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The American Israelite T H E




Hadassah Coffee Talk on identity theft protection



THURSDAY, MAY 9, 2013 29 IYYAR, 5773

Celebration of the Book Program Fills Rockwern With Storytelling p.11 J E W I S H




CINCINNATI, OH Candle Lighting Times Shabbat begins Fri 8:21p Shabbat ends Sat 9:22p

VOL. 159 • NO. 42 SINGLE ISSUE: $1.00


Wise Temple presents Shavuot Sensation: Everyday Holiness with...



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Meet restaurateur Lisa Schroeder, Portland’s unofficial Jewish mother...

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L I G H T ”

Sharansky’s Kotel plan loses support from both sides

AJC announces winnners for Lazarus Awards

Converting a happy pig into a kosher cow: A Memphis fundraising story



Torah navigation leads to new journeys



American labor unions raising millions for Rabin Center



AJC Lazarus Awards Chair Todd Schild, senior winner Brian Collette, junior winner Jessica Seibold and AJC Vice President Sandy Kaltman

Beware: Fado fever is catching... I know because I caught it!


Energetic and devoted volunteers from 36 high schools received American Jewish Committee’s 48th annual Simon Lazarus Jr. Human Relations Awards at Rockdale Temple. On May 1, AJC presented the awards to juniors and seniors who campaign for good causes and organize their classmates in compassionate service. Junior class winner Jessica Seibold of Seven Hills School pioneered a connection between her school and a nearby public elementary school. When she wanted to set up tutoring, her principal challenged her to work out all the logistics. She recruited 35 students, arranged transportation, and launched the program, in which she

is both a tutor and administrator. In addition, she has joined her family in soup kitchen volunteering. Her nominator says she has “demonstrated striking initiative,” benefiting not only the elementary school students, but also the high school participants. Her parents are Sandy Rubin and Rick Seibold of Madeira, members of Wise Temple. Senior class winner is Brian Collette of Seven Hills School, who has found a way to “turn a dream into reality.” He has created “Charitable Innovations,” which uses gifts to non-profits to provide micro-loans to impoverished entrepreneurs around the world. Repayment of the loans within one year funds the original purpose of the donation. He has cre-

ated several other social enterprises. As a retreat leader and club sponsor, he shows leadership and recruits younger kids to community service. He also has developed personal friendships which encourage homeless people. His nominator calls attention to his “creativity, confidence and conviction.” A junior finalist is Sarah BlattHerold of Mariemont H.S. She organizes Kindness Retreats for 5th graders, to overcome unkind actions, such as bullying. She leads her classmates, as well as the younger students she works with. She has organized a book drive to benefit less privileged schools, sorts clothing and packs food for people abroad, and has planned a 5K race,

handling details with skill. Her nominator calls her “a motivated young lady who is making a difference and committed to helping others.” Her parents are Alison Cohen and Josh Blatt of Terrace Park. Other junior finalists are Ryan Cullen of St. Xavier H.S., Laura Hils of McAuley H.S., and Ellie Parker of Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy. Senior finalists are Michael Best of St. Henry District H.S., Alexandra Hicks-Chambers of Simon Kenton H.S., Erika Ladrigan of Anderson H.S., and Paige Williams of St. Ursula Academy. AJC is the global advocate for the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel, and for the advancement of democratic values for all.

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Cedar Village annual meeting Cedar Village’s General Board and Foundation Board had their annual meeting on Thursday, May 2. With 75 people in attendance, they discussed the residents, overview of the year and all of their previous year’s successes. Sally Korkin, executive director of the Cedar Village Foundation, talked about the Foundation’s successful rehabilitation campaign, “Growth for Tomorrow: Expanding Rehabilitation Services Today.” They were able to raise $6 million for the expansion and rehabilitation center for in-patient and out-patient services. Korkin said, “Because of the support and general donations, we were able to reach our goal and break ground to build the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati Aquatics Therapy Center.” Cedar Village has grown tremendously over the year. Recently, they opened the Cedar Village Rehabilitation Center at the Mayerson Jewish Community Center. It offers a full-time physical therapist on site to provide a full assessment, evaluation and treatment; treatments include transition to fitness equipment and development of personalized programs; available specialized treatments such as balance testing and training; daily classes such as preventing back injury, golf swing analysis, staying young and balance assessment; the highest modalities of equipment available including a medical laser for light therapy; Biodex balance trainers, free

Cedar Village Chairs (l-R) Jay Price, Jerry Teller, Andy Schott (back), Paul Heiman and current Chair, Bob Rosen

Carol Silver Elliott, CEO/President CV and Brian Jaffee, ED Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati

weights and kettle bell therapy; and wide-screen Wii-habilitation activities and programs, as well as use of the JCC gym. Last year, Cedar Village opened the Shalom Center for Elder Abuse Prevention. It provides shelter for eligible seniors, aged 65 and older, and a safe harbor for older adults who are victims of abuse, including a wide range of health care and supportive services and a coordinated system of care. Necessary services such as medical, psychological, spiritual and legal are provided throughout the patient’s stay. Individuals are referred to the Shalom Center by local agenices, hospitals and other organizations. Appropriate individuals will be accepted for admission

for an emergency stay of 90 to 120 days. The care team begins work upon admission to plan for a safe discharge to the least restrictive alternative. Patients are encouraged to take advantage of Cedar Village’s services and programs. “The services we provide to the community are growing like the Shalom Center. We are finding new ways to expand our reach of the community,” said Carol Silver Elliott, CEO/president of Cedar Village. Another topic of the meeting was the first interfaith mission trip to Israel that the residents of Cedar Village residents and Otterbein in Lebanon went on in October. It was a 10-day trip with 13 people from each. They filmed a video of their expedition and showed it at the meeting. Elliott said, “I found this year to be another successful year with the

Hadassah Coffee Talk on identity theft protection Cincinnati Chapter of Hadassah will present the last Coffee Talk of the season on Monday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the home of Julie Brook. Guest speaker David Lichtenfeld will talk about how to protect against identity theft. Tobe Snow is Coffee Talk Chair. Light refreshments will be served. David Lichtenfeld is a retired FBI Special Agent who served over 27 years. He has first-hand knowledge of identity thieves and the victims they leave behind. He will share some real-life situations and help give some tools needed to protect against identity theft. A native of Bryn Mawr, Penn., Lichtenfeld attended Gettysburg College on a football scholarship. After a stint in the army, he married, had three children (a son and two daughters) and worked as a claims adjuster for State Farm Insurance. He was looking for a unique way to help society, and in 1965 he became a Special Agent for the FBI. After a productive and satisfying career of more than 27 years, he retired but continued working 10 more years for the FBI under contract doing security investigations. He

received the 1998 Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI Humanitarian award and in 2007 the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Hamilton County Police Association. Since retiring, he has done security work for the Cincinnati Reds. Active in volunteer work since 1988, he has volunteered for Hospice of Cincinnati, Scarlet Oaks Vocational School, Cincinnati Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired, and the Center for Holocaust and Humanity. Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, was born from the vision of one woman, Henrietta Szold in 1912. She knew what a powerful force women can be and created Hadassah to heal the world through the education and empowerment of women. Hadassah provides its members an array of programs and activities that strengthen Jewish identity and support for Israel while providing a unique opportunity to connect socially. In 2012, Hadassah dedicated the state of the art Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower in Jerusalem, a seven year, $363-mil-

lion project that will help keep Israel in the forefront of global medical care and research. The Hadassah Hospitals currently have a collaborative agreement with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to improve clinical care for children, more expertly train scientists and pediatric providers and make research and technological advances that benefit the world. Cincinnati Children’s Israel Exchange Program (IEP) was established in 2011, and through the IEP, some of Israel’s best and brightest are moving their families to Cincinnati for one- to three-year clinical and research training opportunities at Cincinnati Children’s. The newest Hadassah fellow, Gilad Hamandi, will begin a Nephrology fellowship this summer, joining Shelley Ben Harush Negari from Hadassah Hospital, who began an adolescent medicine fellowship last summer. The Eitan Gross Observership Fund at Cincinnati Children’s provides support for the IEP doctors in Cincinnati. Coffee Talk is open to the public, and there is no charge to attend, but RSVPs are requested. Please call the Cincinnati Chapter of Hadassah.

opening of the Shalom Center and expanding the growth of our other servcies.” She also discussed the plans for the future including the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati Aquatics Therapy Center, which is phase two of Cedar Village’s Foundation’s rehabilitation campaign.



other’s company and making great Jewish memories. My 10-year-old, Shoshana, told me that it was one of the best days of her life—very high praise from a tween!” Another parent, Alex Boymel, said, “I enjoyed spending time with our Jewish family and friends. It was wonderful to see all of the kids having so much fun.” That sentiment was echoed by Holly Wolfson, who looked back on the day and said, “I really enjoyed observing Shabbat in a relaxed setting with my family and friends from shul. It was a very special day.”

Northern Hills Synagogue to celebrate Shavuot The Festival of Shavuot is associated with the offering of first fruits in the Temple in Jerusalem and also with the giving of the Torah. Northern Hills Synagogue Congregation B’nai Avraham will celebrate Shavuot this year, from the evening of May 14 through May 16, with several religious services and special programs. As the holiday arrives, on Tuesday evening, May 14, the congregation will hold evening services and a Shavuot study session beginning at 8 p.m. The study session follows in the tradition of Tikkun Leyl Shavuot, an all-night

survey of classical Jewish sources. (The Northern Hills Synagogue study session should end around 10 p.m.) The congregation’s theme this year will be the popular hymn Yigdal. Rabbi Barnard will trace the history of Yigdal from the Mishnah to the siddur. Claire Lee will present several alternative melodies for the hymn. Maksim Shilkrot, Director of Education and Programming, along with Connie Hinitz and Allan Satin, will speak about Maimonides’ Thirteen Principals of Belief, which underlie Yigdal. Traditional dairy refreshments will be served.

On Wednesday morning, the festival service will begin at 9:30 a.m. The Torah reading for the day will include the Decalogue, and kiddush will follow the service. At 4:30 p.m., Rabbi Barnard will take the congregation, adults and children, on a tour through the Torah. As Rabbi Barnard observed, “Unrolling the entire Torah scroll is a common practice on Simhat Torah. This past fall, when we unrolled a Torah scroll, several people said that they wished that they could have spent more time learning about it. Shavuot, the festival of the Giving of the Torah, is

a good time to hold such an activity again.” The afternoon’s events will also include Minhah and ice cream. At 8 p.m. on Wednesday, the evening service for the second night of Shavuot will be held. Services on the second day of Shavuot will begin on Thursday, May 16, at 9:30 a.m. During the service, Bea Opengart and Sonja Rethy will read the Book of Ruth. Yizkor, the Memorial Service, will be recited, and following the morning service, everyone is invited to join in a festival luncheon. For more information, please contact the Synagogue office.

Wise Temple’s evening at the piano lounge Close your eyes and imagine this scene. A lone piano sits in the center of the room. Round tables surround the baby grand and laughter is heard from every corner. The smell of a delicious meal fills the air. Toes are tapping to the music of your generation and your voice joins those of your friends as you belt out the words to your favorite songs. Where can you find

this Piano Lounge atmosphere? At Wise Temple on Saturday, June 1 at 6 p.m. as the Senior Adults enjoy an evening of musical entertainment. The pianist and entertainer, Judi Downer, will sing and play in a style reminiscent of the golden era of the New York cocktail pianist. Nancy Goldberg, the event’s co-chair, says, “Judi has a

friendly personality and comfortable style which engages her audience in the festivities, making it fun for everyone and encouraging participation.” Judi comes with 12 years of classical study but has played many venues, from exclusive private clubs to the nightclub circuit. Barb Mandell, program cochair says, “Everyone is in store for a real treat as we listen to Judi’s

musical performance. She will delight you in her every note.” “Don’t forget to come with your song requests,” encourages Goldberg. “Judi’s interactive style will ensure that you hear the music you want to hear.” There is a fee to attend. Wise Temple hopes to see you at their Evening at the Piano Lounge. To RSVP, contact Wise Temple.

Wise Temple presents Shavuot Sensation: Everyday Holiness with Rabbi Jan Katzew Shavuot, which the Sages called the time of the giving of our Torah, is a time when we are called upon to accept the Torah that is a gift from God. One way we learn to accept Torah is through Mussar, the intentional study and practice of developing moral virtues, called middot. the giving of our Torah, is a time when we are called upon to accept the Torah that is a gift from God. One way we learn to accept Torah

is through Mussar, the intentional study and practice of developing moral virtues, called middot. Rabbi Jan Katzew, PhD serves

as the Director of ServiceLearning at HUC-JIR Cincinnati. His areas of passionate interest include: education, moral philosophy and interfaith dialogue. Most recently he collaborated on a World Religions book that incorporates all three disciplines. Katzew’s professional experience has ranged from being head of a Jewish day school, to being a congregational educator to serving as director of lifelong learning for the Union for Reform Judaism, and now he is again finding his home in Cincinnati with his wife, Cantor Alane Katzew. This program is open to the public, but reservations are necessary for dinner. To make a reservation, contact the Wise Temple office.


VOL. 159 • NO. 42 THURSDAY, MAY 9, 2013 29 IYYAR 5773 SHABBAT BEGINS FRIDAY 8:21 PM SHABBAT ENDS SATURDAY 9:22 PM THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE CO., PUBLISHERS 18 WEST NINTH STREET, SUITE 2 CINCINNATI, OHIO 45202-2037 Phone: (513) 621-3145 Fax: (513) 621-3744 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 GABRIELLE COHEN JORY EDLIN Assistant Editors ALEXIA KADISH Copy Editor JANET STEINBERG Travel Editor MARIANNA BETTMAN NATE BLOOM IRIS PASTOR RABBI A. JAMES RUDIN ZELL SCHULMAN RABBI AVI SHAFRAN PHYLLIS R. SINGER Contributing Columnists JOSEPH D. STANGE Production Manager ERIN WYENANDT Office Manager e Oldest Eng Th

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On Erev Shavuot, Wise Temple members will explore the concept of everyday holiness. After the Shavuot Service and a box dinner, participants will engage in a fascinating evening of study and enjoy delicious desserts. Rabbi Jan Katzew will discuss Everyday Holiness. Ideally, holiness is supposed to be a way of being—the rule rather than the exception. Some think of holiness as extraordinary, sacred events that punctuate our year and our lives, as well as an attribute of ethical and spiritual giants. However, one strand that runs through the web of Jewish time, known as Mussar, teaches that holiness can be achieved through study and disciplined practice. Shavuot, which the Sages called the time of


Breakers, a scavenger hunt, story time, spiritual discussions, outdoor hikes, games and adventure activities such as zip lining followed. Izzy Wolfson commented, “I liked the part when we went on the hike,” and Beckam Boymel added, “I had fun going up the rock wall! The day was super fun!” Shabbat concluded with Havdallah around a bonfire. Families ate, sang and were together all day. One parent who attended, Brett Stern, said, “Family day was such a great opportunity to experience Shabbat with my family. I loved spending the day together, enjoying each

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Newman. They were joined by USYers Zak Lempert, Allison and Elana Schwartz, and Ethan Padnos, as well as the Cincinnati Chaverim, Tomer Flischer and Mor Ninio, who led some of the activities. “Family Day was such a great place to build stronger relationships. There was always something to do and it was great spending Shabbat outdoors,” Tomer recounted. The theme of Family Day, Jewish Values, was infused throughout the day’s activities, which began with a kid-friendly Shabbat Service. Mixers and Ice

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Adath Israel’s first Shabbat Family Day, held on April 20 at Camp Kern, north of Cincinnati, was a day for families to spend quality time together and with other families while celebrating Shabbat in a fun and meaningful way. More than 80 people, with children ranging in age from four months to 18 years old, experienced Shabbat in a day planned by a committee of parents, chaired by Holly Wolfson and Ali Bernstein, along with Rabbinic Intern Brent Gutmann, Youth Task Force Chair Carol Ann Schwartz, and Youth and Family Coordinator Mollie

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Adath’s first Shabbat Family Day a huge success

THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE (USPS 019-320) is published weekly for $44 per year and $1.00 per single copy in Cincinnati and $49 per year and $3.00 per single copy elsewhere in U.S. by The American Israelite Co. 18 West Ninth Street, Suite 2, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-2037. Periodicals postage paid at Cincinnati, OH. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE, 18 West Ninth Street, Suite 2, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-2037. The views and opinions expressed by the columnists of The American Israelite do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the newspaper.



Israel@65 collaboration: A great success Israel@65, the six-month, community-wide celebration of Israel’s 65 years of independence, came to a close with a week of events for all ages from April 14 – 21. In the culminating event, the Israeli Cultural Fest, over 1,000 attended and perused handcrafted artwork and Judaica from both local and Israeli artists, and participated in a communal art project depicting Jerusalem. Guests enjoyed Israeli food and wine, Dead Sea spa treatments, Henna tattoos, a Masada inflatable climbing wall and kosher foods from local vendors. The Israeli Cultural Fest was headlined by one of the most dynamic singer-songwriter instrumentalists in the world, Israeli icon David Broza. The fullhouse free concert was brought to Cincinnati by the JCC Wolf Center for Arts & Ideas. The audience was so engaged that Broza kept singing, for about an hour longer than planned! “Cincinnati has deep historic connections with Israel. This is shown in the broad and deep participation of so many in Israel@65,” said Shep Englander, CEO, Jewish Federation of Cincinnati. Cincinnati’s Israel@65 sixmonth celebration overall included more than 5,000 people, 46 programs, 44 partner agencies and 13 sponsors. Marc Fisher, interim CEO of the Mayerson JCC, added, “This type of collaboration is unprecedented in Cincinnati, and we are very excited about the future of our community and the great things we can accomplish together.” Featured events included the opening event in November 2012, “Our Star is Born,” a commemoration of the 1947 U.N. vote to create the Jewish State. Over 450 Cincinnatians joined together, enjoyed Israeli food and danced in Cincinnati’s largest Hava Nagila. In January, music lovers enjoyed a post-performance dessert reception and meet-and-greet, after seeing world-famous Israeli violinist Gil Shaham perform with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. At the featured event in February, moviegoers enjoyed a sold-out free showing of “Orchestra of Exiles” and a talk-back with the film’s director, Dorit Strauss, during the Mayerson JCC Jewish & Israeli Film Festival. Successful Israel Independence Week events in April included a well-attended Israeli Memorial Day Ceremony honoring the Israel Defense Force (IDF) soldiers lost in Israel’s wars and victims of terror and an Independence Day teen celebration with an Israeli style “mangal” cookout and Israeli music and activities led by the Chaverim

“In particular I was impressed by the creativity and diversity of programming from all of our partners—everything from entire shabbatons (full weekends of scholars in residence learning) to Israeli dancing to real time distance learning with tweens from Netanya to festivals and tzedakah projects.” Rabbi Shena Jaffee

m’Israel. In addition, more than 600 people enjoyed two back-toback birthday party beach bashes at Grand Sands in Loveland, hosted by Shalom Family and Access in celebration of Israel’s 65th birthday. This outdoor sand volleyball facility became Israel for the day and featured live camel rides, 21,000 square feet of sand, a mechanical surf board, a “Masada” rock climbing wall, a Bedouin tent, olive oil tasting, authentic Israeli food, candy and snacks, and music. Rabbi Shena Jaffee, one of the lead professionals for Israel@65, said “The whole community came together to provide six months of unique programming and engaged a broad audience in many different ways.” In addition to the nine featured events, nearly every Jewish organization in Cincinnati celebrated Israel@65 by providing a broad range of programming for people of all ages. “In particular I was impressed by the creativity and diversity of programming from all of our partners—everything from entire shabbatons (full weekends of scholars in residence learning) to Israeli dancing to real time distance learning with tweens from Netanya to festivals and tzedakah projects,” Jaffee continued. Israel@65 was chaired by Nina and Eddie Paul, and jointly promoted and presented by the Mayerson JCC and the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati. Sponsors included The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the Jewish Federation of

Cincinnati, The Mayerson Foundation, Western & Southern Financial Group, Nina and Eddie Paul, Xavier University, the Jewish Community Relations Council, The Joseph Auto Group, SodaStream and The American Israelite. More than 40 local agencies, organizations and congregations in Greater Cincinnati participated in this six-month celebration of Israel’s 65 years of independence.

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COMMUNITY NEWS with Jews. The process Celebrate Jewish identified Local Runners results in a description of changing Jewish neighborhoods during a ran in Boston American period of expanding social, ecoHeritage Month nomic and spatial mobility for marathon Cincinnati’s Jews. His research at Main Library adds to the broader historical disCelebrate Jewish American Heritage Month at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamiliton County with a guest lecture by Carmi Neiger at the Main Library Sunday, May 19, at 2 p.m. in the Genealogy & Local History Program Space on the third floor. Neiger, an assistant professor at Elmhurst College in Illinois, will speak on the topic “Cohens on the Move: Jewish Neighborhood Dynamics in Cincinnati, 19401990.” His lecture asks the question: “What constitutes a Jewish neighborhood?” Neiger’s study attempts to determine areas of Jewish settlement through modeling activities associated with sites

cussion on the interaction among racial and ethnic groups within the context of neighborhood change in Cincinnati. May is Jewish American Heritage Month. This recognition was started by President George W. Bush in 2006 and has been continued by President Barack Obama. Jewish American Heritage Month acknowledges the achievements of American Jews in fields ranging from sports and arts and entertainment to medicine, business, science, government and military service. “Cohens on the Move: Jewish Neighborhood Dynamics in Cincinnati, 19401990” is an official event of Jewish American Heritage Month.

