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Super Sunday is this Sunday, Jan. 31 This Sunday may be the single most important day of the year for Jews everywhere. It’s the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati’s Super Sunday, when the community gathers to raise funds for itself, Israel and Jews in need worldwide. The event is now in its 29th year. For those who may have missed it in years passed, volunteers phone members of the community asking for donations. Last year, with the economy in collapse worldwide, Cincinnati raised over $328,000. Perhaps even more important is that Cincinnati donors are uncommonly faithful in meeting their pledge obligations — the rate of failure is less than 1 percent. The pledges will not be due until Dec. 31, 2010. This year, PNC will join the effort. It will match every new gift

Volunteer raising funds for the community.

of $180 as well as donations from repeat donors who have increased their donation by 20 percent. What do the needs look like judging from 2009? According to Tedd Friedman, campaign co-chair, services last year for the Jewish community saw significant increases. For Jewish Family Service Food Pantry saw an increase in use of 80 percent, and there was a 45 percent increase in demand for emergency funds. At the J, Meals on Wheels, a program that provides meals for homebound seniors, experienced a 60 percent increase while meals for seniors at the J experienced a 46 percent increase. Finally, Jewish Vocational Services saw an increase of 70 percent in clients using their career network.

Where do the funds go? According to Friedman, the breakdown is as follows: 44 percent to Israel and Jews worldwide 25 percent to local programs for Jewish learning and living 18 percent to local programs for families and youth 11 percent to local programs for seniors 1 percent to the greater Cincinnati community 1 percent to community reserves at the federation, their financial cushion With Super Sunday, the Chicken Soup Cook-Off up the street at Wise and the second day of the Jewish and Israeli Film festival, this Sunday offers many reasons for Jews in Cincinnati to gather among fellow members of the tribe and lend a hand.

Chicken Soup Cook-Off this Sunday NATIONAL Israeli aid effort helps Haitians—and Israel’s image Page 7

ISRAEL Spitting on Christians in Jerusalem raises eyebrows Page 10

For Jews, is there a food more important than chicken soup? How many jokes have been written about it...“A Jewish woman had two chickens. One got sick, so the woman made chicken soup out of the other one to help the sick one get well.” (Henny Youngman). Its curative powers are legendary — “Bubbiemycin” — and recipes for it abound. So, it is not surprising that Wise’s brotherhood organized a major annual fundraiser around chicken recipes with a huge collateral benefit — gallons of soup for

Bangkok Terrace features good food, inviting ambience Page 14

Barbara Hahn at last year’s Chicken Soup Cook-Off.

concept into so many exciting creations.” The team of judges is assembled from the Wise Temple and the larger Cincinnati communities. “Having our friends and families participate turns this into a real community event,” explained Rissover. “The chefs really rise to the opportunity to share their gifts with others and discover how truly talented they are.” On Sunday, Jan. 31, all of this will come together between 12:30 and 2 p.m. Call Wise for more information.

Pope seeks to mend ties in synagogue visit by Ruth Ellen Gruber Jewish Telegraphic Agency


the Over-the-Rhine Soup Kitchen. Last year the event produced over 132 gallons — nearly 2,000 servings, according to event organizers. This year, in addition to chicken soup recipes designed to declaw competitors, entertainment will be by Shir Chadash. A silent auction will be held as well that includes jewelry and art work. “The sheer inventiveness of our amateur participants amazes me every year,” said Dr. Jay Rissover, chairman of the event. “I love sampling the ways in which the amateurs transform the basic

ROME (JTA) — When Pope Benedict XVI visited this city’s main synagogue, sparring between the pope and Jewish leaders over Pope Pius XII’s role in the Holocaust grabbed headlines. But the emotion-charged visit Sunday held broader significance, as Jewish leaders and the Germanborn pontiff sought to mend strained relations and reaffirm a commitment to Christian-Jewish dialogue. “Despite a dramatic history, the unresolved problems and the mis-

understandings, it is our shared visions and common goals that should be given pride of place,” said Rome’s chief rabbi, Riccardo Di Segni, speaking to a packed sanctuary from in front of the ornate ark. “The image of respect and friendship that emanates from this encounter must be an example for all those who are watching.” Benedict’s visit came in the wake of tensions sparked most recently by his decision last month to move Pius XII closer to sainthood. A year ago, the pope triggered an outcry by revoking the excommunication order on a traditionalist bishop who denied

the Holocaust. Critics accuse Pius of having turned a blind eye to Jewish suffering in the Holocaust. Rabbi Giuseppe Laras, the president of the Italian Rabbinical Assembly, boycotted the synagogue ceremony to protest Pope Benedict’s move on Pius. Rome Jewish Community president, Riccardo Pacifici, whose grandparents died in Auschwitz, acknowledged the concern over Pius in his welcoming address to the pope and repeated calls for the Vatican to open its secret archives to resolve the issue.

But he also paid tribute to individual Catholics and Catholic institutions that had helped Jews — and choked back tears describing how his father and uncle had been saved in a Catholic convent. “Because of this, the silence of Pius XII in the face of the Shoah still hurts like a missed opportunity,” Pacifici said. “Maybe he could not have stopped the death trains, but he could have sent a signal, a word of extreme comfort, of human solidarity, for our brothers who were transported to the ovens of Auschwitz.”

POPE on page 19



Author of ‘Rashi’s Daughters’ speaks at B’nai Tzedek, Feb. 4 Maggie Anton, author of the well received trio of historical novels, “Rashi’s Daughters,” will speak at Congregations B’nai Tzedek/Beit Chaverim on Thursday evening, Feb. 4. Anton’s novels focus on Rashi, the great 11th century Talmudic scholar and his three daughters. It’s publication coincided with the 900th anniversary of Rashi’s death. Winner of the Best Books 2005 Historical Fiction Award, “Rashi’s Daughters” opens for consideration the role of women in the world of the observant Jew. Set in the wider context of Jewish life in 11th century France and in that of Rash’s family’s life, in particular, the novel weaves historical material with fictional techniques in an exploration of the lives of medieval French, Jewish women. The series of books opens in 1068, when Salomon Ben Isaac, better known today as “Rashi,” returns home to Troyes, France from his studies in Germany to take over the family winemaking business. A Talmudic scholar with a gift for accessible exposition, Rashi attracts students as his reputation as a Talmudic scholar grows. Watching the young men guided in their Jewish studies by their father, Rashi’s daughters

The novels detail the struggles of Rashi and his daughters as they pursue their pioneering studies, and in their everyday lives, using Talmudic passages and their explanations.





seek the same attentions. Dramatically breaking with Jewish custom and tradition, Rashi decides to yield to his daughters wishes and teach them Talmud. The novels detail the struggles of Rashi and his daughters as they pursue their pioneering studies, and in their everyday lives, using Talmudic passages and their explanations. Originally educated in the sciences, Anton spent seven years researching the series. When she began her first book of the series, she worked a full-time job and wrote in the evenings. Anton, who studied with leading Talmudic scholars, recalls she was “intrigued with the idea that this great Jewish scholar had no sons, only daughters—daughters who studied Jewish texts.” Much of Anton’s work is imag-





from your children



inary. But the central characters are all real, many of the historical events mentioned did in fact take place, and the Talmudic discussions are based on Rashi’s commentaries. Anton claims that Rashi’s daughters, “attended synagogue regularly and performed those rituals usually reserved for men. When modern Jewish women create new rituals and new blessings we are following in the footsteps of Rashi’s daughters and doing what our female ancestors were already doing 900 years ago.” She hopes that her books will “inspire more women and nonOrthodox Jews to study Talmud. I hope the short Talmud lessons in ‘Rashi’s Daughters’ will inspire them to do so.” Call the synagogue for more information. There is a cover charge.







Adath helps homeless families Christmas week Adath Israel became home to five homeless families as a participant in the Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN), during the last week of 2009 – the week of Christmas 2009. Families accepted into IHN receive overnight shelter and three meals a day from participating congregations. They stay for one week before moving on to the next congregation in the network.

“The program was a huge success, thanks to the generosity and loving-kindness of our congregation.” Rabbi Irvin Wise

“The program was a huge success, thanks to the generosity and loving-kindness of our congregation,” said Rabbi Irvin Wise. “IHN would not exist without its host congregations, and we’re proud to become one of them on an ongoing basis.” Participating congregations host families several times each year. Adath Israel will host three

weeks in 2010: twice in the summer and again next Christmas. It took more than a year of planning and more than 100 congregational volunteers to make the week a success. Congregants transformed religious school classrooms into bedrooms; prepared and served hot meals; led crafts and other activities; played with the children; bunked in as overnight hosts; and helped in other ways to make their guests feel at home. Because Adath Israel is a kosher facility, there were challenges to providing three meals a day that other congregations in the network haven’t had to face. “I’m sure our guests wouldn’t agree with this, but I think we as volunteers got more out of the experience than they did,” said volunteer Gilda Schwartz. “Our families were wonderful. It was just a joy to help them.” IHN has a day center in Lower Price Hill, to which families are transported each morning. They return to the congregation each evening in time for dinner. Cincinnati IHN is part of a national nonprofit of 104 networks in more than 90 cities and 30 states. Locally, more than 25 houses of worship participate in the program, with additional congregations providing support. Adath Israel joins Isaac M.Wise Temple as the only Jewish hosts in the network, with Rockdale Temple signing on as Adath Israel’s support congregation.


The oldest English-Jewish weekly in America Founded July 15, 1854 by Isaac M.Wise VOL. 156 • NO. 27 Thursday, January 28, 2009 13 Shevat, 5770 Shabbat begins Fri, 5:37 p.m. Shabbat ends Sat, 6:37 p.m. THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE CO., PUBLISHERS 18 WEST NINTH STREET, SUITE 2 CINCINNATI, OHIO 45202-2037 PHONE: (513) 621-3145 FAX: (513) 621-3744 HENRY C. SEGAL Editor & Publisher 1930-1985 MILLARD H. MACK Publisher Emeritus NETANEL (TED) DEUTSCH Editor & Publisher AVI MILGROM MICHAEL McCRACKEN Assistant Editors ALEXIA KADISH Copy Editor JOSEPH D. STANGE Production Manager LEV LOKSHIN JANE KARLSBERG Staff Photographers JANET STEINBERG Travel Editor ROBERT WILHELMY Restaurant Reporter MARIANNA BETTMAN NATE BLOOM RABBI A. JAMES RUDIN RABBI AVI SHAFRAN Contributing Writers CHRISTIE HALKO Office Manager

THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE (USPS 019-320) is published weekly for $40 per year and $2.00 per single copy in Cincinnati and $45 per year and $3.00 per single copy elsewhere in U.S. by The American Israelite Co. 18 West Ninth Street, Suite 2, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-2037. Periodicals postage paid at Cincinnati, OH. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE, 18 West Ninth Street, Suite 2, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-2037.

From the top: Denise & Lili; Kids at dinner; IHN Sheila; Marquel painting

The views and opinions expressed by American Israelite columnists do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the newspaper.





School for Creative Jewish Education, holds special Shabbat Kehilla, the PreK-7 school of Northern Hills Synagogue and Congregation Ohav Shalom will hold its next special required Shabbat on Saturday, Jan. 30, at Northern Hills Synagogue. The morning will start off with two interactive services, one for K2nd grade and one for 3-7th grade. Students will participate in an interactive Shabbat service including

discussion of the week’s Torah Portion, followed by an interactive activity with Cincinnati’s Chaverim M’Yisrael sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati. The Chaverim will do a program about Tu B’Shvat, the birthday of the trees. This is the second (required) Family Shabbat; the next two will be March 20 and May 22 at

Congregation Ohav Shalom. Tracy Weisberger, Kehilla director, explained, “It gives the students the opportunity to experience Shabbat in a fun, interactive way. We always enjoy when the Federation Chaverim from Israel are able to be a part of our programming.” After the service there will be lunch.

