JCC honors Nancy Wise Senior Adult JVS enters 70th and David Wolf at annual dinner with year with nod to the Adams Golf Classic entertainment old, nod to the new The JCC will honor Nancy and David Wolf at the 16th annual JCC Adams Golf Classic on Thursday, June 10, at Shaker Run Golf Club in Lebanon, Ohio. The JCC is honoring the Wolfs for their contributions to the planning of the new JCC, as well as David’s continued involvement with JCC operations and Nancy’s participation on the JCC building arts committee. Named “one of the nation’s top 100 art collectors” by Art & Antiques Magazine, Nancy and David Wolf are longtime supporters of the arts. In Cincinnati, the Wolfs were active in the development of the Contemporary Arts Center and helped establish a contemporary art exhibit at the Cincinnati Art Museum. Also, the Wolfs donated the sculpture at the entrance of the JCC, entitled “The Light,” and created by sculptor Albert
The Senior Adults of the Isaac M. Wise Temple will gather for their annual dinner with entertainment on Saturday, May 22. This year’s event will feature Wise Temple’s Cantor Deborrah Cannizzaro. Following the dinner, the Senior Adults will move into the Wise Center Chapel for a brief Havdalah service — to mark the end of Shabbat and the beginning of a new week. After the Havdalah service, Cantor Cannizzaro will entertain the Senior Adults with “golden oldies” selections, entitled “A Journey Down Musical Memory Lane,” that will include music by Cole Porter as well as Porgy & Bess, Cabaret, My Fair Lady, Showboat and Phantom of the Opera. She will be joined by Steven Stuhlbarg on guitar and Irina Bernadsky on the Ukrainian mandolin.
JCC on page 19
WISE on page 19
by Avi Milgrom Assistant Editor Last Thursday, May 6, JVS celebrated 70 years of service—and the completion of a large-scale renovation—with an ancient Jewish practice and a seminar on new social ones. The celebration, that attracted more than 150 guests, began at noon when CEO Peter Bloch led a brief ribbon cutting. Included in the ceremony was the Jewish ritual of affixing a mezuzah to the entrance of the building. Thus with a nod to ancient practices, the daylong celebration began. An open house and tour followed. Later in the evening, JVS hosted a dessert reception and mixer followed by a seminar on how best to use social media. JVS on page 22
Jerusalem: The city that drives people mad by Dina Kraft Jewish Telegraphic Agency JERUSALEM (JTA) — A middle-aged Russian tourist dressed in white and claiming to be Jesus checked in last week at the Petra Hostel in Jerusalem’s Old City. He did not stay long, the hostel’s clerk said. Just a few days and he was gone. The man likely was suffering from a psychiatric condition known as Jerusalem syndrome in which tourists, and in some cases even locals, become so overwhelmed by the experience of Jerusalem that they believe themselves to be biblical characters or messengers of God. “There is a very special spiri-
tual feeling some people have arriving here,” said Dr. Gregory Katz, a psychiatrist who heads the emergency room at Jerusalem’s Kfar Shaul Mental Health Center, where 30 to 40 patients a year are treated for Jerusalem syndrome. “Jerusalem is where the Bible stories they have learned took place,” Katz said. Seeing it and experiencing the place firsthand, he said, “changes everything for them and makes some people believe they are in fact walking the Bible.” Most of those diagnosed with the syndrome have a history of mental illness. But in a small number of cases, the person’s experience being in Jerusalem and at its holy sites appears to
Omran Dakkak, a shopkeeper in Jerusalem’s Old City, says he has seen many people over the years exhibiting signs of Jerusalem syndrome.
CINCINNATI JEWISH LIFE
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The trip from hell...with a heavenly finale
triggers psychosis for the first time, Katz said. In such cases the condition is temporary and easily treated by medication. At a time when Jerusalem is again at the center of major political debate and has put U.S.Israel relations under strain, these cases are a reminder that the city not only drives politicians a bit mad, but some visitors, too. Even Homer Simpson was diagnosed with a case of Jerusalem syndrome in a recent episode of “The Simpsons” TV show set in Israel. In the episode, Homer awakens from a dehydrated stupor believing he has been chosen to bring Jews, Christians and Muslims together in the form of a new religion called Chrisjumas.
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Wise Temple celebrates Shavuot with ‘Shavuot Sensation’ Dining on sweets and delving into study is how Wise Temple will celebrate Shavuot this year on Tuesday evening, May 18. Shavuot, one of the three pilgrimage festivals, celebrates the giving of the Torah and the pilgrimage ancestors made to the Temple in Jerusalem to offer the first fruits of their harvest. This year, Wise Temple’s “Shavuot Sensation” will shine a
spotlight on the tribe’s 4,000-year history in a sub-event titled, “Pivotal Moments in Jewish History.” On May 18 Wise Temple’s rabbis and rabbinic interns will lead sessions on some of the key moments in Jewish history. Topics to be explored include: Is the Giving of the Law at Sinai history? How did the birth of the Rabbinic Age shape Judaism as we know it today?
What is the historical relationship between the Holocaust and the founding of the State of Israel? How did the Enlightenment change the course of Jewish history? After a Shavuot service participants will enjoy “sensational desserts.” Then they will choose the sessions they wish to attend. More dessert will follow. For more information and to register contact Wise Temple.
Make a Torah workshop, May 16 In preparation for Shavuot, a workshop on how Torahs are made —the Torah Factory—will be offered by the Chabad Jewish Center. It will take place at the Blue Ash Kroger on May 16. The Torah Factory will explore the basic elements of producing parchment, making scribe’s ink and fashioning quills. Participants will then write the ancient Hebrew letters with quills — on the hand-made parchment — to create one-of-a-kind souvenirs. The holiday of Shavuot commemorates the day the Jews received the Torah (Bible) with the revelation on Mount Sinai. Today, the Torah Scroll remains
the holiest book within Judaism, made up of the five books of Moses. “The Torah used today in the synagogue is written exactly the same way the Torah was written the very first time by Moses 3,300 years ago,” said Rabbi Berel Cohen of the Chabad Jewish Center. “This is a great way to prepare for the Shavuot holiday and appreciate our link in our ancient history through exploring how a Torah scroll is made.” An authentic Torah scroll is considered a masterpiece of labor and skill. Comprising between 62 and 84 sheets of parchment — cured, tanned, scraped and pre-
pared according to exacting Torah law specifications — and containing exactly 304,805 letters, the resulting handwritten scroll takes many months to complete. An expert scribe carefully inks each letter with a feather quill, under intricate calligraphic guidelines. The sheets of parchment are then sewn together with sinews to form one long scroll. While most Torah scrolls stand around two feet in height and weigh 20-25 pounds, some are huge and quite heavy, while others are doll-sized and lightweight. The Torah Factory is free and open to the public. Call Chabad Jewish Center for more information.
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Shavuot celebrations at Chabad Jewish Center, May 18, 19 Wednesday, May 19, commemorates the holiday of Shavuot, the day the Jews received the Ten Commandments (Torah) with the revelation on Mount Sinai. In celebration, Chabad Jewish Center will host its annual allnight study session on May 18, followed by a celebration with rock-climbing and a dairy social on May 19. The all-night study session, “Sleepless in Cincinnati,” will be on the inner dimension of G-d’s Torah and the mystical Kabalistic teachings of the holiday. Study sessions will be conducted throughout the night by Rabbi Yisroel Mangel & Rabbi Yitzchok Lifshitz, as well as by special guest scholars. Session topics include “The Real Big Bang - When Heaven Touched Earth” and “The Significant Role of Women and the Holiday of Shavuot.” The all-night tradition dates back to the night prior to G-d giving the Torah, according to Rabbi
Berel Cohen of the Chabad Jewish Center. The Jewish people, instead of spending time to prepare themselves spiritually for the greatest revelation to ever occur, went to sleep. This was an affront to G-d. Therefore, on the first night of Shavuot, Jews customarily stay awake all night studying Torah. The next day, Chabad Jewish Center will host a Shavuot party that includes a 25-foot rock-wall with activities for adults and for children. While children of all ages reenact Moses’ ascent up Mount Sinai to receive the Torah, adults will be treated to a dairy social. The reading of the Ten Commandments and an ice cream bar will cap the festivities. Shavuot is a unique time for children to celebrate. According to Rabbi Cohen, a conversation occurred between G-d and the Jewish people that was required before the Jewish people could receive the Ten Commandments.
In this conversation, G-d asked the Jewish people to name their guarantors. The Jewish people offered the heavens and the earth. G-d wanted better. The Jewish people offered the merit of the forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. G-d still was not satisfied, and asked again, who will be your guarantors? Finally the Jewish people presented all their future generations of children. With this, G-d was satisfied, and agreed to accept the children as guarantors for the Torah. “Our children are the key to the survival of our people,” said Rabbi Cohen. “Shavuot is a wonderful opportunity to instill within children a pride in being Jewish, and a connection to the previous generations, as well as creating a sense of purpose and contribution to the world; to actualize the Divine potential for goodness imbued by the Creator within each and every one of us.” Call the Chabad Jewish Center for more information.
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THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2010
Shavuot celebration, sisterhood luncheon at NHS Northern Hills Synagogue Congregation B’nai Avraham will celebrate Shavuot with a series of services and programs. The holiday that commemorates the granting of the Torah to the Israelites at Mount Sinai, begins at sundown on Tuesday, May 18, and runs through Thursday, May 20. On Tuesday evening, May 18, services will include recognition of graduating students. Following services, cheesecake will be served, and four presentations will take place as part of a “Smorgasbord of Learning.” Claire Lee will look at various
translations of well-known Psalms, and the extent to which in any translation, something is lost and something is gained. Rabbi Mark Washofsky will discuss a Talmud passage on the intersection between force and freedom, specifically, whether free will can be coerced. Sarah Barnard will examine wine making in Medieval France, and how the circumstances of Jewish life resulted in changes to the halacha (Jewish law) regarding wine making. Finally, Bea Opengart will present “Day Without Night,” a poem by Louise Gluck that con-
siders a midrash (story) about the baby Moses that calls into question the nature of Divine Revelation and human ability to perceive it. On Wednesday, May 19, there will be morning services that will include the reading of the Ten Commandments and evening services. Morning services on Thursday, May 20, will include the reading of the Book of Ruth and Yizkor services. A luncheon will follow services. The community is invited and there is no charge.
Sisterhood holds closing luncheon The Sisterhood of Northern Hills Synagogue will hold its gala closing luncheon on Sunday, May 23. The feature will be a Trunk Fashion Show presented by Talbots. Spring and summer fashions, along with accessories, shoes, handbags and jewelry will be displayed. The event will include a raffle with a variety of prizes, includng Talbots gift cards. The event is open to the public. There is a fee for guests. For more information, please contact Northern Hills Synagogue.
CHDS holds annual dinner on boat, May 31
Rabbi Raffie and Sherri Zuroff will be honored at the dinner.
On May 31, 2010, Cincinnati Hebrew Day School will hold its annual dinner on the “Belle of Cincinnati” as it floats down the Ohio River. To be honored at the event are two school parents, Rabbi Raffie and Sherri Zuroff, for their broad array of volunteer services. At the event, CHDS will remember Rabbi Zuroff’s parents, Dr. Arnold and Joanne Zuroff OB”M as well for their devotion to chessed (kindness) and tzedaka. They were considered pillars of the Detroit Jewish community. School founders Ben and Rose Levinson OB”M, will also be recognized at the dinner. The Levinsons were community activists. When Israel first became a state, Ben appealed to the Cincinnati Jewish community for clothing that he packed and sent to the fledgling country at his
own expense. Rose supported Ben in all his endeavors and was personally active in the World Mizrachi Movement and other efforts to support Israel. Mr. Levinson, together with Rabbi Eliezer Silver, OB”M, was instrumental in the founding of the Cincinnati Hebrew Day School. Special guests Dr. Gary and Lois Marcus of Berkeley, Calif. will be joining the celebration to remember the achievements of their grandparents, the Levinsons. The Levinsons were community activists devoted to Jewish causes — a legacy the Marcuses have committed themselves to continuing, both here and in California. Dinner will be buffet style. For more information contact the Cincinnati Hebrew Day School.
