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Ohio Jews poised for big impact in November By Stewart Ain NY Jewish Week
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CINCINNATI— Out here in the America between the coasts, in what may be the most prized electoral catch of all come November, Sam Samet is President Barack Obama’s worst nightmare. And Michael Heines is Mitt Romney’s. Sipping a cup of coffee after the morning minyan at suburban Adath Israel Synagogue, Samet, 77, said he voted for Obama four years ago. But now, three years into the president’s rocky term, the lifelong Democrat is so disenchanted with him that he might sit out the election. “This is the first time in my life that I’ve run into something like this — and I’m a Democrat,” Samet said. “A lot of people feel this way. … I don’t know what to do.” A few blocks away at the Mayerson JCC, Heines, 47, a commercial real estate developer until the market here collapsed, walked out of the exercise room carrying a gym bag and saying he had not decided for whom to vote. But he stressed he would vote; because of Ohio’s status as a crucial swing state, every vote here takes on added importance. Then he ticked off his many problems with Obama. “Gas prices are high, Obama vetoed the Keystone pipeline, no one is accountable for the TARP money [the federal financial bailout of banks and private companies in 2008], and the Delta Airlines terminal here is a ghost town,” Heines said. He would seem to be a voter tailor made for Mitt Romney, who has been campaigning almost nonstop for four years and has survived a grueling primary process intact and with plenty of money. But Heines’ frank assessment of the former Massachusetts governor: “Romney is clueless” about what is going on. It’s hard to say just how representative Samet and Heines are of Ohio’s Jewish community, which numbers about 150,000, or about 1.3 percent of the state’s 11.3 million residents. But in interviews with about 50 Jews over four days in Ohio’s Queen City — at shuls, supermarkets, JCCs and private
homes — a picture emerges of voters in this key battleground state trying to parse the records and rhetoric of two deeply flawed candidates. A few miles away from the JCC at a Kroger supermarket in the suburb of Blue Ash, Suzy Zipkin, 60, browsed through the kosher meat section and said she generally votes “for the Republican, but I don’t like Romney — he’s kind of creepy. … I’m resigned to voting for Obama, and not because I love him.” But Gary Heiman, one of Romney’s major financial supporters in Ohio, said he is convinced Romney has the right stuff to be president. “To me a leader needs to have real-world experience and needs to be able to understand and create solutions for the economy, the deficit, security, global trade and international relations,” Heiman said as he sat behind his desk at Standard Textile Co., where he is the president and CEO. “Romney has had that.” Analysts say that with about 20 percent of the American electorate still undecided, Ohio, with its 18 electoral votes, is one of eight swing states very much in play. The others are said to be Virginia, Iowa, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Colorado, New Hampshire and Florida. Experts say it would be practically impossible for Romney to win the presidency without winning Ohio and Virginia, both of which Obama carried in 2008. “No Republican has ever won the presidency without carrying Ohio,” noted Herb Weisberg, professor emeritus of political science at Ohio State University in Columbus. (Barack Obama carried Ohio 52-47 percent against John McCain in 2008.) To hear Julius Kassar describe it, the Jewish vote in Ohio could prove pivotal in order for Romney to capture this state and perhaps even the presidency. Kassar, a conservative Republican who serves on the executive committee of the Liberty Alliance of Cincinnati (previously known as the Tea Party), noted that when George W. Bush was elected in 2004, he won by 118,599 votes. Drinking a cup of coffee in the social hall of the Losantiville
Country Club, he says that with Bush winning by such a small margin, “it is very possible that the Orthodox Jewish community — which normally votes Republican — along with other Republican Jews substantially helped push Bush over the top. I can’t see any reason why Jews who voted Republican at that time would change their vote now.” Weisberg, the Ohio State professor, agreed that the vote in Ohio could be “very close again, so any group could make a difference.” He noted also that many of the people who voted for Bush in 2004 turned out to vote on a referendum calling for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. “Christian churches mobilized their people on this issue,” he said. “But there is nothing on the ballot helping the Republicans this year.” On the other hand, the presence on the ballot of Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, 34, a Jewish Republican, seeking to unseat Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, who got 78 percent of the Jewish vote in his first Senate race in 2006, has received a lot of attention in the Jewish community. “Whether he gets their vote is another matter,” Weisberg said. “Josh is a controversial candidate. To get elected state treasurer in 2010 he went after an appointed black Democrat by associating him with Muslim elements, which many people thought was hitting below the belt.” In terms of the Jewish vote, Ohio is not as significant as Florida, however, with its 29 electoral votes and sizeable Jewish population. Although Jews in the other swing states represent just a fraction of the electorate, their influence is magnified by the fact that they vote, Weisberg noted. “I think the 11th commandment is to vote,” he said. “Jews vote in higher rates than any other social group in the country.” It’s a point Nathan Diament, head of the Orthodox Union government affairs office in Washington, seized on when he told World Net Daily last month that “given the Jews turn out at an 80 percent turnout rate, if you swing the Jewish vote 10 percent in Ohio, that could give you Ohio.” But unlike four years ago when
Obama was able to galvanize many young people with his message of “hope and change,” there appears to be little enthusiasm this year, observed Gene Beaupre, a political science teacher at Xavier College here. “I’m on a college campus and it is not the way it was four years ago,” he said. “I’m not saying they won’t yet get involved, but I saw students four years ago putting in hours and hours of work — there was a real emotion in them. It’s early, but the question is whether that can come back in a timely fashion.” In the wider Jewish community, Obama has seen his numbers surge since September, when 45 percent of Jews polled in an American Jewish Committee survey backed him. That figure jumped to 61 percent in the April AJC poll. Obama and Romney began running their first television ads of the general campaign in some battleground states just two weeks ago. Obama’s ad here shows him walking with the word “forward” across the bottom of the screen. Romney’s commercial spells out what the first day of a Romney presidency would look like — approving the Keystone pipeline and “creating thousands of jobs Obama blocked”; introducing tax cuts and reforms “that will reward job creators, not punish them”; and replacing “Obamacare with common sense health care reforms.” Such health care reform would be welcome news for Seena Rubenstein, the office administrator at Gold Manor Synagogue here. “My husband is a diabetic and he can only get very limited health insurance,” said Rubenstein, 55, who noted that her husband had been on the health insurance plan she has with the synagogue until a downturn in the economy forced the synagogue to change policies. “I had thought Obamacare would be good, but now he is covered only if he needs hospitalization,” she said in an interview in her office. “I’m disappointed with it. We’re paying for a lot of out-of-pocket expenses—we never had to deal with this before.” IMPACT on page 19
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JCC Senior Center celebrates accreditation, June 21 The Mayerson JCC Senior Center, the only senior center in Cincinnati to achieve national accreditation by the National Institute of Senior Centers, will celebrate this landmark accomplishment by hosting an Accreditation Celebration luncheon on Thursday, June 21. The event is free with advance RSVP, and everyone is welcome to attend.
The festive luncheon begins at noon with a delicious menu, live music, and lots of free raffle prizes. The JCC Senior Center is one of only 400 senior centers in the U.S. that has met the high standards and rigorous guidelines necessary to qualify for certification by the National Institute of Senior Centers.
The JCC Senior Center serves more than a thousand people, age 60 and older. They provide a broad range of services and programs five days a week, including transportation, social worker services, lunches, parties, trips, and evidence-based classes. The JCC Senior Center also delivers more than 92,000 Meals on Wheels each year to homebound seniors.
Teens from U.S. and U.K attend the Human Rights and Genocide Summit
Cincinnati teen attends human rights and genocide summit in D.C. On Sunday, June 3, Blair Tieger, 17, joined 30 teens from across North America and the UK in Washington, D.C., for the second annual “Human Rights and Genocide Summit” (HRGS) focused on exploring the Jewish values related to standing up for populations in need. The HRGS, sponsored by the BBYO Panim Institute, asks participants to answer the following questions: What is Genocide? Where are Human Rights being challenged? What’s the Jewish response to genocide? And, what can I do? This year, participants met with experts, policy leaders and advocates over the three-day summit. Highlights of the learning sessions included: A session on “What is Child Trafficking?” led by The Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Visiting the Preventing Genocide Exhibit at the United States
Cincinnati Teen Blair Tieger
Holocaust Memorial Museum. An examination of the ongoing human rights conflicts in Central
Africa with Invisible Children and Resolve. The Summit model introduced teens to issues and current events that they weren’t previously aware of, often triggering a response from teens that pushes them toward continued advocacy and service work within their community. At the conclusion of the learning sessions, the teens had the opportunity to meet with their Members of Congress on human trafficking and genocide prevention. Through participating in the HRGS, teens who are passionate about the issues of human rights and genocide learn how to take the next steps with advocacy. “I expect that the teens will really feel empowered and motivated to be change leaders,” commented Mikah Goldman, program manager of the HRGS.
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Regrets were offered to Rabbi Landis, who grew up in Atlanta as a Braves fan. He attended the game with his children, Ayala and Momo. “The grand salami was not kosher, as far as I am concerned,” said Rabbi Landis afterward. With the success of this field trip, the Men’s club is planning another trip to the ballpark later in this summer. Go Red Legs!
Elliot Kravitz, financial planner sentenced for financial fraud Elliot Kravitz, 54, a financial planner from Mason, who scammed his clients out of millions was sentenced to serve over three years in prison, by the U.S. Justice department. Kravitz was sentenced Tuesday, March 6, in U.S. District Court to 41 months in prison and ordered to pay nearly $1.75 million in restitution to customers of LPL Financial Services. Carter M. Stewart, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio and Edward J. Hanko, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI announced the sentence. The sentence was handed down by Senior U.S. District Judge Herman J. Weber.
Prosecutors said that the fraud occurred between 2004 and 2010, during which time Kravitz defrauded nine of his customers out of sums totaling over $2 million. Kravitz pleaded guilty to wire fraud in May 2011. He faced up to 20 years in prison. He will now only serve just over three years after a plea agreement was reached. According to his plea agreement, Kravitz served as an independent client investment representative with LPL Financial Corp., formerly Waterstone Financial Corp., and sold securities through those financial institutions.
In July 2007, Kravitz advised one of his clients to pull money out of the stock market, telling the client the market was too volatile, and to instead put his money in a real estate investment trust, Stewart said. Kravitz instead stashed the money in an account he controlled. Kravitz proceeded to make additional withdrawals, 12 to be exact, totaling $713,765.17 from the client’s account by changing the dates on the original distribution form and faxing the requests to the company holding the account. He then sent the client a phony portfolio listing the fake investments, court records showed. He similarly diverted
about $1,127,603 from eight other clients for his personal use. To date, LPL Financial has restored all but one of the victims. “His criminal conduct was knowing and manipulative, particularly because his victims were long-time customers who completely trusted him with their finances,” Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Barry wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed with the court. “Kravitz took advantage of these relationships and abused a position of trust.” Kravitz has begun his sentence at Ashland Federal Corrections Facility in Ashland, Ky. He is scheduled for release April 2, 2015.
How America first learned of the Holocaust By Rafael Medoff JointMedia News Service
Courtesy of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies
Shmuel Zygelbojm, a Jewish member of the London-based Polish Government in Exile, played a major role in publicizing the Bund Report.
by country. The report described how in villages throughout Poland and Western Russia, German troops marched the Jewish residents to a nearby forest or ravine and machine-gunned them into
do — to decide if a particular story deserves attention. On June 27, the Times buried the Bund story at the end of a column of short news items from Europe. Five days later, the Times reported on the World Jewish Congress’s press conference — but the Times diluted the news by asserting that the death toll “probably includes many who died of maltreatment in concentration camps, starvation in ghettos or forced labor” rather than mass murder. Then, on July 4, the Times tried to pull the rug out from under the Bund Report. An unsigned news analysis, published on page 4, claimed the Jewish death toll could be anywhere “from 100,000 to 1,500,000.” The Germans “treat the Jews according to whether they are productive or nonproductive,” the Times asserted. The high mortality rate among “nonproductive” Jews was due to “starvation and illtreatment” rather than mass executions. Eyewitness accounts of mass graves with 40,000 bodies at Zhitomir “appear to have been based on hearsay.” HOLOCAUST on page 22
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VOL. 158 • NO. 47 THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2012 24 SIVAN 5772 SHABBAT BEGINS FRIDAY 8:48 PM SHABBAT ENDS SATURDAY 9:49 PM THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE CO., PUBLISHERS 18 WEST NINTH STREET, SUITE 2 CINCINNATI, OHIO 45202-2037 Phone: (513) 621-3145 Fax: (513) 621-3744 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org RABBI ISSAC M. WISE Founder, Editor, Publisher, 1854-1900 LEO WISE Editor & Publisher, 1900-1928 RABBI JONAH B. WISE Editor & Publisher, 1928-1930 HENRY C. SEGAL Editor & Publisher, 1930-1985 PHYLLIS R. SINGER Editor & General Manager, 1985-1999 MILLARD H. MACK Publisher Emeritus NETANEL (TED) DEUTSCH Editor & Publisher BARBARA L. MORGENSTERN Senior Writer YEHOSHUA MIZRACHI NICOLE SIMON Assistant Editors ALEXIA KADISH Copy Editor JANET STEINBERG Travel Editor SONDRA KATKIN Dining Editor MARIANNA BETTMAN NATE BLOOM IRIS PASTOR RABBI A. JAMES RUDIN ZELL SCHULMAN RABBI AVI SHAFRAN PHYLLIS R. SINGER Contributing Columnists LEV LOKSHIN JANE KARLSBERG Staff Photographers JOSEPH D. STANGE Production Manager ERIN WYENANDT Office Manager e Oldest Eng Th
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(JNS) — Seventy years ago this month America learned, for the first time, about the systematic mass murder of Europe’s Jews — but Allied officials and some leading newspapers downplayed the news. In late 1941 and early 1942, Western diplomats and journalists received scattered information about Nazi massacres of many thousands of Jews in Germanoccupied Poland and Russia. But the news was difficult to confirm and sounded to many like the usual travails of war. The turning point came in late May 1942, when a courier from the Jewish Socialist Bund of Poland reached England with a shocking report. It began: “From the day the Russo-German war broke out, the Germans embarked on the physical extermination of the Jewish population on Polish soil.” The Bund Report stressed that the killings were not isolated outbursts, but part of a systematic plan to “annihilate all the Jews in Europe,” town by town, country
giant pits. The Bund also detailed the killing of Jews in the Chelmno camp in mobile death vans — trucks whose exhaust fumes were pumped back into the passenger cabin. Some 700,000 Jews had already been murdered, the Bund Report calculated. At a follow-up press conference in June, World Jewish Congress officials in London reported that the death toll had passed one million. (The real number was already close to 2 million.) BBC Radio devoted several broadcasts to the story, and the London Times and other British newspapers published it prominently. The response of the American press, however, was much weaker. The Chicago Tribune, for example, relegated the news to 11 lines on page 6, and reported vaguely that the Jews had perished as a result of “ill treatment” by the Germans. The Los Angeles Times gave it two paragraphs on page 3. The coverage in the New York Times was particularly important because many other newspapers looked to the Times — as they still
historian Greg Rhodes, or the grand slam home run hit by Reds rookie catcher, Devin Mesoraco. The grand slam ignited the smoke stacks with fireworks and “high fives” during a roaring ovation, as Mesoraco’s surprise hit added to the fabulous evening. It didn’t hurt that there was a nice breeze and the seats were fabulous.
