THURSDAY, JULY 21, 2011
Cedar Village’s 2011 ‘8 Over 80’ Dinner p.11
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Jerusalem tries to get its cultural groove on
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JCGC adds genealogy search capability to its website Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Cincinnati (JCGC) is pleased to announce the addition to its website of a genealogy search capability which provides access to more than 30,000 burial records, almost half of which include a photo of the memorial. JCGC will be adding photos of memorials to its database on a continual basis and, eventually, will have all of them captured.
“We are very pleased to be able to offer this search capability to the community,” said Jan Armstrong Cobb, board president. “We started working on adding this free service even before JCGC commenced operations, and we expect to add additional data and make enhancements to the site in the coming months. We invite you to go to the site and look up your ancestors.”
Executive Director, David Hoguet, stated “The site provides visitors with the opportunity to add additional information or to submit corrections to the records. For example, when JCGC’s records include only birth and death dates and a grave location, visitors will be able to add names of parents and children. Over time, we hope to transform JCGC into a valuable his-
torical and educational resource for the community.” JCGC is comprised of 22 Jewish cemeteries — most of the Jewish cemeteries in Cincinnati and Hamilton, Ohio. The genealogy search is part of more than 10 years of community efforts to address the financial, succession, upkeep and other challenges facing Cincinnati as well as many Jewish communities.
Korkin is elected president of Partners in Senior Life Sally F. Korkin, executive director of the Cedar Village Foundation, was elected president of Partners in Senior Life, formerly Associates of Jewish Homes and Services for the Aging (AJHSA) at the 36th Annual Meeting held recently in Detroit, Mich. “I have been privileged to be associated with this organization since 1999 when I attended my first conference in Washington, D.C.,” said Korkin. “I am proud to be the president of Partners in Senior Life which represents volunteers and professionals committed to enhancing the lives of the residents in the Jewish senior care facilities we represent. At the Annual Meeting a new mission was approved: to improve the quality of life for seniors served by organizations based on Jewish values. One of the goals during my presidency, which has already been accomplished, was to change the name of the organization to Partners in Senior Life to better reflect our new mission.” Partners in Senior Life is a nonprofit organization that provides education, leadership development, net-
working and member support to improve and enrich the quality of life for the elderly entrusted to the care of Jewish homes and services providers. The Cedar Village auxiliary group, the Friends of Cedar Village, has been a member agency since 1997. The Friends of Cedar Village planned a special reception in honor of Korkin’s presidency. At that time, her family created a special fund to name the new kitchen in the renovated Cedar Village Rehabilitation Center as “Sally’s Place.” The rehab kitchen is a place where patients can practice skills they will use in their own kitchen when they return home following therapy. Donations to the Sally’s Place Fund can be made through the Cedar Village Foundation office. “We are thrilled by Sally’s election and delighted to share her many talents and skills with Partners in Senior Life,” said Carol Silver Elliott, CEO and president of Cedar Village. “At Cedar Village, we welcome the opportunity to participate with our colleagues nationally to help improve care and services for our elders everywhere.”
Sally F. Korkin
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LOCAL • 3
THURSDAY, JULY 21, 2011
Unique program garners award for Rockwern Academy teachers Three Rockwern Academy teachers have been selected as recipients of the Joyce Heiman Education Excellence Award. The award was established at the school in 2000 to honor Joyce Heiman’s commitment to Jewish day school education. Joyce was moved by the knowledge and enthusiasm of the children at Rockwern and wanted to show appreciation to the teachers for their creativity and positive impact on our community’s future Jewish leaders. This year, librarian Julia Weinstein, teacher Elaine Kaplan and music teacher Shawn Wyatt were honored for the development and implementation of an innovative interfaith education program believed to be unique in the United States. Every student, from preschool to the 6th grade, at both Rockwern Academy—Cincinnati’s community Jewish Day School— and at the International Academy—the area’s community Islamic school—joined to do schoolwide readings of a single book: “Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson. In the book, the students learned about efforts to build much-needed schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The two schools instituted a curriculum based on the book that incorporated geography, math, language arts, religion, fine arts and music. Both schools complement-
ed these studies with a servicelearning program. They also learned songs to sing with each other and were invited to join in
How JFS’s food pantry strengthens lives Barry Margulis, age 53, from Fort Thomas, Ky., worked in insurance before his health took a turn for the worse, he lost his job, and needed assistance from the Jewish Family Service food pantry. Last year, the JFS food pantry fed 208 people living in 36 different zip codes across Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Many of whom, such as Margulis, thought they would never need to ask for help meeting basic needs. “I’ve got an autoimmune disorder along with some muscle wasting and bone loss. Before I got this really bad disorder I was running 10 miles a day, weighed about 250 pounds, and had a 30-inch waist. I was really healthy, into weightlifting and all that, so I really got depressed after I got sick.” “Well I’m disabled right now and I’m on food stamps, so it’s a big need because food stamps don’t help out enough,” explains Margulis. Margulis has been going to Jewish Family Service food pantry
off and on since 2007. There, clients who are experiencing financial difficulties are able to choose from a variety of free personal care items and kosher food including meat; fresh fruits and vegetables; and canned and packaged goods. “There’s more quality with kosher,” Margulis says. Being Jewish, he appreciates working with a Jewish organization, and feels “safe in this environment.” For Margulis and others who use the food pantry, the challenges they face often go beyond their need for food. Jewish Family Service provides them with case management, supportive guidance and counseling to improve their situation and support their efforts toward self-sufficiency. “I go to Fran at JFS for counseling and that’s a big help,” he says. He explains that Jewish Family Service social workers “help you explore other opportunities to help you reach your potential. PANTRY on page 19
Cincinnati’s celebration of Martin Luther King Day by singing with the Martin Luther King Jr. Choral at Music Hall. Many in attendance said the sight of the multicultural choir singing together was one of the most moving events of the day. The program turned out to be an extraordinary opportunity for Muslim and Jewish students to meet each other while learning about and understanding each other’s cultures, religions and shared values. In presenting the award to the teachers, Rockwern Academy board member Kim Heiman said, “Their creativity, passion and organizational skills excited not only the students but also their parents, the faculty, the Jewish community, and the community of Cincinnati at large.”
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4 • LOCAL
JCC Park-a-Day Camp combines nature, adventure Kids can have some more fun at different Greater Cincinnati parks each day at the 1-week, late summer Park-a-Day S’More Camp at the Mayerson JCC. An extension of Camp at the J, S’More Camps are 1week specialty camps that focus on a variety of fun activities. The Park-a-Day camp offers a week of day trips to various parks throughout the city. JCC S’More
Camps are open to the public, and advance registration is required. JCC Park-a-Day S’More Camp is August 1-5, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. J Members pay a discounted fee. Extended day options are available for an extra fee. Park-a-Day campers will visit Miami Whitewater, Winton Woods, Embshoff Woods, Woodland Mound and Krohn Conservatory.
Children will also have fun with different activities each day based on the uniqueness of each park. Frisbee Golf is just one example of an exciting game the kids will play. Many of the parks offer wet playgrounds and hiking trails for campers to explore. Children will also enjoy the outdoor pool and indoor waterpark at the JCC when they return to the campsite on two
of the days. Campers bring a lunch each day, and one day will be a fun grill-out. Additional JCC S’More Camps, which run 1-week each during August 1 – 19, include soccer, basketball, golf, cooking and horseback riding (filled). For more information or to register your child for S’More Camps at the J, visit the website or contact the JCC camp office.
Summer Sports Camps at the J Children can practice and improve their sports skills at the Mayerson JCC’s late-summer camps. Soccer, basketball, golf and sports adventure are each the focus of different 1-week S’More Camps at the JCC. S’More Sports Camps are open to all children in grades K-8 (golf camp only for grades 4-8), and advance registration is required. J Members pay a discounted rate. “Our sports camps are very
popular and sell out quickly,” said Mike Creemer, JCC director of Sports and Recreation. “The kids enjoy mastering their sport and showing off their skills through various games and challenges in this friendly environment.” Children will have fun at JCC soccer camp August 1-5, while developing skills and gaining game-playing experience. Sports Adventure camp runs August 8-12. The Sports
Adventure camp features sports such as flag football, baseball and lacrosse, as well as rappelling, map reading and creeking. Kids will learn and develop individual and team basketball skills during JCC basketball camp, August 15-19. There will be mini-tournaments of fun games such as Horse, 3-Point and Around the World. During the same week (August 15 – 19), kids who want to learn golf skills can practice at a driving range,
play miniature golf, and enjoy a par 3 golf course with golf camp. All of the S’More Sports Camps are held at the JCC and Amberley Field. Campers will also swim in the outdoor pool and indoor waterpark at the J. Early registration is encouraged, as all JCC S’More Camps are expected to sell out. For more information or to register your child for S’More Camp, visit the JCC website or contact the JCC Camp Office.
Wise Temple Brotherhood’s busy summer While many groups view summer as a time to take a break from programming, the men of the Wise Temple Brotherhood see these months as just another opportunity to engage in meaningful projects and events. In addition to the regular cycling every summer Sunday morning, several members of the Wise Temple Brotherhood greeted the beginning of summer with an outing to the Great American Ball Park, where they watched the Cincinnati Reds play the Toronto Blue Jays on June 18. “It was a great opportunity to come together for a fun evening
of sports and camaraderie,” noted Dr. Jay Rissover, who organized this event. The following week, the men served dinner to the guests who were staying at Wise Temple as part of the Interfaith Hospitality Network. In addition to cooking and presenting the meal, members of the groups stayed for the duration of the night to make sure that the families were comfortable. Master cook, Ed Waterman, shared, “It is always great to make some good food for these folks. We are happy to do it.” On Sunday, July 9, a group from the Wise Temple Brotherhood met
the boys from the Lighthouse Youth Services and treated them to a day of canoeing at the Little Miami River. Some of the boys had never had such an experience before this day. Scott Joseph, who attended this event, commented, “It was an amazing day to be with these boys in such a beautiful outdoor setting. I will never forget this special time.” Just one week after this canoe trip, the Brothers hosted a congregational cookout for all of Wise Temple. This event featured delicious food, games and a Havdalah service to mark the end of Shabbat. Along with these events, the Brothers have devoted themselves
to building a new Gaga pit for the Wise Temple Religious School. Gaga is a form of dodgeball that originated in Israel. It has become quite popular with the Wise Temple youth, and the kids are eager to begin using it this fall as part of their informal educational activities. Brotherhood President Andy Markiewitz reflected, “This has really been a full summer for Brotherhood. It is interesting to note that of all our activity, only biking was an expected summer event in May. We are consistently amazed by the energy and enthusiasm of our men.”
by local artists, at the organization’s annual Bricks for Breast Cancer fundraising event later in the year. ACTout is a partnership between Access, an initiative of The Mayerson Foundation, and the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati. From building butterfly gardens at the Peaslee Neighborhood Center and doing odd jobs for homebound seniors, to working with young adults with disabilities and packaging yartzeit candles for 1,500 people in commemoration of Yom Ha’Shoah, ACTout offers young professionals opportunities to give back in a Jewish context. “We are glad we can help make programs like this possible,” says Rebecca Hoffheimer, development officer of the Young Adult Division of the Sarah and Ellen Ganson
The American Israelite “LET THERE BE LIGHT” THE OLDEST ENGLISH-JEWISH WEEKLY IN AMERICA - EST. JULY 15, 1854
VOL. 157 • NO. 52 THURSDAY, JULY 21, 2011 19 TAMMUZ 5771 SHABBAT BEGINS FRIDAY 8:41 PM SHABBAT ENDS SATURDAY 9:42 PM THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE CO., PUBLISHERS 18 WEST NINTH STREET, SUITE 2 CINCINNATI, OHIO 45202-2037 Phone: (513) 621-3145 Fax: (513) 621-3744 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org RABBI ISSAC M. WISE Founder, Editor, Publisher, 1854-1900 LEO WISE Editor & Publisher, 1900-1928 RABBI JONAH B. WISE Editor & Publisher, 1928-1930
Young professional volunteer project brings beauty to what once was broken down From a pile of rubble to a poignant symbol of renewal… how can bricks from a bunch of broken down buildings benefit breast cancer research? Thanks to Cincinnati native, Ellen Ganson, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2006, it’s possible. And now, ACTout, a volunteer initiative for Jewish young professionals ages 21-35, will host a special program to help support the effort she started on Sunday, July 24 at 1 p.m. at the Mayerson JCC. The event is free with advance reservations and includes “pink” drinks and desserts. Abstract or funky, metaphorical or moving, participants of all artistic abilities will get to contribute to this cause by transforming ordinary bricks into unique works of art to be auctioned off, along with other bricks designed
PROJECT on page 20
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 BARBARA L. MORGENSTERN Senior Writer NICOLE SIMON RITA TONGPITUK Assistant Editors ALEXIA KADISH Copy Editor JANET STEINBERG Travel Editor STEPHANIE DAVIS-NOVAK Fashion Editor SONDRA KATKIN 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 MICHAEL MAZER Sales 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 columnists of The American Israelite do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the newspaper.
LOCAL • 5
THURSDAY, JULY 14, 2011
AI website — unique visitors triple since launch Plus this week’s Facebook Fan of the Week The American Israelite website has tripled in unique visitor hits since launching in January of this year. Numbers continue to climb rapidly each month and far surpass projected expectations. Each of these unique visitors span a wide audience from young professionals
to families to teens, baby boomers, senior adults and those living outside the United States — representing all the various segments advertisers want to reach online to promote their products and services. Benefits to our readers include The American Israelite’s news
ticker from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. The ticker that appears on The American Israelite’s homepage is a scrolling news feed automatically updated with JTA’s breaking news from national, international and Israeli sources. This feature keeps our online read-
ers informed with the latest Jewish-related news from around the world. The ticker is visible on the top left corner of each page of our website. In addition, you can access our online newsletter, the E-sraelite, and subscribe to it by going to the
top right corner of the American Israelite site’s homepage and typing in your email address. Also, congratulations to Kathy Cushner Kanter, this week’s new Facebook Fan of the Week. Don’t forget to “like” us, for your chance to be the Fan of the Week!
