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VOL. 159 • NO. 24
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Jewish youths, with Newtown on their minds, rally against gun violence at...
Renowned violinist helps Cincinnati celebrate Israel@65
Film tries to make Jewish boxing a hit...
Ariel becomes first Israeli university beyond Green Line
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Remembering Henry R. Winkler, former president of UC Henry R. Winkler, age 96, died on December 26, 2012. Born in 1916, in Waterbury, Conn., Dr. Winkler was the first of six children. He graduated high school at the age of 16 and after a childhood spent moving around from city to city – his father was an itinerant Hebrew school teacher – Dr. Winkler settled in Cincinnati to attend the University of Cincinnati. He received both his B.A. and M.A. degrees from UC, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He later completed his Ph.D. degree from the University of Chicago, following an interruption in studies to serve in World War II as a Japanese Language Specialist in the U.S. Navy. Dr. Winkler joined the faculty at Rutgers University in 1947, where he taught history and later served as dean of the faculty of liberal arts, then as vice president for academic affairs, and finally as executive vice president. In 1976, he served as Rutgers’ acting president, retiring in 1977 to return to UC. As president of the University of Cincinnati from 1977–1984, Dr. Winkler oversaw the smooth transition of the university from its municipal status to that of the second (with the Ohio State University) major comprehensive state university in the Ohio system of higher education. Dr. Winkler was the only alumnus to ascend to the university’s highest executive office. In 2009, UC named its Center for the History of the Health Professions – part of the UC Medical School’s library – in his honor. Mr. Winkler “remained an active member of the UC community throughout his retirement years,” said a statement from current UC President Santa J. Ono. “He holds a special place in our collective heart as a kind and gracious member of the UC family who was always a welcome face at the university,” Ono said. Winkler wrote or edited seven
Henry R. Winkler
books, primarily on British history, including The Development of the League of Nations Idea in Great Britain, 1914-1919 (1940), Great Britain in the Twentieth Century (1960) and British Labour Seeks a Foreign Policy, 1900-1940 (2004). He often considered the volume he edited with Kenneth M. Setton,
Great Problems in European Civilization (1961), to be his most influential. In addition, during the 1960s, he was the editor of The American Historical Review, one of the world’s leading historical journals. In 1980, he was the first serving president of the University of Cincinnati to be made a member of
the Fellows of the Graduate School, a group elected for life on the basis of scholarly contributions. Despite his scholarly career, Winkler considered himself primarily a teacher, and he was seen as a model instructor by undergraduates and graduate students alike. While teaching at Rutgers, his annual lecture on Nazi Germany drew more than 1,000 people, far more than enrolled in the course. Among his many contributions, Dr. Winkler was a member of the National Commission on Humanities in the Schools and one of the pioneers of the Advanced Placement program. He was chairman of the Board of the National Humanities Faculty, which sought to promote teaching in the humanities by bringing together secondaryschool and university teachers. Nationally, Dr. Winkler served on many committees and commissions, including the Business Higher Education Forum, the Executive Committee of the National Association of Universities and Land Grant Colleges, and the Board of Directors of the American Council on Education. A civic activist, he was one of a group of American historians who marched from Selma, Ala., to Montgomery, Ala., with Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965. Dr. Winkler studied and lectured at some of the world’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning. In addition to his work at UC and Rutgers, Winkler was a Fulbright appointment at the London School of Economics and held visiting professorships at Bryn Mawr College, Harvard University and Columbia University. Winkler also received honorary degrees from Xavier University, Lehigh University, Rutgers University, Hebrew Union College, Northern Kentucky University and the City University of Manila. WINKLER on page 22
Boymels continue to impact Jewish education in Cincinnati Everyone in Cincinnati recognizes the names of Mr. Sam and Mrs. Rachel Boymel. Sam and Rachel Boymel have made a career out of supporting youth and education-related initiatives that ensure Jewish continuity and that symbolically compensate for their childhood taken from them by the Shoah. These include the Boymel Campus at RITSS Girls High School, the Sam and Rachel Boymel Campus at Cincinnati Hebrew Day School, and the Boymel Chapel at Yavneh Day School. They were also major contributors to the new Cincinnati JCC and the Jewish Discovery Center in Mason. The Boymels are also proud supporters of Israel, having expressed their commitment to the Jewish homeland by endowing the Boymel Orphans Home in Jerusalem, the Boymel Yad Lebanim orphanage and community center in Nahariya, the Boymel Mikvah at Yeshivat Nehar Deha, to name a few. Sam and Rachel Boymel suffered through the Holocaust. But they didn’t just survive it: they live it every day. Residents of Cincinnati for the past 60 years, Sam and Rachel haven’t forgotten what it was like to be cold and hungry — the stomach pangs, the hellish agony, the uncertainty. They know what it is like to be a refugee, an unwanted wanderer, with no home, no place of solace and comfort, to be hated by the local populace, to be subjected to unspeakable horrors. Yet rather than wallow in selfpity or misery, they have used their experiences as a powerful force for goodness and positivity. To them “Never Again” is not just a slogan but a calling, a drive, a mission, to give of themselves, to share with others, and especially with their brethren, the blessing that G-d has given to them. It means to make sure
that no one should have to suffer as they did. Their generosity is laudable, exemplary and enviable. Over this past year, Mr. Boymel has expanded his generosity and is fulfilling a 60-year-old dream. "It has always been my dream to see a Yeshiva Boys High School in Cincinnati,” says Mr. Boymel. “I can still see the Yeshivos of Europe before my eyes.” Mr. Boymel thought that his dream would never be fulfilled. But then Mr. Boymel was introduced to Rabbi Gershon Avtzon, originally from Brooklyn, NY. Rabbi Avtzon is the founder and dean of Yeshivas Lubavitch High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. For six years, the Yeshiva has been quietly growing in Roselawn. At the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, the Yeshiva moved to their new campus on Section Road near Amberley Village. "I was driving down Section Road,” explains Mr. Boymel, “and I could not believe my eyes. In front of me were 25 yeshiva students playing in a lot adjacent to the Yeshiva building. I stopped the car and went inside the building. What I saw almost made me cry. There were 50 more students sitting in a beautiful Beis Midrash (study hall) learning in the old familiar tunes that I had heard when I was younger. The pure innocent faces of today’s young Yeshiva students learning Chumash and Talmud bring back the wonderful memories of my youth and warm my heart. “The Nazis (may their names be obliterated) destroyed all the Yeshivos in Eastern Europe. My mother made me promise - from her grave - never to forget where I came from. When I came to America, I vowed to rebuild what was lost in Europe. “When I saw the Yeshiva boys, I realized that Hashem (G-d) has
given me the opportunity to make my 60-year-old dream a reality. I am so impressed with the quality of learning and dedication of the staff of the yeshiva,” says Mr. Boymel. “I see students here in the Yeshiva from all over the United States and the entire world. There are even students that come from as far as Australia to benefit from the Yeshiva here in Cincinnati. I feel now that Cincinnati has reached a new status with the Yeshiva here in town." On Tuesday, December 18, 2012, Mr. Boymel made a special visit to the Yeshiva. He spoke to the boys words from the depths of his heart. He told them his life-story and encouraged them to always be proud of being Jewish and their Judaism. He gave each boy “Chanuka Gelt” and had breakfast with the students. Each boy took the opportunity to personally thank Mr. Boymel and to shake his hand. Rabbi Avtzon told the boys that “the hands of Mr. Boymel are like the hands of Avraham our Patriarch because of all the kindness that he does. Touching his hands is touching a link to the souls of the Jews of pre-war Europe.” The boys were very inspired by his Mr. Boymels words. Many commented on how impressed they were by Mr. Boymel’s strong faith even after witnessing – and survivors never stop witnessing – the destruction of his family before his very eyes. His attitude that there is nothing beneath honest and hard work is a tremendous lesson and inspiration for today’s youth. He is a role-model for the boys. Mr. Boymel has become a leading supporter of the Yeshiva and is looking forward to its continuous growth. In turn, the Yeshiva boys refer to him as their "Zaidy" and pray for his health and the health of his wonderful life-long companion, his wife Rachel.
LOCAL • 3
THURSDAY, JANUARY 3, 2013
Sandy Spinner speaks at Wise Temple This month holds another fascinating program for the Wise Temple Senior Adults. On Jan. 15, the group will hear from Sandy Spinner on the topic of immigration. Sandy is an internationally known advocate for Soviet Jews. Her advocacy for refugees and immigrants began in 1977. In 2006 Sandy was elected to the Board of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS). She currently chairs the HIAS International Operations Committee, which oversees HIAS international programs that offer protection, resettlement and acculturation to refugees from both Jewish and non-Jewish backgrounds. During this program Sandy will share her thoughts on the differences and similarities between the immigrants and refugees HIAS resettled 130 years ago when Jews ran from pogroms in Eastern Europe, and refugees in the 21st century living in Argentina, Chad, Ecuador, Kenya, Kiev, Odessa, Panama, Uganda, Venezuela and Vienna. “I believe Sandy will challenge us to think deeply about the circumstances that impacted immigrants in the past vs. the circumstances that impact immigrants today. I’m really looking forward
“I believe Sandy will challenge us to think deeply about the circumstances that impacted immigrants in the past vs. the circumstances that impact immigrants today. I’m really looking forward to this program. In addition to her international recognition, Sandy is a member of the Wise Temple Board and is a member of Jewish and non-Jewish philanthropic organizations. We’re very lucky to have her give so freely of her time and expertise.” Donna Dansker
to this program,” says Donna Dansker, program co-chair with Judith Bluestein. Bluestein adds, “In addition to her international recognition, Sandy is a member of the Wise Temple Board and is a
member of Jewish and non-Jewish philanthropic organizations. We’re very lucky to have her give so freely of her time and expertise.” The program will take place at Wise Center at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 15.
Amateur entrants sought for Chicken Soup Cook-Off On Sunday, Jan. 27, from 12:15 to 2:15 p.m., Wise Temple will host the Ninth Annual Cincinnati Chicken Soup CookOff, sponsored by the Temple’s Brotherhood. The event is now calling for amateur entrants who wish to participate in the event, submitting their homemade creations up against the best restaurants in town. Judges will consider the entire group and then award prizes for the “Best Matza Ball,” “Best Chicken Noodle” and
“Most Original Soup.” The community will then select the “People’s Choice Award,” with a final award given for the best decorated table. Community members are welcome to take part in the soup sampling. Every entrant into the contest will also provide one gallon of soup for the Over the Rhine Soup Kitchen. Last year Wise Temple donated over 264 servings of soup to help feed the hungry.
There is a fee to enter your soup into the event. Many amateurs cook as individuals, but also Chaverot and extended families enter together. Prizes will be awarded to the winning teams. Now is the time to submit your entry for the Cook-Off. The event is Jan. 27, with applications needed ASAP. Late entries are accepted until Jan. 20. To enter, contact Rick Seelig, co-chair of the Cincinnati Chicken Soup Cook-Off, at Wise Temple’s Brotherhood.
Northern Hills holds tallit making workshop Ever wonder how a tallit is made? Then come to Northern Hills Synagogue – Congregation B’nai Avraham’s tallit-making workshop on Sunday, Jan. 13, from 4 – 6 p.m., and learn to make one yourself. Under the leadership of Maksim Shilkrot, Northern Hills’ Director of Education and Programming, participants will learn the skills involved in making
a tallit, including tying tzitzit, the tallit fringes. Prior to the program, attendees should purchase fabric at a fabric store and patches for the corners. Fabric markers, fabric glue and decorations will be provided at the program. Participants will also learn about the symbolism of the tallit and the meaning of the commandment in Numbers 15:38-40 to wear a fringed garment.
Shilkrot noted, “Outside of the menorah and kippa, the tallit is one of the most recognized Jewish symbols. Everyone is welcome to come and partake in learning and making a tallit and letting the miztvah come to life.” There is no charge for attending, but donations are appreciated. Space is limited to 50 people. To make reservations or to RSVP, please call the Synagogue office.
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JCC offers student memberships, Sports Performance Training JCC teen parent, “Matt has done a fantastic job of getting my son prepared for his school sports, as well as giving him confidence and pride as he moves up to harder levels of exercise.” Sports Performance Training is offered to J Members, ages 13 and up, and starts the week of Jan. 7. Small-group classes meet once or twice a week, for an hour at a time, where teens will work on improving their speed, strength and agility, as well as developing better endurance and decreasing
susceptibility to injury. “Sports Performance Training at the J is a great deal! The kids gain confidence, speed and agility which translates into their sport of choice. At most local gyms, Sports Performance Training can be pretty costly but, even after you add the cost of a JCC membership, our training is more affordable than many places,” stated Jamie Wolf, general manager of JCC Fitness Operations. For more information on student memberships or Sports Performance Training, contact the JCC.
Renowned violinist helps Cincinnati celebrate Israel@65
“LET THERE BE LIGHT” THE OLDEST ENGLISH-JEWISH WEEKLY IN AMERICA - EST. JULY 15, 1854
VOL. 159 • NO. 24 THURSDAY, JANUARY 3, 2013 21 TEVET 5773 SHABBAT BEGINS FRIDAY 5:10 PM SHABBAT ENDS SATURDAY 6:11 PM THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE CO., PUBLISHERS 18 WEST NINTH STREET, SUITE 2 CINCINNATI, OHIO 45202-2037 Phone: (513) 621-3145 Fax: (513) 621-3744 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com RABBI ISAAC M. WISE Founder, Editor, Publisher, 1854-1900
RABBI JONAH B. WISE Editor & Publisher, 1928-1930 HENRY C. SEGAL Editor & Publisher, 1930-1985 PHYLLIS R. SINGER Editor & General Manager, 1985-1999 MILLARD H. MACK Publisher Emeritus NETANEL (TED) DEUTSCH Editor & Publisher JORY EDLIN MICHAEL SAWAN Assistant Editors ALEXIA KADISH Copy Editor JANET STEINBERG Travel Editor MARIANNA BETTMAN NATE BLOOM IRIS PASTOR RABBI A. JAMES RUDIN ZELL SCHULMAN RABBI AVI SHAFRAN PHYLLIS R. SINGER Contributing Columnists JOSEPH D. STANGE Production Manager ERIN WYENANDT Office Manager
Violin Concerto. According to the Seattle Times, his “ravishing” performance of the piece with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra was “…fueled by the sort of energy and passion that lifts a performance far above the notes on the page.” Also on the CSO’s program for the evening is music by the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer
George Walker and Sibelius’s Symphony No. 1. Israel@65 is an unprecedented collaboration among more than 40 agencies, organizations and congregations in Greater Cincinnati to celebrate Israel’s 65th birthday. The initiative continues through the community-wide celebration of Israeli Independence Day (Yom HaAtzmaut) on April 21, 2013.