White House charm offensive pays off by Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraphic Agency WASHINGTON (JTA) — When Elie Wiesel says it’s all kosher, it’s good. For now, anyway. President Obama capped an intensive two weeks of administration make-nice with Israeli officials and the American Jewish community by hosting Wiesel, the Nobel peace laureate and Holocaust memoirist, for lunch at the White House. “It was a good kosher lunch,” was the first thing Wiesel pronounced, emerging from the White House to a gaggle of reporters. And not just the food. “There were moments of tension,” Wiesel said. “But the tension I think is gone, which is good.” The tension of course, was between the United States and Israel — and by extension, the mainstream
pro-Israel community — and started March 8, when Israel announced a major housing start in eastern Jerusalem during a visit by Vice President Joe Biden. Biden rebuked Israel, but it didn’t stop there. Next came an extended phoned-in dressing down from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. As the recriminations grew more pronounced, so did concerns about the relationship: Did this portend a major shake-up? Was Obama distancing himself from Israel? In private, Jewish organizational leaders reached out to White House friends and said whatever you’re selling, you need to explain it before “tensions” become a full-fledged “crisis.” Clearly there was a checklist for the speakers: • Mention that there is “no gap —
no gap” (and say it like that) between the United States and Israel when it comes to Israel’s security. (Jim Jones, the national security advisor, to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy; his deputy, Daniel Shapiro, to the ADL.) • Repeat, ad infinitum, the administration’s “commitment to preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.” (Clinton to the AJC; Dennis Ross, the top White House official handling Iran policy, to the ADL and just about everyone else. • Make it clear that while resolving the conflict would make it easier to address an array of other issues, the notion that Israel is responsible for the deaths of U.S. soldiers in the region is a calumny. (Robert Gates, the defense secretary, at a news conference with Barak: “No one in this department, in or out of uniform, believes that.” Shapiro to the ADL: “We do not believe this conflict
endangers the lives of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq.”) • Resolve to resolve differences “as allies” and don’t forget to criticize the Palestinians as well, for incitement and for recalcitrance in refusing to come to direct talks (proximity talks are resuming this week). • And explain the fundamentals of what is good about the relationship: defense cooperation. Tom Neumann, who heads the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, agreed that the defense relationship remains strong — but wondered whether the rhetoric did not portend more substantive changes. “On a soldier-to-soldier basis it remains solid,” Neumann said. “But much of the defense relationship is ultimately dictated by the administration. Obama may yet put pressure on Israel through the transfer of arms through how to confront Iran.”
LET THERE BE LIGHT
The oldest English-Jewish weekly in America Founded July 15, 1854 by Isaac M.Wise VOL. 156 • NO. 42 Thursday, May 13, 2010 29 Iyyar, 5770 Shabbat begins Fri, 8:25 p.m. Shabbat ends Sat, 9:25 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 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com 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 PATTY YOUKILIS Advertising Sales 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
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THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2010
Socially responsible Jewish investing on rise in wake of Madoff
The Jewish Funds for Justice is investing $1.2 million to help build 445 units of affordable housing in the dilapidated Oliver neighborhood in East Baltimore.
by Tamar Snyder Jewish Telegraphic Agency NEW YORK (New York Jewish Week) — In the same manner that she shops for locally grown produce, Abigail Weinberg chose to sidestep the bank behemoths and instead open an account at a small, local bank that invests in her Ann Arbor, Mich., community. “I consider myself someone who wants to be socially and environmentally responsible in all areas of my life,” she said. Weinberg applies the philosophy to her investment portfolio, too. She invests directly in community development financial institutions and has money in a socially responsible index fund. And when the Jewish Funds for Justice launched its Community Investment Initiative, a socially responsible investment program aimed at modest investors, less than two years ago, Weinberg was one of the first investors. Her $2,000 investment may not have been “a huge amount of money,” says Weinberg, who used to work at the Shefa Fund before it merged with the Jewish Funds for Justice. But “it was invested with intentionality as an expression of the Jewish value of tikkun olam,” or repairing the world. As the green movement continues to gain ground within the Jewish community, many investors are re-examining their investment portfolios with an eye toward not only financial gains but also social impact. The same people who frequent farmers’ markets and have switched their light bulbs to CFLs are bringing that passion to their portfolios. Until recently, however, only Jews of high-net worth or institutional investors like the Reform
Pension Board, federations and family foundations had access to uniquely Jewish avenues for ethical investing. This left individual social justice activists and even Jewish communal professionals like Jeremy Burton, senior vice president of philanthropic initiatives at the Jewish Funds for Justice, out in the cold. For more than a decade, JFRJ has leveraged more than $30 million in loans through the Tzedec Economic Development Fund. Tzedec offers mission-minded investors the opportunity to earn a modest interest rate while supporting job creation and community development in low-income areas. The minimum investment is $18,000, but as demand for socially responsible investment options increases, Jews of more modest means now can invest to achieve social impact in a Jewish way. In 2008, JFRJ partnered with the Calvert Foundation to launch the Jewish Funds for Justice Community Investment Initiative, which allows American Jews to participate in community investment by lending as little as $1,000. More than $120,000 has already been invested through this program. “It’s nascent, but it has a lot of potential as a vehicle for smaller investors,” Burton said, adding that he has invested his own money in the fund. Socially responsible investing, also known as ethical investing, has seen a boon in recent years. One of every $9 under professional financial management in the United States is involved now in socially responsible investing — investments that take into consideration not just the financials but also the social and environmental consequences of investments.
The Jewish community has been an active force in the world of community investing, a form of SRI in which investors lend funds, often at a below-market interest rate, to support affordable housing and other initiatives that benefit traditionally underserved communities. In 1997, the Union for Reform Judaism began actively promoting ethical investing among its membership. And, more recently, the URJ has encouraged congregations to join the Chai Investment Program by investing 1.8 percent (a play on the numerical value of “chai,” or life, which is 18) of its assets in community development. “The awareness of our financial industry’s relationship to real people on the ground is heightened in a way it hasn’t been in years,” Burton said. “Suddenly, people are viewing banks not just as the place where they happen to have a checking account. They want to see how that money creates jobs and makes a difference for real families locally.” In light of the stock market losses of 2008 and the Madoff affair, individual investors are increasingly open to the idea of measuring their returns in ways that are not solely financial. “There’s a lot more interest in what we call a triple-bottom line: financial profits, social impact and environmental responsibility,” Burton said.
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THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2010
Barak, Obama’s favored warrior, Visiting the alef assumes diplomatic posture garden on Shavuot by Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraphic Agency WASHINGTON (JTA) — Fifteen years after Ehud Barak walked into politics wearing the warrior’s mantle, he is easing into the diplomat’s lapels. The former military chief of staff, whose 1999-2001 premiership was dogged by his reputation as cerebral and remote, in his current role as defense minister is emerging as the Netanyahu government’s most accessible and conciliatory figure, according to watchers of the U.S.-Israel relationship. “There’s no doubt that Barak has emerged as a de facto go-to person at a time that some of the other bilateral relationships have proven to be contentious,” said David Makovsky, a senior analyst with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy who is close to some of the Obama administration’s top Middle East policy figures. “We know about the Obama-Netanyahu relationship. Barak has proven the one channel who has proven most durable. He’s viewed in this administration as a moderating force.” Barak’s visit to Washington last week could not have contrasted more starkly with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trip here in late March. Netanyahu couldn’t get a photo op with his counterpart, President Obama; Barak received a red carpet and a Pentagon honor guard from his counterpart, Robert Gates. Netanyahu practically had to bang down the White House door to get some Obama face time; the president “popped in” on a meeting between Barak and National Security Advisor James Jones and stayed for 40 minutes. For the Obama administration, the former warrior Barak is the favored diplomat and the former diplomat Netanyahu is the suspect street fighter. The warm words for Barak are a matter in part of timing: Barak’s visit came after the administration launched a charm offensive on Israel and the Jewish organizational leadership to reverse the bad feelings arising from the smackdown of Netanyahu over what the administration saw as his humiliation of Vice President Joe Biden during an early March visit when Israel announced a major building start in eastern Jerusalem. But it is clear, too, that the Obama officials simply like Barak much better than Netanyahu. Dennis Ross, who now runs Iran policy for the White House, wrote in “The Missing Peace,” his 2004 account of his Clinton-era peace brokering, that Barak “did not play
games or tricks,” clearly a relief after three years of Netanyahu, whom he called a “leader who had two legs walking in different directions.” Ross, in his rare public moments, jokes that the White House will not permit him to discuss his books.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak shaking hands in Washington at a meeting of the American Jewish Committee, April 29, 2010.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton shared the stage with Barak at the American Jewish Committee’s annual Washington conference last week and appeared genuinely pleased to embrace “my longtime friend Ehud Barak, who has had nearly as many incarnations in public service as I have.” Clinton continued in terms that one might ascribe to a loving, faithful partner. “Ehud and I had a wonderful meeting the other day here in Washington and covered a lot of ground,” she said. “And as friends do, much was said and much didn’t need to be said. So I’m delighted that he is here with us as well.” Barak returned the love, making clear that as far as he was concerned, the bad blood was gone. “These differences, the slight disagreements, are behind us,” he told the AJC. Again, the contrast: Clinton’s last major interaction with Netanyahu was a 43-minute March 12 dressing-down over the phone in which she made clear that the Jerusalem announcement was an “insult.” Some Jewish leaders are leery of appearances of favoritism and wonder whether the Obama administration is replaying Bill Clinton presidency tactics of making it clear to the Israeli electorate which leader it prefers; President Clinton’s icy relationship with Netanyahu then helped Barak win the 1999 elections.
“The Obama administration would like to dump Netanyahu,” said Tom Neumann, who directs the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. “They’d much rather deal with Ehud Barak or” opposition leader “Tzipi Livni because they’re not so hawkish.” If that’s the strategy it might backfire, warned Abraham Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League’s national director. “They need to deal with it very carefully,” he said. “If they overplay it, they will undermine the role that Barak plays. You can’t fix insulting the prime minister by being nice to his defense minister.” Israelis are not as likely this time around to perceive such favoritism as meddling, if only because Barak’s chances of becoming prime minister again are virtually nil. His Labor Party won only 13 seats in the 2009 elections, making it the fourthlargest bloc in the Knesset, and he can barely control his own caucus, which chafes at its association with an otherwise rightist government. In fact, the abandonment of higher ambitions — at least for now — may have helped liberate Barak from the constraints that kept him from effective diplomacy in the past. The notion of favoritism “doesn’t apply to this government, he’s not the leader of anything,” said Daniel Levy, a senior fellow at the New America and Century Foundations who advised Barak when he was prime minister. “He’s not a politically heavyweight person, but he’s serious” as Netanyahu’s partner in shaping policy. “If the politics are absent, it allows you to do that. He’s liberated by not having a political future.” Barak, 68, appears as energetic as ever. On a recent Washington visit he defied a flashing red pedestrian traffic signal, striding confidently across Connecticut Avenue while security agents and aides half his age trotted to keep up with him. If Barak indeed has given up his ambitions for winning back the leadership, he appears unbothered by it — a sharp change from what some saw as his unfettered ambition in the 1990s, when Barak alienated colleagues by cutting them off. Then he was much more warrior than diplomat. One of his first Cabinet votes when he joined the Rabin government in 1995 was against the second component of the Oslo accords; he never overcame his distrust for Yasser Arafat. While Arafat’s intransigence is seen as mostly to blame for the failed 2000 Camp David talks, it did not help that Barak refused to personally meet with the Palestinian leader.
by Edmon J. Rodman Jewish Telegraphic Agency LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Like to stay up late and party all night? Do I have a Jewish holiday for you. Shavuot, literally “weeks,” is the festival marking the end of the seven-week period of the counting of the omer that began the second night of Passover. The two-day festival, which begins this year at sundown May 18, is celebrated as the giving of the Torah. An increasingly popular custom is the tikkun leil Shavuot, “repairing the eve” of Shavuot, an allnight study session on the holiday’s first night. According to a midrash, at Mount Sinai the night before receiving the Torah, the Jews slept and needed to be awakened with a shofar. So now we must make repairs by showing we are awake and ready. Think of it as a lack-of-slumber party. Many sessions begin late in the evening and run all night, straight on till morning. It’s a Torah all-nighter that leaves you refreshed and reconnected. Traditionally, a group tries to cover as much Jewish textural ground as possible studying the Torah and the Talmud. Untraditionally, I have organized several group study evenings based on the idea that on Shavuot, in the time of the Temple, Jews would travel to Jerusalem to offer their first fruits. Participants present things created or accomplished that year: work finished, classes completed, Jewish books that were read and enjoyed. Many of us already pull allnighters for all sorts of things — mostly work, sometimes play. So what about pulling an all-nighter on Shavuot, with your first fruit being taking an hour or two to study Hebrew? You know, Hebrew, Ivrit, that foreign language elective for which you received an “incomplete.” On Shavuot, does receiving the Ten Commandments need to be like seeing a foreign movie? Wouldn’t you like to lose the subtitles? As teenagers, many of us gave Hebrew a good try; we have the confirmations and bar/bat mitzvahs to prove it. What happened? According to my friend Cheri Ellowitz, education director at The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Beachwood, Ohio, and author of “Mitkadem” (URJ Press), a selfpaced program for learning Hebrew, the issue of students retaining Hebrew is a matter of lack of context. “If they don’t do Jewish things
out of their classrooms and they don’t go to services and use the skills we’re teaching them,” she wrote to me recently, “then there’s no relevance to the material.” As an adult, are you still digging for a context? Searching for that relevance? If it’s any consolation, there have been generations of Jews, especially since Roman times, who spoke no Hebrew; they used Aramaic. During that period, Hebrew remained a language of holy texts and correspondence, but it was not the language of the street. Hebrew’s revival as a spoken language didn’t happen until the beginning of the 20th century, thanks to the determined work of teacher and journalist Eliezer Ben Yehuda, who is known as the father of modern Hebrew. So are you ready for a Hebrew revival on your street? Do you finally have a context? Like wanting to attend synagogue, but finding those “trenzleeturayshuns” are not really helping. Or on a trip to Israel you’re dying to know what it says on the protest signs. Some days I feel Hebrew is in the air. I get a buzz when I see Hebrew letters on a sign, shirt or even bumper sticker. Kabbalists for centuries have claimed that Hebrew letters have their own energy. Somewhere between the second and third centuries, an unknown author wrote the Sefer Yetzirah, called either the book of formation or creation. A short but powerful text, it’s about the formation of the universe — how God used the energy of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet to create it. The text reveals how each letter has its own spiritual power that God combines and focuses to create planets and stars, the cosmos, even time. “Twenty-two letters he carved them out, he hewed them and formed them with life of all creation,” the Sefer Yetzirah says. As we accelerate atoms to unimagined speeds, crashing them together, it’s humbling to discover that centuries earlier this text already imagined the power created by simply combining alefs, beits and gimmels. What if there’s some energy to be gained by pushing a few letters together on the first night of Shavuot? The idea that a creative force inhabits each letter is a concept we recall from the story of Rabbi Loew and the Golem of Prague. In one version of the folk tale, the lifeless human form of clay is brought to life by writing the word “emet,” truth — spelled aleph, mem, tav — on the Golem’s forehead.
THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2010
Elena Kagan nod would put third Jew on Supreme Court As dean at Harvard Law, Kagan sought to redress what she perceived as an ideological imbalance by hiring conservative professors. by Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraphic Agency WASHINGTON (JTA) — Elena Kagan would make it three — three women and three Jews on the U.S. Supreme Court for the first time in its history. President Obama, announcing Monday the nomination of his solicitor general to fill retiring Justice John Paul Stevens’ seat on the Supreme Court, made one historical element of the nomination explicit; the other was implied. “She would relish, as I do, the prospect of three women taking their seats on the Supreme Court for the first time in history,” Obama said of Kagan’s late mother, who fought gender discrimination as a lawyer. The implied reference to Kagan’s Jewishness — joining Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer — also arose in reference to her parents at the announcement, delivered at the White House alongside Vice President Joe Biden. Both Obama and Kagan referred to her late parents as “children of immigrants.” The immigrant status of her grandparents, Kagan said, instilled in her parents a belief in the right of “all Americans, regardless of their background or beliefs, to get a fair hearing and an equal chance at justice.” Kagan — whose years in the upper reaches of academe have not softened her long, oval New Yorkbred vowels — got to know Obama through her association with Abner Mikva, the Chicagoarea former federal judge who mentored both of them as young
lawyers making their way in Chicago. Kagan tried to persuade Obama to seek tenure at the University of Chicago, where he taught for a time, but he had other plans. Mikva became one of Obama’s most prominent backers as the president’s political career was launched in the mid-1990s. The former judge often would make Obama’s case to the Jewish community. Kagan, 50, likely would not face Republican opposition in U.S. Senate confirmation hearings. A number of leading conservatives have endorsed her as a moderate. As dean at Harvard Law, Kagan sought to redress what she perceived as an ideological imbalance by hiring conservative professors. Conservatives on Monday issued statements critical of Kagan, particularly for resisting military recruitment at Harvard because of the military’s discriminatory policies against gays. However, U.S. Sen. John Kyl (R-Ariz.), a member of the Senate Republican leadership, told CNN that a filibuster was unlikely. Obama wants Kagan confirmed by the August congressional recess. Jewish groups that have surveyed the likely picks — Obama reportedly was down to four — have been enthusiastic about the prospect of a Kagan candidacy. “She’s intellectually brilliant, and politically gifted at finding common ground and finding consensus,” Rabbi David Saperstein, who directs the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center, said when Obama picked Kagan to be his solicitor general.
Officials meet plans of JDC, Jewish Agency with mixed reviews by Jacob Berkman Jewish Telegraphic Agency NEW YORK (JTA) — Two overseas aid organizations have launched major initiatives aimed at securing more funding from U.S. donors that could significantly impact the North American network of local Jewish charitable federations. The Jewish Agency for Israel and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee are the main recipients of federation funding for overseas causes. Federations in 2009 gave the two agencies combined more than $130 million to cover their core operating expenses — a large sum by some measures, but nonetheless a sharp decline over the past decade. In part to win increased support from federations, the Jewish Agency’s chairman, Natan Sharansky, is advancing a plan to shift the organization’s mission from facilitating aliyah to “building Jewish identity of Jews around the world and in Israel by forging a strong connection to Israel, Jewish heritage and people.” At an April 28 meeting in New York, Sharansky received support for his plan from a strategic planning committee at the Jewish Agency. Also last week, an internal policy committee at JDC sent 13 formal recommendations to the organization’s board for revamping how it raises money, including the possibility of bypassing the national funding structure by increasingly soliciting local federations directly and raising core funding from sources in other countries. The recent moves by the JDC and Jewish Agency come as both organizations have been engaged in ongoing negotiations with the North American arm of the federations, the Jewish Federations of North America, over the formula for dividing the money that flows to the two organizations. Under a decades-long formula, the Jewish Agency received 75 percent of the
Robert A. Cumins
Steve Schwager, the executive director of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, speaks at a plenary session of the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America, Nov. 8, 2009.
funds, which flow from local federations through the Jewish Federations. Among the most significant proposals being weighed by JDC is stepping up efforts to raise money directly from individual federations unless “a new and acceptable national agreement on overseas funding” is reached. This would include scrapping the 75-25 split and adopting the principle that the “that funds be allocated according to global Jewish needs.” The JDC memo containing the recommendations states that “In communities where Federation funding for JDC is far below capacity, JDC should be prepared to adopt different approaches to fund raising.” A JDC source stressed that the organization believes in the federation system — but wants local federations to demonstrate that they feel likewise in the form of maintaining their current level of support for JDC’s core funding over the next three years. Federations unwiling to make such a pledge face the possibility of JDC starting to fund-raise in their backyards, the source said. While many federations understand that the JDC is under financial pressure and feels let down by the system, several federation
officials have said that they believe the JDC does not fully appreciate the strain that they are under now to satisfy both local and overseas needs. “On the one hand, you have never met a poor Jew until you meet some of the poor people in the FSU,” Jacob Solomon, the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Miami, told JTA. “There is a level of grinding poverty there and a dysfunctional situation you really don’t see anywhere else in the Jewish world. That is true. I don’t believe there is starvation and widespread hunger, but is there food insecurity? Sure. There is also food insecurity in Miami, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.” Federation officials also are upset with what they see as the JDC’s use of the media to paint a picture of the federations as choosing to fund Jewish identity through a revamped Jewish Agency over feeding hungry Jews overseas through the JDC. Some federation leaders and Jewish Agency officials are upset because they say that when the parties started their negotiations, they did so with the agreement that the they would keep the talks private and not negotiate through the press.
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Hollywood turns out for Wiesenthal tribute dinner
Simon Wiesenthal Center
Film producer Brian Glazer, left, and director Ron Howard in Los Angeles at the annual dinner of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance, May 5, 2010.
by Danielle Berrin Jewish Telegraphic Agency LOS ANGELES (L.A. Jewish Journal) — The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance again proved that flaunting a cuddly relationship with Hollywood helps boost its cause. This year’s national tribute dinner honoring the director-producer team Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, along with three recipients of the organization’s Medal of Valor award, attracted one of the most star-studded crowds in recent years. Some of the industry’s heaviest heavyweights — DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, Disney President/CEO Bob Iger and actor Russell Crowe, among others — gathered May 5 in the Beverly Wilshire ballroom for a two-hour homage to the museum’s human rights work. Grazer-produced “Robin Hood” starring Crowe, who was there to present Howard and Grazer with their Humanitarian Award. After tardy emcee Jay Leno failed to thrill with his brief routine, Katzenberg wisely detected the crowd’s cool reception and announced that Leno had written a check — no word on how much — to the Wiesenthal Center. “Had you mentioned that before,” Leno said, leaning into the microphone, “I would have gotten bigger laughs.” Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Wiesenthal Center, lauded the three medal recipients: Winston Churchill, the World War II-era British prime minister “who saved Western civilization”; Aristide Pellissier, the late mayor of Les Brunels, a village in southern France, who provided a mother and
her daughter safe haven from the Nazis; and Dr. Ofer Merin, deputy director-general of Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, who oversaw the Israeli army's field hospital operation in Haiti. “One thing they all share is courage,” Celia Sandys, Churchill’s granddaughter, said of the honorees. Esther Lieberman, who was a young girl when Pellissier saved her from the Nazis, stood on the stage as her 13 children and grandchildren rose from their seats to gallant applause. Crowe took the stage next to introduce Howard and Grazer with a speech he had “spent most of the day writing,” according to his post on Twitter. “What is at the core of the American dream,” Crowe said, “is tolerance and humanity. In [Howard and Grazer’s] work, you see tolerance and humanity are very important to them, and when you meet them you realize their kindness as men.” Howard and Grazer delivered tender and personal remarks about what the award meant to them. Howard, who is not Jewish, recalled a time early in his career on the set of “Happy Days” when director Jerry Paris noticed him pacing nervously. Howard told Paris he was indeed feeling jittery. “Cute,” Howard remembered Paris saying. “WASPy on the outside, total Jew on the inside!” Howard said that Paris, who died in 1986, often would say to him, “It’s never too late — we can still bar mitzvah you!” “Well, Jerry, this is not quite the bar mitzvah you dreamed of, but it’s pretty remarkable,” he said to heaps of laughter. Howard spoke eloquently about the importance of American leadership in promoting cultural diversity and “the human yearning for unity.” Another attendee was University of California, Berkeley student body president Will Smelko, who recently risked his own popularity to veto a fashionable divest-fromIsrael bill that had been passed by the student Senate. A woman who identified herself as a Holocaust survivor approached Smelko on the way out and said, “People like you saved my life.” So why did a 22-year-old nonJewish student leader go against the grain for the Jewish state? “It was a very one-sided attack on Israel,” Smelko said of the bill. On the surface it seemed to make some sense, he said, but a closer look indicated a more spurious agenda. “The bill was being used for the political delegitimizing of the State of Israel," Smelko said. "Something told me the way they used the bill was morally wrong.”
THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2010
Helping Russian Jews build community themselves by Anna Rudnitskaya Jewish Telegraphic Agency MOSCOW (JTA) — After decades of community-building from the top down, often with the aid of donors from overseas, can Russia’s Jewish communities build themselves from the bottom up? That’s the question that a group of, well, donors from overseas are trying to determine with a new educational program for young Russian Jews aimed at fostering future leaders who could make Jewish communities in Russia more creative, self-motivated and independent. The program, which is for professionals who are Jewish but do not work inside the Jewish communal world, is sponsored by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. “We’ve spread our net wide. We wanted to find people who are perhaps not yet so involved in Jewish activities, but are young, full of ideas and ready to do something,” said Masha Goldman, senior program manager at the Jewish community development department of JDC’s Moscow office, which is running the program, called Knafaim (“wings” in Hebrew). “We have to admit that many previous attempts to breathe life into Jewish communities in Russia were not a success,” Goldman said. “The number of existing grass-roots projects is very little for a city like Moscow. Maybe the problem is that teaching people about being Jewish is simply not enough. You have to stir people’s enthusiasm, too. So we tailored this course, which differs radically from the majority of existing educational programs.” Knafaim consists of four fiveday seminars over the course of a year. This year, 28 people were accepted from a pool of about 120 applicants. They are receiving training in personal development, leadership and project management, both for businesses and nonprofits. Their teachers come from one of Russia’s leading universities, the Higher School of Economics, and several Russian nonprofits. Israeli Shay Dahari carries out team-building exercises. Misha Libkin said he’s participating in the project with his children in mind. “I want my children to have a place to come when they are 7 to 10 years old,” Libkin said. “To achieve this, you need an independent community that can grow from the bottom. We have to get people used to paying for valuable products. We need to motivate
“Someone who is successful in his career will definitely at some point develop the desire to pay society back — at least for the purpose of trying themselves in some new sphere.” Ilya Zalessky
aspiration for Jewish education. Otherwise, new ‘lost generations’ will appear.” The program was designed to appeal to professional Russian Jews who are not very involved in Jewish community. The program’s backers believe that trained professionals like these ultimately may be more useful for the community than those who are steeped in Jewish life but do not have the necessary professional leadership qualities to build successful, sustainable community institutions. “Someone who is successful in his career will definitely at some point develop the desire to pay society back — at least for the purpose of trying themselves in some new sphere,” program participant Ilya Zalessky said. “At the same time, a solid professional background is necessary for a community leader.” Goldman said the program has to offer valuable training in order to draw capable young people. “Young people can choose from any activities they like, so to make Jewish activities really competitive in this market, something special is needed,” Goldman said. “The course we offer gives more than just Jewish education. It leaves place for personal and professional development, and lets one acquire skills that may be valuable in any career.” In the latest seminar, which took place in early May, participants were asked to present their own projects for enhancing community life. Ilya Flux, 23, came up with a Web site about Jewish life in Moscow providing a detailed guide of current events, discussion forums and social media. Flux owns his own Web design firm. “As for my Jewish life, it has never been really active,” he said. “I go to a synagogue several times a year, and I participated in the Birthright program in Israel some
years ago. It never occurred to me, however, that these two sides of my life could be combined.” The idea for the Web site, Flux said, hit him in an earlier seminar, when he met Libkin, now his partner. “Misha, unlike me, had been taking active part in numerous Jewish activities, and he mentioned that work with information in this sphere left much to be desired,” Flux said. “Well, we’ve found each other and have become a perfect team.” Natalya Ganeeva, 22, an architecture student, chose T-shirt design employing Jewish themes. She also took it upon herself to redesign the seminar’s brochure. Dahari, the Israeli team builder, said he was proud of the 28-person squad. “I train people who are supposed to lead people,” he said. “Thus they have to understand what motivates people and how important it is to be part of the group.” Another important part of the Knafaim seminars is the study of project management. Tatiana Burmistrova, an expert on charity, leads a course on fund raising, including its local peculiarities. “There may be investors for your projects, or sponsors or donors,” she told the students. “Also, there’s a purely Russian practice where an official assigns some money for your project as charity on a condition that you pay part of the money back to him. Never agree to this. Reputations take ages to build, but are destroyed so easily.” As a take-home task for the next seminar, all the participants this summer have to draft a budget of their projects and a detailed “map” of potential donors. Flux and Libkin already have completed the task. Their eagerly anticipated Web site is scheduled to launch in the near future.
THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2010
With JCall, European Jews get their own J Street debate by Dinah Spritzer and Toby Axelrod Jewish Telegraphic Agency PRAGUE (JTA) — The launch of JCall has brought the debate that American Jewry has seen over J Street to Jewish Europe: Outside of Israel, how critical in public should you be of Israeli government policies you believe are not in Israel’s best interests? The founders of JCall, who seek to push what they see as a recalcitrant Israeli government closer to a two-state solution, say criticism of Israeli policies is constructive and necessary. “All of us are Zionists, but by the same token we can express our ideas about the situation and the two-state solution,” David Chemla, a JCall co-founder and the head of Peace Now in France, told JTA. “It is sane to have the debate openly and not leave it to the radicals.” But the emergence of JCall, which held its official launch Monday at the European Parliament in Brussels, has aggravated European Jewish communal leaders with a long tradition of unconditional defense of Israel. The European Jewish Congress, an
David Chemla, a co-founder of JCall, speaks at the news conference in Brussels announcing the launch of the new European Jewish left-wing, pro-Israel group, May 3, 2010.
umbrella group representing elected European Jewish community leaders, condemned JCall’s petition calling for European pressure on Israel’s government as “divisive, counter-productive and unhelpful.” “It is important to note that continued one-sided pressure on Israel does not encourage the Palestinians to engage in serious negotiations
and only endangers the already unstable situation in the region,” European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor said, arguing that JCall represents a minority viewpoint in Europe. The debate JCall has engendered in Europe mirrors the one in the United States ever since the leftwing, pro-Israel lobbying group J
Street was founded in 2008 as an alternative to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Chemla and other JCall leaders said they were inspired by J Street. So far, the group’s main activity has been to amass signatures for an online petition calling for the European Union to pressure Israel and the Palestinians to agree to a two-state solution, repudiating blind support for Israeli policies, and affirming that the establishment of a viable and sovereign Palestinian state is vital to Israel’s survival as a Jewish and democratic state. The group says it is nonpartisan. “The European Jewish Call for Reason,” as the JCall petition is titled, seeks to “allow the opinions of European Jews, who have been silent for too long, to be expressed publicly and to allow a Jewish voice to be heard that is both committed to the state of Israel and critical of the current choices of its government.” As of Tuesday, the petition had more than 4,000 signatories. Among JCall’s supporters are some prominent French Jews, including philosopher Bernard Henri-Levy and essayist Alain
Finkielkraut, as well as Jews from Belgium, Britain, Germany and Switzerland. Prominent Israelis, including Avi Primor, a former Israeli ambassador to Germany, and Elie Barnavi, a former Israeli ambassador to France, showed up at the Brussels launch to lend support to the cause. “If the situation stays in Israel as it is now, with the settlements and a lot of Arab people inside the country of Israel and no separation and no two-state solution, in not so long there will be a majority of nonJewish people in Israel,” petition signer Michele Szwarcburt, president of the Secular Jewish Community Center in Brussels, told JTA. JCall represents a turning point for European Jewish communal voices on Israel, and it comes in a much different context than the United States provides for J Street. While polls over the past two decades have shown that Americans are more sympathetic to Israel than to the Palestinians, the opposite is true in Europe. In a 2003 EU poll, 59 percent of European respondents said Israel was a greater threat to world peace than Iran, North Korea or Pakistan.
THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2010
Letter from Jericho: Lost in time in the world’s oldest city by Mati Milstein Jewish Telegraphic Agency JERICHO, West Bank (JTA) — The only thing I really knew about Jericho before I went there a few weeks ago for the first time was that when the second intifada began in 2000, a friend of mine stationed there as an Israeli soldier came under heavy Palestinian gunfire. Returning fire, he hit a transformer near the casino, inadvertently but indefinitely knocking out electricity to the entire town. A decade passed during which I ignored the place. It was easy, with Jericho being so out of the way in the Jordan Valley. Then, one day recently, I found myself heading there. Though Israeli civilians are forbidden from entering Palestinian cities in the West Bank, journalists are exempt from the ban. I tried several times to coordinate my visit with the Israeli army, but it took so long to get back to me that I became fed up with waiting, climbed into my car in Jerusalem and headed east. The stark desert landscape through which travelers pass between Jerusalem and Jericho looks increasingly otherworldly the further east you go and the lower the highway drops in elevation. Indeed, Jericho is known as the City of the Moon. I pulled off the Jerusalem-Dead Sea highway and headed toward Jericho’s southern entrance. The road was under construction, and I was diverted onto a rough dirt track, advancing well into the city’s outskirts before finally spotting a checkpoint. The soldiers manning the checkpoint wore Israeli combat vests, uniforms and boots and appeared to be from the Golani Brigade. I readied my identification as I approached. Only when pulling to a stop did I spot the Palestinian flag and notice that the soldiers were carrying Russian-made Kalashnikovs. These were no Israelis. The Palestinian troops asked where I was from, glanced at my passport, smiled and waved me through. “Welcome to Palestine,” they said. Heading north, I passed a giant sculpture of a key topped with a Palestinian flag and painted with the slogan “We Will Return” — a reminder that the Palestinians have not given up on their right to return to the homes they occupied inside Israel before fleeing in the 1948 war. Jericho, which is celebrating its
A street vendor sells strawberries near Jericho’s central square.
Ali Qleibo picks oranges in the orchards surrounding his home in the West Bank city of Jericho in the winter of 2010.
10,000th anniversary and claims to be the oldest city in the world, always has been somewhat removed from the tumult of other West Bank cities. Lying on a flat plain, the small city is perfect for bike riding, and the bicycle repair shops that line the central square where vendors sell delectable fruit will rent you wheels for just a few shekels. To avoid giving the impression that I was an Israeli settler who had taken a wrong turn, I plastered my car windows with strips of white tape spelling “TV,” stuck a sign in the front windshield reading
“Foreign Press” and, once on foot, carried two cameras to identify myself as a photojournalist. The precautions proved unnecessary, as I never felt an element of threat in the city. Locals were mostly curious, intrigued that I had bothered to make my way down to their backwater town. By far the most impressive site in the city is Hisham’s palace, built during the eighth century Umayyad period and called by some archaeologists the Versailles of the Middle East. Though destroyed by an earthquake not long after construction, the com-
plex remains largely intact and includes a number of elaborate mosaic floors. One of the city’s most popular cites is the tree of Zacchaeus, which Christian tradition holds was climbed by a fellow named Zacchaeus in order to get a better view of Jesus as he passed through town. I passed the tree three times during my visit to Jericho, and each time a different tour bus was idling while a group of Nigerian tourists milled about and photographed themselves in front of the tree. Ancient Jericho, or Tel es-
Sultan, which is still being excavated in a joint project of the Palestinian Authority and students from Rome’s La Sapienza University, shows hints of what Jericho was like 10,000 years ago. To me it looked like a lot of holes in the ground and a few really old walls. At the site you can hop a cable car for a short ride up the Mount of Temptation, but be prepared to be packed into a dangling red pod with thousands of screaming schoolgirls. The Israeli Ahava cosmetics company, based not far from Jericho, was the target recently of a boycott in the United States by a group that says Ahava’s products are manufactured in an Israeli settlement and made from stolen Palestinian natural resources. At the Tel es-Sultan visitor center and gift shop, a huge sign above the main entrance read “AHAVA Temptation.” Money trumps politics, I suppose. The Jordan Valley’s year-round warm weather has made Jericho a destination for Jerusalem snowbirds, and many aristocratic Palestinian families traditionally have maintained winter homes here. Anthropologist and artist Ali Qleibo is from one such family, which he says has lived in Jerusalem for hundreds of years. Qleibo invited me and a journalist friend to lunch at his walled compound on Sabra and Shatila streets. His teenage daughter and a visiting Swedish diplomat joined us. Qleibo says he bought the property specifically for its orchards. Inside, row after row of orange, grapefruit and pomelo trees were heavy with juicy fruit. As we sat with our host and the consul general on the front veranda in the late afternoon sun, surrounded by the citrus trees and sipping red wine, discussing art and gossiping about foreign diplomats, Jericho seemed lost in time and place. There was no talk of politics or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and it was easy to imagine we were in the British Mandate period before Israel’s founding. As the shadows grew longer and the deep orange sunlight filtering through the orchard began to wane, I reluctantly prepared to head home. Fortified with an overstuffed bag of just-picked fruit from Qleibo, I bade farewell and got in my car. I drove back slowly through the center of town, past the checkpoint manned by Palestinian soldiers and up through the desert moonscape toward Jerusalem, back to the year 2010.
THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2010
A N N O U N C E M E N TS ENGAGEMENT aron and Stephany Schechtman are delighted to announce the engagement of their daughter Michelle Shiri to Brian Scott Reynolds, son of Larry and Sue Reynolds of Los Angeles, Calif. Both Brian and Michelle reside in San Francisco, Calif. Michelle is the granddaughter of Harriet and David Blumethal and the late Louis and Sarah Schechtman. Brian is the grandson of Pearl and the late Irving Lasarow, and the late Sam and Ann Reynolds. The wedding will take place June 6, 2010 in Sonoma County, Calif.
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CINCINNATI JEWISH LIFE
THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2010
JCC GIVING, GIGGLES & GELT HANUKKAH CELEBRATION Families came together for a fun and meaningful Hanukkah celebration at the JCC "Giving, Giggles, and Gelt" program on Sunday, December 13, 2009. This program was open to the entire community. Many guests brought new, unwrapped gifts for less fortunate children and teens.These were donated to Jewish Family Service, Big Brothers/Big Sisters Association, St.Vincent DePaul,The Caring Place, and several other local charitable organizations.
Meryl and Heath Fleishman celebrate Hanukkah at the J with their family.
Families enjoyed a puppet show by popular MadCap Productions, featuring well-known Aesop’s classic fables
The giant moon bounce was a big hit!
The JCC Ballet & Tap ensemble (grades K - 2) danced to “Powder Puff Mob.”
The JCC Hip Hop group (grades 3 - 5) danced to “Men in Black.”
Everyone enjoyed crafts, tzedakah projects, and a giant moon bounce, as well as Hanukkah songs and menorah lighting.
CINCINNATI JEWISH LIFE
Children were excited to make tzedakah crafts
Hundreds of people from the community came to the J to celebrate.
THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2010
Molly Malone’s is a ‘happening’ place year round by Bob Wilhelmy Restaurant Reporter Molly Malone’s in Pleasant Ridge, just up the hill from Amberley Village, features a lot of attractions for patrons of all ages. For starters, there is the patio area, seating approximately 40. At this time of year, the al fresco dining area “is as popular as it gets,” according to Bob Molinaro, one of the owners of the Irish Pub that has generated a strong area following. “When the weather is nice, people want to sit out there as a first choice, and they’ll even wait for seating if it’s full outside,” he added. Another happening is the Sunday brunch, offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The brunch is menu style, with breakfast selections ranging from $6.95 to $11.95. There are Molly’s Scrambles (egg entrees); the Bonny Breakfast section, with various combinations, all served with biscuits or toast, home fries and fresh fruit; O’George’s Omlettes, also with the fries, toast or biscuits and fruit; and a Build-Your-Own section. On the pure fun side, Molly Malone’s is a sponsor and general gathering spot for some wild and woolly sport types. It’s the official pub for the Roller Derby Girls, who frequent the place after contests, usually with members of the opponent team. There is a similar serendipity for the Queen City Rugby club, which generally arrives en masse after contests, with their opponents in tow. Then too, you’ll find members of the Cincinnati Women’s Football League at Molly Malone’s as well. While the above squads add to the ambiance, the patrons have some teams of their own. One team activity is the Thursday night BeerPong league, from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Teams enter for $10, which buys ping-pong playing rights and a first pitcher of beer. The season runs to the end of the summer when cumulative points are totaled. The winners regain all the money they put into the pot over the course of the season, but the big pay-off is the fun had along the way. Tuesday evening of each week is Quiz Night, which takes place from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.. Molinaro charac-
At table on the patio at Molly Malone’s are, from left: servers/bartenders Kristen Fowler, Emily Cook and Aaron Lambert, seated behind Irish eggrolls, fish & chips and a beef boxtie, respectively.
terizes the quiz as a competitive riot. Trivial-Pursuit-style teams square off to face 70 questions, and the flights of winners walk away with certificates to Sunday brunch or free pizza, depending on placement. Speaking of pizza, Molinaro stated that his patrons love them. “We get lots of complements on the pizza, and people say ours are better than some of the really good ones in town. That’s high praise when you think of some of the places doing pizza around here.” Prices range from $10 to $12.95 for a 12-inch and $13 to $16.95 for 16-inch, and you can fashion your own or pick one of five specialty-topped versions. Another “event” at Molly Malone’s will be a celebration in honor of the McGing Irish Dancers of Cincinnati on May 22. The dance group will be feted for its triumphal defense of the world title, having won the championship for the second year in a row. Dancing is of the
River-dance style that has been the rage on local stage and TV programming for the past several years. Celebs aside, the food at Molly Malone’s is honest-to-goodness Irish. One of the items in the “let’s eat” department is an Irish boxty. Until having tried one recently, we had never heard of a boxty. The boxty is an entrée that you will take to heart, probably, because it is one of those rare dishes of the comfortfood variety, but with rich, extravagant, delectable flavors. We enjoyed the salmon boxty, made with fresh salmon, but there are beef and chicken tikka versions of the boxties as well. All three are $10.95 and all are delicious. One other showcase fish dish being added to the MM menu is the tilapia, an ecologically sustainable species because it can be farm-raised without the damaging impact generally derived from aqua-cultural effort. The Anne Bonney’s tilapia entrée features a
6-ounce (on average) filet that is grilled with a Caribbean seasoning and topped with a piña colada sauce, accompanied by “smashed” spuds and a vegetable medley as sides. It’s $9.95. But there is more. “We have an Irish-American blend of dishes here,” said Ed Moonitz, an owneroperator of the pub. “The fish and chips dish is our best seller, along with the shepherd’s pie in the cooler months. Also, we sell lots of burgers and our shamrock melt is a popular sandwich.” The fish and chips entrée again has an Irish flair to it. The fish is cod from the loin, hand finished in a Harp lager beer batter, then fried to golden brown and served with steak fries, coleslaw and tartar sauce, for $8.95. Molly Malone’s should be a destination as well for lovers of good beers on tap. The place has a lot of pulls, all good. Of course, there is Guinness and Harp, two Irish main-
stays. Also, Irish is Smithwick’s and Guinness 250 Recipe. There’s more: Stella Artois (Belgian); Carlsberg, Newcastle and Old Speckled Hen (English); Twisted Thistle and Belhaven’s (Scottish); and Blue Moon, Pyramid hefeweizen, Stone IPA and Sam Adams (American). A Happy Hour is a great time to try these, from 4-7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Lunch specials featuring $5.95 boxties and soup-sandwich combos are offered on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and Ladies Night is Thursday. There is a Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as well. Molly Malone’s Irish Pub offers the food, the drink and the live entertainment in a winning combination. See you there! Molly Malone’s Irish Pub 6111 Montgomery Road Cincinnati, OH 45213 513-531-0700
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THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2010
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Aroma Restaurant & Sushi 7875 Montgomery Rd Kenwood 791-0950
K.T.’s Barbecue & Deli 8501 Reading Rd Reading 761-0200
Apsara 4785 Lake Forest Dr Blue Ash 554-1040
Local 127 127 W. 4th St Cincinnati 721-1345
Pomodori’s 121West McMillan 861-0080 7880 Remington Rd Montgomery 794-0080
Bangkok Terrace 4858 Hunt Rd Blue Ash 891-8900 • 834-8012 (fx)
Marx Hot Bagels 9701 Kenwood Rd Blue Ash 891-5542
Carlo & Johnny 9769 Montgomery Rd Cincinnati 936-8600
MEI Japanese Restaurant 8608 Market Place Ln Montgomery 891-6880
Rusty’s Ristorante 8028 Blue Ash Rd Deer Park 793-6881
Embers 8120 Montgomery Rd Montgomery 984-8090
Mecklenburg Gardens 302 E. University Ave Clifton 221-5353
Ferrari’s Little Italy & Bakery 7677 Goff Terrace Madeira 272-2220
Molly Malone’s Irish Pub 6111 Montgomery Rd Montgomery 531-0700
Gabby’s Cafe 515 Wyoming Ave Wyoming 821-6040
Noce’s Pizzeria 9797 Montgomery Rd Cincinnati 791-0900
Izzy’s 800 Elm St • 721-4241 612 Main St • 241-6246 5098B Glencrossing Way 347-9699 1198 Smiley Ave • 825-3888 300 Madison Ave Covington • 859-292-0065
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Slatt’s Pub 4858 Cooper Rd Blue Ash 791-2223 • 791-1381 (fax) Stone Creek Dining Co. 9386 Montgomery Rd Montgomery 489-1444 Tandoor 8702 Market Place Ln Montgomery 793-7484 the Palace 601 Vine St Downtown Cincinnati (in the Cincinnatian Hotel) 381-3000
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THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2010
The mike’s always on The British election campaign just ended would seem an unlikely source for a Torah teaching moment, but there it was. One of the blows the Labour Party absorbed in the days preceding the election was precipitated by Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s mistaken assumption on April 28 that the microphone he was wearing during a campaign stop was turned off. The device had just finished recording an encounter Mr. Brown had with a mildly disgruntled voter, on the issue of immigration. After the polite interaction, Mr. Brown returned to his campaign car, forgetful of the fact that the microphone was still faithfully doing its job, and groused to staff members about the “bigoted woman” with whom he had just been forced to speak. With the speed of electromagnetic waves, of course, the comment became part of news reports worldwide. It was only days earlier that Jews accustomed to studying a chapter of “Pirkei Avot,” or the tractate “Fathers,” each spring and summer Sabbath, pondered the words of Rabbi Yehudah Hanasi (2:1): “An eye sees and an ear hears, and all of your actions are in the record written.” The sage (known, too, as “Rebbe”) wasn’t referring to the media, of course, which does in fact sometimes capture (but sometimes misses and sometimes gets wrong) at least some of what famous people do or say. The “eye” and “ear” in Rebbe’s teaching are metaphorical, Divine ones; the record, filed in a realm far removed from the earthly. And the subjects of the surveillance and reports are each of us. But Mr. Brown’s experience was nonetheless a reminder of that deeper truth, and of the fact that it is easy to become oblivious to the fact that everything we say and do is of concern to G-d – or, put otherwise, has meaning. It’s not that we harbor some inner atheist. It’s just that there is a yawning gap between recognizing something intellectually and completely internalizing it as a compelling truth. In the prayer Aleinu, which ends every Jewish prayer service, we quote from Deuteronomy (4:39): “And you shall know today and restore to your heart that Hashem is G-d, in the heavens above and on the earth below…”
The “knowing today,” commentators note, is apparently insufficient. Our belief in G-d’s omnipotence and omniscience has to be “restored” to our hearts – internalized constantly – to truly affect our actions and our essences. That was the message inherent in the strange blessing the tannaic sage Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai offered his students as he lay dying. The Talmud (Brachot 28b) recounts that he wished them that “the fear of Heaven be to you like the fear of flesh and blood.” “That’s all?” they exclaimed, incredulous at their teacher’s apparent confusion of priorities. The sage’s response: “If only!” “Think,” he continued. “When a person commits a sin in private, he says ‘May no person see me!’” And yet, of course, he is seen all the same. It has often occurred to me that scientific and technological advances can often serve not only practical purposes but spiritual ones. They can provide us important life-messages as we need them. When a basic understanding of our solar system lulled humanity into feeling it had mentally mastered the sky—powerful telescopes were invented that revealed new and mysterious realms of an incomprehensibly large and expanding universe— that kept us aware of how little of what’s out there we really understand. When the basic structure of the atom was fathomed, particle detectors came along and uncovered a bizarre zoo of inanimate beasties that make a mockery of our commonsense notions. So quasars and quarks keep us humble before the grandeur of Creation. And then there are other, more mundane but increasingly utilized technologies, like the ubiquitous cameras on city streets or peering at us from our computer monitors, our GPSs, our E-ZPasses or our cellphones, that render us visible and audible where once we may have felt entirely alone. For all their downsides, they, too, are a healthy reminder. They remind us, as did Rebbe, that even outside the turmoil of a national election, even when we’re not on the street or in a car or sitting at a computer, even if we’re not famous or of interest to mortal authorities, we are heard and we are seen, and our every action is duly recorded. (Rabbi Shafran is director of public affairs for Agudath Israel of America.)
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Dear Editor: (Originally sent to Jewish Hospital) I would very much like to relate a heartfelt thank you for my care at Jewish Hospital. I had open heart surgery on Wednesday, April 14. There are so many people to thank. Everyone at all the shifts was a caring professional. I must recognize first the surgeon, Dr. Russell Vester, who from our first meeting instilled confidence, answered any question and could relate his experience with so many other patients. The ICU nurse Ken showed remarkable caring and skill and whose 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift extended to 10 or 11, as he filled the nursing staff in on each patient. Registered nurses Carolyn and Nancy always went the extra mile with advice from Nancy with 30+ years experience to
relate hints to make my stay there and recovery speedier. Dr. B. Helmich helped so much with his positive caring attitude. From my vantage point in the ICU, I observed as patients came out of surgery and were surrounded by five or six people, who immediately began hooking and unhooking tubes, etc. They did not utter a word, but were the definition of a well-oiled machine to get the patient situated. The numbers on my monitor did not match the way I looked and as the doctors and nurses tended to me, the comment was “we don’t treat the numbers, we treat the patient.” I cannot tell you how many times when I thanked someone for something I heard “it is my pleasure” or “it helps to do something you love.” These comments don’t come out of a manual or training lessons. I would like to thank the hospital for having a kosher
menu. There were lots of choices and you could order meals to suit your needs and not some schedule set by a clock. I hope I can pass the comments along to everyone. I am sending a copy of this letter to the American Israelite since so many in the community support the hospital. Sid Cohen Pharmacist Cincinnati, OH 45249 Dear Editor: Iran failed to win support for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council and withdrew its name after realizing it did not have the votes to be elected. AJC considers Iran’s failure a positive development. Tehran deserved to be rebuked as a serial violator of human rights. LETTERS on page 22
C O R R E C T I O N: Last week in our Bar/Bat Mitzvah issue we printed information about MJS Photography Limited that was incorrect. We took it upon ourselves to gather information and publish it from a business with a similar name without consulting MJS Photography. We deeply regret this and apologize to them. MJS Photography Limited, located in Blue Ash, is a highly respected and sought after local business for Bar/Bat Mitzvahs as well as weddings, high school seniors, family portraits, commercial and youth sports. Again, we extend our apology to Michael and MJS Photography and hope you will consider them for your photography needs. Netanel (Ted) Deutsch, Publisher
T EST Y OUR T ORAH KNOWLEDGE THIS WEEK’S PORTION: BAMIDBAR (BAMIDBAR 1:1—4:18) AND BOOK OF RUTH b) Naomi c) Boaz
1. Who counted the people? a.) Moshe b.) Aaron c.) Joshua d.) The 12 princes e.) Korach 2. Whose idea was it to take a census? a.) Hashem b.) Moshe and Aaron c.) Korach 3. Who said “Hashem be with you”? a) Ruth would make people aware that Hashem is always present. Malbim 4. C Ruth 2:20 Naomi blessed Boaz for helping Ruth and her get food from the field. Malbim 5. C Ruth 4:14 They praised Hashem for granting her a descendant. Even though Ruth gave birth to the child, Ruth's marriage to Boaz was a type of Levriate marriage to continue the name of her deceased husband Machlon, Naomi's son. Malbim
by Rabbi Avi Shafran Contributing Columnist
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
4. Who said “He should be blessed to Hashem”? a) Boaz b) Ruth c) Naomi 5. Who said “Blessed is Hashem who did not take way a redeemer”? a.) Boaz b.) Ruth c.) Naomi's friends ANSWERS 1. A,B,D 1:3,4 2. A 1:2 3. C Ruth 2:4 Boaz instituted that a people could greet each other using Hashem's name, without violating using Hashem's name in vain. Talmud Brachot. Judges were not respected at that time (see 1:1), mentioning Hashem's name as part of a greeting
Written by Rabbi Dov Aaron Wise
THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2010
Sedra of the Week by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin
Shabbat Shalom: Parashat Bamidbar
Efrat, Israel — “Count the heads of the entire witness-congregation of Israel” (Numbers 1:2). The Book of Numbers opens with a most optimistic picture of a nation poised for redemption. The Israelites have been freed from Egypt with great miracles and wonders. They have received the Revelation at Sinai which provides them with a moral and ethical constitution for a soon-to-be established sovereign state along with a faith commitment which establishes their mission to the world. The nation is now structured into 12 uniquely endowed and individually directed tribes who are united around the Sanctuary. Physical and spiritual defenses are organized with a standing army for military might, and the tribe of Levi dedicated to teaching Torah and arranging the sacrificial service. Everything seems ready for the conquest and settlement of the Promised Land of Israel! Instead what follows is total degeneration. The Israelites become involved in petty squabbles and tiresome complaints, the reconnaissance mission advises against entering Israel (Numbers 13: 27-29), Korah, Datan and Aviram stage a rebellion against Moses, and a prince of one of the tribes publicly fornicates with a Midianite woman. The result is that the entire generation that left Egypt is condemned to die in the wilderness, and only Moses’ successor, Joshua, and the new generation which has been born in the desert may live in the Promised Land. What happened and why? How can a nation so committed to becoming a “kingdom of priestteachers and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:6) lose their idealistic sense of purpose and “gang up” against the very person who was their great liberator and law-giver? This fourth Book of the Bible is called “Numbers,” or “Pikudim” in Hebrew, after the two censuses, or population counts, which are taken between its covers. Indeed, our Book opens with a command to count the Israelites, stipulating as follows: “Count the heads of the entire witness-congregation of the children of Israel, in accordance with their families, with their household parents, with the number of names of each male body, from 20 years of age and above, everyone eligible for army conscription…”
(Numbers 1:2, 3). These are the details required for the census at the beginning of our weekly portion, when the Israelites are still imbued with a sense of mission and “manifest destiny” and when they still expect to wage a war for the liberation of the land of Israel. Twenty–five chapters later, however, after the scouts’ refusal to conquer Israel, after the various rebellions against Moses culminating in Prince Zimri ben Sadon’s shameful public adultery with the Midianite in the presence of Moses himself, a second census is ordered. But you will notice that the identification of each Israelite for the purpose of this census is radically different from the way it was in the previous one: “Count the heads of the entire witness-congregation of the children of Israel, from 20 years of age and above, with their household parents, everyone eligible for army conscription…” (Numbers 26: 2). The first count included “the families (providing everyone’s tribal affiliation harking back to Jacob, Isaac and Abraham), the household parents, and the individual personal names.” The second time, the tribal affiliation and the personal names of each were excluded, providing only the names of the household parents of each individual! These significant omissions may help to explain the degeneration of the Israelites which is why the Midrash names this the Book of the Censuses — Sefer Pikudim. In the first census, taken during the hey-day of the generation of the exodus, each individual Israelite felt connected to his tribal parent, to his Biblical patriarchs and matriarchs; but, by the time of the second census, that connection was woefully gone. Each individual only related to their immediate biological parents. The Book of Exodus, our birth as a nation, is built upon the foundations set out in the Book of Genesis; our origins as a very special family. The patriarchs and matriarchs were originally chosen by G-d because of their commitment to “compassionate righteousness and moral justice,” traits and ideals which they were to “command their children and their households after them” (Gen.18:19). This unique Hebraic culture was to be nurtured, and expressed in the Land of Israel, which is the very “body,” the physical matrix, of our eternal covenant with G-d. The towering
Numbers 1:1 – 4:20
personalities of the Book of Genesis develop, falter, repair, sacrifice, persevere and ultimately prevail on these twin altars of commitment to land and law, to righteousness and Israel. They set the foundations for the continuity of an eternal nation through whom the entire world will eventually be blessed at the time of ultimate redemption. “Yichus,” lineage or pedigree, has little to do with privilege and special rights, but it has everything to do with responsibility and ancestral empowerment. Grandfather Jacob-Israel blesses his grandchildren, the sons of Joseph, that “they shall be called by his name and the name of his ancestors, Abraham and Isaac” (Gen. 48:16). This does not only mean naming them Abe, Ike and Jackie, but, much more importantly it means linking them to the ideals, values and commitments of their patriarchs and matriarchs. It also means endowing and empowering them with the eternal promise they received from G-d that their seed would inherit the Land of Israel and would eventually succeed in conveying to the world the message and blessing of Divine morality and peace. Tragically, the desert generation lost its connection to the Book of Genesis, with the mission and empowerment, with the dream and the promise, of the patriarchs and matriarchs of their family. As a consequence, the second census no longer connects them as the tribal children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This loss of connectedness to their forebears results in a disconnect from the G-d of the patriarchs as well, from the promise and the covenant of that G-d, from faith in their ability to carry out the unique message and mission of Israel. That generation lost faith in itself, declaring: “We were like grasshoppers in our own eyes and so we were they in their eyes” (Numbers 13: 33). In this way, they lost the courage to conquer the land. By disconnecting from their past, they lost their future. They did not even merit individual names, names which could only be counted if they were linked with the proud names of the founders of Jewish eternity. Are we in Israel not struck with a similar disconnect today? Shabbat Shalom Shlomo Riskin Chancellor Ohr Torah Stone Chief Rabbi — Efrat Israel
MODERN ORTHODOX SERVICE Daily Minyan for Shacharit, Mincha, Maariv, Shabbat Morning Service and Shalosh Seudas. Kiddush follows Shabbat Morning Services
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6442 Stover Ave • 531-6654 • golfmanorsynagogue.org
3100 LONGMEADOW LANE • CINCINNATI, OH 45236 791-1330 • www.templesholom.net Richard Shapiro, Interim Rabbi Marcy Ziek, President Gerry H. Walter, Rabbi Emeritus May 14 6:30 pm Sholom Unplugged and High School Graduate Shabbat A Light Dinner will Follow the Service May 15 10:30 am Shabbat Morning Service
May 18 6:30 pm Shavuot Service/Dairy Dinner and Torah Study May 19 10:30 am Shavuot Morning Service May 21 6:00 pm Shabbat Nosh 6:30 pm Shabbat Evening Service May 22 10:30 am Shabbat Morning Service
Mazel Tov To: Chuck and Eileen Brinn on the marriage of their daughter Jodi to Jason Holtz
JEWZ IN THE NEWZ
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom Contributing Columnist SHAYNA PUNIM CHAMPS The April 30 issue of People magazine was a double-blockbuster and a huge seller—not only did it include the first interview with Sandra Bullock about her adopted baby—it contained this year’s list of “the world’s most beautiful people.” “People” gives the ‘really hot’ a full body photo in the magazine. In that category, you’ll find actresses DIANNA AGRON, 24; EMANUELLE CHRIQUI, 32; SCARLETT JOHANSSON, 25; and JULIANNE MARGULIES, 42. Actor JAKE GYLLENHAAL, 29, got a big photo, as did singer ADAM LAMBERT, 28. Limited to a “head-shot,” and relegated to a sub-category like “beauty at any age,” were actresses ZOE KRAVITZ, 21; KATE HUDSON, 31; LISA EDELSTEIN, 43, RASHIDA JONES, 34, JANE SEYMOUR, 59, and BARBRA STREISAND, 68. On People’s Web site, all the Semitic cuties, above, were given “full body shots.” Also, Dianna Agron, a co-star of the hit Fox TV musical show, “Glee,” was featured in a Web site video which shows her doing a glamorous photo shoot while talking about “what real beauty is.” (For the record — all the celebs above were raised Jewish or secular. All, save one, are the children of two Jewish parents or of a Jewish mother/non-Jewish father. Jane Seymour, who is secular, is the child of a Jewish father.) TV, MOSTLY GLEE LEONARD NIMOY, 79, says he is retiring from acting so his guest appearance on the two-part season finale of the Fox series, “Fringe,” is probably his TV swan song. The first part airs Thursday, May 13, at 9PM, with the conclusion the next week at the same time. Neil Patrick Harris and Broadway musical star IDINA MENZEL (“Wicked”), guest star on “Glee” (Wednesday, May 19, at 9 PM). Harris will play a school board member, while Menzel, 38, returns as Shelby Corcoran, a character that was introduced in a midApril episode. Menzel’s May 19 appearance is the first of four consecutive episodes that she will appear in as a guest star. The lead character of “Glee” is Rachel Berry, a Jewish high school student with a great singing voice (played by LEA MICHELE, 23). Shelby Corcoran is the coach of a
glee club that is the main rival of Rachel’s glee club. In the April episode, it was strongly hinted that Shelby had directed a boy in her glee club to feign a romantic interest in Rachel so he could gather info that would help his glee club defeat Rachel’s club. It was also hinted that Shelby is Rachel’s biological mother. (The storyline is that Rachel was adopted by, and is being raised by an interracial, gay couple.) Menzel (Shelby) and Michele (Rachel) bear a striking physical resemblance to each other and fans have long been saying that Menzel would be the perfect choice to play Rachel’s mother. Michele, who is the daughter of a Sephardi Jewish father and an Italian Catholic mother, recently told “Seventeen” magazine that when she was in high school she worked in a New Jersey bat mitzvah dress shop, cleaning and vacuuming. She did this in between her first Broadway singing engagements, including a part in the 2004 revival of “Fiddler on the Roof.” SUAVE GUY, SUAVE MUSIC Ever wonder about the actor who plays “the most interesting man in the world” in the comedic Dos Equis beer TV ads? You know — the distinguished looking bearded guy with graying hair who says: “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis. Stay thirsty, my friends.” Well, he’s JONATHAN GOLDSMITH, 72, a veteran character actor who was raised in a religious New York Jewish family. He says he modeled his characterization after late Fernardo Lamas, the suave Hispanic actor. In real life, Lamas and Goldsmith frequently went sailing together. A Broadway revival of the musical “Promises, Promises,” opened last month to so/so reviews, but strong box office. The show is based on “The Apartment,” the hit 1960 BILLY WILDER movie. First mounted in 1968, it is the only stage musical written by the legendary songwriting team of BURT BACHARACH, now 81, and HAL DAVID, now 88. Two songs from the score (“Promises, Promises” and “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again”) became pop hits for Dionne Warwick. The duo recently did a rare joint interview with TERRY GROSS, the host of the NPR show, “Fresh Air.” They talked about their early years; break-ups and make-ups; and surprised me by saying that Aretha Franklin’s version of their tune, “I Say a Little Prayer for You,” was superior to any other.
THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2010
FROM THE PAGES 100 Years Ago At the recent meeting of the United Jewish Charities the following officers were elected for the ensuing year: President, Samuel H. Trounstine; 1st Vice President, Mrs. H. Isaacs; 2nd Vice President, Sam Ach; financial secretary, Mrs. J. Walter Freiberg; treasurer, Simon Kuhn; recording secretary, Miss Fannie Stern. At a meeting of the Board of Education, Judge John Schwab protested against a resolution introduced by another member of the Board, Dr. Evans, that the Camp
Washington ME church be permitted to use the Eighteenth District school auditorium for a Sunday school benefit. “It is your action, gentlemen, which will open the schools of the city for church purposes and I don’t believe you should take it,” declared Judge Schwab, and the board promptly voted down Dr. Evans’ motion. The Jewish Settlement was the scene of a very pretty wedding Sunday night when Mr. Iza White and Miss Goldie Rapp were united in marriage. This is the first wedding
which has taken place at the Settlement, but owing to the prominence of the couple in their connection with the work, the couple were extended the privilege. The large school room was turned over into a banquet hall, where the wedding supper was served to about 100 guests. The entire affair was under the direction of Miss Hannah Schelt, who also secured the marriage license; Rabbi Grossmann officiating. Mr. White has been connected with the Jewish Settlement for the past five years. — May 12, 1910
75 Years Ago Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Bowman announce the engagement of their niece, Miss Marian G. Bowman, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Walter A. Gottleib (Bella Bowman), to Mr. Carl A. Mayer, son of Mr. and Ms. Albert J. Mayer. The wedding will be an event of Friday, June 28th. President Herbert R. Bloch, of the University School Board has announced that Headmaster Charles L.S. Easton of Staten Island Academy, Staten Island, L.I., since 1931, will arrive this summer to become headmaster of University School. The lat-
ter will succeed Mr. Edwin C. Zavitz, who is leaving to become headmaster of Friends School, Baltimore. The annual meeting of the Bake Shop was held Sunday, May 12th, at which time the financial report, the report of the Nominating Committee and the annual report by Mrs. Sidney J. Eisman were given. New officers are: Mrs. Sidney J. Eisman, chairman; Mrs. Harry Bohm and Mrs. Charles Stix, vice chairmen; Mr. Edgar Bettmann, treasure; Miss Frieda Bohn, secretary. On the Board
are: Mrs. Fisher Bachrach, Mr. N. Henry Beckman, Mr. Nelson J. Cohen, Mrs. Emil Frank, Mr. John Frank, Mrs. J. Arthur Freiberg, Mrs. S. Marcus Fechheimer, Mrs. Sam Goldberg, Mrs. Harold N. Hermann, Miss Alma Hilb, Mr. Gus Hilb, Mrs. M. Loewenstein, Mrs. Jacob Mack, Mrs. Edward M. Marks, Mrs. James Moch, Mr. Carl E. Pritz, Mrs. Louis Rauh, Mrs. Joseph Rauh, Miss Sophie Reis, Mrs. Ben Schaengold, Mrs. L. Howard Schriver, Miss Bessie Sinton, Mrs. Oscar Stark, Mrs. Max Weil and Mrs. David Wolf. — May 16, 1935
50 Years Ago A. Marcus Levy, chairman of the Jewish Welfare Fund Overall Allocations committee, announces that committee deliberations on agency budgets will begin tonight (Thursday, May 12) when the National and Overseas Allocations Committee will hear reports on the Overseas Agencies, JWF beneficiaries. These committees consider allocations, he said. They are the Local Allocations committee, under chairmanship of Henry H. Hersch; the
National and Overseas Allocations Committee, under Bernard L. Rosenberg; and Overall Allocations committee, which consists of members selected from the Local and National Overseas Committees. Stuart Selonick, 11-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Selonick, 1283 Paddock Hills Avenue, will be among those representing the U.S. at the Children’s International Summer Village Aug. 2-28 at Austria’s Vienna Woods.
