THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2014 20 ADAR, 5774
Art for the fun of it
CINCINNATI, OH Candle Lighting Times Shabbat begins Fri 6:03p Shabbat ends Sat 7:04p
VOL. 160 • NO. 31
The American Israelite T H E
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E N G L I S H
Southern supermarket giant Winn-Dixie bets big on kosher
When Lanzmann turned his lens on a rabbi who answered to Eihmann
New BunkConnect program offering bargains for first-time campers
U.S. could lose clout in U. N. if IsraeliPalestinian conflict negotiations fail
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Oldest Holocaust survivor takes center stage in Oscarnominated doc
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Beit Shemesh’s Magen tackles sexual abuse one case at a time
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Beatles’ Jewish manager remembered 50 years after American debut
Damaged scroll keeps memory alive: HUC-JIR service to tell the story and honor Memorial Scrolls Trust A Torah scroll, once an integral part of the worship of Czech Jews and now among the treasures of the Cincinnati Skirball Museum, will once again be the center of a worship service at the Scheuer Chapel on the campus of Hebrew Union CollegeJewish Institute of Religion, 3101 Clifton Avenue, on Tuesday, February 25, at 10:15 a.m. The worship service commemorates the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Memorial Scrolls Trust, which brought the scroll to the Skirball, located on the campus of the College-Institute. At the time of the Nazi invasion in 1939, this Torah’s home was the small town of Nevlekov in Bohemia near Prague (now in the Czech Republic). In 1940, the congregations around Prague were closed down or destroyed, and deportations of Jews began in 1941. In 1942, a group of members of Prague’s Jewish community devised a way to bring the religious treasures from the still extant synagogues to the comparative safety of Prague. The Nazis were persuaded to accept the plan and more than 10,000 artifacts were brought to the Central Jewish Museum in Prague, including about 1,800 Torah scrolls. It was the hope of the devoted curators that the Torah scrolls and other treasures might one day return to their original homes. All of the curators were eventually transported to Terezin and Auschwitz. Only two survived, and after the war the Czech Jewish community was too depleted to have need of the objects. Their legacy was the catalogue of
the vast collection in the Museum, eventually to become the Jewish Museum of Prague. After the war, the Torah scrolls were transferred to the abandoned synagogue at Michle in a suburb of Prague, an 18th century stone building that became a damp warehouse. Were these scrolls to be lost forever like the congregations that once
treasured them? No, thanks to the efforts of Eric Estorick, an American art dealer living in London. He secured a benefactor by the name of Ralph Yablon and in February of 1964, 1,564 scrolls arrived at Westminster Synagogue in London and the Memorial Scrolls Trust was born. After months of sorting, exam-
ining and cataloguing each scroll, the task of getting the scrolls back into the life of Jewish congregations across the world was undertaken. In 1993, Hebrew Union CollegeJewish Institute of Religion was pleased to accept one of the scrolls, #398, written in 1900, thanks to the efforts of Rabbi Barry Tabachnikoff. The scroll is on long-term loan to the College-Institute and is housed in the Skirball. Also, B’nai Tzedek was the first synagogue in Cincinnati to receive a Czech Torah, arriving in August, 1972, just in time for the High Holy Days services. Used for decades, primarily for special events and holidays, B’nai Tzedek retired its Czech Torah in April, 2013, due to its fragility. It is now housed in a special display case in the synagogue sanctuary, together with a plethora of documents about its history, its original hometown of Trest, and its journey to Cincinnati. Abby Schwartz, interim director of the museum, will speak about what the scroll means to the College-Institute during the worship service, and will dedicate a new text panel to be placed near the scroll in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Memorial Scrolls Trust. “The Nevlekov Torah is a remnant of a Jewish community that was lost. Its presence here gives us the opportunity to cherish and appreciate its history,” says Schwartz. The service is open to the public.
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LOCAL • 3
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2014
Wise Temple to welcome Musician-inResidence, Stacy Beyer Stacy Beyer, one of Time Magazine’s 10 Stars of New Jewish Music, will participate in Shabbat services and also present a concert at Wise Temple on Friday, February 28. Originally from New York, Stacy moved to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue country music songwriting. Stacy has performed at services and in concerts at Jewish events across the country including the URJ Biennial, Holocaust Memorial dedications, JCCs, synagogues, and camps throughout the U.S. Wise Temple members will have an opportunity to welcome Shabbat with moments of singing and moments of listening, guided by Stacy in an engaging musical journey that puts a contemporary and country twist on the traditional songs and prayers in the service. A congregational dinner and a concert by Stacy immediately follow the service.
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Why sit when the JCC has a brand-new Gaga pit? Kids of all ages are giddy over Gaga. And now, this Israeli-style dodge ball game that has been building in popularity since the 70’s can be played all year round at the Mayerson JCC, thanks to a brand new indoor Gaga arena that was unveiled to the public last month. “From classes and tournaments to pick-up games and free play, now summer’s most popular game will be available 12 months a year at the J,” explains Tween Coordinator and Teen Program Assistant, Freddie Wolf. “Gaga keeps kids entertained for hours and offers a great way for them to stay physically active while giving them a chance to go head to head for a little friendly competition.” The new indoor Gaga pit is great for year round play, but because the JCC also has a permanent outdoor arena, now twice the number of participants will have the chance to get in on the fun during the warm weather months. And while Gaga will always be a camp favorite, kids no longer have to anxiously await the return of summer to play. “The Gaga pit will have
From our first issue to last week’s issue, it‘s in our
including camp tournaments during the
summer and both indoor and outdoor
To access go to,
“The Gaga pit will have many uses,
gaga games. Kids Gaga classes will be
offered during the school year, as well as large gaga events for both Teens and Young Professionals.” many uses, including camp tournaments during the summer and both indoor and outdoor gaga games. Kids Gaga classes will be offered during the school year, as well as large gaga events for both Teens and Young Professionals,” explains Julie Robenson, Children and Family Program Manager. “In addition, the Gaga Pit is able to be rented by individuals or groups as space and availability allow. The game combines dodging, striking, running and jumping with the object of hitting opponents with a ball
below the knee while avoiding being hit themselves. The game can be played by groups of individual players, teams and in one-on-one matches. With little sitting around or down time, the fun keeps on going and being bored is simply not an option. This versatile gaga pit is quick to set up, only taking 510 minutes due to its easily detachable walls and can be set up in different locations, and accommodate a variety of group sizes, with the biggest size of the pit being 26X26.
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4 • NATIONAL
When Claude Lanzmann turned his lens on a rabbi who answered to Eichmann
the end of the war, the Viennese rabbi and the Nazi Holocaust organizer met and sparred again and again. Murmelstein may have gotten to know Eichmann better than any other Jewish leader. As such, Murmelstein demolishes philosopher Hannah Arendt’s portrait of Eichmann as a mere bureaucrat carrying out orders and the personification of “the banality of evil.” In reality, Murmelstein testifies, Eichmann was a “demon” – a thoroughly corrupt one at that – who also was a fanatic and violent antiSemite, participating directly in the burning of Vienna’s synagogues during Kristallnacht. Murmelstein lambastes Eichmann’s 1961 trial in Jerusalem
Obama administration enlisting Jewish groups to counter attacks on Kerry By Ron Kampeas
advocating for the compromises likely to appear in the framework proposal. J Street, the dovish Israel policy group, has launched a campaign of town hall meetings across the country to support a two-state solution. “As Kerry’s initiative gathers steam and Israeli and Palestinian leaders near a moment of decision, we expect sadly to see more outrageous attacks on one of the greatest friends Israel has,” J Street said in a Feb. 4 statement. The harshest public attacks on Kerry – the ones that drew the rebukes from centrist American Jewish groups – have come from fairly marginal Israeli figures. U.S. officials, however, also are upset by criticism of Kerry coming from more significant figures within the Israeli government. Senior Obama administration officials told JTA that Kerry has made his unhappiness clear in the daily phone calls he has with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The prime minister has been
VOL. 160 • NO. 31 THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2014 20 ADAR 5774 SHABBAT BEGINS FRIDAY 6:03 PM SHABBAT ENDS SATURDAY 7:04 PM THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE CO., PUBLISHERS 18 WEST NINTH STREET, SUITE 2 CINCINNATI, OHIO 45202-2037 Phone: (513) 621-3145 Fax: (513) 621-3744 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org RABBI ISAAC M. WISE Founder, Editor, Publisher, 1854-1900 LEO WISE Editor & Publisher, 1900-1928 RABBI JONAH B. WISE Editor & Publisher, 1928-1930 HENRY C. SEGAL Editor & Publisher, 1930-1985 PHYLLIS R. SINGER Editor & General Manager, 1985-1999 MILLARD H. MACK Publisher Emeritus NETANEL (TED) DEUTSCH Editor & Publisher JORY EDLIN BETH KOTZIN Assistant Editors YOSEFF FRANCUS Copy Editor JANET STEINBERG Travel Editor
responsive. According to The Jerusalem Post, Netanyahu told a party faction meeting last week that the best way to disagree with the Obama administration is by “substantively discussing the issues and not by engaging in personal attacks.” Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Liberman, told a group of businessmen in Tel Aviv that Kerry is a “true friend of Israel.” “We deeply appreciate Secretary Kerry’s commitment to Israel’s security and to helping Israel achieve a lasting and secure peace with the Palestinians,” Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador to Washington, told JTA. “Throughout his nearly 30-year tenure in the U.S. Senate and as secretary of state, Secretary Kerry has been a staunch supporter of Israel and of strengthening the U.S.-Israel alliance.” Most of the statements from centrist Jewish groups were triggered by remarks last month by Moti Yogev, a backbench Knesset member from the Jewish Home party who said in OBAMA on page 21
ROBERT WILHELMY Dining Editor MARIANNA BETTMAN NATE BLOOM IRIS PASTOR ZELL SCHULMAN PHYLLIS R. SINGER Contributing Columnists JENNIFER CARROLL Production Manager BARBARA ROTHSTEIN Advertising Sales ERIN WYENANDT Office Manager e Oldest Eng Th
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WASHINGTON (JTA) – The Obama administration is pushing back hard against Israeli critics of its peace efforts, enlisting American Jewish groups to respond to personal attacks on Secretary of State John Kerry. In recent weeks, administration officials have strongly condemned Israeli critics of Kerry’s peace bid. In response to some of the harshest anti-Kerry rhetoric, Jewish groups weighed in with their own denunciations. Obama administration insiders and Jewish communal officials say some of those rebukes followed direct solicitation by administration officials. But the responses from the Jewish groups also reflect a concern that the tone of some of the Kerry criticism could damage relations between the administration and the Israeli government. “Even if people, be they in Israel or in the United States, have disagreements with what John Kerry is proposing, it’s absolutely essential
that those disagreements are expressed on the substance and not through personal attacks,” said Nathan Diament, the Washington director of the Orthodox Union, which issued a statement condemning a small number of Israeli rabbis who warned that Kerry could face divine punishment. But defending Kerry’s future proposals may be the one of the motives behind the administration’s aggressive pushback. Administration officials and Jewish groups sympathetic to Kerry’s initiative say there is a longer-term agenda in preempting attacks on the framework peace agreement that the Obama administration is expected to propose soon. The administration has tapped sympathetic Jewish figures and groups to prepare the ground in the Jewish community for the difficult compromises on territory and Jerusalem that will be embedded in the framework peace plan. Robert Wexler, a former Florida congressman, is traveling to Jewish communities around the country
“LET THERE BE LIGHT” THE OLDEST ENGLISH-JEWISH WEEKLY IN AMERICA - EST. JULY 15, 1854
themselves in the hope of saving at least some of their fellow Jews? Murmelstein comes across as having had a mixture of motives, hopes and ambitions, though apparently more intelligent and self-aware than other ghetto leaders. A Viennese rabbi and deputy to the Jewish community president, Murmelstein first met Adolf Eichmann in 1938, after the Nazi takeover of Austria. Eichmann ordered Murmelstein to organize the forced emigration of Austrian Jews, and even his detractors acknowledge Murmelstein’s role in helping more than 120,000 of Austria’s 200,000 Jews flee the country. Over the next seven years, until
The American Israelite
Courtesy of Cohen Media Group
Filmmaker Claude Lanzmann, left, speaks with Benjamin Murmelstein, the subject of “The Last of the Unjust.”
LOS ANGELES (JTA) – When French director Claude Lanzmann finished filming and editing his eight-hour epic “Shoah” in 1985, he still had stashed away nearly 11 hours of interviews with one man. The man was Benjamin Murmelstein, the last president of the Jewish council, or Judenrat, in the Theresienstadt (Terezin) ghetto in Czechoslovakia and the only Nazi-installed “elder of the Jews” not killed during the Holocaust. Compressed into the 3 1/2-hour documentary “The Last of the Unjust,” the interviews conducted in 1975 reveal a man then 70 years old who in Lanzmann’s estimation was highly intelligent, ironic, did not lie, was hard on others and on himself, and was blessed with total recall. Murmelstein also displayed a sardonic wit, upending the title of Andre Schwarz-Bart’s novel “The Last of the Just” into the self-designated “Last of the Unjust,” which was adopted by Lanzmann for his film title. The roles played by the members of the Jewish councils in the Nazi-controlled ghettos of Lvov, Warsaw, Vilna and Lodz are still the stuff of debates, books and plays. Were these men stooges who did the dirty work of the Nazis to save their skins and enjoy the illusion of power? Or were they brave, wellmeaning individuals who sacrificed
as “a poor trial run by ignorant people,” and approvingly quotes a newspaper critic on “the banality of Mrs. Arendt’s own conclusions.” While obviously trying to cast his own role as ghetto elder in as favorable a light as possible, Murmelstein, under sharp questioning, acknowledges his own shortcomings. He owns up to enjoying a sense of power and, oddly, even of adventure, as well as to a reputation among his Jewish “subjects” as tough and mean. But mainly he sees himself as a pragmatist among the self-deluded, noting, “If a surgeon starts crying during an operation, the patient dies.” In general, Murmelstein holds a high opinion of his importance, arguing, “I had to save myself to save the ghetto.” After the war Murmelstein, who held a diplomatic passport from the International Committee of the Red Cross, easily could have fled Europe. Instead he chose to remain in Czechoslovakia and stand trial on allegations of collaborating with the Nazis. After 18 months in prison, he was acquitted of all charges. He died in Rome in 1989 at 84. “The Last of the Unjust” is, above all, a fascinating examination of the human condition in extremis, especially in clinging to hope when every escape seems barred.