Stephanie Miller and Danielle Schneider ran the Flying Pig marathon on Sunday, May 5 in honor of Boston and the victims of the Boston marathon bombings. Miller and Schneider ran the Boston marathon three weeks earlier. They both finished the race before the explosions occurred. They were a block away from the finish line when they heard the first bomb go off. Miller said in a Fox Sports Ohio article, “I immediately thought in my head for a second that was a bomb, that was an explosion. My sense of direction, because my boyfriend and I are the only ones from here, said that happened on

How Saul Bellow ‘blew it’ with the Holocaust, changed his tune after Six Day War By Peter L. Rothholz JointMedia News Service LOS ANGELES – Born in Canada into an immigrant Jewish family in 1915, Nobel Prize-winning author Saul Bellow had a traditional Jewish upbringing, which included Torah study, Talmud, and Hebrew. Yet Rabbi David Wolpe observes that Bellow had an ambivalent relationship with Judaism. “It was part of who he was, but he didn’t want to be thought of as a ‘Jewish’ author,” Wolpe, who has been the top-ranked rabbi on the Newsweek “50 Most Influential Rabbis in America” list, told JNS. Wolpe, the leader of Sinai Temple of Los Angeles, recently sat down with Dr. Greg Bellow, 69, the oldest of Saul Bellow’s four children, to discuss Greg’s new book, Saul Bellow and the Holocaust, before an audience of some 200 mature bibliophiles at Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, Calif. Saul Bellow is the only American Jewish author to have won the Nobel Prize in Literature, and has also won three Pulitzer Prizes. In his new book, Greg Bellow, who holds a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Social Work and was a practicing psychotherapist for many years, divides his father’s life into “Young Saul” and “Old Saul.” He describes Young Saul as a sociable and funny man, full of questions. During the 1930s and ’40s, Saul was a Marxist and a “gen-

Courtesy of MDCarchives/Wikimedia Commons

Saul Bellow at the Miami Book Fair International festival in 1990.

uine believer” in radical philosophy. He believed that World War II was a war between communism and capitalism, and he was convinced that “come the Revolution there will be a flowering of society,” according to Greg’s book. As it turned out, “Young Saul” was wrong about World War II. As Greg put it to the audience at Temple Emanuel, “He blew it.” Moreover, speaking of the post-war “Old Saul,” Greg said his father “turned from a man of questions to a man of answers.” As he began to recognize the social evils that surrounded him in the post-war world, he felt that “mankind cannot govern itself any better than Hitler or Stalin” and grew ever more critical and pessimistic. “He became irascible and angry, anti-black and anti-women’s lib,” Greg Bellow told the audience. Saul Bellow’s attitude toward Judaism was changed completely by the Six Day War in June 1967. It transformed him from a socialist to a conservative. He had a need to get

involved and, much to the surprise of his family, he left for Israel to cover the war as a correspondent for Newsday. “I had to go,” Saul explained at the time. Greg said he is convinced that it was “seeing war at close-up that made [Saul] change his mind and awakened him to his Judaism.” Not long thereafter, Saul went through what Greg called “a spiritual crisis.” It was then that he began to write Mr. Sammler’s Planet, which literary critic Adam Kirsch described as “a document of the cravings of 1960s America, and an attempt to bring the Holocaust to bear on America.” Greg told JNS that Mr. Sammler’s Planet is a “watershed novel” because it conveys not only a message about the Holocaust in general, but also “an indictment against the self-imposed blindness that prevented people from seeing the Nazi threat.” Arthur Sammler, the protagonist of the novel, is a Holocaust survivor living in New York in the ’60s. He is an intellectual who has maintained many of his Central European attitudes about culture. While he marvels at Neil Armstrong landing on the moon and other evidence of progress and prosperity, Sammler is at the same time appalled by the excesses and degradations of city life. By the end of the novel he has learned to bridge the gap between himself and those around him, and has come to accept that a “good life” is one in which a person does that which is “required of him.”

Danielle Schneider and Stephanie Miller

the marathon course. Whatever it was it was on the marathon

course because we were that close and it was behind us.” After the bombings, Miller and Schneider started a fundraising web page to generate $2,602 in honor of the Flying Pig’s 26.2 mile distance. Within eight days of their campaign, they were able to triple their goal amount. They ran for two couples, Christian Williams and Caroline Rensch and Patrick and Jessica Downes. These two couples were severely injured during the Boston marathon. This was Miller’s third time running the Flying Pig and Schneider’s first time. Miller has run a total of 31 marathons and Schneider has run 18. There was no doubt in the minds of Miller and Schneider when they decided to run in the Flying Pig marathon this year or the next Boston Marathon. Schneider said in a Fox Sports Ohio article, “I feel like I’m doing something to help out..”

Israeli couple is face of gay family reunification efforts By Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraphic Agency WASHINGTON (JTA) – A same-sex Israeli couple struggling against U.S. immigration laws are set to become the faces of the fight to extend one of the foundations of immigration policy to gays and lesbians. Adi Lavy and Tzila Levy have been caught in the bureaucratic red tape of the American immigration system since Lavi, who suffers from a kidney ailment, arrived in the United States in 2011 to seek treatment. The couple, whose New York marriage is not recognized by the federal government, have been able to stay together during Lavi’s illness and her subsequent return to Israel to care for an ailing parent thanks only to a series of interventions by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). But an estimated 36,000 binational LGBT couples are potentially at risk of separation should one partner be forced to leave the country. Now the Brooklyn couple’s struggle is being highlighted as part of an effort to extend residency rights commonly granted to straight couples to gays and lesbians. “Adi fears that she and her wife could be torn apart,” said testimony submitted last month by the Immigration Equality Action Fund to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is considering a bill proposed by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that would extend residency rights to the foreign-

Courtesy of Immigration Equality

Tzila Levy, left, and Adi Lavi, married on New York City’s Williamsburg Bridge, seen in the background, Oct. 27, 2012.

born permanent partners of U.S. citizens. “She fears being left alone to face her chronic health issues without her primary caregiver and emotional support,” the testimony said. “Without a lasting immigration solution, this family will continue to face a life filled with uncertainty and fear.” The fund, which is spearheading advocacy for the Uniting American Families Act, selected the couple in part because of their compelling story, said Tom Plummer, the fund’s lawyer. The fund receives more than a thousand calls a year, Plummer said, and he takes on only the dozen or so cases likeliest to “help move the issue” of same sex-family reunification. “They’re a loving couple and they’re married and it’s also Adi’s health,” said Plummer, explaining why the couple were chosen as faces of the campaign. “They really need to stay here for her health care needs to be met.” COUPLE on page 22



National Briefs

Converting a happy pig into a kosher cow: A Memphis fundraising story By Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Bomb threats called in to Houston synagogues (JTA) – Two Houston synagogues received bomb threats. The bomb threats were called in to Congregation Beth Israel, a Reform synagogue, and Congregation Or Ami, a Conservative synagogue, on Wednesday afternoon. Both synagogues canceled Hebrew school classes for Thursday but said they would reopen Friday with more security, according to the Houston Chronicle. Police squad cars were parked outside the synagogues on Thursday morning, KHOU in Houston reported. U.S. lawmakers Royce and Engel talk Iran, Syria with Netanyahu WASHINGTON (JTA) – Now is the time to step up pressure on Iran, the head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said in Jerusalem. Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), the committee chairman, made his remarks Wednesday following a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Royce and Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the committee’s ranking member, are heading a bipartisan delegation of House of Representatives members traveling to Israel during the recess. Royce and Engel discussed with Netanyahu the potential Iranian threat and instability in Syria. Netanyahu also expressed readiness to work with the Obama administration as it attempts to reconvene IsraeliPalestinian talks. Warren Buffett to Israel: ‘You are a nation of entrepreneurs with amazing abilities’ (JNS) Dubbed the “start-up nation” for its culture of innovation and a book by Dan Senor and Saul Singer that used that term, Israel received praise along those lines this week from world-famous billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who on Wednesday completed his acquisition of Israel’s Iscar tool-making company. “Israel should continue to do what it’s doing,” Buffett said in an interview with Israel Hayom. “You are a nation of entrepreneurs with amazing abilities. Israel must continue to provide them with the best and most comfortable work climate. That is the government’s responsibility: to create a comfortable climate for entrepreneurs.”

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The thick scent of a peppery rub wafted through the Margolin Hebrew Academy and Corky the Pig embroidered his chef’s hat with a K and became a cow. Just before Purim, the famed Memphis barbecue joint Corky’s, with a hog for its mascot, koshered one of its smokers for a brisket fundraiser on behalf of the city’s Orthodox Jewish day school. Organizers explained that the unusual marriage of brachas and BBQ was a product of a parlous economy, a small school in need of refurbishing with a limited fundraising base and the laid-back traditions of a “Shalom y’all” Southern Jewish way of living. “We need to find any revenue we can,” said Rabbi Gil Perl, the school’s dean. “We asked ourselves, ‘Do we have a product here valuable enough for a large market nationally?’ ”

The problem, as anyone scanning the Corky’s menu would see, is that the preferred flesh among Memphis barbecue aficionados is of the porcine variety. In Memphis, one answer to the question was barbecue, and one of the best answers was Corky’s, a toprated eatery with three branches in the city. In a town known for offering the best in barbecue, Corky’s is routinely cited in national best-of lists. It also happens to be owned by the Pelts family, which is active in the local Jewish community. Andy Woodman, the son-in-law of founder Don Pelts, now runs the restaurants with brother-in-law Barry Pelts. Woodman sent his kids to Margolin. The problem, as anyone scanning the Corky’s menu would see, is that the preferred flesh among Memphis barbecue aficionados is of the porcine variety. You’ve got your smoked sausage and cheese plate, which Corky’s waitstaff eagerly offers as the preferred opener. You’ve got your pulled pork salad. You’ve got your pork ribs, regular and large – opt for the latter and you can sample half a rack dry, half a rack wet.

Courtesy of Corky's

The original “Corky’s” logo featuring a pig next to the kosher version of the logo featuring a cow.

And in case you missed the point, atop the menu, grinning from under a chef’s hat, is Corky himself, a pig. (Legend has it that Don Pelts was an unreconstructed fan of the 1980s film “Porky’s.”) Dena Wruble, the Margolin parent who came up with the Corky’s idea, was undaunted by the prevalence of pig on the menu. Sometime in the 2000s, she recalled, Don Pelts purchased a new smoker and before its inaugural use on a pig, lent it to the school for a brisket barbecue. Perhaps that could be replicated? A new smoker can cost $10,000 – that wasn’t in the offing. Woodman had another idea: Kosher a smoker already in use and donate it to the school permanently. Woodman committed the koshering to film. “Next time you’re in town, you’ll have to see it, it’s pretty funny,” he said in a phone interview. “We lit it up with Sterno and put wood in the chamber. We had to get it up to 700 degrees. It almost melted. The racks did melt. We had to buy a new set of racks.” The smoker ready, the parents committee set about seeking kosher brisket. They exhausted a supply in St. Louis and had to call Atlanta for more. For sales, they put out the word through social media; orders came in from as far afield as Los Angeles, New Jersey and Toronto. One buyer made inquiries about how best to pack the meat for an Israel trip. The smoking and preparation took place on campus, with Corky’s staff in place. Perl recalled the nonplussed reaction of the religion reporter for the Memphis Commercial Appeal, who arrived on campus to cover an unrelated story and saw a truck plastered with a big smiling pig. “I almost felt bad having that in my driveway,” Perl said. “Almost.” In honor of the occasion, Woodman converted the Corky figure to a cow and plastered a K on his chef’s hat. No one batted an eye, Woodman and Perl said; Memphians are easygoing folk, including the 8,000 Jews among them. “I know, it’s funny, a Jewish fam-

ily owns a pork barbecue place,” he said. “But everyone has always been extremely welcoming.” In any case, the kosher cow is

familiar to Memphis Jews from the occasional Jewish event catered by the family-owned business. “Some of the promotions also had a line through the pig,” Woodman said. The restaurant’s prize-winning sauce is certified kosher. Perl said replicating Corky’s pork-smoking techniques on brisket fit into a longstanding tradition. “We Jews have learned how to imitate every other part of [secular] life, so why not this, too?” he asked. In the end, the enterprise brought in $100,000 in revenue, netting $20,000 for the school’s sorely needed rehab. “Someone came in during the smoking,” Perl recalled. “He said, ‘Your school doesn’t look too good, but it sure smells good.’ ”



Amid Portland’s Jewish population surge, community leaders try to lure the young and hip

Courtesy of LeeAnn Gauthier

Portland Jews attending the opening night of Food for Thought, a festival organized by the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, April 18, 2013.

By Gil Shefler Jewish Telegraphic Agency PORTLAND, Ore. – Jessica Bettelheim, a business ethics lecturer at Portland State University and a young Jewish mother, has little time to spare on weekends. Like other professionals her age, she’s busy bonding with her husband and 4-year-old daughter, meeting friends at one of Portland’s many fine restaurants or gardening, a favorite pastime in

this verdant metropolis known as the City of Roses. So when Bettelheim received an email from the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland last month advertising Food for Thought, a festival that included a tour of the Portland Art Museum, she put it on her maybe list. “The only event that was appealing was the art walk,” she said over coffee during an interview jammed between dropping off her daughter at day care and

delivering a lecture at the university. “I might check it out.” Things came up, however, and she didn’t. It was a near miss for the local Jewish federation, which has been trying to engage unaffiliated Jews like the Bettelheims ever since a demographic study came out in 2010 showing Portland with about 47,000 Jews – twice as many as previously thought. The profile of these mysterious Jewish arrivals is murky, as the study provided few details about them. It is widely hypothesized, however, that they are young, secular, liberal transplants from the coasts lured by professional opportunities at major multinationals such as Nike and Intel, or by the city’s casual lifestyle and famed weirdness. Portland, as the joke has it, is where young people go to retire. The Bettelheims moved from New York in 2009, drawn by the promise of a less pressured lifestyle. The couple routinely hold Shabbat dinners and observe the High Holidays, but they haven’t taken part in any organized religious activities. “We get home around 5 or 6 on Friday,” Bettelheim said. “The last thing I want to do is drive to the west side and go to shul.” SURGE on page 19

Meet restaurateur Lisa Schroeder, Portland’s unofficial Jewish mother-in-chief By Gil Shefler Jewish Telegraphic Agency PORTLAND, Ore. (JTA) — It’s brunch time at Mother’s Bistro & Bar and owner-chef Lisa Schroeder has a small crisis on her hands involving the accidental defenestration of a busboy. Moments earlier, a server had tripped and gone flying through one of the restaurant’s large picture windows. Shattered glass covered the pavement outside, where the hapless staffer was being treated for a nasty gash by an ambulance crew. Meanwhile, dozens of undeterred diners were waiting to be seated. “What’s a big piece of glass in somebody’s back?!” Schroeder bellowed in thick Brooklynese, trying to make light of the situation. “Let me show you to your table,” she told a waiting party. A few minutes later, the busboy was patched up, a heavy curtain was wrapped around the empty space where the window used to be and the steady ebb and flow of customers returned to normal. It’s all in a day’s work for Portland’s unofficial Jewish mother-

Courtesy of Alicia J. Rose Photography

Lisa Schroeder, the owner and chef of Mother’s Bistro & Bar in Portland, dishes out advice along with her comfort food.

in-chief. Since opening Mother’s in 2000, Schroeder has won several accolades for her clever take on classic comfort food, including being named national restaurateur of the year in January by Independent Restaurateur magazine. Along with Ken Gordon of Kenny and Zuke’s deli and Scott Snyder, who serves up Sephardic cuisine at his restaurant Levant, Schroeder is one of several Jewish chefs to become fixtures in Portland’s acclaimed culinary scene. The Jewishness of Mother’s is conceptual rather than culinary, revolving around the time-honored Mosaic tradition of mother worship.

Yes, she serves chopped liver (“my mother’s recipe”) and matzah ball soup (“we finally figured out how to make them light after 13 years”), but she also offers biscuits and gravy, crab cake, pork loin and steak frites. “If a mother would make it, we serve it,” said Schroeder, 55. “Our stir fry we got from a Thai mother and we serve that.” Each month, the restaurant selects a M.O.M., a mother of the month, who submits several recipes included on the menu. April’s M.O.M. was Laurie Goldrich Wolf, a local food writer and one of a growing community of Jewish transplants to this city. The path to Schroeder’s becoming one of Portland’s most celebrated chefs was somewhat serendipitous. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she moved to Israel with her ex-husband in the 1970s right after high school. By 1979 she was done, driven home by the challenges of making a living in the Jewish state and the election of right-wing Prime Minister Menachem Begin. SCHROEDER on page 21

Courtesy of Maurice Dores

French-Jewish director Maurice Dores says his documentary may be the first cinematic treatment of Jacques Faitlovitch, above, who devoted his life to Ethiopian Jews.

Seeking Kin: Bringing Jacques Faitlovitch to the screen and relatives back in touch By Hillel Kuttler Jewish Telegraphic Agency The Seeking Kin column aims to help reunite long-lost relatives and friends. BALTIMORE – A “Seeking Kin” column in April 2012 excited Gal Adam Spinrad – and now the Cincinnati woman has cause to be happy anew. Adam Spinrad has long been fascinated by the legend of her relative, Jacques Faitlovitch, who more than a century ago left his native Lodz, Poland, bound for Ethiopia. He devoted much of his life to the Jews living there, becoming one of the first European Jews to vouch for them as co-religionists and bring them into the fold. As a UCLA student in 1992, Adam Spinrad wrote a research paper about Faitlovitch, and over the years she has plumbed her mother’s memory bank for information about him. So when last year’s “Seeking Kin” article related the story of a Haifa man’s efforts to honor Faitlovitch, Adam Spinrad contacted me. That’s how she learned the column had heard from another Faitlovitch relative. That was Jonathan Faith, whose ancestors had settled in England and shortened their surname. Faith’s branch turned out to be the one that Adam Spinrad’s mother, who grew up in Lyon, France, remembered visiting in the early 1960s. A documentary titled “Jacques Faitlovitch and the Lost Tribes” was screened recently at the Tel Aviv Cinemateque. The filmmaker, Maurice Dores, believes it is the first cinematic treatment of Faitlovitch, who died in Israel in 1955. The documentary has its own family connection. Dores made the French-language film with his daughter, Sarah – he was the director, she was production director. Both live in France. Dores said he made the film to

shed light on Faitlovitch as “an important part of Jewish history and Ethiopian history,” and someone who considered Ethiopian Jews “like they were brothers.” “We can say that Faitlovitch was the first European man who took out Africans from Africa not to make them slaves, but to make them ministers and professors,” said Dores, explaining that several Ethiopian Jews whom Faitlovitch sent for schooling in Europe would later serve under Emperor Haile Selassie. Beyond that, Dores related by telephone from his apartment in central Tel Aviv hours before the film’s screening that the Faitlovitch documentary will provide important historical context for those whose knowledge of Ethiopian Jewry might be limited to the community’s celebrated exodus for Israel during Operation Moses in 1984 and Operation Solomon in 1991. At a screening in Ashkelon, a woman raised in Ethiopia approached Dores to thank him. “This is our history,” she told him. It is Adam Spinrad’s history, too. Previously unaware of the film, she expressed an eagerness to see it. Adam Spinrad said she would relay the news about its release to Faith and other relatives as far as Australia — some of whom she discovered after the initial “Seeking Kin” column appeared. They haven’t figured out precisely how they are related to Faitlovitch or each other, only that they are. Adam Spinrad, for example, said she thinks her maternal grandfather was a first cousin of Faith’s paternal grandfather. “Everybody’s grown up knowing that Jacques Faitlovitch is a relative,” she said. “That’s how we know we’re related, even as we try to place each other on the [family] tree.” In that way, she said, Faitlovitch is “kind of a linchpin.” SEEKING on page 19



Torah navigation leads to new journeys By Edmon J. Rodman Jewish Telegraphic Agency LOS ANGELES – On Shavuot, we celebrate being given the Five Books of Moses by opening the gift and reading from the scroll. But first we need to find the place. How do we find our place in the Torah? Newbies to the ways of a Torah scroll will soon realize that unlike the mass-produced technological marvels that bring order and wonder into their lives, this handmade inspiration comes without an operating manual. As I discovered the first time I tried to find my place, the perfect columns of scribed, unvoweled Hebrew can seem like a phone book without page numbers in a foreign language. For many, the only time we may have wanted to find our place in the Torah was at our bar or bat mitzvah – and even then someone showed us. But what if as adults we want to find our way back into the Torah – on our own? What if we want to find not only the correct place from which to read but a place to call our own? There’s no app for that – yet. “The scope would be limited,”

Courtesy of Edmon J. Rodman

For beginners seeking their place in the Torah scroll, a tikkun, or guidebook, provides an excellent navigational tool.

said Russel Neil, a Jewish educator and technologist who described himself as the “coding monkey” behind PocketTorah. The smartphone app has the text of the Torah and haftarah in Hebrew and translated, as well as with the sound of how they are chanted and commentary. Asked about an app that lets you find your place in the Torah, he said it would “get in the way of the actual thing you want to be doing,” thinking of the tactile experience of confronting the text and grabbing hold of the wooden rollers, the etz chaim. But is the absence of an app the only thing keeping us from being able to navigate the source of our spirituality?

Several years ago, at the conclusion of a parade welcoming a new Torah scroll to our small congregation, the Movable Minyan, was when I began to get my Torah bearings. The plan was to conclude the event with a reading of the Shema from the new scroll. However, just as we entered the room, the one person knowledgeable enough to find the place told us she had an appointment and regretfully had to leave. What now? We didn’t know the place, and there are no bookmarks that come with a Torah. However, as we discovered that day, and as I was reminded recently by Rabbi Patricia Fenton of American Jewish University, “you take what guideposts you can” in finding your place in the scroll. Fenton is the manager of Judaica and public services at her Los Angeles school’s library and a rabbinic studies adviser. According to Fenton, who was named recently by the Jewish Daily Forward as one of America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis, the place can be found by looking for clues such as gaps, familiar words or even sections. NAVIGATION on page 22

International Briefs Iranian nationals convicted of planning attacks on U.S., Israeli targets (JTA) – Two Iranian nationals were found guilty by a Kenyan court of planning to attack U.S. and Israeli targets. The verdicts against Ahmad Abolfathi Mohammed and Sayed Mansour Mousavi were handed down Thursday in Nairobi. They were charged with preparing to commit acts intended to cause grievous harm, according to news services. Iranian terrorists have been linked to several plots against Israeli targets in recent years. Iranian missiles sent to Palestinians to target Israel, officials admit (JNS) Iran has supplied the Palestinians with Iranian missiles of the Fajr-5 variety, with a range of 80km (50 miles) and the capacity to strike the heart of Israel, several officials from the Islamic Republic have admitted. “[Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader] Ramadan ‘Abdallah’

[Shalah] said to me: ‘We want to strike Tel Aviv with Fajr-5 missiles… we did it, and three million Zionists ran to bomb shelters in fear,” said Ali Akbar Velayati, advisor to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei for international affairs, in an April 16 speech in southern Iran. Human Rights Watch nominates prize candidate who advocated terrorism against Israel on Twitter (JNS) After Human Rights Watch (HRW) selected activist Mona Seif as a finalist for the prestigious Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, watchdog organization UN Watch exposed previous tweets by Seif advocating Palestinian terrorism against Israel. UN Watch, along with Egyptian activists Amr Bakly and Maikel Nabil, protested the nomination and sent a letter to HRW requesting to withdraw Seif’s nomination. In her tweets, Seif wrote such things as “We support the resistance of the palestinian nation against Israel,” “We the Egyptian ppl DO NOT WANT OUR GAS TO BE EXPORTED TO ISRAEL. Sinai ppl are our heroes everytime they blow up the pipelines,” and the hashtag #F@%kIsrael.



American labor unions raising millions for Rabin Center Israel By Ben Sales Gerzon told JTA that the center Jewish Telegraphic Agency TEL AVIV – The museum dedicated to the memory of Yitzhak Rabin raises nearly half its money from labor leaders. It’s just not the labor you think. Members of U.S. labor unions raised $1.4 million for the Yitzhak Rabin Center in Tel Aviv last year, 45 percent of the center’s total 2012 fundraising. Since 2005, American unions have raised $12 million for the center. Labor leaders say programs at the center, which celebrates the slain Labor Party prime minister who signed the 1993 Oslo Accords and promotes dialogue among Israel’s cultural groups, meshes with their core values. Rabin’s “commitment to peace in not just Israel but the world is amazing,” said J. David Cox, national president of the American Federation of Government Employees. “He was criticized for his willingness to make compromises, but life is full of compromises. That’s how you arrive at a solution.” American unions have supported Jewish statehood since before Israel’s establishment in 1948. At the time, Jews were heavily represented in the American labor movement, and Israel, with its socialist roots and collectivist spirit, was seen as a natural ally. Today, organized labor, particu-

Courtesy of Debbie Zimelman

The dedication of the Amnon Lipkin-Shahak Conference Room at the Yitzhak Rabin Center in Tel Aviv in honor of the American Federation of Government Employees and J. David Cox, its national president, April 18, 2013. Joining Cox, second from left, are Lynne Cox, left; Barbara Easterling, president of the Alliance for Retired Americans; and Rabin’s daughter Dalia.

larly in Europe, has overwhelmingly shifted its sympathies to the Palestinians, routinely voting in favor of boycotting Israeli goods or divesting from Israeli companies. But American union leaders say they remain committed to Israel, supportive of what they see as a perseverant Western country with an ethic of social justice. “There wasn’t a nation here,” said John Coli, head of Chicago’s Teamsters Local 727, who was in Israel in April as part of a delegation hosted by the Rabin Center.