Dr. Robert Perlman will attend the meeting of the Ohio State Medical Association in Cleveland. On May 18, he will address the combined sessions of general practice, industrial medicine, and physical medicine on “Industrial Back Injuries.” Mr. and Mrs. John Tuteur (Marion Holman) and daughter, Mary, of San Francisco, were recent guest of Mrs. Rae W. Holman of the Hotel Ambassador, Los Angeles.— May 12, 1960
25 Years Ago Mrs. Ilse Froehlich of Glen Manor Home for the Jewish Aged passed away April 29. Mrs. Froehlich was born in Russia and immigrated with her husband to the United States from Vienna in 1939. She was the wife of the late Dr. Alfred Froehlich, an internationally known scientist. Mrs. Froehlich is survived by a nephew, Hans Froehlich and two nieces, H. Zabehlickya and Grette Frauer, all of Vienna.
Saul Halper, co-founder of King Record Company, passed away April 30. He is survived by two sons, Frederic Halper of Los Angeles and Steven Halper of Cincinnati; a daughter, Nancy Friedman of Columbus; his mother, Rose Halper of Cleveland; a sister, Norma Reich of Cleveland; a brother, Leonard Halper of Los Angeles; and three grandchildren, Shellie and Stefanie Halper of Los Angeles and Scott Friedman of Columbus. He was the husband of the
late Dorothy Halper. Ellen Greenberger received Israel Bonds’ Woman of Valor award at a luncheon April 29. The Woman of Valor award, considered the most prestigious one presented by the Women’s Division of Israel Bonds, is given to those women whose leadership and economic support for the state of Israel has been deemed exceptional. Presentation of the award was made by Rosalie Gerson, national Women’s Division chairman. — May 9, 1985
10 Years Ago Nina Kahn Bellows passed away. Mrs. Bellows was the wife of the late Samuel G. Bellows. She was the mother of Lesha (Dr. Samuel) Greengus and Shael (Joan) Bellows. She was the grandmother of: Deanna (Manny) Binstock, Dr. Rachel (Bill) Schultz, Judith (Dr. David) Perlstein, Lisa (Jason) Ablin, Daniella (Laurence) Schreier, Moshe Bellows, Youn (Allison) Bellows, and Yael
(Kenny) Ripstein. Mrs. Bellows is also survived by 14 great-grandchildren and 16 nephews and nieces. Mrs. Bellows was the sister of Rabbi Eli J. (Chavazelet) Kahn, Sarah (the late Dr. Norman) Silverstein, Lewis (Nancy) Kahn, the late Rabbi Solomon (Ada) Kahn, and the late Esther (the late Rabbi Norman E.) Frimer. Max Leopold, 90, passed away on April 30, 2000. He was born in
New Haven, Conn. He is survived by his wife, Esther Friedenson Leopold, and his children: Barbara and Herbert Nichols of Acton, Mass.; as well as Nina and Bill Strauss of Wyoming, Ohio. Surviving grandchildren are: Jenny and Lizzie Nichols; as well as Nancy and Katie Strauss. Mr. Leopold is also survived by a sister, Thelma Romanoff of Maryland. — May 11, 2000
THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2010
COMMUNITY DIRECTORY COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS Big Brothers/Big Sisters Assoc. (513) 761-3200 • bigbrobigsis.org Beth Tevilah Mikveh Society (513) 821-6679 Camp Ashreinu (513) 702-1513 Camp at the J (513) 722-7226 • mayersonjcc.org Camp Livingston (513) 793-5554 • camplivingston.com Cedar Village (513) 336-3183 • cedar-village.org Chevra Kadisha (513) 396-6426 Halom House (513) 791-2912 • halomhouse.com Hillel Jewish Student Center (513) 221-6728 • hillelcincinnati.org Jewish Community Center (513) 761-7500 • mayersonjcc.org Jewish Community Relations Council (513) 985-1501 Jewish Family Service (513) 469-1188 • jfscinti.org Jewish Federation of Cincinnati (513) 985-1500 • shalomcincy.org Jewish Foundation (513) 792-2715 Jewish Information Network (513) 985-1514 Jewish Vocational Service (513) 985-0515 • jvscinti.org Kesher (513) 766-3348 Plum Street Temple Historic Preservation Fund (513) 793-2556 The Center for Holocaust & Humanity Education (513) 487-3055 • holocaustandhumanity.org Vaad Hoier (513) 731-4671 Workum Summer Intern Program (513) 683-6670 • workum.org CONGREGATIONS Adath Israel Congregation (513) 793-1800 • adath-israel.org Beit Chaverim (513) 335-5812 Beth Israel Congregation (513) 868-2049 • bethisraelcongregation.net Congregation Beth Adam (513) 985-0400 • bethadam.org Congregation B’nai Tikvah (513) 759-5356 • bnai-tikvah.org Congregation B’nai Tzedek (513) 984-3393 • bnaitzedek.us Congregation Ohav Shalom
(513) 489-3399 • ohavshalom.org Golf Manor Synagogue (513) 531-6654 • golfmanorsynagogue.org Isaac M. Wise Temple (513) 793-2556 • wisetemple.org Isaac Nathan Congregation (513) 841-9005 Kehilas B’nai Israel (513) 761-0769 Northern Hills Synagogue (513) 931-6038 • nhs-cba.org Rockdale Temple (513) 891-9900 • rockdaletemple.org Temple Beth Shalom (513) 422-8313 • tbsohio.org Temple Sholom (513) 791-1330 • templesholom.net The Valley Temple (513) 761-3555 • valleytemple.com EDUCATION Chabad Blue Ash (513) 793-5200 • chabadba.com Cincinnati Community Kollel (513) 631-1118 • kollel.shul.net Cincinnati Hebrew Day School (513) 351-7777 • chds.shul.net HUC-JIR (513) 221-1875 • huc.edu JCC Early Childhood School (513) 793-2122 • mayersonjcc.org Mercaz High School (513) 792-5082 x104 • mercazhs.org Reform Jewish High School (513) 469-6406 • crjhs.org Regional Institute Torah & Secular Studies (513) 631-0083 Rockwern Academy (513) 984-3770 • rockwernacademy.org ORGANIZATIONS American Jewish Committee (513) 621-4020 • ajc.org American Friends of Magen David Adom (513) 521-1197 • afmda.org B’nai B’rith (513) 984-1999 Hadassah (513) 821-6157 • cincinnati-hadassah.org Jewish National Fund (513) 794-1300 • jnf.org NA’AMAT (513) 984-3805 • naamat.org National Council of Jewish Women (513) 891-9583 • ncjw.org State of Israel Bonds (513) 793-4440 • israelbonds.com Women’s American ORT (513) 985-1512 • ortamerica.org.org
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JCC from page 1 Paley. Paley’s work is on permanent display throughout the country. “We are wildly proud of what the JCC has done for our community, and are pleased to be the honorees at the JCC Adams Golf Classic!” said Nancy Wolf. “It would be hard to imagine what our community would be without the J, and we hope everyone will support this event.” The event begins with lunch and 18 holes of golf and includes a celebratory dinner reception, silent auction and raffle drawing. WISE from page 1 Cantor Cannizzaro has performed with Kol Zimrah, The Jewish Community Singers of Chicago, the Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Mendelssohn Choir, Pittsburgh Playhouse, Cleveland Chamber Orchestra, West Virginia Public Theater, and the Theater Factory. Her many operatic and theater roles include Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Adele in Die Fledermaus, Despina in Cosi fan tutte, Musetta in La Boheme, Lily in Secret Garden and Arlene in Baby. In addition, Cantor Cannizzaro has been a featured soloist in orchestral works that include Carl Orff’s Carminia Burana, Haydn’s Creation, Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem, Handel’s Messiah, and Schubert’s Mass in G. In addition to her many musical activities, Cantor Cannizzaro
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The JCC welcomes anyone to participate as a sponsor and/or a golfer. Those who do not wish to golf can support the JCC Adams Golf Classic by sponsoring the event, participating in the silent auction and attending the evening dinner reception. This year’s silent auction prizes include weeklong vacation stays in Aspen (Snowmass), Colorado and Boca Raton, Fla., and more. Sponsorships and registrations for golf and/or dinner are due by Friday, May 28. Call the J for more information. served as part-time Cantorial Soloist for such congregations as Rodef Shalom in Pittsburgh, Penn.; Temple Beth-El in Northbrook, Ill.; and North Shore Congregation Israel in Glencoe, Ill., singing alongside Cantor Richard Cohn. In July 2003, Cantor Cannizzaro joined Isaac M. Wise Temple. It was during her tenure at the congregation that she attained her investment as a Cantor this past year. She currently lives in West Chester, Ohio with her husband and their two sons. Cantor Cannizzaro received her Bachelors Degree in Musical Theater from the University of Miami (FL), and her Masters in Vocal Performance from Chicago Musical College. Before joining Wise Temple, she was a concert recitalist and opera singer. There is a fee for the event. For more information, contact Wise Temple.
THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2010
The trip from hell...with a heavenly finale Wandering Jew
by Janet Steinberg Travel Editor Ashes to ashes, Dust to dust. Volcano erupted… Our cruise was a bust “CANCELED!” That single word, in bold capital letters, pierced my gut like a dagger. Fifteen minutes before the scheduled boarding time for our flight to Venice, I glanced at a departure screen in New York’s JFK airport. And there it was…that dreaded word: “CANCELED.” For two days, I had been glued to the TV news and the path that the volcanic ash from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull (ay-yah-FYAHlah-yer-kuhl) Volcano was taking across Northern Europe. Surely, I thought, we would have no problem getting to Italy for our seventh annual Doc Irv’s Mermaid Adriatic cruise. Surely, that Northern European ash cloud would not come south to Italy. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! With one big wind shift, the volcanic ash changed its course. Thus began an international air crisis worse than that of 9/11. But perhaps I should have known this trip was doomed from the very start. The clues began the moment we arrived at JFK airport where we were to board our evening flight to Venice. First clue: The jet-way was not functioning and all passengers had to carry their hand luggage as they descended the steps from the plane and ascended two flights of stairs that would take them from the tarmac to the main floor of the domestic terminal. Second clue: Transportation between Delta’s Domestic Terminal and their International Terminal was not available for most passengers. A long, long, long walk! From there on in, the trip descended into the fast lane of a downhill slope. It became a tale of villains and heroes. Instead of Ship Ahoy, our mantra became Ship Ahoy-veh. For almost one year, 15 of Doc Irv’s Mermaids/Mermates had been planning for — and dreaming about — the glorious cruise we would embark upon aboard Silversea’s luxurious yacht-like Silver Wind on April 19. However, in one split sec-
ond our Silver Wind dream became an unimaginable nightmare. It seemed as if I might have been the very first person in JFK to learn of the cancellation of flight #186. Just the tip of the iceberg for the more than 100,000 other flights around the world that would soon be canceled because of the ash cloud. When I rushed to the desk in Delta Airlines Crown Room, lamenting that our flight had been canceled, the desk agent looked at me as if I were crazy. “No,” she replied, “your flight to Venice is departing in 45 minutes.” Annoyed by her lack of knowledge I replied, “No, it’s been canceled. Look at your computer.” She looked, gasped, and replied, “I guess you’re right. It’s been canceled.” Enter our first heroes…Jody and Jeffrey. The youngest of Doc Irv’s Mermaids/Mermates they were the only ones technologically savvy enough to own a Blackberry. Phones were useless at this point. Trying to call a hotel for rooms, or an airline for alternate flights, was impossible. Answering machines were de rigueur. Enter our next hero…Iris. While still at JFK airport, by means of their Blackberrys, Jody and Jeff were able to reach Iris. This consummate travel professional searched for hours and was finally able to find us available hotel rooms in the now overbooked, overpriced, Manhattan. The next few days would find Iris attempting to get us to Venice by any means possible. Meanwhile, JFK airport was not yet about to release its villainous hold on us. Attempting to retrieve our luggage from the baggage terminal brought out the worst in exhausted passengers and baggage handlers. In what was the most disorganized fiasco I have ever witnessed, thousands of travelers were forced to stand in line for hours to give their bag tag numbers to three surly ladies. In turn, those ladies would give the numbers to a handful of baggage handlers who had to manually search through thousands of bags to find the ones that matched those numbers. Fortunately, our ticket numbers were given to a baggage handler just before 11 p.m. when a supervisor ordered the ladies to stop taking numbers. The baggage handlers were going home for the night. For all I know, there may still be victims of the volcano sleeping on the airport floor, waiting for their bags to be found. Enter the next villain: The cab driver who tried to cheat both us and his company. When we finally arrived at the hotel we couldn’t swipe our credit card for payment. He claimed we were supposed to tell him to turn on the credit card meter (a lie), and insisted we pay
(Top) Jeffrey Lazarow, Jody Lazarow, Irv Silverstein and Carole Charleville, along with thousands of passengers, await their luggage at JFK airport. (Left) Bath towels kept cold air from seeping into our overpriced room with a million dollar view. (Above) The Trip from Hell had a heavenly finale at Harry Cipriani in New York instead of Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy.
