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VOL. 160 • NO. 38

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Story of a “Child Star”: Dr. Henry Fenichel recounts his Holocaust experience Dr. Henry Fenichel, Holocaust survivor and Professor Emeritus of physics at the University of Cincinnati, will recount his story as a preschooler forced by Nazis to wear a yellow star signifying his religion on May 1, 2014. This event is free of charge and will be held at the Center for Holocaust and Humanity at Rockwern Academy. There is also free admission to the CHHE exhibit from 6:00-7:00pm before the event. Fenichel, who did not speak openly about his experiences until the early 1990's, is now sharing his life story with hundreds of peopleincluding young school children. What prompted Dr. Fenichel to break his silence on his past was the opening of the Holocaust Memorial Museum dedicated in Washington, D.C in 1993. Each community looked for a local survivor, and Dr. Fenichel was interviewed by the Cincinnati Enquirer to represent survivors living in Cincinnati at the opening of the museum. Along with his own story, Dr. Fenichel will share the story of Israeli astronaut, Ilan Romon (who lost his life on the Columbia Space

Shuttle tragedy in 2003). Dr. Fenichel met Romon's wife after a video conference between Cincinnati and Isreli school children in 2006. Romon was the first Israeli astronaut and the son and grandson of Holocaust survivors. Dr. Henry Fenichel was born in the Netherlands and lived a selfdescribed "happy childhood". Everything changed when the Nazi's invaded in 1940. At the age of six, he and his mother were sent to the Westerbork Detention Camp, which served as a transit camp for over 107,000 Jews before they were deported to extermination camps.

Only 5,200 of the people who passed through Westerbork survived. Dr. Fenichel and his mother were transported to Bergen-Belsen camp and later exchanged for German civilians held abroad and then escaped to Palestine. While in Palestine Dr. Feinchel witnessed the creation of the state of Israel and the beginning of the Palestinian/Israel conflict that continues today. Eventually he made his way to the United States where he settled down less than a mile away from Hillcrest Academy in the suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Exhibit documents a century in the life of the Queen City CINCINNATI – A century’s worth of black and white photographs from Cincinnati Museum Center’s collections will provide a window into the Queen City between 1860 and 1960. Look through the photographer’s lens and revisit images that document Cincinnati’s neighborhoods, architecture and people over a century of change and progress in Treasures in Black & White: Historic Photographs of Cincinnati, opening April 25 at Cincinnati Museum Center. The exhibit combines over 65 images with historical artifacts, archival materials and other visual media from the Museum Center’s collections to bring this period of Cincinnati’s history to life. The exhibit will take you from the Cincinnati Zoo to Coney Island, from the aftermath of the Civil War to the World War II victory celebration and from the Miami-Erie Canal to the city’s flooded streets. “The photographs show Cincinnati as a microcosm of the nation, a city that flourished through a mixture of races, religions and ethnicities,” says Douglass McDonald, president and CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. “It really brings back memories for people and we want them to feel a connection to other Cincinnatians, both past and present, as they view this exhibit.”

Plum Street Temple.

“The historic Plum Street Temple is a source of pride for the Cincinnati Jewish community and for our family,” say Jennifer, Eric and Eli Dauer. “Our son, Eli, is the sixth generation to have the privilege to worship in this beautiful sanctuary.” Morris and Pat Passer were also moved by a photo of Plum Street Temple from the early 1900s. The image shows three different architectural styles coming together at the intersection of Plum and Eighth streets in 1953: St. Peter in Chains Cathedral, City Hall and Plum Street Temple. “As members of Isaac M. Wise Temple, we think that the ‘Avenue of the Spire’ is not only

important architecturally, but also symbolic of the cordial relationship between City Hall, the Cathedral and the Temple,” said the Passers. Treasures in Black & White is a personal and nostalgic look at Cincinnati between 1860 and 1960, a century that saw dramatic changes in the city’s demographic and social structure. It also provides visitors with a look at the cultural and religious institutions that have made the city what it is today. Treasures in Black & White: Historic Photographs of Cincinnati opens April 25 and runs through October 12 at Cincinnati Museum Center.



Snow birds hear update from Federation, learn about new initiatives in Jewish Cincinnati On March 2-3, the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati held the 14th annual “Cincinnati Florida Reunion”—bringing together members of the Cincinnati Jewish community who spend considerable time in Florida—to share the latest developments from our local community. Two separate events were held this year, for the convenience of guests in the Palm Beach/Jupiter and Boynton Beach/Boca Raton areas. The first event, on March 2, took place at Pam and Bernie Barbash’s home in Palm Beach Gardens, and the other on March 3 at Gloria Forman’s home in Boynton Beach. Attendees heard about the role the Federation is playing to heighten collaboration among local organizations. Shep Englander, CEO of the Jewish Federation; Marc Fisher, CEO of the Mayerson JCC; and Beth Guttman, a trustee of The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati; explained how Cincinnati’s Jewish agencies have been




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assessing their strengths and focusing their resources to deliver unparalleled services. Examples given at the events include the Federation’s financing of back-office services (such as Accounting and Human Resources) to six other organizations; and the Jewish

Foundation’s funding an initiative to ensure the security of local Jewish institutions. The Federation’s Chief Development Officer Danielle V. Minson and Director of Gift Planning and Endowments Jim Friedman discussed two new initiatives to sustain our community’s financial resources

into the future. Community Campaign CoChair Jay Price and Major Gifts Co-Chair Marty Hiudt gave an update on the Campaign.

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 ROBERT WILHELMY Dining Editor


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Whether they are from a Bar Mitzvah, Annual Meeting, School Field Trip or Your Congregation’s Annual Picnic, spread the joy and share them with our readers in the Cincinnati Jewish Life section!

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MAIL: MAIL Send CD to The American Israelite, 18 W 9th St Ste 2, Cincinnati, OH 45202 or E-MAIL: E-MAIL Please make sure to include a Word doc. that includes the captions, if available, and a short synopsis of the event (date, place, reason, etc.). If sending photos by e-mail, please send them in batches of 3-5 per e-mail (16MB MAX). All photos should be Hi-Res to ensure print quality. THIS IS 100% FREE. For more information, please contact Jennifer at (513) 621-3145. All photos are subject to review before publishing.

THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE (USPS 019-320) is published weekly for $44 per year and $1.00 per single copy in Cincinnati and $49 per year and $2.00 per single copy elsewhere in U.S. by The American Israelite Co. 18 West Ninth Street, Suite 2, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-2037. Periodicals postage paid at Cincinnati, OH. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE, 18 West Ninth Street, Suite 2, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-2037. The views and opinions expressed by the columnists of The American Israelite do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the newspaper.



Pollard, settlement freeze, prisoners in the mix amid peace talks crisis By Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA) – Possibilities raised during efforts to resolve the current crisis over Israeli-Palestinian peace talks include freeing Jonathan Pollard, a partial settlement freeze, guarantees that Palestinians won’t push for international recognition and a mass prisoner release. Officials close to the talks confirmed to JTA that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had discussed a formula that would extend the IsraeliPalestinian peace talks, now on the verge of collapse, into 2015. Among other elements discussed were: • The release of Pollard, the American spy for Israel sentenced to life imprisonment in 1987, by Passover later this month. • A freeze on new housing starts in West Bank settlements. The freeze would not include Jerusalem, would not include infrastructure such as schools or roads and would not apply to existing projects. • The release of 26 Palestinian terrorists who were to have been released over the weekend, including for the first time Arab Israelis, as well as another 400 Palestinians in prison. Israel would have final say on which prisoners would be released as part of the 400, and none of those would be people who had been involved in any killings. • A commitment by the Palestinians to stay at the negotiations table until 2015, under condi-

tions that include abiding by a pledge not to seek statehood recognition. Kerry, in Brussels to discuss the Ukraine crisis with European allies and just returned from meetings in Israel with Netanyahu, would not confirm these details in comments to reporters. But he said he had assurances from the Israeli and Palestinian leaders that the talks would continue at least until April 29, the deadline Kerry set last July when he reconvened Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. “Even tonight both parties say they want to try and find a way forward,” Kerry said in Brussels. He warned the sides that the success of the process was in their hands. “We will do everything in our power, President Obama is as committed to this as anybody,” he said. “Facilitation is only as good as the willingness of leaders to actually make decisions when they’re in front of them.” It was not clear if Kerry would return to Ramallah as earlier announced to present any plan to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Reports said that Abbas had cancelled their Wednesday meeting, then that Kerry had cancelled it. “We have certain things we’re trying to figure out regarding the logistics on the ground,” Kerry said, referring to whether he would return to the region. A barrage of conflicting reports and actions continued to emerge from both camps in the region. Among these was Abbas’ sud-



2014 Passover Cover Coloring Contest entries can be seen at Marx Hot Bagels 9701 KENWOOD ROAD • BLUE ASH

Courtesy of Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

Israelis calling for the release of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard during President Obama’s visit to Jerusalem, March 19, 2013.

den decision to sign applications for state-level membership in 15 international agencies and conventions, in apparent defiance of the principles guiding these peace talks. The move was made in retaliation for Israel’s failure to release a final batch of 26 prisoners as promised by March 29, as agreed to under the terms guiding the peace talks. Israel has already released 78 prisoners connected to fatal terrorist attacks as it had agreed to, but Israeli Cabinet ministers said they want Abbas to commit to another nine months of talks before releasing the final batch. Kerry in Brussels said that Abbas’ applications did not technically violate the agreement because he was not applying to United Nations agencies. Israel insisted Abbas suspend such bids as a precondition for reconvening

the peace talks last year. It was not clear which 15 agencies and conventions Abbas had selected, although an anonymous Palestinian official told The New York Times they included the Geneva conventions for treatment of combatants and civilians in war; the Vienna convention, which could refer to a number of treaties governing relations between nations; and agencies “dealing with women’s and children’s rights.” The official told the Times that the Palestinians did not apply for membership in two international courts, the move Israel fears most because it could facilitate war crimes prosecutions against Israelis. The release of Pollard as part of a peace deal has been an Israeli demand since Netanyahu raised it in his first stint as prime minister

during the 1998 U.S.-IsraelPalestinian talks that produced the Wye River agreement. According to officials involved in the original investigation of Pollard, he may be released in any case next year under laws in place at the time of his 1985 arrest that required the paroled release of life sentences after 30 years. Advocates for Pollard insist this is not the case. Pollard has been eligible for parole for 19 years but has not applied; the Associated Press reported that Pollard had waived a planned parole hearing that was to have taken place on Tuesday. The report, quoting officials at the federal prison in Butner, N.C., where Pollard is being held, did not explain why he agreed to go ahead with the hearing, why he then waived it and whether it was connected to peace process. A number of lawmakers, mostly Democrats, have in recent years said that Pollard, 59, should be granted clemency on humanitarian grounds. The top two senators on the Senate’s Intelligence Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the chairwoman, and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), told The Daily Beast that they opposed the release. Two Jewish groups, the Zionist Organization of America and the Anti-Defamation League, as well as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Pollard should be released on humanitarian grounds and not as part of a peace deal.



In Hobby Lobby contraceptive case, arguing about kosher butchers By Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA) – For 20 or so minutes last week, the issue of religious freedom was cast as a struggle between working women and Muslim and Jewish butchers. The pointed questions posed March 25 to the Obama administration’s chief lawyer by three U.S. Supreme Court justices got to the heart of whether businesses have the same constitutional religious protections as individuals. National Jewish groups, united 20 years ago in passing the law that consolidated the religious freedom protections, are on opposite sides in the current battle at the Supreme Court, which is considering two federal court decisions concerning President Obama’s signature legislation, the 2010 Affordable Care Act. Seven Orthodox groups in an amicus brief said rights established under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 should extend to companies that do not wish to provide certain kinds of contraceptive coverage to their employees. Nine Jewish advocacy groups in two separate briefs said the rights of women seeking such coverage should be preeminent. Under the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, companies must make available to their employees in their health insurance policies the full range of mandated coverage, including contraceptive services. There is

Courtesy of Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Demonstrators rally outside of the U.S. Supreme Court during oral arguments in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby March 25, 2014 in Washington.

an exemption for religious institutions and a work-around for their affiliated nonprofits. Two for-profit companies, Hobby Lobby, a crafts chain, and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a cabinet maker, both privately owned by devout Christians, objected to the contraceptive mandate. Hobby Lobby won in court, Conestoga lost and the Supreme Court is now settling the case. While the case is about contraceptives, the issue of kosher slaughter ended up being a big part of the back-and-forth during oral arguments. Citing recent Danish legislation, Justice Samuel Alito, an appointee of President George W. Bush, asked

Solicitor General Donald Verrilli what rights would be available, given the administration’s arguments on behalf of the contraceptive mandate, to kosher and halal butchers should Congress ban their ritual slaughter methods as cruel. “What would a corporation that is a kosher or halal slaughterhouse do?” Alito asked. “They would simply have no recourse whatsoever. They couldn’t even get a day in court.” Verrilli responded that such a law would be unconstitutional because it targeted specific faiths. Justice Anthony Kennedy, an appointee of President Reagan, interjected, then expanded the hypothetical to suggest the law would be

framed not as targeting a religion but as advancing animal rights. “They say no animal may be slaughtered unless it’s stunned first, unless the animal is rendered unconscious before it is slaughtered,” Kennedy said, describing his hypothetical law as having “no animus to religion at all.” Verrilli replied that customers could then bring suit as third parties harmed by the law. Justice Stephen Breyer, who is Jewish, was not satisfied with the answer. “The point that Justice Alito was making is that take five Jewish or Muslim butchers and what you’re saying to them is if they choose to work under the corporate form, which is viewed universally, you have to give up on that form the Freedom of Exercise Clause that you’d otherwise have,” said Breyer, an appointee of President Clinton. “Now, looked at that way, I don’t think it matters whether they call themselves a corporation or whether they call themselves individuals. I mean, I think that’s the question you’re being asked, and I need to know what your response is to it.” Verrilli, citing precedent, said that “when you incorporate as a forprofit corporation, you are making a choice to live by the rules that govern you and your competitors in the commercial sphere.” Justices’ questions in oral arguments are not always a predictor of their rulings, but Orthodox groups

took heart in the citation of the rights of Muslim and Jewish butchers, and in the tough questions, particularly from Breyer, a usually reliable church-state separationist. “I thought that it was a great argument,” said Nathan Diament, the the Orthodox Union’s Washington director, referring to the exchange. Nathan Lewin, the lawyer who helped write the amicus brief for the Orthodox groups, which also included Agudath Israel of America and the National Council of Young Israel, among others, said Verrilli’s response was disappointing. “Justices William Brennan and Potter Stewart did not agree with that proposition when, more than 50 years ago, they voted to uphold the constitutional right of Orthodox Jewish store owners to keep their stores open on Sunday because their faith forced them to be closed on Saturdays,” Lewin told the CNS news site. Brennan and Stewart were dissenters in the 1961 Crown Kosher case who supported the right of a Massachusetts kosher market to remain open on Sundays when the state banned Sunday business. In the case, the court ruled that the market had to obey the state’s closure laws. Defenders of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga have been at pains to emphasize that their corporations are privately owned, a bid to deflect HOBBY LOBBY on page 22