“Now it’s totally different. [Tel Aviv] is a modern city. People have access to health care, to education. That’s what we want to build everywhere.” Union support for the Rabin Center began in 2005 when Jeannie Gerzon, a former State of Israel Bonds employee who dealt with unions, began fundraising for the Rabin Center. American unions had long been buyers of Israel Bonds, the government securities that help fund Israeli infrastructure development.

has raised millions from unions by honoring national labor leaders in the United States. The leaders then call in favors from politicians and encourage businesses to open their checkbooks. The vast majority of contributions may come from these outside businesses. A dinner last year honoring Coli raised $700,000 for the center, only $25,000 of which came from the union itself. In a typical year, Local 727 donates about $2,000 to the center out of $100,000 the local gives annually to a range of charitable causes. Coli and Cox say that for them, part of Israel’s appeal stems from its strong labor union culture. According to Cox, Israel’s general union, the Histadrut, has more power than his AFGE. “They get to bargain wages and benefits,” he said. “They have the ability to strike. We’ve got to get some worldwide solidarity with the union movement.” Two American labor delegations were in Israel in April for meetings with Israeli union leaders and legislators from the Labor Party, in addition to visits to cultural and religious sites. Cox called Stav Shaffir, the 27-year-old freshman Labor parliamentarian, “dynamite and just fantastic.” Shaffir led Israel’s 2011 social justice protests. UNIONS on page 22

Sharansky’s Kotel plan loses support from both sides By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraphic Agency TEL AVIV – Following a court ruling in their favor, leaders of an organization pushing for women’s prayer rights at the Western Wall have withdrawn their endorsement of Natan Sharansky’s compromise proposal to expand the egalitarian section there. A Jerusalem District Court ruled last week that Women of the Wall members who pray together in the regular women’s section of the Western Wall are not contravening the law. Members of the group have been routinely arrested or detained in recent months for wearing prayer shawls at the wall, a practice that prior to the ruling had been considered a violation of Israeli law requiring respect for “local custom” at the site. The landmark ruling appears to have emboldened Women of the Wall, which has moved away from its earlier embrace of Sharansky’s proposal as a tolerable, if less than perfect solution. “We have three options: to reject Sharansky’s plan, to embrace Sharansky’s plan or to say that right now it is not relevant for Women of the Wall,” Anat Hoffman, the organization’s chair, told JTA. “It’s completely not rele-

Courtesy of Miriam Alster/Flash90/JTA

Natan Sharansky, shown at a 2011 conference in Jerusalem, has lost endorsements for his Western Wall proposal from the Orthodox and non-Orthodox.

vant for us. Our victory in court means that our place is safe.” Protests over the high-profile arrests of women at the holy site led Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to tap Sharansky, the chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, late last year to formulate a compromise solution. Under Sharansky’s plan, an existing egalitarian section of the wall known as Robinson’s Arch would be expanded and a unified entrance would be built leading to the wall’s traditional

and egalitarian sections. Initially, the compromise seemed to have worked. Both Hoffman and the rabbi of the Western Wall, Shmuel Rabinowitz, expressed cautious support. But Rabinowitz also has backtracked from a statement indicating that while he didn’t like the proposal, he could “live with it.” “We must, along with the Chief Rabbinate and other great rabbis, examine if we should oppose the proposal referring to Robinson’s Arch, which is not part of the

Western Wall synagogue, if this would be a solution acceptable to everyone,” Rabinowitz said in a statement last week. On Tuesday, Sharansky said his proposals were meant as “longterm solutions,” not quick fixes for immediate concerns. “The merit of these proposals [does] not depend on any day-today developments that happen in the courts or near the Kotel itself,” Sharansky said in a statement, using the wall’s Hebrew name. “All the stakeholders have agreed that the next important step is the timeline which will be developed by the prime minister’s office in the next few weeks.” But the ruling appears to have lessened Women of the Wall’s appetite for compromise, leading the group to reassert a longstanding insistence on being allowed to pray as it wishes in the regular women’s section. The group has announced that at its monthly service on May 10, a member will read from the Torah in the women’s section; that hasn’t been done for a decade. The ruling “allows Women of the Wall to pray how we always wished,” said Hoffman, “with women of all denominations in the women’s section, with our prayer shawls and Torah and shofar.”

Briefs IDF moves to close holes in security fence following Israel Hayom report (JNS) The Israel Defense Forces and Israel Police increased their activity throughout the Lachish region on Thursday, following an Israel Hayom report on numerous breaches in Israel’s security fence in that area and a subsequent increase in Palestinian infiltrations and criminal activity there. The holes in the fence allowed Palestinians from nearby villages to sneak into Israeli territory at night, and steal agricultural equipment and cattle from the nearby Israeli communities. In one incident, a Thai worker was abducted and beaten when a group of Palestinians commandeered the tractor he was driving near the fence. Palestinians poll highest among world’s Muslims favoring suicide bombings (Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS) Out of all the Muslim respondents in a global survey, Palestinian Muslims polled highest in favor of suicide bombings as a justifiable means “to defend Islam.” A new Pew Research Center survey of Muslims around the globe finds that most adherents of the world’s second-largest religion are deeply committed to their faith and want its teachings to shape not only their personal lives, but also their societies and politics. In most of the 21 countries where the question was asked, few Muslims endorse suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilian targets as a means of defending Islam against its enemies. But four out of 10 Palestinian Muslims see suicide bombing as often or sometimes justified, while roughly half (49 percent) take the opposite view. In Egypt, 29 percent consider suicide bombings justified at least sometimes. Elsewhere in the Middle East, fewer Muslims believe such violence is often or sometimes justified, including 15 percent in Jordan, 12 percent in Tunisia, nine percent in Morocco, and seven percent in Iraq. Outpost established in memory of slain settler JERUSALEM (JTA) – A West Bank outpost was established in memory of a Jewish father of five killed by a Palestinian assailant. The head of the Samaria Regional Council, Gershon Mesika, on Thursday moved his office to a tent on a hill overlooking the Tapuach Junction, where Eviatar Borovsky, 31, of the Yitzhar settlement, was killed Tuesday morning as he waited for a bus.



CELEBRATION OF THE BOOK PROGRAM FILLS ROCKWERN WITH STORYTELLING Rockwern’s Celebration of the Book program on January 13 was an exciting and energetic event for all, drawing families and educators from throughout the city. Jewish author Peninnah Schram highlighted the event, with both a storytelling performance in Boymel, a workshop for Jewish educators, and a book signing. The children’s puppet-making station with Kathy Wise in the Mayerson Room was a huge hit, bustling with activity, along with scenery painting with The Art Spark and quilt making with the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education, while other storytellers from the Norwood and Deer Park libraries wove tales in the school library. Photos continued on page 12.

Dr. David Finell and Peninnah Schram with Cincinnati Jewish Educators

ANNOUNCEMENTS ISRAEL CAPTURES SILVER MEDAL IN EURO U-16 CHAMPIONSHIPS Israel participated in the PONY European Baseball Championships in Prague for the 16-and-under age bracket for the fourth consecutive year. This year was different from previous years because they cracked the top four and made it to the championship game. They lost to the German National Academy in the championship game, receiving second place overall. Israel’s starting pitcher Binyamin Mor (Beit Shemesh) ran out of gas, along with the other pitchers. The German team won 15-1 to clench their championship title. The team is led by coaches Amit Kurz and Orr Gottlieb from Israel, Richard Kania from Prague and manager Yaron Erel. They are very proud of their achievement and can’t wait to compete in this summer’s Maccabiah games.




Cont. from page 11

Dr. David Finell and Peninnah Schram

Peninnah Schram storytelling

Peninnah Schram telling stories in Boymel Synagogue

Peninnah Schram with audience in Boymel Synagogue

Puppet Making with Kathy Wise in Mayerson Activity Room

Puppet Making Station

Arielle Lewis painting scenery

Quilt for The Center for Holocaust & Humanity Education

Garrette Smith, Mary Lamping and Peninnah Schram

Storytelling in the School Library

Puppet Creation by Quint Kaufman, Brad Gallop and Ian Rafalo

Sharing books with Sara Rosenthal, Neriya Rosenthal, Katie Katzman and Christine Katzman


BBYO’s Occupy the JCC In January, nearly 150 teens and their parents came together for a special Shabbat Dinner and Cincinnati BBYO Board Installation Ceremony at the Mayerson JCC to help kick-off the Second Annual Occupy the JCC event. BBYO is the world’s leading pluralistic youth group for Jewish teens and the KIO (Kentucky-Indiana-Ohio) region is one of its fastest growing! Events like Occupy the JCC are aimed at bringing teens together around a topic that is important to them, and teaching the value of standing up for a cause they believe in. The event included peer led programs that allowed for some deep discussion and bonding as well as plenty of time for socialization. Participants came from all over the region and brought nearly 350 canned goods that were donated to the Freestore Foodbank! For more information about BBYO or Teen programs at the JCC, please contact Matt Steinberg whose information is listed in the back of this issue.




Carlo and Johnny—steaks for the memories By Michael Sawan Assistant Editor Carlo and Johnny is going on 13 years of business. This is no accident, as the restaurant has managed to cultivate a personality of sophistication and elegance. The restaurant is chiefly a steakhouse, with General Manager Joshua Peyton noting the fact with pride: “We specialize in steaks. Dry aged steaks, specifically. We have the largest selection of steaks – different cuts – in the city. The bone end cuts seem to be really popular; the bone end strip, bone end filet, bone end ribeye.” And for desserts? Carlo and Johnny offers made in-house ice creams, with anywhere between eight to 10 flavors at any one time. The restaurant prides itself on its festive atmosphere. There is live music five nights a week, with one night in particular standing out from the rest: “We get a great crowd for the entertainment, particularly on Fridays,” said Peyton. “We do a Friday happy hour, from 5 until 8, with a guitar player named Kenny Cowden. [During Happy hour we offer] half price appetizers, drink specials, five dollar glasses of wine, five dollar martinis, live entertainment...” Peyton continued relentlessly, his list of Friday night offerings changing with each new week’s specials. Carlo and Johnny has a habit of keeping things fresh. The people that the restaurant attracts are also varied. Peyton explains, “We get a lot of guests from the area, the Montgomery, Blue Ash, Indian Hill, Kenwood areas. A lot of business clients as well,” with special events being a large draw for the restaurant. “[Carlo and Johnny] tends to be the special occasion place, we have a lot of birthdays and anniversaries. We have rooms for private parties so we have a lot of graduation celebrations, retirement parties, things like that.” Such resilience is possible because of the restaurant’s attention to detail: “We really try to cater to our guests,” explains Peyton. “If you want to make it wild and crazy we can do live entertainment upstairs as well, with your private party, or we can do very subdued.” Not every guest knows, though, that the restaurant has quite the colorful history. The house was completed in 1847, and for a time served as a residence. A century and a half later the building had wracked up a litany of sordid functions, including casino, carriage house and brothel. “The casino had strong mafia connections,” notes a document explaining the history of

Courtesy of Michael Sawan

(Clockwise) Joshua Peyton, Justin Leidenheimer, and THE SUIT stand in front of the bar at Carlo and Johnny; Classic portraits and chandeliers abound in this classy restaurant. A view of the outdoor courtyard is visible through this private room’s large windows; A ‘60s vibe subtly glows from this dining room; The hunting room.

the building. The macabre past doesn’t stop there, with the document noting that “there have been at least four deaths on the premises,” all of them violent. Carlo and Johnny has embraced its heritage, having been named in memory of two of the police officers who raided the building while it was a casino. Doorknobs that were once owned by Al Capone are in use in two of the restaurant’s dining rooms and a general gangster-mafia vibe wafts through the

elegant, semi-dark restaurant. But not to worry: if the Godfather isn’t your thing, there are rooms with all sorts of different themes. One room features stuffed animals, another classical paintings, another broad windows and rich, deep wooden tones. There’s a room for every mood at Carlo and Johnny, a fact that is the result of careful planning: The restaurant was redone since its purchase by Jeff Ruby at the turn of the century. “Everything’s been redone

since Mr. Ruby purchased the place,” said Peyton. “[He] kind of took everything back to the studs and started over again. Uncovered a few fireplaces that had been covered up over the years... Redid everything, basically.” And does it ever show. The restaurant is photogenic, casually displaying an assortment of antiques and fine art that could constitute a small museum. I wouldn’t be surprised if they started offering guided tours through

the restaurant in off hours, allowing people to simply admire the collection. But until that time, the only way to take it all in is through a good old fashioned meal. Carlo and Johnny’s hours are Monday through Thursday, 5:30 – 10 p.m.; Friday, 5:30 – 11 p.m.; Saturday, 5 – 11 p.m.; Sunday, 4 – 10 p.m. Carlo and Johnny 9769 Montgomery Road Cincinnati, OH 45242 (513) 936-8600




Eddie Merlot’s

Parkers Blue Ash Tavern

101 Main St

10808 Montgomery Rd

4200 Cooper Rd

Historic Milford


Blue Ash

831-Brix (2749)



Ambar India Restaurant



350 Ludlow Ave

800 Elm St • 721-4241

121West McMillan • 861-0080


612 Main St • 241-6246

7880 Remington Rd


1198 Smiley Ave • 825-3888

Montgomery • 794-0080

Sushi • Steaks • Raw Bar Live Music Every Tues thru Sat! (513) 936-8600 9769 MONTGOMERY RD.

Andy’s Mediterranean Grille

4766 Red Bank Expy • 376-6008

Slatt’s Pub

At Gilbert & Nassau

5098B Glencrossing Way • 347-9699

4858 Cooper Rd

2 blocks North of Eden Park

8179 Princeton-Glendale • 942-7800

Blue Ash

300 Madison Ave • 859-292-0065


Half-Price Domestic Beer & Apps 513.351.0123 | ORDER ONLINE! + MENUS, COUPONS & SPECIAL OFFERS

791-2223 • 791-1381 (fax)



7905 Mall Road • 859-525-2333 Asian Paradise

Stone Creek Dining Co.

9521 Fields Ertel Rd

Johnny Chan 2

9386 Montgomery Rd


11296 Montgomery Rd

Montgomery • 489-1444


The Shops at Harper’s Point

6200 Muhlhauser Rd

489-2388 • 489-3616 (fx)

West Chester • 942-2100

Kanak India Restaurant

Sukhothai Thai Cuisine


Authentic Cuisine

Baba India Restaurant 3120 Madison Rd

101 Main St • Historic Milford

831-Brix •


7625 Beechmont Ave • 231-5550


Cincinnati's first and only true wine, restaurant and wine retail store. Come in and enjoy an appetizer or entrée paired with one of the 100 wines we pour daily.


10040B Montgomery Rd

8102 Market Place Ln






4858 Hunt Rd

Marx Hot Bagels


Blue Ash

9701 Kenwood Rd

8702 Market Place Ln

891-8900 • 834-8012 (fx)

Blue Ash




2912 Wasson Rd

Mecklenburg Gardens



302 E. University Ave

12110 Montgomery Rd






9525 Kenwood Rd


Wertheim’s Restaurant


111 Main St

514 W 6th St



Covington, KY


(859) 261-1233

9386 Montgomery Rd Cincinnati, OH 45242


9525 KENWOOD ROAD (513) 745-9386

(513) 489-1444

Bangkok Terrace

Blue Elephant

The American Israelite can not guarantee the kashrus of any establishment.

Cafe Mediterranean

Carlo & Johnny 9769 Montgomery Rd Cincinnati

The American Israelite



350 LUDLOW AVE. CINCINNATI, OH 45220 (513) 281-7000

3120 MADISON RD. CINCINNATI, OH 45209 (513) 321-1600

10040B MONTGOMERY RD. CINCINNATI, OH 45242 (513) 793-6800







Marx Hot Bagels

Ridge & Highland

9701 Kenwood Rd. Blue Ash

Izzy’s 612 Main St. 800 Elm St.

Kroger Hunt Rd. – Blue Ash

Rascals’ Deli 9525 Kenwood Rd. Blue Ash





How shmitta can help us What is the motivation behind Erdogan kick the consumerist habit visiting Gaza and snubbing Kerry? By Sarah Chandler Jewish Telegraphic Agency FALLS VILLAGE, Conn. – Judaism is designed to be a person’s operating system, the platform on which other areas of one’s life functions. But for many Jews, religious practice sits on a shelf alongside theater subscriptions, gym memberships and soccer practice, relegated to one of many offerings from which we can pick and choose. For Jewish educators like myself, this mindset poses particular challenges, forcing us to adopt the tactics of public relations agencies to induce Jews to participate in Jewish life. Why can’t these opportunities speak for themselves? Why do people have to be convinced to take a Hebrew class, attend Shabbat services or drop in on a lecture? Partly, of course, it’s an issue of time. Lots of people might want more Jewishness in their lives, but work, family and other commitments end up taking precedence. Even in the best-case scenario, when people do show up for Hebrew school, committee meetings or worship services, many are unable to leave their consumerist addictions at the door. They may sincerely want to achieve something – learn a new skill, be inspired by a rabbi’s talk or approve next year’s budget – yet they instinctively rely on “experts” to package Judaism for them. The cult of achievement seeps into everything. Leaders steeped in the ethos of corporate America expect flawless execution at meetings. Parents pushing their kids on the fast track are never satisfied with the rate of their children’s Hebrew acquisition. What if, instead of being just one more place to look for “more” and “better,” Jewish life could be an escape from this compulsion? What if, instead of being just one more place to “get it done,” Jewish life could be the place Jews awoke to gratitude for what they have in each moment? The ancient Jewish practice of shmitta, the biblically mandated sabbatical year of rest and release that begins in September 2014, offers one way to roll back this trend. At its core, shmitta is a chance to show contemporary Jews that ancient Jewish texts have the potential to serve as a sophisticated map for many areas of their lives, not just occasional events in particular buildings. But it is also a way to induce individual Jews to take more responsibility both for their personal consumption habits and shaping the contours of their spiritual lives. Traditionally, shmitta was a time when farmers did not cultivate their lands, debts were forgiv-

en and slaves were set free. In a contemporary context, when most of us are neither farmers nor slaves, we can see this year not only as a chance to restore balance and share more equitably, but to release ourselves from the mentality that sees everything in the world – from natural resources to Jewish communal ones – as one more set of things to be consumed. Anyone looking to revive their communities, spend more time with family and friends or even live more simply can take inspiration from the concept of shmitta. Hazon, a national Jewish organization promoting sustainability, is part of a coalition of eco-minded Jewish projects planning a series of initiatives in anticipation of the next shmitta year. Taking our cues from the transition town movement, a social experiment that focuses on economic localization and sustainable agriculture, the Shmitta Project seeks to revive the ancient teachings of the sabbatical cycle and apply them to our times. Bringing these principles alive is our next best shot to counter the consumerist impulse from within the Jewish tradition, all the while supporting the environment, our communities and ourselves. Jewish texts explain that during the shmitta year, land owners would take down their fences so that the poor and animals could take freely from the crops. Today we might consider which resources from our “fields” we can offer to others. We could literally feed the hungry, or give of ourselves in other ways, through volunteering, pro bono work or other collaborative community projects. Shmita also calls upon us to release debts and take time off from work. Today, communities might consider setting up a “degrowth” plan in recognition of the fact that we are living beyond the capacities of the ecosystem. The Worldwatch Institute cites studies in Europe that indicate cutting back from a work week of more than 50 hours actually would create jobs. My hope is that such efforts will result not only in people taking a closer look at how economic sustainability might work in their communities, but also in individuals taking greater responsibility for personal consumption habits and relieving themselves of the expectation that others will perform Jewish practice on their behalf. Rather than criticizing the failings of our institutional leaders, we can take active roles in revitalizing Jewish life – and local economic and environmental systems – as co-creators. In turn, we can begin to discharge the consumerist tendency from our communal life. SHMITTA on page 22

By Ben Cohen JointMedia News Service Of all the half-truths and misconceptions that mar the American debate over the level of influence exercised by Israel on U.S. Middle East policy, the most irritating has to be the manner in which Israel’s foes ignore the behavior of our Arab and Middle Eastern allies when it comes to confounding America’s national interests in the region. In recent years, non-Arab Turkey has frequently proved this point. Like Israel, Ankara can count on an active, influential domestic lobby (which arguably includes leading American Jewish organizations, who, for “strategic reasons,” have eagerly aided the Turkish government in derailing attempts by U.S. legislators to recognize the genocide of the Armenians that occurred almost a century ago). Unlike Israel, though, Turkey’s current leadership prefers to scorn those U.S. imperatives it disagrees with, rather than engage in a diplomatic back-and-forth. When President Barack Obama visited Israel in March, his attempt to mend relations between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and Turkey’s Islamist Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was widely regarded as a triumph. Relations between Israel and Turkey have been heavily strained since May 2010, when Israeli naval commandos confronted a seaborne flotilla of Islamist thugs, sponsored by the sinister Islamist “charity” the IHH, who tried to break Israel’s blockade of Hamasruled Gaza. According to the conventional account of what happened during his trip to Israel, Obama “persuaded” Netanyahu to phone Erdogan, apologize for the loss of life in the flotilla clash, and begin negotiations about paying compensation to the “victims” of Israel’s entirely justifiable action. Actually, Netanyahu didn’t need much persuading. For one thing, Israeli officials were never happy with the collapse of relations with Turkey, its historic ally. For another, the Israelis calculated that paying compensation was preferable to a continued legal and political battle over the Gaza blockade. Finally, the wily Netanyahu may well have foreseen what has now come to pass: that Erdogan would backtrack and thus put the U.S. in the embarrassing position of having to cajole Turkey while Israel cooperates. Despite pleas from Secretary of State John Kerry not to do so, Erdogan insists that he will proceed with a visit to Gaza in May. Kerry’s argument is that Erdogan

risks endangering the prospect of reconciling Hamas with the Fatahcontrolled Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank – a position which, significantly, is shared by the PA, whose representative in Ankara, Nabil Maarouf, explicitly said he would prefer that Erdogan travel to Gaza after reconciliation between the two factions.

The prospect of visibly brokering an historic deal between Abbas and the Hamas leadership – whose supporters enthusiastically threw Fatah members off rooftops during the 2006 civil war in Gaza – clearly excites the Turkish Prime Minister. Hurriyet, though, does not share Erdogan’s confidence.

The dangerous blend of Islamism and nationalism that defines Turkish politics today has put Erdogan on the defensive. His failure to prevent the Assad regime in Syria from continuing the slaughter of its own people with weapons both chemical and conventional makes him look weak.

