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Northern Hills Synagogue annual picnic Northern Hills Synagogue-Congregation B’nai Avraham Men’s Club is again sponsoring its annual picnic at Weller Park on Sunday, Aug. 22. The fun starts at noon and continues until 3 p.m. with volleyball, corn hole, horse shoes, baseball and many other exciting activities. Also, from noon to 2 p.m. the men will be cooking kosher hot dogs and veggie burgers as well as serving other great picnic food. It will be a lot of fun even it you don’t want to play games, but just want to talk. If you’re new to the community, it’s a wonderful venue to come and meet a warm and friendly group of people. There is no cost for this event and it is open to the entire community. However, please make reservations before Aug. 9.

Congregation B’nai Golf Manor Tikvah honors Synagogue to hold Carl Morgenstern Blood Drive By Q Benedikt On Friday, July 9, 2010, a very special Shabbat service and kiddush took place at Congregation B’nai Tikvah Center for Reconstructionist Judaism. The occasion was to honor Carl Morgenstern—a Harvard-educated, Hamilton, Ohio, attorney for 60 years— as the shul’s patriarch and Carl Morgenstern at the principal benefactor. B’nai Tikvah Shabbat The B’nai Tikvah buildservice and kiddush in his ing is located on a scenic piece honor with grandchildren of land. One of its slogans is

On Sunday, July 25, 2010, Golf Manor Synagogue will host its third annual Blood Drive to benefit Hoxworth Blood Center, the only local blood bank in the tristate area and the source of blood for more than 30 local hospitals. By all indications, the third time is the charm: more corporate gifts and donations have been received this year than in the past, and each is a most generous gesture. “We know we can count on our blood donors, who showed up in droves last year, to show up again this year, but we wondered if we could also depend on corporate gifts this year,” said Paul Plotsker, coordinator of Blood Drive 2010. “Turns out we have received some pretty impressive donations. We anticipate an avalanche of donors to show up and participate in our raffle. Like voters are urged in Chicago, ‘donate early and often’ to our blood drive. Win prizes. Eat great food. It’s a blood drive in a shul. What’s not to like?”

MORGENSTERN on page 20

GOLF on page 20

Scot and Beth Krumbein of Wyoming, Ohio.

Opponents alarmed as Israeli Israelis mark Tisha B’Av conversion bill moves ahead By Jacob Berkman Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Flash90 / JTA

David Rotem, chairman of the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, pushed a controversial conversion bill through the committee by a 5-4 vote on July 12, 2010.

NEW YORK (JTA) — Opponents of a controversial bill that could give the Orthodox Rabbinate the final say over conversions in Israel are trying to keep the bill from moving ahead in the Israeli Knesset after its surprise introduction and passage by a Knesset committee. For months, Israeli lawmakers have been discussing a bill that would put more power over conversion into the hands of Israel’s Orthodox-dominated Rabbinate by giving local rabbis the ability to perform conversions and giving the Chief Rabbinate oversight and control over the whole process. OPPONENTS on page 22

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israelis flocked to Jerusalem's Old City to observe Tisha B'Av, the fast day that commemorates the destruction of the Holy Temple. A new poll released before Tisha B'Av showed that some 22 percent of Israelis would fast on the day and another 52 percent would refrain from going out with friends. Israeli law requires that recreational spots be closed on Tisha B'Av; 18 percent of poll respondents called that "religious coercion." The Ynet-Gesher poll surveyed 505 Hebrew-speaking Jewish Israelis. It has a margin of error of 4.4 percent. Jewish tradition says that the Temple was destroyed because of baseless hatred; the poll asked which groups are the most hated in Israeli society. Fifty-four percent of respondents answered Arabs, 37 percent named the haredi Orthodox, 8 percent religious and 1 percent Tel Avivians. Some 42 percent of respondents said they believed that the religious-secular issue

Abir Sultan / Flash90 / JTA

Sitting on the ground by custom, thousands of Jews recited the Book of Lamentations in Jerusalem's Old City on Tisha B'Av to commemorate the destruction of the two Holy Temples in ancient Jerusalem, July 19, 2010.

is the worst source of tension in Israeli society, while 41 percent said it was the JewishArab situation. Another 9 percent said the worst source of tension is between settlers and the rest of the country, while 8 percent said it was the tension between rich and poor.


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Boxer Dmitriy Salita is humbled, but not down for the count

In teaching Holocaust, educators focus on prewar lives, not just camps

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Calling (and remembering) David Twersky By Ami Eden Jewish Telegraphic Agnecy NEW YORK (JTA) — What do you do when your Washington correspondent has an important scoop, but a representative of the Israeli army is urging you not to publish, saying it will be harmful to the Israeli military? That’s the scenario I was facing a few months back. Before making a decision, I wanted some advice. But who to call? A fellow journalist might be too eager to publish, an establishment organizational leader too reluctant. No matter who I asked, the person would probably try to sneak his or her own political agenda into the situation. I needed someone with a sympathetic and informed understanding of Israeli security concerns, a deep appreciation and respect for journalists doing their jobs, and an ability to set aside his or her personal politics. So I phoned David Twersky. It doesn’t matter what he said. The point is that he was the only person I even thought to call. Twersky, 60, who died of cancer July 16 with loved ones by his side, was a longtime Labor Zionist who made aliyah in 1974, becoming a stalwart in the kibbutz movement and advising Israeli notables, including the late dovish Foreign Minister Abba Eban. Then in 1990, after moving back to the United States, he became a headline-generating Washington correspondent for the Forward under the tutelage of neoconservative editor Seth Lipsky, alienating some of his liberal friends with national scoops like the one that ended up bringing down Clinton nominee Lani Guinier. Twersky would rejoin Lipsky years later at The New York Sun as a foreign affairs columnist—and come out in favor of George W. Bush in 2004. But this wasn’t the story of a leftist exchanging one set of ideological talking points for another: Twersky supported the Oslo process and backed Barack Obama in 2008. To the end, if anything, he remained a Laborite, albeit a fiercely anticommunist and pragmatic one who wouldn’t let ideology get in the way of independent reporting or thinking. Along the way he also worked at several Jewish organizations, including his final job, a three-year stint at the American Jewish Congress, where he reportedly helped conduct negotiations with the governments of Pakistan, Venezuela and Russia.

One of Twersky’s best buddies from his Labor Zionist youth group days and colleagues at the Forward, journalist J.J. Goldberg, took a different path. He couldn’t stomach Lipsky’s politics, so he quit the newspaper—only to return nearly a decade later in 2000 to succeed Lipsky after he was deposed.

New Jersey Jewish News

David Twersky Goldberg and Lipsky are adversaries in a decades-long, very Jewish journalistic-ideological battle, with roots in Ben-Gurion vs. Jabotinsky, that has been running strong through Reagan, Oslo, Clinton, Bush II and Obama. But in life (and death), Twersky somehow bridged the gap: Lipsky memorialized Twersky in an editorial on the Sun’s website, calling him “one of the most remarkable journalists of his generation”; Goldberg was with Twersky in his last hours and delivered a eulogy at his funeral. “Lifelong friends broke with him because they disagreed with him,” Goldberg recalled at the July 18 funeral in Vauxhall, N.J. “But he never broke with anyone because he disagreed with them.” More often than not, Twersky succeeded in navigating and bringing together dedicated Jews and Zionists of various stripes. To underscore the point, Goldberg pointed to Twersky’s election “more or less by acclamation” as chairman of the North American Jewish Students Network, a group that brought together religious, secular, leftist, rightist and almost any other label you could think of. Goldberg also noted Twersky’s impressive run as editor of what was then the MetroWest Jewish News, the organ of the local federation in Whippany, N.J., when he took over the weekly in 1993. In perhaps his most impressive career accomplishment, he managed to help transform the publication into a statewide chain of newspapers known as the New Jersey Jewish News and turn the job into a seat of

influence, both in New Jersey politics and the wider Jewish world. Despite the successes, Twersky ultimately managed to earn himself a pink slip, with a dictatorial managerial style that left many of his employees cowering in fear. “Truly, David was one of the most brilliant people you could ever meet. ... But his people skills were, to put it mildly, lacking,” wrote Alia Ramer, a blogger for the New Jersey Jewish News in an online reflection this week about Twersky. “His standard was perfection, nothing short, and only his definition of it. He was vocally angry about every mistake, every typo that made it into the paper.” Ramer recounted a time when the staff needed to identify an Israeli politician in a photograph—but no one was willing to ask Twersky. “We didn’t know,” she recalled, “if he would berate us for not knowing who the missing pol was or give us a jovial (and lengthy!) namedropping story of his 20-year relationship with the Israeli and how it was David who had been the first to suggest to him that he run for Knesset (stories, by the way, that usually turned out to be true).” Still, Ramer had to concede, “David may have been difficult — okay, he was quite the angry little redhead—but he pushed me to be a better writer and editor.”

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Boxer Dmitriy Salita is humbled, but not down for the count By Gal Beckerman Forward NEW YORK (Forward) — Dmitriy Salita speaks about the future of his boxing career with a look of pure intensity in his otherwise mournful brown eyes. All the greatest boxers have this stare, a perfect distillation of concentration and discipline and total faith in the strength of their arms. But in Salita, it is also the look of a man convincing himself that he has a future in the sport. Seven months have passed since his humiliating loss in England to Amir Khan—the first defeat of his professional career in 32 bouts—when he was stopped 76 seconds into their world title match after being knocked down three times. He has not faced another opponent in the ring. In late June, I met Salita at the Sea Breeze Jewish Center, a dilapidated Brooklyn building with the elevated lines of the F train rattling loudly just behind it and the Brighton Beach boardwalk a block away. Salita has an unassuming presence—soft spoken, yet with a tinge of nervous energy, his BlackBerry never leaving his hands. Salita, 28, also looks even more religious than he did in “Orthodox Stance,” the documentary that introduced the wider world to the Ukrainian-born Jewish immigrant, who had emerged from a Brooklyn gym to win the U.S. Amateur Under-19 Championships and then the coveted Golden Gloves in 2001. He is wearing a large blue yarmulke and tzitzit that hang over his jeans. A reddish beard covers the baby face that made him so endearing in the film. Besides the fight, much has happened to Salita in the past year. He was married last September to a woman who grew up in the Chabad-Lubavitch community, and he has started to involve himself more directly with what he believes is his mission—to help move young Russian Jews closer to Judaism. It’s the reason we met in this part of Brooklyn. In May, Salita inaugurated the Dmitriy Salita Youth Center in a large hall in the basement of the Sea Breeze Jewish Center. Among the slew of dignitaries on hand was Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Daniel Ayalon. His Chabad friends have established the Dmitriy Salita Foundation to support, as one rabbi put it, “those who want to follow the path of Dmitriy.” Salita himself has developed a boxing program for young people at a number of New York City Jewish community centers to engage restless Jewish teenagers

Claudio Papapietro

Dmitriy Salita works out as he eyes a return to the ring, but has involved himself more directly in helping move young Russian Jews closer to Judaism.

Claudio Papapietro

Dmitriy Salita in a sparring session as he bids to return to the ring after falling in a title bout.

through sport. “Orthodox Stance,” released in 2007, captured a victorious Salita as he made the transition from amateur to professional fighter. If he was then teetering between the world of boxing and a religious community that had embraced him, he now seems rather to be a full member of that Orthodox community who happens also to be a boxer. At the same time, the loss in England inaugurated a more complicated phase of his life. The formerly unbeatable fighter now knows defeat. “I wasn’t at his fight,” says Zalman Liberov, a rabbi at Brooklyn’s Chabad of Flatbush whom Salita credits with bringing him to Judaism after his mother died when he was a teenager. “But I called him 10 minutes afterwards and told him, ‘Dmitriy, now begins the real fight. The real fight is how to deal with what happens next.’ ” Salita speaks with confidence when he describes some of the community programs with which he is now involved, especially his work with Ezra USA, a Russian-

Jewish youth group that Salita says is working to “battle against assimilation.” He lights up when talking about the bright trajectory of his boxing career and how his commitment to keeping the Sabbath has been a challenge that he has never abandoned. But when the talk turns to “the fight,” he becomes distracted, bothered. “It’s been hard,” he acknowledges when I first ask him about it. “England was a very tough experience. It’s something that I had never gone through—an environment and circumstances that I had not experienced before, and they very much had an effect on what happened in the fight. “I wasn’t hurt. I didn’t get knocked out. I was still on my feet. I was OK. There were a lot of things going on leading up to the fight, during the fight—just a crazy atmosphere.” Whatever happened behind the scenes in Newcastle, the footage of the fight itself doesn’t lie. Khan, a Muslim of Pakistani background who grew up in the


town of Bolton in northern England, was (and still) the World Boxing Association light-welterweight champion. He jabbed Salita, then surprised the challenger with a bullet of a right punch. Salita in a post-fight interview said he “never saw it coming.” He also never recovered from that first attack, which brought him to his knees. Salita was knocked down twice more by a flurry of blows before the referee stopped the contest midway through the first round. In the footage, Salita is seated in a corner, his head hanging between his knees. Salita is vague about what happened that day, but he strongly suggests that the loss was the result of boxing in what effectively was enemy territory. David Roitman, who like Salita grew up in Odessa, Ukraine, and has grown closer to Judaism through Chabad, is the executive director of Ezra USA and a close friend and collaborator with Salita on his community projects. Roitman attended the fight, sitting next to Salita’s wife, and he says the hate emanating from the jeering crowd was overwhelming. “It wasn’t a fight; it was a show,” Roitman says. “Ten thousand Muslims and maybe 100 Jews. On the way to the ring, people said terrible things to him. It wasn’t sport. It was 10,000 people against Dmitriy.” Salita says he was thrown off by the loud jeering—the boos were deafening—and by the sight of his wife, Alona, sitting near the ring and being jostled by the crowd. “I feel like if the fight would have been in America or at least on neutral soil, the result would have been much different,” Salita says. “I feel strongly about that.” The loss has affected his career. Salita says he hadn’t made many friends in the boxing world before the England fight. He always involved himself in the business side, making sure that he was getting a fair deal and not leaving the money up to handlers. Along with the issue of his Sabbath observance, which demanded that promoters always make special arrangements, Salita says he had gained a reputation as a nuisance. None of this mattered as he racked up his 30 professional wins (with one draw). But the loss, Salita says, has made him vulnerable. Now he feels that he has been “blacklisted.” He tried to get on the card for the June promotion at Yankee Stadium that featured another observant Russian-Jewish fighter, Yuri Foreman, defending his title. SALITA on page 22