The J offers new fitness programs At the J this February, there are some new free fitness workshops available to J Members. There will be an Introduction to Zumba class on Tuesday, Feb. 2, and a Fitness 101 Workshop on Sunday, Feb. 7. The Fitness 101 Workshop is focused on how to exercise the upper body without using machines. Also, free ongoing group fitness center orientation sessions offer lessons on the cardio and strength equipment. “I’ve lost more than 70 pounds since I began working out at the JCC,” said Terry Welling. “The staff has been extremely helpful and encouraging, and I highly recommend the JCC fitness programs to all of my friends.” Weight management programs

are offered at the J as well. “Commit to be Fit,” is the J’s 12-week version of TV’s “Biggest Loser.” This program includes team competition, and participants are coached by JCC personal trainers and nutritionists from Jewish Hospital. Also, the JCC has teamed up with Jewish Hospital Weight Management Center to offer more weight management options, including hi-tech metabolic rate testing, effective systems for caloric tracking, and a series of nutrition focused classes. These healthimprovement programs are led by licensed dietitians. The nutrition classes (known as the “JCC Next Step Series”) are a series of hour-long classes that address issues such as eating “fast

Community Shabbat with guest speaker, childrens’ program, at Chabad Jewish Center The guest speaker will be Yaakov Parisi, who will share his transition from evangelical Christian pastor to Judaism. “From Oklahoma to Torah — One Pastor’s Remarkable Journey To Judaism” is the story of an evangelical Christian pastor and his wife, who, in exploring the roots of their faith arrived at the doorsteps of Judaism. In their quest for the answers, they embarked on a spiritual journey fraught with hurdles and challenges, inspiring moments and humorous twists and turns. A parallel children’s program will take place during the lecture, conducted by Chabad’s Family & Youth program directors Rabbi Berel & Ziporah Cohen. The lecture will be part of Chabad Jewish Center and the Goldstein Family Learning

Academy’s annual Mid-Winter Shabbaton. Rabbi Yisroel Mangel of the Chabad Jewish Center, explained the event this way: “We organize a community Shabbat - a Shabbaton - because what makes Shabbat special is family, and the Jews of the Greater Cincinnati area are like one large family. It’s about more than the rituals; it’s about the memories, memories from the past and memories to be created. The Mid-Winter Shabbaton always has something special. It’s a weekend of spirituality, of singing, culinary delights, friendships, discussions, learning and inspiration.” “We want everyone to experience the joy, the sense of renewal and wonder inherent in Shabbat,” added the rabbi’s wife Chana.

and lean” in a fast food world, portion control, meals in 30 minutes or less, and more. “Classes like the JCC Next Step Series focus on helping you make lifestyle changes that promote healthy weight management,” said Susan Sewell, program director for the Jewish Hospital Weight Management Center. “We provide people with information about how their bodies work and help them achieve their weight loss goals.” For general fitness, the JCC offers several adult sports programs. These include adult co-ed soccer on Tuesday evenings, adult coed volleyball on Wednesday evenings, and men’s pick-up basketball, offered almost every morning on weekdays and weekends. Call the J for more information.

Blue Medicare Access ValueSM (Regional PPO) plan from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield offers all the benefits of Original Medicare and provides additional benefits including: • $0 monthly premium for Ohio residents* • Includes the Part D prescription drug benefit • Includes the popular SilverSneakers fitness program *You must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium if not otherwise paid for under Medicaid or by another third-party.

YOU’LL HAVE ONE PLAN, ONE CARD, ONE COMPANY. SIMPLE! Call Darryl Dick at 513-884-1919 (TTY 711), 8am-8pm Monday-Friday for more information & a free brochure with no obligation to enroll. You may also call our Customer Service Department at 1-877-814-1397 (TTY: 711) 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week for information, or to enroll if you choose to do so. A health plan with a Medicare contract. The benefit information provided herein is a brief summary, but not a comprehensive description of available benefits. Additional information about benefits is available to assist you in making a decision about your coverage. This is an advertisement; for more information contact the plan. Darryl Dick is an authorized agent for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Ohio. SilverSneakers Fitness Program, provided by SilverSneakers, an independent company. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of: In Ohio: Community Insurance Company. Independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ® ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are the registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. This is an Advertisement . M0013_10Adv_156 F&U 12/08/2009




The holocaust, a Torah and ‘Made in G-d’s Israel’s first astronaut, a lecture Image:’ a program for women, Feb. 7

In commemoration of the fatal flight of Israel’s first astronaut, Henry Fenichel, emeritus professor of physics at the University of Cincinnati, will speak at Xavier University. His lecture, titled “Reach for the Stars: An evening of science, faith, history and the human person” will be at Xavier on Feb. 1, the seventh anniversary of the Columbia space shuttle’s catastrophic re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. Aboard that flight was Israel’s first astronaut, Ilan Ramon. Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut, and the son and grandson of Holocaust survivors, carried a number of Holocaust artifacts aboard the Columbia, including a small Torah. One of the Holocaust artifacts was a small Torah from Ramon’s mentor and friend, astrophysicist Joachim Joseph (known as Yoya). Yoya was a Holocaust survivor to whom the small Torah was entrusted by a rabbi with whom he was an inmate of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Hoping the boy would survive, the rabbi asked Yoya to tell their story to the world. The rabbi died in the camp. Yoya sent this small Torah with Ramon on the Columbia. Ramon also brought a pencil sketch, “Moon Landscape”, by 14-

year-old Petr Ginz, who died in Auschwitz. Ginz, incarcerated in the Terezin ghetto, depicted his dream to view the threatening earth from a safe distance. Ramon felt his journey fulfilled Petr’s dream after 58 years. Feb. 1, 2003, the date the Columbia disintegrated, with the crew, the Torah and the drawing inside, was the date Petr Ginz would have turned 75, had he survived Auschwitz. “Being the first Israeli astronaut, I feel I am representing all Jews and all Israelis,” Ramon said. “I’m the son of a Holocaust survivor. I carry on the suffering of the Holocaust generation, and I’m kind of proof that despite all the horror they went through, we’re going forward.” Ramon kept a diary in space, part of which miraculously survived the disaster. The surviving pieces included a letter to Israeli President Moshe Katzav on day 11 of the mission, January 26th, “… From space, I could easily spot Jerusalem, the capital, and while looking at Jerusalem, I prayed Shema Yisrael. From space our world looks as one entity with no borders. Let’s work for peace and a better life for everyone on Earth.” What’s the connection with Fenichel?

Ramon’s wife, Rona, was part of a videoconference with Yoya between children from Netanya, Israel and from Cincinnati. From Cincinnati, Fenichel shared his yellow “Jude” star and a small Torah scroll, given him by an elderly cousin who escaped Nazi Germany. Fenichel’s Torah was almost identical to Ramon’s. Fenichel allowed his Torah scroll to be taken on the Atlantis space shuttle mission at the request of Rona Ramon, in memory of her husband’s goals. He said “the Torah represents the survival of the Jewish People, the ability to rise from the depth of despair in the Holocaust and reach for the stars. It symbolizes a hopeful promise for a new beginnings and shining example of respect between cultures and religions.” The Atlantis returned safely to Earth on Sept. 21, 2006, fittingly, the eve of the Jewish New Year. Professor Fenichel will speak about the story of his little Torah that was carried into space aboard the Atlantis Shuttle mission. He will share his unique background as a Holocaust survivor and his connection to one of the crew members of Columbia – astronaut Ilan Ramon. This is a free discussion open to the public.

On Sunday, Feb. 7, from 1- 4 p.m., Congregation B’nai Tikvah will offer a program entitled, “Made in G-d’s Image.” This program, by and for women, will explore what qualifies as beauty and who or what defines beauty. The focus will be on how women are affected by today’s society and the influences of the Jewish community itself. A panel of women representing various disciplines will take part in the program. The panel will include Sheri

Hammel from Channel 9, Dr. Molly Katz, a gynecologist active in organized medical politics and a representative from Ohio to the AMA, Barbara Fischer from Area Wellness Associates — a speaker on nutrition, Sandy Sykes, owner of Sandy’s Health Foods, Etc., Alison Vodnoy, an actor, certified yoga instructor and writer for David’s Voice. The members of the panel will offer their own experiences and answer questions. Call B’nai Tikvah for more information.

A rabbi’s journey from fat to fit Rabbi Eli Glaser lost 100 pounds – starting at 300. On Feb. 1, at Congregation Zichron Eliezer, Glaser will speak about his battle with compulsive overeating. Before he began losing weight, Glaser was lured to his refrigerator by “leftovers too strong to withstand.” Said Glaser, “As hard as I tried, I could not overcome the temptation to binge.” He found himself in a painful conflict. Explained Glaser, “I knew this behavior kept putting on the pounds – 300 to be exact. But I couldn’t stop. I knew the damaging effects it had on my physical health and emotional well-being; the frustration, turmoil and humiliation of not being able to control my eating. It didn’t matter. The only thing I didn’t know was why I could not stop.” Glaser’s personal conflict affected him professionally. “My credibility suffered. Here I was, a rabbi, teaching fellow Jews the wisdom and beauty of Torah and mitzvot, encouraging them to incorporate Judaism as a priority in their lives, and I couldn’t get a handle on my hamburgers,” Glaser said. Like most in the struggle for weight loss, Glaser had tried to lose – Weight Watchers, Atkins and diet pills. Also, he joined a gym and exercised “incessantly.” Eventually the rabbi came to the difficult realization “that nothing I could do on my own would work. I needed a complete overhaul of my attitude and behavior around eating. All my will power didn’t stand a chance against the food.” He began to think he was

using food as an “emotional coping mechanism as well as a spiritual release valve.” So he began attending a group fellowship that focused on overcoming compulsive eating – recovering from it. There he learned more about his problem. Specifically, that 70 percent of Americans are overweight and more than 30% are obese. According to Glaser, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that obesity is quickly overtaking smoking as America’s leading cause of preventable death and is now among the primary risk factors for heart disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes and even cancer. The World Health Organization identifies obesity as a pandemic and the “biggest unrecognized health problem in the world.” Also, he learned more about the psychology of overweight; that certain foods such as sugar are addictive; that not all those who overeat do so compulsively and how to harness his psychology to work for him in his pursuit of weight loss. In the end, Glaser’s thinking about weight loss changed. “It’s all about the food. It’s not about the weight. More precisely, it’s all about developing a healthy and consistent relationship with food. Weight loss is a benefit, not a goal. It’s the wonderful consequence of using food in a normal way – to nourish, not to indulge; to satisfy and invigorate physical needs instead of medicating and suppressing emotional distress,” explained the rabbi. JOURNEY on page 20




GOP upset in Mass. raises questions for health reform by Eric Fingerhut Jewish Telegraphic Agency


A 6-year-old Haitian girl was pulled from the rubble and treated by the IsraAID team in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 18, 2010.

Israeli aid effort helps Haitians—and Israel’s image by Uriel Heilman Jewish Telegraphic Agency NEW YORK (JTA) — The text messages started coming in to Shachar Zahavi’s cell phone in the middle of the night: “What are we going to do about Haiti?” Zahavi, chairman of IsraAid, a coordinating organization for 17 Israeli and Jewish humanitarian groups, hadn’t even heard yet about the earthquake that had rocked Port-au-Prince, leaving untold thousands dead. By morning, preparations already were under way to dispatch an Israeli relief team to the devastated Caribbean nation. Consisting of doctors, nurses, paramedics and logistics experts, the 15-person group arrived Saturday in Port-auPrince and immediately set to work treating wounded Haitians at the site of a collapsed hospital near the city center. On Monday, deep into the thick of coordinating logistics for a second aid team to replace the first, Zahavi received a heartening text message from one of his team members in Haiti: “A 6 year old girl, Jessica Hartelin, was just pulled

from the rubble by locals nearly six days after the earthquake, was rushed to our clinic and treated by the IsraAID/FIRST medical team. She was saved. She will be transferred in the next few minutes to the Israeli Defense Force field hospital for further treatment.” It was one bright spot in a week that aid workers described as alternately heartbreaking and exhilarating. The IsraAid team, comprised fully of volunteers, was just one component of the broad Israeli and Jewish effort to help Haiti. As soon as the magnitude of the earthquake’s destruction became apparent, humanitarian officials sprang into action. The Israel Defense Forces was the first major Israeli team to arrive. Team members reached Haiti last Friday on a flight loaded with military and civilian medical personnel from all over Israel, rescue teams, search dogs and supplies. While Port-au-Prince’s hospitals were rendered mostly useless by the quake, the IDF team set up a field hospital near a soccer stadium to treat AID on page 20

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The election of Scott Brown to replace the late Ted Kennedy in the U.S. Senate has thrown the future of health care reform into doubt. With the Republican’s upset victory last Tuesday in Massachusetts, Jewish groups backing comprehensive reform must figure out how to respond. One organization said that passing the Senate version of the legislation is the best possible outcome at this point, but others are undecided. Brown has vowed to be the crucial 41st vote against ending the filibuster on any reform of the U.S. health care system, dimming the prospects for passage of any kind of conference committee deal between the Senate and House of Representatives. That has led some to suggest that the only hope for health care reform is if the House passes the Senate bill without amendments, so the Senate does not have to take another vote on the issue. The associate director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Mark Pelavin, said that such a step would eliminate important provisions that his group backs

Dan Kennedy / Creative Commons

New U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, seen here at a news conference on Dec. 22, 2009, has vowed to vote against ending the filibuster any reform of the country’s health care system.

in the House legislation — such as the “public option” — but “is something we could live with.” Pelavin said that while it may not be the best possible outcome, considering the political landscape it would be an “incredibly significant step” in expanding the access to and lowering the cost of health care because it would cover two-thirds of those now without insurance. Pelavin also said the Senate

bill’s controversial language restricting the health insurance coverage of abortion, which a number of Jewish groups have spoken out against, is “troubling.” But, he added, it’s not nearly as restrictive as the provision in the House version that would not allow anyone receiving federal subsidies to buy a plan covering abortion and would not permit plans on the “insurance exchange” formed by the bill to include abortion coverage. Sammie Moshenberg, the director of Washington operations at the National Council of Jewish Women, said the Senate language on reproductive rights is still “pretty bad” because it would allow states to decide whether abortion is covered in insurance plans and force women to write a separate check for the portion of their health coverage that covered abortion. As for the overall legislation, Moshenberg said her organization is waiting to see how the negotiations between the House and Senate play out. “Obviously the political dynamics on the ground have changed” and congressional leadership is “going to have to develop a strategy,” she said. “It wouldn’t make any sense for us to decide right now.




