THURSDAY, JULY 5, 2012 15 TAMMUZ, 5772
Dr. Samuel S. Rockwern Passover Delivery of Jewish Family Service p.12
CINCINNATI, OH Candle Lighting Times Shabbat begins Fri 8:49p Shabbat ends Sat 9:50p
VOL. 158 • NO. 50
The American Israelite T H E
O L D E S T
E N G L I S H
With Muslim Brotherhood's ascendancy, Mubarak's legacy...
Munich 11 widow Ankie Spitzer keeps up her fight for a...
Germany’s Jewish patriots find a home in the military
Holocaust survivors beauty pageant crowns Romanian...
Going home to Gabby’s LIKE US ON FACEBOOK! FOLLOW US ON TWITTER!
SINGLE ISSUE: $1.00 J E W I S H
W E E K L Y
A M E R I C A
Chicago White Sox pick up Jewish alltimer in Youkilis (but can he still...
E S T .
1 8 5 4
Mofaz grabs Washington's attention for peace talks talk, but is...
“ L E T
T H E R E
L I G H T ”
Selling old school buildings subject to deed restrictions
Pre-gaming takes on a whole new definition of fun for YPs From “groovy baby”, “let’s boogie,” “to busted,” “my bad” and with each generation young people invent new words and phrases that allow them to make the language their own. One of the most popular additions to the vernacular these days is the word, pre-game. But what does it mean? The Urban Dictionary defines it as follows: /pri gajm/ verb: derived from a term that originally referred to the tradition of tailgating before football games, it has now become known as meeting up for drinks before any gathering. Uses: “A bunch of us are gonna pregame at the Pavilion before Ben’s party. Wanna come?” As a way to pay tribute to this trend, Access is taking over the third floor lounge and top two decks of the Mt. Adams Pavilion on July 14 from 8-10pm for a Saturday Night Pregame Party which is being billed as the hottest happy hour of the summer. No matter what their plans are for later that night, young professionals 21-35 are invited to start their evening off at this exclusive event where they can party it up on the dance floor with the live DJ or chill out on the private decks with free appetizers and plenty of opportunities to mix and mingle with other YPs. The first drink is on Access with an advance RSVP, and everyone who brings the invitation they received in the mail will also be treated to a second free drink and a chance to enter a free drawing for a $100 cash prize. “I’m not surprised that RSVPs are already pouring in for this event!” says Rachel Plowden, Access Event Coordinator. “In the
Young professionals get their “pre-game” on at the Pavilion.
last year or so we’ve noticed that a lot of our guests pregame before our Saturday night events. So this time, we decided to turn the tables by hosting the biggest pregame
later in the night, chances are good they will hook up with a group going to other bars or parties in the area, or they can choose to stay with everyone else who’s hanging at the
The first drink is on Access with an advance RSVP, and everyone who brings the invitation they received in the mail will also be treated to a second free drink... blowout of the season so we could let our guests do their own thing afterward,” she adds. Even if they don’t have any particular plans for
Pavilion for the rest of the evening!” “Most of the parties I go to don’t really get going until 10pm or 11pm, so this is the perfect opportu-
nity to pre-game at one of the coolest bars in town and get my night off to a great start,” says Dan Klein. “The best part about this event is that no matter what you’ve got going on, you can just stop by for a drink and head out to your next destination, or stick around and see what unfolds.” The Saturday Night Pregame Party is free with an advance RSVP or a minimal fee at the door and open to all young professionals, Jewish and non-Jewish. However they must be between the ages of 21-35. For more information or to RSVP please call. Access contact information can be found in the Community Directory listing located in this issue.
LOCAL • 3
THURSDAY, JULY 5, 2012
Camp at the J gives kids special summer camp activities Camp at the J is off to an outstanding start this summer, with lots of great activities still ahead. Thanks to some generous donations, the Mayerson JCC is able to offer campers of all ages a broad range of special experiences this summer. For example, the kids enjoyed an amazing presentation by Cincinnati Museum Center’s Bat Program on Wheels, as well as a memorable visit by Drake Planetarium staff and their “magical world of stars” inside a giant inflatable dome.
Family Fun Festival for Camp at the J on Thursday, July 12 at 5:30 p.m. This special camp gettogether features live animals and entertainment for the whole family. Another upcoming Camp at the J activity is an interactive event led by the D&K Reptile Show. Another exciting activity for this summer’s JCC campers is the Lip Dub program, when the kids will have the opportunity to create their own music video’s to popular music. Contributions from JCEC–
Creative Educational Program and GCF – Summertime Kids helped Camp at the J establish a new Kibbutz program that allows campers to explore nature in a fun and educational environment. “The second 3-week camp session (for grades 4 – 8) begins Monday, July 9, and a few spaces remain in this age group. Camp at the J also offers a series of 1-week camps for children entering grades K – 8, starting July 30. Interested participants should call Matt Miller, JCC Camp Director.
Café Chabad New York kosher deli Café Chabad is back for the summer! Café Chabad has made a name for itself in Cincinnati for providing Jewish adults with social events that feature delicious food, great entertainment and good company. Held several times throughout the year, these evenings are a wonderful time to meet up with old and new friends in the Jewish community. The summer Café Chabad features a wide menu of New York Kosher deli favorites, including a choice of classic sandwiches such as corned beef, pastrami and smoked turkey and of course, authentic sour pickles. A vegetarian option is available with advanced request. Always on the up and up with quality entertainment, Café Chabad
is pleased to present a special hi tech interactive comedy game show using instant audience feedback via text messaging and smart phones, “This game show is going to be something very different and original with the use of today’s technology” says Rabbi Berel Cohen, Youth and program director for the Chabad Jewish Center. Additionally every participant will get to make their very own jar of artisan Kosher pickles to take home. “Learning how to make the great American Kosher dill, while discovering the kosher pickle’s rich history, is sure to excite the taste buds of any pickle lover.” says Berel Cohen, Youth and program director for the Chabad Jewish Center. Asked about the past Café
Chabad Comedy night, Idit Moss says, “The evening was wonderful, hanging out with friends and enjoying the sushi, topped with non-stop laughter by the great comedian, Marty Polio. I am looking forward to joining again for the NY Deli Café Chabad.” Cindy Reichman adds “I thought this was a welcome kind of an evening. Good food, great people and an evening of laughter. Something that we don't do enough of. I always look forward to the next event.” This is an evening not to be missed, and we invite you to partake and bring along a friend or two. The Café Chabad will take place on Sunday, July 15, 6:30 pm. It will be held at Chabad Jewish Center, for adults only.
