Page 1

Collaboration brings Make The American Get up and go with Israelite your home- Young Professionals comedian Joel page, plus this week’s Chasnoff to JCC Facebook winner Nationally known comedian Joel Chasnoff will have us laughing on Sunday, April 10 at the Mayerson JCC due to the collaborative efforts of Congregation Ohav Shalom, Northern Hills Synagogue and the Mayerson JCC. The event is open to the entire community. “Most often, we plan our own events, and rarely have the opportunity to work side- Comedian Joel Chasnoff by-side with other groups or organizations in the Jewish community. We’re delighted to work with Northern Hills and with the J to bring Joel Chasnoff to Cincinnati,” said Steve Segerman, president of Congregation Ohav Shalom.

CHASNOFF on page 19

Have The American Israelite as your homepage to get the latest local, national and international Jewish news each day as you open your computer’s Internet browser. To make The American Israelite your homepage, go to The American Israelite site online. Then go into your Internet browser’s Preferences, which is under the browser’s header. Once there, type in ‘’ in the home page space. Once you are finished typing, click the icon saying ‘Set to current page,’ and every time your internet comes on, the first thing you will see is The American Israelite’s news site. Don’t forget to turn to the oldest source of English Jewish news for the latest happenings in Cincinnati and in the world. Also, congratulations to Alecia Lipton, this week’s “like” us on Facebook contest winner. Alecia has won a $50 gift certificate to Embers Restaurant. Don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook for your chance to win.

Got the “early morning snooze button blues?” Well, get over it and Get Up and Go with other YPs (Young Professionals, aged 2135) at the Mayerson JCC. Introducing the newest way to jumpstart your day with an Lose the ‘snooze button blues’ energy boosting workby working out at the JCC with out and breakfast that other young professionals. will keep you going strong. This program is free and will take place on Monday, April 11, beginning with a Body Sculpting class, geared specifically for this demographic at 6:45 a.m. in the main gym. Either join the class, or check out the other early morning classes such as Spinning or Total Body Workout at 6 a.m., or work out on your own, then meet up with the gang at 8 a.m. in PROFESSIONALS on page 19

Helping Japan: IDF dispatches docs, U.S. Jews raise $2 million and counting

Report of Argentina-Iran deal to quash AMIA investigation roils community

By Sue Fishkoff Jewish Telegraphic Agency

By Diego Melamed Jewish Telegraphic Agency

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) — “Another day here in this devastated village,” Dr. Ofer Merin writes from the Israeli-run emergency field hospital where he is working in tsunami-wracked Japan. Merin, deputy director-general of Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, is the head of surgical operations at the field hospital set up last week by the Israel Defense Forces in Minamisanriku, a town in the Miyagi Prefecture. Half of the town’s 17,000 residents were killed by the tsunami that followed the massive 9.0-magnitude

BUENOS AIRES (JTA) — Consternation is mounting in Argentina and Israel after the leaking of a document purportedly showing that Argentina’s foreign minister secretly offered Iran a deal to quash the investigation into the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in exchange for better trade relations.

IDF on page 19

Courtesy of JDC

An Israeli officer performing an ultrasound check on a Japanese woman using a portable ultrasound device at an Israeli army field hospital in Minamisanriku.

AMIA on page 20

Courtesy of AMIA

The bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994 killed 85 people. The attack remains unsolved.







For Marla Gilson, leukemia sparks massive Jewish bone marrow drive — and fight...

At Conservative rabbis' confab, it's not about the organization, but the future

Unrest in Syria presents Israel with potential dangers and opportunities

KT’s Barbeque — Corned Beef’s Last Stand








Go bowling with the Cincinnati Jewish Singles Join the Cincinnnati Jewish Singles at Ringo Lanes in Blue Ash on April 15 to bowl over a few pins while mixing and mingling with other area sin-

gles in a casual setting. The CJS event will begin at 7:30 p.m. when they will begin picking teams. Past CJS events have included outings to

see movies, Shabbat dinners and more. To learn more and to RSVP visit the Cincinnnati Jewish Singles section on the Meetup website.

Wise Temple Seder for Young Families For its third year, Isaac M. Wise Temple’s YoFI (Young Family Involvement) group is proud to present its Second Night Seder for Families with Young Children. This year, the Seder will take place on Tuesday, April 19 at Wise Center. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. with pre-Seder activities, and will continue with the Seder and festive meal at 6 p.m. Wise Temple introduced YoFI three years ago as a way to address the social, spiritual and religious needs of families with young children. While the events are designed for children from birth to age 5, all of YoFI’s programs are geared for the family. Therefore, older siblings, parents, grandparents and friends are more than welcome to participate. This year’s YoFI co-chairs are Tammy Miller-Ploetz and Elissa Mazer. The Second Night Seder is one of the most special programs that YoFI sponsors. It is an opportunity for families and extended families to enjoy the Passover holiday in a kid-friendly setting. During the Seder, there will be plenty of age-appropriate music and liturgy,

which will be drawn from Sammy the Spider’s First Hagaddah. In addition, the Seder is extremely interactive and engaging for the children. “The YoFI Seder has been an enormous success for our young families. We have seen the need for a family-friendly way to celebrate Passover and we have responded. The intergenerational attendance is wonderful, and we love that we have our own unique way to incorporate songs and storytelling to our youngest congregants during this special time of year. I could not be more proud of what YoFI and our committees have accomplished in these past years,” commented Tammy Miller-Ploetz. “We are so pleased to offer this Seder again this year. It is truly a joy to see our youngest members and their extended families celebrating Passover together in such a meaningful way. Our committees, led by YoFI parents, work very hard to make all of our events enjoyable for our participants, and we are looking forward to another successful service,” added Elissa Mazer.

Northern Hills HaZaK to focus on Harry Truman, Israel The role of President Harry S. Truman in the founding of the State of Israel will be the focus when Northern Hills Synagogue – Congregation B’nai Avraham holds its monthly HaZaK program for seniors on Wednesday, April 13. The program will take place at the Synagogue beginning at noon. Lunch will be served. Dr. Alan Cohen will lead the program. Dr. Cohen is an infectious disease specialist and amateur historian. As Dr. Cohen explained, “I love the history behind the founding of the State of Israel and in particular the role played by President Harry S. Truman, torn between righteous concern for the displaced remnant of European Jews after the Holocaust and massive opposition from the State Department and the British government.” Dr. Cohen’s

talk is based on the books: “A Safe Haven, Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel,” published in 2009 by Allis and Ronald Radosh, and “Truman,” by David McCullough. “HaZaK” is an acronym, with the letters standing for the Hebrew words “Hakhma” (wisdom), “Ziknah” (maturity) and “Kadima” (forward). The HaZaK programs are for adults 55 and older, and are open to the entire community. In addition to members of Northern Hills, many attendees have come from the Jewish Community Center, Cedar Village, Brookwood Retirement Community and throughout Greater Cincinnati. There is no charge for the program and lunch, but donations are greatly appreciated. For reservations or more information, please call Northern Hills Synagogue.

This year, YoFI is asking each family to bring one Seder plate from home. Before the official Seder starts, people will have an opportunity to assemble the foods for their plates so that everyone has access to this important part of the Seder ritual. The meal will feature a delicious menu including matzo ball soup, chicken and roasted vegetables. The committee will make every effort to keep all of the foods, including the charoset, free of nuts. However, if people have a specific concern about a food allergy, YoFI strongly encourages them to contact Wise Temple to discuss the issues. The YoFI Seder chairs are Dena Kernish, Beckie Kurzner, Megan Little, Elissa Mazer and Dana Pishotti. They note that the Seder is open to the community, but that space is limited. Therefore, it is important to register for this Seder as soon as possible. For more information, please be sure to visit Wise Temple’s website or contact the Wise Temple office.

PASSOVER SEDERS MADE SIMPLE By Zell Schulman With PASSOVER SEDERS MADE SIMPLE, preparing for Passover has never been so easy! Passover holiday can be A CHALLENGE. That is why anyone hosting a Passover Seder needs the helpful handbook, PASSOVER SEDERS MADE SIMPLE (Wiley Paper, 2001, $16.95), by Zell Schulman. PASSOVER SEDERS MADE SIMPLE is the ultimate how-to cookbook and guide for planning a Seder, complete with lists, explanations, and sources for everything from kosher foods to ceremonial objects to stocking the Passover pantry. Zell guides the reader through the history, preparation, and execution of the Seder rituals, along with instructions for stocking the pantry and preparing the Seder plate. This book offers six different menus to suit individual religious backgrounds, special diets, budgets, and time constraints including the “Ashkeanzic” menu, the “Sephardic” menu, “Off the Shelf” menu, “Healthful Vegetarian,” and “Ecumenical Potluck” dinners. Samplings include Braised Shoulder Roast in Red Wine, Baked Apricot Ginger Chicken, Sephardic Carrot Salad, Charoset, Wild Mushroom Ragout, and No Yolk Fudge Cake. PASSOVER SEDERS MADE SIMPLE is an indispensable reference for hosting a Passover Seder for the first time and indeed anyone interested in learning more about this wonderful holiday.

About The Author Zell Schulman (Cincinnati, OH) is a feature writer for The American Israelite, “the oldest Jewish weekly in the United States.” She has also been a Columnist for Taste Cincinnati Magazine, and a contributor to She remains active in local and national Jewish community organizations and is also the author of the books Something Different for Passover and Planning Perfect Parties. Available from, Jospeh Beth Booksellers, Barnes & Noble or your favorite book store.




Wise Temple Jewish Book Fair – April 10, 13 and 17 The Isaac M. Wise Temple Board of Education announces its 2011 Jewish Book Fair in the Wise Center lobby. The book fair will be open to the community on Sunday, April 10, 8:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m., Wednesday, April 13, 4-6:15 p.m., and Sunday, April 17, 8:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Hundreds of books on various Jewish topics will be on display. There will be something to fit every budget and taste, including cookbooks, children’s stories and games, discussions of Talmud and Torah, holidays, Israel, history, culture, travel, fiction and much, much more.

“We are very excited to offer the book fair to our congregants and to the community once again. We invite everyone to come browse and shop. It’s a great opportunity to enrich your Jewish library, and discover new Jewish books,” says board of education chair, Billy Bie.


More than four centuries ago Judah ibn Tibbon wrote: “Let your bookcases and shelves be your pleasuregrounds and orchards; bask in their paradise, gather their fruit, pluck their roses, take their spices.” For more information please call the Wise Temple Education Office.

“Every child can relate to Lilly and her efforts to do the right thing in the face of a world determined to throw baby brothers, complicated friendships and mysterious teachers in her path.” Mark Lutwak Kevin Kling (who appeared last season at the Playhouse in his show “How? How? Why? Why? Why?”) has created a roller coaster of a play that has been a hit across the country. “Every child can relate to Lilly

and her efforts to do the right thing in the face of a world determined to throw baby brothers, complicated friendships and mysterious teachers in her path,” noted Playhouse in the Park director of education, Mark Lutwak. “It is one of the best mod-


JCC hosts Cincinnati Playhouse’s ‘Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse’ Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s “Off the Hill” production of “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse,” by Kevin Henkes, adapted by Kevin Kling, will be at the Mayerson JCC on Sunday, April 17, at 1 p.m. The show is free and open to the public. “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse” tells the story of one-of-a-kind Lilly, a spunky little mouse. She speaks a secret backwards language and wears disguises, glittery glasses and red cowboy boots. One day she brings her magical, musical purse to school. Trouble at school and resentment about a new baby brother sets Lilly off on a whirlwind of adventures that will captivate young audiences. The audience is plunged into Lilly’s world as she learns important lessons about family, friendship and forgiveness.


ern plays ever written for children.” Suann Pollock will direct Anne Marie Damman (Lilly), Colin Gold (Mr. Slinger/Garland/ Granny), Kevin-Michael Chu (Father, etc.), Marie Pope (Mother, etc.), Mark St. Cyr (Chester) and Matthew David Gellin (Wilson) in the play. Production team members include Veronica Bishop (Technical Director), Tammy Honesty (Set Designer), Rebecca Senske (Costume Designer), Anna Goller (Props Designer), Mark Lutwak (Sound Designer), Ashley Goos (Dance Choreographer) and Grace Rockstroh (Stage Manager). Free Family Events at the J are made possible by generous support from Jewish Federation of Cincinnati. For more information about the performance, contact the JCC.

Greek Shabbat dinner at Northern Hills Continuing with the theme of Shabbat Around the World, Northern Hills Synagogue — Congregation B’nai Avraham is sponsoring a Friday night Shabbat dinner this Friday night, April 8, focusing on the cuisine of Greek Jews. The dinner will be prepared under the leadership of Matt and Ann Yosafat. It will include Kotopoulo Fournou (roasted chicken with vegetables), Fasoutlakia (Greek green beans with tomatoes), Salata with elies (salad with olives), Dolmathes (grape leaves), Baklava, Challah and beverages. A children’s menu and vegetarian options will also be available. For information about cost and to make reservations, please call Northern Hills Synagogue.

18 WEST NINTH STREET, SUITE 2 CINCINNATI, OHIO 45202-2037 PHONE: (513) 621-3145 FAX: (513) 621-3744 RABBI ISSAC M. WISE Editor & Publisher, 1854-1900 LEO WISE Editor & Publisher, 1900-1928 RABBI JONAH B. WISE Editor & Publisher, 1928-1930 HENRY C. SEGAL Editor & Publisher, 1930-1985 PHYLLIS R. SINGER Editor & General Manager, 1985-1999 MILLARD H. MACK Publisher Emeritus NETANEL (TED) DEUTSCH Editor & Publisher MICHAEL MAZER Sales BARBARA L. MORGENSTERN Senior Writer MIKE MCCRACKEN NICOLE SIMON Assistant Editors ALEXIA KADISH Copy Editor JANET STEINBERG Travel Editor STEPHANIE DAVIS-NOVAK Fashion Editor MARILYN GALE Dining Editor MARIANNA BETTMAN NATE BLOOM IRIS PASTOR RABBI A. JAMES RUDIN ZELL SCHULMAN RABBI AVI SHAFRAN PHYLLIS R. SINGER Contributing Columnists LEV LOKSHIN JANE KARLSBERG Staff Photographers JOSEPH D. STANGE Production Manager ERIN WYENANDT Office Manager

THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE (USPS 019-320) is published weekly for $44 per year and $2.00 per single copy in Cincinnati and $49 per year and $3.00 per single copy elsewhere in U.S. by The American Israelite Co. 18 West Ninth Street, Suite 2, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-2037. Periodicals postage paid at Cincinnati, OH. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE, 18 West Ninth Street, Suite 2, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-2037.