r in Am ape er sp i
By Tom Tugend
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NATIONAL • 5
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2014
New BunkConnect program offering bargains for first-time campers By Julie Wiener NEW YORK (JTA) – Think Expedia or Hotels.com or countless other vacation discount finders online, but instead to connect kids to Jewish camps. The Foundation for Jewish Camp announced Monday that it is piloting a new program this summer offering first-time campers from middle- and lower-income families camp sessions at prices that are 40-80 percent below the camps’ standard rates. Called BunkConnect, the program, in partnership with the Center for Entrepreneurial Jewish Philanthropy, will make available 1,100 discounted slots at 35 camps in the Northeast, New England and Mid-Atlantic regions. While only families from those regions are eligible to participate this summer, the FJC hopes to expand the program to Jewish families and camps throughout North America in future years. “This is an affordability initiative to help families who think camp might be out of reach,” said Jeremy Fingerman, CEO of the Foundation for Jewish Camp. “It gives them a chance to find a camp that’s right for them.” In recent years, Jewish overnight camps have gained considerable
standing among Jewish communal leaders and philanthropists, who view them as one of the most powerful tools for Jewish education and identity-building. However, with tuition often exceeding $1,000 per week, they serve a disproportionately affluent clientele. In many ways, BunkConnect is more incentive program than scholarship, a marketing tool to recruit families who may not otherwise consider Jewish overnight camp or who might be unaware of, or reluctant to apply for, financial aid. Only children who have not previously attended a Jewish overnight camp are eligible. If they return in future years, they will have to pay the full price or apply for financial aid. Foundation officials said that the participating camps are all committed to offering BunkConnect families financial aid in future years.
is you’re not just buying a hotel room, you’re buying a whole experience.” Parents fill out an online questionnaire to determine their eligibility based on annual gross income, number of dependents, place of residence and if they have children enrolled in Jewish day school. The income ceiling is higher for day school families
and those in pricier regions such as New York in order to account for higher household expenses. Once deemed eligible – a determination made instantly – parents key in the child’s age, gender and preferences. The website then displays options and urges parents to contact the camp directly for more
information. Before registration is finalized, families must submit tax forms to prove their eligibility. While the Foundation for Jewish Camp said it could not disclose the names of the 35 camps participating BUNKCONNECT on page 19
Meanwhile, participating camps are offering discounted slots for sessions or cohorts that might not fill otherwise. “Some camps are over capacity in the first sessions and might have available slots in the second session they’re offering through BunkConnect,” Fingerman explained. “This is modeled after the hospitality industry, but the difference
Southern supermarket giant Winn-Dixie bets big on kosher By Uriel Heilman BOCA RATON, Fla. (JTA) – Stroll past the kosher section of most large supermarkets in America and you could be forgiven for thinking that Jewish diets consist mainly of jarred gefilte fish, unsalted matzahs and Tam-Tam crackers. Not so at the Winn-Dixie supermarket in this affluent South Florida suburb. There’s a kosher bakery with fresh pizza and dairy and pareve desserts; a meat and deli counter with hot foods like chicken wings, potato kugel and meatballs; a refrigerated case with cold salads; prepackaged Winn-Dixie-branded matzah balls, chicken soup and carrot “tzimmise,” and even a kosher sushi chef who makes rolls to order. Just don’t ask for eel: Nonkosher sushi is not available in this store. The whole operation is supervised by a team of kosher supervisors, or mashgiachs, who work for Winn-Dixie and are certified by the Orthodox Rabbinical Board of Broward and Palm Beach Counties, known as the ORB. “I’ve lived in a lot of Jewish communities, especially in New Jersey, and no standard supermarket has the breadth of merchandise that Winn-Dixie has,” Chanie Kirschner, a mother of four who moved to the
area a year and a half ago, told JTA. “It’s a huge convenience. At their full-service deli you can walk up to the counter and get your meat cut for you, which is something even the local kosher supermarket doesn’t have.” The Winn-Dixie in Boca is one potent illustration of the growing U.S. market for kosher food and the lengths to which major grocery chains are going to cater to kosher consumers. It’s also a sign of the rising demand for kosher food in South Florida, where Winn-Dixie, a chain with more than 480 stores in five states in the South, now has three stores with in-store kosher operations – in Boca, Aventura and Tamarac. The Jacksonville-based company, which is owned by BI-LO Holdings, spent nearly $3 million revamping its store at 7024 Beracasa Way in Boca Raton last year to focus on kosher (the store also carries nonkosher items). Company officials say the investment is paying off: Since the turnover was completed last fall, business in the store’s newly kosher departments has tripled. “We knew it would be a successful store. That’s what you get when you build what the community wants,” said Deborah Shapiro, WINN-DIXIE on page 22
Hebrew Class For Beginners, Intermediate or Advanced Begins Thursday, February 27 at Rockwern Academy 8401 Montgomery Rd. • Cincinnati, Ohio 45236 For beginners to intermediate levels. Anyone who would like to learn to speak Hebrew. The class instructor is Mrs. Rendler. Beginner class from 7-8 p.m. Intermediate/Advanced class from 8-9 p.m. For more information contact Mrs. Rendler at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or call 513-721-2220
6 • NATIONAL
As confab nears, AIPAC still trying to figure out its legislative agenda By Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA) – The highlight of AIPAC’s year is the final day of its annual policy conference, when thousands of activists ascend Capitol Hill to lobby for the passage of the organization’s legislative priorities. But just three weeks before the conference, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is facing a dilemma: how to craft a legislative agenda after losing a bruising battle with the Obama administration over Iran sanctions and amid uncertainty stemming from regional turmoil and ongoing Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.
An AIPAC official confirmed that the lobbying group has yet to choose a legislative initiative for the estimated 14,000 activists to support at the March 2-4 conference. While AIPAC does not unveil the specifics of its favored legislative action until the eve of its conference, what’s unusual is that those close to the group and its Capitol Hill interlocutors say it’s not yet clear even behind closed doors what shape AIPAC’s lobbying will assume. AIPAC activists typically carry to the Hill requests for legislative initiatives that address Iran’s nuclear program and the security of Israel. The requests can take the form of a bill, a nonbinding resolution or a
congressional letter. A year ago, AIPAC activists asked lawmakers to restore funds that were cut from defense assistance for Israel in across-the-board congressional budget reductions. They also lobbied for four bills – two in each legislative chamber – that would make Israel a “major strategic ally” and enhance Iran sanctions. Since then, the cuts have been restored, and the major strategic ally bill is advancing in the U.S. House of Representatives but has stalled in the Senate. The House passed new Iran sanctions last summer, before the announcement of talks between the
major powers and Iran. The Senate version of the bill, however, faced strong opposition from the Obama administration and fell short of the two-thirds backing necessary to override a promised presidential veto. AIPAC, after initially pushing hard for its passage, last week relented and accepted delaying a vote on the measure. A source close to AIPAC and four top congressional staffers from both parties confirmed that the group is now considering a nonbinding resolution addressing its concerns about the nuclear talks now underway between the major world powers and Iran.
“I’ve heard there’s an option of a resolution being kicked around, but not much beyond that,” said a staffer for a top Democrat, referring to the Iran issue. The uncertainty regarding what’s next on the Iran issue is evident on Capitol Hill. A Republican source told JTA on Tuesday afternoon that Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the House majority leader, and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the minority whip, had agreed on the text of a nonbinding resolution that would recommend congressional oversight in implementing the current interim nuclear deal as well as outlining acceptable outcomes for a final AIPAC on page 21
Alice Herz-Sommer, world’s oldest Holocaust survivor, takes center stage in Oscar-nominated doc By Tom Tugend
Courtesy of Polly Hancock
Alice Herz-Sommer, now 110 and pictured here on her 107th birthday, is the subject of an Oscar-nominated documentary.
LOS ANGELES (JTA) – In her 110 years, Alice Herz-Sommer has been an accomplished concert pianist and teacher, a wife and mother – and a prisoner in Theresienstadt. Now she is the star of an Oscarnominated documentary showing her indomitable optimism, cheerfulness and vitality despite all the upheavals and horrors she faced in the 20th century. “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life,” a 38-minute film up for best short documentary at the Academy Awards to be handed out next month, begins in her native
Prague. Alice – everyone from presidents on down calls her Alice – was born on Nov. 26, 1903 into an upperclass Jewish family steeped in literature and classical music. A friend and frequent visitor was “Uncle Franz,” surname Kafka, along with composer Gustav Mahler and other luminaries. Trained as a pianist from childhood, Alice made her concert debut as a teenager, married, had a son and seemed destined for the pleasant, cultured life of a prosperous Middle European. But everything changed in 1939 when Hitler, casually tearing up the Munich accord of a year earlier, marched his troops into Prague and
brought with him his anti-Semitic edicts. Her public concert career was over, yet the family managed to hang on in an increasingly restrictive existence in the Czech capital. In 1943, however, Alice and her husband, their 6-year old son Raphael (Rafi), and Alice’s mother were loaded on the transport to Theresienstadt. The fortress town some 30 miles from Prague was touted by Nazi propaganda as the model ghetto – “The Fuhrer’s gift to the Jews,” with its own orchestra, theater group and even soccer teams. With the full extent of the Holocaust still largely unknown,
Alice took her deportation with relative equanimity, as was typical for many European Jews. “If they have an orchestra in Terezin, how bad can it be?” she recalled asking, using the Czech name of the town. Alice soon found out, as her mother and husband perished there. Alice was saved by her musical gifts; she became a member of the camp orchestra and gave more than 100 recitals. But her main focus was on Rafi, trying to make his life bearable, to escape the constant hunger and infuse SURVIVOR on page 22
Florida: It’s not just for old Jews anymore By Uriel Heilman HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (JTA) – At the Urban Rustic Cafe in a strip mall in this city located between Miami to the south and the Palm Beach retirement communities to the north, the line for a table stretches out the door and into the parking lot. Inside the kosher establishment, the volume is loud. An elderly Orthodox man sitting near the window leans across a table to hear what his wife is saying. At the dessert counter, a gaggle of boys with tzitzis fringes hanging from their shirts have their noses pressed against the glass. Nearby, two stylishly dressed 30something women chatter away in Spanish, one of them rocking a young baby. As the blond waitress trying to serve them bumps hips with a busboy, the two have a brief exchange in rapid-fire Hebrew. Welcome to South Florida’s Jewish community, an amalgam of retirees, Latin American immigrants, Orthodox families, Holocaust survivors and plenty more.
Courtesy of Uriel Heilman
The Ben Gamla Hebrew Charter School in Hollywood, Fla., seen here as a Jewish religious after-school program gets underway, is one sign of the growing presence of young Jewish families in South Florida.
More than half a million Jews live in three counties there – MiamiDade, Broward and Palm Beach – making the region America’s thirdlargest Jewish metro area behind only New York and Los Angeles. Add in the smaller Jewish communities elsewhere in Florida, and one of every 10 American Jews resides in the Sunshine State. While many are retirees, Florida
isn’t just a place for elderly Jews. A combination of factors – lower costs of living than in the Northeast, the lack of state income tax, Jewish institutional infrastructure, the draw of Miami to Latin American immigrants and, yes, the weather – has helped turn Florida into one of America’s largest, most diverse and most unusual Jewish communities. “I think today we are no longer
simply a retirement community,” said Jewish demographer Ira Sheskin, a professor of geography at the University of Miami. The Jews of South Florida boast several distinctions. Palm Beach County has the oldest median Jewish age in the country, 70, according to the last Jewish community study of the area. The southern part of Palm Beach County has the highest density in the country of Jews proportionate to the total population: 49 percent, according to the same survey. In the Miami area, a massive influx of Latin American immigrants since 2000, particularly from Venezuela, Argentina and Mexico, has reduced the Jewish community’s average age and brought far more Latin American diversity to a population whose Spanish speakers once were overwhelmingly Cuban exiles. The last Jewish population study conducted in Miami-Dade, in 2004, found that the county had the largest percentage of foreign-born Jews of any Jewish community in America. “We’re such an international community,” said Jacob Solomon,
CEO of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. “Clearly, the big story is the continuing Latin immigration and what that means.” Nobody knows for certain how many Jews live in South Florida, because the most recent community studies are about a decade old. At last count, local federations’ studies found 256,000 Jews in Palm Beach County (2005); 186,500 Jews in Broward County (2008); and 113,000 Jews in Miami-Dade (2004). Miami began work on a new survey last month, but the results are not expected until fall. Even without solid numbers, however, there are some clear signs of the changes underway in South Florida Jewry, especially growth beyond retirees. As in many other regions across the country, there has been a significant expansion over the last decade or two in Orthodox synagogues, kosher restaurants and Jewish day schools, suggesting that the area’s Orthodox population is growing, particularly in Hollywood, Miami Beach, Aventura and Boca Raton.
NATIONAL • 7
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2014
National Briefs Facebook’s Sandberg recalls identity-building BBYO experience WASHINGTON (JTA) – Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, described how the Jewish youth movement BBYO helped to shape her. Sandberg, also the author of the best-seller “Lean In” on empowering women in the workplace, spoke in a video message to the annual BBYO conference in Dallas over the weekend. She said her experience in the organization helped her “stay close to the Jewish identity as a Jewish women that has really mattered to me.” Also delivering video messages to the conference, which drew 2,000 teen leaders from across the United States and other countries, were Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Natan Sharansky, the chairman of the Jewish Agency. Sharansky spoke of the vital role Jewish youth movements played in sustaining his hopes when he was a prisoner of the Soviet gulag. Jewish Olympian Charlie White, partner Meryl Davis win ice dancing gold in Sochi (JNS) – Jewish-American figure skater Charlie White and his partner Meryl Davis won a gold medal at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics ice dancing competition on Monday. White and Davis’s gold medal is America’s first gold in ice dancing. The pair skated to the music from “Sheherazade.” Cantor cites pre-WWII isolation in pressing for greater U.S. engagement WASHINGTON (JTA) – Rep. Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, cited the lateness of American actions against the Nazis in critiquing President Obama’s foreign policy. In a speech Monday to the Virginia Military Institute, Cantor (R-Va.), who is Jewish, described leading a congressional delegation recently to Auschwitz to mark the 69th anniversary of the Nazi death camp’s liberation. “Standing there as the frigid wind swept through the eerily quiet ruins of the camp, I could not help but regret that American action in World War II came too late to save countless millions of innocent lives,” he said. “Hitler’s rise and conquest of Europe did not come as a surprise. We must not repeat the same mis-
take by reducing our preparedness, accepting the notion that we are one of many or ceding global leadership to others.” “An America that leads is an America that must work to restore the badly eroded international pressure on Tehran,” he said. “We should lay the groundwork now for additional sanctions in the event Iran violates the terms of the interim agreement.” JNF plans to invest $285 million in Negev, Galilee (JNS) – Speaking on a media tour of the Negev and the Arava, Jewish National Fund (JNF) Chairman Efi Stenzler said Sunday that the organization plans to invest more than NIS 1 billion ($285 million) in the development of the Negev and the Galilee regions in the coming years, with the aim of creating a higher quality of life in both regions. “The JNF has made a strategic decision to reduce the gaps between the periphery and central Israel, the Negev and the Galilee,” Stenzler said, according to Israel Hayom. Jewish comedian Sid Caesar dies at 91 (JNS) – Famed Jewish comedian Sid Caesar died last week at the age of 91. Caesar, who was born Isaac Sidney Caesar in 1922 to parents from Russia and Poland, began his entertainment career as a saxophone player. Later, he made a name for himself with his humor on iconic 1950s shows such as “Your Show of Shows” and “Caesar’s Hour.” He also appeared in the films “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” (1963), “Airport 1975” (1974), and “Grease” (1978). “If it weren’t for Sid Caesar there might not be television as we know it. He and his co-stars and writers revolutionized television comedy, and really comedy in general,” said biographer Eddy Friedfeld, a close friend of Caesar, according to CNN. Longtime ADL leader Foxman announces 2015 retirement (JNS) – Longtime AntiDefamation League (ADL) National Director Abraham H. Foxman announced plans to step down in July 2015. “My years at ADL, particularly the 27 spent as national director, could not have been more rewarding… We have never lost sight of the fact that we are an organization whose first priority is to fight antiSemitism and protect the Jewish people,” Foxman said. Jonathan Pollard’s release advocated by former U.S. Senate intelligence chair (JNS) – David Durenberger, a
Republican U.S. senator from Minnesota from 1978-95 and the chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence when Jonathan Pollard was convicted of passing classified information to Israel, in a recent letter to President Barack Obama called Pollard’s life
sentence “uncalled for.” Pollard, now in his 29th year in prison, is the only person in U.S. history to receive a life sentence for spying for an American ally. “Of course Pollard broke the law and his conviction was deserved,” Durenberger wrote.