The oldest English-Jewish weekly in America Founded July 15, 1854 by Isaac M.Wise VOL. 156 • NO. 52 Thursday, July 22, 2010 11 Av, 5770 Shabbat begins Fri, 8:40 p.m. Shabbat ends Sat, 9:40 p.m. THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE CO., PUBLISHERS 18 WEST NINTH STREET, SUITE 2 CINCINNATI, OHIO 45202-2037 PHONE: (513) 621-3145 FAX: (513) 621-3744 HENRY C. SEGAL Editor & Publisher 1930-1985 MILLARD H. MACK Publisher Emeritus NETANEL (TED) DEUTSCH Editor & Publisher BARBARA L. MORGENSTERN Senior Writer MICHAEL McCRACKEN ELIJAH PLYMESSER Assistant Editors ALEXIA KADISH Copy Editor JANET STEINBERG Travel Editor STEPHANIE DAVIS-NOVAK Fashion Editor MARILYN GALE Dining Editor MARIANNA BETTMAN NATE BLOOM RABBI A. JAMES RUDIN RABBI AVI SHAFRAN Contributing Writers LEV LOKSHIN JANE KARLSBERG Staff Photographers PATTY YOUKILIS JUSTIN COHEN Advertising Sales JOSEPH D. STANGE Production Manager CHRISTIE HALKO Office Manager

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Opposition to Israeli conversion bill mounts By Sarah Freishtat Jewish Telegraphic Agency WASHINGTON (JTA) — Opposition to a proposed Israeli conversion bill is mounting, from the U.S. Congress to the Israeli prime minister. Meanwhile, the bill is likely to be put on hold while the Knesset adjourns this week for a two-month recess. The controversy over the bill erupted last week when its main sponsor, David Rotem of the Yisrael Beiteinu Party, unexpectedly put it to a committee vote. The measure passed by a 5-4 margin, sending it to the full Knesset. Meant to give would-be converts more leeway in choosing where and how to convert in Israel, the bill also would consolidate control over conversions under the office of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate. Non-Orthodox Diaspora Jewish movements and the leadership of the Jewish Federations of North America and Jewish Agency for Israel all have warned that non-Orthodox converts would be put at risk of being disqualified as Jews by the Orthodoxdominated Chief Rabbinate. In recent days, a Jewish U.S. senator unhappy about the bill, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), began circulating a letter asking fellow lawmakers to join him in condemning the controversial Israeli measure. Wyden’s letter is circulating among the Senate's 13 Jewish lawmakers for more signatures before it is delivered to Israel's ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren. Meanwhile, in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he opposes the bill in its current form. The bill “could tear apart the Jewish people,” Netanyahu told his Cabinet on Sunday. Following its passage last week by the Knesset’s Law, Constitution and Justice Committee, the bill must pass three readings in the Knesset for it to become law. The prime minister said he would try to remove the bill by consensus, but if that fails he will ask members of his Likud Party and other coalition members to oppose it in the Knesset. With the Knesset on the cusp of a long recess, the bill is unlikely to come up for another vote until the fall. Rotem says the bill aims to simplify the conversion process, empowering local Israeli community rabbis to perform conversions and thereby make it easier for Israelis to convert—including those who don’t intend to adhere to Orthodox observance. But in giving the Rabbinate ultimate authority over conversions, the bill puts nonOrthodox converts at risk and may

make it more difficult for nonOrthodox converts to make aliyah, critics in the Diaspora warn. Rotem says the bill should not concern Diaspora Jews. “It has nothing to do with Jews in the Diaspora,” Rotem told JTA last week. “It is only an Israeli matter.” Shas Party Chairman Eli Yishai, a member of Netanyahu’s coalition government, said he supports the bill. “The absence of a conversion law is the greatest spiritual danger for the people of Israel at this time,” he told Ynet. In the United States, the Rabbinical Council of America, an Orthodox organization, said that “While the legislation in question may not be perfect, we who live in North America must recognize that it does contain much to commend it.” The RCA called on Diaspora Jews not to interfere with the internal Israeli legislation, noting, albeit incorrectly, that “North American Jews have long embraced the principle that the duly elected leadership of the State of Israel should not be subject to outside interference or pressure by other governments, religious bodies, or communal entities.” The chorus of American voices against the bill is growing, particularly in the Conservative and Reform movements, whose members make up most of American Jewry but have only a small presence in Israel. Opponents are concerned by the bill’s clause that converts will be recognized as Jews only if they “accepted the Torah and the commandments in accordance with halachah,” which could exclude some converts from being eligible to obtain Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return because they would not be consid-

ered Jews by Israel. Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, wrote an open letter to Netanyahu explaining why the bill will divide the Jewish community. “The way to really ‘solve this problem’ is to have options for multiple streams and for the indigenous Israeli expressions that will only flower in a non-coercive system,” she wrote. The Jewish Federations of North America said it supports the U.S. Senate letter opposing the Israeli bill. “We welcome any expression of commitment from influential Jews to maintain the unity of the Jewish people and the dangers posed by this divisive legislation,” said William Daroff, vice president for public policy and director of the Jewish Federations of North America’s Washington office. In Washington, U.S. Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.) have signed the Wyden letter. “I am troubled by a proposal which I believe would make it more difficult for many people who want to convert to Judaism to do so,” Levin told JTA. The letter’s text has not been made public. Jewish members of the U.S. House of Representatives also have expressed support for Wyden’s letter. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), chairwoman of the State and Foreign Operations subcommittee that oversees the State Department and international programs, left a message for Netanyahu and spoke directly to Oren to voice her objection to the bill.

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Yeshurun Gavish

Yeshurun Gavish, who will be participating in the July 18 NewYork City Triathlon, with two of his children.

Scarred by terrorism, Israeli brothers-in-law to compete in triathlon By Lauren Greenberg Jewish Telegraphic Agency NEW YORK (JTA) — Just six months before the end of his Israeli army service, Elad Belachsan suffered a life-changing injury in a Palestinian attack. On a mission in the West Bank city of Nablus with his paratroopers unit, Belachsan, now 27, was near the front of the group when a bomb exploded, paralyzing his left leg. This week, some six years later, Belachsan will compete in the New York City triathlon. A swimmer on the Israeli national paralympics team, Belachsan will compete in the swimming portion and in the bicycling event, where he will use a hand-powered bicycle. “It’s a great challenge, to see the limits of your body and to extend them,” Belachsan said. “Since I can’t walk normally, I am always looking for new challenges to show myself that my body is able to do this.” In the July 18 triathlon, Belachsan will be part of a team sponsored by One Family, an organization that provides assistance to Israeli victims of terrorism and their families. Joining him will be his brother-in-law, Yeshurun Gavish, 29, and Gavish’s brother-in-law, Shaked Rogovsky, 30, who has been their trainer in Israel. Gavish, too, has been scarred by terrorism. In 2002, he lost his parents, oldest brother and grandfather when a terrorist broke into his home in the West Bank settlement of Elon Moreh and shot them dead. A soldier at the time, Gavish had left the house just minutes before to return to his army base at the end of the Passover break. His other six siblings escaped injury by running upstairs and climbing down a ladder that neighbors had propped up against the house when they

heard the gunshots. “The experience was very difficult and will affect me for my whole life,” Gavish told JTA. “We take it day by day,” he said. “It has been very difficult to keep the family together without parents, and it’s difficult to lead a normal life, to work, study, raise children.” In 2006, Gavish was involved in another attack. He disarmed a terrorist, but not before one was killed and four were seriously injured. Gavish said sports have helped him to deal with his loss. The New York City triathlon, he said, “is an opportunity to feel normal and get out of the sadness. And it’s also therapeutic.” Belachsan said athletics help him combat the feeling of disability. At the time of the attack, he said, he was a soldier who “felt like I could do everything and that everything was possible. Suddenly I lost the ability in one second, and sports helps me feel that I am strong.” One Family is sponsoring Belachsan and Gavish’s trip to New York. It will be Belachsan’s first time in the city. He says he is excited about the trip and sharing the experience with his brother-in-law. Though he is an experienced paralympic swimmer, he has never competed in a hand-powered bicycling event. The New York organizer of the One Family team, Sammy Zack, said his team, whose members have been training for the triathlon over a period of 18 weeks, is motivated by the Israeli participants. “The fact that there are people in Israel who are victims and are using the training to get back into normal life is very inspirational,” Zack said. “When the training gets tough, having a bigger cause than yourself is helpful.”




Performing tahara, the ultimate kindness By Mayer Waxman Jewish Telegraphic Agency NEW YORK (JTA) — To describe the dead body that lay before me at my first tahara, the simple word “real” seems most appropriate. A tahara is the traditional Jewish cleansing performed on a body before burial. At my recent first tahara, none of the cliches occurred. I did not feel scared or sickened by the body, but conversely I can’t say I sensed the neshama, the soul, circumambulating the room as reported by some people who perform the deed. I wasn’t supposed to perform the tahara but observe. A tahara ideally is performed by four people. In the funeral home basement I stood beside the rosh, or head —the leader of the tahara—as he telephoned the chevra team’s fourth and absent member, who responded that he was unable to make the scheduled tahara. Instead of contacting another trained chevra member, the rosh deemed to allow me to serve as the fourth based on my existing knowledge of the relevant customs and halachot, Jewish laws. He knew I was no stranger to death. I had studied the laws of mourning in my rabbinical training. As long as I can remember my mother has been active in her local chevra kadishas, or Jewish burial societies. I narrated a widely used instructive video on tahara practice scripted by Rabbi Elchonon Zohn, the renowned director of the Vaad Harabanim of Queens and founding director of the National Association of Chevra Kadisha. I wrote the foreword to “Living Kaddish: Incredible and Inspiring Stories” regarding experiences of people in their year of mourning after losing a family member. I studied the signatures of serial killers for my master’s degree in forensic psychology. And I had the unusual experience of actually performing CPR on the body of a man who passed away before my eyes. I was doing my brief hospital rotation while studying for my emergency medical technician’s license when a doctor carried out the life-saving maneuver on an old man whose heart had stopped in the hospital. After the doctor was sufficiently sure that the man could not be revived, he allowed us two EMT students to attempt the procedure before pronouncing the man dead. But this was different. The body before me was waiting for

the chevra kadisha to enact the ultimate kindness, to prepare the body for burial in the age-old Jewish way. I arrived at this moment through my position in the National Association of Chevra Kadisha, which carries the mission “to provide the entire Jewish community with a resource to help promote and strengthen traditional Jewish burial practices.” Among my early tasks was registering chevras across North America, and promoting the reception of NASCK newsletters and information among funeral homes. One Jewish funeral director asked me on receipt of my call, “Have you ever done a tahara?” I was prepared for the valid question: “I will be doing my first one on Sunday.” He responded warmly but in a way that put his work and the work of chevra kadisha in perspective: “Let’s hope you won’t have to.” He was right. For me to have to do a tahara would mean someone would die. In fact, many chevra kadishas around the world dedicate the seventh day of the Jewish month of Adar to prayers and fasting followed by a feast, as that is the day God Himself buried Moses—providing the ideal situation: a time when the chevra kadisha is no longer required. In today’s world of medical awareness, taharas are performed with sanitary precautions. Rubber gloves and aprons are donned. I was called on to assist in moving the body occasionally, and I noted through my gloves how cold it was to the touch. It only occurred to me afterward that the body temperature was a result of the refrigeration the funeral home used to stay the bodys deterioration. This body—this man—was about my height, about my weight, not much older than I. I observed the rosh meticulously clean the body from head to toe. Any open wounds were treated with Monsel’s Solution, a coagulant. The rosh carefully washed away any dirt. He also wiped up blood and gathered unattached hair. In Jewish tradition bodies are buried as complete as possible, and any blood or fluids that leak or are wiped from the body are buried along with the body. The act was sensitive—not delicate, rather caringly purposeful, like a mother removing ink from her child’s arm or syrup from her child’s cheek. I poured water on the body as the cleaning was completed. I was

instructed to pour backwards, turning my hand holding the bucket in the opposite direction than I intuitively would. The body is then carefully placed on a slatted wooden base that is attached by natural fiber ropes to a pulley, which hoists the wood and moves it over a dedicated mikvah in the funeral home. The body is lowered inside for ritual immersion. In the interest of maintaining dignity, it is only at the moment of immersion that the body is completely exposed. The body is then re-hoisted, covered and returned to the dressing table. On the table the body is completely dried and then dressed in tachrichim, traditional Jewish burial shrouds. The shrouds have no pockets and their only fasteners are drawstrings on the trousers, tied in a specific way at the waist, and two sets on the tunic, tied at the neck and around the waist. The prepared body is put into the plain wood coffin. A light sprinkling of dust from Israel is placed at various points of the body, and clay shards are put on the eyes and mouth. The body receives compassionate care. The Jewish name of the person is written on a board on the wall in the room. The room is silent aside from occasional directions, the recitation of some prayers and supplications, and a request for forgiveness from the person on whom the tahara is performed lest any wrong was done the body during the process. The body is tenderly treated and dressed. The body is a body; a human shell. Real. The tahara is a beautiful and symbolic procedure, a respectful and tributary send-off. I can’t help but grieve for the growing number of Jews who opt to have their sullied remains carelessly tossed into crematoria for disposal. After leaving the funeral home I proceeded to synagogue for morning prayers. I’m not sure I prayed with greater intent, but the deceased was surely on my mind. When prayers were over I was hungry. I went to pick up bagels and eggs, foods that are traditionally associated with mourning — their roundness symbolizes the circle of life. But I think my motivation was baser. Appeasing hunger satisfies the living body. And there is nothing more life affirming than death. (Rabbi Mayer Waxman is the national director of the National Association of Chevra Kadisha.)







