens, bike trails and the reduction of waste, Jerusalem is moving ahead with environmental improvements. But the city has a long way to go —
Editor Judith A. Sokoloff
and a diverse population sometimes makes it more difficult. By Judith Sudilovsky
Assistant Editor Gloria Gross
Journeys ....................................................................................................8 Traveling the world, three Jewish women discover much more than just the places and
Art Director Marilyn Rose
experiences they sought. By Aimee Ginsburg, XiaoXiao Lederer and Anne Silver
Editorial Committee Harriet Green Sylvia Lewis Elizabeth Raider Shoshana Riemer Edythe Rosenfield Lynn Wax
Kishorit: A Unique Kibbutz.........................................................................12 A communal village in the Galilee provides a high level of independence within a supportive framework for adults with disabilities. By Michele Chabin
Na’amat News.............................................................................................19 Galia Wolloch is elected president of Na’amat Israel; Na’amat awards 184 scholarships to
Na’amat usa Officers
women for higher education.
PRESIDENT Elizabeth Raider VICE PRESIDENTS Gail Simpson Chellie Goldwater Wilensky
departments President’s Message.....................3
TREASURER Debbie Kohn
by Elizabeth Raider
FINANCIAL SECRETARY Irene Hack
Heart to Heart: Stranger in a Strange Land by Amy Stone..................................15
RECORDING SECRETARY Norma Kirkell Sobel 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: email@example.com Web site: www.naamat.org
by Marcia J. Weiss.........19
Book Reviews: Holocaust Literature.....................22 Our cover: ©2012 Mark Podwal, from Sharing the Journey, published by the CCAR Press. Limited edition hand-signed giclée prints are available of the cover painting “Israel’s Fruits and Flowers.” For information, contact CCAR Press at 212-972-3636 ext. 243
Around the Country.....................29
Shana Tova! 5773
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
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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t was again my pleasure to represent Na’amat USA at the annual meeting of the World Movement of Na’amat this past June, along with past national presidents Harriet Green and Lynn Wax. This meeting was very moving, as we said farewell to Na’amat Israel president Talia Livni and welcomed the new Na’amat Israel president Galia Wolloch. Full of enthusiasm and commitment, Galia has served as coordinator of Na’amat day care services in Tel Aviv for the past 10 years (see an excerpt from her acceptance speech beginning on page 19). Among the other representatives of our international organization were Orit Tobe, president of Na’amat Canada, and Ceres MaltzBin, president of Na’amat Pioneiras Brazil, as well as delegates from Belgium, Mexico and Uruguay. A highlight of the meeting was the annual scholarship award ceremony, attended by the recipients, their families and teachers, and many of their fellow students. These scholarships are funded through our Professional Scholarship Program to encourage young women to earn a university degree and then, for some, to pursue a master’s or a doctoral degree. Some 600 students applied for a scholarship this year, and 180 were chosen after a thorough review. Special emphasis was placed on choosing women studying in the fields of science and technology. We also awarded four research grants to doctoral candidates. It was an incredible afternoon, meeting the recipients and hearing about their
accomplishments (see page 20). The following day we visited Na’amat ’s Glickman Center shelter for battered women and their children in Tel Aviv. We were very impressed with the new secondstory addition, which will provide each family with a private room during their stay. Our next stop was Nazareth, where we visited both the current Na’amat educational facilities for Arab teenage girls and the beautiful new school being built for them. The school will also house a professional training center for young women who have completed high school and a program for university graduates seeking advanced degrees. The word impressive does not even begin to describe the excellent physical facilities or the comprehensive program conceived for this unique school. We’ll have more information after the grand opening, scheduled for this fall. We also attended the annual meetings of the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency, where delegates from major Zionist organizations participate in a full working program held over the course of about a week. The opening for the World Zionist Organization’s meetings was held at the Herzl Museum on Har Herzl. The mountain also serves as the burial site for prominent Zionists, Israeli politicians and others. Touring the cemetery is a poignant reminder of those who dedicated their lives to the development of Israel — among them, Theodor Herzl, Golda Meir, Hannah Senesh and Yitzhak Rabin. The opening program was magnif-
icent, featuring speaker Limor Livnat, Knesset Member and Minister of Culture and Sport; talented girl gymnasts and Israeli singers and actors. On a somber note, we viewed a slide show memorializing Zionist leaders who had died during the past year, including former national Na’amat USA president Alice Howard. Under the theme “Women Doing Zionism,” the WZO meetings focused on a topic we can all relate to: the empowerment of women in the Zionist enterprise. Delegates from the various organizations and factions represented a broad spectrum of Jewish voices and interests, and some of the discussions became very heated as diverse views were expressed on issues such as women’s representation in the WZO and the exclusion of women in the public domain. Na’amat Israel was well represented, with various department chairs and regional staff attending the meetings. If you’ve been visiting our Web site — and I hope you have seen the latest updates — you will have learned that Na’amat Woman won a 2012 Simon Rockower Award for excellence in journalism, presented by the American Jewish Press Association in June. Another prestigious award — this one in Israel — has been given to the Na’amat Technological High School in Holon. The National Education Award for Outstanding Achievement recognizes the excellence of our facility, which gives a “second chance” to 186 students who come from disadvantaged families and difficult backgrounds. The school enables them to prepare themselves for a successful future. This award symbolizes the true continued on page 27 FALL 2012
Greening Jerusalem With a new light rail system, community gardens, bike trails and the reduction of waste, Jerusalem is moving ahead with environmental and sustainability improvements. But the city has a long way to go — and a diverse population sometimes makes it more difficult. by JUDITH SUDILOVSKY
erusalem Deputy Mayor Naomi Tsur Indeed, the affect of the light rail breezes into her office half an hour system can already be seen on the once late with an apology. The light rail dilapidated city center, which went train was running slow, she explains. through a sad deterioration during the Perhaps the city’s most well-known en- intifada and the ensuing years. vironmental advocate, the British native Gone are the narrow and cracked has been taking public transportation out of conviction since before environmentalism was a part of the country’s lexicon. Even the kinks still remaining a few months after the new light rail began running do not put a damper on her optimism. “It is in its early days but will work better when the trains start coming every four minutes [as is the plan],” she says, as the early morning sun streams in through her sixth-floor city hall office windows, affording her a picturesque view of downtown and beyond. “The light rail will gradually phase out the buses that are clogging the main route to the city center. There will be Jerusalem’s new a cultural change.” light rail will gradually phase While some people still foout the buses that are clogging cus their sights on Jerusalem’s the main route to the overflowing garbage bins, heavy city center. rush hour traffic and slow public transportation system, the 61-year-old grandmother who came to sidewalks and vehicles that had conIsrael in 1966 speaks enthusiastically of gested the main thoroughfare. They her vision of downtown green rooftops have been replaced by a neatly brickand garden cafes, pedestrian malls and paved pedestrian mall with train rails sustainable recycling centers in the city. running down the middle. Along the
sidewalks, Jerusalemites now sip lattes, snack on fresh baked pastries and nibble on lush green salads at the cafes that have popped up along Jaffa Road. Shops offer artisanal crafts, boutique jewelry and designer and international namebrand clothing and state-of-theart kitchenware. Add the charming little bell the train sounds as it takes off from each station, and one can almost imagine oneself in a European city on a warm summer’s day. At the moment, the light rail route is limited, but Tsur already talks about the time when there will be extensions reaching the two university campuses and outlying neighborhoods. Soon, too, Tsur says, all the outdated buses along the downtown routes will be exchanged for the more energy efficient, cleaner, Euro5 model with an aim to get the level of pollution downtown to zero. She points to the train track rail park (patterned after New York’s High Line Park) in the upscale German Colony neighborhood as an example of what the city is doing to improve infrastructure for its bike riders and to encourage a reduction in commuter traffic. Taking care of environmental concerns also adds to the quality of life of residents, entices businesses and young
This garden has affected the whole way I live my life and how I view Jerusalem. Ecology is essentially a science of community. people to the city’s downtown and revitalizes the whole community, notes Tsur.
say are unsafe conditions, which have been created, ironically, by a too narrow bike path in the city’s overzealous attempt to create a safe riding zone. Although there has been a slight improvement in the city’s attitude toward bike riders over the past five years, observes Diego Rotman, 39, whose main mode of daily transportation is his bicycle, Jerusalem is still lacking enough proper bike trails and a bikeriding culture in which pedestrians and drivers understand and respect the needs of riders. “There definitely have been small positive changes,” offers Rotman, originally from Argentina. Every morning he brings his daughter to her downtown kindergarten and then rides to his work in Ein Kerem on the other side of town. Composting at the Natural History Museum’s community garden.
Photos by Judith Sudilovsky
hile the development downtown is laudable, environmental and urban activists hope the changes will also trickle down to other streets and historic courtyards in the center and other parts of the city and into other areas of urban development, which are needed to guide Jerusalem into a greener century. At the moment, they note, the city is undergoing a zoning study that when implemented will affect Jerusalem for the next few decades — but it does not include any green planning. “There is a feeling of a missed opportunity to define [sustainability and environmental] goals for the next generation, which could be implanted through the zoning
plans,” says one activist. “Now all environmental initiatives will be dependent on the individual architects implementing sections of the plan.” As an example of a failed attempt at planning, activists point out that the new bike routes, while a welcome addition to the city’s environmentally friendly efforts, are laid out with little or no forethought. Kilometers of bike trails have been added around the city in an unorganized fashion — sometimes in places where a pedestrian trail already exists — rather than as one connected traffic system specifically aimed at helping bicyclists get from one part of Jerusalem to another. A bike trail in the French Hill neighborhood has raised the ire of many residents and riders for what they
“But there is still a lot of pollution. Sometimes it is terrible with the trucks and buses.”
learly, despite all the positive planning that is taking place, the city is only just “taking its first baby steps” toward becoming a green city, says longtime Jerusalem environmentalist Ruth Mason, originally from the United States. “We recycle plastic bottles, glass, cardboard and that’s it,” she says. The large recycling centers promised by the city have yet to materialize, she adds, “and if they exist, people don’t know about them — and many of the city’s residents can’t be bothered to drive out to the Givat Shaul neighborhood center” on the outskirts of the city where the first and better known center was opened. Mason was part of a group of people who 13 years ago began working on Jerusalem’s first community garden in the Baka neighborhood, where many of Jerusalem’s Anglo community live. Though it has since disbanded, the garden’s legacy remains. Today, there are some 40 community gardens in Jerusalem crossing all religious, ethnic and socio-economic borders. They are now supported by the municipality, which provides water for the gardens and the Society for Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI). Recently, a group of Palestinian residents of the Old City have also expressed interest in creating such a garden, notes Amanda Lind, SPNI’s coordinator of community gardens, originally from London. She is also coordinator for “Garin Dvash” (Honey Group), a group of environmental activists around Jerusalem, which helps build youth leadership in environmental affairs and empowers adults. “This is one place where different
gardening and other communal activities, which are open to the community at large. Sometimes 100 families participate in their larger events. “I understood that if I wanted to make a change I’d have to find my own way to do it. I am not a politician. I am an educator.” Achva B’Kerem has also been active in promoting composting in its neighborhood by providing containers to interested individuals and technical know-how, billing residents for a token fee. Through his involvement in environmental issues, Nir says he drew closer to his Jewish roots and began to search Jewish sources and texts for inspiration. Now he is studying to be a Reform rabbi at Hebrew Union College. “We need to try to find a way to speak to people,” he emphasizes. “I want them to be together, to become aware of each other. People are so alienated from one another, so self absorbed, taking care only of themselves, and they are surrounded by a culture that supports this behavior.” Nevertheless, he believes Jerusalemites are more community-oriented than people in Tel Aviv where the urban culture creates more distance between its residents. Indeed, although the Tel Aviv municipality has more resources, Nir says, today there is only a handful of community gardens in Tel Aviv compared to the tens of gardens that keep popping up in Jerusalem. It is a mild Thursday afternoon in late June, and already a few members of the Natural History Museum community garden in the German Colony are pruning their rosemary bushes and marveling at the first cucumbers of the season. The garden began five years ago to protest attempts by developers to buy the property to build luxury apartments for buyers abroad. It has grown
Rana Khalaf, principal of the Afack School for the Learning Disabled, chats with a student hosing the garden with rainwater.
