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THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012 3 SIVAN, 5772

Wise Temple Graduation

CINCINNATI, OH Candle Lighting Times Shabbat begins Fri 8:35p Shabbat ends Sat 9:36p


VOL. 158 • NO. 44

The American Israelite T H E



Bollywood Night for Boomers at JCC, June 10



Rockwern announces Dr. David Finell as the new Head of School


A kosher-style fitness getaway



Incahoots is ‘kicking it up a notch’




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The traditional happy hour goes to the dogs at HeBREW Yappy...



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Fifteen years of research leads to four-volume book on Holocaust—in Farsi




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South Sudan, world’s youngest nation, develops unlikely friendship...

Jewish Foundation invests in innovative new initiatives at HUC, JFS $8.5 million in grants will establish groundbreaking programs to connect HUCJIR to community, partner with Jewish Federation and individual donors to launch cutting-edge Jewish Family Service Vital Support Center for underserved Jewish population The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati announced two new significant investments in the Cincinnati Jewish community: a transformative five-year, $5.225 million grant that will enable Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) to enhance its rabbinical student curriculum and to focus more of its resources on serving the Cincinnati Jewish community; and a 10-year, $3.2 million grant to Jewish Family Service of Cincinnati (JFS), which, in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati and generous support from individual donors, is intended to secure a $10 million total community investment to expand and sustain JFS’s food pantry and case management center over the next decade. Together, these investments represent the Foundation’s ongoing commitment to supporting a more integrated and vibrant Jewish community, and helping local Jewish agencies meet our community’s unmet basic needs. HUC-JIR will use a portion of its grant dollars to develop the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati Fellows Program – an advanced service learning curriculum that will dispatch rabbinical students to help build capacity and serve community needs through paid internships at local Jewish institutions. Additional grant funding will be used to create a new Cincinnati-

based Office of Recruitment and Community Engagement. This office will function both to increase rabbinical student enrollment in Cincinnati by approximately 50 percent over the next five years, as well as across the College-Institute generally, and to serve as a clearinghouse for the deployment of HUC-JIR’s resources to serve local Jewish needs. Senior HUC-JIR professionals will work with counterparts at Jewish communal agencies to develop creative partnerships, programs and events that are designed to bring the community onto the campus and bring the campus out into the community. These new programs at the College-Institute—both of which will be launched by September 2012—will provide Cincinnati’s Jewish community and its various institutions with an infusion of young Jewish leaders to work in the areas of basic needs, Jewish education and engagement, leadership development and Israel connection as they pursue their rabbinic studies on the historic Cincinnati campus. Foundation dollars will also be used to leverage the expertise of more seasoned HUC-JIR faculty and administrators, many of whom are already serving as key resources in local Jewish Day Schools, congregations and UC Hillel. “The College-Institute is enormously grateful to The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati for its visionary commitment to sustain Jewish leadership and learning by ensuring the vitality of our institution and the larger Cincinnati Jewish community. This grant will have an extraordinary impact on our Cincinnati campus, our entire institution, and on the next generations of Jewish leaders for the Reform Movement and the Jewish people throughout North America, Israel, and around the world,” stated Rabbi David Ellenson, HUC-JIR president. The transformation occurring at

HUC-JIR’s Cincinnati campus coincides with a unique partnership which involves the Foundation, the Jewish Federation, Jewish Family Service and local Jewish philanthropists co-investing in JFS’s work toward eradicating poverty in the Cincinnati Jewish community. The new Vital Support Center will provide a holistic approach to addressing client needs and serve as an entry portal to safety net services for the most vulnerable members of the Jewish community. JFS’s existing food pantry will be re-located to HUC-JIR’s campus, and housed in the former Gymnasium Building,

which will be renovated for this new purpose. Foundation support for this initiative will combine with a lead $1 million gift from Bernie and Pam Barbash. In addition to securing the lead gift, the Jewish Federation will provide ongoing funding for what will be known as the Barbash Family Vital Support Center. Jewish Family Service will support the center’s day-to-day operations with revenue it earns from United Way, Jewish Federation, private foundations and individual and corporate contributions. FOUNDATION on page 19

Jewish Federation brings together Barbash family, Jewish Foundation to support JFS’ fight against poverty Cincinnati 2020’s first project: Food pantry transformation When the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati brought Pam Barbash to the current Jewish Family Service Food Pantry, she saw that the steep stairs and modest space would limit how members of our community in need could be helped. Soon afterward, she and her husband, Bernie, decided to commit to the largest gift of their lives to help transform the food pantry into a pioneering new facility—the Barbash Family Vital Support Center—to be located on the Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. The Barbashes gift, which will exceed $1 million, propelled forward an unprecedented collaborative investment that will include the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, private donors and The Jewish

Foundation of Cincinnati. Funded by this partnership, the Barbash Center will be the first project to go live under the sponsorship of Cincinnati 2020, the community-wide collaboration to make Cincinnati a model community and a Jewish destination. “Pam openly shared with me that she grew up knowing how it feels not to have enough,” said Jewish Federation Development Director Danielle Minson. So when she saw how the current site of the Food Pantry limited its reach, it was only natural for them to invest in our community’s efforts to help those with the least. The 2008 Community Study— which surveyed about 100,000 individuals in the greater Cincinnati area to capture the characteristics of the local Jewish community and provide insight into its needs, attitudes and behaviors—found that 1,100 Jewish households (9 percent) FEDERATION on page 19


THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012

Rockwern announces Dr. David Finell as the new Head of School Rockwern Academy, Cincinnati’s Community Jewish Day School, has announced that Dr. David Finell of Colorado has accepted the position of Head of School. Dr. Finell has over 15 years of experience leading Jewish religious and day schools, including the Theodor Herzl Jewish Community Day School (Denver) and the Tehiyah Jewish Community Day School (El Cerrito, Calif.), and has spent the last 11 years leading Summit Middle Charter School, Colorado’s top academically performing middle school. Dr. Finell is a credentialed leader of Jewish life and education. He holds an Honorary Doctorate and a Master of Arts in Jewish Education from Hebrew Union College and a Master of Science in Education, Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Southern California. Founded in 1952 as the Yavneh Day School, Rockwern Academy serves students from early childhood through eighth grade. The school’s educational approach supports differences in Jewish values and embraces diversity. Rockwern Academy is a school of excellence, delivering a superior academic experience with innovative secular and Jewish teaching platforms and curricula. On the 2010-2011 Terra Nova standardized test, over 99.5 percent of Rockwern students met or surpassed the proficient level for Reading and Mathematics and every grade in the school achieved a High Mastery designation in Reading and Mathematics. According to Guy

Peri, Rockwern Board member and Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, “The appointment of David Finell has fulfilled our strategic plan’s first goal which was to secure industry-leading administration for the school.”

Dr. David Finell, new Rockwern Head of School

The announcement comes after Dr. Adam Holden, recently appointed Rockwern executive director, withdrew his position for family reasons. Holden explained, “My former wife was recently diagnosed with a return of her ovarian cancer. Although her physicians have given a terminal prognosis, my two school-age daughters and I refuse to give up hope and are praying for her recovery. Under the circumstances, we feel that it is in the best interest of our children that I reside with them in Kansas. I thank the Rockwern

community for the understanding and prayers they have offered my family during this difficult time.” “We were saddened to learn of Dr. Holden’s personal situation and ask that the entire community keep his family in their thoughts during the saying of the Mi Shebeirach,” said Rockwern Board president Ben Schneider. “Despite this change of circumstances for our school, our commitment to positioning Rockwern to be on par with the finest independent and Jewish Day Schools in the country remains resolute, and our partners in the Jewish community have remained equally committed to our success. In a very short period of time, we were able to identify Dr. Finell as an outstanding candidate, and after bringing him to Cincinnati to meet with over 85 school and community members, it was clear that he was the leader we sought. The feedback we received from Board members, parents, teachers, staff and the community was overwhelmingly enthusiastic in support of his appointment. His many references supported our impressions and his track record of proven success leading Day Schools and a ‘Blue Ribbon’ public charter school is exemplary. It is an honor that Dr. Finell will now bring his talents and experience to the halls of Rockwern Academy where he will support our mission of integrating Jewish values, history and culture into a rich general curriculum that delivers an unparalleled standard of FINELL on page 20

Hate-fliers target Wiesel’s May speech By Marilyn H. Karfeld Cleveland Jewish News Anti-Semitic fliers were posted at the University of Cincinnati and nearby Xavier University, targeting Elie Wiesel, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Holocaust survivor, who spoke at Xavier on May 6. On April 4, about 30 fliers were posted at the UC on and around the Hillel Jewish Student Center, and a couple were found by the student union, said Judith Wertheim, 20, a junior at the university. The fliers were posted a day after Hillel began advertising Wiesel’s speech. The fliers, which called Wiesel a liar and a fraud, were also spotted on the campus at Xavier University, a Jesuit institution that co-sponsored his appearance. In response, the University of Cincinnati’s Undergraduate Student Senate passed a resolution supporting a letter drafted by Rabbi Elana Dellal, executive director of its Hillel, and submitted to the senate by Stephen Lamb, a student intern at Hillel. The letter criticized the fliers’ message, said Wertheim,

a senator from the College of Allied Health Sciences. “We, the student body of the University of Cincinnati, will not stand by as intolerance occurs on our campus,” Dellal wrote in the letter titled “We Will Not Be Silent.” “We, students and supporters of the University of Cincinnati, understand that denying that the Holocaust happened is antiSemitic,” the letter continued. “There is no place on our campus for intolerance of any kind, be it religion, race, gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity.” Jewish students active at Hillel, who planned to attend Wiesel’s speech, also decided that doing more than writing the letter and alerting the student government to the fliers was “giving too much power to this person posting them,” said Wertheim. “This wasn’t a threat of violence. But we don’t condone hate speech, which is why we brought it to the student government to get more backing.” When informed of the fliers, university officials said they would “keep an eye out,” said Wertheim.

“It was very clear the university is very supportive of Hillel.” The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education presented Wiesel, a Romanian-born Holocaust survivor and author, with financial support from the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati. Wiesel’s first book “Night,” the 1956 memoir of his experiences in Nazi concentration camps, has sold millions of copies. The author of the flier identified himself as Robert Ransdell, coordinator of Cincinnati’s unit of the National Alliance, a white supremacist group that has dwindled in support in recent years and only has about a dozen active participants, said David Schneider, an Anti-Defamation League investigative researcher based in Chicago. “Elie Wiesel, because of his prominence and his status, attracts the attention of Holocaust deniers and white supremacists,” said Schneider. Wiesel had not spoken in Cincinnati in a decade, said Sarah Weiss, executive director of The HATE-FLIERS on page 20

JUDGE HEATHER STEIN RUSSELL Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor has appointed Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge Heather Stein Russell to the Ohio Supreme Court Domestic Violence Advisory Committee. Russell is a 17 year veteran of the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office and has been on the bench since 2002. Additionally she presides over a Hamilton County Mental Health Court docket. She and her husband Randy live in Loveland where they raised their 2 sons. The Supreme Court Advisory Committee develops and recommends best practices and procedures to improve the Ohio court system's response to domestic violence and stalking issues.

Judge Heather Stein Russell

Professional Announcement



Bollywood Night for Boomers at JCC, June 10 Bollywood for Boomers is open to everyone, but J Members enjoy a special cost savings. Enjoy even more significant savings on this fun evening by participating in the JCC Adams Golf Classic and Tennis Open on Thursday, June 7. It’s the perfect way to extend the fun of the Golf Classic weekend!

Wise Temple books for a good listen Wise librarian Andrea Rapp. “These include recent best-sellers, such as Alice Hoffman’s “The Dovekeepers (a novel about four women whose lives intersect on Masada in the year 70 C.E.), Julie Orringer’s “The Invisible Bridge,” a heart-rending love story set in France and Hungary during the 1930s and ‘40s, and “Sarah’s

Key,” another Holocaust novel, this one set in France. There are mysteries, including the gripping spy novels of Daniel Silva, memoirs, like Harry Bernstein’s unforgettable “Invisible Wall,” a memoir of growing up poor on the “Jewish” side of the street in an English town on the eve of World War I, and non-fiction books about

aliyah through Nefesh B’nefesh, an organization which services people making aliyah by removing logistical, professional and financial barriers to the aliyah process. According to Tracy, the couple made this decision because of their strong love for Israel and their desire to raise their children there, surrounded with Jewish life and celebrations. Upon arriving in Israel, Tracy will focus her attention on helping the family adjust, and then possibly getting a teaching position. Mitch will be working in construction in the developing communities.


VOL. 158 • NO. 44 Jews in America and about Israel and the Middle East. Humorous or heavy, fiction or non-fiction, the growing Wise Temple Library collection of audio books is available to our entire community. Library summer hours are Monday and Wednesday, noon – 5 p.m., Tuesday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., and Thursday 9 a.m. – noon.