Atlanta Braves (6-3). The Reds swept the Braves in a four-game series. “The only thing we forgot to bring with us was a broom,” said Men’s club vice president, Aaron Schechtman. It was hard to tell if the highlight of the night was the personalized tour of the Reds Hall of Fame before the game by Reds
The annual Men’s Club baseball game tradition made a change this year for members of Congregations Ohav Shalom and Ohr Chadash. The Men’s Club made this a night for their friends and families, as they gathered at the Great American Ball Park on Thursday evening, May 24, and joined 23,000 other spectators to see the Reds overpower the
r in Am ape er sp i
Ohav Shalom’s Men’s Club attends Reds game for a ‘grand slam’ time
THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE (USPS 019-320) is published weekly for $44 per year and $1.00 per single copy in Cincinnati and $49 per year and $3.00 per single copy elsewhere in U.S. by The American Israelite Co. 18 West Ninth Street, Suite 2, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-2037. Periodicals postage paid at Cincinnati, OH. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE, 18 West Ninth Street, Suite 2, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-2037. The views and opinions expressed by the columnists of The American Israelite do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the newspaper.
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National Briefs Muhammad Ali attends grandson’s bar mitzvah (JTA) — The grandson of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali became a bar mitzvah at a Philadelphia synagogue. Jacob Wertheimer, the son of Khaliah Ali-Wertheimer and attorney Spencer Wertheimer, was called to the Torah on April 28 at the historic Congregation Rodeph Shalom in front of 150 people including the boxer, the Sweet Science boxing news website reported last week in an article by Ali biographer Thomas Hauser. Ali’s daughter, who was raised Muslim, told the website that “I was born and raised as a Muslim,” Khaliah said, “but I’m not into organized religion. I’m more spiritual than religious. My husband is Jewish. No one put any pressure on Jacob to believe one way or another. He chose this on his own because he felt a kinship with Judaism and Jewish culture,” and that it “meant a lot to Jacob” that Ali was there. The bar mitzvah theme was diversity and inclusiveness. Ali was raised a Baptist and converted to Islam in the 1960s. Pakistani official points to Pollard case in noting U.S. hypocrisy (JTA) — A Pakistani official noted the case of Jonathan Pollard in calling America hypocritical for condemning a 33year prison sentence for a Pakistani citizen who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden. Dr. Shakil Afridi was convicted in Pakistan of conspiring against for helping the CIA find bin Laden using DNA evidence. “How can the country that is holding Jonathan Pollard in prison for close to 30 years claim that we do not have the right to judge a spy in our own country as we see fit?” Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, former Pakistani ambassador to the United States, said during an interview over the weekend with CBS. “The country that put Jonathan Pollard away for spying for its close ally, Israel, should understand that other countries, too, punish those who spy for an erstwhile ally.” The interview came as Israeli President Shimon Peres arrived in the United States to meet with U.S. officials and to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama. He told reporters Monday that he would raise the issue of clemency for Pollard with Obama.
Shimon Peres has journeyed from ‘loser’ to Israel’s most popular public figure By Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraphic Agency WASHINGTON (JTA) — For decades, the joke in Israel went: How do you know when Shimon Peres is headed for defeat? When he announces that he is running. Peres — today Israel’s extremely popular president and on Wednesday a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom — always seemed doomed to defeat at the polls because of everything he was not: a soldier, a sabra, a gladhander, a gladiator in Israel’s rough-and-tumble political arena. It has taken Peres, a leader in the Zionist enterprise since his second decade, until his ninth decade to receive the accolades for what he was: the fixer who married Israel to the West. Part of how Peres, 88, has survived from being one both loved and despised by major chunks of Israel’s electorate for so many decades is a matter of how long he has lasted. “He outlived them all,” said Shlomo Aronson, a retired Hebrew University political science professor. “He is a cat with seven souls.” Peres arrived in Washington this week to receive his accolade, in a separate ceremony two weeks after 12 others, including folk singer Bob Dylan and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, were similarly honored. The Israeli’s award symbolizes the enterprise that has been his life’s vision—wedding Jewish nationalism to the universal yearning for freedom. “Through his life and work, he has strengthened the unbreakable bonds between Israel and the United States,” the White House said last month in announcing Peres as a Medal of Freedom winner. For David Makovsky, a senior analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy who has tracked Peres’ role in the U.S.-Israel relationship since the 1980s, Peres found the key to bonding his nation with the West. “He was someone who believed that Israel was rooted in its Jewish values and universal values, and that went together,” he said. “He articulated a vision of Israel that many in the West found they could support.” Peres’ dogged optimism, expressed indefatigably in meetings and appearances that would tire a man half his years, keeps his approval rating stratospheric at home. Haaretz reported in March that he had an 81 percent approval rating—9 percent more than a year ago and first among political leaders. Yet as central as Peres was to Israel’s enterprise since his youth, he also seemed apart from it. When his mentor, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, named
him director general of the Defense Ministry in 1953, he became the architect of Israel’s defense establishment. He was 29 — and already had more than a decade in the spotlight. Back in 1941, at age 18, Peres was elected secretary general of the kibbutz movement’s youth wing. In the Defense Ministry, Peres became instrumental in building Israel’s nuclear reactor and in establishing its reported nuclear weapons program. Yet he never accrued the battlefield scars that were seminal to the persona of other pioneer leaders; in the prestate militia, the Haganah, Ben-Gurion made him a procurer of weapons. In 1957, Peres persuaded Germany to break its arms embargo on Israel; a year earlier he had achieved a similar breakthrough with France. Twelve years after the Holocaust, the decision on ties with Germany was highly controversial. Meanwhile, Peres was the published Hebrew poet whose unmistakably Polish vowels were fodder for generations of impressionists. He was the dapper, even-spoken man with the styled hair, the tailored suit and the muted, tasteful tie in an Israeli political culture that prided itself in outspoken pols who wore roomy pants and open collars. His assistants for decades have been youthful, attractive and female. Yet the love of his life, his late wife, Sonya, kept a modest, kosher home. He lost the 1977 elections — his first as a Labor Party contender to be prime minister — to the Likud’s Menachem Begin, but his
low point came four years later. In the 1981 elections, his campaign was marred by protesters who pelted the podium with fruit and shouted obscenities at him. In the final days of the campaign, Labor tried to make an issue of such attacks, running a TV ad showing Likud backers openly brandishing knives at Peres rallies. It backfired as critics deemed Peres elitist for pointing out that he campaigned under the threat of violence. In both the 1984 and 1988 elections, Peres was in a deadlock with
Likud’s Yitzhak Shamir; both elections resulted in an uncomfortable national unity government. Throughout, Peres fought bitterly with Yitzhak Rabin’s camp in the Labor Party. In 1990, when Peres attempted to talk smaller parties into breaking away from the ruling coalition, Rabin gave it the lasting label of the “stinking trick.” For observers such as Makovsky, Peres could not adapt his vision to the needs of the day. PERES on page 21
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Rabbinic sisterhood: three rabbis now in Chernow family By Marilyn Hawkes Jewish News of Greater Phoenix (Jewish News of Greater Phoenix) — When Ilana Mills was 16 years old she had an epiphany: “I want to be a rabbi.” At first, she worried the only reason she wanted to follow that career path was because her two older sisters had talked about becoming rabbis. “I had to figure it out for myself and make sure I was doing it for all the right reasons,” she says. So, Mills went to college, but didn’t take Hebrew, because “I wasn’t going to become a rabbi,” and became a Religious Studies major at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania. “I fell in love with Jewish philosophy,” she says. After Mills graduated, she didn’t apply for synagogue jobs because “I wasn’t going to become a rabbi.” Instead, she worked at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, D.C., and as a National Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY) regional adviser. “The world was telling me something and I just wasn’t ready to listen,” she says. Meanwhile, her two sisters entered Hebrew Union CollegeInstitute of Religion (HUC-JIR) and have since become rabbis. Her oldest sister, Mari Chernow, was ordained in 2003 and is now the senior rabbi at Temple Chai in Phoenix; her other sister, Jordana Chernow-Reader, was ordained in 2010 and is the director of lifelong learning at Temple Beth Torah in Ventura, Calif.
Courtesy of Julie Franken
Rabbi Ilana Mills, center, with her sisters Rabbi Jordana ChernowReader, left, and Rabbi Mari Chernow, right, at a celebration after Mills' ordination on May 13.
It wasn’t until Mills had a discussion about God with a NFTY teenager whose friend had recently committed suicide that she realized that being a rabbi “is what I want to spend the rest of my life doing.” Mills applied to HUC-JIR and started rabbinic school at age 26. No one was surprised when Mills decided to become a rabbi, according to Mari. “She’s a natural. I think we saw it coming.” Mills was ordained on May 13 at Temple Israel of Hollywood, making her the third Chernow sister to become a rabbi. The Chernows have made history by being the only family in the United States to have three female siblings become rabbis. “This isn’t something that any of us set out to do,” Mills says. “What’s great about it is that each of us found this path because it was
the right one for us. We just want to be the best rabbis we can be.” Mills feels fortunate to have two siblings who are rabbis. “When I have a problem, I can call my sisters. They know me and they know this work better than anyone.” Now 32 and a mother of two boys, ages 4 and 2, Mills will take her first pulpit as an ordained rabbi at Temple Solel in Paradise Valley, Ariz. She starts on July 1. Rabbi John Linder, senior rabbi of Temple Solel, says although there were a number of other fabulous candidates, “Ilana Mills rose to the top.” “The things we value most about Temple Solel and a rabbi serving our congregation were embodied in Ilana, such as her personal warmth, desire and commitment to forge deep relationships, her passion to bring Torah alive by
how we treat one another and the earth, and her wisdom beyond years in pastoral care.” Linder also noted that Mills spent an additional year at HUCJIR getting a master’s degree in Jewish education. “That reflects her passion to bring creativity to deepen our experience with children and families in our preschool and religious school,” he says. The Chernow sisters come from a home infused with Judaism. Their mother, Arlene, is an outreach consultant for the Union for Reform Judaism, and their father, Eli, is a retired Superior Court judge who serves on the URJ’s North American board. All three sisters agree that Judaism was central to their lives while growing up. “Judaism was just part of everything we did,” Jordana says. Mills says her parents set the example that being Jewish was important. “Our home was always filled with Jewish everything. We had Shabbat every week and had 40 people over for Passover. Being Jewish was just who we were.” Mari says her parents weren’t all that observant when she was a small child. They sent her to a Jewish school and when she came home singing “the lunch song, which we now know is the Motzi, my parents said, ‘What is this all about?’” Now, 40 years later, her parents are very involved on a lay-leadership level. “They're daveners, they’re learners and they’re very serious about their Judaism. It has really developed a little bit at a time,” Mari says. “They had such
positive associations with their own Jewish life and Jewish growth, it just sort of dripped on us. I think of them as the opposite of the parents who said I hated religious school, you’re going to hate it too, so you’re going.” Mills is enthusiastic about becoming the second rabbi at Temple Solel. She’s looking forward to participating in lifecycle events, teaching and having oneon-one conversations with congregants. “I’m really excited to get to know the community and for us to get to know each other,” she says. She will also take an active role in Temple Solel’s caring community. During rabbinic school, Mills spent a lot of time visiting hospital patients and working as a grief support group leader. Doing both at the same time showed her the importance of the “after the hospital moments,” when people were grieving and needed more rabbinic and community support. Mills thought about becoming a hospital chaplain, but didn’t like it when the relationship with the patient ended after he or she went home. “I knew I wanted to spend time with people after the illness and after the scary moments,” she says. While Mills was finishing school, her husband, Colby, moved the family into their new Scottsdale home with the help of Temple Solel volunteers. She hadn’t seen the house since they first looked at it, but that’s OK, she says. “The last two times we moved I was pregnant so I couldn’t do anything. I’m used to other people helping.”
Seeking Kin: A reunion bridging the religious-secular divide By Hillel Kuttler Jewish Telegraphic Agency BALTIMORE (JTA) — Three hundred people are expected to attend the upcoming reunion of Gesher, a Jerusalem-based organization that works to bridge the gap between secular and religious Israeli youths. But it will be hard to find anyone in attendance who exemplifies the organization’s ideals better than Chanan and Lilach Cohen, who met 10 years ago while working for Gesher. Chanan was and remains secular, while his wife is observant. “All the time at Gesher, we’d argue,” Lilach said. “We’d sit together and we’d disagree. I’m to the right politically, and he’s on the left; I’m observant, and he’s secular. Little by little, we connected.” Throughout its 42 years, Gesher has brought together tens of thousands of Israeli teenagers for conversations, conferences and seminars run by hundreds of staff members — the organization calls them “facilitators,” people “who guide
the discussions” rather than presume to have the answers, explains Shira Zik, who joined Gesher as a facilitator in 1999 “thinking it’d be just a job” and still works there. The July 4 reunion in Jerusalem will be Gesher’s first for its former staff and facilitators. The organization’s founder, Rabbi Daniel Tropper, calls the reunion “an attempt to move Gesher into a new phase by re-establishing contact with alumni.” He says that prevailing religious-secular friction in Israeli society and among Jews worldwide keeps the organization relevant and vital. “Right now, the Jewish religion divides rather than unites — and it divides on a superficial, political level. We’re fighting over whether haredim should serve in the army, whether buses should travel on Shabbat, whether to open stores on Shabbat,” said Tropper, a Brooklyn native and veteran Jerusalemite. “The real issue is the feeling of one people, of being part of a family despite the differences. This is what I think Israel needs
going into the future.” When Tropper launched Gesher, recruiting teens proved challenging. He traveled the length and breadth of Israel, practically begging high school principals to provide a few minutes to meet 11th- and 12th-graders and encountering parents’ concerns that their children would cross over to the dark side. The inaugural event was a fourday retreat over Sukkot in 1970 at Kibbutz Kfar Etzion, south of Jerusalem in the West Bank. Participants bunked in tin huts vacated three years earlier by Jordanian soldiers. Most participants came not in groups but individually, which meant that “they were open to meeting other people,” Tropper said. Attendees “have described it as a seminal experience of their lives,” he added. “Some feel deeply committed. The experience was so powerful to be together.” Gesher’s executive director, Ilan Geal-Dor, recently spoke about the reunion on the Israeli
radio program “Hamador L’chipus Krovim” (Searching for Relatives Bureau). Since the organization does not know what has become of most past participants and facilitators, Gesher is relying on word of mouth to publicize the event. Geal-Dor recently bumped into Knesset member Ze’ev Elkin and learned that Elkin once was a Gesher facilitator; Elkin and his Knesset colleague Uri Orbach, another alumnus, will be attending the reunion. Chanan and Lilach Cohen, 36 and 34, are looking forward to the reunion because, she says, Gesher embodies their belief in the need for tolerance and understanding among Jews. “When people meet, they see that those on the other side don’t have horns. It causes less hatred,” Lilach said. Lilach is actually the second generation in her family to find a spouse via Gesher. Her parents, Ilan Zim and Ariella Goltz, met as participants in Gesher’s earliest days in the 1970s, when it was
based in Safed. Ilan grew up secular and became observant while a university student; Ariella came from an observant family and turned secular. They would marry, with Lilach born a few years later. The Zims and Cohens live in Tekoa, a mixed secular-observant village near the 1970 Gesher retreat site. The Cohens’ home is kosher, but Chanan eats at restaurants of his choice. On Shabbat, the TV remains off, food is warmed on a special stovetop tray and Chanan speaks on the telephone only from the bedroom. He’ll join an occasional Shabbat outing with secular friends. “Usually, it’s fine,” Lilach said. “We do have arguments and disagreements, but it’s not a big deal. We have mutual respect. We tell the kids Jews believe different things. When you get older, you’ll choose.” Contact Hillel Kuttler at JTA if you would like the help of “Seeking Kin” in searching for long-lost relatives and friends.
NATIONAL • 7
THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2012
Phoenix-area Jews shocked, grieving over apparent murder-suicide By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Courtesy of Edmon J. Rodman
Window Rock in Arizona, where the spiritual leaders of two tribes met at the Navajo Nation Museum to talk about sacred lands.