types of people from all backgrounds can meet and find something in common,” says Lind, something that is not always obvious in a city like Jerusalem with such a varied population. Jerusalem has traditionally been a “city of neighborhoods,” which contributes to the success of the community gardens, notes Ariella Cwikel, community garden coordinator for the city. While the gardens fulfill a much needed role by providing an outlet for residents who want some personal environmental involvement, the city must now place more effort to ensure the city’s preservation of mature trees, Lind says. “We are basically speaking about changing cultural norms, changing attitudes,” says Tamir Nir, an environmental activist and educator who began “Achva B’Kerem” (Friendship in the Vineyard) in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hakerem five years ago, together with a handful of families. Today, 10 to 35 families meet weekly for
Because of Jerusalem’s mixed population, which includes ultra-Orthodox Jews and Palestinians Arabs, the overall approach to environmental issues in the city can’t be all encompassing. to become one of the city’s landmark gardens, and in early summer it boasted summer squash, cherry tomatoes and plums among its thriving crops. Following its success in rallying community members, the gardening group went on to establish the Jerusalem Environmental Center, sponsoring workshops on sustainability and environmental issues, holding festivals and concerts and hosting visiting groups from abroad. On this Thursday, a group of young English-speaking volunteers from Kibbutz Lotan in the south were helping out. “The way you live in a city affects the impression you have of that city,” says Israel Margaliot, 30, one of the founders of the garden, sitting in the shade of a large eucalyptus tree as the group prepared for its bimonthly communal potluck dinner. “If you see your city full of garbage you get used to that. If you are used to a city of happiness, openness and cleanliness, then that’s what you become used to. So this garden has affected the whole way I live my life and how I view Jerusalem. Ecology is essentially a science of community.” “Jerusalem may be of gold,” quips Ora Ron-Simchovitz, 59, a driving force of the garden — quoting the song made famous by Naomi Shemer following the Six-Day War — “but it is missing a lot of green.” She plies visitors with her famous sweet herbal ice tea. Because this is Jerusalem, even a devout secular Jew like herself has made adaptations to religious statutes, she says. The group obEnjoying a meal at a community garden.
serves the Shmita year — when every seven years the ground is allowed to lay fallow as is required by Jewish law — out of respect for its religiously observant members. Many of the community gardens also serve as centers for composting, recycling and even donations of used clothing, helping in the city’s effort to become more ecological sound, albeit on a small scale.
oday, the community garden continues in its struggle to maintain the area in the public sphere as the municipality is heading toward giving the private Shalem Center rights to open a new campus there. This dispute is an example of one of the less obvious but quite significant challenges the city faces in terms of sustainability planning — how it relates to the concept of the public and private spheres, notes Zeev Arad, the neighborhood urban planner for Ginot Ha’ir Community Council and private architect. “As the city becomes more dense and crowded, the usage of the land takes on more importance and becomes more complex,” explains Arad. “Under Gardeners enjoy a meal at their community garden.
these terms, we can’t stay in the same dichotomy between private property and public.” Cooperation between the community, the municipality and developers is the essence of sustainability planning, he maintains. For instance, Arad asks, what happens when an early 20th-century neighborhood like Rehavia, which was built based on private property, comes into contact with a 21st-century Jerusalem needing more housing units? The solution has been to construct upward, but then that leaves the question of to whom the land around the building belongs. The Ginot Ha’ir Community Council, where the neighborhood is located, succeeded in including a regulation in the Rehavia zoning plan that stipulates that 20 percent of any plot of land be considered part of the public sphere, belonging to all the building’s residents and available for the tenants use. “This is revolutionary in the fight toward delineating the public sphere in a more complex way,” Arad points out. Furthermore, an active and involved resident population is vital in any environmental endeavor, says council head Shaike El Ami. Indeed, the key to the council’s burgeoning composting pilot project, based on the one started by Achva B’Kerem, is the residents’ involvement in the decision to participate, he adds. Through this ambitious project, the community council has committed itself to reduce the amount of waste produced in their continued on page 26 FALL 2012
Traveling the world, three Jewish women discover much more than just the places and experiences they sought.
by AIMEE GINSBURG
s a journalist, I was asked to give my two cents on the seven-billionth baby, a little girl born in a village in India (or so they say). Reporting on this, I was only able to think about my little Santoshi (although surely no one calls her that). Santoshi was the third (and last) little girl I was offered and the one I remember most vividly: the sour sweet dahi (yogurt) smell of her lilac skin, the absolute blackness of her damp hair, the unbearable lightness of her tiny body in my arms. I was in a small Himalayan town, on my way out of the so-called “hospital” where I had just spent a hellish day and night, down with severe dysentery. In the morning, on my way to the taxi that would take me home, I passed the
“maternity ward,” a small, bare cement room with two cots and some scary looking stainless steel instruments. A woman was lying in one of the beds, making sounds that I mistook as happy ones, and she was holding a parcel of simple white cloth. I went over instinctively to congratulate her. She immediately held up her baby for me to take, which I did, cooing appropriately. “Oh, she is so cute, so pretty,” I murmured, stroking her tiny cheek. “Take her,” said the woman, and I smiled at this rather extreme display of Indian generosity. But something was different — this did not feel like the other times. The first time someone offered me a little girl was on the train from Delhi to Bangalore. I was sharing a compartment with a well-dressed couple and their three-year-old princess, chubby and long-lashed. Her favorite song was “Over the Hills and Far Away,” which she made her parents sing to her almost without stop. Finally her mom said, “Now you behave or I will give you to the foreigner lady — she will know
what to do with you!” I considered growling at the girl for added effect, but the threat was awful enough as it was (“Oh, no! Anything but the foreigner lady!”) Princess settled down. Over her head, her mom and I exchanged a comradely wink. The second time I was offered a girl, I was visiting a very large and happy family living in an almost slum in West Delhi. I was there with my dear friend and guide Badri Nathji, a “holy man” and local guru. On hearing that I had a lovely son but did not know the joy of a daughter, the whole group broke into excited conversation (I didn’t speak Hindi yet, so I was clueless). In the end, Nathji turned to me, beaming. “They have decided to give you the youngest daughter of the youngest son,” the guru announced proudly, and they all shook their heads happily. A small and supremely adorable little one was brought in from somewhere, and she scurried onto her papa’s lap. Everyone was looking at me, expectantly. “I don’t understand,” I told Nathji, trying not to sound as dismayed as I felt. “What are you saying?
Santoshi was the third (and last) little Indian girl I was offered and the one I remember most vividly.
Illustrations by Marilyn Rose
In India you just give away your kids like this?” “They say they can see you are a good lady,” he explained. “So, she will get a good life, and you will get a little Laxmi of your own. See? Unconditional love!” I thanked them and declined. They made sure I wasn’t only being polite and then shrugged, cuddled the girl and ruffled her curly hair until she wriggled away and back to play. The third time was completely different. “Take her!” the mom said, and when I smiled and tried to return the parcel, she turned toward the grey wall. I looked with confusion toward the nurses. “It’s her fifth girl in a row,” said nurse one. “She is so tired.” “Forget tired,” said nurse two, “she doesn’t have enough to feed them as it is.” “Forget enough to feed them,” said nurse three. “Her pig husband, an idiot and a drunk, will beat her for
bringing home another girl.” “You would be doing everyone a big favor,” said nurse one. I stood there, baby in my arms, looking into her face, at her curled fingers. What a life I could give you, a home where you will be adored and a future full of promise. I even have a name for you — Santoshi, she who lacks nothing. How hard could it be? You are so cute, so new, I always really wanted a daughter and here you are. I could do this, no? Could I do this? (But isn’t my life in India full of enough challenges as is?) “But how?” I asked. “We will help, we know a lawyer, it will be easy,” said the chorus. Two roads diverged before me: one, well-worn and safe; the other, magical, rich and of rare beauty. I breathe. I breathe. I try to walk on the brave path but I am blocked. I have everything
Homecoming by XIAOXIAO LEDERER
guess my name says it all. XiaoXiao Lederer — half Jewish, half Chinese — a product of my adoption 14 years ago. Until 2009, I had never visited Israel, and it was not until a year later that I visited China. These two cultural experiences were as polar as my name, yet I found that they were inevitably drawn together to keep me whole.
for you, Santoshi, except one thing: the courage to change our fates in the blink on an eye. The two roads merge, the magic is gone. I hand the baby to nurse number one and hurry out to my waiting taxi, not looking back. Born about 12 years ago, Santoshi’s counting order would have been somewhere in the mid-six billion, nothing special at all. But there is a woman, over the hills and far away, who regrets what she didn’t do — and longs for that baby, daily. Journalist Aimee Ginsburg has lived in India for 15 years. She writes for India’s Open magazine and is the India correspondent for Israel’s Yediot Ahronot. Ginsburg resided in Israel for many years and grew up in Cleveland. She has two sons.
China. A weird sensation hit me when I arrived, a shiver that told me I was not supposed to be there. No matter where I went, this chill followed. I was stunned by the judgment of the crowded streets of Beijing. The hard faces of the men and women I passed in the streets told me that I might never again be considered a part of their world. Here I was, an expatriate seeking the validation of a country I had emigrated from long ago. Sitting with the other young volunteers only heightened this sensation. We Asian adoptees were not like FALL 2012
I must be truthful to all of myself, so I must them, despite similar faces. We Asian adoptees were in their country. Maybe it was the way we were dressed — American, but the differences were more than that. They were unperceivable to most, but among us it was as evident as the clothes on our backs. We laughed while everyone else in the restaurant ate silently, and as the cigarette smoke coiled and tightened around my throat I could feel my heart closing just as quickly. This was where I was born, where I was spit out and put up for adoption. This was my homecoming. My only relief was volunteering at the orphanage, which kept me going in spite of the bitterness that had quickly surfaced. It was heartbreaking to care for children who reminded me of myself as a child; though unlike me, they dealt not only with an impalpable emotional impairment, but also an evident physical one. Many of the children had brittle bone syndrome, which only made me ask myself whether their hearts were equally delicate. I wanted to be impervious to the lack of affection, but it stung. I wanted to be accepted, yet I was quick to say “I’m American.” I wanted to leave without feeling obligated to return, but I promised myself that I would not abandon a country I felt had left me years ago. Israel. The land that has struggled for its own identity as much as I have. The striking feeling of my trip was not alienation but community, the sense that there would always be someone to listen to you even if you could not find the words to express yourself. I came to realize that Judaism transcends racial boundaries, that being a Jew means more than observing the Sabbath. The history and sincerity of being a part of the Jewish culture lives in the ruins of the walls that once stood unfaltering and in the people who understand what it means to create roots in a spiritual home.
Bwenge and His Family by ANNE SILVER e pulled out of the airport and Brooke rolled down the windows of the car to let in the cool evening air. Jim, my husband, looked surprised, “You drive
lead my life with the intent of honoring both my Chinese and Jewish heritages. As proud as I was when I climbed Masada and swam in the Dead Sea, the sight of the size of the women’s division of the Western Wall compared to the men’s made me come to an acrid realization. Why, in a culture whose stories tell the lives of woman with the courage to slay abhorrent rulers, are men given greater room for prayer? Despite my frustration, I felt a warming peace envelop my body as my forehead kissed the enduring stones of the Kotel. Israel was more felt than seen, more understood than spoken, and I found a part of myself that I was not even aware was missing. I realize now that my choice is not between the Great Wall or the Western Wall; it is a resolution to wear these identities as layers. Too often do we compromise one element of ourselves for another without realizing that we inevitably lose something in transaction. Throughout the years, I have become aware that I must be truthful to myself — all of myself — and so I must lead my life with the intent of honoring both my Chinese and Jewish heritages in a way that will enable me to be a confident young woman in a demanding world. XiaoXiao Lederer lives in New York City. This summer she was a volunteer in Thailand, working in a children’s home and at an elephant camp. She just began her freshman year at the Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts and plans to become a veterinarian.
with your windows open?” Rwanda is just two hours from Dar by plane, but it is a world away in many ways. We knew it would be cooler than Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania, where we live, and had excitedly dug out our jeans and eagerly packed light jackets. We had also been warned not to bring plastic bags since they are illegal and will be confiscated. Roads with curbs and sidewalks that spiraled up steep green hills re-
placed the sandy potholed roads of Dar. Houses were neatly perched on terraced lots and peered over one another, but still had the tall walls that we are familiar with. There were lots of people crowding the sidewalks, but traffic moved along at a nice pace; there was no trash blowing around. “The embassy is considering getting rid of the guards at the residences,” Brooke responded to Jim’s question. “We walk around our neighborhood after dark all of the time.”