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Courtesy of Christian Steiner
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Israel’s 65 years of independence that kicked off in November— continues with a featured event on Jan. 26, at 8 p.m., when worldfamous Israeli violinist Gil Shaham performs with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) at Music Hall, followed immediately by a reception in Corbett Tower. At the post-performance reception, chaired by Marilyn and Joseph Hirschhorn, guests will enjoy dessert and have the opportunity to meet the evening’s conductor, Maestro Yan Pascal Tortelier. Although not Jewish, Tortelier spent two years of his childhood living in Israel. His father, inspired by the ideals of the founders of the State, moved his family to live on a kibbutz from 1955–1956. Shaham, one of the most sought-after violinists in the world, will play Brahms’s popular
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LEO WISE Editor & Publisher, 1900-1928
Shaham, one of the most soughtafter violinists in the world, will play Brahms’s popular Violin Concerto. According to the Seattle Times, his “ravishing” performance of the piece with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra was “…fueled by the sort of energy and passion that lifts a performance far above the notes on the page.”
Israel@65—the six-month, community-wide celebration of
ship need not subscribe to this new plan, as it is intended for unaffiliated non-members. Teen members who play sports can improve their athletic performance with JCC Sports Performance Trainer, Matt Kasee, a nationally renowned high school strength and speed coach with over six years of training experience. Matt has state semi-final football program experience, and sessions are individualized to meet the needs of each athlete. According to Nina Meranus, a
r in Am ape er sp i
The Mayerson JCC is expanding its teen programming and offering a new low-cost student membership for ages 13 -20. For less than 85 cents a day, teens can have access to 100 free group exercise classes a week, a fullservice fitness center, two-court gym, indoor track and indoor/outdoor pools. The student membership includes a free fitness center orientation with an introduction to the fitness center equipment. Students who are currently covered under their family’s member-
THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE (USPS 019-320) is published weekly for $44 per year and $1.00 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.
NATIONAL • 5
THURSDAY, JANUARY 3, 2013
Jewish youths, with Reform, AIPAC stake out opposing Newtown on their minds, positions on penalizing Palestinians rally against gun violence at USY convention By Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraph Agency
By Diana Burmistrovich JointMedia News Service BOSTON – In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, United Synagogue Youth’s annual international convention ventured outside the confines of its Jewish denomination and into the realm of a national political issue. USY, the youth movement of the Conservative movement’s congregational umbrella (United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism), on Dec. 26 drew about 1,000 Jewish youths to Boston’s Copley Square as part of the “Praying With Our Feet” rally against gun violence. During the rally, USYers (as they are affectionately known) were taught the effects of collective action and given background information on gun control regulations. “We felt it was important to mobilize the USYers around an issue that really is pan-denominational – it crosses all lines; it’s not a white, a black, a Jewish, a Catholic thing. It’s an every thing. It is a global issue that we are addressing and something that our USYers can feel that they are making an impact and have a voice because they don’t actually have a vote yet,” said USY Communications Coordinator Matthew Halpern. USY International President Joshua Ull said the group rallied “not for policy but for peace” in the wake of the shooting that killed 26 people in Newtown, Conn. “Through our efforts, USY is making a difference: We are the voice for the [Sandy Hook] children who did not have a chance to speak up for themselves,” he said. The rally opened with a briefing at the Copley Marriott Hotel, followed with a march to the center of Boston’s downtown area, where featured speakers included Rabbi David Levy (director of teen learning for the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism), Pastor Corey Brooks of the New Beginnings Church of Chicago, and Colin Goddard, a survivor of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting. Sheila Decter, director of the Jewish Alliance for Law & Social Action, in her speech outlined a potential three-pronged reform plan created by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition. The plan suggested requiring a criminal background check for every gun sold in the U.S., banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and making gun trafficking a federal crime with real penalties. Decter read a letter from Boston Mayor Thomas Menino in which the mayor described that
Courtesy of USY
Pastor Corey Brooks of the New Beginnings Church of Chicago speaks at the Dec. 26 “Praying With Our Feet” rally against gun violence organized by United Synagogue Youth (USY).
changes in gun control legislation eliminated 500 illegal guns from the city’s streets in the past year. After the Sandy Hook shooting, USY as an organization felt the rally was a natural direction to go in. “The issue of gun violence touches every community our USYers come from and our teens are ready to raise their voices and make a difference,” Rabbi Levy said in a press statement. Miriam Ross, a parent chaperone for NERUSY (a region including USY chapters from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine), said she felt it was important that the rally had “both a verbal and physical aspect to what the kids were doing, because they are our future... and being able to exercise their voices, their First Amendment rights, understanding the importance of taking a stance, the event really concretized that feeling.” Despite the Newtown tragedy being the impetus for their rally, USYers maintained uplifted spirits throughout the hour-and-a-half outdoor event. USYers, as well as their siblings and parents, held brightcolored signs calling for the end of gun violence and the increase of gun control. Speakers were punctuated by intermissions of song and dance led by the USY convention’s artist-in-residence, Josh Nelson. “It’s very motivational for us as teens,” USYer Rachel Kaufman, who is from Providence, R.I., said of the rally. “I learned that there are so many ways you can get people together to make a statement, but there is just one event for us in a year (the USY convention) that we can come together as a youth group. [Change] can be done through music, words, and our beliefs. It was really powerful.”
WASHINGTON – Two major Jewish groups are at odds over the prospect of penalties for the Palestinians in the wake of their enhanced U.N. status. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee in recent weeks has backed two congressional bids to at least shut down the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington in the wake of the Nov. 29 United Nations General Assembly’s overwhelming vote that granted Palestinians nonmember observer state status. Conversely, the Reform movement has emphatically urged President Obama not to retaliate against the Palestinians, JTA has learned. The Reform movement also has resolved to oppose the shuttering of the PLO office. The lines dividing the two organizations are not necessarily set in stone. The Reform movement has suggested it might back penalties should the Palestinians use their new status to charge Israel in international courts. An AIPAC official suggested to JTA that the organization would wait and see whether the Palestinians go to international courts before it decides its next legislative moves. Still, the markedly different tone in AIPAC’s call to its activists to back the proposed congressional penalties and the Reform movement’s plea to the president to ignore such calls could portend a
split within the pro-Israel community’s center. An AIPAC official, speaking on condition of anonymity, would not directly address differences with the Reform movement. But the official noted that the congressional letter to Obama that AIPAC backed this month urges a resumption of peace talks in addition to calling for the closing of the PLO office and a suspension of funding to U.N. affiliates that similarly enhance the Palestinians’ status. “Everyone in the pro-Israel community should be pleased that a solid bipartisan majority signed a pro-peace talks letter in support of direct talks and opposed to attempts to delegitimize Israel,” said the official. Israel has made clear that the Palestinian’s U.N. moves should have consequences. It has announced a flurry of new building projects in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank, and diverted millions of dollars in taxes earmarked for the Palestinian Authority to Israeli utilities providers that have been dunning the Palestinians for payment. Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to Washington, was asked in an interview with Jewish media during the Chanukah holiday his view on congressional proposals to penalize the Palestinians. His answer suggested pique not just at the Palestinians’ enhanced U.N. status but also at the speech by P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas that preceded the vote.
“We think that the Palestinians when they violate agreements, when they declare that Israel is a war criminal or when they describe Israel as a war criminal for defending itself against thousands of terrorist rockets without ever condemning those rockets, we think they should be held to task for that,” he said. “We do not think they should be given a free pass.” But the leaders of the largest American Jewish denomination have called for restraint from the U.S. in responding to the Palestinians’ U.N. bid. In a Dec. 14 letter to Obama, the president of the Union for Reform Judaism, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, and the CEO of the Reform movement’s Central Conference of American Rabbis, Rabbi Steve Fox, noted a Dec. 3 resolution jointly approved by the boards of a number of Reform organizations. The statement, the rabbis note in the letter, condemns the Palestinians for moving ahead with the advanced status but also “urges Congress to eschew any action that would serve as an impediment” to resuming IsraeliPalestinian peace talks. The letter from the Reform leaders to Obama attaches the Dec. 3 resolution, which opposes funding cuts to the Palestinians, to the United Nations and “any reduction in the currently recognized Palestinian diplomatic presence.” POSITIONS on page 19
6 • NATIONAL
As ‘fiscal cliff’ looms, Jewish umbrella groups fight cuts but are quiet on taxes By Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraph Agency WASHINGTON – What will be cut? And who will pay? These are the two facets of the “fiscal cliff” debate in Washington, as President Obama and Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives wrangle over what mix of cuts and revenue increases should be part of a deficit reduction deal. Jewish organizations have been vocal during the budget debate, but some key groups are focusing their advocacy mostly on the threat of cuts to programs they hold dear while staying out of the heated fight over taxes. Several liberal Jewish advocacy groups, including the Reform movement’s public policy arm, have lined up behind Obama in calling for the expiration of Bushera tax cuts for top earners. But
the main Jewish communal umbrella groups are mostly steering clear of the revenue side of the equation, concentrating their energies almost exclusively on stemming spending cuts to programs that aid the elderly and the poor. “We will continue to make sure any cuts made are not made disproportionately to vulnerable populations who rely on government assistance to stay alive,” said William Daroff, vice president for public policy for the Jewish Federations of North America. Daroff, however, did not have much to say on the issue of revenue other than to note JFNA’s advocacy for keeping the charitable deduction maximum rate at 35 percent, as opposed to the 28 percent cap favored by the Obama administration. JFNA and many other nonprofits fear that any lessening of the charitable deduction could diminish philan-
thropic giving. JFNA’s sister organization, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the umbrella body for Jewish public policy groups, also has stayed above the fray on the debate over raising revenue. “On revenue, we don’t have a policy,” said JCPA spokesman Ben Suarato, with the exception of the group’s support for maintaining the charitable deduction rate. But Suarato stressed that it doesn’t mean the consensus-driven JCPA opposes tax hikes. “We understand that there are going to be both pieces,” he said, referring to spending cuts and revenue increases. “We’re going to look at it and make sure all the programs we favor are protected.” While the Jewish umbrella groups have staked out liberal stances on protecting social services spending, which benefit programs run by the constituent
social services agencies of Jewish federations, they are reluctant to take on the issue of taxes for a variety of reasons, observers say. Many of the major donors to the federation system are Republicans and agree with their party’s line on taxes. Also, in an increasingly polarized Washington, advocating for tax increases is seen as creating the impression of partisan alignment with Democrats. JCPA did manage to find consensus on the Bush-era tax cuts in 2004 when it adopted a resolution opposing a legislative effort to make the cuts permanent. Since then, the JCPA has not weighed in on the issue. Democrats on Capitol Hill say they would like the Jewish community to pair its support for social services programs with advocacy for revenue growth. GROUPS on page 20
Film tries to make Jewish boxing a hit again By Matt Robinson JointMedia News Service These days, the once-proud sport of boxing has fallen on hard times. With so many weight classes and (corrupt) managers, the fighters may make millions – yet often lose their way. Simply put, the “sweet science” is no longer a “haimische” (homey) activity. There was a time when strong young men from quality families entered the ring – not so much for the fame and glory, but to show they could fight to help themselves and their families make it in the world. Those men had names like Leonard, Ross, Goldstein, and Rosenbloom, and in the 1920s they ruled boxing as few other groups of boxers from the same cultural group have. Today more Jews are in management and promotion than in the ring itself, but there are a few exceptions like Yuri Foreman and Dmitriy Salita (both of whom refuse to fight on Shabbat), former World Boxing Council (WBC) champ Dana Rosenblatt, and Ron Aurit (who went by the name “The Yid Kid” when he fought Sugar Ray Leonard). James Ford Nussbaum is seeking to uphold the legacy of Jewish boxing not in the ring itself, but through the big screen. The award-winning film producer is about to release “Impact: Jewish Boxers in America.” Nussbaum says his grandfather, Newton Ford, a candy salesman and avid boxing fan in Philadelphia, was the inspiration for the film. But while Nussbaum had an affinity for boxing in his
Courtesy of Alex Gorokhov
Orthodox Jewish boxer Dmitriy Salita fights Ronnie Warrior, Jr. on April 14, 2011.
Courtesy of Akira Kouchiyama
Jewish boxer Yuri Foreman (on the left) and Miguel Cotto at an official weigh-in on June 4, 2010.
Jewish blood, few others seemed to share that. “The amazing thing about doing this film was that many people, when told about this project, would react in awe asking, ‘There were Jews who boxed?’” the director tells JNS. “It’s a part of our Jewish history that not many people recognize and accept.” In fact, Nussbaum suggests, in some circles Jews boxing is considered to be “almost a taboo topic.” He says that, despite their good upbringings, many Jewish boxers historically fell in with organized crime and other lesskosher activities, as many of their gentile fellow sportsmen did. “Most Jews got involved with this sport to make a name for themselves,” Nussbaum points out, “and the thing that they all share in common with Irish, black, and Italian boxers and other ethnicities is poverty. They all came up from nothing and used the sport to promote themselves in a way that would excel them to a new socioeconomic level.” As such, the director/producer poses his piece not as a film about the dark side of a dimming sport, but rather as “an incredible American Dream story of being able to come up from nothing in this country and be able to become a success.” Over the course of two years, Nussbaum delved into the worlds of some of the best Jewish boxers from today and yesterday, including Cletus Seldin, Ron Lipton and Ed Gersh, by making time with them at home, in the gym and in the ring. FILM on page 21
National Briefs Hawaii’s Jewish lieutenant governor to replace senator known for pro-Israel record (JNS) Brian Schatz, the Jewish lieutenant governor of Hawaii, will rise to the rank of U.S. senator to replace the late Daniel Inouye, who was known for a strong pro-Israel record. Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Wednesday announced the appointment of Schatz, a Democrat who served in the House of Representatives from 1998-2006. Inouye was praised by a number of Jewish groups when he died at age 88 on Dec. 17, including the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, which said Israel “had no better friend over the past decades” than Inouye. The senator sold Israel Bonds in Hawaii in 1951, while more recently cosponsoring resolutions condemning Hezbollah and Hamas and urging President Barack Obama to oppose the Palestinians’ unilateral declaration of statehood at the United Nations. The National Jewish Democratic Council on Wednesday said it was “fully confident” that Schatz would continue Inouye’s “tremendous record of partnership with the Jewish and pro-Israel communities.” Brooklyn man indicted for throwing bleach in rabbi’s face (JTA) – A Brooklyn fishmonger was indicted for allegedly throwing a cup of bleach in the face of a Chasidic rabbi who had accused the man’s father of being a sexual predator. Meilech Schnitzler, 36, of Williamsburg, a member of the Satmar Chasidic sect, was charged Wednesday on two counts of attempted assault, two counts of assault and criminal possession of a weapon. He could face up to 15 years in prison. Schnitzler on Dec. 11 allegedly threw a cup of bleach in the face of Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg, who advocates for victims of sexual abuse in the haredi Orthodox community. Rosenberg, 62, also of the Williamsburg neighborhood, was treated for burns on his face, around his eyes and in his left eye. The rabbi runs a website and blog for sex-abuse victims, as well as a telephone hot line, and made the accusations against Schnitzler’s father on the blog. Rosenberg reportedly had recognized his assailant.