Tribal understandings: Jewish and Navajo spiritual leaders speak of sacred lands By Edmon J. Rodman Jewish Telegraphic Agency LOS ANGELES (JTA) — A Reform rabbi, a Navajo medicine man and a professor walk into a museum. It sounds like the opening of a joke, but on a recent May Shabbat at Window Rock, Ariz., capital of the Navajo Nation, it’s the beginning of a cross-cultural discussion that pondered the question “What makes land sacred?” The dialogue featuring the spiritual leaders of two tribes, Navajo medicine man Johnson Dennison and Rabbi Harry Rosenfeld of the Reform Congregation Albert in Albuquerque, N.M., was held at the Navajo Nation Museum. Anthropologist Gordon Bronitsky moderated the event with an audience of more than 40 Jews and Navajos. It was the second in a series of Navajo-Jewish exchanges. The first program was held in November at Congregation Albert, where the duo wrestled with how each group managed living in “Two Worlds” — one of tradition, the other of contemporary life. Bronitsky, the program organizer and a longtime resident of the Southwest, took a Navajo language course in college and knew some Hebrew. The former university professor suspected that when it came to land and sacredness, the two unlikely desert neighbors had some views to share. Before the second event, Bronitsky observed that the Navajo have a phrase, “dineh bikeyah” (the people’s land), that expresses a feeling of rightful ownership. It is similar, he said, to when Jews say “Artzeinu” (our land) —
as in the “Hatikvah” verse, “Lihyot ’am chofshi be’artzeinu,” “To be a free people in our land.” Opening the discussion with “Shabbat shalom,” the kippahwearing, white-bearded Rosenfeld explained that the Hebrew word for “holy” was “kadosh,” and that the word for profane, “chol,” was the same as the word for “sand” — something, an audience member later pointed out, that both groups had seen much of. “The biblical land of Israel is sacred land for the Jews,” Rosenfeld said, sidestepping the charged issue of boundaries. “It is sacred because God promised it,” added the rabbi, who in his previous pulpit in Anchorage, Alaska, had worked with native peoples. Dennison, wearing a turquoise necklace typical of the Navajo, greeted the audience in both English and his native language. “You are all welcome to the Navajo land, it is a sacred place,” he said. For Dennison, a medicine man with a master’s degree in educational administration, Navajo land is both a homeland where he found “harmony and beauty” as well a place where, he related later, his family could raise a flock of sheep and a herd of goats. “There is a spiritual and emotional connection to the land,” he said. Dennison defined Navajo land as lying between “four sacred peaks” that “were established by the holy people as the cornerstones of Navajo country”: Blanca Peak to the east, Mount Taylor to the south, San Francisco Peak to the west and Mount Hesperus to the north. TRIBAL on page 22
(JTA) — The Phoenix-area Jewish community is grieving after hearing of the suspected murder-suicide of a local Jewish family that was active in Jewish life. Evidence suggests that James Butwin, a resident of the Phoenix suburb of Tempe, Ariz., burned himself and his family to death in the family’s SUV on Saturday — though according to The Associated Press, police have not confirmed Butwin as a suspect. Police found a charred SUV in the desert 35 miles south of Phoenix still smoking from the fire but still have not confirmed the bodies as those of the Butwins. They say, however, that the family’s SUV matches the burned one. Butwin, 47, was a board member of Temple Emanuel, a Reform congregation in Tempe, and his children — Malissa, 16; Daniel, 14; and Matthew, 7 — had attended the local JCC summer camp. Butwin’s wife, Yafit, 40, also was an active community member. Butwin and his wife were going through divorce proceedings but still lived together with their children. Sal Caputo, a board colleague at Temple Emanuel, described Butwin as “mild mannered, well spoken, pretty focused and funny. He had a dry sense of humor.” “He seemed like a fine dad,” Caputo added. “He didn’t snap or anything like that. He was just
Courtesy of Yafit Butwin’s Facebook page
The Butwin family of Tempe, Ariz., shown in a photo from May 2009, is believed to have been killed in a murder-suicide.
very active in our synagogue and the synagogue board.” Emanuel held a memorial service for the family on Wednesday night. The local Jewish Family & Children’s Service dispatched a crisis response team to the synagogue and the JCC, providing counseling for the community and children at the camp. Psychologists, therapists and other professionals with counseling experience comprised the volunteer team. “A lot of questions come up, especially from children,” said Dvora Entin, the crisis response team leader. “Everyone has a different pattern of grief. We will be providing continuous support for the parents, as well as for the staff of the synagogue.”
The AP reported that early last week, James Butwin sent his business partner detailed instructions on how to run the business without him. AP also reported that the James and Yafit Butwin were fighting in court over their assets, which caused tension. Neighbors of the Butwins also said that James had a brain tumor, according to reports. Susan Gordon, Temple Emanuel’s immediate past president, said that even with its problems, the family was still involved in the synagogue. “They were very active members of our congregation for many years and loved by all of us,” Gordon said. “For our congregation this is really a tragic loss and we’re going through a lot of grief.”
Jewish ties to the Navy By Paul Foer JointMedia News Service, jns.org (JNS) — June marks the arrival of a new Jewish chaplain, Lieutenant Joshua Sherwin, at the sprawling United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. But the Jewish participation in the Navy extends far beyond the chaplaincy. There are four grand buildings named for Jews at the Naval Academy. The newest, opened in 2005, is the privately funded Commodore Uriah P. Levy Center, which includes a Jewish chapel and is named for Commodore Uriah Phillips Levy, the first American Jew to attain “Flag” rank (commodore was equivalent to rear admiral) just prior to the American Civil War. Rickover Hall is named for the brilliant yet highly controversial Russian-born Admiral Hyman Rickover, a 1922 graduate called the father of the nuclear navy. Michelson Hall is named for the Prussian-born 1873 graduate and Nobel Prize-winning physicist
Albert Michelson, whose experiments performed at the Academy helped determine the speed of light. The Robert Crown Sailing Center was named in memory of the World War II veteran and navy reserve captain, who was a son of Chicago businessman and philanthropist Lester Crown. Both Michelson and Rickover apparently abandoned their Jewish roots, but Levy, who ran away to sea as a youngster and returned to Philadelphia for his bar mitzvah, said: “I am an American, a sailor and a Jew.” This great American hero — relatively unknown until recently — was court-martialed six times, mostly on outrageous charges by fellow offices who disliked him because he was Jewish. The entrance of the building named for him is reminiscent of Jefferson’s Monticello, because Levy admired the third U.S. president so much that he bought and preserved his unique home, leading some to name him the father of American preservation. He is also credited with ending flog-
ging in the Navy. He did not attend the academy, which opened in 1845. Howard Pinskey, 1962 graduate and a native of Scranton, Penn., heads the private Friends of The Jewish Chapel that raised more than $14 million from over 3,000 donors to build the Levy Center. He estimates that about 800 Jewish men and women have graduated from the academy among a total of some 78,000. The Class of 2014 admitted 1,247 midshipmen, or “Mids,” from a pool of 17,417 applicants. Those selected begin with the grueling “Plebe Summer” and then face four regimented and academically rigorous years. Most become Navy ensigns but some become Marine second lieutenants, serving for at least five more years as officers. Members of the multi-religious Jewish Midshipman’s Club have made shofars from ram’s horns, heard a lecture by a man who rescued Torahs from Europe and built a sukkah for “Salsa in The Sukkah Night.”
8 • NATIONAL
GOP hopes N.Y. rematch puts second Sotheby’s to auction off Jewish Republican in the U.S. House JTA-Albert Einstein letters By Zach Silberman Jewish Telegraphic Agency
By JTA Staff Jewish Telegraphic Agency
WASHINGTON (JTA) — Jewish Republicans nationwide are hoping that a heated congressional race rematch in the New York suburbs puts a second Jewish Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives. Following a narrow 593-vote defeat two years ago to Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.), Jewish businessman Randy Altschuler again is running against the incumbent in New York’s 1st Congressional District, which encompasses parts of Suffolk County. Two years ago the New York Jewish Week reported that the district’s Jewish population was at 6 percent, but dropping. The margin could still have an impact on the general election, particularly since it was so close in 2010, according to David Harris, president and CEO of the National Jewish Democratic Council. The primary is June 26. “There’s not a huge Jewish community, but there certainly are Jews in the district and whenever there are Jews present in a close race like this, the Jewish vote can play an outsized role,” he said. Observers also are watching closely since the district is known for a tendency to swing its presidential vote, favoring Barack Obama in 2008 and George W. Bush in 2004. The recent round of redistricting has left the district relatively unchanged, with 35,000 more registered Republicans than
NEW YORK (JTA) — Albert Einstein stepped forward several times in the 1930s and 1940s to help raise money for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Now, more than half a century later, the international Jewish news service known these days as JTA is hoping the father of relativity can come through again. On June 15, Sotheby’s will auction off a recently discovered signed correspondence between Einstein and JTA founder Jacob Landau dealing with the proper relationship between scientists and governments. In one of the letters, from January 1947, Landau wanted to know Einstein’s opinion on the recent pronouncement by Norbert Wiener, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, that scientists should not aid government-funded military projects. Writing back — in German — to Landau, Einstein argued that “non-cooperation in military matters should be a vital part of the moral code of basic scientists.” He also called on public entities to support scientific research without interference and warned that scientific process driven by practical aims instead of a lust for knowledge ultimately would stagnate. “The correspondence between Einstein and Landau is a particularly important one,” said Selby Kiffer, international senior specialist at Sotheby’s. “To have the perspective of Einstein on such a sensitive issue just after World War II is extraordinary.” Sotheby’s Fine Books and Manuscripts auction on June 15 also will include other Einstein material, correspondence involving U.S. presidents and Civil War-era documents. The Einstein letters were discovered in a yellowing folder earlier this year by a part-time JTA staffer sorting through old files. On top of the heavy talk about science and public policy, the correspondence also chronicles the futile efforts to arrange a meeting between Einstein and a visiting Jewish soccer team from Palestine. It appears that the soccer team was too busy to make it down to Princeton. In addition to shining a light on Einstein’s views on still-relevant public policy issues, the upcoming Sotheby’s auction also brings the relationship between the Nobel laureate and JTA full circle. The genesis of the relationship between Einstein and Landau is unclear, but evidence attesting to
Courtesy of Jamie Weliver/USFWS
U.S. Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.), who is facing a tough re-election bid against Republican Randy Altschuler in New York’s 1st Congressional District, meets officials of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Shirley, N.Y., May 17, 2010.
Democrats, according to the Long Island Press. The campaign differs substantially from the most recent New York race that drew national Jewish focus. Last year, Republican Bob Turner bested Democrat David Weprin in the race to replace Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) in the heavily Jewish 9th District. Dissatisfaction among Jewish voters over President Obama’s support for Israel was a major issue in that campaign while jobs seem to be the focus in the rematch. The 1st District race might not have a strong Jewish flavor, but the potential for Altschuler to join House Majority Leader Eric
Cantor (R-Va.) as the second Republican in Congress is significant, according to Matthew Brooks, the director of the Republican Jewish Coalition. “I think he [Altschuler] will be a common sense leader who is a proven, successful businessman and understands how the economy works,” he said. “He knows how to create jobs and obviously as a Jewish Republican he is a strong, passionate and articulate defender of Israel.” For Altschuler to succeed, he will have to disprove the results of a recently released poll by the Bishop campaign. It showed its candidate with a 17-point lead over the likely challenger.
Hynes’ shift on sex abuse cases puts him on collision course with Agudah By JTA Staff Jewish Telegraphic Agency NEW YORK (JTA) — Pressure is growing on the Brooklyn district attorney and the country’s major haredi Orthodox umbrella organization to change the ways they handle allegations of sexual abuse and molestation in the Orthodox community. A series of recent reports by The New York Jewish Week, the Forward and The New York Times have brought new scrutiny to the special program that Brooklyn D.A. Charles Hynes established in 2009 to handle sex abuse allegations among haredi Jews in New York. Under the program, Kol Tzedek, perpetrators’ names were kept confidential and Hynes apparently gave Agudath Israel of America, the Orthodox umbrella group, the impression that he sanctioned the practice of rabbis
reviewing allegations before they were brought to police. A firestorm of controversy has surrounded the program in recent weeks, in part due to a pair of front-page stories in The New York Times detailing the communal pressure that alleged victims of sex crimes face in the haredi community. Hynes now appears to be taking a tougher and more explicit position against the practice of rabbis screening sex abuse allegations. The longtime D.A. told reporters that he will push for New York State to enact a law making it mandatory for rabbis to report sex abuse allegations, and The Jewish Week reported that Hynes will create a new intraagency task force to deal with haredi sex abuse allegations. The shift comes as David Zwiebel, Agudah’s executive vice president, reiterated his organization’s position that sex abuse cases
should be reviewed by rabbis within the community before they are passed on to the police. It is not unusual in haredi communities for members first to consult rabbis on matters that could involve nonJewish authorities or have legal implications. In an interview with the Forward, Hynes reportedly said that he was in “sharp disagreement” with the Agudath’s position, arguing that the rabbis “have no experience or expertise in sex abuse.” The Forward quoted Hynes as saying that he stressed his opposition in a telephone call with Zwiebel last week. Zwiebel “still thinks they have a responsibility to screen,” Hynes said. “I disagree.” Meanwhile, Hynes spokesman Jerry Schmetterer told The Jewish Week that Zwiebel “risks having the rabbi prosecuted for obstructing a law enforcement investigation.”
Courtesy of JTA Archive
One of the signed letters Albert Einstein sent to JTA founder Jacob Landau, which will be auctioned off by Sotheby’s on June 15, 2012.
their friendship is extensive. Notably, Einstein served as godfather to Landau’s son, who was named — not coincidentally — Albert. Whatever the origins of their relationship, Einstein advocated and raised money for JTA on numerous occasions, particularly as Germany was being transformed by Nazi rule. “It is very important,” Einstein said in 1933, “to have an organization which can give to the world facts about the difficulties of Jewish life all over the globe.” Fifteen years later, in an appeal for support, Einstein insisted that the “Jewish Telegraphic Agency performs functions vital to [the] entire Jewish community” and its mission was “of greatest importance to all Jewry.” One of his first calls for support of JTA came in 1934, when Einstein served as the guest of honor at a fundraising luncheon to help pay for the news agency’s new linotype machine. Einstein was the star attraction at a media tour of the new equipment. In later years, he would make additional fundraising pitches on behalf of JTA. Fast forward to 2012, and once again JTA is depending on the power of Einstein’s prestige to help fund its technology upgrades: The proceeds from the sale of the letters — the catalogue for the auction values the correspondence at between $30,000 and $50,000 — are expected to help JTA fund the redesign of its website. “Albert Einstein conceived of a universe where time and space were relative, but saw the value of JTA and the need to support it as constants,” said Ami Eden, CEO and editor in chief of JTA. “Who are we to argue with Einstein?”