Facing confrontation on Israel, Presbyterian Church manages compromise By Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraphic Agency WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. Jews and Presbyterians say they have salvaged a fragile unity of purpose from an assembly that was poised to create a rift between the two faiths. The outcome of last week’s General Assembly in Minneapolis of the Presbyterian Church (USA) was remarkable in that all sides in the contentious debate—Jewish groups and the authors of a controversial report on the Middle East that had alarmed the Jews— agreed that the outcome was better than any side had expected. Rather than adopt the report’s recommendations, including sanctions against Israel and divestment, the assembly revised the report’s recommendations and adopted an amended resolution that both camps applauded as evenhanded. Ron Shive, who chaired the Middle East Study Committee, released a letter to the assembly prior to the vote urging endorsement of the changes that incorporated some of the concerns raised by Jewish groups. “A week ago, it looked as if the Presbyterian Church (USA) was going to enact a version of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict within its own body, so divided were we on all sides,” the letter began. “Today, we still have disagreements on items in the report, on methods we should pursue, on arguments we should make. But today, by God’s grace, we have discovered that together, we may actually be more faithful and effective in seeking peace with justice for both Palestinians and Israelis than separately.” The president of the church’s Auburn Theological Seminary, Katharine Henderson, who was key to facilitating the dialogue on the resolution, said the Presbyterians who favored the Palestinian cause had been unaware of the prominence within the Jewish and Israeli communities of groups that took Palestinian needs into consideration. Conversely, Jewish groups had not internalized the degree to which Presbyterians, and other Christians, are moved by the plight of the diminishing numbers of Palestinian Christians who have been squeezed out because of the conflict. Those sympathies often lead to broader sympathies for the Palestinians. “I think that people came from very polarized places supporting

the narrative that they had been persuaded by, so there was a proPalestinian camp and a pro-Israel camp,” she said. She co-authored the letter Shive sent prior to the vote. The letter anticipated a more healthy dialogue.

Auburn Theological Seminary

Katharine Henderson, the president of the Presbyterian Church USA’s Auburn Theological Seminary, was key to facilitating a compromise resolution on the Middle East at the church’s assembly, July 9, 2010.

“Beyond any expectation, we find ourselves discovering a new model of ministry together, a model committed to seeking, hearing, and responding to the fullness of narratives and commitments with the Palestinian and Israeli peoples, Jews, Christians and Muslims,” it said. The culmination was that in votes last Friday in Minneapolis, the assembly rejected sanctions and divestment as a means of protesting Israel’s Jewish settlements in the West Bank and its blockade of the Gaza Strip, as well as theological critiques of Zionism that Jewish groups said bordered on the anti-Semitic. The assembly resolution that eventually passed recognized both Israeli and Palestinian claims in the conflict. The consensus encompassed the church’s most strident critics of Israeli policy and an array of Jewish groups including organizations that often lean conservative on pro-Israel issues, such as CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. It was critical to maintain that consensus in the coming months, the sides said, in order to keep positions from hardening down the road.

Ethan Felson, the director of domestic concerns for the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the Jewish public policy umbrella organization, credited Henderson for facilitating dialogue rather than confrontation between the two sides. “Many people who are passionate on all sides live in echo chambers,” Felson told JTA on Monday after hosting Henderson on a conference call with JCPA constituent groups. “When you develop genuine relationships with people with contrasting views, oftentimes you recognize that it’s possible for our narratives to overlap rather than conflict.” Felson also attended the assembly. Henderson said the challenge was the devolution of the argument into pro-Israel and proPalestinian camps within the church. At an assembly with the sides setting up competing booths, she and others endeavored to get the sides to communicate. “Over the course of the General Assembly, as people began to listen to each other, they realized the importance of the other narrative and really began to learn why people felt the way they did,” she told JTA. A coalition of 12 national Jewish groups signed a JCPA statement welcoming the rejections of the problematic recommendations on Israel prepared by the church’s Middle East Study Committee. “Rejection of overtures calling for the use of divestment and labeling Israeli policy as apartheid demonstrate a desire for broader understanding in the quest for peace,” the statement said. “The General Assembly has modeled a more inclusive voice on the ArabIsraeli-Palestinian conflict.” There were qualifications: The JCPA statement noted with disappointment that the assembly deferred for further consideration a paper recommending improvements in Presbyterian-Jewish relations that has been long in preparation. The Anti-Defamation League issued a separate statement that was sharper in its disappointment. Though the ADL credited the assembly for actions that “averted a rupture,” it slammed the conference’s recommendation that the U.S. government consider withholding aid as a means of pressuring Israel. What made the outcome extraordinary, participants said, was that the drafters of the report saw its effective rejection as an improvement as well. The assem-

bly endorsed the positive elements of the report—promoting hope, love and reconciliation. But instead of disseminating the report, the assembly tasked the committee with coming up with eight representative, authentic narratives — four Israeli, four Palestinian —for consideration. Shive told the Los Angeles Times that he did not see the changes to the recommendations arising out of the report as weakening the Middle East Study Committee’s argument pressing for greater consideration of the Palestinians. “I don’t think that’s watering down,” he said, referring to language recognizing Israel’s security needs. “I think that’s listening to our Jewish partners and saying, ‘This is something that needs to be in the report.’” Dexter Van Zile, the Christian media analyst for CAMERA, a pro-Israel monitoring group that often sharply hits back at Israel criticism, said it was incumbent on Jewish groups to recognize the depth among Christians of sympathy for the Palestinians. “One of the things I have learned in the past few years is that there really is a genuine concern on the part of the activists; it’s genuine,” said Van Zile, who attended the assembly. “People who ignore that concern and dismiss it aren’t going to get anywhere.” Conversing with proPalestinian activists has the potential of introducing pro-Israel concerns about burgeoning antiSemitism in the Middle East, he noted. “You have to address Israel’s legitimate security concerns, and you have to talk about some of the underlying causes of hostility to Israel.” Henderson pressed the case for follow-up at the local level, perhaps extending to joint JewishPresbyterian projects such as investment in the West Bank economy, and face-to-face encounters between Jews and Palestinians such as those organized by her seminary. Letting the good will engendered by the dialogue at the assembly lapse, she warned, might harden positions two years from now at the next assembly. “It’s incumbent upon those of us who were there, myself included, and all of us in this coalition,” Henderson said, “that we are accountable to each other to continue the work with each other in the church and with our Jewish and Palestinian partners.”

National Briefs Study: Russian areas not ruled by Nazis doing better even now LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Areas of Russia that were not under Nazi rule are faring better economically even today than areas that were occupied, according to a new study. The study by three American academicians shows that the economies in large areas of Russia under Nazi rule 65 years ago lag substantially behind neighboring areas that were spared Nazi occupation and where most of the Jewish middle class survived. In cities and districts where Jews were largely wiped out, not only do residents earn less than in the rest of Russia, but they are politically less reform minded and cling more to old communist loyalties. Professors James Robinson of Harvard, Daron Acemoglu of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Tarek Hassan of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business have opened up a new research field in the area of Holocaust studies. Their conclusions in “Social Structure and Development: A Legacy of the Holocaust in Russia”—a five-year study of the long-range economic impact of the extermination of Jews in some areas occupied by the Nazis during World War II—are based on research by political scientists and economists. Drawing mainly on detailed Russian census data, supplemented by reports of Nazi death squads, the three professors studied the demographics and economies of 48 oblasts, or administrative districts, across Russia, of which 11 in western Russia were overrun by the German army early in the war, with the subsequent extermination of 1 million Soviet Jews. Although making up only a minute fraction of the total population of the prewar Soviet Union, Jews predominated in the productive middle class. In some of the oblasts under German control, Jews made up 1 percent of the population but represented 70 percent of the physicians. Concretely, the study found that in 2002, per capita gross domestic product in the 11 Nazioccupied oblasts lagged 23 percent behind the nationwide GDP.



Campaign to bring thousands more Falash Mura gains steam By Uriel Heilman Jewish Telegraphic Agency NEW YORK (JTA) — After months of fits and starts, advocates for Ethiopian aliyah are hoping that a visit to the African country this week by Israel’s minister of immigrant absorption will help set in motion a process that will bring some 7,500 additional Ethiopians to Israel. So far, the Israeli government has committed to checking only 1,800 of them for aliyah eligibility and bringing those who qualify to Israel. But advocates for Ethiopian aliyah want a total of 8,700 Ethiopians checked for eligibility— all those they say have been waiting in the Ethiopian city of Gondar and are part of a list compiled in 1999 of potential immigrants. These advocates have been pressing their cause with Israeli government officials. “It could either be done by a Cabinet resolution or the Knesset could adopt legislation,” said Joseph Feit, a leading board member at the North American Conference for Ethiopian Jewry, or NACOEJ, the U.S. Jewish group that has been leading the campaign for Ethiopian immigration. “The hope is the government will adopt a resolution and the legislation forcing the issue will not be necessary.” NACOEJ has led a campaign for the 8,700 Ethiopians for about three years and, before them, for tens of thousands of other Ethiopians who have immigrated to Israel since the early 1990s. That’s when Israel began accepting Falash Mura—Ethiopians claiming to be descendants of Jews who converted to Christianity generations ago or claiming to have links to such people, but who now seek to return to Judaism and immigrate to Israel. The Israeli government has declared an official end to mass Ethiopian immigration several times. Each time, however, aliyah from Ethiopia resumed after pressure by advocates convinced a key government official — usually the prime minister — to reopen the gates. After the most recent declared ending of Ethiopian aliyah, in August 2008, it took a few months for the Olmert government to reverse course and agree to check the aliyah eligibility of 3,000 additional Ethiopians. Since then, some 1,200 Ethiopians have been brought to Israel. In May 2009, the Netanyahu government affirmed that once all 3,000 were checked, Ethiopian aliyah would be over. But now advocates say they are close to reversing that decision, too.

Thanks to aggressive lobbying by NACOEJ and its supporters, the number of Israeli officials and lawmakers who support an increase is growing. In recent weeks Natan Sharansky, the chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, which is responsible for immigration to the country, has endorsed NACOEJ’s position, calling for Israel to examine the eligibility of all 8,700 would-be petitioners in Gondar and speedily bring them on aliyah so Israel can end mass Ethiopian immigration. “The aliyah from Ethiopia must be completed,” said the director of the Jewish Agency’s immigration and absorption department, Eli Cohen, who works with Sharansky and accompanied Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver on her trip to Ethiopia this week. “The time has come to complete the mission. The longer we wait, it will not be solved. It will get more complicated.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — who attended a ceremony at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport the last time he was prime minister, in 1998, welcoming what his government said was the last planeload of Ethiopian immigrants — has yet to approve an expansion of the list to 8,700. But in the meantime, the Jewish Agency and NACOEJ have revived an agreement reached more than five years ago but never implemented under which the Jewish Agency would take over NACOEJ’s aid compounds in Gondar and bring all remaining eligible Ethiopians to Israel. The NACOEJ compounds, which provide schooling and some employment and food aid, have been blamed for providing an incentive for Ethiopians of all stripes to congregate in Gondar and claim links to Israel. Under the agreement, NACOEJ would shutter the compounds and cease all operations in Ethiopia once the last of the eligible Ethiopians is brought on aliyah. Now the job is to convince the prime minister, Feit said. “Everybody’s on board,” Feit told JTA. “The 8,700 people in Gondar have been waiting there from two to 10 years. Even if more people come down from the villages, they won’t be allowed to make aliyah. It’s a closed list.” Part of what makes the immigration from Ethiopia so complicated are the special circumstances surrounding the Falash Mura. Unlike the Ethiopian Jews who made aliyah in Operations Moses in 1984 and Operation Solomon in 1991, the Falash Mura, whose ancestors converted to Christianity,

did not maintain Jewish customs and were not identifiably Jewish. Until they left their villages, many practiced Christianity, had crosses tattooed on their foreheads and did not know what being Jewish was. In 1991, then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir decided they were not Jews and kept them off the planes during Operation Solomon. Subsequent Israeli governments reversed that policy, but due to the difficulty of finding evidentiary proof of their Jewish lineage, the Falash Mura were brought to Israel under the Law of Entry, a humanitarian measure aimed at family reunification. Other immigrants come to Israel under the Law of Return, which guarantees the right of Israeli citizenship to anyone with a Jewish grandparent, including Ethiopians. Numerous officials involved in Ethiopian aliyah — from Jewish Agency officials working in Ethiopia to Israeli interior ministers in Jerusalem — have questioned the legitimacy of the 8,700 people, 1,200 of whom are already in Israel. Sounding a common refrain among critics of the Falash Mura aliyah, they have described the aliyah petitioners remaining in Ethiopia as mostly Christian Ethiopians deceptively claiming Jewish links and adopting Jewish observances in a bid to escape Africa’s desperate

poverty for the relative comfort of the Jewish state. Though the Israeli Rabbinate has determined that the Falash Mura have Jewish roots and should be welcomed back to the faith, critics say the Ethiopians left in Gondar are masquerading as Falash Mura. That criticism, and concerns over the cost of absorbing the immigrants, has held up implementation of government decisions to bring Falash Mura to Israel — including the government’s decision to check 3,000 Ethiopians from among the 8,700 in Gondar. Before Landver’s trip this week, which was organized by the Jewish Agency, the minister of immigrant absorption told The Jerusalem Post that she hoped her visit to Ethiopia would help her better understand the issues. “Once I have seen what is going on, then I will be better equipped to sit with the prime minister and discuss what the goal of the Israeli government is regarding this aliyah and what exactly should be done,” Landver told the newspaper. “I have already sat with many organizations that either advocate for or against this aliyah, with kessim [Ethiopian religious leaders] and many more experts. I just want to create my own opinion on this complicated topic.”