NATIONAL • 7
THURSDAY, JANUARY 3, 2013
Seeking Kin: What became of three Grodno students? By Hillel Kuttler Jewish Telegraph Agency BALTIMORE – In 2008, Ruth Marcus began looking ahead to 2010: the centennial of the birth of her late father, Yitzhak Eliasberg, and 80 years since Grodno’s Tarbut Gymnasium graduated its first class, Eliasberg included. Marcus, a retired statistician who lives in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Aviv, set out to research the fates of the 15 students, six teachers and the principal who were photographed in the school’s courtyard in June 1929, a year before graduation. She had the picture, but besides her father knew no one’s name. Nearly five years later she has determined what became of all but three students in the photo. Marcus remains in contact with the relatives of her father’s classmates and of one teacher, and has become a repository of photos and information on other graduating classes in Tarbut Gymnasium’s brief existence. In October, Marcus was the guest of honor when a Grodno university opened an exhibition on the history of the Jewish school. As Israel’s national anthem, “Hatikvah,” played at the ceremony, Marcus cried freely. “It was one of the most emotional moments of my life,” she said. “I thought of my father: What would he think if he saw me there?” The Tarbut Gymnasium was
established in the late 1920s and functioned until the early 1940s, when the Soviets and then the Nazis invaded the city that then was in Poland and now is in Belarus. The 1930 class covered a range of ages, depending on when students entered. Eliasberg was 20 at graduation; some were as young as 17. Tarbut occupied an entire brick building, with the school on the first floor and the school’s teachertraining institute on the second. The structure now serves as a music school, and Marcus has visited it on all five trips to Grodno in recent years. Her 12-year-old grandson, Taniel, wants to come along next time. To gather information on the Tarbut students, Marcus interviewed people in Israel and scoured the archives at Yad Vashem, the country’s pre-eminent Holocaust research institution, and Kibbutz Kfar Menachem, the farming village established by immigrants from Grodno who like her father were members of the Hashomer Hatzair youth movement. Marcus also mentioned the photograph on JewishGen’s special-interest group website for Belarus, and her search caught the eye of “Seeking Kin.” The three students whose fate remains unknown are Velvel Poliak, Max Margolis and a boy whose surname was Levin or Levine and whose first name may have been Yitzhak. Poliak apparently moved to Montevideo, Uruguay, shortly after
Courtesy of Ruth Marcus
The fate of three of the 15 students in the first graduating class of Grodno’s Tarbut Gymnasium in 1930 (pictured with six of their teachers and the principal) remains a mystery. The three students, shown in the insets, are Velvel Poliak, Yitzhak Levin/Levine and Max Margolis.
graduating Tarbut, so a Spanishspeaking friend is helping Marcus write to every Poliak household in that country. She heard that Margolis settled in the United States, became a doctor and worked for the United Nations. Of Levin or Levine she knows nothing. One highlight of Marcus’ research was her meeting in March 2010 with Devorah Lipschitz Kaplan, one of only three females in the class. “It was such an exciting moment,” Marcus said of seeing Kaplan, who then was 98 years old and quite alert, but would die two months later. “She was like the last of the Mohicans.” Besides the woman herself, a treasure that Marcus encountered
in Kaplan’s Rehovot home was a second photograph of the 1930 graduating class. In the style of the time, it consisted of individual portraits aligned across the page. A ribboned strip in Hebrew mentions the Jewish calendar year and reads “5690 – The first graduating class of the Tarbut Gymnasium of Grodno – 1929-30. For Marcus’ purposes, the great value of the picture lay in the surnames written under each portrait. She now had more to go on. Another stroke of luck occurred on a recent visit to Kfar Menachem, near Rehovot. In a folder in the kibbutz’s archives, Marcus found a portrait of a boy. Her jaw dropped. The portrait was of the same Poliak from the two
Up-and-coming Jewish standup comic a Texan for the jokes? By Gil Shefler JointMedia News Service In a famous “Seinfeld” episode, Jerry believes his dentist, Dr. Tim Whatley, converted to Judaism for the jokes. In the real world, is up-andcoming Jewish standup comic Jamie Lee a Texan for the jokes? That was the suspicion raised by one Texas Jew when he caught her act on Conan O’Brien’s show last September. Lee had just made her latenight debut, delivering a fiveminute set on Conan’s eponymous show. Her routine, which touches on familiar comic fodder like relationships, eating disorders and insecurities, also drew on her Jewish and Texas background. “My body is my temple because sometimes my rabbi is in it,” went one zinger. “The only time I think people can really tell I’m Texan and Jewish is when I’m on a booze
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class pictures. On the back of the portrait he had written his first name and an inscription in Yiddish. Seeing the portrait, Marcus immediately thought of the Israeli song “My Little Sister,” which includes the lyrics, “They call her Libi, Libi, Libi, Libi.” In the archives room, overjoyed at stumbling upon Poliak’s first name, Marcus began to sing, “They call him Velvel, Velvel, Velvel, Velvel.” The inscription indicated that Poliak had sent the picture in 1931 from Montevideo to his friend in Grodno, Yisrael Einstein. Finding the photograph was pure serendipity both because Einstein was not a member of Tarbut’s class of 1930 – he was in the class of 1931 – and because he lived on Kfar Menachem only a short time, yet left behind a plethora of photos. For all Marcus knows, she said, Poliak returned from Montevideo to Grodno and was killed in the Holocaust. But she hopes he remained safe in Uruguay. Perhaps because the school had a strong Zionist orientation and several students were members of Hashomer Hatzair, a good many of them departed shortly after graduation for prestate Israel and thereby avoided the Holocaust. Marcus’ father, for example, reached the country in 1932, lived briefly on various kibbutzim and settled in Tel Aviv, where he worked for a citrus-growing company. He died in 1982. SEEKING on page 21
8 • INTERNATIONAL
In southern France, Jews paying a price for the government’s effort to curb extremism By Cnaan Liphshiz Jewish Telegraph Agency MARSEILLE, France – As a soccer fan and treasurer of Maccabi France, Jean-Marc Krief is more preoccupied with his team’s legwork than with God’s work. So Krief was dismayed to learn that government officials in southern France were stripping the Marseille branch of the Jewish sports association of longstanding state subsidies because of its “religious affiliations,” as one official put it. Krief, who met his wife 10 years ago on a hiking trip organized by Maccabi Marseille, says the association’s local branch used to receive about $3,000 annually from the regional government. After several inquiries, he was told that to preserve its funding, the organization would have to include non-Jews on its board. His argument that Maccabi’s activities were secular and open to anyone, Jewish or not, fell on deaf ears. “We have been receiving a modest subsidy for many years now until August,” Krief said. “The rules for applying stayed the same, but we’ve been declined funds because we are suddenly
considered ‘religious.’ We don’t have enough money for activities in 2014.” French Jewish organizations have long relied on public assistance to finance their core operations. But eight groups in the southern French province of Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur have been informed that they will not receive any public financing in 2013, according to the CRIF, the umbrella group representing French Jewish communities. In each of the last two years, the groups received a total of $180,000 annually in public subsidies. Local officials would say little about why the Jewish groups are being denied public support. Gerard-Jose Mattei, a spokesman for the president of the PACA regional council, told JTA only that funding would be given to “organizations that are not religious in essence.” But to local Jewish leaders, concerns about church-state separation are a red herring. Only Muslim and Jewish groups appear to be affected by the government’s cutbacks, with local Catholic charities that consume a far larger proportion of public support seemingly unaffected. Maccabi and other groups, the Jewish lead-
ers say, are collateral damage in the government’s wider effort to counter Muslim extremism and rein in the religious sectarianism that has helped fuel the rise of the French right. That effort was declared policy under former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose centerright government banned face covering in public spaces, among other controversial laws, but gained new impetus after a Muslim radical murdered four Jews in Toulouse in March. The government of current President Francois Hollande has since introduced new anti-jihadist legislation, deported some Muslim clerics and shaken up France’s domestic intelligence agency. Michele Teboul, head of the local CRIF branch, says Jewish interests and freedoms are routinely affected by France’s response to Muslim extremism. “We’ve seen this in attempts to ban halal slaughter and circumcision, and in how the debate on burkas morphed to suddenly include kippahs,” she said. “It is unjustified, as we have always known how to integrate while retaining our own identity.” EXTREMISM on page 22
Peres stirs passions with optimistic take on PA’s Abbas By Israel Hayom JointMedia News Service Israeli President Shimon Peres ignited a controversy by expressing optimism about the ability of Israel to reach a peace agreement with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas. On Sunday, Peres made his statements about Abbas while addressing an event at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem that was attended by 160 Israeli ambassadors and diplomatic representatives from around the world. “I have known Abu Mazen [Abbas] for 30 years and no one will change my opinion about him, even if they say that I can’t express this opinion because I am president,” Peres said. “The president should be allowed to evaluate people according to his experience. [Abbas] is a man with whom we can reach an agreement..” Coalition Chairman Zeev Elkin (Likud) harshly criticized Peres on Monday. “You can easily dig through the archives and find that Peres made
the same statements about Yasser Arafat,” Elkin told the Kol Berama radio station. Elkin said that the job of the president is to appear impartial. “A few weeks before an election, [Peres] entered into the heart of the ideological political debate in Israel, saying very sharp things and taking a side,” Elkin said, adding that Peres had harmed the prestige of the presidency. Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan, head of the Likud party’s election campaign, said “It is truly unfortunate that the president would choose to express his personal political opinions, which are so disconnected from the Israeli public’s with respect to Abu Mazen, a denier of peace.” In contrast to the Likud party’s strong response, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended Peres at a dedication ceremony for a new train station in Beit Shean on Sunday evening. “I respect the president and I appreciate him,” Netanyahu said. “We meet often, including on Fridays. There are a range of opin-
ions, and we exchange our opinions on many relevant current issues. This is how it has always been and this is how it will continue to be.” The Prime Minister’s Office also issued an official statement Sunday night, saying the prime minister is “aware that the president has a desire to express his opinions on political issues and is not surprised by them.” “But the prime minister believes that the president, especially just before elections, is not supposed to say such things,” the statement added. Vice Prime Minister Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon (Likud) said: “The president does not need to get into political issues, thus I don’t want to have to debate with him over politics. But I can already see other parties taking advantage of his sentiments, of course to attack us, as they often do in the international arena. The prime minister has tried from the outset of his government to get a diplomatic process moving; he was even ready to do a 10-month PERES on page 22
Courtesy of Ruth Ellen Gruber
Interior of the restored synagogue in Jicin, Czech Republic, one of the 10 Stars locations.
New Czech Jewish museum to spread exhibits across 10 sites nationwide By Ruth Ellen Gruber Jewish Telegraph Agency PRAGUE – A large Jewish museum set to open in the Czech Republic in October will be a far cry from any Jewish museum in Europe. Instead of one building or a complex of exhibition halls in one city, it will be a nationwide museum comprising 10 linked thematic exhibitions in 10 restored synagogue buildings located in as many different towns and cities. Called 10 Stars, the project is being coordinated by the Czech Federation of Jewish Communities, which owns the buildings, with the bulk of the funding coming from a $14 million grant from the European Union. About 15 percent of the financing is being provided by the Czech Culture Ministry. “It’s actually one museum scattered around the country,” said Tomas Kraus, the executive director of the federation. “The exhibition in each site will be linked to one certain phenomenon in Jewish history, culture, religion, traditions,” he said. “The idea is that if you visit one of the sites, even by chance, you will realize that there are nine other parts of the exhibition, so you will want to visit them, too.” To encourage this, 10 Stars will issue a “passport” that can be stamped each time a person visits one of the synagogues in the network. When all 10 stamps are filled in, the passport can be redeemed for a prize. “We don’t know what that will be yet, though,” said 10 Stars project coordinator Jan Kindermann. Following the fall of communism in 1989, the rescue and recovery of neglected synagogues and other Jewish heritage sites became a potent symbol of the revival of Jewish life, memory and culture in
Eastern and Central Europe. This has been particularly true in the Czech Republic, where some 65 synagogues have been restored since 1989. Most of them are now used for cultural purposes, including several Jewish museums. Under development for six years, the 10 Stars project is the country’s most ambitious Jewish heritage project, linking 10 widely scattered sites into a coordinated whole. The idea of creating one museum spread across numerous sites sets 10 Stars apart from the dozens of other Jewish museums that have opened in European countries over the past two decades. They range from small community exhibits to mega projects such as the Russian-Jewish Museum of Tolerance in Moscow that opened in November and the multimilliondollar Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw that is slated to open in the fall. “It is a cross-regional ‘net’ project,” said Kraus. “There is a uniqueness that ties it together, even though every region is different and every building is different.” 10 Stars is a national adaptation of the model of the Jewish Museum in Prague, whose collections are displayed in themed exhibitions housed in several historic synagogues in the capital’s old Jewish quarter. With more than 500,000 annual visitors, it is the most frequented museum in the country. Expanding that approach to synagogues throughout the country, the 10 Stars plan calls for complex preservation and restoration work on some synagogues and muchneeded maintenance on others, including several that already have been restored. Thematic exhibits, largely based on photographs and text panels, will include Jewish education, Jewish life and practice, MUSEUM on page 22
INTERNATIONAL • 9
THURSDAY, JANUARY 3, 2013
International Briefs Jewish group condemns latest Islamic terrorist attack against Christians in Nigeria (JNS) Two terrorist attacks rocked the beleaguered Nigerian Christian community on Christmas Eve, resulting in 12 Christian deaths, Morning Star News reported. On Christmas Eve, suspected Islamic extremists killed six Christians at the First Baptist Church in the northern Nigerian state of Borno. While in Nigeria’s Yobe state on Christmas Eve, gunmen reportedly entered the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) and killed six Christians including a pastor before setting the church building ablaze. The American Jewish Committee (AJC) has condemned the latest assault against Christians in Nigeria. “The bestiality of this latest assault, regrettably, is not new, but clearly the need to protect Christians in Nigeria demands urgent action,” said American Jewish Committee (AJC) Executive Director David Harris in a press release. Terrorist attacks against Christian targets have intensified since a 2011 Christmas attack on a church that left 39 worshipers dead. While no group has claimed responsibility for the latest attacks, the Salafist Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram has been behind a number of these attacks. Religious conflict between the mainly Christian south and Muslim north has raged in Nigeria for decades. Boko Haram calls for the formation of a “pure Islamic state” governed by sharia law and have attacked Christian targets, government offices and moderate Muslims repeatedly since its formation in 2001, according to the U.S. Institute of Peace. Defying opposition, writer speaks about Jewish history at Iraq religion conference (JNS) The recently held Conference of Religions and Sects in Iraq, supervised by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, was the first conference in the country dealing with the defense of religions in post-Saddam Hussein Iraq – but while Christians and both Sunni and Shi’a Muslims attended, no Jews were there to represent Iraqi-Jewish history. One Iraqi writer, however, spoke about Judaism at the conference despite being pressured not to do so. Nabil Al-Hadairi described that experience in an article published by the Gatestone Institute on Dec. 27.