Adath Israel students confirmed Sixteen Adath Israel students were confirmed this spring. The confirmation students celebrated their achievement by leading Shavuot services on Wednesday, June 8, including reading the complete Torah portion and Haftorah. Each student was presented with a copy of the JPS Tanach and Rabbi Joseph Telushkin’s Jewish Literacy. Students also had a tree planted in Israel honoring their commitment to Jewish education. Certificates were given by Hillary Hirsch, the director of Youth and Family Programming, and Debbie Lempert, vice president of Education and Youth Programming. During their confirmation year students reaffirm their relationship
During their confirmation year students reaffirm their relationship to and with the 613 mitzvot given at Mount Sinai. The students find some of the mitzvot personally relevant today. They also learn that they have the rest of their lives to continue their study of mitzvot. to and with the 613 mitzvot given at Mount Sinai. The students find some of the mitzvot personally relevant today. They also learn that they have the rest of their lives to continue their study of mitzvot. Each confirmation student attended Mercaz, the conser-
vative Hebrew High School. In her Dvar Torah Samantha Wolkoff encouraged all of her classmates to continue their commitment to Jewish education and graduate from Mercaz in two years. The confirmation students met regularly with Rabbi Wise to dis-
cuss what confirmation means to them. According to Rabbi Wise, senior rabbi at Adath Israel Congregation, “In Conservative Judaism Confirmation is a creation of 19th century America. It has become an important Jewish experience allowing our youth to con-
firm their commitment to Judaism at a more mature age than when they became b’nai and b’not mitzvah. The level of discussion and study is significant and the opportunity to influence them and give Jewish context for their lives and their decisions is very important.” Confirmation students also volunteered at Adath Israel’s annual Mitzvah Day and attended the Martin Luther King Day march. This years confirmands were; Anna Bailes, Elka Bresler, Kali Cohen, Sallie Cohen, Jake Fisher, Zach Fisher, Louis Goldsmith, Isabella Guttman, Rebecca Kahn, Benji Kriner, Nathan Meisner, Ethan Padnos, Jake Paul, Allison Schwartz, Hannah Wise and Samantha Wolkoff.
6 • NATIONAL
Amid Murdoch scandal, Israel backers worry about muting of pro-Israel media voice
By Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraphic Agency WASHINGTON (JTA) — ProIsrael leaders in the United States, Britain and Australia are warily watching the unfolding of the phone-hacking scandal that is threatening to engulf the media empire of Rupert Murdoch, founder of News Corp. Murdoch’s sudden massive reversal of fortune — with 10 top former staffers and executives under arrest in Britain for hacking into the phones of public figures and a murdered schoolgirl, and paying off the police and journalists — has supporters of Israel worried that a diminished Murdoch presence may mute the strongly pro-Israel voice of many of the publications he owns. “His publications and media have proven to be fairer on the issue of Israel than the rest of the media,” said Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice-chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. “I hope that won’t be impacted.” Murdoch’s huge stable encompasses broadsheets such as The Wall Street Journal, the Times of London and The Australian, as well as tabloids, most notably The Sun in Britain and the New York Post. It also includes the influential Fox News Channel in the United States and a 39 percent stake in British Sky Broadcasting, or BSkyB, a satellite broadcaster. Murdoch founded the neoconservative flagship The Weekly Standard in 1995,
Mayor Bloomberg sits shiva with Leiby’s family (JTA) — New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg sat shiva with the family of Leiby Kletzky. Bloomberg, wearing a yarmulke, visited the family for about 15 minutes on Monday along with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who is directing the investigation into the murder of the 8-year-old boy. “The commissioner and I express our condolences to the parents and grandparents and siblings, and there’s not a lot else we can say,” the mayor said according to the New York Post. Bloomberg also said, “I think we should, before we go to bed, take a look at our children and recognize how lucky we are to have them. Pray this doesn’t happen to us.”
Courtesy of Aaron Fulkerson via CreativeCommons
The scandal engulfing media giant Rupert Murdoch, shown speaking May 24, 2011 in Paris at a gathering of Internet and digital industry leaders, is causing anxiety among some Jewish leaders over the possible effects on his empire’s pro-Israel coverage.
and sold it last year. Jewish leaders said that Murdoch’s view of Israel’s dealings with the Palestinians and with its Arab neighbors seemed both knowledgeable and sensitive to the Jewish state’s self-perception as beleaguered and isolated. “My own perspective is simple: We live in a world where
there is an ongoing war against the Jews,” Murdoch said last October at an Anti-Defamation League dinner in his honor. “When Americans think of anti-Semitism, we tend to think of the vulgar caricatures and attacks of the first part of the 20th century. Now it seems that the most virulent strains come from the left. Often
this new anti-Semitism dresses itself up as legitimate disagreement with Israel.” Murdoch, 80, has visited Israel multiple times and met with many of its leaders. In 2009 he was honored by the American Jewish Committee. MURDOCH on page 21
As men fade from Jewish communal life, men’s clubs push for revival By Sue Fishkoff Jewish Telegraphic Agency SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) — When Mitchell Ross was a boy, he remembers his grandfather hanging out with the men’s club at his Conservative synagogue. “I always felt it was something older Jewish men were involved in, the over-60s club,” said Ross, a 39-year-old cardiologist in Phoenix, Ariz. Today, Ross is active in his own men’s club at Har Zion Congregation, a Conservative shul in Scottsdale, and he is working hard to attract men his age and younger to a Jewish world that many of them have dismissed. “I’m into fitness, into biking, and the men’s club has a wellness initiative, so we do a lot of hikes as well as community service activities,” Ross told JTA. “It
offers a way for younger men to get involved.” Good luck with that. For more than a decade, Jewish leaders and academics have been lamenting the disappearance of boys and men from non-Orthodox Jewish life. Men’s clubs, operating at more than 250 North American Conservative synagogues, are just one of many groups trying to stop the hemorrhaging. “The challenge facing the American Jewish community is not that women are more active — surely a positive development — but that men and boys have retreated from much of American Jewish life,” wrote Sylvia Barack Fishman and Daniel Parmer in the Fall 2008 issue of Jewish Political Studies Review in a piece titled “The Policy Implications of the Gender Imbalance Among
America’s Jews.” Some, including Fishman, call it the “feminization” of liberal Judaism, a term that raises hackles among those who don’t wish to see women’s ritual gains reversed or blamed for the retreat of men. But the phenomenon is readily apparent and has elicited scores of programming initiatives. Many parallel women’s initiatives. The Man Seder, an all-male Passover seder held at American Jewish University in Los Angeles since 2006, is patterned after the women’s seders that emerged in the 1980s. The teenage boys’ programs developed this year by the organization Moving Traditions were an outgrowth of its popular program for teenage girls, Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing. A number of Reform and Conservative synagogues run a program usually called 100 Jewish
Men — a series of dinners with speakers who talk about their relationship to Judaism, their families and their careers. “At so many synagogues, especially in the non-Orthodox world, the men are not there and the men’s clubs skew older,” said Rabbi David Woznicka of the Stephen S. Wise Temple, a large Reform congregation in Los Angeles that launched such a series four years ago for its members between 30 and 55. Nearly 100 men signed up in the first year, and the project is still steaming along. The most aggressive pursuer of the great disappearing American Jewish male is probably the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs, the umbrella group for men’s clubs in the U.S. MEN on page 21
Mengele’s writings to be auctioned (JTA) — The writings of Auschwitz’s “Angel of Death,” Dr. Josef Mengele, are for sale by auction. Alexander Historic Auctions of Stamford, Conn., announced that it will sell off all of the war criminal’s writings in an auction on July 21. The writings include Mengele’s autobiography describing his escape from Germany and life in South America, diaries, philosophical tracts, racial and political commentary, poetry, short stories and travelogues. The archive is composed of more than 3,300 pages of handwritten text, some illustrated, written while Mengele was in hiding in Paraguay and Brazil between 1960 and 1975. At war’s end Mengele fled to South America, where he resided living in wealth, then poverty, until his accidental death by drowning in Brazil in 1979. “Scholarly institutions or historic collections should obtain these writings not as a ‘remembrance’ of a horrific period of world history, but more as a learning tool for future generations to recognize the psychopathic mentality that incited the Holocaust so that similar genocides are never repeated,” Bill Panagopoulos, president of the auction house, said in a statement. Palestinians reject violence but favor one state, poll finds WASHINGTON (JTA) — Palestinians favor negotiations and nonviolent means but still do not accept Israel’s legitimacy, a poll showed. NATIONAL on page 20
NATIONAL • 7
THURSDAY, JULY 21, 2011
At the three weeks, New federation CEOs mourning the narrowness experimenting with funding models of today’s Judaism By Dan Klein Jewish Telegraphic Agency
By Erica Brown Jewish Telegraphic Agency SILVER SPRING, Md. (JTA) — Amid the clutter of towels, beach umbrellas and summer lies something more dark and painful that marks the summer months for Jews. On July 19, we will begin the Three Weeks mourning period on the Jewish calendar with a fast. Otherwise known by its name from the book of Lamentations, Bein Ha-mitzarim, between the straits or narrow places, the Three Weeks marks the ancient siege of Jerusalem and the subsequent destruction of the city and the two Temples. On the ninth of Av, the period closes with another fast as the apogee of our mourning. On the second fast day we have two public readings. The book of Lamentations is traditionally read in the evening with a haunting melody while sitting on the floor. In the morning, congregations read an extensive series of medieval poems, or kinot, that describe major persecutions and collective losses that we have experienced as a people — whether the York massacre in England or the burning of the Talmud in France in the 13th century. Over time, more layers of kinot have been added to the liturgy reflecting more recent historical trauma like the Holocaust. The kinot book is a repository of tears and sadness. You may be reading this and thinking that the Three Weeks is only observed today by the very religious, and you would be right. No one is going to snatch away your summer fun or even diminish its breezy quality with a mourning period that is as much anachronistic as it is difficult to capture emotionally. It is downright difficult to mourn losses that you have never experienced personally. But when it comes to this time period, perhaps it is not the personal that is mourned at all. When I think of the missing Temples, I don’t focus on sacrifices or bricks and mortar. I think about how amazing it must have been to watch an entire people on pilgrimage to the Temple three times a year. I imagine the power of numbers when the entire community assembled. There is something transcendent about being in a space shared by tens of thousands of people with a similar mission and vision. There is something deeply moving
about atonement, guilt, thanksgiving and joy when it is celebrated collectively rather than merely personally. Today, Judaism is an expression of self much more than it is an expression of the collective. Many of my formative Jewish moments were birthed through the Soviet Jewry movement. I was swept up by rallies on the National Mall in Washington and at the United Nations in New York. I felt part of something larger, and it felt great. I remember taking off the Anatoly Sharansky bracelet and taking down his poster when Sharansky took his historic walk to freedom out of the clutches of Soviet repression. I experienced this joy not as a single individual but as part of a wave of consciousness that the community voice is always louder. It has the heft and depth that cannot be mustered alone. A few years ago when I was speaking at a conference in Jerusalem, a young woman from Latin America raised her hand and said, “We have no causes today, only organizations.” Years later her words still ring true. My children know nothing of large-scale Jewish movements to transform the world, even at a time when tikkun olam projects are thrown about with abandon. Absorbed in our own limited spaces, we have no spiritual center as an entire people. We have no gathering place for our passions and causes. We are locked into community with a small “c.” Our collective voice needs a platform. The prophet Zechariah laments that people fast over the Temple’s destruction but have lost the true meaning of community. It is not about the building but about the builders. “Execute true justice, deal loyally and compassionately with each other,” Zechariah warns. That only happens when we can see each other. We have compassion for people when we have face-to-face encounters with them. Bringing people together in a sacred space generated that bonding. But we have no such space now. We call this time period a narrow place because for us, Judaism has been narrowed as a result of this loss. For that I mourn. Dr. Erica Brown is the scholar in residence for the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.
NEW YORK (JTA) — A generational changing of the guard throughout North America’s largest Jewish charitable network is opening the door to new chief executives increasingly open to experimenting with changes to the century-old funding model favored by local federations. In some communities, boards of directors are tapping CEO candidates with little or no experience within the federations system, drawing from other corners of the charitable world or the business sector. In other cases, up-andcomers from within the federation system are using their first crack at the CEO position to demonstrate a willingness to consider changes. In particular, the new CEOs are experimenting with changes that expand the list of organizations eligible to receive federation funds, potentially forcing longtime constituent agencies to compete for a limited pool of dollars. Just last week, the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles — headed by Jay Sanderson, a newcomer to the federation system — concluded its “The Next Big Jewish Idea” contest, which featured an open submissions process and a $100,000 prize. This comes just weeks after the Jewish Federation of Portland, also led by a new, first-time federation CEO, concluded a process in which it decided to give away $300,000 — the equivalent of 10 percent of its annual fundraising campaign — in an open process. For more than a century since the first Jewish federation was founded in 1895, these organizations generally have stuck fast to a traditional umbrella model: The local federation runs an annual fundraising campaign that raises money from a wide swath of small and large donors, and the charitable dollars are allocated by a committee of federation veterans to partner agencies, including Jewish community centers and nursing homes. The partner agencies spend the money as they wish, which normally means core costs like payroll and rent. Defenders of the system argue that it underscores a commitment to shared responsibility, puts funding decisions in the hands of informed planners and board members, and ensures that a full range of communal needs are addressed — not just trendy charitable causes. Yet as donors have aged without being replaced and communal participation has shrunk, this venerable model has been criticized in some circles as rigid and entrenched. Critics complain that in practice the
Courtesy of Jewish Federation of Greater Portland
Marc Blattner, the new CEO at the Federation of Greater Portland in Oregon, and other new federation chiefs have created large grant programs meant to fund innovative programs and attract new donors.