Many Turkish analysts believe that Erdogan’s defiance is rooted in domestic concerns. The dangerous blend of Islamism and nationalism that defines Turkish politics today has put Erdogan on the defensive. His failure to prevent the Assad regime in Syria from continuing the slaughter of its own people with weapons both chemical and conventional makes him look weak. He is having a hard time selling the Turkish public on a peace agreement with the restive Kurdish minority, whose suffering is largely ignored by a western press focused on Gaza. And his decision to play ball with Netanyahu triggered an angry response from the families of the flotilla “victims” and from the IHH as well, which slammed Erdogan for negotiating with the Israelis while the Gaza blockade remains in place. In the same manner as countless Middle Eastern leaders before him, Erdogan figures that going on the offensive on the Palestinian front will win him back some much needed credibility. According to Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the purpose of Erdogan’s trip is to secure precisely the outcome that the U.S. and the PA fear will be set back – namely, reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. Speaking with the Turkish daily Hurriyet, Davutoglu said, “If the Palestinians agree, it may be possible (for Erdogan) to go to Gaza with (PA President Mahmoud) Abbas.”

“This, however, is the moment when Erdogan must decide if he wants Turkey to be a major player in the Middle East, or appear to be a country that is supporting factionalism among Muslim entities,” the paper editorialized. “...If Turkey wants to regain its influence, it is clear that this will not come about by being a spoiler because of the ruling party’s Islamist sympathies. It will only come about if Turkey is once again an impartial country with open channels to all concerned parties.” Moreover, Syria may yet derail Erdogan’s Gaza plans. Now that the Obama Administration has confirmed, via a letter sent to Congressional leaders, that Assad’s forces have used the deadly poisonous gas sarin in their assault, the “red line” which Obama has frequently talked about in relation to Syria has finally been crossed. During a visit to Washington, D.C., Egeman Bagis, a Turkish official with known prowestern instincts, pleaded with the Obama Administration to prod Russian President Vladmir Putin into ending his unflinching support for Assad. The timing of Erodgan’s snub of Kerry could not, therefore, be more awkward. Will Erdogan now reappraise the situation in the light of these developments? Only he can answer that. All I will note is that leaders who cultivate personality cults, as Erdogan has certainly done, aren’t exactly known for their ability or readiness to change their minds.



Sedra of the Week

by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin EFRAT, Israel – “Wherever you go, I shall go… Your nation will be my nation, your God my God…” (Ruth 1:16). Despite the conventional wisdom that Judaism attempts to “push away” converts, and despite the many horror stories about aspiring converts who were alienated, discouraged and even “turned off” by the road blocks they experienced at the hands of a bureaucratic and insensitive Orthodox rabbinate, Judaism as depicted in the Biblical Book of Ruth, which we read on Shavuot, is truly welcoming to those desirous of entering the fold. It shows that Jews by choice are worthy of much praise. The heroine of this story of “autumnal” romance – with its sub-plots of the tragedy of living in an assimilating and destructive exile versus a rags-to-riches redemptive life in Israel – is a convert to Judaism. She is not an ordinary convert at that; she is a Moabite convert. The Bible demands that Moabites never be allowed to become “Jewish,” but our rabbis teach that it was the religious court led by Boaz which ruled that this prohibition applied only to male Moabites, but not to females. Jewish tradition maintains that King David (who was born and died on Shavuot) was the progenitor of and prototype for our anxiously awaited Messiah. Is it not mind blowing that his pedigree harkens back to Ruth, a Moabite convert? Moreover, is it not remarkable that we read of the odyssey of a Jew by choice specifically as part of our celebration of the giving of the Torah at Sinai? Clearly, throughout the Book of Ruth, Judaism is urging our user–friendly attitude toward sincere converts. This sacred text sets the stage for what is expected of the convert as well as from the people around him/her. Ruth’s initial motivation had a great deal to do with her deep affection for her mother-inlaw, Naomi. The halakha is to accept a convert, even if what initially sparked their Jewish interest was a personal or romantic interest, as long as by the end of the process the convert has sincerely become enamored with Judaism as a philosophy and lifestyle (B.T.



Clearly, throughout the Book of Ruth, Judaism is urging our


user–friendly attitude toward sincere converts.

Shabbat 31, Shulhan Arukh, Yoreh Deah 268: 12). In the authoritative words of the Shakh (note 23), “everything depends on the assessment of the judge,” as to whether the candidate is now sufficiently interested in Judaism. Indeed, many of the official Israeli Religious Courts are more predisposed to accept converts who wish to marry a religious Jewish person. Naomi felt it incumbent to explain to Ruth and Orpah that since it was biologically impossible for her to have more sons, she would not have husbands for them. Moreover, she was returning in a penniless state to Israel for she “has been struck down by the hand of God,” and her lot is a bitter one (Ruth 1:13). When Ruth, nevertheless, made her commitment, Naomi accepted her as a daughter. This is reflected in the Talmud’s teaching that one must explain to the would-be convert that the Jews are a persecuted people – but once the aspiring Jew says he knows that, and still feels unworthy, he is to be accepted as a Jew at once. This is because it is a mitzvah to convert, and a mitzvah must be done as soon as possible (B.T. Yevamot 47b). Ruth’s commitment is likewise what is required today: “Your nation is my nation” reflects the acceptance of Jewish nationality, its history, culture and allegiance to a specific land as expressed through ritual immersion – “rebirth” and circumcision for males. “Your God is my God” reflects the acceptance of the commandments. However, no Talmudic Sage maintains that the convert must initially be thoroughly conversant with all the 613 commandments. The conversion

candidate must be informed of several of the more stringent laws and several of the more lenient laws. The Religious Court is not to be heavy handed or exacting. (ibid. 47b). Conversion is seen as the beginning of a process and not necessarily its conclusion. When Ruth joins other indigent Jews to glean the leftover or forgotten sheaves of the harvest, she sees the kindness of Boaz and asks. “Why have I found grace in your eyes, so that you singled me out (for protection and sensitivity)? I am a stranger.” Boaz, perhaps a bit embarrassed by his burgeoning amorous interest, responds by comparing Ruth to the first Hebrew, the primary Jewby-choice, Abraham: “All that you did for your mother-in-law has been told to me; you left your father, your mother and the land of your birth for a nation which you did not know yesterday or the day before” (Ruth 2:11; cf. Gen 12:1). Hence, it is not at all surprising that Rabbenu Sa’adiah Gaon invokes the biblical imperative to “love the stranger” from the moment an individual shows some interest in Judaism. Maimonides also takes the commandment to love the Lord to mean that “one must attempt to make God beloved to the Gentile world” by exposing His great deeds and just laws to all of humanity (Book of Commandments, Positive Command 3). Ruth joins Jethro as a prototypical Gentile who must be inspired by the teachings of our Torah. Shabbat Shalom and Hag Sameach Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Chancellor Ohr Torah Stone












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By Nate Bloom Contributing Columnist AT THE MOVIES F. Scott Fitzgerald’s great 1925 novel, “The Great Gatsby,” has been made into four previous films, including a silent and madefor-TV version. None, including the 1974 film starring Robert Redford, have been seen as real successes. Maybe this new version, directed by Baz Luhrmann (“Moulin Rouge”), will “grab the brass ring.” The story of the people in Jay Gatsby’s circle is told by Nick Carraway (Tobey McGuire), a young Wall Street broker who, as the film/novel opens, moves near Gatsby’s palatial Long Island home. Nick’s cousin is the lovely Daisy (Carey Mulligan), a former lover of Gatsby. (Opens Friday, May 10.) ISLA FISHER, 37, has a supporting role as Myrtle, the mistress of Daisy’s husband. Amitabh Bachchan, a very famous actor in Indian movies, plays the mysterious Meyer Wolfsheim, a Jewish gangster who is a friend and longtime business associate of Gatsby. He’s clearly modeled after famous gangster ARNOLD ROTHSTEIN (1882-1928) – who is also a major character in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.” Fitzgerald, as it were, made it up to the Jewish community by making a Jewish film executive, modeled after the “talented and tasteful” MGM film production head IRVING THALBERG (1899-1936), the hero of his last novel, “The Last Tycoon.” THE TIME 100 The April 29 issue of Time Magazine featured their annual list of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” You can read the article online. Here are the “tribe members” I’m sure about: talent manager SCOTT “Scooter” BRAUN, 31; JARED COHEN, 31, political advisor and director of “Google Ideas”; College Board head DAVID COLEMAN, 43; actor DANIEL DAY-LEWIS, 56; actress LENA DUNHAM, 26; hedge fund manager DAVID EINHORN, 44; former Congresswoman GABRIELLE GIFFORDS, 42; Veterans’ helper ERIC GREITENS, 39; Supreme Court Justice ELENA KAGAN, 62; fashion designer MICHAEL KORS, 53; Israeli finance minister YAIR LAPID, 49; Facebook COO SHERYL SANDBERG, 43; film director STEVEN SPIELBERG, 66. (A JTA piece on “The 100”, which listed about half the persons above, erroneously identified, as Jewish, Yahoo head Marissa Mayer and Tesla Motors head Elon Musk.) Here is a little more on three of the lesser known Jewish “100”:



Coleman, a prominent education reformer, grew-up in an intellectual household: his father is a psychiatrist and his mother is now president of Bennington College. A Nov. 2012 Atlantic magazine article says: “To prepare for his bar mitzvah at age 13, Coleman learned to chant in Hebrew the story of Joseph interpreting the pharaoh’s dreams. He recalls debating the parable’s many interpretations with his family rabbi, telling me proudly, ‘There’s no watered-down version of the Bible.’”; Greitens, who was a bar mitzvah, is a Rhodes Scholar who led Navy Seal missions in Iraq that hunted down Al-Qaeda cells. He wrote a bestselling book about being in combat and, in 2007; he founded “The Mission Continues,” an organization to help veterans. Last year, he was the winner of the 100K Bronfman Award, given to “young Jewish heroes”; Sandberg’s stellar academic career led to top government and private sector jobs. She became a bit better known this year with the publication of her book, “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.” She pushes herself hard in business and in philanthropic work. In 2010, she told a Jewish Federation meeting about her charities: “I’m discontented with myself. I should be doing more. We must leverage our discontent to do true tzedakah.” AH, BEAUTY AND MORE “People” magazine has largely eliminated the “cheesecake” aspect of its annual issue (April 14) featuring beautiful women. The issue is now more about looking as good as you can, and being healthy at any age. It even includes a page of regular women who exemplify these “ideals.” So their selection of GWYNETH PALTROW, 40, who takes incredible care of herself, as the “most beautiful woman in the world,” fits right in. Other Hebrew “healthy lookers” who appear in the mag include actresses HAILEE STEINFELD, 16, RASHIDA JONES, 37, EMMY ROSSUM, 26, MILA KUNIS, 29, and CHELSEA HANDLER, 38. Paltrow, who was raised in her late father’s Jewish faith, is the daughter of actress Blythe Danner. Danner and SARAH JESSICA PARKER, 48, will appear, as mother and daughter, in a Broadway stage show written by actress AMANDA PEET, 41 (she’s appeared in almost every episode this season of “The Good Wife”). Called “The Commons of Pensacola,” Peet’s first play is set to open in November. I wonder if she got writing tips from her husband, novelist and “Game of Thrones” creator DAVID BENIOFF, 42.

FROM THE PAGES 150 Y EARS A GO The building of a new temple is now a fixed fact. The site was selected with great care and bought notwithstanding the high price asked for it. It is located at the south-eastern corner of Plum and 8th streets, in the center of the city 142 feet on Plum street and 130 on 8th. Opposite thereof are the Catholic cathederal and the city building and park; Eighth and Seventh streets being fashionable localities for private residences, no fear of any kind of disturbance by a noisy neighborhood is to be entertained. The building to be erected on this site is expected to seat 1,500 persons on the floor and 500 in the gallery. It is expected that the corner stone will be laid sometime in September next and the structure be finished in the fall of 1864. – May 22, 1863

125 Y EARS A GO Mr. Henry Strauss, wife and son, while driving on Race Street Boulevard last Sunday afternoon, were thrown from their barouche through the horse taking fright, and received painful though not serious injuries. They were removed to their home and all are resting easy. It was by a miracle that they escaped instant death or mortal injury. Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Heinsheimer celebrated their silver wedding on Sunday evening, the 6th inst., at their beautiful home, corner Beecher and Gilbert Avenues, East Walnut Hills. There were gathered under the roof nearly one hundred relatives and immediate friends, making one of the most brilliant assemblies of the season. The ceremonies were conducted by Dr. Wise, and were unusually impressive and happy, as suited the occasion. The presents were not only numerous but costly, prominent among them being a solid silver tea set from Mrs. Newbugh. Mr. Heinsheimer is a member of the firm of Obermeyer & Co., the largest manufacturers of foundry facings in the world. The collation was served by Phillipi, the famous caterer. The affair was one of the finest ever witnessed in this city, and the hundreds of friends united in wishing the happy couple a continued journey of prosperity and bliss though life. – May 11, 1888

100 Y EARS A GO Fifty years of progress: Pogue’s anniversary sale. Half a century ago the H. & S. Pogue Co. opened its doors to the public. Business throve apace, founded as it was upon the principle of honesty and fair dealing. Service ever courteous, values

unassailable had their share in developing that unique degree of confidence on the part of our customers which is our special pride. The annual meeting of the Cincinnati section, Council of Jewish Women, took place Monday afternoon in the Sabbath School Auditorium of the Rockdale Avenue Temple. There were eight directors elected as follows: Mrs. Henry Englander, Mrs. Percy Shields, Mrs. Bernhard Isaacs, Mrs. Herbert Oettinger, Mrs. S. L. Lazaron, Mrs. Elias Phillips, Mrs. H. Sternberger, Mrs. Adolph Rosenberg. – May 8, 1913

75 Y EARS A GO Mrs. Louis I. Egelson, Cincinnati, is slated for election as president of the Ohio Federation of Temple Sisterhoods at its Monday - Tuesday, May 23rd - 24th, convention in Toledo. She is first vice president. Mrs. Samuel T. Rice, Hamilton, is president. Mrs. Samuel Fisher will be hostess at the home of Mrs. S Brownstein, 427 Rockdale Avenue, Tuesday, May 24th, at 2:30 p.m. Mrs. Ben Grad, chairman of the nominating committee, will report. A report of the card party will be given by Mrs. Abe Israelsky and Mrs. Max Mandel. Mr. and Mrs. Mayor Schuman (Dorothy Teitlebaum), of 1731 Bella Vista, are the parents of a daughter born Friday, May 13th. Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Blankenship (Ruth Gruber), 543 Hale Avenue, are the parents of a son born Saturday, May 14th. Mrs. and Mrs. Abe Levy (Fannie Goldstein), R.R. 9, Box 74, Winton Road, are the parents of a daughter born Saturday, May 14th. Mr. and Mrs. Leo Lucas, 3896 Reading Road, announce the engagement of their daughter, Virginia, to Mr. Morris Salomon, of Miami Beach. The marriage is to be solemnized in early June. The couple will live in Miami Beach. – May 9, 1938

50 Y EARS A GO Dr. Nelson Glueck, president of the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, will present awards to Philip M. Meyers, Sr., and Sidney Meyers at a Combined Campaign for American Reform Judaism victory dinner. The dinner will be held Wednesday evening, May 15, at the Jewish Community Center, as the climax of a fund-raising effort on the part of four Reform congregations, Rockdale, Sholom, Wise and Valley. Mrs. Sylvan D. Schwartzman was elected president of the Council of Jewish Women at the annual meeting Monday, May 6, at

the Netherland Hilton. She succeeds Mrs. Adolph H. Feibel, who became honorary president. Mrs. Schwartzman was installed by her husband, Rabbi Sylvan D. Schwartzman, professor of Religious Education at HUCJIR. – May 9, 1963

25 Y EARS A GO Carolyn F. Saeks, recipient of the 1988 Greater Cincinnati Bicentennial Award for community service, has been elected to the Board of Directors of HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. The announcement was made at the agency’s 108th annual meeting held on March 24th. H. Jerome Lerner and Dr. Morton Harshamm have been appointed as chairman and vice chairman of the Local Agency Relations/Allocations Committee for 1988 said David Lazarus, president of the Jewish federation. The committee has the responsibility for overseeing the distribution of approximately $1.7 million to local Jewish agenices. Dr. and Mrs. I. Mark Zeligs will be presented with the Bureau of Jewish Education’s prestigious community Leadership Award at the 63rd annual meeting of the organization’s board of trustees at the Jewish Community Center on Wednesday May 18, at 8 p.m. – May 12, 1988

10 Y EARS A GO Jewish Family Service (JFS) will begin a year-long commemoration of its 60th anniversary with a Birthday Bash at Parky’s Farm Hayloft in Winton Woods Sunday, June 1, 1 - 3 p.m. This free, family-friendly event is open to the community and will take place rain or shine. The final Food for Thought Luncheon and Lecture of the 2002 - 03 season, Wednesday, May 28, at 12:30 p.m. at Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC - JIR) will feature Rabbi David Ellenson, HUC - JIR president. He will present “The Approaches of Issac Mayer Wise and David Einhorn to Reform Judaism: A Personal Reflection on Their Meaning for Reform Judaism Today” at HUC-JIR’s Mayerson Hall, 3101 Clifton Avenue. Rabbi Ellenson will unveil the College’s new Ohio Historical marker following the lecture at 1:30 p.m. At its 93rd annual meeting, Sunday, June 1 at 10:15 a.m. at The Five Seasons Country Club, Big Brothers/Big Sisters will honor Mel Schulman with a Lifetime Achievement Award for 50 years of dedicated service to the organization. – May 15, 2003



COMMUNITY DIRECTORY COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS Access (513) 373-0300 • Big Brothers/Big Sisters Assoc. (513) 761-3200 • Camp Ashreinu (513) 702-1513 Camp at the J (513) 722-7258 • Camp Chabad (513) 731-5111 • Camp Livingston (513) 793-5554 • Cedar Village (513) 754-3100 • Chevra Kadisha (513) 396-6426 Cincinnati Community Kollel (513) 631-1118 • Cincinnati Community Mikveh (513) 351-0609 • Eruv Hotline (513) 351-3788 Fusion Family (513) 703-3343 • Halom House (513) 791-2912 • Hillel Jewish Student Center (Miami) (513) 523-5190 • Hillel Jewish Student Center (UC) (513) 221-6728 • Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Cincinnati 513-961-0178 • Jewish Community Center (513) 761-7500 • Jewish Community Relations Council (513) 985-1501 Jewish Family Service (513) 469-1188 • Jewish Federation of Cincinnati (513) 985-1500 • Jewish Foundation (513) 214-1200 Jewish Information Network (513) 985-1514 JVS Career Services (513) 985-0515 • Kesher (513) 766-3348 Plum Street Temple Historic Preservation Fund (513) 793-2556 Shalom Family (513) 703-3343 • The Center for Holocaust & Humanity Education (513) 487-3055 • Vaad Hoier (513) 731-4671 Workum Fund (513) 899-1836 • YPs at the JCC (513) 761-7500 •

CONGREGATIONS Adath Israel Congregation (513) 793-1800 • Beit Chaverim (513) 984-3393 • Beth Israel Congregation (513) 868-2049 • Congregation Beth Adam (513) 985-0400 • Congregation B’nai Tzedek (513) 984-3393 • Congregation Ohav Shalom (513) 489-3399 •

Congregation Ohr Chadash (513) 252-7267 • Congregation Sha’arei Torah 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 • Temple Beth Shalom (513) 422-8313 • Temple Sholom (513) 791-1330 • The Valley Temple (513) 761-3555 •

EDUCATION Chai Tots Early Childhood Center (513) 234.0600 • Chabad Blue Ash (513) 793-5200 • Cincinnati Hebrew Day School (513) 351-7777 • HUC-JIR (513) 221-1875 • JCC Early Childhood School (513) 793-2122 • Kehilla - School for Creative Jewish Education (513) 489-3399 • Mercaz High School (513) 792-5082 x104 • 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 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 National Fund (513) 794-1300 • Jewish War Veterans (513) 204-5594 • NA’AMAT (513) 984-3805 • National Council of Jewish Women (513) 891-9583 • State of Israel Bonds (513) 793-4440 • Women’s American ORT (513) 985-1512 •

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business@ or call Erin at 621-3145 SURGE from page 8 Jodi Berris, who works at Nike’s sprawling headquarters in nearby Beaverton and organizes gatherings for young Jewish adults, says she’s been trying to involve an unaffiliated colleague of hers for years, thus far unsuccessfully. “It’s not part of her life,” Berris said. “Still, the survey counts her, her non-Jewish husband and all three kids as Jewish.” Portland’s Jewish establishment is eager to bring these elusive newcomers into the fold with events like Food for Thought, which featured a smorgasbord of cultural events including a tour of a historically Jewish neighborhood, a party for Israel’s Independence Day and a latkes-hamentashen debate in which the the merits of sweet and savory Jewish dishes were considered (latkes won). After the survey was released, the federation allocated hundreds of thousands of dollars for engagement events, applied for outreach grants and brought in a Jewish Agency for Israel youth emissary. “We don’t want one-shot deals,” Marc Blattner, the federation’s president and CEO, told JTA. “We want lifelong involvement in the Jewish community however way they want.” Last week, hundreds of welldressed party goers attended Food for Thought’s opening ceremony at the Portland Art Museum. Federation donors noshed on mini salmon burgers, drank champagne and mingled at a reception preceding the main event. Later, Jewish comedians David Steinberg and David Javerbaum regaled the audience with stories about working with comedic greats such as Jon Stewart, Larry David and the late Johnny Carson. SEEKING from page 8 Dores, too, was drawn to Faitlovitch. He said they share a similarity as ethnologists fascinated by Africa and its people. Before turning to filmmaking, Dores said, he was a physician and a psychiatrist who spent eight years living in Senegal and South Africa. He and his daughter had made an earlier documentary, “Black Israel,” about Jews in


• • • • •

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(513) 531-9600 The event had a solid turnout – but the crowd was predominantly elderly, not the sought-after newcomer demographic. “The Jewish youth and Jewish adult communities seem to be two completely separate entities that want nothing to do with each other,” said Justin Chilton, 25, one of the few younger people at the event. “Trying to bridge that gap is really weird and seemingly weirdly impossible.” One challenge is geographic. Nearly all the community’s institutions are west of the Willamette River, while most of the unaffiliated Jews are believed to be on the city’s hipper east side. That is beginning to change. Shir Tikvah, a progressive synagogue, was the first Jewish place of worship to open on the east side of Portland. Chabad recently followed suit with a new outreach center in the trendy northeast. Meanwhile, Blattner said the federation is considering opening a Jewish day care center there. “The river becomes a barrier to people,” Blattner said. “We do not have formalized Jewish institutions on the east side of town, but we’re in discussions about that and the No. 1 thing we’re looking into is a Jewish preschool.” It’s unclear whether enough east siders are prepared to spend on the funding needed for such an endeavor, but Blattner hopes events like Food for Thought might plant the seeds for change. If not, and the gathering speaks only to the core group of committed Jews in Portland, he’s fine with that, too. “I hope that [the Jewish newcomers to Portland] know that when they do decide to come to the Jewish community,” Blattner said, “we will be waiting here with our hands open.” Africa, North America and the Caribbean. “An ethnologist is not someone who explains to people ‘you are like this’ or ‘they are like that,’” Dores said. “An ethnologist gives another person an opportunity to speak, to be known in humanity. It’s a question of respecting other people. And I think that Faitlovitch had respect for people who were without respect. This is a lesson of humanity.”