Walking on heroes’ ground in Poland By Maxine Dovere JointMedia News Service WARSAW – “Zegota,” the official unit of the Polish Underground Army tasked with helping Jews in German-occupied Poland from 1942-1945, was commemorated on the occasion of its 70th anniversary earlier this month in Warsaw. Codename for the Polish Council to Aid Jews, Zegota was honored for its dedication to the protection of the Jewish population mainly in Warsaw and Krakow. Ninety-one-year-old Wladyslaw Barposezewski, one of its founders, received the honor on behalf of his comrades at a momentous event in the auditorium of the Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s Office in Warsaw. Honoring the “Righteous among the Nations” – one of the highest honors bestowed by the Israeli government, given to nonJews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust – raises a plethora of emotions, for both the benefactor and the beneficiary. Walking on the streets where such heroes stepped in Warsaw itself, those emotions are fully realized. The Righteous among the Nations title has been awarded since 1965. Most of those recognized have been Poles. At the Dec. 4 ceremony in which Zegota was honored, Israel’s ambassador to Poland, H. E. Zvi Rav-Ner, directly addressed the unit’s co-founder, Barposezewski. “So many people, so many different worlds saved,” the ambassador said, calling the group’s activities “a holy mission,” one to
Courtesy of Maxine Dovere
Left to right, 91-year-old Wladyslaw Barposezewski, one of the founders of the Polish Council to Aid Jews, on Dec. 4 in Warsaw with Israel’s ambassador to Poland, H. E. Zvi Rav-Ner.
which Israel “will continue to pay tribute.” “We have to ask who would do that,” Rav-Ner said of the Zegota unit’s actions. “Would I be able to take the risk for myself, my family or my neighbor?” The ambassador emphasized that Poland was the only country where the penalty for those who supported or saved Jews was death. The diplomat noted that Zegota was a government organization – an organization of individuals who made the decision to be humane to the other. Members of the unit “made a most important and difficult decision: to save someone else, even people they
did not know,” Rav-Ner said. “This is a decision made by a human being, a representative of mankind,” he said. “It is our holy mission in Israel – a fundamental thing to remember – and important not only for the Jews but for Poland and the Poles, and people globally. The main message to be communicated from here is that as long as there is an organization such as this, as long as there are people like this – all just ordinary people – as long as we will have such people, we might continue to hope in the most difficult and challenging situations.” Barposezewski is the Secretary of State for International Dialogue
in the Chancellery of the Chairman of Ministers Council. At the beginning of World War II, he was interred in the Auschwitz concentration camp, and remained there as a political prisoner for almost a year. As the only living co-founder of Zegota, he accepted the award and vowed that he is “determined to assure that what happened is remembered by the younger generation.” In 1963, he journeyed to Israel with a wartime compatriot, Maria Kann, to plant a tree along the Avenue of the Righteous Among the Nations at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. “This was a tree not for ourselves but for the concept of Zegota,” Barposezewski said. “Some,” recalled the elderly veteran, “were simple fighters for freedom, amateurs, very young people who had only one single program: humanity.” Barposezewski, who was a university professor, delivered a forceful and vigorous address, even amid his 90-plus years. “I was lucky to live to see what I have seen,” he said. “What is extraordinary is the State of Israel. No other state in the world would honor the aid provided to those entitled to hold Israeli citizenship. No other state would give honorary citizenship, as awarded by Israel’s 87th resolution of the Knesset. No other country has paid tribute to the noble deeds of Poles – not only those involved in Zegota; more than 7,000 others have received the title of ‘righteous.’” POLAND on page 22
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10 • ISRAEL
Ariel becomes first Israeli university beyond Green Line By Israel Hayom JointMedia News Service Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak gave the order on Monday to officially accredit Ariel University Center of Samaria as a full-fledged university, making it the first Israeli university to be located beyond the 1949 Green Line. Barak instructed Israel Defense Forces GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon to approve the Judea and Samaria Council of Higher Education’s recommendation Monday night. Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein ruled Monday night that nothing stood in the way of making Ariel University Center a university. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar praised the decision, while representatives of Israel’s other universities hope that the High Court will overturn it. The Green Line was drawn in the 1949 Armistice Agreements between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Ariel is situated on land beyond the Green Line that Israel won during the 1967 Six-Day War. Located 11 miles
Courtesy of Michael Jacobson/Wikimedia Commons
Ariel University Center of Samaria.
east of the Green Line, Ariel is the fourth-largest Jewish community in the West Bank, and its university’s accreditation came under fire from Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists. Likud-Yisrael Beytenu Coalition Chairman MK Zeev Elkin called Monday’s ruling a “righteous decision that sends a clear message that Ariel will forever stay part of Israel.”
The Israeli government recognized Ariel University Center as an accredited university in September, and asked the attorney-general to review it, before passing the decision to Gen. Alon, who has the final say in matters in the region. Ariel University Center’s recognition follows a ruling by a committee from the Judea and Samaria Council of Higher Education, which operates in accordance with
regional councils. The committee monitored the academic progress of the school before making its recommendation. The decision to upgrade Ariel University Center’s status was met with harsh resistance from the presiding heads of the other universities as well as from the budget and planning committee of the Council for Higher Education in Israel. Sa’ar, the education minister and chairman of the Council for Higher Education in Israel, said the decision brought one of the “biggest campaigns I have led” to completion, and that “despite countless irrelevant objections, this [decision] sends an important message to the academic community as a whole.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Ariel University Center President Yigal CohenOrgad to congratulate him. “After many decades the state of Israel finally has another university. This is a big day for higher education in Israel,” Netanyahu said. Ariel University Center posted a statement following the decision, saying, “We are happy to see that those involved were not derailed by baseless claims made by people
Fight for women’s equality at the Western Wall fails to move secular Israelis By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraph Agency TEL AVIV – Few American tourists to Israel forget their first visit to the Western Wall. They put notes in the cracks, whisper prayers and take photos against the backdrop of Judaism’s holiest site. But Kobi Bachar of Tel Aviv can’t remember the last time he visited. “I was there maybe 10 years ago,” said Bachar, who is secular. “It doesn’t interest me.” For years, American Jewish organizations have railed against the haredi Orthodox restrictions placed on religious expression at the Western Wall that prohibit egalitarian prayer and bar women from singing out loud and donning religious articles. In response to the criticism, which has amplified in recent months in the wake of several highly publicized confrontations between Israeli police and female activists at the wall, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked Natan Sharansky, the chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, to review the wall’s policies and recommend changes. But among the Israeli secular majority, such restrictions rank near the bottom of a long list of church-state issues they would like to address. The prohibitions are “something we need to be done with, but there
Courtesy of Miriam Alster/Flash 90/JTA
A woman wearing tefillin praying outside a police station in Jerusalem’s Old City where four women from the Women of the Wall organization were detained, Aug. 19, 2012.
are other issues that affect larger sectors of society,” said Alon-Lee Green, an activist with the far-left Hadash political party. Green said he was more passionate about other issues of women’s rights in Israel, as well as with Israel’s prohibition of civil marriage. Haredi rabbis dominate Israel’s Chief Rabbinate and thus control not only the Western Wall, known in Hebrew as the Kotel, but also civil matters such as marriage, divorce and burial. For most Israelis, religious rules governing these aspects of their lives are far
more intrusive and onerous than limitations on prayer at a site they never visit. “Many people feel there are so many battles to be fought, they just gave up on the Kotel,” said Lesley Sachs, director of Women of the Wall, a group that organizes a monthly women’s service at the wall. Sachs and other worshipers at the service are frequently detained by police for disobeying the Kotel’s prohibitions. For many Diaspora Jews, the Kotel is a symbol of the millenniaold Jewish connection to the
promised land and an inspirational place of pilgrimage and prayer. Secular Israelis are more apt to see the site as a national monument for which Israeli blood was shed during the 1967 Six-Day War, when Israel recaptured eastern Jerusalem from Jordanian control. “It’s a religious bubble there,” said Ofer Pomerantz, a secular Tel Aviv resident. “The average Israeli is not religious. When I think of those places, I think of the blood spilled over them.” Many secular Israelis also see the fight for egalitarianism at the wall as a distinctly foreign issue. The Reform and Conservative movements, whose members have championed the cause of women’s prayer at the wall, remain quite small in Israel. Most secular Israelis see Orthodoxy as the normative expression of Judaism. “It’s a holy site,” said Shalhevet Adar, also of Tel Aviv. “People who go there know where they’re going. It’s a little annoying, but I’m not fighting.” Adar described the Kotel as Israel’s version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, a national landmark with historical significance but little spiritual appeal. Tamar, a filmmaker who asked that her last name not be used, says when she goes to the Kotel, “I’m not looking for more than to be there and put a note in the wall. “I don’t think about it,” she adds. “I’m busy with my life.”
with foreign interests. First and foremost, we thank Education Minister MK Gideon Sa’ar, who faced incredible pressure and persevered to inaugurate Israel’s eighth research university.” Some were less enthusiastic about the decision. Meretz Chairwoman Zahava Gal-On called the decision “disheartening.” “The fact that Ehud Barak decided to adopt it is a flawed political decision on his part meant to help Netanyahu in the elections,” Gal-On said. “The recognition of this university will cost Israel further international isolation and academic boycotts.” The committee representing the presidents of Israel’s other seven universities criticized the decision as well. “We were sad to see the attorney-general back a flawed decision tainted by political interests, one that will spell catastrophe for Israeli higher education,” the committee said in a statement. “At no point were credible evaluations made of the university’s academic level. The matter is now in the High Court’s hands and we believe the decision will be overturned.”
Israel Briefs Ancient temple, rare ritual tools discovered near Jerusalem (Israel Hayom/JNS) Archeologists got a rare glimpse of religious life in the days of Israel’s Judean kings when they discovered an ancient temple and tools apparently used in rituals around 2,750 years ago at the Tel Motza excavation site west of Jerusalem. The project, which is being managed by the Israel Antiquities Authority, began recently ahead of construction on part of Route 1 between Shaar Hagai and Jerusalem. Anna Eirikh, Dr. Hamoudi Khalaily and Shua Kisilevitz, who are in charge of the project on behalf of the authority, pointed out that the shape of the ancient temple found at the site was unusual. “It is a rare find in light of the lack of other such discoveries dating back to the time of the Kingdom of Judah and the First Temple. The temple is also an outstanding find due to its proximity to Jerusalem, which served as the Judean kingdom’s ritual center at that time,” Eirikh said. “Among other items, pottery with male figures etched on them, one with a beard, were also found, though we are unsure as to their meaning.”
SOCIAL LIFE • 11
THURSDAY, JANUARY 3, 2013
Chabad Jewish Center Tribute Dinner On August 26 community members joined Chabad Jewish Center for an evening of celebration and inspiration. Four awards of honor were granted to various community leaders for their unique contribution to helping Chabad Jewish Center and the broader community. Brian and Robin Goldberg received the Lamplighter Award for their outstanding dedication to family and community. Simon and Florence Groner received the Chabad Recognition Award for playing an active role in the leadership in the Cincinnati Jewish community. Eddie and Arlene Goldstein received the Pillar of Jewish Education Award for their commitment to Chabad and shared life-ideals that education is the best way to accomplish the G-d given charge of making the world a better place. And finally, Mr. Ralph S. Michael III received the Chabad Community Service Award. Photos continued on page 12.
ANNOUNCEMENTS BIRTH BIRTH third great-grandchild, August James Mrkobrad, has been born in Columbus to Donna and Dr. Emil Dansker, the grandmother being Helen Dansker, the daughter of Dr. Dansker and his late wife, Charlene. There are two other great-grandchildren, Georgia and Sawyer Holman, of Indianapolis.
WEDDING ark and Elana Grubbs are proud to announce the engagement of their son, David Grubbs, to Marianne Bernadsky, daughter of Igor and Irina Bernadsky. David is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, and is currently a Financial Representative
David Grubbs and Marianne Bernadsky
with Springleaf Financial. Marianne is a graduate of Miami University, and is currently a Speech Language Pathologist at Good Samaritan Hospital. Both are living in Dayton, Ohio, and are excited for their fall wedding.
ANNOUNCEMENTS ARE FREE! Berel Cohen
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14 • DINING OUT
Sukhothai Thai Cuisine—the everyday fusion destination By Michael Sawan Assistant Editor Restaurants are like movie genres. Popcorn mass-appeal schlock? That’s fast food. Fancy, “I want to impress my date” foreign film? Anything with $35 entrées. It actually gets rather complicated, with Adam Sandler movies occupying their own universe: the new stuff is like an inner city McDonald’s, the old stuff is like a well worn diner, and Little Nicky is like a Louisianastyle fried chicken chain. Asian restaurants are a whole universe in and of themselves. The first distinction is between traditional and fusion. A traditional restaurant is one that sticks to one culture: a CHINESE restaurant; a SUSHI bar; etc. Fusion restaurants combine cultures as they see fit, with the breadth of coverage differing from restaurant to restaurant. Let’s place this style element on the horizontal X-axis. The Y-axis is quality. On the bottom is “Asian fast food,” the sort of restaurant you would never see in these pages. The upper limit is the sort of restaurant that you need a suit to go into. Cincinnati is blessed with a rainbow of a range, with a restaurant for each and every point of the graph. Sukhothai Thai Cuisine manages to occupy its point without competition. Sukhothai is a fusion restaurant with an ambiance that is ideal for everyday visits. The restaurant is unpretentious, a streamlined, clean-cut business without baggage. One can come in at any time of day dressed in whatever way is generally respectable and feel at home. The food is modestly priced and evenly organized, with no clear division between the different cultures that the restaurant represents. There is plain Pad Thai, Traditional Fried Rice, but such clean cuts are not the norm. For instance, many of the house specialties, appetizers and salads are not assigned a clear nationality, bringing the feel of “fusion” to the forefront of the menu. The ambiance of the restaurant reflects this attitude. Sukhothai is well decorated with an assortment of culturally obvious items, art that simply LOOKS Thai. But at the same time there is obfuscation. For instance, there are two abstract paintings in the main room of the restaurant. If anything they must be western, I thought, or else maybe Japanese with a western influence. But no. They were painted by an elephant, a THAI elephant, animalcreated pieces of art that Sukhothai’s owner, Toi, picked up while visiting his homeland. “The frames cost more than the paintings,” he joked. Toi has run the restaurant with his wife for 14 years now, and the pair remain the restaurant’s only cooks. When asked about this long-
Courtesy of Michael Sawan
(Clockwise) A Spring Roll with chicken and a side of Sweet and Sour Sauce—the carrot garnish was fresh and crunchy; The main room of Sukhothai Thai Cuisine; “Jerry’s Room,” one of the additions from nine years ago; A painting made by a Thai Elephant, bought by Toi in Thailand; Pineapple Fried Rice with Beef, a now commonplace Thai take on the Chinese-American classic.