Jewish Vocational Service realigns On July 1, some exciting changes will happen at Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) that will allow the organization to better focus its resources on helping members of the Jewish community move out of unemployment and achieve their career goals. As you may know, JVS has historically divided its work into two areas: Job search and career development services for unemployed and underemployed individuals Vocational, educational and related services for individuals with disabilities The newly renamed JVS Career Services will concentrate its resources on expanding the programs currently offered through the Cincinnati Career Network, as well as maintaining the Hilb scholarship. Jewish Federation of Cincinnati President Andy Berger said, “JVS Career Services will be well positioned to play a key role in
helping our Jewish community meet the career and business opportunity goals of Cincinnati 2020.” Cincinnati 2020 is a long-term strategic plan to transform Cincinnati into a model Jewish community. Currently, JVS is playing a key role on two active teams—Career-Business Innovation and Connecting College Students—as they work to address needs set forth as priorities. JVS’s publicly funded programs for individuals with developmental disabilities—including the VIP Program, which specifically serves members of the Jewish community—will be combined with the Easter Seals Work Resource Center to become Easter Seals TriState. This combination of two independently strong organizations will create one of the largest vocational service providers in the region, serving more than 15,000 individuals with disabilities or disadvantages, at-
risk youth and veterans. For the foreseeable future, Peter Bloch, the current CEO of Jewish Vocational Service, will serve as the CEO of JVS Career Services and as the executive vice president for integration of Easter Seals TriState. Shep Englander, Jewish Federation of Cincinnati CEO, said, “We are excited about these changes. Cincinnatians, both Jewish and non-Jewish, have been hit by the high unemployment and underemployment rates, and our college students struggle to find jobs after graduation. Those issues, when left unaddressed, can multiply into poverty, hunger and homelessness. The creation of JVS Career Services means that more resources will be put toward tackling these problems earlier, with the goal of avoiding such complications and allowing us to move our community forward to a brighter future.”
JFS annual meeting Jewish Family Service invites the community to attend its Annual Meeting Thursday, July 19, 2012 at the Rockdale Temple chapel, 8501 Ridge Road, Amberley Village, OH, 45236. The meeting will begin with a complimentary kosher dessert reception at 7 p.m. followed at 7:30 p.m. by the installation of new board members, highlights of
the past year, a look toward the future, and the presentation of awards. Bruce Baker will be the recipient of the Miriam Dettelbach Award. This award is given in honor of the first executive director of Jewish Family Service as recognition of exceptional volunteer service to the agency. Please call to RSVP.
STICK WITH THE OLDEST
FOR WHAT’S NEW...
The American Israelite
ARTS&ENTERTAINMENT • TRAVEL SOCIAL NEWS • CALENDAR EVENTS ANNOUNCEMENTS • AUTOS • OPINIONS
DINING OUT • p l u s m u c h m o r e !
513.774.7856 PROJECTS FOR
Tired of Your Old Bath? / Call for Free In Home Estimate David Nedelman & Mark Kaplan, Owners
“SERVING THE LOCAL REAL ESTATE COMMUNITY FOR 24 YEARS.”
(513) 368-9000 AboutBarry.com
4 • LOCAL
“Sign, you dog.” “Try to think of an Egyptian president today doing that,” Ashkenazi said. It was a concern echoed across the ocean, where Shaul Mofaz, the Kadima party leader, inaugurated his first Washington visit in his new role as deputy prime minister in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recently formed national unity government. “Whatever happens, we will be facing a more radical regime,” Mofaz told the Washington Institute for Near East Policy think tank ahead of a series of meetings with top U.S. officials. He called the need to preserve his country's peace with Egypt the “highest Israeli goal.” Joel Rubin, the director of government policy at the Ploughshares Fund, a body that promotes peace initiatives, said the very autocracy that spooked Arafat and others into heeding Mubarak ultimately turned on his enterprise. “Mubarak's legacy is that he created a state system that collapsed underneath him,” said Rubin, a former Senate staffer and State Department Egypt desk officer who has visited Egypt multiple times. “He certainly maintained peace with Israel -- a cold peace, but he kept the border relatively calm and fought against extremist groups in the country. But he left a crushing legacy on the economy and political system. Stability under strongmen is never really stable.” BROTHERHOOD on page 19
In Supreme Court's immigration ruling, Jewish groups see progress but have concern By JTA Staff Jewish Telegraphic Agency
implementing the new rules. In April, HIAS coordinated a letter to Brewer, a Republican, and also joined more than 100 other faith-based organizations and civil rights groups in submitting an amicus brief that urged the Supreme Court to strike down Arizona's law. Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham Foxman and national chair Robert Sugarman in a news statement called the ruling a "mixed outcome." One of our primary concerns has been that Arizona's law would exacerbate fear in immigrant communities and, in particular, make victims and witnesses of hate crimes reluctant to speak with police," they wrote. Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, noted in a statement that RAC welcomed the Supreme Court's decision to over-
turn most provisions in the law, but called on Arizona to urge caution on the remaining part. We urge Arizona and the lower courts to endorse the principle that all women, men and children deserve equal protection under the law, as appearance offers no grounds on which to assume the legal status of an individual," Saperstein wrote. "Engaging in racial profiling only jeopardizes the safety of entire communities, as members of immigrant communities fearful of being profiled are discouraged from cooperating with law enforcement on issues." Nancy Kaufman, the CEO of the National Council for Jewish Women, wrote in a news statement that the high court's ruling "is a welcome step toward ending the efforts by state legislatures to superimpose their own vindictive legislative regime on federal immigration law."