Conference confronts ‘new reality’ for day schools by Josh Lipowksy Guest Author TEANECK, N.J. (The Jewish Standard) — In a time of economic uncertainty, when fund-raising campaigns are down and school tuitions are up, members of the North American day school community crossed denominational lines to come together for one big powwow. The three-day North American Jewish Day School Conference here that wrapped up Tuesday was the product of a year of planning by the heads of four major day school networks — Ravsak: The Jewish Community Day School Network, the Institute for University-School Partnership at Yeshiva University, the Solomon Schechter Day School Association, and Pardes: The Progressive Association of Reform Day Schools. The conference at the Marriott at Glenpointe drew more than 550 participants from across the continent, surprising organizers who expected a much smaller turnout because of the economy. Some 200 participants received subsidies of 50 percent from the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education, the Covenant Foundation and the Kohelet Foundation. “We’re all dealing with the same challenges of trying to make quali-

ty Jewish educational experiences for children,” said Scott Goldberg, director of the Institute for University-School Partnership. “That commonality drove our programming from the macro-level — needing to do more with less and really forcing us to reassess how we do things.” Among the challenges facing the day school system is how to maintain relevance in the wider Jewish community. With the issue of affordability, other options such as charter schools have become more popular. “There is no alternative to day school,” Goldberg said. “There’s day school and there’s not day school. Day school is the most effective means of keeping the community vibrant. Other things will come along that will contribute to the perpetuity of the Jewish people, but they’re not [as good as] day school.” Marc Kramer, executive director of Ravsak, said that while the four sponsors may disagree on aspects of Jewish law, they all agree that day schools are the best way to promote Jewish identity — and they worked from that premise. “We put all our cards on the table and saw most of us were holding the same cards,” he said. “There are lots of different ways people express themselves Jewishly. I

don’t think anyone gave up [anything] in order to make that happen [at the conference].” In addition to workshops on best-practice issues such as hiring and dealing with school boards, many of the sessions focused on cooperation — between schools and federations, schools and government, schools within the same network, and schools from different movements. In the wake of what is now recognized as a tuition crisis in the day school movement, many of the collaborations focused on finding new sources of funding. “The cost of Jewish education has been growing faster than income for a very long time,” said Nathan Lindenbaum, a trustee at the Moriah School in Englewood, N.J., and Yeshivat Noam in Paramus, N.J., during a Monday session on community collaboration. “We believe the current model is not sustainable. It’s impacting across denominations.” Lindenbaum introduced session participants to Jewish Education For Generations, a group of northern New Jersey rabbis and educators representing the Orthodox and Conservative day schools in the area who banded together to create alternative funding. One result is CONFERENCE on page 22

20th Century Fox

Jews don’t worship trees like the Na’vi of “Avatar” do, but they’ll be celebrating Tu B’Shvat on Jan. 30.

A down-to-earth, ‘Avatar’ Tu B’Shvat by Edmon J. Rodman Jewish Telegraphic Agency LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Celebrating Tu B’Shvat this year on an alien moon called Pandora? Why not? As seen in “Avatar,” the 3-D, billion-dollar grossing movie, it’s definitely a place where trees are revered. In the film, bluish people called Na’vi worship ancient trees. Here on earth, a Jewish people who have a “navi” or two of our own (navi in Hebrew means prophet) will celebrate Tu B’Shvat, the New Year for Trees, on Jan. 30, expressing in song and seder a kind of tree love as well. Why? Trees represent a commitment; planting one is just the beginning of a long-term relationship. Isn’t this a kind of love? Certainly the day has become a rallying point for caring for trees and the environment by Jewish green forces, like the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life. But before the greening of the holiday and the fear of rising seas, there was unequivocal, Earth-solid tree love. Like the Na’vi, is tree love part of our roots? Cedars of Lebanon were harvested as building materials to help construct the Temple. For the daily sacrifice practiced there, a secure supply of wood was necessary. Both Iron Age wealth and military might were dependent on charcoal as a heat source for smelting silver and forging weapons. The Torah includes an edict against destroying trees even in warfare (Deuteronomy 20:19). The love verses in Shir Hashirim, The Song of Songs, metaphorically compare a couple’s young love in the imagery of trees: “Like an apple tree among trees of the forest, So is my beloved among the youths, I delight to sit in his shade …” (2:3). Not a shock, since we are a peo-

ple whose default metaphor for Torah, for ultimate knowledge and life, is “etz chayim,” the tree of life. On Tu B’Shvat, we behold the lovely shekadia, the stately almond tree and her white blossoms that we praise in song. Yet tree love aside, how many of us would plant one in front of our homes? Two years ago I went door to door trying to persuade my neighbors to allow a city-funded group to plant free trees on the parkway in front of their homes. Though many were happy to have the tree, I discovered many others who had a rustling ambivalence toward them. Some of the objections: trees need to be watered; their limbs and roots block views and sewer lines; and their leaves and flowers drop sap on cars. Additionally, trees need to be trimmed, watched over in wind and protected from disease. And like in “Avatar,” zealous developers see them as obstacles. So why the love affair? Trees are a lot of work. What do they give us in return? Shade, fruit, sense of place, cleaner air: We know about all that. Danish modern furniture, olive wood Shabbat candlesticks from Israel: We know about that, too. Trees give us hope — like the ancient horse chestnut tree that brought Anne Frank some happiness while in hiding from the Nazis. In her diary on May 13, 1944, she wrote about the tree for the last time: “Our chestnut tree is in full bloom. It’s covered with leaves and even more beautiful than last yer.” The tree is now diseased and requires special care, but its descendants, saplings, will be sent out around the world to more than 200 schools and locations, including 11 locations in the United States that showed, according to a piece in The New York Times, “the consequences of intolerance.” AVATAR on page 22




Preserving the unique heritage of Jamaica’s Jews by Gil Shefler Jewish Telegraphic Agency KINGSTON, Jamaica (JTA) — Abraham Cohen Henriques, a Jewish merchant from Amsterdam, arrived in Jamaica in 1670 on a mission to find the hidden treasure of Christopher Columbus. Acting on a tip handed down to him by a forcibly converted Jew, he scoured the thick vegetation of the island’s interior searching for the great explorer’s secret stash. By most accounts Henriques turned up empty handed, but he liked the place Columbus dubbed the “fairest isle” so much that he kept coming back. More than three centuries later, the Henriqueses are still here. Ainsley Henriques, the leader of Jamaica’s tiny Jewish community and a distant relative of Abraham the treasure seeker, is now on his own mission here: Instead of looking for a treasure, he is its guardian. For the past 30 years Henriques, who is in his 70s, has worked tirelessly to preserve the rich history and traditions of Jamaica’s unique Jewish community. “I restructured the congregation, established an office, employed

staff and persuaded the community to open a museum,” Henriques told JTA. “We have hundreds of school children coming in to the synagogue every week to learn about the community.” Henriques teamed up with the Jamaican government to host an academic conference last week in Kingston on the history of the island’s Jewish community. Participants came from around the world. But Henriques harbors few illusions: He knows his may be a losing battle. In his lifetime, he has seen the community here shrink slowly but steadily in a process that began long before he was born. From a peak of 2,535 Jews in 1881, only 450 were left in 1974. Today the community numbers about 200. There hasn’t been a regular rabbi here for 30 years. Jamaican Jews are a subspecies of their own. A significant minority are black, the descendants of intermarriages or relationships between Jewish plantation owners and their slaves. They speak in the same unmistakable accent for which the island is famous. And like most Jamaicans — but perhaps unlike

Gil Shefler

Ainsley Henriques, leader of the Jewish community in Jamaica, addressing a crowd at the island’s only shul, with a view of Hunter’s Bay Jewish cemetery just outside Kingston, Jan. 15, 2010.

most Jews — they are laid back. In downtown Kingston on Friday nights, prayers can be heard coming from the beautiful Sharei Shalom Synagogue-United Congregation of Israelites, the only remaining shul on the island. Prayers are read in English, Hebrew and Spanish — a reminder of the community’s Sephardic origins. Built in 1908 on the spot of a previous synagogue destroyed by

an earthquake, the two-storied shul is one of only four synagogues in the world with a sand floor, locals say. “There are four main reasons why the floor is covered in sand,” Henriques explained as he stood on the bimah. “First, to remind us that we are desert people. Second, that we may be as many as the grains of sand. Third, because it muffled the steps of our ancestors who wor-

shiped in secret. And four — and perhaps the most important reason — the kids love it.” Hundreds of years of relative isolation have had an effect on local Jewish practice. Alon Gildoni, a former emissary from the Jewish Agency for Israel, became intimately acquainted with the community during his time here from 2006 to 2008. One of his goals was to reintroduce some Jewish customs that had been forgotten. On Sukkot, Gildoni recalls, the community was in the habit of using oranges as one of their Four Species in lieu of an etrog, the lemon-like citrus fruit stipulated by Jewish law. “This, however, does not necessarily represent ignorance on the part of Jamaica’s Jews,” Gildoni said. “In an impossible situation, they found answers. The fact that they survived until today is against all odds, and I credit part of that to the motivation of those who fought for so long against being forcibly converted.” Five etrog seedlings are now growing in the fecund ground of one community member’s garden. JAMAICA on page 22




Evolution of International Holocaust Day reflects changing times by Ruth Ellen Gruber Jewish Telegraphic Agency ROME (JTA) — On the same day next week, Israeli President Shimon Peres will address the German Parliament and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel will appear before a special session of the Italian Chamber of Deputies in Rome. The timing is not coincidental. The events are focal points of international Holocaust Memorial Day, an annual observance on the anniversary of the Soviet army’s Jan. 27, 1945 liberation of Auschwitz, which is marked now by the United Nations and more than two dozen individual countries. Each year, hundreds of events take place on or near that date. Britain, Italy and Germany have particularly extensive programs. “There is a great sensitivity to this theme on both the local and institutional levels,” said Alessandro Ruben, a Jewish Italian

“For Jews,” he said, the Holocaust “was a unique and unprecedented tragedy. But national and international commemoration events by their nature also stress the universal lessons that should be drawn from the event. As survivors and other eyewitnesses pass from our midst, those universal expressions naturally grow larger.” At the same time, pro-Palestinian groups are trying to transform the international day of remembrance into an opportunity to criticize Israel. Last year, for example, to protest Israel’s military operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, a British Muslim organization boycotted events in Britain, and the local government in Barcelona canceled a public candlelighting as part of the Holocaust Day commemoration. “Marking the Jewish Holocaust while a Palestinian Holocaust is taking place is not right,” said a statement by an official, described as a representative of Barcelona

Ruth Ellen Gruber

The famous sign at Auschwitz-Birkenau, before it was stolen.

member of parliament in Italy, where Holocaust Memorial Day has been marked since 2001. “Every year there are more and more events connected with it, including many, many educational initiatives in schools.” The nature of the commemorations is a reflection of the times, too. While most Holocaust Memorial Day initiatives are linked directly to the memory and impact of the Nazi genocide against the Jews, there is increasing emphasis on what the experience of the Holocaust can teach in the face of other genocides and persecution, such as those in Rwanda, Bosnia, Cambodia and Darfur. World War II-era persecution of Roma (Gypsies) and gays also is examined. Rabbi Andrew Baker, the American Jewish Committee’s director of international Jewish affairs, said the shift in focus is to be expected.