Beware: Fado fever is catching... I know because I caught it! Wandering Jew

by Janet Steinberg Bom Dia (good morning) was my sunny greeting as I arrived at the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz in Lisbon, Portugal. Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon, long considered the city’s premier hotel, reflects the nobility and charm of historic Portugal. It was there that I spent three days prior to embarking on Silversea’s Silver Whisper for a cruise that would sail me to such memorable sites as the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain and the WWII Normandy Landing Beaches in France. Situated atop one of Lisbon’s seven hills, the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz provides a glorious birdseye view of Eduardo VII Park, St. George’s Moorish Castle and the Tagus River. It is the perfect starting point for exploring the city’s unique architecture. The interior of the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon showcases 18th-century replica furnishings, an outstanding collection of contemporary Portuguese tapestries; and paintings and sculptures that are examples of the city’s finest art. It is truly a landmark establishment in all senses of the word. Eclectic; exotic; exuberant; undulating; historical and avantgarde. Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city renowned for its indigenous pastel stone is illuminated by the extraordinary amount of light that is reflected off the massive expanse of the Tagus River. Little wonder that the Tagus is said to be a large natural mirror that amplifies the aurora of the sun. It has long been argued whether the Tagus River, a winding silver ribbon that mirrors the city, ebbs up to meet the city—or whether Lisbon extends down to meet the river. Whatever the case, the city’s seven hills, and the wide mouth of the Tagus, make Lisbon one of the most charming cities in Europe. Lisbon (Lisboa), Portugal, a scenic, cosmopolitan city, is the cultural heart and soul of Portugal. The Lisbon Tourist Board claims there are 92 palaces, 67 public gardens, 55 fountains, 44 arches/archways, and 51 museums in the city. The Torre de Belem (Belem Tower), built in the year 1521, looks like a miniature castle on the banks of the Tagus River. Jewish people have been a part of that rich history for more than a thousand years. Well established as

royal financiers, physicians, and astronomers in the 12th century, the tide began to turn in the 14th century when many Jews were killed in Lisbon’s Jewish Quarter. By 1497, all Portuguese Jews were herded into Lisbon and forced to convert to Catholicism. Known as Conversos or Marranos, they were considered the New Christians. In 1506, thousands of New Christians were butchered in Plaza Rossio, Lisbon’s main square. Today, you might see a pious Jew reciting Kaddish in Plaza Rossio. During the Inquisition, the Conversos, many of whom still practiced Judaism in secret, were thrown into dungeons. With the upheaval of the land in the earthquake of 1755, the prisoners escaped from the dungeons and fled to England. In the 1800s, after the trade route brought new Jews to Lisbon, they were once again allowed to practice Judaism under British protection. It has been said that “today there are fewer Jews in Portugal than in some large New York apartment buildings.” Although it may be difficult to get a minyan, there are two synagogues in the city, Shaare-Tikva Sephardic and Synagoga Ohel Yaakov. Gray Line’s hop-on hop-off (HO-HO) bus was a great way to get re-acquainted with Lisbon on our first day back in the city. The HO-HO bus took us to such attractions as Praca do Comercio (Black Horse Square); Sao Jorge Castle, with its panoramic views of the city; Edward VII Park; the Cathedral, with its Arab mosque design; the Chiado area’s outdoor elevator designed by Gustave Eiffel of Eiffel Tower fame; the Torre de Belem (Tower of Belem) and the Padrao dos Descobrimentos (Monument to Prince Henry the Navigator). Gray Line’s full day Sintra tour took us to the town of Sintra, the fairytale town of castles and palaces, where Portuguese royalty spent their summers. Because of its 19th century Romantic architecture, Sintra was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. We headed out in the direction of the majestic and romantic Pena Palace, situated on a high mountain peak. The Palace is an eclectic mixture of styles. We continued on to Sintra, a village, abounding in antique shops, handicraft shops, restaurants and tearooms. Don’t miss tasting the deliciously wellknown tarts called “Queijadas.” Our next stop was Colares, a region famous for its table wines. Then it was on to Cabo da Roca (Cape of the Rock), the westernmost point in Europe where we said byebye to Europe as the land dropped into the Atlantic Ocean. Driving along the beaches of Guincho, we saw the beautiful Boca do Inferno (Mouth of Hell), while enjoying the gorgeous ocean scenery. In Cascais we had a colorful

Courtesy of Janet Steinberg

(Top-bottom) Eduardo VII Park, Belem Tower, Pena Palace

glimpse of this traditional fishing town. We returned to Lisbon via the Estoril Coast, finishing with a panoramic view of the turn-of-thecentury luxury resort of Estoril with its renowned gardens and the largest casino in Europe. Lisbon is known for its hearty Portuguese cuisine. Fresh seafood is a staple of the Portuguese diet. At Varanda Restaurant, in the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz, overlooking Eduardo VII Park, we began the evening with a Ritz Mojito (a beautiful, bubbly, raspberry concoction) and feasted on regional seafood dishes called caldeiradas and cataplana. On a second evening, the Ritz

Bar was where it was happening for us. Fresh sushi, (prepared right at the Ritz Bar every Thursday and Friday) was preceded by a vintage Portuguese Port wine. At Chef Miguel Castro Silva’s Largo Restaurant, in Lisbon’s sophisticated Chiado district, I think we tasted a bit of almost everything on Miguel’s eclectic menu. In addition to the evocative decor of this former cloister, Largo’s varied menu offerings pleased our eyes as well as our taste buds. When it comes time for a midday snack, head to Pasteis de Belem bakery for a traditional Portuguese treat, one of their custard tarts (from a secret monastery

recipe) straight out of the oven. If you’ve never done it, one should visit a fado club to experience fado, the melancholy, national song of Portugal. Fado, a dialogue of emotions between a round Portuguese guitar and a sad voice, is a singing expression of the state of the soul. The word fado – from the Latin fatum – signifies prophecy or fate: a life commended by the oracle, one that nothing can change. Sadly, it was time for us to leave Lisbon. However, as we sailed away from the city on Silversea’s Silver Whisper, we got a second chance to marvel at Lisbon’s waterfront as the ship sailed along the Tagus River to the Atlantic Ocean.

FOOD • 21


SCHROEDER from page 8 At 33, Schroeder decided her true passion lay in cooking, so she enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America campus in upstate New York. “I always knew I wanted to open up a a restaurant called Mother’s,” she said. “Back in ‘92, when I was working in marketing, I realized the world needed a place that served mother food. Everything I did for eight years was with this in mind.” Schroeder honed her kitchen skills at Le Cirque in Manhattan and several eateries in Provence, France. Eventually she met a Portland man and, after coming out for a visit, decided it was the perfect place for her. “They didn’t have motherly cooking or comfort food restaurants, and it was easy being a big fish in a small pond,” Schroeder said. When she isn’t running Mother’s, Schroeder can be found dispensing advice at Burning Man, the annual arts festival and bohemian bacchanal in the Nevada desert, where she goes by the name Mamaweitz. Many festival goers, or Burners, assume alter egos during the event. Schroeder’s wasn’t difficult to come up with. “What am I secretly? I’m a Jewish mother,” she said. “Everybody needs a mother, only sometimes not their own. They need someone wise, who’s been around. I set up my booth at Burning Man and the kids come to me with their burning questions.” More than a decade after its opening, Mother’s has expanded into an adjacent store. Schroeder’s family has expanded, too. She’s not just a mother anymore but a grandmother to four. Despite her multigenerational family and stature as something of a Portland institution, Schroeder says her peripatetic life has made her feel like a perpetual stranger. “As a Jew in the Diaspora, I really got to be honest with you, I don’t feel any place is home home,” she said. “I used to feel New York was home and I kept on going to visit after I moved, needing that New York fix. But not anymore.” Now it feels like a big mall to her. “I guess home will always be Israel,” she said wistfully. Despite the Zionist tug, Schroeder has no plans to move back, even though it’s been more than three decades since Begin occupied the premier’s residence. “Come on guys, it’s a mess,” she said of the situation in the Middle East, snapping out her contemplative reverie and returning to her outspoken self. “We got to get it together.”

Celebrate Shavuot with the best of the spring season By Helen Nash Jewish Telegraphic Agency NEW YORK – With its tradition of dairy meals, Shavuot is one of my favorite holidays. Arriving later in the spring – an ideal time to find delicious fruits, herbs and vegetables – it’s perfect for using fresh and seasonal ingredients. The four dishes I have selected for a Shavuot menu not only are perfect for dinner or lunch, they also reflect my philosophy on eating well: good planning, portion control and nutrition. Each dish can be prepared in advance, is not too difficult to make and doesn’t require many ingredients. And the ingredients are readily available. I love to start holiday meals with soup. Green Pea and Zucchini Soup can be served at room temperature, which is nice if the weather is warm. It also freezes well. For the main course, Ziti With Herbs and Mozarella has a lovely combination of herbs and cheese. And in late spring and summer, there is an abundance of fresh basil, parsley and arugula, all of which add wonderful flavor to the dish. For my fish, the tasty Seared Tuna With Two Sauces also can be served at room temperature. Finally, instead of the obligatory highly caloric cream cheesebased cheesecake, try Ricotta Flan with Raspberry Sauce. The ricotta and almonds make the cake much lighter (and healthier) than a traditional cheesecake, and it can be served warm, cold or at room temperature. Feel free to add fresh raspberries. The recipes below are from “Helen Nash’s New Kosher Cuisine” (Overlook Press). GREEN PEA AND ZUCCHINI SOUP Makes 6 servings This nutritious soup is truly a dish for all seasons, as it can be served at any time of year. Because it is so easy to prepare and freezes well, I usually have a batch on hand for last-minute dinner guests. Ingredients: 1 pound zucchini 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 20 ounces frozen sweet green peas, defrosted 3 1/4 to 4 cups vegetable broth 10 basil leaves, torn Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese Preparation: Rinse the zucchini and trim the ends. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the zucchini and garlic and saute for a minute. Add the peas and 3 1/4 cups

1/2 cup shelled soybeans (edamame), defrosted (see note) 1/2 cup vegetable broth Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper

broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Cool the soup a little. Puree half the soup coarsely in a blender. Return it to the saucepan and reheat, adding more broth as needed, until the soup reaches the desired consistency. Stir in the basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Preparation: Place all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Strain through a medium-mesh strainer. Season to taste. Note: Frozen edamame, shelled and unshelled, is available in healthfood stores and supermarkets.

ZITI WITH HERBS AND MOZZARELLA Makes 6 appetizer servings or 4 main-course servings Ingredients: 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled 2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves 1 cup tightly packed flat-leaf parsley 1 cup loosely packed arugula leaves 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper Kosher salt 1 pound imported ziti 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice Freshly ground black pepper Preparation: Wrap the garlic cloves in foil and bake in a toaster oven at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until soft. Cool. Peel the cloves and place them in a food processor along with the basil, parsley, and arugula. Adding the oil in a stream through the feed tube, pulse until semicoarse. Transfer to a large bowl. Cut the mozzarella into 1/2inch cubes. Add the cheese, along with the crushed pepper, to the herb mixture and combine. Bring 5 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Add 2 tablespoons salt. Add all the ziti at once and stir. Boil briskly, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, until the pasta is al dente. Drain in a colander, refresh with cold water, and drain well again. Add the ziti to the herb and mozzarella mixture and combine. Season to taste with the lemon juice, salt and pepper. SEARED TUNA WITH TWO SAUCES Makes 6 servings Tuna is surely one of America’s favorite fish, and it lends itself to many types of preparation, from sashimi to “tuna-fish” sandwiches. This dish calls for the fish to be almost raw; it can be accompanied with one of the Asian-inspired sauces, Ginger or Piquant Asian. Ingredients: 1 teaspoon kosher salt 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 2 pounds sashimi-quality tuna

Courtesy of “Helen Nash’s New Kosher Cuisine”

Seared Tuna can be accompanied with two Asian-inspired sauces, ginger or piquant.

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil Julienned daikon, sliced seeded cucumbers, and strong-tasting salad leaves like arugula or watercress, for garnish Ginger Sauce or Piquant Asia Sauce, to serve Preparation: Combine salt and pepper in a small bowl. Pat the tuna dry with paper towels. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sear the tuna on both sides, then remove from the heat and rub both sides with the salt-pepper mixture. When cool, wrap the tuna tightly in wax paper, then in foil. Refrigerate it for at least 4 hours or overnight. This will make it firmer and thus easier to slice. To serve: Cut the fish against the grain in thin slices and serve accompanied by the suggested vegetables. Serve either of the sauces separately. GINGER SAUCE Makes about 1/2 cup Ingredients: 2 shallots, finely chopped 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce 2 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar 2 teaspoons water 1/2 teaspoon sugar 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated 1 generous tablespoon olive oil 1 generous tablespoon sesame oil 1/2 teaspoon black pepper Preparation: Combine the ingredients well and season to taste. PIQUANT ASIAN SAUCE Makes about 1 cup Ingredients: 1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves 2 teaspoons wasabi powder 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1/4 teaspoon powdered mustard 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

RICOTTA FLAN WITH RASPBERRY SAUCE Makes 8 to 10 servings You can bake this light dessert a day in advance and refrigerate. FLAN Ingredients: 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, for greasing the pan 1 cup blanched almonds 4 large eggs, at room temperature 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Grated zest of 2 lemons One 15-ounce container ricotta cheese, at room temperature Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting the flan Fresh raspberries, for garnish Preparation: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 10-by-1 1/2-inch flan dish with the butter. Roast the almonds in a toaster oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes, until golden. Cool. Finely grind them in a food processor. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, adding the sugar gradually until well combined. Add the vanilla, lemon zest, ricotta, and almonds. Mix well. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the center feels slightly springy to the touch. Place on a wire rack to cool. RASPBERRY SAUCE Ingredients: One 12-ounce (340 g) package unsweetened frozen raspberries, defrosted 1 tablespoon Cognac (optional) 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, or to taste Preparation: Puree the raspberries in a blender until smooth. Strain through a medium-mesh sieve. Push the solids through the sieve with the back of a spoon to obtain as much puree as possible. Stir in the Cognac. Sweeten to taste with sugar. To serve: Spoon the raspberry sauce on individual plates and place slices of the flan on top. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and garnish with fresh raspberries.

22 • OBITUARIES D EATH N OTICES GOODMAN, Bernice, age 92, died April 26, 2013; 16 Iyyar, 5773. ROBINSON, Annette, age 90, died April 27, 2013 (after sundown); 18 Iyyar, 5773. PLEATMAN, Albert “Bert,” age 89, died April 30, 2013; 20 Iyyar, 5773. DIAMOND, Peter A., age 63, died May 5, 2013; 25 Iyyar, 5773. UNIONS from page 10 Stuart Davidson, the chairman of the American Friends of the Yitzhak Rabin Center, said the visiting delegations hear from “the left and the right,” but movement leaders met with no members of the current center-right government. And despite Rabin’s legacy as a peacemaker, neither delegation spent significant time learning about the conflict or speaking with Palestinians. Cox’s group met with ArabIsraeli union members, but did not meet with Palestinians despite visiting religious sites in Bethlehem, a Palestinian city in the West Bank. Coli’s delegation did not have any meetings with Palestinians or Arab-Israelis.


COUPLE from page 6 Lavi and Levy met in Tel Aviv in 2010 and have been a couple since early 2011. Lavi, 34, a Chicago-born photographer and dual U.S.-Israeli citizen, has suffered from kidney disease since her teen years. In December 2011, her condition worsened and she traveled to New York for treatment by a specialist. Levy soon joined her on a tourist visa, and last October they married on New York’s Williamsburg Bridge. In their wedding photos, the women – Levy in a white bridal gown, Lavi in a black suit over a white top – can’t stop smiling. In one photo, a cyclist rolls by, oblivious. Once married, Levy, 33, an aspiring screenwriter, applied to become a permanent resident. Spousal petitions are often granted for straight couples, but Levy was denied. The State of New York, which legalized gay marriage in 2011, recognized her as Lavi’s wife. But the federal government, relying on the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, did not. Plummer appealed for a SHMITTA from page 16 Parshat Behar, the Torah portion that contains the injunction to observe shmitta, falls this year on



deferred action, a mechanism that lifts the threat of prosecution of undocumented immigrants for twoyear periods. Gillibrand interceded on the couple’s behalf and in February, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services granted Levy a stay – rare for someone who arrived as an adult. But just as they got the good news, more bad news was in the offing. Lavi’s mother, who had been in remission from cancer, relapsed and Lavi returned to Israel to be with her. Levy wanted to join her but could not; immigrants enjoying deferred action lose the privilege if they leave the country. Again, Plummer appealed to Gillibrand; again, the senator came through. On April 23, USCIS granted Levy permission to return to the United States. She flew to Israel on May 1. Just prior to her flight, Levy told JTA that she was grateful for Gillibrand’s “wonderful” assistance and hoped to return in three months – her permitted time abroad – to a more welcoming United States. “The future after these months is not cloudless,” she said. “I hope that the U.S. by the summer will be

a country with a different atmosphere.” Levy’s hopes rest on the Leahy bill and parallel efforts that could end the bureaucratic tangles resulting from the federal government’s refusal to recognize gay marriages performed in the growing number of states that allow them. In March, the U.S. Supreme Court held a hearing on a petition that could result in the overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, which since 2011 the Obama administration has refused to defend in court. During the hearing, a majority of the justices appeared ready to strike down the law. Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress have legislation pending that would repeal DOMA should the court not strike it down. Its passage is unlikely, however, in the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives, where a version of the Leahy bill introduced by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) also is under consideration. “We must lift the hardship for LGBT families until the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of DOMA,” Gillibrand said.

“Regardless of the court’s ultimate decision, it is well past time for Congress to recognize the marriages of all loving and committed couples and finally put the discriminatory DOMA policy into the dustbin of history.” The Immigration Equality Action Fund leads a coalition of about a dozen advocacy groups seeking relief for what Plummer estimates is 36,000 binational LGBT couples in the United States. Among the groups is Bend the Arc, the Jewish liberal activist group that has been leading efforts in the Jewish community for family reunification rights for gays and lesbians. Other Jewish groups, including the leading immigration rights group, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, for years have advocated extending such rights to same-sex couples. Hadar Susskind, Bend the Arc’s Washington director, said its congressional lobbying is required because of resistance to Leahy’s proposed law by conservative groups – among them, Roman Catholics and Evangelical Christians – that otherwise support immigration reform.

May 3-4. It will be a wonderful opportunity to share shmitta educational and experiential offerings in your local synagogue, school, community center or community garden.

Imagine the Jewish community digging into these ancient texts about shmitta and renewing them for modern times. Imagine disaffected Jews igniting change through community

organizing inspired by Torah. How will you integrate shmitta principles into your personal and communal life by September 2014? Join us on the journey.

NAVIGATION from page 9

tikkun and no experience, since the the task of setting the place in the Torah was typically done by an expert. So how did a group of Torah rookies manage? By navigating with our collective Jewish educations. We knew the Shema was in the Torah’s last book, Deuteronomy – Devarim, in Hebrew – and from a prayer book that it was found in an early chapter. The current place was somewhere near the middle, and since Hebrew reads from right to left, we would need to roll more up on the right roller to get to the last book. As we rolled, we noted the large gaps in text upon reaching the end of Leviticus-Vayikra, then NumbersBamidbar, until we reached Devarim.

“These are the words,” the book begins. After slowly scrolling over several more columns, and finding the oversized letter ayin in the Shema, we had found our place. Since then, I have found, like other novice readers, you can find your place by counting the columns of text in the tikkun from the beginning of a book, or the portion – the count will be the same in the Torah scroll. Later, as the Hebrew grew more familiar, key words and phrases became my guide. Others in the minyan beginning their Torah journeys have used navigational aids – notes written on scraps of paper, photocopy enlargements, even Post-its – to find their place. More than an exercise or a game of word search, it became a matter of truly taking ownership of the text. There are times, however, when we open the scroll and someone has forgotten to advance it from the previous Shabbat. In those moments of being lost – and it does feel like being physically lost – and amid the pressure to find your way, words become landmarks, even the guideposts of which Fenton spoke. On one of those rolling mornings, yad in hand, I was looking for the right “va’yidaber” in the book of Exodus, Shemot – many of its verses begin with the word, as in “va’yidaber Elohim,” “and God spoke.” The word began to loom large as I scanned past one after another.

“The Ten Commandments and Haazinu are written in a special way,” she added, the latter being the Torah portion featuring the Song of Moses. “Whether a person considers the Torah to be God’s words or a foundation text, it’s the source of who we are as Jews, and reading from it is a big responsibility.” Fenton suggests starting with a Jewish calendar to find the week’s portion and then going to a tikkun – a guidebook for Torah readers with Hebrew text as it appears in the Torah scroll in one column and with vowels and singing marks in another – to narrow the search. But the Movable Minyan had no


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Israel@65: A whirlwind year By Gabrielle Cohen Assistant Editor Throughout the year, Israel’s 65th birthday was celebrated within the Cincinnati community. The celebration started in November and ended in April on Yom Ha’Atzmaut. The main events included Our Star is Born, Gil Shaham and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Mayerson JCC Jewish & Israeli Film Festival, Chai (Sixty)5: A Star and Stripes Celebration, Israel’s 65th Birthday Beach Bash, Yom HaZikaron at Cedar Village, Israel Independence Day Teen Party and Israeli Cultural Fest and David Broza in Concert. There were over 40 programs throughout the community related to the Israel@65 celebration. This six-month long community-wide celebration of Israel focused on Israeli-based events. Each of these creative events showed how the community is connected to Israel. The Israel@65 co-chairs were Nina and Eddie Paul, along with lead professionals Yair Cohen and Rabbi Shena Jaffee, who worked together to make all of these events happen. To kick off the celebration, on Nov. 29, 2012, Our Star is Born commemorated the anniversary of the 1947 United Nations vote to create the Jewish state. There were over 450 people in attendance to enjoy a variety of Israeli cuisine and to dance the Horah. Yair Cohen, Community Shaliach from Israel, said, “you could feel the excitement when we re-enacted the counting of the votes that made Israel a Jewish state. It was a very successful event to kick off the Israel@65 celebration.” The next event featured Gil Shaham performing with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra on Jan. 26, 2013. Shaham is a wellknown violinist from Israel. With discounted tickets to the symphony, 200 people enjoyed his music and a reception following the show. Cohen said, “The reception celebrated the successes of Israeli art and culture during Israel’s 65th birthday.” During the reception, Shaham discussed his personal experiences of living on an Israeli kibbutz for a couple of years when he was growing up. He and his parents went to visit Israel and decided to stay for a couple of years. Following Shaham’s performance, the Mayerson JCC hosted a matinee during the Jewish & Israeli Film Festival in honor of the celebration of Israel@65 on Feb. 17, 2013. The free matinee was for “Orchestra of Exiles.” This documentary focused on Bronislaw Huberman, the celebrated Polish violinist who rescued some of the world’s greatest musicians from Nazi Germany and then created one of the world’s greatest orchestras, the Palestine Philharmonic, later


“You could feel the excitement when we re-enacted the counting of the votes that made Israel a Jewish state. It was a very successful event to kick off the Israel@65 celebration.” Yair Cohen

named the Israeli Philharmonic. The film festival celebrated the Israeli symphony and the establishment of the Jewish state in Israel. It explored Israel before it declared independence. According to Cohen, “it centered around Israeli culture. Approximately 170-180 people enjoyed learning about Israel before it was declared a state in 1948.” The next event was the Chai (Sixty)5: A Star and Stripes Celebration, hosted by Access on April 14, 2013. About 100 young adults experienced a night out in Tel Aviv. White sand, palm trees, live camel rides, a mechanical surf board and a Bedouin tent made up the decor. The young adults experienced authentic Israeli food, music and drinks. Everything Israel has to offer, from camel rides to white, sandy beaches and much more, was jam packed into one afternoon. A similar themed event for young families took place on April 14, 2013. The event was Israel’s 65th Birthday Beach Bash. It was hosted by Shalom Family with Israel@65. Young children ages 12 and under were invited to attend and enjoy what Israel has to offer young families. With 500 people RSVPing for this event, people enjoyed and celebrated Israeli culture from afar. There were handson activities, games, food, music and much more. Following this event, the residents of Cedar Village celebrated Yom HaZikaron on April 14, 2013. Yom HaZikaron honors Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldiers and victims of terror. This year, for the Israel@65 celebration, the Jewish community of Cincinnati honored families who had two deaths of soldiers. The flag was lowered, along with a wreath-laying ceremony. According to Cohen, they called it, “Bereavement strikes twice.” The families experienced deaths of sons, grandfathers, fathers, brothers and more. With 200 people in attendance, this event remembered those lost in acts of terror or as a soldier. The next event was the Israel Independence Day Teen Party on April 16, 2013. Teenage participants came together from different synagogues and organizations. It was hosted by the Jewish

Federation of Cincinnati’s Israel HERE Program, with Israel@65. The 100 teens who attended the event experienced a traditional outdoor mangal cookout with Israeli music, activities led by the Chaverim m’Israel (Friends of Israel), games and a relaxed atmosphere. Cohen said, “We also had two participants who have been to Israel with the special travel grant. We heard about their experiences and their connection to Israel.” This event was special just for the teens of the community. To end the Israel@65 festivities, the Israel@65 hosted the Israeli Cultural Fest featuring David Broza on April 21, 2013. The day was filled with food, wine and cheese tastings and hand-crafted artworks. The Israeli icon, David Broza, then closed the event with an outstanding performance. There was high energy throughout Broza’s performance. This event ended the Israel@65 celebration with 1,000 people in attendance. The Dead Sea Scrolls, sponsored by the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati, was featured during the year-long celebration. The exhibit ran Nov. 16, 2012 until April 14, 2013. It featured the most comprehensive collection of ancient artifacts from Israel ever organized, including one of the largest collections of priceless 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls displayed in North America. The Scrolls contain the oldest known copies of the Torah. A total of 972 preserved scrolls were found and put on display at the Cincinnati Musuem Center. Overall, the Israel@65 yearlong celebration was a very big success with about 5,000 community members attending the events. The celebration was a way for the Jewish Cincinnati community to connect to Israel in their own special way. “The beauty of Israel@65 is that the community is coming together. We couldn’t pull off such a successful event without the help of all the local agencies, organizations, synagogues and different sponsors. I’m proud to be a part of the community and honored to serve as the Community Shaliach, especially during the celebration of Israel,” Cohen said.