term success, Toi explained that it has been Sukhothai’s reputation that has kept it afloat: “[It is] because of word of mouth. A lot of people come here because of [a suggestion] from their friends.” As to what these people might be saying to each other, Toi coyly suggested, “The food is excellent.” The business has expanded over time, with an addition having been created nine years ago. This has allowed Sukhothai to seat around 120 at their peak hours, which is quite impressive in the three-room restaurant. Not only the number of patrons, but their quality has also been maintained over the years. There is a plaque that reads “Jerry’s Room” on one wall of the restaurant, an honor bestowed upon one of the restaurant’s longest returning customers, who has been coming back since the restaurant has been in business. Such consistency is a
trend in the restaurant, with Toi noting that many customers return over and over and always for their tried and true favorite dish. “The [usual] customers, every time they come back they have Pad Thai,” Toi said. I would always have Pineapple Fried Rice and a Spring Roll, personally. I began with the Spring Roll, which was a museum quality representation of how the dish should be: a super thin, crispy shell, liberal greens, nice savory chicken and a side of sweet and sour sauce. The spring roll and the sauce paired together like peanut butter and jelly, neither being whole without the other. The spring roll provided the full textured platform upon which the sweet and sour sauce lets loose its tanginess. In fact, the sauce would be better named as Tangy, Then Slightly Sweet and Sour. It was a pleasant change of pace from the run-of-the-mill SWEET sauces
that one usually receives in carry-out packets. The Spring Roll had that one truly magical quality inherent in its kind: As soon as it was done I wanted another. The Pineapple Fried Rice with Beef was another great take on a now ubiquitous dish. I was at first taken aback, my server asked me what spice level I wanted on a scale from one to ten, but with anything up to 100 possible. I was terrified at the prospect, and so opted for a “two or a three, the lower side of medium, medium-mild.” I have never seen a spice level more accurately achieved. The spice was pleasant at first, just a slight tingle in the aftertaste, a nice buzz to accompany the savoriness of the fried rice, beef, pineapple, eggs and various veggies. As it normally goes with spice, the heat picked up as I ate, but NEVER became overpowering. It kept enhancing the flavors,
making the egg pop more sharply, the beef taste more meaty. The sweet of the pineapple stayed a minor player in the proceedings, but easily could have won best supporting actor. Its fruity, juicy addition caused a tasty uptick in the spice, which the return of rice and veggies soon calmed back down to normal. This is the sort of balance that is the hallmark of a restaurant that knows its turf inside and out. And, with the same cooks for 14 years now, it’s no wonder that Sukothai retains such control effortlessly. Their lunch hours are Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. Their dinner hours are Monday through Thursday, 5 - 9:30 p.m.; Friday, 5 - 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, 4:30 - 10:30 p.m. Sukhothai Thai Cuisine 8102 Market Place Lane Cincinnati, OH 45242 (513)794-0057
DINING OUT • 15
THURSDAY, JANUARY 3, 2013
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16 • OPINION
A Jewish ‘connection’ Gun control vs. the right to bear arms: A Jewish point of view
By Rabbi Avi Shafran Contributing Columnist
Most people, asked if there was any specific Jewish connection to the recent horrific murder of 20 first-graders and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., would probably respond “Noah Pozner,” one of the six-year-old casualties. There’s another Jewish connection, though, or at least an imagined one, to the massacre. Even while the slaughtered innocents were still being prepared for burial, neo-Nazi websites began to assert, on the sole basis of their operators’ fevered imaginations and an ugly sort of wishful thinking, that Adam Lanza, the mass murderer, was a Jew.
Being chosen here means being charged with setting an example to others of life in service of the Divine. Or at least, the bloggers claimed, a half-Jew (although from which half the evil emerged was left unclear). One site proffered evidence, too: The name “Adam,” it explained, is exclusively used by Jews. (How clueless we’ve all been about, among others, Adam Smith and Adam Clayton Powell.) An Iranian website, Qodsna.com, quickly joined the contemptible chorus, adding the accusation that the notoriously self-censoring Western media, which had provided nary a word about Mr. Lanza’s alleged Jewish parentage, had actively conspired to hide it. The article was revealingly titled “The Common Roots of the Palestine and Sandy Hook Crimes.” (A second article on the site focused on post-massacre calls for gun control, explaining how “Jewish rabbis” in America fear a possible wave of attacks against their fellow Jews because of Israeli actions. It carried the headline “The Zionist Lobby’s Gun Control Plan For America.”) Such hatred-fueled fantasies presented as fact (and accepted as such by millions of ignorant or malevolent people in certain parts of the world, including some of the mental backwoods of our own country) alarm many Jews – and, for that matter, many non-Jews
uninfected by the virus of antiSemitism. To me, though, they are also a source of pride, and even bring a smile of sorts to my heart, if not quite to my face. Because they illustrate the uniqueness of Jews. The Jewish People’s “chosen-ness” is not, of course, justification for haughtiness or, G-d forbid, derogating others. The Torah teaches that all mankind is created in the image of G-d and possesses wondrous potential. Being chosen here means being charged with setting an example to others of life in service of the Divine. (Sometimes we succeed; sometimes, lamentably, we don’t.) And yet, there are intriguing indications of Jews being somehow… different. The wild and inexplicable hatred of others for us is one. Jews introduced monotheism and morality to the world; the disproportionate abundance of Jewish contributions to society has been wondered at by observers as diverse as Mark Twain, Bob Dylan and Ann Landers. And yet, confoundingly, we are hated at any given historical period or happening, for whatever “reason” can be conjured from thin air by malignant minds. What other ethnicity or religion has merited a special note from “The Google Team” that searches for information about it (in this case, the word “Jew”) “may have” yielded “results that were very disturbing,” and the conglomerate’s assurance that “the views expressed by the sites in your results are not in any way endorsed by Google?” Being hated isn’t pleasant, but it can still be reassuringly telling (especially considering who the haters tend to be). Recent days also saw the loss of a special man, Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii. I recall his quiet but powerful recollection to an Agudath Israel group in Washington of how he first heard about Jews, in 1945. He was undergoing rehabilitation at a New Jersey military hospital after losing an arm fighting in Europe in World War II. Another injured soldier in the facility mentioned having helped liberate a concentration camp, and described what he had seen. Mr. Inouye asked what the inmates had done to merit being starved, gassed, stacked like firewood and cremated in ovens. The soldier’s answer, Mr. Inouye recalled, “changed my life.” The man explained that the inmates had been Jews, and “Well you know, Dan, people don’t like Jews.” Mr. Inouye was flabbergasted at the idea that a people can be so hated, not for anything they had done but simply because of their peoplehood. And, after doing historical research and meeting countless Jews, he became a lifelong admirer and friend of the Jewish people, and an indefatigable defender of Israel in the Senate to the day of his death. It’s been a sad few weeks.
By Robert D. Altabet JointMedia News Service The tragic Newtown shooting has led to renewed calls for gun control by Conservative and Reform Jewish leaders, who have highlighted this as a religious issue (an Orthodox spokesman also concurred). These emotional reactions are understandable, but their one-sided presentation of Jewish tradition fails to distinguish between the requirements of the real world and our hopes for the messianic age. Jewish tradition speaks to both the requirements of defense preparation and the need for training and safety rules with the best tools available, firearms, which are susceptible to misuse in the wrong hands. Exodus 13:10 tells us that, “The Israelites were well armed when they left Egypt.” On this verse, Nachmanides explains that the right to arms is a characteristic of free men, saying the Jewish nation “did not go out looking like fleeing slaves, but went out as an independent people that could be armed.” The commentator Meam Loez ponders how the Egyptians “were able to gain control over the Israelites, since the Israelites were so numerous and powerful,” answering with an explanation of how the Egyptians used subterfuge to take away Israelite weapons. That Midrash may not be historically true, but it provides an insight to the values of the Passover Haggadah writers who could not understand how their forebears would not have had weapons to defend against oppression. The Hagaddah reads “This year we are slaves,” followed by a call that in the coming year we will be free men. In 1848, Rabbi Ehrenburg of Berlin published a Haggadah omit-
ting that line in his belief that German Jews had gained freedom and were no longer enslaved. With hindsight, we see his error. Rashi explains that Exodus 22:2 permits killing an intruder as a justifiable homicide. Even where the thief has not shown deadly intent, one can assume intent since the thief is prepared for murder when the owner resists. The supporting Talmud texts (Berachot 58a, Yoma 85b) match “Castle” (defense of habitation) American legal doctrine in home defense, rather than the much more restrictive requirement to withdraw to safety. Others are also obligated to help, and any weapon is permissible, including the assault weapons of that era, according to the Babylonian Talmud (BT), Sanhedrin 72b. Depriving someone of a weapon that could have been used for selfdefense makes one liable for the consequences, as the Reform movement’s Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) recognized when it urged caution in considering the legitimate needs for self-defense and security before telling a non-Jew who lives on synagogue premises not to keep a gun in his apartment. Shabbat weapons prohibition is discussed in BT Shabbat 63a, but this pre-supposes permissibility on weekdays. When concluding that it is wrong on Shabbat, the verse from Isaiah 2:4 is cited, but the Talmud then explains that Isaiah applies only because Shabbat is a taste in this world of the messianic era. Even on Shabbat, weapons are permitted to protect life, as Rabbi Shlomo Goren, the former chief rabbi of Israel has ruled, “… it is a mitzvah to shoot both on weekdays or Shabbat… when needed for self-defense… And it is not meant for non-security uses (like sport or
hunting).” Goren encourages the feeling of security that is necessary for proper enjoyment of a peaceful Shabbat, and says “In situations where life is imperiled, shooting a gun is a mitzvah.” BT Avodah Zarah 15b restricts sale of weapons to those suspected of murder, whether Jew or Gentile, as well as anyone who might resell to suspected murderers. This suggests prohibitions against sale to those with violent criminal histories and to those who threaten physical violence. This could include sales prohibitions to those with a mental health history that indicates proclivity to violence. However, we also see an allowance for defensive weapons such as shields. While there is no meaningful way to distinguish between a defensive and an offensive firearm, this suggests that even some prohibited persons may have rights of self-defense that must be protected. But there is no basis for a sales restriction for lawabiding citizens. Perhaps even a child should be taught age-appropriate safety knowledge when around firearms since “his life may depend on it” (BT Kiddushin 30b). Certainly for adults, training is appropriate, as Samuel II 22:35 states “He teaches my hands to war; and trains my arms to bend a bow of bronze.” Jewish tradition supports a “right to bear arms,” and the training to use them, as characteristics of a free people. We also have ethical obligations for self-defense and protecting the lives of our fellows. Judaism’s nuanced view balances the right, and even the need, for weapons ownership with the safety prescriptions necessary to assure that the innocent are protected. Sometimes, furthering peace and preventing violence require the weapons necessary to root out that violence.
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JEWISH LIFE • 17
THURSDAY, JANUARY 3, 2013
WHAT’S HAPPENING @ YOUR SYNAGOGUE? NAME ADDRESS
strike out against injustice – in addition to whatever stories about Abraham he may have heard from his biological mother, Jochebed – was the example of his adoptive mother. This Egyptian princess flouted the cruel law of her father Pharaoh, risking her life, to save the Hebrew baby floating in an ark on the Nile River. It is precisely this message of universality which the Bible expresses in the very first of Moses’s acts against injustice, when he slays the Egyptian taskmaster beating the Hebrew: “…And he [Moses] saw an Egyptian personage [ish] beating a Hebrew personage [ish] from amongst his [Moses’s] brothers. And he looked at that one [the oppressor] and at the other one [the victim], and when he realized that there was no [real] personage [ish], he slew the Egyptian and buried him in the sand” (Ex. 2:11,12). Rav Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin, famed dean of the Volozhin Yeshiva, explains that the Hebrew word “ish” is the highest category of the various Hebrew terms for “man.” And, used to refer to both the Egyptian and the Hebrew, the word certainly conveys universal application. Moses was familiar with both Egyptian and Hebrew societies and recognized both the oppressor and the oppressed as having been important personages in their respective environments and communities. But now that they had been thrust together as oppressor and
victim, when Moses looked at each of them, he realized that each had lost his elevated status of “persona;” the very act of oppression demeans and demotes both perpetrator and sufferer, robs each of his status as having been created in the image of the Divine; there was no longer an “ish” amongst them. And this would seem to be irrespective of who is the Egyptian and who is the Hebrew. Shabbat Shalom Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Chancellor Ohr Torah Stone Chief Rabbi – Efrat Israel
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T EST Y OUR T ORAH KNOWLEDGE THIS WEEK’S PORTION: SHMOT (SHMOT 1:1—6:1) 1. What did Moshe and Aaron tell Pharaoh the first time they met? a.) Let my people go b.) Their staff would turn into a snake c.) They would turn the Nile River into blood 2. What did Pharaoh respond? a.) Nothing doing b.) Needed time to think about it c.) Who is Hashem that I should let the Children of Israel go? 3. What did Moshe and Aaron answer Pharaoh? to the Children of Israel. 5. C 5:22-23 Moshe complained to Hashem that since he started his mission, the situation worsened. Hashem responded that the future would be better.
