THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2012 25 IYYAR, 5772
Cincinnati Chevra Kadisha Annual Dinner on March 1st, 2012 p.11
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Jewish Federation of Cincinnati honors volunteers, professionals at 116th annual meeting The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati will hold its 116th Annual Meeting, Imagine Cincinnati in 2020, on Tuesday, May 22, at 7 p.m., at the Mayerson JCC. The evening will include a special announcement about the first major project of Cincinnati 2020, the community-wide collaboration to develop a long-term strategic plan with the goal of making Cincinnati a model community and a Jewish destination. The announcement at the Annual Meeting will be the first time the public will hear about this groundbreaking initiative. Also, as is tradition, two Jewish community professionals will be awarded with Weston Avodah Awards. This year’s “Junior” award recipient is Rabbi Laura Baum, the founding rabbi of the online congregation OurJewishCommunity. Rabbi Baum graduated from Yale University in 2001 and was ordained by Hebrew Union College (HUC) in 2008. While a student at HUC she won the Israel Bettan Memorial Prize for the most creative and imaginative pulpit presentation and the Rabbi Morris H. Youngerman Memorial Prize for the best sermon preached in the HUC chapel during the 2007 academic year. She is currently pursuing an M.B.A. at Xavier University. The “Senior” Weston Avodah Award will go to Sharon Stern, the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati’s Director of Community Building. As director of community building, Stern is the lead staff member for
Rabbi Laura Baum
The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati and the volunteers’ nominating agencies, organizations and congregations will honor these individuals’ dedication to moving the community forward toward the vision of Cincinnati 2020: all of us caring for each other, connecting to our community and discovering our Jewish identity. Cincinnati 2020. Additionally, she oversees and coordinates planning and allocations, organizational development, senior leadership
development and agency relations. Prior to coming to Cincinnati in 2004, Stern was with the Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh for 19
years. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in education and from the University of Pittsburgh with an M.S. in Information Science. The Goldstein “Volunteer of the Year” Award will also be given out at the Annual Meeting, to community volunteer Dick Weiland, the founder and president of Richard Consulting Corporation, a public relations consulting agency that provides lobbying and mediation skills to over 60 companies and numerous nonprofit organizations. Weiland is a tireless community activist whose work has enhanced the quality of life in Cincinnati, in the states of Ohio and Kentucky and throughout the nation. Public recognitions named in his honor include the Weiland Room at Talbert House, Dick Weiland Hall at The American Jewish Archives at Hebrew Union College, Halom House’s Weiland/Zeff Home, the Weiland Rosedale Education Center at Kollel and Gate to Mt. Scopus in Israel. He currently serves on more than 30 boards and commissions. In addition, the service and commitment of volunteers from throughout the community will be recognized. The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati and the volunteers’ nominating agencies, organizations and congregations will honor these individuals’ dedication to moving the community forward toward the vision of Cincinnati 2020: all of us caring for each other, connecting to our community and discovering our Jewish identity.
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LOCAL • 3
THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2012
Jewish learning taken to a higher power at JCC, May 20 “Let My People Know,” a dynamic afternoon of Jewish learning, explores modern day issues through the prism of Judaism at the Mayerson JCC on Sunday, May 20. The afternoon begins at 1 p.m. and is packed with engaging workshops, acclaimed speakers and lively conversation. Dr. Hal M. Lewis, nationally celebrated educator, author and speaker, will deliver the keynote address, “What’s Trending for Today’s Jews?” at 1 p.m. The afternoon also offers two learning sessions, each with five workshops from which to choose, as well as a reception honoring Nancy Klein, founding Melton School director. You can come for the keynote, the workshops, or enjoy the whole afternoon! Advance registration is requested. A passionate advocate for adult learning, keynote speaker Dr. Hal Lewis is the president and CEO of Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies in Chicago and professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies at Spertus College. His extensive experience with religious and communal groups gives him a unique perspective on organizational leadership in America. His broad range and engaging style make him an often sought after speaker, trainer and educator across the country. He is a recognized authority on leadership and has published widely on the subject
in both the popular press and scholarly journals. An educator, he has served on the teaching faculty of the University of Cincinnati, University of Illinois (Chicago), Baltimore Hebrew University, the Wexner Heritage Foundation and the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School. In one of the May 20 workshops, Jon Entine brings to life the profound human implications of genetics while illuminating one of today’s most compelling topics, the connection between genetics and who we are. A bestselling author of seven books on genetics and risk assessment, longtime columnist and regular contributor to Forbes and Yahoo, Entine explores “How Does
DNA Relate to Jewish Identity?” What is the Jewish perspective on those in the gay community? What are the various views and ways in which the different denominations in Judaism approach these identities? Explore commonly held myths and misperceptions with a frank and friendly dialogue in “What Does the Torah Say? Is it Okay to Be Gay?” This workshop is hosted by Access, an initiative of The Mayerson Foundation for Jewish Young Professionals, ages 21-35. Program facilitator Dana Benson is a second year rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College. “We were honored to be invited by the JCC to offer one of our JCafe programs at this event! We thought it presented an opportunity to explore some of the commonly held myths and misperceptions of the gay community, and look at how the views of the various Jewish denominations differ on the subject,” explains Pam Saeks, director of Jewish Giving for The Mayerson Foundation. “Whether you’re a member of the LGBT community yourself, are a friend or family member of someone who is, or would just like to learn more, we welcome people with all points of view to participate in this frank and friendly dialogue,” she explains. JCC on page 19
JCC Adams Golf Classic and Tennis Open swings into action, June 7 The JCC Adams Golf Classic and Tennis Open is almost here. On Thursday, June 7, the Mayerson JCC is honoring the 1966 World Champion Flame Club basketball team and Coach Rod McKinley at the 18th Annual JCC Adams Golf Classic and Tennis Open, this year held at Losantiville Country Club. In 1964, Rod McKinley started the Flame Club basketball team at the JCC. The Flame Club was a JCC service organization for boys in grades 11 and 12. Members assisted the athletic department and mentored younger athletes. Flame Club teams had great success and continued to play competitive tournament basketball through the mid-90s. The 1966 Flame Club won the Pan American Maccabiah Games in Sao Paulo, Brazil, under Coach Rod McKinley, and this year’s Golf Classic and Tennis Open honors all the Flame Club members over the years. There are many ways to be part of the fun! Participate as a sponsor, golfer, or tennis player, or
simply join the J for dinner. The J is a valuable community asset that relies on your support. Membership fees alone do not cover the JCC services that so many people depend on. This year the Classic features golf at a new location, the Losantiville Country Club, new morning and afternoon tee times, and for the first time, a tennis tournament. “This is our first annual doubles tennis tournament. There is a big part of the community that plays tennis, so this year we are happy to have a great tennis facility. Our goal is to pull in more family members to participate,” said JCC Tennis Open chairman Colin Nourie. “Losantiville Country Club is thrilled to be hosting the Adams Classic this year. This is a significant community event that we are proud to be a part of,” said Scott Mattis, Losantiville Country Club co-president. Proceeds from the JCC Adams Golf Classic and Tennis Open benefit the Steve Adams
Memorial Endowment and many vital programs and services of the J, including Meals On Wheels, Day Camp at the J, JCC Maccabi Games for teens, sports programs for all ages, and more. This action-packed June 7 event begins with a continental breakfast at 7:15 – 8 a.m., casual lunch at 11:45 a.m., and, new this year, the choice of two golf scrambles at 8 a.m. or 1:15 p.m., with a shotgun start. The all new Tennis Open begins at 1 p.m. The dinner reception and raffle drawing begin at 6 p.m. Attendees have the option to participate in all the activities or solely the evening reception. Raffle tickets are available with awesome prizes to win. The top prizes are a 60-inch LG television, a seven-day condo vacation in South Florida, Apple iPad 3 (16 GB), Reds scout tickets, JCC membership, personal training and more. Try your luck in the new “Barrel of Booze” raffle featuring fine spirits and gourmet snacks. Raffle tickets may be purchased at the JCC before the event, and winners need not be present.
4 • LOCAL
Wise Temple Religious School Picnic the children with a variety of carnival games. Students will have the opportunity to play and win prizes that they can keep. Unfortunately, some children have to be lured away from the games to eat lunch. The picnic seems to be a fitting finale for the school year and sets the stage for an enjoyable summer break for all.
Wise Temple hosts Shavuot Sensation of Epstein’s personal search to fill the “God-sized hole” in his life. As he traveled the world for business and for faith, he created a spiritual exercise out of interviewing people around the world about the role of faith in their lives. As a photographer, Epstein also captured a moment in a black and white photograph meant to evoke their true spirit. The result of his
work is now the world’s most extensive oral history/testimony project conducted by one person on the subject of faith. Epstein will share the portraits, stories and lessons learned from the more than 375 people he has met around the world while exploring the meaning of faith. Participants are also invited to reflect personally on the questions
used in Epstein’s interviews. The evening is open to Wise Temple congregants and prospective members. Congregants and guests are invited to join us for as much of the evening as they would like, but we hope everyone will plan to stay for the special dessert. After all, an evening of study and reflection would not be complete without great dessert!
Shavuot Celebration for Jewish families with a 25-foot rock wall and ice cream party Youth and Family Programming at Chabad Jewish Center. There will be duplicate events held in the morning at 10:30 a.m. and evening at 6:30 p.m. At both events, adults are invited to enjoy a delicious dairy social while children of all ages can re-enact Moses’ ascent up Mount Sinai to receive the Torah. The reading of the Ten Commandments and an ice cream bar will cap the festivities. Shavuot is a unique time for children to celebrate. Our Sages share with us a conversation that occurred between G-d and the Jewish people as a prerequisite to
their receiving of the Ten Commandments. In this conversation, G-d asked the Jewish people to name their guarantors. The Jewish people offered the heavens and the earth. G-d wanted better. The Jewish people offered the merit of the forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. G-d still was not satisfied, and asked again, who will be your guarantors? Finally the Jewish people presented all their future generations of children. With this, G-d was satisfied, and agreed to accept the children as guarantors for the Torah. “Our children are the key to
the survival of our people,” said Rabbi Cohen. “Shavuot is a wonderful opportunity to instill within children a pride in being Jewish, and a connection to the previous generations, as well as creating a sense of purpose and contribution to the world; to actualize the Divine potential for goodness imbued by the Creator within each and every one of us.” The Shavuot Rock Wall and Ice Cream parties will be held at the Chabad Jewish Center in Blue Ash. The events are free of charge. CHABAD on page 19
Cedar Village’s open house during Parade of Homes
The Garden Dining Room at Cedar Village Retirement Community in Mason is a great place for Cedar Village residents to meet new friends. Cedar Village will hold an open house on May 24 to show its available apartments.
enettes. All are served by housekeeping and have access to laundry facilities. There also is a 24hour emergency call system. Any Cedar Village resident can
participate in all of the activities – and use all of the services – that Cedar Village offers its residents. This includes two meals a day in the spacious and bright Garden
Dining Room as well as the private dining room that can be reserved for the use of residents and their families. It also includes a cocktail lounge adjacent to the dining room, a large inviting kitchen for residents to gather in for coffee and a library with Internet access. Cedar Village offers transportation for shopping, doctors’ appointments and other needs. Additionally, the Cedar Village deli, beauty shop, gift shop, convenience store, bank and fitness center are onsite. All Cedar Village facilities are connected so residents have access to a wide variety of services without going outdoors. While participating in the Parade of Homes, visitors can tour the newly expanded Cedar Village Rehabilitation Center. People interested in a tour during the Parade of Homes are encouraged to contact Rita Postolski or Martha Pyne to RSVP. Light refreshments will be served.
THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2012 25 IYYAR 5772 SHABBAT BEGINS FRIDAY 8:29 PM SHABBAT ENDS SATURDAY 9:30 PM THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE CO., PUBLISHERS 18 WEST NINTH STREET, SUITE 2 CINCINNATI, OHIO 45202-2037 Phone: (513) 621-3145 Fax: (513) 621-3744 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org RABBI ISSAC M. WISE Founder, Editor, Publisher, 1854-1900 LEO WISE Editor & Publisher, 1900-1928 RABBI JONAH B. WISE Editor & Publisher, 1928-1930 HENRY C. SEGAL Editor & Publisher, 1930-1985 PHYLLIS R. SINGER Editor & General Manager, 1985-1999 MILLARD H. MACK Publisher Emeritus NETANEL (TED) DEUTSCH Editor & Publisher BARBARA L. MORGENSTERN Senior Writer YEHOSHUA MIZRACHI NICOLE SIMON Assistant Editors ALEXIA KADISH Copy Editor JANET STEINBERG Travel Editor SONDRA KATKIN Dining Editor MARIANNA BETTMAN NATE BLOOM IRIS PASTOR RABBI A. JAMES RUDIN ZELL SCHULMAN RABBI AVI SHAFRAN PHYLLIS R. SINGER Contributing Columnists LEV LOKSHIN JANE KARLSBERG Staff Photographers JOSEPH D. STANGE Production Manager ERIN WYENANDT Office Manager e Oldest Eng Th
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It’s clear why people love living at the Cedar Village Retirement Community apartments: They make new friendships and discover new interests while enjoying the surroundings and receiving attentive care. An open house will be held to allow non-residents to tour the Cedar Village apartments — the Parade of Homes — from 2-4 p.m., on May 24. The Parade of Homes is a chance for seniors who are considering a move to explore the Cedar Village apartments. “This would be a great way to find out why we say ‘Life begins at Cedar Village,’” said Cedar Village CEO and president, Carol Elliott. Cedar Village has one- and two-bedroom apartments, as well as studio apartments for independent and assisted living. The Oak View apartments have full kitchens and the Fountain View apartments have kitch-
“LET THERE BE LIGHT” THE OLDEST ENGLISH-JEWISH WEEKLY IN AMERICA - EST. JULY 15, 1854
VOL. 158 • NO. 43
Climb Mount Sinai at Chabad Jewish Center Sunday, May 27, commemorates the holiday of Shavuot, the day the Jews received the Ten Commandments (Torah) with the revelation on Mount Sinai. In celebration, Chabad Jewish Center will be hosting a Shavuot party complete with a 25-foot rock wall. “This year, Shavuot falls on Memorial Day weekend. To accommodate everyone’s busy holiday schedule, we will be holding two opportunities to climb Mount Sinai, hear the Ten Commandments and enjoy some ice cream and dairy treats,” noted Rabbi Berel Cohen, director of
The American Israelite
Wise Temple’s Eitz Chayim committee is hosting its annual Shavuot Sensation on Saturday, May 26. The evening begins at 6:15 p.m. with a Shavuot service, followed by a boxed dinner at 7 p.m. After dinner we will begin our evening of Shavuot study with special guest Daniel Epstein as he presents, “Portraits in Faith.” “Portraits in Faith” is the result
for the men of the congregation, the Brothers look forward to hosting this event for the Wise Temple students, families and faculty. Each year the Brothers try to surpass the prior year in terms of delicious offerings that leave no room for dinner. In addition to the delicious array of food options, the Brothers provide
students and parents a time to relish the accomplishments of the year in a relaxed environment. This picnic, which is an annual event, is among the key events of the year for the men of the Wise Temple Brotherhood. As an organization that prides itself on being devoted to providing a service and social outlet
r in Am ape er sp i
On Sunday, May 20, members of the Isaac M. Wise Temple Brotherhood will prepare a gourmet picnic lunch in honor of the last day of the Wise Temple Religious School. Typically, 20 members work to prepare a lunch for well over 250 members of the school. The picnic allows the staff,
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.