Braun’s back, Kinsler’s in Detroit and other Jewish Major Leaguers By Hillel Kuttler BALTIMORE (JTA) – In the biblical tradition of lingering in the desert en route to the Promised Land, Major League Baseball teams are packing up and embarking on their exodus from Arizona (and Florida) spring training sites to begin the new season. Rosters won’t be finalized until this weekend, but nine Jewish players are likely to make the journey, led by Moses and Aaron – er, Ian Kinsler and Ryan Braun. A Jewish perennial, Kevin Youkilis, late of the New York Yankees, signed with Japan’s Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles for this season. And veteran pitcher Jason Marquis, a free agent who won nine games last season with the San Diego Padres, was still looking for a team. Filling out the Jewish roster are mostly middle-of-the-road role players without any up-and-comers at the major league level. The World Series champion Boston Red Sox and the expected also-ran New York Mets each feature two Jewish players, and the Detroit Tigers have one player (and maybe a second later in the season) along with new manager Brad Ausmus, who guided the

Courtesy of Scott Paulus/Milwaukee Brewers

Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers

Israeli team’s World Baseball Classic entry in 2012. “At the risk of seeming too sunny, it’s a terrific group,” Howard Megdal, author of “The Baseball Talmud” and a writer for’s “Sports on Earth,” told JTA, though the subsequent demotion of three players who had played in the majors in 2013 darkened his rosy outlook. While no one besides Kinsler and Braun, who returns to the field after sitting out the last 65 games of

last season for violating MLB’s drug program, projects as an all-star, the group is impressive academically, at least. Ryan Lavarnway and Craig Breslow of the Red Sox attended Yale; Sam Fuld of the Oakland Athletics, Stanford; and the Mets’ Josh Satin, California, Berkeley. (The tribe’s GPA dropped when Athletics first baseman Nate Freiman, a Duke alumnus, and Houston Astros pitcher Josh Zeid, from Vanderbilt and Tulane, were

optioned to the minors on Monday. Two days earlier, Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar went south, too.) Then there’s Ausmus, a Dartmouth graduate who is making his managerial debut with one of several teams he played for during a distinguished catching career. The reinforcements are promising. After bringing Joc Pederson to Australia, where they swept the Arizona Diamondbacks last weekend in two season-opening games, the Los Angeles Dodgers sent the outfielder to AAA Albuquerque (the desert again); he is considered a future star. Left-handed pitcher Max Fried, the seventh overall draft pick two years ago, is moving up the San Diego Padres system, while another southpaw, Rob Kaminsky, was the St. Louis Cardinals’ first-round selection last year. If the trio can summit baseball’s Mount Sinai, they would join the current Chosen Ones there: Ian Kinsler, Detroit Tigers, second base, ninth season. The offseason saw a blockbuster trade sending Kinsler to Motown from the Texas Rangers for slugging first baseman Prince Fielder. Over the past six seasons, Kinsler has averaged 150 hits,

20 home runs and 23 stolen bases. He has played in three All-Star Games and is a proven clutch player, helping the Rangers to their only World Series appearances (in 2010 and 2011) and batting .311 in the postseason. Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers, outfielder, eighth season. Returning from suspension, few in baseball are in greater need of a high on-field profile and a low one off it. The “Hebrew Hammer” can expect to face the ire of fans away from Milwaukee for passing the buck regarding his use of steroids. He isn’t likely to address the matter, so Braun’s bat will have to do the talking. Steroids enabled or not, Braun did win Rookie of the Year (2007) and Most Valuable Player (2011) honors, and is a five-time All-Star. Scott Feldman, Houston Astros, starting pitcher, 10th season. Feldman signed a $30 million, threeyear contract with the Astros last winter, bringing him back to the Lone Star State. That’s where the righty spent his first eight big league seasons as a member of the Rangers, producing a career-best 17-8 record in 2009. Feldman went 12-12 last MLB on page 22



Does the RCA hold too much sway over Orthodox conversion? By Uriel Heilman NEW YORK (JTA) – Be afraid. Be very afraid. Even if you converted to Judaism under Orthodox auspices, your conversion may be called into question by the Israeli Chief Rabbinate and the Rabbinical Council of America, the main centrist Orthodox rabbinical group in the United States. If you live in Israel, this means your ability to marry a Jew is in jeopardy. That’s the warning that some critics of the RCA are promoting following the airing of one woman’s story whose U.S. conversion as an infant some 35 years ago was questioned recently by the Israeli Rabbinate. When the RCA’s rabbinical court, the Beth Din of America, was asked by the Chief Rabbinate for input on the case involving Karen Brunwasser, it said it could not affirm the validity of her conversion. The incident – which nearly derailed Brunwasser’s wedding to an Israeli Jew, according to a recent essay she published in the Washington Jewish Week – shows how much sway the RCA has when it comes to deciding the fates of converts, even ex post facto. The case also highlights the dangers of centralizing conversion authority, critics say, because converts who haven’t gone through the RCA’s approved process are unfairly suspect. “When you’re centralizing

National Briefs Wesleyan University Jewish students reject Hillel International’s Israel guidelines (JNS) – A group of 12 current and former Jewish student leaders at Connecticut-based Wesleyan University announced that the Hillel International-affiliated Wesleyan Jewish Community has rejected the Jewish campus umbrella’s Israel guidelines. Hillel’s standards of partnership state that it “will not partner with, house, or host organizations, groups, or speakers that as a matter of policy or practice: Deny the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish and democratic state with secure and recognized borders; Delegitimize, demonize, or apply a double standard to Israel; Support boycott of, divestment from, or sanctions against the State of Israel; Exhibit a pattern of disruptive behavior towards campus events or guest speakers or foster an atmosphere of incivility.”

authority, to whom are the people you’ve given this power responsible to?” Rabbi Avi Weiss, founder of the liberal Orthodox rabbinical school Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, told JTA. “A convert’s evaluation can continue till the end of their lives.” Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld, a Weiss ally who leads a Washington synagogue, argues that Brunwasser’s case has dramatic implications. “We now know that the RCA is casting aspersions on prior conversions by its own members,” Herzfeld wrote in a March 6 JTA Op-Ed.

“Despite what the RCA promised in 2008, it is retroactively negating and rooting out converts who were for decades fully integrated into the Orthodox Jewish community. In doing so, it has set a dangerous precedent that should make every convert afraid and all of us angry and disappointed in its leadership.” In at least one respect, the RCA’s critics are right: Anyone whose conversion to Judaism predates the establishment in 2008 of RCA conversion guidelines called Geirus Policies and Standards (GPS), or whose conversion took place after 2008 but did not follow the GPS guidelines, may find his or her conversion subject to review. That’s the case even if the rabbi who presided over the conversion was an RCA member. But while the critics lay blame on the GPS system, the RCA says this practice of review is nothing new: It always has responded to inquiries from the Israeli Rabbinate about conversions, and the review of old cases isn’t proactive but reactive – initiated only in cases where another rabbinate, in Israel or elsewhere, asks about a particular conversion. Furthermore, lack of affirmation of a conversion doesn’t equal annulment, the RCA says. “The Beth Din of America cannot offer a blanket endorsement of conversions by members of the RCA, nor can it offer a blanket nonendorsement of conversions,” Rabbi Leonard Matanky, the RCA’s president, told JTA. “When asked, each

case is reviewed individually.” Because the RCA doesn’t police its members’ actions, the establishment of the GPS guidelines was an attempt to standardize conversion practices so the RCA could certify those conversions it deems kosher – much like a kashrut organization grants kosher certification. But as with kashrut, lack of certification doesn’t necessarily mean a particular conversion is unkosher. “When asked to endorse a conversion done outside the GPS policy, whether before GPS or outside of GPS, the Beth Din of America will review each case and make a determination whether it abides by the GPS standards,” Matanky said. “Even when the beit din [religious court that performed the conversion] says it did not abide by GPS standards, it does not mean the conversion has been voided.” But Weiss, whose own Orthodox rabbinic credentials came under scrutiny several months ago when the Israeli Rabbinate rejected a letter from him affirming the Jewishness of someone seeking to marry in Israel, says the RCA is unfairly applying tough new standards to old conversions. “There’s no doubt their standards have changed,” Weiss said. “It’s one thing if somebody asks you to make an evaluation. But you’re evaluating conversions that took place 30 years ago, and your evaluation is based on your post-GPS standards. Had the RCA been asked about the conversion 20 or 30 years ago, the RCA

would have signed off on it.” Weiss says the RCA’s bid to centralize conversion authority has made conversion onerous for converts, particularly those who live in cities where religious courts, or beit dins, do not meet regularly. Though an RCA member, Weiss has been at odds with the association since the early days of the liberal Orthodox rabbinical school he founded in 1999 in Riverdale, N.Y. Other moves by Weiss, to ordain Orthodox clergywomen and launch an alternative rabbinic organization, the International Rabbinic Fellowship, have added to the strain. The controversy over the RCA is limited to the Orthodox community, but the implications of the Israeli Rabbinate’s decisions on converts are not. Non-Orthodox converts who want to marry a Jew-by-birth in Israel are pretty much up the creek: The Israeli Rabbinate, which has a monopoly over Jewish marriage in Israel, does not recognize nonOrthodox conversions at all. With no civil marriage in the Jewish state, that leaves few options for couples in which one partner is recognized by the Rabbinate as a Jew and the other is not. The nonJewish partner can undergo an Orthodox conversion, a lengthy process that requires committing to Orthodox Jewish practice. Or the couple can marry overseas, civilly or otherwise, and the marriage will be recognized by the Israeli Interior Ministry.

The Wesleyan students are aligning with the “Open Hillel” movement, which rejects Hillel’s Israel guidelines, following the same move by Swarthmore Hillel and the Vassar College Jewish Union. “We are committed to a conversation around Judaism and Israel that reflects the values of the members of our community, rather than the political preferences of the leaders of Hillel International,” the Wesleyan students stated. Daniel Mael, co-founder of “Safe Hillel”-a group created as an alternative to Open Hillel-told JNS, “Unfortunately these [Wesleyan] students are opening the door to anti-Semitic and or anti-Zionist speakers to have a forum in Hillel. I think it is inappropriate and adds to the atmosphere of intimidation that pro-Israel students face on campus from anti-Israel bullies.”

“Jewish groups that support BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions)” from marching in the June 1 Celebrate Israel Parade in New York City. Rabbi Elie Abadie-leader of New York’s Edmond J. Safra Synagogue-wrote in a letter to UJAFederation and JCRC leaders that the groups’ “disguise of being legitimate ‘Pro-Israel Jewish Groups’ has been already discovered and revealed as false.” “These are the same groups who continue to accuse Israel of being an Apartheid State and a human rights violator, likening Israel to Nazi Germany,” Abadie wrote. “They are the ones who supported and celebrated the Goldstone Report, falsely accusing Israel of war crimes… We must not condone their actions, let alone allow anti-Israel groups to march under the banner of a legitimate group celebrating Israel.”

Hezbollah. Titled the “Hezbollah International Financial Prevention Act,” the legislation seeks to impose “severe new sanctions” on Hezbollah’s fundraising channels as well as “restrict its ability to use funds” that finance its international terror network. It was introduced by U.S. Reps. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Ed Royce (R-CA), and Eliot Engel (D-NY).

case now, and we’ve raised our serious concerns about this possible nomination with the government of Iran,” State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf said.

NY rabbi: Don’t allow ‘Jewish groups that support BDS’ to march in Israel parade (JNS) – A prominent Sephardic rabbi has urged leaders from the UJA-Federation of New York and the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of New York to bar

Bipartisan bill in House seeks to bolster sanctions against Hezbollah (JNS) – A bipartisan group of U.S. House of Representatives members have introduced a new resolution to strengthen sanctions against the Lebanese terror group

Courtesy of Yoram Amir

The Rabbinical Council of America’s refusal to vouch for the validity of Karen Brunwasser’s conversion to Judaism nearly derailed her Aug. 29, 2013 wedding in Israel to Lior Shabo.

29 U.S. Senators urge Obama administration to deny visa to Iran’s new U.N. envoy (JNS) – Twenty-nine U.S. Senators have written a letter to the Obama administration urging the denial of a visa to Hamid Aboutalebi, Iran’s new ambassador to the United Nations, over his ties to the 1979 Iranian Hostage Crisis. The recently appointed Aboutalebi was part of an extremist student group that stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979, taking 52 U.S. diplomats hostage for 444 days. The State Department expressed concern about Iran’s appointment, but stopped short of saying it will deny the visa. “We’re taking a close look at the

Kerry praises nonexistent Iranian fatwa against nuclear weapons, MEMRI says (JNS) – The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) says U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry praised a nonexistent fatwa by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on banning nuclear weapons. In a recent interview with Voice of America, Kerry said, “I show a lot of respect for this fatwa as it is a religious message and is highly respected by people.” According to MEMRI, however, the fatwa “has never been seen” and “in fact does not exist.” Kerry has called on the Iranian government to put the purported fatwa “into a legally binding, globally recognized, international understanding” form. But in statements documented by MEMRI, the Iranian leadership’s official position is for such a fatwa to remain religious law, which supersedes international law.