NHS farewell service for Tracy Weisberger At Shabbat services on Saturday, June 2, Northern Hills Synagogue - Congregation B’nai Avraham will bid a fond farewell to Tracy Weisberger and her family. For the past six years, Tracy has served as Northern Hills’ director of education and programming. The Weisbergers, including husband Mitch, and daughters Elizabeth, Jaclyn, Hailey and Rina, will be making aliyah in July, moving to Evan Shmuel, a moshav in Israel west of Jerusalem and Beersheba. The Weisbergers are making

The American Israelite

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012 7 SIVAN 5772 SHABBAT BEGINS FRIDAY 8:35 PM SHABBAT ENDS SATURDAY 9:36 PM THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE CO., PUBLISHERS 18 WEST NINTH STREET, SUITE 2 CINCINNATI, OHIO 45202-2037 Phone: (513) 621-3145 Fax: (513) 621-3744 RABBI ISSAC M. WISE Founder, Editor, Publisher, 1854-1900 LEO WISE Editor & Publisher, 1900-1928

As director of education and programming, Tracy served as principal of the Kehilla School for Creative Jewish Education, the joint religious school sponsored by Northern Hills and Congregation Ohav Shalom. She has also led numerous adult and family education programs, and Northern Hills’ YAKS (Young Adults, Kids Sometimes) programs. She will be succeeded by Maksim Shilkrot. “This move is bittersweet for us. We are overjoyed to be fulfilling our dream of living in Israel, but very sad to be leaving our

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

Tracy Weisberger


ewish N h-J ew lis

Northern Hills family. Northern Hills has been our home, a place where we both felt the love of the community and where our children were welcomed, cared about, and felt so comfortable. I never imagined that I could work in a place where the people would become such an enormous part of my life. I will never forget my Northern Hills family and hope that I will be able to keep in touch with everyone and updated on all the amazing new activities that will be happening there,” Tracy observed. “Tracy, Mitch, and the girls have been an important part of our congregation since Tracy became director of education and programming six years ago. Needless to say, Tracy’s accomplishments as an educator, with regard not only to Religious School, but in all aspects of educational programming, have been outstanding. We look on the Weisbergers’ leaving with very mixed feelings. On the one hand, we vigorously support aliyah to Israel, and we know that this move will be a good one for the Weisbergers. On the other hand, simply put, we shall miss them,” Rabbi Gershom Barnard noted. Following services, the congregation will host a lunch in honor of the Weisberger family.


As summertime approaches, the Wise Temple Library reminds Cincinnatians that it has a collection of approximately 50 audio books on compact disc; patrons can make a vacation drive all the more pleasant and worthwhile by “reading” as you go. “We try to purchase all audio books of Jewish interest,” says


Est. 1854

Indian Cultural Center will have you tapping your feet to the beat as you mingle with other boomers for an enjoyable evening of food and fun. The cash bar will even have a special Star of India drink. The first 50 people who RSVP for Bollywood Night will get a free Star of India drink.

• ca

vibrant food, colors, music and dance from Bangalore to Bombay – a culturally unique experience you won’t forget! Enjoy traditional Indian food with a wide range of flavors and choices, either mild or spicy. Come see what’s cooking and enjoy a night out. Authentic dancers from the

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Escape for an evening filled with the tastes and sounds of India, right here in Cincinnati at the Mayerson JCC! On Sunday, June 10 at 6 p.m., Karma will be good for baby boomers (ages 47 – 65) at “Bollywood Night for Boomers!” The exotic traditions of India come alive at the J on June 10 with

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.


THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012

AJC annual meeting focuses on Arab Spring “What Became of the Arab Spring?” is the focus of a briefing by Professor Elizabeth Frierson at the AJC Cincinnati Annual Meeting on Wednesday, May 30. Dr. Frierson is director of Middle East Studies at the University of Cincinnati. The meeting at Losantiville Country Club will also feature the installation of the executive committee, headed by incoming president Dr. Michael Safdi, with vice presidents Sandy Kaltman, Dr. Alter Peerless, Cheryl Schriber, and Trip Wolf; secretary Seth Schwartz; and treasurer Rick Michelman. Officers will serve for two years. Annual meeting co-chairs Sandy Kaltman and Fred Melowsky have

Dr. Michael Safdi

planned a 6:30 p.m. reception and 7 p.m. buffet dinner. The event will conclude with a salute to Barbara Glueck, AJC Cincinnati director for more than 20 years.

Leadership/nominating committee chair Patti Heldman will present the slate of new board members for a term ending in 2015: Rabbi Shena Jaffee, Ed Kuresman, Bob Moskowitz, Bess Okum, Todd Schild and Rick Vigran. Renominated to the board for a three-year term are Kathy Claybon, Jeff Goldstein, Cheryl Schriber, Amy Sukin, Dick Weiland and Michele Young. Serving with Patti Heldman on the leadership/nominating committee are Ed Frankel, Jim Friedman, Brad Greenberg, Kurt Grossman, Sandy Kaltman, Rick Michelman, Michael Safdi, Cheryl Schriber, John Stein and Rita Stolper.

Adath Israel presents awards The Abrom and Sarah Dombar Award for Excellence in Mercaz Studies is given during our Confirmation service to the Adath Israel Congregation graduating senior who best exemplifies the three criteria of this award: attendance, attitude and enthusiastic participation in our high school program. This year we have decided that two students met the criteria for this award. Adath Israel was proud to award Angela Reiser and Sarah Wasneiwski the Abrom and Sarah Dombar award for excellence in Mercaz studies. Angela Reiser has had very good attendance over her time at Mercaz. She always strolled into the building with a big smile on her face, many times coming even after a long weekend away at a USY convention. She participated in class, and had a great attitude about being in school Sunday evenings. She was often found out in the hallway during break with her friend catching up on their week. At times it was just the two of them and at other times there was a whole group! She has been a good role model for the others at Mercaz and at Adath Israel with her involvement here. She has been a very active member of our USY over the years, serving on the board in several positions. She has also participated in services here. The second recipient, Sarah Wasniewski, also had very good attendance! She came in each week with a smile on her face and she participated in her classes. Her attitude was very good and she was always willing to give feedback when asked. She definitely has an artistic side and tended to sign up for the arts-based courses. She even participated in our Paint Your Jewish World class which resulted in her having two of her pieces on display at the Cincinnati Art Museum. She took her Jewish education very seriously as well as her involvement at Adath Israel. She is often seen on the bima reading Torah and leading

services. Sarah also created the cover artwork for this year’s graduation booklet for the families. Sarah and Angela were both excellent candidates to receive this award and Adath Israel Congregation and Mercaz wish them well as they move forward in the next phase of their lives, college and the Nativ program in Israel. Adath Israel Congregation is pleased to announce that our trope and music teacher, Mitch Cohen, was recognized as this year’s recipient of the Walter Hattenbach Excellence in Teaching Award. The Hattenbach Award was established in 2001 by Walter’s wife and children as a way to remember Walter’s love of teaching. The award was presented during Shabbat services on May 10. The Hattenbach Award, named in memory of Walter Hattenbach, is given each year to a teacher who exemplifies a positive attitude toward the Jewish educational experience. Walter was not a teacher by profession, but he felt much joy from the teaching he did and loved to help children learn. The monetary award is intended to help teachers to participate in professional growth opportunities. Mitch has been teaching music at the Jarson Education Center at Adath Israel for several years. This year, however, he also added the responsibility of trope teacher. Mitch brings a unique creativity to what he does. The trope class is often heard applying the tropes they have learned to everything from a Torah reading to Adon Olam to an excerpt from a Harry Potter novel! He starts every day with great enthusiasm and really enjoys what he does. The students feel this as well and in turn their enthusiasm grows. This year Mitch has included a weekday session for grades three through five to participate in music. He works with the teachers so that when he goes into the classrooms he can bring music to what

the class is currently studying. Mitch is a strong and committed teacher and Adath Israel is lucky to have him as a part of our teaching staff. Our youngest students benefit from having Mitch for music as part of our MazelTots program, and then Kindergarten through second grade have a weekly musical Tefillah that Mitch has created and runs. Our third to fifth graders have had a Carlebach Shabbat service as well as two “Kids on the Bima” programs in which they led parts of the Shabbat service. All of these programs were developed and led by Mitch. To watch him interact with the students is very special. There is an amazing creativity he brings to his lessons which gains the students’ interest.



The traditional happy hour goes to the dogs at HeBREW Yappy Hour While the dog might be man’s best friend, man cannot exist on mere canine companionship alone! And thanks to Access, an initiative of The Mayerson Foundation, it’s easier than ever for Jewish young professionals to meet hundreds of people through a wide variety of entry points that include parties, programs, social action opportunities and more. In fact, this spring alone, Access is offering 10 events perfect for recent college grads, newcomers to Cincinnati, and everyone else looking for fun ways to make friends and get connected. One of these programs is the HeBREW Yappy Hour, where both two- and four-legged guests will get to mix and mingle at the biggest “doggie do” of the year, on Thursday, May 31 at 6:30 p.m. at Alms Park in Mt. Lookout. The event is free with advance reservations plus, there will be drinks for all humans and treats for both two- and four-legged participants. Access will bring the Frisbees, balls and sticks, guests are asked to provide some type of pooper-picker-upper and a leash. Don’t have a pet? Don’t worry, the HeBREW Yappy Hour is an equal opportunity party. Borrow one from a friend or just come and pet someone else’s pooch! Guests will also get to meet some lovable dogs looking for a good home, courtesy of All Dogs Come From

Jonah Sandler and his dog Cowboy are gearing up for Access’ HeBREW Yappy Hour.

Heaven, a local nonprofit rescue and animal shelter. “While the HeBREW Yappy Hour event offers a great opportunity for dogs and their owners to enjoy a fun night out, it’s also a great example of why Access has such a high rate of success in helping Jewish young professionals get and stay connected to one another and the Jewish community,” says Rachel Plowden, Access event coordinator. “Nothing’s more awkward than having to walk into a roomful of people you don’t know. But by creating events that focus on our constituents’ common interests such as cooking, sports, social

action, and even love of animals, the interaction just comes naturally,” she continues. “You can’t help but get to know someone you’re preparing a kugel recipe with or volunteering next to, it’s hard not to start up a conversation!” “My first Access event was a rafting trip down the Miami Whitewater,” says Ben Lewis. “I had just moved here from Detroit and I didn’t know a soul. But I pretty much figured I’d get to know a group of people as soon as they handed us some paddles and pushed our raft into the river. I was right,” he smiles. “My raftmates and I became fast friends and now I count them of some of my best friends! I don’t think I would have had the nerve to go to a big cocktail party by myself, but this was perfect because I knew I would find a bunch of likeminded people who had a common purpose of getting our rafts down the river, and needed to work together to accomplish it! It was like a guaranteed connection so how could I go wrong?” The HeBREW Yappy Hour is open to Jewish young professionals, ages 21-35 (non Jewish significant others are always welcome) and is one of about a dozen events happening this spring including a deeply subsidized Reds Game, a free Duck Tour of Cincinnati, a Painting and Pinot Dinner Party at the JCC and more.

Exposing the Palestinian media By Maxine Dovere JointMedia News Service NEW YORK—“If your enemy says he will destroy you, believe him.” Those were the words of Itamar Marcus, founding director of Palestinian Media Watch, when he recently joined The Jewish Week Associate Editor Jonathan Mark on stage at the 92nd Street Y in New York City to discuss the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership’s use of culture, education and media to influence its population. Marcus has presented evidence of Palestinian incitement to the U.S. Congress’s Foreign Affairs Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee, and has lectured to Canadian and European parliamentarians and international security officials. Palestinian Media Watch is an NGO (non-governmental organization) dedicated to disclosure of the factual content of Palestinian media, founded by Marcus 14 years ago. Marcus said his purpose is simple: “To get a real sense of what is happening in the Palestinian world.” Marcus made aliyah from New York and lives in Efrat. In an interview with JointMedia News Service, he recalled the first tapes he received of Yasser Arafat’s speeches while working for the Israeli government during the 1990s. In the midst of a highly visible “peace process,” the Palestinian leader, speaking on Arabic and Palestinian TV, called for jihad, saying any agreements with Israel were “temporary.” When Marcus left the government, he initiated Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), and began to “tape all of official Palestinian TV, read the Palestinian newspapers every day.” What he found was an ongoing demonization of Israel and an ongoing denial of Israel’s right to exist. Marcus’s tapes were brought to the 1998 Wye Summit and given to President Bill Clinton. Soon afterward, an Israeli, Palestinian and American negotiating committee to deal with the problem of incitement was established. Marcus was appointed to the Israeli team, a position he held until Ehud Barak’s election as prime minister. “There was no significant progress” with the Palestinians, said Marcus. “The Palestinians are teaching their children hatred against Jews, and ultimately violence against Jews and Israelis,” he said. The Palestinians, he said, “like to depict the conflict as territorial while hiding this horrific underlying ideology.” Marcus remains a proponent of direct contact between Israelis and Palestinians, which he believes engenders respect and admiration for Israel as a democracy and a supporter of human rights. “The tragedy is that

Courtesy of Maxine Dovere

Itamar Marcus, director of Palestinian Media Watch, poses with his book, “Deception: Betraying the Peace Process.”

the Palestinians were much closer to peace with Israel before the Oslo Accords,” he said. “An ocean has developed because of hate promotion by the Palestinian Authority.” Marcus said chances for peace may have been better in 1996, when after decades of contact with Israelis, a poll of Palestinians showed that 78 percent considered Israel to be a democracy and a positive force for human rights. Now, Marcus is concerned about the effect that the teaching of hatred and demonization will have on the ability to produce a peaceful outcome with the PA. Given the level of hate indoctrination, success — not only in negotiation, but actualization — remains challenging, he said. Stating that territory which was Israel proper before the 1967 war is not up for negotiations, Marcus explained that “settlements” located on disputed territory are. While Israel “has the right to anything that is part of the negotiations,” said Marcus, it must accept the possibility that disputed territories will be ceded to a Palestinian state. “The only way to reverse the down trend in acceptance of Israel,” Marcus said, is for Palestinians to “drop the lies — the planned delegitimization conducted by the PA, and replace it with truth.” Marcus said Israel has helped the PA in many ways, including construction of its infrastructure, assisting its economic base, and developing its universities. Asked by JointMedia News Service if a more honest Palestinian media could be created, Marcus said there are some people within the PA who are moderate, but none of them are currently in power. He recalled that 17 committees had met regularly for peace negotiations prior to the Oslo Accords and the Intifada. When one member of a Palestinian negotiating team revealed that he had instructed his own children to answer test questions truthfully — not calling Jews “evil,” as instructed by their teacher — he was replaced.


THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012

Fifteen years of research leads to fourvolume book on Holocaust—in Farsi By Debra Rubin Jewish Telegraphic Agency WASHINGTON (JTA) — Ari Babaknia doesn’t expect that Iran’s president will ever read his fourvolume series of Holocaust books written in the Farsi language. But the author says he is confident that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad knows the books exist. “I’ve done 10, 11 television interviews,” Babaknia said — interviews that are transmitted via satellite to Iran. He has sent the four volumes, released in April, to three people in Iran who requested it via the website memorah. The volumes are titled “Man’s Inhumanity to Man,” “America’s Response to the Holocaust,” “The World’s Response to the Holocaust” and “End of the Holocaust and Liberation of Nazi Camps and the Genocides of the

Last 100 Years.” Once the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies and Babaknia’s family Memorah Foundation, which published the volumes, recoup what the author estimates at $70,000 to $80,000 in publishing costs, he plans to make the works available online for free. Babaknia, an Iranian-born Jew who sits on the Wyman board, says the costs do not account for his time or the money he paid for researchers or designers. A physician who completed medical school in Tehran, Babaknia arrived in the United States in 1974 to continue his education in women’s medical health and then infertility. In the 1990s, he began his Holocaust research. “More than 120 million speak or write Farsi in the world, and there never has been a wellresearched or documented book

about the Holocaust in Farsi,” said Babaknia, 65, of Newport Beach, Calif. However, Project Aladdin, a UNESCO-sponsored project that works to foster positive relations between Muslims and Jews and to combat Holocaust denial, does offer several books on the Holocaust in Farsi translation. Babaknia said he initially expected to complete his research during a one-year sabbatical. “One year was two or three years, then it was 15 years later,” said Babaknia, who explained that he kept finding himself with more questions to research. The author views the Holocaust as a “human catastrophe.” The Jews were the victims, he says, but “we don’t own” the Holocaust. In looking at the world’s response to the Holocaust, Babaknia notes that Jews remained safe in Iran.

Haredim fill N.Y. baseball stadium to decry error of Internet’s ways By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraphic Agency NEW YORK (JTA) — The sellout crowd that filled Citi Field on Sunday night wore black and white, not the New York Mets’ blue and orange. And instead of jeering the Philadelphia Phillies or Atlanta Braves, they faced a foe that was, to hear them talk about it, far more formidable: the World Wide Web. “The Internet even with a filter is a minefield of immorality,” said Rabbi Ephraim Wachsman, a haredi Orthodox lecturer. “This issue is the test of the generation. Your strength at this gathering will determine what Judaism will look like a few years from now.” The rally to caution haredi Orthodox Jews about the dangers of the Internet drew a crowd of more than 40,000 men to the stadium, most of them wearing black hats. The group organizing the rally, Ichud HaKehillos LeTohar HaMachane, or Union of Communities for Purity of the Camp, barred women from attending — consummate with the haredi practice of separating the sexes. In Yiddish and English speeches, rabbis from haredi communities in the United States, Canada and Israel decried the access that the Internet gives haredim to the world outside their community. Speakers called the Internet “impure,” a threat to modesty and compared it to chametz, or leavened bread, on Passover. Almost no rabbi directly addressed pornography, which is

Courtesy of Ben Sales

Some 40,000 haredi Orthodox men filled Citi Field in New York to rally against the dangers of the Internet, May 20, 2012.

prohibited by traditional Jewish law. Several speakers also lamented the Internet’s potential to distract men from learning Torah. To a man, each of the rabbis who spoke said that Jewish law forbids Jews from browsing the Internet without a filter that blocks inappropriate sites. The speeches in Yiddish were broadcast with English subtitles on the stadium’s JumboTron. Rabbi Yechiel Meir Katz, known as the Dzibo rav, compared the threat of the Internet to the dangers that Zionism and the European Enlightenment posed in the past to traditional Jewish life. “A terrible test has been sent to us that has inflicted so much terrible damage” on haredim, Katz said. The Internet poses a greater threat to haredim than secularism

did, he said, because “in previous challenges we knew who the enemy was. Today, however, the challenge is disguised and not discernible to the naked eye.” The crowd ranged in age from small children to senior citizens. One participant, Yitzchak, said that although the speakers focused on the Internet problem rather than solutions, the event was “inspiring.” “This is a beginning,” said Yitzchak, 43. “They’re coming to raise awareness. Every situation is different, everyone requires some filter.” While haredim must limit their Internet access, “you can’t not use it,” he added. HAREDIM on page 22

AJC Cincinnati thanks John Stein as he completes his service as President, and salutes Dr. Michael Safdi as he begins his term as our 35th President



See to learn about AJC’s work as the global advocate for the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel, and for the advancement of democratic values for all. For membership information, write us at or call (513) 621-4020.



Putting the Ten Commandments on display By Edmon J. Rodman Jewish Telegraphic Agency LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Are the Ten Commandments only to be heard but not seen? And when they are seen, how should they look? Some groups, notably the AntiDefamation League, believe that public images of the Ten Commandments should be scarce. “That the increasing call by private citizens and public officials for the government to post the Ten Commandments in schools, government buildings, courts and other public places — while often wellintentioned — is bad policy and often unconstitutional,” the ADL says on its website. Other organizations advocate displaying them, even in schools. The conservative American Center of Law and Justice argues that the Supreme Court “should not prohibit their display in the absence of a clear showing that the display has the effect of endorsing a particular religion.” Yet as we approach Shavuot, the holiday that commemorates the handing-down of the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai, just because there’s a debate about the public appropriateness on displaying the Ten Commandments doesn’t mean you can’t surround yourself with them at shul — or even in your front yard. Available for purchase online, there’s an olive wood Moses and Ten Commandments for your desk or dresser, and a dog tag imprinted with them. There’s a matchbox cover emblazoned with the Roman numerals 1-10 to remind you of the commandments when you light a candle, as well as a refrigerator magnet printed with the words “The Top Ten” featuring the first words of the commandments in Hebrew. Then there’s the version by Design Toscano of Illinois that’s a foot-and-a-half high, 21 inches wide and weighing 12 pounds. It’s cast in resin, and the scripture is written in English on one side and Hebrew on the other. “Our faux stone tablet is both historic and inspiring, and makes a defining statement in your home or garden,” the company’s online catalog proclaims. Probably not right for the temple driveway. But in the synagogue, where the Ten Commandments are read on Shavuot, what kind of imagery is OK? Just the usual twin tablet design? In the Torah, the Ten Commandments are called “Aseret Ha’Devarim,” the Ten Words, which though seen as a moral code of behavior are considered even more as the overarching basis for the 613 mitzvot, or commandments, found in the Torah.

Courtesy of Berkowicz Design

The book of Exodus, Chapter 20, which features the Ten Commandments, shown on the ark doors of Congregation Micah, near Nashville, Tenn.

Growing up, the well-known double tablet image of the twin tablets welcomed me in front of my synagogue, as well as other temples I visited. Many synagogues continue to have the image of the Ten Commandments prominently displayed, and many Judaica websites that sell Torah covers feature a design with the commandments sewn on, usually represented by the first 10 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Now I wonder how contemporary designers might interpret them. I called the New York design team of Michael Berkowicz and Bonnie Srolovitz-Berkowicz, who in San Juan, Puerto Rico, had recently dedicated a Holocaust memorial they created called “In the Shadow of Their Absence.” It was the same husband-and-wife pair that had designed a pair of Chanukah menorahs for the World Trade Center that were destroyed in the 9/11 tragedy, which they plan to replace using steel from the demolished buildings. Concerning the appearance of the Ten Commandments, I quickly discovered that there were more issues involved than if and where they should be displayed. “Not everyone accepts the same shape of the tablets,” said Berkowicz, who finds that every Jewish design project leads to a journey. Counter to what I thought, he told me that the oft-seen image of the tablets with rounded tops is not correct. “The biblical interpretation is that they were rectangular,” said Berkowicz, who was set straight, so to speak, by a Chabad rabbi with whom he was consulting. There went my lawn decoration. “As they are usually seen, some of our clients view the Ten Commandments as a cliche,” said Berkowicz, who was born in Poland in 1944 to parents who had fled Europe during World War II. “The challenge is how to interpret them.”


THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012

Five steps to studying and South Sudan, world’s youngest nation, learning from the Torah develops unlikely friendship with Israel By Dasee Berkowitz Jewish Telegraphic Agency NEW YORK (JTA) — Observing my kids playing, I notice how the same toy, no matter how many times they play with it, can reveal the most remarkable things. My daughter, with the vocabulary befitting a 1 1/2-year-old, will bring her ball over to me and point to a mark on it with a delighted grunt. “How remarkable!” I will say with (feigned) enthusiasm. But to her it is remarkable; she had never noticed it before. When I hear the phrase from Pirkei Avot (the Teachings of our Fathers), “Turn it around and around, for everything is in it” (5:21), the image of a toy jumps to my mind. The rabbis of the Mishnah, however, were writing at the beginning of the Common Era in the Land of Israel and not in 21st century playrooms of North America, so I’m not sure they share the same association. Surely they were referring to the Torah and the revered text’s limitless insights and wisdom.

Courtesy of Moznaim Publishing

Writer Dasee Berkowitz sees something playful about the phrase “Turn it around and around, for everything is in it” in Pirkei Avot (the Teachings of our Fathers).

There is, however, something playful about the phrase. If we studied the Torah the way a child plays with a toy — repeatedly and open to the possibility of discovering something remarkable — then perhaps we would discover something remarkable. Why should we make this ancient scroll our own? For starters, the Torah tells us we should. In recounting the story when the Torah was revealed to Moses, the text begins by describing the journey of the Israelites to Mount Sinai. “In the third month after the children of Israel went out of the land of Egypt, the same day ['bayom hazeh’] they came into the wilderness of Sinai,” it says in

Exodus 19:1. If the Torah were retelling something that already took place, it should say “on that day” not on “this day.” Rashi, the 12th century French commentator, says we should look to the Torah as if it is being given on this day. The Torah is being given, and revelation has the potential to happen anew each day. Nice words, but how might we really experience this? While Shavuot offers us a moment to focus our attention on Torah study — all-night learning tikkun style awaits at many area synagogues and JCCs — the esoteric musings of a Talmud scholar at 3 a.m. may not be the kind of revelation we seek. Try this activity (which I learned from dear friends Rabbi David Ingber and Ariel Rosen.) It’s called “Find your (Uni) Verse.” Here’s what you do: Step 1: Open the Torah (the scroll, book or even an online version). Step 2: Randomly point to a verse (this may be easier with a book version). Step 3: Read the verse a couple of times. The first time is to understand the plain meaning. The second and third times are to play with different interpretations of what the verse might be saying. Consult commentary on the verse if you like. Step 4: Consider the lesson that you might learn from this verse. What wisdom might it impart? Step 5: Try to apply the lesson to your life in the coming weeks. Some Torah verses may have immediate relevance to you than others. “Honor your father and mother” and “Love your Neighbor as Yourself” may be clear at face value and easy to apply. Other verses from Leviticus, like ones that speak about people stricken with tzara’at, may take a bit more parsing. (Luckily, commentators understood tzara’at as “motzi shem ra,” one who does not speak truthfully about another person, an aspect of gossip to which we may relate more readily.) Even (or especially) if you don’t think the verse relates to you on face value, sit with it for a while. I promise, you will find some meaning. My husband and I did this activity last year with our community. We just had a disagreement about some household matter and were a little tense going into the holiday. The verse he selected was “Together with your households, you shall feast there before the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 12:7). The lesson was clear: Don’t let the everyday stresses of your life cloud the experience of these precious holidays. Safeguard them, honor them. You can get back to your stress when the holiday is over, but for now, let it go and rejoice!

By Armin Rosen Jewish Telegraphic Agency JUBA, South Sudan (JTA) — This city in the world’s newest country is not your typical Arabicspeaking capital. For one thing, most of the city’s inhabitants are Christian. For another, the Israeli flag is ubiquitous here. Miniature Israeli flags hang from car windshields and flutter at roadside stalls, and at the Juba souk in the city’s downtown, you can buy lapel pins with the Israeli flag alongside its black, red and green South Sudanese counterpart. “I love Israel,” said Joseph Lago, who sells pens, chewing gum and phone cards at a small wooden stall decorated with Israeli and South Sudanese flags. “They are people of God.” Many South Sudanese are not just pro-Israel but proudly and openly so. There’s a Juba neighborhood called Jerusalem. A hotel near the airport is called the Shalom. Perhaps most notable, South Sudan’s fondness for Israel extends to the diplomatic arena, where the two countries have been building strategic ties in a relationship that long preceded the founding of South Sudan last July. “They see in us kind of a role model in how a small nation surrounded by enemies can survive and prosper, and they would like to imitate that,” Haim Koren, the incoming Israeli ambassador to

Courtesy of Armin Rosen

James Lago, a street merchant in Juba, South Sudan, with the Israeli flag.