INTERNATIONAL • 9
THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2012
International Briefs Wiesenthal Center: Lviv mayor covers up antiSemitism (JTA) — The Simon Wiesenthal Center has strongly condemned a statement by the mayor of Lviv, Ukraine, in which he said that in his city “there has never been anti-Semitism and there will never be.” Mayor Andriy Sadovyi made the statement June 10 at a news conference. Efraim Zuroff, Israel director for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told JTA Monday that the mayor’s statements were “a hopeless attempt to cover up very strong manifestations of anti-Semitism.” Zuroff noted the existence of a restaurant in Lviv which encourages patrons to dress up like haredi Jews and haggle over prices. Another restaurant celebrates the legacy of the Ukrainian Nazi collaborators led by Stefan Bandera. His men actively participated in the murder of thousands of Jews in 1941. The Lviv municipality is set on June 30 to award a prize named after Bandera to individuals who “helped develop Ukrainian statehood.” Many Ukrainians view Bandera and his troops as antiSoviet freedom fighters. Zuroff called the prize “another display of gross insensitivity by the Lviv municipality, which continues to countenance antiSemitism.” He reiterated his organization’s call to tourists to avoid Lviv’s controversial restaurants. Lviv, in western Ukraine, is one of the host cities of the European 2012 championship games. Three arrested for attacking Jewish man near Paris (JTA) — French police arrested three men suspected of attacking a young Jewish man in suburban Paris. The suspects hurled antiSemitic insults at the man and stole his cellular phone during the June 8 incident in Sarcelles, north of the French capital, according to the newspaper Le Parisien. French Interior Minister Manuel Valls, meeting the day after the incident with leaders of the area’s Jewish community at the Great Synagogue of Sarcelles, affirmed his “determination to tolerate no anti-Semitic attack and no insult,” according to Richard Halimi, president of the Sarcelles Jewish community. Last week, the Jewish community of Marseille in southern France reported that an unknown assailant had raped an 83-year-old Jewish woman in her home. According to some media reports, the attack may have been antiSemitic in nature.
Bangladeshi pro-Israel journalist pushes on amid charges of fraud By Larry Luxner Jewish Telegraphic Agency DHAKA, Bangladesh (JTA) — Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury sat at the cafe of the five-star Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in downtown Dhaka — capital of the third-largest Muslim nation on Earth — stridently proclaiming his love for Israel and the Jewish people. “I am a Zionist and a friend of Israel,” he told JTA in a voice loud enough to be heard by hotel guests and local businessmen sipping their afternoon tea at nearby tables. But nobody paid any attention. That in itself, said Choudhury, represented enormous progress in the impoverished People’s Republic of Bangladesh. “Before 2003, you could not utter the word Israel in this country,” the devout Muslim said during a lengthy interview. “Now we celebrate Rosh Hashanah, and all the Jewish community in Dhaka participates. Even in some Bangladeshi media, they now allow positive articles on Israel. And I am more vocal than ever before.” Choudhury, 46, is publisher of the English-language Weekly Blitz—one of hundreds of newspapers in this overcrowded, predomi-
Courtesy of Larry Luxner
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury holding the English-language Weekly Blitz.
nantly Muslim nation of 160 million. He’s also a fraud, according to some Jews in the United States and Israel who once supported him. On Nov. 29, 2003, half a year after he began publishing his antijihadist tabloid, the media mogul and father of two was arrested at Dhaka’s Shahjalal International Airport as he was about to board a flight to Bangkok with connections to Tel Aviv. “I was tortured with electric shocks. They put nails in my ear.
They broke my kneecap with a hockey stick. I was interrogated for 15 days and not allowed to bathe,” he said. “They told me, ‘confess you’re a Zionist spy. Otherwise, why do you support Judaism?’ I said that I’m a good Muslim, and a good Muslim must trust the Jews and Christians. And I’m proud of that.” On Jan. 24, 2004, barely two months after his initial arrest, Choudhury was charged with sedition, treason and blasphemy. Eventually the sedition charge was
dropped, and he was freed on bail in April 2005. His office was later firebombed, he was beaten by mobs and at one point briefly kidnapped by members of Bangladesh’s feared Rapid Action Battalion. Richard Belkin, a Chicago doctor and Jewish activist, heard about Choudhury’s plight and petitioned U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) to intervene on the journalist’s behalf. In February 2007, a resolution cosponsored by Kirk and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) demanding that Bangladesh drop all remaining charges against Choudhury passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 409 to 1. The unlikely pro-Israel crusader quickly became the darling of the literary world. Brenda West, writing in the online New English Review, noted that “many newspapers and institutions sang his praises with weekly articles. The Wall Street Journal carried admiring articles about him, as did many other newspapers, and bloggers flooded the Internet with their awe-stricken appreciation of what looked like Choudhury’s dedication to Western humanistic principles.” JOURNALIST on page 22
Australia’s poor record prosecuting Nazis highlighted by pending Karoly Zentai case By Dan Goldberg Jewish Telegraphic Agency SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — When Australia’s highest court soon rules on whether the 90-year-old Karoly “Charles” Zentai should be extradited to Hungary, it likely will be passing judgment on the last known Nazi war criminal suspect residing in the country. The pending end of the drawn out legal proceedings is forcing some here to examine Australia’s poor record in cases of suspected Nazis. Zentai is facing extradition charges to his native Hungary for allegedly murdering Peter Balazs, an 18-year-old Jew who was not wearing his mandatory Star of David in 1944. It is alleged that Zentai, then a cadet sergeant in the pro-Nazi Hungarian army, and two others tortured and beat Balazs to death before dumping his body in the Danube. About seven years ago, a Hungarian military tribunal issued an international warrant for Zentai’s arrest, which began the process of seeking an extradition from Australia. The Australian government approved the request in 2009, but asked the country’s courts to determine the legality of its deci-
Courtesy of JTA
Sketch of Peter Balazs, an 18year-old Jew who was murdered in 1944 in Hungary, allegedly by Karoly “Charles” Zentai.
sion. The judges’ verdict, which could come imminently, will likely end the seven-year controversial legal case. If Zentai is extradited, it will be the first time Australia has sent a suspected Nazi war criminal back to Europe for prosecution. Zentai arrived in Australia by ship in 1950. He was one of hundreds of suspected Nazi war criminals who found sanctuary in the country. In fact, from 1987 to 1992,
no fewer than 841 people were investigated by the government’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU), which was set up to bring Nazi war criminals to justice. It was shut down without a single successful conviction. Zentai has vehemently denied the charges ever since he was arrested in 2005, which followed a Simon Wiesenthal Center investigation that flushed out information of his whereabouts. He has consistently maintained that he was not in Budapest the day Balazs was murdered, contending he left the Hungarian capital a day earlier. When first arrested, he said he was prepared to go to Budapest to clear his name. But his son, Ernie Steiner, said last week, “My father has always stated that he is willing to face questions in person in Australia from any credentialed Hungarian government investigator.” His father, a pensioner who still lives alone in Perth, would not survive extradition, he added. Zentai’s heart specialist, who had previously said the suspect was fit to travel to Hungary, has now said that extradition would be a virtual death sentence, Steiner said. Regardless, Efraim Zuroff, head
of the Wiesenthal Center’s office in Jerusalem, said it is “outrageous” that Zentai has eluded justice for so long. “The passage of time in no way diminishes the guilt of the killers,” he said. “Old age should not afford protection for people who committed murder. “Don’t look at Zentai and see a relatively old and possibly frail gentleman, but … [see someone] who at the height of his physical powers devoted them to the murder of an innocent young boy whose ‘crime’ was being born a Jew,” he said. Marika Weinberger, a Holocaust survivor who was born in a Hungarian-controlled town called Kosice, agreed. “My grandmother was nearly 90 when she died at Auschwitz,” she said. “That doesn’t do anything for me when they say he’s an old man. I don’t care; there were lots of old men and women who were taken to the gas chambers.” Weinberger, a former president of the Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants, said her mother and two grandmothers perished in the gas chambers at Auschwitz and her father died in Dachau. ZENTAI on page 22
10 • ISRAEL
Ethiopian-Israeli Jews, mistaken for African migrant workers, feel racism’s pain By Eetta Prince-Gibson Jewish Telegraphic Agency JERUSALEM (JTA) — When violent riots against African migrant workers erupted in south Tel Aviv recently, a mob attacked Hanania Wanda, a Jew of Ethiopian origin, mistaking him for a Sudanese migrant worker. “Wanda is my friend,” says Elias Inbram, a social activist in the Ethiopian community and a former member of the Israeli diplomatic corps who served as spokesman for the embassy in South Africa. “I knew I had to react somehow.” He suddenly realized, says Inbram, 38, “that since to white people, all blacks look the same— I, an Israeli Jew who is black, or anyone in my family, or anyone in my community, could be attacked, too.” That moved him to stencil “CAUTION: I am not an infiltrator from Africa” onto a bright yellow T-shirt. He then drew in by hand, in the upper left corner, the unmistakable yellow “Jude” patch from the Nazi era. Last week, he posted a picture of himself wearing the shirt—the only one he has printed—on Facebook. It already has gained thousands of “likes.” “I want to force people here to think of the racism and hatred in Israeli society,” Inbram, who holds
Courtesy of Elias Inbram
Elias Inbram wears a shirt he made that features a yellow star and reads: “Caution—I am not an illegal African immigrant!”
a master’s degree in law and is interning before applying for the bar, told JTA. The wave of violence in Israel against African migrant workers and asylum seekers, in which nearly a dozen Jews of Ethiopian origin also have been attacked in the past few weeks, has forced many Ethiopian Jews to deal with race in a way they have until now mostly avoided. Some said it has forced upon them a new consciousness and political awareness. “I have a law degree and a master’s degree. I served in the army,” Inbram said. “Another friend of
mine who was beaten up is a Ph.D. candidate. We’re Israeli citizens. But none of that matters. Ever since we came, the state has treated us as if we should say thank you for anything we receive, as if we have no rights as Jews and Israelis. But now we are afraid because in the eyes of whites, we are first of all blacks.” Aliza, 23, a sociology student at Hebrew University who would give only her first name, told JTA, “At the beginning, when white friends would ask me how I feel about the migrants from Africa, I would get pretty angry. Why should I feel anything special? Just because we’re
both black? I thought it was racist and patronizing. I’m Jewish and Israeli. Jewish history is much more relevant to me than African history. I relate more to Jews from Eastern Europe than to African Muslims or Christians. I was a baby when I came here.” But the violence—and in particular, she said, the torching of an apartment where Eritrean migrants were living in Jerusalem early this week—have changed her mind. “Now I’m scared to live in my own country—because I’m black,” she said. Shula Molla, 40, a Jerusalem educator who chairs the Israel Association for Ethiopian Jewry, a leading advocacy group, said Aliza’s feelings were common. “The violence has forced the Ethiopian community to come to some difficult, but mature, realizations,” she said. “Until now, some community leaders have tried to avoid talking about systemic racism. They tried to explain away racist incidents; some even blamed the community—that we’re not progressive enough, that we haven’t adapted quickly enough. “But now we all must deal with racism,” she added. “Of course I don’t feel particularly connected to Africans, but society is forcing us into a common fate. How I define myself doesn’t matter. Only my skin color is visible.”
Israel’s West Bank plans stir U.S. furor, settlers’ ire By Marcy Oster Jewish Telegraphic Agency JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s government coupled its compliance with a Supreme Court order to remove buildings from a neighborhood on the outskirts of the Beit El settlement with the announcement of new construction in several West Bank areas. The latter action drew a sharp rebuke from the United States and others. Meanwhile, the settlement movement appeared to be gearing up to fight the evacuation of five apartment buildings that are home to about 30 families in the Ulpana neighborhood of Beit El. On Wednesday, Housing and Construction Minister Ariel Atias said that in addition to the 300 housing units promised to Beit El in exchange for relocating the apartment buildings, he would approve 551 more reportedly in Ariel, Maale Adumim, Adam, Efrat and Kiryat Arba. His announcement came hours after the Knesset rejected a bill that would have retroactively recognized settlement outposts such as Ulpana. The Obama administration “does not accept the legitimacy” of
the plans for up to 851 new housing units for West Bank settlements, the U.S. State Department said. “We’re very clear that continued Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank undermines peace efforts and contradicts Israeli commitments and obligations, including the 2003 ‘road map,’” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Wednesday. “Our position on settlements remains unchanged. We do not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity. And we want to see these parties—both parties, rather—refrain from these kinds of actions and to get back into negotiations.” The United Nations official tasked with the Middle East peace process, Robert Serry, in a statement by his office called the announcement “deeply troubling” and reiterated that any settlement construction in the West Bank violated international law. “All settlement construction— whether on private Palestinian land or elsewhere in occupied Palestinian territory—is contrary to international law,” said the statement issued by the U.N. special coordinator for the Middle East
peace process. Senior Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erekat said the announcement “undermines all efforts to revive the peacemaking between the two sides.” The president of J Street, Jeremy Ben-Ami, said his organization was “profoundly disappointed” by the decision to build more houses in the West Bank, pointing out that some of the settlements proposed to receive the housing are outside of major settlement blocs. Ben-Ami, however, did praise the government’s decision to enforce the Israeli Supreme Court’s order to remove the contested buildings from the Ulpana neighborhood. During a news conference Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directly addressed West Bank settlers, calling them his “brothers and sisters.” “There is no government that supports, or will support, settlement more than my government,” he said. “I also say that there is no government that has withstood such heavy pressures, which could have hurt settlement, and it must be understood that ours is a very complex diplomatic, national and legal environment. And in this complex
reality, one must navigate wisely, sagaciously and responsibly.” Netanyahu added that his government “will continue to strengthen settlement and we will continue to strengthen democracy in the State of Israel.” In the Knesset, 69 lawmakers voted against the measure to recognize settlement outposts, while 22 voted for it in the preliminary reading. The legislation would have retroactively legalized buildings built on contested land if the owner did not challenge the construction within four years. The Ulpana apartment buildings must be evacuated by July 1, according to the Supreme Court order. No government ministers voted for the bill; Netanyahu’s office had said Monday that ministers who voted for the bill would lose their jobs. In his news conference, Netanyahu discussed the bill’s defeat and its significance. “Moving homes from their location, even if it is only five homes, is certainly not an action that this government rejoices in doing,” he said. “But the court ruled as it did and we honor the decisions of the judicial system.”
Israel Briefs Netanyahu injures leg playing soccer with Jewish, Arab youth JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu injured his leg during a soccer match with Jewish and Arab youth. Netanyahu pulled a tendon in his leg during the Monday afternoon game in Jerusalem, Walla! News reported. The prime minister slipped on the grass, rose and continued to play and scored a goal, according to Walla! Netanyahu’s personal physician, Dr. Tzvi Berkowitz, examined the prime minister and diagnosed the pulled tendon, according to the news website. The injury caused the postponement of a Likud Party meeting. Iran accuses IAEA of demanding Parchin visit to spy (JTA) — Iran will not allow the United Nations nuclear watchdog to visit Iran’s Parchin military complex, accusing inspectors of being “Western spies.” Iranian lawmaker Evaz Heidarpour told the national media that the United States and Western countries were trying to gain access to Iran’s military secrets by sending representatives of the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect the complex. “Parchin industries are nonnuclear military industries and we will not allow Western spies to inspect our military technology,” he said Sunday, according to the Tehran Times. The IAEA has insisted on visiting the site in advance of negotiations between the Islamic Republic and six world powers —the United States, France, Russia, China, Britain and Germany—scheduled to take place in Moscow. In a report last year, the IAEA said it believed that Iran had built a containment chamber at Parchin in which to conduct high-explosives tests. Earlier this month, new satellite imagery analyzed by a U.S. security think tank showed that Iran may be clearing nuclear evidence from the chamber. In March, satellite images obtained by the IAEA reportedly showed what appeared to be crews and vehicles cleaning up radioactive evidence of tests of a device used to create a nuclear explosion, The Associated Press reported.
SOCIAL LIFE • 11
THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2012
Mayerson JCC Blue Jay’s pitcher hurls no hitter The inaugural Mayerson JCC Blue Jays team, in the 12B Jr. Cincinnati Knothole league, is rolling strong this year and we all
lend congratulations to pitching phenom, Avrami Kernerman, son of Rabbi Yuval and Michal Kernerman. The effort and success
Avrami has had this year exemplifies the entire team, states coach Mark Gordon. Avrami is a very focused ball player who attributes
his success to hard work and the efforts of all the players and coaches. Coach “Gordy” feels that this team shows an incredible desire to
continue to improve and it compliments all the JCC youth sports programs. The Blue Jays’ record is 8-5, with five games to play.