Will regional and domestic challenges force renewed Israel-Turkey normalization? By Sean Savage (JNS) – Israel’s relations with Turkey, once its closest Muslim ally, have grown increasingly strained under the leadership of Islamist Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But after formally severing ties due to the fallout from the May 2010 Mavi Marmara incident, Israel and Turkey are reportedly on the brink of restoring full diplomatic relations. In the midst of a messy election year in which Erdogan faces domestic political backlash over his increasingly authoritarian and Islamist policies, as well as the presence of growing regional threats like Syria and Iran for both Israel and Turkey, what would normalization offer the former allies? “The domestic situation in Turkey is extremely tense and polarized,” Dr. Michael Koplow, who maintains a blog on Turkey and Israel called “Ottomans and Zionists” and serves as the program director at the Washington, DCbased Israel Institute think tank, told JNS. “Turkey is quickly hardening into dueling camps of people who believe every allegation that is made

Israel Defense Forces

Knives, wrenches, and wooden clubs used to attack Israel Defense Forces soldiers when they boarded the Mavi Marmara ship on May 31, 2010. Israeli clashes with Turkish militants on the ship, resulting in nine Turkish deaths, led to the deterioration of IsraelTurkey relations.

against the government and people who believe that none of the allegations have a shred of truth to them,” he said. Since taking office more than a decade ago, Erdogan’s biggest claim to success has been the stability he has brought after decades of military coup d’états. Under his leadership, the economy has dramatically

improved and the country’s international profile has grown. But that success has dwindled over the past year, with a growing number of Turks becoming disenchanted with Erdogan’s increasing authoritarian policies, including attacks on the media, judicial system and military as well as political corruption in his AKP party and a

stalling economy. This came to a head last summer when protests called the “Gezi Park Protests” erupted in Istanbul and quickly spread to other major Turkish cities. The opposition in Turkey – led by the Republican People’s Party, or CHP, a center-left socialist party created by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey – gained momentum ahead of March 30 municipal elections. Leading up to the elections, Erdogan faced increased criticism over the government’s decision to block Twitter and YouTube. “The government has been waging a battle with its former ally, the Gülen movement (a more moderate Islamist movement led by exiled Turkish scholar Fethullah Gülen), and has [also] been dealing with leaks, allegations of large-scale corruption, protests in Istanbul, Ankara, and other cities,” Koplow said. Yet before all the final results were in, Erdogan declared victory over his rivals in a late-night speech on March 30, with his AKP party winning local elections in Istanbul and leading in a close race in Ankara. As of early on March 31, AKP led with nearly 47 percent of the nationwide municipal vote, well

surpassing the 39 percent it garnered in the last local elections in 2009. Analysts speculate that the results will embolden Erdogan to either amend party rules to seek a fourth term as prime minister or to run for president later this year. “This nation has given a message to Turkey and to the world,” Erdogan said, according to Turkey’s Daily Hurriyet newspaper. Amid the domestic upheaval, Israel and Turkey are reportedly nearing a deal on restoring ties. A NATO member, Turkey in the past found Israel to be a reliable ally against 20th-century threats like pan-Arabism and communism. But with the rise of Erdogan and his Islamist AKP party, strong ties with the Jewish state became a political liability as Erdogan sought to reassert Turkey’s role as a Middle Eastern power. The situation reached a breaking point in May 2010, when eight Turkish citizens and one Turkish American were killed in clashes after they attacked Israeli soldiers on board the Mavi Marmara flotilla, which was trying to breach Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza. The CHALLENGES on page 22

As Jobbik popularity grows, Hungary’s governing party increases its nationalist rhetoric By Cnaan Liphshiz BUDAPEST, Hungary (JTA) – A lone heckler tried to disrupt him, but Hungarian lawmaker Janos Hargitai was undeterred as he spoke earlier this month at a memorial day gathering in Hungary commemorating the 1848 revolution there. The holiday marks Hungary’s attempt to break free from the Austrian Empire, and Hargitai, sandwiched between two Hungarian flags, was celebrating his nation’s independence and the full exercise of its sovereignty. But in so doing, Hargitai employed a trope about foreign financial interests that has been gaining traction here and which critics regard as thinly veiled anti-Semitism. “They give us dictates,” Hargitai said at the Budapest event. “In 1848, it was the Rothschilds and now it’s the International Monetary Fund. Hungarian independence compromises the Rothschilds’ interests.” Such statements from elected officials have become commonplace here since the ultranationalist Jobbik party entered parliament in 2010, despite – and arguably because of – its antagonism toward Jews. Infamously, a Jobbik parliamentarian in 2012 called for registering Hungarian Jews as threats to national security. But Hargitai is no Jobbik man. He is a lawmaker for the ruling Fidesz party, and his statements are reflective of what political analysts say is

Courtesy of Cnaan Liphshiz

Protesters lighting memorial candles at a rally in Budapest against a government plan to erect a statue presenting Hungary as an innocent victim of Nazi occupation, March 23, 2014.

the party’s creeping nationalism and increasing aggression toward the Jewish community as it scrambles to maintain its lead over Jobbik ahead of next month’s general elections. “Fidesz increasingly has been using Jobbik rhetoric as a direct response to Jobbik’s growing popularity in an attempt to weaken Jobbik and take over their voters by first taking over their programs,” said Eva Balogh, a historian and author of the Hungarian Spectrum blog. Recent polls predict Jobbik will remain the third largest party in the April 6 election, taking anywhere from 14 to 19 percent of the vote – a handsome increase over the 11 percent of parliamentary seats it current-

ly holds. The same polls predict Fidesz, a center-right party, will take 36-38 percent of the vote – enough to remain the country’s ruling force, but still a substantial loss from 2010, when it garnered approximately half the ballots cast. As Fidesz’s popularity wanes, party bosses have become increasingly inclined to abandon efforts to present a moderate face and have indulged in the sort of nationalistic bravado that has fueled Jobbik’s ascent. The shift was evident last year in the decision to display photos of classic anti-Semitic texts at a Fideszsponsored cultural festival and in a

plan by the mayor of Budapest, Fidesz member Istvan Tarlos, to name a street after an anti-Semitic author. More recently, analysts have seen evidence of a rightward tilt in Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s clash with Hungarian Jewry over commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of Hungary. The conflict erupted last month when the Mazsihisz Jewish umbrella group said it would boycott some government-led events because of a planned memorial statue that was seen as glossing over the pro-Nazi Hungarian government’s prominent role in the murder of 568,000 Jews toward the end of World War II. The statue depicted Hungary as an angel attacked by an eagle. One senior party figure accused Mazsihisz of aligning with the left, while Orban’s chief of staff, Janos Lazar, voiced a warning at a news conference. “They issued an ultimatum to the government, and this is causing more anxiety than a positive impact on the coexistence of Jews and Hungarians,” Lazar said. Lazar’s statement, which some saw as threatening the Jewish community and implying that Jews are not Hungarians, was met with condemnation this week from Mazsihisz President Andras Heisler. “We have learned that nowhere in the Diaspora should Jews, or any other minority, blindly trust the prevailing power,” Heisler said.

On Sunday, a crowd of 200, mostly Jews, stood for two hours in the rain and lit candles for the dead at a rally at Freedom Square protesting the monument. Matyas Eorsi, a Jewish former lawmaker for the SZDSZ liberal democratic party, told JTA that Lazar’s comments were “scandalous” and denied that Jews were meddling in the elections. “The allegation that Mazsihisz is meddling in campaign politics is absurd,” Eorsi said. “The government, not Mazsihisz, decided to unveil a revisionist monument during an election year.” The Hungarian government denies the statue reflects any antipathy toward Jews. Officials repeatedly have acknowledged their country’s complicity with the Nazis, most recently in January, when Hungary’s U.N. ambassador, Csaba Korosi, apologized for “the Hungarian state’s guilt during the Holocaust.” In October, Deputy Prime Minister Tibor Navracsics, also a Fidesz member, acknowledged his country’s “responsibility” for the wartime deaths of Hungarian Jews. The government insisted on the monument because “respect has to be expressed for all victims,” said Ferenc Kumin, a government spokesman. “This is a question of humanity, and not one of politics or party affiliation.” Kumin denied that Fidesz was trying to court right-wing voters with JOBBIK on page 19



Yellow Star Houses Project challenges official Hungarian Holocaust commemorations By Cnaan Liphshiz BUDAPEST, Hungary (JTA) – In 1944, Andras Szasz’s mother obtained an admittance slip to a Red Cross children’s home that she hoped would save her 8-year-old son from the Hungarian fascists then prowling Budapest in search of Jews to torture or kill. Szasz never made it to the home. In the summer of 1944, he and his mother were forced to relocate to one of 2,000 yellow star houses, a network of apartments where nearly 200,000 Jews were held captive as they awaited deportation. Groups of about a dozen people were forced to share one room while an attendant guarded the entrance, permitting the occupants to leave only for brief periods in which they could buy certain goods. “The people who did this were all Hungarians,” said Szasz, who escaped the house with his mother and survived the war in hiding. “I never even saw a German soldier up close.” Seventy years later, Szasz’s story and others like it are reaching new audiences thanks to a grassroots memorial project born out of anger over what many see as the Hungarian government’s attempt to whitewash the country’s role in the murder of Jews during the Holocaust. The Yellow Star Houses Project aims to increase public awareness of Hungary’s complicity with Nazi Germany through the stories of those once held in the apartments. A team

International Briefs Dutch Jesuit priest shot twice in the head in Syria (JNS) – Father Frans Van Der Lugt, a Dutch Jesuit priest, died after being shot twice in the head on Monday by an unknown assailant in the rebel-held Syrian city of Homs. “A man came into his house, took him outside and shot him twice in the head. In the street in front of his house,” Jan Stuyt, secretary of the Dutch Jesuit Order, told AFP. Israeli official says Assad used chemical weapons in late March (JNS) – The Syrian government used a non-lethal chemical weapon on March 27 near Damascus, according to an Israeli security official. The Israeli government source said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used the weapon on rebel fighters in Harasta, a suburb of Damascus. The official said

of volunteers has catalogued hundreds of personal accounts and compiled an online map of the 1,934 yellow star houses that once dotted the Hungarian capital. A series of public events are being planned around the houses this year, the 70th anniversary of Germany’s invasion of Hungary. Despite the prominent role of Hungary’s fascist government in the annihilation of half a million Jews, the current government plans to remember the victims by unveiling a statue next month that some see as portraying Hungary as a victim of German aggression. The memorial depicts an eagle attacking an angel. Though Hungarian officials repeatedly have acknowledged their country’s complicity under the wartime regime of pro-Nazi leader Miklos Horthy and his successor, Ferenc Szalasi, the government is insisting on the design as a way to remember all the Nazis’ victims. That attitude has caused a rupture between Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government and Hungarian Jewry, whose leadership has accused the government of pandering to nationalist voters ahead of April 6 elections. “Watching how Jews are being erased from the official Holocaust commemoration, we decided to provide an alternative,” said Istvan Rev, the historian who is leading the Yellow Star Houses Project. Launched by the Central European University’s Open Society Archives, a Budapest-based research institution established by the

Hungarian Jewish philanthropist George Soros, the project is planning alternatives to the government’s official memorial ceremonies. We want to “preserve the dignity of both the victim and survivors in spite of the maneuvering of the government,” said Rev, the archive’s director. The main activity is slated for June 21 – Hungary’s Long Night of Museums, when cultural institutions throw open their doors for hundreds of thousands of nocturnal visitors. Coincidentally, it is also the first day in 1944 when Jews were no longer allowed to live outside yellow star houses. The plan is to have Holocaust survivors such as Szasz participate in remembrances in front of the 1,600 yellow star houses still standing. In addition, Rev’s team has set up a website in English and Hungarian that shows each house on a map and encourages the public to provide information about them for an online archive. The team also has arranged for the filming of a documentary. Volunteers are busy as well placing yellow star stickers on the actual buildings in the hopes of eliciting testimonies from elderly people still living in the area and motivating the present tenants to participate in the alternative commemorations. Many activists say they would have preferred the government do nothing rather than offend the memories of Holocaust survivors with some of its recent activities, such as appointing historian Maria Schmidt

that the chemical “neutralizes but does not kill,” the Jerusalem Post reported.

their Bulgarian bus driver. “All traces lead there,” Tsvetlin Yovchev said Monday, the Sofia News Agency reported. “What can we prove in court is another matter. If you’re asking me if I am certain of this-yes, I am.”

Muslim Brotherhood warns of attacks over U.K. government probe (JNS) – The head of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.K. said that a British government probe into its activities could trigger terrorist attacks. “If this [ban] happened, this would make a lot of people in Muslim communities think that [peaceful] Muslim Brotherhood values… didn't work and now they are designated a terrorist group, which would make the doors open for all options,” Ibrahim Mounir told the U.K.'s Sunday Times. When asked if he was specifically referring to the use of violence, Mounir replied, “Any possibility.” Burgas bomber was Hezbollah operative, Bulgarian minister confirms (JNS) – Bulgaria’s interior minister said he is “certain” that Hezbollah was behind the summer 2012 Burgas bus bombing that killed five Israeli tourists and

China’s ancient Jewish community returning to roots to celebrate Passover (JNS) – China’s ancient Jewish community in Kaifeng is set to celebrate a traditional Passover seder for what may be the first time in centuries. The seder is being sponsored by Shavei Israel, an Israeli organization that helps “Lost Tribes” and other forgotten Jewish communities return to their roots. Russian bill against denial of Holocaust and Nazi crimes gains initial approval (JNS) – Russian legislators have given initial approval to a bill against the “rehabilitations of Nazism” that will punish historians for denying Nazi crimes, including the Holocaust, Voice of Russia reported. “Our country has not simply defended itself. We have defend-

Courtesy of Cnaan Liphshiz

Holocaust survivors Agnes Horvath and Andras Szasz in front of one of Budapest's 2,000 yellow star houses, March 27, 2014.

to head a $22 million Holocaust museum now under construction. Schmidt has said Nazism was no worse than Soviet communism, prompting both Yad Vashem, Israel’s national Holocaust memorial museum, and Mazsihisz, the umbrella group of Hungarian Jewry, to decline to cooperate with her museum. In January, the government appointed another controversial historian, Sandor Szakaly, to head the newly established Veritas Historical Research Institute. Szakaly said in an interview that month that the 1941 deportation and subsequent murder of tens of thousands of Jews was an “action of the immigration authorities against illegal aliens.” “Clearly this government is not qualified to commemorate the

Holocaust,” said Karl Pfeifer, a prominent Jewish journalist who was raised in Budapest and now resides in Vienna. These and other controversial appointments – not to mention the xenophobic rantings of the increasingly popular ultranationalist Jobbik party – remind Agnes Horvath, 78, of dark periods. A Holocaust survivor and former yellow star home occupant, Horvath saw her mother die of lung injuries sustained during a savage beating by Hungarian fascists shortly after Hungary’s liberation by the Red Army. “When I see this around me,” Horvath said, “I feel like it’s the 1930s again and I’m reminded that this could happen all over again.”

ed the whole world from Nazism. Our people suffered the greatest casualties in this war” said the head of Russia’s Lower House Committee for Security, Irina Yarovaya, one of the bill’s main sponsors.

covered last fall that were stolen by the Nazis. The agreement allows the German government to research the provenance of all the works in his collection. Those deemed not to have been robbed or confiscated from Jewish collectors or museums by the Nazis would be returned to Gurlitt.