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THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2012
Dr. Zola receives BRIDGES’ Distinguished Service Citation Dr. Gary P. Zola, executive director of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives and professor of the American Jewish Experience at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, has been selected as a 2012 honoree to receive the BRIDGES for a Just Community’s Distinguished Service Citation. Distinguished Service Citation recipients are honored for their ongoing passion for BRIDGES’ work. BRIDGES for a Just Community is a human relations organization working to equip people with awareness, skills and opportunities to develop relationships that will engage and transform the Greater Cincinnati/TriState region into a more equitable and just community. Rabbi Zola was selected as an honoree because of his commitment and lifelong dedication to the values of community, justice, respect, inclusion, responsibility, collaboration and integrity. Dr. Zola is a past president of the Cincinnati Chapter of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Coalition and has been a frequent speaker on issues of faith and freedom at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Rabbi David Ellenson, president of Hebrew Union College, said that he is proud that BRIDGES selected his friend and colleague for its Distinguished Citizen Award. “No one could be more deserving,” he said. “Gary has been indefatigable in promot-
ing inter-religious dialogue and tolerance among Christians, Muslims and Jews in the greater Cincinnati community, and no one has been more devoted than he to the cause of racial justice and inclusion.” “I want to congratulate Rabbi Gary Zola for this well deserved honor,” said Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory. “His commitment to serving our community and commemorating history embodies the values that BRIDGES represents.” Zola has been affiliated with the Hebrew Union College for three decades and, over the years, he has been active in a myriad of local communal organizations including the Jewish Community Relations Council, the American Jewish Committee, the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission, the Greater Cincinnati Board of Rabbis, and BRIDGES for a Just Community. An educator and historian of the American Jewish experience, Zola has frequently been asked to participate in a number of national initiatives relating to American history. From 2002 to 2005, Zola served as the Chair of a coalition of American research centers—the Commission for Commemorating 350 Years of American Jewish History—which was recognized by the U.S. Congress to mark the 350th anniversary of Jewish communal life in North America. In 2006, Zola became a member of the Academic Advisory Council of the U.S. Congress’ Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. Doug McDonald,
B'nai B'rith of Greater Cincinnati Alfred M. Cohen Unit #4 Presents the
Judge Robert S. Kraft Memorial Service Sunday, May 20, 2012 @10:30am Honoring Members of the Jewish Community Who Gave Their Lives For Our Country Harry Sudman, Moderator Keynote Speakers Cpt. Leonard, Flight Commander, Air Force ROTC Unit, University of Cincinnati Lt.Col. Robert H. Epstein, USAF Eglin AFB Ohio State Senator Bill Seitz, District 8 Ohio State Representative Louis Terhar, District 30
Dr. Gary Zola
CEO of the Cincinnati Museum Center, noted that, “Gary is a passionate advocate of preserving the
stories of history which teach imperative lessons for life today.” Last spring, President Obama
appointed Dr. Zola to the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad. The Commission—an independent agency of the Government of the United States of America—is directed by law to fulfill two primary functions: To identify and report on cemeteries, monuments and historic buildings in Eastern and Central Europe that are associated with the heritage of U.S. citizens, particularly endangered properties, and, to obtain, in cooperation with the Department of State, assurances from the governments of the region that the properties will be protected and preserved. “Rabbi Zola’s recognition with BRIDGES for a Just Community is a fitting tribute to a man who has worked tirelessly to strengthen community relations in Greater Cincinnati and beyond,” said U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH). “He has played a vital role in encouraging a greater understanding of the Jewish experience and has generously shared his insights to help alleviate and resolve tensions in our community. I congratulate my friend for receiving this prestigious award.” The other honorees receiving the BRIDGES for a Just Community Distinguished Service Citation include Maria Molina, Procter & Gamble Manager, Latin America Consumer Relations; Mona Morrow, WCPO-TV Community Affairs Director; Dr. Nemat Moussavian; and Dr. Gregory Williams, University of Cincinnati, president.
6 • LOCAL / NATIONAL
NHS celebrates Shavuot Northern Hills Synagogue Congregation B’nai Avraham will celebrate Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks, with study and services May 26 – 28. The entire community is invited to participate. Shavuot commemorates the anniversary of the granting of the
Torah on Mount Sinai, seven weeks and a day after the Exodus. The observance kicks off with a study session on the ethical teachings of Pirkei Avot, the “Ethics of the Fathers,” on Saturday evening, May 26, beginning at 8 p.m. The study of Pirkei Avot is appropriate
at Shavuot because it begins with the words, “Moses received the Torah at Sinai.” Following dairy refreshments, the evening service will begin around 9:30 p.m. On Sunday, May 27, morning services will begin at 9:30 a.m. and include the reading of the
Decalogue (Ten Commandments), and evening services will start at 8 p.m. On Monday, May 28, morning services will begin at 9:30 a.m., and include the Yizkor memorial service and the reading of the Book of Ruth. A lunch will follow services, which is free and open to all.
Judge Robert S. Kraft Memorial Service honors memory of soldiers lost during wartime On Sunday, May 20, at 10:30 a.m, B’nai B’rith will hold their annual Memorial Service at the Robert S. Kraft Memorial Garden in the Covedale Cemetery. This Memorial Service is held in memory of the servicemen of the Jewish faith from the Greater Cincinnati area, who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country while serving overseas in the U.S. Armed Forces. The program is presented by B’nai B’rith of Greater Cincinnati Alfred M. Cohen Unit #4. Family members of the honored and former members of the
Armed Forces—for the 69th year, all held at this location—will participate in this program. As keynote speakers, we are honored to have State Senator Bill Seitz of the Ohio 8th District, and State Representative Louis Terhar of the 30th District. Representing the active military as keynote speakers will be LtCol. Robert H. Epstein, USAF, Eglin AFB, and Capt. Michael Leonard, Flight Commander of the Air Force ROTC Detachment 665 at the University of Cincinnati. The Color Guard from his unit will be presenting colors and
will fly the American Flag which had been flown over Afghanistan on March 26, 2002 during a combat mission by our keynote speaker, LtCol. Robert H. Epstein, a son of a local B’nai B’rith leader. The War Memorial, established at this location and dedicated October 14, 1945, to the memory of our valiant servicemen, involved the joint efforts of various leaders in the Jewish community, including Louis Weiland. Uncle Lou Weiland, as everyone referred to him, served as the original chairman of the War Memorial Committee, and as chair-
man of this event, every year from its inception, until he passed away in July 1982. The late Judge Robert S. Kraft and Jack Landman then took over as co-chairmen until 1993. The program this year again is being co-chaired by Harvey Chyette and Elaine Owen of B’nai B’rith of Greater Cincinnati Unit #4. The public is invited and encouraged to attend and participate in this service of remembrance which is the only one of its kind in the entire community. In the event of inclement weather, tents will be used.
What happened to the Borscht Belt? By Robert Gluck JointMedia News Service (JNS) — Food, fun, dancing, celebrities, comedians. Grossinger’s and the Concord. Bring back any memories? The mostly defunct summer resorts of New York’s Catskill Mountains were popular vacation spots for Jews from the 1920s up to the 1960s. Anyone longing for the good old days knows the historical importance of these lost times— summer romances, doing the mambo, menus with seven kinds of herring, and comedians who would go on to become world famous. Dubbed the “Borscht Belt,” these Catskills resorts are mostly gone now, but the traditions and memories remain. What drew Jews to the Catskills? According to Myrna Katz Frommer, author with her husband Harvey Frommer of the book “It Happened in the Catskills,” a Jewish ethos was complemented by a push “to become Americanized.” “Thus, golf, tennis [and] other pursuits and styles seen as ‘American’ became, in the postwar period, the direction more people were following,” Myrna told JointMedia News Service. The Borscht Belt — an area described in the Frommers’ book as “about 250 square miles, approximately an hour-and-a-half drive northwest of New York City” — attracted tourists since the postCivil War years, drawing its appeal from its scenic vistas and accessi-
bility from New York City via two railroad lines, the authors noted. Jewish immigrants came up to the Catskills for more than a visit— they looked to settle, to farm, to escape the unhealthy environment of tenement life. Eventually, they did more than
That’s where she met her husband, the late Lou Goldstein. Goldstein was a “tummler” at Grossinger’s Hotel, and ran most of the resort’s daytime activities from 1948 until the facility’s closure in 1986. “Tummler” is Yiddish for someone who stirs up tumult or
Courtesy of Jackie Horner.
In center, baseball legend Jackie Robinson at the Grossinger’s hotel during the heyday of the “Borscht Belt.”
escape; they defined the word vacation. Simply put, they knew how to have fun. Jackie Horner, a dance instructor and a consultant on the movie “Dirty Dancing” that starred the late Patrick Swayze, came to Grossinger’s in its heyday to teach dances like the mambo.
excitement. He passed away on April 2, 2012, at the age of 90. “He’d hold absurd exercise classes,” Joseph Berger wrote in Goldstein’s New York Times obituary. “He’d have a circle of grown men don silly hats and maneuver them onto one another’s heads
with one hand and without letting the hats tumble to the ground. He’d tell jokes during pauses in a diving exhibition, or tell stories on tours of the Grossinger’s grounds and kitchens (one for meat and one for dairy).” Well known for leading groups in Simon Says, Goldstein got to know many celebrities including Jackie Robinson, Yogi Berra and Rocky Marciano. One of the reasons Grossinger’s became so well known was this—Milton Blackstone, Grossinger’s public relations man, brought in these celebrities, the who’s who of any given era, to mingle with guests. Many unknowns who later became famous worked at the resorts, including Mel Brooks, Danny Kaye, Sid Caesar and Red Buttons (who put in summers as tummlers). Wilt Chamberlain, of NBA basketball fame, was a bellhop at Kutsher’s in the 1950s. A few hotels remain open, such as Kutsher’s, but the Catskills heyday is long gone. “The ‘40s flourished [in the Borscht Belt], money was there, and a lot came with their families,” Horner told JointMedia News Service. “That went on until the late ‘70s. In the ‘80s there were more conventions to fill the hotels during the week but a lot of the family business fell off in the ‘90s because the children didn’t want to come up anymore. The children always said there was too much food.” BELT on page 21
National Briefs Orthodox rally for a more kosher Internet (Forward) — A haredi Orthodox mega-rally in New York about the dangers posed by the Internet is in the works. After years of oft-flouted rabbinic bans on Internet use, a group of both Chasidic and nonChasidic rabbis is pushing a new approach that will be unveiled at the Mets’ CitiField on May 20. Organizers project an attendance of some 40,000 Orthodox Jewish men; women were not invited. Without letting up on their severe condemnation of technology and the Internet, the rabbis behind the CitiField event are accepting the Web’s inevitability while instructing their followers to use Internetfiltering technology. “No one here is a Luddite who denies the manifold benefits that technology has brought to mankind as a whole,” said Eytan Kobre, spokesman for the event. “But at a certain point, a mature, thinking individual stops and says, ‘I’ve got to make a … costbenefit analysis [of] what ways it is enriching my life [and] in what ways it is undermining it.’ ” The event will open with a Kosher Tech Expo featuring Web filtering technology. Despite this new openness, the rabbis involved insist they still oppose the Internet. “The purpose of the [gathering] is for people to realize how terrible the Internet is and, of course, the best thing for every [good Jew] is not to allow it in his home at all,” Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon told the Brooklyn Orthodox daily Hamodia. Cuban official: Cuba is ready to negotiate status of Alan Gross WASHINGTON (JTA) — Authorities in Cuba are ready to negotiate the status of jailed American Alan Gross, a senior Cuban official said. “We have made clear to the U.S. government that we are ready to have a negotiation in order to try and find a solution, a humanitarian solution to Mr. Gross’ case on a reciprocal basis,” Josefina Vidal, the top official in the Cuban Foreign Ministry handling North America, said in an interview on May 10. NATIONAL on page 19
NATIONAL • 7
THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2012
N.Y. Chasid resorts to hunger strike after nearly a year in Bolivian prison By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraphic Agency NEW YORK (JTA) – Supporters say he’s an innocent man caught up in the tentacles of a corrupt Latin American regime. Authorities in Bolivia, however, allege that he’s a shady businessman with ties to drug dealers and money launderers. What’s certain is that Jacob Ostreicher, a 53-year-old Chasidic Jew from New York, is in a state of limbo, sitting in a jail in the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz waiting to be tried or released on bail. Four weeks ago, in a bid to pressure authorities to expedite the handling of his case, Ostreicher began a hunger strike. “Every human rights violation is being broken in my case,” he told JTA this week in a telephone interview from prison. “I have no alternative to getting my freedom unless I become ill and it becomes a humanitarian issue.” The hunger strike he launched April 15 follows 10 months of appeals to the U.S. State Department. His wife, Miriam Ungar, organized a protest on Ostreicher’s behalf on May 3 opposite Bolivia’s United Nations mission. Ostreicher, a father of five from the Borough Park section of
Courtesy of Miriam Ungar
Brooklyn, belonged to a group of investors led by Andre Zolty of the Swiss firm Lexinter that sunk $25 million into growing rice in lush eastern Bolivia. He was arrested last June by Bolivian police. During his arraignment, the judge alleged that Ostreicher did business with “people wanted in their countries because of links with drug trafficking and money laundering.” The judge also determined that Ostreicher should not be allowed to post bail because “being free, the accused could destroy [or] change evidence that could lead the attorney general to discover the truth.” Since then Ostreicher, who
maintains his innocence, has been waiting. He has cycled through multiple court hearings, three judges, three prosecutors and four defense attorneys. One judge released him from jail in September, only to retract the order and send him back less than a week later. As of now the case is without a judge. While the case has dragged on, some of the 40 million pounds of rice harvested from Ostreicher’s fields and later seized by the Bolivian government have begun to disappear. The head of the Bolivian agency in charge of seized property, Moises Aguilera, told The Associated Press in December that the rice had to be sold because otherwise it would spoil. But Ostreicher’s partners accuse the Bolivian government of trying to profit from the confiscated rice. “They’re trying to put their hands on our assets,” Zolty told JTA. “The lawyers are all corrupted.” Transparency International, a global corruption monitor, ranks Bolivia 118th out of 183 countries on governmental transparency. Bolivian authorities have declined to discuss the details of the case publicly. “We sent inquiries regarding this case to the Bolivian judicial system, but we haven’t got any answer,” Pablo Menacho, Bolivia’s
consular officer in Washington for political affairs, told JTA. Ostreicher’s saga began when he joined Zolty’s partnership in June 2008 and traveled to Bolivia to see the rice business firsthand. Over the course of several trips from 2008 to 2010, Ostreicher says he was never able to inspect the books of the Bolivian rice fields because the manager, Claudia Liliana Rodriguez Espitia, was never around. “She always gave excuses,” Ostreicher said. Eventually, Ostreicher said, he came to believe that Rodriguez was stealing millions of dollars from the investors. He convinced Zolty to fire Rodriguez, and Ostreicher took over the business. When Rodriguez disappeared soon after leaving the venture, Ostreicher took out a full-page ad in a major local newspaper offering a $25,000 reward to whoever could find her. While police investigated Rodriguez for corruption, they discovered that she had purchased a portion of the rice fields from the brother of her drug dealer boyfriend, Maximiliano Dorado. Bolivian federal prosecutors began to question Ostreicher in March 2011. He continued to travel back and forth to the United States, and approached the U.S. Embassy in
Bolivia; Ostreicher says U.S. officials told him not to worry. “The embassy told me I should be honest with the investigation. That’s what I did,” Ostreicher said. “I wish the U.S. Embassy had told me to get the hell out of the country.” An embassy official told JTA that he could not comment on private conversations. On the eve of Shavuot last year, when Ostreicher was scheduled to fly home to New York, prosecutors called him in for another round of questioning. Anxious to get home for the holiday, Ostreicher asked if he could come to their office to finish the deposition as soon as possible. He arrived on June 3, responded to questions and thanked the prosecutor for adjusting his schedule. Moments later, Ostreicher was arrested. The grandfather of 11 says he was shoved into a cell with no toilet or shower that stank of urine and feces. The next day at his arraignment, the judge charged Ostreicher with being “the representative of Andre Zolty” and having “commercial relations with Maximiliano Dorado, both people wanted in their countries because of links with drug trafficking and money laundering … proving the circle between Andre Zolty, Maxi Dorado ... and Claudia Liliana Rodríguez Espitia.”