EFRAT, Israel – A new king arose over Egypt who did not know Joseph (Exodus 1:8). Why is Joseph, the towering personality of the last four portions of the Book of Genesis, not considered the fourth patriarch of Israel? After all, he receives a double share of the inheritance through Manasseh and Ephraim, the two tribes who emanate from his loins – and it is he who saves his family, and thus the Jewish people, from starvation and oblivion. Moreover, why does Moses emerge as the savior and redeemer of the Book of Exodus? What catapults this prince of Egypt to such an exalted position of Jewish leadership when he was raised in Pharaoh’s palace, sports an Egyptian name (Moses means “son” in Egyptian) and seems totally disconnected from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Let us begin with Moses. I believe it was the great Prof. Nechama Leibowitz, of blessed memory, who pointed out that Moses is the great fighter against injustice, whether it is perpetrated by Egyptian (gentile) against Hebrew (Exodus 2:11), by Hebrew against Hebrew, or by Midianite (gentile) against Midianite. When we remember how God declares that He chose and loved Abraham because he would teach later generations to “keep God’s way by doing acts of compassionate righteousness and moral justice,” and how in this manner, “all the nations of the world will be blessed through him” (Genesis 18:18, 19), we realize that by fighting injustice in all three of these spheres Moses is expressing a direct line of continuity with Abraham, the first Hebrew and the recipient of God’s covenant. However, there is one category that is absent from Moses’s list: an injustice performed by a Jew against a gentile. Clearly, the Bible understands the necessity of acting against injustice no matter what the ethnic profile of either oppressor or victim, since the source of Moses’s commitment to
Clearly, the Bible understands the necessity of acting against injustice no matter what the ethnic profile of either oppressor or victim, since the source of Moses’s commitment to strike out against injustice – in addition to whatever stories about Abraham he may have heard from his biological mother, Jochebed – was the example of his adoptive mother.
a.) They turned around and left b.) Requested three day leave to worship Hashem c.) Turned their staff into a snake 4. Did Pharaoh respond? a.) Yes b.) No 5. What was Moshe's mood at the end of the Parsha? a.) Optimistic b.) Pessimistic c.) Moment of wavering
Hashem is over all. Midrash 3. B 5:3 Hashem told them to say this, by the burning bush.(3:18) Moshe added that if Pharaoh would not let the Children of Israel go, Hashem would hurt him. (4:23) 4. A 5:4-8 Pharaoh responded by adding work
by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin
SHABBAT SHALOM: PARSHAT SHEMOT EXODUS 1:1-6:1
Written by Rabbi Dov Aaron Wise
Answers 1. A 5:1 Only Moshe and Aaron spoke to Pharaoh. The elders (4:29)who accompanied them left before they reached Pharaoh. Rashi 2. C 5:2 Pharaoh took out his book of gods and Hashem's name was missing. He did not realize
Sedra of the Week
18 • JEWZ IN THE NEWZ
By Nate Bloom Contributing Columnist TUBE NOTES The NBC comedy series, “1600 Penn,” had a sneak preview of the pilot episode on Dec. 17. But will officially premiere (the pilot, again) on Thursday, Jan. 10, at 9:30 PM. It was co-created by actor JOSH GAD, 31, and he costars as the president’s son. As the title implies, it is set in the White House and concerns the First Family. Bill Pullman, who played the president in “Independence Day,” plays the president again in this series. Jenna Elfman, who isn’t Jewish, but played the “half Jewish” Dharma Finkelstein on “Dharma and Greg,” plays the president’s wife and the stepmother of his children (a son and two younger daughters). Most reviews say the first episodes have some very funny moments. But the same reviews questioned whether a series about a dysfunctional, not-all-that-bright First Family can be consistently amusing. Gad plays “Skippy,” a college-dropout, overeater, and all-around amiable screw-up. The third season of the critically-acclaimed IFC cable comedy show, “Portlandia,” begins on Friday, Jan. 4, at 10 PM. It co-stars Fred Arminsen (“SNL”) and CARRIE BROWNSTEIN, 38. They appear in short comedic sketches that usually satirize the politically correct, “new age” culture of Portland, Ore. Brownstein is best known as one of the three members of the “all-girl” rock band, SleaterKinney, which was very popular in the ‘90s. The band went on “hiatus” in 2006, but Brownstein still plays, now and again, with band drummer JANET WEISS, 47. Unlike Weiss, Brownstein never talks about being Jewish – but online obits show her mother’s parents were Jewish; and her father is almost certainly Jewish, too. THE TIMES THEY WERE A’ CHANGIN’ Opening in many cities, throughout January, is “Not Fade Away,” the first feature film by Italian-American David Chase, the creator of the gangster series, “The Sopranos.” “Not Fade” opened in a handful of theaters on Dec. 21, 2012 to mostly good reviews. If it doesn’t open near you, make a note to look for it “on-demand” or on DVD. Like “The Sopranos,” Chase’s film is set in New Jersey. However, it is set in 1964 and not in the present day. James Gandolfini, who starred as the main gangster in “The Sopranos,” co-stars in this movie as Pat, the head of a normal (not gangster), Italian-American blue collar family. The central character is Doug,
Pat’s teenage son. Inspired by the Rolling Stones singing “Not Fade Away” on TV, Doug forms a rock band with two buddies. Playing Doug is JOHN MAGARO, 29, who has done many TV guest shots and has had a few lead film parts. Magaro, who was born in Akron, is the son of two teachers. His father is Italian Catholic; his mother, Jewish. He was raised Jewish. Magaro looks much like a young BOB DYLAN in the film. This is appropriate, since the film explores how rock music (made by innovators like Dylan) was a big part of a cultural revolution that rocked mid-‘60s society and often separated fathers and sons, like Doug and Pat. TWO TRAGEDIES, ONE SINGER On Dec. 19, PAUL SIMON, 71, sung his famous song, “Sounds of Silence,” at the church funeral of Victoria Soto, 27, a first grade teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School who died trying to protect her students from rifle fire during the Newtown, Conn., massacre. The NY Daily News reports that he was at the funeral because his sister-in-law was friends with Soto and that he played “Sounds of Silence” because he was informed that it was Soto’s favorite tune. “Sounds of Silence” first appeared on Simon and Garfunkel’s debut album, “Wednesday Morning, 3 AM.” The album, which was released in October 1964, included a lot less famous song, “He Was My Brother.” It was dedicated to, and is about ANDREW GOODMAN, who became a friend of Simon when they went to Queens College in New York City. In early June 1964, Goodman, 20, traveled south to participate in “Freedom Summer,” a coordinated effort by civil rights groups to register long disenfranchised black voters. In Mississippi, he met up with MICHAEL SCHWERNER, 24, another New York-raised civil rights activist, and James Chaney, 21, an African American from Mississippi. On June 21, while investigating the burning of a black church, the three were arrested on a traffic violation and briefly held in jail. The deputy sheriff who detained them called a Klan leader and, not long after, the three were waylaid on a back road and murdered by Klan members. Their murder helped galvanize public support for President Johnson’s effort to pass the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act, which had long been stalled in Congress. No doubt, President Obama hopes that the Newtown events will, likewise, induce Congress to pass gun safety legislation.
FROM THE PAGES 150 Y EARS A GO Mr. Gotlthelf, of Louisville, sends us some extracts from the papers of that city, relative to the unjust order of General Grant. They give another evidence of the estimation in which it is held by all liberal-minded citizens, of every denomination. The following is from the Louisville Journal: General Grant’s Order against the Isratelites – Our readers are familiar with the late order of Gen. Grant expelling all Jews from his lines. We may have much to say hereafter about the injustice – the very grave injustice – of the order in question against a religious denomination of high respectability and influence. The order applied with special severity to our Hebrew friends in Paducah. We have met some loyal residents of that city who have resided there for the last twelve years, who have been forced to leave their families and homes without redress. This is a terrible wrong, which, if reported to us from Turkey, Russia, Austria, or Morocco, would excite the indignation of every liberal man in this free land. Of what offence have the Jews as a class been guilty? Are there smugglers or traitors among them? If so, let the guilty ones suffer, but not the innocent. Arrest, even expel those who have offended the laws, whether they be Unitarians, Methodists, Catholics, Protestants, or Jews. What, in the name of heaven, has the offender’s religion to do with his offence? How many thousand patriot soldiers of Jewish descent have laid down their lives upon the altar of their country? And is this miserable, ungrateful order to be the price of their blood? – January 9, 1863
125 Y EARS A GO One of the neatest affairs of the season was the nuptials of Mr. Sig. Wise and Miss Nannie Bloom, both of this city, which were consummated at Allemania Hall on the evening of December 28. On account of the social prominence of both the event was one of note, and the friends who gather around the happy pair represented the wealth, culture and intelligence of Cincinnati. The Rev. Dr. Wise administered the simple rites, and with a few words of admonition and advice started the newly-wedded couple on the voyage of a new life. May prosperity, health and happiness be their portion in life. – January 6, 1888
100 Y EARS A GO At the ripe old age of 95 years, Mr. Levi Moore passed to the great beyond on Tuesday of last week. He was the father of Mr.
Louis Moore and Mrs. Max Wingram, of Alabama. A devout Jew, he loved his religion with a love that was indeed reverence. He served his god, as the officiating rabbi once said, “Old age is a crown of glory when lived in the way of righteousness.” Mr. and Mrs. Sig Wise celebrated their silver wedding anniversary last Saturday evening at their beautiful home on South Crescent Avenue, Avondale. In the earlier part of the evening an attractive program was rendered by Miss Jennie Mannheimer, Mrs. Millard F. Shelt, violinist, and Mrs. Albert I. Straus, pianist, which delighted all present. The event was a very pleasant one and the company did not disperse until an early hour of the morning. – January 2, 1913
75 Y EARS A GO The Linen and Clothing Circle of the Jewish Foster Home of Price Hill will meet Wednesday, Jan. 12th, at 2 p.m. at the home of Mrs. Sol Frankel, 865 Hutchins Avenue. The president, Mrs. Sidney Deutsch, urges all members to attend. Avondale Alpha Delphians will meet at tea Monday, Jan. 10th, at 1:30 p.m., at the home of Mrs. Stanley Gumble, 858 E. Mitchell Avenue, preceding the day’s discussion of “Italian Stories” led by Mrs. Coralie Rosenthal and presented by Mesdames Julius Jacobs, Maxwell Lott, Thomas Kinwald and Robert Dunie. Mrs. Samuel Smickler has been appointed by the Public Recreation Commission of Cincinnati to serve as chairman of the Girl’s Hobby Fair. This will be held at the Union Central Annex Building March 7th-13th inclusive. Pupils of public, private and parochial schools will enter exhibits of their hobbies. The Fair is sponsored by ParentTeacher associations and women’s organizations interested in the welfare of girls. – January 6, 1938
50 Y EARS A GO Emil Frank, for many years a leaser in health, welfare and philanthropic activities here, passed away Saturday evening, Dec. 29, at his home in the Belvedere. His age was 83. Mr. Frank served as chairman 1943-51 of the Jewish Hospital board of trustees, to which he was elected in 1925. The Emil Frank Pavilion is named for him. He was chairman of the Jewish Welfare Fund, a member of the HUC-JIR board, and trustee of Hospital Care Corporation. He was a member of Rockdale Temple, Cincinnati Club and Losantiville Country Club. Mr. Frank founded the Frank Tea and Spice Co., with his broth-
ers, Charles and Jacob Frank, and served as its president. He is survived by three daughters, Mrs. Frederick Rauh and Mrs. Thomas C. Adler, both of Cincinnati, and Mrs. G. Ralston Crawford, of New York City; a sister, Miss Martha Frank, of Cincinnati; a brother, Charles; seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Rabbi Murry Blackman officiated at funeral services Monday, Dec. 31, at the Weill Funeral Home. Interment was in United Jewish Cemetery, Walnut Hills. – January 3, 1963
25 Y EARS A GO Experts from radio, television and newspapers will participate in a program designed to train members of the Jewish community to effectively respond to the media. “Talk Back to the Media,” will be held on Sunday, Jan. 17, from 9noon at the Jewish Community Center, 1580 Summit Road. The program is being sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Cincinnati and the National Council of Jewish Women – Cincinati Section; and is chaired by Lou Jacobs. Participants in the program include Jerry Springer, WLWT; Jan Mickelson, WCKY-AM; Claudia Winkler, Cincinnati Post; Ben Kaufman, Cincinnati Enquirer; and Phyllis Singer, American Israelite. – January 7, 1988
10 Y EARS A GO Nathan “Nat” Marx, 96, passed peacefully from this earth Dec. 13, 2002, after an extraordinary life. Nat was the oldest of three children born to the late Flora and Benjamin Marx. His life was filled with the love of his family and many friends. He enjoyed a zest for life, the gift of a wonderful sense of humor, and a love of music and entertainment. He was a member of the wellknown Marx family, which included the late Marx Brothers and the late Samuel Marx of Metro-Goldwyn Mayer. In the early years of his long life, Nat was an accomplished billiards player and a life master at bridge. He met the love of his life, Natalie Kahn, in 1926, whom he subsequently married Dec. 29, 1928. They lived in New York until 1940, when they moved to Cincinnati, OH, where Nat became a member of the Crest Hills Country Club. In 1973, they retired to Sun City, AZ, where they enjoyed a wonderful life filled with golf, food, and many friends. His smile and his cheer will be missed by all who knew him. Nat’s life was “the best of times.” Good show, Marx. – January 9, 2003
THURSDAY, JANUARY 3, 2013
CLASSIFIEDS • 19
COMMUNITY DIRECTORY COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS Access (513) 373-0300 • jypaccess.org Big Brothers/Big Sisters Assoc. (513) 761-3200 • bigbrobigsis.org Camp Ashreinu (513) 702-1513 Camp at the J (513) 722-7258 • mayersonjcc.org Camp Chabad (513) 731-5111 • campchabad.org Camp Livingston (513) 793-5554 • camplivingston.com Cedar Village (513) 754-3100 • cedarvillage.org Chevra Kadisha (513) 396-6426 Cincinnati Community Kollel (513) 631-1118 • kollel.shul.net Cincinnati Community Mikveh (513) 351-0609 • cincinnatimikveh.org Eruv Hotline (513) 351-3788 Fusion Family (513) 703-3343 • fusionnati.org Halom House (513) 791-2912 • halomhouse.com Hillel Jewish Student Center (Miami) (513) 523-5190 • muhillel.org Hillel Jewish Student Center (UC) (513) 221-6728 • hillelcincinnati.org Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Cincinnati 513-961-0178 • jcemcin.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) 214-1200 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 • 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 • btzbc.com 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 • btzbc.com
Congregation Ohav Shalom (513) 489-3399 • ohavshalom.org Congregation Ohr Chadash (513) 252-7267 • ohrchadashcincinnati.com Congregation Sha’arei Torah shaareitorahcincy.org Congregation Zichron Eliezer 513-631-4900 • czecincinnati.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
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 Kulanu (Reform Jewish High School) 513-262-8849 • kulanucincy.org Regional Institute Torah & Secular Studies (513) 631-0083 Rockwern Academy (513) 984-3770 • rockwernacademy.org Sarah’s Place (513) 531-3151 • sarahsplacecincy.com
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 BBYO (513) 722-7244 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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POSITIONS from page 5 The resolution also “opposes” Israel’s retaliatory plans to build Jewish homes in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank, and supports “appropriate measures if the Palestinians use their new status at the U.N. to initiate formal action against Israel via the International Criminal Court or other agency.” The Reform movement made public the Dec. 3 resolution, but the Dec. 14 letter to Obama was released by mistake to a JTA reporter. A spokesman for the group said the failure to publicize the letter to the president was an oversight, noting that it was sent when the nation was preoccupied with the massacre of first-graders the same day in Newtown, Conn. Some dovish Jewish groups also have made clear their opposition to penalties for the Palestinians, among them J Street and Americans for Peace Now. In a fundraising letter, J Street’s president, Jeremy Ben-Ami, counted the 239 signatures on the AIPAC-backed congressional letter sent Dec. 21 as a victory for his movement, noting particularly that only 67 Democrats signed. “We’re seeing the impact in Congress where two-thirds of the Democratic Caucus refused to sign AIPAC’s latest letter calling for closing the PLO’s diplomatic mission in Washington,” Ben-Ami said in the letter. “Such letters used to be signed by 4 out of every 5 Members of Congress. Not any more.” A slate of recent AIPAC-backed letters indeed have scored signatures in the mid-300s, but letters scoring in the mid-200s are not exceptional, and the new letter was still signed by a majority of the U.S. House of Representatives. The AIPAC official acknowledged that the organization had hoped for more signatures but added that the letter was circulated toward the end of a congressional session – one that was preoccupied with a compromise on spending and taxes. “There’s a confidence that Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Howard Berman would have gotten more signatures had there been time,” the official said, referring respectively to the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Republican chairwoman and Democratic ranking member who together initiated the
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(513) 531-9600 letter. Both are leaving their top committee posts, Berman after having lost an intraparty reelection battle in his home district and RosLehtinen as a result of Republican caucus rules limiting the tenures of committee heads. On its website, AIPAC touted the congressional letter as a key element of its legislative agenda. “The Palestinians must face consequences,” AIPAC said. “The United States should continue to press the Palestinians to refrain from such harmful actions and outline repercussions if they move ahead, such as closing the PLO office in Washington.” The letter proposes the immediate closing of the office “to send the message that such actions are not cost-free and that, at a minimum, they result in setbacks to U.S.Palestinian relations.” AIPAC is also backing a Senate amendment that would shut the PLO office and, if the Palestinians proceed to the International Criminal Court, cut P.A. funding. AIPAC’s professional leadership circulated a letter to senators urging its passage. “The amendment does two things,” said the letter, signed by Howard Kohr, AIPAC’s executive director, and Marvin Feuer and Brad Gordon, its joint directors of policy and government affairs. “1) It would cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority should it successfully pursue anti-Israel efforts at the International Criminal Court and 2) it would close down all PLO offices in the United States unless the Palestinians reenter meaningful peace negotiations with Israel.” AIPAC, however, has not alerted its activists to the Senate amendment. The amendment, proposed by Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) on the same day as the U.N. vote, never made it to the Senate floor; it’s not clear why. Also not clear is why the House letter did not include a recommendation to Obama to cut funding to the Palestinians, although it has been the centerpiece of warnings over the last year to Palestinians should they press ahead with efforts to upgrade their status at the United Nations. The offices of RosLehtinen, a Florida Republican, and Berman, a California Democrat, did not return requests for comment.