existing system stifles necessary change by making it difficult for new organizations to receive funds and fails to speak to younger philanthropists who want a much bigger role in determining how their charitable dollars are spent. “The model was created to be an umbrella for agencies to raise money for all parts of a community,” said Sanderson, who came from outside the federation system, having previously served as the CEO of the nonprofit Jewish Television Network. “But across the country the needs have changed, but the federations haven’t.” Sanderson is part of a new wave of leaders who not only are new to federation leadership, but also in many cases relatively new to the federation themselves, coming from a variety of professional backgrounds. “Some communities are hesitant to bring in someone without the usual Jewish development track,” said Stu Silberman, CEO of the Jewish Community of Louisville, Ky., an entity created through the 2009 merger of local federation and JCC. Silberman left a career in marketing and business development at Ford last year to take the job. His more recent predecessors came from backgrounds in social work. Sanderson, who spent 20 years working in Jewish media before being appointed, believes that hesitancy could have dire consequences, particularly in the next few years — 19 federations, including five in major Jewish population centers — are currently working to
fill leadership vacancies. “It needs a lot of rethinking,” Sanderson said. “Will the communities in this country have courage to try someone who hasn’t worked in the federation system for 25 years? Not that they aren’t good people, but sometimes I think good thinking comes from people who weren’t born and bred in the federations.” “There is a lot of recycling,” he added, “and I don’t think recycling is the answer.” Within the new leadership there is a sense of frustration over a system that they say often stifles innovation, but division as to how best to address it. “Often federation allocations become budget fillers — we fill the holes in our partners’ budgets,” said Marc Blattner, the CEO of Portland federation. “We believe we shouldn’t just do that, but put some risk capital into the community.” Blattner arrived in Philadelphia only a few years after the federation there instituted a major reform. Rather then the federation providing core allocations for which the agencies determine the usage, recipient organizations now have to pitch specific programs — along with measurable metrics — that fit into the federation’s goals. In short, they have to compete for the money. In Philadelphia, it was another CEO from the outside — Ira Schwartz, who came to the federation after serving as the provost of Temple University — who pushed hard to implement the new approach. CEOS on page 20
8 • NATIONAL / INTERNATIONAL
From left to right, American Jews are criticizing Israeli anti-boycott law By Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraphic Agency WASHINGTON (JTA) — Backers of a new Israeli law penalizing anyone who targets Israel or West Bank settlements for boycotts tout it as a tool to fight back against anti-Israel campaigns, but American Jewish organizations seem remarkably united in deeming the measure an affront to freedom of expression. “We’re disappointed that they passed the law,” said Rabbi Steve Gutow, the director of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the umbrella body for the Jewish public policy groups. “We don’t support boycotts,” he said, adding that “The law does challenge democracy in a way, and hopefully the Supreme Court will respond.” “Not since ‘Who is a Jew?’ ” has there been a controversy that could seriously strain relations between Israel and American Jews, said one pro-Israel heavyweight, referring to the early 1980s battle. “Oy! Who needs it?” The Knesset enacted the law late Monday night by a vote of 47 to 38 after hours of fierce debate. The legislation, initiated by Likud Knesset member Ze’ev Elkin, allows advocates of boycotts against Israel or areas under its control to be sued for monetary damages by those who are hurt by the boycotts. It also prohibits the Israeli government from doing business with companies that
comply with such boycotts. A number of liberal Israeli nongovernmental organizations and civil rights groups are mounting legal challenges to the law. In America, negative feeling toward the measure seems to span the ideological spectrum, from J Street on the left to the Zionist Organziation of America on the right. Morton Klein, the ZOA’s president, said he was still examining the law, but that in principle the ZOA opposed anti-boycott laws. “Nobody was more appalled by the boycott of Ariel theater than me, but to make it illegal? I don’t think so,” Klein told JTA, referring to calls by some Israeli artists to boycott a performing arts center in the West Bank settlement of Ariel. Supporters of the law in Israel say it is a necessary counter measure to boycott efforts. “It’s a principle of democracy that you don’t shun a public you disagree with by harming their livelihood,” Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said during the debate on the bill, according to Ynet. “A boycott on a certain sector is not the proper manifestation of freedom of expression.” The Anti-Defamation League, however, suggested in a public statement that the legislation is not the appropriate way to combat boycotts. “To legally stifle calls to action — however abhorrent and detrimental they might be — is a disservice to Israeli society,” said
Courtesy of Kobi Gideon/Flash90
Ze’ev Elkin, with kipah, the Likud Party member who initiated the anti-boycott bill in the Knesset, gets a hug from fellow lawmaker Ofir Akonis during voting on the measure at the plenum of the Knesset in Jerusalem, July 11, 2011.
Abraham Foxman, the ADL’s national director. “We hope Israel’s Supreme Court will quickly take up a review of this law and resolve the concerns it raises.” In an interview, Foxman expressed concern that in any case, a degree of damage was done to Israel by the law, even if the courts eventually quash it. “The people who wanted it will say, ‘We introduced it, we argued for it, we got it passed,’ and the people who think it’s contrary to democracy will have their victory in the court,” he said. “People are playing politics with an issue that does Israel damage.” Centrist American Jewish groups in the past year have pressed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government twice to contain what they perceived as damaging hearings in the Knesset, one targeting human rights groups and the other J Street. Joining the ADL in issuing statements condemning the law were an array of dovish Jewish groups that included the New Israel Fund, J Street and Americans for Peace Now. “When you start to persecute unpopular opinions, there really is no end point,” said Naomi Paiss, a spokeswoman for the New Israel Fund. The Israeli Embassy in Washington, fielding what it said was “not a small amount” of calls seeking clarification on the matter, reflected what appeared to be ambivalence on the law by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was absent for the Knesset vote. The embassy was telling those with queries, “This is a matter of controversy in Israel, and it would appear that it will have to be heard by the High Court of Justice, as in any democracy.” The Obama administration was measured as well in responding to the law. An administration official told JTA that the law was an internal matter, but also pointed to democratic values shared by Israel and the United States, including free speech. The bill defines “boycott” as “deliberately avoiding economic, cultural or academic ties with another person or another factor only because of his ties with the State of Israel, one of its institutions or an area under its control, in such a way that may cause economic, cultural or academic damage,” according to a translation of the legislation provided by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. The legislation applies not only to boycotts targeting all of Israel but also those aimed at “an area under its control” — meaning that Israelis who support boycotting West Bank settlements would be vulnerable under the law.
Courtesy of Alex Weisler
Jews and Muslims affiliated with Shalom | Paix | Salam dancing at the interfaith group’s annual picnic in Paris, July 10, 2011.
How to use Facebook to build friendships between French Muslims and Jews By Alex Weisler Jewish Telegraphic Agency PARIS (JTA) — At a glance, the Muslim-Jewish picnic at the peace fountain in Yitzhak Rabin Garden, in this city’s Bercy Park, looks like a reunion of old friends. Middle-aged men and women sit on blankets and laugh together, snacking on carrots and Middle Eastern pastries. A circle of women dances wildly to the tunes of a guitarist and tambourine player. But many of the 100 or so people there have never met — at least not face to face. They are part of a groundbreaking group that is trying to build bridges between Muslims and Jews in France by fostering a community on Facebook where members can interact directly online about the issues that divide them, and then meet at occasional social gatherings like the recent picnic in Paris. The group is called Shalom | Paix | Salam — the Hebrew, French and Arabic words for peace. “It’s revolutionary,” says Mohamed Kamli, a Muslim law student at the Sorbonne and one of the group’s assistant directors. “You don’t have to go up to a random person on the street and say, ‘You have a kipah, let’s talk about some issues.’ ” The group is trying to change the nature of the relationship of Jews and Muslims in France — one that is marked more by friction and conflict than by friendship. Shalom | Paix | Salam, which is coordinated by five Muslims and five Jews, all volunteers, was launched after Muslim-Jewish tensions in France boiled over during the Gaza War of 2008-09. The idea wasn’t to avoid the points of conflict but to facilitate debate about complicated issues without allowing participants to “import the conflict between Israel
and Palestine,” says Shalom | Paix | Salam’s co-president, Corine Goldberger, who is Jewish. “Here, we are not in Gaza. We’re not in the West Bank. Here, we are in Paris,” Goldberger, a journalist at the French version of Marie Claire magazine who reports on human rights issues, tells JTA. “There’s no need to fight.” Shalom | Paix | Salam now has 1,600 fans on Facebook. Aside from online chatter, the group organizes film screenings, museum tours, lectures, picnics and other meet-ups. Members even held a peace march at the Eiffel Tower. Patrick Conquy, president of the Paris branch of the JewishMuslim Friendship of France, or AJMF, one of the country’s bestknown interfaith institutions, says Shalom | Paix | Salam’s use of social networking sets it apart from other dialogue programs. “A lot of people came to the group by typing something online, very young people tired of being called a Jew or ‘you dirty Muslim,’” Kamli says. “In Shalom | Paix | Salam, they found a shelter of positive ideas.” The organization doesn’t take overtly political stances, though it is pressured to do so, such as after Israeli forces killed nine Turks in a confrontation aboard a flotilla in May 2010 that was trying to evade Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. “Putting aside politics is something that isn’t done here in France by the other organizations,” Kamli says. That approach is what drew two young Parisian Muslim sisters, Sana and Rizlaine Atifi, to the organization. “It’s very important to connect all people,” Rizlaine Atifi says. “In the world, there are so many problems about religion. In France, we don’t need that.”
INTERNATIONAL • 9
THURSDAY, JULY 21, 2011
An Israeli’s great biking adventure: Around the world on two wheels By Dan Goldberg Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Courtesy of Ruth Ellen Gruber
John Benfield, left, and Arthur Figur of the U.S. European Maccabi team, both Vienna natives, standing in front of a plaque on the city’s Imperial Hotel showing the 19th century composer Richard Wagner, a noted anti-Semite, July 2011.
For native Austrians, a symbolic swim ‘to show the Nazis’ By Ruth Ellen Gruber Jewish Telegraphic Agency VIENNA, Austria (JTA) — John Benfield didn’t return to his native Austria to win medals. “I’m not a competitive swimmer,” said Benfield, 80, of Los Angeles. “But when I heard that the European Maccabi Games were being held in Vienna, I knew it was something I needed to do.” Sitting next to him on a sofa off the lobby of the Austrian capital’s elegant Hotel Imperial, Benfield’s lifelong friend Arthur Figur, also 80, nodded in agreement. “It’s a symbolic return to a country that could have annihilated me if I hadn’t escaped,” said Figur, of New Rochelle, N.Y. Benfield and Figur are members of the U.S. swim team in the masters, or over-35, category of the 13th European Maccabi Games being held here July 5-13 — the first time the Games are being hosted by a German-speaking country since the Holocaust. “I’m doing really a symbolic swim,” Benfield said. “I need to show the Nazis that we’re still around.” Benfield and Figur both were born in Vienna in 1931, and both escaped to the United States as children in 1938 — the year that Adolf Hitler rode triumphantly into the city and addressed cheering crowds after the Nazi regime’s annexation of Austria. Hitler stayed at the Hotel Imperial and spoke from its balcony. Benfield and Figur were friends as children, and both were taught to swim in 1936-37 by Benfield’s uncle, who was the coach of the swim team of Hakoah, the famous Jewish sports club founded in Vienna in 1909 in response to a law
that barred Jewish athletes from Austrian sports clubs. Benfield’s aunt, Hedy Bienenfield-Wertheimer, was a popular fashion model and Hakoah swimmer who won a bronze medal in the European swimming championships in 1927. Her story is recounted in the 2004 documentary “Watermarks,” which tells the story of the Hakoah women’s swim team. Hakoah, which had grown into one of Europe’s most important sports clubs, was disbanded by the Nazis in 1938. “The day the Nazis marched in, my mother, who was Dutch, put me on a train to Holland,” Figur recalled. “My parents got out six weeks later.” The Benfield and Figur families arrived in New York as refugees in July 1938 and shared an apartment there. Benfield’s father joined the U.S. Army after World War II broke out. He died in 1945 in the China-Burma-India theater, though not in combat. Benfield and Figur both went on to have distinguished careers in the medical field and still lead active professional lives. A thoracic surgeon, Benfield is professor emeritus at the UCLA Medical School and the recipient of many international awards. One facet of his current work is helping researchers and scientists whose native language is not English. Figur, a hematologist and internist, is the associate medical director at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. The striking Figur, who in Vienna wore a cowboy shirt and sported an earring dangling from his left ear during his interview with JTA, AUSTRIANS on page 22
SIDNEY, Australia (JTA) — Even during the darkest moments of his four-year cycling odyssey, traversing 42 countries on six continents, Roei “Jinji” Sadan knew he’d never stop. After all, Sadan had a bike he called Emunah — Hebrew for “faith.” In Melbourne recently on the eve of the last leg of his 39,000mile trek, the 29-year-old Israeli recalled cycling through the Mexican desert on New Year’s Day 2008. Suddenly a car pulled up. “I didn’t know Spanish; I thought they wanted to help me,” Sadan recalls. “Then one of them showed me a gun and I started to understand what’s going on.” The bandits stole clothes, money, credit cards and supplies, as well as a tent and sleeping bag — but not his 27-gear, custombuilt, blue-and-white Thorn Nomad bicycle. “From then on I called it Emunah,” he says. Within an hour his faith was rewarded. Two American surfers passed by and drove Sadan to San Diego, where he restocked with supplies. Another American, having heard a TV interview, drove him back to Mexico so he could continue his adventure. The incident served as a microcosm for his arduous journey of self-discovery: nightmarish episodes and seeing humanity at its glorious best. Now that he’s within striking distance of the finish, Sydney’s Opera House, Sadan says he intends to use his experience by becoming a motivational speaker and transforming his diaries into a book that he hopes will inspire people to follow their dreams. And there is perhaps his biggest challenge — settling down. His journey started with a simple question. “I thought, what’s the biggest adventure?" says Sadan, who lives in Oranit, a West Bank settlement of 6,000 near Kfar Saba. He aimed to cycle around the world — not for any records but to discover himself. Sadan would prepare a year and a half for the trek, including walking the length of Israel and training several months in India in the Himalayas. On the adventure, Sadan could have quit during any number of nightmares. In Alaska, he lost more than 30 pounds traveling on a dirt track in subarctic conditions while passing just one roadhouse in 10 days. In Peru, he was bitten by a wild dog. In Mozambique, he contracted malaria. The journey has cost about $60,000 — part of it covered by his sponsor, the Israeli water company
Courtesy of Courtesy of Roie Sadan
Roie “Jinji” Sadan at the Arctic Ocean in 2007, getting set to start his four-year cycling journey around the world.