8 • NATIONAL
Behind the Flaum settlement, a long campaign and a phone call
Cleveland Browns draft Jewish lineman
By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraphic Agency
By Matt DeFaveri Cleveland Jewish News
NEW YORK (JTA) -- For more than a year, Ari Hart had struggled in his protest against unfair labor practices. Seeking justice for immigrant workers allegedly fired by a Brooklyn kosher food distributor, Hart had held signs, made phone calls, organized protest events and persuaded grocery stores and companies to boycott the distributor. But nothing had worked. Flaum Appetizing Corp., which allegedly fired 16 workers in 2007 after they demanded the legal minimum overtime pay, would not give in to the former employees’ demands. In 2009, the National Labor Relations Board ordered Flaum’s owner, Moshe Grunhut, to pay the workers. He refused to comply, arguing that the workers were undocumented immigrants. The NLRB did not accept the claim. Grunhut also said the workers had quit voluntarily. Hart, who co-founded the Orthodox social justice group Uri L’Tzedek, had a few brief conversations with Grunhut, but they ended without compromise. Hart’s fortunes changed with a phone call in February. Grunhut was on the line. The owner had been feeling the pressure, too. “He expressed to me his feelings,” Hart told JTA. He said he told Grunhut, “We need to resolve this, and you’ve been found guilty.
(Cleveland Jewish News) — The Cleveland deli scene might see a new patron when Mitchell Schwartz arrives in town on Thursday, May 10, for the Cleveland Browns’ rookie minicamp. The team selected him with the 37th overall pick in last week’s NFL Draft. “Matzah ball soup or a nice deli sandwich. And of course in the winter, latkes warm you up. I’m sure I’ll eat a lot of everything once the season starts,” Schwartz said from his hometown of Los Angeles as he rattled off some of his favorite Jewish comfort foods. The Browns hope the 22-yearold right tackle from the University of California, Berkeley will shore up the right side of the offensive line, an area of concern after a disappointing 4-12 season last year. When Schwartz’s cell phone rang during the second day of the draft on April 27, he said emotions in his house ran pretty high. “Whenever you get that call you’re not quite sure that it’s going to be ‘the’ call,” he said. “But I picked up the phone and heard the good news. My family reacted a little more intensely than I did. They were jumping on the couch and running around a little. It was awesome.” Schwartz said he and his brother Geoff, a member of the Minnesota Vikings, were raised in a strong Jewish household. “We’ve always been in Hebrew school from an early age,” said Schwartz, whose family belonged to Conservative synagogue Adat Shalom in West Los Angeles “We went to temple every year, observed major holidays. We were pretty active, especially compared to some of the friends we had who were Jewish.” Schwartz followed a similar path to the NFL as his brother, who was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the seventh round (241st overall) in the 2008 NFL Draft. Geoff signed a one-year deal with the Vikings on March 31. Schwartz’s father Lee said that he and his wife, Olivia Goodkin, feel lucky to have two sons in the NFL. “I guess the best way to say it is, it’s surreal,” he said. “I kvell (take pleasure) when thinking about it. For a dad who’s been a jock his whole life, it’s a real unbelievable situation. “We stressed family, we stressed being good, ethical people, morals,” Lee Schwartz said of
Courtesy of Uri L'Tzedek
Ari Hart, left, and other Uri L’Tzedek activists protest Flaum’s Appetizing with former Flaum employees at Associated Supermarket on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Jan. 30, 2012.
You’re going to have to pay.” According to Hart, Grunhut was concerned about paying a settlement in one lump sum. Hart said the two worked out a compromise on the phone: Grunhut would pay the workers in multiple installments. Now, three months later, Flaum and its former employees have agreed on a $577,000 settlement to be paid out in three portions. “We were able to bridge the gap between Moshe [Grunhut]’s world and the world of the workers,” Hart said of Uri L’Tzedek. “Their needs and their story, and Moshe’s needs and his story.” The settlement was a success not
only for the former Flaum workers, but also for Uri L'Tzedek, which didn’t give up until it was able to negotiate an out-of-court compromise directly with the company it was protesting. That was in contrast to Uri L’Tzedek’s experience with Agriprocessors, the Iowa meat processing plant it boycotted in 2008. Uri L’Tzedek ended its boycott after a month, when the beleaguered company hired a chief compliance officer. (Agriprocessors’CEO ultimately was convicted of bank fraud and the bankrupt company was sold.) PHONE CALL on page 21
America’s first female rabbi reflects on four decades since ordination By Michele Alperin JointMedia News Service Rabbi Sally Priesand, America’s first seminary-ordained female rabbi, decided at age 16 to pursue her calling. “I always wanted to be a teacher of whatever was my favorite subject,” she tells JointMedia News Service. “In the end, I decided to become a teacher of Judaism.” June 3 will mark the 40th anniversary of Priesand’s historic ordination at the Reform movement’s Hebrew Union College (HUC). Fortunately, her parents were firmly behind her four decades ago. “I feel that my parents gave me one of the greatest gifts a parent can give to a child: the courage to dare and to dream,” Priesand says. As an undergraduate in a joint program between the University of Cincinnati and HUC, Priesand studied enough Hebrew to skip the first year of rabbinical school. Supporting her admission and ordination—something no woman had
ever been granted by the school before—was HUC President Rabbi Nelson Glick, and when he died, the subsequent president, Dr. Fred Gottschalk, took up her cause despite opposition from some faculty members. Looking back, Priesand says, “It wasn’t until recent years that I realized how much courage it took for him to accept someone else’s vision and move forward with it.” Priesand was interviewed by some synagogues “for my public value, so they could say they were first,” but others would not speak to her. The last person in her class of 36 to get a job, she ended up with the best one, at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York City, but adds that she probably got the position because all her classmates were already employed when the job was posted. She served there for seven years under Rabbi Ed Klein, who she says loved “to be introduced as the first equal opportunity employer in the American rabbinate.” However, Priesand was not
given the opportunity to be senior rabbi after Klein retired. Finding it hard to find another position, she ended up working part time at Temple Beth El in Elizabeth, N.J., while serving as chaplain at Manhattan’s Lenox Hill Hospital. But in 1981 she was hired as rabbi at Monmouth Reform Temple in Tinton Falls, N.J., where she stayed for 25 years, leaving in 2006 as rabbi emerita. “I felt here like I was their rabbi and not the first woman rabbi,” she says. Neither Priesand nor her congregation thought she would stay that long. “I always felt my obligation was to get a bigger congregation,” she says. However, her partnership with her congregation taught her that the drive to be first in everything would not lead to fulfillment. “My congregation really taught me that that is not the meaning of success,” she says. “Success just means you are doing better today than yesterday.” RABBI on page 22
Courtesy of University of California, Berkeley
Mitchell Schwartz, a 22-yearold right tackle from the University of California, Berkeley, was drafted by the Cleveland Browns.
raising his sons. “We stressed the religion and being Jewish. I think it’s just a collection of a lot of things that we as parents try to instill in them, and ultimately it worked out. Schwartz said he’s looking forward to getting involved in Cleveland’s Jewish community. “From everything I’ve heard, it sounds like a pretty decent-sized community in Cleveland,” he said. “I’m sure my mom and dad will help me figure it out. I’m plenty confident I’ll be able to find something.”
“We stressed family, we stressed being good, ethical people, morals.” Lee Schwartz
As for joining a synagogue, Schwartz said he’d play it by ear. “You kind of have to figure that out as you go,” he said. “Especially during the season, it’s a lot harder to find time for that.” While he paves the way for the Browns’ running backs and protects the quarterback this season, Schwartz said he won’t forget the influence Judaism has had on his athletic career. “Judaism teaches a lot of dedication and hard work,” he said. “You don’t go back on your word. You do what you’re supposed to do when you’re told by your superior. I think it’s more the spirit of being a good person in society. If you do those things the right way, you’ll be successful no matter what you do.”
INTERNATIONAL • 9
THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2012
International Briefs Amid security concerns in Tunisia, a smaller Hiloula celebration DJERBA, Tunisia (JTA) — Amid political uncertainty and security concerns, the The El Ghriba Synagogue Lag b’Omer celebration drew more journalists and police than pilgrims. “We have about 300 people here from abroad today, but most are locals,” said Rene Trabelsi, a Paris-based organizer of the celebration whose family oversees the synagogue. “What’s important is that we are having this event this year because last year it did not happen. I hope we can slowly increase the number of people attending each year.” Last year, in the aftermath of Tunisia’s revolution that overthrew the country’s long time autocrat Zine El Abddine Ben Ali and killed more than 300 Tunisians, the Hiloula celebration was canceled. Previous pilgrimages attracted thousands of visitors to Djerba. The number of pilgrims steadily increased to the nearly 10,000 who came in 2010. Heavy security accompanied this year’s event, and those coming by car faced some dozen checkpoints en route. From neo-Nazi skinhead to black-hatted Jew: the journey of Pawel Bramson WARSAW (JTA) — The Warsaw Phoenix Award-winning film “The Moon Is Jewish,” tells the true story of Pawel Bramson’s transformation from a skinhead to someone who keeps kosher, wears the long beard and black hat typical of some Orthodox Jews, and assists Poland’s chief rabbi, Michael Schudrich. “The script for this film was written by life,” says Bramson, 36, who discusses his life, past and present, in the documentary. “The Moon Is Jewish,” which has been screened at several festivals in the U.S., “was like a confession on which I say some bad things I did in my life,” he says. “This film can be treated a bit like my public confession, a self-critical lynching.” As a young man, Bramson wasn’t particularly interested in his roots, having had no reason to think his family had hidden anything from him. Not until his wife, Aleksandra, began researching her own roots did they each discover they had Jewish relatives. His maternal grandparents had been Jewish.
Far-right victories in Greece prompt upset, concern from Jewish community By Gavin Rabinowitz Jewish Telegraphic Agency ATHENS, Greece (JTA) — Jewish leaders in Greece expressed concern and disappointment after the fascist Golden Dawn party was poised to enter the Greek parliament for the first time. With most of the ballots counted, Golden Dawn received nearly 7 percent of the vote in Sunday’s elections as Greeks punished the mainstream parties they blame for the country’s financial crisis and accepting harsh European austerity measures. “It is very disappointing that in a country like Greece, where so many were killed fighting the Germans, that a neo-Nazi party is now in parliament,” David Saltiel, president of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, told JTA. It was a major victory for Golden Dawn, whose flag closely resembles the Nazi swastika. In the
2009 elections, the party garnered just 0.29 percent of the vote. In Greece, a party needs more than 3 percent of the vote to make it into parliament. According to the final results published Monday evening, Golden Dawn had 6.97 percent, which would give the party 21 seats in the 300-member parliament. But with no party getting more than 20 percent, there are fears that the major parties will be unable to cobble together a coalition. The biggest party, the conservative New Democracy (18.85 percent), has three days to form a government. The runner-up Coalition of the Radical Left (16.78 percent) would get the next chance. If both fail, fresh elections will be called. Saltiel said Golden Dawn entering the parliament was of “very great concern because they are extreme right,” but he expressed his hope that the party may now moderate its positions. “We are looking at how the sit-
uation will be in parliament and what their positions will be,” he said. Speaking to a news conference on Sunday, Golden Dawn leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos warned Greece’s enemies — inside and outside the country — that they should be “very afraid.” “We are coming,” said Michaloliakos, one of the party’s only nationally known leaders. He came to prominence when he won a seat on the Athens City Council in 2010 and celebrated by giving the Nazi salute at the first City Hall meeting. The party had campaigned on an anti-austerity, anti-immigrant platform, preying on the fears of ordinary Greeks who have seen their neighborhoods overrun by the nearly 1 million immigrants who have flooded the country from Asia and Africa hoping to use it as a gateway to the European Union. During the elections, young party supporters with shaved heads
and wearing black shirts with the Golden Dawn symbol set up vigilante groups to protect Greeks from immigrants. They have been blamed for several attacks on foreigners; the party denies the charges. The party’s election platform included plans to landmine Greece’s borders, immediately arrest and expel illegal immigrants, and set up special labor camps for legal immigrants who commit crimes. Its manifesto does not specifically mention the country’s small Jewish community, saying only that the party would tolerate religious freedom “except in cases that affect national interest and undermine Hellenism.” However, the party openly displays copies of “Mein Kampf” alongside works on Greek racial superiority at party headquarters and the party symbol has been found at the sites of anti-Semitic attacks in the past.