Jobbik gains ‘a dark day for Hungary,’ European Jewish leader says (JTA) – Electoral advances in Hungary by the ultranationalist party Jobbik should be a source of grave concern to Europe, the president of the European Jewish Congress said. Jobbik won nearly 21 percent of the votes in Sunday’s parliamentary election, up from nearly 16 percent four years ago. It remained the third largest political party in Hungary. “This is truly a dark day for Hungary... “This is a party that feeds on hate,” said EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor. German collector Cornelius Gurlitt agrees to return Nazilooted artworks BERLIN (JTA) – German art collector Cornelius Gurlitt has reached an agreement to restitute any works in a valuable cache dis-

Documentary: Hitler’s wife, Eva Braun, may have had Jewish ancestry (JTA) – Eva Braun, the wife of Adolf Hitler, may have had Jewish ancestry, according to a new British documentary. “Dead Famous DNA,” which is scheduled to air on a Britain TV station, reported that hair samples from a brush believed to have been used by Braun were tested and show that a DNA sequence found in the sample is “strongly associated” with Ashkenazi Jews. The brush was found at Hitler’s mountain retreat in Bavaria. She was raised a Catholic. In the 19th century, many Ashkenazi Jews in Germany converted to Catholicism, so Braun was unlikely to have known her ancestry.



Visiting Kiev’s wounded in Jerusalem By Jeremy Borovitz

Courtesy of Jeremy Borovitz

Jeremy Borovitz, right, and Artem Zaptotski at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Artem Zaptotski, from Lutsk, in western Ukraine, sits in Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, sharing his room with a French Hasid. Seeing that I speak Hebrew and wear a kippah, the Hasid asks if he should encourage Zaptotski to put on tefillin. No, I tell him. Zaptotski isn’t Jewish. In fact, he had only one Jewish friend until 10 days ago. As we are speaking, one of Zaptotski’s legs slips out of his “Yad Sarah”- provided wheelchair. He struggles for a few moments to shimmy it back into place, sighs, and asks me for help. And as I, a 26-year-old

Torah student from New Jersey, grasp the lifeless limb of this 34-year-old Ukrainian lawyer, he looks me in the eye and makes a verbal declaration before God: “I will walk again.” On Feb. 20, Zaptotski was shot by a sniper near Kiev’s Maidan, or Independence Square. Enraged by what he had seen take place on Feb. 18, when the government opened fire on the protesters, he left his wife and two small children at home and rode across the country by bus to support his countrymen on the square. While standing near Maidan that day, one bullet pierced his lung, and another pierced his legs. His spine was also affected. But he is resilient. When he

arrived in Israel from Ukraine he couldn’t sit up, and his arms were weak. Today, he is sitting up by himself, and he swears to me that just the other day he felt a tingling in his toes. When I first saw Marina Lysak’s post on Facebook a few weeks ago, quickly reposted by a number of her friends, advertising her efforts to send some of the Maidan’s wounded to Israel for treatment, I wrote a quick email offering my services. I had met Lysak when I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine. A young Jewish Ukrainian who is well known throughout the city as a top Hebrew teacher, Lysak has been to WOUNDED on page 19

A year on, Israeli team of rivals rules Netanyahu’s coalition By Ben Sales TELAVIV (JTA) – In the lead-up to last year’s Knesset elections, the pro-settlement Jewish Home party released a controversial ad showing party chairman Naftali Bennett smiling alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The message was clear: Netanyahu will be prime minister, but a vote for Jewish Home would give Bennett what he called “a hand on the steering wheel.” More than having a hand on the wheel, the year since the formation of the new government has seen Jewish Home and the coalition’s other smaller parties driving much of the government’s agenda. Netanyahu’s

Israel Briefs Ya’alon: ‘Every time, the Palestinians run away and try to blame us’ (JNS) – The Palestinian Authority (PA) is a partner that only wants to receive, without giving anything in return, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Tuesday during a visit to northern Israel to observe a military exercise. Ya’alon said that Israel is in the midst of a crisis with the Palestinians regarding the peace process, as in recent months, the PA has told Israel that it is not prepared to discuss recognition of a Jewish state or giving up the “right of return.” Ukrainian Jewish immigration to Israel rises 70 percent amid instability (JNS) – Ukrainian Jewish immigration to Israel has risen 70 percent in 2014 amid the recent political upheaval in that country. According to the Jewish Agency

Likud party has taken a back seat on everything besides security affairs. Finance Minister Yair Lapid, head of the centrist Yesh Atid party, passed a controversial austerity budget and advanced a bill to conscript haredi Orthodox Israelis. Tzipi Livni, founder of the small Hatnua party, led the first substantive talks with the Palestinian Authority since 2008. Bennett advanced a string of parliamentary bills focused on religionstate reforms. Netanyahu, meanwhile, has spent much of the past year fighting the same battles he fought in his last term, arguing for a more aggressive stance toward Iran’s nuclear program and taking a hard line on Israel’s security concerns.

With Netanyahu presiding over a team of rivals – a more difficult coalition than the relatively stable rightwing government of his previous term – many of the government’s initiatives have come from his partners, not him. “What interests Netanyahu is the status quo,” Hebrew University political science professor Gideon Rahat said. “His style is not to do too much. Everyone else makes noise on smaller things.” Lapid’s budget drew protests for raising taxes and cutting benefits, but proposed religious and social reforms have drawn the most attention. As the first government without haredi parties in more than a decade, the coalition was able to pass some

major legislation eliminating haredi privileges without falling apart. The government cut subsidies to large haredi families and sent the first government paychecks to non-Orthodox rabbis. Bills conscripting haredim and advancing gay parenting rights are close to passage. The government also has moved toward forcing publicly funded haredi schools to teach English and math, as well as implementing an interdenominational compromise on the Western Wall. Yesh Atid is pushing legislation that would establish civil unions in Israel. Not all the coalition members concur on the legislation involving haredim. Yesh Atid and Jewish Home broadly agree that haredim must be

integrated and religious regulations streamlined, but they disagree on how. Yesh Atid, a largely secularist party, campaigned on religious and social reforms, particularly on conscription and marriage. Jewish Home, which is largely modern Orthodox, has blocked some of the changes promised by Yesh Atid, opting instead to make religious bureaucracy more accessible while leaving core policies intact. Their conflict payed out during the recent debate over the haredi draft bill. Following threats by Yesh Atid to quit the coalition, the bill now includes prison time for haredim who

for Israel, 375 new immigrants from Ukraine arrived in the first three months of 2014, compared to 221 in the same period in 2013.

Samaria-based Ariel University left out of Israeli universities heads’ conference (JNS) – Representatives from Ariel University – the first accredited Israeli university located beyond the Green Line-were absent from the invitation list to Sunday’s Committee of University Heads conference on the future of higher education in Israel. Ariel University said in a statement, “The Committee of University Heads has not yet internalized nor accepted [the need] to act in accordance with the Council for Higher Education and the government of Israel,” according to Israel Hayom.

event,” the university said in a statement, according to Israel Hayom.

“release of terrorists” as part of the incentives to convince the Palestinians to remain at the negotiation table past the April 29 deadline “not an option.”

Israeli Arab wins on Israeli ‘MasterChef’ reality show (JNS) – An Israeli-Arab microbiologist and mother of three won the fourth season of Israel’s most popular reality TV show “MasterChef.” Nof Atamna-Ismaeel, 32, who holds a PhD in microbiology and is from the Israeli-Arab town of Baqa al-Gharbiyye, described winning as the “the most exciting moment in her life.” She said she plans to use the prize money to open up an ArabJewish cooking school. Israeli lunar mission, iCenter team to promote science and technology (JNS) – The iCenter, a national Israel education organization, has teamed up with SpaceIL, an Israeli nonprofit seeking to land the first Israeli spacecraft on the Moon, to develop a series of educational materials to engage North American Jewish students in Israeli science, technology, and space flight.

Tel Aviv University cancels terror operative’s lecture after student protest (JNS) – Tel Aviv University canceled a lecture by Muhammad Kanaana, an Israeli Arab convicted of having contact with the terrorist organization Hezbollah, after some 350 students protested the talk. “Given concerns for public order, and since the request to approve his participation was only received recently, leaving no time for preparations, the university does not approve his participation in the

Israel Law Center seeks to file suits over Palestinian war crimes (JNS) – The Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center is gearing up to lodge war crimes complaints against senior Palestinian officials at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Israel Hayom reported. The nongovernmental organization is seeking to initiate lawsuits for crimes against humanity. Its lawyers said they would submit documents alleging that Palestinian officials in both Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, and Fatah, which dominates the Palestinian Authority, are directly involved with aiding and encouraging terrorism against Israeli citizens. Liberman would opt for new elections over freeing more prisoners JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said he would prefer to have new elections rather than release more Palestinian prisoners. Also during his New York address, Liberman called the

COALITION on page 22

Coordinated cyber attack on Israel brings down websites JERUSALEM (JTA) – Hackers in a coordinated cyber attack on Israel briefly brought down the websites of the country’s postal service and Education Ministry. The international hacking group Anonymous and its followers also published online a list of phone numbers, emails and passwords of senior Israeli officials, Ynet reported. A few private Israeli websites also have been brought down. Western Wall cleaned for Passover JERUSALEM (JTA) – The Western Wall was cleared of notes in advance of Passover. Workers used sticks Sunday to remove the hundreds of thousands of prayers and requests written on slips of paper that worshippers stuff into the cracks between the wall’s stones. The papers will be buried out of respect for their contents.


Quint Kaufman, Rockwern Academy


Eitam ben Harush Negari, 10, Rockwern Academy

Josh Kotzin, 10, Rockwern Academy

Wynter Edwards, 10, Rockwern Academy

Mady Warm, 10, Rockwern Academy

Gavin Isakov, 8, Rockwern Academy

Daniel Cooper, 8, Montgomery Elementary

Jacob Goodman, 10, Rockwern Academy

Shoshana Zaretsky, 8, Kilgour Elementary

Elise Kravitz, 11, Rockwern Academy



Chad Miller, 9, Rockwern Academy

Bernard Netanel, 12, Rockwern Academy

Jonathan Levy, 10, Rockwern Academy

Will Schneider, 10, Rockwern Academy

Abbey Altman, 11, Rockwern Academy

Jonah Swift, 8, Rockwern Academy

Tehillah Sabath, 10, Rockwern Academy

Jack Pollock, 7, Rockwern Academy



Padrino features pizza, pasta, hoagies from home-style Italian recipes By Bob Wilhelmy “Pizzas are the stars of the show here,” said GM Neil Barraco, speaking of Padrino restaurant, an Italian restaurant at 111 Main Street in Old Milford. He is speaking of a list of 16 pizzas that are available as individual meals, the 10-inch size, and for two or more, the 15-inch size. A new wrinkle at Padrino is the gluten-free crust, available on any variety of individual-sized pizza. Barraco says the gluten-free option is popular among diners. Worth mentioning is that Padrino goes further to accommodate those among us with gluten issues, offering also pasta in glutenfree versions. Accommodation of diners goes even farther, I was told. “Since we make entrées from scratch (and pizzas and hoagies as well), we can make dishes the way you want them. We have no problem with any of that, since our preparations are from scratch. If you can’t eat bacon or sausage or can’t mix meat and dairy, we’ll do whatever we can to accommodate those dietary preferences.” “All of our sauces are made from scratch, in batches, and we sell tons of our marinara sauce,” Barraco said, mentioning the sauce as a base for many of the pizzas. For Jewish diners, there are several pizzas of note, and the favorite might be the bruschetta, featuring fresh Roma tomatoes, garlic, basil, parmesan cheese and fresh mozzarella on an olive oil/butter base. Other pizza menu favorites: the foxy Shazam pizza, named after a band that plays at Padrino, featuring marinara, fresh mozzarella, feta, sliced tomatoes, spinach, fresh basil, and an oven-poached egg on top (more Spanish with that egg than Italian, but hey); the britters pizza, with garlic butter base, spinach, artichoke, sun-dried tomatoes, onion, goat cheese and a balsamic drizzle; and the vegetarian, featuring a tri-color of roasted bell peppers, along with fresh tomatoes, spinach, fresh mushrooms, green and black olives, red onions, and a base of marinara and house blended cheeses. Throw in an L.L. salad, with feta, craisins, candied almonds, tomatoes and red onion in a balsamic vinaigrette toss, and you have a wonderful meal. Thinking entrée dishes instead of a pizza? We tried the Pasta Agli Olio, a spaghetti dish that features baby spinach, Roma tomatoes, fresh garlic, crushed red pepper flakes (making the dish pleasantly spicy), and tangy EVOO with parmesan cheese. This delightful dish is served with slabs of French bread, topped, nearly as I can figure, with a cheese/garlic/parsley/

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The pasta agli olio dish mentioned herein.