Jim and I shared a flicker of cultural shock. Although where we live in Dar is quite lovely and the turquoise Indian Ocean is just five minutes away, we have become accustomed to a high degree of caution. Every time we go out in the garden, even for a minute, we lock the door. This is ironic because we have a guard who patrols the yard — but we have been warned it is the guard you have to worry about. And when we are in the car, we not only lock the doors but worry about people stealing the mirrors while we are stuck in the inevitable traffic jam. “See the purple ribbons?” Brooke continued. “That’s for the genocide memorial that starts tomorrow. It was April 6, 1994, when the president’s
I was filled with such a feeling of calm that it was easy to understand how Dian Fossey dedicated her life to these apes.
plane was shot down and the killing started.” Jim had pointed out the hulk of a plane next to the runway when we landed and had wondered what it was; now it was confirmed. Less than 20 years ago, more than a million people were killed in 100 days; bodies had lain in the streets with families cowering behind the tall walls surrounding their houses. The stories we heard in the next few days and the exhibits at the memorial dug deeply into my soul. Everywhere we went I kept imagining people and children fleeing for their lives. Brooke’s house has a lovely veranda that I sat on in the mornings as the sun came up, and I wondered what had happened there during those months of terror. We hadn’t come to Rwanda to learn about the genocide or even to relish the cool air and the feeling of a fleece on our backs, but rather it was the enticement of gorilla trekking. Brooke works for the Peace Corps in Rwanda, and we had discussed going to see the gorillas well over a year ago. The price to see the gorillas was being increased from mildly ridiculous to totally obscene, so if we were going to do it, now was the time. Easter holidays, cheap flights plus
being able to get discounts for being East African residents equaled a trip. “It is going to be cold,” Brooke cautioned again as she drove us through the winding mountain roads up to the hotel the night before our trek. The rain poured down and sloppy puddles lined the road. We were all nervous after hearing stories about five-hour hikes in the mud to get to the gorillas, or even worse, seeing them almost next to the road. I imagined feeling as if I were Dian Fossey in the movie “Gorillas in the Mist,” hiking up into the rain forest. I wanted to earn my one-hour allotted time with the gorillas but not suffer; a two-hour hike each way would be perfect. We were told to be at the park headquarters at 7 a.m. sharp. After a briefing, we would be placed in a group based on our fitness level; our plan was to look healthy but not too healthy. continued on page 28
Kishorit: A Unique Kibbutz
A communal village provides a high level of independence within a supportive framework for adults with a wide range of disabilities. by MICHELE CHABIN
t’s lunchtime at Kishorit, a kibbutz in the Galilee just north of Karmiel. The members, who had spent their morning working in the wooden-toy factory, the dog-breeding center or the organic egg farm are eager to enter the air-conditioned dining room and eat a hearty meal. While most kibbutzim have gone the way of privatization and no longer offer communal meals in the dining hall, Kishorit makes a point of serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in a restaurant-like atmosphere. Striking fabriccovered canvases, created by the members, hang from the dining room’s walls, and crisp cloths cover the tables. The roasted chicken and potatoes, served with a cucumber and tomato salad, is delicious,and everyone opts for seconds. Conversations fill the room. When the members finish their meals, they bus their trays and head to their apartments to rest for a few hours
and escape the summer heat. Some sleep; others watch TV or turn on their computers to surf the Internet or visit with their families via Skype. They emerge in the late afternoon to congregate in the recreation room or to take a class (several are offered) until dinner. In the evening, they take part in leisure activities either on the kibbutz or in nearby Karmiel, attracted by movie theaters and shopping malls. Living at Kishorit, with its manicured lawns, towering mature trees, clean mountain air and pastoral views of the Galilee, would be restorative for anyone. For its members, who have a wide range of intellectual, developmental and sometimes physical disabilities — including autism, Down syndrome and schizophrenia — the “village,” as it is sometimes called, provides a high level of independence within a supportive framework. Until a place at Kishorit became available, most had been living
at home with their parents, in a group home or an institution. Now they live in small apartments — typical kibbutzstyle housing — usually with another person. Koby Erez, 40, moved to Kishorit 12 years ago because he was lonely. “I was living in Tel Aviv, but I didn’t have so many friends,” confides Erez, a lanky man with a warm smile, seated at a computer in the kibbutz’s media studio, where members create short films with state-of-the-art equipment. By moving to Kishorit, Erez says, “I hoped to find more friends and a community, and I did. I also found a girlfriend.” Kishorit is the culmination of years of effort by parents of special needs children to establish a permanent, safe, nurturing and purpose-filled home for cognitively/mentally disabled adults who, at the age of 21, aged out of Israel’s special education system. Frustrated by the limited housing
Opinion polls show that Israeli society is generally fearful of people with disabilities. We need a lot more Photos by Michele Chabin
education. In its beautiful rural setting in the Galilee, Kishorit is home for some 160 adults with disabilities.
By moving to Kishorit, I hoped to find more friends and a community, and I did. I also found a girlfriend. Above: Kishorit members have won hundreds of trophies for the dogs they breed, train and show. Left: The stable provides therapeutic work for Kishorit members.
and employment options for their children in their own communities — where residents often support the establishment of more facilities for the disabled as long as they aren’t built in their neighborhood — the parents created the nonprofit Kishorit Society in 1994. Three years later, Kishorit was established at Kishor, a failed kibbutz devoid of members. Today, it has nearly 160 disabled residents and a long waiting list. The Kishorit model of assisted self-reliance is one of several models that Israelis are employing to help intellectually and developmentally dis-
abled adults lead meaningful lives. According to Dr. Yoav Merrick, medical director of the Division of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Health Services at the Ministry of Social Affairs, 35,000 intellectually disabled Israelis “from zero to 120” receive assistance from the Ministry of Social Affairs. Of these, about 6,000 adults live in 63 residential care centers or supported-living centers where the population ranges from 20 to 300. Another 3,000 intellectually disabled adults live in 80 group homes, protected apartments or hostels with anywhere from
6 to 50 residents. About 1,000 of the country’s children, the vast majority of them with severe intellectual and physical disabilities, also live in special facilities. The rest — about 25,000 people — live at home “and are provided with some type of service” from the ministry, Merrick says. The number doesn’t include the many adults with autism or mental disabilities who also live in sheltered housing. Beginning in the late 1970s, Israel began to embrace the “deinstitutionalization/normalization” model of integrating the disabled into the community that was being pioneered in Denmark, Merrick’s native country. Israelis invited Niels Bank-Mikkelsen, a pioneer in normalization, to speak about the process, “and that generated the shift in Israel to community-based services like group homes and hostels,” Merrick explains. Since then, the trend has been to downsize. “When I started working
Shekel: A Road to Semi-independence
hekel, which provides community-based services for adults with intellectual, developmental or physical disabilities, is another path to semi-independence. In cooperation with the Jerusalem municipality, the ministries of Social Affairs, Health and Education; National Insurance and the Joint Distribution Committee, the organization operates 80 group homes in the capital, including four units for youth with severe mental and physical disabilities requiring intensive round-the-clock care. Shekel also offers a variety of cultural, educational and leisure activities, including a therapeutic sports program and a vocational training and placement center. Although the center provides transportation, many of its workers commute on their own to their homes throughout the city. Between 20 to 30 percent of Shekel’s members live at home with their families. The others reside in various housing units and hostels, says Ayelet Fishbein, director of Shekel’s vocational services. Housed in a beautiful, modern building in a Jerusalem industrial zone, the vocational center is a bustling place with a half dozen studios. In the third-floor graphics studio, disabled and non-disabled designers work together to produce wedding invitations, calendars and
High Holiday cards; next door, a group of young men and women sit at a long table, carefully stuffing and stitching fabric animals. In the candle-making studio, members craft pieces of scented wax into store-quality candles that are often used as the centerpieces of socially-conscious bar- and bat-mitzvah kids. “Our main goal is to give every person the opportunity to live in the community, to live as successfully as possible with as many options as possible,” Fishbein says, walking into the sewing studio. A group of young and older women, a couple of them in Muslim headscarves, are making pillows for sale in the gift shop downstairs. Outside Fishbein’s office, photos from an adaptation of “Waiting for Godot” performed by Shekel’s theater ensemble hang on the walls. In another artistic enterprise, Shekel members turn glossy posters provided to them by the Israel Museum into fancy shopping bags, which are then sold at the museum gift shop. “We have many projects with the museum,” Fishbein notes, unable to conceal her pride. Although some Shekel participants can barely speak and others are almost completely paralyzed, “it’s not about performance,” Fishbein emphasizes. “It’s about dignity.” — M. Chabin
in the ministry in 1998, the biggest facilities had 450 residents. Now, the two biggest facilities have 300.” Merrick is the first to admit that Israel is “not yet Holland or Denmark,” where every disabled person has his or her own room and a great deal of staff to provide services. “We have more problems than the welfare states of Europe. They don’t have the wars and worries we have. Hopefully, one day we’ll be there but in the meantime, as someone who lived in Denmark for the first 39 years of my life, and the remainder in Israel, I think we should be proud of the kind of service we are providing, with the understanding that we can always do better.” Beth Steinberg, the mother of a 15-year-old with Down syndrome, believes Israelis need to do a great deal more to promote inclusion within their own communities. “Opinion polls show that Israeli society is generally fearful of people with disabilities. We need a lot more education on the issue,” she emphasizes. Steinberg, the co-founder of Shutaf — a Jerusalem-based program that invites non-disabled children and young adults to take part in summer camp and year-round activities alongside their disabled counterparts — insists that Israel will not be able to call itself truly inclusive until it provides greater options to its disabled citizens. While Steinberg acknowledges that some group homes and other facilities are a good fit for some disabled people, she believes that existing frameworks rarely provide the kind of options and free choice other Israelis take for granted. Because the government subsidizes only facilities with six or more residents, she explains, disabled adults who would like to live on their own, or with one roommate or a caregiver, generally don’t have that option. And because most group homes expect their residents to work — usually in a sheltered environment — and downgrade their daytime staffing needs accordingly, residents must be away from their homes much of the day whether they want to or not. “There’s this parental attitude that says, ‘We’ll take care of you,’ and while good care is important, inclusion means you care for the person while giving him the 14
choice to decide how he wants to live in the community,” Steinberg notes. Merrick agrees that “the ideal would be that every person can live exactly how he wants, with his own caregiver,” but as a society, Israel “can’t afford [financially] to reach this level.” And even if the country could afford this model, the doctor adds, officials “are not completely convinced that being alone and isolated is the solution.” In response, Arlene Kanter, a Syracuse law professor who spent two years on a Fulbright grant researching the field of disability studies in Israel, says she has met with “many individuals and families who have observed that there is more loneliness in larger institutions than smaller ones. Unfortunately, there is also more chance for abuse.” Kanter, an advocate of inclusion, considers the options available to Israelis “far too limited. In some ways Israeli society disables people more than their own disabilities interfere with their lives.” The government’s willingness to subsidize only residences with six or more members, she continues, fails to take into account individual needs. Like most people, she says, “many disabled people don’t want to live with five strangers.” Kanter acknowledges that the Social Affairs Ministry is investigating the feasibility of other options, but insisted that “there is too much of a focus on segregated housing,” even when that housing is in the heart of a town or city. Kishorit, where disabled residents live together but, to a large extent, away from mainstream Israeli society, doesn’t live up to Kanter’s ideal of an inclusive community, but it answers a need for its residents and their families.