“But the harshness of his sentence, in light of existing relations between our countries and the nature of our observation of implicit agreements between the countries, was uncalled for.”
8 • INTERNATIONAL
U.S. could lose clout in U.N. if Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations fail By Dmitriy Shapiro
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
The Anne Frank House, where the Frank family hid during the Holocaust and where Anne wrote her now-famous diary.
Anne Frank childhood friend gives Holocaust diarist’s toys to museum By JNS Staff (JNS) – A childhood friend of Anne Frank who kept some of the famous diarist’s toys has now donated them to the Anne Frank House Museum in Amsterdam. Toosje Kupers, 83, had kept a tin of marbles, a tea set, and a book that belonged to Frank. The items will go on display Wednesday at the Kunsthal art gallery in Rotterdam. As children, Frank and Kupers frequently played together. Just before the Frank family left the residential area where they lived, the Merwedeplein, Anne Frank asked Kupers to keep her marbles for a while, Kupers told the Dutch public broadcaster NOS. “‘I’m worried about my marbles, because I’m scared they might fall into the wrong hands,’” Kupers quoted Anne Frank as telling her. The Frank family told nearly everyone they knew that they were going to stay with a family in Switzerland, but in fact they went into hiding in a now-famous Amsterdam house. In 1944, the Franks were caught by the Nazis. Anne Frank died of Typhus at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945. “So many people know about Anne Frank because of the diary, which was written under such unusual circumstances… [But] the marbles are a reminder that she was just a little girl,” said the Anne Frank House Museum’s head of collections, Teresien da Silva, according to the Associated Press.
(JNS) – Though the probability of success of the renewed efforts by Secretary of State John Kerry to forge a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is still uncertain, experts have expressed concern about a longstanding policy that could force the United States to lose much of its multilateral clout within the United Nations should the talks break down. Foreign policy specialists inside and outside of U.S. government offices in Washington, DC, worry about the ramifications of a Palestinian decision to unilaterally widen its campaign to seek international recognition as a state by applying for membership status within U.N. agencies. Despite opposition from the U.S., the Palestinian Authority asked for and received “nonmember state” status at the 67th session of the U.N. General Assembly in 2012, part of its “Palestine 194” plan to eventually be admitted as the global body’s 194th member state. Although the Palestinians have agreed to freeze their U.N. campaign during the current round of talks in Jerusalem, Jonathan Schanzer, vice president for research at the
Courtesy of UN Photo/Rick Bajornas
Members of the Palestinian delegation at the United Nations General Assembly celebrate on Nov. 29, 2012, upon the vote to upgrade Palestinian status to a nonmember observer state in the U.N. The Palestinians may renew their campaign for full U.N. membership, which they froze for the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations, if the negotiations fail.
Foundation for Defense of Democracies, expressed his certainty that they’d renew their membership campaign if the talks collapse, which in his view is very likely. “We know that the Palestinians are going to go back to the U.N.,” Schanzer, author of the newly released “State of Failure: Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Unmaking of the Palestinian State,”
told JNS. “They have applied, or let’s say they set the wheels in motion, for roughly 50 new agencies that they’d like to apply to.” Doing so would create a situation similar to 2012, when after winning “nonmember state” status the Palestinians received recognition from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) by a vote
of 107 to 14, with 52 abstentions. That move triggered laws passed by the U.S. Congress in 1990 and 1994 that mandated the withdrawal of American financial support of any U.N. agency that granted the Palestinians the “same standing as member states,” and the U.S. quickly withdrew its funding and membership from UNESCO. At the time, The New York Times reported the divestment as representing a quarter of the organization’s budget. Should the Palestinians ultimately join more agencies as full members, Schanzer pointed out, the U.S. could find itself forced to withdraw from organizations in which, due to the agency’s makeup and scope, American and Israeli views are already marginalized. Essentially having the PA dictate the terms of U.S. engagement with the U.N. and its agencies is a poorly thought out way, Schanzer argued, of shaping American foreign policy. But Congress would first have to a approve a waiver of the Bush and Clinton-era laws, or pass new legislation, in order to grant the Obama administration options in deciding which organizations to defund and drop out of. An aide on Capitol Hill familiar with the issue said that’s not likely to happen.
French vigilance on anti-Israel speech provoking backlash by Cnaan Liphshiz (JTA) – When Farida Trichine and 11 of her friends burst into a French supermarket in 2009 and began applying stickers with antiIsrael slogans to vegetables imported from the Jewish state, she expected to be escorted from the store by police. What she didn’t expect was to be convicted of inciting racial hatred and slapped with a $650 fine. Three months ago, a court in Colmar convicted the 12 activists under a French law that extended the definition of discrimination beyond the expected parameters of race, religion and sexual orientation to include members of national groups. What Trichine, who was wearing a “boycott Israel” shirt during the protest, saw as a protected act of political speech was being treated by the authorities like a hate crime. “It’s surprising that our actions are considered a crime when the real criminals are the colonists, the butchers of Gaza,” Trichine said in a video message in 2011, soon after her legal troubles began. Trichine, 54, is one of approximately 20 anti-Israel activists who have been convicted under France’s so-called Lellouche law. Named for the Jewish parliamentarian who introduced it in 2003, the law is
Courtesy of Collectif Palestine 68
Farida Trichine (third from right) and fellow activists advocating a boycott of Israel in Mulhouse, France, Sept. 11, 2010.
among the world’s most potent legislative tools to fight the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or BDS, and has catapulted France to the forefront of efforts to counter the movement through legal means. “The French government and judiciary’s determination in fighting discrimination, and the Lellouche law especially, are exemplary for Belgium and other nations where discriminatory BDS is happening,” said Joel Rubinfeld, co-chair of the European Jewish Parliament and
president of the Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism. French authorities have acted aggressively in recent weeks to crack down on anti-Israel and antiJewish speech, most prominently by banning a tour by the comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, who has been convicted multiple times of belittling the Holocaust and alleging that a Jewish mafia runs France, among other offenses. But the dragnet has also swept up BDS protesters whose actions have targeted Israel, not Jews.
Pro-Israel activists in neighboring Belgium are pushing for a similar law to Lellouche, hoping it might also put a dent in BDS activities in that country. No other countries have followed France’s lead. In France, the official crackdown is sparking a backlash from activists who argue that the Lellouche law is too restrictive of free speech. Before the convictions of Trichine and her associates, a solidarity petition by pro-Palestinian activists failed to garner more than 1,500 signatures. After the convictions, 51 groups – among them several labor unions and political parties with hundreds of thousands of supporters combined – condemned the verdict as “an unbearable attack on freedom of expression.” Three short documentaries have been made about the case, which has been covered in dozens of articles in leading French publications. “These convictions are unconscionable,” Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, a French member of the European Parliament, said at a special session on the case in Strasbourg in 2011. “Governments are doing nothing to end Israel’s illegal occupation and the French court is wrongfully denying citizens from acting through BDS.” Pascal Markowicz, the head of FRENCH on page 21
INTERNATIONAL • 9
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2014
International Briefs Israeli-Dutch partnership financing solar plant in Rwanda (JNS) – An Israeli company is partnering with a Dutch solar developer to finance the building of an 8.5-megawatt solar photovoltaic power plant in Rwanda. The plant would increase Rwanda’s power generation capacity by about 8 percent. Google purchases fifth Israeli company, SlickLogin (Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS) – Google has purchased its fifth Israeli company, the Tel Aviv-based start-up SlickLogin, whose technology verifies and authenticates user identity (when logging onto a website) by using an audio signal sent through a smartphone app. Four killed in bombing of tourist bus at Israel-Egypt border crossing (JNS) – At least four people were killed and 14 were injured in an explosion on a tour bus at the Taba border crossing between Israel and Egypt on Sunday. Four Korean tourists and their Egyptian driver were killed on a bus that arrived in Taba. According to Arabic-language media reports, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis-an al-Qaedaaffiliated terrorist group claimed responsibility. Hamas: UN agency’s proposed textbooks for Gaza too ‘peaceful’ (JNS) – Hamas has blocked the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East from introducing new textbooks for 7th-9th grade students in Gaza because they do not match the Palestinian terrorist group’s violence-driven ideology. “There is a tremendous focus [in the textbooks] on the peaceful resistance as the only tool to achieve freedom and independence,” said Motesem al-Minawi, a spokesman for the education ministry in Hamasgoverned Gaza, the Associated Press reported. Hamas says it prefers “armed resistance” against Israel. Iran military chief: We are ready for battle with America and ‘Zionist regime’ (JNS) – Iranian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi said last week that the Islamic Republic is prepared to go to war with the U.S. and Israel. “We are ready for the decisive battle with America and the Zionist regime (Israel),” Firouzabadi said, Agence France-Presse reported. “We do not have any hostility towards
regional states, but if we are ever attacked from the American bases in the region we will strike that area back,” he said. Erdogan’s demand to lift Gaza blockade ‘not under consideration’ by Israel (JNS) – Israel clarified last week that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s demand to lift the sea blockade on the Gaza Strip in exchange for normalizing relations between the countries “is not under consideration,” Israel Hayom reported. Netanyahu and Obama expected to extend IsraeliPalestinian conflict negotiations (JNS) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama are expected to agree on a one-year extension of the current American-brokered Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations, Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis (Likud) said. Israel summons Hungarian ambassador over growing anti-Semitism (JNS) – The Israeli Foreign Ministry summoned Hungary’s newly appointed ambassador to the Jewish state, Andor Nagy, to express “deep concern” over rising antiSemitism in his country. According to the Jerusalem Post, Rafi Schutz, the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s director-general for Europe, expressed concern to Nagy about recent anti-Semitic statements by government officials and rewriting history concerning Hungary’s role in the Holocaust. American Jewish leaders meet Spain’s King Juan Carlos in historic visit (JNS) – In a historic visit, 60 American Jewish leaders traveling with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations met with King Juan Carlos I of Spain at Zarzuela Palace in Madrid on Thursday. Vatican archbishop to Congress: ‘Flagrant’ persecution of Mideast Christians (JNS) – The Vatican’s top envoy to the United Nations said in a rare appearance at a U.S. congressional hearing that there is “flagrant and widespread persecution of Christians” in the Middle East. Holocaust-mocking train announcement sparks police complaint in Belgium (JNS) – The Belgian rail company SNCB filed a complaint with police over a January incident in which passengers aboard a Belgian train traveling between Namur and Brussels gained access to the public speakers on the train and announced that Jews should get off at Auschwitz and take a short shower.
Israeli start-up Viber purchased for $900 million by electronics giant Rakuten (JNS) – The Israeli-founded voice and video communications app Viber has been purchased for $900 million by the Japanese elec-
tronics giant Rakuten, Bloomberg News reported. Conference of Presidents receives key to the city of Toledo, Spain (JNS) – The Conference of Presidents of Major American
Jewish Organizations on Friday received the key to the city of Toledo, Spain, from its mayor, Emiliano García-Page. “No people deserves this key more than the Jewish people,” García-Page said.
10 • ISRAEL
Beit Shemesh’s Magen tackles sexual abuse one case at a time By Maayan Jaffe BEIT SHEMESH, Israel (JNS) – Sexual abuse of minors has for many years been among the most controversial and suppressed issues in the Jewish community. An inaugural conference in Israel next month will, at the very least, contribute to the conversation on that issue. “The mere fact that we are talking with each other is crucial,” said Prof. Asher Ben-Arieh, director of the Jerusalem-based Haruv Institute, whose stated mission is “to become an international center of excellence contributing to the reduction of child maltreatment.” The First International Congress for Child Protection Organizations in the Jewish Community takes place from March 3-5 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Sponsored by Haruv and Magen LeYeladim U’Lemishpachot, the conference will draw representatives from the United States, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, South Africa, and Israel to talk about how to deal with sexual abuse of minors, particularly in the Orthodox Jewish community. Attendees will strategically review the participating organizations and their programs, and collaboratively generate a code of best practices. “Ultra-Orthodox communities around the world are similar and share communal characteristics,” Ben-Arieh told JNS. “We also learned that… in many cases, perpe-
Israel Briefs Five killed as explosion topples building in northern Israeli city of Acre (JNS) – Five people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and 12 others were wounded in the early hours of Monday morning when an explosion caused a threestory residential building in the northern Israeli city of Acre to collapse, Israel Hayom reported. While it was initially believed that a gas explosion had toppled the building, the police are currently exploring the possibility that the blast was triggered by a small explosive device, planted on the building’s roof as part of an ongoing dispute between neighbors. Israel’s Rafael unveils Iron Beam, ‘Star Wars’-like missile defense system (JNS) – Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems unveiled its latest missile defense system, called Iron Beam, which uses lasers to destroy incoming rockets and mortars.
Courtesy of Yosef Symonds
A recent event held by Magen at the Kehillat Ahavat Tzion synagogue in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.
trators are ‘shipped’ to different communities instead of being dealt with.” Magen, a Hebrew word meaning “protector,” is the catalyst for the conference as well as for bringing the topic of sexual abuse of minors to light among Israel’s Orthodox community. In 2010, Magen was founded by David Morris to serve the Israeli city of Beit Shemesh. Three years later, the three-person operation is becoming well known across the Jewish state, as its efforts have resulted in sweeping change for the 98,000-person community. Underreporting of sexual abuse is a global problem. According to
Israel’s National Council for the Child, only about 1 in 10 cases of abuse reach the authorities. But in Beit Shemesh, it was an epidemic. In 2010, according to Beit Shemesh resident and non-profit consultant Shoshanna Keats Jaskoll, Beit Shemesh reporting was only one third of the national average. That equates to one in 30, the lowest rate in Israel. “We want to think it won’t happen. We want to think it doesn’t happen. But it does,” wrote Jaskoll in an op-ed for the Times of Israel. Morris came to know this all too well. He told JNS that Magen was started after he tried fruitlessly to gain assistance for a boy who was
“It’s exactly like what you see in ‘Star Wars,’” Rafael spokesman Amit Zimmer said at the Singapore Airshow, the Associated Press reported. “You see the lasers go up so quickly like a flash and the target is finished.”
Institute found that 72 percent of Jewish Israelis favor holding a direct public vote for president over the current election system. Just 20 percent of respondents said they would prefer to retain the current system, in which Members of Knesset elect the president. Asked whether Israel should abolish the office of the president – a mostly ceremonial role-63.8 percent said no and 26.5 percent said yes.