International Briefs Polish artist burns barn to remember pogrom (JTA) — A Polish performance artist burned down a barn to commemorate a Nazi pogrom. Rafal Betlejewski’s act in a central Polish village on Sunday night was commemorating the 1941 Jedwabne pogrom in which at least 340 Jews were locked in a barn and burned alive. Betlejewski said the performance was part of his crusade against anti-Semitism. “Poland is a completely different country than it was 80 years ago when there was a big and significant Jewish minority, which participated in Poland’s cultural, social and scientific development,” Reuters quoted Betlejewski as saying before the performance. “These people are gone after the Holocaust and later waves of emigration, and I miss them more and more. This performance is addressed to Poles first and foremost, to those ignorant who know nothing about Jews’ input in Poland’s history.” More than 1,000 people attended the ceremony, according to the French news agency AFP. Polish and Jewish groups criticized his performance, Reuters reported. BRIEFS on page 19




Life sciences become big business in Israel By Dina Kraft Jewish Telegraphic Agency


Participants in the July 2010 Centropa trip admire the ornate decor in a synagogue in Trebic, Czech Republic, where Jews worshiped before the war.

In teaching Holocaust, educators focus on prewar lives, not just camps By Dinah Spritzer Jewish Telegraphic Agency PRAGUE (JTA) — Educators who teach Holocaust history face the same challenge every year: how to get students interested in one of history’s greatest tragedies more than 65 years removed from World War II. In the old days, the formula was straightforward. “You show kids horrifying pictures, scare them, then you traumatize them,” was how Nina Sasportas, a teacher at the Jewish High School in Berlin, put it. The result, she said, was that “many either block out the memory or get Holocaust exhaustion. This is true if the child is Jewish or not.” In recent years, however, some educators have shifted their approach toward teaching individual stories. “You use the family pictures and focus on the family experience before the war, during the war and after the war,” Sasportas said. Among others, this approach is being championed and supported by the Vienna-based nonprofit organization Centropa, which has amassed a collection of more than 22,000 digitized photos and 1,300 oral histories on Jewish life in Europe before World War II and beyond. The material reveals the intimacy of the lives of Jews across Eastern Europe and the Balkans, and how those lives were extinguished. Beyond the technology, the key to the approach is to teach about Jewish lives before World War II, not just their experiences in the con-

centration camps. They went to synagogue, married, played sports and were active in civic associations and government; it’s all documented in photographs and interviews. Centropa’s material, including exhibitions and lesson plans, is available at no cost to teachers. What this provides is “the beautiful life of Jewish communities in Europe through personal stories,” said Lior Sibony, an Israeli teacher from the Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium. “Students appreciate more what was lost and how diverse Jewish life was in Central and Eastern European life.” Earlier this month, Centropa organized a nine-day seminar for educators that focused on how teaching the Holocaust is changing. Seventy-five teachers from 12 countries visited Prague, Budapest and Vienna. They toured Jewish neighborhoods, hobnobbed with government ministers and met luminaries of Jewish institutions, but the program’s core was about how to teach the Holocaust. “Teachers have such little time to brainstorm, and this trip allows us to do it,” Sasportas said in Prague after seeing its historic synagogues for the first time. “Plus, actually being in the places we are teaching about completely enhances our ability to relate to the material.” That was especially true for American teachers such as Nick Holton from Los Angeles, a nonJewish teacher at the Milken Community High School. One reason Holton said he turned to Centropa for help was that he was “intimidated on how, as a non-Jew, I

was going to teach the Holocaust to a roomful of Jewish kids.” Holton visited a former concentration camp for the first time during the trip. He said going to Theresienstadt, outside of Prague, was “a terribly sobering experience that brought home a certain realism and reinforced my passion to teach the subject.” Another high point of the trip for Holton was his first deep interaction with a survivor, Hannah Fischer, whom he sat next to at lunch here. Fischer, a retired child psychologist who fled to England before the Holocaust, studied with Anna Freud and returned to live in Central Europe. “Personalizing the Holocaust through a woman like that will not only change my life, it will change the intensity with which I teach the Holocaust and the way I guide others to teach it,” Holton said. Holton teaches the Holocaust from the viewpoint of both victims and perpetrators. Some students resist the approach at first, Holton said, but eventually they are keen to study those who murdered Jews or stood by as they were sent away. Using Centropa materials, some of Holton’s students make films with computer technology that include the “perpetrator” perspective. Among the most valuable aspects of the Centropa material, teachers said, is that students from around the world can collaborate and share their materials online. “It addresses the fact that different people take in information differently,” Holton said, “and it lets students from around the world interact with each other.”

TEL AVIV (JTA) — Yaron Aizenbud lays out in neat rows a set of patented titanium tools designed for back surgery, picks out a curved drill that matches the curve of a spine and a plastic model of vertebrae, and simulates how the drill is used to stabilize a damaged spine. Aizenbud and the other founders of the small Israeli start-up Scorpion Surgical Technologies hope their medical devices will become a new solution for back operations, particularly for people with osteoporosis, in some cases even eliminating the need for replacing ruptured discs. Scorpion Surgical was among the hundreds of companies displaying their wares in a maze of rooms and bright lights at a recent biotech and life sciences convention in Tel Aviv. Among them were firms with home-grown advances in cell and gene therapy, imaging and heart disease drugs. In its ninth year the conference, ILSI-BioMed, drew some 7,000 people, including international investors and industry leaders. It was the largest such industry gathering outside of the United States, according to conference organizers. Aizenbud, a veteran of Israeli high-tech who has worked for IBM, Amdocs and a host of start-ups, spoke of the special satisfaction in switching gears to the life sciences. “You feel the difference in what you are doing,” he said. “This is about contributing something to the public.” The field of life sciences, an umbrella term that refers to medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, has become big business in Israel. There are more than 1,000 companies, and another 80 join the field every year, according to industry estimates. Last year, life sciences accounted for $6 billion in Israeli exports, mostly to the United States, making it one of Israel’s biggest exports. Israel tops the list of countries in medical device patents per capita and is fourth in the world for biotechnology patents per capita. Observers credit Israel’s success in this extremely competitive market to the nurturing ecosystem the country has produced to foster life sciences innovation. The ecosystem brings together a combination of top research at Israel’s universities that transfers to companies, many of which get their start in state-subsidized “incubators.” In 2000, the government designated life sciences a priority sector. “My impression is there is both a lot of innovation here and a willingness to take high risks here, even in comparison to U.S. biotech,” said Simeon Taylor, vice president of

Cardiovascular and Metabolics Discovery Biology at Bristol-Myers Squibb, a major U.S. pharmaceutical company that had representatives at the ILSI-BioMed conference. Over the years, Israel has built up a strong name internationally with a track record of success stories. Perhaps most well-known is the invention by the company Given Imaging of the PillCam, a capsule containing a camera that a patient can swallow, enabling the physician to see distinct portions of the gastrointestinal track. And there are the potential blockbuster products coming on the market, like the drug to help treat schizophrenia developed by the Jerusalem-based company BioLineRx. The drug, BL-1020, helps reduce patient violence. In June, BioLineRx signed an out-licensing agreement with a major U.S. pharmaceutical company for $335 million. At the conference Kinneret Savitsky, the companys CEO, tried to put her company’s success in a larger, national perspective. “Research is in our blood,” she said. “We think out of the box. It comes out of our way of life here.” The medical device business accounts for more than half of the life sciences industry in Israel. These technologies require less research than biotech and usually can be brought quicker to market —before investors become impatient. The relatively long time it takes to build a success in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology makes the industry a high-risk, high-yield one. Claudio Yarza, the partner in charge of life sciences for PriceWaterhouseCooper’s Israel office, cautioned that although the industry has developed well in the past few years, the risk remains. Even when a deal is made, Yarza said, it’s not clear that the product will make it to market or become a success. “Bio-tech is harder to succeed at than high-tech because the development stage is more complicated,” he said. “Many high-tech companies start with an idea for a product, and it’s already ready for development not awaiting more research. And in bio-tech we think we might have a new solution on our hands, but until trials are completed we cannot say it definitely does.” Debra Lappin, the president of the Council for American Innovation, said the United States needs Israeli know-how and thus should be welcoming to Israeli companies and the advances they bring. “The new nature of innovation relies on partnerships,” she said. “The U.S. is reliant on outsourcing its innovation, so we need to make sure the door is open because otherwise Israel will look elsewhere.”




Mercaz Conservative Hebrew High School Graduation On April 25 Mercaz Conservative Hebrew High School held its graduation ceremony for the Class of 5770/2010. There were 19 students in the class, the largest Senior class in many years. These students came to Mercaz for four to five years and took a variety of classes in everything from Torah and text, to Holocaust, to Theology and more! Mazel Tov to the 19 Mercaz Seniors from Adath Israel Congregation, B’nai Tzedek, Congregation Ohav Shalom and Northern Hills Synagogue on their commitment to continuing their Jewish education!





Senior Deborah Backman enjoys a homemade dinner before graduation with her parents David Backman and Bonita Malit. Later Deborah sang a beautiful song as part of the graduation ceremony.

Rabbi Barnard, Rabbi Wise, Rabbi Slaton and the Senior Seminar teacher Brent Gutmann before the graduation ceremony begins.

Frieda Berger Fraida bat Raizel

Pepa Kaufman Perel Tova bat Sima Sora

Daniel Eliyahu Daniel ben Tikvah

Murray Kirschner Chaim Meir ben Basha

Mel Fisher Moshe ben Hinda

Alan Schwartzberg Avraham Pesach ben Mindel

Edith Kaffeman Yehudit bat B’racha

Ravid Sulam Ravid Chaya bat Ayelet

Roma Kaltman Ruchama bat Perl

Edward Ziv Raphael Eliezer Aharon ben Esther Enya



Several generations of the Slovin Family celebrates Matt’s graduation from Mercaz.


Justin Rau leads his classmates in the Graduates Prayer.

The Class of 5770/2010: Top Row: Rabbi George Barnard, Benjamin Lee, Matt Slovin, Jason Diamond, Harry Meisner, Max Swartz. 2nd from Top: Rabbi Irvin Wise, Michael Stewart, Isaac Guttman, David Kriner, Andrew Greenfield, Zachary Zakem, Justin Rau, Rabbi Eric Slaton. 3rd from top: Samantha Bergman, Deborah Backman, Ellie Hoffman, Sophia Yasgur, Brent Gutmann (Senior Class teacher). Bottom Row: Elana Pentelnik, Emily Fisher, Emily Cohen, Nina Schneider




Graduates Harry Meisner, Sophia Yasgur and Zach Zakem enjoy the reception in their honor after the ceremony.

Emily Cohen shares with the guests what the senior project was. The seniors chose to make several meals to be donated to those in need.

Jordan Lenchitz, an 8th grade Mercaz student, entertained the guests with his piano playing abilities before the ceremony, including playing many original pieces that he has composed himself.

Ellie Hoffman performed a song for the graduates and guests that she wrote specifically for graduation entitled “On My Way (Dreams).” The song begins… Life’s a journey and soon I’ll have to leave home. I’m in no hurry, but somedays I can’t wait to go. I won’t forget the place I come from…

Graduates, classmates, family and friends have dinner before the graduation.

Parents of the class of 2010 recite the Parents Prayer

During the reception after the ceremony there was an exhibition of students’ work from the year; this is a picture from an album from the “A Candle in the Dark: Holocaust through Art” course. It was drawn by Dani Reichman and was her artistic interpretation of a poem that was written by a child in the holocaust.

Jason Diamond and Matt Slovin deliver the Senior Superlatives.




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Greetings from Johnny Chan 2! Having just celebrated its 12th anniversary, this popular restaurant located in the upscale shops of Harper’s Point combines cuisine from all parts of China. Cantonese, Szechuan, Mandarin and Hunan cooking choices are items featured on the menu. Principles of healthy cooking such as low cholesterol oil for stir frying, fresh steamed vegetables, and pick of the season herbs and spices are used in the preparations, allowing diners to taste the many flavors available and unique to Chinese cookery. Owner and chef extraordinaire, Frank Shi, with the help of his family members, has been at the helm for 12 years. Today the classy suburb surrounding him is bursting with shops and businesses, yet Shi remembers when his restaurant was in the middle of land in need of development. But some things never change, and the fine Chinese food that Shi started with—which won the Cincinnati Magazine 1998 top spot for Chinese cuisine—has remained. If the old saying that the early bird catches the worm is accurate, Johnny Chan 2 is a great example. The dining spot’s staying power is testimony to hard work, culinary finesse and Shi’s knack for uncovering and landing in the right location to produce a quality ethnic restaurant in the heart of up-and-coming suburbia. Ask the children from the surrounding area what their favorite Chinese restaurant is and I’d wager many would say Johnny Chan 2. When asked how he felt about his restaurant passing the 12 year mark, no small accomplishment in a decade marked by economic despair, Shi simply answered, “I am happy with it.” As I walked inside the bright, spacious dining spot in the middle of the afternoon, I saw the eatery was still bustling with diners—women meeting friends for lunch, mothers and daughters momentarily taking a time out from shopping or car pooling to enjoy a meal, and business people from the surrounding area eager to partake of the 16-item weekday lunch buffet at the great price of $6.25. Inside Johnny Chan 2, the décor is casual and comfortable; large picture windows give an additional sense of openness. The tables are spread apart allowing an easy flow of movement for servers and customers. An aquarium filled with dazzling colored fish zigzagging into royal purple water towers stands prominently in the entrance. A framed chart of sushi descriptions with pictures hangs on the foyer wall. Yes, happy is an apt description of Johnny Chan 2. Chinese food with an East

Emily and Sammy Shi are pleased to welcome diners to this family owned restaurant.