Political, social turmoil worries Hungary’s Jews By Ruth Ellen Gruber Jewish Telegraphic Agency BUDAPEST (JTA) — The debate over anti-Semitism in Hungary has sharpened since the anti-Israel, anti-Jewish and antiRoma (Gypsy) Jobbik movement entered Parliament two years ago as the country’s third largest party. Seeking scapegoats and channeling paranoia at a time of severe economic, social and political woes, Jobbik’s lawmakers regularly — and loudly — spout xenophobic, antiRoma, anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric. Outbursts in Parliament, in local councils and in the media have demolished taboos and increasingly serve to legitimize hate speech in both private conversation and public discourse. But for the Jewish community, anxiety over anti-Semitism is only one toxic element of a broader and much more complex national crisis that touches all parts of society two years after the 2010 elections swept the conservative Fidesz party to power. “The danger is about Hungarian democracy, not about antiSemitism,” Rabbi Istvan Darvas told JTA. “Everybody feels the crisis,” said Mircea Cernov, CEO of Haver, a foundation that fights anti-Semitism and teaches schoolchildren about Judaism and the Jewish people. “The financial and economic challenges, unemployment and poverty, social, education and health system crisis, democratic system in turbulence — there is no difference
Courtesy of Ruth Ellen Gruber
An anti-government demonstration in Budapest, December 2011.
between people influenced by all this.” With a two-thirds majority in Parliament, Prime Minister Victor Orban and his government rewrote the constitution and pushed through controversial new laws that sharply polarized the country and also drew tough criticism from the European Union and other international bodies. These included new legislation regulating the media, changing how judges are appointed and reducing the number of officially recognized religious bodies. Three Jewish streams have such recognition. Other new laws cut social benefits, nationalized private pension funds and even outlawed homelessness. The government said the new laws were needed to consolidate the
legal and judicial system. But critics claimed they contributed to a “democracy deficit” and undermined democratic rights. Jobbik and other extremists have capitalized on the economic uncertainly and social and political polarization to push a virulently nationalist message that stigmatizes Jews, Roma, immigrants and other minority groups. Fidesz is not formally allied with Jobbik and has condemned antiSemitism. But a defense of Hungarian national honor is one of Fidesz’s platforms. Many Hungarian Jews, who traditionally have gravitated toward leftist-liberal parties, are deeply troubled by appeals to nationalism, even by mainstream parties. And there is a perception among
Fidesz opponents that some of its members may be sympathetic to Jobbik’s more extreme stance. This month, for example, the Israeli ambassador to Hungary canceled an official visit to the town of Eger after an audio recording came to light in which a Fidesz town councilor slammed a prominent actor as a “filthy Jew” with leftist-liberal sympathies. “Intolerance is growing, radical narratives and voices are powerful, and many people feel that the risk of a greater conflict is real,” said Cernov. The country, he said, faces a “moral crisis” along with its other woes. “There are no real credible voices and opinion-influencing figures,” he said. “No role models and no people who can set positive reference points. The lack of a minimum platform of common understanding among all democratic parties and civil groups is the real weakness of the Hungarian society.” In a recent incident, addressing Parliament just before Passover, a Jobbik lawmaker went so far as to advance the blood libel — the accusation that Jews kill Christian children and use their blood for ritual purposes. And in a February interview with the London Jewish Chronicle, Jobbik foreign affairs spokesman Marton Gyongyosi called Israel a “Nazi system based on racial hatred,” accused Jews of “colonizing” Hungary and stressed Jobbik’s support of Iran. HUNGARY on page 21
10 • ISRAEL
For new Israeli coalition, haredi army exemptions issue is front and center By Uriel Heilman Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) — Israel’s new unity government may not alter Jerusalem’s strategy for curbing Iran’s nuclear weapons program or do much to revive the IsraeliPalestinian peace process. It could, however, dramatically change something at home about which a huge number of Israelis care deeply: haredi Orthodox exemptions from military service. For years, haredi issues have been something of a third rail in Israeli politics. Nearly every government in recent years has needed the haredi parties to cobble together a governing coalition, rendering haredi entitlement programs like the military exemption politically untouchable. This long has irritated Israelis who serve in the army and resent that the haredim, by and large, do not serve yet draw all sorts of entitlement payments from the state. But with Shaul Mofaz’s decision to bring his Kadima party and its 28 seats into the ruling coalition, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu no longer needs the haredi parties to keep his government in power. They could pull out, and it would make no real difference — at least until the elections that are scheduled for
Courtesy of Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90/JTA
A haredi Orthodox man watching Israeli soldiers at an army ceremony at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Feb. 22, 2012.
October 2013. How far will Netanyahu go in taking advantage of a historic opportunity to end the special treatment for haredi Israelis? The question is likely to hinge on political considerations. Already there is movement on finding an alternative to the Tal Law, which granted military exemptions to haredi Israeli men but was struck down several months ago by Israel’s Supreme Court. The court ordered that an alternative to the law be put into place by Aug. 1.
Crafting an alternative to the Tal Law is one of the top four priorities set forth by the new government coalition. The other three are passing a comprehensive budget, reforming the structure of government and making progress toward peace. The budget issue is expected to be resolved one way or the other, as budgets generally are, but there is something pie in the sky about the other two priorities. That leaves the Tal Law alternative as the potential historical legacy of this 18-month alliance between Netanyahu and Mofaz.
On Tuesday, that alternative began to take shape. The Jerusalem Post reported that under the Mofaz-Netanyahu deal, haredi exemptions from the army would be replaced by a Basic Law — the Israeli equivalent to a constitutional amendment — requiring all citizens to perform military or civilian service. Last month, Kadima proposed instituting a universal military draft within five years. Under the Kadima plan, all Israelis either would serve in the military or do national service in a variety of fields, among them education, health and domestic security. Those who fail to comply would be barred from receiving any state funding. The question is whether such a plan, which would radically alter the relationship between the state and its rapidly growing haredi Orthodox population, could survive opposition from Israel’s haredi Orthodox parties. Netanyahu doesn’t need them to survive in office until the next elections. Indeed, if he were to push through such legislation, it could earn his Likud party much broader support, including from secular and more centrist voters, the next time Israel goes to the polls. COALITION on page 22
West’s demands on Iran are ‘minimal,’ Barak says By Israel Hayom Staff Exclusive to JNS (JNS) — Ahead of Monday’s two-day talks in Vienna between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the West’s demands on Iran “are so minimal, that even if Iran accepts all of them it will still be able to continue and make progress with its nuclear program.” “It must completely cease its enrichment activities inside Iran, including to levels of 3.5 percent,” Barak said. The U.N. atomic watchdog came to Vienna to press its demand for access to an Iranian military site, which could influence the prospects for a broader diplomatic push to settle the decade-old standoff over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. The May 14–15 meeting was meant as a test of Iran’s readiness to address U.N. inspectors’ suspicions of military links to its nuclear program, in advance of high-stakes talks in Baghdad between the two sides May 23. Iran and the powers involved in nuclear diplomacy—the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany—revived
Courtesy of EPA/Herbert Pfarrhofer
The head of the team of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors, Herman Nackaerts, arrives for talks with Iran in Vienna’s Iranian embassy on May 14.
negotiations in Istanbul last month after a 15-month hiatus, and both sides say they hope for progress in Baghdad. Meanwhile, a drawing based on information from inside the Parchin military site near Tehran, released by The Associated Press (AP) on Sunday, shows an explosives containment chamber of the type needed for nuclear armsrelated tests. Last November, the IAEA
issued a report that Iran in 2000 had built a large containment chamber at Parchin in which to conduct high-explosives tests that the IAEA said are “strong indicators of possible [nuclear] weapon development.” The Israeli defense minister said that intelligence agencies are familiar with the image, telling Israel’s Army Radio on Monday that “this diagram is part of the information known to all leading
intelligence agencies in the free world for some time.” Barak said the image reaffirms the need to halt Iran’s nuclear capabilities. The computer-generated drawing was provided to AP by an official of a country tracking Iran’s nuclear program who said it proves the structure exists, despite Tehran’s refusal to acknowledge it. The image is based on information from a person who had seen the chamber at the Parchin military site, that official said, adding that going into detail would endanger the life of that informant. The official comes from an IAEA member country that is severely critical of Iran’s assertions that its nuclear activities are peaceful and asserts they are a springboard for making atomic weapons. A former senior IAEA official said he believes the drawing is accurate. Olli Heinonen, until last year the U.N. nuclear agency’s deputy director-general in charge of the Iran file, said it was “very similar” to a photo he recently saw that he believes to be the pressure chamber the IAEA suspects is at Parchin. DEMANDS on page 22
Iran executes man convicted of spying for Israel (JTA) — Iran has executed a man convicted of spying for Israel and of assassinating an Iranian nuclear scientist. Majid Jamali Fashi, 24, was hanged early Tuesday morning, according to Iranian news reports. He was sentenced to death in August 2010, for the murder of Ali Mohammadi, a particle physics professor at Tehran University killed by a remote-controlled bomb in a January 2010 attack. Mohammadi is one of four scientists that Iran has accused Israel and the United States of assassinating in the last two years. Fashi was accused of traveling outside of Iran to receive Mossad special training. In April, more than 15 Iranian and foreign nationals reportedly were arrested for carrying out alleged terrorist missions for Israel in Iran, according to IRNA, Iran’s official news agency. The group was accused of spying for Israel, the attempted assassination of an Iranian expert and sabotage. Israel shows homeland security technologies to international visitors JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s security technologies were on display as the country hosted two separate international contingents. An Interpol European Regional Conference brought 110 senior law enforcement officers from 49 countries to Tel Aviv, while a homeland security conference drew 37 mayors from two-dozen worldwide cities to sites throughout Israel last week. “Israel has been forced to overcome difficult circumstances, including war and terror, in order to survive,” said Alfred Vanderpuije, mayor of the Ghana capital of Accra, following a visit to Elbit Systems, a defense electronics company based in Haifa. “And this has put the Israelis in a unique situation to develop security technologies.” Otto Perez Leal, the mayor of Mixco, Guatemala, and son of Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina, said his municipality already was implementing security cameras and other technologies developed in Israel. “Our army and police use this equipment to integrate our forces and improve our ability to respond to natural disasters and other challenges,” Leal said. “It’s not just about training people and it’s not just about technology. It’s about combining them both. And that is something that we are learning from you.”
THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2012
CINCINNATI CHEVRA KADISHA ANNUAL DINNER ON MARCH 1ST, 2012
SOCIAL LIFE • 11
ANNOUNCEMENTS ARE FR EE! EE B IR THS • B AT /B AR M I T ZVAHS E NGAGE ME N TS • W E DDINGS B IR THD AYS • A NNIVE R SAR IE S Place your FR EE announcement in The American Israelite Newspaper & Website by sending an email to email@example.com
The American Israelite
Jewish Federation of Cincinnati
116th Annual Meeting
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 • 7:00 p.m. • Mayerson JCC 8485 Ridge Road, Cincinnati, OH 45236 Dessert reception to follow.
Imagine Cincinnati in 2020 with all of us: • Caring for each other
• Connecting to our community
• Discovering our Jewish identity
A special announcement will be made about the launch of Cincinnati 2020’s* first major project.
Professional and Volunteer Recognition:
More than a community... A Jewish destination.
Celebrate outstanding volunteers and professionals: Weston “Avodah” Awards: Rabbi Laura Baum - OurJewishCommunity.org • Sharon Stern - Jewish Federation of Cincinnati Goldstein “Volunteer-of-the-Year” Award: Dick Weiland Recognize the Volunteer of the Year from your congregation and favorite organizations and celebrate outstanding professionals who are making Cincinnati 2020 a reality. Visit jewishcincinnati.org/annualmeeting for a full listing.
Welcome New Leadership:
Enter a new leadership chapter as President Bret Caller passes the torch to incoming President Andy Berger. *Cincinnati 2020 is the first-ever community-wide collaboration to develop a long-term strategic plan with the goal of making Cincinnati a model community and a Jewish destination.
Learn more and RSVP at: jewishcincinnati.org/annualmeeting 2012 Volunteers of the Year
The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati is pleased to recognize the individuals who have been chosen by their agencies, organizations and congregations* for this community-wide volunteer tribute. Mazel tov to the honorees and to the organizations they represent. Visit jewishcincinnati.org/annualmeeting to meet the volunteers of the year.
Jewish Federation of Cincinnati
AdAth ISrAEl CongrEgAtIon
AmErICAn JEwISh CommIttEE
bEth ISrAEl CongrEgAtIon
thE CEntEr for holoCAuSt And humAnIty EduCAtIon
ChAbAd JEwISh CEntEr/bluE ASh
ChAbAd/JEwISh dISCovEry CEntEr
CInCInnAtI CommunIty kollEl
CInCInnAtI CommunIty mIkvEh
CInCInnAtI hEbrEw dAy SChool
Chana Rochel Rabinowitz
CongrEgAtIon b’nAI tIkvAh
CongrEgAtIon ohAv ShAlom
CongrEgAtIon ohr ChAdASh
golf mAnor SynAgoguE
hIllEl JEwISh StudEnt CEntEr
ISAAC m. wISE tEmplE
JEwISh CEmEtErIES of grEAtEr CInCInnAtI
JEwISh fAmIly SErvICE
JEwISh nAtIonAl fund
JEwISh voCAtIonAl SErvICE
northErn hIllS SynAgoguE
Jan Armstrong Cobb
*All agencies, organizations and congregations were invited to participate.
14 • DINING OUT
A plethora of pleasurable plenitude at 20 Brix By Sondra Katkin Dining Editor 20 Brix Chef Paul Barraco blurs the lines between bland quotidian reality and bewitching culinary conceptions. He’s a perfect match with owner Hunter Thomas whose love of food and wine led him to create Cincinnati’s first combination wine store, wine bar and restaurant focused on matching food and wine so that both are enhanced. Barraco and Thomas both have an impressive array of experience and culinary school credentials. “Thomas wanted to approach wine from a taste profile rather than a region or varietal with the taste designed to go with the chef’s creation. Being able to isolate the tastes in wine and foods and using those to complement the pairings — that’s what we do. We want to create a comfortable setting to enjoy food and wine, where choices are well defined by the menu, and if more information is requested, we can provide it,” General Manager Clay Mitchell explained. I have dined there many times and have been impressed by the expertise of the staff. Thomas, Mitchell and others are certified sommeliers. I also appreciated the availability of small tastes of wine (two and five ounce portions) as well as bottles and “flights” and the user-friendly accessibility of the wine list. You can make your own choices with helpful information indicating heavier and lighter tastes and hearts denoting their favorites. Talking with Mitchell, I learned that what hurts wine most is exposure to air. “It breaks wine down and you lose the romance and presentation,” he noted. 20 Brix is the third in the city to offer wines on tap — a green technology that reduces the carbon footprint with a reusable stainless steel container and no glass bottle or cork. “It eliminates waste and saves money that can be passed on to customers,” he added. He makes a great “case.” Almost every Tuesday evening, they offer special food and wine pairing dinners with guided tastings. Chef Barraco creates the menu. “This is really where his talents are showcased — it’s food and wine magic,” Mitchell states. The addition of 20 Brix — in a building with “aged” red bricks crowned with white cornices — to historic, picturesque Milford was highly anticipated by residents who missed a higher level of dining. We were not disappointed (disclosure — I am a delighted denizen). The attractive building with its vine covered wrought iron fenced patio, sheltered by brightly colored umbrellas, nicely complements the casually elegant indoor ambiance with intimate tables and modern artwork. The wine shop fills the entry area, inviting diners to peruse the large collection. A bar with small booths and bar seating is opposite the window-lined dining area.