City Hall, quoted in the La Vanguardia newspaper. The move drew an outraged response from Britain’s Board of Deputies, the body that represents British Jews. “The conflict between Israel and Hamas should have absolutely no bearing on a day which represents the global fight against hatred,” board spokesman Mark Frazer said. “Apart from the obvious flawed logic in making the decision, this is an affront to all Holocaust survivors and to the memory of the millions of victims. This move should draw criticism in the strongest terms from all parts of the Spanish government.” Though Germany has marked a Holocaust memorial day on Jan. 27 since 1996, the impetus for the observance in most countries came from a landmark Holocaust education forum that took place in Stockholm in 2000, a decade after the fall of communism enabled an

uncensored exploration of history. In most communist states, Jewish issues had been suppressed and study or commemoration of the Shoah had been limited. At the Stockholm Forum, leaders from 46 countries pledged to promote education and research about the Holocaust, and to “encourage appropriate forms of Holocaust remembrance, including an annual Day of Holocaust Remembrance.” Most participating countries chose Jan. 27, given the importance of Auschwitz as a symbol of the Holocaust, and the U.N. General Assembly in 2005 designated the date as an International Day of Commemoration to honor the victims of the Holocaust. But a number of countries chose dates that reflected Holocaust events on their own territory. In Poland, for example, it is April 19, the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Romania chose Oct. 9, the date when deportations of Jews by the Nazi-allied Romanian government began in 1941. The institution of Holocaust Memorial Day has not been without its critics. Some have voiced concern that institutionalizing Holocaust memory as an official date in a calendar risked turning commemoration into a cliche. By and large, however, this does not seem to be the case. “Consider how other historical events are remembered,” said Baker, who is also the representative for combating anti-Semitism of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. “Veterans Day in the United States seems primarily marked by department store sales, for example. In contrast, the Holocaust is recalled seriously and soberly.” He added, “While I do not want to sound overly sanguine, I don’t think we should fear that the memory of the Holocaust will disappear or that Holocaust deniers will find new adherents. “These last 20 years have witnessed a steady increase in educational and commemorative activities. And Holocaust denial is primarily a cudgel wielded by antiSemites and haters of Israel, not something that is genuinely debated in any legitimate forum.” Deborah Lipstadt, an Emory University historian who has written widely about the phenomenon of Holocaust denial, said she was “gratified as a historian that there is this attention to this event that is now in the past, especially as the survivor generation is passing.” But, she said, “One hopes that there is attention in a deeper way: to examine how this emerged and happened, while the world stood silently by.”

Ben Harris

From his ceramics shop in Jerusalem’s Old City, Garo Sandrouni has a sweeping view of the spot where many Armenian-Jewish altercations have occurred.

Spitting on Christians in Jerusalem raises eyebrows by Ben Harris Jewish Telegraphic Agency JERUSALEM (JTA) — From his ceramics gallery along Armenian Patriarchate Road, Garo Sandrouni has a sweeping view of one of the Old City of Jerusalem’s longest thoroughfares, stretching from Jaffa Gate deep into the Jewish Quarter. Jewish worshipers heading to and from the Western Wall jostle for space along the narrow passage with Armenian priests and seminarians, and Sandrouni says about once a week he finds himself breaking up fights between them. Typically the skirmishes begin when a young yeshiva student spits on or near a group of teenage seminarians, who occasionally respond by beating up their attacker. Several years ago, a young religious man pulled a gun when Sandrouni moved to intervene in a fight. “Most of the incidents that happen, unfortunately, they happen in front of my store,” said Sandrouni, who more than once has come to the aid of a yeshiva student bloodied after a run-in with a group of seminarians. “Almost everybody, after the fight, they apologized,” Sandrouni said. “They say, ‘We are sorry. We didn’t know that their reaction would be so strong.’” Attacks on Christian clergyman in Jerusalem are not a new phenomenon, and may result from an extreme interpretation of the Bible’s injunction to “abhor” idol worshipers. Five years ago, in what many say is the worst incident on record, a crucifix hanging from the neck of the Armenian archbishop, Nourhan Manougian, was broken in the course of an

altercation with a yeshiva student who had spit on him. Christian leaders stress that the problem is not one of ChristianJewish relations in Israel. Most Israelis, they say, are peaceful and welcoming. In an interview with several Armenian Jerusalemites, they emphasized repeatedly that their relations with the largely religious community in the Old City’s Jewish Quarter are normal. The assaults, according to George Hintlian, a spokesman for the Armenian community in Jerusalem, are carried out by people from the outside — visitors to Jerusalem from other towns, and even from abroad. Several people familiar with the issue say the attacks recently have reached epidemic proportions — or at least enough that government officials and Orthodox rabbinic figures have begun to take notice. A recent meeting between Foreign Ministry officials, the Jerusalem municipality and fervently Orthodox, or haredi, leaders resulted in a statement by Beth Din Tzedek, a haredi rabbinic tribunal, denouncing the phenomenon. In a sign of the ministry’s concern over the issue, both the meeting and the statement were publicized on the Web site of Israel’s diplomatic mission to the Vatican. “Besides desecrating the Holy Name, which in itself represents a very grave sin, provoking gentiles is, according to our sages — blessed be their holy and righteous memory — forbidden and is liable to bring tragic consequences upon our own community, may God have mercy,” said the statement. SPITTING on page 22




JCC offers programs for seniors and for caregivers The JCC Senior Life program offers a wide variety of programs for members of the community who are 60 plus, including seminars, classes and activities.

HealthRHYTHMS Group Empowerment Drumming class is practiced globally as a method to help strengthen the immune system. One new wellness program developed by the JCC Senior Center targets those suffering from everyday stresses: The new HealthRHYTHMS Group Empowerment Drumming class. HealthRHYTHMS Group Empowerment Drumming class is practiced globally as a method to help strengthen the immune sys-

tem. According to the J, a recent study showed a statistically significant increase in natural killer cell activity among HealthRHYTHMS participants after a single one-hour session. Natural killer cells are the white blood cells that seek out and destroy cancer and virally infected cells. Participants in the HealthRHYTHMS Group Empowerment Drumming class also demonstrate significant mood improvement and lowered stress levels. Research by the USA Department of Health Promotion & Education showed that this type of drumming activity produces more favorable effects than antidepressants or mood-stabilizing drugs. Other benefits of this class include an increase in self-confidence, energy and communication skills. Also, drumming is critical to an upcoming program that encourages respect between generations: On March 1, 8 and 22, children from the JCC Early Childhood School will join members of the JCC Senior Center for intergenerational drumming “jam-out” sessions. In addition, the JCC offers a 4-week intergenerational HealthRHYTHMS drumming in


R E F UA H S H L E M A H Daniel Eliyahu Daniel ben Tikvah

Andrea Lavine Chana Sara bat Esther Enya

Mel Fisher Moshe ben Hinda

Al Markovitz Avraham ben Charna

Edith Kaffeman Yehudit bat B’racha

Menachem Plotsker Menacham Mendel ben Devorah Neshe

Roma Kaltman Ruchama bat Perl Murray Kirschner Chaim Meir ben Basha

Ravid Sulam Ravid Chaya bat Ayelet Edward Ziv Raphael Eliezer Aharon ben Esther Enya

April. Senior adults can also drum with their peers in a 6-week class. In addition to HealthRHYTHMS drumming, the JCC also offers support groups for caregivers. Of particular interest to adults caring for aging parents is a support group developed in collaboration with Jewish Family Service.

This support group provides an outlet for adult children to address issues and concerns pertaining to their aging parents. Topics include: getting family and sibling involvement, health and money issues, ways to address driving safety concerns, and insights on independent and assisted living. “I’m happy that the JCC offers these types of support groups

because there’s certainly a need for them in the community,” said Emmy Friedenberg. “The group facilitators let you address any issues or concerns you have, and they provide resources and even have guest speakers who give extremely helpful advice and insights.” Contact the J for more information on senior services.




JFS offers Tools for Caregivers Jewish Family Service presents “Tools for Caregivers,” a free, four-part series for family caregivers given by professionals in the field. The classes will be held on four different Tuesdays in February and March, from 12:30 2 p.m. at the JCC. “These sessions will help reduce the stress that caregivers of family members or friends often feel. The variety of material is designed to help them manage their caregiving situation,” said Ann Sutton Burke, director of Aging Services at Jewish Family Service. Participants may choose to

attend fewer than four sessions if desired. “Where to Turn for Help,” Feb. 2, 2010, will explain the community resources available to the caregiver and care receiver. This includes an overview of programs on the national, state and local levels that offer a variety of assistance, and tips on utilizing these resources. “The Caregiver’s Challenge: Taking Care When Giving Care,” Feb. 16, 2010, will show caregivers how to care for themselves while caring for an elderly loved one.

“Personal Care Techniques for Caregivers” will be held March 2, 2010. This workshop will provide practical tips to family caregivers to assist with bathing, dressing, eating, mobility and how to deal with concerns related to dementia. “The Legal and Financial Issues for Seniors and Caregivers,” March 16, 2010, will focus on how to assist with healthcare choices and advance directives. Attendees will also learn how to anticipate and prepare for the legal and financial concerns of caregiving. For more information, call Jewish Family Service.

Cedar Village: Year in Review by Carol Silver Elliott CEO/President What a year of change 2009 was for Cedar Village—and 2010 promises to be more of the same. It is a challenging time for the longterm care industry and Cedar Village is working hard to meet those challenges proactively and to continue to grow and succeed. B’nai Mitzvah Mission: No report of 2009 would be complete without a report of the Cedar Village B’nai Mitzvah Mission. The first retirement community to offer residents the opportunity to celebrate a Bar or Bat Mitzvah in Israel, and the first to take a second senior mission to Israel, Cedar Village residents had an actionpacked 10-day trip. It was a journey of dreams coming true for residents and staff alike. Cedar Village Home Care: We opened Cedar Village Home Care (CVHC) in late fall 2008 and 2009 was its first year of operation.

CVHC offers a full range of nonmedical services to help support aging individuals in their homes, whether they live within the walls of Cedar Village or within the community. In its first full year, CVHC staff grew substantially and averaged 750 hours of service every week. Feedback from clients and families has been extremely positive and these satisfied customers have been the best advocates for CVHC. For the future, plans are to develop CVHC further, adding more services to meet the needs of our community. Rehabilitation: The rehabilitation unit at Cedar Village is truly a “happening” place every day. Offering a full range of physical, occupational and speech therapy services, the rehab service has cared for an average of 35 people every day. Many of these individuals come to us after an illness or injury and the staff at Cedar Village help them to recover, achieve optimal function and return to their

lives in the community. Upcoming plans include expansion of rehab services, renovating existing space to create a larger therapy suite and increasing the number of dedicated rehab beds. Spiritual Care: In 2009, Cedar Village had a complete transition in staffing for the Spiritual Care Department. Rabbi Gerry Walter joined the staff in June as Director, Spiritual Care and Rabbi Binyomin Yudin became the Orthodox rabbi at Cedar Village. The two rabbis are working well as a team and providing a wealth of new programs and services to the residents. Battle of the Bands: What fun we had at our first Battle of the Bands. It was a memorable night of music, dancing, friendship and fun. We raised money to help support resident programming at Cedar Village and we introduced some new folks to Cedar Village and the great work that we do. OMA: Opening Minds through Art began at Cedar Village in 2009. Developed through our partnership with the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University, OMA is a groundbreaking program for individuals with dementia. Created around principles of adult learning, art and gerontology, OMA provides dementia residents with a unique opportunity for self expression. The art that is created through the program is breathtaking but the real value is in the opportunity it gives residents to participate, make choices and create something of meaning. AJHSA Symposium: In 2009, Cedar Village played host to Jewish Home auxiliary leadership from around the United States and Canada. We showcased our beautiful facilities and services and we provided education, entertainment and a very positive impression of our Cincinnati Jewish community. CEDAR on page 20




DIRECTORY OF ADVERTISERS Cedar Village Cedar Village arose from the merger of two Cincinnati Jewish nursing homes in 1997. It offers living accommodations for seniors with a variety of needs, from healthcare beds to those who are independent or need some assistance. Cedar Village serves the Greater Cincinnati community guided by a mission based on Jewish values. Their vision is that “aging will be a fulfilling and enriching experience for older adults and their families…” Special accommodations for Jewish residents include full-time pastoral care, including Reform and Orthodox rabbis, and a kosher deli. Other amenities include private and public dining, a fitness center, two beauty salons, several libraries, a bank , transportation and a variety of activities, including adult lectures. Through a partnership with the Jewish Community Center and with the Early Childhood School, Cedar Village facilitates intergenerational programs founded in the fundamental Jewish value of the family. From the Web site, “We celebrate the individual and recognize their physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs to ensure that they achieve an optimal quality of life.” Family Bridges Home Care This non-medical home care’s mission is to help seniors live independently. They are particularly dedicated to providing care for those suffering from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer and other debilitating conditions, such as those arising from strokes and cardiac difficulties. Care is offered 24/7 by screened caregivers who are required to have extensive home care experience, according to their Web site. Mike and Shannon Garfunkel are the founders. Both are from the area — Mike from Dayton and Shannon from Cincinnati. Both attended the University of Cincinnati. After college, Shannon began working at Jewish Family Service (JFS) and Mike began working for Wall Street as a financial adviser. As time progressed, Mike grew increasingly less satisfied with his work and more interested in a career that would help others. Shannon’s interest in her work, on the other hand, blossomed as she saw the results of the work done at JFS. So, in the end they formed Family Bridges, with offices in Cincinnati, Mason and Dayton. Independent You Life can be difficult for those having difficulty fastening the but-

tons on a shirt or pulling a top over their head. The owners of this unique shop in Cincinnati saw this firsthand working as social workers with nursing home residents. There are places to buy “adapative garments” on the internet, but internet shopping doesn’t help get the right fit or help customers find the best answer to individual needs. Independent You offers both a store front and online shopping. Jewish Community Center The Jewish Community Center offers a wide variety of activities for seniors plus transportation services. Core programs include computer training, assistance with weight management and overall fitness. For 2010, upcoming programs include a program to help seniors adjust to changes in vision, hearing and reaction time while driving, a dinner theatre and tax assistance. For information on their Senior Life programs, contact the J. Jewish Family Service Jewish Family Service (JFS) provides an array of services for older members of the community and their families. With a mission to strengthen Jewish lives and respond to community needs, the organization’s vision is “to lead the way to a Jewish community where everyone lives with dignity, security and hope.” In many instances, JFS partners with other organizations to provide services and activities relevant to seniors. This past Sunday, for example, JFS partnered with Hadassah to put on their annual education day. The topic was intergenerational needs and differences. Also, JFS has teamed up with Catholic Charities for a program to help caregivers and, with the JCC, they are facilitating a support group for adult children of aging parents. With a department devoted to older adult services, JFS offers the community a skilled staff of geriatric care managers to meet the special physical, emotional and practical needs of older adults. Pinebrook Retirement Living Pinebrook is for seniors who no longer want to worry about lawn or housework. Located in Milford, Pinebrook offers 125 resort style living suites on three floors with floor plans from studio to one bedroom and two bedroom suites. Amenities include a restaurant-style dining room with daily specials as well as a movie theatre and library. Services include “trial period” accommodations for those who want to further explore the Pinebrook experience.