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




Donations needed for JFS Passover delivery project You can help over 400 lowincome individuals celebrate Passover this year. Donations of food, money and time are needed for the 13th annual Dr. Samuel S. Rockwern Passover Delivery of Jewish Family Service. With the help of over 120 volunteers, Passover food will be handdelivered Sunday, April 17, to approximately 425 Jewish community friends and neighbors who would otherwise be unable to afford to celebrate the holiday. “The high cost of Kosher for Passover food makes observing the

weeklong holiday of Passover difficult for many low-income individuals and families,” says Beth Schwartz, executive director of Jewish Family Service. “The rising costs of medical care along with rising unemployment force many to choose between buying food and paying for other necessities such as utilities or medicine.” Each Passover box contains matzah, matzah ball soup mix, macaroons, gefilte fish, Passover candy, grape juice, nuts, apples, and a chicken dinner. Cincinnati Hebrew Day School donated the storage and set-up facilities.

This project was started by a group of dedicated volunteers in 1998. Area congregations are collecting the nonperishable foods such as matzah, matzah ball soup mix and macaroons. Pre-packaged bags of Passover food can be purchased and donated at the Highland and the Mason Remke bigg’s locations. A lead sponsorship cash gift from The Rockwern Charitable Foundation together with donations by individual community members help purchase fresh produce, meats and additional food to make the Passover meal complete.

“We are determined that our Jewish friends and neighbors enjoy the Passover holiday – and every day – free from hunger,” says Schwartz. “Unfortunately, the needs continue beyond the holiday throughout the year at Jewish Family Service Food Pantry. No donation will go to waste.” The food pantry, located in space donated by Golf Manor Synagogue, is the only kosher food pantry in the region. To donate your time, money or food, contact Jewish Family Service. Monetary donations can also be made on the JFS website.

‘Celebration of Joy’ educates, entertains participants at B’nai Tzedek’s “It’s all medicine,” said Ren Faught, as she taught a chant based on the phrase “Hinach yafah rayi’ti – how beautiful you are to me, oh beloved.” “But you have to do the work—focus on the intent of the words,” she continued. “You can’t just bliss out.” On March 20, Ren Faught, an Indianapolis-based spiritual director in the Jewish tradition, led her audience through a program designed to

provide new tools for approaching Jewish spirituality. Primarily using chanting and drumming, Faught quickly had her audience involved. Her program on Jewish Spirituality and Music was frequently linked to the Purim holiday, with timely references and examples. Faught’s presentation was designed to help people learn about new approaches to Judaism, to feel good about themselves, and to have new tools to deal

with the inevitable setbacks in life. Faught has trained as a spiritual director with the Lev Shomea (Hearing Heart) Institute for Training of Spiritual Directors in the Jewish Tradition at Elat Chayyim in Accord, N.Y. She is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree at the Graduate Theological Foundation. She is a frequent speaker and program leader on such topics as spiritual direction incorporating sound

immersion, meditation, contemplative drumming, chant and play. Faught’s program was the second of three major programs on spirituality that are being sponsored this year by Congregations B’nai Tzedek, Beit Chaverim and the Jewish Spirituality Network of Southwest Ohio. An earlier program focused on Jewish Spirituality and Food, and a future program will focus on Jewish Spirituality and Science.




“Using Passover to strengthen our recovery from addictions” Monday & Tuesday Nights — April 18 & 19, 9 pm @ 7325 ELBROOK AVE, AMBERLEY VILLAGE 45237 RSVP: CINCINNATI JEWISH RECOVERY • (513) 733-4400 JEWISHEDUCATE.ORG • RABBI@JEWISHEDUCATE.ORG




HUC announces Gustav A. and Mamie W. Efroymson Memorial Lectures Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), Cincinnati, will hold a symposium titled “The Biblical World and Its Impact: Precept and Praxis,” honoring Professor Samuel Greengus on Sunday, April 10, at 9 a.m. at Mayerson Hall Auditorium, at HUC-JIR. Dr. Greengus has had a long career of service to the College Institute as the Julian Morgenstern Professor of Semitic Languages (1963-2010). He

served as Dean and Director of Rabbinical School at HUCJIR/Cincinnati (1979-1984), Director of the School of Graduate Studies at HUCJIR/Cincinnati (1985-1990; 20072010), Dean of Faculty for HUCJIR (1987-1996), HUC-JIR VicePresident of Academic Affairs (1990-1996), and Faculty Chair of the Graduate Executive Committee, charged with the oversight of the School of Graduate Studies (1997-2007).

He has served as mentor for over 50 doctoral students during the course of his career. The Gustav A. and Mamie W. Efroymson Memorial Lectures were founded in 1946 by brothers Clarence W. and Robert A. Efroymson in memory of their parents. Since the inaugural lecture in 1975, the Efroymson Lectures have brought many fine scholars to the Cincinnati campus. For any additional information, please contact HUC-JIR.

Israel launching drive to void Goldstone Report By Ron Kampeas and Marcy Oster Jewish Telegraphic Agency WASHINGTON (JTA) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would launch an international campaign to cancel the Goldstone Report after its author, ex-South African Judge Richard Goldstone, wrote in an Op-Ed in the Washington Post that Israel did not intentionally target civilians as a policy during the Gaza War, withdrawing a critical allegation in the report.

Netanyahu said he had asked his security adviser, Ya’akov Amidror, to establish a committee focused on “minimizing the damage caused” by the report. “There are very few instances in which those who disseminate libels retract their libel. This happened in the case of the Goldstone Report,” Netanyahu said Sunday at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting. “Goldstone himself said that all of the things that we have been saying all along are correct — that Israel never intentionally fired at civilians and that our inquiries operated according to the highest international standards. “Of course, this is in complete contrast to Hamas, which intentionally attacked and murdered civilians and, naturally, never carried out any sort of inquiry. This leads us to call for the immediate cancellation of the Goldstone Report.” Goldstone wrote in Saturday’s Washington Post that “We know a lot more today about what happened in the Gaza war of 2008-09 than we did when I chaired the fact-finding mission appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Council that produced what has come to be known as the Goldstone Report. If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.” Goldstone withdrew what perhaps was his most damaging conclusion: That there was evidence suggesting Israel had deliberately targeted civilians during its war with Hamas. Referring to a U.N. committee’s recent independent assessment of his report, Goldstone wrote in his Op-Ed that “While the investiga-

tions published by the Israeli military and recognized in the U.N. committee’s report have established the validity of some incidents that we investigated in cases involving individual soldiers, they also indicate that civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy.” Goldstone said he may have drawn different conclusions had Israel cooperated with his inquiry; Israel refused to do so, seeing the U.N. Human Rights Council as irredeemably biased. He also said that it “goes without saying” that Hamas intentionally targeted civilians and noted that unlike Israel, the group did not investigate its own actions. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said Saturday that Goldstoness “retreat does not change the fact war crimes had been committed against 1.5 million people in Gaza.” Abu Zuhri said that Hamas cooperated with the Goldstone commission. Senior Fatah Central Committee member Nabil Shaath said Sunday that Goldstone retracted his committee’s report due to pressure. Netanyahu on Saturday night called on the United Nations to “cancel” the report in light of Goldstone’s article, although he did not make clear what this would involve. The American Jewish Committee said Goldstone should ask the United Nations to “revise and update” the report. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), a member of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, called on the U.N. Human Rights Council to “retract” the report, which it had adopted.



Courtesy Rabbinical Assembly

Rabbi Howard Hoffman, left, of North Shore Jewish Center in Port Jefferson Station, N.Y. and Rabbi Arthur Rulnick of Rockville, Md., at the Rabbinical Assembly convention in Las Vegas, March 28, 2011.

At Conservative rabbis’ confab, it’s not about the organization, but the future By Sue Fishkoff Jewish Telegraphic Agency LAS VEGAS (JTA) — Listening to Conservative rabbis talk about their movement is like witnessing an intervention. They talk of “saving” Conservative Judaism — and sometimes they blame the parents when things go wrong. “Reform rabbis speak positively about their movement and less positively about their synagogue, while Conservative rabbis speak positively about their synagogue and less positively about their movement,” said Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt of B’nai Tzedek in Potomac, Md., paraphrasing a refrain he says he has heard often from Reform and Conservative colleagues. Weinblatt was one of nearly 300 Conservative rabbis who came to Las Vegas this week for the annual convention of the Rabbinical Assembly, the movement’s rabbinic group. On the agenda, as usual, was the future of Conservative Judaism – what it is, where it’s headed, and how rabbis can get that message out to the world. “The Conservative movement belongs to us, and we’ll either fix it or bury it,” said Rabbi Edward Feinstein of Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, Calif., during a panel Monday on what Conservative Judaism will look like in 20 years. “We’re the rabbis. We need to get together, stop the bulls--t, and get it done, or we’ll become a shrinking, dwindling, heteronomous movement with very little to say.” At this gathering, there was little of the grumbling by key Conservative synagogue leaders that reportedly prompted the development and release last month of a new strategic plan to restructure the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. Instead, there was energy,

even a little bravado, at the Rabbinical Assembly conference, and criticism was tempered by concern for the Conservative movement’s future. “We need a new financial model,” said Rabbi Steven Wernick, executive vice president and CEO of United Synagogue and the man in charge of overseeing the restructuring of the congregational umbrella group. “Less edifice and more personnel. Multiple minyanim in the same building — the Hillel model.” What will the new strategic plan, a year and a half in the making, mean to members of Conservative congregations? Not much, said Wernick—at least, not for a while. “It’s navigational. The implementation plan — how do we get there — is what we’re working on now.” At any rate, institutions do not a movement make, rabbis at this convention reiterated. That’s particularly the case in the Conservative movement, whose three main institutions — the Jewish Theological Seminary, the Rabbinical Assembly and the United Synagogue — are modeled on the separation of powers within the U.S. government rather than on anyone’s notion of the most effective way to deliver religious services and build Jewish community. Those are two of the main interests on rabbis’ minds today. “The Conservative movement is not these institutions,” said Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly. “These institutions are more than 100 years old and in urgent need of rethinking.” The ideas and values of Conservative Judaism, on the other hand, are as relevant and compelling today as ever, she said. CONFAB on page 22





For Marla Gilson, leukemia sparks massive Jewish bone marrow drive — and fight with employer By Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraphic Agency WASHINGTON (JTA) — Marla Gilson found out in January that she had acute leukemia. By March, she learned that her disease had cost her not only her good health, but her job leading an advocacy group for the Jewish aged. In quick succession, friends, colleagues and acquaintances in Washington’s Jewish activist community rallied to Gilson’s bedside to support her in her fight with her employer — the Association of Jewish Aging Services — and also to champion a wider cause: registering Ashkenazi Jews as potential bone marrow donors. Gilson, a Capitol Hill presence for decades with stints working for Hadassah, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and several Democratic Party campaigns, told friends she did not want a tribute. Instead, she said, she wanted to alert Jews to the need to register with Gift of Life, the national bone marrow registry. “She was happy to raise the issue,” said Laura Cutler, who heads the Israel studies program at American University and serves on the boards of several Jewish family foundations. “We saw it as a way to get more Jewish potential donors.” A bone marrow match was found for Gilson, who is now in remission. She is scheduled to undergo a bone marrow transplant next month. Gilson declined to be interviewed for this story, but friends and colleagues who talked to JTA offered details of Gilson’s fight against the Association of Jewish Aging Services and talked about how Gilson’s illness had inspired them to support the cause of bone marrow donor registration. Gilson long has been known in Washington for her advocacy work for federally funded stem cell research and for banning the use of genetic information in employment. As director of Hadassah’s Washington office, she usually was in the room when presidents met with Jewish leaders; her last such meeting was with President Obama in July 2009. That meeting came not long after Obama signed an executive order earmarking funds for stem cell research — something that Gilson had spent the better part of her career advocating for. Within months, however, Hadassah was reeling from its losses as a victim of Bernard

Courtesy Washington D.C./JCC

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) swabs herself on March 10 at the Washington DC Jewish Community Center, part of a drive to identify Ashkenazi bone marrow donors sparked when Marla Gilson, a longtime national Jewish activist, was diagnosed with leukemia.