Boycotters of Israel are ‘classical anti-Semites in modern garb,’ Netanyahu says (JNS) – Boycotters of Israel are “classical anti-Semites in modern garb,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a delegation of leaders visiting Jerusalem with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on Monday. “I think the most eerie thing, the most disgraceful thing, is to have people on the soil of Europe talking about the boycott of Jews,” Netanyahu said. “I think that is an outrage. That is something we are re-encountering. In the past, antiSemites boycotted Jewish businesses and today, they call for the boycott of the Jewish state.” 72% of Israelis want public, not MKs, to elect president (JNS) – With Israel’s upcoming presidential election poised to have the highest-ever number of candidates, a survey conducted for Israel Hayom by the New Wave Research
Israeli study: Breastfeeding can significantly reduce risk of children getting cancer (JNS) – Breastfeeding can significantly reduce the risk of children getting cancer, says a study conducted by Israel’s University of Haifa. According to the study, children who were breastfed decreased the chances of developing cancer by 60 percent. ‘Weeping’ Mary statue in northern Israel attracts thousands of pilgrims (JNS) – The small town of Tarshiha in northern Israel is attracting thousands of visitors anxious to see a statue of Virgin Mary that local residents claim is “weeping” oil. Osama Khoury said last week
molested at school. “A mother approached me for help when her son, after refusal to go to school and [demonstrating] peculiar behavior, confessed that his rebbe had touched him [inappropriately] and regularly for months. I turned to a community rabbi who was in a position to protect the family,” Morris said. “But instead of advising them to call the police, which is required by law, he referred them to the Modesty Patrol” in the Mea Shearim neighborhood of Jerusalem, he said. Morris said it became increasingly clear that for victims of abuse and their families, there was no professional and responsible recourse or assistance within the community. Thus, he opened Magen. Since then, the organization has handled upwards of 250 cases, and reports to Magen are doubling each year. Furthermore, reporting of sexual abuse in Beit Shemesh has increased by more than 50 percent. Magen works on four fronts. First, it educates. Professional or volunteer representatives are out in the community offering lectures and seminars to help parents and child educators understand the threat of sexual predators and how to protect their children against them. Second, Magen offers a hotline, informational service, and email address which can be contacted anonymously. Third is case management. that he and his wife Amira recently found the statue “covered with oil.” Amira said the statue “spoke to her” and told her not to be afraid. Later, the Christian couple’s neighbor claimed to have also witnessed the oil and spread the word. According to the witnesses, an oil “tear” rolls down the statue’s cheek. EU’s Martin Schulz prompts walkout in Knesset with remarks criticizing Israel (JNS) – European Union Parliament President Martin Schulz’s remarks before the Knesset concerning Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians prompted a walkout by members of the nationalist HaBayit HaYehudi (Jewish Home) party. In comments criticizing Israel’s blockade of Gaza and policies in the West Bank, Schulz recounted how a young Palestinian recently asked him about Palestinian rights. “One of the questions from these young men that moved me the most was: How can it be that Israelis are allowed to use 70 liters [of water] per day and Palestinians only 17?” Schulz asked. Afterward, HaBayit HaYehudi head Naftali Bennett demanded an apology from Schulz over the “two lies that the Palestinians fed him.”
“An allegation or a case of child abuse is a trauma, much like bereavement. People really don’t know what to do,” Morris explained. “So we hand-hold, we support the family through the process.” Finally, Magen helps with the management of alleged perpetrators in the community. Even if a case goes through the correct legal procedure-to the police, to the courts-and the even if the perpetrator gets sentencing, at some point he will return to Beit Shemesh. “This is a community issue. What should a community do to safeguard its children?” said Morris. All four components of Magen’s role are essential and necessary for the successful reduction of sexual abuse of minors in a community, explained Helise Pollack, a therapist in private practice in Beit Shemesh. She has been working with victims of childhood sexual abuse for 26 years. “It is important for families to receive support and for children [victims] to receive intervention and treatment for dealing with their feelings of humiliation, anger, hurt and pain. If they cannot talk about it and understand it wasn’t their fault, then they carry this pain inside them and at some point it comes through,” Pollack said. She noted that victims who have kept the abuse a secret often become anxious teenagers, use drugs or alcohol, act out violently, or BEIT SHEMESH on page 22 Conversion reform bill advances in Knesset JERUSALEM (JTA) – A bill that would allow more rabbis to conduct conversions in Israel advanced in the Knesset. Under the measure, as many as 30 courts made up of municipal rabbis would be allowed for the purpose of conversion. Currently there are four state rabbinic courts with the authority to conduct conversions. Israel eyeing more control of Temple Mount, Bennett says JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel may try to assume more control over Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, a government minister told American Jewish leaders. Naftali Bennett, the chairman of the Jewish Home party and the minister of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs, on Monday told leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations at the group’s annual meeting in Jerusalem that his office has taken steps to exercise greater Israeli sovereignty over eastern Jerusalem, Haaretz reported. Among the steps, he said, is providing better services to the Arab residents of eastern Jerusalem.
12 • CINCINNATI JEWISH LIFE
ART FOR THE FUN OF IT
On November 14th, 2013, the YP’s went to the Rhinegeist Brewery, one of the oldest “new” hot
It didn’t matter if you were a Picasso-like talent or someone who needed a paint-by-numbers
spots in town. Built within the skeleton of the old Moerlein bottling plant, circa 1895, this turn
kit, everyone had fun and created their own one-of-a-kind museum-like masterpiece when the
of the century warehouse was a great place to gather after work with the Access gang.
ladies of No Boyz Allowed took over Cheers to Art on November 19th, 2014! An expert artist led
Members enjoyed appetizers and two free drinks as well as a private behind-the-scenes tour of
them in the process, and everyone enjoyed wine, other beverages and dinner from Melt.
the brewery. Cold brew and good friends made for a great night!
Another fun night out for the NBA crowd!
CINCINNATI JEWISH LIFE â€˘ 13
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2014
ANNOUNCEMENTS BIRTH r. Philip and Rita Edlin are proud to announce the birth of their first great-grandson, Jack Romeo Edlin, on January 29, 2014. Jackâ€™s parents are Joshua and Windy Edlin, of Freehold, N.J. Windy is the daughter of Romeo and Porferia Cejas. They reside in Negros Occidental,
Jack Romeo Edlin
Philippines. Windy is the youngest of eight siblings with 5 brothers and 2 sisters. Joshua, a Marine who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, is the son of Dr. Dale and Marla Edlin, of Holmdel, N.J., and nephew of Jory Edlin of Cincinnati.
LEARNING TO COOK LIGHTER On December 12th, 2013, JGourmet offered the opportunity to satisfy a sweet tooth without sacrificing the taste. Experts taught the best ways to substitute ingredients that turned any high calorie dessert into something a lot less sinful. Participants first enjoyed a light, healthy dinner before indulging in the goodies. It was a great chance to mix it up in the kitchen while spending a fun evening with other foodies.
BIRTH eff Harris and Larisa Vaysman of Amberley, Ohio are pleased to announce the birth of their daughter, Miriam Vaysman Harris, born January 24, 2014. Miriam is the granddaughter of Carol and Jerry Harris of Cincinnati and Marat and Olga Vaysman of Swampscott, Massachusetts.
She is the great granddaughter of the late Donald and Dorothy Harris and the late Eugene and Marian Fohlen, all of Cincinnati. She is also the great granddaughter of Musia Vaysman and the late Yuri Vaysman of Bratslav, Ukraine and Valentina Dulskaya and the late Boris Shmulenson of Selidovo, Ukraine.
14 • DINING OUT
Andy’s Mediterranean Grille updates menu with goat and lamb shank entrées By Bob Wilhelmy Dining Editor Ever had goat meat, braised in wine? If not, you are in for a pleasant surprise. Goat is delicious, and when it is slow-braised in wine, with onions and mushrooms, Mediterranean style, it can be simply wonderful. The meat is fork tender, and loaded with flavor. And the overall dish is one of those that make you feel warm and homey and comfortable. At least, that is the effect that kind of meal has on me. Both the goat and lamb shank entrées are similar dishes, according to Andy Hajjar, co-owner of the restaurant. “Both of these dishes, they are going like crazy. Last weekend, we sold out of the goat, and we had plenty to start. People saw it on the menu and it went fast – it was so popular,” he said. This weekend, Andy’s will have more on hand, so nobody who wants to try the goat or taste Andy’s Mediterranean version will leave disappointed. “The same with the lamb shank; it’s very delicious, so tender and moist and people love the flavors.” Another new entry on Andy’s menu is the Zahle steak, a 16-ounce rib-eye steak, marinated in one of Andy’s flavor-packed concoctions, and served with a Lebanese salad and Lebanese seasoned fries. It is similar to the French version, but coated and extra crispy and crunchy. The fries are a delicious complement to the steak, and the steak is tender, juicy, and meaty. Andy related that his restaurant dry-ages the steak loins for 14 days before preparing them for the kitchen. The new, updated menu has plenty to offer, including the old kabob favorites for which Andy’s has been known for many years. The Lebanese character of the restaurant is nowhere more obvious than in the wine selection. All the wines on the list are from Ksara, a small town in Lebanon close to where Andy was born and raised. Lebanon’s hillside vineyards are some of the oldest in the world. The prophet Hosea, an Israelite who lived around 700 B.C.E.., is said to have urged his followers to return to Yahweh so that “they will blossom as the vine, and their fragrance will be like the wine of Lebanon.” Today, Lebanon produces some 600,000 cases of wine for domestic and export markets. Andy’s Mediterranean Grill is one place you can enjoy those exported Lebanese wines. “We are going to feature the wines of Lebanon exclusive, except for a few house wines we will offer by the glass, from Chile,” said Majed Hajjar, a principal in Andy’s. Some of those wine grapes are grown in and around Andy’s family hometown of Zhhle, Lebanon. The wines, under the Ksara label, are ideal for pairings with Andy’s
Brittany Catanzaro, server, at the back bar, pulling a Christian Moerlein beer.
The exterior of the restaurant.
The Zahle steak entrée, including the salad.
style of Mediterranean foods, according to Majed. “We have them because they are special wines and the wines of Lebanon are good with the foods we serve here. You cannot get that at every restaurant,” he said. Along with the wines, Andy’s now features 16 craft beers on tap, along with bottled beers from the Mediterranean. Those are Almaza (Lebanon), Efes and Efes Dark (Turkey), and Mythos (Greece). The selection of craft beers included: Redd’s apple ale, Moerlein Helles’s, Black Butte Porter, Magic Hat #9, Mt. Carmel Amber and Thirsty Dog seasonal. Jewish diners will find a lot of
choices on Andy’s menu. One dish I tried recently is the new mushroom sauté, a vegetarian entrée of white cap button mushrooms sautéed in olive oil. The generous helping of mushrooms is served on a bed of seasoned, tasty rice, and ringed with chunks of fresh tomato and kalamata olives. This dish is flavorful, and the freshbaked pita bread adds the finishing touch to an unusual, yet delicious meatless meal. The mushroom sauté is one of five veggie entrée selections on Andy’s new menu, according to Majed Hajjar. “We expanded the vegetarian section of our menu,” he said. “There is more interest in good fla-
vors and lightly seasoned dishes for those who want meals without meat. And people like the dishes we have added.” Pizzas are vegetarian, although meats can be added to some. The Lebanese version is made on a pitabread crust, while the other varieties feature fresh-made, hand-tossed crusts, in Greek, Italian and Spanish flavors. All ingredients are fresh, making for very good flavor combinations. Andy’s menu offers many new items to complement the vegetarian section. A couple of the most popular ones are chicken dishes. The chicken filet sauté features a boneless chicken
breast, lightly seasoned and prepared with a sauté of onion, mushrooms, red wine and olive oil. The other new dish is the Beyrouth chicken, which again is a delicately seasoned breast, with garlic and lemon juice providing the flavor. The dish is served with a salad and hummus. Andy’s also features some nonfood attractions. One is belly dancing entertainment offered on Friday and Saturday evenings beginning at 7:30. Those who want to light up can do so in outdoor patio areas, selecting a hookah from Andy’s stock, or a cigar from the new humidor. Andy’s Mediterranean Grille 9521 Fields Ertel Rd.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2014
DINING OUT • 15
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16 • OPINION
Kerry’s perilous path to failure By Jonathan S. Tobin PHILADELPHIA (JTA) – In the past few weeks, Secretary of State John Kerry has come under attack from prominent Israelis as well as American friends of the Jewish state for some of the methods he has adopted in his determination to find a solution to the Middle East conflict. Such criticism strikes the Obama administration, as well as many friends of Israel, as absurd. After all, what better favor could the United States do for Israel than to help it find the peace for which its people have hungered since the birth of their state? But while Kerry’s defenders are right to scorn those who seek to question his motives, the way the secretary has tried to strong-arm Israel has neither enhanced the chances for peace nor strengthened Israel’s security. Though the quest for peace is, in principle, a noble endeavor, Kerry has set in motion a chain of events that is, in fact, strengthening those who seek to delegitimize and boycott Israel and may even increase the chances of a new round of Palestinian violence. Kerry came into office last year determined to take up a challenge that his predecessor, Hillary Clinton, did her best to avoid. Clinton assessed the chances of peace between Israel and
the Palestinians in the foreseeable future in the same manner as most foreign policy hands: slim to none. With the Palestinians hopelessly split between the Fatah-ruled West Bank and Hamas-run Gaza, there seemed little leeway for Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas to sign an agreement that would end the conflict. Since the Palestinians had already turned down offers of statehood in almost all of the West Bank, Gaza and a share of Jerusalem in 2000, 2001 and 2008, there seemed no reason for Israel to make further concessions only to be turned down yet a fourth time. But Kerry was undaunted by these realities and set out to restart Israeli-Palestinian talks. Kerry has persuaded the sides to negotiate and may get both Abbas and the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to agree to a framework to extend the talks that were slated to last only nine months. Kerry may even coax the Israelis to offer, as has been reported, the Palestinians a state in 90 percent of the West Bank plus territorial swaps of land inside the Jewish state. If so, he may be as close to cutting the Gordian Knot of Middle East peace as any of the Americans who have preceded him. Even if he fails, this KERRY on page 19
Boycotting Israeli companies is anti-Israel By Lawrence Grossman NEW YORK (JTA) – The hostile intentions of the international boycott, divestment and sanctions movement toward Israel are clear. But some believe it is possible to be pro-Israel while supporting just a little BDS – boycotting Israeli businesses located on the West Bank but not those within pre-1967 Israel. While such a strategy may make people feel good about themselves, it is a distinction without a difference – like being just a little pregnant. More important, by adding to the boycott pressure, it will make resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute harder to achieve. The issue has attracted international attention because actress Scarlett Johansson, the telegenic public face of SodaStream, refused to bow to pressure from the BDS
Correction In the February 13, 2014 issue, the article for the ISRAELITY series and the appearance of Dov Lipman on February 20, the time for the event was mistakenly listed for 7:00pm. The correct time is 7:30pm. We apologize for any inconvenience.