(Clockwise) Chef Paul Barraco—a wizard of kitchen magic; General Manager Clay Mitchell in their wine store with specially selected wines; Casually elegant interior with natural window lighting; Roasted Scottish salmon with layers of complementary flavors and textures; Oven roasted zucchini and cucumber served fragrant and sizzling; Crusty, flaky cod, “coddled” with tangy cucumber and onion accents; Velvety, savory local and wild mushroom bisque; Sheltered outdoor “room-like” patio.
I began my tasting with a soup from the small plates, soup, starters, salads and flatbreads category. “Locavore” sourcing adds to the fresh flavors that I experienced in the local and wild mushroom bisque. Barraco told me that the oyster “shrooms” came from Chris Walburn up the street who grows both the brown and white varieties. Over 15 mushrooms, including a dried blend mixed with herbs, go into the stock. The soup was topped with a hearty pumpernickel crumble which emphasized its truffle accents and added a texture to the creaminess. Barraco said there’s actually very little cream. The thickness is a result of the “mirepoix” (vegetable melange) reduction. The pronounced earthy tang was highlighted by its dollop of tart, thick yogurt. I’ve had many of his soups and each one is its own little treasure chest. Other listings in this group include fried Nova Scotia smelts, lamb meatballs, mushroom bruschetta, an artisanal cheese plate and salads.
For an entree, diners can choose their acclaimed roasted Scottish Salmon from Loch Duarte, which my husband Steve and I claim as a favorite. Because the quality of the sustainably raised “upscaly” fish (no antibiotics) is so high, it can be served fairly rare. Barraco sears one side creating a crispiness balanced by the tender, juicy flesh, “to emphasize both flavors and textures that work well together,” he related. The “cloak” on the Loch swimmer is a whole grain, white wine mustard crisp. Barraco described my experience well: “You push your fork through the buttery mustard crust on top, then the soft salmon, then the crispy bottom.” At its base is a pistou (Provencal for pounded) of vegetables and herbs which binds together seasonal vegetables including ramps (baby fiddlehead ferns), a sweet, tender taste treat a bit like asparagus married to leeks. After this palatable pleasure, I was regaled with line-caught Icelandic cod. I didn’t realize that a
“day boat fish” means that it’s brought in fresh at the end of the day. The chef explained, “Cod is very delicate so it needs a good crust. I use sourdough bread to get a better texture — more crunch in some places, more butter in others and a more intense mouth feel.” I love “chefy talk.” It is served over an intense onion flavored “coddled” base with an overlay of sautéed cucumber “oars” and microgreens and accents of vivid “smashed” kalamata olives and “labna” like (very condensed) yogurt. It was sweet and flaky (just like me), without the heaviness of sea bass. I may have a new favorite. Other entrees range from uniquely topped pizzas to their classics, such as mac and cheese, fried chicken, a burger with a blend of prime beef and short ribs and other seasonal selections. Barraco described the menu as “very vegetable friendly. We like to showcase them in ways that aren’t typical.” My vegetable from the “For the Table” category was oven
roasted zucchini and cucumber with smoked goat cheese and toasted hazelnuts. The warm cucumber absorbed all the flavors and made it easy to eat my (luscious) greens. Corn pudding, spring peas and fried brussel sprouts are some other choices under this heading. There is always a wonderful chef’s choice of desserts and Barraco described something he does with doughnuts that you would have to see and taste to believe. He is a cuisiniere with a lyrical list of ingredients, combined with artistic license to create a poem of a meal — a repast you’ll want to repeat. 20 Brix (a measurement used in wine making) offers a full service bar and is open for lunch Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner hours are Monday through Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. 20 Brix 101 Main Street Milford, OH 45150 513-831-Brix (2749)
DINING OUT • 15
THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2012
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16 • OPINION
Fear the Frum
Do you have something to say? E-mail your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Editor, In the beginning, there was actually decent dialogue regarding the JCC or J. Any good discussion will have points with different views and that is healthy. A reply editorial meant to explain something is also appreciated. Unfortunately, there have been some editorials that seem to be nothing but senseless ramblings. These attempts to draw parallels and comparisons make me think most of the author’s time is spent watching SpongeBob or South Park. I understand your need to see your names in print but please try to respect the healthy dialogue that was being had. (I could hardly wait for your responses!) Sincerely, Alan Eichner Cincinnati, OH Dear Editor, Liberals, a.k.a. Democrats, tend to say they are only concerned with what’s fair. However, I have never heard or read exactly how they define fair. Is it something like what U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said in Jacobellis v. Ohio (1964), when he stumbled with the definition of pornography: “I know it when I see it.”? This begs the question: are liberals claiming elitism by say-
FOR our 2nd Amendment rights rather than against them as the government has been doing? Finally, I believe “fair” is a government that works to reduce its power and size, encourages its citizens to stand by themselves, and supports charitable organizations to tend to the needs of those who are struggling. I realize I might have offended Democrats by calling them elitists and liberals, but they have portrayed Republicans as beer swilling, gun-toting, bible thumping, redneck heathens. Well, I’m honored to carry my Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership card and I surely enjoy a cold beer on a hot day. I’m not certain what a biblethumper is, but I believe in G_d, the Ten Commandments and that I am descended from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – not monkeys. As to being a redneck: the dictionary defines a redneck as a member of the rural, southern, working class. I’m not from the South, but my farm is in rural Brown County and up until I retired six years ago at age 64, I always worked. Heathen? I might have mud on my boots and stains on my bibbers, but I take regular showers and have my hair trimmed neatly at a local shop—where they don’t make me smell all prissy.
ing they might not be able to articulate what’s fair, but they know what’s best for all of us? And because they possess that undefined, secret knowledge of fairness, we should blindly trust that their choices of politicians and bureaucrats will be fair in enforcing fairness? Webster’s definition of fair/fairness uses such words as equitable, impartial, unbiased, et al. Sure, the liberal could use these words when referring to helping those less-fortunate. But the conservative could also argue “less-fortunate” is subjective and forcing (taxing) others to support such “help” is inequitable, partial, biased, et. al. Okay, Klein, you say, what’s your definition of “fair?” Fairenough. Fair is: You may do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t adversely impact me; and I’ll do as I please as long as it doesn’t negatively affect you. In other words, if you want to contribute all of your money to provide “fair” education, health care, employment, etc., to those who haven’t earned these benefits, that’s fine with me. Just don’t try to force me to donate to your doctrine of fairness. Fairness is not fair if it forces someone else to give up what’s fairly theirs. I exercise my right to carry a concealed firearm for protection, but I wouldn’t dream of making you do so. Say . . . maybe we should use tax money to fight
Sincerely, Chuck Klein Georgetown, OH
T EST Y OUR T ORAH KNOWLEDGE THIS WEEK’S PORTION: BEHAR-BECHUKOTAI (VAYIKRA 25:1—27:37) There is are mitzvot not to work the ground during Shmittah. Which of these are permitted or prohibited? 1. Plowing a.) Permitted b.) Prohibited
3. Weeding? a.) Permitted b.) Prohibited
2. Planting? a.) Permitted b.) Prohibited
5. Harvesting? a.) Permitted b.) Prohibited
mitzvah to add part of the sixth year to the seventh year, like adding a short amount of time before the Sabbath or a Festival. 4. B 5. B
This column initially ran in Ami Magazine.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
4. Irrigating? a.) Permitted b.) Prohibited
the seventh year he can not. 3. B Certain types of work to prevent damage to trees could be done leading up to the beginning of the seventh year, but not on the seventh year. There is
Were the New Israel Fund a newly landed Martian’s only source of information about Israel, he’d likely imagine the country as a cross between Saudi Arabia and North Korea. In the extraterrestrial’s mind it would be a place where women are forced to sit in the backs of buses and the sound of their voices prohibited from being heard. A place where religious extremists eschew democratic values and control the government and national discourse. Our Martian would be stunned to actually fix his multiple eyes on Tel Aviv’s Rechov Dizengoff — or, for that matter, Jerusalem’s Rechov Ben-Yehuda. He’d be stupefied by the unfettered operation of Reform, Conservative and Messianic places of worship. The Knesset would utterly blow him away. The NIF’s latest Big Lie took the form of a big ad — a full-color full-pager, in fact — in The New York Times and the Forward. Maybe the latter periodical ran the ad gratis, but the Times charges $175,000 for a color page. Even discounted, it cost the NIF a pretty penny. Actually, the one it cost is Murray Koppelman, as noted in the corner of the ad. Mr. Koppelman, an Upper East Side money manager, is a major supporter of the group — he has pledged $500,000 in matching donations to it — and is featured on a video the NIF produced. In the clip, the grandfatherly Mr. Koppelman reminisces about his youth. Shortly after Israel’s declaration of independence, he spent time on two kibbutzim and, after deciding that “I don’t want to be poor,” embarked on what appears to have been a successful career. During his kibbutz days, though, he recalls visiting Yerushalayim and how “it always distressed me, as I walked through the religious sections of Jerusalem,” to see “these women… walking behind their husbands.” He wondered “what kind of life they lead” and about their inability to “really show what their capabilities were to do better for the world, rather than just to look up to their husbands, who become their god.” Mr. Koppelman may not be a Martian but he, too, could benefit from a dose of reality — He can
start with a visit to my house. His imaginings aside, the organization benefiting from his largesse is using it to renew its batty battle cry that Israel is becoming a theocracy. The new NIF ad is dominated by a photograph of another ad, on a billboard in Israel. It features a woman’s face but only half of it is there, as part of the ad has been torn off. The large words in the NIF ad ask: “WHAT HAPPENS WHEN EXTREMISM CROWDS OUT EQUALITY AND DEMOCRACY IN ISRAEL?” The word “EXTREMISM” is written in such large type that it takes up an entire line, symbolically “crowding out” all the others. (The damaged ad-in-an-ad was itself posted by an NIF-supported group that opposes “gender separation in the public sphere” and supports a “pluralistic” Jerusalem.) Although no one can know whether the defacing was the work of religious Jews or those who seek to vilify them (such “proxy” vandalism is not unheard of in Israel), the problem here is vandalism, not impending theocracy. And the solution is to catch and prosecute vandals, not to wax alarmist or besmirch a community. Likewise, when an individual Jew, whether motivated by religious zeal or lesser stimuli, acts improperly, the problem is that individual—not the larger religious community. Yes, that community’s democratically elected Knesset representatives seek to maintain the standards of the Jewish mesorah in Israel regarding things affecting the essential integrity and unity of the Jewish people, like issues of marriage and divorce. And, yes, observant communities deserve respect in things like the routing of traffic on Shabbos away from their neighborhoods, and even by permitting some buses servicing their neighborhoods to offer separate, voluntary, gender-separated seating. But such accommodations of the observant population do not a theocracy threaten. The model here is not Iran, but the Israel of the past 64 years. It’s painful to recognize, but no less true for the fact: The same sort of intransigent ill will that so many Arabs harbor for all Israelis is harbored by the NIF and its supporters for religious ones.
Written by Rabbi Dov Aaron Wise
ANSWERS 1. B 25:2 The word planting includes plowing. However, plowing might not be considered a negative commandment Talmud 2. B 25:2 Six years a person can plant, implying
By Rabbi Avi Shafran Contributing Columnist
JEWISH LIFE • 17
THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2012
Sedra of the Week
by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel - “The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you reside in my land as foreigners and strangers” (Lev.25:23). “You must not defile the Land upon which you live and in the midst of which I (God) dwell, since I (God), dwell in the midst of the children of Israel” (Numbers 35:34). The sacred Zohar teaches that the nation Israel, the Torah, and the Holy One Blessed be He are one. This suggests that the eternal God may be experienced and apprehended through those phenomena which are also perceived to be eternal. Since the covenantal nation Israel is eternal (by Divine oath, Genesis 15) and since the Torah is eternal, Israel, the Torah and God are inextricably linked by virtue of their common eternity. The land of Israel shares in this feature of eternity. The earth’s perennial cycles of birth, growth, decay, death and rebirth, express a movement of re-generation and renaissance which informs the very nature of the most primitive form of life. There are intimations of immortality in the earth’s movement from life to life: a fruit falls from the tree when it no longer requires the physical sustenance provided by attachment to the branch, and the tree re-births (regenerates) its fruit in the spring. The trees shed their leaves and fruits onto the earth, and when they decompose and merge with the earth, that very earth provides the necessary nutrients for the tree to continue to grow and bear fruit in the future. Plants leave their seeds in the ground, these continue to sprout plant life from the earth after the mother herb has been taken and eaten. And so the cycle of life, decay, death and rebirth is grounded in the eternal, infinite and natural dimension of the earth. In the words of the wisest of men, “one generation passes away and another generation arrives, but the earth abides forever” (Ecclesiastes 1:3). In a more national sense, it is
SHABBAT SHALOM: PARSHAT BEHARBEHUKOTAI • LEVITICUS 25:1– 27:34
The land of Israel shares in this feature of eternity. The earth’s perennial cycles of birth, growth, decay, death and rebirth, express a movement of re-generation and renaissance which informs the very nature of the most primitive form of life. the Biblical tradition to bury our dead in the earth, and specifically in the land of Israel. The Biblical idiom for death is, “And he was gathered to his nation, or his family,” for if one is buried in one’s homeland, one’s physical remains merge with the physical remains of one’s family members, of those who came and died before as well as of those who will follow in the future. Furthermore, the land of Israel is invested with a special metaphysical quality which is inextricably linked to Knesset Yisrael, historic Israel. The first Hebrew, Abraham, entered into the Covenant between the Pieces—the Divine mission of a nation founded on the principles of humans created in the image of God and the right of freedom for every individual—in the City of Hebron, and God’s promise of world peace and messianic redemption will be realized in the City of Jerusalem. The Cave of the Couples—Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah—was the very first acquisition by a Jew of land in Israel as the earthly resting place for the founders of our faith. At the very same time, it is also the womb of our future, a future informed by the ideas and ideals of our revered ancestors. “Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged; parents are the pride of their children” (Proverbs 17:6). It is for this reason that the Talmud maintains that only in Israel is there a true and authentic “community” (B.T. Horayot 3)— for only in Israel do we see the footprints of historic Israel, the sweep of the generations, the “common unity” of tradition, from Abraham to the Messiah; Israel formed, prophesied and taught its eternal traditions and continues to
live out its destiny within the land of Israel. Moreover, the eternal Torah is rooted and invested in the very earth, stones and vegetation of the land of Israel. This is true not only in terms of the Biblical covenantal promise which guarantees our constant relationship and eventual return to Israel; it is also true because of the myriad of mitzvot (commandments) embedded in its bedrock, its soil, and its agricultural produce. The seventh Sabbatical year provides free fruits and vegetables for anyone who wishes to take them; the “corners” of the field actually “belong” to the poor every day of the year, and they may come and reap their harvests; tithes from the land’s produce immediately go to the Kohen—Priest-teachers, the Levite Cantors, and the poor who share in the land of the rest of the nation. The land of Israel itself cries out to its inhabitants in the name of God: “The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you reside in my land as foreigners and strangers” (Leviticus 25:23). Hence God Himself, as it were, becomes inextricably linked —even “incorporated” or “in-corporeal-ized”, if you will—within the peoplehood, the land and the Torah of Israel, the very objects and subjects which express God’s will and out of which our essence and destiny is formed. Indeed, historic Israel, the land of Israel, the Torah of Israel and the Holy One Blessed be He, God of Israel and the universe are truly united in an eternal bond.