Madoff’s Ponzi scheme and, with the organization in financial distress, Gilson lost her job. She was soon hired as president and CEO of the Association of Jewish Aging Services, an umbrella body for homes for the aged in the United States and Canada. Within six months, Gilson was preparing a budget for the organization and was well on her way to organizing a conference in Dallas that took place this week. The association’s board of directors applauded her work, calling her prompt and effective. After she learned of her illness and began chemotherapy, Gilson asked the association’s board if she could work from home because she was vulnerable to infection. She promised to return to work by Sept. 1 — the date by which she now expects to be sufficiently recovered from her bone marrow transplant. However, according to email exchanges obtained by JTA, the board balked, saying Gilson’s job was too critical to do from home. “Your proposal, if accepted, would pose undue hardship to our organization,” an email from the board stated, noting that board members had been filling in for many of her duties since she became ill. The emails show that Gilson offered to dedicate part of her salary to a consultant who would fill in the gaps until she returned to the job, but the Association of Jewish Aging Services said no. “We cannot dedicate the same time until you return or while a temporary consultant, assuming one could be recruited and engaged, becomes familiar with our issues, members, industry,

partners, etc.,” an email from the board stated. The Association of Jewish Aging Services board declined a request for comment on this story. The organization informed Gilson that she would be terminated as of April 26, but promised to rehire her if no replacement had been found by the time she recovered. Last week, the board told the association’s members that it was searching for a new president. The same friends who had rallied to Gilson’s side when she learned she was ill — sitting at her hospital bedside, making meals for her family — are now consulting daily on strategies for confronting the Association of Jewish Aging Services and forcing it to keep her on. One friend offered the services of her labor lawyer husband, who has argued that basing a dismissal on a prognosis may amount to discrimination. No lawsuit has been filed. “I don’t know how you treat anyone like this, never mind someone you know and love,” said Steve Rabinowitz, a former Clinton administration communications official who now runs a policy and public-relations shop for Jewish and liberal groups. For Gilson’s friends and colleagues, the fight for her job is their second battle on her behalf. Almost as soon as Gilson went public with her illness, they launched a campaign to find her a bone marrow match. On Feb. 25, a group of Jewish notables across the country sent around a letter about Gilson’s illness, urging Jews to register as potential bone marrow donors. GILSON on page 22

National Briefs Ex-Rep. John Adler of New Jersey dies WASHINGTON (JTA) — John Adler, a former New Jersey congressman, has died. Adler, 51, died Monday of complications from a staph infection, the Asbury Park Press reported. Adler, who was Jewish, had a long career in Democratic state politics when he won a swing seat in southern New Jersey in his party’s 2008 sweep of the U.S. House of Representatives. Two years later he was ousted in a close election by the Republican candidate Jon Runyan, a former offensive lineman for the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles. Adler, among the first candidates in 2008 to endorse Barack Obama, later got flak from Orthodox Jews in the affluent town of Cherry Hill who believed that Obama had turned on Israel. Obama appoints NCSJ official to panel WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Obama appointed an activist on behalf of Jews in the former Soviet Union to the Commission to Protect America’s Heritage Abroad. The March 29 White House announcement said that Lesley Weiss, the community services director for NCSJ, “travels frequently to the region where she works closely with government, NGO and community representatives on the restitution and preservation of Jewish communal property, cemetery restoration, and Holocaust remembrance and memorialization.” The commission is an independent agency charged with identifying and reporting cemeteries, monuments and historic buildings in Eastern Europe and Central Europe that are associated with the heritage of U.S. citizens. NCSJ: Advocates on Behalf of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia was formerly the National Council on Soviet Jewry. U.S.-Israel ‘open skies’ in effect WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S.-Israel open skies agreement entered into force. “The agreement strengthens and expands our already strong trade and tourism links with Israel and will benefit American and Israeli businesses and travelers,” the departments of state and transportation said in a joint statement March 30, a day after the agreement went into effect. “It

will expand air service and encourage vigorous price competition by airlines, while safeguarding aviation safety and security.” The agreement, the 97th such pact for the United States, was signed in December. Such agreements remove restrictions on the airlines that may schedule flights between the two countries, leaving the determination to the marketplace. White House reaches out to Jews to back energy plan WASHINGTON (JTA) — The White House reached out to Jewish groups in a bid to garner support for President Obama’s energy policies. The conference call on March 31 between Jewish groups and two top energy policy officials, Heather Zichal and Shoshana Lew, came a day after Obama outlined a program that would reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil by a third by 2025. Zichal is Obama’s deputy assistant for energy and climate change; Lew is a senior policy adviser on climate change. Republicans, holding the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, have slammed the president’s proposals as a recipe for spending on untested theories and want Obama to expand domestic drilling. The Obama administration is reaching out to interest communities, including the Jewish community, which long have supported energy independence in a bid to pressure Congress to take up some of the proposals. Zichal said there was room for expanding domestic drilling, but not as broadly as Republicans would like. “We’re working to ensure more offshore oil production as long as it’s done safely,” she said. “We can’t just drill our way out of this crisis.” In a meeting with reporters earlier the same day, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu told JTA that the Obama administration was ready to explore alternatives with countries such as Israel that are on the cutting edge of their development. “We welcome any collaboration,” he said. The American Jewish Committee praised Obama’s initiative. “We agree wholeheartedly with President Obama’s clarion call to diminish our dependence on oil from hostile nations and change the way Americans consume energy,” said Richard Foltin, AJC’s national affairs and legislative director. “Comprehensive energy proposals have been offered many times since 1973 and allowed to falter. This time the nation must muster the will to act in unison on this critical issue.”



As Spain builds monuments to its International Jewish past, critics question motives Briefs By Ben Harris Jewish Telegraphic Agency GIRONA, Spain (JTA) — Hidden among the maze of alleyways east of the Onyar River, the Museum of Jewish History stands as testament — if an inadvertent one — to the completeness of Spain’s destruction of its oncethriving Jewish population. Inside the museum, set in Girona’s last known synagogue, designers have layered the ancient architecture with all the flourishes of a contemporary museum, complete with glass-lit cases, multimedia displays and an audio tour in several languages. In one case sits the signet ring belonging to Girona’s most famous Jewish son, Rabbi Moses Ben Nahman Girondi, the legendary Judaic scholar known as the Ramban or Nahmanides. The sight of the ring inspires the kind of spine-tingling intimacy with history that museums like this aim to evoke — that is, until the voice on the audio guide announces that the ring is a fake, a copy of the original that sits in a museum in Jerusalem. In fact, most of the artifacts in Girona are copies. Virtually nothing is left from the community that once lived here, save for the tombstones excavated from the nearby Jewish cemetery. The few artifacts from the period that have survived are generally beyond the museum’s financial ability to acquire. “Once in a while we can buy something, but it’s not as often as we would like,” said Assumpcio Hosta, the director of Patronat Call de Girona, the municipal body responsible for the preservation of Girona’s Jewish heritage. “It costs a lot of money.” That difficulty hasn’t stopped nearly two dozen cities and towns throughout Spain from trying to capitalize on their Jewish history, building monuments and hosting concerts, lectures and other cultural activities inspired by one of the most productive and accomplished Jewish communities in history. The effort has left some Jews feeling that Spain is exploiting a history that rightfully belongs to contemporary Spanish Jews, and in the process is relegating a living culture to a museum piece by portraying Judaism as little more than a historic curiosity. Critics say the primary purpose of establishing Spanish Jewish heritage sites is to attract tourism to areas that otherwise have little to recommend them as holiday destinations. “The government is using the Jewish patrimony for a purpose, and the only real purpose is to bring

tourism to Spain,” said Rabbi Dovid Libersohn, the Argentina-born Chabad rabbi in Barcelona. “Some politicians, they like Judaism without Jews.” But Spanish officials involved in the effort to highlight Jewish heritage say it’s not a fair or apt analysis. They note that the Spanish government has devoted resources to rebuilding its ties with Israel and with Jewish communities, in Spain and beyond. In 2006, Spain established Casa Sefarad-Israel, an agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs charged with promoting good relations with Spanish Jewry, the global Jewish Diaspora and the State of Israel. Within Spain there is Red de Juderias, a network of nearly two dozen Spanish cities and towns whose official purpose is to preserve the cultural legacy of Jewish Spain. The development of Jewish heritage sites in Spain is part of a wider explosion of interest in the culture of Europe’s lost Jewish communities. Institutions such as the European Association for the Preservation and Promotion of Jewish Culture and Heritage and Warsaw’s Museum of the History of the Polish Jews, and annual events like the European Day of Jewish Culture and the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, work to restore the Jewish place in the pantheon of European minorities. Most of these efforts are intended mostly for nonJews, who often are the organizers. Red de Juderias, which along with B’nai B’rith Europe coorganizes the Spanish version of the European Day of Jewish Culture, is run in the typical manner of European bureaucracies. It has a presidency that rotates among its members and glossy, full-color brochures printed on heavy stock. The network encompasses large cities such as Toledo, which already is a major tourist destination, and smaller towns like Besalu and Caceres, which aspire to be. More recently it established a tourist brand, Rasgo, to help direct visitors to restaurants, hotels and guides that highlight Jewish heritage. “That heritage belongs to every citizen,” said Hosta, who also is the general secretary of Red de Juderias. “It doesn’t belong to a single part of the community. That’s our common heritage.” But some segments of Spain’s small Jewish community say Jewish heritage doesn’t belong to the descendants of those who expelled the Jews 500 years ago, but to the Spanish Jewish community of today — even if the bulk of the country’s Jews are relatively recent arrivals

from elsewhere, principally Argentina and North Africa. They contend that Spain is exploiting Jewish history for a profit while often minimizing Spain’s own culpability in bringing that history to an abrupt end. The museums and conferences and concerts and cooking demonstrations collectively present Judaism as a kind of ersatz culture divorced from a living faith. “The way they represent Judaism is very poor,” said Dominique Tomasov Blinder, a Barcelona-based architect and cofounder of the Center of Studies Zakhor, a research organization that protects Jewish heritage sites, primarily in Catalonia. “It’s a sterile collection of objects, displayed like little trophies, that were rescued from the flood of the expulsion,” Blinder said. “If we had not been kicked out, all these objects would be in our synagogues, in our yeshivot, in our study centers, in our schools, our homes. And they would have a life, a purpose to be.” As evidence that Spain’s priorities are misplaced, critics of the country’s approach to Jewish heritage note that while much enthusiasm exists for cultural festivals and the like, local governments seem willing to trample on Jewish cemeteries. In Barcelona, efforts to erect tourist facilities on the old Jewish cemetery on Mont Juic were halted, but only after a battle. In Toledo, once the epicenter of Jewish life in Spain, the construction of a school over the remains of a medieval Jewish cemetery sparked an international uproar, leading in 2009 to an uneasy compromise. Meanwhile, surveys show that Spain ranks among the European countries with the highest antiSemitic metrics. A 2002 study by the Anti-Defamation League asked residents of five European countries questions about their perceptions of Jews, including whether Jews have too much power and are more loyal to Israel. Spain topped in every category. More recently, a 2008 Pew study found that 46 percent of Spaniards viewed Jews unfavorably — the highest number in Europe and 10 percentage points higher than Poland, the next highest European country. Diego de Ojeda, the director of Casa Sefarad-Israel, chalks this up to basic ignorance: Because there are so few Spanish Jews today, most Spaniards have never encountered a Jew in their lives. In an interview in his Madrid office, de Ojeda recalled once asking a taxi driver to take him to “la sinagoga,” and the driver asked if that was the name of a new restaurant.

Facebook sued for $1 billion over Third Intifada page JERUSALEM (JTA) — Facebook and its co-founder Mark Zuckerberg are being sued for more than $1 billion for not immediately taking down a page calling for a Third Intifada against Israel. The lawsuit was filed March 31 in U.S. District Court in Washington on behalf of Larry Klayman, an attorney and activist who is described in the filing as “an American citizen of Jewish origin” who is “active in all matters concerning the security of Israel and its people.” Klayman is the founder of Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest group. Facebook removed the “Third Palestinian Intifada” page on March 29 after it had been up for a couple of weeks and garnered 350,000 friends. Israel’s minister of diplomacy and Diaspora affairs,Yuli Edelstein, had sent a letter to Zuckerberg a week earlier asking for the page to be removed. The Anti-Defamation League also had called on Facebook to remove the page. The page, which called for a third Palestinian uprising to begin May 15, included quotes and film clips calling for killing Jews and


Israelis, and for “liberating” Jerusalem and Palestine using violence. It also directed users to related content on Twitter, YouTube and elsewhere on the Internet. In the lawsuit, Klayman also calls on Facebook to remove from its site all pages using the words “Third Intifada” or any other pages that encourage violence toward Jews. Facebook said it would fight the case, calling it “without merit,” the French news agency AFP reported. Meanwhile, a new page with the same name already has attracted thousands of friends, according to reports. Facebook did not release a statement on last week’s removal. But in a statement released to several media outlets in the days before the page’s removal, Facebook commented on the Third Palestinian Intifada page controversy. “While some kinds of comments and content may be upsetting for someone — criticism of a certain culture, country, religion, lifestyle, or political ideology, for example — that alone is not a reason to remove the discussion,” the statement said. “We strongly believe that Facebook users have the ability to express their opinions, and we don’t typically take down content, groups or pages that speak out against countries, religions, political entities, or ideas.” Individual posts and comments on the page considered problematic were to be investigated by Facebook and removed, according to reports.


- Staff Writers - Book Review columnist - Financial Advice columnist - Tongue-in-Cheek columnist To apply, please contact Ted at 621-3145 or send your resume to




Unrest in Syria presents Israel with potential dangers and opportunities

Courtesy Alkamt/Flash90/JTA

With unrest roiling Syria, it’s unclear whether further unrest will stoke conflict along the Israel-Syrian border, pictured here in November 2009.