establishment and sever ties with the West Bank-headquartered Israeli soda company. Its main factory is in Maale Adumim, a community very likely to be allotted to Israel in any potential peace agreement. SodaStream’s owner disclaims any political motivation and says he would gladly keep the place going under Palestinian rule, and the Palestinian workers tell reporters they are treated well and make three and four times the average salary in the region. But no matter – Oxfam, the well-regarded organization dedicated to fighting poverty around the world, strongly criticized Johansson for her SodaStream connection, leading the award-winning actress to end her role as an international Oxfam “ambassador.” Oxfam and like-minded groups – some of them Jewish – sincerely but naively believe that boycotting only across the Green Line enables them to issue a moral protest against Israeli settlement policy without being against Israel itself. Some consider their boycott as being in the best interests of the Jewish state. Unfortunately, they seem unaware of whom they are getting into bed with or the consequences of the association. BOYCOTTING on page 19
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The American Israelite
Let’s bet on peace By Sharon Brous LOS ANGELES (JTA) – John Kerry is not a naive man. I met him recently at a luncheon at Georgetown University with a small group of Christian, Muslim and Jewish faith leaders brought together to hear the secretary of state’s frank reflections on the peace process. While deeply aware of the complexities and obstacles to peace, Kerry is undeterred by the acrimony and intransigence that imprison Israelis and Palestinians in a devastating and soul-corrupting status quo even as the Middle East shakes around them. “At some point,” he said, “you just have to bet on peace.” There are many legitimate reasons to be skeptical of this latest round of peace talks. To reach a lasting, negotiated two-state solution, both sides will have to make excruciating choices on core issues from refugees to security to settlements to Jerusalem. This is a rare moment – a precious opportunity for the American Jewish leadership to improve the prospects for lasting peace and security by providing the principled support that can embolden Israel to take the necessary steps to achieve both goals. Instead, too many leaders have opted for muted support of these efforts, shying away from the type of full-throated, ardent, sustained and public backing that will tap into our community’s desire for a negotiated two-state solution – offering instead quiet criticism, muttered cynicism or silence. Driven by fear, distrust and even disdain, some in the Jewish community see the quest for peace – that is, an independent and viable state of Palestine alongside a secure and Jewish state of Israel – as driven by a reckless combination of naivete and arrogance. I don’t see it that way, nor do most American Jews – the quiet majority,
all-too-often marginalized when it comes to public discourse on Israel. They – we – love the State of Israel, believe that peace is possible, and see its pursuit not as a sign of weakness but rather as an expression of courage, compassion and faith. More and more young people identify with this camp, unwilling to abide an untenable status quo that leaves Israel increasingly insecure, isolated and vulnerable to extremism. These young people are rightly convinced that a two-state solution is the only way Israel can live up to its own greatest aspirations as a Jewish and democratic state, end the corrosive occupation and have their Israeli counterparts grow up free from war and terrorism. For these people, respect for the dignity of the Palestinian people and their national ambitions does not conflict with or undermine their deep love of Israel, but rather is an essential dimension of it. If Kerry succeeds, it will be because his plan honors the narratives, agonies and legitimate aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians. It will be because his tireless and seasoned envoy, Martin Indyk, cares deeply and passionately about the security and dignity of Israelis and Palestinians alike. It will be because the bipartisan vision of a negotiated two-state solution – hailed by both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama – serves the national interests of Israelis and Palestinians far better than the tragic deadlock that leaves Israel marginalized and besieged and leaves the Palestinians stateless and resentful. Kerry has demonstrated that he will not veer off course when critics snipe or cynics carp. He will not be deterred by what he calls “the maximalists” on either side – those who will never be satisfied with anything short of everything, those who prefer land to peace, stasis to security,
resentment to resolution. If Kerry succeeds, it will be because Israelis and Palestinians recognize that he has staked out a position that is firm, fair and, ultimately, sustainable – everything that today’s worrisome status quo is not. If Kerry fails, it will be because the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships could not summon the courage to take the painful steps required for peace, security and dignity. And it will also be because those of us who so deeply want peace did not do enough to change the political climate in which the leaders are making their decisions. If Kerry fails, it will be because cynicism, myopia and a lack of urgency sabotage this opportunity to reach a negotiated two-state solution before another intifada, crisis or tragic loss of life leaves the region shaken and the parties longing for the reasoned principles on the table now. Failure will be, in part, because we have allowed a small minority of oppositional voices to be heard over those in the United States who support the president, the secretary of state and the majority of Israelis and Palestinians who polls show support a two-state solution. If the silent majority remains quiet now, it will implicitly allow a short-sighted and selfdefeating rejectionism to rule the day. Let us not let that happen. This opportunity may not come again in our lifetimes, and the cost of failure will be unfathomably high, for both Israelis and Palestinians. Let’s help John Kerry succeed – let’s help Israelis and Palestinians succeed – by amplifying the voices of hope and possibility. Let them hear our cry and our call in Washington, Jerusalem and Ramallah: We stand with you in the fight for peace. Rabbi Sharon Brous is the founding rabbi of Ikar.
JEWISH LIFE • 17
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2014
Many years ago, when I was still a rabbi in Manhattan, I gave a sermon about the cherubic face of a young child; I suggested that children can either rise to exalted heights or descend to destructive depths, depending upon where they are stationed. Place them outside of the Garden of Eden with the fire of a revolving sword in their hands and you have messengers of destruction; place them next to the sacred ark and you have the cherubs between whom is heard the living words of the Divine! Nevertheless, the problem of the usage of the term “cherubs” must be explained. How can the same term be so spiritually charged in the Book of Exodus when its initial usage in the Book of Genesis expressed destructiveness? When I came on aliyah, I saw Israeli soldiers stationed at every checkpoint and army base, and as the years went by my children and grandchildren were called up to serve. These young people often have the pure facial features of children (indeed, they seem to look younger and younger as I am getting older), and with Uzis in their hands, they too are protecting the Torah “tree of life” of our Jewish future. In our generation, the Torah must be protected in two ways: by scholars who guarantee its continuity by teaching and interpreting it and by those who protect it in war from our enemies who seek to destroy it (and us). Both of these “cherubs” are sacred, deserving of our deepest gratitude. This is the most blessed period for the Jewish people in the last 2,000 years: we have returned to our homeland after being “scattered to the ends of the heavens.” the Jewish exiles from across the world have miraculously returned home to Israel and the dry bones of Ezekiel have been granted skin, bones and flesh. Our “startup” nation is succeeding on all fronts despite the constant strains and ravages of war. However, as George Santayana taught, the only thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history. The propaganda spewed forth from the sick mind of Goebbels and his henchmen has morphed into the apartheid charges
of the Arab and European nations; as the dysfunctional and disunited nations ceaselessly condemns Israel. There is however one major difference between the 1930’s and the year 2014: by grace of the Almighty, we now have a nation-state with military power. Lord Acton, taught that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, but nothing corrupts more than powerlessness. Powerlessness gives the victory to the forces of evil and darkness, to Amalek who targets civilians, who aims at the weak and the infirm, the women and the children. And we Jews came into the world to see to it that compassionate righteousness and moral justice will trump brute force and jihadist strength. In our generation, we require the sacred cherubs with the fire of revolving sword in their hands to pave the way for the cherubs of the sacred ark in the Sanctuary of the Divine.
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T EST Y OUR T ORAH KNOWLEDGE THIS WEEK’S PORTION: VAYAKHEL (SHMOT 35:1–38:20) 1. What did the men bring for the building of the Mishkan? a.) Gold b.) Wool dyed in different colors c.) All of the above 2. What did the women bring? a.) Same as the men b.) Frankincense c.) wool that was spun into thread 3. What did the princes bring? a.) Priestly robes
the Manna in the morning. Rashi C 35:23
EfFRAT, Israel – “(Bezalel) made two golden cherubs, hammering them out from the two ends of the cover (kapporet)… The cherubs had their wings outstretched upward so as to shield the ark-cover with their wings; they faced one another…”(Ex. 37:8-9). So important and beloved was the sacred desert tabernacle that the Bible records both its construction and completion. For the Ramban (Nahmanides), the most important of the tabernacle furnishings was the Holy Ark repository of the Two Stone Tablets containing the Ten Commandments. The Ramban maintains that the prescription to build the tabernacle came immediately following the Revelation at Sinai; God’s voice continued to be transmitted between the two cherubs at the two ends of the ark-cover. From this perspective, the symbolism of the “cherubs” is exquisite in its simple sensitivity. The Midrash (cited by Rashi on Ex. 25:18) explains that each cherub had the face of a babe with a body reminiscent of a soaring angel. If we are to accept the premise that God spoke through them, these figures who caringly directed their gaze towards each other are now represented by the greatest Torah scholars of each generation, whose wings transport God’s words from heaven to earth and whose whole-hearted purity is expressed in the purity of their faces. They transmit, interpret and “make relevant” the Divine words for every situation and generation. Responsa in each generation continue our opportunity to hear the voice of the living God. But there remains one problem. The first time that the Bible mentions the word “cherubs” is soon after the creation of the world, when Adam and Eve were barred from the Garden of Eden: “(God) drove out the human being, and stationed the cherubs at the east of the Garden Eden, along with the fire of the everturning sword, to guard the path to the tree of life” (Gen. 3:24). Here the cherubs appear to be negative creatures, holding the fire of the revolving swords in their hands, preventing the possibility of eternal life. Indeed Rashi (ad loc.) refers to them as “angels of destruction”. Why does the Bible use such destructive imagery for “cherubs” of the ark-cover guarding the holy Tablets?
In our generation, the Torah must be protected in two ways: by scholars who guarantee its continuity by teaching and interpreting it and by those who protect it in war from our enemies who seek to destroy it
b.) Precious stones c.) Shekels to pay for sacrifices 4. When were donations to the Mishkan given? a.) Morning b.) Evening c.) Anytime during the day 5. What color were the ram skins? a.) White b.) Blue c.) Red
2. C 35:25 3. B 35:27,28 They also brought fragrances and oil for the Ketoret and anointing oil 4. A 36:3 The precious stones fell down with
by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin
SHABBAT SHALOM: PARSHAT VAYAKHEL EXODUS 35: 1- 38:20
Written by Rabbi Dov Aaron Wise
ANSWERS 1. A 35:22-24 The women came with their donations first. Ramban Or the men and women came together. Rashi
Sedra of the Week
18 • JEWZ IN THE NEWZ
By Nate Bloom Contributing Columnist Olympics Update Verifying Jewish Olympic athletes (other than Israelis) is always hard. Many athletes make the team just weeks before the Games begin and not that much biography is available. Also, to be frank, some Jewish papers always make mistakes as to “who is Jewish” just as the Games begin and I have to be careful not to echo those errors. However, I have to give credit to the Forward newspaper for their detailed reporting on two Jewish athletes on the American team I couldn’t “verify” myself in the last week or so. The two athletes are NOAH HOFFMAN, 24, a member of the cross country skiing team, and JARED GOLDBERG, 22, a member of the alpine skiing team. Goldberg was born in Boston, but grew up in Utah, and the Forward reports he had his bar mitzvah in a ski lodge. As I write this, Goldberg has finished participating in two of the four events he will compete in. He finished 10th in the Men’s Super Combined Downhill and 15th in the Men’s Super Combined Slalom. On Feb. 16, he was set to compete in the Men’s Super G – and on the 22nd, in the Men’s Slalom. Hoffman, a Colorado native, also had a bar mitzvah and last December he made Chanukah latkes for his team while they were on a road trip. Hoffman finished 35th and 31st, respectively, in the two race events he competed in last week. His last event, a 50K race, will take place on Feb. 23, the last day of the Games. At the Movies French filmmaker Luc Bresson (“Taken”) is now famous for making exciting hit action films that are fun to watch, even if the plots are improbable. His new flick, “3 Days to Kill,” stars Kevin Costner as a top international spy who, like the hero of “Taken,” wants to retire so he can finally spend some time with his estranged daughter (HAILEE STEINFELD, 17). However, while he’s looking after his daughter, while his wife is out of town, he is offered a dangerous assignment he cannot turn down because the “job fee” includes an experimental treatment for the disease he is dying from. “Barefoot” is a romantic comedy based on a 2005 German film that was huge hit
in Deutschland. EVAN RACHEL WOOD, 26, plays Daisy, who grew up shut away from the world and is living in a mental institution when Jay, a black sheep gambler (Scott Speedman) chances to meet her. Jay needs to go to New Orleans to attend his brother’s wedding and to beg his rich parents to bail him out. He persuades Daisy to accompany him. Romance blooms and Daisy charms everybody. Tube News Stay on the couch on Saturday, Feb. 22, and just after 10:30PM, NBC will shift from Olympics to the pilot episodes of two new comedy series. The second one, airing just after 11PM, is called “About a Boy.” Yes, it has the same title and plot as the hit 2001 film, which was directed by PAUL and CHRIS WEITZ, and starred Hugh Grant and RACHEL WEISZ. The TV version, written by JASON KATIMS, 53, and directed by JON FAVREAU, 47, stars David Walton (“Bent”) in the Grant role: an amiable 30-ish fellow who has inherited a lot of money and basically “laysabout.” But things change when an oddly charming 11-year-old boy and his attractive mother move in next door (Minnie Driver in the Weisz “mother” role). After the pilot airs, the series will move to Tuesday nights at 9PM. Since “Friends” ended, DAVID SCHWIMMER, 46, has done a little TV directing, as well as appearing in some films. He has done quite a bit of stage work, including a starring role in a London-based production that resulted in him meeting British photographer ZOE BUCKMAN, 27, whom he wed in 2010. The couple had their first child, a girl, in 2011. Now Schwimmer will return to TV acting full time if the sitcom pilot he is set to film, called “Irreversible,” is pickedup for fall broadcast – which seems likely. The series is based on “Biliti Hafich,” a very popular Israeli series. It centers on Andy (Schwimmer) and Sarah, a somewhat eccentric, selfabsorbed married couple with a young child. He’s a writer who had one successful book; then a book that flopped; and now teaches part time at a university. Andy is a flawed, sarcastic guy who many sources say is a lot like the Larry David character on “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
FROM THE PAGES 150 Y EARS A GO Wanted: A young man that has had experience in the Dry Goods and Clothing Business, to go to the Country as a Salesman. Good salary will be paid. Apply at 139 Walnut Street. Philip Young and A. Karman, having returned to Moses Kahn’s former stand, on the corner of Seventh and Walnut Streets, are ready to furnish the public with Kosher Meat, Sausages, Beef, Veal, Mutton, Tongue, etc... Schochet, Mr. Blumenthal. The meat is marked. 200 kegs New Holland Herring; 100 kegs Krauter Anchovies; 150 kegs Krauter Anker; 1,000 lbs. Stock Fish: for sale at reasonable prices at Reis & Brother, 208 Walnut Street, between 5th & 6th. – March 18, 1864
125 Y EARS A GO Avondale will enjoy a boom in the spring. Quite a number of families now residing in Walnut Hills will remove to that delightful suburb and avoid the annoyances of a “ broken cable”. Mr. Abe Bloch, of this city, has donated two hundred dollars to the Stipendiary Fund of the Hebrew Union College, in memory of his wife, Rebecka Bloch, whose death was announced in the American Israelite last week. Miss Minnie Drucker gave an elegant tea on Friday last in honor of friends visiting the city. The affair was a very enjoyable one to all who attended. – February 21, 1889
100 Y EARS A GO The engagement of Florence, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R. Wolf, of 520 Hickman Avenue, Avondale, to Mr. Adolph Olman, of this city, has just been announced. Mr and Mrs. Wolf will be at home in honor of the occasion on Sunday, March 1. The Sisterhood of the Reading Road Temple will celebrate its fifth anniversary on Sunday evening, February 22, at 8 o’clock in the auditorium of the Religious School building. The program for the occasion is as follows: Violin solo, Philip Dreifus; introductory address, Rabbi Jacob Mielziner; Vocal solo, Miss Pauline Frankenstein; address, “Woman’s Sphere in Congregational Life”, Rabbi David Lefkowitz of Dayton; solo, Mr. A. Holzberg. The public is invited to attend. Wise Alumni Association: The programs are being given at the Home for Incurables the second and fourth weeks of the month. At the last program the following assisted: Misses Gertrude Eisenberg and Dorothy Brothers; and Messers. Whitlock, Bauman, and Grodsky.