Frank Shi, owner and master chef, is proud of his flourishing restaurant which just celebrated its 12 year anniversary.

Spacious dining located in Harper's Point makes a convenient dinner or lunch spot.

Coast Flair—Boston Style—is written on the inside of the menu. Although Shi’s particular specialty is Cantonese style, described as “sweet and sour, smooth, flavored by garlic and ginger, and light,” there are also Mandarin, Hunan and Szechuan recipes, as well as a separate sushi menu. I googled East Coast flair Chinese food and found a blog connecting this concept with the once popular and now defunct Seinfeld television series. East Coast flair appears to offer a

more exotic type of food and lighter cooking as evidenced by the characters on Seinfeld ordering interesting preparations other than the traditional Midwest lo mein, won ton soup, fried rice or chop suey. Given the Boston emphasis, I assumed a large variety of seafood was available and the sushi menu confirmed this. Shi is also the sushi chef. Sixteen fish choices were listed, sold by the piece—tilapia, three types of salmon, three kinds of tuna

and smelts, at $2.50 apiece, were listed. There were also sushi rolls as well as seaweed salad and edamame. I do not claim to be a sushi connoisseur but with 24 options on the sushi menu, I bet such an expert would be satisfied and pleased with the choices. I asked Shi for his entrée recommendations. He quickly answered, “Yu Hsiang Eggplant.” This dish, featuring deep fried fresh eggplant stir-fried with black mushrooms, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, carrots and pea pods in a spicy brown sauce for $8.95, is a popular choice for vegetarians as well as a favorite for the growing population who want to reduce their meat consumption. Under house specialties, mango chicken caught my eye; sliced chicken with fresh shredded mango cooked with green and red peppers in a spicy sweet and sour sauce for $9.95. Johnny Chan 2’s menu is full of intriguing possibilities. Moo shu dishes, a unique Mandarin style entrée containing cabbage, mushrooms, woodears, bamboo shoots, scallions and scrambled eggs can also be ordered with a choice of meat. Served with four steamed pancakes, it is the Chinese version of a burrito, for $9.95. For the more daring eaters among us, the Banquet Menu, with eight food items, ordered two days ahead, promises to be an adventure into ethnic eating. Starting with chicken and wintermelon soup, followed by a fresh fish, served along side a golden mushroom creation, plus 5 other dishes, one could enjoy a party with friends and family without the clean up. The banquet serves 10 people, for $198. There is also a Party-Trays-ToGo section on the menu. Platters of beef and chicken teriyaki, vegetable egg rolls, and entrees that serve eight of low mein, fried rice and chicken cashew, can be ordered and picked up the same day, providing a delightful option for a spontaneous home dinner party. Yes, Frank Shi has built a fine restaurant in the northern suburb of Cincinnati. Comfortable, with a bright interior, plenty of parking and a menu that offers a wide variety of Asian cuisine are ingredients that have flamed his success. I suggest you stop in for the lunch buffet, the chicken with pine nuts is delicious, and the scallion pancake provides a crispy light alternative to fried won tons. Or plan a celebration. Take the family and guests there for a weekend Banquet-style dinner. An exploration in Asian eating awaits you at Johnny Chan 2. Johnny Chan 2 11296 Montgomery Road Cincinnati, Ohio 45249 (513) 489-2388




DINING OUT Andy’s Mediterranean Grille At Gilbert & Nassau 2 blocks North of Eden Park 281-9791

K.T.’s Barbecue & Deli 8501 Reading Rd Reading 761-0200

Slatt’s Pub 4858 Cooper Rd Blue Ash 791-2223 • 791-1381 (fax)

Apsara 4785 Lake Forest Dr Blue Ash 554-1040

Kanak India Restaurant 10040B Montgomery Rd Montgomery 793-6800

Stone Creek Dining Co. 9386 Montgomery Rd Montgomery 489-1444

Bangkok Terrace 4858 Hunt Rd Blue Ash 891-8900 • 834-8012 (fx)

Local 127 127 W. 4th St Cincinnati 721-1345

Sugar n’ Spice 4381 Reading Rd Cincinnati 242-3521

Bella Luna Cafe 4632 Eastern Ave Cincinnati 871-5862

Marx Hot Bagels 9701 Kenwood Rd Blue Ash 891-5542

Sukhothai Thai Cuisine 8102 Market Place Ln Cincinnati 794-0057

Carlo & Johnny 9769 Montgomery Rd Cincinnati 936-8600

MEI Japanese Restaurant 8608 Market Place Ln Montgomery 891-6880

Tandoor 8702 Market Place Ln Montgomery 793-7484

Embers 8120 Montgomery Rd Montgomery 984-8090

Mecklenburg Gardens 302 E. University Ave Clifton 221-5353

the Palace 601 Vine St Downtown Cincinnati (in the Cincinnatian Hotel) 381-3000

Ferrari’s Little Italy & Bakery 7677 Goff Terrace Madeira 272-2220

Noce’s Pizzeria 9797 Montgomery Rd Cincinnati 791-0900

Gabby’s Cafe 515 Wyoming Ave Wyoming 821-6040

Oriental Wok 2444 Madison Rd Hyde Park 871-6888

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

Parkers Blue Ash Grill 4200 Cooper Rd Blue Ash 891-8300

Johnny Chan 2 11296 Montgomery Rd The Shops at Harper’s Point 489-2388 • 489-3616 (fx)

Pomodori’s 121West McMillan 861-0080 7880 Remington Rd Montgomery 794-0080




ORDER OUR HOMEMADE CHOPPED LIVER (MADE WITH REAL SHMALTZ) All orders are to be made 2 days in advance of pickup

Through The Garden 10738 Kenwood Rd Cincinnati 791-2199 Trio 7565 Kenwood Rd Kenwood 984-1905



VIEW Restaurant 2200 Victory Pkwy Cincinnati 751-8439 Walt’s Hitching Post 3300 Madison Pike Covington (859) 331-0494

Enjoy Our al Fresco Patio Dining • Private Dining Rooms Full-service Dining • Carry-out • On-premise Italian Bakery

KIDS EAT FREE on Sundays 1/2 PRICE WINE on Tuesdays and Wednesdays $5 MARTINIS on Sundays and Mondays Lunch: Mon - Fri 11:30–2:30 Dinner: Mon - Thu 5–10 • Fri & Sat 5–11 • Sun 4–9

7677 Goff Terrace • Madeira, OH 45243 513-272-2220 •



Coercion in the name of Liberty (RAS) — In an essay for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Reform Rabbi David Ellenson issued a challenge to the Orthodox Union’s Nathan Diament, who, in an earlier such essay of his own, criticized a Jewish philanthropist’s call for all Jewish organizations to adopt policies eschewing discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation. Mr. Diament made the straightforward point that asking Orthodox groups to take a position contradictory to the Torah’s teachings and codified halacha – and implying, as the philanthropist did, that their refusal to do so renders them unworthy of Jewish communal funds – encroaches on Orthodox Jews’ religious liberty. Rabbi Ellenson doubts Mr. Diament’s sincerity in invoking that principle and challenges him to prove his commitment to religious liberty by supporting legislation that would permit those “whose religious beliefs mandate us to perform same-sex religious weddings sanctioned by the government to exercise our own religious conscience.” The challenge is eloquent and p a s s i o n a t e . U n f o r t u n a t e l y, though, it is based on an erroneous notion of religious liberty. A Reform or Conservative rabbi can opt to convert a nonJew in a non-halachic manner, or to join in matrimony two men or two women, without fear of interference from Orthodox Jews or others. Orthodox Jews have their own religious right, of course, to consider a conversion invalid or a couple unmarried (and to freely say so), but no one interferes with the choices of the other. That is religious liberty. Rabbi Ellenson, however, takes things a good deal farther, asserting that the religious rights of non-Orthodox Jewish clergy are violated because they are “proscribed from performing [same-sex] religious unions with state sanction.” Note well those last three words; they broadcast his error. The right to practice one’s religion is one thing; insisting that the government sanction one’s particular religious beliefs, quite another. No one is suggesting interference with any American clergyperson’s religious endorsement of whatever unions he or she sees fit to consecrate – two

men, a threesome or whatever else may lie down society’s “progressive” road. If such become newly discovered religious mandates – as performing same-sex marriages has apparently become for Rabbi Ellenson – well, as they say, it’s a free country. Americans’ definition of marriage for secular legal purposes, however, is expressed through the body politic’s collective will. The resultant definition may seem constraining or disconcerting to some, and, for their own religious purposes, they are welcome to a more expansive take. But marriage in the eyes of secular law – constitutionally removed from the dictates of any individual faith – need not honor any religious group’s particular choice of definition. Take an example far removed from marriage: A religious Hindu who venerates cows has every right to protect the animals in his possession from all harm. But he cannot compel the government to include bovine-slaughter in the definition of murder. And were he to suggest that a fellow citizen’s commitment to religious freedom requires him to support a Redefinition of Murder Act, most of us (even most Reform rabbis, I suspect) would politely disagree. Which is precisely what Orthodox groups like Agudath Israel and the Orthodox Union do with regard to contemporary efforts to redefine marriage. Orthodox opposition to changing the legal meaning of matrimony in order to suit the Zeitgeist is not intended to, and does not, limit anyone’s religious rights. It is, moreover, a principled and deeply Jewish stance, based firmly on Judaism’s teachings since Sinai. And so, asking an Orthodox Jew to join an effort to redefine marriage in a way that offends his beliefs, and that places the state’s imprimatur on whatever union a nontraditional clergyman may decide his religious beliefs mandate, is unfair. Seeking, similarly, to compel Jews who cherish Jewish teachings to do things like hire teachers – role models no less than information-imparters – who openly flout the Jewish religious tradition is, simply put, an attempt at religious coercion. And that is so whether the attempt takes the form of threatening to withhold funds from Orthodox institutions, or the guise of an erroneous conception of “religious liberty.”

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

Dear Editor, I read with alarm a letter appearing in the July 15 “Letter to the Editor” column. The obviously deeply disturbed writer’s comments regarding the firing of Mel Gibson and tying

that action to the present Administration, if nothing else was quite novel! The writer’s digestive residue rant was filled with childish hate, inane accusations and shameful comparisons! Mr. Editor, using the First

Amendment of the nation’s Constitution to justify allowing whatever to appear in your publication is not editing. Gerald Schwartz Amberley Village

C O R R E C T I O N: The article that appeared on page 3 of last week’s issue Cincinnati Community Kollel’s Hachnasas Sefer Torah ceremony by Yosef Zoiman was submitted by Gene Mesh on behalf of Cincinnati Community Kollel. Credit should be given to

Hamodia Newspaper as well as writer Yosef Zoiman. We regret the mistake and apologize for any misrepresentation that this may have caused. Sincerely, Netanel (Ted) Deutsch, Publisher

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T EST Y OUR T ORAH KNOWLEDGE THIS WEEK’S PORTION: VAETHCHON (DEVARIM 3:23—7:11) 1. Will the Jews worship idols in exile? a.) Yes b.) No 2. What did Hashem “show” the Children of Israel? a.) Manna b.) Splitting of the Red Sea c.) Hashem is the only power

c.) Type of idol worship 4. Where were the “houses full of good”? a.) Egypt b.) Canaan c.) Babylon 5. What is the significance of Mount Hermon? a.) Northern edge that the Children of Israel conquered, east of the Jordan River b.) City of Refuge c.) Capital city of Og's kingdom

3. Who were the Jebusites? a.) Lived in Egypt b.) One of 7 nations of Canaan Mount Sinai that he is the only power in the universe. Rashi 3. B 7:1 4. B 6:10,11 5. A 4:48

By Rabbi Avi Shafran Contributing Columnist


ANSWERS 1. A 4:28 Literally the verse says that the Children of Israel would worship idols. However, Rashi explains that we would serve nations who worship idols. 2. C 4:35 Hashem revealed himself to all of the Children of Israel at