VITAS: Innovative Hospice One of the biggest end-of-life caregivers in the country, if not the biggest, the mission of VITAS includes reaching into diverse communities including African American, Hispanic, Asian Pacific and Jewish. Their chief medical officer, Barry M. Kitzbrunner, M.D., is an ordained Orthodox rabbi who voluntarily works with the Israeli Department of Health to develop hospice care in Israel. Kitzbrunner, an oncologist, has written extensively on end-oflife care and Jewish medical ethics. He is the co-author of “The Jewish Hospice Manual” with Rabbi Maurice Lamm, D.D., president of the National Institute for Jewish Hospice (NIJH). Many VITAS are accredited as Jewish Hospices by the NIJH. Writes Kitzbrunner, “From care of the sick to the mourning practices of those who are left behind, Judaism provides a profound way for its followers to mark the passing of a loved one, while still honoring life itself.” Weil Funeral Home For over four generations — a span of over 90 years — Weil has served Cincinnati. Services include the use of their new chapel with seating for over 350 as well as all necessary material for Jewish practices, from the most traditional Orthodox to the non-religious, including shiva stools and kria ribbons. Weil can arrange for services at area synagogues and at graveside.




Bangkok Terrace features good food, inviting ambience by Bob Wilhelmy Restaurant Reporter When it comes to enthusiasm for a restaurant, you’ll find it in Jennifer Boonyakanist, co-owner and chef of the Bangkok Terrace, a Southeast Asian eatery with heavy Thai influences. “We have been here for one year, and we have lots of items on (the) menu that customers really like,” she said. When she speaks of the restaurant and its staff’s efforts to make a success of the business, she bubbles along happily. She speaks of the good foods and the growing ranks of satisfied customers, many of whom eat there regularly. For starters, the restaurant is tastefully decorated in warm, inviting colors and nicely integrated décor accents. A small vase of fresh flowers sits on every table, and artwork of interesting design is artfully placed to produce an effect that complements the food being served. So, what about that food? “We have a lot of Thai people who come here because the food is authentic Thailand food,” she stated. What makes Bangkok Terrace’s food authentic? The answer lies in three areas. One is the ingredient list, which includes a good number of fresh items. Basil is central to Thai cooking. But not all basil is adequate. While one could use any basil and get by, the folks at Bangkok Terrace go to the trouble to buy the variety of basil grown in Thailand. Freshness is the second leg of the authenticity stool, and simply eating at the restaurant will convince you of how well the kitchen does with that key element. The third leg is one of using recipes that are Thai in origin and brought here by the owners, who used them in their native land. Ethnic Thais and non-Asians gravitate toward several entrées at Bangkok Terrace. Noodle dishes are among the most popular of all, she claimed. One of the favorites (one of mine, too), is the pad Thai ($11 dinner and $7 lunch), a rice noodle dish that is common fare among the street vendors in the urban areas of Southeast Asia. The noodles are stir-fried with bean sprouts, scallions, sweet radishes, peanuts and egg, and chicken or beef can be added instead of tofu, if desired. Three other dishes in the Noodle/Fried Rice Section of the menu are: the crispy pad Thai, a stir-fry of egg noodles done pad Thai style, with chicken ($12 & $8 respectively); pad se ewe, a rice noodle dish made of noodles the size of linguine, complemented by

Seated at the sushi bar alongside a sushi rainbow roll at Bangkok Terrace is Jennifer Boonyakanist, chef and co-owner of the Thai and sushi restaurant in Blue Ash that will celebrate its first-year anniversary soon.

Asian broccoli, green cabbage, carrots and egg, in a black bean sauce, with protein add-ins of the diner’s choice ($11 & $7 respectively); and Bangkok fried rice, mixed with onions, carrots, green peas, green onions, and chicken or beef ($11 & $7 respectively). The rainbow roll shown in the photo combines fresh, tasty and raw salmon, tuna and whitefish, and sliver slices of avocado, wrapped around the ingredients of the California roll (hold the crab). The roll is very fresh and delightful in both texture and taste, at $10. Yours truly found it to be delicious and made of remarkably fresh ingredients. The sushi section of the menu features almost 3 dozen entries, with items such as the Boston roll ($6), tuna-avocado roll ($5.50), spicy salmon roll ($5.50), and Philadelphia roll ($5.50) leading the hit parade. One of the most popular dishes among Thai natives at Bangkok Terrace is the pad kra pow, a hot basil dish ($12), made with minced chicken or beef, jalapeno peppers, green beans, garlic and fresh chili to add extra zest. The

entrée is billed as a “real taste of Thailand,” and the reaction of native Thais indicates that it must be so, according to management, saying it is one of the most popular items on the menu. The menu includes a number of vegetarian dishes and a section of curry dishes as well. One appetizer of note among the vegetarian selections is the Thai spring rolls, featuring a crispy-fried egg roll skin, with seasoned vegetables inside.

The red curry is one of the Thai-style curries, called gaeng dang on the menu. The red curry ($12) features Thai herbs and spices blended in red chili paste, and that curry seasons bamboo shoots, eggplant, Thai basil, and red peppers. All are simmered in coconut milk, and chicken or beef can be added. Jungle curry is another popular dish, also $12. It features traditional country-style curry made

without coconut milk, but with green beans, baby corn, mushrooms, bamboo shoots and basil. Chicken and beef are the protein add-ins for the entrée. Another section of the menu is devoted to noodle soup bowls. There are six selections from which to choose. My favorite is the sukiyaki, for $10, which is a bean-thread noodle soup with bean curd sauce, egg, watercress, Napa celery, green onions, and choice of chicken or beef. “The noodle soups very popular this time of year, because its cold outside and people order to warm up,” said Boonyakanist. While the restaurant has no liquor license, patrons are encouraged to bring their own bottles to the restaurant. The Bangkok Terrace offers dine-in, carry-out and delivery service. The restaurant is open every day: Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, 3 to 9:30 p.m. Bangkok Terrace 4858 Hunt Road Cincinnati, OH 45242 513-891-8900





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Point of View


by Rabbi James A. Rudin

(RNS) Miep Gies died at age 100 in Holland on Jan. 11, a living reminder that while 6 million innocent Jews died one by one, there were also brave souls like Gies who tried to save and protect them, one by one. During World War II, Gies and four others in the Dutch resistance movement protected eight Jews, including teenager Anne Frank, who secretly hid in an Amsterdam attic for 25 months before her family was discovered and seized by the Nazis in August 1944. Anne and her sister Margot died of typhus in March 1945, in the Bergen Belsen camp, just two months before the war ended; their mother Edith was killed at Auschwitz. Only Otto Frank, the family patriarch, survived the war; he died in 1980. Had she lived, Anne Frank today would be 80 years old. Aiding Jews in any manner inside Nazi-occupied Europe was a crime punishable by death. Although Gies put her life at risk to save Jews, she was always modest about her courageous efforts. “I am not a hero ... I stand at the end of the long, long line of good Dutch people who did what I did and more — much more — during those dark and terrible times years ago,” she later wrote. After the Gestapo agents arrested “Miep’s Jews,” she discovered Anne’s abandoned diary in the attic. After the war, she gave the handwritten pages to Otto Frank. The young girl “left a remarkable legacy to the world. But always, every day of my life, I’ve wished that things had been different. ... Not a day goes by that I do not grieve for them.” Every Aug. 4, the date of the Gestapo arrests, Miep and Jan Gies remained alone inside their home, where they recalled that horrific event. Today, the building at Prinsengracht 263, Anne Frank’s hiding place, is a museum of remembrance. Gies may have downplayed her

(Rabbi Rudin is the American Jewish Committee’s senior interreligious adviser.)

Do you have something to say? E-mail your letter to

Dear Editor: As a parent of a 5th grade student at Rockwern and as a member of the Rockwern Board, I strongly disagree with the sentiments expressed by the letter of Robert Schmalz published in last week’s Israelite. The administrator of the school, Peter Cline, is doing an outstanding job. He regularly works 70-80 hours per week trying to grow the school’s enrollment in a very challenging economic environment. During his tenure, enrollment has actually increased after years of decline. He is dedicated to excellence in

Jewish and secular education and this community is lucky to have him. The statement by Mr. Schmalz that Rockwern has five administrators making six-figure salaries is simply false and irresponsible. The administration and the teaching staff all work for less than they could make in the private market, in large part due to their dedication to Jewish education. I send my son to Rockwern for three primary reasons. First, the teachers at Rockwern are experienced and second to none. Second, the low student-teacher ratio insures that my son will

receive the individual attention a 5th grader needs. Third, a Rockwern education means that my child will maintain his Jewish identity throughout his life. Jewish Day Schools nationwide are experiencing financial issues. Rockwern is not unique in this regard. Rather than writing letters which are not based on facts, this community should rally around Rockwern, which is a treasure this community cannot afford to lose. Sincerely, Mark Weisser Board Member Rockwern Academy

Have something on your mind? Write a letter to the editor and let your voice be heard. Send your letter by e-mail:


TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE of this week’s Torah portion This Week’s Portion: B'Shalach(Shmot 13:1—17:30) 1. What did the people of Canaan do when Hashem split the Red Sea? a.) They did not hear until many years later b.) They denied it c.) Their hearts melted d.) They made plans for war 2. What did The Children of Israel promise to Hashem after the splitting of the Red Sea? a.) To pray every day b.) To glorify Hashem by doing mitzvot in a beautiful way c.) Give Tzedakah d.) Build a Holy Temple 3. How many of Pharaoh's best chariots went to fight at the Red

Sea? a.) Six hundred b.) Six thousand c.) All of his chariots 4. What protected The Children of Israel from the Egyptians at the Red Sea? a.) Their weapons b.) The cloud that led them in the desert c.) The pillar of fire 5. Which part of the weather was very strong before the splitting of the Red Sea? a.) East wind b.) Rain c.) Thunder and lightening

Written by Rabbi Dov Aaron Wise

1. C 15:15 They knew The Children of Israel would eventually come to Canaan 2. B 15:2 3. A 14:7 Pharaoh's 600 best chariots went along with the rest of Pharaoh's chariots. Even though all of the Egyptian cattle died in the plagues, the cattle of those that feared Hashem were spared. 4. B 14:19,20 5. A 14:21 Hashem punishes the nations with the East wind. Rashi cites several other places in Tanach.