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18 • JEWZ IN THE NEWZ
By Nate Bloom Contributing Columnist NEW FLICKS “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” is a romantic comedy about five couples, with intertwined lives, who are all facing the challenges of impending parenthood. There are so many storylines that I cannot lay them out all here. Suffice it to say that 14 actors and actresses are given costarring billing, including Jennifer Lopez, Chris Rock and Dennis Quaid. The only Jewish thespian in the bunch is ELIZABETH BANKS, 38. The title, of course, is familiar — first published in 1984, the pregnancy guide of the same name as the film consistently tops the NY Times paperback best-seller list and has sold over 15 million copies, including updated versions. The guide’s co-authors, HEIDI MURKOFF and SHARON MAZEL are executive producers of the film, as is ERIK MURKOFF, Heidi’s husband since 1982 and the father of their two children. (He has a theater production background.) WHITNEY PORT, 27, the reality show star (“The Hills”), fashion designer, and author, has a cameo in the flick as herself (Opens May 18). Respected critics are virtually unanimous that “Darling Companion,” directed by LAWRENCE KASDAN, 63, and co-written by Kasdan and his wife, MEG GOLDMAN KASDAN, is not up to the standard of his best films, like “The Big Chill” and “Grand Canyon.” The plot: Diane Keaton co-stars as Beth, a woman who suffers from empty nest syndrome when her youngest daughter (Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men”) is on the cusp of leaving home. Her husband, Joseph (Kevin Kline), is a busy physician who isn’t super sensitive to Beth’s needs. Beth finds a stray dog and for a time that makes her happy. But the dog goes missing and Beth blames Joseph. Finally, they enlist a gypsy psychic (Israeli actress AYELET ZURER, 42) to help find the dog. The strong cast includes Richard Jenkins and Diane Wiest in supporting roles (Opens in Cincinnati on June 1). Kline and Kasdan, by the way, have known each other for 32 years and this is their sixth film together. Kline’s late father was Jewish, but he was raised in his mother’s Catholic faith. JESSE AND HASTY RETURN The Robert B. Parker mystery
novels featuring Police Chief Jesse Stone (Tom Selleck) have been turned into eight CBS television movies since 2006. The newest one, “Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt,” airs on CBS on Sunday, May 20, at 9 p.m. In this one, Stone finds himself struggling to get his police chief job back. He’s also attempting to work through a thicket of clues to solve a shocking mob-related double homicide. Veteran actor SAUL RUBINEK returns as Hastings Hathaway, a character he has played in five “Stone” movies. Hathaway is Stone’s unlikely friend: he’s a car dealer who once was a corrupt town councilman. Rubinek was born (1947) in a refugee camp in allied-occupied Germany. He grew up in Toronto. His parents survived the Holocaust because a family of Polish Catholic farmers hid them for over two years. Rubinek’s 1987 book, “So Many Miracles,” and PBS/CBC documentary of the same name, chronicled his parents’ reunion with their saviors. THE SUN’S NON-INTERVIEW “I’m pretty Jewish…when I’m in New York, I become superJew. When I’m in LA I’m like a California surfer girl.” So said actress MILA KUNIS, 27, in an interview she gave, a decade ago, to JVibe, a now defunct Jewish young people’s magazine. (The interview is still online. Google “Kunis” and “JVibe”.) This quote and other parts of the JVibe interview (including Kunis talking about anti-Semitism in the Ukraine, where she was born) were published in the awful Brit tabloid, “The Sun,” last week. The Sun didn’t credit JVibe and made the Kunis quotes look “brand new.” Frankly, I wasn’t surprised when a raft of Jewish and general media outlets fell (again) for the Sun “paste-job” and reported the quotes as coming from “the Sun’s interview with Kunis.” The Sun’s article was a sidebar to a recent poll of Sun readers in which they voted Kunis “the hottest woman in the world.” While I hate the “Sun,” I have to give kudos to their readers for recognizing that Kunis is very sexy even though she isn’t fair, tall, or buxom — like the winners of most “hottest woman” polls are. Yes, Kunis is objectively very attractive. But, her “hotness,” I think, comes from a certain “It” factor that includes more than her physical beauty. I know in that “hot mix” is a lot of acting talent, intelligence and likeability.
FROM THE PAGES 150 Y EARS A GO The first who paid in advance for The Israelite and Deborah to July 1, 1863, is as usual S. Morgenthau, Esq., of Cincinnati, O. — July 4, 1862
125 Y EARS A GO Mrs. Carl Weil and Miss Laura Adelsdorfer, of Richmond Street, attended the B.B. Convention in Louisville this week. Mr. I Trager, of the enterprising firm of Trager, Canmann & Loeb, distillers, has left for the East to look up their friends. Mr. and Mrs. Albert Netter are in New York City. Who says that the sons of German Jews are not as Americanized as the descendents of Hudson, Smith, Boone, Adams and Saterlee? Let him take it back. Read the reports of the Lexington races, and you will discover how that kind of young blood cleaned out old practitioners and carried off over $100,000 to the chagrin of all horseflesh experts with horse sense judgment of horse legs’ agility, whose grandfathers and great-grandfathers had grown up among horses in the western wilds. The “Jew horse,” backed by that young blood, swept the whole clean and dry. Are not those men Americanized enough to all intents and purposes? We feel sorry over this victory, “one more such victory and we are lost;” for from the Jewish standpoint all money made by gambling or betting of any kind is unjustly gotten lucre, that brings no good luck to the house, and may be the beginning of a man’s ruinous career. Hence that kind of betting is not Jewish; it is purely American; they are Americanized surely. — May 20, 1887
Temple Sabbath Schools in the capacity of Principal of the down-town school. When he left here a month ago for Brooklyn, Prof. Geismar received numerous token of his popularity and efficiency from many friends and admirers. — May 16, 1912
75 Y EARS A GO Ten rabbis will be ordained at graduation exercises of the Hebrew Union College Saturday, May 22nd, at 2:30 p.m. They will be ordained by Dr. Julian Morganstern, president, bringing the total ordained by him to 189, the most ordained by one rabbi in the United States. With this ordination, the total of H.U.C. graduates will be 411. Dr. Abraham B. Rhine of Hot Springs, Ark., will be baccalaureate speaker. He graduated at H.U.C. in 1902 and has just celebrated his 35th anniversary in his present post at Congregation House of Israel, in Hot Springs. The graduating class is: Morton A, Bauman, B.A., Detroit. Edward Ellenbogen, Ph.B., Chicago. Alexander P. Feinsilver, B.A., Brooklyn. Joseph L. Ginsberg, B.A., Louisville. Alexander D. Goode, B.A., High Point, N.C. Louis A. Josephson, B.A., Philadelphia. David Lefkowitz, Jr.B.A., Dallas. Bernard D. Rosenberg, B.A., Cleveland Heights, O. Samuel Sandmel, B.A. St. Louis. David. D. Shor B.A., Dallas. — May 20, 1937
50 Y EARS A GO 100 Y EARS A GO Mrs. Max Karlruher and family from Springer, N.M. are visiting Mr. and Mrs. Isidor Mendel. An event of more than usual interest in local social circles is the engagement, which has just been announced, of Miss Sara Feinstein, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Feinstein, 603 West Rockdale Avenue, Avondale, to Prof. Siegfried Geismar, Superintendent of the Brooklyn, N.Y. Hebrew Orphan Asylum. In addition to a charming personality and superior intellectual accomplishments, Miss Feinstein is widely known and esteemed for her efficiency as one of the supervisors of the Cincinnati School for the Deaf and the Foreign Department of the Night Schools. Miss Feinstein is the Principal of the Plum Street Temple Sabbath Schools and is the author of “A Teacher’s Text Book for Sabbath Schools, ” published by the Synagogue and School Extension Department of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, and which is meeting with great success. Mr. Geismar was until recently professor of the German Department of Woodward High School, and was associated with the Plum Street
Mr. and Mrs. Jack Skolnick, 1635 Don Rich Court, announce the forthcoming Bar Mitzvah of their son, Michael, Saturday, May 26, at 9 a.m., at Ohav Shalom Synagogue 1834 Section Road. Friends and relatives are invited to worship with the family. A Kiddush luncheon will follow the services. Friends and relatives are invited. Michael is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Max Becker and Mr. and Mrs. Louis Skolnick, all of New York City. The Ohio-Kentucky Regional Board of the Anti-Defamation League held its 13th annual meeting May 5-6, in Columbus. Oscar Cohen, national director of the ADL Program division spoke. The following Cincinnatians were elected tot he Regional Board for the first time; Morris Barron, Mrs. William Frankenstein, Mrs. I Koshover, Mrs. Elias Levine. Re-elected to the regional board; Mrs. Abe Bremen, Baron H. Gold, Colman Hanish, Donald Harris, Leonard Kirschner, Robert S. Kraft, Ralph Lazarus, Morris Levin, Charles Messer, Philip M. Meyers, Sr., Miss Goldie Monches, Irvin Rauchman,
Bernard Rosenberg, Solomon Reich, Judge Benjamin S. Schwartz, Mrs. Bernard Siegel, Ben Simkin, Stanley Smith, Jr., Nathan Spector, Mrs. Fred Wacksman, Stuart Warshauer, Louis Weiland, Mrs. Louis Wise. — May 17, 1962
25 Y EARS A GO The Jewish Community Center’s 48th annual Day of Fun Scholarship Endownment Festival will take place Sunday, June 28, announced Dr. Jerrold M. Kirzner and Arlene Solomon, co-chairmen. Although two decades have passed since the extraordinary events of June 7, 1967, Rabbi Gil Nativ still remembers them with startling accuracy. “When we first entered the Old City, everybody felt something. Whether religious of irreligious, no matter how observant, we all knew Jewish history, knew what Jerusalem always meant and what this place always meant to the Jewish people.” The paratrooper-turned-congregational rabbi hesitates, gazing out the second floor window of the Hebrew Union College-Institute of Religion student lounge. His thoughts seem to drift thousands of miles eastward and 20 years into the past, to that fateful day when the 55 Parachute Brigade wrested the Old City of Jerusalem from Jordanian rule. Reflections of that hot summer’s day, the third day in the Six Day War, still stir Nativ considerably. — May 21, 1987
10 Y EARS A GO Nina Paul and Karen Cohen hosted a special Sapphire Society luncheon at the Cincinnati Museum of Art May 6 for the Jewish National Fund. H. Jerome Lerner and Bobbie L. Sterne are among four community leaders that will be honored by the National Conference of Community and Justice at its 52nd annual awards dinner Thursday, May 23, at the Hyatt Regency. Dr. Roy Albert, 78, scientist in the field of cancer research, succumbed to pancreatic cancer at his home March 25. Dr. Albert was born in New York City. He was a son of the late Arthur and Julia (Cohen) Albert. Dr. Albert is survived by his wife of 56 years, Abigail Albert, and his children, Dr. Daniel and Nancy Albert of Philadelphia, PA, Julie Albert and Elizabeth Albert of New York, and Lucy and Tom Bermingham of London, England. Also surviving Dr. Albert are his grandchildren, Justin and Lexi Albert; and Tara Blakeley, Douglas, and Kyle Bermingham. Dr. Albert, director of the Department of Environmental Health at the University of Cincinnati from 1985-1994, and then professor emeritus, was a scientist in the field of cancer research for over 50 years, and just last year, received a large grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). — May 16, 2002
THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2012
CLASSIFIEDS • 19
COMMUNITY DIRECTORY COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS Access (513) 373-0300 • jypaccess.org Big Brothers/Big Sisters Assoc. (513) 761-3200 • bigbrobigsis.org Camp Ashreinu (513) 702-1513 Camp at the J (513) 722-7258 • mayersonjcc.org Camp Livingston (513) 793-5554 • camplivingston.com Cedar Village (513) 754-3100 • cedarvillage.org Chevra Kadisha (513) 396-6426 Cincinnati Community Mikveh 513-351-0609 • cincinnatimikveh.org Fusion Family (513) 703-3343 • fusionnati.org Halom House (513) 791-2912 • halomhouse.com Hillel Jewish Student Center (513) 221-6728 • hillelcincinnati.org Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Cincinnati 513-961-0178 • jcemcin.org Jewish Community Center (513) 761-7500 • mayersonjcc.org Jewish Community Relations Council (513) 985-1501 Jewish Family Service (513) 469-1188 • jfscinti.org Jewish Federation of Cincinnati (513) 985-1500 • shalomcincy.org Jewish Foundation (513) 514-1200 Jewish Information Network (513) 985-1514 Jewish Vocational Service (513) 985-0515 • jvscinti.org Kesher (513) 766-3348 Plum Street Temple Historic Preservation Fund (513) 793-2556 Shalom Family (513) 703-3343 • myshalomfamily.org The Center for Holocaust & Humanity Education (513) 487-3055 • holocaustandhumanity.org Vaad Hoier (513) 731-4671 Workum Fund (513) 899-1836 • workum.org YPs at the JCC (513) 761-7500 • mayersonjcc.org
CONGREGATIONS Adath Israel Congregation (513) 793-1800 • adath-israel.org Beit Chaverim (513) 984-3393 Beth Israel Congregation (513) 868-2049 • bethisraelcongregation.net Congregation Beth Adam (513) 985-0400 • bethadam.org Congregation B’nai Tikvah (513) 759-5356 • bnai-tikvah.org Congregation B’nai Tzedek (513) 984-3393 • bnaitzedek.us Congregation Ohav Shalom (513) 489-3399 • ohavshalom.org
Congregation Ohr Chadash (513) 252-7267 • ohrchadashcincinnati.com Congregation Sha’arei Torah shaareitorahcincy.org Congregation Zichron Eliezer 513-631-4900 • czecincinnati.org Golf Manor Synagogue (513) 531-6654 • golfmanorsynagogue.org Isaac M. Wise Temple (513) 793-2556 • wisetemple.org Kehilas B’nai Israel (513) 761-0769 Northern Hills Synagogue (513) 931-6038 • nhs-cba.org Rockdale Temple (513) 891-9900 • rockdaletemple.org Temple Beth Shalom (513) 422-8313 • tbsohio.org Temple Sholom (513) 791-1330 • templesholom.net The Valley Temple (513) 761-3555 • valleytemple.com
EDUCATION Chai Tots Early Childhood Center (513) 234.0600 • chaitots.com Chabad Blue Ash (513) 793-5200 • chabadba.com Cincinnati Hebrew Day School (513) 351-7777 • chds.shul.net HUC-JIR (513) 221-1875 • huc.edu JCC Early Childhood School (513) 793-2122 • mayersonjcc.org Kehilla - School for Creative Jewish Education (513) 489-3399 • kehilla-cincy.com Mercaz High School (513) 792-5082 x104 • mercazhs.org Kulanu (Reform Jewish High School) 513-262-8849 • kulanucincy.org Regional Institute Torah & Secular Studies (513) 631-0083 Rockwern Academy (513) 984-3770 • rockwernacademy.org