Written by Rabbi Dov Aaron Wise




Sedra of the Week by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin


This week’s biblical portion opens with a poignant entreaty by Moses: “Please may I be allowed to pass through and see the good land which is beyond the Jordan...” The Midrash pictures Moses going so far as to beseech entry even as an insect, just to be able to see, touch and traverse the good and holy land which is our legacy and patrimony. But the Bible records Moses continuing: “But the Lord was angry with me because of you and would not hearken to me...” (Deuteronomy 3:26). Why does Moses blame the Israelites, saying “because of you?” Wasn’t Moses barred from entering Israel because he struck the rock rather than speaking to it? (Numbers 20:12). I believe that a deeper understanding of Moses’ character and personality will help us to explain precisely what he meant when he claimed it was because of the Israelites that he was prevented from entering the Land. From the very beginning, Moses was reluctant to accept his leadership position. His argument is stated very clearly: “I beg of You, my Lord, I am not a man of words, not from yesterday, not from the day before, but from the time when You first spoke to Your servant; heavy of speech and heavy of tongue am I” (Exodus 4:10). Contrary to conventional wisdom, Moses is not saying that he stammers; after all, God immediately counters: “Who gives a person a mouth with which to speak... if not I, who am the Lord? Now go and I shall deal with your mouth and I will teach you how to speak” (ibid 4:11). Yet Moses, nevertheless, continues to repeat the same argument (see for example, 6:30), even after God promised to cure his stutter. What is Moses really saying? The Biblical text itself states that “[the Israelites] did not listen to Moses because of impatience and hard work” (Exodus 6:9) – usually taken to mean that the impatience and back-breaking work of an enslaved and downtrodden people made it difficult if not impossible for them to believe that their situation could ever change. But the medieval commentator Ralbag (Gershonides) has a radical interpretation of this biblical passage; He interprets it to

mean that it is because Moses’ impatience with the masses and because of Moses’ hard spiritual work to elevate himself intellectually and religiously, that Moses would not be capable of convincing the people to follow God. After all, Moses already had difficult experiences with the Hebrews. After he had killed the Egyptian taskmaster who was beating a Hebrew slave, he found the Hebrews squabbling among themselves and grossly ungrateful for his selfless deed: “Who made you a minister and judge over us? Do you wish to slay me just as you slew the Egyptian?” (Exodus 2:14). As a result, Moses left Egyptian society and escaped to the desert of Midian, where – in the isolation which only a shepherd in a wasteland can experience – he joined himself to a famous seeker of God named Jethro, preferring the eternal “fellowship” of God to the fickle moods of a fractious people. Therefore when Moses called himself “heavy of speech,” he wasn’t referring to a speech defect; he was rather referring to his personality. He understood that transforming the Hebrews from embittered and small-minded slaves into an inspired nation committed to becoming a holy people and a kingdom of priestteachers would require nurturing small talk; he would have to become more of a Rebbe than a Rav listening to paltry concerns and petty complaints until – step by step – his sheep would become elevated into a “God enthused” nation. “This is not for me,” the Midianite seeker of God is telling the almighty. “I am a man of heavy speech, not of small talk; I cannot be expected to be concerned with the questions and the problems of the individual Israelites. Is it not too much to expect that the one who speaks to the God of the cosmos, whose intellect has been developed to such an extent that it divines God’s Active Intellect to enable the Torah of Moses to be the Torah of God, to also at the same time deal with the self-centered resentments and rebellions of a nationin-progress. I don’t have the patience for it; I’m working too hard spiritually and climbing too high to be brought down to earth by small-minded people.” God nevertheless insists, and Moses attempts to acquiesce.

Moses listens to the kvetching, he suffers the rebellions and revolutions, but eventually, when he realizes that he hasn’t brought his people to God, and he hasn’t elevated them to the highest values, he loses patience. He calls them “rebels” and wishes to strike this stiff-necked nation! He loses the ability to speak to them, to teach them, to nurture and guide them. As a consequence, he cannot continue to lead them and bring them into the Promised Land. “But it’s not my fault,” says Moses. “I explained from the beginning that one who truly speaks to God would not be able to speak to puny, petty and puerile people. It was ‘because of you,’ the people of Israel, your inability to learn and grow quickly enough, that I lost my patience and love for you, resulting in my having to relinquish my dream...” Story postscript: The story is told that the founder of the hassidic movement, Reb Yisrael Ba’al Shem Tov, would always pray the Additional Amida on the Sabbath morning for an inordinately long time, almost a full hour. The hungry hassidim became impatient for Kiddush, so the gabbai (sexton) came up with a great idea: After the people had concluded their own prayer, they could quietly leave, go home, and make Kiddush, returning before their revered rebbe ended his prayer. That Sabbath, however, as soon as the people quietly walked out of synagogue, the rebbe took three steps backward, signaling the end of his prayer as well. The bewildered congregants all ran back into the synagogue wondering why the rebbe had completed his prayer so quickly. The Ba’al Shem Tov explained: “Every Sabbath, I rise to great spiritual heights, especially during the Additional Prayer, I feel that I am climbing a ladder to the supernal heavens before the heavenly throne of God. But the rungs of the ladder are the souls of my hassidim; without them, I cannot climb. This Sabbath morning, after 10 minutes I felt the ladder crash to the ground. I had no choice; I had to conclude my prayer...” 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


6442 Stover Ave • 531-6654 •

Over 125 years in Cincinnati and 10 years at Cornell. Egalitarian • 8100 Cornell Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45249 (513) 489-3399 •

3100 LONGMEADOW LANE • CINCINNATI, OH 45236 791-1330 • Miriam Terlinchamp, Rabbi Marcy Ziek, President Gerry H. Walter, Rabbi Emeritus July 23 6:00 pm Shabbat Nosh 6:30 pm Shabbat Evening Service Intergenerational Shabbat

July 30 6:30 pm Shabbat Evening Service Picnic to follow Service

July 24 10:30 am Shabbat Morning Service

July 31 10:30 am Shabbat Morning Service



Jewz in the Newz By Nate Bloom Contributing Columnist RONSON TWEETS-DOWN RIVERS Lindsay Lohan’s legal troubles have been all over the news and it’s mostly a sad story of a talented young woman tossing away her career via substance abuse. One somewhat amusing sidelight came when Lohan’s ex-girlfriend, DJ SAMANTHA RONSON, 32, responded to JOAN RIVERS’ vitriolic Twitter “tweets” about Lohan with a “tweet” that was so cutting that I think even Rivers probably laughed. On July 9, Rivers tweeted, “Lindsay Lohan is so dumb—her idea of being sworn-in is cursing at the judge.” Ronson responded: “Hey Joan Rivers. You have collagen older than Lindsay, pick on someone your own age, oh wait I guess people that old can’t hear.” (Rivers is 77.) THIS SPORTING LIFE On June 3, the Minnesota Twins called-up third baseman DANNY VALENCIA to sub-in for another player who was on emergency leave. He’s played so well that the Twins have kept him on the roster. Valencia, 25, is the son of a non-Jewish father and a Jewish mother. He was raised Jewish and had a bar mitzvah. Los Angeles Lakers back-up point guard JORDAN FARMAR, 23, signed a three-year, $12 million contract with the New Jersey Nets on July 11. Farmar, who was raised Jewish, is the son of a nonJewish African-American father and a white Jewish mother. Farmar and Sacramento Kings player OMRI CASSPI are the two Jews in the NBA. ON THE BEAST WITHIN As I write this, four audio tapes of Mel Gibson’s rants while on the phone with his ex-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva, have been released. He talked to her in the most vile and sexist language imaginable. He threatened her and seemed to admit that he had struck her. He used racist language, including the “N” word and “wetbacks.” On all these tapes, he plays the victim—the victim of some unspecified wrong that Oksana, the mother of his 8month-old daughter, has done to “poor Mel.” Most coverage of Gibson was and remains fairly superficial. But for those who had the intellect and interest to follow Gibson closely since the run-up to the release of “The Passion of the Christ” (2003)—Gibson’s latest

behavior isn’t that surprising. Leading Jewish and Christian biblical scholars politely told Gibson that his “Passion” script was not in accord with most modern interpretations of the Gospels and would foster anti-Semitism. He cynically used this criticism to cast himself and his movie as the victim of some “vast evil conspiracy.” Mel’s true colors came out when, in an unguarded moment, he said of FRANK RICH, a NY Times columnist who had criticized “The Passion,”: “I want to kill him…I want his intestines on a stick… I want to kill his dog.” His “victim game” served him well during “The Passion” controversy: most of the cultural/political right-wing backed Mel as the defender of “traditional values.” Most of that support driedup after a Jewish police officer stopped Gibson for drunk driving in 2006 and Mel launched into an anti-Semitic tirade. But even in 2006 old friends from showbiz, who had known “the nice” Mel, defended him—calling his tirade a drunken aberration. Now he is mostly unmasked and these same celebs ask, “How can this be the Mel we know?” That’s almost the same question that spouses of abusers ask: “How can this ‘beast’ be the person I married?” Well, most wife-beaters don’t look like cavemen. Most racists and anti-Semites are not illiterate “white trash” who cannot hold their tongue in front of a Jew or a black person. As times have changed, those who harbor hate have learned to be more “politic.” Alcohol abuse, and maybe mental illness, factor into why Gibson got caught saying vile things. But you cannot blame alcohol or mental illness for his hateful beliefs—they are at his core. He was schooled in hate of Jews and others by his Holocaustdenying father and like most haters, he sees himself as a victim of those he hates. We live in a “new world” where racists, misogynists, and anti-Semites first deny being bigots before they launch into their clever attacks, filled with lies, half-truths, and code terms (i.e., ‘Zionists’ instead of Jews). Sadly, today, if haters aren’t wearing a Nazi armband—they’re rarely called to task for their hate or it is rationalized away. Most people just don’t want to admit that hate has mutated in form and rhetoric, but is still alive and well. Just like most people long couldn’t believe that Gibson, who came off as charming and worked with Jews, blacks, and women, could harbor such a malignant heart.


FROM THE PAGES 100 Years Ago Mrs. I. A. Weil, 820 Hutchins avenue, after a ten days’ sojourn at French Lick Springs, returned to her sister’s at Mt. Vernon, Ind., where she and her sons, Gordon and Burt, will spend a few weeks before returning home. Louis Kuhn, aged 54 years, VicePresident of the Fifth-Third National Bank, died Sunday morning, July 17, at his home on Washington avenue, Avondale. Mr. Kuhn came from one of the oldest Jewish families in Cincinnati. The bank of his father, S.

Kuhn & Sons, was one of the few successful private banks in the city until last fall, when it merged with FifthThird National Bank, Mr. Kuhn becoming vice president of the latter bank. Mr. Kuhn was a widower, his late wife (who was a daughter of Mrs. Albert Levy, and a sister of Mr. H) having died a few years ago. Mr. Kuhn’s only child, Alice, was with him when he passed away, as were Ms. Max Senior, a sister, and Simon, Charles, Robert, and Clarence Kuhn, his broth-

ers. Mrs. Morris Loeb, the only other sister, is travelling in the West on her way home from a trip to Alaska. The only brother not at the bedside was Edward Kuhn, who lives in New York, and is now on a trip to Europe. The funeral services were held on Tuesday afternoon in the chapel of the Walnut Hills Cemetery, Dr. Louis Grossman came from Omena, Mich., where he had been spending his vacation to officiate. Mr. F.B. Maertz had charge of the arrangements.— July 21, 1910

75 Years Ago Mrs. Minnie Freiberg Ransohoff, widow of Dr. Joseph Ransohoff, world famous surgeon and teacher of surgery, died Saturday morning, July 20th, at her home, 2929 Vernon Place, in her 79th year. Born in Cincinnati, the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Julius Freiberg, Mrs. Ransohoff is survived by one brother, Maurice J. Freiberg; three sisters, Mrs. Jonas B. Frenkel, Mrs. E.L. Heinsheimer, and Mrs. Albert Freiberg; two sons, Dr. J. Louis Ransohoff, who has followed in his father’s footsteps, and

Nathan Ransohoff; and three daughters, Mrs. Edward Kuhn, Mrs. Samuel Iglauer and Mrs. Leo Westheimer. A group of very young people from Cincinnati are enjoying life on a ranch in Montana this summer. Among them are Masters Jackie Roth, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Roth, Bobby Kuhn, son of Mr. And Mrs. Robert Kuhn, Billy Magnus, son of Mr. and Mrs. Julian Magnus, and Tommy Guggenheim, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Guggenheim. Mrs. Samuel Kosman, of New

York, who has been visiting Mr. and Mrs.J.J. Bunis, of Chalfonte Place, has returned East, and has taken with her Master Alvin Bunis, to spend the rest of the summer with her in Connecticut. Mr. and Mrs. Bunis will drive East soon to spend two weeks with their son and Mrs. Kosman in Connecticut, and one week in New York City. During the last week’s stay of Mrs. Kosman, she was entertained with a luncheon at the Gibson Roof Garden by Mrs. Edward Youngerman and Mrs. Jack Itkoff. — July 25, 1935

50 Years Ago Mrs. Elka Gendel, of Houston, announces the engagement of her daughter, Patsy, to Mr. Edward Wertheimer III, son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Wertheimer, Jr., of Amberley Village. Miss Gendel is a junior at the University of Houston. Mr. Wertheimer attended Miami University and the University of Cincinnati. He is Vice President of L. & E. Wertheimer, Inc., brokers and distillers. A fall wedding is planned. Mrs. Desiree Marks Harris,

390 West End Avenue, New York City, passed away Friday, July 15, at the age of 71. She was the mother of Mrs. Phillip Steiner of Cincinnati. Mrs. Harris was widely known in Washington society in her youth, where she was a friend of Miss Alice Roosevelt (Mrs. Nicholas Longworth) and the Countess Cassini. She was the widow of Harry Harris, broker, theater manager, and in 1901-1902, world bantam-weight boxing champion.