South Sudan, told JTA. South Sudan was created last year when its residents voted to secede from Sudan, a country with a Muslim majority and without diplomatic ties to Israel. The government in Khartoum accepted the secession, but in recent weeks a longsimmering dispute over oil revenues and borders has brought the two Sudans to the brink of all-out war. With Sudan having often served as a safe haven for enemies of Israel and the West, the South Sudanese and Israel have had a common adversary. In the mid-1990s, Osama bin Laden found shelter in Sudan. In

1995, Sudanese intelligence agents participated in an attempt to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, an ally of Israel and the West. Khartoum signed a military cooperation agreement with Iran in 2008, and in 2009, Israeli warplanes reportedly bombed a 23truck weapons convoy in Sudan bound for the Gaza Strip. The first contact between militants from southern Sudan and the Israeli government was in 1967, when a commander with the Anyana Sudanese rebel movement wrote to then-Israeli Prime Minister SOUTH SUDAN on page 22



Writers defy criticism to attend Jerusalem festival Israel By Rachel Marder JointMedia News Service JERUSALEM — The third International Writers Festival in Jerusalem did not pass without controversy. The weeklong gathering, which closed May 18, drew authors from 12 different countries to meet with their Israeli colleagues, as well as book lovers from across Israel to hear their discussions and attend book signings. Some writers like American-born and London-based novelist Tracy Chevalier, British writer Tom Rob Smith and Algerian author Boualem Sansal encountered pressure not to attend the literary event, said Uri Dromi, director general of festival host Mishkenot Sha’ananim. “Some of our friends from abroad confronted some, how shall I say, unfriendly criticism,” said Dromi, applauding those writers for visiting Israel, during the opening event May 13. Chevalier, whose 1999 novel Girl with a Pearl Earring was adapted to the screen, ignored a letter from British Writers in Support of Palestine urging her not to attend the festival. Smith, author of Child 44 (2008), The Secret

Speech (2009) and Agent Six (2011), also rejected a written plea from the group as well as calls online to culturally boycott Israel. Sansal, 62, who participated in a May 16 panel with Daniel BenSimon, a Moroccan-born Labor MK, said when he accepted the festival’s invitation he became a target of condemnation. “I talked with my wife and she said I’d have problems,” he told the panel guests. “But to me it was important to come to Israel to prove my autonomy from the government. So my wife said, ‘Great — go for it.’” Sansal, who until the age of 50 worked in the Algerian government, is a trained engineer and holds a PhD in economics. He has won nearly every major literary prize in France and is considered one of the most important Algerian writers of his time. His books, all written in French, have been banned in Algeria since 2006. Sansal’s fifth novel, The German Mujahid (2008), was his first to be translated into English. Sansal received the Peace Prize in Frankfurt last year for his books that protest oppression and encourage respect and understanding between cultures. During the panel discussion,

Sansal, a secularist, warned about the growing tide of Islamism since the revolts of the “Arab Spring.” “I feel we’re in the 1930s in the last century — then, no one responded properly. Today Islamism is becoming fascism,” he said. “If there’s no democracy, people will look for religion to be their parliament, their government and so forth. There’s a lot of work to be done.” Israeli author Zeruya Shalev, international bestselling author of Love Life, thanked writers like Sansal for attending during the festival’s opening. “In so doing, you have proved your faith in literature,” a field rife with complexity, she said. Speaking about about what it’s like to be a writer in Israel, Shalev called the country “a writer’s paradise.” She said being a writer in Israel means to struggle for inspiration in an ongoing drama, to be asked in every international interview why you don’t write about politics, and for critics to think every character is a symbol of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Etgar Keret and Gary Shteyngart Israeli short story writer Etgar Keret and Russian-American author Gary Shteyngart took the

stage in the festival tent May 14 to discuss immigrant literature, the dangers of technology, and their families. Shteyngart, the award-winning author of Absurdistan (2006), The Russian Debutante’s Handbook (2002) and Super Sad True Love Story (2010), moved to New York from Leningrad at the age of 7. He told the crowd that immigrant fiction does well in America because those writers serve as a “bridge between the fury smelly people abroad” and American readers. “In America if you’re born in Russia they expect borsht. They don’t want a hot dog from you,” said the Jewish author, whose books feature immigrant protagonists and plenty of mocking of Russian culture. In his most recent book, the world has become a dystopia and a completely visual society. “Whenever great empires collapse literacy is the first thing to go,” he said. “Visual culture becomes dominant.” However, big countries falling apart offer fruitful material for the 39-year-old Shteyngart, who is working on his memoirs. “It’s my favorite subject. Those are much more interesting than countries that are on the rise.”

Briefs Israel scraps early elections as Kadima joins unity government JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lauded the new government coalition including the Kadima Party as the “broadest unity government in Israeli history.” At a news conference Tuesday afternoon to announce Kadima’s agreement to join his coalition, Netanyahu said the new government would “benefit Israel” and is a way “to restore stability without elections.” Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz said he agreed to enter the government because Netanyahu showed that he was “open to issues that are a central part of Kadima’s platform.” “Our decision is a great, historic step — not blackmail,” Mofaz asserted, adding that he had not asked for a position for himself in the government.


THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012

WISE TEMPLE GRADUATION The Isaac M. Wise Temple is proud to celebrate with the 30 high school seniors who recently completed their studies at Kulanu, Cincinnati’s Reform Jewish High School. “This is an incredibly impressive and dedicated group of seniors,” commented Rabbi Lewis Kamrass. “Each of them has given so much to our community both here at Wise Temple and around the Greater Cincinnati Jewish Community. While we will definitely miss them next year, we know that they are all off to new and wonderful things. All of the rabbis wish them continued success and fulfillment, and trust that they know that they always have a home here at Wise Temple.” The students marked their official graduation from Kulanu on two different occasions. On Sunday, May 20, they joined their fellow students from other congregations in the school’s joint ceremony at Valley Temple. In addition to this, the students came together for a congregational celebration on Friday, May 11 as part of the Wise Temple Shabbat worship service. In preparation for the Shabbat experience, the students were asked to write about what Judaism means to them. These writings were compiled into a booklet that was distributed to the congregation at this service. The students wrote about the

Back Row L to R-Rabbi Michael Shulman, Allanah Jackson, Jainie Winter, Jake LaFrance, Bo Broadnax, Alex Burte, Max Eichel, Carly Edelheit, Amanda Pescovitz, Rabbi Ilana Baden; Middle Row L to R-Sarah Finer, Karen Goldstein, Michael Craig, Ben Kleymeyer, Jaye Goldschneider; Front Row L to R-Barbara Dragul, Director of Education, Talia Warm, Michael Levy, Jennifer Rissover, Alex Benmayor, Sara Estes, Jo Wegner, Daniel Westheimer, Jenni Seelig, Mariah Schweiger, Rabbi Lewis Kamrass

importance of Jewish community. As one senior noted, “Being a Jew means that I have a very special connection to a lot of people that most people may never get to experience.” The students also addressed how much they enjoyed and

learned from various Jewish experiences and activities. These include their early education in Wise Temple’s Open Room program, their trips to Israel, their summers at Jewish overnight camps, and their work as madrichim (teaching assistants) at

the Wise Temple Religious School. As the students prepare to move on to their next chapter in life, they anticipate continuing their commitment to Jewish learning and engagement. Another student shared, “Judaism to me is a never ending journey of questions

and community.” The 30 students will be attending a wide range of colleges and universities. Wise Temple will keep in touch with each of these students through monthly emails, holiday packages and rabbinic visits to the nearby colleges.

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A kosher-style fitness getaway By Lisë Stern JointMedia News Service Year after year, the number one New Year’s resolution people have is to lose weight. And, according to TIME magazine, it’s also the number one broken resolution. Great intentions in January fall by the wayside and, come spring and summer, warmer weather and lighter clothes remind us of those forgotten winter goals. One effective way to jumpstart the path toward fitness is through a weight loss getaway, something observed by the staff at the Isabella Freedman Retreat Center. The Center recently opened its doors to a unique retreat: a one- to two-week kosher weight loss camp for grownups called “From Flab to Fab.” Located on a lake in the northwest corner of Connecticut in the Berkshires, the Center has been offering Jewish-oriented programs here for over 50 years, from senior camps to science weeks for middle school students. Executive Director David Weisberg, who joined the Center almost a year ago, has wanted to expand the programs offered. “I began to look at what niches the Center would be ideally situated to fit,” he says. “I need to lose some weight myself, and I looked at whether there were any other resources for adult observant Jews looking to go to weight loss camp. There were no other options throughout North America.” Several Google searches reveal this to be the case. “There are not that many adult weight loss camps in general,” Weisberg asserts. One of the few is Wellspring in California, where dietitian Dan Fenyvesi has worked. Wellspring primarily has programs for teens and young adults, though it does have one for those over 25. People attend for two-week or longer sessions. Fenyvesi will be the resident nutritionist in charge of the food aspect of the Kosher Weight Loss and Fitness: A Plan for Your Life retreat. His brother, Shamu Fenyvesi Sadeh, runs Adamah at the Isabella Freedman Center, an organic farm that has been in operation on the property for several years. The farm offers a fellowship program for Jewish young adults, supplies the kitchen with fresh produce, and also makes products such as pickles and goat cheese (there’s a herd of goats) sold at area farm markets. When Fenyvesi would visit Sadeh, he was struck by how ideal the location would be for a Jewish Wellspring-like retreat. “Wellspring is a total immersion environment,” Fenyvesi says.

Courtesy of Isabella Freedman Retreat Center.

The Isabella Freedman Retreat Center has launched a new program that will focus on adult kosher weight loss and fitness.

“That’s why it’s so effective. Our retreat will also be total immersion. We’ll be able to make a really big impact on participants’ lives. Of course having everyone all be of the same faith, there for another reason, not just for their health, that helps as well. I wanted to do this in a Jewish setting because there are no kosher weight loss facilities and I believe that the kosher laws open a fascinating discussion over rules around eating.” With Fenyvesi lined up for the culinary component, the center turned to Ari Weller for the fitness end. As anyone who has ever tried to lose weight knows, exercise is a key part of the picture. Weller is a highly regarded physical trainer in New York—and the former associate director of the Freedman Center. On his website, he describes his technique, Integrative Movement, as “a complete training philosophy resulting in total physical fitness and a mind/body awareness.” Doreen Bongiolatti, program coordinator, has been synchronizing the various components since the project was approved last fall. “The date was a big meeting in itself,” she says. “Ari Weller said this is the time of year to do it. People make their New Year’s resolution to lose weight, but it’s not till the summer comes that they start to think about losing the layers.” Chef Richard Neff (who started his career cooking for Vietnamese refugees) has been working more and more with local produce, including that from Adamah. The facility is supervised kosher—and nondenominational. Weisberg notes that several groups with strict affiliations have used the Center. “There’s probably no single place that has such participation from the Jewish community,” he says. “Orthodox, Chabad, Reconstructionist, Renewal, Jewish multiracial, Jewish LGBT—an incredibly broad cross section of the Jewish community participates in Isabella Freedman programs during the course of the year.”


THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012

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Incahoots is ‘kicking it up a notch’ By Sondra Katkin Dining Editor Incahoots has a new manager, Dean Kolligian. A chef for 30 years, he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, a place so revered it’s spoken of in hushed tones and people wait weeks for reservations. Kolligian’s talents are matched well with the DiStasi family. Owner Dino DiStasi has lengthy experience in food retailing and Italian family cooking. His wife, business manager Mary Ann enjoys baking. She created their popular carrot cake and the tiramisu (check for availability). The cake is a large munch of moist “carroty,” mouth caressing caprice. The tiramisu is deeply, darkly chocolate and so light, it could never transfer to a weight gain. Another appealing offering (you’re worth it) is the flourless chocolate cake. Gluten free folks (and everyone else) will relish the rich fudge-like consistency with chocolate sauce and creme anglaise. Diners can also choose peanut butter pie, sundaes or New York cheesecake. “Heavenly,” a guest commented about the gooey brownie sundae with fudge sauce and real whipped cream. Kolligian, who interned at the Waldorf Astoria and managed many upscale restaurants, has begun “tweaking” Incahoots with expanded, imaginative selections. His skill is showcased in the weekly dinner specials menu which features an appetizer, such as pan seared seafood over fried polenta with tomato coulis or a homemade hummus plate with pita chips and fresh veggies — quite a mouthful. There are always three entrees with chicken, fish and pasta making frequent appearances. My attention was caught by the pan seared mahi mahi with cioppino broth on jasmine rice with fresh veggies in a seasoned tomato wine broth. Also tempting, the pistachio encrusted Norwegian salmon, polenta cake, roasted broccoli and dill cream sauce would make my choice difficult. A pizza of the week, such as roasted zucchini, peppers, portabella, roasted garlic, goat cheese and their three cheese blend on a grilled wheat crust is something the kitchen staff has great fun with. “They like to come up with toppings that are unusual and delicious,” according to Kolligian. The menu concludes with “From the Bar,” which suggests the wine, beer or cocktails that will complement the specials — “chefy” experience is the chief requirement for meal enhancing drink choices. There is also the regular menu for diners to choose from. In addition, four course dinners that match the wine and food (call for dates), are offered occasionally, by reservation only. Mary Ann noted, “Cooking is a treat for Dean,” a friend of the family. He said, “I like to work side by

(Clockwise) Perfect party atmosphere in the bar; Salmon, caesar: rich fish/tart salad = perfect combo; Cheesy, chewy and pungent pizza; Rib eye with mushroom ragout, ideal juxtaposition of flavors; Cod parmesan, melt in your mouth sub; Whoops, the flourless chocolate cake was irresistible; Meaty hunk of tasty burger; Outdoor dining beckons guests at Incahoots.