ORGANIZATIONS American Jewish Committee (513) 621-4020 • ajc.org American Friends of Magen David Adom (513) 521-1197 • afmda.org B’nai B’rith (513) 984-1999 BBYO (513) 722-7244 Hadassah (513) 821-6157 • cincinnati.hadassah.org Jewish Discovery Center (513) 234.0777 • jdiscovery.com Jewish National Fund (513) 794-1300 • jnf.org Jewish War Veterans (513) 204-5594 • jwv.org NA’AMAT (513) 984-3805 • naamat.org National Council of Jewish Women (513) 891-9583 • ncjw.org State of Israel Bonds (513) 793-4440 • israelbonds.com Women’s American ORT (513) 985-1512 • ortamerica.org.org
DO YOU WANT TO PLACE A CLASSIFIED? Send an e-mail including what you would like in your classified & your contact information to
JCC from page 3 Access will also host a YP only kosher, vegan Indian lunch buffet, at noon prior to the keynote address. This lunch is free with advance reservations. The two largest Jewish communities in the world are in the U.S. and Israel, but what do they share in common, and where do they diverge? Discover what the future holds for the relationship between CHABAD from page 4 But first, don’t miss out on Chabad’s popular “Sleepless in Cincinnati.” Saturday night, May 26, Chabad Jewish Center will offer its annual Shavuot Torahdiscovery seminar on the inner dimension of G-d’s Torah and the mystical Kabbalistic teachings of the holiday. Study sessions will be conducted throughout the night by Rabbi Yisroel Mangel and Rabbi Yitzchok Lifshitz, as well as by special guest scholars who will be present for the NATIONAL from page 6 Vidal would not offer specifics, but prompted by interviewer Wolf Blitzer, she said the “Cuban Five” — five agents jailed or on probation in the United States for espionage charges — were a concern. “Cuba has legitimate concerns, humanitarian concerns related to the situation of the Cuban Five,” she said. Vidal said the Cuban system does not allow for a humanitarian release for Gross, who was sentenced last year to 15 years on espionage charges related to his U.S. State Department-backed project to hook Cuba’s Jews into the Internet. “It is not conceived in the Cuban system that persons in this situation can be allowed to travel abroad,” she said. Gross has asked to visit his cancer-stricken 90-year-old mother. JDC appoints Darrell Friedman interim CEO NEW YORK (JTA) — The American Jewish Joint
• • • • •
Up to 24 hour care Meal Preparation Errands/Shopping Hygiene Assistance Light Housekeeping
(513) 531-9600 these two parts of the Jewish world in “One Nation, Two Hearts.” Yair Cohen, Community Shaliach (Emissary) from Israel, will examine these questions in his thoughtprovoking workshop. Yair is primarily responsible for strengthening the bond between Israel and our local Cincinnati community. He has a master’s degree in political science from Tel Aviv University and a bachelor’s degree in Jewish philosophy from Hebrew University. traditional all-night study program. Sessions will expound on subjects such as “The Real Big Bang— When Heaven Touched Earth” and “The Significant Role of Women and the Holiday of Shavuot.” The tradition dates back to the night prior to G-d giving the Torah. Instead of spending time to prepare themselves spiritually for the greatest revelation to ever occur, the Jewish people went to sleep. This was an affront to G-d. Therefore, on the first night of Shavuot, Jews customarily stay awake all night studying Torah. Distribution Committee named Darrell Friedman as interim CEO following the abrupt resignation of longtime CEO Steven Schwager. Schwager, who had been at the helm of the JDC for 10 years, announced last Friday that he’d be stepping down as CEO effective June 30. Friedman, a Jewish organizational consultant who served for 17 years as the CEO of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, has been working with the JDC for the past nine years as an in-house senior consultant to Schwager, according to the JDC. He will start his interim position on July 1. “Darrell’s proven leadership and expertise, along with his years of experience with JDC, will be of great value to our organization over the coming months as we continue to address the critical challenges faced by Jews worldwide,” JDC’s president, Penny Blumenstein, said in a statement on Tuesday. Friedman will also serve as an adviser to the JDC board’s international search committee for a new CEO.
20 • TRAVEL
Istanbul, Turkey: Where East meets West Wandering Jew
by Janet Steinberg Who would have dreamed it? Certainly, I could not have! As a young girl, bored to death in a geography class that spoke of sultans, straits, and seven continents, I could never have dreamed where I would be six decades later. But there I was…sitting in a genuine Ottoman Sultan’s palace on the continent of Europe, overlooking a panoramic view of the majestic Bosphorus Strait, and gazing at the coastline of the continent of Asia, an almost veritable stone’s throw away. Yes, moments after checking into the incredible Ciragan Palace Kempinski, that is exactly what I was doing. The regal 5-star Ciragan Palace Kempinski Hotel, situated on the European shores of the Bosphorus and overlooking the ancient city of Istanbul, allowed me to fantasize about the luxury and glamour of living in a genuine Ottoman Palace. With its splendid style, superb location, fascinating view, and resort ambiance, the hotel gave me an unforgettable stay in the enchanting, mystical city where East meets West, Europe meets Asia, and the past meets the present. Budgetary limitations kept mere mortals like myself in one of the 1990s hotel rooms adjacent to the original palace. However, royalty, dignitaries and superstars can opt for the Sultan Suite, one of 11 suites in the actual restored palace. The Ciragan Palace’s 4050square-foot Sultan Suite ($50,000 per night) is one of the largest hotel suites in Europe. The needs of those privileged to occupy the Sultan Suite are met 24 hours a day by their personal butler. With its beautiful décor, decorative fireplaces, flamboyant chandeliers, artsy columns, floor to ceiling windows giving an extraordinary Bosphorus view, the magnificent Sultan Suite combines the best of today’s modernism (like 65-inch TVs) with classic Ottoman architecture to recreate the splendor of the Palace. When it came time for my first dinner in Istanbul, I chose to heed the advice of my colleague, the
late great author James Michener. The renowned writer, whom I met many years ago on a transAtlantic crossing, said: “If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.” Since I did not choose to stay home, I chose to take Michener’s advice and headed straight to Tugra Restaurant in the historical Palace for a dinner of traditional Ottoman cuisine. Tugra served me a palatepleasing, classic Ottoman dinner that included traditional mezzes (appetizers), Mushroom Baklava, and Morel Mushroom-Lamb Cheek in Casserole. The dinner culminated with a lovely young lady wheeling out a “Macun” cart from which she made the traditional fruit-flavored Ottoman candy. Formerly sold by street vendors, this Turkish-style lollipop is now served to Tugra guests to end their evening with sweet dreams. And, as if this was not enough to make me yearn to return to Ciragan Palace, I would eagerly go back just for a swim in the hotel’s heated year-round infinity swimming pool that appeared to overflow into the Bosphorus, or to indulge myself with the Laledan Restaurant’s incredible buffet breakfast. Both of which are among the finest in the world. After a night’s rest it was time to explore Istanbul, a city of more than 13-million people and approximately 3,000 active Muslim mosques. Formerly known as Byzantium and Constantinople, it is the only city in the world that straddles two continents (Europe and Asia) and is embraced by two seas (Aegean and Black) and the connecting Bosphorus Strait. Don’t even think about renting a car and driving yourself in this vibrant, colorful city, where some consider traffic lights as mere street decorations. On a previous visit, my guide told me: “Our traffic is better than in Cairo, but worse than that in Rome.” The best way to go is on a tour…a Plan Tour. Plan Tours, Gray Line’s Licensee for Turkey, is Istanbul’s local expert when it comes to touring. On day one, I opted for the full-day Byzantine and Ottoman Relics tour. On day two, I hopped on Plan’s HO-HO (hop-on, hopoff) double-decker tour bus and circled the city a couple of times. Once around was not enough to soak up the atmosphere of Istanbul. Highlights of my tours in Istanbul included the following not-to-be missed sights: Sultan Ahmet Mosque, also called The Blue Mosque, takes its name from its walls that are
adorned with more than 20,000 blue Iznik tiles. Its six minarets pierce Istanbul’s skyline. The lowhanging chain across the entrance to the courtyard was put there so that only the sultan could enter the court on horseback. Hagia Sophia, once a Christian cathedral, and then a Muslim mosque, is now a museum. Its awesome massive dome, exquisite mosaics, and huge lustration marble urns carved from a single block of marble, are among the museum’s memorable features. Topkapi Palace Museum is one of the most impressive monuments in Istanbul. A visit to The Treasury (Hazine) is a must. Here you will find the bejeweled Topkapi Dagger as seen in the 1964 movie Topkapi; a 6.5-pound emerald, the largest uncut emerald in the world; and the 86-carat Spoon Maker’s diamond. Neve Shalom Synagogue, located in the Galata district of Istanbul, is the largest and most famous synagogue in Istanbul. There are 16 synagogues in Istanbul serving approximately 25,000 Jews. All but one of the synagogues are Sephardic. The Grand Bazaar (Capali Carsi) reveals the largest shopping center in the world. The diverse atmosphere of the bazaar, with all its hustle-and-bustle, is a maze of stalls and overlapping aromas of spices, leather and food. After a long day of touring in Istanbul, it was time for another memorable dinner. From Cipriani to Cipriani was my plan! My friend Harry (Arrigo) Cipriani, of Harry’s Bar fame (in Venice) had recently opened the Cipriani Istanbul Restaurant in the Istanbul Edition Hotel. What fun, I thought, to end my stay in Istanbul with dinner at Cipriani Istanbul, and then to end my Crystal Serenity Aegean Dream Cruise (that was sailing the next day from Istanbul to Venice) with dinner at Cipriani’s Harry’s Bar in Venice. And so I did just that. I do not need a menu when I dine at any of Harry Cipriani’s restaurants around the world. Just start me out with Harry’s traditional Bellini aperitif. Next, serve me some Carpaccio Cipriani, and a plate of Black Risotto. Whatever follows, really doesn’t matter. I’m already in heaven. Cipriani Istanbul combines the Cipriani heritage along with the relaxed joie de vivre of Istanbul’s café society. Istanbul, the exotic intriguing city that has been the capital of three empires and countless cultures, is “Istan-cool.” (Top-bottom) Hagia Sophia, once a cathedral and then a mosque, is now a museum; Street vendors selling Turkish coffee; Topkapi Palace now home to the dazzling Topkapi Dagger.
Janet Steinberg is an award-winning Travel Writer and International Travel Consultant.
FIRST PERSON • 21
THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2012
Engaging people impact our lives Incidentally Iris
by Iris Ruth Pastor When my son Frank was dating, I asked him what qualities he was looking for in a young woman and he responded that he was seeking someone “who was engaging.” It was a word I seldom used so I stopped to ponder the implications of the meaning of that particular adjective and looked up its definition. According to various websites, “engaging” can be defined as tending to draw favorable attention
or interest. Some synonyms for engaging are pleasing, charming, winning, likable and captivating. I must admit that I am continuously drawn to engaging people— people, who in my estimation, go beyond what is generally called for and enter the realm of extended effort—beyond what is expected or even sought. I don’t know her name but I encountered her in one of the ladies’ rooms recently at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina. A middle-aged woman—stout but not fat —she sported an unlined face and an award-winning smile that matched the twinkle in her chocolate brown eyes. She was the paid attendant in the public powder room—a genteel touch that I find hugely appealing. Her presence in the restroom was designed to make everything run smoothly—recalling an era of refinement and gentleness that we rarely see in our
speeded-up, pared-down, pulledin-ten-different-directions-at-once life. Her workstation not only overflowed with accoutrements one might need while visiting the ladies’ room, but also displayed an overflowing bowl of hard candy – a welcome addition to my starving body. (Who gets served food anymore on connecting, short flights?) And if that was not worthy of getting my attention, her melodious singing surely did. I made eye contact, thanked her profusely and left a generous tip – more to communicate my appreciation for her doing her job with such vigor and gusto rather than for the actual services rendered to me. Still keeping my eye open for engaging people, another gentleman caught my attention. He does things on a much grander scale than the powder room attendant but also, like her, does them in a winning and captivating manner. Harold Grinspoon
—an octogenarian who grew up poor—entered the working world with little formal education and suffering from dyslexia. After amassing a fortune in real estate, he became interested in giving back to Jewish causes. Grinspoon was inspired by an NPR program he happened to hear on Dolly Parton’s giving books to disadvantaged families. Grinspoon had never read to his own children when they were young and so, shortly thereafter—while on an airplane flight—he was captivated by a father comforting his crying child by reading to him. That same spring, while sitting at the Passover seder at his son’s home, he watched his daughter-in-law give Jewish themed picture books to each of the guests. A germ of an idea took hold and with growing enthusiasm, he gave his daughterin-law $500 and asked her to purchase as many Jewish books as she could find. Grinspoon was mesmerized by
the quality of the books and their contents and dispatched an assistant to consult with Jewish educators and institutions, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, and book packing companies. From this fact-finding mission, a major initiative was born: PJ Library—a non-profit which at present time gives away over 97,000 books per month to families raising Jewish children—in 170 communities across the United States and Canada—in partnership with other Jewish agencies and institutions. What did I learn from these two very different people? That no matter our circumstances, we can all make a difference. Our actions can have impact. By doing our jobs and leading our lives in an engaging way—by following our bliss with vigor—we can be memorable, remarkable and noteworthy.