She is survived by her daughter, Mrs. Phillip Steiner, and two grandchildren, Phillip and Richard, all of Cincinnati. William Frankfort, South Bend, Ind., and formerly of Chicago, passed away Wednesday, July 13. He is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Josephine Deutsch of Cincinnati and Mrs. Ailene Winer of Louisville; his mother, Mrs. Jennie Frankfort of Chicago; two sisters, Mrs. Ruth Appel and Mrs. Shirley Solomon, of Chicago; and four grandchildren.—July 21, 1960

25 Years Ago Harry C. Segal, for 55 years editor and publisher of The American Israelite, the oldest English-Jewish weekly newspaper in America, passed away July 18 at Glenn Manor Home for the Jewish Aged. He was 84. Mr. Segal joined The American Israelite in 1928 as managing editor and became editor and publisher in 1930 when he purchased the paper from Rabbi Jonah B. Wise of New York City and Mrs. Adolph Ochs, also of New York City, wife of the publisher of The New York Times (Rabbi Wise

and Mrs. Ochs were a son and daughter of Rabbi Isaac M. Wise, who founded the paper in 1854). Mrs. Edith Neusner was elected president of Northern Hills Synagogue. Also elected were: vice presidents Jerrold Ketover, Mrs. Sue Levine, Martin Ackerman; treasurer E. Mark Karlsberg; financial secretary, Mrs. Thea Heimlich; recording secretary , Mrs. Raye Brass; corresponding secretary Mrs. Ellen Schaeffer; cemetery warden, Fred Zorndof. Trustees: Mrs, Joan Feldman, Mrs. Diana Fenichel, Dr. Robert

Freidenberg, Alex Gellen, Mrs. Rose Gottesman, Richard Heimlich, Arnold Horowitz, Joe Lazear, Karrol Miller, Mrs. Lois Pornoy, Mrs. Risa Prince, Mrs. Nancy Zorndorf, Mrs. Diane Belinky, Mrs. Debbie Bialic, Mrs. Nancy Goldstein, Deneal Gottesman, Dr. Steven Hecht, Donald Hordes, Mrs. Sandra Richards, Dr. Eli Roth. Membership chairmen are Steve and Cheryl Hecht: youth programs, Mrs. Carol Appel, adult education, Bob and Emmy Friedenberg; ritual chairman, Dr. Harvey Singer.— July 18, 1985

10 Years Ago Congregation Beth Adam, the Tri-State’s only Jewish congregation practicing “Judaism with a Humanistic perspective,” has unveiled plans for its new 12,000 square-foot synagogue. Construction will begin with a groundbreaking ceremony on Sunday, July 30. “With nearly 300 members, Congregation Beth Adam has reached a place where having our

own building is a necessity.” Outgoing board president Henry W. Schneider said good-bye, incoming president Barry Morris outlined his vision of the future, executive director Joel Kaplan highlighted the past year’s achievements, and guest speaker Jane Goldstein offered some helpful suggestions at the annual meeting of Jewish Family Service on July11. At the agency’s Blue Ash

offices, Schneider handed over the presidency to Morris, vice president for human resources at Chiquita International, who called upon the board and staff to “let go of the past and look to the future.” This past year has seen JFS, with some dissension and controversy, re-evaluating its relationship to the Jewish Federation and the Jewish Community Center, Morris said.— July 20, 2000



COMMUNITY DIRECTORY COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS Big Brothers/Big Sisters Assoc. (513) 761-3200 • Beth Tevilah Mikveh Society (513) 821-6679 Camp Ashreinu (513) 702-1513 Camp at the J (513) 722-7226 • Camp Livingston (513) 793-5554 • Cedar Village (513) 336-3183 • Chevra Kadisha (513) 396-6426 Halom House (513) 791-2912 • Hillel Jewish Student Center (513) 221-6728 • Jewish Community Center (513) 761-7500 • Jewish Community Relations Council (513) 985-1501 Jewish Family Service (513) 469-1188 • Jewish Federation of Cincinnati (513) 985-1500 • Jewish Foundation (513) 792-2715 Jewish Information Network (513) 985-1514 Jewish Vocational Service (513) 985-0515 • Kesher (513) 766-3348 Plum Street Temple Historic Preservation Fund (513) 793-2556 The Center for Holocaust & Humanity Education (513) 487-3055 • Vaad Hoier (513) 731-4671 Workum Summer Intern Program (513) 683-6670 • CONGREGATIONS Adath Israel Congregation (513) 793-1800 • Beit Chaverim (513) 335-5812 Beth Israel Congregation (513) 868-2049 • Congregation Beth Adam (513) 985-0400 • Congregation B’nai Tikvah (513) 759-5356 •

Congregation B’nai Tzedek (513) 984-3393 • Congregation Ohav Shalom (513) 489-3399 • Golf Manor Synagogue (513) 531-6654 • Isaac M. Wise Temple (513) 793-2556 • Kehilas B’nai Israel (513) 761-0769 Northern Hills Synagogue (513) 931-6038 • Rockdale Temple (513) 891-9900 • Temple Beth Shalom (513) 422-8313 • Temple Sholom (513) 791-1330 • The Valley Temple (513) 761-3555 •


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EDUCATION Chabad Blue Ash (513) 793-5200 • HUC-JIR (513) 221-1875 • JCC Early Childhood School (513) 793-2122 • Mercaz High School (513) 792-5082 x104 • Reform Jewish High School (513) 469-6406 • Regional Institute Torah & Secular Studies (513) 631-0083 Rockwern Academy (513) 984-3770 • ORGANIZATIONS American Jewish Committee (513) 621-4020 • American Friends of Magen David Adom (513) 521-1197 • B’nai B’rith (513) 984-1999 Hadassah (513) 821-6157 • Jewish National Fund (513) 794-1300 • NA’AMAT (513) 984-3805 • National Council of Jewish Women (513) 891-9583 • State of Israel Bonds (513) 793-4440 • Women’s American ORT (513) 985-1512 •

LEGAL NOTICES If you are an attorney and are required to publish a legal notice in a recognized publication, please consider The American Israelite. To publish your legal notice, send an e-mail with “Legal Notice” in the subject line to

BRIEFS from page 9 U.S. Holocaust Museum praises genocide charges (JTA) — The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum praised the International Criminal Court for including genocide charges against Sudan’s president. The ICC on Monday issued a new arrest warrant, including three counts of genocide, against Omar Al Bashir. The museum issued a statement Tuesday calling the ICC’s decision “an important step towards holding leaders accountable for such egregious crimes.” This is the first time the court has accused a sitting head of state of genocide. An arrest warrant for Bashir issued in March 2009 included five counts of crimes against humanity and two counts of war crimes, but the ICC’s pre-trial chamber rejected the application to include charges of genocide. The appeals chamber later overturned the ruling, and the pre-trial chamber decided Monday to include three counts of genocide against the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups. The museum, which has been monitoring and raising awareness about Sudan since 2000, cautioned that the Sudanese government

might retaliate against innocent civilians in response to Monday’s decision, and said the United States and international governments must ensure this does not happen. The museum partnered with Google Earth to create Crisis in Darfur and World is Witness in 2007. The programs enable users to visualize and better understand the civil war and humanitarian situation in Darfur. White House says outreach to Muslims not NASA’s job (JTA) — Reaching out to Muslims is not the task of NASA, the White House spokesman said. During a press briefing Monday, Robert Gibbs said that NASA administrator Charles Bolden’s statement during a June 30 interview with Al Jazeera that he was charged to reach out to the Muslim world was incorrect. “That was not his task, and that’s not the task of NASA,” Gibbs said. Gibbs said that Obama has not spoken to Bolden since the interview in an effort to clear things up. Asked if anyone at the White House had spoken to Bolden, Gibbs replied: “I’m sure people — people at the White House here talk to NASA all the time.”




Prof. Mark A. Raider awarded Leo Wasserman Prize Prof. Mark A. Raider of the University of Cincinnati’s History Department has won this year’s Leo Wasserman Prize which recognizes the best writing in the 4-issue annual volume of the scholarly journal, “American Jewish History.” Raider’s article, “The Aristocrat and the Democrat: Louis

Marshall, Stephen S. Wise and the Challenge of American Jewish Leadership,” was selected by a jury of colleagues headed by Prof. Harold Wechsler (New York University), representing the American Jewish Historical Society’s Academic Council Executive Committee. Some com-

ments about the essay from the committee: “‘The Aristocrat and the Democrat’ offers a fresh perspective to what could have been a pedestrian ‘compare and contrast’ essay. Mark Raider’s well-reasoned discussion places the political and ideological clashes between Marshall and Wise in the

context of challenges facing the American Jewish community in the early 20th century. In so doing, he offers new insights into the meaning of communal leadership.” Raider is Professor of Modern Jewish History in the Department of History at the University of Cincinnati, and a Research

Associate in the University’s Center for Studies in Jewish Education and Culture. He is also Visiting Professor of American Jewish History at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and serves as director of the Posen Foundation’s national teacher education project.

Worrell named Butler County United Way Board Chair WEST CHESTER — Graydon Head is proud to announce A. Christian Worrell III, has been elected Chair of the Butler County United Way (BCUW). Worrell has served on the Board of Trustees for the BCUW since 2008 and chaired its annual campaign for 2007. “Chris Worrell has been an exemplary leader for our organization for the past several years. He challenges the norm, embraces changes to improve an organization’s efficiencies and leads through an inclusive approach. I look forward to achieving great results under his leadership,” said Maureen Noe, President/CEO of BCUW. “In serving as Board Chair, I hope to assist our President/CEO, Maureen Noe, and our network of MORGENSTERN from page 1 “A people’s shul.” Literally, the site which is landscaped with trees, shrubs and flowers was planted and maintained through its members’ volunteer efforts, and the interior walls of the building are adorned with tapestries, paintings and photographs created by B’nai Tikvah families. B’nai Tikvah congregants, led by education director Rabbi Donna Adler, also teach at its wellregarded Hebrew School, as well as set-up, and clean-up the building for events. Most impressively, this former business site was transformed into a synagogue by B’nai Tikvah members who took on the task of the builders, and this was done largely through the GOLF from page 1 The corporate gifts to be raffled off include dinner for two at the kosher Indian restaurant, Amma’s Kitchen; dinner for two at the kosher Mediteranean restaurant, Kinneret Cafe; a gift certificate to the Kosher Cajun restaurant near New Orleans, La.; four $25 gift cards to The Fresh Market; a girl’s bracelet from Hannoush Jewelers; a $100 gift card to Rogers Jewelers; a $50 gift card to Meijer; two adult entrance tickets to Coney Island for Sept. 4, 2010, which includes one parking pass and all-day access to rides, amusements, Sunlite Pool

A. Christian Worrell III

providers achieve the goals of making Butler County residents selfsufficient and seeing its youth grow

into successful adults,” said Worrell. “Although our annual campaign is vitally important in achieving these goals, and we encourage Butler County residents to give where they live no matter where they work, I want the community to know that BCUW’s mission goes well beyond running a campaign. As an example, the Grant Consortium, a grant writing program run by BCUW, brought more than $2 million into our community last year.” Worrell is partner-in-charge of Graydon Head’s Butler/Warren Office, which serves the growing business community between Cincinnati and Dayton. His practice is concentrated in the areas of general business, real estate, envi-

ronmental and construction law. Worrell serves in a number of volunteer capacities in the community. He is Vice Chair of the West Chester Liberty Chamber Alliance, Chair of the Liberty Township Board of Zoning Appeals and Chair of the Liberty Joint Economic Development District. Worrell is a 1985 graduate of Northern Kentucky University, Salmon P. Chase College of Law where he earned his J.D. and was a member of the “Order of the Curia.” He also earned a B.A. in Anthropology in 1975 and M.S. in Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies in 1977 from the University of Cincinnati. He and his family are members of Wise Temple. Graydon Head attorneys serve

clients in a variety of industries with particular experience working with clients in: banking & financial services; commercial real estate; media, communications & information; construction; health, education & human services; and manufacturing. The Firm’s Personal Planning Group provides legal counsel to many local business owners and their executives and families in the estate planning and administration area. With offices Downtown on Fountain Square, in Northern Kentucky at the Chamber Center, and in the Butler/Warren area at University Pointe, the Firm provides convenient accessibility to clients in key areas of the growing Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky region. small, as a full-service, small town lawyer. Longtime members of B’nai Tikvah recalled all Morgenstern had done for the congregation throughout the years and new members of B’nai Tikvah who had never met him before, expressed how grateful they were for all of his efforts. Those who had the opportunity to attend B’nai Tikvah that night, saw an intricate tapestry of threads that tied the attendees— from various religions, professions, ages and philosophies—to Morgenstern. At this event several spoke about how the B’nai Tikvah building is a wonderful testimony to Morgensterns efforts. That so many would do so much, maybe is an even more impressive testimonial on its own. kindness, would have done for his fellow man. We must emulate Abraham to the best of our ability, and we can do that this Sunday at the blood drive.” So, whether you’re donating to win a gift or save a life or just want to eat a great meal and hang out in a fun atmosphere, Golf Manor Synagogue Blood Drive 2010 is the place. Walk-ins are always welcome. The Drive will take place in the reception hall of the Synagogue from 8-10:45 a.m. and then from 12-2:30 p.m. Whole blood, double red, platelet and plasma apheresis donations will be available.

ideas and financial help of Morgenstern. Like many Reconstructionist congregations, B’nai Tikvah’s members are a diverse mix of both young and old who have found appeal in the Shul’s focus on having Judaism be meaningful to everyday life, and giving back to the community. Yet, it was an extraordinarily eclectic group, even by B’nai Tikvah standards, that arrived just prior to dusk on that evening of July 9. The parking lot in front of the building, and then the parking lot in the back quickly filled as people from throughout the area came to attend services, and also pay tribute to Morgenstern. The musically rich service, led by B’nai Tikvah’s Rabbi Bruce Adler, was

moving. However, for most attendees, the highlight came when they were invited to share their recollections about Morgenstern. Person after person in the 80-plus

member crowd shared stories about how Morgenstern had impacted their lives. Members of a citizen’s group in Hamilton— CLEAN—spoke of how Morgenstern, free of charge, for five years fought the operation of a medical waste incinerator by closely monitoring its emissions with a team of lawyers and scientists and by methodically filing legal challenges. The business closed. Retired Butler County Judge John Moser remembered Morgenstern taking controversial cases even if they resulted in alienating his friends. Family members recalled Morgenstern’s actions as patriarch of his own clan, and individuals spoke about how Morgenstern had helped them in a variety of ways, big and

and the Classic Car Show; a $10 gift certificate to Graeter’s Ice Cream; a gift certificate to Jackie’s Place, a local Judaica shop; coupons to Yankee Candle Co.; a gift certificate to a local tailor shop, and a 1.5 hour private cooking class offered by Decadence Catering. For donors, Marx Bagels has donated bagels throughout the day and there will be plenty of food to “shmear” on them. “We say it every year, but the message never gets old: it’s time to roll up our sleeves and help out our friends and neighbors who need blood,” said Rabbi Hanan Balk of the Golf Manor Synagogue. “And

the truth is that everyone knows someone who needed blood for one reason or another, be it a car accident, a burn accident, complications at childbirth or routine surgeries. It’s time we all awoke to the necessity of donating blood so that an ample supply will be on hand when, not if, we or our neighbors need it. And yes, though we’ve said this before as well, it’s still fresh: giving blood is the very essence of ‘tikkun olam,’ repairing the world.” “And what’s amazing,” continued Rabbi Balk, “is how often the Bible talks about blood: whether it’s Abel’s ‘bloods’—in the plural—screaming from the

ground, or the assertion that ‘the life force is in the blood,’ or that we ‘may not stand idly by the blood of our brother,’ or that we were worthy of the Exodus because Ezekiel tells us that ‘In, or by virtue of, your blood, live!’ it is clear that the Torah is extremely cognizant of the critical importance of blood. And the rabbis of the Talmud thought bloodletting was instrumental in maintaining good health and healing illness. If the technology existed 2,000 years ago, I am certain that donating blood would have been among the highest of priorities for Jewish people. It’s what Abraham, the paradigm of

...Morgenstern had helped them in a variety of ways, big and small, as a fullservice, small town lawyer.