Wise Temple confirmands celebrate accomplishments After a year of intense study and activity, 30 10th graders took their place on the Plum Street Bimah and declared their commitment to the Jewish faith and community during Isaac M. Wise Temple’s Confirmation ceremony on Saturday, May 26. As part of the curriculum, the students explored many pertinent issues and themes, including their relationship to God, their understanding of Reform Judaism, their interpretation of Torah, and their appreciation of the Jewish community. In addition to the classroom sessions on Sunday evenings, students participated in other activities, such as working in the Over-the-Rhine Soup Kitchen. They also convened for a social event in which the students had the opportunity to get to know each other better and prepare a Middle Eastern feast together. Another highlight of the year was hearing from Rabbi Sarah Schechter, who is a captain in the United States Air Force and serves as a chaplain for our men and women in service. On Friday, May 25, the confirmands and their families attended Shabbat evening services at Plum Street Temple, where the students were invited to the bimah for individual blessings. The next morning, the group reconvened for the service that the students had compiled. Each confirmand took part in leading the liturgy. Following the worship, the confirmation class and guests celebrated with a luncheon.
LtoR: Cantor Deborrah Cannizzaro, Jacob Price, Monica Dell, Gabrielle Peck, Madeline Boster, Ryan Hodge, Barbara Dragul, Rabbi Ilana Baden, Adam Finer, Rachel Klein, Marissa Shor, Amy Burte, Molly O’Leary, Andrew Eichel, Rabbi Lewis Kamrass, Rabbi Michael Shulman, Adam Simha, Benny Friedman, Alyssa Weisman, Annabelle Gordon, Matthew Schneider, Brandon Peck, Benjamin Goldschneider, Benjamin Fershtman, Carly Lefton, Meriel Vigran, Adam Kuhr, Mark Tenenholtz, Jacquelyn Rudich, Samantha Weiss, Olivia Frances Schwartz, Seth Brennock, Mason Buck, Richard Mulvey, Benjamin Wells. Not pictured: Madeleine Pescovitz, Hannah Silverman.
ANNOUNCEMENTS ARE FREE! BIRTHS • BAT/BAR MITZVAHS • ENGAGEMENTS WEDDINGS • BIRTHDAYS • ANNIVERSARIES Place your FREE announcement in The American Israelite newspaper and website by sending an e-mail to email@example.com
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ANNOUNCEMENTS ENGAGEMENT his upcoming offseason, Danny Rosenbaum will be marrying Alexis King of Loveland, Ohio. On Wednesday, May 30, Rosenbaum, the current minor league starting pitcher with the AA—Harrisburg Senators, an affiliate of the Washington Nationals, visited a local Harrisburg school associated with The Jewish Community Center. Danny, a Loveland, Ohio resident, graduated from Loveland
High School and attends and played college baseball at Xavier University. During the offseasons, Danny continues his classroom studies at Xavier University, majoring in Sports Management. Currently, Danny has a record of 6-1 with an ERA of 1.69 in 69.1 Innings pitched, with two complete games. Danny enjoys working with young people, including Knothole and Little League players in the Cincinnati area and at the Mayerson Jewish Community Center.
12 • CINCINNATI SOCIAL LIFE
Mercaz Graduation On Sunday, March 18th Mercaz Conservative Hebrew High School held its graduation ceremony for its senior class. This year’s class has proven to be a strong class over the years. These students have attended for the past five years and taken a large variety of courses in our nine curricular areas to earn their diploma. This year’s senior seminar class helped to show the seniors what the Jewish community has to offer them as they move forward to college and in their lives as Jewish adults. Mercaz is open to any Jewish teen in grades 8-12 interested in receiving a Jewish education. We offer a variety of interactive classes and we are excited about the “Experiencing Jewish Education through the Arts” Courses this year! You at Mercaz. Just Picture It.
Parents of our graduates rise and recite the Parents’ Prayer.
Mercaz Graduating Class of 2012/5772 top row: Rabbi Irvin Wise, Rabbi George Barnard, Dara Wood (Mercaz Director), Brent Guttman (Senior Seminar teacher) and Rabbi Eric Slaton. Bottom row: Elana Miller, David Rosen, Sarah Wasnieski, Noah Yasgur, Angela Reiser, and Louis Meisner
Noah receives the Nate Kaplan Award for outstanding achievement in Jewish studies for his attendance, high level of participation and great attitude while attending Mercaz.
Elana and her parents celebrate after the ceremony.
Phyllis Binik-Thomas, current teacher at Mercaz, is announced as the next Director of Mercaz! She will begin this summer
CINCINNATI JEWISH LIFE • 13
THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2012
The Yasgur Family celebrates Noah’s graduation with teacher Phyllis Binik-Thomas.
Mercaz Board Chairperson, Yaffa Rubin, Elaine Cohen, Sandy Kaltman, and Mercaz assistant, Jenna Rubin, help during the dinner and graduation reception.
The classmates lead the Prayer for Israel.
The seniors relax and let loose before the graduation ceremony.
Sarah stands with the two pictures she painted for Mercaz Graduation.
David and his family enjoy the reception after the graduation ceremony.
Seniors David and Louie attend the pre-Mercaz graduation dinner.
Mercaz students and families of our graduates enjoy the homemade dinner before graduation sponsored by Rob Wood and family. Dinner is a time for our students to socialize with each other before classes.
Noah opens the ceremony by welcoming our guests, he served as the MC for the evening.
Elana revealed her thoughts of her time at Mercaz and the traditions she and her friends created on Sunday nights for the past five years.
Louie explains the senior class mitzvah project, collecting toiletries and personal items for the Kosher Food Pantry.
David shares a poem he wrote that coordinated with the picture Sarah had painted of Solomon’s pillars.
14 • DINING OUT
Authentic Indian food to relish at Kanak By Sondra Katkin Dining Editor It’s comforting to know that something delicious can also be good for you. The Indian food at Kanak India Restaurant features tasty, authentic compilations, “chock full” of herbs and spices known to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol (garlic and ginger) and aid in healing wounds (turmeric). Who needs a doctor? With a strong emphasis on vegetarian, along with various meat dishes, combined with succulent, savory sauces, you can’t lose. The lunch buffet was filled with fresh, appetizing chomp-worthy choices. For appetizers, I love the pakora, the golden crusted spinach, cauliflower or potatoes, coated with gram (chickpea) flour—gluten free. A regular customer who loves to come for dinner said, “When the veggie pakora is hot and the naan is hot and fresh, there’s really nothing like it.” Good naan is similar to a brick oven pizza crust—blistery and layered—so that when you sink your teeth in, you have something worth chewing. This is the bread you want to clean your plate with until there’s “naan” left. This wraplike gem is not a forgettable, tasteless cubby hole for the real food. It can stand on its own. “Owner, Jassi Singh’s Ambar introduced and popularized Indian food in the Cincinnati area. Singh oversees all four of his restaurants and maintains rigorous standards of quality and freshness. People who’ve eaten at Ambar have high expectations, and we strive to live up to them,” noted Gurpreet Atwal, manager of Kanak. According to a loyal patron, “The food is deliciously consistent; we always know what we’re going to get. My parents who live in Cleveland insist on coming here and have brought their friends just to eat here.” Undoubtedly, Kanak has the “knack.” You can order any spice level you wish and their buffet choices are considered mild. However, I like to be prepared. My favorite choices to cool my palate are mango lassi—a sweet refreshing fruity yogurt drink, and raita—a combination of yogurt, cucumbers and herbs. No boring, merely utilitarian fire fighters for me. I began my lunch with small bowls of dal (lentil) and tomato soups—tasty and light. The former was redolent with accents of cilantro and lime; the latter, tangy with petite, chewy pieces of homemade cheese. Then I filled my plate with the plentiful selections of vegetables and meats. One veggie tray was particularly enticing with a kaleidoscope of colors. The carrots, potatoes, cauliflower and green pepper were mixed but not mushed with the mild flavors of herbs and spices. Other offerings included bartha—
(Clockwise) The experienced kitchen staff (10 or more years with Jassi Singh) from left to right: Jamail Sing, Avlal Singh, Manager Gurpreet Atwal, Paramjil Kanth, and Salpal Singh; An artistic presentation of chicken flavored curly noodles, a buffet bonus; Chicken tandoori, a flavorful favorite, fresh from the tandoor (clay oven); The efficient dining room staff from left to right: Kuldeep Kaur, Vijayant Datra, Manager Gurpreet Atwal, and Prakash Adhikari; A potpourri of tangy selections for me; The irresistible, saucy (rosewater and cream) ras malai (cheese confection); Delicious warm breads and savory vegetables are part of the buffet selection.
eggplant cooked with vegetables and spices with a sauce-like consistency, perfect for blanketing the basmati rice. Spinach saag, a creamy comfort food with squares of homemade cheese, is almost always available. Alongside the buffet counter, there was an additional offering, chicken flavored curly noodles with vegetables, artistically presented in a large red platter—equal pleasure for viewing and eating. “I didn’t know my staff was so artistic,” a modest Atwal commented. “I get all the credit and they do all the work.” I sensed an atmosphere of family camaraderie that enhances the restaurant experience for both employees and diners. He expressed gratitude to the community for their support, and remarked that, “Indian visitors from New York City said, ‘This was the best meal they’d had.’” Kanak has begun including rice
biryani (a blend of rice, garden vegetables, nuts and raisins) on the buffet. Some friends were so impressed with this delectable dish, they brought my husband Steve and me to this restaurant last year. It was new to us and we have continued to enjoy it. Another favorite is the chicken tikka (tandoori oven specialty) we always order for dinner. Large, marinated, succulent chicken chunks are served on a sizzling plate with colorful slices of tomatoes, green pepper, lemon wedges and onions. This satisfies Steve, my favorite carnivore. For similar appetites, the buffet’s tandoori chicken tray, also full of fresh vegetables features bone in, juicy cuts of the aforementioned fowl. Other meaty treats are curries and chicken chili. The dinner menu adds a plethora of possibilities in this category, including lamb and fish. An easy way to try a variety of
Indian cooking for dinner is the Kanak India special, a “silver” plater with an assortment of appetizers, potatoes, chicken, lamb, rice, vegetables and dessert. A vegetarian sampler is also available. They have a grouping of fresh salad ingredients, dressings and sauces from mild to very hot and a selection of dessert choices on the buffet. The popular, creamy rice pudding is one of my favorite ways to end the meal. However, I have been lured away, even though the rice is nice, by ras malai. This cheese dessert takes hours to prepare. It’s strained, beaten and otherwise abused in the cause of celebratory cuisine. Served in a rose water flavored cream sauce, it’s mentioned in the popular book, “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand.” He reminisces that it was such a memorable treat from his boyhood in India. It’s not always available but when it is,
the tender patties of delicately flavored cheese quell my quest for a fantastic finale. There is one other satisfying entry that I recently discovered — the halwa which resembles a thick and luscious carrot pudding. It’s not too sweet and has a candy-like chewiness. Cheers! Kanak India features a full service bar with beer, wine and liquor. The large open dining room, surrounded by windows, has booths on both sides and cloth covered tables in the center. They offer excellent value for the lunch buffet and dinner menu items. Carryout is available. Their hours are Monday - Saturday, 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.; 5:30 -10 p.m.; Sunday, 12 -3 p.m.; 3:30 - 9 p.m. Kanak India Restaurant 10040B Montgomery Road Montgomery, OH 45242 513-793-6800
DINING OUT • 15
THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2012
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16 • OPINION
The meat of the matter
With judges like that, I didn’t really entertain any hope of winning, especially with an essentially religious argument, the one I would make. But, hey, I thought, why not give it a whirl? If only to clarify my thoughts for myself. Believe it or not, my submission in fact didn’t win. More insulting still, the winning essay selected from the 3,000 entries, didn’t even present an argument at all, but rather a simple assertion. Its essential point was: “For me, eating meat is ethical when one does three things. First, you accept the biological reality that death begets life on this planet and that all life (including us!) is really just solar energy temporarily stored in an impermanent form. Second, you combine this realization with that cherished human trait of compassion and choose ethically raised food, vegetable, grain and/or meat. And third, you give thanks.” Very nice (especially the “thanks” part, though the writer doesn’t say to whom the thanks should be addressed). But I still like my entry better. And I hereby foist it on you: The Talmud teaches that an am ha’aretz — variously translated as an ignorant or uncouth person — is
This column first appeared in Ami Magazine.
Do you have something to say? E-mail your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Editor, In reference to the editorial on 5/31/12 by Chuck Klein: “Whuhhh?? Since when has a narrative been acceptable fare for an editorial column? Where was the argument for some issue? Where was the rebuttal? I am not sure why AI thought this was fit to print in the editorial section. I guess you needed to fill some space. Just wondering!” Sincerely, Doug Sawan North Avondale
T EST Y OUR T ORAH KNOWLEDGE THIS WEEK’S PORTION: SHLACH (BAMIDBAR 13:1—15:35) 1. Who said the Land of Israel was flowing with milk and honey? a.) Hashem b.) Moshe c.) Spies 2. What nation lived in the south of Canaan? a.) Amalek b.) Emorite c.) Canaanite 3. The spies compared the strength of the Canaanites to whom? a.) Hashem stronger than “him” they meant Hashem. Rashi 4. C 13:33 5. B 14:37 Their tongues stretched way beyond their normal length. The spies sinned with speech, therefore their tongues were punished.
The eaten animals become parts of ourselves, and hence parts of our service to our callings as choosing beings.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
b.) Egyptians c.) To giants 4. The spies compared themselves to which animal? a.) Lions b.) Sheep c.) Grasshoppers 5. How were the spies who spoke ill of the Land of Israel punished? a.) Exiled from the community b.) Died in a plague c.) Killed in the battle at the end of Chapter 14
2. A 13:29 The spies frightened the people by reminding them of Amalek whom they had already fought. Rashi 3. A 13:31 The spies did not openly compare the people to Hashem. But by saying, they are
A number of weeks ago, I became aware of an essay contest conceived by The New York Times Magazine’s resident “ethicist” — a columnist, that is, who entertains readers’ questions about moral or ethical quandaries they face. The essay assignment was to make, in 600 words, the strongest ethical case for eating meat. Sitting in judgment to select the winning essay was a panel of judges that included a writer who is a vociferous vegan; and a philosophy professor, Peter Singer — who has advocated not only for extending greater “rights” to animals but for killing severely handicapped newborn human babies.
forbidden to eat meat. The more confounding a Talmudic statement is, the deeper the truth it harbors. In a sort of parallel to the Darwinian description of things — in hierarchy if not mechanism — ancient Jewish texts speak of the world as comprised of four strata. At the foundation lies inert matter: soil and stones, the sun and the air, water. A level above the inanimate is the vegetative, alive but not sentient. Above that, the animal, mobile and determined. At the pinnacle are “speakers”—creatures with minds and consciences: we humans, the reason, in this view, for all of Creation. Each stratum, in this philosophy, exists to support the one above it in the hierarchy. The mineral/chemical world nourishes the sphere of plants, allowing them to grow; the green world in turn feeds the animal universe — and the human sphere, the point of it all, partakes of what the lower levels can provide it. Such partaking need not be limited to eating animals’ meat. There are other ways of allowing the animal world to support the human, like using animals for transportation and labor (with due concern for their comfort, a Jewish religious requirement), or their skins after their deaths. But neither does it preclude utilizing animals in the most direct means imaginable: consuming them, in the most literal sense of the word. When we do so, this worldview teaches, the animal is sublimated, for having nourished a human being who can, in turn, serve a higher purpose. The eaten animals become parts of ourselves, and hence parts of our service to our callings as choosing beings. Thus, to return to the am ha’aretz, someone whose life is insufficiently focused on higher purpose is “forbidden to eat meat.” He has no justification to do so. To be sure, this vision of our world may be shocking to many moderns; it is, moreover, baldly religious. In fact, its religiousness is likely the reason it dismays. But the bifurcation of truth into secular and religious realms is an artificial one. Religious teachings cannot only contain truths as deep as science’s but often deeper ones. Eating animals is not only natural for humans but, in a way, part of what makes us human, as it reminds us that we are something more sublime than the animal world below us, that we must act in ways that justify our occupation of the highest stratum of Creation.