spice mix, which is crisped up under a broiler. What’s not to like about that? Asked for patron or personal favorites, there was a quick response: “Spaghetti and meatballs is probably the one we sell most of. Everybody likes it.” For Jewish diners, the spaghetti marinara is a good choice, since the meatballs are made with both beef and pork, and contain cheese as well. Another dish that gains high marks among diners is the vodka tortellini (hold the sausage crumbles), which features a cheese stuffing, and a vodka-infused rosé sauce made by combining the marinara version with cream, to get the rosy appearance to the finished sauce. “People love that dish!” was the consensus. One place no accommodation is necessary is the veggie pesto primavera pasta dish (pictured), which features the penne in a pesto-cream sauce. The pesto dish then is mixed with sautéed zucchini, squash, onions and peppers. The combo is very tasty, according to the servers. Another veggie item is the roasted veggie “open-face” melt. No patty on this melt, but spinach,

mushrooms, onions, a tri-color of sweet bell peppers, all layered on grilled garlic bread with marinara and mozzarella as toppers. The fork-and-knife sandwich is a whopper size-wise, and looks delicious. Want a meat sandwich? Go for the Italian beef, which features thinly sliced roast beef served with a giardiniera of pickled vegetables, and au jus for dipping or dripping into the roll—a French baguette. If you have never had an Italian beef sandwich, be prepared for a delicious challenge. If you do it the right way, you’ll take the au jus and more or less saturate the bread with the juice. The juicy sandwich is hard to eat without leaning in and still making a mess, but well worth whatever it takes to eat it. It’s scrumptious! You’ll find a lot to like on Padrino’s menu, back-of-the-house al fresco dining, and live music on Saturday nights to boot. See you there. Padrino 111 Main Street Milford, OH 965-0100

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My unpleasant evening with ‘Breaking the Silence’ By Hen Mazzig Contributing Columnist On March 31, I attended a disturbing lecture at Washington University in St. Louis. It was cosponsored by St. Louis Hillel at Washington University and J Street U. The speaker, a former Israeli soldier with the group “Breaking the Silence” (BtS), misrepresented and demonized the Israel Defense Forces, Israel, and Israeli policy. BtS is known for bringing in speakers like this, so I could not understand why Hillel and J Street U had sponsored a talk whose only purpose appeared to be to misinform audiences and instill hostility towards Israel. As an Israeli reservist who had been stationed in the West Bank, I sat in disbelief as the speaker described attitudes and policies that were entirely divorced from reality. The former soldier, Oded Na’aman, claimed that Israeli soldiers are trained to oppress the Palestinians individually and as a people, that they maliciously mistreat Palestinians in the West Bank, and that they are taught to make Palestinians fear Israeli soldiers. He argued that there are no civil rights for Palestinians and that the Jewish people who now have a state use their power to oppress Palestinians. I had no idea what he was talking about or what motivated him to lie. He did not describe the Israel or IDF that I know so intimately. As a reservist and a soldier, I had been stationed in the West Bank. My job was to protect the Palestinians’ human rights, coordinate humanitarian aid, and tend to the needs of civilians living in the West Bank. I always felt that Israel’s concern for the welfare of the Palestinians was impressive, and I was proud to be part of it. My experience taught me that even during wartime, Israel made it a priority to meet the needs of Palestinians even though they had made themselves enemies of the State of Israel by launching the second intifada. I recall that during my service in Hebron, I had to adhere to international humanitarian law and ensure that the soldiers in the Judea Brigade were educated about the Geneva Convention and the rules of engagement – or face punishment. We sometimes went beyond these strict rules to help Palestinians. Once, when I served in my unit’s headquarters, we arranged a complex operation so that my unit, with the help of another unit, could save the life of a Palestinian boy living in Gaza whose mother had died. We did some investigating, and discovered that his uncle lived in Ramallah. In a special operation in

the middle of the night, we moved the child to his uncle so that he would not be left alone in the streets of the Gaza Strip. It was torture for me to sit there quietly and listen to the distortions of this former soldier who had served during the most violent period of the second intifada (20002003), when suicide bombers and snipers were wantonly murdering Israeli men, women, and children. But he never described the terrorism that forced the IDF to take measures to protect our families. If he has complaints about the IDF, he should be an activist in Israel. Soldiers don’t always do the right thing or live up to the IDF code. They should be disciplined. Israel’s policies can be debated. But Israel is constantly examining itself critically, and debates in Israel are energetic and promote the full variety of views. Why, then, would he come to the U.S. to complain about his own army? I think I know why. It’s because there are groups who are parading him around to tell half-truths and lies to defame Israel. When he was asked that very question during the question-and-answer period, he said, “I came here to tell Americans what their tax money is funding.” He said that attacking Israel with F16s is not the right answer, but that Israel needs to be pressured. I wondered what kind of twisted thinking would make a person who lives in a vibrant democracy, where he can campaign for his political positions, instead ask outside forces to pressure his country? What motivated him? Is he a post-nationalist who doesn’t want Israel to exist at all? He went on making outlandish claims. He said the IDF is actually an anti-Zionist army because it operates in the West Bank. He added that there is no more terrorism today, so Israel had no reason for its security measures. He apparently forgot why there are dramatically fewer terror attacks today, or maybe he just didn’t want to mention that it might be because of Israel’s heightened security. The misrepresentations continued. He claimed the Palestinians have no security forces – even though they do, and my unit worked closely with those forces on a daily basis. The speaker either did not know, or was told to say that. I worked almost five years to protect civilians, human lives, and their dignity in the West Bank. I spent the most important years of my life to make sure the IDF protects human rights and lives up to the Geneva Conventions, to protect my army and my people. Yet this speaker, in a matter of 45 minutes, invalidated my entire military BREAKING on page 19

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Dear Editor: I have been asked frequently, “What happened to Andy Furman?” As you may know, Furman was a radio personality with the Sports Talk Show on WLW 700 and the old Real Talk 1160 AM radio. He has gone on to bigger and better things in the world of radio, and I am quite proud of him. He is now the co-host of a national sports radio show, aired locally and heard on some 200 stations nationwide. Recently he was inducted into the Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame with such local greats as: Grant High’s Tom Thacker who won a championship in basketball at the University of Cincinnati, with the Indiana Pacers of the old ABA and with the Boston Celtics. He also played for the Cincinnati Royals. Nancy Winstell, the former women’s basketball coach at Northern Kentucky University who had more than 600 career wins while garnering two national titles, and Dave Cowens, the former Newport Catholic High star, who later won titles with the Boston Celtics. John Marx Aka The Bagel Man Dear Editor: In the next few weeks we will learn the fate of the IsraeliPalestinian talks. Will they continue or fall apart? Who will bear the blame if they fall apart? What we know so far is that Israel has stated

multiple times that it will recognize a state for the Palestinian people. The borders remain to be determined but the outline is generally clear. It will be based on the 1967 borders with adjustments. Exactly what those adjustments will be is the subject of negotiation. In return for the land there must be a climate of genuine peace, that is not based on a continuation of racist school textbooks or official religious positions that deny the legitimacy of the Jewish people or their religion. The Palestinian leadership continues to express their 4 No’s of (a) no recognition of a Jewish State, (b) no end to the conflict, (c) no compromise on splitting Jerusalem, and (d) no compromise on the Arab refugee right of return to Israel. The Arab League recently reaffirmed these positions. Of course, the Arab League never endorsed the creation of Israel (as any kind of state)! There have been calls from the US State Dept and JStreet that Israel not press for recognition of a Jewish State. After all, most countries recognize Israel without any Jewish formality and according to the Arab world and JStreet, a Jewish association affirms a racist state. This is simply false. Ratification of the UN Partition meant explicit recognition of a new Jewish state that would be a homeland for the Jewish people. The idea that Israel is a racist state belies the truth. Israeli law protects all religions and is blind to religious belief or race or personal lifestyle (LGTB) – unlike any Arab country including the Palestinian territories. Israel is the only Mid-East country to have witnessed growth of its Christian population. The issue of recognizing a Jewish State is at the heart of the conflict, however. By recognizing a

Jewish State there is implicit affirmation of Jewish legitimacy and history in the region including Jerusalem/Temple Mount (currently being denied by the Palestinians and Moslem world) and, legitimacy as a people equal to others in the region (not as Dhimmies). But the Jewish State represents only one of the four No’s. Jerusalem as a non-partitioned city is important for everyone. In 1948, it was Jordan and the Arab League, ignoring the UN partition, that partitioned Jerusalem, destroyed Jewish synagogues, and prevented Jewish worship in the Old City. It was only in 1967 after Jordan bombed Israel, that Israel captured and reunified Jerusalem and made it accessible to all religions. To go back to the past partition only energizes extremist and racist Moslem tendencies. What if the talks fail? President Obama in a recent Bloomberg interview has implied that Israel will be at fault. While supporting Israel militarily, he will not use his office to prevent political fallout, i.e., the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions movement (BDS). The irony of BDS, is that while it is zealous in its poisonous hatred of Israel, it refuses to ignite a boycott of heinous regimes, such as Russia (military involvement in the hundreds of thousands killed in Syria, takeover of the Crimea, anti-LGTB), or Angola (continued butchering of its citizens, anti-LGTB), or Saudi Arabia (religious persecution of Shiites, no religious freedom, no women’s rights, anti-LGTB). It is far easier to attack the Jew than not to buy gas from Lukoil, or Chevron, or ExxonMobil. Ray Warren Amberley Village

The verdict on Ehud Olmert By Ben Sales TEL AVIV (JTA) – Now we know one thing for sure: Ehud Olmert will never again be prime minister of Israel. Olmert, who led Israel’s government from 2006 to 2009, was convicted Monday morning of taking bribes in the Holyland affair, a scandal involving the illegal construction of high-rise apartments in Jerusalem when Olmert was the city’s mayor more than a decade ago. Olmert was convicted of receiving about $150,000 in bribes through his brother, Yossi. Nine other former senior Olmert associates and businessmen also were found guilty on various charges, including former Olmert bureau

chief Shula Zaken, who agreed last week to testify against Olmert in exchange for a plea bargain; former Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski; and former chairman of Israel’s Bank Hapoalim, Danny Dankner. It was a soap opera of a case, but what matters now is the bottom line: Olmert, 68, faces significant jail time – not to mention a ban from politics. Olmert resigned his premiership upon facing a corruption indictment. As recently as last year, though, pundits and advisers floated his name as Israel’s next great centrist hope. He was the man who could lead an assertive government into a peace deal with the Palestinians, they said, as long as his corruption charges went away. Except they didn’t go

away. If today’s judgment has demolished Olmert’s personal reputation, his political legacy was already in tatters. His once-mighty centrist Kadima party has hit its nadir. He’s going to prison, and the party he once led has two seats in the Knesset, likely its last hurrah. Kadima was founded by Ariel Sharon, the general-turned-politician, and the party’s appeal was in the premise that Israel could take full control of its destiny independent of its adversaries. The state could unilaterally set its borders, move its population and bomb its enemies as it saw fit – rewriting the rules to secure Israel’s strategic needs. VERDICT on page 19



Sedra of the Week


“What ought people Answered the Elders. “They should try to stay alive!” which is more significant than his own life. Then even if he dies in pursuit of that ideal, his life will have gained ultimate meaning, and he himself will be linked to eternity. Martin Luther King, Jr. put it very well in his Detroit speech in June 1963: “And I submit to you that if a man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he ain’t fit to live.” The only life that is truly meaningful is a life dedicated to an idea which is greater than one individual’s life. Hence our portion praised the value of life, “You shall live by My laws,” appears within the context of a group of laws for which one must be willing to give up his life. Shabbat Shalom Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Chancellor Ohr Torah Stone Chief Rabbi – Efrat Israel












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T EST Y OUR T ORAH KNOWLEDGE THIS WEEK’S PORTION: HAGADA 1. Which forefather received a prophecy about 400 years of slavery? a.) Abraham b.) Issac c.) Jacob 2. Which of the Patriarchs moved to Egypt? a.) Abraham b.) Issac c.) Jacob 3. Did the plague of the first born strike without warning?

5. A Hashem made open miracles, predicted by Moshe that happened in an open and supernatural way.

the so-called martyrs who are urged (and handsomely paid) to blow themselves up together with innocent Israelis amid the promise of eternal bliss with 72 virgins – Judaism has never courted martyrdom. Indeed, our priests, kohanim, aren’t even allowed to come into contact with a dead body, so consistent are we in promoting Judaism as a life-fostering and this-world oriented religion. What still remains strange and difficult to understand is that immediately following the biblical mandate to “live by God’s laws,” in our weekly portion of Aharei Mot comes a long list of prohibited sexual relationships which fall under the rubric of “one must die rather than transgress.” If living by God’s laws is so important, why follow that stricture with laws for which one must be willing to die rather than transgress? I believe the answer is to be found in a difficult conundrum suggested by the Elders of the Negev. The Talmud (BT, Tamid 32b) records a discussion between Alexander the Great and the Elders of the Negev: Alexander asked, “What ought people do if they wish to keep on living?” The Elders answered,: “They must slay themselves.” Asked Alexander: “What ought people do if they wish to die?” Answered the Elders. “They should try to stay alive!” Permit me to explain. Let us answer the second question first. If an individual lives only in order to keep on living, he is bound to fail, and he will die in the end; after all, I am not aware of any individual who got out of this world alive! Hence if a person wishes to die, let him continue to try to stay alive forever. He will surely die because he will surely fail. And what ought someone do if he wants to keep on living? Let him slay himself, or at least let him find an idea to live for


a.) Yes b.) No 4. When did the Children of Israel sing a song of praise to Hashem for leaving Egypt? a.) The night of the first Passover seder b.) The next day when they left Egypt c.) After they crossed the Red Sea 5. Which term would best describe the miracles when leaving Egypt? a.) Open miracles b.) Hidden miracles

3. B Moshe warned Pharaoh the last time he saw him about the plague of the first born 4. C The Children of Israel throughout history have praised Hashem when delivered from trouble.

EFRAT, Israel – “And you shall observe My decrees and My laws which a human being shall perform and he shall live by them; I am the Lord” (Lev. 18:5). It is fascinating that our Bible commands us to perform the laws and statutes of the Lord, and then it adds “and he shall live by them.” Would any moral individual think to perform laws that could cause them to die? Our Sages use this seemingly superfluous phrase to teach a most important lesson, one which distinguishes Judaism from some other religions: “You shall live by these My laws and not die by them. If someone says to you, ‘Desecrate the Sabbath or I’ll kill you,’ you must desecrate the Sabbath; desecrate one Sabbath so that you will live to observe many more Sabbaths” (BT, Yoma 85b). Our religion revels in life. To be sure, there are instances when one must be ready to die for one’s faith, but this is limited to three most egregious crimes: murder, sexual immorality and idolatry. If one says to a Jew “kill X or I’ll kill you; rape Y or I’ll kill you,” the Jew must give up his or her life rather than commit these crimes. Similarly, in times of persecution, Jews must demonstrate that they will not give in to gentile pressure – even pressure unto death – to relinquish their faith. But under ordinary conditions, no Jewish law overrides the preservation of human life. Even the famous test of Abraham, the apparent Divine command that Abraham sacrifice his son to Him, concludes with Abraham being forbidden to harm his son (Kierkegaard notwithstanding). The most classic commentary, Rashi, even goes so far as to say that Abraham misunderstood the Divine command, that God never meant that he should slaughter his son, but rather dedicate him in life and not in death. Unlike the Christian symbol of the cross, which eternalized the martyrdom of the founder of Christianity, and far from the glory some militant Islamic groups ascribe to the shahidim –

do if they wish to die?”