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Israel’s 65th Independence Day: Snapshots through the decades By Alina Dain Sharon JointMedia News Service In honor of Israel’s 65th birthday, JNS takes a look at the major events that shaped each decade in Israel’s history since 1948. The emerging picture shows that despite continuous political turmoil and violence, Israelis always found a way to grow and innovate. 1948-1958 In November 1947, three decades after the Balfour declaration favored “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” and three years after the Holocaust, the United Nations General Assembly voted 33 to 13 for two “independent Arab and Jewish States.” The State of Israel was established on May 14, 1948, and David Ben Gurion became the nation’s first prime minister. The day after the proclamation, Arab countries invaded and the war for independence began, but the newly formed Jewish state came out victorious by 1949. After the establishment of the 1950 Law of Return, about 680,000 mostly European and Mediterranean Jews settled in Israel by 1951. In the 1956 Sinai Campaign, Israel launched an attack against Egypt, together with France and Great Britain, capturing the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula. Shortly afterward U.S. pressure forced Israel to relinquish the territories. 1958-68 This decade was strongly defined by the kibbutzim, the collective communities created throughout the Jewish state. Kibbutz members were considered the best of Israeli society, and many pursued elite careers in the government and military. The Kibbutz culture yielded the development of drip-irrigation, a system that can directly water a plant more efficiently than the sprinkler. After armies from surrounding Arab nations began threatening Israel during the Six Day War of 1967, the country exacted a major victory in a surprise offensive, gaining control of the Golan Heights, Gaza, Sinai and the West Bank. Israel also gained East Jerusalem, unifying the city. Violence and war didn’t stop Israeli arts from flourishing. In 1964, “Sallah Shabati,” a film about the struggles of a Mizrahi immigrant family, was nominated for the Foreign Language Film Academy Award. In 1966, renowned writer Shmuel Yosef Agnon won the Nobel Prize in literature. 1968-78 In the Yom Kippur War of 1973, the Jewish state was surprised with an attack by Egyptian and Syrian armies on the holiest day of the

Jewish faith, narrowly escaping defeat. A year earlier, 11 Israeli athletes were murdered by Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLO) terrorists during the Olympic Games in Munich, Germany. In 1972, Japanese gunmen recruited by the PLO opened fire at Lod’s Airport near Tel Aviv (now Ben Gurion International Airport). Twenty-eight people were killed, including Puerto Rican Christian pilgrims and Israeli scientist Aharon Katzir. In 1974, Palestinian terrorists attacked the town of Ma’alot, including an elementary school, ultimately killing 22, mostly children. But when an Air France plane with Israeli and Jewish passengers was hijacked in 1976 by Palestinian terrorists and forced to land in Uganda, the IDF flew commandos to a daring rescue mission in which they killed all the terrorists and freed the hostages. Also in this decade, four Israeli films were nominated for the Foreign Language Film Academy Award. 1978-88 In 1978, Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin signed the Camp David Accords, driven by U.S. President Jimmy Carter. Sadat and Begin won the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize, and a historic peace treaty between Egypt and Israel was signed the following year. In this decade PLO terrorists seized a bus from Israel’s coast highway, killing more than 30 civilians. A series of reprisals on both sides followed, and villages close to Lebanon were frequently shelled with mortars. In 1982, Israel attacked Lebanon in an effort to remove the terrorists. Though Israel drove the PLO out in the first Lebanon War, many soldiers died in the process. Israel also bombed and destroyed the Osirak nuclear complex in Iraq to prevent the building of nuclear weapons. By 1987, the First Intifada uprising began, bringing with it thousands of Israeli casualties through Molotov cocktail, grenade, bomb and other attacks. Nevertheless, Israel won the Eurovision song contest for the second time in 1979, and another film was nominated for the Foreign Language Film Academy Award in 1984. More than 8,000 Ethiopian Jews were secretly airlifted to Israel in Operation Moses. 1988-98 This decade saw Israeli society change fundamentally, primarily spurred by a mass immigration of Jews from the Soviet Union. More than a million Russian Jews arrived in Israel, many during the height of the Gulf War, when Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was shelling Israel with missiles. Though at first strug-

gling to assimilate both socially and economically, many ultimately became politically active and exacted enormous influence on culture, music, science and technology. Russian Jews notably founded the “Gesher” theater, which at first staged plays only in Russian, but soon transitioned into Hebrew. Israel signed a 1994 peace treaty with Jordan. In the 1993 Oslo Accords – for which Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat won the Nobel Peace Prize – Israel and the PLO signed an agreement primarily focused on Palestinian self-governance in the territories of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. Israeli society was deeply divided over the agreement, but the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by Jewish extremist Yigal Amir traumatized and united Israelis of all political persuasions. One of the worst terrorist attacks of the decade occurred in 1996, when two Jerusalem buses were bombed, killing 26 people and injuring about 80. 1998-2008 In 1998, an Israeli woman was crowned Miss World. The Second Intifada started in 2000, and by 2005 more than a thousand Israelis were killed in terrorist attacks. The bombing of the Dolphinarium discotheque in Tel Aviv killed 21 teenagers. A major bombing of a Netanya hotel on the eve of Passover killed nearly 30 and injured 140. In 2005, Israel withdrew from the Gaza strip, and the 2006 Second Lebanon War saw Israel fight Hezbollah forces. That same year, Hamas captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Notable high-tech Israeli inventions and start-ups in this decade include the Disk-on-Key, a precursor to the now ubiquitous flash drive; wireless capsule endoscopy, a pill-sized camera that can pass through the digestive tract and detect diseases, and the instant messaging service ICQ. Four Nobel prizes were awarded to Israelis in the fields of economics and chemistry. The first Israeli astronaut, Ilan Ramon, famously participated in the international Columbia Shuttle space mission in 2003, but was tragically killed when the shuttle exploded. 2008-2013 Gilad Shalit’s release in 2011 again polarized Israeli society because it required the release of about 1,000 Palestinian terrorists from Israeli prisons. Three more films were nominated for the Foreign Language Film Academy Award, most recently “Footnote” in 2012. Also in 2012, Tel Aviv was named Best SNAPSHOTS on page B5

ISRAEL@65 • B5


Why 1948 matters more than ever By Alex Safian JointMedia News Service Until Palestinians and Arabs abandon their long-held myths on Israel’s birth and face reality, the prospects for peace will be dim indeed. Of all the events surrounding modern Israel’s rebirth – the rise of the Zionist movement, the first and second aliyahs, the building of prestate institutions in the Yishuv – by far the most important for the newly turned 65-year-old Jewish state, at least for the prospects for peace, spring from the War of Independence itself, because the competing “narratives” about that period lie at the heart of the ArabIsraeli conflict. If, as is believed almost uniformly throughout the Arab world, Israel was born in original sin, if the Jews really did ransack placid Arab villages, murdering children in front of parents and parents in front of children, and expelling whoever was left, then Arab hatred for Israel and Jews would be understandable, as would their fundamental refusal to really make peace with Israel. But the Arab narrative (which is often shared by Europeans) is wrong. Israel was not born in original sin – with a few justified exceptions there were no expulsions, nor was there any policy of harming innocents, on the contrary. Thus, even as early as 1937, in a letter to his son Amos, Israel’s founding father David Ben Gurion wrote: “We do not wish and do not need to expel Arabs and take their places. All our aspiration is built on the assumption – proven throughout all our activity ... that there is enough room in the country for ourselves and the Arabs.” Ten years later, even after much violence and conflict, Ben Gurion’s core beliefs about living in peace with the Arabs had not wavered: “In our state there will be nonJews as well – and all of them will be equal citizens; equal in everything without exception ... The attitude of the Jewish state to its Arab citizens will be an important factor SNAPSHOTS from page B4 Gay City in an international competition. Two more Nobel prizes were awarded to Israelis in chemistry. In November 2012, a new conflict between Israel and Gaza started when an anti-tank missile fired from Gaza wounded four Israeli soldiers. Hamas followed by firing 120 rockets at Israel from Nov. 1014, prompting the IDF to kill Ahmed Jabari, the head of Hamas’s military wing. This marked the start of an IDF offensive dubbed Operation Pillar of Defense. By Nov. 19 about 700 rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza, and three Israelis were killed. At least 16 Palestinian civilians were killed by

– though not the only one – in building good neighborly relations with the Arab states.” (Speech, Dec. 13, 1947.) Despite the Yishuv’s attempts to live peacefully with their neighbors, the leader of the Palestinians, the Grand Mufti, Haj Amin al Husseini, chose to make common cause with the Nazis, meeting Hitler and Himmler in Berlin and pushing them to accelerate the slaughter of the Jews, and helping to create Muslim SS units in the Balkans that committed bloody war crimes against both Christians and Jews. The Mufti’s actions directly implicated the Palestinian movement in the Holocaust, but the Jews still tried to reach an accommodation with their Arab neighbors. When the United Nations in 1947 passed a resolution to partition the Palestine Mandate (or what was left of it, since most of the original territory had been lopped off by Britain to create Jordan) into a Jewish and an Arab state, the Jews supported the plan despite being deeply disappointed with how little land they would receive. The five Arab states in the UN all denounced the resolution (UNGA 181), voted against it, and together with the Palestinian representatives vowed to go to war to kill it. At the UN in May of 1948, just weeks prior to partition, Abba Eban once again urged all parties to support the world body’s proposal and to avoid war, “... much suffering and grief can still be avoided by seeking the way back onto the highway of the partition resolution.” Unfortunately for all involved, the Arabs ignored Eban, and launched a brutal war against the Jews, in which more than one percent of the Jewish population was killed. Expecting an easy victory, the Arabs were surprised to meet stiff resistance, and when the Arab armies began to fall back from their initial victories (an Egyptian armored column had penetrated up the coast to within 21 miles of Tel Aviv), the Palestinians panicked

and began to flee, thus creating the Palestinian refugee problem that endures to this day. Had the Palestinians accepted partition, a Palestinian state would have been created side-by-side with Israel in 1948, and there wouldn’t have been a single Palestinian refugee. This Palestinian refusal to accept statehood was no fluke – they have refused statehood at least two more times since 1948. In the summer of 2000, President Bill Clinton presented his plan (the Clinton Parameters) at Camp David, which would have created a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, with a shared Jerusalem and free passage. Israel’s Ehud Barak accepted the Clinton plan, but Arafat refused it, and rather than making a counter offer instead returned home and launched the second intifada, or violent uprising, in which more than a thousand Israelis were killed. Despite this, in 2008 the Israelis tried again, when Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced his own peace plan, which would have uprooted tens of thousands of Israeli settlers, abandoned Hebron, divided Jerusalem, and even offered some accommodation to the Palestinian claim to a right of return. The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, refused the peace proposal and once again failed to make a counter proposal. In the face of the documented truth that it is the Palestinians who have repeatedly run away from a negotiated peace and statehood, it is astounding that both the Palestinians and many Europeans act as if Israel refuses to make peace, as if Israel stands in the way of a Palestinian state. Until the Palestinians and the Arabs abandon their myths and face reality, until they accept the hard truths that they have been their own worst enemy, the prospects for peace will be dim indeed. When the false narrative is finally exposed and debunked among the Arabs, peace will not be easy or even likely, but it will be easier and likelier.

Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza during this time, before an Egypt-brokered ceasefire was declared Nov. 21. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was re-elected in January 2013. His Likud Beiteinu party, however, an alliance between the center-right Likud (“Unification”) and the right-leaning Yisrael Beiteinu (“Israel Our Home”), suffered a major voting loss. Former Israeli journalist Yair Lapid’s centrist party, Yesh Atid (“There is a Future”), made unexpected strides. After six weeks of deliberation, the new coalition of the 19th Knesset was announced. It included LikudBeiteinu with 31 seats, Yesh Atid with 19 seats, Naftali Bennett’s HaBayit HaYehudi (“Jewish

Home”) with 12 seats, and Tzipi Livni’s Hatnuah (“The Movement”) with six seats. The ultra-Orthodox parties were left out of the coalition. U.S. President Barack Obama made his presidency’s first visit to Israel this March. Obama gave a keynote speech to Israeli youths at the Jerusalem Convention Center, covering the U.S.-Israel relationship, the path toward piece with the Palestinians, and America’s intent to help prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Obama also visited Palestinian Authority-controlled territory, and attended a state dinner organized by Israeli President Shimon Peres, where he met Yityish “Titi” Aynaw, the first “Miss Israel” of Ethiopian descent.


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From Rummikub to the ‘God Particle’: A timeline of Israeli innovations By Marcella Rosen Jewish Telegraphic Agency


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HAPPY 65TH ISRAEL! Ellen W. Field, M.D. Richard G. Valido, M.D. Lisa Gennari, M.D. Connie Rudolph, C.N.M. 8231 Cornell Road, Suite 320 Cincinnati, OH 45249 513-794-1500

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NEW YORK (JTA) – While a great deal of international and media focus has been placed on Israel’s military conflicts, the country quietly has become an energetic, ambitious incubator of entrepreneurialism and invention. What follows is a timeline chronicling some of the most important and interesting innovations produced by Israelis during their country’s 65-year existence. RUMMIKUB (1940s): Ephraim Hertzano invents the smash hit board game Rummikub, which goes on to become the bestselling game in the United States in 1977. UZI MACHINE GUN (1948): Major Uzi Gaf develops the Uzi submachine gun. Gaf builds in numerous mechanical innovations resulting in a shorter, more wieldy automatic. It is estimated that more than 10 million have been built; the Uzi has seen action in numerous wars and in countries throughout the world. SUPER CUKE (1950s): Esra Galun’s research into hybrid seeds leads to his creation of the world’s first commercial hybrid cucumber. Their descendants and the techniques Galun pioneered account for the majority of cucumbers cultivated today. Galun went on to develop early-blooming melons and disease-resistant potatoes. His work continues to inform and influence crop genetics. CANCER SCREENER (1954): Weizmann Institute pioneer Ephraim Frei begins groundbreaking research on the effect of magnetism on human tissue. His work will lead directly to the development of the T-Scan system for the detection of breast cancer, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration described as a “significant … breakthrough.” EARLY COMPUTER (1955): The Weizmann Institute’s WEIZAC computer performs its first calculation. With an initial memory of 1,024 words stored on a magnetic drum, it is one of the first large-scale stored program computers in the world. In 2006, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers recognizes WEIZAC as a milestone achievement in the fields of computers and electrical engineering. SOLAR ENERGY BENCHMARK (1955): Harry Zvi Tabor develops a new solar energy system that today powers 95 percent of Israeli solar water heaters and is the standard for solar water heating around the world. AMNIOCENTESIS (1956): Weizmann professor Leo Sachs becomes the first to examine cells drawn from amniotic fluid to diag-

nose potential genetic abnormalities or prenatal infections in developing fetuses. His work becomes known as amniocentesis, a routine procedure now conducted on pregnant women worldwide. LAB-BRED BLOOD CELLS (1963): Sachs becomes the first researcher to grow normal human blood cells in a laboratory dish. This breakthrough leads to the development of a therapy that increases the production of crucial white blood cells in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. DRIP IRRIGATION (1965): Founding of Netafim, developer and distributor of modern drip irrigation. COLOR HOLOGRAM (1966): Asher Friesem produces the world’s first color hologram. He goes on to explore 3-D imaging through work that leads to the development of “heads up” displays for pilots, doctors and other virtual reality systems. DESALINATION (1967): Sydney Loeb takes a position at Ben-Gurion University, where he will develop the reverse osmosis desalination process, now the worldwide standard. ADVANCED CELLULAR RESEARCH (1970): Ada Yonath establishes the only protein crystallography laboratory in Israel. She begins a course of research on the structure and function of the ribosome, the sub-cellular component that produces protein, which in turn controls all chemistry within organisms. Her work lays a foundation for the emergence of socalled “rational drug design,” which produces treatments for several types of leukemia, glaucoma and HIV, as well as antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs. Along with two colleagues, Yonath is awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. BLOOD DETOXIFICATION (1972): Meir Wilchek demonstrates that “affinity chromatography” – a method he developed for separating biological or biochemical materials – can be used to detoxify human blood. The work leads to the development of present-day technologies, employed around the world, that are used to remove poison from a patient’s blood. DRONE AIRCRAFT (1973): Israeli fighter jets sustain serious damage during the Yom Kippur War. In response, Israel initiates the development of the first modern Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – also known as UAVs or drones. The new Israeli drones are lighter, smaller and cheaper than any of their predecessors, with capacities such as real-time 360-degree video imaging, radar decoy capability and increased operating ceilings. Drones enable Israel to eliminate

Syria’s air defenses at the start of the 1982 war with Lebanon without losing a single pilot. Drones descending today from Israeli designs conduct military, civilian, research and surveillance operations around the world. COMPUTER PROCESSORS (1974): Computer heavyweight Intel sets up an R&D shop in Israel, leading to the development of the globally ubiquitous 8088 processor and Centrino chip. COMPUTER SECURITY (1977): Adi Shamir, working with two American colleagues, describes a method of encryption. Now known as RSA, it is the single most important encryption method used worldwide to secure transactions between customers and banks, credit card companies and Internet merchants. DIGITAL AGE INFORMATION SHARING (1977): Abraham Lempel and Jacob Ziv develop the LZ data compression algorithms. Aside from their trailblazing academic applications, the algorithms become the primary basis of early computer information sharing. Today, LZ algorithms and their derivatives make possible our ability to send many types of photos and images between computers quickly and easily. FARM-SCALE FOOD STORAGE (1980s): Shlomo Navarro invents a simple yet paradigmshifting food storage system intended to help farmers in developing food-poor and resource-poor areas to keep their crops from spoiling after harvest. The system evolves into GrainPro Cocoons, water- and air-tight containers used around the world to prevent the damaging effects of spoilage and parasites without the use of pesticides. LEUKEMIA TREATMENT (1981): Elli Canaani joins the Weizmann Institute. His research into the molecular processes leading to chronic myelogenous leukemia, or CML, will result in the development of Gleevec, a drug now provided to CML patients around the world. The molecular processes discovered by Canaani were subsequently discovered to be at work in other leukemias, as well as certain tumors and lymphomas. UNDERSTANDING CELLULAR ACTIVITY (1981): Avram Hershko and Aaron Ciechanover – along with American counterpart Irwin Rose – begin work that will lead to the discovery of ubiquitin, a molecular “label” that governs the destruction of protein in cells. The discovery produces a dramatic improvement in the understanding of cellular function and the processes that bring about ailments such as cervical cancer and cystic fibrosis. In recognition of their

ISRAEL@65 • B7


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Illustration from the new book “Tiny Dynamo,” which promotes the most important and interesting innovations to emerge from Israel.

work, the team receives the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. A NEW FORM OF MATTER (1982): Israeli scientist Daniel Shechtman discovers Quasicrystals, a “new” form of matter that had been considered not only nonexistent but impossible. Shechtman becomes the object of disdain and ridicule, but his discovery eventually is vindicated and earns him the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Applications of Quasicrystals range from the mundane (nonstick cookware) to the arcane (superconductive and superinsulative industrial materials). COMPUTER “LANGUAGE” (1986): Computer scientist David Harel develops Statecharts, a revolutionary computer language used to describe and design complex systems. Statecharts are used worldwide in areas from aviation to chemistry. Harel’s work is also being applied to the analysis of the genetic structures of living creatures with hopes of applying subsequent discoveries to the analysis and treatment of disease, infection and other biological processes. IMMUNOLOGY ADVANCEMENT (1991): Weizmann Institute professor Yair Reisner announces the creation of mice with fully functioning human immune systems. Described from an immunological perspective as “humans with fur,” the mice provide for the first time a real-world arena in which to study human ailments and represent a major step forward in the search for a cure for AIDS, hepatitis A and B, and other infectious diseases. BABY MONITOR (1991): Haim Shtalryd develops the BabySense crib monitor, which becomes standard child safety equipment in millions of homes worldwide. OFFICE PRINTER (1993): Rehovot-based Indigo Inc. introduces the E-Print 1000. The device enables small operators to produce printing-press quality documents directly from a computer file, revolutionizing the operations of work environments of all stripes.