A group of comedians (including Jackie Mason) at the Grossinger’s hotel during the heyday of the “Borscht Belt.”
Americans learn about Judaism. “It was a way to keep traditions while still adapting, not assimilating, but adapting,” Brown told JointMedia News Service. “People did want to keep their Jewish culture alive and this was a way to do it. Certainly for the earlier times there were many people who went to the hotels who spoke primarily Yiddish, they only ate kosher, they confronted a world with a lot of anti-Semitism and they couldn’t even go to resorts. It was like having an American vacation but with all the Jewish trimmings.” Brown said the people running the Catskills resorts came up with the idea of the all-inclusive vacation that cruise ships later copied. “For a lot of people, especially in the early years at the smaller hotels, it was just a place to get away to, to be in the country,” Brown said. Brown explained that in the
1960s, a Jewish migration to Miami and Los Angeles helped bring about the end of the Borscht Belt’s heyday. “Jews were moving around and becoming much more geographically mobile,” he said. “Family structures changed and people were not so tied to their extended families anymore. At the same time the divorce rate changed. By the 1980s and 1990s you also had a lot of intermarriages, so it didn’t make so much sense to go to this intensely Jewish community.” At the end of the day, what did the Borscht Belt give to the world? “The essence of the Jewish ethos in all its myriad forms,” Myrna Katz Frommer said. “Faith, humor, in all its irony and pathos, ambition, romance. Lenny Bruce used to say ‘If you live in New York, you’re Jewish, even if you aren’t.’ That applied to the Borscht Belt. In a way, it says it all.”
Grunhut’s Brooklyn home. Activists also called grocery stores in New York City-area Jewish neighborhoods and asked them to stop carrying Flaum products. Hart said Uri L’Tzedek successfully convinced popular supermarkets on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, including Fairway and Barzini, to drop the products. In total, Uri L’Tzedek and Focus on the Food Chain say they recruited 120 stores to the boycott. Grunhut says the number of boycotting stores was far smaller. The campaign’s biggest suc-
cess came last fall, when Uri L’Tzedek persuaded the Israeli dairy producer Tnuva to stop doing business with Flaum. Grunhut tells a different story than the workers and their supporters, but said he is glad to settle. He said the workers were not fired but rather “walked out” of their jobs voluntarily, and that the issue of overtime pay was a “gray area.” He also said the NLRB, which in January determined that Grunhut did not have enough evidence to allege that the workers are undocumented,
did not provide him sufficient opportunity to confirm their status. Grunhut said he agreed to settle the dispute primarily because he wants “to do business, not litigating.” He also recognized the value of Hart’s efforts. “Ari is a nice guy and he was very helpful in reaching this agreement,” Grunhut said. Hart said that he appreciated the chance to talk to Grunhut. “It’s a win-win. The workers will get the money, Moshe [Grunhut] will have done the right thing,” Hart said. “It’s a victory
for the power of activism.” Workers like Maria Corona are pleased with the outcome. “I felt that they understood my concerns,” Corona, 36, said about the Uri L’Tzedek activists. “We finally arrived at justice.” The group’s Flaum activism is the largest role played by Uri L’Tzedek in a major workers’ rights dispute, according to Hart. Uri L’Tzedek’s most wellknown campaign is its Tav HaYosher, an “ethical seal” certification of fair labor practices for kosher eateries and markets.
largest Jewish community in central Europe. “The gravity of the situation is unprecedented in the past two decades of Hungarian democracy,”
Rabbi Shlomo Koves told The Associatied Press. “Although the safety and well-being of Hungarian Jews in their daily life is not physically in danger — or no worse than
in any other European country — anti-Semitic public speech has escalated to a point which cannot be ignored by a single decent person.” Rabbi Andrew Baker, the repre-
sentative on anti-Semitism to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said it is not simple to gauge the extent and impact of anti-Semitism in Hungary.
BELT from page 6 Horner said the kids now take cruises, and go to Europe or Cancun. “Grandma and grandpa passed away, so it didn’t have the same family feeling anymore,” she said. Phil Brown knows the Catskills and fondly remembers Horner’s visit to speak at the Catskills Institute. He worked in the resorts as a young man and now is a professor at Brown University as well as director of the Catskills Institute, an organization that promotes research and education on the significance of the Catskills for American Jewish life. His books include “Catskill Culture: A Mountain Rat’s Memories of the Great Jewish Resort Area” and “In the Catskills: A Century of the Jewish Experience in The Mountains.” Even though the push was to become Americanized, the phenomenon that was the Catskills helped PHONE CALL from page 8 The Hart-Grunhut phone call capped an intensive campaign by Uri L’Tzedek in conjunction with a coalition for food workers’ rights, Focus on the Food Chain. Focus, which had learned of Uri L’Tzedek’s work on labor practices in the kosher world, reached out to the group for assistance. Uri L’Tzedek took the cause to the Jewish community in the fall of 2010. Uri L’Tzedek and Focus activists protested outside HUNGARY from page 9 These developments have ratcheted up the anxiety level for Hungary’s 100,000 Jews, the
Courtesy of Jackie Horner
Keep Coping, Iris Ruth Pastor
22 • OBITUARIES D EATH N OTICES BRENNER, Claire, age 95, died on May 11, 2012; 19 Iyar, 5772. GOLDBERG, Lynne (Leah), age 91, died on May 13, 2012; 21 Iyar, 5772. SPITZBERG, David, age 94, died on May 13, 2012; 21 Iyar, 5772. KAUFMAN, Florence
O BITUARIES Florence Kaufman, age 94, passed away on May 1, 2012—the 10th day of Iyar, 5772. Born in 1917 to parents who owned a grocery store in Cincinnati’s West End, her family moved to Avondale when she was a teen, and she graduated from Hughes High School and attended the University of Cincinnati.
She left college to work in the family business, then married Samuel Kaufman in 1937 and moved to Wilmington, Ohio, where they ran a clothing store. They moved to the Cincinnati area in 1955, and she lived in the same home in Amberley Village for the next 57 years. “She was a natural leader, confident, gutsy, with a keen strategic mind. She was a get-things-done kind of woman, the volunteer extraordinaire that any organization dreams to have working on their behalf,” commented Jane Shure, Mrs. Kaufman’s daughter-in-law. One of her greatest passions was boosting and promoting promising young musicians and singers. Mrs. Kaufman played an invaluable role fostering musical arts and Jewish culture in Cincinnati from the 1950s on. According to a founding member, Mrs. Kaufman is one of the main reasons the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra is alive. “Florence Kaufman was one of those great missionaries of the arts,” said Jorja Fleezanis, a violin professor in Bloomington, Ind., who was founding concertmaster of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra in the 1970s. Fleezanis explained how Mrs. Kaufman did multiple tasks for the orchestra, from setting up its board of directors, to obtaining donors, promoting and arranging perform-
ances, and even selling tickets. For decades, Mrs. Kaufman and her husband held subscriptions to the Cincinnati Symphony and the Cincinnati Pops. With the couple sitting in the front row, “We were in arm’s reach of each other,” said Sylvia Samis, a CSO violinist and longtime friend. She also was a friend of the Cincinnati Opera and arranged for important visiting singers to perform at Plum Street Temple, Isaac M. Wise Temple and other area venues. Mrs. Kaufman was the chair of the music committee at Wise Temple, and in this role she established music series featuring major artists, such as Sherrill Milnes, a world-renown baritone. “She was a one-person crew who did things far beyond liturgical music,” said her son Bob Kaufman, a real estate developer in Philadelphia. “She found out that Sherrill Milnes knew something about Jewish music so – bingo! – my mother got him to agree to do a concert at Plum Street Temple.” She also was involved with the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, and she actively promoted diversity in the arts. She hosted parties for nationally known African American artists who performed in the symphony’s Open Door series. In an article printed in the Huffington Post, daughter-in-law and contributing writer, Jane Shure wrote, “My mother-in-law was ahead of her time. If she had grown up in my generation, she would have been a highly successful businesswoman. There were a number of things that activated her to feel passionate and excited, the primary one being when women she knew would achieve and succeed. From my own vantage point, I strongly sensed her angst at not being able to have more access to getting paid for what she was worth and gleaning respect that comes with compensation.” Mrs. Kaufman was preceded in death by her husband, Samuel Kaufman, in 1997. Mrs. Kaufman is survived by her children, Ivan Kaufman, of Cincinnati and Bob (JaneShure) Kaufman, of Philadelphia, Pa., her grandchildren, Kasey Shure Kaufman and Madeline Shure Kaufman, and her nieces, Cheri Maslov Rothschild, of Hollywood, Fla., Nancy Maslov Lipp, of Miami, Fla., and Gayle Maslov Kwasman, of Chicago, Ill. Services were held on Friday, May 4, at Weil Funeral Home. Memorials can be made to the Cincinnati Symphony, 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, Ohio 45202; to Isaac M. Wise Temple, 8329 Ridge Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45236; or to Adath Israel Congregation, 3201 East Galbraith Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45236.
RABBI from page 8 After 25 years of being allowed to be creative, have ideas, and experiment with a congregation willing to accept her vision, she says, “I retired voluntarily because I believe you should leave when people still like you. I worship at my temple, but I sit in the pews, in the last row, and I’m enjoying the view from the pew.” One early challenge Priesand faced was being accepted to officiate funerals. “Very often people would say, ‘My father was traditional—how can I have a woman rabbi at his funeral,’” she recalls. In cases like these, Rabbi Klein’s firm stance helped people adjust; he told congregants, “Rabbi Priesand is the rabbi, and she will do the funeral. If you don’t take her, you’re not going to get anybody from this synagogue.” Looking back on the 40 years since her ordination, Priesand notes several ways women have changed the rabbinate. First, women have a different style of leadership that emphasizes networking and partnership, and this has initiated a rethinking of the top-down models that used to predominate. “When I grew up or even when I came to the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, it was a generation in which the rabbi controlled everything and did everything,” Priesand recalls. “The rabbi would just say, ‘This is what we are going to do,’ and everyone would say, ‘Yes, rabbi.’” By contrast, Priesand says she always has given her congregants the opportunity to COALITION from page 10 But it could cost Netanyahu in October 2013 if Likud wins the election, Kadima fares poorly and Netanyahu needs the haredi parties to form a coalition. Those considerations, political analysts say, will mitigate whatever changes are made to haredi exemptions. Some other factors are at play, too. For one thing, while in princiDEMANDS from page 10 He said even the colors of the computer-generated drawing matched that of the photo he had but declined to go into the origins of the photo to protect his source. In Tehran on Sunday, Saeed Jalili, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, said it was up to the Western nations coming to the Baghdad talks to “build trust of the Iranian nation,” adding, “Any kind of miscalculation by the West will block success of the talks.” Attempts to get an Iranian comment on the matter were unsuccessful. A copy of the diagram was attached to an email sent to Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s chief delegate to the IAEA, with a note that
express their opinions, even when they are different from her own. Secondly, she says women have brought new ways of looking at Judaism, including a new perspective on divinity. “They emphasized that God embodies characteristics both masculine and feminine,” says Priesand. Women have also influenced changes in prayer language, making it more gender neutral. “For me, one of the important things is to address God as ‘you,’ not ‘he’ or ‘she,’ because there is a distance there,” says Priesand. “‘You’ is a very intimate way of addressing God, and it has been very helpful for me in liturgy I’ve created or things I’ve done here at the temple: it’s like you’re talking to a friend, not a distant personage.” Finally, the existence of more female rabbis has allowed Jewish women to discover new role models. Priesand admires Regina Jonas, who was ordained privately in the 1930s in Germany—but not by the seminary, because the Talmud professor refused to give his okay. Rabbi Jonas served primarily in homes for the elderly and later died in a concentration camp. Says Priesand, “I am technically the first woman in the world to be ordained by a theological seminary, but she really was the first, and I always feel that whenever we talk about these issues, we bring honor to her memory.” Despite progress in these areas, few women have become senior rabbis, and work is being done on equal pay and all forms of sexual harassment. But whereas no
woman has been president or chair of the Union for Reform Judaism, Rabbi Linda Henry Goodman recently became the first female president of the New York Board of Rabbis. The Central Conference of American Rabbis has already had two female presidents, and HUC is bringing in women as faculty members and has had one woman chair its board of governors. Regarding what the private lives of female rabbis are like, Priesand says that is up to each individual woman. When she was in rabbinical school, she intended to get married and have children, and planned to have a nursery next to her synagogue office. Reality turned out to be different. “When I got out in the real world, I realized that I just couldn’t do that; I would be torn between my family and my congregation,” she says. “But I can look back and know that all the children of the synagogue are in a sense my children and I’ve had an influence.” Priesand says the satisfactions of her journey have far outweighed the obstacles—noting the opportunity to be welcomed into people’s lives at the most significant times, and the gratefulness she feels at having helped open doors for women. “But at the same time,” she says, “let’s not forget the larger mission: to take the words and values of Torah and make them holy and make the world a better place for everyone, because I do believe we are partners with God in completing the world.”
ple most Israelis would like haredim to be subject to the same requirements of service demanded of all other Israelis, in practice the army does not want a sudden flood of tens of thousands of new haredi recruits. The Israel Defense Forces lacks the infrastructure to absorb them, both in numbers and operationally. What would the army do with 10,000 new recruits who are religiously opposed to significant interaction with female instructors? Also, a dramatic transforma-
tion of the relationship between haredim and the state would run up against opposition not only from haredi parties in the Knesset but from haredi citizens. They would see the sudden change as a broadside against their way of life, and mass demonstrations and even riots likely would ensue. It would make the haredi riots against parking lots opening on Shabbat and a Modern Orthodox girls’ school in Beit Shemesh seem like child’s play.
the AP would be asking for a reaction. Subsequent phone calls over the weekend went to his voice mail. The technology used for the suspected multipoint explosives trigger experiments is similar to that employed in manufacturing tiny industrialized diamonds, and the IAEA believes former Soviet scientist Vyacheslav Danilenko— an expert in such diamond-making—helped Iran with designing the chamber. Diplomats say Danilenko has told the agency that he did not work on such a chamber, but his son-inlaw, identified by the diplomats as Vladimir Padalko, told the IAEA that the container was built under Danilenko’s direct supervision. Repeated attempts by media organ-
izations to contact the two men have been unsuccessful since the IAEA revealed Danilenko’s suspected involvement in November. “What one does inside such a chamber is conduct high explosives testing,” said Mark Fitzpatrick, director of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Program of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. “You are going to make something go boom with maybe 70 kilograms [154 pounds] of high explosives, you need to contain the explosion.” “And particularly if you are using uranium, which is reportedly the case, you want to contain all the uranium dust so there’s not any telltale, observable signals of that experimentation,” Fitzpatrick said.
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