A truly righteous Gentile

heroism, but others didn’t. Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial honored her and her husband in 1972 on its list of “Righteous Among the Nations,” the courageous Gentiles who risked everything to protect endangered Jews. Since it was first published in the original Dutch in 1947 and in English five years later, “The Diary of Anne Frank” has been translated into numerous languages and quickly became a classic. Broadway and Hollywood dramatized Anne’s story, and for millions of people, the diary remains their sole (and often their first) reference point to the Holocaust. Anne’s diary has been called a work of universal optimism, especially because of these sentences: “It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.” While Anne Frank may have believed people “are really good at heart,” she was keenly aware of the radical evil of the Nazi’s lethal anti-Semitism, which had forced her into hiding. Her diary entry from April 11, 1944 is a poignant quest for meaning, and ends with a profound theological conclusion: “Who has made us Jews different from all other people? Who has allowed us to suffer so terribly up till now? It is God who has made us as we are, but it will be God, too, who will raise us up again. Who knows, it might even be our religion from which the world and all peoples learn good, and for that reason and that reason only do we now suffer ... We will always remain Jews.” The mass murder of 6 million innocent people is an overwhelming statistic, but one teenage girl and her two years of hiding in the attic puts a terribly human face on such a dreadful statistic. The Italian chemist and novelist Primo Levi, who survived the Holocaust, put it this way: “One single Anne Frank moves us more than the countless others who suffered just as she did but whose faces have remained in the shadows. Perhaps it is better that way; if we were capable of taking in all the suffering of all those people, we would not be able to live.” Yet if it weren’t for righteous Gentiles like Gies, we might never have known her story.






Sedra of the Week by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin

Shabbat Shalom: Parshat Beshalach Exodus 13:17 - 17:16

Efrat, Israel — “The Lord is my strength and song, and He is my salvation; this is my G-d, and I will glorify Him; my father’s G-d, and I will exalt Him” (Exodus 15:2). This week’s Biblical portion describes in prose (chapter 14) and poetry (chapter 15) the final and decisive victory of the Hebrew slaves over the Egyptian despots at the Reed Sea. The Bible records how Moses extends his hands over the waves; the turbulent waters split and recede before the advancing Israelites, enabling them to pass through on dry land while the Egyptians in hot pursuit are drowned. But what was the precise significance of this victory of the G-d of Israel over the gods of the most powerful nation on earth? Secondly, why does the Torah use the names of idolatrous shrines to describe where the Israelites were standing on the seashore? “And G-d said to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel and let them turn back and encamp before Pi Hahirot between Migdal and the sea in front of the Master (god) of the North (Heb. Ba’al Tzefon); you shall encamp opposite it, by the sea” (Exodus 14:2). Then again, seven verses later, once again we read, “and the Egyptians pursued after them and overtook them, encamped near the sea, … near the mouth of Hirot in front of the Master (god) of the North” (14:9). Apparently both of these names refer to idolatrous shrines, Hirot being identified with the god Haurus and the Master of the North being the last remaining Egyptian god (see Rashi 14:2). Why highlight these idolatrous shrines? Surely it would have been sufficient to tell us that the Israelites encamped near the entrance to the Reed Sea. Finally, when the Israelites cry out in prayer to G-d and in complaint to Moses for taking them out of Egypt to die at the hands of the Egyptians, Moses comforts them, telling them to remain where they are and promising that they will receive G-d’s miraculous salvation, “The Lord will do battle for you and you will remain silent” (14:14). In the very next verse, Gd seems to be chiding Moses, “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out in prayer to Me? Speak to the children of Israel and let them begin to advance (into the sea).’” “They

should not merely stand by and wait for Me. They must act” (14:15 – see Rashi, ad loc). How and why is G-d tweaking, or changing and perfecting, Moses’ vision? In order to understand our text, I would submit that the Hebrew word Hirot is closely related to the Hebrew word herut which means freedom; the Bible is hinting that at this historic and climactic moment, the Hebrews are poised theologically between the Egyptian idolatry of Baal Tzefon and their imminent freedom under the supreme G-d who will effectuate redemption together with them. In Egypt, people lived in a mysterious, idolatrous world controlled by jealous and warring gods; every phenomenon was attributed to these gods before whom the individual was powerless. All that humans could hope to do was to propitiate, or bribe, the gods with gifts and ritual prowess. Let us switch gears for a moment, and examine a different Hebrew phrase sung by the Israelites after the splitting of the Reed Sea: “This is my G-d and I will glorify Him” (Ve’anve’hu, 15:2). This Hebrew word which many translate as “glorify” is obscure. Targum Onkelos builds on the root word “naveh” which means “house,” and so translates, “I shall build Him a Temple” Rashi isolates the Hebrew noi, which means “beauty,” and explains the word, “I shall speak of His beauty and praise,” I will praise Him to the world and I will pray to Him with words of praise. The sages of the Talmud give two other interpretations: “I will beautify His commandments before Him,” also building on Rashi’s basic root noi, but taking it to signify beautifying the ritual objects – sukkah, tefilin, Kiddush cup which He asks us to use. And finally Abba Shaul, a Talmudic Sage, breaks down the Hebrew word anve’hu into two words, “ani veHu,” I and : I will strive to walk in His ways, to emulate His attributes. It is this last interpretation which I find most meaningful. Serving G-d in the deepest sense doesn’t only mean building Him a Temple, or praising Him with words of prayer, or adorning Him, as it were, with beautiful ritual objects. Indeed, all of these things – if done for the wrong reasons – may become another form of propitiating and even bribing the King of all kings. Unlike idolatry, we do not make our G-d in our image,

desirous of a fancy home, words of praise and ritual gifts. We, created in His image, serve Him best only when we observe his commandments and adopt His attributes, walk in His ways, and attempt to perfect His world in ways of freedom, morality and peace. We pray to G-d not only to praise Him, but also to draw closer to Him — to be better enabled to adopt His creativity and loving kindness. We observe commandments using ritual objects and study His Divine words not in order to please or propitiate Him but rather in order to observe His will, internalize His values and attempt to bring about His world vision. So it’s not what you say to G-d, or what you build or beautify for G-d, which is important; it is rather who you are and how you are and how you act. After all, we are created in Gd’s image and G-d wants us to utilize our freedom to choose to create and not destroy; to be His partners in perfecting an imperfect world (Isaiah 45:7). G-d Himself is waiting for our actions and our initiatives to redeem humanity and realize the prophetic vision of the Messiah. G-d wants us to act in this world, with courage and integrity. Hence G-d chides Moses when he tells the Israelites to stand and wait for G-d to do all the work. The Hassidic Masters reinterpreted Moses’ words to the Israelites (Exodus 14:14) to mean: “God will give you bread (yi lehem lehem — lehem means bread), but you must first plough” (taharishun can mean to be silent or to plough). And so the best interpretation I know of “ve’anvehu” is given by Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch: “This is my G-d and I must become His house,” I must be an expression of His will in every word I utter, in every thing I do. Then truly “ani v’Hu”, I and He, will establish a true partnership dedicated to the perfection of the world. The victory at the Reed Sea was a victory of freedom (herut) over subjugation, of a G-d who wanted a true and free partner over gods who only want to be slavishly praised and handsomely bribed. When the Israelites acted courageously for freedom, G-d was triumphant over Pharaohnic enslavement and idolatry. Shabbat Shalom Shlomo Riskin Chancellor Ohr Torah Stone Chief Rabbi - Efrat Israel

3100 LONGMEADOW LANE • CINCINNATI, OH 45236 791-1330 • Richard Shapiro, Interim Rabbi Marcy Ziek, President Gerry H. Walter, Rabbi Emeritus Friday January 29 6:00 pm Shabbat Nosh 6:30 pm Shabbat Evening Service

Friday February 5 6:30 pm Family Shabbat 8:00 pm Shabbat Evening Service Choir Shabbat

Saturday January 30 10:30 am Shabbat Morning Service Lunch and Tu B’Shevat Seder to follow services

Saturday February 6 10:30 am Shabbat Morning Service



Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom Contributing Columnist NEW HUNKY HEBREW — TELL THE “KIDS”! The ABC Family Channel show, “The Secret Life of an American Teenager,” premiered in June 2009. Despite mostly negative reviews, it quickly emerged as a favorite program of the so-called youth market. Last summer, the first half of the second season was shown. Ratings remained strong and critics noted that the script quality had dramatically improved. Another 12 episodes began airing on January 4, 2010 and, after a short hiatus, the third season will begin this June. (New episodes air Mondays at 8 PM. Past episodes can be seen on the ABC Family Channel Web site.) “Secret Life” centers on fictional teen Amy Juergens, a “nice high school girl,” who gives birth to a baby. DAREN KASAGOFF, 22, plays Ricky Underwood, a troubled 17-year-old junior who is the school’s devastatingly sexy “bad boy.” Ricky is the father of Amy’s baby. Kasagoff grew up in a Los Angeles suburb. His father is a diamond merchant and his mother is a designer. Daren went to college in San Francisco for a couple of years and then dropped out to pursue an acting career in Los Angeles. He was a virtual unknown when he got his current role and he had the great “mazel” to be selected from the hundreds of actors who auditioned. Kasagoff says, “The best part about getting this job was telling my dad that he had to find someone to work [for him on] Mondays and Fridays.” Last December, Daren recorded a holiday greeting that’s on the show’s Web site. He said he planned to celebrate Hanukkah with his family. GRAMMY NOTES The Grammy awards telecast (Sunday, Jan. 31, CBS, 8PM) has being dropping in the ratings for years. The Grammy nominations cover almost every type of music and are very broad in their potential audience appeal. However, the telecast has sadly devolved into the same thing each year: we see just a handful of the Grammy nominees — a country act or two; a couple of older rockers, a few top rap acts, and several female pop singers who usually have almost identical “contemporary” singing styles. Still, the nominations list remains a great resource. Every year there are many interesting

“Jewish-related” highlights in just about every genre. Here’s a sampling of just some of them in 2010: folk singer LEONARD COHEN, 75, and conductor/composer ANDRE PREVIN, 79, have been awarded lifetime Grammy achievement awards; Israel-raised folk/pop singer OREN LAVIE, 33, is nominated for best short musical video. His music video of his song, “Her Morning Elegance,” has gotten over 10 million hits on Youtube; two multi-Grammy winners compete for best pop instrumental Grammy — HERB ALPERT, 74 (“Bésame Mucho”) and BELA FLECK, 51 (“Throw Down Your Heart”); Norah Jones and Willie Nelson are nominated for best pop collaboration for a tasty new version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” the classic penned by the late FRANK LOESSER (“Guys and Dolls”) and first recorded in 1949 by the duo of DINAH SHORE and BUDDY CLARK; and Canadian AUBREY DRAKE GRAHAM, 23, is nominated for best solo rap performance and best rap song (“Best I Ever Had”). Graham, who records under the name “Drake,” is a former teen actor who co-starred on the TV series, “Degrassi: The Next Generation.” The son of an African-American musician and a white Canadian Jewish mother — he was raised Jewish and calls his background “kind of cool.” MAD MEL RETURNS Opening Friday, Jan. 29 is “Edge of Darkness,” a police thriller starring Mel Gibson. It’s his first film role since his infamous anti-Semitic tirade in 2006 in front of a Los Angeles County Jewish police officer who had stopped Gibson for drunk driving. In a brief interview with a reporter this month, Gibson was his old pugnacious self — half-denying that he said anything “bad” in 2006 and challenging the reporter’s objectivity by asking him if he “had a dog in this fight.” (The “fight” being whether Hollywood and the public were prepared to “forgive and forget” what Gibson had said and done.) Gibson, by the way, seems to like to bring up dogs when he gets angry. In 2003, he talked to the “New Yorker” about FRANK RICH, the NY Times columnist who had written several articles denouncing the anti-Semitism in Gibson’s film, “The Passion.” Gibson said of Rich: “I want his intestines on a stick....I want to kill his dog.”


FROM THE PAGES 100 Years Ago The venerable Nathan Moses will celebrate his 83rd birthday anniversary at his home on Sunday, Feb. 6, up to 10 o’clock in the evening, and will be pleased to welcome his friends. Mr. Moses, like his father before him, the late Hyman Moses, has collected thousands of dollars for the Jewish Institutions of Palestine, and his name is known and blessed in every Jewish home in the Holy Land. Despite his advanced age, he is still able to get about briskly and his health continues excellent.

The golden wedding celebration of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Heinsheimer took place on Jan. 25. There was a general reception for their friends from 2 to 5, and a family dinner at 6, followed by an evening reception. Many friends and relatives from out of the city attended. Mr. Heinsheimer was born in Germany in 1834 and came to Cincinnati with his parents in 1839. Mrs. Heinsheimer, who was Miss Goodhart, was born in Cincinnati in 1841, and was married to Mr. Heinsheimer in Cincinnati on

Jan 25, 1860, by Rabbi Isaac M. Wise. There are but two persons living in the city who attended the wedding—General Lewis Seasongood and Fred Rauh. The Heinsheimers have six children living: Miss Daisy, Walter D., Mrs. Walter Freiberg, Edward L., Charles J. and Norbert Heinsheimer. All were present. The Goodhart-Heinsheimer family have a unique record of two golden and one diamond wedding (60 years) within a few years. — January 27, 1910

75 Years Ago Mr. and Mrs. Philip Sapadin announce the engagement of their daughter, Clare, to Mr. C.E. (Mike) Israel. Miss Sapadin is a graduate of Ohio State University and of the Sorbonne. Mr. Israel is an alumnus of Purdue, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Mu and the Varsity football team. He lived formerly in Birmingham and Indianapolis. A number of Cincinnatians are enjoying winter vacations in the South. Others are planning to leave within the next week for various warm resorts.