Written by Rabbi Dov Aaron Wise

ANSWERS 1. A The covenant of the Parts 2. C Jacob only went to Egypt to escape the famine and never intended to live there. Abraham also went to Egypt to escape famine.

by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin




By Nate Bloom Contributing Columnist Major League Hebrews, 2014 Edition The following list was prepared with the help of Jewish Sports Review (“JSR”) magazine. The following Jewish players were on a major league roster as of April 2, 2014: RYAN BRAUN, 30, outfielder, Milwaukee; CRAIG BRESLOW, 33, pitcher, Boston; IKE DAVIS, 27, first base, NY Mets; SCOTT FELDMAN, 31, pitcher, Houston.; SAM FULD, 32, outfielder, Oakland; RYAN KALISH, 26, outfielder, Chicago Cubs; IAN KINSLER, 31, second base, Detroit; JOSH SATIN, 29, infielder, NY Mets; DANNY VALENCIA, 29, third base, Kansas City. (All these players have at least one Jewish parent and all were raised either Jewish or secular). There are about five other Jewish players now in the high minor leagues who are likely to see some major league playing time this year. Worthy of note: BRAD AUSMUS, 44, a former major league all-star catcher, was named manager of the Detroit Tigers last November. Ausmus managed the Israeli team that competed in the 2013 World Baseball Classic competition. Another former allstar, first baseman KEVIN YOUKILIS, 35, a native of Cincinnati, has gone to play in Japan. Sports Aside: An Observation The most recent issue of JSR notes, in its “Sports Shorts” section, that RON MIX, 76, has earned about 18 million dollars representing about 1,000 players in workers compensation cases in California. Mix, an attorney since 1970, is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He played offensive tackle for the Chargers from the time the team was founded in 1960 until 1970. Likewise, Dr. JOHN FRANK, now 51, earned two Super Bowl rings while playing tight end for San Francisco in the 1980s. He retired after five years, at the top of his game – to finish up his medical school studies. He’s long been a highly respected surgeon. No, these guys’ second careers aren’t typical of retired pro football players or even retired Jewish pro football players. But the fact that Jewish pros become lawyers and doctors doesn’t shock me. Too often the Jewish community views the Jewish top athletes among us as freaks of some sort. The reasoning goes like this – Jews, stereotypically, are not good athletes –



that’s a “gentile thing” – so if a Jew is a very good or great athlete – they are not culturally Jewish. But that is very rarely true. These Jewish athletes are almost always “regular” Jewish guys who just happen to be talented at sports. Like other Jewish guys, they consider – much more often than the “average” non-Jewish guy – going to medical school or law school – and sometimes they do go. I recall that Hall of Fame baseball great HANK GREENBERG often expressed exasperation that Jewish guys only wanted to talk to him about his playing days. Greenberg was a smart guy who became a top businessman after he retired as a player. He said he wanted to talk (mostly) about business and the arts. In other words, he wanted to talk about the stuff that smart Jewish guys talk about. At the Movies: All Opening Friday, April 11 “Cuban Fury” is a British “dance/romance”. In 1987, Bruce Garrett is 13-years-old and poised to win the UK Salsa championships. But a bullying incident robs him of his confidence and the championship. Fast forward to the present – and Garrett (Nick Frost) is a very out-of-shape guy who lives a hum-drum existence until the arrival of his new boss, a gorgeous and smart American named Julia (RASHIDA JONES, 38). Julia inspires Garrett to shake-up his life, get into shape, and try dancing again. But he is competing for Julia’s affections with the office lothario (Chris O’Dowd). Meanwhile, in “Draft Day,” Kevin Costner plays Sam Weaver, the coach of the Cleveland Browns, and we will follow him over the course of 24 hours as he competes for the #1 draft pick and, maybe, a chance to turn his losing team around. The cast includes Frank Langella as the Browns owner, Jennifer Garner as Weaver’s advisor and love interest, and ROSANNA ARQUETTE, 54, as Weaver’s ex-wife. It is directed by IVAN REITMAN, 67. “Rio,” an animated children’s film about two very rare blue macaw parrots who eventually meet and “marry” was a huge worldwide hit. The male, “Blu Gunderson”, was voiced by JESSE EISENBERG, now 30. The female, “Jewel”, was voiced by Anne Hathaway. The sequel, “Rio 2,” finds the pair now the parents of three young birds and about to leave their home in Rio de Janeiro for an Amazon jungle expedition. As in the original, there are many fun original songs in the sequel.


evening at the Hotel Sinton, Dr. Philipson officiating. – April 9, 1914

The plan for the new temple of the Bene Yeshurun Congregation, as designed by the architect Wilson, was unanimously adopted by the congregation and the building will now be commenced. It is the byzanthic style, with two steeples and several minor towers, which was preferred. The building, according to the plan, will be truly grand, both in design and dimensions. With the galleries, if such be put in at once, it will accommodate two thousand persons, fourteen hundred without galleries. It can not be guessed even when, under the present scarcity of laborers, the building will be finished. Still, the building committee being in full and unlimited power to erect it, and composed, as it is, of very energetic businessmen, it will be finished at the earliest possible date. When finished, it will be an ornament to the city and a fine monument to the energy and devotedness of the congregation. – May 6, 1864


125 Y EARS A GO Ladies who have sealskins they wish to have re-dyed, altered, repaired, or improved in any way and stored for the summer, without additional cost, are invited to call upon Messrs. Auer & King, 215 Race Street. The dance given by the Standard Club as a finale to their season 188889 and which took place at the Y.M.H.A. hall lst Saturday evening was a success in every sense of the word. About 30 couples were present and at midnight an adjournment was had to a popular downtown restaurant where refreshments were served. You will find the best seasoned pickle-fleish and smoked beef for Pesach at Heldman’s. Try his “Kosher Ham”. The nuptials of Miss Hermine Weil and Mr. Reuben Levi, of the firm of Levi & Ottenheimer were celebrated last Wendesday evening. – April 11, 1889

100 Y EARS A GO Home Wanted: A widow having two children desires to place them with a private family residing either in Avondale or Walnut Hills. Address Mrs. S. Berman of 21 Landon Court, Avondale. The Cincinnati Section, Council of Jewish Women, through its committee on “Purity of the Press” has secured a promise from all the daily papers that hereafter the names and addresses of girls and women, victims in cases of criminal assault, will not be given publicity. Mrs. Sigmar Stark, president of the Section, has been elected a member of the executive board of the Penny Luncheon Association. Mr. Leonard J. Fox and Miss Ruth, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Enoch Stricker, were married Wednesday

Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Harkavy, 1714 Belle Vista Place, Bond Hill, will be at home Sunday, April 23rd, from 7pm until 11pm in honor of the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Franklyn. Services will be held the previous morning at Avondale Synagogue. Miss Rheabelle Dragul is chairman of the Poster-Publicity Committee of the Junior Class Play, U.C, and also a participant in the O.D.K. scene of the play. This “take off” on the Campus seniors is being staged in The Annie Laws Auditorium. In honor of the forthcoming marriage of Miss Claudia Jacobs and Mr. Karten M. Mailender, a number of affairs are being held. The bride-elect will be tendered a “dove” party and her fiance a stag Saturday evening, April 15th. Mr. and Mrs. Albert Mayer, New Orleans, and brother-in-law and sister of the fiance, will be at the President while in Cincinnati for the nuptials. After the honeymoon, Mr. Mailender and his bride, will live on Digby Avenue, Clifton. – April 13, 1939

50 Y EARS A GO Mr. and Mrs. Werner Coppel, 2508 St. Albans Ave., announce the forthcoming Bar Mitzvah of their son, Steven, Saturday April 18, at 9am at New Hope Synagogue, Crest Hill Avenue. Relatives and friends are cordially invited to worship with the family and attend the Kiddush following the service. Ronna Ann Freiberg and John Mitzel have been elected co-directors of next year’s “Peanuts” at Walnut Hills High School. “Peanuts” is the variety show produced each year by Walnut Hills Juniors. Ronna is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Freiberg of 7185 Elbrook Avenue. Mr.s Ida Wilner Cohen, of Cincinnati, announces the engagement of her daughter Harriet Jeanne, to 1st Lt. Norman E. Zoller, son of Mrs. Frances Zoller, also of Cincinnati. The prospective bride is the niece of Mr. and Mrs. A.L. (Archie) Brown. Miss Cohen attends UC and is a member of Pi Delta Epsilon, national journalism honorary. Lt. Zoller was graduated from UC and has been stationed with the 82nd Airborne Division, Ft. Bragg, NC. He recently was assigned to Okinawa. No date has been set for the wedding. Announcement is made of the engagement of Miss Susan Heines, daughter of Mrs. Meyer Heines and the late Mr. Heines, to Mr. Herbert S. DuCovna, son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert

DuCovna. Miss Heines is a member of Alpha Epsilon Phi and will graduate in June from Ohio State University. Mr. DuCovna will graduate in June from Ohio State University where he is affliated with Zeta Beta Tau. A June wedding is planned. – April 9, 1964

25 Y EARS A GO The Ceil Singer Award for Teaching Excellence has been awarded by the Isaac M. Wise Temple Board of Education to Steven Moskowitz. Moskowitz, who teaches the aleph Hebrew class (4th grade), is a third-year rabbinical student at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. The Ceil Singer award was initiated by the Wise Temple Board of Education in order to honor the memory of Mrs. Singer, a Jewish educator. The award is judged on the following criteria: the teacher must demonstrate teaching excellence above and beyond the call of duty; and the teacher must produce a tangible product related to cirriculum and must embody the goals of Ceil Singer. Moskowitz is the first recipient of the award. He will be honored by the congregation at the Friday night service of May 12. Claire L. Seltz, daughter of Donald and Nancy (Strikman) Seltz, was recently selected executive editor of The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology of Northwestern University School of Law. Claire also has published a case note article in this journal on the “Confrontational Clause of the Sixth Amendment.” Claire graduated cum laude from Washington University and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Psi Chi, Phi Alpha Delta, and Alpha Epsilon Phi. – April 13, 1989

10 Y EARS A GO Adam Frankel simply cannot participate enough in the Jewish community. He has spent two-thirds of the summers of his life at Camp Livingston, and is traveling overseas to go on the March of the Living. Adam led the Junior Congregation and helped out with the Purim Carnival at his synagogue. The activities don’t stop there. Adam has volunteered for the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, is an active member of their teen council, and has helped out with Super Sunday for the past two years. he has also helped with Green Sunday. Adam enjoys and frequents BBYO meetings. He served two years as vice president and one as president for his Synagogue Youth Board. This senior at Cincinnati Country Day School was also a peer leader, where he proudly helped organize a bowling party. Bowl on, Adam, bowl on! – April 15, 2004



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WOUNDED from page 10 Israel many times, and it was her early love affair with the country that pushed her to organize this rescue effort. Truthfully, I didn’t see how she would pull it off. But within a few days Lysak and her team of four other Jewish Kievans, with help from a team of other Ukrainians, had found a plane, a pilot and $70,000, with the proper documents to boot. Lysak had been out there on the square during the protests, volunteering at hospitals, standing with her fellow citizens. Her determination to send the wounded to Israel was a way to let her blue-and-white Jewish identity fly next to the yellow-and-blue flag of Ukraine. Anya Zharova called me, in response to my email, a few days after the wounded arrived in Israel. Zharova left Ukraine 14 years ago, at the age of 20. While she has been back to visit, she very much considers herself an Israeli, and her young daughter is a sabra. I asked her how I could help, offering my services as a Ukrainianspeaker. She began rattling off ideas

The Center for Holocaust & Humanity Education (513) 487-3055 • Vaad Hoier (513) 731-4671 Workum Fund (513) 899-1836 • YPs at the JCC (513) 761-7500 • CONGREGATIONS CONGREGATIONS Adath Israel Congregation (513) 793-1800 • Beit Chaverim (513) 984-3393 • Beth Israel Congregation (513) 868-2049 • B’nai Tikvah Chavurah (513) 284-5845 • Congregation Beth Adam (513) 985-0400 • Congregation B’nai Tzedek (513) 984-3393 • Congregation Ohav Shalom (513) 489-3399 • Congregation Sha’arei Torah (513) 620-8080 • Congregation Shevet Achim (513) 426-8613 • Congregation Zichron Eliezer 513-631-4900 • Golf Manor Synagogue (513) 531-6654 • Isaac M. Wise Temple (513) 793-2556 • Kehilas B’nai Israel (513) 761-0769 Northern Hills Synagogue (513) 931-6038 • Rockdale Temple (513) 891-9900 • Shevet Achim, (513) 602-7801 • Temple Beth Shalom (513) 422-8313 • Temple Sholom (513) 791-1330 • The Valley Temple (513) 761-3555 •

about organizing volunteers to visit the injured and making sure the family members of the wounded were being looked after; just last week, she sent them to the Dead Sea for some much needed respite. By the way, she asked, did I have $800,000? Zharova has amassed a team of over 100 volunteers in Israel, most of them originally from the former Soviet Union, many from Ukraine. They are mostly but not exclusively under 40, mostly Russian speaking, and most of them did not know each other until the call for volunteers went viral. They are a constant presence at the hospitals and can be found knocking on the doors of Russian Jewish oligarchs at their shore-side Netanya homes, in search of donations. Zharova told me that when she first saw the pictures on the news of those injured in Kiev and read Marina’s initial post for help on Facebook, it was Pirkei Avot, not politics, that compelled her to get involved. “If I am only for myself, what am I?” she thought. Kaplan Medical Center, a hospital in Rehovot, agreed to take on 10 of the injured Ukrainians, but the two most serious cases, including Artem, were