COMPUTER SECURITY (1993): Gil Shwed, 25, and two partners establish the computer security firm Check Point. Within two years, Check Point signs provider agreements with HP and Sun Microsystems. The company experiences phenomenal growth, and in 1996 it becomes the leading provider of firewall and security services – including anti-virus, anti-spam and anti-data-loss security components – to businesses of all sizes around the globe. MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS TREATMENT (1996): Teva Pharmaceuticals introduces Copaxone, the only non-interferon multiple sclerosis treatment. The world’s top-selling MS treatment, Copaxone helps reduce relapses and may moderate the disease’s degenerative progression. INSTANT MESSAGING (1996): Mirabilis launches ICQ, the first Internet-wide instant messaging system. America Online adopts the technology and popularizes the world of online chat. COMPUTER DICTIONARY (1997): Introduction of the Babylon computer dictionary and translation program. Within three years the system will boast more than 4 million users. Babylon eventually becomes integrated into most user-level Microsoft programs, allowing for seamless cross-language translation of millions of words at the click of a mouse. “PORTABLE” SLEEP LAB (1997): Itamar Medical Ltd. is founded, and soon brings to market its WatchPAT sleep lab, representing a paradigm shift in the treatment of sleep disorders. PILLCAM (1998): Given Imaging develops the PillCam, now the global standard for imaging of the small bowel. FIRST AID (1998): Bernard Bar-Natan makes the first sale of his Emergency Bandage. A giant leap forward in field dressings, it has become standard equipment in both civilian and military first aid kits worldwide. NANOWIRE (1998): Researchers Uri Sivan, Erez Braun

and Yoav Eichen report that they have used DNA to induce silver particles to assemble themselves into a “nanowire,” a metallic strand 1,000 times thinner than a human hair. In addition to staking out new ground on the frontier of electrical component miniaturization, the wire actually conducts electricity, marking the first time a self-assembling component has been made to function and laying a path to exponential advances in the field of nanotechnology. VISION-BASED CAR SAFETY SYSTEMS (1999): Amnan Shashua and Ziv Aviram found MobilEye, a company that provides advanced optical systems to car manufacturers to increase safety and reduce traffic accidents. FLASH DRIVE (2000): MSystems introduces the flash drive in the United States. Smaller, faster and more reliable than floppy disks or CD-ROMs, they will go on to replace those technologies worldwide. ADVANCED UNDERWATER BREATHING TECH (2001): Alon Bodner founds Like-A-Fish, a manufacturer of revolutionary underwater breathing apparatuses that extract oxygen from water. GROUNDBREAKING SPINAL SURGERY SYSTEM (2001): Mazor Robotics is founded and goes on to introduce its SpineAssist robotic surgical assistant, the most advanced spine surgery robot in use today. URBAN AIR COMBAT/RESCUE (2002): Rafi Yoeli develops the initial concept for the AirMule urban carrier, combat and rescue vehicle. TERRORIST DETECTOR (2002): In the wake of renewed terrorist activity against Israel and the United States, Ehud Givon assembles a team of researchers to develop an advanced and foolproof “terrorist detector,” resulting in the WeCU security system. MICRO-COMPUTER (2003): Weizmann scientist Ehud Shapiro develops the world’s smallest DNA computing “machine,” a INNOVATIONS on page B9

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At 65, Israel defies economic meltdown By Yoram Ettinger JointMedia News Service While most of the world is afflicted by an economic meltdown, Israel demonstrates fiscal responsibility, sustained economic growth with no stimulus package, and a conservative, well-regulated banking system with no banking or real estate bubble.

At 65, Israel’s credit rating is sustained by the three leading global credit rating companies: Standard and Poor’s (S&P), Moody’s and Fitch Ratings. Moreover, the International Monetary Fund commended Israel’s economic performance and has expressed confidence in its long-term viability. United Bank of Switzerland (UBS) Chairman Kasper Villiger

indicated that China, Hong Kong, Brazil, Russia and Israel are the future growth engines for UBS. Deloitte Touche, one of the top four global CPA firms, opined that Israel is the fourth-most attractive site for overseas investors. The Swiss-based Institute for Management Development ranks the Bank of Israel among the top five central banks in its 2012 World Competitiveness Yearbook for the third year in a row. At 65, Israel’s economic indicators are among the world’s best. For example, during the 20092012 global economic crisis Israel experienced a 14.7 percent growth of gross domestic product, the highest among Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. Israel’s 2012 GDP growth (3.3 percent) led the OECD, which averaged 1.4 percent. Israel’s 2012 GDP of $250 billion catapulted to 120 times that of 1948. A $1,132-per capita GDP in 1962 surged to $32,000 in 2012. Israel managed to reduce its debt/GDP ratio from 100 percent in 2002 to 74 percent in 2012, while most of the world experiences a soaring ratio. A 450-percent galloping inflation in 1984 has been held in check in recent years – 1.6 percent in 2012. Israel’s 2012 budget deficit and unemployment were


Courtesy of FIRST Israel/Avishai Finkelstein

Basketball-playing robots squared off on a custom-sized court at the FIRST competition in Tel Aviv. Robotics technology is among Israel’s various technological accomplishments at 65, in addition to the stability of the Israeli economy.

4.2 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively, much lower than the OECD average of 7 percent and 8 percent. Foreign exchange reserves – which are critical to sustaining global confidence in Israel’s economy and Israel’s capabilities during emergencies – expanded from $25 billion in 2004 to $75 billion in 2012, 26th in the world and one of the top per capita countries. At 65, Israel’s robust demography – which leads the free world with three births per Jewish woman – provides a tailwind for Israel’s economy. At 65, Israel attracts the elite of global high-tech due to its competitive edge. For instance, the prestigious Shanghai Jiaotong University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities includes four Israeli universities among the top 30 computer science universities in the world. Twenty universities are from the U.S., four from Israel, two each from Canada and the UK, and one each from Switzerland and Hong Kong. At 65, Israel leads the world in its research and development manpower per capita. With 140 Israelis per 10,000 as opposed to 85 per 10,000 in the United States, Israel is ahead of the rest of the world. Israel’s qualitative workforce benefits from the annual aliyah (immigration of Jews to Israel) of skilled persons from the former Soviet Union, Europe, the U.S., Latin America and Australia, who join graduates from Israeli institutions of higher learning. In addition, Israel’s high-tech industry absorbs veterans of the elite high-tech units of the Israel Defense Forces. Israel dedicates 4.5 percent of its GDP to research and development, the highest proportion in the world. Israel’s confronting of unique security and economic challenges has produced unique, innovative and cutting-edge solutions, tech-

nologies and production lines, which have attracted global giants. For example, Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt considers Israel “the most important high-tech center in the world after the U.S.” He has invested in Israel’s high-tech industry via his own private venture capital fund, Innovation Endeavors. According to world-renowned investor Warren Buffet, “If you’re looking for brains, [Israel] has a disproportionate amount of brains and energy.” In 2006, Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway made its first-ever acquisition outside the U.S. in Israel, acquiring 80 percent of Israel’s Iscar for $4 billion. Intel operates four research and development centers and two manufacturing plants in Israel, and it has invested in 64 Israeli start-up companies. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer calls Microsoft as much an Israeli company as it is an American company, because of the importance of its Israeli technologies. Some 300 U.S. high tech giants have research and development presence in Israel. Many of them invest in – and acquire – Israeli high-tech companies. George Gilder, author of The Israel Test and a high-tech guru, stated, “[Israel] is the global master of microchip design, network algorithms and medical instruments… water recycling and desalinization… missile defense, robotic warfare, and UAVs. … We need Israel as much as it needs us.” At 65, Israel has become an offshore natural gas producer, which has enhanced its economic viability, reducing its dependency on imported energy, and rendering it a net natural gas exporter by 2017. At 65, the ongoing wars, terrorism and global pressure are realistically assessed as bumps on the road to unprecedented economic and technological growth.

ISRAEL@65 • B9


Celebrating Israel’s 65th Independence Day—Atlanta style By Maria Saporta JointMedia News Service Atlantans celebrated the 65th anniversary of Israel’s Independence Day Sunday evening at the Temple – braving a steady rain to mark the significant date in history. The event was organized by Israeli Consul General Opher Aviran, who welcomed Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed as honorary guests. Peter Berg, senior rabbi of the Temple, gave his introductory welcome. But it was Aviran’s event. “In 1948, we were only 800,000 people,” Aviran told the crowd of more than 200 people who attended the reception celebrating Israel’s Independence Day. “Now we are 8 million.” In introducing Reed as the guest of honor, Aviran called him “a great friend of Israel.” Reed quickly won over the crowd by saying “Shalom” in his greeting. “Israel’s founding stands as one of the most important accomplishments in the 20th Century,” Reed said. “I unequivocally stand with the people of Israel, with the State of Israel.” He went on to say that Israel continues to face threats – and that’s not just a Jewish cause, but also an American cause. Reed said he had the opportunity to travel to Israel when he was a Georgia State Senator with INNOVATIONS from page B7 composition of enzymes and DNA molecules capable of performing mathematical calculations. BREAST TUMOR IMAGING (2003): The FDA approves 3TP, an advanced MRI procedure, for use in the examination of breast tumors. The brainchild of Hadassa Degani, 3TP distinguishes between benign and malignant breast growths without requiring invasive surgery. ANTI-BACTERIAL FABRICS (2003): Aharon Gedanken becomes involved in the treatment of fabrics to prevent bacterial growth, which eventually will lead him to develop the technology for treating hospital fabrics with an anti-bacterial “coating” that will dramatically reduce hospital infection rates. CENTRINO COMPUTER CHIP (2004): Intel Israel releases the first generation of Centrino microprocessor. Centrino is Intel’s mobile computing cornerstone; it

a group of five Democrats and five Republicans. He remembered going to a place in Tel Aviv that had been recently bombed. And he talked about going to a restaurant where the group was given a choice to sit indoors or outdoors. But if they chose to sit outdoors, they would have to pay an extra security fee. The mayor said he was most impressed with the strength of the Israelis and their commitment to carry on despite all the adversity. The culmination of the evening was a concert by David D’Or, an internationally-recognized Israeli singer and performer. Just a few weeks ago, D’Or sang “Amazing Grace” to President Barack Obama during his trip to Israel. D’Or said that after he played for the president, Obama came up to him and said that next time they should sing a duet. After telling that story to the Atlanta crowd, D’Or then shared with them his rendition of “Amazing Grace.” D’Or – described as having “a voice from heaven” – is known for his vocal range that spans at least four octaves. That range was in full display on Sunday evening as he performed for the Atlanta audience, saying it was an honor to be able to sing on the 65th anniversary of Israel’s Independence Day. This article originally appear ed online in SaportaReport and is reprinted with permission. drives millions of laptop computers around the world. Successive generations of Centrino have improved laptops’ function, speed, battery life and wireless communication capabilities. TUMOR IMAGING (2005): Insightec receives FDA approval for the ExAblate® 2000 system, the first to combine MRI imaging with high intensity focused ultrasound to visualize tumors in the body, treat them thermally and monitor a patient’s post-treatment recovery in real time, and non-invasively. Thousands of patients around the world have been treated. LAB-GROWN HUMAN TISSUE (2005): Dr. Shulamit Levenberg publishes the results of her work in the development of human tissue. Working with mouse stem cells, Levenberg and her partner Robert Langer produce the first lab-generated human tissue that is not rejected by its host. Levenberg goes on to use human stem cells to INNOVATIONS on page B11



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Israel Independence Day at 65: Programs foster Israel education in North America By Alina Dain Sharon JointMedia News Service During the Six Day War, when famous Israeli spy Eli Cohen worked for the Mossad in Syria, he suggested that Syrian soldiers plant eucalyptus trees near army fortifications in the Golan Heights. He told Syrian officials this would make Israel think the area was unfortified and would help Syrian soldiers stationed there survive the heat. Shortly after, he conveyed the locations of the trees to Israeli officials, helping the Israeli army know exactly where the Syrian bunkers were. The eucalyptus tree tale is just one of the many stories that are the focus of a new curriculum developed by Bar-Ilan University’s Lookstein Center for Jewish Education, with support from Dr. Shmuel and Evelyn Katz from Bal Harbour, Fla. As the 65th Israel Independence Day approaches, JNS takes a look at two recently launched programs, the Lookstein Center’s “Israel Throughout The Year” and the Israel Institute in Washington, D.C., both of which work to educate and engage scholarship about Israel. “I think there is a negative prejudice and attitude toward Israel in the press and in the universities,” Rabbi Yonah Fuld, educational director of the Lookstein Center School of Education at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan, told JNS. Five years ago, the Lookstein Center “set out to create a curriculum” about Israeli history meant to be “charming and enticing” for North American Jewish school children up to middle school, according to Fuld. For this purpose, the center created “Israel Throughout The Year.” In this program, 32 booklets target 1st through 8th grade. For every grade there are four booklets. Each booklet contains four lessons and is dedicated to one holiday, Tu B’Shvat (the New Year for trees), Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence Day), Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day), or the 10th of Tevet fast day. The booklets include “challenging and exciting activities” that are not intended to function as traditional homework assignments or exams, but instead as “pleasant learning,” Fuld said. “Everything is there, a teacher simply has to read what’s there and adapt it,” he added. Schools in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California, Texas, Michigan, North Carolina, and other states have signed up to use the booklets.

Courtesy of Lookstein Center

An “Israel Throughout The Year” program educational booklet. JNS looked at programs fostering Israel education in North America for Israel Independence Day.

In Riverdale, N.Y., SAR Academy Principal Rabbi Binyamin Krauss told Israel National News in February that the school “is delighted with the new Israel curriculum developed by the Lookstein Center.” “Connecting our students to Israel is central to the mission of our school,” Krauss said. “This spiraled program fosters and deepens that connection through engaging discussions, important facts put into context, creative activities, and descriptive pictures and graphics.” The program does acknowledge Palestinian claims in the 8th grade booklet. Fuld told JNS the Lookstein Center “tried as much as possible to be as fair as possible, to say what the issues are,” but that the goal of the initiative is to teach Jewish kids “Ahavat Zion” (love of Israel), and it wasn’t not possible to be completely “values free.” Also, the center “tried not to take a religious stand one way or the other” through the program, Fuld said. The Lookstein project’s booklets focus on historical figures like Eli Cohen with “interesting and age appropriate details about the people being featured,” Fuld said, including Israeli prime ministers Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin and Ariel Sharon, the poet Rachel, Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky, Astronaut Ilan Ramon, and others. While the Lookstein program is focused on children, the Washington, D.C.-based Israel Institute focuses on offering and helping with “all kinds of opportunities for scholars,” Executive Director Ariel Ilan Roth told JNS. The program offers doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships on a topic related to Israel, scholarships

to the University of Haifa and Tel Aviv University’s English-language Israel Studies programs, and research grants on topics such as Israeli history, politics, economics and law. Launched at the end of 2012 and initially funded by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, the institute officially rolled out its programs in late February this year. Itamar Rabinovich, who served as Israeli ambassador to the United States and as Israel’s chief negotiator with Syria under Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s government, is the institute’s president. Jewish philanthropic organizations such as the Schusterman Foundation have attempted to positively shape the discourse on Israel by promoting Israel Studies programs as an alternative to Middle East Studies at American universities. The Israel Institute is “strongly focused on planning and facilitating with universities” and “will take an overview [of Israel Studies] and will work with practically everybody in the field,” Rabinovich told JNS in February. “Our goal is to spread the knowledge of Israel Studies, we don’t do advocacy,” Rabinovich said. “We are about building Israeli studies centers everywhere. We don’t think politics should be brought into the academy.” The Israel Institute “opposes efforts to politicize anything that has to do with Israel,” Rabinovich added, explaining his belief that “people can be critical of certain policies, but the Jewish people are entitled to their own national ideology (Zionism).” In October 2013, the Israel Institute is organizing a conference on Israel Studies, and is already working to link the Jewish and Israel studies programs of American and Israeli universities. Beyond North America, the institute is also planning to bring Chinese scholars to Israel this summer with the goal of increased collaboration between Chinese and Israeli universities. Project organizers also plan to send Israeli professors to Oxford University and the University of Munich in the next academic year. “It is our task to develop Chinese-Israeli academic relations,” Rabinovich said in February. “We want to help create a cadre of Israel experts in China. China is becoming an increasingly important global power. Our task is to help people in China learn Hebrew and understand the complexities of Israel.”

ISRAEL@65 • B11


INNOVATIONS from page B9 create live, beating human heart tissue and the circulatory components needed to implant it in a human body. WATER FROM THE AIR (2006): Researcher Etan Bar founds EWA Technologies Ltd. In 2008 he produces a clean, green system that “harvests” water from the humidity in the air. The technology represents a boon not only to residents of water-starved desert areas, but also to farmers and municipalities around the world. Each device has the potential to provide two average American families with their entire year’s supply of water without contributing to global warming or pollution. PARKINSON’S TREATMENT (2006): The FDA approves AZILECT, a breakthrough treatment for Parkinson’s disease developed by John Finberg and Moussa Youdim. AZILECT dramatically slows the progression of Parkinson’s in newly diagnosed patients, increasing the longevity of body and brain function and improving the quality of life for millions worldwide. BEE PRESERVATION (2007): Rehovot-based Beeologics is formed. The company is dedicated to the preservation of honeybees, which are under threat from Colony Collapse Disorder and vital to the world’s food supply. AIRPORT SAFETY (2007): Boston’s Logan International Airport begins testing of a new runway debris detector developed by XSight Systems. XSight uses video and radar monitors to identify and track runway debris, which has been identified as the cause of several airline accidents, including the 2000 crash of a Concorde jet that killed 113 people. XSight has the potential to save upwards of $14 billion per year and an untold number of lives. TRAUMA VICTIM STABILIZER (2007): Dr. Omri Lubovsky and his sister, mechanical engineer Michal Peleg-Lubovsky, introduce the LuboCollar, a device designed to stabilize trauma victims while maintaining an open airway. The device replaces the standard procedure of intubating trauma patients before transport, saving an average of five critical minutes between the field and the hospital. HISTORICAL SOLAR ENERGY PROJECTS (2008): Brightsource Energy Inc. begins formalizing agreements with California power companies to develop the world’s two largest solar energy projects. SEPSIS MONITOR (2008): Tel Aviv’s Cheetah Medical introduces the NICOM, a bedside hospital monitor that can detect and determine the treatment for sepsis, which occurs in approximately one in 1,000 U.S. hospital patients annually. Sepsis previously had been treatable only after an invasive exploratory treatment, which itself

could result in sepsis. The device goes into immediate use by hundreds of hospitals around the world. ADVANCED FISH FARM (2008): GFA Advanced Systems Ltd. launches Grow Fish Anywhere, a sustainable, enclosed and self-contained fish farming system that is not dependent on a water source and creates no polluting discharge. A TWIST ON SOLAR ENERGY (2008): Yossi Fisher co-founds Solaris Synergy, a company that creates solar energy panel arrays that float on water. TOUGH POTATO (2008): Hebrew University Professor David Levy caps 30 years of research with the development of a powerful strain of potato that can be grown in high heat and irrigated with salt water. He shares his findings – and discussions of where they might lead – with scientists from Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Morocco. LUGGAGE LOCATOR (2009): Yossi Naftali founds Naftali Inc. and begins distributing the Easy-To-Pick Luggage Locator, a remote luggage tag that alerts travelers when their luggage has arrived at baggage claim. ARTIFICIAL HAND (2009): Professor Yosi Shacham-Diamand and a team of Tel Aviv University researchers succeed in wiring a European-designed artificial hand to the arm of a human amputee. In addition to conducting complicated activities including handwriting, the human subject reports being able to feel his fingers. Achieving sensation represents the culmination of Shacham-Diamand’s work and a breakthrough in the evolution of artificial limbs. WATER PURIFICATION (2010): Greeneng Solutions launches the first of its ozone-based water purification systems. Designed for commercial, industrial and domestic applications, Greeneng’s product line uses ozone-infused water to eliminate germs on kitchen equipment, household surfaces, swimming pools and more. Purifying with ozone is faster and more effective than the global-standard tap water additive chlorine, and ozone produces none of the harmful side effects of chlorine such as asthma and contaminated runoff. VISION LOSS TREATMENT (2010): VisionCare Opthalmic Technologies debuts the CentraSight device, a telescopic implant that addresses age-related macular degeneration. CentraSight is the first and only treatment for AMD, a retinal condition that is the most common cause of blindness among “first-world” seniors. MINIATURE VIDEO CAMERA (2011): Medigus Ltd. develops the world’s smallest video camera, measuring 0.99mm. The device provides for new diagnoses and treatments of several gastrointestinal disorders. HELPING PARAPLEGICS WALK (2011): The FDA approves clinical use of ReWalk, a bionic

exoskeleton developed by Argo Technologies that allows paraplegics to stand, walk and climb stairs. BREAST TUMOR TREATMENT (2011): IceCure Medical launches the IceSense 3, a device that destroys benign breast tumors by infusing them with ice. The procedure is quick, painless, affordable and is conducted on an outpatient basis. Soon after, clinical trials begin to study the efficacy of the treatment on malignant breast tumors. MISSILE DEFENSE (2011): Iron Dome, a short-range missile defense system developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, shoots down a Grad rocket fired at Israel from Gaza. It marks the first time that a shortrange missile has been intercepted, opening up new possibilities for military, civil and border defense in the world’s conflict zones. ENDANGERED SPECIES STEM CELLS (2012): Israeli scientist Inbar Friedrich Ben-Nun leads a team of researchers in producing the first stem cells from endangered rhinos and primates in captivity. The procedure holds the potential to improve the health of dwindling members of numerous endangered species, as well as staving off extinction. DIABETES TREATMENT (2012): DiaPep277, a vaccine based on the work of Irun Cohen, is shown to significantly improve the condition of Type 1 (juvenile) diabetes in newly diagnosed patients. HELPING THE BLIND TO “SEE” SOUNDS (2012): Dr. Amir Amedi and his team at Hebrew University demonstrate that sounds created by a Sensory Substitution Device (SSD) activate the visual cortex in the brains of congenitally blind people. MRIs of blind people using the device show that it causes the same brain responses of sighted people. This discovery allows the team to adapt the SSD to allow blind individuals to “see” their surroundings by learning to interpret audio signals visually. FUTURISTIC FOOD PACKAGING (2012): Israeli computer engineer Daphna Nissenbaum creates a revolutionary, 100 percent biodegradable food packaging material. Her company, Tiva, produces materials for drink pouches, snack bars, yogurt and other foods – all of which provide a minimum of six months of shelf life, will completely decompose in a landfill, and can be composted industrially and domestically. THE “GOD PARTICLE” (2012): Switzerland’s Large Hadron Collider produces the Holy Grail of physics – the Higgs Boson, or “God Particle,” a subatomic particle that accounts for the existence of matter and diversity in the universe. A team from Israel’s Technion was charged with building and monitoring the collider’s elementary particle detectors, without which the discovery of the Higgs Boson would have been impossible.

Wishing Israel a happy 65th Birthday!

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B12 • ISRAEL@65


Yom Hazikaron: Remembering Israel’s most recent fallen soldiers, terror victims By Sean Savage JointMedia News Service

Wood Herron & Evans wishes Israel a

Happy 65th Birthday!