side with my kitchen staff — they can pick my brain. It’s fun to come up with ways to make our food taste different and fresher, especially with fresh herbs — we go through one and a half pounds of basil per week. (Dining with the emphasis on freshness is) the best thing you can do for your health,” he told me. He’s proud of the quality of their certified angus beef which “gives our hamburger its deep meaty flavor so it can stand on its own and not absorb any flavors you cook with,” he added. The charcoal grilled smokiness and kaiser type bun were just what a hamburger demands. As an alternative, the tasty black bean burger is a favorite with vegetarians. My sampling of their certified angus steaks was the rib eye with mushroom ragout. Its thick, juicy center was the perfect pink I prefer. The roasted mushroom sauce, a dense, savory coating, was naturally reduced (no flour) — a mar-

velous meat melange. It wasn’t just the sauce that was glued to the plate. Meat experts agree the rib eye is the most flavorful cut. You can compare it to an excellent wine in its lingering taste on your tongue. Since everyone has their favorite cut, Kolligian is starting a featured steak night with the rib eye, New York strip (always available) and top sirloin in varied sizes, preparations and price ranges. “We want our steaks to be affordable.” For people who want lighter fare there will be a different steak salad weekly, such as Southwest, Thai and Mediterranean. In addition to the regular lunch menu, he has introduced seven baked sub sandwiches. We talked hoagy history since I’m a Philadelphia lady, where they have the best in the world. He was a corporate executive for the Great Steak and Fry Company and respected the Philadelphia product. Incahoots uses the same bread they serve in

my hometown. Mary Ann noted that “the bread makes the sandwich.” And how! After tasting their cod parmesan sub, I know he knows what he’s talking about — firm, chewy roll, flaky fish, Dino’s chunky, homemade marinara and the perfect cheese combination — like a pizza in a sandwich. A tasty dill pickle was a fun side. My next two selections were the roasted zucchini, red pepper pizza and the salmon caesar salad. I tasted the pizza quickly while it was hot. The vegetables were roasted to caramelized excellence with their sweetness at its maximum. The goat cheese accents worked well with the garlic, softening its bite but leaving the tantalizing tanginess. The salmon, from Norwegian Fjords, was tender and silky with a good charbroiled taste. Kolligian explained that “because it’s fatty it absorbs the smoky flavor.” The fattier the salmon, the better. The salad dressing was a good balance of tart

and creamy garlic over crisp greens. A friend told me she finds the salads at Incahoots irresistible. According to a frequent diner, “the restaurant is one part spacious sports bar, one part bistro so it satisfies whatever mood I’m in.” Guests can eat out on a planter lined, wrought iron gated patio. There is a full service bar with craft beers on six taps, a large selection of bottled beer and a full wine list. They have live music on Saturday evenings and some Fridays. There is also a large private banquet room with package deals for hors d’oeuvres, sit down or buffet style meals. Happy hour is 2 - 6 p.m., Monday Saturday. Inchahoots is open Monday - Thursday, 11 - 12 a.m.; Friday - Saturday, 11 - 1 a.m.; Sunday, 4 - 10 p.m. Incahoots 4110 Hunt Road Blue Ash, OH 45236 513-793-2600


THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012

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Global worrying

Predictably, despite his unassailable credentials and the scientific community’s ostensible commitment to objectively consider all hypotheses, Dr. Lindzen has been excoriated by many of his colleagues, who, while they concede the enormous effect of clouds on climate, say he lacks proof for his contention and that, by raising the cloud issue, he is acting, in the words of one, in a “deeply unprofessional and irresponsible” manner. The Times reporter mirrors that negativity, beginning his piece by stating that “a small group of scientific dissenters,” having had “their arguments… knocked down by accumulating evidence,” have “seized on one last argument,” namely, “that clouds will save us.” There is a reference to “withering criticism” of Dr. Lindzen and an assertion that the renegade researcher has been “embraced” by “politicians looking for reasons not to tackle climate change.” The sneering is subtle, but it’s there. Less subtle was the environmental zeal of Al Armendariz, the erstwhile top Environmental Protection Agency official in Texas, who recently resigned after a video emerged of him discussing how to enforce oil and gas extraction regulations. He suggested the

Do you have something to say? E-mail your letter to

Dear Editor,

I am not a historian, and this is the extent of my knowledge.

Your story on the Borscht Belt has special significance for me. My parents met at Grossinger's in 1946 and were married four months later. They were married for 62 years before his death in 2002. For their three children, the Borscht Belt was where it all started. Sincerely, Rob Weidenfeld, Lebanon, OH Dear Editor, To Stephen D. Strauss, The article about Judah Touro Cemetery was informative and interesting. I have only one correction. You said that it was unique because it was named for a person. In fact, Schachnus Cemetery was also named for a person— Rabbi Schachne Isaacs. The cemetery established by his congregation was originally known as “Schachne’s Cemetery”. From that, it was called Schachnus I know this because I attended a lecture by Rabbi Max Newman z”l, who told us this. I still have a tape of his presentation. In addition, I think Montefiore might have been named for a person. Judah Touro is the only local cemetery to include both the given name and surname of a person.

Sincerely, Josephine Rosenblum Cincinnati, OH Dear Editor, A Lag B’Omer afternoon of spirited Jewish pride was hosted and run by the students and staff of our hometown yeshiva, Yeshivas Lubavitch of Cincinnati. The grounds of Losantiville School were filled with young families enjoying a carnival staffed by the teenage yeshiva students. Face painting, games, moon bounces and refreshments kept the children busy. A rally followed, with dancing clowns, music, and prizes raffled off. The yeshiva’s annual parade followed, and headed to the brand new Beis Medrash of the yeshiva, in the former Masonic Temple building. Banners, clowns, several floats, were followed by a stream of community members, as in past years. This year’s parade was also a Hachnoses Sefer Torah, a traditional procession of honor and joy to welcome a newly refurbished Torah scroll to its home, the new study hall. A marching band on wheels, accompanied the Torah, and continued to play amidst dancing at the yeshiva. The Torah ceremony marked the inauguration of the yeshiva

site. “Our students are so excited about their new home that they volunteered to construct the new bookcases and Aron Kodesh for our study hall,” Rabbi Gershon Avtzon, the principal, related. “They wanted to contribute in a hand- on way, and we were happy to give them an opportunity to use their many talents.” The students were also guided in all the Lag B’Omer preparations by the eight 20 year old student mentors, who organize many extracurricular activities and community service projects for the boys throughout the year. “In the Kabbalah, it says that the world was created by G-d as he looked into the Torah. A new Torah and new home for the Torah brings new energy, spirituality and blessings not only to our school, but to our whole community,” Rabbi Avtzon concluded. Sincerely, Anonymous, Cincinnati, OH Moshiach Now! Dear Editor, Regarding the article for The American Israelite aimed at seniors. If you are a senior who needs money, avoid “reverse mortgages.” Choose a “leaseback” instead. LETTERS on page 22

T EST Y OUR T ORAH KNOWLEDGE THIS WEEK’S PORTION: BAMIDBAR (BAMIDBAR 1:1—4:16) 1. The Levites took the place of which group to serve in the Mishkan? a.) Firstborn b.) Moshe c.) Originally anybody who desired could serve in the Mishkan 2. Are a Kohen and Levi the same? a.) Yes b.) No 3. If somebody who is not a Kohen does the job of a Kohen is he punished?? a.) Yes world not in this world. 4. C 3:15-37 5. C 4:3 At age 30 a person reached full strength and after 50 began to lose to stregth. In the Temple in Jerusalem, the age of work was different.

The climate alarm-raisers may turn out to have been modern-day Chicken Littles squawking that the sky is warming.


b.) No 4. How many groups were the Levites divided into? a.) None, one homogenous group b.) Two c.) Three 5. What was the age a Levi could work in the Mishkan? a.) Thirteen and up with no retirement age b.) Twenty and up with no retirement age c.) Thirty to fifty

the right to serve because they did not sin by the golden calf. Sforno. 2. B 3:9 The Levites were to assist the Kohanim, but did not do the same work as the Kohen 3. A 3:10 Even a Levi can not do the job of a Kohen. The punishment of death is in the next

I think I’ve discovered what makes me so uncomfortable about the assertion that global warming is a real and urgent problem. A front-page New York Times story on May 1 concerned (thanks, Mr. Rumsfeld, for the pithy phrase) a “known unknown”: the earth’s cloud cover. Specifically, the causes and effects of its extent, altitude and qualities — which are only very imperfectly understood. MIT professor of meteorology Richard S. Lindzen, the article explains, considers clouds a sort of planetary self-corrective mechanism that can counter the effects of greenhouse gases, the global warming drama’s villains.

approach of “the Romans,” who “used to conquer villages” by taking “the first five guys they saw and… crucify[ing] them,” rendering the village “really easy to manage for the next few years.” Of course, neither the hasty dismissal of rational speculations like Dr. Lindzen’s nor the overenthusiasm of some environmentalists like Mr. Armendariz means that climate change isn’t real or that we have no responsibility to try to deal with it. We simply don’t know. The climate alarm-raisers may turn out to have been modernday Chicken Littles squawking that the sky is warming. But they may turn out to have been environmental prophets. To be sure, most of the scientific community believes the latter. But in something as complex and long-term as climate change, even a scientific consensus — “groupthink,” Dr. Lindzen calls it — is only a contender for truth, not its arbiter. Still, what those who preach with absolute certainty that our climate is in crisis bring to mind is the late writer Michael Crichton’s assertion that people who do not believe in G-d “still have to believe in something that gives meaning” to their lives, and that “environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists.” Environmentalism, he elaborated, posits “an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature,” then “a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge” — i.e. technology and exploitation of natural resources — and “as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all.” “We are all energy sinners,” he concluded, summing up the new religion’s world-view, “doomed to die, unless we seek salvation.” What Dr. Lindzen’s contention and the reaction to it have helped me realize is that, whether or not Mr. Crichton is correct, a core credo of environmental zealots (whether or not they also believe in G-d) is the belief that human beings are where the environment buck stops, that we alone can make or break the planet. Once again: the climate may in fact be in crisis. What discomforts me, though, is the stance of those who insist that they know with absolute surety — which they can’t — that it is. And that by lambasting any who dare dissent from their pronouncement, they show unwillingness to even consider the possibility that the world G-d created for us humans may not need our help to stay inhabitable — that, in His wisdom, He may have imbued not only our skin with the ability to heal its wounds, but the earth’s to do the same.

Written by Rabbi Dov Aaron Wise

ANSWERS 1. A 3:12 The first born had the right to serve because Hashem saved them during the plague of the first born in Egypt. Since this honor was not earned, they lost the right when Bnai Yisroel sinned with the golden calf. The Levites earned

By Rabbi Avi Shafran Contributing Columnist


THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012

Sedra of the Week

by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel - “When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest . . . From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the Lord” (Lev 23:9,10,15,16). Our Hebrew calendar places us at the end of the count of the Omer which connects Passover and Shavuot, after the modern holidays of Israel Independence Day and Jerusalem Day. It gives us a perfect opportunity to take a fresh look at the Biblical commandment to count the Omer. In this way, we can understand the connection between Passover and Shavuot, and discern the silent “finger of the Divine” guiding Jewish history. Our investigation begins with a most problematic phrase which is to be found in the Biblical passage dealing with all of the festivals. “When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest . . . From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. Count fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the Lord” (Lev 23:9,10,15,16).” The count is to begin “on the morrow of the Rest Day,” which may be interpreted as either on the day after the Sabbath following the Passover festival or on the day following the first day of the festival of Passover, the 16th day of Nissan. The Sadducees were a second commonwealth religious sect consisting mainly of Kohanim and wealthy aristocrats who were strict Biblical constructionists and who limited the scope of the Oral Law. They maintained the former interpretation, arguing that the count was to begin the day after the Sabbath. This meant that the Israelites would count from Sunday to Sunday for seven weeks with Shavuot always falling out on the50th day, a Sunday. The Pharisees—the second commonwealth religious sect who


The Sadducees were a second commonwealth religious sect consisting mainly of Kohanim and wealthy aristocrats who were strict Biblical constructionists and who limited the scope of the Oral Law.

made up the religious mainstream —were committed to an expanding Oral Law. They would always begin the count on the second night of Passover, Nissan 16, with the specific day of the week remaining fluid, depending on the year. The Sadducees’ interpretation seems much more in line with the plain meaning of our Biblical text, “on the morrow of the Sabbath”. For the Pharisees, Shabbat in this context must be taken to mean “festival,” a day of rest. What is the true basis of their debate? Remember that the Pharisees could find themselves harvesting the barley omer on Friday night, which would be impossible for the Sadducees for whom the harvest sacrifice was always on Saturday night, on Sunday eve. The heart of our understanding of this Pharisee-Sadducee debate lies in two distinct ways of viewing the Festivals and the two distinct and separate New Years of the Hebrew calendar. Tishrei marks the New Year from an agricultural and universalistic perspective, commemorating the creation of the world on Rosh Hashanah and announcing the beginning of the rainy season which is so necessary for the year’s good crop and harvest on Sukkot. Nissan, on the other hand, is the first month from an historical and nationalistic perspective, commemorating our exodus from Egypt and our birth as an independent nation. Which of these two rubrics does the Omer period fit into? The Sadducees logically maintained that it is purely agricultural, a seven week period which opens with the ripening of barley and concludes with the ripening of wheat, with the rest of the seven species ripening during this time as well. It is a free-standing period of seven Sabbath weeks, paralleling the seven times seven Sabbaticals of 49 years and culminating in the purely agricultural Festival of the first fruits

(Shavuot). Note as well the centrality of the Shabbat element in this entire picture, emphasizing the morrow of the Sabbath day! The Pharisees see it differently. Remember, they would say, that the Bible commands the Omer count and barley harvest sacrifice right after its mention of Passover, the first month marking our national independence and entrance into history. Hence they link the count specifically to Passover, beginning on the second eve of Passover, thereby the connection from Passover to Shavuot in an extricable bond. And although the period is unmistakably dedicated to the grain harvest, it is also—and for them primarily—the count of in preparation for the Revelation at Sinai. Passover is only the first step of our freedom from slavery, leading up to the much more exalted freedom with our service of the Divine through the Revelation at Sinai on the 50th day (Shavuot, according to our oral tradition). From this historical perspective, Passover only begins a march to freedom, which culminates on Shavuot with the Festival of First Fruits in our Temple. It is the time for our ethical, moral and religious preparation for God’s revelation. Historically, along the way, we fell down on the job, and so we must mourn the loss of 24,000 of Rabbi Akiva’s disciples in the abortive Bar Kochba rebellion against Rome, a tragedy which occurred during this period of the calendar year (in 135 CE) because we didn’t respect each other sufficiently. The modern calendar, however, brings us renewed hope with our new festivals of Israeli Independence Day and Jerusalem Day occurring during this same calendar period as well! Shabbat Shalom Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Chancellor Ohr Torah Stone Chief Rabbi – Efrat Israel