EDUCA EDUCATION Chai Tots Early Childhood Center (513) 234.0600 • Chabad Blue Ash (513) 793-5200 • Cincinnati Hebrew Day School (513) 351-7777 • HUC-JIR (513) 221-1875 • JCC Early Childhood School (513) 793-2122 • Kehilla - School for Creative Jewish Education (513) 489-3399 • Mercaz High School (513) 792-5082 x104 • Kulanu (Reform Jewish High School) (513) 262-8849 • Regional Institute Torah & Secular Studies (513) 631-0083 Rockwern Academy (513) 984-3770 • Sarah’s Place (513) 531-3151 • Yeshivas Lubavitch High School of Cincinnati (513) 631-2452 • ORGANIZATIONS ORGANIZATIONS American Jewish Committee (513) 621-4020 • American Friends of Magen David Adom (513) 521-1197 • B’nai B’rith (513) 984-1999 BBYO (513) 722-7244 • Hadassah (513) 821-6157 • Jewish Discovery Center (513) 234.0777 • Jewish War Veterans (937) 886-9566 • NA’AMAT (513) 984-3805 • National Council of Jewish Women (513) 891-9583 • ORT America (216) 464-3022 • State of Israel Bonds (513) 793-4440 •

eventually sent to Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. No matter the fact that there is no guarantee of financial recompense. No matter the strain this puts on the hospital’s bottom line. I stand in awe of these Israeli doctors, many of them from the former Soviet Union, who are so eager to help Ukrainians who were shot as they exercised their right to stand freely. Now, they will help them stand again. One of the lines Zaptotski kept repeating to me when we met was “Thank God for Israel.” What was this Orthodox Christian Ukrainian trying to teach me? Perhaps it was thank God there is a country that can sometimes allow its values to conquer its pragmatism and its heart to conquer its mind. Thank God there is a place where the people will care not just about you but will have the foresight to ask your loved ones what they need. Thank God there is a people to watch over him, and thank God that Israelis are instilling in Zaptotski a dream not so unlike the one Theodor Herzl talked about over a century ago: That from the confines of his wheelchair, in this land, he will learn again to walk on his own two feet

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business@ or call 513-621-3145 JOBBIK from page 8 its rhetoric. “Even if this desire existed, doing so would be counterproductive because whatever we would gain on the right flanks we would lose much more from the center,” he told JTA. He also cited new laws against hate speech and promised the government would prevent any attempt to limit Jewish religious freedoms in Hungary. But Istvan Rev, a professor of history and political science at the Central European University, said the government resisted requests from Mazsihisz to consider alternatives for the monument that would have more clearly acknowledged Hungarian complicity. “This is an election year,” Rev VERDICT from page 16 That was the defining motif of Sharon’s career – from the Sinai to Lebanon to the Gaza Disengagement. And it’s the approach Olmert adopted when he took the reins of Kadima – Hebrew for “onward” – after Sharon’s 2006 stroke. But the approach has yielded mixed results: Wars in Lebanon and Gaza left Israel with inconclusive BREAKING from page 16 service, accusing me of the very things that I worked so hard to prevent. I wished I could have spoken up and shared the reality I knew. Instead, the organizers and sponsors made it very clear that there would be no dialogue. They handed out a list of rules that included not telling anyone what was said in the room, how we needed to allow our beliefs to be challenged, and how we should be accepting of the speaker’s comments. The sponsors didn’t even allow us to openly ask questions. We could only write them on a piece of paper, and then they would choose which ones to ask the speaker. Clearly, they did not want the speaker to be challenged. It was very hard to understand how the speaker represented “Breaking the Silence” when I was being silenced.


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(513) 531-9600 said, “and the government does not want to be seen as backing down before those bloody Jews.” Mindful of its clash with the government, Mazsihisz criticized the decision by the Chabad-affiliated Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation, or EMIH, to hold a conference in Budapest this week of hundreds of members of the Rabbinical Centre of Europe. A Mazsihisz spokesman told JTA that his organization feared Fidesz would use the event to downplay Jewish concerns. But EMIH head Rabbi Shlomo Koves, who credits the Orban government for its efforts to curb extremism, dismissed the concern, saying the event was nonpartisan and unconnected to the monument affair.

victories and fallout abroad. Olmert’s “Consolidation Plan,” the a unilateral withdrawal from parts of the West Bank, never got off the ground. And Israel’s next government was led not by Kadima but by the Likud of Benjamin Netanyahu. With Holyland, it seems, Olmert tried to rewrite the rulebook to suit his personal needs, disregarding building regulations in Jerusalem for the right price. But that didn’t work out very well for him. I couldn’t understand why the speaker was being praised that night. I couldn’t understand why someone who was dedicated to misrepresenting Israel and its moral character was given credibility. I was hurt that I was silenced while someone lied about my experience. The organizations who invited this man, J Street U and Hillel, had no interest in how I helped uphold human rights. They didn’t want me to speak about it, though I openly made myself available to them that night. The organizers said they love Israel. But by praising lies and misinformation, they made it clear that their “loving Israel” is only an empty façade. Hen Mazzig is the Pacific Northwest Campus Coordinator for StandWithUs and a member of the sixth StandWithUs “Israeli Soldiers Stories” tour.


Passover Traditions Zell’s Bites

by Zell Schulman Passover is just days away. I never reach this holiday without knowing in my heart of hearts, it’s the time when everything gets super clean. When I lived at home, the week before Passover had created its own traditions. The Passover boxes are brought up and each item is removed, checked out and placed in its special area for cleaning, polishing, or table setting. This ritual, comes along with Spring and the Passover holiday. It is also a time for memories, story telling and renewal. Special linens, crystal, dishes and silverware appear from their boxes and the decision as to which Passover Haggadah we will use to re- tell the Passover story evokes a long discussion, Some of the Haggadahs, yellowed and frayed on the edges, have lain in the boxes for years. They must have been read at my late grandmother Jacobs’ seders when her family was young and still growing. As a teenager, I remember attending Passover seder at my grandmother Jacobs’ home with our entire family. She didn’t leave out anyone. We were anywhere from 25 to 30 in attendance. It was always an adventure. The furniture in the living room was rearranged so that tables could be set up in the dining room and extend into the living room. Freshly starched white tablecloths covered each table, along with sterling silver place settings, crystal stemware, imported china and the beautiful Seder Plate waiting to be filled with her fabulous, home made Charoset, freshly grated horseradish and the other traditional accompaniments which we sampled as the Passover story unfolded. Not more than four and a half feet tall, my grandmother Jacobs was an amazing and capable women. Losing her husband in his thirties, she raised her eight children by herself. She lived on Eden Avenue, about two or three blocks from the Cincinnati Zoo in an area called Avondale. Whenever I visited her or spent the weekends at her home, I would hear the lions roar. Going to the zoo was like walking to a neighbor’s home for a quick visit. She was an outstanding cook and everything she prepared for the Passover seder was made from scratch: from the gefilte fish to the matzo ball soup, to the chicken and brisket, the carrots, potatoes and kugels down to the cakes, cookies and stewed fruits for

dessert. The Seder at her home was a wonderful happening! The following story has become part of our Passover celebration and I would be remiss if I didn’t share it with you. The year was 1941, I was thirteen years of age. My late mother, Henrietta Jacobs Sharff, was always given the honor of opening the door for the Prophet Elijah. It was a transitional period and several African American families had moved into my grandmother’s neighborhood. As my mother opened the door to welcome Elijah, a tall, handsome, well dressed African American gentleman was standing at the door, just about to ring the doorbell. “ I’m sorry,” he said. “does the Isaac Jones family live here?” With that, my grandmother called to my mother to invite the gentleman into the house. She gave the man the address where he would find the Jones family, then went on to explain to him we were in the middle of telling the Passover story, and had just opened the door to welcome the Prophet Elijah. That would have been fine, but she proceeded to pick up the special goblet that held the wine for Elijah and ask the gentleman if he would please do her the honor of drinking a sip from the goblet. The man couldn’t refuse this charming little old lady. He took a sip from the goblet, thanked her for giving him the address and proceeded out the door. As my mother closed the door behind him, my grandmother remarked,” We never know when the Prophet Elijah will visit us nor what form he will come in and I didn’t want to take a chance.” PASSOVER SOUR CREAM COFFEE CAKE Serves 4 This is a Passover favorite for breakfast. I call it a "Shelf Starters ©" because you start with a boxed cake from off the shelf. The ingredients in parenthesis are for those on special low-fat diets. Ingredients 1 box Passover coffee cake mix 1/4 cup sour cream (low fat ) 2 large eggs (1 egg + 2 egg whites) 1/4 cup toasted pecans* 1/4 cup milk (1% or skim milk) 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon Processor Method 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Insert steel blade in processor bowl. Empty contents of large bag into bowl of processor; add egg, milk and sour cream; pulse several times to mix well. Spread batter evenly in greased 8" x 8" pan 2. Empty contents of small bag in bowl of processor with steel blade; add toasted pecans and cinnamon; process 10 seconds. Spread evenly on top of batter; bake 40 minutes; cool 10 minutes in pan. Cut into squares. Zell’s Tips: Toast the nuts in a microwave on high, 2 minutes, rotating after 1 minute or toast them in a 400°F. oven 5 to 10 minutes.


Key West icons: a saloonkeeper, a writer, and a president Wandering Jew

by Janet Steinberg Key West, Florida is many things to many people. This Southernmost Point in the continental United States (only 90miles from Cuba) is a place where pirates once preyed and presidents once played. It is a place where straight meets gay, where drunk drinks with sober. It is Caribbean and continental, traditional and avant garde. It is Mallory Square Pier where the local Conch people, the visitor, the juggler, the belly dancer, and the mime, all gather for nature’s nightly spectacular…a fiery sunset when that great orange ball seems to drop off the edge of the universe. But for me, Key West is best remembered for three salty characters that made a permanent place in the city’s history…a saloon keeper…a writer…and a president. THE SALOON KEEPER: Joe Russell is a name you may not recognize, but I’m sure you’ve heard of “Sloppy Joe’s”, a bar that was born on December 5, 1933, the day prohibition ended. Joe Russell was the original proprietor of a bar named the “Blind Pig”, located in a rundown building that Russell leased for three dollars a week. Upon addition of a dance floor, the name was changed to the “Silver Slipper”. It was a shabby, uncomfortable saloon where good friends gathered for gambling, fifteen-cent whiskey, and ten-cent shots of gin.

Ernest Hemingway, Joe’s friend and a favorite patron of Russell’s bar, suggested that Joe change the name of the bar to Sloppy Joe’s. The new name was adopted from Jose Garcia’s Rio Havana Club that sold liquor and iced seafood. Because the floor was always wet with melted ice, his patrons taunted this Spanish Joe with running a sloppy place… and the name stuck. Sloppy Joe’s is by no means sloppy. It is a well-oiled operation that gives humongous portions of food and drink at acceptable prices. Our order of Havana Nachos (tortilla chips, topped with jalapenos, tomatoes, black olives, black beans, cheddar and jack cheese, served with sour cream, salsa and Sloppy Joe mix was meant to be an appetizer. One order turned out to be lunch for two. Don’t leave without trying a Sloppy Rita, (named the best Margarita in Florida) or a “Frozen Pain in the Ass”. I don’t know what that Rum Runner and Pina Colada drink tastes like, but its name intrigues me. THE WRITER: “Papa” Hemingway, the first important writer to discover and make Key West his home, arrived there in 1928 when he was working on “A Farewell to Arms”. lt was in Key West that he penned most of his great novels including “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, “To Have and Have Not” and “The Macomber Affair”. Today, visitors can tour the National Historic Landmark that was the home of Pulitzer Prize winner Ernest Hemingway. Several items of the property are of particular note. A replica of the ceramic cat sculpture, given to the cat-loving “Papa” Hemingway by his friend Picasso, sits atop a chest. A discarded Sloppy Joe’s urinal, given to Hemingway by his good friend Joe Russell (owner of Hemingway’s hang-out joint “Sloppy Joes”), was turned into what must be the most famous feline

Courtesy of Janet Steinberg

Ernest Hemingway Home

watering hole in the world. An old Spanish olive jar forms the top of the fountain. The trough that forms the base of the fountain is the abovementioned urinal. Hemingway’s then-wife Pauline surrounded the trough with colorful tiles in an attempt to disguise its true identity. Also noteworthy is a penny embedded in the poolside patio. Having paid $20,OOO for the first swimming pool built in Key West (in the late 1930’s), Hemingway took a penny from his pocket, pressed it into the wet cement of the surrounding patio. Hemingway then told his wife: “Well, you might as well take my last cent.” The wife, Hemingway’s second of four, was ultimately divorced. The poolside penny remains. A living memorial to the late author has also been preserved at his Spanish-colonial mansion. Approximately 40-50 polydactyl (six-toed) cats, descendants of the nearly 50 cats who lived there with “Papa”, still call 907 Whitehead Street home. THE PRESIDENT: Harry Truman’s Little White House, one of the most historic places in South Florida, initially served as the command headquarters during the Spanish American War. In 1890, the U.S. Navy built an 8700-square-foot home on the waterfront to house the base commander and paymaster. From 1946 to 1952, this country’s 33rd president Harry S. Truman used the house 175 days as both a retreat and functioning White House. It was while at the Little White House that President Truman enacted a Civil Rights Executive Order. In addition to Truman, the Little White House also served as a Presidential retreat for U.S. Presidents Taft, Eisenhower, Carter, Kennedy, and Clinton. Today, the Harry S. Truman Little White House is one of our county’s most significant historical sites and Florida’s only Presidential Museum. When you step inside this comfy, unpretentious, wooden two-story home, you feel as if you are an invited guest, coming to share a meal, listen to a great fishing story, play a game of poker at the round rattan poker table, or hear about the important events impacting our country. The furnishings in the home are largely the original furnishings used by Harry, Bess, and Margaret Truman. The presidential crystal, the red chintzy fabrics, and the upright piano are still there. On the wall is one display of White House Christmas Ornaments and another is a display with photos of Key West’s #1 Tourist. And on that famous mahogany desk is a large green blotter, an ink pen and inkwell, and that famous sign “The BUCK STOPS here!”