In the United States, where war has become an increasingly distant affair for civilians and is the burden of a few armed forces volunteers fighting in faraway battlefields, Memorial Day has for some become known more for its sales and the unofficial start of summer than for its purpose of honoring fallen soldiers. But for Israelis, the threat of war is more real and the battles are much closer to home. As a result of their country’s geopolitical situation and recent founding, Israelis feel the cost of war significantly more than most of their allies in the West. The sobering cost of this reality is reflected each year on the Hebrew calendar date of the fourth of Iyar, which is Yom Hazikaron (Israeli Memorial Day). Established unofficially in 1948, the year of Israel’s founding, and then officially in 1963, it is celebrated in conjunction with Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day), which falls on the following day, the fifth of Iyar. Captain Eytan Buchman of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Spokesperson’s Unit explained how Yom Hazikaron is commemorated in an interview with JNS “In Israel, Independence Day starts off immediately after Memorial Day. Here, Memorial Day is not about the sales; Israelis everywhere pay tribute to the fallen soldiers in a solemn day of mourning. The entire first half of the official government ceremony marking the start of Independence Day is devoted to Memorial Day. There is no abrupt shift – everyone in the crowd, everyone watching on TV knows that these soldiers and their sacrifice is what let us celebrate yet another Independence Day,” Buchman said. For this year’s Yom Hazikaron, JNS looks back on the lives of the four Israeli soldiers killed in action during the past year, according to the IDF, as well as the eight Israeli civilians who died as a result of terrorism. Sgt. Nathaniel Moshiashvili Sargent Moshiashvili, a 21-yearold resident of Ashkelon, served in the Golani Brigade. Moshiashvili studied until the age of 16 at an Orthodox yeshiva, and at the age of 17 moved to a national religious school where he finished the Israeli Matriculation exams with a 95 average. He was killed when his unit responded to an incident where a terrorist crossed illegally from Gaza, through the security fence, into Israel.

Courtesy of Avishai Teicher/PikiWiki Israel

Israel Defense Forces soldiers at a Yom Hazikaron memorial ceremony in Tel HaShomer, Israel, on April 28, 2009.

Cpl. Nathaniel Yahalomi Corporal Yahalomi, a 20-yearold resident of Nof Ayalon, served in the Artillery Corps. He was killed while on patrol along the Israeli border with Egypt when a group of three terrorists opened fire on his squad (near Har Sagey). Another one of his squad mates was injured in the firefight as well. Cpl. Josef Partok Private Emanuel Partok, an 18year-old from an ultra-Orthodox community in the town of Emanuel, was promoted after his death to corporal. Partok was part of the IDF forces that were sent to bolster the forces around the Gaza Strip during Operation Pillar of Defense in November. He was killed by a Hamas rocket. 1st Lt. Boris Yarmolonik First Lieutenant Boris Yarkmolonik, a 28-year-old from Netanya, was an IDF reserve officer who was injured by a rocket in the Eshkol Region and died of his wounds the following day. Yarmolonik was injured in the incident along with five other soldiers. After sustaining a severe head injury, he was hospitalized in Soroka Hospital in Beersheba. Since the Second Intifada, Israelis have also mourned the loss of civilians who were killed as a result of terrorism. According to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, eight Israelis were killed as a result of terrorist attacks over the past year. On July 18, 2012, six people were killed, including five Israelis and their Bulgarian bus driver, and more than 30 were wounded in a suicide bombing attack linked to the terrorist group Hezbollah on a bus carrying Israelis at Sarafovo Airport in Burgas, Bulgaria. The seventh dead body was identified

as the suicide bomber. The victims were: Maor Harush, 26, of Akko; Yitzchak Kolangi, 28, of Petah Tikva; Amir Menashe, 27, of Petah Tikva; Elior Preis, 26, of Akko; Kochava Shriki, 44, of Rishon Lezion; and Mustafa Kyosov, 36, the Bulgarian bus driver. On Nov. 15, 2012, three people were killed in a direct rocket hit from Gaza on an apartment building in the southern Israeli town of Kiryat Malachi during Operation Pillar of Defense. The victims were: Mirah Scharf, 25, Aharon Smadja, 49, and Itzik Amsalem, 24. Despite the myriad growing threats in the region – civil war in Syria, terror groups Hezbollah and Hamas, the Iranian nuclear program, and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt – Israel, through technological marvels such as the Iron Dome missile defense system, has been able to better safeguard its soldiers and civilians over the past year. Nevertheless, Captain Buchman reminded JNS that what enables Israel to survive are the men and women who serve in the IDF. “I think that the most critical thing to bear in mind is that while Israel is a developed, Western country, we live in a rough neighborhood,” Buchman said. “There have been tectonic shifts throughout the Middle East but the ultimate stabilizers for Israel and its residents is the IDF. There is a famous Israeli poem called the Silver Platter, by Nathan Alterman, which describes the price that is paid for the Israeli security and stability. These sacrifices, made by Israeli men and women that serve on the land, in the air and on the water, are what keep Israelis safe.”

ISRAEL@65 • B13


While Jerusalem Day is celebrated above ground, archaeological discoveries reveal city’s layers By Judy Lash Balint JointMedia News Service Tens of thousands visited the Old City on May 8 for Jerusalem Day, the anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem during the 1967 Six Day War. While celebrations go on above ground, new excavations underneath and around the Old City are being uncovered and opened to the public, peeling back layers of history and expanding understanding of events in the center of the Jewish universe. Old City expert Rabbi Barnea Selevan, a veteran licensed tour guide and co-director of Foundation Stone, is excited about a series of archaeological digs taking place in the vicinity of the Western Wall. For the past several years, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation has sponsored excavations at the back of the plaza, and workers have uncovered part of a Roman colonnaded street dating back to the 2nd century C.E. But what was ignored until recently, according to Selevan, are several small stone buildings, overgrown and blocked by material from the dig. “When I look down from the street in front of the Chabad building several levels above the site, those old walls are the most exciting thing I see,” Selevan tells JNS. “There’s no question they’re from First Temple times.” Seals from the Temple were found nearby. The walls, according to some archaeologists, are from homes that were abandoned but not destroyed by the Roman onslaught on Jerusalem in 70 C.E. Selevan notes that the streets exposed at the back of the plaza lead to the Temple Mount in the Robinson’s Arch area and provide evidence that the Romans stayed in Jerusalem and used the Temple Mount during the early Roman period. Plans call for further excavations underneath the plaza and then to open the underground area, much as the Western Wall tunnels have been open to the public since the 1990s. Selevan says that excavations are continuing in the tunnel area too, and beautiful rooms with ornate capitols from First and Second Temple times are being prepared to be open to the public. In today’s Jewish Quarter that lies above the Western Wall Plaza, Selevan recounts the “delicious” discovery of a “fancy Roman bathouse” two stories underground on Ha’omer Street, that was found in the course of construction of a new mikveh (ritual

bath) for men. “In all likelihood, the bathhouse was used by the Roman 10th Legion—the same guys who thought they were wiping out the Jews,” he says. Dr. Yuval Baruch, Jerusalem District Archaeologist at the Israel Antiquities Authority, reveals that despite the extensive archaeological excavations in the Jewish Quarter, so far not even one building has been discovered there that belonged to the Roman legion. “The absence of such a find led to the conclusion that Aelia Capitolina, the Roman city established after the destruction of Jerusalem, was small and limited in area,” he tells JNS. “The new find, together with other discoveries of recent years, shows that the city was considerably larger than we previously estimated,” Baruch says. “Information about Aelia Capitolina is extremely valuable and can contribute greatly to research on Jerusalem because it was that city that determined the character and general appearance of ancient Jerusalem and [the city’s appearance] as we know it today. The shape of the city has determined the outline of its walls and the location of the gates to this very day.” The trauma of the Roman plunder of Jerusalem is heavily evidenced at several locations in the City of David, located a few hundred yards from the Western Wall to the southeast of the Dung Gate. Aharon Horowitz, Director of Megalim, the Institute of Jerusalem Studies of the City of David, points out that the drainage channel underneath the Herodianera street in what is known as the Pilgrims Ascent area of the City of David was used by Jews hiding from the Romans. A Roman sword was found in the channel. According to University of Haifa archaeologist Ronny Reich, who has worked in the area for decades, the smashed paving stones indicate that the Romans broke through the street to the channel below to drag out the Jews who tried to flee toward the Kidron Valley in the last days of the siege. Over the past year, the ascent has been opened and visitors can walk along the Herodian Road to the southern wall excavations at The Jerusalem Archaeological Park - Davidson Center. Across the road from the City of David Visitors Center is the Givati Parking Lot site, the largest archaeological excavation in Jerusalem. “Every day there are new finds here,” Horowitz tells

JNS. “There are remains here of every strata of Jerusalem history.” One of the most magnificent is the floor of a building considered by some experts to be the 1st-century palace of Queen Helena of Adiabene, who converted to Judaism. A huge Roman mansion from the 3rd century was also uncovered in the former parking lot, and hundreds of Roman and Byzantine artifacts have been unearthed inside, including a gold earring inlaid with pearls and stones. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently chose a facsimile of the earrings to present to American First Lady Michelle Obama when she visited Israel with her husband. Besides the digs and excavations below today’s city, significant conservation and restoration has been completed on the Old City walls in recent years. Over the past six years, the Jerusalem Development Company, Prime Minister’s Office and Israel Antiquities Authority have completed sprucing up and restoring all four kilometers of the city walls erected in the 16th century by Sultan Suleiman, and all seven gates of the Old City. The last time any rehabilitation work was done on the walls was in the 1920s, during the British Mandate period.

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‘Hatikvah’ in the Holocaust: A song of hope in a time of despair By Rafael Medoff JointMedia News Service A national anthem written more than 50 years before the birth of the state for which it was composed, “Hatikvah” has served as a source of hope and inspiration for Jews who have found themselves in the most dire of circumstances. During the darkest hours of the Holocaust, Jews defied their tormentors by singing the song’s powerful lyrics. ‘The SS could not stop them’ Filip Muller was a Sonderkommando in Auschwitz – a Jewish slave laborer who was kept alive because he helped take corpses from the gas chambers to the crematoria. One of the very few Sonderkommandos to survive the Holocaust, Muller later described the remarkable behavior of one group of Czech Jews who were being marched toward the gas chambers and were told what was about to happen: “Their voices grew subdued and tense, their movements forced, their eyes stared as though they had been hypnotized… Suddenly a voice began to sing. Others joined in, and the sound swelled into a mighty choir. They sang first the Czechoslovak national anthem and then the Hebrew song ‘Hatikvah.’” Enraged SS men tried to halt the singing by beating the Jews into submission, Muller wrote. “It was as if they regarded the singing as a last kind of protest which they

Happy 65th birthday Israel! Hospice of Cincinnati celebrates your unique and unprecedented achievements

Courtesy of Imperial War Museums

The liberation of the BergenBelsen concentration camp in April 1945, a day on which Holocaust survivors sang “Hatikvah,” Israel’s national anthem.

were determined to stifle if they could.” But the SS was unable to stop them. “To be allowed to die together was the only comfort left to these people… And when they sang Hatikvah, now the national anthem of the state of Israel, they were glancing into the future, but it was a future which they would not be allowed to see. To me the bearing of my countrymen seemed an exemplary gesture of national honor and national pride which stirred my soul.” Overwhelmed by feelings of remorse, Muller tried to join the group as they entered the gas chamber, but they pushed him back out. A woman implored him, “Your death won’t give us back our lives. That’s no way. You must get out of here alive, you must bear witness to our suffering and to the injustice done to us.” ‘Despite it all they sang’ Jan Michaels was a 23-yearold Polish Jewish pilot who was shot down in 1944 and imprisoned near what he called “a forced labor camp in Silesia” (Germanoccupied southwestern Poland). Michaels managed to escape, and his eyewitness testimony about the mistreatment of the Jews reached the West in November of that year. Michaels reported that 300 Jews between the ages of 18 and 25 were being held in the slave labor camp. “The prisoners, who came from France, Holland and other European countries, were forced to work inhuman hours in the freezing cold, although they received little food and were clothed in rags,” according to news reports relaying his account. “Persons who became ill feared to report to the camp infirmary because they knew that it meant death.” “Despite their mistreatment, the youths maintained their morale,” Michaels said, and he “could frequently hear the strains of ‘Hatikvah’ coming from the camp.” (A precise identification of the

camp to which Michaels referred has never been made. Earlier this year, researchers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum completed a study which identified 42,500 Nazi ghettoes and slave labor camps throughout Europe, a much higher number than previously recorded.) ‘Am Yisrael Chai’ BBC Radio reporter Patrick Gordon Walker was on hand when the British Second Army liberated the Bergen-Belsen death camp in April 1945. On the first Friday after the liberation, Walker broadcast an account of a British Jewish army chaplain, L. H. Hardman, leading what Walker called “the first Jewish service that many of the men and women present had taken part in, for six years – probably the first Jewish service held on German soil in absolute security and without fear, for a decade.” “Around us lay the corpses there had not been time to clear away,” Walker reported. “People were still lying down and dying, in broad daylight… A few hundred people gathered together, sobbing openly in joy at their liberation and in sorrow at the memory of their parents, brothers and sisters that had been taken from them, gassed and burned.” “These people knew they were being recorded, they wanted the world to hear their voice. They made a tremendous effort, which quite exhausted them. Listen.” Walker evidently assumed that what he heard was part of the traditional Sabbath prayer service, but the survivors actually sang “Hatikvah.” At the conclusion of the song, a voice – perhaps that of the chaplain, L. H. Hardman – declares: “Am Yisrael Chai, the children of Israel still liveth!” (The broadcast can be heard on YouTube.) Mrs. Oran Aviv (formerly Helen Einhorn), an Israeli health care practitioner originally from San Francisco, has identified her mother, Cesia Frommer Einhorn, among the survivors on Walker’s recording. Just days earlier, Mrs. Frommer had “contemplated running and killing herself on the electric fence of the camp,” Mrs. Aviv notes on her Web site. But there she is on the BBC recording, “belting out the song with her operatic voice, full of determination, wanting the whole world to know that despite all that she and others had suffered though, they had not lost their hope and still dreamed of returning one day to Zion. Where did my mother’s amazing strength come from? How did she find this strength and hope, despite the atrocities she witnessed and suffered, despite the death march from Auschwitz to Bergen Belsen…?”


ISRAEL@65 • B15

Israel Independence Day honor for mayor who turned a mountain into a metropolis By Alex Traiman JointMedia News Service On Israel Independence Day, Israelis take great pride in the hard work and military victories that have built the world’s only Jewish state. At the same time, many detractors of Israel continue push for boycotts and divestment from elements of that state. The accomplishments of 2013 Israel Prize awardee Ron Nachman, however, have managed to transcend much of the contemporary criticism of Israel. Nachman invested his entire life in a barren mountain in Samaria and turned it into a sprawling, modern and controversial metropolis – a city that many have grown to see as a symbol of Israeli perseverance, chutzpah and ingenuity. “Ron was very happy with the boycotts as they brought added attention to the city,” Avi Zimmerman, the city of Ariel’s international representative and executive director of the Ariel Development Fund, told JNS. “The detractors were represented by a small but vocal minority. The majority of Israelis are more practical, and appreciate the depth Ariel gives to Israel’s narrow waistline.” After passing away at age 70 in January, Nachman will be honored posthumously with the 2013 Israel Prize, one of the nation’s highest honors, on this Israel Independence Day (April 16) for his dedication and achievements as the founder and longtime mayor of Ariel, one of Israel’s largest Jewish communities situated beyond the 1967 Green Line (the armistice line following that year’s Six Day War). Nachman literally made his mark on Israel’s landscape by turning a barren hilltop once called “Jabel Mawat,” meaning the hill of death, into the unofficial “capital of Samaria,” a city whose name, Ariel, means Lion of God, a synonym for Jerusalem. He died 35 years after founding Ariel. Today, Ariel boasts a population of 20,000 residents and all the social and cultural services of a major Israeli metropolitan center. Nachman became the city’s first mayor in 1985 and held that post until he recently lost an extended battle with cancer. “Ron was a force of nature, a machine, or what Israelis would call a ‘bulldozer.’ It must be in his family’s genes,” Zimmerman told JNS. In the early 1970s, the city of Ariel was just a concept, developed to establish a presence that would provide strategic depth to Israel’s narrow waistline.

Ariel was conceived as part of an understanding that Israel allegedly had with the U.S. State Department following the BeginSadat Peace Deal that U.S. President Jimmy Carter brokered between Israel and Egypt. The understanding called for establishing strategic development communities that would enable Israel to defend its key population centers from the mountains above. Tel Aviv sits just 25 miles to the west of Ariel. Its skyline is clearly visible in the distance. Ariel is considered one of the major Jewish communities beyond the Green Line that would remain in Israeli control in any peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. But unlike the other communities in that category, Ariel is quite a bit further and more isolated from other heavily populated areas. Ariel is inside a narrow extension of the separation barrier meant to fence off Palestinian communities from Israeli population centers. The city is protected by its own security fence on three sides. Much to the dismay of its detractors, every inch of Ariel was built with Israeli governmental approval, on both state-owned and privately purchased land. Today, one of Israel’s largest highways, Route 5, makes Ariel a short and pleasant ride from Israel’s coast. According to Zimmerman, Nachman abided by three guiding principles in the development of Ariel. “First, Ron saw Ariel as an extension of Tel Aviv and was unwilling to establish the new community without full authorization,” he said. “Second, Ron insisted on building and developing Ariel with government approval and licensing. Third, he insisted on building a fullscale and diverse city, suitable for a wide-range of residents.” Before the first tent was pitched, Nachman created what he referred to as the “nucleus” of Ariel, with pledges from 6,000 future residents to come live in the city. “Ron went door to door explaining to families the merits of coming to live in Ariel, and describing his vision for a city,” Zimmerman said. In 1978, the first tents were pitched and were soon followed by the first temporary and later permanent structures. A truck delivered water, and generators provided electricity. Approvals for the community were signed by then-Minister of Defense Shimon Peres. As president of Israel, Peres would deliver the keynote address at the city’s 30-year anniversary celebration.

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In telling story of fledgling Israeli Air Force, three filmmakers going their own ways By Tom Tugend Jewish Telegraphic Agency LOS ANGELES – Some 65 years after a band of foreign volunteers took to the skies to ensure Israel’s birth and survival, filmmakers are racing to bring their exploits to the screen before the last of the breed passes away. Among the competing producers and their financial backers are such famous names as Spielberg and Lansky. And though their budgets fall well short of Hollywood blockbuster standards, their competitive spirits are just as intense. Nancy Spielberg, the youngest of Steven Spielberg’s three sisters, is the producer of “Above and Beyond: The Creation of the Israeli Air Force.” Her main challenger is Mike Flint with his “Angels in the Sky: The Birth of Israel.” His father, Mitchell, battled the Japanese in the skies of World War II before joining Israel’s famous 101st Squadron in 1948. Spielberg, who lives in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, N.Y., and Flint, of Los Angeles, are facing competition from Boaz Dvir of the University of Florida in Gainesville, who has been working on “A Wing and a Prayer” since 2007. The three films focus on the overseas pilots who made up 90 percent of the fledgling Israeli Air Force in the first desperate months after Israel declared its independence in May 1948. The pilots came mainly from English-speaking countries; nearly all of them were veterans of World War II. In Israel, they were officially members of Machal, the Hebrew acronym for “volunteers from outside the land.” Of the four Spielberg siblings, Nancy is the most connected to Israel, having spent a year working on a religious kibbutz. About 10 years ago, the Hollywood grapevine had it that Steven Spielberg was planning a feature film on the genesis of the Israeli Air Force. So when Nancy started to become serious about her own project, she alerted her Academy Award-winning brother. “I didn’t want to step on my big brother’s toes,” she said. But Steven encouraged his sister to go ahead, contributed a modest amount toward her $1.3 million budget and noted that if her documentary was well received, it might inspire a feature film down the road. Spielberg’s film, which she aims to complete in 2015, is aimed at a North American audience and highlights the stories of American and Canadian fliers. She speaks of them with obvious awe. “These men are heroes and the

Courtesy of Boaz Dvir

Courtesy of Nancy Spielberg

Filmmaker Boaz Dvir on location in Guatemala for his documentary on the fledgling Israeli Air Force.

Producer Nancy Spielberg explaining her film project to Israeli President Shimon Peres.

stories of their exploits are incredible,” Spielberg said. “It is an honor to talk to them and to show others what they did.” Mike Flint is similarly ebullient. An enthusiastic promoter, he hardly pauses for breath – or for anything else – when describing his documentary. “I’ve been preparing for this film all my life, ever since I heard my dad talk about his experiences as a fighter pilot,” Flint said. Flint, the former head of the story department at Paramount Pictures, pegs his budget for the documentary at about $4 million, or three times larger than Spielberg’s. He says he has two-thirds of the amount pledged or in hand. By far the largest backer of the film, and its executive producer, is Mark Lansky, who is also producing a film about his uncle, Meyer Lansky, best remembered as the “accountant” of the Lucky Luciano and Bugsy Siegel organized crime empires. That film, “The Devil Himself,” will focus on his uncle’s

members of those who died during and since the 1948 war. Like Flint, Dvir has a personal link to his film, which he hopes to release to television and through DVD sales by the end of this year. “My father told me that as a little boy in Tel Aviv, he stood on the balcony of his Tel Aviv apartment while an Egyptian Spitfire was bombing the city,” Dvir said. “Then my father looked up and saw a plane piloted by one of the Machal volunteers blast the Spitfire out of the sky. These men saved the city ... but for them, I would not be here today.” Though it’s not unusual in filmmaking for similarly themed projects to go public at about the same time, the nearly simultaneous arrival of these three films raises some questions. For one, some 4,000 volunteers from 58 countries fought in Israel’s War of Independence, the overwhelming number in the infantry, artillery and other ground forces. Two low-key documentaries about their exploits

role in breaking up pro-Nazi rallies in New York, aiding the U.S. war effort by keeping dockworker unions in line, and clandestinely supplying an emerging Israel with money and weapons. The film is based on the book “The Devil Himself” by Eric Dezenhall and others. Mark Lansky, a self-described retired businessman and financial adviser, would not give specific dollar figures, but said he and a small group of fellow investors are covering the bulk of the Flint film’s budget. The motive, he stressed, is his conviction that “those who support Israel are blessed.” Dvir in making “A Wing and a Prayer” has the advantage of handson experience in the genre – he teaches documentary filmmaking at the University of Florida – and the handicap of a very modest budget of $189,000, mostly his own money. The Israel native has interviewed 20 pilots, co-pilots and radio operators, as well as family

were released last year. But the lion’s share of film and media attention has been on the dashing flyboys – to the intense annoyance of the land-based grunts who always saw the beribboned airmen walk off with the prettiest girls. The producers of the forthcoming films counter that the airmen lend themselves to more dramatic treatment and that telling the story of thousands of foot soldiers would diffuse the focus of their films. On the question of why they didn’t pool their resources and talents and produce one major production, the filmmakers say several attempts to do so foundered on such Hollywood cliches as “creative differences” and on conflicting egos. Dvir said he attempted to make common cause with the two other producers, while Flint said he tried several times to enlist Spielberg’s cooperation. Flint also charged that Spielberg had “lured away” some of the pilots slated to be interviewed in his production. Spielberg denied the claim and observed that filmmaking is above all a collaborative effort. A joint enterprise with Flint, she said, “wouldn’t be the right fit.” Such squabbles aside, the volunteers who served in the ground forces generally agree that the war was won by the Israelis themselves, who bore the overwhelming brunt of casualties in dead and wounded. Moreover, few would question that the story of the Machal volunteers on the ground, in the air and on the seas is worth telling, if only to redeem in some small measure the inaction of Diaspora communities during the Holocaust. With the vagaries of filmmaking and shuttered projects endemic to the trade, the hope is that one of the projects, or even all three, will Courtesy of Nancy Spielberg stay the course and preserve a Producer Nancy Spielberg, second from left, monitoring filming action at the Hatzerim Air Force base in brave chapter in Israel’s history for this and future generations. southern Israel.




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