The American Israelite “LET THERE BE LIGHT” THE OLDEST ENGLISH-JEWISH WEEKLY IN AMERICA - EST. JULY 15, 1854
VOL. 158 • NO. 50 THURSDAY, JULY 5, 2012 15 TAMMUZ 5772 SHABBAT BEGINS FRIDAY 8:49 PM SHABBAT ENDS SATURDAY 9:50 PM THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE CO., PUBLISHERS 18 WEST NINTH STREET, SUITE 2 CINCINNATI, OHIO 45202-2037 Phone: (513) 621-3145 Fax: (513) 621-3744 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com 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 TAYLOR STRONG Assistant Editors ALEXIA KADISH Copy Editor JANET STEINBERG Travel Editor MARIANNA BETTMAN NATE BLOOM IRIS PASTOR RABBI A. JAMES RUDIN ZELL SCHULMAN RABBI AVI SHAFRAN PHYLLIS R. SINGER Contributing Columnists LEV LOKSHIN JANE KARLSBERG Staff Photographers JOSEPH D. STANGE Production Manager ERIN WYENANDT Office Manager
e Oldest Eng Th
ewish N h-J ew lis
WASHINGTON --(JTA) Most Jewish groups who have weighed in on Arizona's controversial immigration law saw progress in the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling to repeal three of the law's four parts, but had concerns that law enforcement officials would still be allowed to check the legal immigration status of people they detain. The high court on Monday invalidated the provisions authorizing police to arrest illegal immigrants without warrant if there was probable cause that they committed an offense that made them eligible for deportation; making it an Arizona state crime if immigrants did not carry registration papers or some sort of government identification; and forbidding immigrants unauthorized to work in the country to apply, solicit or perform work.
The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society was among the groups that welcomed the repeals but had reservations with the court's decision. Though we view the positive part of this ruling as another step in the advancement of immigrant rights -forwarded recently by President Obama's executive order halting deportations of Dream Act eligible individuals -- we remain extremely concerned about the potential for racial profiling as a result of today's decision," Mark Hetfield, the interim president and CEO of HIAS, said in a news statement. The law, passed in April 2010, was meant primarily to deal with illegal immigrants coming from Mexico, according to proponents of the measure at the time of its passage. They also noted that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer had issued an executive order establishing a training program on how to avoid racial profiling when
expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote last week on the Foreign Policy website, “It is not just Mubarak that is on life support at this moment -- Egypt's creaky institutions and its nascent democracy are as well.” Cook added, “Its politics are broken, its infrastructure in disrepair, its economy near collapse, its state education system in disarray, and its public health system nonexistent. If anything, this is the legacy of Hosni Mubarak: the evisceration of his beloved country.” Prospects of Mubarak's comeback were in any case worse than nil, but news of his deteriorating condition prompted renewed consideration of what the deposed president bequeathed Egypt. Gabi Ashkenazi, the former chief of staff of the Israeli military, spoke last week at the Israeli Presidential Conference of Mubarak’s importance not just in upholding the peace treaty with Israel, but in encouraging other Arabs to do the same. "When Arafat was slow to sign the Oslo Accords, Mubarak was the one who forced him to the table to sign -- even using undiplomatic language,” Ashkenazi recalled, referring to Oslo II, signed in September 1995 in Egypt. Mubarak, in a televised ceremony, literally nudged thenPalestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat to the table as a bemused Yitzhak Rabin, then the Israeli prime minister, looked on. Israelis present insisted that they heard Mubarak whisper to Arafat,
WASHINGTON (JTA) — Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi is the declared winner of Egypt’s presidential race and his predecessor, Hosni Mubarak, reportedly continues to lie near death in a coma -- just like the legacy he tried to craft for himself and his country. Mubarak, 84, once the entrenched leader of his land, was supposed to be leaving behind an Egypt preeminent in the region and at peace with its neighbors. The final moments of his public career, however, are now another dramatic episode of the so-called Arab Spring, which began in late 2010 when a Tunisian fruit vendor set himself on fire to protest his country’s government. Since then, popular uprisings have threatened or toppled Arab leaders once firmly in power not only in Egypt and Tunisia but also in Bahrain, Libya, Syria and Yemen. For his part, Mubarak once wielded the type of power that ultimately did him in when early last year his country’s powerful military -- whose air force he once commanded -- sided with throngs of protestors across the nation, but particularly in Cairo's Tahrir Square. Mubarak subsequently was sentenced to prison for the deaths of hundreds of those protesters. Despite new demonstrations in recent weeks — this time against the military — the grip of the armed
forces on the country does not seem threatened for now. The Egyptian military has rewritten the country’s constitution and persuaded judges to strip much of the power of the presidency. The judges have dissolved the country’s parliament, which had a Muslim Brotherhood majority following last year’s elections. During Mubarak’s reign from 1981 -- just after Anwar Sadat’s assassination -- until early last year, the Muslim Brotherhood was a target of the now-ailing leader’s security apparatus. But on Sunday, Egypt’s electoral commission said Morsi would be sworn in as the president, having bested Ahmed Shafik, Mubarak’s last prime minister and reportedly the favored candidate of the country’s powerful military. Israel’s government reacted cautiously. “Israel appreciates the democratic process in Egypt and respects the results of the presidential elections," according to a statement from the Prime Minister's Office. It added, “Israel looks forward to continuing cooperation with the Egyptian government on the basis of the peace treaty between the two countries, which is a joint interest of both peoples and contributes to regional stability.” Israeli and American leaders are clearly nervous; the Muslim Brotherhood’s leaders have said they would honor but reexamine the landmark 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty. As Steven Cook, an Egypt
By Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraphic Agency
r in Am ape er sp i
With Muslim Brotherhood's ascendancy, Mubarak's legacy is upended
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.
NATIONAL • 5
THURSDAY, JULY 5, 2012
The forgotten Jewish aviator By Paul Foer JointMedia News Service
Keith Allison via CC
Boston Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis makes a throw in a game against the Baltimore Orioles, August 2009.
Chicago White Sox pick up Jewish all-timer in Youkilis (but can he still shame Mel?) By Ami Eden Jewish Telegraphic Agency NEW YORK (JTA) -- Some Jewish baseball fans went extra bonkers during the 2005 World Series when Geoff Blum smacked a game-winning 14th-inning home run for the Chicago White Sox. Oops, false alarm -- the journeyman infielder wasn’t a Yid. But assuming the White Sox return to the Fall Classic soon instead of waiting another century, it may just be an actual Jewish slugger coming through in the clutch. That’s because Chicago’s second most popular baseball team pulled off a trade this week for Boston Red Sox first baseman-third baseman Kevin Youkilis. Youkilis’ Jewish bona fides are well established. In fact, one fan poll selected the hulking Hebrew hammer as the Jewish player of the decade for the 2000s -- a decade in which he helped the Red Sox shake their decades-long curse with World Series championships in 2004 and 2007. Along the way Youkilis became an All-Star and emerged as the poster child for a growing movement of baseball writers, executives and stat geeks who place a greater emphasis on drawing walks -- i.e. discipline at the plate -- over more traditional measures of hits, home runs and runs batted in. Youkilis has been hampered by injuries in the past three seasons, and the emergence of third baseman Will Middlebrooks made him expendable in Boston. Manager Bobby Valentine and Youkilis have had some public disagreements in Valentine's first season with the team. Despite the bumps, Youkilis remained a favorite among Red Sox fans. He received a long standing ovation at Fenway Park after leaving Sunday's game against Atlanta for a pinch runner after tripling in the seventh inning.