eading a tour of the community on a hot summer day, Israel Eshel, director of the kibbutz’s department of media projects, explains how Kishorit teaches its members self-reliance. With “two or three” exceptions, Eshel says, every member is expected and encouraged to work, “each according to his or her abilities.” With guidance from the staff, the members choose from one of the kibbutz’s for-profit industries: the horse stables, the wooden-toy factory, the goat farm, the egg farm, the vegetable garden, the vineyard or the dog-breed-
ing center. Others prefer to work in the kibbutz kitchen or laundry. About 10 percent work outside the kibbutz, and a small number of non-residents from nearby communities work at Kishorit. Every member receives a small salary derived from the sale of the organic eggs, wine, toys and prize-winning dogs produced by the kibbutz. Though not at the break-even point, the industries bring in a steady income while providing the members with a sense of accomplishment and purpose. Hagar Tepper, an occupational therapist and director of social services in the employment sphere, says the work the members perform has a positive impact on every aspect of their lives. To live at Kishorit, residents “must be able to wake themselves up in the morning, get dressed, go to the communal dining room on time,” with some help if needed. Every member has a case manager. Another requirement for membership: the residents, who range in age from their early 20s to their 60s, must decide for themselves whether they want to live here. No one is forced to live at Kishorit, Tepper emphasizes. “This is a permanent home, a community, not a rehabilitation center,” although health care and therapies are available on an as-needed basis. As befitting a community, the members are free to have a girlfriend or boyfriend, and the kibbutz has celebrated a few marriages. According to its Web site, “the Kishorit view of disability” does not regard limitations as a stigma, but rather as a condition that each human being faces in some form or another. Its “core values” revolve around providing the members with maximum independence of each member, a “normal daily life” with responsibilities and clear expectations, and freedom of choice and basic rights as autonomous adults. With guidance from staffers, members are encouraged to problem-solve when they face a challenge such as a spat with an apartment mate. Members also participate in important decisions about how to maintain the community. While residents enjoy the freedoms of kibbutz life, they also share in the responsibilities. “They know that continued on page 25
Stranger in a Strange Land
A Kneejerk Jewish Liberal Seeks Hard to Find Republican Jewish Women. by AMY STONE
know that some Jews vote Republican, though darned if I know any. But with Republican attacks gaining traction on Obama as anti-Israel, with threats to women’s rights escalating, and casino mogul Sheldon Adelson vowing to spend as much as $100 million in ads to convert Jews to Romney, I felt it was time to venture out of my comfort zone. As a die-hard Jewish liberal (I voted Republican once — for Rudy Giuliani for mayor of New York), I wanted to get into the minds of Republican Jewish women. Could I possibly be missing something? While an estimated 78 percent of Jews voted for Obama in 2008, polls this summer estimated Jews’ pre-election support for Obama at 68 percent. That’s more than the overall white population, but certainly a drop. Firmly in the Republican camp are Orthodox Jews and Jews with recent immigrant experience. The latest possible weakening of traditional Jewish support for the Democratic candidate was all the more reason to look into what’s going on. I spoke at length with four Jewish women who are voting for Mitt Romney. I tried
to stand back from the fray, not injecting the counter arguments we Democrats hold dear. I started with Georgene Brazer, longtime Republican Party activist in a suburb of Savannah, Georgia. Brazer is angry: “What the hell are we focusing on the minutiae when this country is going down the toilet? Women will do a lot better under the Republican Party because we believe in the law, we believe in the Constitution, which means, by the way, that we are all equal.”
Illustrations by Avi Katz
♥ Pretty, funny, 30 and single, she’s out as a Republican to her friends but not her employers. “You really have to muzzle yourself as a conservative in New York,” she says. I thought Romney’s silence on the Paycheck Fairness Act’s equal pay for women would give her pause. But Brazer is totally opposed to the failed bill. She reasons that if she wants to hire a male secretary rather than a female, she should be able to pay him more if he deserves more. Yes, but… Government-funded family planning? Brazer says, “I don’t want to pay for your personal issues.” Making abortion illegal? “I believe Roe v. Wade is the law of the land.” Brazer is no newcomer to the Republican Party. Before moving to Richmond Hill, for more than 20 years she served as an elected Republican County Committee Woman in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Her partner in Brazer & Litell, a business consulting company she owns, is Virginia Littell, former chairman of the New Jersey Republican State Committee. Widowed with three grown sons, Brazer says she doesn’t give her sons’ ages or her own. A woman “between 50 and 60,” Brazer wants people to read critically, become aware that the “press is oppressive” and become aware of the media’s Obama bias. I wanted to find out what she recommends since I gravitate toward the coverage that supports my liberal biases. Brazer gets 30 publications a day and suggests people read the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, Daniel Pipes (Middle East Forum founder and director whose writings include “Was Barack Obama a Muslim?”) and listen to Rush Limbaugh. She sites Fox News as “the one channel giving both sides of the coin.” She recommends people find out what’s being said in Israel with online coverage from Israel’s Arutz Sheva (Channel 7), which is characterized by others as the voice of the Israeli settlers. Her take on the President: “Obama is not for the Jews. He is not for Israel.” (These were some of her milder remarks on our President. I was a bit shocked.) Israel is a key issue for Brazer, but so is America. “Where have our heroes gone?” she wants to know. “We’ve become an entitlement country. I want to be sure that people don’t starve to death, but everything the Democratic Party stands for is at the expense of you and me. Show 16
me one program they have instituted that has worked.” Brazer, who supported Romney in the primaries, expresses profound frustration when she says, “I don’t get the work I used to because companies aren’t working. We are a country of business people that used to get ahead in the things we developed. That’s been taken away by virtue of taxes and big government.” Her voice rising in outrage, she declares: “Obama’s in over his head. He has no sense of economics or business. He’s an anti-capitalist.” Wait a minute. How could an anti-capitalist pluck Timothy Geithner from the presidency of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to serve as Secretary of the Treasury? Brazer belongs to Mickve Israel, Savannah’s Reform synagogue with a rich tradition as the third oldest Jewish congregation in the United States. How does she square her politics with the social justice values of Judaism? “Our Bible doesn’t teach us that the government will take care of us, which is how American Jews have interpreted it. We’ve corrupted that to a handout, which corrupts people’s spirit and will to succeed.” Wait, wait. Does this mean no more food stamps? No more Head Start? Should we tear all the threads out of the safety net that protects seniors, children, the sick, the homeless? At least Brazer has the comfort of like-minded neighbors in her Savannah suburb, where, she says, most of her neighbors are Republicans or Independents. (Brazer is definitely in a red county in a red state, with more than 71 percent of her county going for John McCain in 2008.)
ot so in that hotbed of Democratic liberals and lefties on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, the place I call home. If you’re a Jew who votes Republican in these parts, you just about have to go around with your head in a bag. “Goldie” (definitely not her name — she would only agree to be interviewed with the promise of anonymity) believes that as someone who works in the media she needs to keep her party affiliation under wraps. “You really have to muzzle yourself as a conservative in New York,” she says. Pretty, funny, 30 and single, she’s out as a Republican to her friends but not her employers. When I met her I was stunned that she was a Republican. She’s so nice, so empathetic. Yes — definitely
time to confront my preconceptions. She feels that being a young Upper West Side Jewish Republican is “almost a lab-created specimen.” She grew up a Democrat on Long Island. As a columnist for her student paper at SUNY (State University of New York) Albany, she was “oozing with outrage over the election results in Gore v. Bush.” But that all changed in 2000 with the violence of the second intifada in Israel. She says she “stopped drinking the Kool-Aid” of Democratic loyalty. This was the start of her Republican leanings, and by 2001 “involvement with Israel informed my whole politics.” An ardent Zionist, she shed her “belief by genetic code.” So this belief that Republicans are better for Israel than Democrats isn’t new. She voted for McCain in 2008, admiring the man for his values and integrity. She supported Romney in this year’s primaries. She says she’s “very unhappy with Obama’s performance overall,” with Israel a key issue. “Romney’s much fairer when it comes to Israel.” At the same time, she says, “Of course you can be critical of the settlement expansion and still be pro-Israel.” But “Obama is demonizing Israel. He’s trying to incite the whole world against Israel.” Wait a New York minute. Obama has used the United Nations as a world forum to declare: “Efforts to chip away at Israel’s legitimacy will be met only by the unshakable opposition of the United States.” Under Obama, the United States and Israel are cooperating on intelligence and developing an anti-ballistic missile system. Military aid to Israel has increased under Obama. Didn’t Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barack recently say: “I should honestly tell you that this administration under President Obama is doing, in regard to our security, more than anything that I can remember in the past.” Is a high five the only acceptable response when Prime Minister Netanyahu announces more settlements? Goldie keeps finding herself the odd-person out with Upper West Siders, whom she considers “the biggest hypocrites around,” stereotyping Republicans as “old rich white guys.” Reform or Conservative shuls offer no sanctuary. Upper West Side rabbis “use the pulpit to advance their liberal agenda. They can’t help themselves,” she says. Although she’s not Orthodox, she enjoys services at some of the modern Orthodox shuls, where she finds “more clarity on the Arab-Israeli conflict.” And yes, of course she’s a feminist. The Republican war on women? “That’s a lot of hooey.” Well, the hooey keeps getting scarier. Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan opposes abortion even in the case of rape and he’s not
alone. The Republican platform draft, as of August, calls for a constitutional amendment banning abortion without exception for rape, incest and endangerment to a woman’s life; and for legislation to extend the 14th amendment’s equal protection under the law to “unborn children.”
ne New Yorker clearly identified as a conservative Republican is Lisa Schiffren. She was the speechwriter behind Dan Quayle’s “Murphy Brown Speech,” probably his most memorable remark. On the campaign trail in 1992, the Vice President, scripted by Schiffren, attacked the sitcom anchorwoman for bearing a child out of wedlock. Twenty years later, now in her early 50s, she’s still writing speeches and is a senior fellow at the conservative Independent Women’s Forum. Schiffren’s embrace of conservative values was gradual. She says, “I grew up in New York, my parents were divorced. I lived through the sexual revolution — watching adults behave badly and get hurt.” Bottom line: “I just think a lot of things people did to get rid of human misery made things worse. The total free-for-all of the sexual revolution works against women.” At 20, a year at Ohr Semeach, a yeshiva in Jerusalem for girls who are baalat teshuva, returnees to Judaism, helped Schiffren find her way. “It’s not as if anyone wants to be June Cleaver,” she says, but the yeshiva introduced her to living “with traditional morality that makes sense.” Where does social justice fit in? Schiffren says, “I think that liberal Jews have, kind of half out of wishful thinking and half out of political expedience, conflated social justice and Judaism. Where does it say in Judaism you’re guaranteed free medical care, that everyone needs to have certain income parameters? This is a political view that has nothing to do with Judaism.” I thought it was an ethical view that has everything to do with Judaism. What about those Torah-driven exhortations to pursue justice, justice; to bestow acts of lovingkindness; to give tzedakah, be generous. With a biblical reference, she says: “We went through the fat years. Now we’re in the lean years. Everyone has to make choices. Everyone understands you have to reset expectations. As a divorced mother of three, I understand how hard it is to go from having everything you need and want to having to make tough choices. Government and citizens need to understand that.” She is supporting Romney because “this might be an okay moment for a technocrat.” Schiffren considers the Republican Party war on women FALL 2012
♥ “a political device that the Obama she was attracted to Judaism after reading Administration has conjured up.” She The Diary of Anne Frank. One reason: says, “No one wants to take away “Back then, Judaism was not as rigid contraception.” The White House as Catholicism.” She converted to attempt to get religious instituJudaism when she was 20 and martions to pay for their employees’ ried one of the few other Jewish birth control was “a stupid Democrats at Texas A&M. political misstep because it’s Over the past 30 years going to cost them.” in northern California — Not according to the Palo Alto, then Menlo Gallup Poll that found that Park — she and her husnon-economic issues just don’t band have shifted from resonate politically for most Democrat to Republican people. But social issues to Tea Party Republican. remain dear to the hearts of Now 54, by her “politiJewish liberal Democrats. cally incorrect” SUV you Polls find that Jewish women shall know her: Hebrew are the most pro-choice group in stickers that translate America and count among Obama’s “Hebron: Now & Forever” The Republican Party’s war on strongest supporters. Overall, acand “The Nation With the cording to Steven M. Cohen and Golan”; an Israel Defense women is a political device that team’s Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Forces sticker, stickers for all Ring May 2012 survey on American five branches of the United States Jews’ political values, about twice as the Obama Administration has military, a National Rifle Association many Jews as other Americans besticker, and the Sarah Palin half of lieve abortion should be legal in all the McCain-Palin 2008 campaign conjured up. cases, favor same-sex marriage, and sticker. say these issues influence their vote. In July, Cohen attended a conferWhen it comes to Israel, Schiffren sees longtime biparence in Hebron pushing for Israeli annexation of all of Judea tisan support crumbling. “Israel is an annoyance getting in and Samaria. It’s grist for “Hamatzav” (“The Situation”), the way of Obama’s outreach to more fashionable Islamic her e-mail newsletter that goes to some 400 individuals and groups,” she says. As someone who worked in the Pentagon organizations several times a week. in the George W. Bush Administration, she offers, “I think Cohen became active after 9/11, organizing her ConIsrael wants to make peace, but the important thing is not servative Congregation Kol Emeth’s Israel action commitpushing Israel to make peace at the wrong moment.” She’s tee. Since then, she’s gravitated to Orthodox Congregation happy that “non-Jewish Republicans have decided that Emek Beracha. Her reason: “I want the drash [commentary Israel is a really big issue. Evangelicals care in a way that the on the Bible reading] to be about the parsha [the week’s old WASP establishment didn’t.” reading] and not about social justice.” Schiffren belongs to the modern Orthodox Hebrew InstiWith the outbreak of the second intifada, “an epiphany tute of Riverdale (New York), whose staff includes a “rabba,” opened my eyes.” She “became aware that there were esOrthodox Judaism’s nearest approach to a woman rabbi. For sentially no conservatives voicing anti-Israel rhetoric while Schiffren, as the mother of three daughters, 12, 14 and 16, “It’s on the liberal side there were plenty.” She characterizes important to me to belong to alternative minyanim where President Obama as “an Israel-hating Marxist.” In this year’s women can lain (lead prayers).” primaries, she supported Texan Rick Perry. How does she explain the vast majority of American Jews’ She says Romney, whom she’s met a few times, “is a ongoing support of liberal Democratic politics? “A lot of it is how good man. He’s experienced in both the public and private you grew up, what you’re comfortable with. A particular phesectors. The Mormons are huge supporters of Israel.” Her nomenon with Jews is to put everyone’s interests, including their local Mormons “have had challah in the sukkah with us. enemies’, ahead of their own. Self-interest is a dirty word. I think They don’t try to convert us.” Mormons converting Jews there’s lots of misguided earnestness and the desire to be nice.” after death? We didn’t go there. Cohen supports the Tea Party Republicans for the same ow you grow up is no guarantee. Lisa Cohen grew up reason she tore off her McCain bumper sticker: “I feel a lot Catholic and Republican in Houston in the 1970s. Her of Republicans like McCain weren’t strong enough. When “big rebellion” was becoming a Democrat at conservative you compromise, you lose.” Texas A&M University. Another form of rebellion, at age 13 continued on page 25