TIKKUN LEIL SHAVUOT 5772 – A NIGHT OF STUDY May 26 & 27 AT THE HOME OF BOBBY & ARNA FISHER – 2635 SECTION ROAD 12:00A-1:15A - Witchcraft, Black Magic, and the Occult of Judaism? Rationalist vs. Kabbalistic Approaches - Dr. Nachum Klafter, MD, Director of Psychotherapy Training, Psychiatry Residency Program, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine 1:30A-2:45A - Taking TaNaKh at its Word: The Art of Biblical Narrative (selected) - Mrs. Arna Poupko Fisher, MA, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies, University of Cincinnati 3:00A-4:15A - Paradigm Shift: How Kabbalas HaTorah Changed our World - Rabbi Binyamin Yudin, MSW/LCW, Chaplain, Bereavement Coordinator, Cedar Village Hospice 4:30A-5:45A - Love and Hate in Jewish Law - Rabbi Daniel Schon, Cincinnati Community Kollel Scholar W W W . S H A A R E I T O R A H C I N C Y. O R G













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By Nate Bloom Contributing Columnist MEN IN BLACK REDUX The first two “Men in Black” movies (1997) and (2002) were huge box office hits. So, of course, they’ve made another — this time in 3-D. “Men 3,” which opens on Friday, May 25, begins with Agent J (Will Smith) learning that the life of Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) and the future of Planet Earth are at risk. “J” must time travel to 1969 to stop an alien criminal named Boris and change the course of history. “J” teams up with the young version of Agent K (Josh Brolin) to stop Boris. “J” only has 24 hours to do this, or he will be trapped in the past forever. BARRY SONNENFELD, 59, who directed the first two “Men” movies, helms this one, too. He began as a top cinematographer and then was tapped (1991) to direct the first of two “Adams Family” movies. They were hits, as was his next film, “Get Shorty” (1995). STEVEN SPIELBERG then asked Sonnenfeld to direct the first “Men” movie. (Spielberg has produced all three.) “Men 3” is cowritten by ETAN COHEN, 38, who was born in Israel and grew up mostly in the States. He’s a graduate of the prestigious Maimonides Modern Orthodox school near Boston and Harvard College. He wrote for TV comedies until his script for “Tropic Thunder,” a 2008 film farce co-starring and co-written by BEN STILLER, 46, made him an in-demand film writer. HEMINGWAY AND GELLHORN The HBO original movie, “Hemingway & Gellhorn,” premieres on Sunday, May 28, at 9 p.m. The publicity release gives the essential plot: “This biographical drama recounts one of the greatest romances of the last century—the passionate love affair (1936-39) and tumultuous marriage (194045) of literary master Ernest Hemingway (Clive Owen) and trailblazing war correspondent Martha Gellhorn (Nicole Kidman) —as it follows the adventurous writers through the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) and beyond. As she grew in reputation and stature, Gellhorn stood toe-to-toe with Hemingway, mirroring his heroic spirit and putting his famous bravado and iconic style to the test.” Here’s the Jewish angle: GELLHORN (1908-98) had three Jewish grandparents and was raised secular in St. Louis. She was among the first journalists to reach the liberated Dachau concentration camp at the end of WWII and the experience changed her. She embraced her Jewish background and became a passionate and life-long supporter of



Israel. A supporting (real-life) character in the film is the famous photographer ROBERT CAPA (1913-54). A Hungarian Jew, he took iconic photos of the Spanish Civil War and, later, the Israeli War of Independence. PETER COYOTE, 70, plays Max Perkins, Hemingway’s literary editor. The film is directed by PHILLIP KAUFMAN, 75 (“The Right Stuff,” Unbearable Lightness of Being”). Here’s a few sidelight tidbits that might interest you: Hemingway made an American WASP the hero of “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” his novel about the Spanish Civil War. However, about 40 percent of the American volunteers who went to Spain to fight for the Republic against the Nazibacked Franco rebel forces were Jewish and the number of American WASPs fighting in Spain was tiny; writer Max Eastman is a prominent character in the film. He was not Jewish as most people assume; the HBO film was shot almost entirely in San Francisco. Kaufman found San Fran locales that worked: like a Chinatown street that looks like Shanghai in the ‘40s. JUST GREAT: RASHIDA JONES ANCESTRY STORY The NBC celebrity roots show, “Who Do You Think You Are?” has one annoying feature. They do not announce which celebrity they are profiling until a week or so before airdate. That’s why I didn’t clue you in to the May 4th airing of the show featuring actress RASHIDA JONES, 36, (“Community,” “I Love You Man”) in advance. The good news is that episode can be viewed on-line until next September and the website version includes a couple of deleted scenes, family photos, and a written re-cap of the show’s scenes. Jones is the daughter of Jewish actress PEGGY LIPTON, 65, best known for the ‘60s series, “Mod Squad,” and her ex-husband, famous African-American composer/producer Quincy Jones (a very classy guy). Rashida was raised Jewish and firmly identifies as Jewish in a religious sense. Rashida already knew a lot about her father’s ancestry, so she opted to explore her maternal grandmother’s life and ancestry. Her grandmother was born into the small, but vibrant Irish Jewish community and Jones traveled first to Ireland. She learned that her Irish Jewish ancestors originally were from Latvia, so she traveled there to learn more. The whole episode was fascinating, but the ending, which I won’t reveal, was extraordinarily moving. You can easily find the episode on the show’s website. Simply google the title.

FROM THE PAGES 150 Y EARS A GO Divine service in the Temple, on Lodge Street, between 5th and 6th streets, at 6 p.m.; oration by the Editor of The Israelite. — July 4, 1862

125 Y EARS A GO Miss Emma Scheuer, of Avondale, gave a lawn fete last week. The many friends of Albert Stadler tendered him a farewell banquet this week. Mr. and Mrs. Louis Mayer and family and Mr. Albert Stadler leave Cincinnati June 1st for New York, whence they will sail for Europe, on the 15th. Invitations are out for a complimentary dinner at Coney Island next Tuesday afternoon, at which Messrs. J.D. Hegler, President, and James Collins, Manager, will entertain a number of Cincinnati’s prominent citizens. There are merchants in Cincinnati, especially in the wholesale line, who assert that Expositions are not of benefit to them nor the city, and the storekeepers in Cincinnati’s “diadem of cities” antagonize every attempt to bring large crowds here, claiming that it injures trade. The amount of money a million visitors will bring to Cincinnati will in the aggregate be very large and materially benefit local trade here. But the people who leave it come from so vast a territory and are so widely distributed that the effect in their homes is imperceptible and does not affect the local shopkeeper nor in any way injure the wholesale trade here. The great advantage of the centennial next year will be not only in the people drawn here, but in the wholesome notoriety of and advertisement which the city by name gets over a wide area of country. — May 27, 1887

Union College also. According to published reports, Hon. Alfred M. Cohen of Cincinnati, will be the choice for Governor of Ohio of the Hamilton County delegation to the Democratic State Convention. Every one of the delegates will be instructed to vote for Mr. Cohen on the first ballot and continue to vote for him and employ every effort to secure his nomination. — May 23, 1912

75 Y EARS A GO Miss Rae Kruke and Mrs. Harry Moschinsky were co-hostesses at a tea given for the Jolly Helpers Club Thursday, May 20th, at the home of Mrs. Moschinsky on Harvey Avenue. Miss Rae Kruke was chosen president. Assisting her will be Miss Teddy Grossman, vice- president and publicity chairman; Mrs. Leonard Spiegel, secretary; Mrs. Dave Johnson, recording secretary; Mrs. Herman Weiss, treasurer; and Mrs. Harry Moschinsky, birthday secretary. Word has been received that Mr. Fred Stricker, son of Mrs. Clifford Stricker, has had his latest composition, a song “Without Your Love,” accepted in Hollywood. It is to be featured in Hal Roach’s picture, “Pick a Star,” and is played by Eddie Duchin on a Victor record. Mr. Stricker was a member of the Walnut Hills High School orchestra and musical director of Fresh Painters at U.C. Mr. Julian S. Rauh, general chairman of the 1937 Community Chest campaign, became Chest chairman for the year May 20th, in accordance with custom. Those elected include Messrs. Edgar Friedlander, treasurer; Julius W. Freiberg, board member; William J. Shroder, chairman of Executive Budget Committee; Julian A. Pollak a vice-chairman of the Chest. — May 27, 1937



Mr. I.M. Marienthal of New York, spent the past week with his mother, Mrs. M. Marienthal of 225 Forrest Avenue, Avondale, where he renewed the acquaintance of old friends. Mrs. Rosella Mork, the widow of Solomon Mork, died last Monday at her residence, Shillito Street and Reading Road. Interment occurred in Judah Torah Cemetery, Dr. Grossman officiated. The stereoptican views on Jewish life in Palestine to be shown at the benefit performance for the Jewish National Fund given by the Cincinnati Zionist Society at the Auditorium on May 26, at 8 p.m., will be explained by Prof. Gotthard Deutsch. Among to whom the Phi Beta Kappa honors were awarded at the University of Cincinnati, this year, were: Miss Dora Stecker, Miss Irma Reinhart, Mr. Harold F. Reinhart and Mr. Louis L. Mann who takes his M.A. this year. Mr. Reinhart and Mr. Mann are students of the Hebrew

Mrs. David S. Kahn and Mrs. David I. Randman are chairmen of hostesses for the 16th anniversary luncheon of the Jewish Hospital. Mrs. David L. Graller, luncheon chairman said that the hostess chairmen and their committee are contacting members. The luncheon will be held Friday June 1, at noon, at Losantaville Country Club. An open business meeting will be held at 11 a.m. An afternoon of fun will follow. Mrs. Kahn and Mrs. Randman announced that their vice-chairmen include: Mesdames Ira Abrahamson, Jr., Edward Alberts, I. A. Berman, L. Leonard Bernstein, Robert Bowman, Jr., Myron Cohen, Philip S. Cohen, Betty Jane Cole, Norbert Covy, Alvin Dunbar, Fred Elkus, Darryl T. Goldberg, Earl Goldsmith, Jr., Willis D. Gradison, Melville Granby, George Heldman, Melvin Hesse, Max

Jerris, Richard Jolson, Jack B. Josselson, Maurice Koch, William Kuby, Charles B. Levinson, John Levitas, Philip M. Myers, Hyman Moskowitz, Robert Oestreicher, Bert Pleatman, Robert A. Stein, Julian Vigran. — May 24, 1962

25 Y EARS A GO The Kinder Klub of the Orthodox Jewish Home for the Aged recently honored Henry Kadetz for his dedication and devotion to the residents of the Home. An estimated 6,000 persons came to Burnet Woods May 17 for the 11th annual Cincinnati Jewish Folk Festival. They heard live Jewish entertainment from the main stage, visited organizational booths, viewed and bought Jewish art works, ate kosher hamburgers, hot dogs, and falafel, and had their children entertained at the children’s and toddler stages. Councilman Jim Cissell was present to proclaim May 17 “Jewish Folk Festival Week.” The National Council of Jewish Women’s Angel Ball ’87 will be on June 13 with “Memories” as its theme. “Remembering the glamour and excitement of past Angel Balls and forming new ones as we renew this unique NCJW tradition is our goal for our fund raiser,” commented chairman Marilyn Gallant. Gallant and co-chairmen Rhonda Byer, Carolyn Lowitz and Joanne Essig have all planned the event, which will take place at the Omni Netherland Plaza Pavilion Caprice. — May 28, 1987

10 Y EARS A GO Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), Cincinnati, will hold its ordination ceremony Saturday, June 1, at 9:30 a.m. at Plum Street Temple with Rabbi David Ellison, president of HUC-JIR, ordaining 11 new rabbis. The ordination class has invited Anita Diamant, prize-winning journalist and author of The Red Tent and Good Harbor, to address them during the service. The following students will be ordained as rabbis: Jeremy A. Barras, Michael Z. Birnholz, Karen N. Companez, Alan R. Freedman, David L. Levinsky, Daniel R. Plotkin, Jonathan S. Roos, Laura M. Sheinkopf Hoffman, Jonathan S. Siger, Lauren F. Werber and Beth B. Wing. Fanny Cohen, 86, passed away May 11. Mrs. Cohen was born in Newport, KY. She was the daughter of the late Harry and Sarah (Tuch) Weisman. Mrs. Cohen was the wife of the late Coleman Cohen, to whom she was married for 61 years prior to his demise in 2000. Mrs. Cohen was the mother of the late Harriet Nassif and Edith Solomon. Surviving Mrs. Cohen are a daughter and a son: Ruth Rosensweig of Summit, N.J., and Ben Cohen of Cincinnati. — May 23, 2002

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012


COMMUNITY DIRECTORY COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS Access (513) 373-0300 • Big Brothers/Big Sisters Assoc. (513) 761-3200 • Camp Ashreinu (513) 702-1513 Camp at the J (513) 722-7258 • Camp Chabad (513) 793-5111 • Camp Livingston (513) 793-5554 • Cedar Village (513) 754-3100 • Chevra Kadisha (513) 396-6426 Cincinnati Community Mikveh 513-351-0609 • Fusion Family (513) 703-3343 • Halom House (513) 791-2912 • Hillel Jewish Student Center (513) 221-6728 • Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Cincinnati 513-961-0178 • Jewish Community Center (513) 761-7500 • Jewish Community Relations Council (513) 985-1501 Jewish Family Service (513) 469-1188 • Jewish Federation of Cincinnati (513) 985-1500 • Jewish Foundation (513) 514-1200 Jewish Information Network (513) 985-1514 Jewish Vocational Service (513) 985-0515 • Kesher (513) 766-3348 Plum Street Temple Historic Preservation Fund (513) 793-2556 Shalom Family (513) 703-3343 • The Center for Holocaust & Humanity Education (513) 487-3055 • Vaad Hoier (513) 731-4671 Workum Fund (513) 899-1836 • YPs at the JCC (513) 761-7500 •