In Chicago, the highest-ranking White Sox fan in the Windy City’s Jewish community -- Steve Nasatir -- is offering a thumbs-up for the trade. The president of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago/Jewish United Fund, Nasatir attended his first Chisox game in 1948 and still remembers their pennant winning-season of 1959. And he was in the stands for the World Series in 2005. Now he has something else to be cheer. “My friends in Boston are sitting shiva,” Nasatir said, “and we in Chicago are thrilled to have an MOT playing third base for us.” That’s Member of the Tribe -- as in a Jew (not a Cleveland Indian). Already a favorite among fans longing for modern-day Hank Greenbergs and Sandy Koufaxes to root for, Youkilis’ status as Jewish sports icon reached new heights in 2006 thanks to three perfectly timed fielding plays. It was a run-of-the-mill, deadof-August regular season game -except that comics Denis Leary and Lenny Clarke were in the broadcast booth to promote a fundraiser for firemen. Leary inquired about Youkilis’ background and seemed pleased to find out that the Red Sox slugger was actually one of at least two Jewish players on the team, Gabe Kapler being the other). And with each successive play by Youkilis -- he had a hand in all three outs -- Leary and Clarke became increasingly excited, punctuating their escalating enthusiasm with a string of putdowns aimed at Mel Gibson, who had recently made headlines with a drunken, anti-Semitic rant against a police officer. YouTube videos of the broadcast quickly went viral, as did a Youkilis-inspired sense of takethat-Mel Jewish pride. Looking ahead, the question is whether Youkilis still has enough left in the tank to follow in Blum’s footsteps -- and put Mel in his place.
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (JNS) — As the clouds and rain gave way to evening sunshine at Maryland’s historic College Park Airport, Rabbi Gil Steinlauf of Washington, DC’s Adas Israel Congregation recites the kaddish for one of aviation’s pioneers who died in a crash there on June 11, 1912, exactly 100 years to that day. A crowd gathers to pay tribute and open a museum exhibit to commemorate the Russian-born Jew who was the Wright Brothers’ most trusted instructor, and whose student became the head of the U.S. Army’s air forces in World War II. Arthur Welsh, born Laibel Wellcher, is hardly a household name today. Were it not for his death at age 31 at the College Park, Md. airport, he’d probably be lionized along with legends of flight like the Wrights, with whom he was so closely connected. At age 9 in 1890, Welsh came to the U.S. and settled in Philadelphia with his family. Al, as family and friends knew him, moved to Washington in 1898. He was raised Jewish, attended meetings of The Young Zionist Union and joined the U.S. Navy in 1901. He served aboard two ships until he was discharged in 1905 as a seaman, and then became a bookkeeper. He and his wife Anna Harmel were the first couple married in Adas Israel’s second synagogue, now known as the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, in October 1907. Captivated by seeing one of the Wrights’ demonstration flights in
Courtesy of Bain News Service
Arthur “Al” Welsh & G.W. Beatty
Fort Myer, Va., in 1909, Welsh decided to become a pilot. His initial application to the Wrights was rejected, but Welsh was so determined that he traveled to their base in Dayton, Ohio, where they agreed to accept him as a student. He entered the first class of the Wright Flying School in Montgomery, Ala., in March 1910. Welsh then trained with Orville Wright near Dayton and soon became an instructor at the Wright Flying School, where he later trained Henry “Hap” Arnold (who became the U.S. Air Force’s fivestar general). He also joined the Wright’s exhibition team, and established records for both speed and altitude while he flew throughout 1910 and 1911. Welsh won a hefty $3,000 prize at the International Aviation Meet at Grant Park in Chicago in August
1911 for being the first to fly more than two hours with a passenger. Sent to the U.S. Army’s Aviation School in College Park, Welsh in the spring of 1912 made 16 official test flights for the Army on the new Wright C plane. On June 11 of that year, Welsh and a Lieutenant Hazelhurst were attempting to meet the Army’s exacting loaded-climb test. According to the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington’s (JHSGW) website, they took off at 6 p.m. and “the plane climbed to about 200 feet and then dove downward at a steep angle to gain momentum to assist the climb.” The airplane then “stalled and crashed into a field of daisies,” and “both men were killed instantly, the first fatalities at the College Park airfield.” AVIATOR on page 19
6 • NATIONAL
Conservative blogger Pamela Geller Munich 11 widow says L.A. federation nixed her speech Ankie Spitzer keeps up her fight for a minute of Olympic time
By JTA Staff Jewish Telegraphic Agency
(JTA) -- Conservative blogger Pamela Geller is lashing out at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles for what she says was its decision to cancel her appearance. Geller, a fiery critic of Muslims, liberals and mainstream Jewish organizations, took to her blog, Atlas Shrugs, to blast the L.A. federation, comparing modern-day Jewish leaders to those who did not do enough to protest the Nazis in the years leading up to the Holocaust. “This is tragic. Imagine, without so much as firing a shot, they're caving in to a Hamas front group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations,” Geller wrote. CAIR had issued its own statement criticizing the L.A. federation for agreeing to allow its space to be used for Geller’s appearance on Sunday. The scheduled talk, sponsored by the Zionist Organization of America, was titled "Islamic Jew-Hatred: The Root Cause of the Failure to Achieve Peace."