Voting: More Than Just Pulling a Lever by MARCIA J. WEISS
hy is this election different from all other elections? What makes this election so important? Economic growth has slowed, consumer confidence has declined, and many view the country as heading in the wrong direction. With the candidates and the media bombarding us with both substance and rhetoric, we are familiar with the major themes at issue: the economy, unemployment, taxes and how to manage the national debt; healthcare reform; foreign policy; the role of government and government reform; energy and the environment; Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security; education reform; as well as collateral issues such as rebuilding and maintaining the middle class; same-sex marriage, immigration, gun control, abortion and gay rights. Without entering into a discussion of each of these issues, it is obvious that it is vitally important for everyone to vote, even if we vote for “the lesser of the two evils.” Americans have fought hard to protect the constitutional right to vote. Apathy and frustration should not deter us. An attitude of “my vote doesn’t count” is an exercise in futility and is defeatist and unproductive. Elections are determined by those who participate. Elected officials make important decisions about matters affecting our society. In so doing, they are actually responding to their constituents: the people who vote. Voting does not necessarily guarantee that one’s preferences will prevail, but not voting surely denies people a say in our democracy. Let’s keep the following points in mind. It is our privilege as Americans to exercise our right to
vote, to express our views and to advocate for what we feel is proper and correct for us and for the future of our country. It is our right to be counted. Citizens have certain rights, privileges and responsibilities. Refraining from exercising this hard-fought right to vote is turning our backs on society and policy-making. In the 2000 election (George W. Bush versus Al Gore), a mere 0.5 percent of the Florida popular vote made the difference in who became president. As Jews, we can look to the Torah, which commands that a census should be taken and that each person present himself or herself as an individual to be counted. Deuteronomy states: “The Lord our God spoke to us at Horeb, saying, Choose wise and discerning and experienced men from your tribes, and I will appoint them as your heads.” In Job we find: “Let us choose for ourselves what is right; let us know among ourselves what is good.” As proud members of a progressive Jewish women’s organization, we are encouraged to advocate for women’s rights, child welfare, civil rights and the State of Israel. As it is stated in the NA’AMAT USA declarations: We urge support of those candidates and incumbents who demonstrate strong commitment to the issues of women’s rights, human rights, freedom from bigotry and support for Israel. Let us stand up and be counted and make this election a mandate for change that will better our world and the world of the next generation. Marcia J. Weiss, J.D., is the NA’AMAT USA National Advocacy chair. Last issue she addressed the topic of eldercare.
Galia Wolloch Elected President
Mazal tov to Galia Wolloch! On July 12, she was installed as president of Na’amat Israel, elected to serve five years. For the last 10 years, she has served as Na’amat Regional chairperson for Tel Aviv-Jafo. Following is an excerpt from her acceptance speech.
am very moved, and I want to thank you for your confidence in me. To be the president of Na’amat, the largest women’s movement in Israel, is an important and challenging role, and I feel the strong responsibility to serve with confidence and faithfulness. Talia Livni, the departing president of Na’amat who served for a decade, worked tirelessly for the benefit of women and to promote gender
equality. Talia, you should be proud of your achievements and of those of Na’amat; we will all be praised for them for many years to come. I believe Na’amat is the organization for all women in Israel, and I am committed to each and every one: young and old, working, unemployed and retired women, less or more educated, less or more wealthy, secular and religious, Jewish and Arab, women from the center of the country and those from the suburbs, women from the cities, those from the moshavim and kibbutzim, married or single mothers. All women are worthy, and all their voices should be heard. Too many women in Israel feel that they don’t have a voice. And this is not surprising at all. I’m going to make sure that their voices are actually heard! The State of Israel, since its birth, has been committed to the value of equality. In Israel’s Declaration of the Independence, its leaders committed themselves to carrying out complete social and political equality for all its citizens without distinction of religion, Galia Wolloch was installed as race or gender. And so I ask: Is this promise president of Na’amat Israel in continued on page 20
July. Israel President Shimon Peres spoke at the event.
Scholarships for Women Na’amat awards 184 stipends for higher education.
ince childhood, Noa Stockhammer had an urgent wish to move to Israel and become a physician. At age 18, she made aliyah from Canada, alone, and joined the Israeli army. She is now in her first year of medical school at Tel Aviv University. Ebtesam Barakat was born in the Druze village of Yarka to illiterate parents who valued education. When it was time for her to take the traditional path in her society and get married, she chose to continue her studies and is now a Ph.D. candidate.
The main subject of her research: What are the methods and strategies of operation that Arab Druze women (educated or not) use to oppose the patriarchal society and the traditions based on male interpretation of the religion’s writings to improve their social and economical status? For her doctorate, architect Sigal Davidi is doing research on women architects working in pre-state Israel, including some who designed installations for Na’amat in its early years. (See
The Women Architects of Mandate Palestine An excerpt from a talk by Sigal Davidi on receiving her Ph.D. research grant from Na’amat. Rivka Finder
Elizabeth Raider, national president of Na’amat USA, presents a scholarship to medical student Noa Stockhammer. Second from left is Talia Livni, immediate past president of NA’AMAT Israel, and Masha Lubelsky, head of the Scholarship Fund.
Wolloch continued from page 19
still remembered by those who follow the steps of David Ben-Gurion, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, Golda Meir and Moshe Sharett? Is it possible to say that a country in which women earn salaries that are 35 percent lower than those men earn is a country that maintains its promise of equal social rights regardless of gender differences? Is it possible to claim that a state where only 19 percent of its members of parliament and only 10 percent of the ministers of the government are women is a state that maintains gender equality? Could it be asserted that a country where 70 percent of the population that earn up to minimum wages are women is a state that maintains gender equality? Could we affirm that this country maintains gender equality when women who work as university professors represent only 13 percent, despite the fact that they constitute half of
omen architects had worked in Eretz Israel since 1921, the year that Lotte Cohn, the first woman architect, immigrated. My research is an interdisciplinary cultural research, which focuses on the influence of a group of female architects on the emergence of modernist thought and architectural practice in Eretz Israel and the early State of Israel. Together with a large project portfolio of social practice and professional
excerpt from her talk below.) Adi Youcht is a 32-year-old doctoral candidate at the Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law. Her areas of interest focus on the relations between law, gender and culture in the Israeli legal system. In her doctoral studies, she is examining the construction of sexual identities in bodily injury claims related to “sex-defining organs,” an area never seriously explored until now. These are just four of the 184 extraordinary
achievement, the women architects represent a unique constellation of contributions to a social engagement with architecture. The women architects who were active in Eretz Israel represented the model of the “modern new European woman”: educated, professional, financially independent and engaged in a profession that until then had been dominated by men (and remained so for many years), because architecture had not been an occupation that was customary among professional women throughout the world and particularly not in Eretz Israel. Most of the first generation of women architects were young immigrants from Germany who came with
the students who obtain doctoral degrees? Could we declare that the country maintains its promise of equal social rights without distinction of religion, race or gender when only about 21 percent of Arab women participate in the labor market? Would it be possible to say that a country where women are battered, murdered and sexually abused; a country in which thousands of women are prisoners of their husbands who refuse to sign their divorce decree, is in fact a country that keeps its promise of equality without distinction of gender? The answer is clear. The state has not yet complied with what it promised us at the time of its creation — and we are still waiting. But it is quite clear to all of us that waiting is not enough. Women in Israel need us. They expect Na’amat to be by their side and help them realize their right to equality. I will do all it takes to meet the expectations of the women in Israel.
the rise of Nazism. After studying and working mainly in Berlin, they had been exposed to the developments and changes of global architecture and brought modernistic values with them. The research represents the part played by women architects in the process of creating a society in Eretz Israel, while, at the same time, understanding their personal and professional status, and their role during this period. Zionist women’s organizations in Eretz Israel inscribed on their banners the advancement of the feminine agenda of the modernization and advancement of women, and they worked to establish new educational and social institutions toward these goals.
Too many women in Israel feel that they don’t have a voice. I’m going to make sure that their voices are actually heard! I’m going to work to ensure that the promise of equality does not remain a collection of dead letters in the Declaration of the Independence. I am going to work so that the impressive laws for gender equality that were legislated by the Knesset are, in fact, enforced. In my position as head of Na’amat, I intend to place at the top of Na’amat ’s agenda a number of main topics. One of the most disturbing problems for women is the wage gap. It is not acceptable that in our times women earn 35 percent less than men. I intend to act toward the reduction of the wage gap on two different levels. First, it is necessary to take care of direct discrimination, that is, salaries that are lower for women than for men working in the same
women that were awarded Na’amat scholarships for higher education this year. Out of a record 600 applications, Na’amat chose 180 women to receive scholarships to pursue bachelor and master’s degrees and four working toward doctorates. This year also brings a record number of women, 120, studying in the fields of science, technology, medicine and engineering. Among the recipients are a number of single mothers and women from disadvantaged back-
My research will focus on the work of three architects: Genia Averbuch, Elsa Gidoni-Mandelstamm and Lotte Cohn, who, between the years of 1924-1955, designed 16 projects of institutions for women and their welfare under the auspices of women’s organizations in Eretz Israel (four of the projects designed for Moetzet Hapoalot, later to be called Na’amat). The professional advancement by Zionist women’s organizations created an opportunity for them to make a new expression of modernistic creativity that reflected social values. All the major institutions established by the women’s organizations, such as a workers’ kitchen, a domes-
grounds who would find it difficult to continue their studies without the scholarship. All the awardees expressed their deep appreciation to Na’amat for its financial aid and moral support. “In Na’amat, we strive to encourage young students to enter the world of science,” emphasized Shirli Shavit, director of Na’amat ’s International Department, as she opened the award ceremony in June. “We believe that one of the
tic science school, women pioneers’ houses (owned by Moetzet Hapoalot and Leni/Women’s League for Israel), offices of the organization, children’s villages; and even smaller projects like infant welfare centers were planned by women architects. This was an indication of the trust and close relationship between the women’s organizations and the women architects. The work of the women architects in the modernism spirit was an overt visual representation of advancement; however, the research argues that their major achievement was in their success in accomplishing modern social values through functional design
positions. The law protects women against this kind of discrimination, but law enforcement is difficult and complicated since it requires the exposure of workers’ pay slips. Second, we have to take care of those structural limitations that make it difficult for women to get integrated and to be promoted in a just and egalitarian way in the working world. It is my intention to work to identify these limitations and to correct them by focusing on those obstacles that characterize each and every activity and profession. Another topic that is closely related to the wage gap is the fear many women still feel when it comes to dealing with financial matters, both on the national level as well as on a micro one, in their own homes. The time has come for women to stop addressing money as if it were “not their field.” Women tend to refer to economic matters as if they existed in a maleoriented domain. I aspire to see a woman serving as minister of finance in Israel. I have no doubt that a woman
that was not merely stylish. The research will present the cultural and social role that the women architects filled in realizing a new social vision, which is an important part of the history of international modernism and of Eretz Israel’s modernism in particular. The research also examines the expression of social modernism in residential design by the women architects in Eretz Israel, and especially in the planning of the urban apartment and in designing the kitchen. These years were like a theoretical and practical research laboratory in which typical low-budget housing was researched and built. The research will present
most unique resources that can be found here in abundance is the human resource, and we have to place this factor on top of our priorities list. Who knows... perhaps the next Nobel Prize winner is sitting here right now.” She continued: “I want to thank heartily all our haverot abroad, and to express our most profound recognition for their tireless volunteer work, and their commitment and devotion to the future of our movement and the future of our children. It is due to the strenuous work and the fund-raising efforts that the work of the women have been carried out by architects in planning and our members in the United designing the domestic States and Canada for many sphere and the modern years that we can be proud kitchen in particular. It of our Scholarship Fund.” examines the relationSeveral Na’amat ship between designing World Movement leaddwellings and gender and ers attended the award family life. ceremony. The United The significant achieveStates was represented by ments with respect to Elizabeth Raider, Na’amat dwelling and settlement USA national president; planning, the experimenHarriet Green, chair of tal design of the modern National Funds, Gifts and kitchen as a paradigm of Bequests; and Lynn Wax, modernist design, and the chair of Club and Council creation of architecture of Fund-raising. Officials from social institutions for the Canada, Brazil, Uruguay, modern women were all Belgium and Mexico also part of their ultimate conattended, as well as Masha tribution to the advanceLubelsky, president of the ment of a new modernism Na’amat Scholarship Fund. that led to the formation and physical realization of a new social vision.