By Leslie Susser Jewish Telegraphic Agency JERUSALEM (JTA) — With the turmoil rocking the Middle East now threatening the regime in Syria, Israel faces potentially grave dangers and huge opportunities. The dangers are clear: The emergence of a more radical regime in Syria could mean a stronger IranSyria-Hezbollah axis. Iran could get direct access to its allies in Lebanon through a Syrian regime that’s even friendlier toward Tehran. Syria’s huge stockpiles of missiles and chemical weapons could fall into the wrong hands. The unrest on Israel’s doorstep could spread to the West Bank and to Jordan. Syrian President Bashar Assad’s more radical successors could use a conflict with Israel to build domestic legitimacy. Against all that, a huge opportunity is opening up for positive regional change if Syria’s incumbent president or a more moderate successor regime is spurred by this unrest to turn to the West with a program of democratic reforms and a call for economic aid to make it work. That would mean a severe weakening of the Iranian axis and an opening for peacemaking with Israel. Given the possibilities, the Israelis aren’t sure whether to hope for the fall of Assad or not. Itamar Rabinovich, a former Israeli ambassador to the United States and one of Israel’s leading experts on Syria, says that if Assad falls, the big losers will be Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas. So far, Iran has been one of the main beneficiaries of the regional turmoil, Rabinovich noted in a column in Israel’s daily Yediot Achronot. Iran’s rival in Egypt was toppled from power; Shiite allies have staged an uprising in Bahrain; the pressure on rival

Saudi Arabia’s regime is growing — and it’s all deflecting world attention away from Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program. But if a new Western-leaning regime in Damascus were to emerge, that would be a huge blow to Iran’s regional ambitions. To prevent that, Iran might press Assad to escalate tensions with Israel in an attempt to unify the Syrian people against a common enemy, Rabinovich and others have warned. But Israeli government officials say it’s unlikely that the unrest in Syria will spill over into new crossborder hostilities. “The probability of Assad heating up the northern border to divert attention from his domestic troubles is not high,” Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon told Israel Radio. He added that the turmoil in the Arab world presents not only dangers, but also opportunities; he did not elaborate. Most Israeli Syria experts believe that Assad’s chances of retaining power are good. Hebrew University’s Moshe Maoz, author of several books on Syria, said that although the Alawite minority community from which Assad hails numbers only about 13 percent of Syria’s population, it has firm control over the levers of state power, especially the armed forces. “Like his father, Bashar Assad has carefully placed his own people everywhere,” Maoz told JTA. “And although there are Alawites who see themselves as Bashar’s enemies, they fear the moment he falls they could be subject to massacre by the Sunni majority.” Although the Muslim Brotherhood is the most wellorganized potential opposition force in Syria, Maoz says it does not have the wherewithal for a successful rebellion. “They can preach rebellion in the

mosques, but they don’t have the arms to carry it out,” he said. “There is no military force in Syria that could seriously challenge the army, over which Bashar has absolute control. And I don’t see Bashar giving in and stepping down without a fight. For him it is a battle for survival for the family, the tribe, the sect.” There are other factors working in Assad’s favor. For one thing, no clear opposition group or leader has emerged. For another, young people in Syria have been subject to years of proregime indoctrination, and Assad is not universally hated the way some of the other Arab autocrats are (or were). The Assads even created special Koran schools to make the Alawite faith more palatable to the Sunni majority. This is why Assad’s carrot-andstick policy actually could work, Maoz said. Assad is offering farreaching reforms, such as canceling the 1963 emergency law and allowing the formation of political parties, while at the same time using the armed forces to keep the protesters at bay. So far, dozens have been killed. Assad is unlikely to go to war with Israel because he knows it would be disastrous for Syria and for his regime, Maoz said. “Assad has his own military calculus. He is not under Iran’s thumb,” he added. Indeed, Maoz believes the unrest could drive Assad toward the West to better meet the new demands of the Syrian people. “If he remains in power, he might take a more pragmatic approach, looking for Western economic aid and for negotiations with Israel to get back the Golan, which is important to him for strategic and emotional reasons,” Maoz said. Alon Liel, chairman of the IsraelSyria Peace Society, is also upbeat. Liel, who held informal peace talks with Syrian delegates between 2004 and 2006, also thinks Assad is likely to survive. Apart from his control of the levers of state power, Liel noted, Assad has received strong support from key regional players such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia, as well as from the international community. Unlike in the cases of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak or Libya’s Muammar Gadhafi, the United States has not exerted any pressure on Assad to leave. That makes all the difference, Liel says: If Assad survives, he might feel beholden to the West and see in it the answer to his domestic troubles. “He will have to make significant reforms,” Liel said. “That is not only a domestic demand. It is a demand of the international community that will have saved him.”

Courtesy of Miriam Alster/Flash90

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat raises his hands in victory as he finishes the Jerusalem Marathon, March 25, 2011.

Marathon’s wrong turn, Dylan’s return, underground hospital By Marcy Oster Jewish Telegraphic Agency JERUSALEM (JTA) — Here are some recent stories out of Israel that you may have missed: Race to the (wrong) finish With all the twists and turns in Jerusalem, perhaps it was no surprise that the first three runners to complete the city’s first official marathon ended up at the wrong finish line. Three Kenyans mistakenly ended up at the finish line for the half-marathon, but they were still credited with their spots in the international event after their official finish times were calculated. Some 1,500 runners from around the world, including Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, participated in the 26.2-mile race on March 25. More than 8,000 competed in the half-marathon and 10K races. The marathon took place just two days after a bomb attack in central Jerusalem left a British tourist dead and more than three dozen people were injured. No runners reportedly withdrew due to the attack. Dylan’s return Nearly two decades after his last concert here, Bob Dylan is making his way back to Israel. Dylan agreed to play Tel Aviv in June during the middle of his world tour following lengthy negotiations between his people and Israeli concert promoters. The folk rock icon last played Israel in 1993; he also had performed here in 1987. He is among several musical heavyweights coming to Israel, notably the teen sensation Justin Bieber, who will be performing April 14. Less than a week later the British singer Bryan Ferry, who reached the heights of his

popularity in the 1970s and ‘80s, also will perform in Tel Aviv. Megadeth will play Tel Aviv in May — the heavy metal band’s fourth appearance in Israel. Its former guitarist Marty Friedman, who is Jewish, will perform a solo show on May 31. Finally, Irish musician Bob Geldof, who in 1985 staged the Live Aid charity concert to help famine-stricken Africa, will visit Israel for the first time in May to receive an honorary doctorate from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. The award will honor his successful musical career and his charitable activities. While in Israel, Geldof also will participate in the conference “Israel in Africa: Past, Present and Future,” organized by IsraAIDThe Israel Forum for International Humanitarian Aid. Hospital under attack? Go underground When is an underground parking lot not for cars? When it becomes an underground hospital able to provide protection against conventional, chemical and biological attack. Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv in March unveiled the largest bombproof medical facility in Israel. The building, which goes four stories underground, can hold up to 1,000 hospital beds. The facility will be able to function for a week without external power sources. When not needed as an emergency hospital, the below-ground floors will be used for short-term parking for patients. Above ground, the 13-floor Sammy Ofer Heart Center will house internal medicine departments, cardiology units and other departments that handle heart problems, blood supplies and testing, and brain trauma.








(513) 368-9000

ris and Steven Pastor (for-


merly of Cincinnati) and

Gary Cohen, all of Tampa,


Fla., are proud to announce that their son, Harry Cohen of Tampa, Florida has won the District 4 Tampa City Council seat. Until Jan. 31, Harry was chief deputy clerk for the


Circuit Court of Hillsborough County. Though this was his first run for public office, he long has been active in local politics. Harry is the grandson of

Place your FREE announcement in The American Israelite Newspaper and Website by sending an e-mail to

Bev and Pike Levine and Hotche and the late Herbert Pastor of Cincinnati and Dottie Cohen of Tampa.


Dr. Richard and Mona Kerstine

groups, community centers

eye care because of financial

and health fairs.

challenges. An eye screening

The program targets adults n March 14, Dr. Richard


S. Kerstine accepted a

2011 Health Care Heroes Finalist Award from the Cincinnati Business Courier at an awards dinner hosted by downtown’s Hyatt Regency. Dr. Kerstine accepted the award on behalf of The Cincinnati Eye Institute Foundation for its vision outreach program, which is named in honor of him. “I am proud to be a part of the Vision Outreach Program, and I appreciate the community’s support and recognition of The Cincinnati Eye Institute Foundation’s work,” said Dr.

does not replace the need for

over 60 and African-

a comprehensive eye exam,

Americans. Lectures provide

but it can help identify people

information about age-related

who are at greatest risk for

eye diseases, including

vision problems and eye dis-

cataracts, glaucoma and


macular degeneration. It edu-

Since launching The Dr.

cates the public about the

Richard S. Kerstine Vision

prevalence of eye disease

Outreach Program in 2009,

among certain groups, such

The Cincinnati Eye Institute

as African Americans are at

Foundation has delivered 140

greater risk for glaucoma than

lectures to 5,253 people and

Caucasians, but Caucasians

provided 143 screenings to

have higher rates of macular

4,450 adults. Local lecture


and screening sites have

The Vision Outreach

included the Jewish

Program makes a special

Community Center, Sycamore

effort to provide services to

Senior Center, Drake Center

low-income and uninsured

and the Elm Street Health

adults who often go without


Kerstine. The Dr. Richard S. Kerstine Vision Outreach Program provides free educational lectures on eye disease and free vision and glaucoma screenings to the community. Dr. Kerstine is an active volunteer and delivers many of the free lectures to local senior






D R On Your Mark, Kids, A R 8 DE

O L M I R TOGet P Set...




COLORING CONTEST MATERIALS: Anything that shows up bold and bright, such as markers, crayons, paint or cut paper. In order to qualify, an entry form must be sent in along with the art work. Please make sure form is legible and all lines are completely filled out. SIZE: VERY IMPORTANT! ART MUST BE NO LARGER THAN 8.5" WIDE X 11" HIGH AGE CATEGORIES: Open to children of all ages.

ALL WORK MUST BE RECEIVED BY NOON, FRIDAY, APRIL 8TH THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE 18 W 9TH SUITE 2 CINCINNATI, OH 45202 Each entry must have a completed entry form permanently attached to the back. Print the entrant’s name on the back of the work itself as well.





KT’s Barbeque — Corned Beef’s Last Stand By Marilyn Gale Dining Editor Growing up in Chicago, I eagerly looked forward to eating lunch or stopping after school at the neighborhood hot dog stands. When I was a mere fourth grader, I could purchase a hot dog with lots of mustard on a poppy seed bun and fries with a small coke for 37 cents. KT’s Barbecue & Deli reminds me of such a place. They don’t specialize in hot dogs, nor can you buy a sandwich for 37 cents, but the casual atmosphere welcomes all who want to drop in and get a tasty bite to eat. Alas, we are no longer in the days of foot traffic, where you walk in the neighborhood and spend dollars on local business. Downtown stores and the newest trend in malls are where people are window shopping and spending money. To lure unsuspecting diners, Kenny Tessel—alias KT— has cleverly devised a now nationally known marketing device; life size mannequins, BarbBe Q and her bosom buddy Susie Q BarbBe is inside, wearing clothing befitting a well developed young lady from the Dukes of Hazzard while Susie Q, dressed in slightly provocative black cocktail garb, stands outside in rain, snow, sleet and hail. With her perpetual smile and unlined cheeks, Tessel’s newest addition to his grown-up Patty Play Pal doll collection beckons all to stop and take a closer look inside. Tessel’s dolls are not just pretty faces. They perform mitzvahs. In the past, he has dressed BarBe Q in pink to publicize breast cancer awareness. She also models bridal gowns and is a lovely blushing advertisement for the wedding district that is near KT’s Barbeque. I’m not sure what Susie Q does besides cause a slow down in traffic on Reading Road but I have no doubt that Tessel will give her some community service mission, too. Upon entering KT’s Barbecue, you notice the décor is reminiscent of the ‘50s. Tessel will be glad to tell you about his adventures in Hollywood where he worked as a personal chef for celebrities such as Roseanne and the Dean Martin family. Pictures of his famous customers hang on the walls. Flea market connoisseurs might find a goldmine in these photos. The eatery is take out only. “What’s new?” I asked. “I’m smoking my own pastrami,” said Tessel, sounding like an alchemist who had just found gold. He is an animated fellow from the baby boomer generation and a proud Walnut Hills High School graduate. “I get the corned beef from Sy Ginsburg, out of Detroit,” said Tessel. Deli aficionados should recognize that name. Tessel has been

(Clockwise) Kenny Tessel, owner, is obviously happy with his newest doll, Susie Q; Freshly baked corn bread is a perfect companion for barbecue chicken or brisket; Top of the line pastrami and corned beef make awesome sandwiches.

immersed in delicatessen since he was a youngster as his dad owned Stanley’s Deli, which was a fixture in the Golf Manor area. Tessel adds, “Good food is the result of quality products. I don’t skimp, and I make everything from scratch. I make it ‘for’ you. My food doesn’t have a long shelf life. No crust on the chopped liver, which is made with real schmaltz. No mass assembly line here.” Roast brisket is also made to order. I looked up Sy Ginsburg corned beef on the Internet. Yes, there is a website known as United Meat and Deli where Ginsburg’s brisket is famous, proclaiming it to be tasty, tender and lean. I sampled the extra lean corned beef, a deep mauve color meat, thinly sliced, and I relished the strong flavor. Tessel transforms the ends of corned beef into hash. He recommends serving it on top of poached eggs. Yum!

I observed the walk in customers. They were middle aged men who were happy to order a hefty sandwich or brisket slices wrapped in white butcher paper. In spite of the rain, they had smiles on their faces, and I imagined it was in anticipation of sinking their teeth into a pile of freshly prepared meat. Perhaps they were bachelors, or divorced, or widowed, or simply picking up the main course for their family dinner. “Real food is cooked and served here,” says Tessel, and quoted the horrible statistics of fast food and its contribution to obesity, diabetes and heart disease. “Cincinnati is 8th in the nation in fast food restaurants per population.” KT’s has a Passover meal package; roast brisket dinners, a generous portion of meat, plus carrots, onions and gravy, and homemade chopped liver, $11.99 per person.