him with cash. Too tired to argue, our cash obviously ended up in his pocket. Aaaah! At last, we checked into our hotel room ready to crash into the wee small hours of the morning. That, too, was not meant to be. The weather had turned cold, and the heat in this inflated $500-per night room (worth about $300) was not working properly. Cold air seeped in from window frames in this once grand hotel. Strange as it sounds, bath towels became our next heroes. I lined the windowsills with them to keep cold air from coming into the room. To add insult to injury, the blackout window shade, stopped 6 inches short of the sill. Just enough to let sunlight awaken us far too early in the morning. With the sunshine, came another new day. Stranded in New York, still hoping for a flight to Venice, we rationalized that lunch at the opulent Plaza Hotel would be the treat (instead of the treatment) we needed. Cuddled in the cozy Oak Room,
sipping martinis and munching on amazing burgers, the stress began to trickle from our weary bodies. We talked of our disappointment at missing another fabulous Silversea cruise with our amazing Mermaid group. And we talked of missing our three pre-cruise days in Venice, one of my favorite cities in the whole world. Vanished by the volcano was our dream of once again staying at the Hotel Cipriani Venezia, one of my favorite hotels in the whole world. That tranquil oasis, in the bustling city of Venice, is a paradise of romantic fountains encircled by enchanted gardens, the mysterious light of a lagoon, cerulean waters, green lawns, white awnings and sea gulls. Dream on kid…it’s over. Gone too, was our dream of Sunday dinner with our friend Harry. Not just any old Harry, but Harry Cipriani, owner of Venice’s world-renowned Harry’s Bar. In the 20 years since my husband and I first met Harry, we never seemed to
be in Venice at the same time as Harry. But this time, Harry was in Venice and was eagerly awaiting our arrival at Harry’s Bar. Dream on kid…it’s over. But alas and alack, all those beautiful dreams…and all that stress relief…came to a screeching halt after lunch when my husband and I were trapped in a tiny elevator in that same opulent Plaza Hotel. For 20 minutes the alarm bell shrieked until someone finally was able to open the elevator door and let us out of our cage. So much for a relaxing, therapeutic lunch! Two more days of phone calls and e-mails passed until it finally became clear that we would not get a flight to Venice in time to make our Silversea cruise. Time to pack up and head for home. (Thank goodness for Eric, my Travelex Insurance representative, and another hero in our lava legend.) TRAVEL on page 22
THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2010
A great-looking sedan with perfect safety scores The 2010 Audi A4 sedan looks good, handles great, and provides a safe ride — quite the combination. The A4 offers precise and balanced handling, along with slick styling and an upscale cabin for a premium driving experience. Those looking for a premium sport sedan that offers style and substance can’t go wrong with the 2010 Audi A4. The 2010 Audi A4 is a four-door compact luxury vehicle that comes in two body styles: sedan and wagon. The base model (sedan only) is the 2.0T FrontTrak, which comes with front-wheel drive, as well as a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The 2.0T Quattro comes with all-wheel drive and is available as either a sedan or a wagon. Audi offers three standard feature packages: P r e m i u m , Premium Plus and Prestige. With the standard Premium package, the buyer gets: 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, an electronic parking brake, a sunroof, air-conditioning, power front seats with driver lumbar, a leatherwrapped multifunction steering wheel, leather upholstery, cruise control, a split-folding rear seat, Audi's MMI system (mounted to the dash) and a 10-speaker CD audio system. The Premium Plus package adds these items: bi-xenon headlamps, LED daytime running lights and taillights, rain-sensing wipers, Bluetooth, three-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats and an iPod jack. The top-of-the line Prestige package includes: 18-inch wheels, keyless entry/ignition, auto-dimming rear and side mirrors, a navigation system with real-time traffic and the third-generation MMI interface mounted in the center console, an upgraded 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system with a six-CD changer, and voice control for Bluetooth, stereo and navigation functions. On the station wagon model, the Premium package adds a power tailgate. The standard engine in all models of the 2010 Audi A4 is a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 that generates 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel
drive is standard on the base 2.0T FrontTrak, as is a CVT. The 2.0T Quattro comes standard with a sixspeed manual, with the availability of an optional six-speed automatic. With the automatic transmission, the A4 2.0T Quattro sedan goes from zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds. EPA fuel economy estimates for the A4 2.0T FrontTrak are 23 mpg city/30 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined. For the A4 w.0T Quattro, the numbers are 22/30/25 mpg with the manual transmission and 21/27/23 mpg with the automatic. All 2010 Audi A4s come standard with antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Rear-seat-mounted side airbags are available as an option in both the sedan and wagon. Also available is what Audi calls “side assist” - a blind-spot warning system. Also optional is an “Active Braking Guard” feature that’s part of the adaptive cruise control. If the system senses an impending collision, the driver is alerted and the brakes are primed for full stopping power. In government crash testing, the A4 received perfect five-star scores for both front and side impacts. Tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety earned the A4 perfect ratings of “Good” in both frontal offset and side impact crash testing. The A4 Avant with the Sport package brakes from 60 to zero in 103 feet. The interior of the 2010 A4 offers beauty and practicality. The control layout is attractive and the standard leather upholstery is more appealing than the leatherette in competing models. The MMI controls are easily reachable, arrayed around the gearshift mounted on the console. The MMI is the newer, improved version with navigation. The sedan provides 16.9 cubic feet of trunk space, with the wagon coming in at 17.3 cubic feet. However, folding down the rear seatbacks gives the driver 51 cubic feet of storage space. The 2010 Audi A4 has an MSRP starting at $31,450.
Tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety earned the A4 perfect ratings of "Good" in both frontal offset and side impact crash testing.
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DEATH NOTICES SANDLER, Roslyn, age 86, died on May 8, 2010; 24 Iyar, 5770. GOLDFARB, Doreen, died on May 9, 2010; 25 Iyar, 5770. OLMAN, Morton W., age 93, died on May 9, 2010; 25 Iyar, 5770 JVS from page 1 The tour and open house offered an idea of all that goes on at JVS. In terms of occupied space, the largest is their comprehensive employment program for individuals with disabilities. The program offers training on basic job skills and “helicopters” graduates in many cases well into new jobs. Basic job skills are taught in a large room with worktables and stacks of boxes. Here student workers are paid by the piece through a Department of Labor program. Some workers make very little; some make good money — some remain and some move on to real jobs. One example of a project on the “factory floor” on the day of the event came from Guerilla Glue, in which the finished product is inspected and packaged in boxes. Another project involves counting product and packaging it. In addition to basic work skills, job search and on-the-job skills are taught. Also within the facility is a day program for the elderly. Folks come from homes and a variety of other facilities to participate. Finally, there is a program to help prospective employees con-
LETTERS from page 16 If Iran had gained a seat on a council originally designed to monitor human rights conditions around the world, it would have been a travesty.
THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2010
nect with employers. The demand for this service has more than doubled as a result of the recession. It was for these individuals that the evening mixer and social media seminar was organized. The seminar was given by Michael Loban, whose expertise is the use of social media for marketing — for both individuals and organizations. One big message for the evening was that “social media is about emotions.” The greatest accomplishment in social media is to create a message that “goes viral” — spreads exponentially throughout the network as one person messages two others; those two message two more and so on. Another big message was that social media information is created by the consumer, largely based on conversations and interactions between people online. A third big message was that social media is at heart a media for marketing — or “marketeering” as he put it. Loban likened the interactions on the Web to that of pre-Web, word-of-mouth advertising. The idea back then, for those with a product to sell, was to circumvent the usual advertising with a stunt so “remarkable” it was reported from one person to the next. Giveaways, service beyond expectations and other remarkable acts would set off a multitude of good reviews from person to person and thus produce sales. Loban gave examples of such stunts: Costco giving away food and a restaurant making unexpectedly huge sandwiches. The underlying value of wordof-mouth advertising is that it is more credible than media advertising. In essence it is a sales pitch delivered as advice.
So now the idea with social media is to “say something remarkable,” something with emotional content—or extraordinary in some way— that will get noticed and transmitted by others. Lots of others. In this way “brands” are made for individuals, causes, products and organizations. Loban stressed that social media is for dialogue—not monologue—and that dialogues will ensue if it makes others like you or your comments. Other emotions that work are those that make readers feel good about themselves or make them feel that they belong to a community. For those in the audience new to social media, Loban listed the top sites: twitter, facebook, youtube, flickr, bebo, digg and myspace. For those who feel overwhelmed with the volume of information on the Web and want to read only the highest rated articles on a topic, Loban suggested looking at Digg. This site provides readers’ ratings of articles on the Web, so the highest rated articles float to the top of the heap. Loban summed up the difference in the psychologies of the old marketing media and the new by dividing various media strategies between the old “attention economy” and the new “attraction economy.” In other words, instead of interrupting consumers watching a television program with a commercial that “demands” attention right then, social media seeks to engage them. Another observation on his list: Loban noted that today consumers are manipulated to “notice” the new—wheras older media shouted these messages. Perhaps most telling was the observation that the “intimate gesture” is
The Council is obsessed with Israel, condemning the Jewish State regularly, while overlooking obvious human rights violations elsewhere. It will take a long time before the Human Rights Council becomes worthy
of its name. As one of the worst offenders of human rights in the world, Iran deserves to be a charter member of the Human Wrongs Council. Patti Heldman President, AJC Cincinnati Office Dear Editor: Seems the sovereign state of Arizona has had enough of the illegals overwhelming their criminal justice, hospital, education
TRAVEL from page 20 With four hours left before departing for the airport, we decided to end our ill-fated Trip From Hell with a stroll along Fifth Avenue. Lo and behold, we passed a white curtained window with the name Harry Cipriani emblazoned on it in gold leaf.
Peter Bloch, JVS chief executive officer and president, cuts a ribbon outside the JVS Blue Ash building. He is joined, from left, by Cheryl Phipps, superintendent of Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services; Joel Brant, chair of the JVS Board of Trustees; and Shep Englander, chief executive officer of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati.
replacing the “big promise.” Finally, Loban addressed the needs of those using social media to find jobs. For these he counseled developing a value proposition — just as businesses do. Businesses should summarize what they offer that is different and valuable. Job-seekers should do the same. Also, he counseled to be careful about content placed on the Web. The majority of employers —some 80 percent—will google prospective employees before offering them a position. With these two fundamentals, he urged full use of social media including blogs and cooperation between bloggers. Loban delivered his presentation with deadpan humor that often found its mark in an audience pop-
ulated by those looking for work — perhaps lifting the spirits of some. Thus the nine-hour marathon celebration was brought to a close. The chronology of the event itself traces the history of JVS from a small organization serving only a handful of Jews to one that has become a fixture in the Cincinnati’s social world of employment. In 1940, JVS was begun with a staff of two who served six people — Jewish immigrants. At that time what was the Jewish Federation gave them seed capital of $7200. Today it enjoys a renovated space that meets needs brought on by years of growth. “Organizations don’t last without outstanding staff,” said Peter Bloch, JVS’s CEO and president.
and welfare systems so they enacted a law to sort out who’s entitled to American status and who’s a free-loader. Maybe other states should follow this lead (since the Feds won’t) by applying the same leverage to include that “religious” order — the one that has stated they will kill or convert all infidels. Let’s get’ em all out of the country. Oh yeah, that line about “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses...” is on the Statue of Liberty (which we did-
n’t order, request or pay for). Those words are NOT in the Constitution. Question of the day: If we have enough money, troops, aid, goods, supplies, food and government workers to rebuild, save and prop up foreign countries that suffer calamities; how come we don’t have enough yadda, yadda, yadda to rebuild American highways, pay for our own health care and feed our own poor?
My husband and I turned to each other, high-fived each other, and simultaneously exclaimed “Yes!” With that we entered Harry Cipriani Restaurant in the Sherry Netherland Hotel and immediately ordered two Bellinis. In lieu of volcanoes, visions of Venice once again danced in our
heads. With Harry Cipriani’s famed Bellinis in hand, we raised our flutes and toasted our dear friend Harry Cipriani: Arriveaderci Arrigo! (Translation: Until we meet again Harry.)
Chuck Klein Amberley Village
(Janet Steinberg is an awardwinning travel writer.)
2010 CALENDAR Special Issues & Sections J ANUARY
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by Dina Kraft Jewish Telegraphic Agency Molly Malone’s is a ‘happening’place year round C INCINNATI J EWISH L IFE D INING O UT T RAVEL JCC G...