Eden Water — but it almost cost him his life in Bolivia. “I was hit by a car in La Paz,” he recalls. “It was a hit and run. Nobody helped me. It was a dark moment. “I told myself these nightmares are necessary for me to fulfill my dream. If a nightmare is part of a dream it’s OK.” And then there was the isolation. “In the middle of the desert in China, it’s minus 20, you can’t sleep, there’s no one to say goodnight to,” says Sadan, dubbed Jinji (Hebrew for redhead) because of his ginger beard. “But I never thought of quitting, not once, never.” And the good? “People who have nothing want to give you everything,” he says. Sadan recalls a tribal leader in Lesotho who invited him to share food — a meal of cat. With the language barrier a problem, Sadan pointed to the pot. “Moo moo?” he asked. His host shook his head and responded, “Meow, meow.” In Outback Western Australia, a Palestinian offered him refuge — a poignant encounter since Sadan spent some of his army service in the Gaza Strip, where his host was born. “He’s my first Palestinian friend,” Sadan says. “It was an emotional moment.” The Gaza Strip is also where Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit has been held captive for five years. “For four years I’ve enjoyed my choices and my freedom, and on the other scale you have Gilad, so sometimes you need to think about the lowest value when you are at the top of Everest,” Sadan says. Upon arriving in Melbourne, Sadan joined an event marking the fifth anniversary of Shalit’s capture and spoke to the Victorian Parliamentary Friends of Israel group. Sadan never expected to become an ambassador for Israel, but he quickly realized that his
presence — especially in countries where there are neither Jews nor Israelis — was debunking the myth that all Israelis wield M-16 rifles. “I’m coming with a bicycle and a smile,” he says. “Most people really welcome Israel. I didn’t feel hatred.” During a brief stop home to Oranit in 2009, Minister for Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein gave him the government’s blessing to spread his goodwill message. Since then he has visited numerous Israeli embassies and given lectures to more than 1,500 children, as well as interviews to scores of media outlets about the “real” Israel. Of all his challenges, the last may have been the most difficult: cycling the Great Ocean Road from Adelaide to Melbourne. Sadan rode tandem with Orly Tal, a blind Israeli who had contacted him via his website to ask if she could join him for part of his Australian adventure. “She saw more than many people I know who have two working eyes,” Sadan says. “But it was more challenging than any desert I crossed.” As the finish line beckons, Sadan says he is “excited,” adding that “it’s also a weird feeling because this is the end.” He has no plans to fly into BenGurion Airport — too conventional. “I will fly to Jordan and cycle to Jerusalem, to the Kotel,” he says. Sadan expects many dignitaries, perhaps even Israeli President Shimon Peres, to attend the “big event.” So in a journey of self-discovery, what has he learned about himself? “That my heart is the best compass. That I have a different lens,” Sadan says. “And I learned I’m soft but unbreakable, like most Israelis.” Now, however, having sacrificed two relationships on the road, Sadan says he is ready for a different challenge: “I’m ready to see if I’m capable of the biggest journey of life — family life.”
10 • ISRAEL
Israel’s approval of anti-boycott bill drawing protests, legal challenges By Marcy Oster Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Courtesy of Oscar Abosh
The Israeli singer Carolina shares love stories and songs next to the famous LOVE sculpture at “Contact Point,” a late-night event held at the Israel Museum, July 2011.
Jerusalem tries to get its cultural groove on By Dina Kraft Jewish Telegraphic Agency JERUSALEM (JTA) — Amid the alleyways that zigzag through Jerusalem's Nahlaot neighborhood, a nonprofit collective run by five young artists is trying to make art more accessible in a city known more for conflict than culture. The turquoise gate of Barbur Gallery opens onto a stone courtyard and garden where secular and religious locals — and the occasional tourist from Tel Aviv — drop in for a look at the latest exhibit: a collection of black-ink drawings mixed with splashes of bold color. The gallery also is a regular gathering spot for lectures, movie screenings and musical performances. Barbur is one of a growing number of independent art spaces here that along with booming music venues, a growing list of festivals and the newly redesigned Israel Museum is breathing fresh cultural energy — and even a hipster edge — into Jerusalem. “Jerusalem’s cultural scene was not exactly neglected, but it was not taken care of so well in the last decade,” said Peppe Alalu, the City Council member in charge of culture. But recently, Alalu said, the city has set a goal to “make Jerusalem a center for culture, so people will have where to go out and enjoy themselves.” Roy Brand, director of a new gallery downtown known as Yaffo 23, its street address, agrees. “I think we are now coming out of this into a better situation,” said Brand, who is on sabbatical from his position as a philosophy professor at Sarah Lawrence College in New York to launch and develop the gallery in Jerusalem. Yaffo 23 exhibits and researches contemporary art and hosts continuing education classes. Brand hopes the physical location of the 10,000-square-foot space — across from City Hall and
down the road from the Old City on the third floor of a British Mandateera building that houses the city’s main post office — will expose more locals to the art it is exhibiting and serve as a reminder of Jerusalem’s artistic bounty. “This is perhaps the most diverse part of the city, with Arabs, haredim, secular, Russians, tourists, Ethiopians and Armenians all coming through,” he said. “And this is a place where the desert and the city meet, where different cultures historically met, and till today it is still like that.” In interviews, artists in Jerusalem noted that although there is an active arts scene nearby in traditionally Arab eastern Jerusalem, there is little official contact between Jewish artists and their Palestinian counterparts, who have boycotted cultural contacts with Israeli institutions. “It’s understandable, but also sad,” said Lee He Shulov, a painter. “It’s a reflection of the political reality in Israel.” The city’s tensions can fuel good, thoughtful art in response, said Yael Robin, an installation artist. “It’s very complex here,” she said. “It’s full of contradictions and complexities and difference between societies and peoples but in the extremity of what goes on here is also produced good music, theater and art pieces.” Yaffo 23’s goal is to help unpack some of that complexity. Opened last fall, it is run by the Bezalal Academy of Arts and Design, Israel’s premier art school. For the past two decades, the school has been located on a hill overlooking the city on Mount Scopus, but it has plans to build a new campus in downtown Jerusalem. The move is expected to infuse a major jolt of culture into the city. JERUSALEM on page 22
JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli parliament’s adoption of a controversial anti-boycott bill has been greeted with a firestorm of protest from liberal Israeli NGOs and civil rights groups. On Tuesday, a day after the Knesset voted 47-38 to enact the measure following six hours of contentious debate, the liberal Gush Shalom movement appealed to the nation’s Supreme Court to overturn the law. Other Israeli nongovernmental organizations are vowing legal challenges, too. “The Boycott Law will lead to unprecedented harm to freedom of expression in Israel and will bring justified criticism against Israel from abroad,” Hagai El-Ad, executive director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, said in a statement issued following the vote. “We will all have to pay the price for this atrocious law.” The bill, which was initiated by Likud lawmaker and ruling coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin, allows for civil lawsuits against individuals and groups calling for boycotts targeting Israel or areas under its control. Those damaged by boycotts would be able to claim monetary damages from boycott advocates. The law also would force the government to stop doing business with companies that comply with such boycotts. Elkin’s proposal came months after some prominent Israeli artists had called for a boycott of a new cultural center in the West Bank city of Ariel, and some academics
Israel Briefs Suspect arrested in major Jerusalem Forest fire JERUSALEM (JTA) — A resident of a moshav near Jerusalem has been arrested on suspicion of starting a major forest fire that led to the evacuation of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum. The fire was likely started by accident as the man burned garbage in his backyard and the wind carried the flames away. Arson had originally been suspected since the fire appeared to have started in several locations. The fire was under control by Sunday night after burning nearly 40 acres of the Jerusalem Forest and forcing the evacuation of Yad Vashem and some streets in Jerusalem neighborhoods. The blaze reportedly began in
Courtesy of Uri Lenz/Flash 90
Two among dozens of demonstrators in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv protesting the new anti-boycott law enacted by Israel’s Knesset, July 11, 2011.
had urged a boycott of academic institutions in the West Bank. In addition, an Israeli construction company was hired to help build a new Palestinian city in the West Bank after it agreed not to use products from the settlements. “It’s a principle of democracy that you don’t shun a public you disagree with by harming their livelihood,” said Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz of the Likud Party during the debate over the new law. “A boycott on a certain sector is not the proper manifestation of freedom of expression. It is an aggressive move meant to force a sector that thinks a different way to capitulate. Boycotts are aggressive and wrong.” Immediately after the vote, Peace Now launched a Facebook group called “Prosecute me, I boy-
cott settlement products!” The group garnered more than 4,600 “likes” in its first day. “It is important to understand that this struggle is not against the settlers,” Peace Now said on its website. “It is a struggle against the continuing wave of anti-democratic legislation, whose purpose is to limit the very right of legitimate public nonviolent protest.” A coalition of four rights groups — Adalah, a legal advocacy group for Israeli Arabs; Physicians for Human Rights; the Public Committee Against Torture; and the Coalition of Women for Peace — reportedly said that they also would challenge the bill in the Supreme Court.
four areas of the forest simultaneously on Sunday afternoon, leading to the arson suspicion. Twenty-three firefighting units and 60 firefighters from the Jewish National Fund, as well as four firefighting planes, fought the fire. At least five people were treated for smoke inhalation, according to reports. The fire approached the Har Nof and Bayit Vegan neighborhoods of Jerusalem and an oil refinery. Some homes were evacuated as a precaution and the area around the refinery was secured. Yad Vashem employees reportedly were prepared for an emergency evacuation of the museum’s most important artifacts, The Jerusalem Post reported. The Israeli military was mobilized to help battle the blaze.
ments by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman calling leftist human rights groups ‘terrorist organizations.’ “We’re not talking here about leftist organizations and not about human rights groups, we’re talking about terror organizations,” Lieberman said Sunday during remarks to reporters before a Cabinet meeting. “The truly dangerous thing is politicians who lead by using incitement and hate in order to appeal to populism,” said Hagai Elad, executive director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. “It’s a shame that Lieberman is not familiar with the official documents, among them Foreign Ministry reports boasting of the important actions of human rights organizations in Israel.” ACRI called on Lieberman to “turn to law enforcement authorities and demand an investigation and indictment” if he believes that “actions taken by Israeli NGOs, right-wing or left-wing, constitute illegal activities.”
Lieberman slammed over ‘terrorist organizations’ comment JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli human rights groups have responded indignantly to com-
BILL on page 22
SOCIAL LIFE • 11
THURSDAY, JULY 21, 2011
CEDAR VILLAGE’S 2011 ‘8 OVER 80’ DINNER CONTINUED ON PAGE 12
ANNOUNCEMENTS BIRTH ylvia and Bob Maltz announce the birth of their grandson, Ryan Andrew Maltz. The boy was born on June 6, 2011. Parents are Julie Hoffman and David Maltz.
ENGAGEMENT hyllis Leventhal Sharpe of Groton, Conn., and Stephen Dann of New York City, announce the engagement of their daughter Leah Ruth to Mr. Daniel Marks of Chicago, Ill. Daniel is the son of Richard and Gail Marks, also of Chicago. Leah is the business manager for Kara Mann Designs, a Chicago based interior design firm. Daniel practices real estate law for the McDonalds Corporation. The couple met at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Jerry and Sue Teller and family
WEDDING erald and Carol Harris are pleased to announce the marriage of their son, Jeffrey William Harris to Larisa Maratovna Vaysman, daughter of Marat and Olga Vaysman of Swampscott, Mass. The wedding took place on July 10, 2011, at the Harris home in Montgomery, Ohio.
Dee and Ben Gettler and Roberta Fisher
Jeffrey is the grandson of Eugene and Marian Fohlen, and the late Donald and Dorothy Harris, all of Cincinnati. Larisa is the granddaughter of Musia Vaysman and the late Yuri Vaysman, both of Bratslav, Ukraine, and Valentina Dulskaya and the late Boris Shmulenson, both of Selidovo, Ukraine. The bride attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. and graduated from Cornell University’s College of Engineering with a Bachelor of Science in Operations Research and Engineering. After graduation, she worked for General Electric and earned a Master of Science in Quantitative Analysis from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Business. She is currently a third-year student at Yale Law School. The groom attended Sycamore High School and graduated from the University of Michigan with a double major in History and Political Science. He received his Juris Doctor from University of Cincinnati College of Law. He is an attorney at Harris & Burgin LPA, focusing on workers’ compensation law. The couple currently reside in Hyde Park, Ohio.
Jerry Teller and Rabbi Irv Wise
Elaine and Murray Guttman and Dave Jacobson
Jeffrey Harris and Larisa Vaysman
12 • CINCINNATI SOCIAL LIFE
CEDAR VILLAGE’S 2011 ‘8 OVER 80’ DINNER
Eric Hattenbach and family
Carol Silver Elliott, Freda and Pearl Schwartz
Freda and Pearl Schwartz and family
Chair, Carol Leshner and Alice Zipkin
Barbara Rosenberg and family
Eric Hattenbach and Murray Guttman
CINCINNATI JEWISH LIFE â€˘ 13
THURSDAY, JULY 21, 2011
Dr. Al Miller and family
Dr. Larry Essig and family
Murray Guttman and family
14 • DINING OUT
Parkers is more than just ‘beefalicious’ By Sondra Katkin Dining Editor “Where’s the beef?” It’s at Parker’s Blue Ash Tavern. My husband and I visited their Sunday buffet and gazed at the huge, perfectly cooked, standing prime rib. This was not some round hunk of meat customarily found at buffets with the title, baron of beef. We knew when we tasted it, it was the “real McCoy.” It was tender, flavorful and moist, no steak knife needed. If you are a meat eater you will rhapsodize about the prime rib. Sous Chef, Aaron Avra, told me that “it is straight up black angus.” Aaron, who went to Norwood High and Live Oaks Vocational, has worked at Parkers for 16 years and comes from a family of chefs. When I commented on the vegetable beef soup, he explained that it was made from the same angus beef. It tasted like a perfect base for onion soup and it was as hot as the most demanding diner could want. No wonder they are known for their onion soup. Another stand out was the smoked Canadian salmon which is cured on site. The choices are not limited; they include other meats, homemade waffles, omelets, pasta, potatoes, asparagus strata, crispy and beautiful yellow and green haricots verts (string beans) with baby carrots, a rice medley and a dessert table no one will be able to resist. We sampled the plump, chocolate dipped strawberries and admired the miniature eclairs, cookies and gorgeous layer cakes. Brunch begins with the traditional southern mimosa, a refreshing drink of orange juice and champagne. The southern theme continues with hot hush puppies, round, sweet, corn meal balls, with thin crispy crusts. They also serve an excellent dark brew of coffee which we drank until we could
Standing Prime Rib; Brunch Dessert Selections; Blackened Red Fish with Parmesan Polenta; Sous Chef, Jeff Moore and Sales Manager, Nikki Smith.