Tessel’s mantra is extra and he says, “Nothing wrong with leftovers, I give a little bit more so you have enough.” Tessel advises customers to always call ahead (two days in advance for Passover dinners) to ensure that he has the food. For large family meals or business events, please preorder as walk in is too unpredictable. In addition to the delicatessen, Tessel makes a colorful blackeye pea salad consisting of blackeye peas, purple onion, Dijon mustard vinaigrette and sweet mini peppers. Collard greens simmering in a pot of liquid (water with spices, kosher salt, garlic powder, cracked pepper, and a little sugar), hot sauce, and a smoked turkey wing are a healthy side to go with the brisket. Tessel triple washes the greens, emphasizing they are not from a can. It is an all day event, and they simmer for 4 to 6 hours. Prices are reasonable for this

home cooking. Macaroni and Cheese, a 4 ounce serving at $1.75, with sour cream, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and Velveeta would satisfy most kid appetites and beat the price of a fast food happy meal. Sandwiches start at $5.50 for pulled chicken. Tessel offers a “stuff it” option, for just $1.99, he will add 50% more meat to any sandwich. Such a deal! With the promise that all food is fresh, smoked on site and homemade, KT’s Barbecue is a great choice for tired taste buds who crave real food. Tessel’s future plans are to have a food truck selling his robust sandwiches in the downtown Cincinnati area. Perhaps we will soon see Susie Q on Fountain Square. KT’s Barbecue & Deli 8501 Reading Road Cincinnati, OH 45215 513-761-0200






20 Brix 101 Main St Historic Milford 831-Brix (2749)

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

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

Ambar India Restaurant 350 Ludlow Ave Cincinnati 281-7000

Gabby’s Cafe 515 Wyoming Ave Wyoming 821-6040

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

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

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

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

Aroma Restaurant & Sushi 7875 Montgomery Rd Kenwood 791-0950 Baba India Restaurant 3120 Madison Rd Cincinnati 321-1600 Bangkok Terrace 4858 Hunt Rd Blue Ash 891-8900 • 834-8012 (fx) Bella Luna Café 4632 Eastern Ave Cincinnati 871-5862 Blue Elephant 2912 Wasson Rd Cincinnati 351-0123 Carlo & Johnny 9769 Montgomery Rd Cincinnati 936-8600 CUMIN 3520 Erie Ave Hyde Park 871-8714 Dingle House 9102 Towne Centre Dr West Chester 874-PINT (7468)

Johnny Chan 2 11296 Montgomery Rd The Shops at Harper’s Point 489-2388 • 489-3616 (fx) K.T.’s Barbecue & Deli 8501 Reading Rd Reading 761-0200 Kanak India Restaurant 10040B Montgomery Rd Montgomery 793-6800 Marx Hot Bagels 9701 Kenwood Rd Blue Ash 891-5542 Mecklenburg Gardens 302 E. University Ave Clifton 221-5353 MEI Japanese Restaurant 8608 Market Place Ln Montgomery 891-6880 Oriental Wok 2444 Madison Rd Hyde Park 871-6888


Sonoma American & Med. Grill 3012 Madison Rd Cincinnati 376-9941

Lunch Special Daily 11-3 Dine-In / Carry-Out / Catering Patio Dining Convenient free parking next to building (2 mins from Hyde Park Square)

513.351.0123 | 2912 WASSON RD.


Every Monday All-U-Can-Eat Fish & Chips only $12.95

O’H APPY H OUR Mon-Fri 3-6pm

513.874.PINT (7468)


515 Wyoming Ave • Wyoming, OH 821-6040 •

Stone Creek Dining Co. 9386 Montgomery Rd Montgomery 489-1444 Sugar n’ Spice 4381 Reading Rd Cincinnati 242-3521 Sukhothai Thai Cuisine 8102 Market Place Ln Cincinnati 794-0057 Sultan’s Med. Cuisine 7305 Tyler’s Corner Dr West Chester 847-1535 Tandoor 8702 Market Place Ln Montgomery 793-7484 Through the Garden 10738 Kenwood Rd Cincinnati 791-2199 View Restaurant 2200 Victory Pkwy Cincinnati 751-8439

Padrino 111 Main St Milford 965-0100

New Menu Catering for Bar/Bat Mitzvahs & Weddings Intersections of Gilbert & Nassau


"Top 100 Chinese Restaurants in America" Chinese Restaurant News - 2004



. Sushi Bar . Full Bar, Liquor . Sunday Brunch The Shops at Harpers Point . 11296 Montgomery Road Banquets

(513) 489-2388

Dine-In / Take-Out / Delivery

Ask about our Specials!


4858 Hunt Rd • Blue Ash, 45242 (513) 891-8900 • Fax 834-8012

Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-3 Dinner: Mon-Thu 5-9:30 Fri 5-10:30 • Sat 4:30-10:30

8102 Market Place Lane Cincinnati, OH 45242 794-0057 • 794-0235 (fax)



Ice Storm Insight There are surely many stories that can be told about the challenging winter from which we are (we hope!) emerging. Mine is about as mundane as they come. But it came

Divine mercy and Divine law are inseparable facets of the same Unity. The demands of Divine law are born of Divine love, inseparable from it; they reflect G-d’s concern for our own ultimate well-being. with a lesson, at least for me. It was the morning after a night that had layered a sheet of ice over much of 20 states, including New York. I arose earlier than usual, to allow extra time to get to shul for morning services. I bundled up, opened the door and stepped outside. After three steps, I turned on my heels and, slowly, gingerly, returned to the house. During one of the season’s previous eruptions of inclement weather, I had hurt my back shoveling snow. I was in excruciating pain for weeks thereafter, weeks that included the day of the ice-storm. I realized that were I to hazard even the block and a half walk to the closest shul, the chances of my slipping and falling — with repercussions to my back I preferred to not imagine — were considerable. “Well, this, too, is for the good,” I consoled myself, invoking the Talmudic personality Nachum Ish Gamzu’s credo as I retreated defeated. And, in its way, it was. The house was quiet and I took my time donning my tallit and tefillin at the dining room table. I took out my siddur and began to pray. It was a deliberate, unhurried prayer. I was able to say every word distinctly, able to pay closer attention, to stop and think at every blessing and beseeching, to truly connect in a way that so often eludes me in the synagogue. And yet, it was without a minyan,

the required quorum. Which is not the way a Jewish man should ideally pray. There are two seemingly unrelated things called “Yud Gimmel Middot” — literally, “13 Measures.” One is a list of 13 aspects (or, as commonly rendered, “attributes”) of G-d’s mercy, based on words in Exodus (34:6-7) that begin with Gd’s name stated twice (with a pause signaled between them, representing, the Talmud says, one’s different relationship to the Divine “before he has sinned and after he has sinned and repented”). The other “13 Middot” refers to a list recited daily in the prayer service. This list, cited in Rabbi Yishmael’s name, enumerates the hermeneutical rules by which Jewish laws are derived from the Torah’s verses. Some of that methodology, which is more descriptively known as the “13 Middot Through Which the Torah is Interpreted,” is logical, some of it not obviously so; all of it, though, comprises a sacred part of the Oral Law itself. Isn’t it odd that both the expressions of G-d’s mercy and the hermeneutical principles number 13, and both are described as “middot”? Most of us have paused at the fact that, at least from our limited perspective, G-d seems to present two very different “faces”: on the one hand, He is the Merciful Lifegiver, the Forgiver of sin and Bestower of blessings; on the other, the Lawgiver. The Creator is both “avinu” and “malkeinu,” our Father and our King — both merciful Parent and summoning Sovereign. That may be the subtle implication of the “13 Middot” oddity — that the Source of mercy and forbearance is the very same Source of law and obligation. Divine mercy and Divine law are inseparable facets of the same Unity. The demands of Divine law are born of Divine love, inseparable from it; they reflect G-d’s concern for our own ultimate well-being. And so, while my minyanless morning brought me to a feeling of closeness to the Divine I too seldom manage, the requirement of praying with a quorum remains incumbent (even if, on occasion, it cannot be managed). Were G-d only a father, then I would choose to worship Him at home. But He is a king, too, and has decreed otherwise. So now what I have to strive toward — and analogies, I imagine, abound for us all in our individual daily lives — is to bring some of the specialness of my ice storm service into every prayer recited, less leisurely but more properly, with a minyan in shul.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Do you have something to say? E-mail your letter to

Dear Editor, AJC calls on Judge Richard Goldstone to ask the UN Human Rights Council to revise and update his commission’s 2009 damaging report on Israel’s campaign against Hamas in Gaza. Goldstone now says in a Washington Post opinion column, “If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document,” Judge Goldstone should apologize not just to the Washington Post, but to the State of Israel for

the accusations of intentionally targeting civilians, which he now admits were unfounded. He should present his updated conclusions to the UN Human Rights Council, as well as to the General Assembly, which endorsed the biased report. The Goldstone report dismissed the suffering of Israeli victims of Hamas rocket attacks and claimed that Israel’s defensive operations in Gaza were an intentional collective assault on Palestinian civilians. The Goldstone report made no

moral distinction between the war crimes of the terrorist organization Hamas and the State of Israel. Israel suffered serious harm in the eyes of the international community after the UN Human Rights Council endorsed the report. We hope Judge Goldstone will defend his new thinking with the same vigor he employed to promote his earlier report. John M. Stein President, American Jewish Committee Cincinnati Region

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


T EST Y OUR T ORAH KNOWLEDGE THIS WEEK’S PORTION: MEZORA(VAYIKRA 14:1—15:33) 1. When does a Metzora bring a sacrifice? a.) When he becomes a Metzora b.) When the Tzarat goes away c.) Eight days after he is declared pure

when his house contracts Tzarat? a.) Yes b.) No 4. What are the signs of a house that has tzarat? a.) Water leaking in b.) Deterioration in the structure c.) Certain colors in the walls

2. What part of the body is used in the sacrifice? a.) Mouth b.) Ear c.) Hair d.) Thumb e.) Toe

5. Do the vessels in the house contract tzarat? a.) Yes b.) No c.) Only under certain conditions

3. Does a person bring a sacrifice 3. B 14:40,41 4. C Spots of green or red that that appear deeper than the color of the wall. 5. A 14:36

By Rabbi Avi Shafran Contributing Columnist

ANSWERS 1. C 14:10 The first part of Chapter 14 discusses a purification process after the tzarat. 2. B,C,D,E 14:14,18


Written by Rabbi Dov Aaron Wise




Sedra of the Week By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin


Efrat, Israel — “This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing; he shall be brought unto the priest” (Lev. 14:2). Do houses have souls? Do nations? In the opening of this week’s portion of Metzorah, the Torah introduces us to the law commanding a person to go to the priest who determined the nature of his ‘plague of leprosy’ (nega tzoraat). If the scab was diagnosed as tzoraat, the development of the disease required the constant inspection of the priest. Our portion of Metzorah opens with the complex details of the purification process once the disease is over. This ritual requires two kosher birds, a piece of cedar, crimson wool, and a hyssop branch. One bird is slaughtered while the other is ultimately sent away. But this is only the beginning of a purification process that lasts eight days, culminating in a guilt offering brought at the holy Temple. Only after the entire procedure was concluded could a person be declared ritually clean. But if this all sounds foreign, complicated and involved, the Biblical concepts appear even stranger when we discover that this “plague of leprosy (nega tzoraat)” is not limited to humans: “G-d spoke unto Moses and Aaron, saying: ‘When you come to the land of Canaan, which I give to you as an inheritance, and I put the plague of leprosy (nega hzoraat) in a house of the land of your possession, then he that owns the house shall come and tell the priest....” (Lev. 14:33-35). How are we to understand that the very same malady — nega tzoraat — that describes what is generally referred to as a leprous ailment of a human being, has the power to also afflict the walls of a house! A person is one thing, but a house suffering a plague of leprosy? Secondly, when we examine the text we find an interesting distinction between these two species of tzoraat. “The plague of leprosy” that strikes people is presented in straight-forward terms: “If a person shall have in the skin a swelling, a scab, or a bright spot, and it be in the skin of his flesh the plague of leprosy (nega tzoraat)...” (Lev. 13:3) But the plague that strikes hous-

es is introduced by an entirely different concept: “When you come to the land of Canaan, which I am giving to you as an inheritance, I will put the plague of leprosy...” (Lev. 14:34). Why is the commandment of the plagued house placed in the context of the Land of Israel? If indeed the disease can descend

together. And the walls of a house certainly reflect the atmosphere engendered by its residents. A house can be either warm or cold, loving or tense. Some houses are ablaze with life, permeating Jewishness and hospitality: mezuzahs on the doorposts, candelabra, menorahs and Jewish art on the walls, books on Judaism on the

This ritual requires two kosher birds, a piece of cedar, crimson wool, and a hyssop branch. One bird is slaughtered while the other is ultimately sent away. But this is only the beginning of a purification process that lasts eight days, culminating in a guilt offering brought at the holy Temple. upon houses, why only the houses in the Land of Israel? A third element to consider are the differences in the visible aspects of these two diseases. Regarding the person himself, the Torah speaks of a white discoloration, but as far as the house is concerned, if a white spot appeared on the wall nothing would be wrong. “Then the priest shall command that they empty the house... and he shall look at the plague and behold, if the plague be in the walls and consists of penetrating streaks that are bright green or bright red....” (Lev. 14:36-37) We must keep in mind that translating nega tzoraat as a “plague of leprosy” is inadequate. Biblical commentaries ranging from the 12th century Ramban to the 19th century Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch claim that nega tzoraat cannot possibly be an illness in the classic sense, for if that were true, why does the Torah assign the “medical” task of determining illness to a priest? Priests were teachers and keepers of the religious tradition, not doctors or medical experts. If nega tzoraat is a spiritual illness, a metaphor for the state of the soul, then just as one soul is linked to one body, the souls of the members of a family are linked to the dwelling where they all live

shelves, and place-settings for guests always adorning the table. But in other homes, the silence is so heavy it feels like a living tomb, or the screams of passionate redhot anger which can be heard outside frighten away any would-be visitor, or the green envy of the residents evident in the gossip they constantly speak causes any guest to feel uncomfortable. Now why should this “disease” be specifically connected to the Land — or more specifically, the people — of Israel? To find the unique quality of Israel all we have to do is examine the idea of Bet Yisrael, the House of Israel. The nature of a household is that as long as there is mutual love and shared responsibility, then that house will be blessed and its walls won’t be struck with a plague of leprosy. To the extent that the covenant of mutual responsibility is embraced by the people, then the house of Israel will be blessed. We must act toward each other with the same morality, ethics and love present in every blessed family. If not, a nega tzoraat awaits us. And our holy land of Israel is especially sensitive to any moral infraction. Shabbat Shalom Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Chancellor Ohr Torah Stone Chief Rabbi — Efrat Israel












1-Year Subscription: $44 In-town, $49 Out-of-town Send completed form with payment to: The American Israelite