20 • FIRST PERSON
This Year in Jerusalem This Year in Jerusalem
by Phyllis Singer A former Cincinnatian as a member of the Israeli Knesset? It’s a long shot, but it could happen. If not in the next Knesset, perhaps in the one after that. Never say “never” – especially not in Israeli politics. Former Cincinnatian Rabbi Dov Lipman is running for the next Knesset on the Yesh Atid list. But he is number 17 on the list for the new party founded by former journalist Yair Lapid, which the polls predict will receive 10 seats. Lipman left Cincinnati in 1998 to take what he calls his “dream job” – being a rebbe at his alma mater, the Yeshiva of Greater Washington in Silver Spring, Md. Lipman grew up in Silver Spring and received his smicha (rabbinical ordination) from Ner Yisrael Yeshiva in Baltimore and a master’s degree in education from Johns Hopkins University. After six years in Silver Spring, in 2004, Lipman, his wife, Dena, and their four children, who GROUPS from page 6 “There’s not enough charitable deduction that can make a difference when bubbe can’t stay in the Hebrew home,” said a top Democratic aide, speaking on condition of anonymity. Some liberal Jewish groups have weighed in with clear endorsements of Obama’s position on taxes. The head of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism wrote to members of Congress earlier this month urging them to protect “programs that aid the most vulnerable,” echoing the JFNA’s focus. But the letter from Rabbi David Saperstein, the RAC’s director, also expressed concern over “ever widening” economic inequality and called for the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans. “Securing substantial new revenue from those with the greatest ability to contribute will allow us to meet deficit reduction goals, chart a more sustainable fiscal path forward, invest in the job creation measures our economy needs, and protect the programs and services that families depend upon,”
ranged in age from 7 to 6 weeks, made aliyah and settled in Beit Shemesh, where Lipman had a job as a teacher and administrator in a small yeshiva. After several years teaching and writing, Lipman was thrust in the national Israeli spotlight as a community activist opposing Haredi extremism in Beit Shemesh. Although Lipman identifies himself as Haredi (ultraOrthodox), and he and his family are “fervently Orthodox” in their spiritual and personal lives, he does not agree with the extremism that characterizes Haredim in Israel. Nor does he agree with the idea that men should study Torah all day, instead of working, he told The American Israelite in an interview. Contrary to the isolationism that the Haredim in Israel practice, the 41-year-old Lipman believes in being engaged in helping the community while working to support a family. He also embraces “the gift of the State of Israel as a miracle and a step in the ultimate redemption process.” “You can be fervent in your own spiritual life,” he said, but that does not mean that you should not be “part of the broader world that God created.” He quotes Maimonides and the Shulchan Aruch and says they teach that we are supposed to be educated, earn a living and be part of society. Lipman acknowledged that the Haredi leadership in Israel rejects him and this viewpoint, but he maintains that he is “in touch with people on the ground.” Saperstein wrote. The National Council of Jewish Women on Wednesday urged its members to write to Congress calling for the expiration of tax cuts that benefit the top 2 percent of earners. “Securing new revenue should be a priority to meet deficit reduction goals,” the organization’s form letter said. A more recently established liberal Jewish group, Bend the Arc, has made the expiration of tax cuts for top earners a central agenda item. Bend the Arc recently garnered about 300 signatures from Jewish clergy members in a letter to Congress calling for the expiration of tax cuts on annual income above $250,000. It has also held parlors across the country and organized a lobbying day last week. Doug Mirell, a Bend the Arc board member, said he noted the dissonance between advocating for spending on domestic programs while keeping mum on taxes when he was a Jewish community lay leader lobbying state lawmakers in California. “If the community is going to seek governmental funding to sup-
Lipman began working as a community activist in 2006 as an assistant to the deputy mayor of Beit Shemesh and served as his campaign manager when he ran for mayor in 2008. That position led Lipman to see all the problems and challenges that existed in Beit Shemesh. When the deputy mayor lost the race, Lipman decided that he liked working in politics and thought that he would remain in politics on the local scene. But extremism in Beit Shemesh in the fall of 2011 propelled him to national attention. Extremists in the Haredi community violently protested against a national religious girls’ school that had opened adjacent to the Haredi community. For four months, violence took place on a daily basis as the extremists spat on girls walking to school and shouted disparaging comments at them and their families. Lipman and other moderates formed a group called Beit Shemesh for All of Us, which became involved in public pressure and protests. As a moderate Haredi who believes in coexistence and harmony within the community, Lipman became involved in the protests against the extremists and the violence and tried to get local officials to intervene. When that didn’t work, Lipman and his fellow protestors took the story to the Israeli media, which followed it for a long time, thrusting Lipman into the national spotlight. When the problems surrounding the girls’ school finally quiet-
ed down, Lipman concluded that he wanted to be in politics; he felt the political scene was where he could make a contribution. At first, he thought he would be involved in Beit Shemesh, but then he joined with Rabbi Haim Amsalem, who broke away from Shas and formed a moderate Sephardi religious party. For a few months, Lipman headed an Anglo division for Amsalem, but then Amsalem decided to focus on attracting the Sephardi vote away from Shas and was not interested in Anglos. So he and Lipman parted ways last spring. As Lipman was debating his next step, someone suggested Yesh Atid (There Is a Future), the new party that had been formed by former journalist Yair Lapid. Lipman thought the son of former Shinui founder, the fervently antiOrthodox Tommy Lapid, was “anti-Jewish, anti-Haredi, antireligious,” but people told him that was not so, that he should give him a chance. In June, Lipman attended a parlor meeting that Lapid held on a secular moshav. “I sat in the back where he could not see me. He said, ‘If you are looking for Tommy Lapid, I am not that person,’ and he talked about issues of unity and other burning issues of [Israeli] society.” Lipman felt that he agreed with much that Lapid was saying. After that meeting, Lipman and his group decided to start a branch of Yesh Atid in Beit Shemesh. Little by little, Lipman told The Israelite, he and Lapid
Courtesy of Bend the Arc
Congressional Democrats join Bend the Arc to lobby on Capitol Hill for a tax hike on those with annual incomes of $250,000 or more, Dec. 20, 2012.
port its many worthwhile services, it’s incumbent upon those of us who can afford to do so to pay a tax rate commensurate with the services,” he said. But Fred Zeidman, a major GOP fundraiser who was a past chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, said that advo-
cating for tax hikes and against spending cuts was not helpful. Jewish groups, he said, must take the hits in government funding and have communal givers dig deeper. “Everybody is going to have to take a hit, and that includes us,” Zeidman said. “We have to realize we are part of the solution. It
got to know each other, and Lapid offered him a place on the list. Although Lipman reluctantly acknowledges that Yesh Atid may get less than 17 seats in the coming election, he sees himself continuing with the party and working with Yair Lapid behind the scenes in the Knesset. And then, hopefully, in the next election, Lipman would have a higher position on the list, and the party might garner more seats. Whatever happens, however, Lipman sees his future in politics in some way or another. He wants to stay in the political realm “and make a difference.” He told The Israelite that he thinks God has directed him this way, and he wants to work to make a difference in the country. Lipman credits his late father, who was a federal judge in Washington, D.C., as being a huge influence on him. “He was a graduate of Ner Yisrael, he studied Torah, and he was a huge community person – president of the shul, president of the yeshiva, involved in Federation, but also a federal judge. A model of combining the two worlds in the most inspiring way.” His father inspired a lot of people, and Lipman believes that’s the ultimate goal. “Torah is not just for the individual,” Lipman emphasized. “It’s for the world. If all we do is focus on ourselves, that’s not fulfilling our mission.” He wants to be involved in the world and be part of making a change. “We have to break down the wall.” means we all have to dig deeper and our institutions will have to be based more on philanthropy than on taxes.” Rachel Goldberg, B’nai B’rith International’s director on aging policy, said that Jewish groups advocating for continued funding of domestic programs should make the case to their donors that revenue growth is a key element. But she acknowledged that the diversity of opinion among Jewish organizations’ constituents on the issue, which she contrasted with their more uniform support for Israel, made it difficult for them to develop consensus. “It’s definitely a more challenging thing because Jewish organizations don’t have anti-Zionists generally, but we do have Republicans and Democrats, we do have people who are liberal on domestic issues, people who are pro-tax and antitax,” she said. “We need to make the case, you may have voted for Obama, you may like [House Speaker John] Boehner, but this is about do we want to continue providing the safety net we have provided, making sure the best antipoverty programs ever created continue to work.”
FIRST PERSON • 21
THURSDAY, JANUARY 3, 2013
FILM from page 6 “The Jewish aspect of the sport is something out of the ordinary,” Nussbaum says, noting how many Jewish boxers still display the Jewish star somewhere on their trunks or robes. Even so, he says, there has been what he sees as “an impressive number of boxers in the sport as well... a real diverse group with names like Bummy Davis, Slapsie Maxie Rosenthal and Barney Ross.” Some Jewish boxers changed their names to protect their families. Many Jewish parents still look down on the sport, even if they had participated in it themselves. “Most Jewish boxers like Barney Ross and Benny Leonard didn’t want their kids involved in the sport,” Nussbaum explains. “There are very few if any boxers that have children that continued in the sport of boxing. Most of them went on to become lawyers and doctors.” Nussbaum got so involved in the lives of his subjects while shooting that he even required medical attention. “One year into shooting… I injured my eye,” he recalls, detailing that his detached retina became one of his “favorite” parts of shooting the film because it was a typical “boxer’s injury.” “It seems that I not only produced the film and directed it, but also lived a firsthand account of what the boxers go through on a day to day basis,” he says. As he regained his own sight, Nussbaum gained even more insight into what the professional fighters he was featuring need to do to make it in their brutal, but still at times beautiful, sport. “I had become a boxer myself,” he says, “determined to make this film and living a life that was very similar to them. I regained my sight and lived through an injury that made me feel exactly how some of these fighters feel... struggling to make this film as real and poignant as possible.” Such experiences also drew Nussbaum’s subjects closer to him and encouraged others to seek him out and participate in the film. “Many of the boxers in the film came to me after hearing what I was attempting to do,” he says. “They loved the idea and were so happy to learn that someone was interested in telling their stories the right way… from their perspectives.” The finished film is set to air in more than 300,000 homes through Cablevision Systems in Morris County, N.J., and will possibly be distributed through The Jewish Channel on pay-per-view cable, but Nussbaum is also working to get it into film festivals and theaters nationwide. “It is our hope to show and use the Jewish boxer as an example for accomplishing the American dream,” Nussbaum explains, “and proving once again that anyone can succeed in our great nation.”
Seeing off a friend, seeing more sights Live from Israel
by Lainey Paul Winter has certainly become more and more prevalent here in Israel. Currently it is raining uncontrollably, yet we can’t complain since Israel only gets about SEEKING from page 7 Six additional graduates immigrated to prestate Israel; three went to the United States, one of whom later moved to Israel; and Poliak went to Uruguay. Three graduates remained in Grodno: One was killed in the Holocaust and two survived, with one of the survivors heading to the COMIC from page 7 That got laughs, but this reporter’s Texan friend was less amused. “It’s not rare to be Jewish and Southern or Texan,” he wrote. “It’s quite common. It’s not like some circus sideshow act. A Jewish eskimo, that would be weird. Jewish Texan? There were 5,000 just at the University of Texas.” Lee had “to be real Texan/Southern, not someone who moved to Dallas from Palm Beach at age 5” to be able to tell jokes like that, fumed the Texas Jew. But what is Lee’s take? On a recent winter’s morning, she arrived at a diner in Manhattan to talk about her budding comedy career and her Texas bona fides. The bubbly 29-year-old comedian spoke about the experience, both terrifying and gratifying, of performing on a nationally broadcast latenight show. “It looks very well lit, it looks very warm and friendly and it is. The staff is very warm and friendly, but it’s pitch black, the audience is quite a distance from you, you can’t see their faces and the laughter doesn’t sound super loud because of the acoustics in the room, so it’s a very lonely experience,” she told JNS regarding her debut. “Those five and a half minutes were incredibly lonely and it almost feels like when you have a bad dream that ‘I was on stage naked and there was a whole auditorium.’It feels like that. It doesn’t feel like traditional standup.” Lee talks about standup rapidly, passionately, articulately, and like it’s the most important thing in the
29 rainy days a year in the rainiest of areas. I was invited to join my kibbutz host family for their annual three day camping trip in the Negev during Chanukah. It was definitely an unforgettable experience, lighting the Chanukiah in the shetach (wildernes”). This past week I have been constantly on the go (what else is new?). I had the privilege of taking a girlfriend to the Lishcat HaGiyus (drafting station) for Tazpitanit (guarding the border via computers). It was very emotional to see her board the bus with hundreds of strangers... Definitely a different feeling than I got sending off the guys. She seems pretty happy so far from what I hear. I then went straight to
Tivon to visit Levana Caro and her family (past shelichah of Cincinnati). We had become very close and it was nice to just have a place to sit down and relax. Before I knew it I was on a train all the way down to Beer Sheva for Ortal’s (a past chavera m’yisrael) birthday after spending that morning right outside Netanya. Beer Sheva was awesome and I met amazing people there as well. After a crazy night of celebration, I bused up to Jerusalem, stopping along the way to say “hi” to one of my madrichot (counselors) who lives in the West Bank, a truly beautiful area. Everyone, even me, has all these crazy preconceptions about what the West Bank would look like –
checkpoints, Arabs and Israeli’s throwing rocks every 30 seconds, Israeli Army guards everywhere. Politics aside, it was surprisingly a very peaceful and lovely place to live. I spent two jam packed days in Jerusalem seeing all sorts of friends and doing tons of catching up. On an even more exciting note, I got a job! I don’t know the exact details 100% yet, but basically I am the new representative of the NU Campaign for Masa Israel Experience Programs. As I learn more about it I will keep you posted. Have a Shabbat Shalom!