Geller gained national attention by leading the efforts to stop the development of an Islamic community center near Ground Zero and has been a leading voice in warning against what she describes as a campaign to impose Islamic law on the United States. She is the author of "Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance" and "The PostAmerican Presidency: The Obama Administration's War on America." The Anti-Defamation League, which also opposed the Islamic community center, has accused one of Geller's organizations of promoting “a conspiratorial antiMuslim agenda under the guise of fighting radical Islam” and seeking “to rouse public fears by consistently vilifying the Islamic faith." Geller has lashed out at the ADL and other mainstream Jewish organizations. She sounded a similar note in attacking the L.A. federation. “Shame on our cowardly leadership for throwing one of our own under the bus,” Geller wrote Sunday. “We expect that from kapos, not from proud Jews who
should hold the freedom of speech as a fundamental Jewish value.” As of press time, the L.A. federation could not be reached for comment. In its own statement, the ZOA said the L.A. federation cited security concerns in canceling the event. “We believe that the Jewish Federation has succumbed to political pressure by Muslim and leftwing Jewish groups not to let a rational voice of criticism of Islam and its war against Israel be heard on its premises,” the ZOA said in a statement, as cited on Geller’s website. “These Muslim and Jewish groups have blown up the blogosphere with lies about Ms. Geller and harsh criticism of the ZOA for hosting her at the Jewish Federation.” ZOA said that such an approach “effectively shuts down free speech.” Supporters of ZOA have faced similar criticism for their efforts to block communal organizations from providing space to the liberal group J Street and speakers critical of Israeli policy.
Community struggling to meet the needs of Jewish identity surveys’ ‘others’ By Debra Rubin Jewish Telegraphic Agency WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Call it the age of “playlist Judaism.” That’s how Rabbi Kerry Olitzky describes engagement in Jewish life for the seemingly ever-increasing group showing up as “other” or “just Jewish” on recent American Jewish identity surveys. “I no longer have to buy the entire package in order to have the [Jewish] service I want,” says Olitzy, the New York-based Jewish Outreach Institute’s executive director, referring to how iTunes and Napster broke the stranglehold on a music industry that once forced consumers to buy entire albums to hear one preferred song on demand. Playlist Judaism, he says, accounts for the large growth of those Jews who identify as “other” and the drop in those who call themselves Conservative and Reform in a recently released demographic study of Jews in New York City and two of its suburbs, Long Island and Westchester County. Likewise, the last National Jewish Population Study, released in 2001, had 30 percent of respondents say they were “just Jewish.” So more than one in four American Jews take the label, eschewing the traditional ones of Reform,
Conservative, Reconstructionist or Orthodox. The rate in the recent New York survey was even higher, with 37 percent of respondents identifying themselves as “other.” That’s up from 25 percent in 2002 and 15 percent in 1991. Who qualifies as an “other” is open to debate, but some leading outreach professionals agree that the group’s needs remain unmet by the organized Jewish community. As a catchall category, “other” includes those who call themselves “traditional” and “Sephardic” as well as “just Jewish” or “Jewish and something else,” among other responses. The “other” may be children of intermarriage raised with two religions, highly educated and engaged, culturally Jewish or simply people who have neither reneged their Judaism nor done anything to otherwise identify as Jewish. Then there are “others” who grew up Jewishly involved but in nondenominational places such as BBYO chapters and campus Hillels, says sociologist Sylvia Barack Fishman. “They just don’t understand why you would want to break the Jews up in the different groups,” says Fishman, a Brandeis University professor and co-director of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute. For the most part, the “others”
have not flocked to the organized Jewish scene, in part feeling unwelcome, says Diane Tobin, the San Francisco-based director of Be’chol Lashon (Hebrew for “In Every Tongue”), which supports racially and ethnically diverse Jews. “Interpreting lack of denominational affiliation as lack of caring has negative repercussions and can become a self-fulfilling prophesy,” she says. As Olitzky says, “If I am intermarried and grew up as a participating Jew, and then go to a local [Jewish] institution and am not welcome there, or my kids are not welcome there, why should I belong?” The recent New York study, Tobin says, “suggests that people who are not affiliated with a particular religious tradition do not necessarily lack religious beliefs or practices.” She cites a 2007 Pew Forum study that found that nearly 44 percent of Americans change their religious affiliation at one point. Some efforts have succeeded, Fishman says, pointing to formal Jewish education in the post-b’nai mitzvah years, including afterschool programs such as Prozdor in Boston, becoming involved in a Jewish youth group or attending a Jewish camp. Teens and young adults who do that are nearly as Jewishly connected as adults as those with a Jewish day school education, she says.
By Marla Cohen Jewish Telegraphic Agency NYACK, N.Y. (JTA) — The room was splashed in blood, the walls riddled with bullet holes. Ankie Spitzer stood amid the chaos and made a vow. “If this is the place where Andrei spent the last hours of his life, he and his friends, I am not going to shut up. I will tell this story,” said Spitzer, whose late husband, Andrei, was the fencing coach for the 1972 Israeli Olympic delegation. And for the past 40 years, as each Olympics approaches, she has kept her promise to remember the Israeli delegation members who were held hostage and murdered by eight members of the Palestinian terrorist group Black September during the XX Olympiad in Munich. The terrorists murdered two Israelis, Moshe Weinberg and Yosef Romano, at the outset. They held the remaining nine bound one to another, Spitzer’s husband included, for 20 hours, demanding that Israel release 234 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons. The nine died in a two-hour firefight during a botched German rescue attempt at a nearby airport. “It cannot be that in the Olympic Village that this happened to 11 athletes,” Spitzer said in a recent interview from her home in Petach Tikvah, Israel. “They were not armed. They did not come to fight. They came to participate in the Olympics. It cannot be that tomorrow, nobody will talk about this anymore.” And now, as the XXX Olympic Games in London approach, people are talking. That 2012 marks 40 years and the 10th Olympiad since the events accounts for some of the attention. An online petition at Change.org has sparked the rest. Spitzer’s quest began almost as soon as Jim McKay, the ABC sportscaster, uttered those now famous words, “They’re all gone,” to an international television audience. Only 26 at the time, Spitzer was a recent immigrant to Israel, speaking limited Hebrew, with a 2month-old daughter, Anouk. A native of Holland, she had married her fencing instructor, Andrei, 15 months earlier. She returned to Israel, along with the coffins of the athletes, filled with sorrow and hate. About two months after the massacre, she realized she did not want to raise Anouk with such feelings.