hop, skip and jump as we departed. We agreed that this chore, this duty to sample the food so that I can write about it from personal experience added an extra dollop of
pleasure to our Sunday. The restaurant would be a perfect setting for a Derby party with its many pictures of thoroughbred winners, plaques, trophies, sad-
dles, tacking and other horse paraphernalia obviously designed for thoroughly thoroughbred tastes. In addition, the ambiance emphasizes comfort with thick plaid rugs, wooden beams and fireplaces in most of the rooms. The noise of the large establishment is minimized by these separate, warm rooms. A large, inviting lounge with booths, tables and bar stools has its own menu with Happy Hour seven days a week from 3:30 – 7 p.m., also available on the patio. Appetizers and draft beers are offered at half price and wine and liquor are also discounted. Live music on Friday and Saturday evenings adds to the lively atmosphere. Future plans include a “Hebrew Happy Hour” with “JYP Access,” young Jewish professionals meeting to network and relax. My hostess, Sales Manager Nikki Smith, believes Parkers cozy environment lends itself well to private parties in their four banquet rooms which accommodate 12 – 60 people. They frequently host rehearsal dinners, cocktail parties, corporate training sessions and bar and bat mitzvahs. She said that recently, they rented the large dining room on a Saturday afternoon for a combined bar and bat mitzvah for senior citizens. There were 160 people and four different buffets. She noted that everyone had a great time and loved the food. In her spare time, Nikki practices Zumba dancing and will be instructing a class at the Jewish Community Center dance studio. She is trying to arrange a “Zumbathon” at Live Oaks in September to raise funds for autism. Parkers is donating the food. She added that the restaurant also donates to Hospice, donating soup for families visiting loved ones. This attractive, tall, slim lady explained that Zumba helps her keep trim amidst all the daily temptations Chef Mark creates. Nikki and Sous Chef Jeff Moore, a student at Cincinnati State, spoke enthusiastically of Executive Chef Mark Bodenstein. “He’s a great inspirational model for young chefs, and he lets us do our own specialties,” Jeff said. One of these is a weekly five-course dinner paired with either wine or beer. They are both looking forward to “a really fun one,” according to Nikki, on July 27. She described it as wine versus beer. A representative from Goose Island Brewery and Mary Freuwald from the Wine Store in Montgomery will pair one wine and one beer with each course designed by Chef Mark. Guests will vote on which beverage wins. Reservations are taken for this occasion. The chef has a global following and was recently at two highly regarded restaurants, Chalk and NuVo. He believes in buying local not only as a healthy option but as an economic strategy since more money will stay in our
community. He said, “as a chef, I made a commitment to be healthy and to cook food which retains the nutrients our bodies need.” In his “spare” time, he volunteers at community farms and is familiar with most of the farmers in the area. He is also a marathon runner and works out at the gym. He’s someone I would trust in the kitchen or the weight room. After my interview, Sous Chef Jeff sent me home with sample dinners of filet mignon and blackened red fish. The filet was thick and the charcoal flavor was perfect. I used my butter knife to cut my portion. As you can imagine, I had to give my husband half and I’m sure I divided it very fairly. We also shared the asparagus and potato sides. The taste of the steak reflected its high quality and Nikki explained that they purchase some of their beef from Ohio Proud, the Ohio State University Farm Program. We both savored it slowly, getting the maximum flavor from each bite. Our other entree, the fish, was mildly spiced and tasty, nestled into a copious serving of creamy Parmesan Polenta. I knew that was comfort food because I felt guilty pleasure with every bite. Other available seafood platters include cedar planked salmon, fish and chips and pan seared tilapia served with sun dried tomatoes, olives and lemon white wine sauce. Both lunch and dinner menus feature a wide variety of wonderfully sounding appetizers, salads, tavern flat breads, sandwiches, their excellent specialty, prime rib of beef with au jus, a vegetarian cassoulet of root vegetables, beans, goat cheese crostini covered with a parmesan panko crust and finally, desserts whose descriptions can send you into calorie overdrive. Talk about considerate, they even offer smaller versions of the tempting creations. One that jumped off the menu to try next time is apple and Montmorency cherry bread pudding, served warm with Maker’s Mark caramel sauce and Jeni’s honey vanilla ice cream no doubt melting and melding the rich flavors. There are also many choices of wines, cocktails, draft and craft beers. Parkers has been open for 30 years; they must be doing something right. My experience with the friendly and enthusiastic staff and the tasty food makes me look forward to a repeat visit in the near future. They take reservations and are located at the corner of Reed Hartman Highway and Cooper Road. They are open Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. for brunch, and 5 – 8 p.m. for dinner. Parkers Blue Ash Tavern 4200 Cooper Road Cincinnati, OH 45242 513-891-8300
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16 • OPINION
‘Where Less Can Be More’ By Rabbi Avi Shafran Contributing Columnist “Can she have a cookie with a Pentagon-K on the box?” the voice on the phone asked and, after receiving my polite but negative response (a Pentagon-K?—now the Defense Department’s in the kashrus business? Who knew?), responded, “Fine, I’ll leave those in the cupboard.” It was the sort of conversation (emphasis on “sort”) that my wife and I had more than occasionally during the 1980s and early 1990s, when we lived in a city with only a small Jewishly observant community, and our children’s friends included not only other frum (observant) kids but children from less-observant families. The parents of those children knew that our kosher standards — whether regarding food, activities or entertainment — were different from theirs. And when our kids visited their homes, our less-observant neighbors — no less than we did for their visiting children with food sensitivities or allergies— took pains to make sure all special needs were fully accommodated. Some might consider that situation clumsy, uncomfortable, even dangerous. But to us it was invaluable. We are grateful to G-d that we were able to live “out of town” for so long and only moved to New York (compelled by circumstances) after most of our children’s formative years. Admitting that fact tends to raise eyebrows — at least those of people who never actually lived in a small frum community. “Come on,” the eyebrows’ owners respond, “you don’t mean to say that an environment with fewer frum Jews and Jewish educational opportunities, with more challenges to observance and more “foreign” influences, is superior, do you?” Well, put that way, I’m hesitant to respond. But still and all, there are advantages to precisely such an environment. Yes, in a large observant community, there are like-minded people pretty much everywhere you look, synagogues of all manner of custom; Maariv, or evening-prayer services at any hour of the night, meat restaurants and pizza places and kosher bakeries galore. Men’s and women’s yeshivos and seminaries of varied stripes, ritual holiday objects available seasonally on street corners, choices of study partners and observant neighbors, study halls and Torah classes. There are wedding halls and, may
their services not be needed, Jewish burial societies. And yet, the other side of the scale holds treasures of its own, some of them even born of the lack of religious amenities. Variety may be the spice of life, and religious customs are certainly important. But when the numbers of “shul Jews” in a community are only sufficient to populate one or two places of prayer, Jews of different stripes have no choice but to worship among others whom, were they all living in a big city, they might never have met, much less bonded with as friends. Dearths of eateries are offset by increases in invitations for celebrations and Sabbath meals. Torah classes and study partners? Well, out-of-town does mean fewer opportunities. But more impetus, too, to take advantage of what is available (and less ability to lay low and think no one will notice). Being an integral part of a necessarily cohesive, small community, moreover, rather than a nameless member of a large one demands of a Jew that he or she not only write a check to the burial society or Eruv Committee but become an actual, active participant in such endeavors. It is true that large observant communities can provide a measure of healthy insularity from the surrounding culture. But hard as the residents of religious neighborhoods may try to keep “the city” at bay, it will always have ways of infiltrating our enclaves. And metropolises tend to cook up the worst stews of challenges to Torah mores and proper behavior. Smaller cities are hardly oases of healthy mores and manners. But the challenges they present are of a different order than those of New York or Los Angeles. Traditional values and civility are less rare, and more readily inform public discourse and behavior. Out of town living isn’t for everyone. But Jews in the most heavily Jewish neighborhoods of frumdom could do worse than consider — if their work and family circumstances allow, and their spouses agree — the thought that leaving the plethora of shuls and bakeries behind and becoming important members of less endowed environments might just turn out to be the best decision they ever made. Rabbi Shafran is an editor at large and columnist for Ami Magazine. This column is reproduced with permission from Ami Magazine.
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Dear Editor, I opened this week’s issue of The American Israelite and was horrified to read about the Westboro Baptist Church picketing the Mayerson JCC. I know the horrible things that have been done to the Jewish people in the name of Jesus for centuries and it grieves me to know that it still goes on. I am a Gentile and a follower of Jesus and I want to thank the Jewish people for the Scriptures, the Patriarchs, the Prophets and my Messiah. I am blessed by the Gd of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob because of the Jews. If there
were no Jews there would be no Christians. I was recently in Israel and as we were driving past the farmlands, I was grieved that I was Gentile and couldn’t make Aliyah. Even if I could work in a field as a farmhand in Israel it would be this side of heaven just to serve the Jews in thanks. Please accept my apology for the behavior of the Westboro Baptist Church. Not all “Christians” understand the truth. Karen Nazarovech Cincinnati, Ohio
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The American Israelite
JEWISH LIFE • 17
THURSDAY, JULY 21, 2011
Sedra of the Week
SHABBAT SHALOM: PARSHAT MATOT NUMBERS 30:2 – 32:42
by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel - Our Bible develops from the story of a family in the Book of Genesis — Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob his four wives replete with jealousies, intrigues and sibling rivalries — to the emergence of a nation in the Book of Exodus. And the bridge between family and nation seems to be the 12 tribal divisions enunciated by Jacob, especially in his final blessings before his death. However, the tribes do not disappear with the development of the nation, for example in the case of the 12 scouts, princes of each tribe are specifically chosen. This week’s Torah portion begins with Moses’ presenting the commandments regarding the laws of promises and oaths to the “heads of the tribes” (Numbers 30:2). Indeed, the very division of the land of Israel is established along tribal lines. The Biblical Book of Judges is filled with tribal rivalries and murderous tribal conflicts, and even after King David unites the nation under one monarch with a single capital city of Jerusalem, the enmity of Judah and Ephraim persists until the destruction of the Holy Temple. Maimonides goes so far as to legislate separate courts of law for each individual tribe. To this very day, kohen-priest descendants of Aaron from the tribe of Levi rise to bless the congregation (daily in Israel, on the festivals in the diaspora), and all the descendants of the tribe of Levi are called to the Torah immediately following the first-to-be called Kohen. Why retain a tribal system which seems to have only contributed to the internecine strife which prevented the united period of Kings David and Solomon from becoming the norm of Israel’s government?! I believe that a careful reading of this week’s Torah portion — paying particular attention to two different Hebrew words for “tribe” — will provide the answer to our question; it will also present us with the proper fashion in which to forge a nation dedicated to the ideal of “perfecting the world in the kingship of Divine.” The Hebrew word generally used for “tribe” is “shevet”; when Jacob concludes his blessings— descriptions of his 12 sons, highlighting the differences and even
the tensions between them, the Biblical text states “all of these are the tribes (shivtei) of Israel, twelve (in number) ....” (Genesis 49:28). Similarly, this week’s Torah reading speaks of half the tribe (shevet) of Menasheh” (Numbers 32:33). However, there is another Hebrew word used for tribe, matteh, and it is the noun in the very opening verse of our Torah portion: “And Moses spoke to the heads of tribes... (mattot, translated by Targum as shivtaya)” (Numbers 30:2). The very Book of Numbers, which opens with a census count of each of the tribes, provides for a representative of each tribe, “one man per tribe” — lamatteh, (Numbers 1:4). Indeed, in the Book of Numbers, the Hebrew word matteh (and not shevet) is used for tribe no less than 91 times! What is the reason for these two different Hebrew nouns for the very same concept of tribe? And what is the precise distinction between shevet and matteh? According to most of our classical commentaries, shevet is to be defined as a ruling rod whereas matteh is a supporting staff. When Jacob blesses Judah, he declares, “The rod (shevet) shall not depart from Judah...” The Talmudic Sages interpret, “the rod refers to the exilarchs of Babylon, who stronghandedly (tyrannically) rule the nation with a rod; they derive their authority from the Gentile governments” (Genesis 49:10, Rashi ad loc). The Hebrew word matteh, on the other hand, is a supporting staff, as in the modern Hebrew position of Ramatkal, or Chief of Staff, with staff referring to a support group of knowledgeable and experienced individuals. In our Book of Numbers, when Korah challenged Aaron’s leadership as High Priest from the tribe of Levi, each tribe was asked by Gd to take a staff and write upon the staff the name of the prince of each tribe; on the staff of the tribe of Levi was to be written the name of Aaron. “...And behold, the staff of Aaron of the tribe of Levi flowered, a flower arose, a bud blossomed and almond fruit matured” (Numbers 17:24). The staff (matteh) of the tribe (matteh) of Levi supported Aaron’s appointment as High Priest, Kohen Gadol. The best Hebrew synonym of matteh is mishenet, a word used for the support staff of an elderly person with difficulty walking, and is also a Talmudic idiom for the son of a widow who serves as her aid and benefactor. This is likewise how many commentaries understand King David’s psalm (23): “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He leads me through green
pastures...Your rod (shivtekha) and your staff (mishantekha), they comfort me.” The Psalmist is saying that sometimes he feels G-d’s punishing rod, and sometimes he feels G-d’s supporting staff; in both cases they give him comfort, because he knows that G-d means for his well-being! (In this context, mishenet is a synonym for matteh). In effect, the Torah is teaching us that a nation comprised of different and distinctive tribes has both negative and positive possibilities. On the one hand, a particular tribe can be desirous of unilateral control (shevet), initiating a rivalry and even war. The United States of America — the individual states being analogous to the various tribes — underwent just such a fierce and threatening Civil War. But too centralized a governmental power can turn unity into uniformity and produce all of the tyranny of a totalitarian Tower of Babel. Different tribes — each with its own cultural flavor, temperament and specific point of view — can provide a unity with diversity, an orchestra comprised of many individual instruments, as long as there is one conductor who recognizes, respects and knows how to “orchestrate” the different sounds into one magnificent symphony. Obviously, the tribes must subscribe to a united goal and agree upon basic values, ideals and rules of conduct. But differences which are respected and which respect others can provide the breadth, depth and growth possibility which is the best defense against stagnation and tyranny. Such a system of inclusive leadership will also leave room for many more individuals to express themselves and for special interest groups to contribute and flourish. Hence the world must have different nations, nations must have different cities (tribes, edot), cities must have different communities, communities must have different committees and committees must have different families. It must be, in my grandmother’s words, a “velt mit veltelakh, a world with little worlds—as long as each little world, as well as the greater world, remains committed to the integrity and inviolability of every individual and does not countenance fanatic bigotry in any form. As the prophet Micah teaches, as long as “humanity does not learn war anymore...every individual can call upon his god and we will call upon the Lord our Gd forever.” (Micah 4). Shabbat Shalom Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Chancellor Ohr Torah Stone Chief Rabbi - Efrat Israel
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18 • JEWZ IN THE NEWZ
By Nate Bloom Contributing Columnist SO LONG, SHERWOOD SHERWOOD SCHWARTZ, the creator of TV’s “Gilligan’s Island” and “The Brady Bunch,” died on July 12, age 94. His death received an astonishing amount of media coverage because these two shows touched a chord with a wide swathe of the American public and are fondly remembered as “childhood friends.” Adding to their appeal was their catchy theme songs. Schwartz wrote the whole “Brady” theme himself. He wrote the lyrics for “Gilligan.” The music was by the late GEORGE WYLE (born Bernard Weissman). In 1988, Schwartz candidly told National Public Radio host TERRY GROSS that he wanted his TV shows to appeal to a “middle-American audience.” He added that he knew his rabbi was “not being realistic” when the rabbi, half-jokingly, suggested that Schwartz should have named the shows “Goldstein’s Island” and “The Bernstein Brunch.” By the way, while none of the “Brady” actors were Jewish; “Gilligan” had two Jewish cast members: TINA LOUISE (“Ginger”), now 77, and the late NATALIE SCHAFER (“Mrs. Howell”). MOVIES AND TV AND MORE Opening Friday, July 22, are “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “Friends with Benefits.” “Captain” is based on the comic book created (1941) by the late JACK KIRBY (born Jacob Kurtzberg) and by JOE SIMON, who is still alive at 97(!). Captain America is the “alter ego” of Steve Rogers, a sickly young man. He undergoes secret surgery which gives him super powers. The film is set in 1942, during WWII. The Captain (played by Chris Evans) battles the evil Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), the Nazis’ head of advanced weaponry. “Friends” co-stars Justin Timberlake and MILA KUNIS, 27, as buddies who try to be intimate without any romantic complications. Kunis, who fled as a child from the former Soviet Union with her parents, recently told “GQ” magazine that such a “friends with benefits” arrangement is “like communism—good in theory, in execution it fails.” She added that she has never tried this arrangement but that, “friends of mine have done it, and it never ends well. Why do people put themselves through that torture?” As you may have heard, a U.S. Marine sergeant now serving in Afghanistan posted a Youtube video inviting Kunis, his favorite actress, to go with him to the annu-
al Marine Corps Ball in Greenville, N.C. (it takes place in November). Kunis and Timberlake were guests on a TV talk show and the video was played for them. After some prodding from Timberlake, Kunis accepted the date. The story got huge coverage and now a woman Marine, currently serving in Virginia, has asked Timberlake to accompany her to the Marine Corps Ball held in November in Washington, D.C. As I write this, Timberlake has not given his answer. By the way, for years, actor HARVEY KEITEL, 72, has been a major force in organizing and producing the annual Marine Corps Ball in New York City. Keitel enlisted in the Marines when he was 17 and served (1958) with a peacekeeping force that President Eisenhower sent to Lebanon. ENTOURAGE RETURNS The HBO series, “Entourage,” will begin its eighth and final season on Sunday, July 24. In the series’ opener, the engagement of Sloan (EMMANUELLE CHRIQUI, 33) and lead character Eric Murphy, a talent agent, is endangered by disputes about a pre-nup agreement. Also, powerful talent agency head Ari Gold (JEREMY PIVEN, 45) and his wife are still separated. But Ari, who is Jewish, is begging his Jewish wife to come home. Comedian ANDREW “DICE” CLAY, 53, will appear in a recurring role this season and there is likely to be an “Entourage” feature film made after the series concludes. A POLITICAL NOTE — SCANDAL DOWN/ SCANDAL UP It now looks likely that the criminal charges against former IMF head DOMINQUE STRAUSS-KAHN, 62, will be eventually dropped. However, the scandal has almost certainly scuttled his chances of becoming France’s president next year. Before the scandal, he was given a good chance of being elected. (France has never had a Jewish president since the current form of government, making the president the “real power” began in 1958. Before 1958, the premier held the “real power” and the president was a ceremonial position. France has had Jewish premiers). On the other hand, the “News of the World” phone hacking scandal has substantially raised the political stock of ED MILIBAND, 42, the leader of the opposition Labour Party. He might one day be Great Britain’s first “clearly Jewish” Prime Minister (Benjamin Disraeli, who served in the 19th century, was born Jewish, but was baptized as a boy).