Those wishing to help this worthy cause will kindly communitcate with David Grodsky. – February 19, 1914
75 Y EARS A GO Mrs. Ben Bernstein, president of the Jewish Consumptive Relief, has appointed Mrs. Ira Abrahamson as chairman of the Nominating Committee. Mrs. Sig Bottigheimer is vice-chairman. Other members of the committee include: Mesdames Fred Ullman, Edwin Mayer, Morris Feist, Donald Braverman, and Harry Pleatman. Milton Margolis, Richard Lyons, and Myron J. Spencer, Liberal Arts seniors, University of Cincinnati, were among the students cited on the dean’s list for high scholastic attainment during the first semester of this year. Those qualifying for the dean’s list are students whose scholastic averages place them among the upper 10% in their classes. Mr. Hebert Okrent has been installed as president of the Central Avenue Business Men’s Association. – February 23, 1939
50 Y EARS A GO The 13th annual congregational dinner of Roselawn SynagogueAgudath Achim will take place Sunday, March 1st, at the Club Diplomat at Kemper Lane Hotel. Officers and board members will be installed by Rabbi Hyman Cohen. They are:Abe Dennis, president, eighth consecutive term; Sidney Horwitz and Louis Schear, vice presidents; Jack Barrow, treasurer; Louis Starnbach, secretary; Edward Jacobs, Gabbai, and Louis Malman, Gabbi. Board members are: Louis Armstrong, Harold Benjamin, Abe Berman, Nathan Blackman, Sam Boymel, Isadore Butchkes, Al Canter, Manuel Cohen, Bert Davis, Milton Davis, Isadore Deutch, Leonard Deutch, Harvey Diamond, Harry Freiberg, Charles Froiken, Harry Geller, Ben Joffe, Isaac Kravitz, Nathan Moshinsky, Saul Nathan, Harry Noiman, Max Schlacht, Mark Shuller, Sol Wise, Louis Wolosin, and William Ziv. A cocktail hour will precede dinner and dancing will follow the dinner. Sidney Horwitz is chairman and Mrs. Al Canter is co-chairman. Annoucment has been made of the engagement of Miss Judith Phyllis Smith, daughter of Mrs. Simon Smith and the late Mr. Smith of Roselawn, to Mr. Harold Guttman, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ervan Guttman of Amberley Village. Miss Smith attended the Cincinnati Art Academy. Mr Guttman attends the University of Cincinnati College of Business Administration. No date has been set for the wedding. – February 20, 1964
25 Y EARS A GO Mr. and Mrs. Alan Singer of Canton, Ohio, announce the engagement of their daughter, Betsy, to Rick Lefton, son of Mrs. and Mrs. Barry Lefton of Cincinnati. Betsy is the granddaughter of Lillian Willen of Canton. Rick is the grandson of Charlotte Lefton and the late Ben Lefton of Cincinnati and the late Dora and Nathan Berkowitz, also of Cincinnati. Betsy is a graduate of Ohio State University, where she majored in psychology. She is an entertainer with Kings Productions. Rick is a graduate of Ohio State’s College of Business Administration and is with Provident Camera Shop. An Oct. 14th wedding is planned. Carrie S. and Kenneth L. Goldhoff announce the birth of a daughter, Sari Jessica, Feb. 17th. Maternal grandparents are Beverly A. Saeks and Keith A. Saeks. Paternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Leon L. Goldhoff. Paternal great-grandmother is Ruth Goldhoff. Mona Kerstine was selected as one of The Cincinnati Enquirer’s 10 Women of the Year. Long active in the Jewish community, Kerstine is assistant secretary of the board and member of the executive committee at Isaac M. Wise Temple, a member of the board of The National Conference of Christians and Jews, and president of the Cincinnati chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, as well as a member of its international nominating committee. She is active with Jewish Federation, a board member of the Jewish Community Relations Council, Jewish Family Service, and is on the advisory board of Halom House. She has served as president of the Cincinnati Section of NCJW and NCJW’s central division, and as Women’s Division Chairman of Bonds for Israel. The mother of three, Kerstine is married to Dr Richard Kerstine. – March 2, 1989
10 Y EARS A GO Jennifer Young and Casey Bain are engaged to be married. The future bride is the daughter of the late Martha Kovel and Michael and Felice Young of Cincinnati. She is a graduate of Sycamore High School and received a Master’s of Education degree in the fall of 2003. Jennifer is currently working for Cincinnati Creative Marketing. The future groom is the son of James and Jacqelyn Bain of Toledo, Ohio. A graduate of Whitmer High School, he received a business degree in information technology from the University of Cincinnati in 2001. Casey is currently working for Hewlett-Packard. The wedding is planned for July 4, 2004. – February 26, 2004
COMMUNITY DIRECTORY / CLASSIFIEDS • 19
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2014
COMMUNITY DIRECTORY COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS 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 JVS Career Services (513) 936-WORK (9675) • www.jvscinti.org Plum Street Temple Historic Preservation Fund (513) 793-2556 Shalom Family (513) 703-3343 • myshalomfamily.org
BOYCOTTING from page 16 The BDS movement was founded in 2005 to delegitimize and ultimately destroy the State of Israel by falsely charging it with racism and apartheid, and orchestrating an international economic and cultural boycott against it. BDS finds its model in the campaign that managed to bring down white-supremacist South Africa, where apartheid was real enough. The official Palestinian call for BDS states that the movement’s goals are ending Israeli “occupation and colonization of all Arab lands” – a formulation that tellingly leaves open the possibility that it refers not just to the West Bank but to pre-1967 Israel as well – and “promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees” (including their descendants now numbering in the millions) “to return to their homes and properties.” If carried out, this agenda would mean not just the end of the Jewish state but also an unimaginable bloodbath. The BDS double standard never lets the facts get in the way of the cause. When the head of the American Studies Association
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 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 B’nai Tikvah Chavurah (513) 284-5845 • rabbibruce.com Congregation Beth Adam (513) 985-0400 • bethadam.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 (513) 620-8080 • shaareitorahcincy.org Congregation Shevet Achim (513) 426-8613 • shevetachimohio.com 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 Shevet Achim, (513) 602-7801 • shevetachimohio.com Temple Beth Shalom (513) 422-8313 • tbsohio.org Temple Sholom (513) 791-1330 • templesholom.net The Valley Temple (513) 761-3555 • valleytemple.com
explained the organization’s decision to boycott only Israel’s universities even though other countries have far worse human rights records, he said: “You have to start somewhere.” But why does “somewhere” have to be Israel, unless the aim of BDS is not to protect human rights but to specifically target the Jewish state? U.S. Secretary of State Kerry has for some time been engaged in difficult negotiations to get Israel and the Palestinians to agree on a framework for a two-state solution that would see Jewish and Palestinian states living side-by-side in peace. In poll after poll, some two-thirds of Israelis say they favor a pullback from parts of the West Bank and land swaps for those parts that become part of Israel if that would produce an agreement, so long as their security interests are safeguarded and the so-called Palestinian “right of return” does not bring the demise of the Jewish state. These concerns are exactly what Kerry is now trying to get the Palestinian side to address. On three previous occasions – in 2000 at Camp David, in 2001 at Taba and in 2008 when Ehud Olmert was prime minister of Israel – similar negotia-
EDUCA 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 Yeshivas Lubavitch High School of Cincinnati (513) 631-2452 • ylcincinnati.com ORGANIZATIONS 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 • mayersonjcc.org 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
tions came very close to success, only to have the Palestinian side walk away from the table. According to recent reports from Ramallah, the Palestinian leadership, buoyed by the rising BDS tide, is sorely tempted to back out of a deal yet again. An end-run around the negotiation track and an appeal to the United Nations for recognition as a state – and to the international courts in The Hague to put Israel in the dock – would eliminate the need for the Palestinians to make any concessions at all. They would have all their work done for them by the international community, leaving Israel isolated. That is exactly the kind of international isolation that the BDS movement has advocated from the start – the worldwide demonization of Israel as the new South Africa. And those morally fastidious boycotters of SodaStream and other West Bank companies who consider their version of BDS to be pro-Israel will realize too late that they have been used. Lawrence Grossman is the American Jewish Committee’s director of publications.
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513-260-3636 BUNKCONNECT from page 5 in the program, a series of hypothetical online searches by JTA turned up discounted sessions at Camp JRF and B’nai B’rith Perlman Camp in Pennsylvania; Camp Louise, Camp Airy and Habonim Dror Camp Moshava in Maryland; Camp Avoda in Massachusetts; and JCC Camp Kingswood in Maine. Discounts offered, which ranged from 40 to 80 percent off the list price, varied depending on the session date. For example, it was cheaper to attend Camp Airy in August than in July. While the individual camps are absorbing any losses incurred by making slots available at a discount, many may come out ahead by filling beds that otherwise would have gone empty. In addition, after attending at the “introductory rate,” campers may return the following summer at the KERRY from page 16 would seem to be a praiseworthy endeavor. But those who care about Israel shouldn’t be cheering. What Kerry has forgotten – or never knew in the first place – about the failures of his predecessors is that peace initiatives don’t occur in a vacuum. The dynamic of every negotiation to broker an end to the conflict is that in the eyes of international public opinion, progress is only measured in terms of Israeli concessions. That means that rather than bolstering Israel’s image and support around the globe, every such effort – including Israel’s aforementioned three generous offers of Palestinian statehood, as well as the Gaza withdrawal – only served to make Israel even more unpopular. In the 20 years since the signing of the Oslo Accords, Israel has made concession after concession, and yet international efforts to delegitimize Zionism and support the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement aimed at the Jewish state have only grown. Israelis well understand that the current Palestinian leadership is not likely to sign any deal that will recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn. Nor will the Palestinians renounce a “right of return” for the descendants of the 1948 refugees. No matter what Kerry pressures Netanyahu into offering Abbas, the
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(513) 531-9600 full rate. Several funders, including the Avi Chai Foundation and the Leader Family Foundation, are covering the costs of the BunkConnect technology and marketing. BunkConnect is not the only effort to make Jewish camp more financially accessible, Fingerman said. The foundation also supports some scholarships and grants such as the One Happy Camper program, which is offered to all first-time campers regardless of financial need. BunkConnect is the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s first systemic initiative to address the affordability of Jewish camp. The foundation also has explored the possibility of helping launch lower-cost programs, Fingerman said, but “we’re not sure the economic model of that is sustainable and attractive.” answer will probably be same one Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert received: No. When that happens, expect the BDS campaign to redouble its efforts and for European nations to blame Israel regardless of the fact that, once again, Palestinian obstinacy will have ended the negotiations and not a lack of Israeli flexibility or generosity. Even worse, by seeking to frighten the Israelis into concessions by speaking, as he did last fall, about the chances of a third intifada if the talks fail, and by, more recently, predicting an upsurge in boycotts if no peace deal is achieved – while failing to acknowledge Palestinian intransigence as a possible cause of any failure – Kerry has not only tilted the diplomatic playing field against the Jewish state. He has also signaled that if he fails, it will be Israel’s fault. While he may not have intended to encourage either violence or boycotts of Israel, that is exactly what he has done. While Kerry entered this process thinking only of its success, an individual with less hubris and a clearer understanding of history would have known from the start that the costs of failure might be considerable. Israelis, who will pay the price for that failure, should be forgiven for thinking that Kerry deserves no thanks for his part in this sorry exercise in narcissism. Jonathan S. Tobin is senior online editor and chief political blogger of Commentary Magazine.