Mr. H. S. Livingston, with Mr. and Mrs. Irwin M. Krohn and Miss Mary Krohn, is at Sarasota, Fla., for the month of February. At Miami Beach, Fla., are Mrs. Arthur Bowman, Jr., Mrs. Maurice Koch, Mrs. Robert Epstein, Mr. and Mrs. Morris Frieder, Mr. and Mrs. Lee Harburger, Mr. and Mrs. William Frieder, Mrs. Lazard Kahn, and Mr. and Mrs. Milton Kahn and Mr. and Mrs. Jesse O. Frank. Mr. and Mrs. Burt Weil will leave Thursday, Jan. 31st, for this seaside resort. Mr. David Strauss has joined

his brother Mr. Charles Strauss, at the Robert Clay Hotel. Among those who played in the masters’ individual championship in the Times-Star bridge contest were Messrs. Jacob Litwin, I.E. Levine, Simon Polaksy, Arthur M. Richard, I. Siegel, Alfred Springer, Richard Wildberg, Jacques L. Ach, Nathaniel Nathan, Richard Dana, Herman W. Lackman, Nathan Solinger, E. Isralsky, Dr. Alvin Slutz, Mrs. Mabel B. Sichel, Miss Mildred Sachs and Mrs. I.L. Greenwald. — January 31, 1935

50 Years Ago Stanley Fisher, Marvin Rosenberg and Lee Schimberg are co-chairmen of the General Gifts Division of the Jewish Welfare Fund campaign, Joseph Wolf, campaign chairman, announced. Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Youklis, 1018 Towanda Terrace, announce the forthcoming bar mitzvah of their son, Edward, Saturday, Feb. 6, at 9 a.m. at Adath Israel Synagogue. Sidney Schwartz, 62, 4028 Paddock Road, passed away

Tuesday, Jan. 19. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Lucille Barker Schwartz; a daughter, Mrs. Gene Mesh; three brothers, Charles, Isadore and Sam; and a sister, Mrs. Harry Berg. Milton M. Bloom was re-elected to his second consecutive oneyear term as president of Wise Temple at its 118th annual meeting and dinner Sunday evening, Jan. 24, at the Netherland Hilton. Chosen with him are Melville J.

Dunkelman and Samuel Huttenbauer, vice presidents; Morris J. Leher, secretary; James M. Levy, treasurer; Mrs. Mark Rubenstein, executive secretary. Trustees elected for two years: Stanley Berman, Milton M. Bloom, Albert J. Butchkes, Melville J. Dunkelman, Justin Freidman, Jeffrey L. Lazarus, Jr., James M. Levy, Larry Marshall, Morris L. Rudin, William Schwrtz, Joseph S. Stern, Jr., Sidney Weil. — January 28, 1960

25 Years Ago Tonight at Adath Israel, the Jewish Federation will honor its many volunteers. At the meeting, Federation president, Philip T. Cohen, will talk about his years as president. Officers will be elected. Those nominated are: Robert M. Blatt, president; Stanley M. Chesley, Barbara Freeman, William M. Fredman, Robert V. Goldstein, vice presidents; Ernst Frankel, treasurer; Mitchell Gaswirth, assistant

treasurer; Carolyn Saeks, secretary; Dolph Berman, assistant secretary. Mr. and Mrs. Theodore A. Sachs of New York City, announce the engagement of their daughter, Carolyn T., to Joseph David Singer, son of Allen and Phyllis Singer. Mr. Singer is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Ritter, Mrs. Fanny Singer and the late Mr. Sidney Singer. A Sept. 1 wedding is planned. Mrs. Tillie Kolodny of 2324

Madison Road passed away Jan. 14. She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Victor and Sky Kolodny. She was the wife of the late Sol Kolodny and the sister of the late Frances Mark. Services were on Jan. 15 at the Weil Funeral Home. Interment was in the Adath Israel Cemetery. Rabbi Sidney Zimelman officiated. — January 24, 1985

10 Years Ago Judge Robert S. Kraft has been elected President/Administrative Judge of the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas for the year 2000. This will be the fourth time he has served in this capacity. Hyde Park residents Lee and Shannon Carter have been chosen as the Greater Cincinnati Chapter, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation’s “2000 Cincinnatians of the Year.” “Their tremendous contributions to the Cincinnati community include

Lee’s involvement as Chairman of the Board of Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Shannon’s presence as founder, president and CEO of Crayons to Computers, a free store for teachers. Mack Fleishman, 84, passed away at Middletown Regional Hospital on Jan. 23, 2000, of complications from pneumonia and acute leukemia. He was born on May 15, 1915 to Rose and Sam Fleishman of Columbus, Ohio.

Mack was preceded in death by his parents, a brother Morris Fleishman, and a sister, Ann O’Koon both of Columbus, Ohio. He is survived by a sister, Shirley Sher of Palm Harbor, Florida; his wife of 53 years, Charlotte Fleishman; a daughter, Melanie Fleishman of New York City; a daughter, Mindy Ellis and husband, Jim, of Cincinnati, Ohio; and one grandchild, Samuel Max Ellis. — January 27, 2000



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Isaac M. Wise Temple (513) 793-2556 • Isaac Nathan Congregation (513) 841-9005 Kehilas B’nai Israel (513) 761-0769 Kneseth Israel Congregation (513) 731-8377 • Northern Hills Synagogue (513) 931-6038 • Rockdale Temple (513) 891-9900 • Sephardic Beth Sholom Congregation (513) 793-6936 Temple Beth Shalom (513) 422-8313 • Temple Sholom (513) 791-1330 • The Valley Temple (513) 761-3555 • EDUCATION Chabad Blue Ash (513) 793-5200 • Cincinnati Community Kollel (513) 631-1118 • Cincinnati Hebrew Day School (513) 351-7777 • HUC-JIR (513) 221-1875 • JCC Early Childhood School (513) 793-2122 • Mercaz High School (513) 792-5082 x104 • Reform Jewish High School (513) 469-6406 • Regional Institute Torah & Secular Studies (513) 631-0083 Rockwern Academy (513) 984-3770 • ORGANIZATIONS American Jewish Committee (513) 621-4020 • American Friends of Magen David Adom (513) 521-1197 • B’nai B’rith (513) 984-1999 Hadassah (513) 821-6157 • Jewish National Fund (513) 794-1300 • NA’AMAT (513) 984-3805 • National Council of Jewish Women (513) 891-9583 • State of Israel Bonds (513) 793-4440 • Women’s American ORT (513) 985-1512 •




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513-531-9600 POPE from page 1 Benedict in his speech minutes later did not mention Pius by name but implicitly defended him, repeating the stance that the Vatican had “provided assistance, often in a hidden and discreet way.” The main focus of Benedict’s speech, however, was a reaffirmation of commitment to the JewishCatholic dialogue launched by the Second Vatican Council’s Nostra Aetate declaration of 1965 and fostered by his predecessor, Pope John Paul II. The visit took place on the day marked by the Catholic Church as an annual Day of Dialogue with Judaism. Memory of the Holocaust, the 82-year-old pope said, “compels us to strengthen the bonds that unite us so that our mutual understanding, respect and acceptance may always increase.” Benedict repeated John Paul’s prayers for forgiveness for Catholic anti-Semitism. “The Church has not failed to deplore the failings of her sons and daughters, begging forgiveness for all that could in any way have contributed to the scourge of antiSemitism and anti-Judaism,” he said. “May these wounds be healed forever!” Benedict’s words were inter-

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rupted by applause several times and drew a standing ovation from an audience that included Jewish, Catholic and Muslim representatives, Holocaust survivors, political leaders and the 100-year-old Nobel Prize-winning scientist Rita Levi Montalcini, who was persecuted under fascist Italy’s World War II-era anti-Semitic laws. The two-hour visit was only the second time a pope had visited the synagogue, a towering structure on the bank of the Tiber River in the old ghetto area where Roman Jews were forced to live until 1870. Rome’s Jews form the oldest continuous Jewish community in the western Diaspora. John Paul II’s visit in 1986 was a milestone in Catholic-Jewish dialogue. Before entering the synagogue, Benedict, an unwilling member of the Hitler youth organization as a teenager, placed a wreath at a memorial plaque honoring the more than 1,000 Roman Jews who were deported to Auschwitz in 1943. He also placed a wreath at a plaque honoring a toddler killed in a 1982 Palestinian terrorist attack on the synagogue that wounded scores of worshipers. “We live in world of symbolism, and his going to synagogue was a very symbolic statement,” said Rabbi Arthur Schneier, the founder and president of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation.




JOURNEY from page 6 He confronted his psychology about initiating weight loss too. Explained Glaser, “Today is the cure for the disease of ‘tomorrow.’ Focus on today and today only. Don’t worry about the weight. Don’t stress over having to lose 100 pounds. Take it one day at a time, one meal at a time even, and the results will take AID from page 7

Jory Edlin bought Sell, Pak & Ship in Blue Ash this past July.

Sell, Pak & Ship: Jory Edlin’s new adventure Jory Edlin, a Cincinnati native, bought Sell, Pak and Ship in July of last year. “I like to sell,” explained Edlin. By “sell” he doesn’t mean the kind that takes an aggressive closer. He means “sell” as on Ebay. Edlin likes to learn, too. Often in his new venture he learns “more than I want to know” about the various items he manages for clients on Ebay. Although it isn’t mentioned in the name, the core of Edlin’s business is Ebay consignments. It’s why he bought it, and his business plans for future growth of his newly acquired venture are focused on plans for Ebay, specifically consigning increasingly higher valued merchandise. This is not to say that his business, located in Blue Ash, doesn’t offer other services. For the neighborhood, Edlin is the private post office — one that has more shipping options than the U.S. postal service, and one that will work to find the best deal for customers. The array of services includes mailboxes, copies, laminating and shredding. But these are really for the convenience of his customers. After his Ebay consignments, his biggest service is shipping. For businesses that ship regularly, Edlin can often juggle ship-

ping companies and insurers to arrange for the least expensive arrangement. For those in the process of sorting household stuff, Edlin can be very useful, too; he has a database with which he can predict proceeds of an Ebay sale, so the sorter can have some direction. Edlin is clearly versatile: He has re-invented himself every 10 years or so. Born in Cincinnati, Edlin attended local schools. Between high school and college he worked in the restaurant industry, eventually landing in a management position. That was the first decade. Next he attended college where he armed himself with a degree in computer science for the next two decades: a career in software followed by one as an educator— a career that included a stint teaching all grades at the Cincinnati Hebrew Day School. Edlin was Bar Mitvahed at Ohav Shalom, where he is today a member. Recently, his family – parents and siblings with their families — traveled to Israel. JNF posted an article about their adventures on their Web site. Where will he be after this decade? Edlin doesn’t know. For now he is content in his new business, selling and learning — and enjoying being his own boss.

survivors. It was one of the only places Haitians could receive advanced medical treatment in the city. “The Israeli field hospital is phenomenal,” Dr. Richard Besser of ABC News told “Good Morning America.” “They were up and running on Saturday morning, way ahead of the United States hospital.” When Besser encountered a woman in labor named Soraya in a Port-au-Prince park, he contacted the only medical facility he knew about in town: the one run by the Israelis. “Before long, Soraya had an operating room waiting for her,” said Besser, who helped deliver the baby. “Ultrasounds, IVs, medications. Soraya was now getting better care than she could have ever imagined.” On Saturday, Israeli doctors at the hospital delivered a baby boy whose grateful mother said she’d name the boy Israel. Meanwhile, other civilian aid workers were having trouble getting into Haiti. Power was down in most of Port-au-Prince, complicating matters, and airplanes on the ground at the city’s airport lacked sufficient fuel to take off and make way for additional aid flights to land. The airport in Santo Domingo, in the neighboring Dominican Republic, became an alternate staging area, and aid officials from around the world converged on the Dominican capital as a first step toward reaching the earthquake zone in Port-au-Prince. In Israel late last week, frustrated aid workers idled as they waited for a clear route into Haiti to be established. Reached by telephone last Friday, an official from Magen David Adom, Israel’s version of the Red Cross, said the group still hadCEDAR from page 12 Golf Classic: Ten years of the Cedar Village Golf Classic were celebrated this year. A special salute to the founders and presenting sponsors took place the night before the tournament and that began a great two days of golf, fun, friend raising and fundraising. The golf classic raises money for programs and services at

care of themselves.” The ultimate outcome for Glaser was healthy, balanced eating. He ate breakfast, lunch and dinner at prescribed times, he stopped snacking and went to bed at night instead of eating when he was hungry after dinner. Now Glaser wants to “change the Jewish People – one pound at a time.” He and his wife established an organization to that end,