FROM THE PAGES 100 Y EARS A GO On Wednesday, July 18, Miss Lillian Neusteler, of St. Louis, Mo., became the bride of Mr. Joseph B. Levi. The wedding took place at Hotel Alms. The ceremony was performed by Rabbi Harry Levi, of Boston, Mass., brother of the groom. Dr. Julian Morgenstern, of the Hebrew Union College, has returned to the city from attendance upon the annual convention of the Central Conference of American Rabbis at St. Paul, Minn., and the Jewish Chautauqua Society at Milwaukee, Wis. At the former was re-elected secretary for the fifth consecutive time, and at the latter he delivered a lecture in the history course on “Messiah Idea in Jewish History.” He will spend the remainder of the summer in Cincinnati. Mrs. Rosa Aufrecht celebrated her 81st birthday anniversary at the Jewish Home for Aged, on July 10, and was the recipient of much attention from her numerous friends. Mrs. Aufrecht, who is in excellent health, with perfect mental faculties, is the widow of the late Louis Aufrecht, who was the first superintendent of the Cleveland Orphan Asylum and later instructor in the Hebrew Union College. Mrs. Aufrecht is the oldest pupil of the late Isaac M. Wise, having gone to school to him in Ranspery, Bohemia, more than 70 years ago. Many of the older graduates of the Orphan Asylum sent messages and tokens of affection in honor of the occasion. — July 20, 1911
75 Y EARS A GO Mr. Manuel Rosenberg, formerly an artist with the Cincinnati Post and now the publisher of the monthly magazine, Artists & Advertisers, was in Cincinnati last weekend. Mrs. Louis Stuhlbarg and son, Jerry, are spending the summer in their cottage at Conway, Mich. Mrs. Morris Richman, Eaton Lane, and daughter, Mrs. Mitchell Liberman, and children, Master Perry Morton and Miss Charlotte Ruth, left Sunday for the month for St. Joseph, Mich. The Ohio State women’s golf amateur championship was more familiar than her own home, to Mrs. Burt Weil Friday , July 17th. The reason: the championship went to her Friday for the third time. But her home — which she entered the same night upon her return from the tournament at Cleveland — was new. It’s at 4180 Rose Hill Avenue; Mr. and Mrs. Weil, with their mother, Mrs. Aaron Strashun, have just taken up residence there and Friday was Mrs. Weil’s first night in the new home. Those who knew golfers are confident of the greater honors for her, if she can be persuaded to enter the national tournament in September.
Her thrilling triumph at Cleveland Friday followed by but a few days winning of the women’s city amateur title in Cincinnati. — July 23, 1936
50 Y EARS A GO Mr. and Mrs. Leon Cohen announced the engagement of their daughter, Nancy, to Mr. Dolph L. Berman, son of Mr. and Mrs. I.A. Berman. Miss Cohen attended Russel Sage College and is a student at the University of Cincinnati. Mr. Berman was graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he affiliated with Theta Beta Tau and the Mask and Wig Club. He has returned from service with the Air Force and is associated with Ironall Factories Co. A spring wedding is being planned. Jewish Hospital births include: Mr. and Mrs. Herbert E. Ostrov, (Lois Levy), 3896 Reading Road, daughter, Hilary Marcie, Saturday, July 15. The maternal grandmother is Mrs. Henry Levy and the paternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Louis Ostrov. The great-grandparents are Mrs. Fanny Ostrov and Mrs. Rubin Galfond. Mrs. Margaret Ann O’Connor, 534 Hickory Street, passed away Monday, July 10. Survivors include her husband, Harvie; two sons, Lawrence Edward and James Robert; her mother, Mrs. Clara Ironmonger Lawson; two brothers, Wilbur G. and Raymond Ironmonger; a sister, Mrs. Aimee Brewer, of Henshaw, Ky., and five grandchildren. Funeral services were held at the Weil Funeral Home Thursday, July 13, Dr. Victor E. Reichert and the Rev. Arthur Brewer officiating. Interment was in Resthaven Cemetery. Mrs. Ida Barker, 4028 Paddock Road, passed away Sunday, July 9. She was 80 years old. Survivors include a daughter, Mrs. Lucille Schwartz; a son, Alvin Barker; two sisters, Mrs. Camille Berkson and Mrs. Esther Cronstein; three grandchildren and two greatgrandchildren. — July 20, 1961
25 Y EARS A GO Dr. and Mrs. Ben Felson (Virginia Raphaelson) celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary July13. A dinner was held in their honor at Rockdale Temple. Friends, colleagues and local and out-of-town relatives attended including their five children; Stephen, a playwright in New York City; Nancy, professor of Classics at the University of Georgia and visiting professor at Smith College; Mark, professor of Criminology at the University of Southern California; Richard, profes-
sor of Sociology at the University of Albany and Edward, Jazz bassist and law student. Also attending were two daughters-in-law and eight grandchildren. Students from the Conservatory of Music gave a program of songs and a skit, written and directed by Stephen Felson, was presented. Mrs. Bella N. Davidow of 8211 Weiler Road passed away July 17. She is survived by two sons, Ralph B. Davidow and Harry B. Davidow; a daughter Mrs. Ned (Lynn) Stern; five grandchildren, Charles and Sally Davidow, Gail Clough, Kate and Joe Stern; and two grandchildren, Jeffrey and Andrew Clough. Mrs. Davidow was the wife of the late Herman Davidow. — July 24, 1986
10 Y EARS A GO “This is my home and my adopted city,” said Rabbi Lewis Kamrass, senior Rabbi at Isaac M. Wise Temple. “Over the last 20 years I have been become an ardent booster of Cincinnati. Historically, the city has been a blessing to the Jewish community, and by virtue of the contribution of so many Jews to its civic, cultural and economic life, the Jewish community has been a blessing to Cincinnati.” Rabbi Kramass first arrived in Cincinnati in 1982 to attend Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion as a young rabbinical student, after a year in Israel. Anna L. Franklin, 94, passed away July 1, 2001. Mrs. Franklin was born in Cincinnati. She was the daughter of the late Isaac and Fannie (Lowenthal) Horwitz, and the wife of Carl Franklin, who predeceased her. Mrs. Franklin is survived by her children, Dr. Sanford and Toby Franklin and Dr. Daniel Franklin. Also surviving Mrs. Franklin are her grandchildren: Dr. Alan Franklin, Caryn Gleich, Renee Kirscher, Teri Halasz, Craig Franklin and Kathryn Franklin. Other survivors include a sister, Dorothy Plotnick. Mrs. Franklin was the sister-in-law of Even Horwitz, who also survives her. Mrs. Franklin is also survived by seven great-grandchildren. Hyman Graff, 92, passed away June 30, 2001. Mr. Graff was born in Cincinnati. He was the son of the late Samuel Graff and Jenny Graff. He was the husband of the late Fannie S. Graff. He is survived by his children, Stuart Graff and Dr. Gail H. and Dean Richard E. Friedman. Mr. Graff was the brother of the late Harry Graff and Vera Kafferman. He was the brother-inlaw of Neal Kafferman. Mr. Graff is also survived by an extended family of many nieces and nephews. — July 19, 2001
THURSDAY, JULY 21, 2011
CLASSIFIEDS • 19
COMMUNITY DIRECTORY COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS Access (513) 373-0300 • www.jypaccess.org Big Brothers/Big Sisters Assoc. (513) 761-3200 • bigbrobigsis.org Beth Tevilah Mikveh Society (513) 821-6679 Camp Ashreinu (513) 702-1513 Camp at the J (513) 722-7226 • mayersonjcc.org Camp Livingston (513) 793-5554 • camplivingston.com Cedar Village (513) 754-3100 • cedarvillage.org Chevra Kadisha (513) 396-6426 Fusion Family (513) 703-3343 • www.fusionnati.org Halom House (513) 791-2912 • halomhouse.com Hillel Jewish Student Center (513) 221-6728 • hillelcincinnati.org Jewish Community Center (513) 761-7500 • mayersonjcc.org Jewish Community Relations Council (513) 985-1501 Jewish Family Service (513) 469-1188 • jfscinti.org Jewish Federation of Cincinnati (513) 985-1500 • shalomcincy.org Jewish Foundation (513) 792-2715 Jewish Information Network (513) 985-1514 Jewish Vocational Service (513) 985-0515 • jvscinti.org Kesher (513) 766-3348 Plum Street Temple Historic Preservation Fund (513) 793-2556 Shalom Family (513) 703-3343 • www.myshalomfamily.org The Center for Holocaust & Humanity Education (513) 487-3055 • holocaustandhumanity.org Vaad Hoier (513) 731-4671 Workum Fund (513) 899-1836 • workum.org YPs at the JCC (513) 761-7500 • mayersonjcc.org
CONGREGATIONS Adath Israel Congregation (513) 793-1800 • adath-israel.org Beit Chaverim (513) 984-3393 Beth Israel Congregation (513) 868-2049 • bethisraelcongregation.net Congregation Beth Adam (513) 985-0400 • bethadam.org Congregation B’nai Tikvah (513) 759-5356 • bnai-tikvah.org Congregation B’nai Tzedek (513) 984-3393 • bnaitzedek.us Congregation Ohav Shalom (513) 489-3399 • ohavshalom.org
Congregation Ohr Chadash (513) 252-7267 • ohrchadashcincinnati.com Congregation Sha’arei Torah shaareitorahcincy.org Golf Manor Synagogue (513) 531-6654 • golfmanorsynagogue.org Isaac M. Wise Temple (513) 793-2556 • wisetemple.org Kehilas B’nai Israel (513) 761-0769 Northern Hills Synagogue (513) 931-6038 • nhs-cba.org Rockdale Temple (513) 891-9900 • rockdaletemple.org Temple Beth Shalom (513) 422-8313 • tbsohio.org Temple Sholom (513) 791-1330 • templesholom.net The Valley Temple (513) 761-3555 • valleytemple.com
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EDUCATION Chai Tots Early Childhood Center (513) 234.0600 • chaitots.com Chabad Blue Ash (513) 793-5200 • chabadba.com Cincinnati Hebrew Day School (513) 351-7777 • chds.shul.net HUC-JIR (513) 221-1875 • huc.edu JCC Early Childhood School (513) 793-2122 • mayersonjcc.org Kehilla - School for Creative Jewish Education (513) 489-3399 • kehilla-cincy.com Mercaz High School (513) 792-5082 x104 • mercazhs.org Reform Jewish High School (513) 469-6406 • crjhs.org Regional Institute Torah & Secular Studies (513) 631-0083 Rockwern Academy (513) 984-3770 • rockwernacademy.org
PANTRY from page 3 “I’m lucky that this place exists because if it wasn’t for this place I’d be out on the street. “I’m trying to get my health back so hopefully I can be giving money instead of taking money from the organization.” Margulis’ story is indicative of what most of the clients who come to the pantry experience every day explains Fran Gafvert, Director of Vital Services at Jewish Family Service. “Most people have a preconception of what a person who relies on a food pantry is like,” says Gafvert. “What they often don’t realize is
ORGANIZATIONS American Jewish Committee (513) 621-4020 • ajc.org American Friends of Magen David Adom (513) 521-1197 • afmda.org B’nai B’rith (513) 984-1999 Hadassah (513) 821-6157 • cincinnati-hadassah.org Jewish Discovery Center (513) 234.0777 • jdiscovery.com Jewish National Fund (513) 794-1300 • jnf.org Jewish War Veterans (513) 204-5594 • jwv.org NA’AMAT (513) 984-3805 • naamat.org National Council of Jewish Women (513) 891-9583 • ncjw.org State of Israel Bonds (513) 793-4440 • israelbonds.com Women’s American ORT (513) 985-1512 • ortamerica.org.org
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(513) 531-9600 that an illness, disability, job loss or any misfortune can change anybody’s life in such a profound way. Jewish Family Service is their safety net. With support from the community, Jewish Family Service can give them hope for a better future.” A video of Barry sharing his story is available on the Jewish Family Service website. JFS food pantry receives a portion of its funding from the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati and Mazon: The Jewish Response to Hunger. It is located in lower level space donated by Golf Manor Synagogue. For assistance, or to donate food, money or time, contact JFS.