CONGREGATIONS Adath Israel Congregation (513) 793-1800 • Beit Chaverim (513) 984-3393 Beth Israel Congregation (513) 868-2049 • Congregation Beth Adam (513) 985-0400 • Congregation B’nai Tikvah (513) 759-5356 • Congregation B’nai Tzedek (513) 984-3393 • Congregation Ohav Shalom (513) 489-3399 •

Congregation Ohr Chadash (513) 252-7267 • Congregation Sha’arei Torah Congregation Zichron Eliezer 513-631-4900 • Golf Manor Synagogue (513) 531-6654 • Isaac M. Wise Temple (513) 793-2556 • Kehilas B’nai Israel (513) 761-0769 Northern Hills Synagogue (513) 931-6038 • Rockdale Temple (513) 891-9900 • Temple Beth Shalom (513) 422-8313 • Temple Sholom (513) 791-1330 • The Valley Temple (513) 761-3555 •

EDUCATION Chai Tots Early Childhood Center (513) 234.0600 • Chabad Blue Ash (513) 793-5200 • Cincinnati Hebrew Day School (513) 351-7777 • HUC-JIR (513) 221-1875 • JCC Early Childhood School (513) 793-2122 • Kehilla - School for Creative Jewish Education (513) 489-3399 • Mercaz High School (513) 792-5082 x104 • Kulanu (Reform Jewish High School) 513-262-8849 • Regional Institute Torah & Secular Studies (513) 631-0083 Rockwern Academy (513) 984-3770 •

ORGANIZATIONS American Jewish Committee (513) 621-4020 • American Friends of Magen David Adom (513) 521-1197 • B’nai B’rith (513) 984-1999 BBYO (513) 722-7244 Hadassah (513) 821-6157 • Jewish Discovery Center (513) 234.0777 • Jewish National Fund (513) 794-1300 • Jewish War Veterans (513) 204-5594 • NA’AMAT (513) 984-3805 • National Council of Jewish Women (513) 891-9583 • State of Israel Bonds (513) 793-4440 • Women’s American ORT (513) 985-1512 •

DO YOU WANT TO PLACE A CLASSIFIED? Send an e-mail including what you would like in your classified & your contact information to

business@ or call Erin at 621-3145 FOUNDATION from page 1 Primarily through the work of this center, JFS intends to more than double its current number of clients served by 2020. Its vision is to establish the Barbash Family Vital Support Center as a new anchor for Jewish social services, and to increase JFS’s capacity to not only meet immediate needs but also to address the long-term challenges of identifying and helping more people in the areas of poverty and mental illness. “The opening of this new center will enable the Jewish Family Service Food Pantry to move to a campus where operations will be expanded to include an array of programs and services that address the entire spectrum of hardships that accompany hunger and poverty,” said Beth Schwartz, executive director of Jewish Family Service. “This new center on the HUC-JIR campus will help us meet the growing demand in our community for case management services and improve the quality of life for the most vulnerable members of our Jewish community.” The new Barbash Family Vital Support Center will open in early 2013. “The Jewish Foundation’s core mission is to invest in high-impact initiatives that will strengthen the Cincinnati Jewish community,” said FEDERATION from page 1 fall below 200 percent of Federal poverty guidelines (i.e., $27,000 for a two-person household). Until now, we have only been able to help a small percent of our poorest community members, explained Beth Schwartz, executive director of Jewish Family Service. The new Barbash Family Vital Support Center will change everything. The size, location and design on the HUC-JIR campus will enable us to more than double our current number of clients served by 2020. And we will be able to provide them with more comprehensive services, including addressing the long-term challenges created by poverty and mental illness. Being at HUC and having their rabbinic students provide pastoral services will truly make this Center unique. Of the $2.1 million total private donations required to open the Barbash Center by early 2013, $800,000 must still be raised. To meet this goal, the Jewish


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Up to 24 hour care Meal Preparation Errands/Shopping Hygiene Assistance Light Housekeeping

(513) 531-9600 Michael R. Oestreicher, president of The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati. “Our investments in HUC and JFS were conceived to attract top rabbinical students from around the world and enhance the Cincinnati campus’ importance to our community as well as within the HUC-JIR system, leverage the natural synergies between and among Jewish agencies, and bolster the Jewish community’s ability to address Jewish poverty.” Dr. Jonathan Cohen, dean of HUC-JIR’s Cincinnati campus added, “The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati’s support will strengthen our ability to recruit individuals with the intellect, spiritual depth, vision, and compassion required for leadership. It will renew our engagement with the larger Cincinnati community through programs accessing our renowned resources, including our world-class faculty, the Klau Library (the second largest Jewish library in the world), the American Jewish Archives, and the Skirball Museum. Furthermore, this grant will enhance our rabbinical students’ professional development by implementing a groundbreaking new program of advanced service learning through placements at JFS’s new Barbash Family Vital Support Center and throughout the Cincinnati community’s Jewish agencies, educational institutions, and organizations.” Federation of Cincinnati will partner with JFS to launch a Sustainability Campaign, cochaired by Pam Barbash, Bret Caller and Beth Guttman. Jewish Federation Past President Bret Caller explained, “This is what Cincinnati 2020 is all about, bringing together people and organizations in order to achieve community priorities that no one organization could achieve by itself.” The transformative investment by The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati, which will total $3.2 million over a 10-year period, will be used for initial expenses of developing the Barbash Center and the increased costs of the expanded services. However, the bulk of the Center’s ongoing operating budget will continue to rely on donations given through both the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati Community Campaign and Jewish Family Service’s Friends Campaign. FEDERATION on page 20



Women and investing: Are your priorities in the right order? Financially Yours

by Pamela Schmitt CFA, CDFA

Men, you should listen up too! Women and investing — It’s a topic of conversation that has become more prevalent in recent years, as the traditionally male task of managing finances and investments has moved to a higher priority for women in all stages of life. This new focus is for good reason. More women than ever before are choosing to be financially independent, whether married or not, and more often women are proactively taking control of this important aspect of their lives. These women are generally educated or are in the process of learning what they need to know in order to FEDERATION from page 19 “Jewish values teach us that the measure of a community is how it treats the most vulnerable,” said Dr. Jonathan Cohen, dean of HUC-JIR’s Cincinnati campus. “Not only will the Barbash Family Vital Support Center provide rabbinical counseling, but it will also be a place where parents can bring their children to volunteer out of a FINELL from page 3 academic excellence and shapes intellectually engaged, spiritually aware, and socially responsible students.” “There are probably less than a dozen educational leaders in America with track records of innovation and success in both the Judaic and secular fields that compare to David Finell’s,” said Shep Englander, CEO of the Jewish Federation and a HATE-FLIERS from page 3 Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education. Many schools in the area include “Night” in their reading lists. “While it is unfortunate that individuals who hate and want to deny history are present and visible and active, it’s a small minority of people,” said Weiss. “We should use this to energize

maintain their financial health. There is a second group of women, however, who will need to be just as aware of these financial health issues at some point in their lives, but who currently rely on someone else (usually their husbands) to manage their finances, hoping that it can just stay that way. While the life expectancies for men have been increasing by greater amounts than those for women, women still live an average of five years longer than men. It is estimated that 80 percent of men will die married but 80 percent of women will die single, with 50 percent of marriages in the United States ending in divorce. As a result, approximately 90 percent of all women will have sole responsibility for their own finances at some point in their lives. Whether you are a woman who recognizes your own need to understand more about being financially healthy, or a man concerned about his wife, sister, daughter or mother, here are some simple guidelines to consider. These are, quite frankly, important principles for any individual. 1. Pay yourself first. If you have an employer-sponsored retirement plan with a match, your first priority should be to contribute the

maximum amount that will be matched. The amount of the match is like free money, so take advantage of it. 2. Pay off high interest-rate debt, such as credit cards and other installment loans, which are not tax-deductible – interest rates can be 8, 9, or 10 percent; even up to 20 percent. Eliminating that expense can be viewed as an instant equivalent “return” on those dollars. 3. Create an emergency fund to cover at least three months of expenses. Even though interest rates are low, establish a bank account or money market fund to make sure that those funds will be there if ever needed. 4. Save the maximum amount in tax-advantaged retirement accounts, such as IRAs. 5. Save for children’s education in tax-advantaged accounts, such as 529 plans. 6. Add to retirement savings outside of tax-advantaged accounts. In my last column, I outlined some simple steps to calculate the “nest egg” you’ll need in retirement. With that goal in mind and a disciplined investment program in place, regular additions to these savings will help you attain your goal and ensure financial health for a lifetime.

spirit of tikkun olam (repairing the world).” “Bringing together generous donors with the right organizations and ideas to make projects like this a success is what the Jewish Federation does best. During the early stages of development, we’ve shared the news of this innovative initiative with a few community members, and many have already told us they want to help us reach

our overall goal,” said Minson. “We are proud to be one of very few communities where private donors, the local Federation and Foundation, the lead social service agency and an international Jewish seminary can work seamlessly to significantly enhance our ability to help those most in need,” said Michael R. Oestreicher, president of The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati.

Rockwern Academy parent. “It is equally exciting that Dr. Finell told me that his decision to come to Cincinnati was strongly influenced by our community’s culture of collaboration, pluralism and excellence. I am confident that Dr. Finell will quickly become a prized asset for the school and the whole community.” According to Schneider, Dr. Finell has already begun to engage in plans for the 2012-2013 school year. He will be in Cincinnati for a week or

two in early June and the community is invited to meet him at The Rockwern Academy Annual Meeting at 7 p.m. on June 6. Dr. Finell will then begin the process of relocating to Cincinnati and will assume his duties full time in early August. Dr. Finell is married to Dorey Brandt-Finell, a social worker and Jewish educator with a master’s degree from Hebrew Union College. They have three grown sons, Arieh, Etan and Benjamin.

and galvanize efforts around Holocaust education. Maybe, in a small way, it’s an opportunity for us.” Publicizing hate-mongering activities requires walking a fine line, said Nina Sundell, area director of the Anti-Defamation League, whose region covers Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania. “The purpose of distributing the fliers is to bring more attention to a

hateful activity,” she said. “There’s a downside to publicizing that as more people hear their message. However, one of the best ways to fight hateful rhetoric and speech is through other speech, the reverse type. It’s always a judgment call” whether or not to make these activities public. Reprinted with permission of the Cleveland Jewish News.

Shavuot party pleasers Zell’s Bites

minutes until they are roasted. Zell’s Tips: Lynn told me she listens for a bit of a grating sound of the salt on the nuts in the roasting pan as she stirs them. This tells her when they are ready.

by Zell Schulman It’s time to party! Shavuot, both an agricultural and historical holiday known as “The season of the giving of our Law,” “The Feast of Weeks” and “The Festival of the First Fruits,” begins at sundown Saturday, May 26. Our kitchens have been busy baking and cooking for this lifecycle celebration. Girls and boys confirm their acceptance of the Torah, making a covenant (or contract) between God and Israel. Shavuot is also the holiday when those who have chosen Judaism prefer having their conversions. It’s a happy time for all. Months of planning and preparation will come to fruition as families and congregations celebrate. Party foods are the order of the day. Especially those recipes made from dairy ingredients like whipping cream, milk and cheeses. I’ve served this tasty, quick and easy recipe whenever I have a big celebration, especially for open house parties. It is sure to get rave reviews. SOUTHERN ROASTED PECANS Makes 3 cups My friend Lynn Marsteller has served her southern roasted pecans for her holiday open house for years. She shared this popular recipe with me. For big parties or celebrations, you need to triple this recipe. Believe me, there won’t be any left. Ingredients: 3 cups pecans halves 1/4 cup melted butter 1 teaspoon salt 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper Method: 1. Preheat your oven to 325º. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet, spread the melted butter over the pecans and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the salt and cayenne pepper and roast 10 to 12 minutes more. It is very important to stir the nuts with a wooden spatula, every 4 or 5

Olive Quickies Makes 20 pieces Everyone loves these. They can be prepared earlier in the day and baked just before serving. I have also made these with black olives stuffed with blue cheese. I triple this recipe when I have lots of drop-in company. Ingredients: One 11oz package refrigerated rolls 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese One 5oz jar pimento filled green olives 4 teaspoons melted butter or margarine Method: l. Cut each biscuit in half. Roll flat. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Wrap this around each olive. Pinch the dough tightly to seal. Place on a cookie sheet. 2. Brush with melted butter or margarine. Bake in preheated 375º oven 15 minutes, or until golden in color. Cool slightly and serve. CAJUN TOASTS Makes about 4 dozen Spicy but everyone loves them. Ingredients: 2 loaves French bread 1/4 teaspoon white pepper l cup olive oil 2 teaspoons minced garlic 1 teaspoon paprika 1-teaspoon cayenne pepper 1-1/2 teaspoon sugar 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1-1/2 teaspoons salt Method: l. Preheat oven to 400º. Cut 24 slices from each French bread loaf. 2. Mix the garlic and olive oil together. Combine the remaining ingredients together and whisk into the olive oil. 3. Brush the bread slices on both sides with seasoned oil, stirring frequently to prevent spices from falling to bottom. Place on a large baking sheet and bake for 5 to 6 minutes on one side, turn and bake 5 to 6 minutes more, until the bread slices are very crisp and golden in color, but not overly brown. Zell’s Tips: These may be made several hours ahead and kept loosely covered with foil at room temperature.


THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012

UC award established in memory of Ray Miller On May 31 at the University of Cincinnati, “The Ray Miller Innovation Award” will be presented at the College of Engineering. It will be delegated as a first, second and third place monetary gift for the best senior projects. Ray Miller had taught engineering at the university for 22 years and was the facilities manager of the power

plant on the UC campus. In addition to his commitment to the university he was an accomplished metal sculpture artist. Examples of his work can be found at Adath Israel, Beth Adam and Ohav Shalom. His daughters, Rachel, Sophie and Julie attend UC and are pleased this award has been in established in his memory.

Pictured are examples of Trawick & Martin’s Judaica artworks: a Tzedakah Box Stone, a stone textured dreidel and the Zebra Mezuzah with Kosher Scroll.

Trawick & Martin offers worldly, Jewish craftsmanship In late 2011, the Kentucky based company Trawick & Martin, an online elegant lifestyle boutique, “opened its doors” to the public as a website-only store. The company focuses on offering luxury gifts of works of art, home decor and fashion accessories from around the globe. “We celebrate different types of art,” noted Lisa Trawick, owner of Trawick & Martin, on how they provide a vehicle for a wide variety of artists from around the world to reach a larger audience. Trawick also spoke of how the store offers items one would normally find in small boutiques around the world or in art galleries. Trawick, along with her husband and T&W’s Director of

Corporate Development, Nicolle van Rouwendaal, travel the world to meet with artists, designers and master craftsmen to create a carefully curated mix of heirloom pieces and vintage items, that are never mass produced and each tell their own story. Among the criteria the pieces need to meet are: “Is there a story behind the pieces, does it have a heritage and is this really produced by the person who designed it?” Included with Italian handcrafted umbrellas and vintage silver tea pieces from London, the company also offers a collection of functional Jewish art, such as brass Seder Plates, tzedakah boxes and menorahs.

“We didn’t set out to start a Judaica line,” noted Trawick, but started one after meeting the Niche Award-winning artist, Joy Stember. Upon viewing Stember’s refined metal artwork, Trawick felt Stember and her pieces fit with what Trawick & Martin wanted to offer its customers. According to the website, the handmade pewter, brass and copper mezuzah case was made according to tradition and regulations. “We look for something unique; we look for someone who makes things of the highest quality, with the highest skill.” The company looks forward to reaching out to people beyond the Midwest in the future.

From start-up nation to ‘scale-up’ nation By Maxine Dovere JointMedia News Service NEW YORK (JNS) — Most are accustomed to calling Israel a “start-up nation,” following the 2009 book by Dan Senor and Saul Singer titled as such. Jonathan Medved, however, is focused on the possibility of a “scale-up” nation. “The next step is to scale up from start-ups to big global companies…to grow Israel’s companies is by focusing on solving big global problems,” says Medved, CEO of mobile software platform provider Vringo, Inc. Medved — one of Israel’s leading serial entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, who made aliyah

in the 1990s and now lives in Jerusalem — spoke to the Israel Business Forum at a gathering high above Times Square in New York City earlier this month. In Israel, he says, “The culture of risk, of immigrants, of informality, the discipline of the army, even tolerance for failure, creates an unprecedented, unequaled atmosphere. The world is starting to understand that Israel is the place to come to — outside of Silicon Valley — for technical start-ups.” Israel provides a “dense” center for innovation, according to Medved, who called the country “start-up central.” Medved’s story is iconic in the world of high tech. Starting by working out of a garage in

Jerusalem, this entrepreneur has co-founded more than 60 Israeli high-tech firms. He writes about Israeli technological developments and is a member of the board of Israel21c. He speaks about Israel’s technological and economic contributions to America and the world in venues as diverse as AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), CUFI (Christians United For Israel) and numerous industry conferences. Noting “this bedrock of warmth and support” and “unshakable” alliance between Israel and America, Medved says the two nations are “incredibly productive and dynamic countries that lead the world in innovation and in technology.”

Antonio Violins’ employees Kate Beltramo and Shawna Wingerberg handle the newest members of the Kenwood store’s string family — guitars and ukuleles.

Antonio Violins now offers guitars, ukuleles Since 1991, Antonio Violins has been seeing to Greater Cincinnati’s string-instrument needs — from the youngest students of music to members of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and beyond. And after the company’s July 2011 move to Kenwood, Antonio Violins now carries handmade acoustic guitars, and most recently ukuleles, in addition to the violins, violas, cellos and basses. “People assumed because we were a string shop, that we had guitars,” explained Shawna Wingerberg, the retail manager. Mike Schear, owner, welcomes patrons of all ages to test the new additions at his family owned and operated store. Schear noted how “hot” the ukulele has become in recent years and how user-friendly it is as an instrument. “It’s easy to play, it has four nylon strings, it doesn’t have a pick, and the chords are easy to learn.” Schear also noted how one doesn’t even need to know how to read music to play the smaller member of the guitar family. As Ira Gershwin once wrote, “It’s never too late to Mendelssohn,” and with Antonio Violins, it’s never too late to learn to play Mendelssohn. While the store does not offer music lessons, they do offer referrals. Wingerberg related a story of an

elderly woman who had in the past few years begun playing the upright bass for the first time in her life and is now a regular customer — coming in for the upkeep of her instrument. At Antonio Violins, where it’s “for musicians, by musicians,” the goal is to provide customers with the finest handmade instruments, at an affordable price when buying or renting. All rental instruments come setup with professionally made strings with four fine tuners. The store professionally hand-fits each fingerboard, peg, soundpost and bridge, and plays each instrument prior to renting. Each outfit includes a genuine horsehair bow, spare set of strings, high quality rosin, pitch pipe, and identification tag. Violin and viola outfits include a shoulder rest and high quality case with backpack straps. All rentals are covered by a full maintenance agreement that include repairs and string replacements. If you are in the market for a rental instrument for your child starting in a string program or in the need for strings, rosin or a new shoulder rest, please stop by. Store hours are Monday and Wednesday 12-7 p.m., Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10-5:30 p.m. and Saturday 10-2 p.m.

22 • OBITUARIES D EATH N OTICES KIRSCHNER, Alan G, age 91, died on May 15, 2012; 23 Iyar, 5772. CONISON, Annette, age 88, died on May 16, 2012; 24 Iyar, 5772. GABBOUR, Charles, age 72, died on May 19, 2012; 27 Iyar, 5772. HAREDIM from page 7 About 50 people protested the event across the street from the stadium. Many of the protesters came from Footsteps, a local organization that helps those who leave haredi Orthodox life integrate into non-haredi society. In particular, they complained that Ichud HaKehillos invested money in the rally rather than in preventing child molestation in the haredi community. LETTERS from page 16 In recent years there’s been a surge of advertising for seniors to get “reverse mortgages.” It’s a way for seniors who are short of cash to stay in their home for a longer time. The seniors get access to about 50 percent of their home’s equity. They make no mortgage payments. But after a certain number of years when the cash dries up, the equity they started with disappears. “Equity” is the difference between what the home is worth and what is owed. It’s a bad deal. A much better alternative is what is known as a “lease back” whereby a relative or friend buys the house. The investor/relative then rents it back to the seniors who pay a rent that provides a rea-


SOUTH SUDAN from page 9 Levi Eshkol. The officer explained that his militants were fighting on Sudan’s southern flank, and that with some help, the Anyana could keep Israel’s enemies bogged down and distracted. According to James Mulla, the director of Voices of Sudan, a coalition of U.S.-based Sudaneseinterest organizations, Israel’s support proved pivotal to the Anyana’s success during the first Sudanese civil war, which ended in 1972. “Israel was the only country that helped the rebels in South Sudan,” Mulla told JTA. “They provided advisers to the Anyana, which is one reason why the government of Sudan wanted to sign a peace agreement. They wanted to finish the Anyana movement just shortly before they got training and advice.” Over the years, there have been reports of the Israelis continuing to aid South Sudanese rebels during sonable return to the investor/relative and allows them to stay longer in the home longer than a reverse mortgage. To illustrate, let’s say a widow needs an extra $1,000 to remain in her home. Her son, who has good credit and savings, agrees to buy the house. Let’s say the home is worth $200,000. The son pays Mom $200,000 by borrowing 80 percent ($160,000) at 4 percent. The remaining $40,000 is from his savings. Ownership then goes to the son. The $200,000 goes into Mom’s checking. The rent can be based on the 4 percent interest paid to the bank. In this example, that’s around $700 a month. So mom pulls $700 a month for the rent to her son and

Sudan’s second civil war, which lasted from 1983 to 2005 and resulted in an estimated 1.5 million to 2.5 million deaths. Angelos Agok, a U.S.-based activist and a 13-year veteran in the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement, recalls that the SPLM’s ties to Israel were kept discrete. “It was an intricate case, where South Sudan was still part of Sudan, which is an Arab country,” Agok said. “We didn’t want to offend them, and we had to be very careful diplomatically.” Agok said SPLA leaders traveled to Israel for training. The Israeli government declined to comment on the subject. Koren says the relationship with South Sudan is consistent with Israel’s strategic interests in East Africa, where state failure and political extremism have provided terrorist groups with potential bases of operation. “In the long run, we’re expecting that friendly countries like

South Sudan could be an ally like other states that are built in a nonextreme way,” he said. Agriculture is another reason for the alliance. South Sudan’s economic future likely depends on large-scale farming. There was little commercial development in the region during the war years, and the country still imports much of its food from Uganda, despite sitting on some of Africa’s richest potential farmland. It’s an area in which Israel has deep expertise, and it shares that expertise in ongoing cooperative projects with numerous developing countries. “We have the initiative and we have the abilities to contribute and to help,” Koren said of South Sudan’s agricultural potential. Israel already has a small presence in the country in the form of IsraAid, an Israeli NGO coalition. In March, an IsraAid delegation helped South Sudan set up its Ministry of Social Development,

which will provide social workrelated services for a population traumatized by decades of war. “Whenever you say you’re from Israel, they’ll open you the door,” said Ophelie Namiech, the head of the Israeli delegation. “When we say we’re Israeli, the trust has already been built.” Eliseo Neuman, who is director of the American Jewish Committee’s Africa Institute and traveled to Juba with the SPLM when South Sudan was still under Khartoum’s control, says the close ties between Israel and South Sudan could complicate both countries’ relationships with the Arab world. “The north was blamed by the Arab League generally for fumbling the secession, and some allege that now they have the Zionists on their southern frontier — meaning the South Sudanese,” Neuman said. “Any very overt strengthening of the relationship might be an irritant.”

$1,000 for her extra monthly expenses. The son breaks even as her $700 pays for the son’s mortgage and a small return on his $40,000 down payment. As a small bonus, the son also gets to write off a depreciation expense of about $2,000 a year. Depending on his tax bracket, that could save him an extra $700 a year. Mom continues to pay for the real estate taxes and upkeep just as she would with the reverse mortgage. The result is that Mom would get around 12 years before the money she was paid runs out. With a reverse mortgage, she would have gotten eight years. With a reverse mortgage, the mortgage wipes out Mom’s equity. With a lease-back, the equity is preserved. More important, the home remains with the family. The son gets a nice investment and Mom can stay in her home a much longer time.

Dear Editor,

Fair does not mean legal. The Nuremberg Laws of 1935 in Nazi Germany were legal, but I think most people would agree that they were not fair. Jews living and working in Germany were prohibited from practicing their profession or working in the government. Yes, there were Jewish bureaucrats and even Jewish men serving in the military in 1933. Was it fair to remove these people from their service just because they were Jewish? Chuck, you seem to be mainly concerned with giving up what is yours that you feel the government has no right to. As you stated, “fairness is not fair if it forces someone else to give up what’s fairly theirs.” When you live in a society, a democracy, a republic, you give up some of your liberty to be governed by the laws of the country passed by those elected. You really have a choice. You can work to change the laws you do not like, or, you can find another country with laws that are more in accordance with your personal beliefs. We all have choices we can make. I live in the city of Cincinnati, in the neighborhood of Northside and I don’t carry or own a gun. I also shower and get my hair cut and beard trimmed on a regular basis. Those are my choices And, I don’t mind the government, state, local or federal, using my tax dollars to help out those less fortunate than me. I was once told that there are three legs to Judaism, like a stool that stands on three legs. One of those legs I remember had to do with giving to help those less fortunate. Giving to the government, perhaps helps all of us to be better Jews. How is that for a Jewish Liberal’s interpretation of taxes?

Sincerely, Ed Rothenberg, Cincinnati, OH

Dear Chuck, I am a Liberal and a Democrat, but I don’t think I am an elitist. I grew up in South Avondale and Bond Hill and went to the same public high school with you. I think we can safely say I am not an elitist. Graduating from the University of Cincinnati in 1964 hardly places me as receiving an elitist education. So, let us examine your concern with the word fair. I agree we can look up the definitions of fair and still not come away with a complete definition of the word. I would suggest that we look at the synonyms and the antonyms of the word fair to give us a more full picture. Synonyms such as impartial, unprejudiced, aboveboard, civil, decent, equal, equitable, evenhanded, honest, honorable, sincere, and unbiased are just a few words that are substitutes for fair. The antonyms also help has bring the definition of fair into focus with such words as biased, partial, prejudiced, unjust and unreasonable.

Sincerely, Fred Zigler Cincinnati, OH



The American Israelite




5 12 19 26 Mature Living *Section

2 Kids/Summer Camps *Section 9 16 23

1 8 Wonderful Weddings / Purim 15 22 29




5 Passover *Issue 12 19 26

3 Bar/Bat Mitzvah *Section 10 Lag B’Omer 17 24 Travel Guide 31

7 The Car Issue 14 21 28




5 Health & Beauty 12 19 26 Mature Living *Section

2 9 Back to School *Section 16 23 30

6 13 Rosh Hashanah *Issue 20 Jewish Year In Review 27




4 Financial & Estate Planning 11 18 25

1 Event Planning 8 15 22 29 Gift Guide *Section

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The American Israelite, May 24, 2012  

American Israelite

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