in office would bring about a significant change in the national priorities — allocating more resources to social issues, out of the understanding that the macro consists of individuals. Now I would like to refer to female representation in general. For me, the exclusion of women does not only refer to placing women in the back seat on a bus. Exclusion of women also implies placing them in the back seat of politics, economic institutions, the capital market and even in the back seat of society in general. It is said that dreams may sometimes come true. So, I will now share my dream with you. I dream of a law that would ensure at least 40-percent representation of the less represented sex. Do you know why this is a dream? Because there is a long way until the time when men will be the ones whose representation has to be ensured. But this really is not a dream, because this model has already been successfully implemented in Norway as well as other Scandinavian countries.
Whenever women dare strive toward high goals, they are told that they are dreamers. Nevertheless, all successes, all changes and all revolutions start as dreams. Considering this, I am a dreamer. I dream of a woman minister of finance and a woman governor of the Bank of Israel. I dream of a woman mayor in the Arab sector and a woman chief of the intelligence in the army. And I really do not think this is merely daydreaming. This is possible and it will be. This will become true if we dare to strive and fight for it, if we dare look forward and say: Yes, we want this and we can do it. Together — we can. I invite you, your daughters, your friends and all other women to join the journey — a journey where we will discover our hidden strengths and capacities and realize our potentialities. This is also a journey to realize the potential of the State of Israel. Because as long as we, the women, do not enjoy full equality, the State of Israel will not actually be the country that it is able to be and the country it must be.
Book My Guilt Pile: Holocaust Books by JUDITH A. SOKOLOFF
here are many stacks of review copies of books in my office. The largest and most formidable are the three piles of “Holocaust books” published over the past couple of years. Fiction and non-fiction, including many memoirs, they are important contributions to the vast and seemingly still growing body of Holocaust literature. Many cover events never before publicly revealed. The books taunt me, but we can’t review them all, and it’s impossible to decide on just a few. Time passes, and these stacks sit there, getting taller: my guilt pile. So I’m putting the onus on you, the reader. Here’s my list, with brief descriptions, and you can make your choices among these worthy books.
NON-FICTION We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust (University of Nebraska Press). Ellen Cassedy not only missed her mother after she died, but she longed for the homey sounds of her Yiddish and became obsessed with learning the language. The author’s quest eventually took her to Lithuania, where she made discoveries about her family as well as explored the
larger Jewish history of Lithuania, a country that suffered through both Nazi and Soviet occupations. Some 120 compelling photographs fill the pages of The Last Bright Days: A Young Woman’s Life in a Lithuanian Shtetl on the Eve of the Holocaust (Jewish Heritage/ YIVO). Born in 1918 in Kavarsk, Lithuania, Beile Delechky became the town’s unofficial photographer. Had she not left for America in 1938, this vivid window into Jewish life would not likely have survived. The book also includes her writings and commentary by the editor, Frank Buonagurio, her son-in-law. Crossing the Borders of Time: The True Story of War, Exile and Love Reclaimed (Other Press). Leslie Maitland investigates her mother’s life in Germany, occupied France, Cuba and New York as she searches for her mother’s lost love, a Catholic Frenchman, who she last saw as she escaped France in 1942. Mielec, Poland: The Shtetl That Became a Nazi Concentration Camp (Gefen). Rochelle G. Saidel unearthed rare photos and records, Nazi documents, survivor interviews and witness statements to tell the story of the Jewish community in Mielec, Poland. The town was dismantled in a day and then turned into a slave labor camp and later a concentration camp.
Sexual Violence Against Jewish Women in the Holocaust (Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Series on Jewish Women). Sonja M. Hedgepeth and Rochelle G. Saidel compiled this anthology of essays written by an international group of scholars. They address the subjects of rape, assault on childbearing, forced prostitution, sexual humiliation and survivor trauma that Jewish women experienced during the Holocaust. The subject of sexual brutality against women in the Holocaust has been pretty much neglected; this book is a vital addition to women’s history, Jewish history and the history of the world. A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France (Harper). Caroline Moorehead uncovers the story of a group of women who fought for the resistance in France and were transported together to Auschwitz. Of the 230 women, about half communists, 49 survived. A Candle in the Heart: Memoir of a Child Survivor (Wordsmithy). Judith Alter Kallman lived a comfortable life in Pieštany, Czechoslovakia, with her parents and five older brothers and sisters. Although the family was hidden in a peasant’s home after the Nazi invasion, her parents and two of her siblings were seized and transported to Auschwitz. She was five years old. Her remarkable journey of survival illuminates the good and evil that surrounded her.
Shards of War: Fleeing To and From Uzbekistan (Strategic Book Group). Michael G. Kesler writes about the daring journeys that he and his sister Luba, both teenagers, made from 1941 to 1945, fleeing Dubno in Ukraine just ahead of the advancing German army. They lived in Stalingrad, Uzbekistan and Samarkand; returned to Dubno where they witnessed the mass grave of the town’s Jews; then moved to Krakow and finally the U.S. Occupation Zone of West Germany. Two Rings: A Story of Love and War (PublicAffairs). Millie Werber and Eve Keller tell Werber’s story of her teenage years in Poland. Trapped in the Radom ghetto at age 14, she was sent to work as a slave laborer in an armaments factory, then transported to Auschwitz, and marched to another armaments factory. Only now does she reveal her precious memory of a brief marriage during these horrific times. A Boy in Terezin: A Private Diary of Pavel Weiner, April 1944-April 1945 (Northwestern University Press). In his third and last year as a prisoner in Terezin (Theresienstadt), 12-year-old Pavel (who eventually ended up in New York City and died in 2010) wrote that he regretted not keeping a diary of his first two years. But even his chronicle of one year resulted in a remarkable account of the daily life of the youngsters, particularly the boys in room 7 where he stayed.
Defying Evil: How the Italian Army Saved Croation Jews During the Holocaust (History Publishing Company). Benjamin Wood brings to light the little-known history of the Holocaust in Yugoslavia, covering actions of Italian Army senior officers in Croatia to thwart the operations of the Naziallied Croatian government. Road to Valor: A True Story of World War II Italy, the Nazis, and the Cyclist Who Inspired a Nation (Crown). Aili and Andres McConnon take readers on a ride through the life of Italian bicycle riding legend Gino Bartali who also was another kind of hero. He joined the Italian resistance, undertaking dangerous secret missions to help Jews escape. The History of the Holocaust in Romania (University of Nebraska Press and Yad Vashem). This 700-page volume by Jean Ancel is based on an exhaustive collection of original Jewish accounts and sources not available until the fall of Nicolae Ceausescu in the late 1980s. The author presents a detailed account of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust in Romania, where it was the Romanian, not the German, regime that destroyed the Jewish community. The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery (Aquila Polonica). This is Polish Army Captain Witold Pilecki’s firsthand report to his superior officers detailing the inner workings of Auschwitz. In 1940, he volunteered to get himself arrested by the Nazis and sent to the camp to smuggle
out intelligence and build a resistance organization among the prisoners. Auschwitz was originally established to prevent Polish opposition to German rule; two of Pilecki’s comrades were in the first transport from Warsaw in August 1940. He escaped from the camp in 1943 but was executed as an imperialist spy by the Polish communist regime in 1948. The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz: A True Story of World War II (Da Capo Press). Denis Avey with Rob Broomby reveal the story of British soldier Avey who smuggled himself into Auschwitz so he could be a witness and reveal the atrocities taking place. This was a bestseller in the UK. The Eichmann Trial (Nextbook/ Schocken). Deborah E. Lipstadt presents an overview of and analysis of the landmark trial of Adolf Eichmann, chief operational officer of Hitler’s Final Solution. The greatest legacy of the trial, the author says, is that Holocaust victims got to tell their stories to a worldwide audience at this televised trial. Alice’s Piano: The Life of Alice HerzSommer (St. Martin’s Press). Melissa Muller and Reinhard Piechocki recount the story of the world’s oldest living Holocaust survivor, the pianist Alice Herz-Sommer, who wrote the foreword. At 108, she continues to play the piano daily in her London home. Born in Prague, she was deported to Theresienstadt in 1943 where she was a beacon of hope to her fellow prisoners. Another biography of
BOOK REVIEWS the pianist, also published this year, is A Century of Wisdom: Lessons from the Life of Alice Herz-Sommer, the World’s Oldest Living Holocaust Survivor (Spiegel & Grau) by Caroline Stoessinger. Waltzing With the Enemy: A Mother and Daughter Confront the Aftermath of the Holocaust (Penina Press). Rasia Kliot and Helen Mitsios, mother and daughter, respectively, tell the story of Mitsios’ Catholic upbringing in Arizona and Kliot’s Jewish life in Lithuiania where the Nazis murdered her father and imprisoned the family in the Vilnius ghetto. You Saved Me, Too: What a Holocaust Survivor Taught Me About Living, Dying, Loving, Fighting, and Swearing in Yiddish (Globe Pequot). Susan Kushner Resnick, a young mother and writer, meets Aron Lieb, a Holocaust survivor, at a Boston Jewish community center. Over the next 15 years, they become close and she becomes his advocate. This is the story of their extraordinary friendship, which ended with his death in 2011 at age 91. Anne Frank’s Family: An Extraordinary Story of Where She Came From (Anchor). Mirjam Pressler (who did the first translation of Anne Frank’s Diary) and Gerti Elias (wife of a first cousin of Anne) reveal more of the story of the Frank family based on some 6,000 newly discovered documents, letters and photos. This was first published in 2011 as Treasures From the Attic. (Doubleday). Lily Renée, Escape Artist: From Holocaust Survivor to Comic Book Pioneer (Graphic Universe). Written by Trina Robbins and illustrated by Anne Timmos and Mo Oh in
a graphic novel format, this is a biography of comics artist Lily Renée Wilheim. The book begins in Vienna, 1938, with Lily living in a wealthy Jewish home. After the Anschluss, her parents send her on the Kindertransport to England. She later manages to get to the United States and eventually becomes an artist and designer. One of her comics characters is Señorita Rio, a Brazilian nightclub entertainer, who has a secret identity that enables her to fight the Nazis in South America. For ages 11 and up. Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust (Candlewick Press). Doreen Rappaport recounts 20 stories of Jewish defiance in 11 countries in Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II. Many photos are included. For ages 10 and up.