18 W. 9th St. Ste. 2 • Cincinnati, OH 45202-2037 (513) 621-3145



Jewz in the Newz By Nate Bloom Contributing Columnist ARTHUR REDUX; EPIC COMEDY “Arthur,” starring Russell Brand (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall”) in the title role, is a re-make of the hit 1981 comedy starring Dudley Moore. As in the original, Arthur is an irresponsible charmer with a substance abuse problem. His once vast fortune is running out, but he can maintain his high-living lifestyle if he consents to an arranged marriage to a rich woman. The problem is — Arthur is in love with a poor girl (Greta Gerwig). Looking to keep Arthur out of trouble is his ever-present nanny (Helen Mirren). In the original, it was Arthur’s butler who hovered over him (Opens April 8). The original “Arthur” was directed and written by STEVE GORDON. He grew-up mostly in Ottawa Hills, a nice suburb of Toledo, Ohio. Gordon was a successful advertising copywriter when he followed his first love and started to write comedy for TV shows. “Arthur,” which earned Gordon an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay, and won two other Oscars, was Gordon’s first and only feature film. He died of a sudden heart attack, age 44, in 1982. The re-make is the first feature film directed by JASON WINER, 36, a former actor who is one of the principal directors of “Modern Family,” the hit TV series. “Your Highness” is an epic comedy set in a fantasy world reminiscent of King Arthur’s time. Two brothers who are princes (played by DANNY MCBRIDE and JAMES FRANCO) set off to rescue Franco’s kidnapped brideto-be (Zooey Deschanel). They have to battle bad guys (Justin Theroux and others) and dragons in order to save her. The princes are joined on their mission by a powerful, but mysterious woman warrior (NATALIE PORTMAN, 29). Franco, 32, and McBride (“Pineapple Express,” “Eastbound and Down”) 34, are both the sons of Jewish mothers and non-Jewish fathers (Opens April 8). GENE SIMMONS IN ISRAEL Rocker GENE SIMMONS, 61, famous as a member of the rock band “Kiss,” is in Israel now, along with his partner of many years, actress Shannon Tweed, and their son, NICK. They are touring various sites as they film episodes of Simmons’ cable TV show, “Family Jewels.”

Simmons was born in Israel, to a mother who is an Auschwitz survivor. His father couldn’t hold a job, so his mother moved to New York with Gene (then “Chaim Witz”) when he was 10 years old. This is the first time Simmons has returned to Israel. I’ve always been of two minds about Simmons — and this trip fits perfectly into that split. I like the fact that he has been an eloquent and ardent defender of Israel on talk shows and the Israel episodes of “Family Jewels” will give the country good publicity. On the other hand, he has always been the most “hustling” of rock stars — always looking for a money-making angle and he’s shown a real nasty streak when dealing with members of the press who he thinks don’t “count much” (like National Public Radio’s TERRY GROSS). I can understand why cost prohibited Simmons from bringing “Kiss” to Israel; but I do find it “curious” that the first time he visits Israel in 51 years is in conjunction with getting really fresh material for his 5-year-old reality show. Meanwhile, his “P.R.” machine has sent out details of his trip to virtually every Jewish media outlet in America. CASTING NOTES TVLand Cable has placed on its summer schedule a new sit-com starring FRAN DRESCHER, 57. I’ll tell you more about it when it is close to air time. I was surprised to see that actor ROBERT WALDEN, 69, has been cast to play Drescher’s father. As you can see, they aren’t very far apart in age. Also, Walden has mostly been an acting coach, and has rarely appeared on TV since the end of “The Lou Grant” TV series in 1984. Walden, born Robert Wolkowitz, played Joe Rossi, the hot dog investigative reporter for the newspaper edited by Lou Grant (ED ASNER). MICHAEL ZEGEN, 31, is best known for playing the young firefighter, Damien Keefe, on the cable series, “Rescue Me.” His character suffered an injury at the end of the last season that left him brain-dead. Zegen has just been cast as the “young” (gangster) BENJAMIN “Bugsy” SIEGEL in the HBO series, “Boardwalk Empire.” Siegel (Zegen) will appear during the second season, starting next September. Siegel (1906-47), has been portrayed many times on the screen, and he was the central character of the 1991 film “Bugsy,” starring Warren Beatty.


FROM THE PAGES 100 Years Ago Mrs. Claude Deutsch, of Cleveland (Beatrice Freda Herman), is visiting her mother, Mrs. Eda Herman, 3240 Burnet Avenue, Avondale. Hugo Goldsmith and Garfield Trager have just returned from an extended fishing trip to the Indian River, Crystal River, and Tomaka River, Florida, besides visiting other points of interest. Simon & Weil, the old reliable bakers, of Cincinnati, are prepared to furnish at shortest notice the best quality of matzos and Pesach specialties, matzos meal, potato flour, egg matzos, sponge zweibach, almond macaroons, almond confect and Yomtoftik

Torten. Orders for Pesach (April 13) should be sent in at once. The importance of Cincinnati as not only a musical, but as an industrial, center is shown again by the opening splendid piano salesrooms by Steinway & Sons, at 118 West Fourth Street, where that splendid make of piano can be seen, from the $550 Vertegrand to the Art Grand, costing thousands. Mr. R.E. Wells, one of the best-known men in the business, is manager, and he will be pleased to welcome visitors at the spacious and beautifully-fitted salesrooms. Mrs. Julia Bloch celebrated her 70th birthday anniversary at the home

of her son-in-law and daughter. Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Murr, 341 Hearne Avenue Avondale, on Sunday evening, April 2. Mrs. Bloch was Miss Julia Tandler, daughter of the late Abraham Tandler, who was the first president of Adath Israel Congregation, of Louisville. She was married at San Francisco in 1862 to the late Joseph Bloch, brother of Edward Bloch, of the old firm of Bloch Publishing Co., and brother-inlaw of Sr. Isaac M. Wise, all of whom have passed away. Mrs. Bloch is in excellent health. A large number of immediate relatives gathered in honor of the occasion.— April 6, 1911

75 Years Ago Among the young people who will participate in the annual Spring Horse Show at the Riding Club, Reading Road and Asmann Street, Saturday, April 25th, will be the Misses Anne and Barbara Henry, Sue Reis, Marianne Sickles, Joan Magnus, Frances Huttenbauer, Phillys Ann Mills, Emily

Mayer, Phllis Siebenthaler, Betty Huttenbauer, Elizabeth Strauss, Jacqueline Weiss, Louise Wachman, Rita Claire Auer, Carol Frank, Alice and Marion Jonap, Peggy Kaufman, Elaine Ockrant, Mary Stern, Joan Salinger, SusieBloch, Neil Kuhn, Lois Kreigsman, Mary Jo Schwab, Marjorie

Frank, Elaine Seigle, Betty Heldman, Babette Fiedman, Felicia Freedman and the Messrs. Tommy Mills, Robert Stern, David Low, Joseph Magnus, Billy Magnus, Richard Foreman, NathanFechheimer, Harry Rosenbaum, Edward Kuhn, Jr., and Lee Scheuer, Jr. — April 9, 1936

50 Years Ago Mr. and Mrs. Herman Swillinger, 1519 Lakeland Avenue, announce the forthcoming Bar Mitzvah of their son, Steven Richard, Saturday, April 15, at 10:45 a.m., at Wise Center. Kiddush will follow. A reception in Steven’s honor will be held the same evening from 8 to 11 at the Kemper Lane Hotel. Relatives and friends are invited. No cards. Steven is a grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Mendel Swillinger and Mr. and

Mrs. Bernard Altenberg. Mrs. William Katz is his great-grandmother. Julian A. Pollak, industrialist and civic leader, passed away Friday, March 31, at the age of 76. Survivors include his wife, Mrs. Gertrude G. Pollak; a daughter, Mrs. Morton A. Rauth, Yellow Springs, Ohio; two sons, David, of Cincinnati, and Julian, Jr., of Arlington, VA.; a stepson, Benedict Labre, Minneapolis; a sister, Mrs. Edgar M. Johnson, Sr., of Cincinnati, and eight grandchildren.

His first wife, Mrs. Loiuse H. Pollak, passed away in 1932. Mrs. Amanda Strashun, 4235 Rose Hill Avenue, passed away Friday, March 31. Survivors include two daughters, Mrs. Burt Well and Mrs. S.H. Gordon of Cincinnati; a son, Dr. Mat F. Strashun of Houston, Texas; two brothers, Stanley and Jack Frank of Cincinnati, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.— April 6, 1961

25 Years Ago Phillip T. Cohen received the William A. Mitchell award at the Community Chest and Council held March 18 at The Westin. Phillip T. Cohen received the award for four decades of leadership with the Jewish Federation. He was cited for his instrumental role in the agency’s strategic planning process, development of a new mission statement and supporting priorities plan. Under his guidance and development, new facilities were constructed for Glen Manor Home for the Jewish Aged, Jewish Vocational

Service and Camp Livingston. Mr. Cohen was also an active member of the community coalition on emergency assistance. Rabbi Gary and Stefi Zola announce the birth of a son, Jorin Benjamin, April 2. Jorin has a sister, Amanda Roi. Grandparents are Sylvia and Sidney Rothberg of Manhasset Hills, N.Y., and Estelle Zola of Scottsdale, Ariz. Sam Kruke of Florida, formerly of Cincinnati, passed away in Dayton April 6. He is survived by his daughter, Mrs. Joseph Bettman; a sister, Bess

Newburger; seven grandchildren; one great-grandson; and several nieces and nephews. Mr. Kruke was the father of the late Paul Kruke. David Abraham Reisenfeld of 1581 Summit Road passed away March 31. He is survived by two sons, Sylvan and Herbert; one sister, Esther Gruber of Worthington, Ohio; and four grandchildren, Douglas, Bradley, Julie and Steven. Mr. Reisenfeld was the husband of the late Sarah Reisenfeld.— April 10, 1986

10 Years Ago Linda Gradstein, a National Public Radio correspondent, will speak at Adath Israel Congregation Wednesday, April 18, at 7:30 p.m. Discussing “Peace in the Middle East: Is There Still a Chance?” Gradstein will give her firsthand account of conflicting views of the prospects for peace, examining how the Israel public and neighboring states feel about the possibilities of hammering out further agreements. Irma Lowenthal (nee Pushin), 91,

passed away March 23, 2001. Mrs. Lowenthal was born in Danville, Ky., the daughter of the late Harry David and Clara Baer Pushin. She was the wife of the late Dr. Gershen Lowenthal. She is survived by her children: Alice Lowenthal Shapiro and her husband, Stephen Shapiro, of Short Hills, N.J. and Richard and Barbara Lowenthal of Santa Barbara, Calif. Mrs. Lowenthal is also survived by her grandchildren: Jonathan and Lauren Shapiro of

Baltimore, Md.; Ellen Shapiro of Maplewood, N.J.; Sarah Lowenthal of Chicago; Anna and Andrew Lowenthal Walsh of Mill Valley, Calif.; and Christian and Marisa Chen of Santa Barbara, Calif. Also surviving Lowenthal are three sisters: Ruth Pushin of Miami Beach, Fla.; Lillian Manischewitz of Boca Raton, Fla.; and Elsa Warm of Cincinnati. Her brother-in-law, Maurice Lowenthal also survives her.— April 5, 2001




COMMUNITY DIRECTORY COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS Access (513) 373-0300 • 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) 754-3100 • Chevra Kadisha (513) 396-6426 Fusion Family (53) 703-3343 • 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 Shalom Family (513) 703-3343 • The Center for Holocaust & Humanity Education (513) 487-3055 • Vaad Hoier (513) 731-4671 Workum Fund (513) 899-1836 • YPs at the JCC (513) 761-7500 •

CONGREGATIONS Adath Israel Congregation (513) 793-1800 • Beit Chaverim (513) 984-3393 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 •

EDUCATION Chai Tots Early Childhood Center 513.234.0600 • Chabad Blue Ash (513) 793-5200 • Cincinnati Hebrew Day School (513) 351-7777 • HUC-JIR (513) 221-1875 • JCC Early Childhood School (513) 793-2122 • Kehilla - School for Creative Jewish Education (513) 489-3399 • 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 Discovery Center (513) 234.0777 • Jewish National Fund (513) 794-1300 • Jewish War Veterans (513) 204-5594 • 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 •



Do You Have Antiques That Need Refinishing? “Rated Best by Cincinnati Magazine Greater Cincinnati”

• Furniture Restorers & Makers, Over 45 yrs • Custom Built-Ins & Furniture • Olde World Craftsmanship • Reasonable Prices WORKSHOPS OF THE RESTORATION SOCIETY

Call 859-491-1292

CHASNOFF from page 1 All three entities are contributing time and resources to make this event successful and fun. Northern Hills’ vice president, Joe Lazear, has been instrumental in heading the joint committee between the two synagogues, and overseeing the many details needed to bring the event to life. “We’ve worked together to develop invitations and posters, identified volunteers to take charge of the elegant dessert buffet that will follow the show, PROFESSIONALS from page 1 the J Café and get your free Grab it and Go Breakfast Bag to stay and enjoy at the café, or to eat “a la carte” as you head out on your morning commute. Breakfast includes your choice of a hot egg and cheese wrap or yogurt with granola as well as a bottle of water and a piece of fruit, and last but not least, a cup of hot Joe to go. Lockers, towels, soap and shampoo are available at no cost to all participants. This program is open to young professionals, 21-35, and is free for all JCC members. For those who are not members of the JCC, free day passes are available by getting in touch with Josh Rothstein, whose contact information is listed in the Community Directory of this paper under YPs at the JCC. To receive your free Get up and Go Breakfast, you must RSVP by IDF from page 1 earthquake on March 11. The IDF flew in an aid delegation of 50 officers and soldiers, including medical personnel, civilian aid workers and logistics experts, as well as a team from the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, and immediately got to work helping victims in this hard-hit area where thousands of people are still missing or homeless. “We are seeing more and more patients,” Merin reports on the blog he is maintaining to chronicle Israeli medical efforts in Minamisanriku. “Physicians from all around are coming with their patients for consults with our specialists, for blood tests and Xrays. An elderly lady walked a

• • • • •

Up to 24 hour care Meal Preparation Errands/Shopping Hygiene Assistance Light Housekeeping

(513) 531-9600 and been collaborating to get the word out to the Jewish and nonJewish community alike,” Lazear commented. The evening of comedy with Joel Chasnoff will open with local comedian John Bunyan who was the 2010 winner of the “Funniest Person in Cincinnati” contest at Go Bananas Comedy Club. The event will follow the Jewish Federation’s Give A Day activities. Call Congregation Ohav Shalom or Northern Hills Synagogue for further information. April 10. YPs at the JCC is a partnership between Access for Jewish young professionals, an initiative of The Mayerson Foundation, and the Mayerson JCC. This program offers weekly events, such as Workout and Wind Down (the perfect way to exercise and socialize), Wednesday Night Rewind (dodgeball, soccer, kickball and other old school games you used to love to play at recess), and Weekend Wake Up (team sports like flag football, ultimate frisbee and more). Special group exercise programs have also been created, including Krav Maga, Knockout, SMACK, Soul Spinning and more. Since this past September, when the JCC began to focus on this cohort, numerous young people have participated in these and other programs, helping to make the Mayerson JCC the “home address” for Jewish young professionals in Cincinnati. long distance to reach us. These are facilities they simply don’t have.” While Israelis provide medical help on the ground in Japan, American Jewish organizations have raised millions of dollars for the ravaged island nation. By April 1, the groups had brought in more than $2 million for Japan relief. The Jewish federation system collectively has raised nearly $1 million for emergency aid — about $187,000 from the Jewish Federations of North America umbrella organization and some $680,000 from individual federations. The federations in Chicago and New York each raised more than $125,000; Toronto brought in more than $100,000.