20 • ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Star struck at Cedar Village By Avi Milgrom Guest Writer At Cedar Village recently, a professional production of Neil Simon’s “The Sunshine Boys” wowed a packed house. Days afterward, people were still talking about the event, according to staffer, Diana Warmoth. Surprise that such a high quality production would grace the auditorium at Cedar Village was a recurring comment. As a play, “The Sunshine Boys” is often interpreted as being about growing old. It is. But the plot is more focused than that, and, in this production, mirrored the real life of the enormously gifted actor who played the cantankerous main character, Willie Clark. The actor’s stage name is Arnie Shayne, and his real name is Arnie Schwartz. In real life, Arnie cut two very successful career paths: Shayne the actor and Schwartz the highly regarded medical scientist. In the play, Willie struggles angrily with an uncontrollable desire to act and his inability to find a PROJECT from page 4 Jewish Federation. “Not only do these social action events make a difference in our community, they make an even bigger difference in the lives of the ACTout participants themselves!” “So many people’s lives have been touched by breast cancer. That’s why we thought it would be especially meaningful to participate NATIONAL from page 6 The Israel Project poll to be released Tuesday showed that a substantial majority of Palestinians see a two-state solution as a step toward a one-state solution and not as an end in itself. JTA obtained an advance copy of the survey. Asked to choose between two statements, 66 percent of respondents favored “The real goal CEOS from page 7 Blattner, along with other new executives like Jennifer Gorovitz, the CEO of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties, have each created large grant programs meant to fund innovative programs and attract new donors. The money offered by San Francisco’s Impact Grant Initiative and Portland’s Community Impact Grants was opened to any organization with an idea, with an emphasis on programs willing to collaborate with one another in pursuit of the federation’s larger goals.
venue. Clearly life is closing in on him. He lives in a shabby apartment that has been cut out of what was once a luxurious suite during his acting days. Time passes; he grows in age as his living space shrinks. Indeed, he seems to be losing track of time. Carelessly half-dressed in his pajama bottoms, his anger percolates so forcefully, it drives poor Willie into conversational dead ends with no dignified exits for either participant. With the talented support of Blake Bowden, who plays Willie’s agent and nephew, Ben Silverman, and the truly talented Tom Manning, who plays Willie’s ex-acting partner, Al Lewis, the bursts of anger drive the play’s biting humor. So Jewish, so Neil Simon. In real life, Arnie too, has been searching for a place to act — for nearly two years. After 40 years as an actor, director and producer, and after recently winning the 2008 Cincinnati Director’s Competition, Cedar Village was the first venue within the Jewish community to give him the nod. In science, Arnie was mentored by two Noble Prize winners and the famous heart sur-
geon, Michael Debakey. But as an actor, he is driven by the famous Schwartz family blood — the family that began Yiddish Theatre. He needs to act. It shows. The most dramatic moment in the production at Cedar Village was of silence. After Willie had been successfully maneuvered by his nephew to meet with his expartner, Al Lewis — with whom
not a word was exchanged for years — the two aging actors meet in Willie’s apartment. Manning’s Lewis is obviously uncomfortable, radiating a nerve-wracking inner war between fight or flight. But he knows his opponent well and, in a fit of anger, gains the upper hand. Willie is corralled; his propensity for barbed “non-conversations” now leads him to a painful situa-
tion: silence, total silence. Both men come to rest facing the audience — mouths closed and so uncomfortable. It is obvious that neither man has any idea what to say next. More importantly, neither man wishes to bring relief to the other by speaking first. This was the show’s most poignant moment — communicated with body language; no barbs, no sarcasm. It is a moment of deep discomfort, heightened by the contrast between its absence of sound and the shower of cranky retorts that had come before. It was a challenging scene for any actor. And it worked. The audience clearly appreciated the talent. After the show, many in the audience remarked what a big surprise it was that a professional production — with professional actors — made it to Cedar Village. Not surprisingly before the seats cooled the group, the Blue Chip Players, was invited back for another show. Clearly the acting ensemble of Bowden, Manning and Shayne left the villagers star struck. And Arnie is finally back in the game.
in this project, not only to help raise funds and bring awareness to this devastating disease, but to pay tribute to the memory of Ellen Ganson, one of our own Jewish community’s heroes,” says Pam Saeks, director of Jewish Giving. “Ellen used to say that bricks that have been knocked down are a metaphor for the experience shared by all breast cancer survivors. Her idea was to give these bricks a beautiful new purpose,
symbolizing life, rejuvenation and hope,” she adds. “We are so proud to be supporting this important effort, and are especially honored that Ellen’s daughter, Sarah, will be joining us for this event.” “Once my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, she became determined to help other women catch the disease before it caught them,” says Sarah Ganson, who will also be speaking at the
event. “This is her legacy. She developed this project in order to raise money in an artistic and beautiful way, creating a different image of the disease,” she explains. “When I think of this project, I think about the incredible effort my mother put into helping to save the lives of other mothers, sisters, daughters and friends. I hope people in Cincinnati and across the country will be inspired by what
my mother started, and pass it along so others can benefit from the beauty she has been able to bring forth from this ugly disease.” To RSVP, or for more information, please consult the Community Directory listing in this issue for contact information for Access — please ask for Rachel Plowden or with The Jewish Federation — please ask for Rebecca Hoffheimer by July 21.
should be to start with a two-state solution but then move to it all being one Palestinian state” and 30 percent picked “I can accept permanently a two-state solution with a homeland for the Palestinian people living side by side with israel, a homeland for the Jewish people.” Asked whether they agreed with President Obama that “there should be two states: Palestine as
the homeland for the Palestinian people and Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people,” 34 percent accepted the formulation and 61 percent rejected it. Majorities favored negotiating in similar numbers: 65 percent chose the statement “This is the time for diplomatic engagement with Israel” over “This is the time for violent resistance with Israel.” A narrower majority, 52-43
percent, said negotiations should resume under Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s parameters, which would keep Jerusalem united and would not allow Palestinian refugees to settle in Israel. Respondents opposed firing rockets on Israeli cities, 59-22 percent, and the murder of an Israeli settler family, 42-29 percent, but favored “teaching songs and
chants in Palestinian schools that talk about hating the Jews,” 53-34 percent, and kidnapping and holding Israeli soldiers hostage, 62-27 percent. The face-to-face survey carried out by the Greenberg-QuinlanRosner polling firm from June 22 to July 8 reached 1,010 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and had a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.
The allocations committee, traditionally composed of federation stalwarts, was opened to young philanthropists in an attempt to attract new donors with different understandings of the needs of their community. “We are saying you don’t have to be there for 20 years,” Gorovitz said. “We want the young people. We want the entrepreneurialism. We have to accelerate the process and bring people to the table earlier.” It is this kind of donor, more then anything, who Gorovitz and Blattner believe will be attracted to the new approach — the people, Gorovitz says, who “are accustomed to having a direct and tan-
gible impact in the work they do.” “[New donors] view the umbrella model as distancing them from the tangible impact of their investment,” she said. Where San Francisco and Portland differ, however, is the source of the money. While the $1 million in grants allocated by San Francisco came from endowments, in smaller Portland Blattner convinced the board to release 10 percent, or $300,000, of its annual campaign to fund innovation. Blattner concedes that the Portland federation’s traditional partner agencies were disappointed. But, he noted, some made, or increased, their allocations by securing grants.
“I talked to the agencies and said, ‘There may be a short-term loss for a long-term gain,” Blattner said. “If we try the same things, we’re going to see the same diminishing returns we see today.” Blattner and Gorovitz, a former lawyer who describes herself as coming from “a fourth generation federation family,” insist that they remain devoted to the traditional model and the traditional agencies, describing their approaches as simply being an “alternative avenue” to accomplishing longtime goals. Skeptics note that many of the experimental approaches have yet to translate into a major boost in
donors or dollars. And even among the CEOs implementing new approaches there are disagreements — Blattner and Sanderson, for example, each raised concerns about other initiatives. Scott Kaufman, who has been leading the Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit since 2009, voiced concerns about any changes to the traditional allocations model, which he called “the lifeblood of the community.” He doubted an alternative could be more then supplemental. However, Kaufman said, he remains open. “We have to look at the models in real time,” he said. “In a year we could be having a very different conversation.”
(L-R) Tom Manning as Al Lewis, Blake Bowden as Ben Silverman and Arnie Shayne as Willie Clark
FIRST PERSON • 21
THURSDAY, JULY 21, 2011
MURDOCH from page 6 “In the West, we are used to thinking that Israel cannot survive without the help of Europe and the United States,” he said at the AJC event. “Tonight I say to you, maybe we should start wondering whether we in Europe and the United States can survive if we allow the terrorists to succeed in Israel. “ Leaders of a number of proIsrael groups declined to comment for this story because of Murdoch’s current difficulties. On Tuesday he and his son, James, testified before a parliamentary committee in London. Murdoch also has been seen as a friend of the Jews in the Diaspora, even though Fox has irritated the Jewish establishment for championing at times what many Jews perceive as the margins of right-wing thinking — for instance, when Fox host Bill O’Reilly defended Mel Gibson’s 2004 movie “The Passion of the Christ.” When some Jewish organizational leaders complained that Fox talk show host Glenn Beck was relying on anti-Semitic tropes in peddling discredited theories about liberal billionaire financier George Soros, Murdoch nudged Fox chief Roger Ailes into meetings with Jewish leaders. Beck left Fox last month. Murdoch’s affection for Israel arose less out of his conservative sensibility than from his native Australian sympathy for the underdog fending off elites seized by conventional wisdoms, according MEN from page 6 These clubs are trying to cast off the backroom, cigar-chomping image of yesteryear and pull in younger men, getting them to talk to each other and their sons. Ultimately the goal is to get them into the synagogue — maybe not to pray, but at least to find Jewish community and pass it on to their children. “We’re trying to make men realize the tremendous impact they have on their children,” said Rabbi Charles Simon, the executive director of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs, who writes and speaks extensively on the importance of men volunteering and taking charge of their personal lives. Simon says his organization has been involved with men’s issues since 1999 but is now making a concerted push to attract younger men. At the group’s national convention this week in Costa Mesa, Calif., a curriculum to engage men at different ages was slated be unveiled, and it is to be piloted at several Conservative congregations next year. Eighteen months ago, the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs launched HaDor Habah, Hebrew for “the next generation,” a project
to Isi Liebler, a longtime Australian Jewish community leader who now lives in Israel. “From my personal communications with him, it’s something that built up,” Liebler told JTA. “He’s met Israelis, he’s been to Israel, he’s seen Israel as the plucky underdog when the rest of the world saw Israel as an occupier.” Australian Jews noted the proIsrael cast of Murdoch’s papers as early as the 1970s, before he had established ties with the Jewish community. The word from inside his company was that Israel was an issue that he cared about, which helped shape its coverage in his media properties. Robert Fisk, a veteran Middle East correspondent and a fierce critic of Israel who worked for the Murdoch-owned Times of London from 1981 until 1988, eventually quit and moved to The Independent because of what he said was undue editorial interference in his writing. Recalling those days, Fisk said Murdoch’s influence trickled down through editors who understood that he wanted his media to reflect his outlook. “I don’t believe Murdoch personally interfered in any of the above events,” Fisk wrote recently in The Independent, describing the decisions that drove him away from the Times. “He didn’t need to. He had turned The Times into a tame, pro-Tory, pro-Israeli paper shorn of all editorial independence.” In recent days, Murdoch has appeared wan and battered by the crisis that already has shut down a flagship paper, The News of the
World, and scuttled his takeover plans for BSkyB. The question now circulating in pro-Israel circles is whether the empire’s pro-Israel stance will survive Murdoch. “Is this curtains for pro-Israel Murdoch?” the London Jewish Chronicle asked in a column last week. An account of a clash over Israel between Murdoch and his son and heir apparent was first published in the diaries of Labour Party publicist Alastair Campbell and has splashed through pro- and anti-Israel blogs in recent days. Campbell, in an account republished last week in The Guardian, which has led the coverage of the phone-hacking charges, described a dinner at 10 Downing St., the British prime minister’s residence, in 2002, when Tony Blair — also seen as pro-Israel — was its occupant. “Murdoch said he didn’t see what the Palestinians’ problem was and James said it was that they were kicked out of their f---ing homes and had nowhere to f---ing live,” the account in The Guardian said. Murdoch chided his son for using foul language in the prime minister’s home. Liebler said that from what he understood, the incident was an anomaly and one that emerged during one of the most intense periods of Israeli-Palestinian clashes. “He’s had differences with his son on many issues, and this happened once and it went off the map,” Liebler said. “I don’t think it was anything fundamental.”
that brings men younger than 45 to training seminars so they can learn how to lead men’s activities for their peers. Nearly 70 men attended the second annual seminar in January. Mark Kluger, 43, says the retreat was eye opening. Back home at Temple Israel in Longwood, Fla., he started a program called Hearing Men’s Voices, a men’s club tool. He gathered the men in a circle, warned them they were going to think it was corny and asked each to answer one question: Who am I? “For 2 1/2 hours, people told their stories,” Kluger said. “We had people crying. It was such an unbelievable outpouring, a shedding of the veil. It really hit me that men, Jewish men, we don’t have a lot of outlets. We don’t talk like our wives and girlfriends do.” In addition to these talking circles, which don’t appeal to everyone, Conservative men’s clubs around the country have been organizing all kinds of activities to attract a younger demographic. Ski trips. Pizza and beer evenings. Trivia nights at local bars. Community service is also a big draw. A men’s club in Chicago sponsored a sub-club for guys in their 20s, which is holding a
fundraiser July 15 for ALS research. Rather than a $1,000-aplate gala dinner, they’re holding it in a bar and charging $16. Justin Ross, 26, is helping to organize the evening. He says the club is a great idea but is hard to maintain. “We’re trying to drum up more interest,” he said, adding that this fundraiser may be the final attempt. With all the financial pressures on men his age, as well as the fact that most are single, the idea of showing up to chew the fat with a bunch of other guys on a regular basis is not that appealing. What do they need? Women, he says. “The next logical step is to create a coed club,” he said. That’s the central question for men’s club leaders: In an egalitarian world, is a single-sex organization still relevant? Yes and no, says 42-year-old Louis Piels, a trustee of the men’s club at Temple Beth Shalom in Livingston, N.J. Last year, Piels’ club sponsored a steak dinner at a kosher Japanese restaurant for 15 young fathers of kids in their religious school as a first step to raising their involvement.