2010 Range Rover Sport continues to raise the bar

2010 Range Rover Sport HSE

Boasting one of the highest resale values of luxury sport-utility vehicles, the 2010 Range Rover Sport HSE continues to deliver exceptional quality and value, matching the perfect blend of offroad capability and urban functionality. The new naturally aspirated LR-V8 produces 25 percent more power, rated at 375 horse-power as well as 20 percent more torque. Making sure all that power is delivered smoothly and efficiently to the wheels is an automatic sixspeed ZF 6HP28 transmission as well as a “drive-by-wire” throttle control system, eliminating the need for moving cables and replacing it with state-of –the-art computer control technology. Standard with the Range Rover Sport are 19-inch alloy wheels. Yet what makes this car come together in an astounding way is the design, comfort and functionality of the interior. Land Rover has a long legacy of providing its drivers with the best possible interior environment, and the Range Rover Sport is no exception. The combination of eight-way power seats, automatic climate control, leather trim, enhanced mood lighting and premium upholstery provides driver and passengers alike with an exceedingly comfortable experience. The 5-inch LCD information display and 7inch entertainment console touchscreen only serve in better complementing the already luxurious and feature-rich interior. What makes a Range Rover a Range Rover though is its off-road capability, and whether you will be taking yours to the trail or on safari, the Dynamic Stability Control and four-corner air suspension are bound to come in handy. Other important features include four-wheel Electronic Traction Control, Roll Stability Control as well as Hill Descent Control. All these factors combine to make sure your Rover always has four wheels

firmly on the ground, providing you and your family with a fun, as well as safe driving machine. With a zero-to-60 time of 7.2 seconds, this full size luxury sport-utilityvehicle is no slouch. All this comes wrapped in a tightly constructed package starting at $60,495, with more bang for the buck than comparable brands’ models. The next step up will get you the Range Rover Sport HSE LUX complete with more creature comforts, included heated seats and advanced climate control. In addition the extra $4,000 will get you 20-inch alloy wheels as well as additional safety features. The top of the line model, the Range Rover Sport Supercharged not only continues to raise the bar on luxury, but performance as well. The added forced induction supercharger provides a staggering 510 horsepower and will launch one from zero-to-60 in under six seconds. Let’s not forget this is a sport-utility vehicle we are discussing, and hurling all that meticulously engineered metal to 60 miles an hour in under six seconds is no small feat. The interior also wows with premium leather seating and contrast stitching. A premium sound system serves to ensure that every ride provides sound as clear and dynamic as a concert hall. The luxuriousness continues in the supercharged model with straight grain stained walnut wood. Owning the Range Rover Sport Supercharged will ensure that you are driving the fastest Land Rover ever produced. With an MSRP of $74,195, you will undoubtedy be in for the ride of your life. Taking into account Land Rover’s commitment to environemental sustainability you can drive one off the lot with the comfort of knowing Land Rover has one of the most comprehensive Carbon Dioxide offset programs as well as numerous humanitarian aid programs around the world.

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DEATH NOTICES ZILBERBERG, Sanford I., age 59, died on July 13, 2010; 2 Av 5770 WOLFSON, David, age 93, died on July 15, 2010; 4 Av, 5770 PENN, Zelda, age 73, died on July 15, 2010; 4 Av, 5770

OPPONENTS from page 1 The bill, sponsored by Yisrael Beiteinu Knesset member David Rotem, gained steam Monday with its approval in the Knesset law committee by a 5-4 vote. The bill now must pass three readings before the full Knesset to become law. Opponents are desperately trying to stall the process, at least until the Knesset starts a two-month break next week. “They have to bring it to the Knesset now for a first reading, and we have to make sure that it will not happen,” the chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Natan Sharansky, told JTA. Sharansky is leading a coalition against the bill that includes the leaders of the North American Jewish federation system and the SALITA from page 4 “I was told that I was not popular enough, that I wouldn’t sell enough tickets,” Salita recalls. He continues to train, spending weekday evenings at a gym in


non-Orthodox Jewish religious movements in the United States. Rotem’s bill originally was intended to ease the conversion process within Israel and make it easier for non-Jewish Israelis of Soviet extraction to obtain conversions and marry within Israel. Despite its intent, opponents warned that the bill would consolidate control over conversions in the office of the Chief Rabbinate and drive a wedge between Israel and the Diaspora by carrying the risk that non-Orthodox conversions performed in the Diaspora could be discounted in Israel. In addition, they said the bill would affect the eligibility of converts for the Law of Return, which grants the right to Israeli citizenship to anyone who is Jewish or at least has one Jewish grandparent. The opponents urged Rotem to revise the proposal. They believed they had a deal in place with Rotem to hold off on the bill pending more discussion after Rotem came to the United States in April to discuss the bill with them, and after a number of meetings between Sharansky and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Several top Israeli officials, including the justice minister and minister for Diaspora affairs, had agreed to work with

Sharansky on altering the bill. But Rotem caught Sharansky and the Diaspora leaders by surprise by bringing the bill to a committee vote this week; Sharansky was given only a day’s warning. The move set off a maelstrom of criticism from the Diaspora. The CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America, Jerry Silverman, called Rotem’s action a “betrayal.” In a letter of protest from the president of the Union for Reform Judaism that was signed by 14 other organizations, including various arms of the Conservative movement, Rabbi Eric Yoffie wrote, “Rotem’s actions are contrary to the assurances we received in meetings with him and with others over the last several months.” In an interview with JTA, Rotem was unapologetic about moving ahead and said, “This bill will pass, no doubt.” “I never promised anything,” Rotem said. “I told them all the time in the meetings that if I will see there is a majority, I will bring it a vote. No one can say I promised anything.” In their discussions with Rotem, Diaspora leaders expressed concern about an item in the bill that would have taken away the right to automatic citizenship for anyone

who comes to Israel as a refugee but then converts to Judaism. Rotem removed that item before pushing the bill through the law committee. Now, he says, the bill has no effect on American or Diaspora Jews and that this is solely an Israeli matter over which non-Israeli Jews should have no say. “I don’t know why they wanted to have discussions,” he said. “I came to the U.S. I spoke to leaders, and I explained this is nothing that touched the American community. It has nothing to with Jews in the Diaspora. It is only an Israeli matter.” Since Monday, Sharansky has engaged in a number of discussions with Israeli lawmakers, including Netanyahu. The Jewish Agency chief said he believes the bill will not come before the Knesset this week, and hopes it will not be on the agenda before the two-month recess provides a chance to alter or scuttle the bill. Sharansky said he is pushing for Netanyahu and his Likud Party to publicly oppose it. “If it is clear Likud will not support it, it will not pass,” Sharansky said. The Jewish Federations say that Silverman and federation lay leaders met with Israel’s president Shimon Peres Monday. Peres,

according to a JFNA press release, pressed for more dialogue on the proposed bill that would give American voices greater credence. “More than half of our people are living in the State of Israel. Almost half of it lives outside of Israel. We should remember that those living outside of Israel are not represented by the Knesset, they have their own communal life,” Peres told the group. “A discussion that bears consequences on the entire Jewish people should include different voices— from within Israel and from without. The legislative process should include an open public discussion that will lead to an understanding. It should be conducted with tolerance, with open hearts and open minds. “It is important for us, for the unanimity of the moment, that we have to keep the pressure on,” Rabbi Steven Wernick, the executive vice president of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, told JTA. “I think it would be an error to think that in the political society as dynamic and hyper-dynamic as Israel is that we are done with this,” he said. “The people who care about these issues have to constantly keep them on the agenda and explain why they are important to decision makers.”

Queens. And he says he is on the verge of signing with a new promoter who might get him a bout as soon as August. Salita still wants to win a world title, now as a welterweight. “I’ve been out of the ring for

seven months now, which is crazy,” Salita says. “And it’s not because of lack of wanting to be in the ring. It’s because I have not had the right opportunities. I’m really trying to get back on the horse.” In the meantime he is working on the mission he believes the late Lubavitcher rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, gave him from beyond the grave. In an earlier profile, Salita described how he followed the practice of slipping a piece of paper with a question for the rebbe at a random place between the pages of his volumes of writing. Salita’s rabbi, Liberov, interpreted the rebbe’s message by looking at what the rebbe had written on that page: Salita was to be a role model for Jewish youth. On a recent summer morning in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bensonhurst, Salita is trying to live up to this mandate. He has just launched the pilot of a new boxing training program for children. The first classes are taking place inside the elaborate 1920s limestone building that houses the Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst. The words “To Ennoble Jewish Youth” are etched above the door, and it’s here that Sandy Koufax spent his days as a young athlete. Salita, wearing a track suit, leans against a mirror in a workout studio watching a small group of 12-year-olds practicing their

punches. Occasionally he moves shyly among the skinny-legged girls in shorts and the chubby boys in extra-large T-shirts, correcting their posture or offering a thumbsup. Talking about his program, he is particularly proud that it imparts an educational “tidbit,” as he puts it, at the beginning and end of every class. The children chant the message of this day: “Discipline is freedom.” The boxing program is for all Jewish children, but Salita has a special understanding of Russian Jews and what kind of outreach might attract them. He also has memories of what didn’t work when American Jewish organizations first tried to interest him in his Jewishness. “A few times I wasn’t made to feel welcome because I didn’t know what I was doing,” Salita says. “I didn’t know what kiddush meant and what Kaddish meant. I understand the slow process and the fine process that it takes for people who have never been exposed to it. They need to be respected. It has to be step by step, not forceful.” But Salita also sees great potential in the young generation of Russian Jews who have grown up here or were born in America to immigrant parents. They don’t have memories of Jewish identity being something shameful or even dangerous. Absent the inhibitions

of their parents, Salita thinks Russian Jews will naturally embrace Judaism. “Russian Jews are very religious. They are just not very observant because that’s not what they grew up with,” Salita says. “Different people express their religiousness through different things, so Russian Jews express their religiousness by being committed to Israel. You can see it here. They vote for a candidate who cares about Israel. Nothing else matters.” Harnessing this religiosity seems to be what fires up Salita most these days. Perhaps this will change when he returns to the ring and again tastes victory; his concentration may shift to his boxing career. But the tone of resignation is unmistakable. Salita says his wife, for one, will no longer attend his matches. “It will be like I’m going to work, that’s it,” he says. Salita won’t go into detail, but it seems Alona has gotten him to agree to retire in the near future. “Getting hit for a living is not fun,” Salita says. “As a grown person, I don’t know how much you can like getting hit. “Maybe there is a right stage for it in your life. I love the sport of boxing. I love the art of boxing. And I still have not accomplished all my goals. But I’m 28 years old. I don’t want to do this for too much longer.”

The unveiling of the monument for

Bernard (Bernie) Rabenstein will be held Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. It will be held at the New Hope Cemetery, 5375 Sidney Road, Covedale. Family and friends are welcome.

2010 CALENDAR Special Issues & Sections J ANUARY







Kids/Summer Camps

Wonderful Weddings






28 Mature Living/Senior Lifestyles









Health & Beauty



Bar/Bat Mitzvah Planning Issue

The Car Issue








Real Estate / Home & Garden





Best of Jewish Cincinnati

Lag B’Omer

















Back to School & Shopping Guide

Rosh Hashanah Jewish Year in Review


Mature Living/Senior Lifestyles







Gift Guide Gift Guide

Medical Directory

Event Planning Guide









Dental Directory



Travel Guide


Year in Review

1st week: Legal | 2nd week: Trav el | 3rd week: Ar ts & Enter tainment | 4th week: Business | 5th week: Varies DEADLINE




Business: | Editor: | Production: Phone: 513.621.3145 | Fax: 513.621.3744 Dates of Special Issues & Sections may change without formal notice.


In teaching Holocaust, educators focus on prewar lives,not just camps I NTERNATIONAL N ATIONAL C INCINNATI J EWISH L IFE D INING O UT By Jac...

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