Of funerals, protests, and hate speech Legally Speaking

By Marianna Bettman Contributing Columnist “G-d Hates Fags.” “You’re Going to Hell.” “Thank G-d for Dead Soldiers.” “G-d Hates the USA/Thank G-d for 9/11.” These are a few of the hateful signs carried by picketers from the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., at the funeral of Marine Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder of Westminster, Md. Snyder (who, incidentally, was not gay) was killed in the line of duty in Iraq. The picketers did not know Snyder or his family. This protest and the messages on the signs were the subject of a U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of Snyder v. Phelps, and has generated much discussion. The Westboro Baptist Church was founded in Topeka, Kan., in 1955 by Fred Phelps. Phelps has been the only pastor of the Church. He is 81 years old. Of the 60-70 members of the church, 50 are Phelps’ children, grandchildren and in-laws. Ironically, Phelps was once a well-known civil rights lawyer in Topeka (home of Brown v. Board of Education). But he was permanently disbarred in 1979 by the Kansas Supreme Court. Many of Phelps’ children are lawyers. One of his daughters argued this case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Westboro is not affiliated with mainstream Baptist churches. One expert in the case described Westboro as practicing a “fire and brimstone” fundamentalist religious faith. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, describes it as “arguably the most AMIA from page 1 The Argentinean newspaper Perfil broke the story with a report based on what it said was an Iranian document showing that the foreign minister, Hector Timerman, made the offer to Iran via Syrian intermediaries. According to the paper, opponents of the regime in Tehran leaked the documents. Until now, Argentina has been one of the most vociferous critics of Iran in all of Latin America, having experienced two deadly terrorist attacks in the 1990s believed to be the work of Iran: the 1994 bombing, which killed 85, and the Israeli Embassy bombing in 1992, which left 29 dead. At

obnoxious and rabid hate group in America.” Westboro believes that the military is being punished by Gd for the nation’s tolerance of homosexuality. So, the Church has taken upon itself the mission of picketing at military funerals. It also pickets at other funerals, such as that of Elizabeth Edwards, for supporting universal health care and women’s rights, among other things. But picketing at military funerals is the Church’s specialty. And members of the Church appeared with their placards of hatred at Matthew Snyder’s funeral, Snyder’s father, Albert, fought back. He filed a lawsuit against Phelps, his Church and several of its members. The claims involved were tort claims — the subject I teach at UC’s law school. A tort is a personal injury. The two most significant torts alleged by Snyder were intentional infliction of emotional distress, which is pretty much what it sounds like, and intrusion on seclusion, a violation of the right to personal privacy. According to the Court of Appeals decision in the case, Snyder was visibly shaken and distressed throughout the trial, often reduced to tears, and occasionally had to ask to leave the courtroom to compose himself. His testimony about the distress caused him by the picketers was very dramatic. A jury awarded Snyder’s family $2.9 million in compensatory and $8 million in punitive (punishment) damages, later reduced to a total of $5 million dollars. The Church appealed. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, and the U.S. Supreme Court took up the matter. At the U.S. Supreme Court, the Church did not deny that its conduct was tortious. The Church defended itself by arguing that the First Amendment shielded it from any tort damages. In an 8-1 decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the high court agreed. We all know that the First Amendment protects freedom of speech in this country. While cases

of hate speech are very hard to swallow, drawing lines over what speech is or isn’t protected can become a slippery slope. Chief Justice Roberts, author of the majority opinion, wrote a primer of basic First Amendment principles which is both clear and easy to read. Whether it is persuasive is up to you. The decision in this case turned on whether the speech involved was a matter of public or private concern. Why does this matter? Citing a series of “first principles” of the First Amendment, and quoting from precedent, Roberts wrote that “speech on public issues occupies the highest rung of the hierarchy of First Amendment values, and is entitled to special protection. The First Amendment reflects ‘a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.’” But the Chief also wrote that if the speech involves purely private matters, First Amendment protection decreases because there is no threat to “free and robust debate of public issues” and no danger of timorousness or self-censorship. So, the key to the outcome of this case — and the issue on which lone dissenting Justice Samuel Alito disagreed —is whether the speech (the picketers and their signs) is fundamentally of public or private concern. Whether the statements are inappropriate or disgusting is not relevant to this determination. But context matters. As do all the surrounding facts and circumstances. Let’s take a look at some of the facts that were significant to the majority’s finding that this was protected speech. The picketers in this case notified the authorities in advance of their plans to picket, complied with police instructions, stayed more than 1,000 feet from the Catholic Church where the funeral was held, stayed on public property, did not enter the Church property, did not yell, curse, or become violent or disruptive. In fact, Mr. Snyder did not and could not see what was on the picket signs when

he went to the funeral; he was only able to read the signs that night when he was watching the news on television. That may have been because of the Patriot Guard Riders, a mostlyveteran motorcycle group that attends military funerals to protect them from the Westboro protestors by shielding Westboro’s message from view. They did this at Matthew’s funeral. Albert Snyder argued that the funeral of a private person and the fact that several of the signs specifically targeted his son, made this matter entirely private, not a public debate on public issues. Ultimately, the Court disagreed, finding that the content of Westboro’s signs did relate to matters of public, rather than purely private concerns, and was thus entitled to First Amendment protection, reminding us that “such speech cannot be restricted simply because it is upsetting or arouses contempt…[I]f there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.” The Chief Justice concluded with these words. “Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and — as it did here — inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker. As a Nation, we have chosen a different course — to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate. That choice requires that we shield Westboro from tort liability for its picketing in this case.” Justice Samuel Alito alone dissented in this case, writing an opinion I think showed the most intense personal passion of anything he has written since joining the Court. He decried the majority’s holding that “the First Amendment protected [the church’s] right to brutalize Mr. Snyder.” Alito’s points of disagreement with the majority are that Matthew’s

funeral was an entirely private matter, and that the Church’s vicious vitriol (which he notes the Church has the opportunity to express in an almost unlimited number of places other than funerals) makes no contribution at all to the public debate on important matters of public concern. He clearly sees the funeral of a private citizen as a private matter. His empathy for Mr. Snyder’s intense emotional upheaval is palpable. “Allowing family members to have a few hours of peace without harassment does not undermine public debate. I would therefore hold that, in this setting, the First Amendment permits a private figure to recover for the intentional infliction of emotional distress caused by speech on a matter of private concern.” Many states and the federal government have passed laws limiting picketing. In Ohio, it is unlawful to picket or protest within 300 feet of a funeral, or an hour before or after the funeral. Such time, place, and manner restrictions on speech have been upheld in other contexts. Maryland did not have such a law at the time this case arose, but it does now, prohibiting funeral picketing within 100 feet. But the picketers in this case would have been in compliance had that new law been in effect at the time. One last point. There was a side issue in this case the Court majority did not take up that could have major free speech implications. It involved a vicious post-funeral Internet post by the Church called an “epic” which horrifically reviled Matthew Snyder and his parents personally and as Catholics. The question the Court dodged in this case is whether the First Amendment protects such speech posted on the Internet, specifically directed at private persons. At some point the Court is going to have to deal with such issues, which are still in their legal infancy.

last year’s annual U.N. General Assembly gathering of heads of state, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner called on Iran to surrender the Iranian officials wanted in connection with the 1994 bombing. What makes the Timerman story all the more bizarre is that Timerman is Jewish, and that he has refused to respond to the allegations; his office says Timerman won’t dignify the report with a comment. In the meantime, Timerman’s silence threatens to derail his planned trip to Israel next week, and possibly to harm relations between Argentina and Israel. “We are awaiting an official

response to Argentina’s Foreign Ministry,” a spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry, Yigal Palmor, told the La Nacion newspaper. “If confirmed, the report would constitute a grave and infinite manifestation of cynicism and dishonor to the dead.” According to the Perfil newspaper report, written by veteran journalist Pepe Eliaschev, Timerman made his proposal to drop the investigations of the 1992 and 1994 bombings in meetings on January 23 and 24 with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Mouallem and President Bashar Assad in the Syrian city of Aleppo. Under the proposed agreement, Argentina would not seek to bring

to justice Iran’s current defense minister, Ahmed Vahidi, who is the subject of an outstanding arrest warrant by Interpol in connection with the 1994 attack. The perpetrators of the attack were never brought to justice, though an investigation into the attack is still ongoing in Argentina. In exchange for looking the other way, Perfil reported, Argentina’s trade with Iran — currently estimated at $1.2 billion a year — would rise significantly. The report comes at a particularly inauspicious time. Aside from Timerman’s upcoming trip to Israel, he was slated to meet with the chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Natan Sharansky, on Wednesday in Buenos Aires.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Iran’s most stalwart friend in Latin America, is also in Argentina this week to sign new trade agreements with Argentina’s president. The report has touched on raw nerves in the Argentinean Jewish community regarding the stillunresolved attack and prompted heated debate over whether or not it is true. Sergio Widder, the Latin American representative of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, urged the Argentine government to establish a special investigation unit for the 1992 Israeli Embassy bombing, just as it has done for the AMIA attack.

Marianna Bettman is a professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Law.



This Year in Jerusalem

All About Food All About Food

By Zell Schulman Recipe Editor As promised, the following recipes are “must haves” at our family’s Passover Seder. These, plus many others, come from my cookbook “Passover Seders Made Simple.” I will be at Madison’s in Findley Market, the second weekend in April signing and selling copies. The book can also be found on Amazon, your sisterhood gift shop or your favorite bookstore. SEPHARDIC CHAROSET Makes approximately 3 1/2 cups Sephardic Charoset looks more like a jam when finished. I find soaking the dates and raisins in boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes and then draining them makes them easier to chop. Charoset can be prepared two or three days before the seder, covered well, and refrigerated. Ingredients 8 ounces pitted dates 4 ounces of golden raisins 4 ounces of dark raisins One Granny Smith apple 2 teaspoons sweet wine 1/4 cup orange juice 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 cup blanched, slivered almonds Method 1. Soak the dates and raisins in boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes. Core the apple, cut it into 2inch pieces, and place in a 1 quart bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the wine, orange juice and ginger together. 2. Place the drained dates, raisins and the apple in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade or in a blender. Pulse several times; add the nuts and the wine mixture. Pulse until you have a coarse paste. Empty into a bowl, cover well, and refrigerate. ALLEGRIA COHEN’S CARROT SALAD Chizu Salada Serves 4 This Sephardic salad will give your palate a surprise. Though piquant, it’ll keep in the refrigerator up to one week. Look for bags of baby carrots, already peeled and cleaned, in the pro-


duce section of your supermarket. Of course, regular carrots cut into 1/4-inch-wide slices also work. The carrots can be cooked in a microwave-safe dish. Add 1/3 cup of cold water to the carrots, cover, and microwave on high, for approximately 8-10 minutes. Ingredients 2 pounds, peeled baby carrots 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1/4 teaspoon paprika 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon dried, crushed red chili pepper or ground cayenne pepper Juice of one large lemon 2 tablespoons olive oil Fresh parsley for garnish Method l. Place the carrots in a medium saucepan. Cover with cold water and cook over medium heat until the tip of a knife can pierce them, about 15 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain and let cool. 2. In a small bowl, mix the cumin, paprika, salt, red paper flakes, lemon juice and olive oil together. Add this to the cooked carrots and gently coat them. Let cool for 20 minutes. Garnish with the parsley. These may be prepared up to 1 week before serving. Serve at room temperature. SOPHIE’S VEGETABLES EXTRAORDINAIRE Serves 6 Sophie Bass is the aunt of Ilene and Rick Ross. Ilene was in my cookbook focus group and Rick is the owner of Galleria Au Chocolate and one of my favorite neighbors. Everyone loves this easy but elegant side dish. Sophie prepares this for special family occasions. It is a good do-ahead dish. The sauce and vegetables are prepared separately. Ingredients Vegetables 1 pound whole cauliflower 1 pound broccoli, sliced into serving size 1 pound bag of carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds 1 pound of asparagus, or 1 pound of green beans if you are from a Sephardic background Sauce 1-1/2 stick butter or margarine 3 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 pint white button mushrooms, thinly sliced 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped Method 1. Separately steam each vegetable about 3 to 4 minutes or until al dente (to the tooth). FOOD on page 22