United States and the other, his first cousin, to Australia. Six of the seven faculty members shown in the picture were killed in the Holocaust; the only survivor was Shmuel Amarant, who taught history and psychology. He fought with the partisans and later reached Israel. One person whom Marcus located was the son of Tarbut student Mordechai “Motl” Bass. Noah
Bass, a physician in Pittsburgh, was easy for Marcus to find online because he was named for his paternal grandfather, who had cofounded the Tarbut school. Motl Bass and his wife survived the Holocaust by escaping from the Grodno ghetto and hiding with a Polish family. They later settled in Atlanta, where their son was born. When Bass visits his
son, Avi, who lives in Jerusalem, he makes sure to see Marcus, too. Marcus finding him “was exciting,” Bass said. “I was surprised that somebody was looking... If she had found us when he was alive,” Bass said of his father, who died in 2002 at age 89, “it would have been very interesting for him to find out what happened to his classmates.”
world, and, for her, it is. She describes being on stage as a kind of drug or addiction. She does not understand comedians who go on breaks. She has performed as often as she can since the first time she got on stage about six years ago. But she does not look the stereotypical funny person. Her pretty-girl looks are reminiscent of Vivian Leigh, an actress with a similarsounding name that famously played Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone With the Wind,” rather than a rough-and-tumble vaudevillian with shtick to sell. It turns out that Lee’s Southern credentials are kosher. She was born and bred in Dallas and her nonJewish father is Texan “as far back as possible.” On her mom’s side she is “fully Jewish New Jersey,” but that did not have much of an influence on her upbringing. No Jewish traditions were kept at home. “I went to a bar and bat mitzvah once,” she recalled. “It was a brother and sister who were born a year apart and had it together.” That was pretty much it. In fact, had it not been for “Melrose Place,” she might not have known of her Jewish background until later in life. It was the 90s and the Darren Star-created soap opera popularized cross necklaces among teens in suburban Dallas. Lee, then 10, made the mistake of wearing a cross while visiting her grandmother in Teaneck, N.J. “‘[My grandmother] would be like, ‘Why are you wearing that cross?’ and I said, ‘It’s cool.’ She said, ‘You can’t wear that, we’re Jewish,’” Lee recalled. “Honestly, I think that was the first time I ever
heard I was Jewish.” She briefly flirted with Jewish life at college, but her real introduction to the tribe came when she moved to New York after college. There, she attended her aunt’s Passover seders, became acquainted with her Jewish boyfriend’s family, and soaked it up through osmosis.
but it meant so much to me to have someone professional think that of me. For her to think that of me was amazing and I thought maybe I should stick with this and then I just did.” Guided by a newfound sense of purpose Lee landed a job at Comedy Central, but as a publicist, not a writer or performer. She would write up press releases during the day and perform at open-mics at night. In 2009, after four years of pushing other people’s work, she decided it was time to go pro. She quit her job, sold most of her belongings and moved into a tiny apartment in Brooklyn bracing herself for a life of destitution that was sure to come. “It was just, ‘here we go, starving artist,’” she said. Within weeks she got a job as a writing assistant to a dream team including Jerry Seinfeld, Tom Papo, Chuck Matrain and Jeff Cesario. She sat in on their meetings, typing up the material they came up with. “It was a comedy fantastic four and me,” she said. “It was the most overwhelming/wonderful thing I ever did. I just said, ‘This is why I quit,’ and I was learning from them so much.” After that gig ended she appeared on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” wrote for an MTV show called “Ridiculousness” and toured college campuses. Last summer she was invited to appear at “Just for Laughs,” a prestigious annual comedy festival in Montreal. Soon, Lee will know whether a pilot she helped write will be picked up. In the meantime, she’s going to be on MTV’s “Running From Strangers” and “Failosophy.”
Courtesy of Jamie Lee
“When you’re here, that’s the big difference,” she said of New York and Judaism. “Here being Jewish is part of the culture. It’s celebrated. You’re always around people who share similar beliefs and have similar backgrounds. In Texas at UT there was the Jewish sorority, the Jewish fraternity and campus Temple and that was it. It didn’t feel like it bled into other areas of your life.” New York was also where her career got off the ground after – no joke – she attended comedy school. She was out of college and new in town when she decided to take a class that taught stand-up. “I remember my teacher used me as an example one day and said, ‘she has the it quality’ and I don’t know what she was talking about
Until next time, Lainey
22 • OBITUARIES D EATH N OTICES KANTOR, Milton H., age 85, died December 23, 2012; 11 Tevet, 5773. OSCHERWITZ, Florence, age 99, died December 26, 2012; 13 Tevet, 5773. WINKLER, Dr. Henry R., age 96, died December 26, 2012; 14 Tevet, 5773. SACOLICK, Ruth, age 85, died December 27, 2012; 14 Tevet, 5773. WINKLER from page 1 Son Allan Winkler presented a moving tribute to his father at a meeting of Cincinnati’s Literary Club on May 14, 2012. Quoting verses from the song “Give Me Roses While I Live,” by the Carter Family, Allan felt it was important to talk about his father’s life while he was still living, and he shared many anecdotes that highlighted the richness of his father’s life. “Now my father is tired. He’s had a long life, a good life, a rich life. He’s done pretty much all he ever wanted to do.” Dr. Winkler’s first wife Claire Sapadin died in 1972. He is survived by his wife Bea (Beatrice Chaikind Ross) and his two children, Dr. Allan M. Winkler (Sara Penhale) and Karen J. Winkler (David Moulton); three step-sons, Richard B. Ross (Barbara), Robert Ross (Louise), Kenneth Ross (Donna Cohen); six grandchildren, Chris Ross (Jennifer), Jennifer Winkler (Eyal Oren), David Winkler, Daniel Ross (Daniella), Michael Moulton and Dakota Ross; and six great-grandchildren, Joshua, Cameron, Ethan and Leila Ross and Jacob and Ari Oren-Winkler. He was also the brother of Henrietta (David) Dalke, of Viera, Fla. Services were held at Weil Funeral Home. The family requests memorial contributions to the Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions at the University of Cincinnati, c/o Harrison Health Sciences Library, 231 Albert Sabin Way, Cincinnati, Ohio 45267-0574.
EXTREMISM from page 8 Some 120,000 Jews live in the Marseille region. Besides Maccabi, the affected Jewish groups include the local office of the CRIF; the Marseille Consistoire, which administers religious services; the Bnei Akiva youth movement; and Baskets for Shabbat, a Jewish charity. CRIF’s national president, Richard Prasquier, said the denial of subsidies for Jewish groups was “troubling” but currently limited to the Marseille region. Controversy surrounding the funding of religious charities is not a new issue in France, which is unique in Europe for enforcing public secularism in a manner more similar to what exists in the United States. A 1905 law enshrining state secularism prohibits the government from subsidizing religion – a law Krief says was cited by local officials in jusPERES from page 8 settlement freeze. But we are not ready to kowtow to Palestinian demands which they call ‘preconditions.’ From this perspective, I think we proved to have a thoughtful, responsible and uncompromising policy with respect to the Palestinians. Unfortunately, they are manipulating the Israeli public.” Peres clarified that he doesn’t agree with Abbas’s every word and every action, but he also said: “I MUSEUM from page 8 anti-Semitism, synagogue architecture in the Czech Republic, sources of Judaism, Jewish writers, Jewish industrialists and inventors, and the rabbinical world. “Each main exhibit will focus on that theme, but there will also be a section that gives the Jewish history of the town,” said Kindermann. “There will also be space for temporary exhibitions and events like concerts and workshops. We also will be having small traveling panel exhibitions on each theme that can be installed in the other places in the network.” The aim is to provide an educational resource for schools as well
tifying their denial of funding. But public officials have had wide discretion in applying the law and in the recent past have moved to cut support for groups on the basis of their religious affiliation. Last year, a Muslim charity in Marseille became the subject of controversy when it was revealed that the charity received $150,000 in subsidies from the regional council in 2010 and 2011. The FrancoMuslim Association of Saint-Gretin near Paris last year won a court case against the municipality, which had refused funding to the group because of its name. Amiens, a city in northern France, forced organizers of the traditional Christmas Festival to rename the event Winter Festival to win subsidies. And in Paris, city funding for 20 Jewish kindergartens is a point of contention each year, as local politicians hold up its funding as an example of
the violation of the principle of secularism, known in French as “laicite.” “Muslim cultural associations are systematically denied funding,” Hassen Chalghoumi, the imam of Drancy near Paris, told JTA. The pullback has intensified nationally since the March 19 shooting in Toulouse, he said. “Some groups are told to change their names, which they won’t do,” Chalghoumi said. “It hurts the moderates and invites extremists to take over with their funding from outside France.” Jewish groups were offered similar arrangements. Bernard Benguigui, vice president of Baskets for Shabbat, which distributes food each week to several hundred recipients from a dispensary behind Marseille’s Great Synagogue, said he was told that he could continue to receive government funding if he changed his
organization’s name to one without “a Jewish connotation.” “I refused this proposal because government orders to change Jewish names remind me of dark periods,” Benguigui said. Dozens of government-funded Christian groups in the Marseille area, meanwhile, seem less affected. In 2011, the regional council gave nearly $2.7 million to 30 groups with “Catholic” in their names. Three of the groups told JTA that they were unaware of any planned cutbacks in funding. The website of one group, Secours Catholique, is publicizing a trip to the Holy Land next year organized in partnership with the regional council. Still, to some in the Jewish community, the dilemma is fundamentally not one of church-state separation but of using an overly blunt remedy to a problem that requires a more nuanced approach.
know the reality that Abu Mazen is the only Arab leader who got up and publicly said that he supports peace and opposes terror. Abu Mazen’s actions to prevent terror are brave to the extent of endangering his own life. Put yourselves in his shoes; you will discover that his recognition of a solution to the right of return and the fact that he will not return to Safed, the city he was born in, were important and brave statements. There is little time. In terms of likelihood, this is the process that we
can carry out today.” Peres added: “We need to directly say that anyone who doesn’t want a solution involving two states for two peoples must offer an alternative solution. What can happen instead? What will Israel’s future be? Otherwise, the reality will determine the solution, instead of us. A binational state endangers Zionism, Judaism and democracy in the State of Israel. I would like to live together as twins, but in such a small land deeply rooted in hatred,
suspicion and cultural gaps it is impossible.” Regarding Israel’s status in the world, Peres said: “Our diplomatic goal has always been to recruit friends and not more enemies. My life experiences have taught me that diplomacy is an art and that it is possible. We must shift away from the militant approach to the approach of moderate dialogue. What appears to be impossible will be possible if we act with intelligence.”
as to engage tourists and other visitors. But Kveta Svobodova, the program and exhibitions director, told JTA that the educational program is still under development. “I think the real importance of these places is for local people to use as educational resources to break stereotypes,” said Martin Smok, a Prague-based consultant for the Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education at the University of Southern California. “I am aware that they are rescuing buildings, but I do hope that adequate attention will be paid to the content, the programming and the professionalism of the exhibits.” A few of the themes will be
linked specifically to a particular site. The town of Polna, for example, between Prague and Brno, was infamous as the site of a blood libel case in 1899. The 10 Stars exhibition there, to be housed in the restored 17th century synagogue, will focus on antiSemitism and be a revamped version of an older exhibition in place since 2000. Jicin, northeast of Prague, was the birthplace of the caustic critic and writer Karl Kraus, who was born a Jew but converted to Catholicism as a young man. The former Jewish school there, across the street from the restored synagogue, will house an exhibition devoted to Jewish writers, play-
wrights and critics of the 19th and early 20th centuries, as well as a small conference facility. The 17th century synagogue in Boskovice, which had been restored a dozen years ago, stands at the heart of one of the more extensive and best-preserved old Jewish ghetto areas in central Europe and will house an exhibit on Jewish quarters and ghettos in Czech lands. And in Plzen, the only 10 Stars site that is home to an active Jewish community, the permanent exhibit to be installed in the restored Old Synagogue will deal with Jewish life and practice, and will include video interviews with local Jews and Holocaust survivors.
POLAND from page 9
400 ghettos. Once transports started, and information about the fate awaiting Jews at the end of their journey became known, escapes intensified. Seventy years ago, a coalition of activists formed Zegota. They existed in an atmosphere of terror, always fearful of blackmailers and spies. During this afternoon in Warsaw, an additional group of Righteous among the Nations was recognized. Several families had traveled from Israel to honor the individuals or their descendants who had been their saviors. Helena Godlewska’s honor was received by her son, Leon Godlewski; the award to Micah and Maria Golba, who
saved the parents of Rami Safri and Nechama Lind, was received by their grandson Stefan Spala; Liliana Wierzbinska received the honor bestowed on her parents, Antoni and Leokadia Jastrzab; Stanisalwa Olewnik’s award was received by Jan Olewnik, Mayor of Grodzisk Mazowiecki; Aniela Woronieckia and Roza Chimielewski’s awards were received by five of their nephews, Adam, Gustaw, Juliusz, Tytus, and Zynmunt Czartoryski. “He who saves a single life,” Zegota’s Barposezewski quoted from the Mishnah, “saves the whole world – this is the significance of the moral order of the whole world.”
“I have great pride and respect for the bravery and courage of the State of Israel… great satisfaction that young people can recall these wonderful things,” said Barposezewski. “In the unique case of Zegota, we forgot about all internal divisions… I recall the years when people respected each other regardless of their ideology. Only the idea of who is from my homeland and who is a human being were important. The presentation of a short, intense film on the history of Polish Jews at the ceremony noted that occupied Poland had about
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