20 • ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT / BOOK REVIEW
ARIK: The Life of Ariel Sharon by David Landau
Beatles’ Jewish manager remembered 50 years after band’s American debut
By Sue Ransohoff Book Reviewer
By Robert Gluck
There is something especially gratifying about the early chapters of the life of someone whose name and some adult accomplishments are known – but what was his childhood like? How did it lead him or her to become famous enough to warrant a biography? We know that person as an adult… but there were those earlier years. What did they mean? Landau compresses Ariel Sharon’s childhood and youth into just a part of chapter 1. The details are scant; we learn that “it was probably a nicer childhood than he would admit,” and that his father permanently instilled in him a high regard for hard work. “By the age of eight or nine I would take the horse and wagon out, and hitch up the plow.” This enigmatic man: soldier, political figure and Prime Minister, advocate of settlements and later a dismantler of settlements – is portrayed in Landau’s scholarly book as having been praised and reviled in turns on his settlement positions, as well as others. Sharon, known mostly as Arik, was born in Israel, in the village of Kfar Malal, to parents who were immigrants from Russia, in 1922. He was one of the few youths of that village to go to high school and to have violin lessons; his parents wanted him to acquire learning as well as labor. Eventually – perhaps not soon enough, Landau sums him up brilliantly. Settlement policy is the issue, and I chose this because it is so very controversial, and because most of us know that it exists and we have opinions about it, although we very probably don’t know enough. Quoting from this period rather extensively, Begin, a hawk, had just been elected Prime Minister. He is described as “conflicted between the desire for peace and the burning belief that Israel must govern all of Palestine.” The entire situation was rife with conflicts in ethical consideration, not the least of which was Anwar Sadat’s visit – in itself a possible – just possible – harbinger of peace. Begin and Sharon, perversely, felt that the time was therefore ripe for vigorous action on settlements. “Begin believed he could have it all: peace and occupation and legitimacy… he nurtured the inconsistency that informed his government’s words and deeds.” And, among the ministers who complied, none was more complicit than Sharon, the master builder.” “Happily for Sharon (and for the settlers) inconsistency and disingenuousness were the very attributes with which Sharon’s personality was bountifully endowed.” No hagiography, this book, and the near brutal honesty compels respect. With the
(JNS) – Amid the celebrations and hoopla surrounding the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ arrival in America and their appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” the man Paul McCartney called “the fifth Beatle” is not often mentioned. But experts say that without him, the Beatles as we know them would not have existed. That man is Brian Epstein, the band’s Jewish manager, who died of an accidental drug overdose in 1967. Epstein’s grandfather, Isaac Epstein, was from Lithuania and arrived in England in the 1890s at the age of 18. His grandmother, Dinah, was the daughter of Joseph and Esther Hyman, who had emigrated from Russia to England. Asked to write an introduction to Epstein’s autobiography, “A Cellarful of Noise,” Beatles scholar Martin Lewis – who emceed the Fest for Beatles Fans in New York City this month to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the band’s U.S. arrival on Feb. 7, 1964 – said Epstein’s death “was a major contributing factor to the breakup of the Beatles.” John Lennon himself said when the manager died, “I knew that we were in trouble then.” Lewis’s association with the Beatles dates back to 1967, when as a teenage fan he was engaged to compile the discography for Hunter Davies’s official biography of the group. Years later, he wrote, hosted, and produced the TV documentary “Re-Meet The Beatles!” “Epstein discovered the Beatles and guided them to mega-stardom, making them the most successful musical artists of all time,” Lewis told JNS. “But, regrettably, the man who did so much for the Beatles, and who died tragically in 1967, has become a comparatively forgotten man since his death. Almost a ‘nowhere man.’” Lewis in June 1998 helped launch a website that became the command center for a campaign to have Epstein inducted into the nonperformers’ section of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. With combined online and hardcopy petitions, the site gathered more than 50,000 signatures, and in December 2013 – 15 years after the petition was started – it was announced that Epstein would receive the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ahmet Ertegun Award for Lifetime Achievement (formerly the non-performer award). Born in 1934 in Liverpool, England, Epstein first got involved in the music business when he took over the record department of his family’s music store, NEMS. “His devotion to making the store a success transformed it into an essential gathering place for the
settlements – a program that Sharon had, up till now, endorsed and supported, why the one-eighty turn? My impression of Sharon is that, while he did unpopular and often inexplicable things, as well as disagreeable acts, these acts were less for personal gain and advancement than for the State of Israel. This, Landau tells us, he cared about passionately, and clarifies his thinking as he switched sides on this and other issues. It’s an oft-repeated situation: when a political figure “crosses the aisle” is he displaying thoughtfulness and flexibility? (Think President Obama and gay marriage.) Or is he an undependable and self-serving waffler? In Sharon’s case, probably both, with a strong tilt towards what he believed was in Israel’s better interests. Landau himself is an impressive figure; former news editor of Haaretz, founder of the English edition of Haaretz, and author of several earlier books. His research for this book is exhaustive and impressive. Equally impressive is his ability to write even-handedly about Sharon, pointing out the flaws of both character and action, as well as the intelligence and determination Sharon brought to his endeavors. Landau’s writing style is clear and accessible; when he inserts a quote from his subject, the passion flares out and is in contrast with the author’s admirable man-of-reason position. For example, Sharon comments on his change of heart and position about the settlements: A settlement leader says: “… you’re abandoning us,” and Sharon replies: “I love the hills of Samaria no less than you… but a new reality has come into being. We have made commitments, and I am determined to honor them. We must try this new path…” I have great praise for this book. It is a well-rounded work of research, interviews, background reading and finally, writing, on an enigmatic and often reviled subject, as well as on the complexities of the time and the place. David Landau has carried this challenge out admirably.
Courtesy of Library of Congress via Wikimedia Commons
The Beatles wave to fans after arriving at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on February 7, 1964, marking their first appearance in the U.S.
young people of northern England who sought to stay current with pop music. It was at NEMS that Epstein first became aware of the Beatles,” Margaret Thresher, director of communications at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, told JNS. Thresher said Epstein immediately recognized the Beatles’ potential as performers and recording artists. He signed them to a management contract in early 1962 and was the driving force behind getting the band a recording contract with Parlophone later that year. “Brian’s keen eye for style and fashion helped shape a unique, charismatic identity for the band,” Thresher said. “His management style forged success for the Beatles, and he was completely dedicated to the band. Paul McCartney said, ‘If anyone was the fifth Beatle it was Brian.’ People talked about George Martin as being the fifth Beatle because of his musical involvement, but, particularly in the early days, Brian was very much part of the group.” Yet Epstein’s relationship with the Beatles was not all rosy. When the band members first told their families that Epstein would be their manager, the response to the news was mixed, according to Philip Norman’s book “Shout! The Beatles in Their Generation.” “Olive Johnson, the McCartney family’s close friend, received a call from Paul’s father (Jim) in a state of some anxiety over his son’s proposed association with a ‘Jewboy,’” Norman wrote. “Since Olive knew the world so well, Jim asked her to be at Forthlin Road on the evening that Brian called to outline his intentions for Paul. ‘He turned out to be absolutely charming,’ Olive says. ‘Beautifully mannered but completely natural. He and Jim got on well at once.’” Epstein grew up in a post-war British society in which many people overtly and comfortably indulged in anti-Semitism.
Lewis said large numbers of the British have been anti-Semitic. “It was not a virulent form [of anti-Semitism], but it was mostly in the aristocracy, bubbling below the surface,” Lewis told JNS. “It was a nasty tone. This was part of the British way. They weren’t fighting the Nazis [in World War II] because they were anti-Semitic. They were fighting them because they were dominating Europe and bombing Britain.” In terms of prejudice, Epstein had to deal with two things in England that helped contribute to his personal unhappiness and fear. “One was being Jewish and the other was being gay, at a time when the word gay wasn’t even in common usage,” Lewis said. “What Brian went through is not fully appreciated but should be appreciated by the Jewish and gay world. What a great man. Without this British, Jewish, gay man, the world would never have heard the Beatles.” Lewis said Epstein “has long been the most unsung hero across the Beatles’ universe.” “First of all, to be crystal clear, everything in the Beatles’ world starts with their incredible talent,” he said. “Without their genius for music there would have been nothing. But, as my dear friends Derek Taylor, Ray Coleman, George Martin and Andrew Loog Oldham all made clear to me over the years, without Brian Epstein’s passionate belief in them and without his Herculean efforts, the Beatles’ genius might well have gone undiscovered by the world.” Though Peter Brown, a personal assistant to Epstein and the Beatles during the 1960s, wrote in his memoir that he had once found a suicide note written by Epstein, Lewis maintains that Epstein’s death came from an accidental drug overdose. “The inquest was absolute,” BEATLES on page 22
FIRST PERSON • 21
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2014
‘Good enough’ is great Incidentally Iris
by Iris Ruth Pastor I remember seeing a harried mother in the grocery store, yelling at her kids. And I swore I would never do that. Until I became a mother. I remember seeing tired, grumpy, frumpy people walking the hospital corridors and I swore that if I ever had a loved one in the hospital, I’d make a supreme effort to be forever and at all times rested, upbeat and perfectly attired. Until my husband spent 17 straight days in the hospital. OBAMA from page 4 an interview that Kerry’s “obsessive” focus on the talks “may have anti-Semitic undertones.” The American Jewish Committee, Anti-Defamation League and World Jewish Congress condemned Yogev’s remarks. The ADL’s national director, Abraham Foxman, called the comments “offensive” and “ beyond the bounds of legitimate critique.” The Orthodox Union’s statement, which it issued with the Rabbinical Council of America, condemned the Israeli rabbis who had put out a letter likening Kerry to Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king who destroyed the First Temple, and warning that the secretary of state could face “heavenly retribution.” The letter was issued by a group calling itself the Committee to Save the Land and People of Israel, which said on its website that “dozens” of FRENCH from page 8 the BDS legal task force of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities, said the Lellouche law was enacted not because of the lawmakers’ desire to protect Israel, but because they sought to strengthen French republican values and counter sectarian tendencies. The law was passed in 2003, shortly after unprecedented gains by the far right National Front party in the presidential election. The measure was designed to respond to a social climate of not only mounting anti-Semitism, but also anti-Arab discrimination and
At first when my husband became a patient, I meticulously coordinated my outfits every morning before driving to the hospital. Four inch high black boots, carefully applied make-up, sleek and shiny hair and jewelry complimenting every outfit. Topped off, of course, by my unblemished and professionally shellacked bright red nails. The boots were the first to go, followed in rapid succession by my coordinated outfits, jewelry, makeup and hair. And the shellacked nails were picked off bit by bit the morning he had surgery. After three harrowing days into my husband’s hospital stay, my hair was back to its naturally curly wild mess and my face - unadorned and without blush, lipstick, foundation and mascara – looked pasty, pale and blemished. If that sad state of disrepair wasn’t enough, my jeans went from loose to snug – a casualty of the carb binges I was indulging in nightly. (I envy people who stop eating under stress and lose tons of weight. Please don’t
share your stories with me, as it would only depress me more.) You can tell a lot about a person by the first thing they read in the newspaper each day – whether in print or online. One of my biggest luxuries is reading The New York Times delivered to my door each Sunday morning. The Sunday Styles Section is the first section I turn to and the Modern Love column the first thing I read. On the second Sunday of my husband’s hospital stay, I read about the editor of the Modern Love column remarking on the kind of submissions he gets – those asking how they find love and those asking how they get it back. My husband and I have been married 37 years and though we occasionally enjoy moments of exquisite passion, I would have to characterize our long term marriage as one where “good enough is great.” We are aptly described in the Modern Love column as “the appreciatively resigned.” We rise each morning not dwelling on our marital shortfalls but counting our
mutual blessings…managing over the years to “grow together rather than apart.” When describing these couples, the author Daniel Jones notes that health is “generally good.” Ah…. the operative phrase: health is generally good. Enjoying good health – not even great health – is clutch. Having a critically ill spouse, my perspective shifts and my gratification meter ticks wildly in a whole new direction. I forget about how annoying he is when he leaves his gym shoes by my side of the bed each night and I unfailingly trip over them at 3am while hurrying to void my post-menopausal bladder. Instead, I hope one day soon to marvel anew at the happy coincidence that when I get up in the middle of the night, he gets up too – once again reminding me just how in sync our body rhythms are. And instead of impatiently counting the minutes until he flies down the stairs once again 15 minutes late for a dinner date with friends, I wonder if he will ever wean himself from the walker and
come flying down the stairs unaided again – whether on time or late. And as one hospital day bleeds into the next – no pun intended - I find myself immersed in counting other things besides how many minutes late he is. I now compulsively keep track of blood pressure numbers, temperature readings, white blood counts, laps walked around the hospital corridor, calories eaten and food left on his plate. I confer with his team of doctors, search the internet for background medical information, ply my physician friends with questions and monitor his daily doings. I have become his alpha advocate. It would be trite to say I am overwhelmingly grateful for the possibility that within a few months we can return to our normal - and sometimes annoying and sometimes uneventful - routine. But it would be true.
rabbis had signed on, though it named only five who are all affiliated with Israeli municipalities. But criticism of Kerry has come, too, from Israelis who are closer to the center of power. Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon was quoted in the Israeli media last month privately calling Kerry’s peace efforts “messianic.” Yaalon later said he apologized if the remarks attributed to him had offended Kerry. Last week, after Kerry had warned that a failure to achieve a peace agreement could spur more boycotts against Israel, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett accused Kerry of “amplifying” the boycott movement and Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz called Kerry’s warning “intolerable.” Administration insiders say the Bennett and Steinitz attacks rankled Kerry more than those by Yogev and the rabbis. “Ad hominem, on-the-record
attacks by a series of senior Israeli officials against Secretary Kerry were deeply concerning and crossed the line,” a White House official told JTA. In a series of Twitter postings Monday, Susan Rice, the national security adviser, called personal attacks “in Israel directed at Sec Kerry totally unfounded and unacceptable. John Kerry’s record of support for Israel’s security and prosperity rock solid.” Even as they condemned Yogev, Jewish groups have not necessarily been on the same page as the Obama administration regarding the remarks from more influential Israeli officials. Foxman called the furor over Yaalon’s alleged comments a “tempest in a teapot,” noting that they were made in private. The ADL also issued an open letter to Kerry criticizing his warning that a peace setback could fuel boycotts of Israel. Kerry’s boycott remark, the
Foxman letter said, “will inevitably be seen by Palestinians and antiIsrael activists as an incentive not to reach an agreement.” Still, Jewish groups have tried to strike a supportive tone. Foxman’s letter criticizing Kerry also stressed that the ADL backs his efforts to achieve peace. The day after Rice’s tweets, the AJC’s executive director, David Harris, said that Kerry deserved plaudits. “Bravo, then, to Secretary of State John Kerry for his current effort to reach peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” he said in his weekly radio commentary. The Obama administration, meanwhile, has been responding not only to attacks from Israeli officials but also from nongovernmental groups. Kerry’s spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, cited among other “mischaracterizations” of Kerry’s record a satirical video in which an Israeli actor bewigged with a gray bouffant
declares Jerusalem holy to Klingons and Hobbits, among other groups. The point of criticizing the video, Obama administration officials said, is that it was funded by the Yesha Council, the umbrella body for West Bank settlers funded indirectly by government subsidies for settlements. Dani Dayan, a senior Yesha Council official, said he was amazed at Psaki’s reaction. The satire in the video, he said, was aimed at Kerry’s policies, not his person. “It’s nonsense, he’s not antiSemitic – I even suspect he’s philoSemitic,” Dayan told JTA. “His policies are misguided, the solutions he proposes do not solve the problems.” Kerry is firing back at his critics. “No one should distort what we’re doing or saying because they’re opposed to the peace process or don’t like two states or whatever,” Kerry told CNN last week.
xenophobia. Nevertheless, it has been invoked repeatedly against anti-Israel activists. France has seen 10 trials against BDS supporters based on Lellouche. Markowicz says the law is “the most effective legislation on BDS today.” “We had only one acquittal, so the statistics are looking good,” he said. Elsewhere in Europe, in countries where free speech traditions are more robust, laws like Lellouche are a much tougher sell. But that hasn’t stopped pro-Israel activists from trying to fight BDS with existing antidiscrimination laws.
In 2007, the British University and College Union said it would drop plans to boycott Israeli institutions after legal advisers said doing so would violate anti-discrimination laws. Last year, a British court threw out a discrimination case against the union brought by a pro-Israel activist in what Jonathan Goldberg, one of Britain’s leading trial lawyers, called “a legal and public relations disaster” for pro-Israel forces. In the Netherlands, legal efforts to curb the anti-immigrant politician Geert Wilders, a supporter of Israel, have been largely unsuccessful.
AIPAC from page 6 agreement. But an official in Hoyer’s office immediately denied the claim. Leading AIPAC board members were meeting Tuesday with lawmakers to discuss future steps. One factor making it difficult to decide on an appropriate legislative vehicle for an AIPAC-backed initiative on Israeli security needs is that IsraeliPalestinian talks are being kept secret at the behest of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is expected to soon present a framework for an agreement. The framework would address Israeli security needs in detail.
Keep Coping, Iris Ruth Pastor
AIPAC and other pro-Israel groups, administration insiders said, mostly have been supportive of Kerry’s efforts. There has been no such comity on Iran, where the White House and AIPAC had been locked in a battle of wills over the Senate’s Iran sanctions legislation. Senate Republicans had been pushing for quick action on the AIPAC-backed bill, which had majority support in the chamber, but Democrats resisted calling a vote. Last week, both the bill’s chief Democratic sponsor, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), and AIPAC distanced themselves from calls for an immediate vote on the legislation.
22 • OBITUARIES
D EATH N OTICES
WINN-DIXIE from page 5
HERSH, Barry age 82, died February 12, 2014; 12 Adar 1, 5774.