Written by Rabbi Dov Aaron Wise
ANSWERS 1. C 13:27 The spies colored their report about the land, by first praising it. Any falsehood must be preceded by some words of truth for it to have credibility. Rashi
By Rabbi Avi Shafran Contributing Columnist
JEWISH LIFE • 17
THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2012
Sedra of the Week
by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – “We are now ready; let us go up to the place that G-d described, for we have sinned!” (Numbers 14: 40) After the sin of the spies and the failure of the nation to enter the Land of Israel as a result of their ill-advised reconnaissance mission, Divine punishment is meted out. But what follows this sin and its punishment is an even stranger account which seems to challenge the power of repentance to achieve forgiveness. “Moses related these words (of penalty and desert destruction) to all the children of Israel... And they arose early in the morning and went up to the top of the mountain, saying: ‘We are now ready; let us go up to the place that G-d described, for we have sinned!’ And Moses said, ‘... Do not go up; G-d is not in your midst....’ But (the people) wickedly went up to the top of the mountain, while the ark of the covenant of the Lord and Moses did not move from the midst of the encampment. The Amalakites and the Canaanites who dwelt on that mountain scooped down and defeated (the Israelites), pursuing them with crushing force all the way to Hormah” (Numbers 14: 39-45). But why was G-d not in their midst? Why did the Almighty allow the Israelites to be defeated? They seem to have repented; they were apparently trying to repair the sin of the scouts and make it to Israel! Why is this considered an added transgression rather than an act of repentance; the repair, or tikkun, for the major transgression of the desert! I would add to this the Abarbanel’s question. What follows this incident of the ma’apilim—wicked or defiant climbers of the mountain—seems to be a string of disparate commandments unconnected to our theme of the Land of Israel: the sacrificial offerings, the gift of hallah, national atonement for unwitting transgressions, the sin of the wood gatherer on the Sabbath and the commandment of the ritual fringes. What have these laws to do with each other, and what is their connection to the sin of the scouts and the story of the ma’apilim?
SHABBAT SHALOM: PARSHAT SHELACH NUMBERS 13:1-15:41
But why was G-d not in their midst? Why did the Almighty allow the Israelites to be defeated? They seem to have repented; they were apparently trying to repair the sin of the scouts and make it to Israel! Why is this considered an added transgression rather than an act of repentance; the repair, or tikkun, for the major transgression of the desert! Let us begin by trying to comprehend the negative action of the mountain climbers. The Biblical text hints that we are not dealing with an act of true repentance by the perverted order of their words: “We are now ready. Let us go up to the place... We have sinned” (Numbers 14:40). Repentance demands recognition of sin and contrition for past misdeed. Only after atonement has been made, ought the penitent proceed with an act of reparation. Here they are focused first and foremost on the place; they mention their sin merely as an afterthought without any expression of contrition. The issue becomes even clearer as the text continues. Moses tells them not to ascend the mountain to Israel because G-d is not in their midst. They are Israel oriented rather than G-d oriented, committed to occupying a land rather than to fulfilling Divine will. Indeed, they barely seem to recognize the relationship between the physical soil of Israel and the Divine soul of Israel. Hence, “(the people) wickedly went up to the top of the mountain while neither the ark of the covenant of the Lord nor Moses moved out from the midst of the encampment” (ibid. 14:44). Remember, they had been warned only one verse previously that: “up ahead were the Amalekites and the Canaanites, and you will fall by the sword” (ibid. 14:43); and they had already received the message that: “(Only) when the Ark (of the Lord) went forth, would Moses say, ‘Arise Oh G-d and scatter your enemies and cause those who hate you to flee before you’” (Numbers 10:35). Nevertheless, these defiant mountain-climbers were prepared to face their enemies on their way to the Land of Israel without the Ark
of G-d and without Moses, the prophet of G-d. Apparently, they were completely secular Zionists, who may have been committed to the land but were blind to its Divine mission and messages. Perhaps this is what Rabbi Yehuda Ben Betera has in mind when he argues against Rabbi Akiva—that Tselafhad, whose daughters insisted on their feminine rights of inheritance to the land of Israel, was one of the defiant mountain climbers (ma’apilim) and not the Sabbath desecrator who gathered wood (B.T. Shabbat 96b). The Bible teaches that Tselafhad died in the desert because of his sin. Rabbi Yehuda Ben Betera refuses to accept the fact that the father of such righteous lovers of Zion could have been guilty of a crime as major as that of Sabbath desecration as Rabbi Akiva maintains. He prefers to believe that his sin was rather that of the ma’apilim, an incomplete appreciation of the Land of Israel. But Tselafhad did succeed in transmitting his passion for the Land of Israel to his daughters, who added their commitment to G-d. From this perspective, we can well understand the list of laws which follow the incident of the ma’apilim. The Bible reminds the Israelites that when they enter the land, they must be mindful of its true purpose: offerings to G-d, national atonement, commitment to the Sabbath and involvement in all 613 commandments. The Land of Israel and the laws of the Torah must be connected as one to express the true mission and message of our nation. Shabbat Shalom Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Chancellor Ohr Torah Stone Chief Rabbi – Efrat Israel
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18 • JEWZ IN THE NEWZ
By Nate Bloom Contributing Columnist NEW FLICKS The first two movies, below, open “wide” on Friday, June 15: Last month, ANDY SAMBERG, 33, was a hit as Harvard’s commencement speaker, offering hilarious tongue-in-cheek advice. It remains to be seen if his new film, “That’s My Boy,” will add to his laurels and end the “cold streak” of the film’s co-star, ADAM SANDLER, 45. Sandler plays Donald Berger, who fathered a son he named Han Solo Berger (Samberg), when he was a teen. Berger raises Han, alone, until Han’s 18th birthday, then Han, who renames himself “Todd Peterson,” goes off and Berger loses touch with him. A big tax bill then motivates Berger to find “Todd” and try to hit him up for a loan. Samberg, by the way, has announced that he is leaving “SNL.” “Rock of Ages,” which is based on a hit Broadway musical, tells the story of small town girl and city boy who meet on the Sunset Strip while pursuing their Hollywood dreams. Their rock ‘n’ roll romance is told through the classic rock hits of Def Leppard, Joan Jett, Journey, Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Night Ranger, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Poison, Whitesnake and more. The film is directed and choreographed by ADAM SHANKMAN, 47, who scored as the director of “Hairspray” (2004). He’s also a judge on “So You Think You Can Dance.” The comedy/drama, “Lola Versus,” stars Greta Gerwig (“Greenberg”) as Lola, 29, a Ph.D student whose fiancé, Luke (JOEL KINNAMAN, 32) ends their engagement just before their wedding. Lola, feeling lost, has a series of adventures that include some new guys. Her anchors are her free-spirited parents (DEBRA WINGER, 57, and Bill Pullman), and Alice, her best friend (ZOE LISTER-JONES, 29.). “Lola” was co-written by Lister-Jones and DARYL WEIN, 29, the actress’s real-life romantic partner of eight years. Wein also directed “Lola.” In 2009, the duo co-wrote, and Wein directed, “Breaking Upwards,” a wellreceived film based on their reallife relationship. Lister-Jones is best known for playing the title character’s best friend in the sitcom, “Whitney.” (Opens June 22 at the Esquire Theater, Cincinnati.) Wein, who describes himself as “white, Jewish, and scared” on his Twitter account, told “W”
magazine that he works in the nebbishy comedy mode of WOODY ALLEN and “Lola” is the style of “Annie Hall.” “Except,” Wein says, “it is not a love story between a guy and a girl — it’s the story of a woman learning about herself.” Kinnaman is now best known for his starring role as Detective Stephen Holder in the AMC series “The Killing.” He was born and raised in Sweden, the son of an American, non-Jewish father who left the States during the Vietnam War. His mother is a Swedish Jew. Success in Swedish films paved his way to American roles. “Moonrise Kingdom” has been hailed by critics as director Wes Anderson’s comeback film (his hits include “The Royal Tennenbaums” and “Rushmore.”) The setting: A New England island in 1965. The plot: Two 12year-olds (newcomers JARED GILMAN and Kara Hayward) fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. Looking for them are the local sheriff (Bruce Willis) and a Scout troop leader (Edward Norton). Bill Murray and Frances McDormand play the girl’s parents. BOB BALABAN, 66, narrates the film. (Now open in limited release. Coming to Cincy later this year.) Gilman, who lives in New Jersey, celebrated his bar mitzvah last February. He enjoys making his own short action video films and is a member of his middle school’s cross country and fencing teams. SPEAKING OF BAR MITZVAHS Kudos to the “Forward” newspaper for cluing me into an article on the boxing website, “The Sweet Science,” about the bar mitzvah of JACOB WERTHEIMER on April 29 in Philadelphia. In attendance was Jacob’s grandfather, legendary heavyweight boxing champ Muhammad Ali, 70. Jacob is the son of SPENCER WERTHEIMER, a Philadelphia attorney, and Khaliah AliWertheimer, the boxer’s daughter. Khaliah told the website: “I was born and raised as a Muslim. But I’m not into organized religion. I’m more spiritual than religious. My husband is Jewish. No one put any pressure on Jacob to believe one way or another. He chose this on his own because he felt a kinship with Judaism and Jewish culture… My father was supportive in every way. He followed everything and looked at the Torah very closely. It meant a lot to Jacob that he was there.”
FROM THE PAGES 150 Y EARS A GO To the Israelite, religion is not a book science or an intuitive acquisition, it is to him a living current of traditions that have become part of his being, so that his very instinct is religious. To the Israelite, the original languages of the Bible are no foreign tongues, which he artificially or imperfectly acquired; he inherits those languages generically, feels and thinks in them from his early boyhood, whatever the vernacular of the country may be in which he lives, and therefore, the Bible is not to him a foreign book or a translation, it is his own property, embodying his own feelings, his sentiments, his home thrills, the re-echo of his childhood and nature. — July 4, 1862
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Emil M. Mayer of Dana and Dakota avenues, Avondale, at the Sinton. Those forming the bridal party were Misses Clara Mayer, Irma Levy of Birmingham, Ala., and Edith Hoffeimer of this city. The best man was Edgar Menderson and the ushers were F. Millard Mayer, Jr., E.F. Shohl, George Fries, Robert Stark and Morgan Porter of Pittsburgh. Dr. and Mrs. Alfred Springer, Jr., have gone to Baltimore where they will attend to the commencement exercises at the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Springer is a postgraduate of that institution. Later they will go on to Yale University to attend the triennial at that college. Dr. Springer is a Yale man, having received his degree there. Early in July the couple will sail for Europe and spend nine months abroad. — June 13, 1912
125 Y EARS A GO The engagement of Mr. Aaron Stix, son of Mr. Louis Stix, of New York, and Miss Belle Strauss, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ike Strauss, is announced. Two of our well-known physicians met with runaway accidents last week. While Dr. and Mrs. Jos. Eichburg were driving home from Walnut Hills last Friday night, the girth strap of the harness broke and frightened the horse. The animal immediately ran away and the Doctor was thrown from the buggy, but fortunately, sustained no injuries. Dr. William Stark’s horse ran away and smashed his buggy into fragments. The horse seriously injured itself and will have to be killed. The Doctor was not in the buggy at the time of the accident. The old and well-known banking house of Seasongood, Sons & Co. is no more, having been succeeded by the Equitable National Bank, with Messrs. F. X. Reno, President; J.R. Murdock, VicePresident, and J.M. Blair, Cashier. Messrs. A.J. Seasongood and Charles Mayer remain in the new bank as active directors. The other directors are I.M. Simon, Geo. Fisher, A.G. Erkenbrecher, Jacob Scheuer, A.E. Burkhardt, Edwin R. terns and David Gibson. This is a strong list of good names and we have no doubt that the new institution will prosper. — June 17, 1887
100 Y EARS A GO Mrs. S. Saloshin and daughter, Fannie of W. Fifth Stret, Covington, will leave on June 20 for an extended trip through the West. They will visit Mrs. Gus Hollander of San Francisco, and Mrs. I. Lewin of Chicago, both of whom are daughters of Mrs. Saloshin. Dr. Alfred Springer, Jr., son of the well known Cincinnati chemist, Dr. Alfred Springer, Sr., of Norwood, was married on Saturday evening last to Miss Jeanne Mayer,
75 Y EARS A GO Rollridge Farm, country estate of Mr. and Mrs. Justin A. Rollman on Ridge Road, Pleasant Ridge, will be the scene of the League of Women’ Voters’ “country fair,” Friday afternoon, June 18th. Mrs. Walter Pritz is League president. She, Miss Karline Brown and Mrs. Edward Parsons, Jr., have written a sketch for the afternoon. Other active in plans for the day include Mrs. John Wachman, Mrs. Henry Flarsheim, Mrs. Nathan Ransohoff, Mrs. Gilbert Bettman and Mrs. Mark Feder. Mr. Hermann H. Zimmerman, son of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Zimmerman, 3801 St. Lawrence Avenue, Price Hill, and now of 351 Sixth Avenue, New York City, has won a commission to paint murals in the Wilmington (Del.) Federal Building. He studied in Cincinnati and in France, Spain and Italy. Miss Florence Rosenzwieg, of Los Angeles and formerly of Cincinnati, will arrive Friday, June 18th, for a visit with relatives and friends. — June 17, 1937
50 Y EARS A GO To recover documents on first phases of Jewish life in the Western Hemisphere and to complete its collection on the Zionist movement, the American Jewish Archives of HUC-JIR has organized an expedition to Europe and Israel beginning June 25. Dr. Jacob R. Marcus, Archives director, will head the expedition — a continuation of one he made to the Caribbean and Latin American 10 years ago. Mr. Robert E. Segal, formerly of Cincinnati and now of Boston, will be a delegate to the annual plenary session of the National Community Relations Advisory Council at the Terrace Hilton June 21-24. Mr. and Mrs. Mayor Schuman,
7855 Newbedford Avenue, announce the engagement of their daughter, Rita Joy, to Mr. Louis Ivan Michaelson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Todd Michaelson of this city. Miss Schuman attended Ohio State University and now attends UC. Mr. Michaelson graduated from UC. and is doing post graduate work at Xavier University. He is affiliated with Sigma Alpha Mu. — June 14, 1962
25 Y EARS A GO Ray Solomon was honored by Yavneh Day School for his many years of service to the Jewish and secular educational communities at a dinner June 7 at Adath Israel. This tribute marked Solomon’s recent retirement as principal of Yavneh and his 28 years of involvement with the school as parent, teacher and principal. The home of Sidney and Miriam Peerless was the scene of a reception honoring the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel. Hosts were Dr. and Mrs. Peerless and Stanley Chesley. Those gathered heard Professor Ron Na’aman, of the department of isotope research, speak of his work in laser technology. Na’aman also explained how the Institute functions and what it means to Israel. The Weizmann Institute of Science, founded in 1934 by the Sieff Family of London, was the dream of Israel’s first president, Chaim Weizmann. Weizmann, himself a chemist who developed acetone, wanted a haven for scientists fleeing the Holocaust. — June 18, 1987