Ankie Spitzer with David Kirschtel, CEO of JCC Rockland, in front of the JCC's recently installed memorial sculpture dedicated to the 11 Israelis who died at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
“I could not wake with hatred in my heart because you cannot think straight, you cannot raise a kid,” she said. “Hatred and revenge are not a part of me. I am an optimist and believe in the Olympic ideal.” About a year later, she wrote her first letters to the International Olympic Committee. Spitzer asked not if the IOC would be doing anything, but how it would be remembering the 11 at the Montreal Games in 1976. She simply assumed the IOC would be doing something. The letters went unanswered. About two years into her “pestering,” as Spitzer calls it, she met Romano’s widow, Ilana, and the two began working together. She and Romano paid their own way to Montreal, where they held a packed news conference, attended the opening ceremony “and sat there like two idiots with black armbands.” No mention was made of the murdered Israelis. The Jewish community of Montreal held a memorial in a synagogue attended by more than 5,000 people. Spitzer recalls the ceremony as “very beautiful, but it wasn’t what I wanted." “We were at the Olympics. Ilana and I kept waiting for the moment when they would still do something. And we were very, very disappointed,” she said. SPITZER on page 20
NATIONAL • 7
THURSDAY, JULY 5, 2012
International Briefs Roman Jewry mourns Italian Muslim leader Rome(JTA)—The Rome Jewish community mourned the death of an Italian Muslim leader who was a key figure in promoting interfaith Jewish-Muslim relations. Mario Scialoja, a retired Italian diplomat and the first president of the Italian office of the World Muslim League, died Monday in Rome. His funeral took place Tuesday in Rome’s Grand Mosque. Scialoja, who was 82, converted to Islam in 1988 when he was an Italian diplomat at the United Nations in New York. His last diplomatic post was as Italian ambassador to Saudi Arabia in 1994-96. “A sincere friend with whom we shared genuine dialogue initiatives has left us,” said Riccardo Pacifici, president of the Rome Jewish community. “Even in moments of tension, he always demonstrated he knew how to maintain the level of dialogue and respect.” Argentinean TV host apologizes for joke about Jewish dancers ARGENTINA (JTA)—An Argentinean television show host apologized for making a joke that involved Jewish performers that was criticized for having a Holocaust connotation. Denise Dumas, who hosts the talent show “Este es el show,” said last Friday that it was “nice” to see the performers—a Jewish dance troupe—wearing “numbers on their clothes, not on their skin.” Dumas said her remark was misunderstood and taken out of context. She was criticized in the media for the remark. “It’s perverse to think I could refer to the concentration camps like that,” a tearful Dumas said on camera the same day. “I apologize for those who felt offended by this,” she said, “but it’s strange to apologize for something that I had no intention of saying.” Manchester couple accused of targeting Jews MANCHESTER (JTA)—A Muslim couple in Manchester, England, allegedly purchased items for homemade bombs to be used against Jewish targets, a court in that city was told. “It was jihad at home,” prosecutor Bobbie Cheema told the Manchester crown court on June 21, according to the Guardian. “Between them they acquired BRIEFS on page 20
Mofaz grabs Washington's attention for peace talks talk, but is Netanyahu listening? By Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraphic Agency WASHINGTON (JTA) – With his recent return to the top ranks of Israel's government, Shaul Mofaz is receiving plenty of attention in high places for emphasizing renewed talk of peace with the Palestinians. It's yet another high point in a relatively short political career -- after 35 years of military service -- that is making Mofaz a heavyweight on his country's political scene. In fact, the emphasis by Israel's new deputy prime minister on restarting talks appears to be what gained him a 35-minute impromptu chat with President Obama during his visit to Washington last week. The question is whether the former Israeli military chief of staff and defense minister has the ear of the person whose opinion matters most from the Israeli perspective: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “The joining of Mofaz to his government provides a stable platform to proceed toward the twostate solution,” Gilad Sher, a former top negotiator with the Palestinians, told JTA. “But it all depends on what's happening within one person's mind, and that person is our prime minister, Bibi Netanyahu.” Yet, he added, "[With Mofaz] there is a better chance for this coalition to at least try to move towards a direction that would be more specifically oriented to a twostate solution. It is strong, it is broad and there's no threat to its coherence.” The peace talks have been moribound since October 2010, when the Palestinians walked out because Netanyahu refused to extend a 10-month unilateral freeze on West Bank settlement building. Mofaz, at the outset of his Washington tour last week, made clear that reviving the effort was his priority in the new 96-seat national unity government, Israel’s broadest ever. “Time is not in favor of the State of Israel and it is not in favor of the Palestinians either,” he said at a June 19 address to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “We cannot continue to rule another nation; we have to find a solution.” Underscoring the new tone he brought to the government, Mofaz said that such talks were at least as urgent as those aimed at keeping Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon -- a sharp contrast with the emphasis that Netanyahu and his defense minister, Ehud Barak, have placed on Iran in their dealings with the Obama administration. Mofaz met with Secretary of
Courtesy of Pete Souz’ official White House Photo
President Obama drops by a meeting between National Security Advisor Tom Donilon and Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz of Israel, third from left, in the White House, June 21, 2012.
State Hillary Clinton and then national security adviser Tom Donilon during his trip. It was at the June 21 meeting with Donilon that Mofaz was given an idea of how seriously his ideas were being taken. Minutes after the meeting started, Obama walked in and took over. Mofaz, speaking to reporters later in the day, insisted he had no idea the president would participate in the conversation. Nonetheless, Mofaz was prepared for the eventuality, and during his talk made a bold prediction: Israeli and Palestinian leaders would convene soon to restart the peace process. Obama was more than receptive, Mofaz later suggested to Israeli reporters.
“The Americans understand the greatness of the hour of the opportunity that was created” by the national unity government, he said. Obama, he told reporters, told Mofaz that “I accept your assessments of the Middle East.” Mofaz said he believed that Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority leaders would meet “within months.” But pressed by reporters as to whether he knew contacts were underway toward setting up such a meeting, he acknowledged, “I don’t know.” Barak in an interview with the Washington Post confirmed that Mofaz’s entry into the government presented an opportunity to revive the talks, and that he and Netanyahu were committed to “try
and do it.” The problem, Barak said, was still the Palestinian Authority and its unilateral efforts to achieve statehood recogntion in the absence of talks. “It takes two to tango,” Barak said. Still, Ephraim Sneh, a former Israeli deputy defense minister who has known Mofaz since their days as commandos, said he did not believe Netanyahu would listen to his new colleague. “I’m afraid [Netanyahu] won't because of the large number of registered hard-line, right-wing Likud members from the settlements,” Sneh said. “In order to be reelected in the primaries, he should be nice with them.” Sneh nonetheless said that Mofaz was a strong addition to the government, even though they served in the past in opposing parties -- Sneh in Labor and Mofaz in Likud. “He brings to the Cabinet three important things: experience, ability and a serious attitude to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Sneh said. Mofaz’s ascension to the military chief of staff position in 1998 was historic. The Iran native was the first military chief from among the hundreds of thousands of Jews who emigrated from Middle East lands after Israel’s independence; they are often known as Mizrahi or Sephardi Jews. (Moshe Levy, the first Mizrahi chief of staff, who served from 1983 to 1987, was born in prestate Tel Aviv.)