AUTOS • 21

The 2015 Audi A3: a sedan-style hatchback with style to spare The new 2015 A3 Sedan is hitting the ground as a sedan! From the available LED headlights, to the emphatic, spare grille, to the gentle roll of the roofline into the stubby trunk, it's as quintessentially Audi as any of the brand's sedans. Front-wheel-drive 1.8T models, with their 170-horsepower, 1.8-liter engine, are direct-injected, and provide low 1,600-rpm torque peaks and quick responsiveness. They're hitched up to a six-speed dual-clutch (DSG) automated manual gearbox, have transverse-mounted engines, front struts, and a four-link independent rear suspension. The A3 has pre-collision restraint prep, simulated torque vectoring on the front wheels via its anti-lock brakes, and lots of optional safety technology, including blind spot monitors and adaptive cruise control. Leather upholstery, a power driver's seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, and the panoramic sunroof are standard across the model line; base models also include Bluetooth audio streaming, HD Radio, satellite radio compatibility, bixenon headlamps, LED daytime running lamps, and a rain/light sensor. Audi’s Multi-Media Interface (MMI) is a full-fledged version of its

connectivity and infotainment system placed into its most affordable car— and this system's excellent interface and great connectivity together are reason enough to consider this small sedan instead of some of the leading rivals. Start the engine and a high-contrast, full-color seven-inch touch screen rises up from the dash. You can make inputs with a combination of twists and presses, via a controller and series of buttons on the center console; or you can cut right to the chase with individual voice commands for some things. On top of the rotary MMI controller there’s also a capacitive touch pad that allows you to trace with your fingertip one letter at a time to input addresses or contacts. Other new features include readaloud Facebook and Twitter alerts, direct access to RSS news feeds, and ‘tuning’ for more than 7,000 Internet radio stations. That’s in addition to online traffic information for the navigation system, which includes Google Earth and Google Street View displays. This system requires a subscription, but it’s optional, and a more limited MMI system is standard. Option packages are available, and the 2015 Audi A3 1.8T starts at $30,795.

The Infiniti Q50: be driven by desire The all-new Infiniti Q50 is designed for high-performance intensity and state-of-the-art originality. The Q50 offers “Direct Adaptive Steering with a digitally enhanced steering connection. Infiniti’s Zero-Lift Aerodynamics manage airflow to ensure your Q50 is balanced while you’re in motion. The Dual Flow Path Shock Absorbers adjust damping forces based on road conditions to maintain the perfect ride and precise response. The Infiniti Intouch integrates your digital life with a system that responds naturally to your touch. Infiniti Intuition integrates a wide variety of settings from your audio system. The interior of the all-new Q50 has low, wide stance that helps maximize head and hip room for all passengers. The backs of the supportive front seats give rear passengers more leg room. A wide trunk opening provides easy access to one of largest luggage compartments in its class. The Advanced Climate Control System features the innovative Plasmacluster® air purifier that works in concert with the Grape Polyphenol Filter, which removes up to 99.5% of allergens from the air coming in from the outside. The 3.7-Liter V6 Gasoline Engine provides robust design, exceptional power-to-weight ratio, advanced technology and fuel efficiency. Benefitting from Variable Valve and Event Lift

(VVEL®) technology, the Q50 supplies 328 horsepower while achieving up to 30 mpg. Infiniti Voice Recognition allows you to set a destination on the navigation system, call a contact from your phone, play an audio track and much more. Distance Control Assist employs radar to monitor the vehicle in front of you and helps you maintain a safe following distance. The Around View® Monitor with Front and Rear Sonar System and Moving Object Detection gives you exceptional awareness of your environment as you park. Ultra high-strength steel is used to help enhance your safety in the case of a collision. The unique process used to create this material can give it more than twice the tensile strength of conventional steel. The Q50 also has The Blind Spot Intervention® System, The Lane Departure Warning System, the Predictive Forward Collision Warning, and Backup Collision Intervention for the safety of you and your passengers. Infiniti puts an array of air bags between you and an impact, including dual-stage front supplemental air bags of the Infiniti Advanced Air Bag System that adjust inflation rates based on the severity of the crash. Also featured are front seat-mounted sideimpact supplemental air bags and roofmounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags. The Infiniti Q50 starts at $37,050.




HOBBY LOBBY from page 6

BENSON, Lillian, age 89, died March 31, 2104; 29 Adar II 5774

criticism that extending religious protections to corporations would be a recipe for chaos, leading to questions of whose rights needed protecting – the CEO, the board, the shareholders. Paul Clement, the lawyer for the two companies, cited the Crown Kosher case to make the distinction, suggesting that the case’s outcome eventually helped bring about Congress’ 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act. “What they understood,” he said, referring to lawmakers in Congress, “is that we were probably talking about in the real world a relatively small set of corporations like an incorporated kosher market or kosher deli of the kind that this court had before it in the Crown Kosher case,” Clement said. “And so I think it’s, you know, we can talk about the extent and how you’d apply these principles to Exxon, but I think that’s just some-

SHAYESON, Leona age 96, died April 1, 2014; 2 Nisan, 5774 LIKERMAN, Frances age 87, died April 2, 2014; 3 Nissan, 5774 GINSBURG, Gira, age 94, died April 6, 2014; 6 Nissan 5774

COALIION from page 10 refuse to enlist. But because of pressure from Jewish Home, the penalties won’t take effect until 2017 – enough time for haredim to run in another election and possibly re-enter the governing coalition, where they could roll back the law. The cause of greatest acrimony has been the peace talks. Hatnua was founded to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace. Jewish Home opposes a Palestinian state of any kind and supports settlement growth. Yesh Atid, once a quiet supporter of negotiations, has since become a stronger voice for a two-state solution, widening its rift with Jewish Home. To jump-start Israeli-Palestinian negotiations last summer, Israel agreed to an unpopular prisoner release. As the talks progressed, Jewish Home threatened to leave the coalition. But eight months later, peace talks are on the verge of collapse and the sides seem to be no closer to a deal. Meanwhile, Netanyahu’s security efforts haven’t yielded much success. An interim accord between Iran and the Western powers took effect despite the prime minister’s warnings that it was a “bad deal.” When Israel captured a ship this month laden with weapons destined for terrorist groups that Israel said originated in Iran, few world leaders responded. “The Israeli strategy collapsed after the November agreement,” said Ephraim Inbar, director of the BeginSadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University. “The world doesn’t want to hear bad news about Iran. The world is hiding its head in the sand.” One of Israel’s most significant security accomplishments has been clandestine bombings of weapons shipments to Hezbollah, the Lebanese terrorist group. But with Israel’s policy of deliberate ambiguity, Netanyahu can’t officially take credit for the attacks. Perhaps Netanyahu’s most notable achievement in the year-old government is that the coalition he cobbled together is still intact. “Every time he keeps going one more year,” Rahat said. “Staying in power is not easy. He looks like a leader above the fray, and he likes it that way.”

MLB from page 6 year for the Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles. Danny Valencia, Kansas City Royals, third base/designated hitter, fifth season. Valencia, playing last season for the Orioles, provided an able bat -- nearly half his hits went for extra bases on the way to a .304 batting average – especially during the team’s ultimately unsuccessful playoff drive. After returning from the minor leagues, Valencia contributed primarily as a DH against left-handed pitchers. Playing for the Minnesota Twins in 2011, he cranked out 15 homers and knocked in 72 runs, by far his career highs. Craig Breslow, Boston Red Sox, relief pitcher, ninth season. The veteran southpaw appeared in three World Series games for the Sox, who dispatched the St. Louis Cardinals in six, CHALLENGES from page 8 incident led a formal suspension of Israeli-Turkish ties. According to Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, a deal under which Israel would pay compensation to the families of the Turks killed aboard the Mavi Marmara could be signed as early as April, the Daily Hurriyet reported. “The gap between the expectations of the two sides is closing,” Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davuoglu told AFP. “Progress has been made to a great extent, but the two sides need to meet again for a final agreement.” A flotilla compensation deal would lead to a restoration of full diplomatic ties between Israel and Turkey, including the reopening of embassies. There have even been reports that Erdogan would visit Israel and the Palestinian territories. While reports of the deal appear have appeared in Turkish media and have cited Turkish leaders, the Israeli

thing that’s not going to happen in the real world,” said Clement, who was replying to a question from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a Clinton appointee who is Jewish, about why religious protections apply to forprofit companies. “It is no accident that the claims that you have before you in these cases are brought by small, closely held corporations that have firmly held religious beliefs.” Sammie Moshenberg, the Washington director for the National Council of Jewish Women, ridiculed Clement’s description of Hobby Lobby as “small,” noting that it had 18,000 employees in 450 outlets. “If you accord corporations and bosses the ability to impose a particular religious belief on their employees, what you do is you’re restricting the religious liberty of those employees,” said Moshenberg, whose group was one of eight Jewish groups that joined an amicus brief led by Americans United for Separation of

Church and State. “It’s a slippery slope, people think abortion and birth control are big issues,” she said. “But so is blood transfusion. There are people who have deeply held religious beliefs about LGBT rights, children born out of wedlock, vaccines, medical interventions.” Diament said the slope slipped both ways, noting that the restrictions imposed on Hobby Lobby could apply to a small kosher butcher. “The slippery slope on the other direction, that was highlighted by Alito’s question on kosher slaughter which the government did not have a good answer for,” he said. Rabbi David Saperstein, who directs the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center, said the analogy with kosher butchers was flawed because businesses like those “go to the very core” of a community’s religious beliefs, while Hobby Lobby’s business was not an expression of its owners’ faiths.

Marc Stern, the general counsel for the American Jewish Committee, said his group decided not to join the Americans United brief because it disagreed with the argument that forprofit businesses lacked protections. “What some have done cavalierly is say we don’t care about the religious beliefs of the employer,” he said. Instead, AJC filed its own amicus brief that argued against Hobby Lobby more in terms of the relative burdens of the employer and the employee. Noting the small proportion of businesses’ health payments that would actually go for birth control, Stern said the costs of covering contraceptives was “negligible” for employers compared to the cost to women of not being able to afford such coverage on their own. “The ability of women to function as full members of the economy is dependent on their ability to regulate their fertility,” he said.

but didn’t fare especially well after throwing a total of seven scoreless innings in as many appearances in the two previous playoff series. Breslow, a lefty specialist, appeared in 61 games last season and finished with a strong 1.81 ERA. Ryan Lavarnway, Boston Red Sox, catcher, fourth season. Lavarnway was left off the postseason roster despite batting .299 in limited action during a regular season marked by several shuttles to AAA Pawtucket. Not that 2013 wasn’t noteworthy for Lavarnway, since in the first inning of an Aug. 6 game in Houston he was charged with four passed balls, tying a dubious major league record. That was hardly indicative of his backstopping ability, since the hurler was a knuckleballer, but the Red Sox nevertheless are trying out Lavarnway at first base this spring.

Ike Davis, New York Mets, first baseman, fifth season. While always a smooth fielder, Davis is a halffull/half-empty kind of hitter, challenging for the Rookie of the Year in 2010 and hitting .302 in an injuryshortened sophomore season, only to fall to .227 his third year despite bopping 32 homers. Last season, he even was exiled for a while to AAA Las Vegas (yes, desert) to straighten out his swing, but that merely meant finishing at .205. Notwithstanding offseason trade rumors, Davis is back with the Mets and is in a three-way battle for the starter’s job. Josh Satin, New York Mets, infielder, fourth season. In his first lengthy taste of the majors, Satin in 2013 appeared in 75 games (after just 16 games played his first two seasons) and batted .279 with 15 doubles while playing mostly first and third base. Satin, Davis and another candi-

date, Lucas Duda, have failed to seize the spot, but as the lone right-handed batter, Satin could at least play against lefties. Sam Fuld, Oakland Athletics, outfielder, seventh season. Fuld was a valuable backup outfielder while playing the past three seasons for the Tampa Bay Rays. Allowed to leave as a free agent, the lefty swinger was acquired by the A’s innovative general manager Billy Beane of “Moneyball” fame. Brad Ausmus, Detroit Tigers, manager, first season. Ausmus finished his playing career with the Dodgers, moved on to the front office of the Padres, leading to his managing Israel’s WBC squad and on to the job in Detroit. One of his WBC charges, Ben Guez, is hoping to join Ausmus in “The Show.” In a few weeks, perhaps a promotion could be his afikomen present.

government has denied that a deal is imminent. Koplow believes the impetus for reconciliation on the Turkish side has come from two places – pressure from the U.S., and a string of foreign policy failures over the past year. “The Turkish government believes that making up with Israel will alleviate some of the recent tension with the U.S., and President Obama reportedly emphasized his expectation that Erdogan make tangible moves toward patching things up,” he told JNS. The U.S. has been highly involved in fixing the relationship of its two key Middle East allies. In March 2013, during his publicized trip to Israel, President Barack Obama pushed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to call Erdogan and apologize for the deaths of the Turkish citizens aboard the Mavi Marmara. After the call, Erdogan’s office issued a statement saying that Turkey valued its “friendship” with Israel.

Yet since then, negotiations on restoring ties have been slow to bear fruit, despite several rounds of talks over compensation. Some in Israel are skeptical of Erdogan’s true intentions in the negotiations. “I’m not certain that Erdogan is committed to a deal, as long as he demands the removal of the blockade on Gaza, there is no deal as far as Israel is concerned,” Professor Efraim Inbar, director of the BeginSadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University and an expert on Turkish-Israeli relations, told JNS. While it remains uncertain if Erdogan is truly motivated to restore ties with Israel, on a geopolitical level, a Turkish-Israeli alliance would enable both countries to confront myriad of regional threats. “An Israeli-Turkish alliance makes sense in a lot of ways. Both countries have need of countering and containing Iranian regional influence, both countries border an increasingly unstable Syria, and both countries can benefit from Israel’s

natural gas finds as Turkey is a large energy importer while Israel is now poised to be an exporter,” Koplow said. But the biggest challenge for restoring ties may lie in the growing anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment in Turkey, undoubtedly fostered by Erdogan and his AKP party. While Turkey has a sizable secular population with strong ties with Europe, most Turks, like their counterparts in the rest of the Muslim world, do not have a favorable view of Israel, and anti-Semitism is rampant in the country Yet this hasn’t always been the case. Modern Turkey’s predecessor, the Ottoman Empire, welcomed thousands of Jews who were fleeing the Spanish Inquisition centuries ago, where they set up thriving communities. Nevertheless, many of Turkey’s remaining Jews – roughly 15,000 – are now regularly fleeing the country to Israel and elsewhere due to antiSemitism.

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