10 Y EARS A GO The Jewish Community Center facility at 1580 Summit Road may be sold to a local charter school. Under the terms of the sale, the Center staff occupying the lower level will maintain their presence in that portion of the building, continue to provide programming there and maintain the kosher kitchen to serve meals at the location. Rabbi Morris E. Zimbalist will be joining Congregation B’nai Tzedek as its new rabbi beginning July 1. He moves to Cincinnati from his home in Teaneck, N.J., where he lives with his wife, Alison. Rabbi Zimbalist earned his undergraduate degree from Boston University and received his ordination and master’s degree in Jewish studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in New York. He has served at a student pulpit at Congregation Sons of Israel in Amsterdam, NY, outside of Albany, for four years. Rabbi Zimbalist was ordained May 23. — June 13, 2002
THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2012
CLASSIFIEDS • 19
COMMUNITY DIRECTORY COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS Access (513) 373-0300 • jypaccess.org Big Brothers/Big Sisters Assoc. (513) 761-3200 • bigbrobigsis.org Camp Ashreinu (513) 702-1513 Camp at the J (513) 722-7258 • mayersonjcc.org Camp Livingston (513) 793-5554 • camplivingston.com Cedar Village (513) 754-3100 • cedarvillage.org Chevra Kadisha (513) 396-6426 Cincinnati Community Mikveh 513-351-0609 • cincinnatimikveh.org Fusion Family (513) 703-3343 • fusionnati.org Halom House (513) 791-2912 • halomhouse.com Hillel Jewish Student Center (513) 221-6728 • hillelcincinnati.org Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Cincinnati 513-961-0178 • jcemcin.org Jewish Community Center (513) 761-7500 • mayersonjcc.org Jewish Community Relations Council (513) 985-1501 Jewish Family Service (513) 469-1188 • jfscinti.org Jewish Federation of Cincinnati (513) 985-1500 • shalomcincy.org Jewish Foundation (513) 214-1200 Jewish Information Network (513) 985-1514 Jewish Vocational Service (513) 985-0515 • jvscinti.org Kesher (513) 766-3348 Plum Street Temple Historic Preservation Fund (513) 793-2556 Shalom Family (513) 703-3343 • myshalomfamily.org The Center for Holocaust & Humanity Education (513) 487-3055 • holocaustandhumanity.org Vaad Hoier (513) 731-4671 Workum Fund (513) 899-1836 • workum.org YPs at the JCC (513) 761-7500 • mayersonjcc.org
CONGREGATIONS Adath Israel Congregation (513) 793-1800 • adath-israel.org Beit Chaverim (513) 984-3393 Beth Israel Congregation (513) 868-2049 • bethisraelcongregation.net Congregation Beth Adam (513) 985-0400 • bethadam.org Congregation B’nai Tikvah (513) 759-5356 • bnai-tikvah.org Congregation B’nai Tzedek (513) 984-3393 • bnaitzedek.us Congregation Ohav Shalom (513) 489-3399 • ohavshalom.org
Congregation Ohr Chadash (513) 252-7267 • ohrchadashcincinnati.com Congregation Sha’arei Torah shaareitorahcincy.org Congregation Zichron Eliezer 513-631-4900 • czecincinnati.org Golf Manor Synagogue (513) 531-6654 • golfmanorsynagogue.org Isaac M. Wise Temple (513) 793-2556 • wisetemple.org Kehilas B’nai Israel (513) 761-0769 Northern Hills Synagogue (513) 931-6038 • nhs-cba.org Rockdale Temple (513) 891-9900 • rockdaletemple.org Temple Beth Shalom (513) 422-8313 • tbsohio.org Temple Sholom (513) 791-1330 • templesholom.net The Valley Temple (513) 761-3555 • valleytemple.com
EDUCATION Chai Tots Early Childhood Center (513) 234.0600 • chaitots.com Chabad Blue Ash (513) 793-5200 • chabadba.com Cincinnati Hebrew Day School (513) 351-7777 • chds.shul.net HUC-JIR (513) 221-1875 • huc.edu JCC Early Childhood School (513) 793-2122 • mayersonjcc.org Kehilla - School for Creative Jewish Education (513) 489-3399 • kehilla-cincy.com Mercaz High School (513) 792-5082 x104 • mercazhs.org Kulanu (Reform Jewish High School) 513-262-8849 • kulanucincy.org Regional Institute Torah & Secular Studies (513) 631-0083 Rockwern Academy (513) 984-3770 • rockwernacademy.org
ORGANIZATIONS American Jewish Committee (513) 621-4020 • ajc.org American Friends of Magen David Adom (513) 521-1197 • afmda.org B’nai B’rith (513) 984-1999 BBYO (513) 722-7244 Hadassah (513) 821-6157 • cincinnati.hadassah.org Jewish Discovery Center (513) 234.0777 • jdiscovery.com Jewish National Fund (513) 794-1300 • jnf.org Jewish War Veterans (513) 204-5594 • jwv.org NA’AMAT (513) 984-3805 • naamat.org National Council of Jewish Women (513) 891-9583 • ncjw.org State of Israel Bonds (513) 793-4440 • israelbonds.com Women’s American ORT (513) 985-1512 • ortamerica.org.org
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business@ americanisraelite.com or call Erin at 621-3145 IMPACT from page 1 But Bethe Goldenfield, 58, chair of the Warren County Democratic Party in southwest Ohio, said she considers the Affordable Care Act one of Obama’s crowning achievements. “He is essentially a believer in what is doable,” she said of Obama during a roundtable discussion with fellow Democrats at the home of Julie Brook, executive co-chair of the Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Democratic Party. “He is a pragmatist as opposed to an ideologue. Yes, he wanted to do more, but he accomplished an enormous amount.” In addition to reform of the health care system, Goldenfield cited Obama’s successful appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court: Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. “And look what he’s done in terms of turning around the economy,” she said. Others in the group pointed out that the new health care rules bar insurance companies from refusing to insure people with prior medical conditions, something they view as a significant accomplishment. And Ben Glassman, 37, pointed out that U.S. “security funding for Israel is the highest ever, there have been joint military operations and joint intelligence operations.” “The perception that Obama is weak on Israel does not mesh with the facts,” he said. “Israelis know this, and that’s why he is popular in Israel.” Sitting with his wife, Sandy, at a table in the J Café at the Mayerson JCC here, Ron Richards pulled no punches when asked his assessment of the Obama presidency, especially when it comes to Israel policy. “Obama is the worst thing that ever happened to this country as far as the presidency is concerned,” said Richards, 74, a registered Republican. “And he’s not friendly to Israel.” “We have a lot of friends in Israel,” his wife interjected, “and they are begging us not to vote for Obama.” “What angers me,” Richards continued, “is that there are many Jews who will still vote for Obama. We live in Warren County in southwest Ohio. It’s about 90 percent Republican with a good number of Republican Jews, but they are not the majority [among the Jews].” Brook, the Democratic co-
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Up to 24 hour care Meal Preparation Errands/Shopping Hygiene Assistance Light Housekeeping
(513) 531-9600 chair, said Obama’s best chance of winning Ohio would be to try to offset the Republican vote in heavily Republican Hamilton County, which includes Cincinnati. She said she and other volunteers would be out “educating” Democrats that early voting begins Oct. 2. Several analysts and Romney supporters said that one surefire way to ensure that Romney carries Ohio would be for him to nominate Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, 56, to be his vice president. Portman is very popular here, having won seven consecutive congressional elections with more than 70 percent of the vote. In addition, he served as the U.S. trade representative and director of the Office of Management and Budget during Bush’s second term. “He has traveled around the world and negotiated with world leaders,” Heiman said of Portman. “They both understand what reality we are living in and that what is needed today are not idealists who hope that being nice to you is going to get you everything. The biggest mistake Obama made was going to Cairo and to Istanbul and apologizing for American mistakes. In that part of the world, an apology is equated with weakness; the Arab and Muslim nations pegged Obama as naïve and weak. …” “I’m very optimistic that Romney — even if he does not choose Rob — will pull 40 percent of the Jewish vote in this area and at least 35 percent nationally,” he added. “And I think a lot of people will sit out this election because [Obama] made a lot of promises and failed to carry through on virtually all of them.” Jeff Mazer, 35, said that although Obama did not do everything he promised, he still plans to vote for him and finds the Republican Party “offensive” and its positions “dangerous.” “They are not for the regular people,” he said as he walked through the JCC with his wife, who was pushing their child in a stroller. “I work for a large health care company and I believe Obamacare is good — it’s a step in the right direction.” This article originally appeared in The Jewish Week of New York on May 29, 2012. It is reprinted with their permission. For more information, please go to the Jewish Week of New York ’s website.
20 • TRAVEL
Cannes, France: La Dolce Vita... French style Wandering Jew
by Janet Steinberg The dictionary may tell you that “la dolce vita” is Italian for “the sweet life.” But let me tell you that Cannes (France’s second most important city next to Paris) is really la dolce vita. The French Riviera city of Cannes (pronounced Kahn) is probably best known for its annual Film Festival held each May in the Palais des Festival on the Promenade de la Croisette. However, this thriving city is much more than movie stars, gigantic yachts, red carpets and klieg lights. Glorious weather, gorgeous sand beaches, an azure blue Mediterranean, great shopping, food, art, history, palatial hotels, and people watching, make up a perfect holiday palette. My most recent two-day stay in Cannes (thanks to an overnight stay during Crystal Serenity’s “Capitals of Art and Architecture Cruise”) consisted of three elements: a tour, a beach and an island. THE TOUR: A little train tour begins at the Palais des Festival with its famous stairway and its handprints of the Stars on the Esplanade Georges Pompidou. The tour follows in the footsteps of the greatest international film stars and the most famous personalities in the world who strolled along La Croisette. It drives along the long promenade, lined with prestigious palace-hotels, to Palm Beach where a casino and yacht club is located. From there, the 35minute tour makes its way along Rue d’Antibes with its luxurious boutiques. The Croisette Train Tour can also be combined with a History Tour that will take you back in time through landscapes with many tales to tell and sites to see, including the Forville Provencal Market and the medieval old town of Le Suquet with its viewpoint, La Castre, overlooking the whole city. Though not on the tour, I did get a chance to visit La Grande Synagogue de Cannes. Although the Côte d’Azur lacks the Jewish historic sites found in other parts
of France, a sizable Jewish community exists in Cannes. Le Tovel, a kosher restaurant, conveniently located downtown, one block from the bay of Cannes and La Croisette Boulevard, offers French cuisine with a good selection of salads, Mediterranean fish, grilled dishes and the dessert of the moment. The interior walls of Tovel are decorated with murals that replicate the landscape of biblical Israel. THE BEACH: Ahhhhh, the beach! What can I say about Zplage, the Hotel Martinez’s private sandy beach where I chose to spend half a day? I can only say that it was divine, delicious, gorgeous, hedonistic and sybaritic. Zplage, the largest beach on La Croisette, has 400 sun-loungers on its private, silky-sand beach. Bright ocean-blue sun beds are lined up like sailors on a vast pontoon jutting out into the glistening Mediterranean. Private pergolas (lounge tents) come equipped with sofas and coffee tables. Sport-minded jocks can waterski, ride inflatables, parasail, or take sea trips, all of which operate from the end of the pontoon. As for me, I chose not to move a muscle until lunchtime. My only physical activity was sipping a fresh fruit “Dr. Feelgood Presse au Naturel” through a straw. Lunch at Zplage was surreal. With its fabulous location in the Bay of Cannes, a backdrop of La Croisette, and the sunny Mediterranean, Esterel Range and Lerin Islands on the horizon, how could it miss? The restaurant blossoms with the sun and the specialties are inspired by flavors from around the world. To quote Christian Sinicropi, executive chef of the Hotel Martinez: “The deep sound of the wok and tandoor, like a tam tam of savoury smells, calling the Epicureans and fine time collectors.” But it was Zplage’s Le Dessert that was the most unusual confection I have ever had melt in my mouth. My delectable lunch culminated with an incredible edible dessert named “L’Or, L’Or, L’Or, Lipstick. By L’Oreal Paris.” Trust me, you’ve never seen (or tasted) anything like it. L’Or, like a stilllife painting, was a picture in white chocolate, cheesecake, raspberry coulis, and goodies I could not begin to figure out. THE ISLAND: For another half day, I hopped aboard a ferry that took me to St. Honorat Island, one of the unique Lerin Islands about a mile off the coast of Cannes. Since the fifth century, St. Honorat has been home to a community of monks.
Over the centuries that followed, the island withstood massacres, hosted pilgrimages, was captured by the Spanish, bought by a wealthy actress, and resold in 1859 to a Bishop who later established a Cistercian community there. The island retains a monastery that is now home to the Cistercian Monks of the Abbaye de Lerins. St. Honorat is a popular tourist attraction set amid pleasant woodland surroundings. The Abbey of Lérins and the 15th Century fortified monastery are open to visitors. Other points of interest include abandoned chapels erected by monks in previous centuries, the remains of a Napoleonic cannon ball oven, and a Second World War gun emplacement. “Monk-ey Business” rules on Iles St. Honorat. The monks not only occupy the island, but they also grow grapes, and make wines that are known to oenophiles around the world. They also produce honey, operate a monastery shop that sells various monastic goods including the wine and honey produced on the island, and run a fine restaurant called La Tonnelle. La Tonnelle, the island’s only restaurant, is on the water’s edge of St. Honorat. It is a convivial haven of peace, offering great wines, great food, and great views of the crystal clear Mediterranean. The restaurant is open every day at lunchtime with a menu based on fresh, colorful seasonal dishes full of Provencal flavors and complemented by the renowned wines and liqueurs produced by the monks from their vineyards on the island. My grilled sea bass and tomato mozzarella salad, washed down with the monks of the Abbaye de Lerins’ 2008 Saint Pierre Clairette Chardonnay, was one of the loveliest lunches I’ve ever experienced. You might also want to try the aperitif Lerincello, created by the monks of the Abbey of Our Lady of Lerins. Created in the traditional way, Lerincello contains no coloring, no artificial flavors and no preservatives. The untreated Lerincello, using lemons from Menton, is a perfect fusion of the color, aroma and flavor of lemon. If you go…and you must…say hello to my friend, Pere (Father) Marie Paques, who supervises the operations on the island. Meeting this ebullient monk will certainly enhance your visit to the island.
(Top-bottom) Sun Beds jut into the Mediterranean at Zplage, the largest beach on Cannes’ La Croisette; La Grande Synagogue de Cannes; Cinema Cannes Mural is an eye-catcher.
Janet Steinberg is an awardwinning Travel Writer and a Travel Consultant with The Travel Authority.