8 • NATIONAL
Madoff associate Merkin agrees to hand over $400 million By JTA Staff Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) — Former money manager J. Ezra Merkin has agreed to turn over hundreds of millions of dollars to duped investors in Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme. In a settlement announced Monday by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Merkin agreed to pay $405 million to compensate investors over a three-year period, and $5 million to the State of New York to cover fees and costs. It is the first settlement resulting from a government action against Merkin. Merkin, a close business associate of Madoff's, controlled four funds that invested more than $2 billion with Madoff on behalf of hundreds of investors, including many New Yorkers and charitable organizations. While investors in Ariel Fund Ltd., Gabriel Capital LP, Ascot
Fund Ltd. and Ascot Partners LP, whose assets were largely handled by Madoff, lost in excess of $1.2 billion, Merkin received hundreds of millions of dollars in management fees. "By holding Mr. Merkin accountable, this settlement will help bring justice for the people and institutions that lost millions of dollars,” Schneiderman said in a statement. According to the statement, for nearly two decades Merkin presented himself as a skilled money manager and used his social and charitable connections to raise more than $4 billion from hundreds of individuals, charities and other investors. Merkin turned over to Madoff all of the money in the Ascot Funds, and a substantial portion of the Ariel and Gabriel Funds. In misleading offering documents and quarterly reports, Merkin concealed Madoff’s role
and misrepresented the role he was playing in managing the funds, the statement said. Acting primarily as a marketer and middleman, Merkin obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in management and incentive fees from his investors. Investors could recover more than 40 percent of their cash losses. Investors who were not aware of Madoff's role will receive a higher percentage of their losses, while those who were aware of Madoff’s role will be eligible to receive a smaller percentage. Among the victims, according to The Associated Press, were the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, New York Law School, Bard College, Harlem Children’s Zone and Homes for the Homeless. Merkin also is being pursued by Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee charged with returning money to Madoff's victims. Picard is trying to retrieve $500 million from Merkin and the funds.
Crafting a Holocaust insurance solution that works By Menachem Z. Rosensaft Jewish Telegraphic Agency NEW YORK (JTA) -- There is a solution to get us beyond the seemingly endless stalemates and complications that continue to characterize the ongoing debate over Holocaust-era insurance claims. And I do not believe it can be found in the well-intentioned bill before the U.S. Congress. This different approach will put money more quickly into the community of the survivors and their families, minimize huge financial rewards for certain lawyers, and help bring closure to this extremely painful process. I propose that the relevant insurance companies agree to the appointment -- at their expense -- of an independent monitor who could determine whether all potentially valid but as yet unresolved Holocaust-era claims are being honestly processed under the relaxed standards of the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims, or ICHEIC. Some history of how we arrived at this point is in order. For more than 50 years after the end of World War II, many German and other European insurance companies refused to honor life insurance policies that they or their predecessors had sold to Jews who eventually perished in the Holocaust. In 1998, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners joined with a number of such insurance companies and representatives of
Jewish and survivors organizations to create ICHEIC. Its mandate was “to identify, settle, and pay individual Holocaust era insurance claims at no cost to claimants.” ICHEIC applied relaxed standards that allowed individuals to file claims without documentation such as a policy number or even the name of the company they believed to have issued a policy. The insurance companies were given assurances backed by both the Clinton and Bush administrations that their participation in ICHEIC would insulate them from civil suits in U.S. courts. According to its website, ICHEIC distributed $306 million “to more than 48,000 Holocaust survivors, their heirs, and the families of those who did not survive." The process was not without problems. There are survivors who argue, with some justification, that their claims were not properly considered, although the number of such remaining open claims is in sharp dispute. As a result, Congress is now considering a bill that would enable these survivors to resolve their grievances in U.S. federal court. But the proposed legislation is unlikely to accomplish its intended laudable purpose. The aggrieved survivors generally do not know which insurance company may have issued a policy to a family member and/or do not have other specific information regarding such a policy. If lawyers are telling them they can prevail without any proof of their claims in a litigation that
must satisfy the exacting standards of the Federal Rules of Evidence, such advice, to put it mildly, is unduly optimistic. Also, the principal beneficiaries of past Holocaust-era litigations have indisputably been the plaintiffs’ lawyers. For example, in 2001 lawyers pocketed more than $59 million in legal fees from the multibillion-dollar slave and forced labor settlement with German corporations. The surviving slave laborers themselves – mostly Jews and SintiRoma – received about $7,500 each; forced laborers – primarily Eastern Europeans forced to work in Nazi war factories – received approximately $2,500 apiece. One especially egregious lawyer profiteered from the slave labor and Swiss banks settlements to the tune of more than $7.4 million. In 2005, a federal judge in Florida awarded three law firms an aggregate $3.85 million in fees and expenses out of the $25.5 million “Gold Train” settlement of a litigation for the looting by U.S. Army personnel of property belonging to Hungarian Jews. Thirty-four named plaintiffs received “incentive” payments of $2,000 or $5,000 apiece, with the bulk of the settlement going for social services for needy Hungarian Holocaust survivors. You see the pattern. While survivors receive, at most, a few thousand dollars each, their lawyers walk away with millions. SOLUTION on page 21
Courtesy of Piotr Malecki
Cantors Assembly members perform in Warsaw during their 2009 trip to Poland.