Design be damned Incidentally Iris
by Iris Ruth Pastor I have a confession to make. I have never made my bed. Well, that’s not entirely true. I did in summer camp. And I did after I was married – whenever I invited company over and thought there was a good chance they’d like an informal house tour. The rest of the time the bed went unmade. Rumpled, untucked-in sheets and haphazardly thrown pillows were the norm. I blame my mother. She was the one that made my bed for me – every day – religiously. I trotted off to Bond Hill School in the morning, leaving my room a disorganized mess. I returned home to a neat, orderly environment and a precisely made bed. So, I never acquired the habit of routinely making my bed. Nor making my children’s beds. I blame my mother. And now, after all these years of neglecting to tuck in sheets with hospital corner precision and plump up bed pillows, I am in style. The newest trend in home decorating rejects perfection and embraces a welcoming, creative, lived-in, individualized home environment. With relief and relish, I embrace this sea change. Who knows? Maybe interior decorators will go the way of the travel agent, secretary and gas station attendant. Nice to have, but representative of a by-gone past where their services were necessary in a pre-Internet, wait-uponthe-customer era. The ideal, says Christiane Lemieux, in her book “Undecorated: The No Rules Approach to Interior Design” is of “unfussy, lived-in, creative imperfect homes…cleverness over money…personality over hired expertise, idiosyncrasy over polish.” I can relate. The one and only decorator I ever hired was a relative. We only worked together a short time until we parted ways over my Cincinnati photos. She was horrified that I had hung (without her permission) my eclectic collection of oversized photos of Mt. Adams and Fountain Square in my very formal front hall. She sternly admonished me that anything that
plebian belonged in the family room or loft. She didn’t get that having moved to Florida, seeing those photos of the Incline and Columbia Parkway upon coming home each day was comforting to me. Design be damned. So, in my very formal Spanishstyle abode, replete with red tile roof and decorative black wrought iron railings, samples of my “Incidentally, Iris” columns are hung from a battered coat rack in the corner of my first floor half bath. A cluster of my youngest son’s watercolor paintings from 3rd grade flank a much more sophisticated and pricey lithograph depicting a floral tapestry. The four glass bottles my husband found buried below the surface on a lot he was developing in Clifton are positioned adjacent to the MacKenzie Child’s vase and matching candlesticks. I also blame my mother for my eclectic decorating taste. She always did her own thing too. Hanging a green moon on the bright red front door of our house indicated to my dad – even before he crossed the portal – that she was not in a good mood. In the 1970s, she turned her back on avocado green and gold and opted instead for purple, black and white, and shocking pink. She erected a white picket fence, not in her front yard, but around the perimeter of her breakfast room. And she painted a cacophony of bright flowers above it. Call it artfully disheveled. Call it informal personal style. Not everything matching. Undecorated cache. Personalized panache. The gym shoes causally thrown near the staircase. The rumpled shirt strewn across the Queen Anne chair in the formal living room. The accoutrements of a scrapbooking hobby sharing space with the washer and dryer in the mudroom or, even more daringly, on the 12-foot table in the formal dining room. And, alas, this new trend toward non-contrived casualness is not just a decorating choice but seems to be bleeding into lifestyle choices as well. It’s having a crowd over for Shabbat dinner without polishing the candlesticks. Without having made the challah from scratch. Without having scoured the kitchen sink. It’s being comfortable with who you are and where you are and what you have become or not become. It’s a reflection of your most innermost self—not always neat and tidy—but always fertile territory for directing blame elsewhere. To our mothers, of course. Keep coping, Iris Ruth Pastor
22 • OBITUARIES
D EATH N OTICES
AUSTRIANS from page 9
COHEN, Morris Nathan, age 96, died on June 30, 2011; 28 Sivan, 5771.
has maintained an enthusiastic involvement in sports. He has traveled the world on adventure treks and taken part in Ironman competitions. This summer, he is planning to participate in a relay swim around Manhattan island. Figur says he feels little connection with Vienna. “I don’t feel comfortable here,” he said. “If my
SOLOMON, Minnie B., age 92, died on July 17, 2011;15 Tammuz, 5771. MASSEL, Rebecca Dunn, age 92, died on July 17, 2011;15 Tammuz, 5771.
JERUSALEM from page 10
O BITUARIES COHEN, Morris Nathan
Morris Nathan Cohen
Morris Nathan Cohen passed away on June 30, 2011, at age 96. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 67 years, Miriam, who passed four months before him. Both resided at Cedar Village in Mason, Ohio for the last seven years. He is survived by his daughter, Sharon (Michael) Steuer of Smithtown, N.Y., his son, Alan Cohen of Northern Kentucky, his grandchildren, David (Nancy) Steuer and Deborah (David) Kotz, his greatgrandchildren Maxine Steuer and Ruven, Joshua and Shira Kotz, and his sister, Zelda Naden. Mr. Cohen was admitted to the bar in the state of Maryland. He was a veteran of WWII serving in the Judge Advocate General section of the Army. There he defended minorities long before the services were integrated and he was proud for the rest of his life for undertaking this righteous, but at the time, unpopular stance. He continued to defend civil liberties well into his senior years. He loved to quote from Edmund Burke, the British Member of Parliament and backer of the American Revolution: “All that is necessary for the forces of evil to win in this world is for enough good men to do nothing.” Following the war he developed a career in advertising, initially in Baltimore and later in Pittsburgh, as advertising manager of
Kaufman’s department stores. This was followed by advertising manager of Stern’s department stores in New York and Retail Marketers in New York. After retiring from his successful business career, he delighted in educating young people as a professor of marketing at the C. W. Post campus of Long Island University. Mr. Cohen was active in the Conservative Jewish movement and his synagogues. He was a member of the Zionist Organization of America and the American Civil Liberties Union. He was an avid reader and a member of the Great Books of America. He enjoyed traveling and seeing sites of historic significance. Most important was he was a good husband and proud father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He loved and was loved. Mr. Cohen was buried beside his wife in Baltimore with a flag presented to the family for his military service to the nation. Before leaving Baltimore for their homes in various states and countries, his family honored Morris at the Inner Harbor under the protection of Fort McHenry. They sang his favorite songs: The Star Spangled Banner, Hatikvah and I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy. Memorial contributions can be made to the charity of the giver’s choice.
“What will save the city is having Bezalel back downtown again,” said Alon Itzkin, a 27-yearold architecture student. “Already you see it with the architecture department, which has already been moved to the center of the city. Surrounding it the streets brim with students, and five new cafes have been opened nearby that are already packed.” On Fridays, on a pedestrian stretch of Bezalel Street, the same road where the school’s architecture program is located, a lively and popular arts fair has taken root that is also credited for helping revitalize the urban pulse of Jerusalem. Here on a street lined with cafes and boutiques, local artists sell their wares including high-end ceramics, photography, woodworking and clothes. Another recent addition to Jerusalem’s arts scene is a festival that was launched officially this summer called the Jerusalem Season of Culture, which aims to highlight the city’s cultural offerings both by local artists and visiting international ones. The festival — initiated by the Schusterman Foundation-Israel and funded together with several other family foundations, the Jerusalem municipality and the Jerusalem Foundation — commissioned a musical montage in homBILL from page 10 Yisrael Beiteinu lawmaker Alex Miller said Tuesday that he would be the first to use the new law, announcing that he will sue Israeli-Arab lawmaker Ahmed Tibi for calling on the public to boycott the West Bank city of Ariel, where Miller lives. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly had asked lawmakers on Sunday evening to delay the vote on the controversial bill, saying that it could embarrass Israel as the Mideast Quartet opened a meeting in Washington. But ultimately he allowed the legislation to advance, although he was not present to vote on the bill. Knesset legal adviser Eyal Yinon warned the Knesset plenum Monday that the legislation was “borderline illegal” since it could violate freedom of political expression. Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, who will have to defend the law against
mother were alive she’d be upset — she was Dutch and she never felt comfortable here, either.” Benfield, who has been back to Vienna a number of times since 1938, says he has grown more comfortable over the years but was still “wary of the history and wary of the significant faction of fascism” in Austria. He said he had reclaimed his Austrian citizenship so he could vote
here — and vote against the far-right nationalist parties that have made gains in recent Austrian elections. “My advice to the Austrians is to please recognize that diversity is a good thing,” he said. “Diversity can contribute to the strength of society. “The events of the past are real, awful and inexcusable. But we have a responsibility to never let it happen again.”
age to Jerusalem by Kutiman, an Israeli artist and YouTube sensation. One of its most popular events takes place on Monday nights in Machane Yehuda, the city’s openair fruit and vegetable market, in an event called Balabusta, a mix of street theater, backgammon tournaments and musical interludes in a carnival-like atmosphere among the vendors’ stalls. In recent years, the souk has featured pockets of gentrification, with cafes and gourmet ice cream shops across from stalls selling dried goods and a tiny French bistro. Nearby is a restaurant called Machneyuda that’s so popular that reservations are taken three weeks in advance. Last week, a late-night program at the Israel Museum called “Contact Point” brought top Israeli musicians, dancers and writers to interpret and interact with specific pieces of art and exhibits for an audience of late-night museum goers. The idea was that by watching the artists’ interactions with the museum displays, which underwent a $100 million redesign and expansion last year, visitors get an alternative, user-friendly way of consuming and understanding art. “It’s part of the rich assertion of Jerusalem’s culture,” James Snyder, the museum’s director and the former deputy director of New
York’s Museum of Modern Art, told JTA as he stood amid the crowds following a dance performance held beneath the towering figure of an African refugee boy to Israel. Jerusalem’s cultural decline has been blamed in recent years on its changing population. The Jewish secular middle class is departing in search of better jobs and more affordable housing, leaving the city to the surging haredi Orthodox population, the Arabs and the wealthy but absentee Diaspora Jews who own apartments here but leave them vacant most of the year. City officials say a shrinking tax base has made it difficult to fund cultural projects more generously. Shulov, the painter, says city government isn’t doing enough to promote artistic culture. “The city talks about how important culture is in Jerusalem, but it does not invest in its artists by finding solutions for us who have problems trying to find work and have studios,” she said. Shulov is one of the organizers of an arts festival now in its third year called Manofim, which was initiated by a group of Jerusalem artists and galleries in an effort to map out the city’s art scene. The festival is scattered throughout various neighborhoods, making it more accessible for Israelis and tourists.
legal challenge, reportedly called it “borderline” defensible. The liberal Israeli daily Haaretz and the more conservative Jerusalem Post both firmly criticized the legislation in advance of the Knesset vote. The new law is designed to spread “a wide protective net over the settlements, whose products, activities and in fact very existence — which is controversial to begin with — are the main reason for the boycott initiatives, both domestic and foreign,” Haaretz said in an editorial, calling the bill a “politically opportunistic and anti-democratic act.” In an editorial titled “The bad boycott bill,” The Jerusalem Post wrote that “Civil society has an unalienable right to organize peacefully and to use its buying power or freedom of association to further political objectives, whether it be grassroots protest against the high price of cottage cheese, haredi activism against Shabbat desecra-
tion, rabbis’ calls to ‘boycott’ potential Arab house-buyers in Jewish neighborhoods or left-wing opposition to the government’s settlement policy in Judea and Samaria. “Boycott initiatives should be allowed to compete for support in the free market of ideas,” the paper editorialized. An unnamed U.S. State Department official called the boycott legislation an “Israeli internal matter,” according to Israeli newspapers. But there also was an implied criticism, as the official was quoted in Haaretz as saying that “Freedom of expression, including freedom to peacefully organize and protest, is a basic right under democracy.” The Anti-Defamation League’s national director, Abraham Foxman, currently in Israel, criticized the vote, saying in a statement that his organization is “concerned that this law may unduly impinge on the basic democratic rights of Israelis to freedom of speech and freedom of expression.”
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Kollel Annual Event: Building Community On Sunday, May 8, The Cincinnati Community Kollel held its Annual Event at the Mayerson JCC. The event, entitled “Building Community,” honored the twelve families of Kollel staff alumni living in Cincinnati. Honorary Chairs and past Kollel honorees Gene & Elise Mesh sponsored the event. Gene Mesh, Event Sponsor
Steve Rosedale, Kollel Founder
Dick Weiland, Elise and Gene Mesh
The event combined a delicious, hot buffet with a formal program paying tribute to past Kollel staff who are all making a difference in Cincinnati's Jewish community. Gene Mesh welcomed everyone by saying, “It is an honor and a privilege to pay tribute to all of these wonderful young families, who have made Cincinnati their home, enriching all of our lives.”
Guest speaker Rabbi Yehiel Kalish-Kollel alumnus and National Director of Government Affairs, Agudath Israel of America
Fred Kanter, Jewish Federation
Dr. Jeff Zipkin, Jewish Foundation
Aubrey Herman, M.C.
The honored Kollel Alumni (above, L-R): Rabbi Yuval Kernerman (Principal of Cincinnati Hebrew Day School), Rabbi Ben Yudin (chaplain at Cedar Village), Yehuda Spetner (director of the Ohio office of Missouri-based insurance group Spetner Associates), Rabbi Shai Scherer (teacher of Judaic Studies at Hebrew Day and Director of Camp Ashreinu), Chaim Barry (director of operations for a local educational assessment company), Rabbi Pinchas Landis (Congregation Ohr Chadash in Montgomery), Rabbi A. D. Motzen (Ohio Director of Agudath Israel), Dov Katz (currently pursuing a degree as a physician's assistant), Rabbi Moshe Kibel (teacher of Junior High Judaic studies at Hebrew Day), Eli Polsky (Senior Account Executive at Neace Lukens Insurance), Rabbi Binyomin Travis (COO of Cincinnati Hebrew Day), and Michy Fishman (corporate recruiter for a local health care company)