FICTION The Emperor of Lies: A Novel (Picador). Swedish author Steve Sem-Sandberg fictionalizes the history of the Lodz ghetto from 1942 to 1945. The second largest ghetto in Europe, it was run by the “Emperor” of the title, Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, to whom the Nazis gave compete authority. The reader must constantly grapple with the moral forces at work as Rumkowski saves some Jews while collaborating with the Nazis to send others to their death. Displaced Persons (Harper Perennial). Ghita Schwartz follows the lives of four Polish Jews from their years together in the Bergen-Belsen displaced persons camp to
their lives in the United States and finally to the 1990s, when the characters are dealing with their conflicting emotions about how to memorialize their past experiences. In the Face of Evil: Based on the Life of Dina Frydman Balbien (FriesenPress). Tema N. Merback takes us into the good life of Dina’s family in Radom, Poland; then we watch it deteriorate with the invasion of Hitler’s forces. Her family gone, the teenager survives a work camp, Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen and eventually raises a family in the United States. You, Fascinating You (Pale Fire Press). Germaine Shames depicts the life of the Hungarian ballerina Margit Wolf and her husband, composer Pasquale Frustaci, who were forced to separate when Mussolini banished foreign Jews from Italy. This novel is based on a true story. A Jew Must Die (Bitter Lemon Press) This novella by renowned Swiss author Jacques Chessex (1934-2009) is based on a true incident that occurred in 1942. In the rural town of Payerne, an anti-Semitic pastor incited a group of Nazis to set an example for Switzerland and the Jews: They viciously murdered a local cattle dealer, Arthur Bloch. Having grown up in Payerne, the author clearly portrays the “dense hatred of Jews.” Far to Go (Harper Perennial). Inspired by her family history, Alison Pick has written a novel about a young secular Jewish family struggling to survive the Nazi invasion of Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia. Judith A. Sokoloff is the editor of Na’amat Woman.
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ohen would certainly find kindred souls among Americans in Israel, where the Republican/Democratic split is the reverse of the United States. An estimated 77 percent of Americans living in Israel voted Republican in 2008. According to Republicans Abroad/Israel, 150,000 Americans in Israel are registered to vote. And the Republican Party is pursuing those votes. In July, Ari Fleischer, who was press secretary for President George W. Bush, took the campaign to Israel with the head of the Republican Jewish Coalition. Goal: Get these Republicans to vote for Romney and convince their friends and relatives back home to do the same. The long-shot: The American Jewish vote from Israel might just swing the swing states for Romney. Of course Fleischer, who’s on the board of the Republican Jewish Coalition, isn’t the only one to realize the possible power of the Jewish vote in Florida. Comedian Sarah Silverman is once again on the move, following up on her 2008 call to young Democrats to do the great schlep to Florida to convince their bubbies to vote for Obama. So if I spent less time watching Jon Stewart and more time reading the National Review, would I rethink my party politics? No way. Three of the four women I spoke with were deeply concerned about the economy but didn’t have much to say about Romney’s credentials.
continued from page 14 they can’t visit their parents on a Monday because they have to work,” Tepper says, “and that’s okay.” At the stable, which provides therapeutic and leisure riding to residents and people from outside Kishorit, members focus on their responsibilities: to feed, groom or walk the kibbutz’s 10 horses. Seeing a visitor, 27-year-old Maanit, a cheerful, outgoing young woman with a burst of curly hair, introduces herself and explains how she cares for the horse whose head she strokes with affection. “We feed them and we clean them, and we need a lot of patience, especially if they’re not feeling well,” Maanit notes. Judi Kay, who runs the stable, says the members give the animals a lot of love and learn a great deal in the process. “They learn that somebody needs to look after the horses, to see that they eat. They learn not to just care about themselves. They learn about the horses’ needs and behaviors, and how to act accordingly around them. We can’t put them or the
I can understand their outrage over big government not working. I, too, am outraged that our government isn’t working. Lobbyists are writing our national legislation, seducing both Republicans and Democrats. We get totally contorted Obamacare because simpler, all-inclusive national health care — including contraception and abortion — is a political impossibility. It is certainly politically brilliant of the Republicans to cast Obama as anti-Israel. But as the Workmen’s Circle survey found, Israel is not a major factor in how Jews vote. Though let’s see what Adelson’s $100 million can buy. This year’s election may be close, but the phenomenon of a significant number of Jews switching party allegiance remains unlikely. The Workmen’s Circle survey confirmed that while we Jews may be less politically liberal than in the past, the majority’s commitment to liberal principles and politics still sharply differentiates us from other voters. The crucial issues for the vast majority of Jewish voters remain social justice and economic justice, including regulating financial institutions; support for progressive taxation, and the argument that government should do more to help the needy. Definitely in my comfort zone. If you’re reading this article and not the National Review, you probably agree. Amy Stone is a freelance writer who campaigned for Kerry in Ohio and Obama in Pennsylvania in the last two presidential elections.
horses in danger.” Working with animals is a continuous lesson in problem solving, Kay adds, and “a valuable lesson in recognizing when to ask for help.” One of the Kishorit’s happiest workplaces is the dog farm, where members, staff and volunteers breed and sell prize-winning schnauzers. The adjoining trophy room boasts more than 100 cups and ribbons from competitions both in Israel and abroad. “The members show the dogs in the competitions,” Eshel notes. “It gives them a feeling of great satisfaction and self-worth. They also learn that not winning is also part of life.” Adds Schacher, a 29-year-old member, as she cradles a black puppy in the farm’s shady fencedin yard, “We take care of the dogs and the dogs love us back.” Although the large, airy woodworking studio, with its professional equipment, was empty this day because the members had gone on a day trip (Kishorit also organizes vacations), the gift shop was open. Created by the members with the help of professional carpenters, the high-quality toys, rock-
ing horses and children’s furniture (Pasteltoys) that are sold in the Kishorit shop can also be found in fashionable stores around the country. “The members are proud of their work and feel wonderful knowing they’ve made something any child can enjoy,” says Eshel. Back in the media center, Amit Cohen, a talented musician who is blind and mildly autistic, sat at a console, writing a TV script. The programs the members produce are aired on community TV stations. Cohen relates how he moved to Kishorit 12 years ago after hearing about it from friends. “I like my work and the fact that I share an apartment with my girlfriend. But I do miss my family, who I see once a month,” he says. [My parents] “are happy I’m in a place where I’m cared for. They know I have backup.” Michele Chabin is a journalist living in Jerusalem. She covers the Middle East for The New York Jewish Week and other publications. She wrote “The Teak Table” in our spring 2012 issue. FALL 2012
continued from page 7 community, thus saving the city money in garbage disposal. Part of that money will go to the community council, which provides the compost container and know-how to residents for their home use. They hope to have some 1,000 families involved within a year.
ut because of Jerusalem’s mixed population, which includes ultra-Orthodox Jews and Palestinians Arabs, the overall approach to environmental issues in the city can’t be all encompassing, Jerusalem environmentalists counsel. In Ra’anana, says an environmental activist, you don’t have to do much to educate people; they catch on quickly. “If you put out green and brown garbage containers, people will separate their garbage,” he explains. “But in Jerusalem, it won’t work like that. Maybe it is because of the complex population here,” he postulates. “But here the ethos of community is stronger, and in this case, with stronger community programming, separation of garbage can work in Jerusalem, too.” The Orthodox and Arab communities have to be approached through campaigns that are geared toward their sensitivities and culture. It seems that when these groups are given the feeling that doing recycling, for example, means being part of a community project, then they start working together. In addition to the political dimensions involved in collaborating with the Jerusalem municipality, the need for many basic services in these communities are inadequately met, so environmental issues are not high up on their agenda. “They have other priorities right now, like appropriate parks and playgrounds for their children,” says one environmentalist familiar with the situation in both sectors. But when the concept of environmental responsibility is introduced in a culturally sensitive manner, the communities have been receptive to the ideas, realizing that their quality of life would benefit from such simple actions as bringing in plastic bottles for recycling and reducing their water usage. So, while in West Jerusalem resi-
dents debate the benefits and methods of composting, in East Jerusalem they are still struggling to get proper garbage disposal, says environmental activist Fuad Abu Hamed, a businessman from the East Jerusalem village of Sur Baher who founded Just Green to help improve the quality of life of East Jerusalem residents. There is a “serious problem of services” for East Jerusalem including lack of classroom space in schools, green parks and proper garbage disposal, he says. Last year, Just Green worked with 10 East Jerusalem schools to raise environmental awareness, but because of a lack of funding this year, they were able to work only with schools in Sur Baher, notes Abu Hamed. Acknowledging “the terrible gap” between East and West Jerusalem, Tsur says that the municipality was working with the residents to begin recycling centers in three East Jerusalem neighborhoods. Again, environmental educators have to be culturally sensitive.
t the end of the school year the hot desert sun beat down relentlessly on the schoolyard of the Afack School for the Learning Disabled in Sur Baher. Brightly colored sculptures dotted the school walls and whimsical benches — which turn out to be made from recycled tires and decorated with ceramic shards — are strategically placed along the yard. A group of boys play pingpong at a table they made themselves from recycled materials. Sprinklers water small patches of grass, while a boy purposefully waters a small herb garden near the school entrance with a hose. “All the water being used is rainwater we collect during the rainy winter in six large plastic reservoir containers that line a back wall of the school,” says principal Rana Khalaf proudly. The school, which works with Just Green, will be the second school — and the only Arab one in Israel — to be included in the city’s Green Roof project. It ran the rainwater project with help only from an international NGO this year. Khalaf soon hopes to join the Rainwater Harvesting in Schools program run by the Jerusalem Foundation, which is now working with 16 schools, including four in the Arab sector.
“The parents really loved the rainwater reservoir project,” says Khalaf. “It wasn’t so long ago that this was the traditional way the older generation saved rainwater. It is hard to say that we are having an influence as we are still in the explaining stage. But at least we are starting to see changes in the students.” There are also plans in the works with Just Green to start a community garden in the school. Khalaf entices students to bring in plastic bottles for recycling with promises of a pizza party with the earnings. A special energy bike helps the kids burn off some of their extra energy while producing electricity. While the concept of environmental awareness has reached the Arab sector later than the city’s Jewish residents, once people are introduced to the concepts and see the benefits — like an increase in the school budget because of the reduction in the water bill and the use of paper — students and teachers become enthusiastic about the recycling projects, and parents become more involved, too, Khalaf says. It is a matter of time and changing the accepted norms and mentality, she continues, and this is something the sector has to take responsibility for regardless of the political situation. “Everybody has to think of how they can take care of his little part of the Earth.”
n the religious Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem, Tamar Gindis, 58, a Montreal native who made aliyah in 1992 from New York City, has been involved in environmental issues within the religious community since 1997. That year, she created the non-profit organization Shomera for a Better Environment, aiming to help connect Jewish traditions with environmental responsibility and awareness within the national religious and Haredi communities. Today, Gindis is trying to promote halacha (Jewish law) and the environment through a book she is writing. It is imperative to be sensitive to each community’s special needs and not to lump all religious people into one category, Gindis says, and she is always careful to select speakers who will be accepted by the audience they are addressing. “You have to be intelligent with what you are doing and what you are
teaching,” emphasizes Gindis, noting that while at first mainly Anglos attended the activities, over time native Israelis have also become more involved. “There is a lot of education work to be done, and the parents are happy to have their kids outside. These are city kids so everything is new to them. They have had little chance to experience a natural environment. The kids study very long hours so they rarely get out into nature.” When nature classes were first introduced, the children rarely looked at clouds in the sky and were reluctant to sit on the ground, she notes. Topics need to be explained appropriately, she says, and while God does not need to be injected into every discussion, some appreciation of the Godgiven natural world is fitting when working with some parts of written texts. “Because this is a relatively new topic for many people and the goal is to engage the audience, the language can’t be too technical and the material must not contain any offensive pictures,” she adds.
Another challenge, Gindis says, is how to reach out to the women in the community, and help the mother of 10 children realize that there is even something in this for her, too. “It is important to show that the topic of the environment is relevant to them as observant Jews as well,” says Gindis. “Within Judaism, there exists interpersonal mitzvot. Much of the action to preserve the environment and our natural resources is based on these laws and on the laws related to our roles as caretakers of the world. We are accountable for how we tend to the gifts we have been given — our bodies and souls, our fellow man and the world.” Jerusalem journalist Judith Sudilovsky is a frequent contributor to Na’amat Woman. She won the first place 2012 Simon Rockower Award in the category of Excellence in Arts and Criticism for her article “Making Their Mark in the Arts,” published in our summer 2011 issue.