Soveya, to raise awareness about overeating and obesity in the Jewish community. He and his wife offer other services as well. Noted the rabbi, “Overeating is like poison for anyone and it is the primary cause of illness,” wrote Maimonides in Laws of Knowledge 4:15. “Most illnesses are caused either by harmful foods or overeating even healthy foods.”

n’t received clearance to leave. It took until Monday for the team of five Magen David Adom paramedics to get to Port-auPrince, which they reached after landing in the Dominican Republic. Once in Haiti, the paramedics set up a field hospital in conjunction with the Norwegian Red Cross at the courtyard of the university hospital in Port-auPrince. The hospital was up and running Tuesday morning. A group from the Israeli disaster relief organization ZAKA was in a better position to move quickly. ZAKA had a team of rescue workers in Mexico assisting in recovery efforts following a helicopter crash there two days before the quake hit, so when the official Mexican aid delegation to Haiti left Mexico, Israeli rescue workers hitched a ride with them aboard a Mexican Air Force Hercules aircraft. Before the week was over, ZAKA rescue workers had pulled out eight students alive from the wreckage of a collapsed university building. In a statement, the head of the delegation, Mati Goldstein, was quoted in an e-mail describing a “Shabbat from hell” in the earthquake-ravaged city. ZAKA is made up of Orthodox Jewish volunteers. “Everywhere, the acrid smell of bodies hangs in the air. It’s just like the stories we are told of the Holocaust — thousands of bodies everywhere,” Goldstein wrote. “You have to understand that the situation is true madness, and the more time passes, there are more and more bodies, in numbers that cannot be grasped. It is beyond comprehension.” To lift their spirits, the rescue workers from ZAKA taught Haitian survivors to sing “Heiveinu Shalom Aleichem.” Whether clad in IDF uniforms, wearing the flag of Israel on their shoulders or holding Shabbat

prayers during a brief break from their rescue work, the Israeli aid workers’ visible presence in Haiti is helping to promote a positive image of Israel in a world more accustomed to seeing the nation negatively. “I am sure it is good for the Israeli image, but we’re not doing it only because of this,” said Danny Biran, ambassador of logistical and administrative affairs for Israel’s mission to the United Nations and the Americas. “We are doing it because we believe in what we are doing.” “We always carry an Israeli flag and hang it wherever we work. We don’t do anything under the radar,” said Zahavi of IsraAid. “It’s important for us to show that we come on behalf of the Israeli people, and people should know we’re there for them.” The IsraAid coalition is made up of aid organizations — such as the Fast Israeli Rescue and Search Team (FIRST), the Jerusalem AIDS Project and Pirchey RefuaIsraeli Youth Medical Cadets — as well as funding organizations including the American Jewish Committee, B’nai B’rtih International and UJA-Federation of Greater Toronto. On the ground in Haiti, IsraAid partnered with U.S.-based Operation Blessing, which provided a container full of medical supplies from Florida. In an interview from Port-auPrince, one of IsraAid’s logistics volunteers, Alan Schneider, director of the B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusalem, said the destruction in Haiti was overwhelming. “I’ve been to Chad, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Kenya and Georgia on IsraAid missions, and I’ve never ever seen anything of this scale,” Schneider said by telephone as patients receiving treatment at IsraAid’s clinic could be heard screaming in the background. “It’s like a war scene.”

Cedar Village and this year’s proceeds will help support capital improvement projects. Social Media: Cedar Village was proud to be the first retirement community in the country to take advantage of fundraising through Global Giving, an international online marketplace for philanthropy. Cedar Village led the way on Facebook, Twitter and even created a music video on

YouTube. As well, social media allowed us to blog daily from Israel and even broadcast the B’nai Mitzvah Mission live to families around the world. 2010: We have lots of new programs on the horizon and are excited about making changes to continue to meet the needs of our community, helping to make aging an enriching and fulfilling experience.



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DEATH NOTICES APPEL, Norman, age 85, died on December 28, 2009; 11 Tevet, 5770. WEISSMAN, Bertha, age 97, died on January 20, 2010; 5 Shevat, 5770. COHEN, Ruth, age 99, died on January 21, 2010; 6 Shevat, 5770. SCHREIBER, Harriette, age 83, died on January 22, 2010; 7 Shevat, 5770. SIMON, Lori, age 52, died on January 25, 2010; 10 Shevat, 5770. CONFERENCE from page 8 Northern New Jersey Kehillot Investing in Day Schools, commonly referred to as the Kehillah AVATAR from page 8 Trees bring us understanding and friendship between neighbors. My parents always had a fig tree growing in their backyard in Anaheim, Calif. In the 1990s, their neighborhood and area progressively saw the arrival of Lebanese and Palestinian households. The local newspapers even began to JAMAICA from page 9 While Jews here are happy to learn from their coreligionists from abroad, they are proud as well of their own customs. An attempt to segregate services by gender, for example, was roundly rejected. Jewish Jamaicans trace their origins to the first Europeans to land on the island, many of whom were Marranos — Jews who were forced to convert to Christianity but secretly practiced Judaism. When the island was taken over by the English in the late 17th century, a new wave of Portuguese Jews from Amsterdam came, including Abraham Cohen Henriques. They were merchants SPITTING from page 10 The incident that appears to have gotten the ministry’s attention occurred last September, when a pair of teenage Armenian seminarians reportedly fought with a young yeshiva student who spit on them. Police intervened, arrested the seminarians and referred the matter to the Interior Ministry. According to Hintlian, the seminarians are now facing deportation — a decision the Armenians have officially protested. Carrying out the order would require the police


Fund. The group collects donations through its Web site. It has made one distribution to each of the area’s eight elementary day schools and intends to continue distributing funds quarterly. “Our fundamental belief is there is nothing wrong with our educational model,” Lindenbaum said. “Our educational model is wonderful. What’s wrong is our funding model.” Also on the panel were Uri Cohen, director of development at the Solomon Schechter School Manhattan, and Elaine Suchow, director of development and coordinator of the Tri-State Consortium at the Solomon Schechter School of Queens. The consortium brought together area Schechter schools for a joint branding campaign, the first such effort at cooperation. “In the landscape of day schools, collaboration is not assumed,” Cohen said. “There’s

not an expectation that the schools work together, so any collaborations at any level is a step in the right direction.” The tuition crisis was the “subtext” for the entire conference, said Moriah School principal Elliot Prager, but the event should become a model for future collaboration among the movements. The day school community as a whole has shifted its focus in the past two years from innovation to simply remaining viable, he added, and that is a major challenge for everyone. “Each movement may have its own visions and its own priorities,” he said, “but ultimately we’re all guided by the same goal and ideal of ensuring the future of the Jewish people.” “Working across the denominations is a wonderful success and breakthrough,” Rabbi Jonathan Knapp, principal of Yavneh Academy in Paramus, told The Jewish Standard. “We are all joint-

ly invested in Jewish continuity. It’s exciting [to have everybody together].” Others echoed Knapp’s sentiments. “It’s incredible that we have all these different networks coming together,” said Susan Weintrob, head of school of the Ronald C. Wornick Jewish Day School in Foster City, Calif. “We find we have a lot of common ground. We have a diversity of ideas.” Ariella Allen, Judaic coordinator at Yeshiva Atlanta, said that upon her return she would begin looking into new technologies she learned about at the conference, such as video conferencing between classrooms in different regions. The conference was “a great opportunity to learn from one another,” she said. “We have excellent educators all over the field. People have been more than willing to put aside their differ-

ences and gain from what everyone has to offer.” Nellie Harris, upper school principal of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Westchester in New York, said she was particularly interested in the conference’s theme of how Jewish education will adapt to the 21st century. She called the conference “a balance between theory and practice,” as educators figure out how to move forward. “There was an opportunity for us to not only talk about those skills but what is unique about Jewish day schools,” she said. A decision on whether to repeat the conference is still far off, Kramer said, adding that “We are leaving open the door to all the possibilities.” Renee Salzberg, of the Hebrew Day Institute in Baltimore, said she hoped the conference would lead to more collaboration. “It’s a great beginning,” she said.

describe the adjoining commercial area as Little Gaza. As it turned out, the Lebanese family who moved in across the street planted its own fig tree. My father, Murray, passed away last year, and after his death I discovered that he and the neighbor had a wonderful relationship, exchanging fruits in their seasons and news of their families.

Trees give us a sense of time and a touch of the eternal. Somewhere in the White Mountains, near Bishop, Calif., lives a tree named Methuselah. Named for the oldest living person in the Bible, it’s a Bristlecone pine, among the oldest living things on earth. In the 1950s, the forest service did a core sample of Methuselah

and estimated its age at 4,789 years. It was growing long before Moses. I visited the Bristlecones one year, gnarled, twisted, ancient. If something can live that long, then so can our traditions and memories. We love our trees. While we don’t sit around cross-legged and pray to them, like they did in “Avatar,” we do have a bond, a

connection to our memories and humanity. This Tu B’Shvat, sans spaceships and 3-D specs, create your own special effect: Pick up a shovel, dig a hole and plant something that will grow into the future.

and plantation owners primarily, but some profited from the slave trade and state-sponsored theft on the high seas. Small as it was, the community made its mark on the island. Jamaica’s Jews have been representatives in the local parliament, and Jews started the island’s biggest newspaper, the Gleaner. Perched on the foothills of the Green Mountains overlooking Kingston, the Hillel Academy is a shining example of the Jewish community’s contribution to Jamaica. Opened in 1969 in the house of the local rabbi, the school is meant for island residents, not Jewish instruction. “The school is considered a gift by the Jewish community to the

people of the island in the spirit of Rabbi Hillel’s teachings,” a teacher explained during a tour of the sprawling campus. Today the school has several hundred students, only a handful of whom are Jewish. While the school has some Jewish themes — a non-Jewish student whose family is from India wears a badge identifying himself as a member of the Masada club — Jews who want to learn about Judaism must do so outside of regular classes. Assimilation has taken a toll on Jamaican Jewry. The telephone directory lists thousands of Levys, Cohens and Gabays, but very few of them identify as Jews, according to community members. A few Jamaicans are rediscov-

ering their Jewish heritage. Patrique Mudhay, a tall, black man clad in a colorful shirt decorated with Jewish symbols, is a regular at the synagogue. He recalls being told of his Jewish background by his grandmother, who converted to Catholicism when she married. “Although I don’t speak or read Hebrew, I have to have people who know Hebrew read the Torah,” the kipah-wearing Mudhay said. “I will not let others tamper with my religion.” But people like Mudhay are exceptions; emigration and assimilation are the norm for Jews here. “This is not a community that will hold on the handle of its history,” Henriques said.

Hoping to stem the tide, Henriques wants to draw Jewish tourists to the island’s synagogue and old cemeteries, perhaps as part of a cruise that will include other islands with Jewish history, such as Barbados. But he seems largely to have accepted that the community eventually will vanish — by his estimation within 30 years. “The future for communities like this are limited,” Henriques said. “Who will be the last Jew? I don’t know,” he said. “But my hope is that the evidence of the congregation will not disappear.”

to seize the boys from their seminary in the Old City, Hintlian said, which likely would result in a public relations disaster. “It won’t happen easily,” Hintlian said. “They’ll think twice.” Though they may bear the brunt of the phenomenon, given the proximity of the Armenian and Jewish quarters, cases of spitting are confined neither to Armenian clergy nor the Old City. Athanasius Macora, a Texasborn Franciscan friar who lives in western Jerusalem, frequently has been the target of spitting during his

nearly two decades residing in the Israeli capital. Macora, whose brown habit easily identifies him as a Christian clergyman, says that while he has not endured any spitting incidents recently, recollections of past incidents started flowing over the course of 30-minute interview. In a sitting room at Terra Sancta College, where he is the superior, Macora recalled the blond-haired man who spit at him on Agron Street, not far from the U.S. Consulate. Another time, walking with an Armenian priest in the

same area, a man in a car opened his window to let the spittle fly. Once it was a group of yeshiva students in the Old City, another time a young girl. Sometimes the assailants are clad in distinctive haredi garb; other times the attackers are wearing the knitted yarmulkes of the national religious camp. In almost all cases, though, they are young, religious men. A Franciscan church just outside the Old City walls was vandalized recently with anti-Christian graffiti, Macora said.

“I think it’s just a small group of people who are hostile, and a very small group of people,” Macora said. “If I go to offices or other places, a lot of people are very friendly.” Meanwhile, the Beth Din Tzedek statement, and an earlier one from Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, have impressed the Christians and raised hopes that the spitting may soon end. “We hope that this problem will be solved one day,” Sandrouni said, “for the sake of mutual coexistence.”

(Edmon J. Rodman is a JTA columnist who writes on Jewish life from Los Angeles.)

(JTA correspondent Gil Shefler was a guest in Jamaica of the Jamaica Tourist Board.)

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American Israelite  
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28 January 2010 Edition of the American Israelite