FOOD / AUTOS • 21
THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2012
Farmers’ market inspired Zell’s Bites
by Zell Schulman I love going to the various summer farmers’ markets. They are my summer adventures. Fresh berries for breakfast, salads for lunch and homegrown corn on the cob for dinner, not counting all the wonderful snacks made from the freshest ingredients right off the land. Yesterday, I cut out the list of the farmers’ market locations and hours from the food section of Wednesday’s Enquirer. It also gives the addresses and phone numbers. Look it up on your computer, or call the Enquirer. The farmer shed in Findlay Market is one of my favorite places to go and is of particular interest because of the special program the market sponsors for teenagers. It is filled with homegrown fruits and vegetables. FRESH FRUIT SNACKS These are perfect for a summertime treat which all ages enjoy. Ingredients: 1 sweet apple, unpeeled 5-1/2-oz package goat cheese 1 tart apple, unpeeled 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds Juice of 1 lemon 2 kiwis, sliced into rounds 1/4 cup Roquefort cheese 1 small pineapple, cored and cut into cubes 3-oz package cream cheese 1/2 cup chopped pecans One 3-oz package herbs 2 tablespoons chopped, fresh mint Method: l. Slice the apples and dip the slices in the lemon juice. In a PERES from page 5 “He could be so far ahead; he is futuristic,” Makovsky said. In 1987, now as Shamir’s foreign minister, Peres attempted to negotiate a peace treaty with Jordan that would have had the Hashemite kingdom take back much of its authority in the West Bank. What made headlines, however, was how Peres had kept Shamir out of the loop and then
small bowl, mix the Roquefort cheese, cream cheese and chopped pecans together, spread on one side of the apple slices. Set on a serving platter. 2. Mix the goat cheese with chopped mint and form it into balls the size of an marble. Roll the balls in the almonds and place on top of kiwi rounds. Add to the serving platter. 3. Spread the herb cheese on top of pineapple cubes and garnish with a strip of orange rind or a slice of black olive then add to fruit platter. Refrigerate, lightly covered until ready to serve. SOUTHERN CORN PUDDING Serves 4-6 One of my family’s favorite summer side dishes. It’s great when you’re entertaining. Ingredients 2 ears yellow corn 1 tablespoon flour 2 large eggs, separated 1/2 cup sugar 3 tablespoons melted butter 1 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg 2 cups milk Method: 1. Steam or cook the corn. With the tip of a knife, split each row of kernels in half. Remove the corn from the cob into a 2-quart bowl. 2. Grease a 2-quart casserole. In a small bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Set aside. If baking this pudding immediately, preheat the oven to 325°F. Add the egg yolks, butter, nutmeg, flour, sugar, salt and pepper to the corn. Fold in the beaten egg whites. Pour in the milk and stir well. 3. Pour into the prepared casserole and bake, uncovered, 40 to 45 minutes. The top will be a golden brown. Remove and serve. Zell’s Tips: You may pr epare the pudding in the morning, cover, refrigerate it and bake it later for lunch or dinner. If watching your cholesterol, egg substitute can replace the eggs called for in the recipe. nixed the secret plan when it came to light. Today, the Israeli elite—right and left—believe the deal would have shucked much of Israel’s responsibility for the Palestinians, which likely would have meant there would have been no intifadas. Many now see the failure to accept the plan as the government’s greatest mistake in the post-1967 period, according to Makovsky.
2012 Audi Q5—Good to go The 2012 Audi Q5 leaves little to be desired, at a price that is affordable and also competitive. Audi has taken its time to give its customers options to customize the Q5 to one’s own liking. This SUV is both stylish and family friendly, while sporting a lot of class and muscle. According to US News poll rankings, the 2012 Q5 is the No. 1 luxury SUV in the market. The car is modeled after the Audi A4 but in an SUV format. This gives the look and performance of an SUV, but handles like an A4. There are four options packages on the Q5. All wheel drive is standard on every package. The base package, known as Premium trim, has a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which combines the Audi valvelift system, variable valve timing, Audi FSI® direct injection and turbocharging for more power and greater efficiency. Standard features include leather seats, wood inlays, three-zone automatic, 12-way power front seats with four-way power lumbar adjustment, and poweradjustable, heated exterior mirrors with integrated LED turn signals. The next package up is the Premium Plus. This package adds more upscale features, such as heated front seats, Panorama sunroof, Driver memory, Blue-tooth and much more. The next two upper packages are very similar to one another. There is the 3.2 Premium Plus, and the 3.2 Prestige. They both have a 3.2-liter V6 engine, which with its four valves-per-cylinder, offers
2012 Audi Q5
silky-smooth and responsive performance, thanks to the combination of FSI® and Audi valvelift system. The use of aluminum for the block and cylinder head makes the 3.2-liter V6 lightweight, resulting in improved handling. The only real difference between the two packages is the Prestige comes standard with a rearview camera, thermo cup holder, blind spot monitoring system and 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system. Even after these packages, there’s still the hybrid Audi Q5. This is Audi’s first production vehicle to incorporate both gas and electric drive, the former a 2.0-liter TFSI four-cylinder, the latter a 44-hp electric motor sandwiched between the engine and eight-speed automatic transmission. Combined output is 241 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque, directed to all four wheels. A 72-cell, 1.3-kWh lithium-ion battery pack is positioned under the load floor, and
it takes a minimal toll on the rear cargo area. If maximizing fuel economy and minimizing a carbon footprint are your goals — the Q5 hybrid’s driver interfaces make them easier to attain. Audi’s usual Multi Media Interface (MMI) appears here with special functions to monitor the flow of energy among the engine, motor, and battery, as well as to display rates of energy consumption and recuperation as easy-to-read bar graphs. The tachometer has been replaced by a power meter that displays real-time levels of electric boost, gas power, and battery charge. The needle is quite precise and lets you know exactly how close you are to coming off full-electric drive, making it easy to maintain silent operation. The Audi Q5 is redefining the term luxury and at its unbeatable price, it leaves competition in the dust. MSRP is $35,000 – $43,000
Audi Connection earns top Magna Society honors from Audi for top performance in record-breaking 2011 As a 2011 Magna Society award winner, Audi Connection has been recognized as one of the 106 top Audi dealerships in the United States and a leader in a year that saw the premium car brand achieve record nationwide sales of 117,561 vehicles. The Magna Society acknowledges Audi dealers that deliver exceptional customer service, maintain strong sales and demonstrate excellence in all areas of business. This honor is bestowed upon dealerships that exemplify the attention to detail and progressive attributes that distinguish the Audi brand. “Premium performance car buyers expect the Audi brand experience to match their high expectations elsewhere,” said Johan de Nysschen, President, Audi of America. “With the Magna Society award, we celebrate the success of our best dealers to exceed those expectations and delight these discriminating customers.”
22 • OBITUARIES D EATH N OTICES KATZ, Rae, age 98, died on June 6, 2012; 16 Sivan, 5772. SCHREIBER, Arthur L., age 87, died on June 8, 2012; 18 Sivan, 5772. SINGER, Allen, died on June 8, 2012; 18 Sivan, 5772. TAYLOR, Balbina, age 90, died on June 9, 2012; 19 Sivan, 5772. REISENFELD, Sylvan P., age 78, died on June 10, 2012; 20 Sivan, 5772.
HOLOCAUST from page 4 Meanwhile, the Allies were trying to bury the story. A few weeks after the Bund Report arrived, officials of the U.S. Office of War Information and the British Ministry of Information began meeting in Washington under the auspices of their new Committee on War Information Policy. They decided to withhold news about Nazi massacres of Jews, lest it lead to “hatred of all members of the races guilty of such actions” or provoke retaliation against American POWs. In response to the Bund Report, the American Jewish
ZENTAI from page 9 “Only my sister and I survived,” said the 83-year-old Weinberger. She arrived in Sydney by ship in 1950, one of an estimated 35,000 Holocaust survivors — the largest country intake per capita outside of Israel. The Executive Council of Australian Jewry, which represents the nation’s estimated 110,000 Jews, congratulated the government in 2010 when it appealed a lower court’s ruling that Zentai could not be extradited. “The surviving relatives of Peter Balazs are not looking for vengeance,” Danny Lamm, the group's president, said at the time. “They want … justice, no matter how long it takes.” Zentai is far from the first alleged Nazi war criminal in Australia whose case has been bound up in the legal system. In 1988, a U.S. judge ruled there was “unequivocal evidence” that Konrads Kalejs participated in atrocities while he was an officer in the notorious Arajs Kommando, which murdered thousands of Jews in Latvia. He eventually was deported to Australia, where had earlier lived and gained citizenship; he died in Melbourne in 2001 while awaiting a court decision on whether he should be extradited to Latvia. His commanding officer, Karlis Ozols, was arguably Australia’s highest-ranking alleged Nazi war crimes suspect. He was accused of ordering the slaughter of more than 10,000 Jews. The SIU referred its file to the Director of Public Prosecutions in1992, saying “The evidence establishes four counts of genocide.” But the SIU was closed that year and Ozols was never prosecuted. He, too, died in Melbourne in 2001. “It’s hard to be optimistic about a case of a Nazi war criminal in Australia, given the county’s terrible record to date,” Zuroff said. “But in this case, the government has acted in the proper manner and perhaps we will finally see a successful result.”
TRIBAL from page 7 The Window Rock for which the area is named — a windswept, red rock opening that stands about a half-mile from the museum — illustrated the connection. Taken at its physical geographic description, Window Rock is simply a 200-foot-high natural arch of Middle Jurassic Bluff Sandstone. But as a sacred place, “It was one of the four places where Navajo medicine men go with their woven water bottles to get water for the ceremony that is held for abundant rain.” Adding emotional attachment to Window Rock is the Navajo Code Talkers Memorial at the base of the arch. The Code Talkers, made famous in the film “Windtalkers,” were a group of Navajo-speaking U.S. Marines who during World War II devised a Navajo-based code that the Japanese were unable to break. As for the Jews’ attachment to their holy land, Rosenfeld pointed out that “you don’t have to live on it.” At the same time, he stressed — quoting Psalm 137, “If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand JOURNALIST from page 9 Yet soon after his release on bail, allegations began surfacing that Choudhury was a ruthless con artist with a criminal past — and a pseudo-journalist guilty of plagiarism who had strong Islamist connections before he inexplicably became an anti-Islamist. Some have even suggested that Choudhury he may be an agent posing as a friend of the Jews in order to raise money for Islamic fundamentalist organizations. Belkin, who runs a website that exposes alleged Muslim ethnic cleansing of minority Hindus in Bangladesh, has not spoken to Choudhury in several years. Asked why by JTA, he declined to explain. Nevertheless, Belkin expressed nothing but admiration for the man he helped rescue. “While Shoaib and I are no longer working together, nor have we been in contact for some time, he retains a place in my heart for his
Congress, B’nai B’rith and the Jewish Labor Committee organized a rally at Madison Square Garden in July 1942 that drew a capacity crowd of 20,000. But AJC president Rabbi Stephen S. Wise and the other speakers refrained from calling on the Allied governments to take any steps to rescue European Jews. The protest was limited to expressions of sorrow over the killing, and hope for a speedy Allied victory over the Nazis. “It is somewhat difficult to put all the blame for complacency on British and American statesmen...when Jewish leaders made no visible attempt to put pressure
on their governments for any active policy of rescue,” Prof. Yehuda Bauer, of Hebrew University and Yad Vashem, has written. “The Jewish leadership could hardly plead lack of knowledge.” Bauer blames the restrained Jewish response on doubts about the news, “loyalty to President Roosevelt,” and “fear of arousing anti-Semitism if the United States were requested to act specifically in the interest of Jews in Europe.” Prof. David S. Wyman, author of The Abandonment of the Jews, contends that Wise and other Jewish leaders “were still in shock — the news from Europe was so
horrific, and so unprecedented, that it took time to understand and absorb it.” It would take several more months of such reports, and a grudging confirmation by the Roosevelt administration at the end of 1942, before Jewish leaders began proposing concrete plans for rescue — but even then, the struggle to bring about Allied action would prove formidable indeed.
wither” — Jews are not allowed to forget their attachment. Both speakers saw rays of sacredness emanating from the east. Dennison remarked that the traditional Navajo home, the hogan, was to this day oriented with its entrance to the east. “The tip of light of where the rising sun first strikes is considered sacred,” he said. “First light enters our whole being.” Rosenfeld saw “spirituality coming from the east,” east being the symbol of Jerusalem. “Jews face east when they pray,” he said. Several audience members, speaking in Navajo or in English with a bit of Hebrew, also spotted similarities in experience and ritual. Navajo Lydell James saw a connection between his tribe’s Long Walk and the Holocaust. The Long Walk, known as “Bosque Redondo,” was an 1864-66 forced relocation of the Navajo from their historic tribal lands to an area around Fort Sumner, N.M. “The hurt doesn’t end,” he said. Laura Jijon, who is Jewish and works with the Navajo as an adult education administrator at the
University of New Mexico Extension in nearby Gallup, N.M., cited a similarity to the spiritual significance that Dennison placed on the four directions and the six directions that Jews wave the lulav on Sukkot. She also pointed out that “the hogan and the sukkah are both sacred dwellings.” As to the generational challenges facing each group, the rabbi and medicine man acknowledged that their respective people’s commitment and sense of holiness about their lands could be at risk. “We don’t own the land,” Dennis said. “It’s a Western concept of marking the land and water. It becomes a property. In the future we could lose sight of the sacredness of the land. “How do we keep the fire burning?” he asked. “Is something inherently holy? Only if a community takes it as such,” said Rosenfeld. “Fifty-nine percent of American Jews have not been to Israel.” Historically, Navajos and Jews have long had some ties. In the 19th century, Solomon Bibo, a Jewish immigrant from
Poland and New Mexico trader, “was the only white man ever to be the chief of a Navajo pueblo,” Bronitsky said. And before the event Bronitsky, standing before a photo display of Miss Navajo contest winners, pointed to the photo of the second winner, in 1954-55, Ida Gail Organick. “She was married to a Jewish doctor,” he said. Bronitsky believes it was unlikely that the Navajo had their own term for Jew. Now they do. Touring Eastern Europe with a Navajo choral group, Bronitsky had worn his kippah during side trips to Holocaust memorials. At the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, awaiting the flight home, he wondered if the singers could come up with a word for a Jew. “Bich’ah yazhi dineh’eh,” was the phrase one of them coined, “people who wear little hats,” he recalled during the Shabbat discussion.
personal courage and for the ground he broke,” Belkin told JTA in an email from Chicago. “Shoaib and I have taken separate paths since our struggles with Islamists and their water carriers, but those efforts revealed a man who willingly put himself in danger for a principle.” Other Jews who had stood up for Choudhury are less kind. In March 2011, Aryeh Yosef Gallin, founder and president of the Root and Branch Association — a nonprofit group that promotes cooperation between Israel and other nations — expelled Choudhury from its Islam-Israel Fellowship after reports surfaced that the Bangladeshi had bilked “emotionally vulnerable single Jewish ladies” out of tens of thousands of dollars. West, a self-described “Jewish woman and patriotic American who became very involved in counterjihad work after 9/11,” told JTA that “subsequent research, easily available to anyone who bothered to do
a little bit of reading, showed that he was a total fraud with criminal ties. He had swindled not just two ardent Jewish supporters but everyone in the Zionist and counter-jihad movement who believed in him.” Some claims that Choudhury made in the interview did appear to be farfetched. For example, he insisted that his country has at least 5,000 Jews. Nearly all references speak of a Jewish community numbering no more than a few hundred. Choudhury also said, “You can now find Torahs in every bookstore in Bangladesh,” and that the 2,200square-foot building facing Purana Paltan Street that supposedly housed Dhaka’s only synagogue sits on land now worth $10 million. A plaque on the aging structure clearly identifies it as a Masonic lodge built in 1910. Nowhere are Hebrew inscriptions, Stars of David or anything remotely Jewish visible from either the outside or inside. Choudhury prints 25,000 copies of the Weekly Blitz; it sells for 5
taka, the equivalent of 7 U.S. cents. He boasted that his newspaper — he says it’s “the most influential in the Muslim world” — was the first in Bangladesh to write about Islamic nongovernmental organizations operating in the country under the patronage of al-Qaeda. “Not a single article of ours has ever been protested by the government,” he said. “This means we have total credibility.” Despite Choudhury’s insistence that his detractors’ accusations are all false, it does not appear that his legal troubles will disappear soon. He is still facing blasphemy and treason claims. “The court continues to postpone my trial, so I have to go to court every month, then they give me a new date,” he said. “They don’t have any evidence, so they can’t continue the trial. But they won’t drop the charges either because the government fears that would annoy the Islamists and antiSemites in this country.”
Dr. Rafael Medoff is dir ector of The David S. W yman Institute for Holocaust Studies, and coauthor, with Prof. Sonja Schoepf Wentling, of the new book “Herbert Hoover and the Jews: The Origins of the ‘Jewish Vote’ and Bipartisan Support for Israel.”
Edmon J. Rodman is a JT A columnist who writes on Jewish life fr om Los Angeles.
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