Singer Says

By Phyllis R. Singer Contributing Columnist Life in Israel is never dull. There are always ups and downs. The month of March was a perfect example. As the month began, stores filled with merchandise for Purim: costumes, masks, noisemakers and, of course, hamantaschen, in more flavors than you ever dreamed existed. But the mood of the country was cruelly shattered a little more than a week before the festive holiday. On Friday night, March 11, the Fogel family in Itamar was massacred, as most family members lay sleeping in their beds. Terrorists who entered the home butchered Udi; his wife, Ruth; and three of their six children: Yoav, 11; Elad, 4; and 3-month-old Hadas. Two more sons in another bedroom were not noticed by the terrorists. The Fogels’ 12-year-old daughter discovered the massacre when she returned home from a Friday night Shabbat gathering. Thousands and thousands (some estimates say as many as 25,000) attended the funerals in Jerusalem. On an upside following the horrendous murders, every day of the shiva (the seven-day period of mourning following a funeral), Rami Levi, who owns a large supermarket chain in Israel, visited the shiva house in Itamar and filled the refrigerator and cupboards with food for the family and friends. According to reports circulating in Israel during the shiva week, Levi told family members to get used to his face. “I will deliver food and stock your home until the youngest orphan [age 2] turns 18,” he reportedly said. And in violence elsewhere, missiles and rockets rained down in the South of Israel in the worst attacks on the country by Hamas or its proxies in Gaza since the end of the war in Gaza in 2009. As clashes escalated between the Palestinians and the Israel Defense Forces, rockets landed as far north as Be’er Sheva, Ashkelon and Ashdod. In response, the IDF has counter-attacked Gaza, but the barrage of rockets continues. Defense Minister Ehud Barak told local media that some 100 missiles and mortar shells have hit the South of the country in the past

few weeks. Last week, the IDF began to deploy its Iron Dome anti-missile system, which, hopefully, will shoot down missiles before they can land. And on March 23, two or three days after Purim (depending on where you live in Israel), a bomb exploded at a bus stop in Jerusalem, across from Binyanei Hauma (the International Convention Center), near the Central Bus Station. One woman was killed, and 39 were injured. According to The Jerusalem Post, it was the first terrorist bombing in the city since 2004. The attack brought back memories of the second intifada, when bombings on buses and at public places took place on a regular basis, especially in Jerusalem. In an echo of those days, our phone rang late afternoon that day. It was our son

Jerusalem, it was still Purim Sunday night and Monday. The streets were filled with revelers in costume, people carrying gifts and others hurrying to share a festive dinner with family and friends. A carnival atmosphere pervaded many streets; performances took place in the center of town and special programs for children and adults were held at several museums. Although we were not obligated to hear the Megillah again, we were able to attend a festive dinner with friends in Jerusalem – wearing our special Purim hats and shirts. Everybody loved our shirts: “I love my country; it’s the government I’m afraid of.” We bought those shirts in Washington in 2008, knowing they would be the perfect costume for Purim in Israel – no matter who the prime minister was!

The first Jerusalem marathon took place – drawing 10,000 runners from around the world. It was the dream of Mayor Nir Barkat, an experienced marathon runner, to have an international marathon in the city. Hanan calling to check that we were home. After I sent an e-mail to our family members in the States, I received a reply from our daughter-in-law Carolyn in New York: “Can’t believe we are back to these types of e-mails again.” Hopefully, we are not back to those types of e-mails again! But there are ups happening also. Two days before the bombing, Jerusalem was alive with the spirit of Purim. Festivals, celebrations, costumes and lots of food. For many people like us – who live in Jerusalem but have family outside the city – Purim can be a two-day holiday. In most of Israel, as in the Diaspora, Purim is celebrated for one day, on the 14th of Adar (March 20 this year). But in Jerusalem, the holiday is observed one day later, on the 15th of Adar. That is because the Megillah (9:18-21) ordains that Purim is to be observed on the 14th of Adar and one day later in walled cities (because Shushan was a walled city). The rabbis of the Talmud determined that cities walled at the time of Joshua were to observe Purim on the 15th. So we celebrated Purim with our family on Kibbutz Merav in the North on Saturday night and Sunday, and when we returned to

March ended on an upbeat. The first Jerusalem marathon took place – drawing 10,000 runners from around the world. It was the dream of Mayor Nir Barkat, an experienced marathon runner, to have an international marathon in the city. After competing in the New York marathon in the fall of 2009, Barkat announced that Jerusalem would host a marathon in 2011. After 18 months of planning, including mapping out the routes for the full marathon, a halfmarathon and a smaller run for less serious runners, Barkat was determined not to let the bombing two days earlier ruin the festivities. “When you do a marathon in a city … the city enters your soul,” Barkat told The Jerusalem Post a few weeks before the event. And that’s what Barkat wanted – “sharing Jerusalem with people of the world.” Perhaps those people got more than they bargained for, but they got to share the real Jerusalem with us! Phyllis Singer, former editor/general manager of The American Israelite, and her husband, Allen, can be reached at She and Allen always enjoy hearing from Cincinnatians visiting Israel.



OBITUARIES WEINBERG, Doris E. Doris E. Weinberg, 87, of Raleigh, N.C., died on Saturday, April 2, 2011, at Wake Medical Center in Raleigh. Born August 1923, in Cincinnati, Ohio, she was the daughter of the late Sollie Seligman and Sylvia Sharpiro Seligman Friedman.

Doris E. Weinberg

Mrs. Weinberg was a graduate of Central High School Licensed Practical Nursing Program. She pursued her career as a nurse at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center where she worked for many years. She later retired with her husband to Florida. Mrs. Weinberg was preceded in death by her husband of over 60 years, Irwin Weinberg. She is survived by her sons, Dr. Stephen (Linda) Weinberg, Dr. Gary Weinberg, and Richard Weinberg; her grandchildren, Justin and wife, Lori; Jessica Malia; Sarah and husband, Wade; and Samuel; and her great- grandchildren, Jacob, Eli, Katelyn and Jonah. Graveside services were held on Tuesday, April 5, 2011, at the Raleigh Hebrew Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Wake County, 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, N.C., 27607. Condolences may be sent to


CONFAB from page 7 “People get hung up on the Conservative institutions — are they good or bad. That’s beside the point,” she said. “They’re only good or bad in terms of how they help us get out our message of building a sustainable, joyful community that finds meaning in Jewish tradition and is committed to making the world a better place.” The convention featured formal discussions among the United Synagogue leadership and key figures among a group of about 50 rabbis who have been pushing for completely overhauling United Synagogue. They call themselves Hayom: Coalition for the Transformation of Conservative Judaism. Those discussions took place behind closed doors, but their message is no secret, nor is the rabbis’ dissatisfaction with the new strategic plan. “The clock has started moving faster, and it’s up to the chancellor and the R.A. to determine the fate of the North American Conservative movement,” said Rabbi Menachem Creditor of Netivot Shalom in Berkeley, Calif., a leader of Hayom. Creditor helped craft the strategic GILSON from page 8 “Hundreds and hundreds of women who participated in Hadassah’s Day on the Hill were empowered and touched by Marla’s determined advocacy in our victory for the right to genetic non-discrimination and stem cell research,” the letter stated. “It is now our turn to rally and advocate for Marla — and we urgently need your help.” As it turned out, by the time the letter went out, a bone marrow donor already had been identified for Gilson. Rather than directly assisting her, the letter became a way to honor her and her career.

Since 1864









Cincinnati Showroom 832 State Route 28 Milford, OH 45150 (513) 248-2124

plan, which, he says, “left some of the most dissatisfied communities dissatisfied,” despite his and his colleagues’ best efforts. Some of the Hayom congregations, including Netivot Shalom, have refused to pay the full dues assessed them by the United Synagogue. Those dues can run upward of $80,000 a year for the largest shuls. It doesn’t pay, said one rabbi who preferred to remain anonymous, “because we don’t get anything for that money.” That’s what Wernick is trying to deal with by rebuilding his board, bringing together educators, rabbis and lay leaders in a new leadership development program, and re-imagining the old synagogue model of dues-paying membership. The changes won’t come quickly or easily, he said. But this was a rabbinic conference, not a United Synagogue gathering, which meant less interest in strategic plans and more intellectualizing about what Conservative Judaism is supposed to be — and how its rabbis can best serve their congregations. “I’m not sure the organizational structure matters to people in my pews,” said Rabbi Howard Lifshitz of Congregation Beth

Judea in Long Grove, Ill. “The institutions of the Conservative movement are unknown to them. Most people who come into my synagogue want to know how their participation will touch them, what it will add to their lives.” At Monday’s morning plenary, Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky of Ansche Chesed in Manhattan locked horns with Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles over solutions to the movement’s malaise. Kalmanofsky championed a Judaism of purpose and complexity, one that moves beyond the 20th-century emphasis on helping Jews fit into American society and concentrates instead on helping them “find moral and spiritual purpose” — a “passionate authenticity” that will “seed, nurture and harvest opportunities for people to find depth.” Wolpe argued, on the other hand, for a coherent ideology that “could be put on a bumper sticker,” to let Jews know what the movement stands for. “Intellectual complexity is not the way to bring people into your synagogue,” he said. “You have to pray to something expressible. You can’t beseech a nuance.”

While that big picture conversation was going on in the main plenary, rabbis of congregations outside the major metropolitan centers opined that although they found the discussion fascinating, those weren’t their day-to-day concerns. “I’m not that much into the politics,” said Rabbi Michael Werbow of Congregation Beth Shalom in Pittsburgh. “Our shul is 80,000 square feet. The sanctuary seats 1,800, and we get maybe 100 people on Shabbat.” With a $150,000 deficit and less than one-quarter of his membership paying full dues, Werbow says the future of his synagogue doesn’t depend on how the movement is reorganized. “Our deficit isn’t going away if we don’t pay our dues to the United Synagogue,” he said. “I don’t think the work I’m doing is ‘saving’ the movement,” added Ita Paskind, assistant rabbi of Congregation Olam Tikvah in Fairfax, Va. “In my daily work I try to touch Jews and help them connect to their tradition. I get a fair amount of questions about what the movement says about certain things, but that’s an opportunity for me to explain what Judaism says about it.”

Jewish groups in New York and Washington responded to the call. Bone marrow donor registration drives — which involve getting the inside of the potential donor’s cheek swabbed so a sample can be tested — were held at Hadassah headquarters in New York, at Purim parties in Washington, at the Washington D.C. Jewish Community Center and at the K Street headquarters of several national Jewish groups. At the K Street drive, organized by Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, founder of The Israel Project and a friend of Gilson’s, 48 people registered as donors over the course

of two hours. “She would walk on hot coals for the Jewish people, and she has never been shy about speaking out on behalf of others,” Mizrahi said of Gilson. “So if I can do something small to have some ability to help her, it’s only my honor to do so.” Cutler of American University told JTA that the destruction of so many Ashkenazic bloodlines in the Holocaust makes the likelihood of finding a bone marrow match “like finding a needle in a haystack.” Cutler added that she was aware of the bone marrow issue because of years of advocacy by Gilson and others, but it was different

now that a close friend was suffering. “It became a very concrete thing to me,” she said. The last bone marrow registry drive among Washington-area Jews was in 1989, when a young Jewish woman, Allison Atlas, was diagnosed with leukemia. Atlas was only 20 when she was diagnosed, and she died soon afterward, but her struggle drew massive interest and led to the registration of many potential donors. But, more than two decades later, many of those registered donors are now 60 years of age or older — the maximum age for joining the national registry.

FOOD from page 21

cherries are no longer thought to be gourmet. The addition of these dried fruits gives a distinct flavor to the sauce. The chicken freezes well and can be prepared 3 days ahead. If you wish, you can mix chicken breasts and thighs if some of your family likes dark meat.

stand for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside. 2. Lay the chicken pieces, skin side up, in an oblong baking pan. In a medium bowl, combine the orange juice, sherry and brown sugar. Mix well, then stir in the dried cherries and cranberries and potato starch. Stir together, making sure the potato starch is dissolved. 3. Pour the sauce over the chicken pieces and bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Baste and bake 30 to 40 more minutes, covering the baking pan with aluminum foil during the last 15 minutes. The chicken should look a little crispy on top, and the sauce should begin to thicken. If the sauce gets too thick, add about 1/4 cup orange juice or water during the last 15 minutes of baking.

2. In a medium skillet, melt the butter or margarine. Add the garlic and parsley. Sauté 5 minutes on medium low heat. Add the mushrooms, and sauté 10 to 15 minutes more. Add more butter or margarine if needed. 3. Lay the cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and asparagus or green beans, side by side, vertically, in a 13 x 9-inch casserole. Pour the mushroom sauce evenly over the top of the vegetables. Cover with foil and refrigerate. When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 300°F. Warm 15 minutes. Scarlet Chicken Makes 8 servings Dried cranberries and dried

Ingredients 4 whole bone-in chicken breasts cut in half 1/2 cup dried Bing cherries 1/2 cup dried cranberries 2 cups orange juice 1 tablespoon potato starch 1/2 cup Passover Sherry 1/2 cup Passover brown sugar Method 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the dried fruit in a medium bowl filled with water and let




Select a style and return the form below by mail or fax.







Style D (3 col X 4”) $360.00






Style E (3 Col X 5.45”) $487.50 Style A (2 col X 1.5”) $90.00

Your Own Message! (Your Name) Style B (2 col X 2”) $120.00

HAPPY PASSOVER to Our Family and Associates! Add Your Business Logo

Happy Passover! (Your Name)

Style C (2 col X 3”) $180.00

Wishing all our friends and family a Happy Passover! (Your Name)

Style F: Half-Page Ad (5 col X 6.5”) $975.00 Style H: Full-Page Ad (5 col X 13“) $1950.00 These greeting samples are for display purposes only. Other sizes, styles and messages are available.

The American Israelite  

The American Israelite

The American Israelite  

The American Israelite