Winn-Dixie’s director of loyalty marketing and the person who spearheaded the company’s expansion in the kosher market. “We want to make ourselves a one-stop shop.” The Winn-Dixie in Boca is hardly the only big-box supermarket in the country with in-store kosher facilities. AKroger in Atlanta has its own kosher Chinese restaurant. There are large kosher deli counters at JewelOsco in the Chicago area, Ralphs in the San Diego suburb of La Jolla and Acme in central New Jersey. Stop & Shop bakeries all over the Northeast are kosher. What makes the Boca WinnDixie unique is the unusual volume and variety of its offerings, including a kosher nonperishables section that’s larger than many kosher-only supermarkets. The store also has many yarmulke-clad stock boys and checkout clerks. Supermarkets first began experimenting with in-store kosher operations two decades ago, mostly with kosher bakeries, but over the last 10 years the market has expanded dramatically, says Menachem Lubinsky, an expert on the kosher food industry and CEO of Lubicom Marketing Consulting.
SCHEFF, Helen, age 88, died February 15, 2014; 15 Adar 1, 5774. REVELSON, Howard J., age 89, died February 15, 2014; 15 Adar 1, 5774. GEHLER, Valerie, age 62, died February 17, 2014; 17 Adar 1, 5774. BEATLES from page 20 Lewis said. “However, he had unhappiness. He was always fearful. Knowing the parasitic and venal attitudes of the English tabloids, he never wanted his personal life to be a burden on the Beatles. He lived in fear that if he was ever outed publicly, or involved in some upsetting circumstance where his homosexuality came to public light, that would hurt the Beatles. It was constant running anxiety but not depression.” Five decades after the band’s historic appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” Lewis explains that Epstein understood how the Beatles “needed to have their rough edges polished to get on television.” “To do that he got them to wear suits and do that synchronized bow,” Lewis said. “He told them to put the focus on their music, not just telling jokes. All that polish was essential. He did this before they got on television, and then when they did get on they were polished and ready to go. They were hugely excited to be in America. The reason they looked so confident was because Brian had instilled that in them.”
SURVIVOR from page 6 him with her own hopefulness. “What she did reminded me of Roberto Benigni in the Italian film ‘Life is Beautiful,’ “ said Malcolm Clarke, director of “The Lady in Number 6.” “He plays an Italian Jew who pretends to his young son that life in the camp is some kind of elaborate game for the boy’s special amusement.” Liberated in 1945, Alice and Rafi returned to Prague but four years later left for Israel. There she taught at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and performed in concerts frequently attended by Golda Meir, while Rafi became a concert cellist. Alice said she loved her 37 years living in Israel, but when Rafi, her BEIT SHEMESH from page10 hurt themselves/become suicidal. Many leave religion. Others become perpetrators themselves. Rabbi Yaakov Haber, rabbi of Kehillat Shivtei Yeshurun in Ramat Beit Shemesh, has been supportive of Magen. He said the organization has given potential perpetrators a fear they did not have before. “It took away their safe haven,” he told JNS, explaining that a perpetrator might now think twice before acting on his inclination for fear of public and legal repercussions. The rabbi also made clear that he does not think there is more abuse in the haredi community than in any other community, but rather, there are additional complications members of the haredi community consider before reporting such a crime. For one, he said, most Orthodox
“Supermarkets are recognizing that it just makes economic sense to court this particular constituency,” Lubinsky said of kosher consumers. “It’s a lead-in to keep the customer shopping the rest of the store, which sometimes is more lucrative than what they’re buying in the kosher sections.” A lot goes into turning a supermarket kosher. First, there’s the market research, which in Boca’s case meant surveying a three-mile radius around the store to assess demand. The company collected data from Jewish federations, institutions and local synagogues; interviewed Jewish community leaders; convened focus groups of shoppers and even considered the local Muslim community, whose needs for halal meat can be satisfied by kosher. Winn-Dixie, which went into bankruptcy for a year in the mid2000s, already had figured out that niche markets could be a big win – not just kosher, but Hispanic and organic too. Winn-Dixie’s first successful kosher operation was a small deli counter that opened in 2004 in a store in Aventura, near Miami. That was followed in 2007 by the opening of a kosher deli and bakery in its Tamarac store, and then an expansion in 2011
of the Aventura store that doubled the kosher deli’s size and added a meat cutting room and bakery. Business soared. Within months, Winn-Dixie was adding specialty items from Israel and New York and drawing up plans for Boca, which would be its biggest-ever kosher operation. Meanwhile, Shapiro, an Orthodox Jew who was WinnDixie’s kosher category manager at the time, was leading a companywide kosher expansion, getting kosher certification for as many Winn-Dixie private-label products as qualified for it. In the last eight years, the company’s kosher brand presence has grown by 80 percent, according to Shapiro. The company also launched a Winn-Dixie-branded kosher line of pareve (non-dairy) baked goods, including black-and-white cookies, linzer tarts, macaroons, rainbow cookies and challah. Today, customers can walk into any Winn-Dixie store in the five states the company operates – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi – and buy challah or have the store order it for them. In all, 135 Winn-Dixie stores carry some specialty kosher items, though only the three in South Florida have in-store kosher supervi-
sion. One of the biggest hits at the flagship store in Boca has been the kosher pizza, which at $9.99 for a pie with toppings is a steal by kosher standards. Some customers take home unbaked pies; others have the store bake the pizzas for them and then eat them at the store’s small seating area. “The kosher pizza is so popular that even in our stores where we don’t have kosher pizza it doesn’t go as fast as the kosher pizza in Boca,” Shapiro said. “The loss that we get from not having pepperoni doesn’t outweigh the gain we get from offering kosher pizza.” Despite the scope of its kosher offerings, Shapiro says Winn-Dixie is not trying to drive kosher-only markets out of business. The owner of the closest local kosher grocer in Boca declined to discuss the impact of Winn-Dixie’s expansion on his business. “We’ll never be able to carry 100 percent of what they offer,” Shapiro said. “He can have four different cuts of veal and five different cuts of lamb; I might have just a lamb chop. “We are there for the convenience of a one-stop shop, so if you decide you want to make spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, we have the basics – plus a little bit extra.”
only child, decided to move to London, she went with him. A few years later Rafi died at 65, but the mother remained in her small flat, No. 6, in a North London apartment house. Nearly all of the film was shot over a two-year period inside the flat dominated by an old Steinway piano on which Alice played four hours each day, to the enjoyment of her neighbors. Originally the filmmakers considered “Dancing Under the Gallows” as the film’s title before going with “The Lady in Number 6.” It was a wise decision, for the film is anything but a grim Holocaust documentary with Alice’s unfailing affirmation of life, usually accompanied by gusts of laughter.
Her health and speech have declined in recent months, and she no longer does interviews. But in a brief phone conversation, conducted mainly in German, Alice attributed her outlook partially to having been born with optimistic genes and a positive attitude. “I know there is bad in the world, but I look for the good,” she said, and “music is my life, music is God.” At 104, she took up the study of philosophy and likes to quote German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who said “Without music, life would be a mistake.” The film is peppered with such observations, which coming from anyone else might be considered a sign of Candide-like naivete. A sampling of her sayings:
“Wherever you look, there is beauty everywhere”; “After a century on the keyboard, I still look for perfection”; “I’m so old because I use my brain constantly. The brain is the body’s best medicine”; and “A sense of humor keeps us balanced in all circumstances, even death.” Many of the observations are recorded by Caroline Stoessinger in her book “A Century of Wisdom: Lessons from the Life of Alice HerzSommer, the World’s Oldest Living Holocaust Survivor,” which forms the basis for the film and her onscreen interviews. Stoessinger, a New York concert pianist, interviewed Alice and her friends over a period of 15 years and became an ardent admirer of her subject.
communities are close-knit, which means everyone knows and/or is related to everyone else. “Once you run to the police and report this man… all of a sudden his [seven] kids are having difficulty in school, the wife is struggling-it is just a tremendous amount of pain,” said Haber. “This is really the fault of the poor choice of the abuser, but you can understand … how it will affect every single aspect of a very large family-even cousins.” Additionally, he said there is a perception-especially in Israel, where “everything is so politicized”that the press will jump on any report of abuse and make it a bigger issue than it might be. Nonetheless, Haber advocates for turning to the police. So do most parents of victims, when they know what their options are and how cases will be handled. At a recent Magen
event titled “Who are the people in our neighborhood,” dramatic presentations of three real Magen cases, written by local parents of children who were sexually abused, were read to the audience by volunteers. One boy was molested by the teenage son of a well-known community rabbi. “We all assumed the perpetrator was some drifter from outside the community. We never imagined it could be a boy from a successful family within our own community,” said Parent A, who remained anonymous. “This boy was not some kid off the derech [non-religious kid]. His family was the derech we all admired and aspired to achieve.” Parent A was told not to work through Magen, and not to work with the police by some area rabbis. But he worked with Magen anyway. Shortly thereafter, similar stories
began to surface. With people aware and looking for the perpetrator, one afternoon he was caught shortly after he abused another victim. “The boy was arrested. He has been placed under the supervision of the courts. … My 8-year-old’s cry for help and our full disclosure has led to other boys being saved,” said Parent A. In another case, two young girls were molested by their 70-year-old grandfather. Parent B filed a report, and the grandfather and the young girls are getting the help they need. “Sometimes doing the right thing will not make everyone happy,” said Parent B. “But it has to be done.” “The more we speak about [sexual abuse], the more we write about it, the more we stand against it, the greater chance we have of preventing it,” Jaskoll said.
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Boymel Contributions Beautify Nahariya There are times when one hears about something but doesn’t quite get it or truly understand it until seen first-hand. This is often the case when people hear about the work being done at the Jewish Discovery Center in Mason but misunderstand its significance, and even misjudge its necessity, until they’ve experienced it personally. Rabbi Yosef Kalmanson had a similar experience a few weeks ago. Having traveled to Israel for an extended period of time to upgrade his training as a Mohel for the benefit of the Greater Cincinnati area, Kalmanson decided to see for himself that which he had heard of for years. Taking a break from intense Mohel training in Jerusalem’s Shaarei Tzedek Medical Center, the rabbi dedicated a day to visit the City of Nahariya. His goal: to see first-hand the impact Cincinnati-based philanthropists, Sam and Rachel Boymel, have had on this northernmost Israeli coastal city of about 64,000. Nahariya, a beautiful seaside city located about 30 kilometers north of Haifa on a stunning stretch of the Mediterranean coast, has become a popular tourist resort and is considered the capital of the Western Galilee. It was a day well spent. He was wowed by the beauty of the city and the ever present reminder of the Boymels’ continuous impact there. The day began with meeting the Mayor of Nahariya, Mr. Jackie Sabag. Upon hearing that Rabbi Kalmanson was in town the mayor dropped everything to meet with the rabbi right away. Mr. Sabag raved about the Boymels and expressed much gratitude for their continuing strong support. The Mayor considers the Sam and Rachel personal friends and enthusiastically outlined their involvement in so many different aspects of Nahariya life. From culture to recreation, from education to immigrant resettlement, to helping the needy with basic and medical necessities, the Boymels contribute across the spectrum. The Mayor appointed his right-hand staffer, Galia Mor, to accompany Rabbi Yosef and guide him around town. The impression he came away with, so clearly, was that the Boymels were an integral part of this town and its revitalization. They began in the center of town, where the community dedicated a major intersection to Sam and Rachel Boymel, showing their love and appreciation. Called Kikar Boymel, the roundabout is decorated beautifully with color and flora. The Boymel Yad Labanim is a jewel in Nahariya and was established by Sam and Rachel to honor the fallen soldiers and terror victims of the town. It serves the families of the victims by offering a variety of programs to engage them in a communal setting and enhance their social life. This charming campus offers art and culture opportunities, Torah classes, a Synagogue and a beautiful auditorium for plays and productions which is currently being enlarged to add modern dressing rooms. The center offers a Yad vShem style computer center featuring
Rabbi Yosef Kalmanson with Mayor Jackie Sabag
the lives and history of the local men and women who perished in service of their country. A beautiful shrine featuring an everlasting flame and 232 plaques displaying a respective hero’s name is a central feature upon entry. Walking across the beautifully maintained campus with a hot sun baking down in the middle of the winter, Galia impressed the rabbi with the history of Nahariya and the long-standing support of the Boymels in the resurgence of the town since 1980 and Project Renewal. He hears about how the community of
Shchunat Katzenelson was reenergized as a result of Sam and Rachel’s foresight and their funding of recreational sights around the community. With their seed gift, a matching grant from the Israeli government, and additional help from the Jewish Federation, Nahariya built expansive tennis and racketball courts within sight of the Galilee mountains and the Lebanese border. The view is breathtaking and the site serves the whole city while attracting leagues and public matches. The city proudly displays the many trophies it has earned over the
years. “Wherever I went,” said Kalmanson, “I observed that the Boymels are getting high returns on their investment in this town.” The city treats these ventures with care and foresight, meticulously maintaining these sights, keeping them attractive and ensuring lengthy and productive usage. Nahariya boasts an active arts and cultural center with over 500 music students and multiple bands including a 60-person orchestra which tours around the world. The center is home to theater, dance, films and children's shows. Called the "Meidatech 2000," this stunning center has a computerized public library, music center, community center and sculpture park. It boasts an entire multi-media floor, a dedicated Jewish library equipped with state of the art computer programs for cross referencing and Torah research, and a safe room with games and videos. The Sam and Rachel Boymel Cultural hall rivals that of any large American city, with bleacher seating and beautiful dressing rooms. The true beauty of the Boymels’ contribution reverberates beyond the magnificent structures around town, to the heart of true Tzedakah. They contribute significant capital to the Nahariya Fund which, under Mayor Jackie Sabag’s oversight, is utilized to help the needy. The funds help cover scholarships for Nahariya’s 10,000 students, basic needs and medical intervention for the city’s underprivileged, and for Ethiopian resettlement. “I came away truly amazed by the acts of Sam and Rachel Boymel, Holocaust survivors turned renowned international philanthropists,” says Kalmanson. Mr. Boymel often recounts how his mother stressed the importance of continuity, even as she urged him to flee from certain death in his home town of Turijsk, Ukraine during the Holocaust. "She yelled to me in Yiddish ‘run, my son, run away, but always remember from where you have come,’” Boymel says. Rabbi Kalmanson got to see up close how Mr. Boymel is heeding her call through his Tzedakah. In addition to extensive philanthropy in the Greater Cincinnati area and their support of the Jewish Discovery Center, he has seen first-hand their international reach. “I can now better appreciate why Sam and Rachel have been honored by so many organizations,” the rabbi notes, including State of Israel Bonds, which awarded him the Israel Peace Award, and the gates of Jerusalem Medal and Elie Wiesel Humanitarian Award. Mr. and Mrs. Boymel are honoring the lives of those who did not survive the Shoah as they bring light to the far corners of the world through their support. Their partnership with the Jewish Discovery Center and with Chabad organizations is consistent with this theme. Together with Chabad the Boymels are transforming darkness into light through random acts of goodness and kindness, practiced with love and without discrimination. Yasher Koach!
Published on Feb 19, 2014