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core and spirit of the work we do as Na’amat USA members, in partnership with Na’amat Israel, as we maintain and improve the myriad of social services that we support. As we approach the High Holidays, a time of reflection and remembrance, the values of social justice that are implicit in our efforts to sustain the organization that signifies women’s influence in Israeli society are more meaningful than ever. Na’amat USA continues to broaden our educational and social service programs to meet the needs of an expanding Israeli society. I thank you all for your continuing efforts on behalf of Na’amat USA and wish you and your families a happy and sweet New Year. Shana Tova Umetukah!
continued from page 11 The next morning dawned with near perfect weather as we gathered with the other trekkers who were also nervously shuffling around waiting to be told what to do. Discussions could be heard about not using a flash on the camera and what to do if the gorilla charges. Suddenly, as if by magic, groups began to form. We hadn’t arrived with a tour group and suddenly realized we had been forgotten. All of the tours had already expressed their clients’ wishes on how long they wanted to trek; the three of us felt like outcasts. The park ranger told us he was working on getting us a group and finally Patience arrived to take care of us. Patience has worked with the gorillas for 16 years; he had a pleasant smile and a name well suited to his temperament. He had two more stragglers in his wake, an American couple living in Nairobi. As we were patting ourselves on the back for being so lucky to have a smaller than the average eight trekkers in our group, three teenagers were brought over. They had arrived late, looking like they had no idea where they were or why they were up so early in the morning. Bits of morning crusties clung to the eyes of the youngest girl, and the boy kept making loud obnoxious comments that the other girl laughed at too quickly. When the ranger discovered they had no water, a quick stop at a shop was figured in, and off we went. Patience told us that Bwenge was the silverback of the family we were going to visit, but he didn’t know exactly where they were yet. Bwenge means clever. He was named this because when he attacks other groups to steal their females, he hides his — so if he loses, they can’t take his women. His father was Titus, a famous silverback. We soaked up this information while one of the teens asked, “What is a silverback?” It was after 8 and the other groups had already left. “You don’t know where they are?” we asked several times hoping for a different answer with each query. Patience just listened 28
to his radio and smiled. We piled into our cars and formed a small caravan as we headed out in the direction the family had been seen the day before. After about 30 minutes we pulled to the side of the road and looked at the steep side of a hill and a muddy trail leading up. “It is 50 minutes to the park,” he told us, adding that Bwenge was somewhere in the park. “Do you know where?” we asked again. “Not yet, but if we don’t find him, we have backup families that we always know where they are,” he replied. A collective anxious sigh rose from the five adults and not a flicker from the kids who were talking about their favorite foods. In the distance, mist could be seen clinging to the surrounding mountains, but we were enjoying the sunshine and a beautiful climb with occasional mud patches to remind us of how lucky we were that it wasn’t raining. Patience stopped every once in a while and listened to his radio but kept denying that he had any idea of the gorillas whereabouts until we finally reached a stone wall and a man with a rifle; it was the edge of the forest. “The stone wall is to keep the buffalo and the elephants in; the villagers are tired of them ruining their crops, and yes I now know where Bwenge is.” He stopped for a long pause. “How far?” we all asked in chorus. It was 11 a.m. “Three hours, ” he said, deadpan. “Three hours there and back or just there?” A smile broke over his face as he kept goading us on. As he pulled on his rain pants, he finally admitted that it was just an hour or so further and off we went. As if by magic, when we entered the forest, the mist blew in after us. We slogged through mud and the hour passed quickly. Almost without noticing, we reached the trackers, and in whispers we were instructed to leave our packs and all water and to come quietly. The teens had been struggling up the mountain and the boy crackled a bottle of water nervously in his hand. Patience appeared not to notice and Brooke looked at me worriedly. She pointed, mouthing words of distress with lines of panic forming around her eyes. She was sure the gorillas were
going to attack and fell to the back of our small group. Patience gave the kids a stern look and took possession of the bottle. We ducked under some brush and Patience began a quiet rumble in the back of his throat. A responding grunt came from a clump of nearby bushes. “Behold the King!” Patience said with reverence, “The Man.” It took me a few seconds to realize we were surrounded by quiet gentle creatures, with the silverback holding court off to one side. Several babies scampered through the underbrush rolling and jumping on each other or swinging from a vine as the adults chomped on leaves. A sweet smell filled the clearing. At first I thought it was the vegetation, but Patience told me it came from the silverback’s armpits. I was filled with such a feeling of calm that it was easy for me to understand how Dian Fossey dedicated her life to these apes. The silverback and several of the adult females would seek out my gaze and share a deep look. After the hour was over in what felt like seconds, the gorillas seem to know that they had done their part and departed as if on cue. We quickly made our way down the hill that had taken so long to climb, and at 2 p.m. were back at our vehicles just as the sky cracked open, dumping the torrential rain that had been threatening for the last few hours. Small creeks formed in what had been paths just minutes before. The lasting feeling from the trek was similar to a good meditation — calm permeated my being and I fully understood what Dian meant when she said, “The more you learn about the dignity of the gorilla, the more you want to avoid people.” Anne Silver is the director of management and operations for Peace Corps Tanzania. After selling her real estate business in the United States in 2000, she joined Peace Corps Ukraine as a business development volunteer. She was hired in 2005 as the associate Peace Corps Country director for Development of Volunteers secondary projects in Ukraine. In 2010, Silver relocated to Guyana, South America, for two years, and she is now serving in Tanzania.
AROUND THE COUNTRY
π Broward Council celebrates Na’amat USA’s 86th anniversary with a delicious luncheon. Guest speaker Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL) addressed the issues of Israel’s security, women’s rights and the welfare of children. From left: Congressman Deutch; Gloria Elbling Gottlieb, past national president; and Ruth Racusen, council co-president and event chair.
San Fernando ® Valley Council joined the 2012 Israel Day Independence Day Festival by marching in the parade and showcasing the work of Na’amat USA at a booth. Council president Susan Isaacs is shown with her granddaughter, Talia Isaacs.
π Cleveland Council holds its festive annual donor luncheon with entertainment provided by violinist Mary Beth Ions. From left: Violet Spevack, Luisa Aviv and Linda Schoenberg, council president and national board member.
π Pittsburgh Council holds a “child rescue” barbecue to raise money for Na’amat’s professional workshops and for special programs that help children in day care centers and their families cope with trauma due to bombings. From left: Judy Sufrin, past president; Marcia Weiss, president and national board member; and Gloria Elbling Gottlieb, past national president.
√ Washington Council
π Aviva club (Chicago Council) installed its new officers and raised more than $16,000 for women and children in Israel at its gala luncheon. From left, seated: Barb Kitzberg and Cyndee Schwartz; standing: Eileen Kurtz and Janet Reicher, program/education vice president.
president Ruth Reid welcomes members and friends at the annual Spiritual Adoption luncheon. Guest speaker Deborah Troy-Stewart, Eastern Area coordinator, gave an update on Na’amat activities.
NA’AMAT WOMAN Wins Rockower Award
Convention Chairs Gear Up for Exciting Programs
Na’amat Woman received the first place award in the category of Excellence in Arts and Criticism in the annual Simon Rockower Awards competition. Presented by the American Jewish Press Association at its annual conference held this year in June in Philadelphia, the awards honored the best Jewish journalism published in 2011. “We are very gratified by the award, as it reflects the excellent articles published continually by our magazine,” said editor Judith Sokoloff. The winning article is “Making Their Mark in the Arts” by Judith Sudilovsky, published in the summer 2011 issue (you can view it online on the Na’amat USA Web site; go to magazine). The author discusses Ethiopian Israelis who are enriching the performing arts with their traditions and talents. The comments of the judges: “Fresh topic, insightfully approached, with in-depth reporting and a comprehensive range of examples. It gives a real feel for an unappreciated part of Israel’s artistic landscape.”
Na’amat USA’s 41st national convention in Cleveland, Ohio, will be held at the beautiful Hilton Cleveland East/Beachwood, July 21 to 24, 2013. Inviting all members to attend, national convention chairwoman Chellie Goldwater Wilensky of Chicago says: “We are excited to hold our convention in Cleveland, as we plan and work together to strengthen Na’amat USA. We are delighted that Galia Wolloch, the newly elected president of Na’amat Israel, will participate, as well as Masha Lubelsky, Na’amat representative at the Executive of the World Zionist Organization.” National convention program co-chairwomen Linda Schoenberg of Cleveland Heights, Ohio; Gail Simpson of Agoura, California; and Debbie TroyStewart of Lakewood, New Jersey, are planning sessions featuring top speakers
Convention registration form
Welcome to the New Life Members of NA’AMAT USA EASTERN AREA Leslie Berlin Melville, N.Y. WESTERN AREA Barbara Berkowitz Whittier, Calif.
MIDWEST AREA Gail Stroud South Euclid, Ohio Ileen Tepper Pepper Pike, Ohio Phyllis T. Weiss Reminderville, Ohio Gertrude Yaged Beachwood, Ohio
Circle of Love Donors NA’AMAT USA wholeheartedly thanks the following for providing scholarships for needy Israeli children to attend NA’AMAT multipurpose day care centers. One ($2,000) or More Maniyeh Khorsandi Shirley Mae Levy Long Island Council Tooran Mahboubi Rimonim Club (Las Vegas) In Memory of Sophia Stutz Chellie and Yankee Wilensky Others Ann & Bob Albert Chadash club (Pittsburgh Council) Sheila and Alex Cohen Cookie Elbling Julian Elbling Estate of Suzanne Kay Mensh Ruth Ganz Fargotstein Debby and Nathan Firestone Donna Fogel
Judy and Edward Friedman Gloria Elbling Gottlieb In Memory of Ester Elie Pat and Bill Jacobs Harriet and Jules Kruman Ladies Hospital Aid Society Rudy J. Lubov Annette Lutz Jane and Edward Moravitz Marcia Pevsner Pittsburgh Council Shirley Sacks Marla and Harold Scheinman Ellen Singer Norma Kirkell Sobel and Michael N. Sobel Diana and Saul Spodek Judy and Joe Sufrin Lynn Wax Marcia J. Weiss Carole and Harvey Wolsh
who will address critical issues facing Israel, American Jews and women. Lively entertainment and great meals are also on the agenda. Local convention Chellie Goldwater chair Robin Lieberman Wilensky is also working to make the convention a memorable event. She points out the many attractions in Cleveland that can make your stay a great family vacation: botanical gardens, recreation parks, zoo, a multitude of museums, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, sports events and much more. Convention is a wonderful time to catch up with old friends, meet new ones, and enjoy the sisterhood of women working for women both in the United States and Israel.
NA'AMAT USA 41st NATIONAL CONVENTION CLEVELAND, OHIO, JULY 21-24, 2013 Please print your name as you wish it to appear on your badge. Name Address City/State/Zip Phone
Rooming with Arriving on
Name of guest/spouse Address City/State/Zip Phone
Club Friend of Na’amat USA
Early Bird Special: $425 by February 1 (per person, double occupancy). After Feb 1: $450. Single supplement: $200. Package includes: 3 nights in the Hilton Cleveland East/ Beachwood plus opening night reception, 2 breakfasts, 2 dinners, closing brunch, all programs and entertainment, convention bag and materials.
Total registration fee(s) $________________ Enclosed is my check payable to Na’amat USA Please charge:
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Please send to: Na’amat usa, 505 8th Avenue, Suite 2302, New York, NY 10018.
You are Invited to Join the NA’AMAT USA
Circle of Love A child’s future is in your hands! That child needs our Circle of Love to be nurtured and set on the road to a happy and productive life. Each Circle of Love provides a scholarship for an at-risk child to attend one of Na’amat’s multipurpose centers. These centers provide not only quality education, but also psychological and special needs services — all in a loving environment, 12 hours a day. A single donation of $2,000 completes a circle. Ten people, each donating $200, will also create a circle. Donors’ names will be inscribed on the Circle of Love wall in Israel and appear in Na’amat Woman magazine.
With your help, the Circle of Love will be never-ending. Please contact the national office for additional information. Phone: 212-563-5222; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: www.naamat.org.
To All Annual Members: YOU CAN WIN A LIFE MEMBERSHIP! Name
Pay your 2012-2013 dues of $36 by October 1, 2012, and your name will be entered in a drawing for a life membership. The winner’s name will be announced in the winter issue of Na’amat Woman.
Charge to my credit card. American Express Card #
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Or make check payable to Na’amat USA, 505 Eighth Avenue, Suite 2302, New York, NY 10018.
Join us in Cleveland, Ohio, for the 41st National Convention of NA'AMAT USA.
July 21-24, 2013 Hilton Cleveland East/ Beachwood Early Bird Convention Package: $425.
Experience the spirit and excitement of a NA'AMAT USA convention. Join dynamic women in stimulating discussions and important plenaries. Enjoy socializing with members from across the United States and visitors from Israel. Generate new ideas and help shape the future of the organization.
Top Israeli and American personalities Gala banquet and festive entertainment Sessions on critical issues Election of national officers And much, much more!
Make our convention part of your family vacation! See page 30 for convention package details and registration form.
Published on Oct 12, 2012
The mission of Na’amat USA is to enhance the status of women and children in Israel and the UnitedS tates as part of a world wide progressiv...