Cantorial ‘ambassadors’ recognizing the new Germany By Michele Alperin JointMedia News Service, jns.org BERLIN (JNS) — Even as Germany has edged closer to being the icon of high culture it once was, echoes of the Holocaust still affect its foreign and domestic policy. Now one of Israel’s staunchest supporters, Germany in the 1990s opened its arms to Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union. For Nate Lam, cantor at the Stephen S. Wise Temple in Los Angeles, this change has almost religious overtones. “Germany has done teshuva to try to atone for the sins of their society and their government during the Second World War,” he tells JNS.org. Germany’s efforts to move beyond its past are being recognized by the Cantors Assembly (the world’s largest body of professional cantors) in its second cultural mission, “A Musical Journey of Heritage to Germany,” beginning June 27. “We think we can be ambassadors of goodwill, of acknowledgement and gratitude,” says Lam. The group’s first mission to Poland in 2009, documented in the film “100 Voices: A Journey Home,” had a similar impetus. “The one in Poland was to thank many of the righteous gentiles not given credit and not acknowledged and to look at the realities of the 20th century and say, ‘We can be messengers of music,’” says Cantor Lam. That mission was the beginning of a global initiative by the Cantors Assembly, based on a very simple idea — “that through our cultural heritage and our singing and what we bring to these different places, we can affect and be very effective in building bridges between the Jewish community and the nonJewish communities that support
Israel and want to help Jewish life in their countries,” he says. This summer’s mission, whose planning has brought together Jewish organizations in Germany and government representatives of the German, American, and Israeli governments, will visit Berlin, Potsdam, Munich, and Dachau, from June 27 to July 5, and afterward in Israel. Although the many concerts offered by cantors during the mission will draw both Jewish and non-Jewish audiences, the venues themselves are fraught with symbolism and emotion for Jews. The Oranienburgerstrasse New synagogue, for example, was where the famous Jewish composer Louis Lewandowski (responsible for the Kiddush that most of us sing today and other familiar prayers) served as choirmaster and where the first, privately ordained female rabbi, Regina Jonas, attended services with her family. At the Berliner Cathedral Dome, the largest Protestant church in Europe, the one wall remaining after the war held the organ, and above it the 1905 gift from the Berlin Jewish community when the church was dedicated by Bismarck in honor of Kaiser Wilhelm — a golden statue of King David with his harp. The concert there will feature music by Jewish and non-Jewish composers based on shared religious texts. At Hercules Hall in Munich, the city of the putsch, Nazism, and Hitler, will be an uncanny Fourth of July mix of the German Jewish musical tradition of Lewandowsky and Solomon Sulzer and of 20thcentury American composers. “We will be celebrating the idea that democracy and freedom breeds creativity and creates culture,” says Cantor Lam. “Oppression and suppression create nothing but hate.”
INTERNATIONAL • 9
THURSDAY, JULY 5, 2012
German court ruling on circumcision riles Jewish community By JTA Staff Jewish Telegraphic Agency BERLIN (JTA) -- Germany’s top Jewish leader called on the federal Parliament “to ensure religious freedom” following a Cologne court ruling that said circumcising young boys on religious grounds amounts to grievous bodily harm. Though Monday's decision by the District Court of Cologne does not outlaw circumcision, it is still “outrageous and insensitive,” Dieter Graumann, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said in a statement issued Tuesday. Ritual circumcision by a medical doctor or a mohel with “medical competency" is “an integral part of the Jewish faith that has been practiced around the world for millennium,” he added. “This right is respected in every country of the world.” The court ruled that the "fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighed the fundamental rights of the parents." The decision involved the circumcision of a Muslim boy in Cologne. The parents took their 4year-old to a hospital several days after his ritual circumcision in 2010 after they became concerned about bleeding from the incision. According to reports, the bleeding was normal and quickly brought under control. However, local prosecutors filed suit against the doctor. A lower court ruled on behalf of religious freedom and the
right of parents to decide. On appeal, however, a higher court gave precedence to the right of the child to be protected from bodily harm and that the "fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighed the fundamental rights of the parents." The doctor was acquitted on all charges, but the ruling suggests that those performing circumcisions in the future could be committing a criminal offense, since the court holds the right of the child sacrosanct. Berlin attorney Nathan Gelbart worries about the notion that "the parents have to accept that only the child can decide about his religion when he grows up, and that circumcision is a pre-decision" being forced on the child. Still, there is no reason for Jews in Germany to panic, said Gelbart, who is on the arbitration court of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. "Other courts are not restricted by [the] decision ... As long as there is no decision by the High Court of Justice or High Constitutional Court, it is not binding," he said. Meanwhile, Holm Putzke, a professor of criminal law at the University of Passau who has argued for several years for a ban on involuntary circumcision, told JTA that he hoped the ruling would spark discussion in Germany about "what should be given more weight, religious freedom or the right of children not to have their genitals mutilated."
Peter Singer: ‘World’s most dangerous man’ or hero of morality? By Dan Goldberg Jewish Telegraphic Agency SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — He's been brandished “the most dangerous man on earth,” accused of being a “public advocate of genocide” and likened to Josef Mengele, the notorious Nazi “Angel of Death." Yet he’s also been hailed as “one of the world’s 100 most influential people” and “among the most influential philosophers alive.” Welcome to the contradictory world that surrounds Peter Singer, the Australia-born moral philosopher who has been a professor of bioethics at Princeton University in New Jersey since 1999. Loved and loathed, one thing cannot be refuted: Singer, 65, has provoked
debate about controversial issues such as infanticide, euthanasia, eugenics and animal rights. Earlier this month, the Jewishborn, Melbourne-raised ethicist was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia, the nation’s highest civilian honor. The citation noted his “eminent service to philosophy and bioethics as a leader of public debate and communication of ideas in the areas of global poverty animal welfare and the human condition.” Singer, who lost three of his grandparents in the Holocaust, also has stirred debate on key issues that affect Jews, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the ritual slaughter of animals, freedom of SINGER on page 22
Germany’s Jewish patriots find a home in the military ByToby Axelrod Jewish Telegraphic Agency BERLIN (JTA) — In an office amid a labyrinth of hallways in Germany's Ministry of Defense, a short jaunt from where Claus von Stauffenberg was executed in 1944 for trying to kill Adolf Hitler, sits Bernhard Fischer, lieutenant colonel and Jew. What’s a nice Jewish guy doing in a place like this? “The history of this place is clear to me. But life is normal today,” said the 59-year-old protocol officer, surrounded by souvenirs from Israel and elsewhere. “Germany is a democratic country and one can live here — and live here well.” Of course, Fischer would be the first to admit it’s much more complicated than that for Jews in the Bundeswehr, modern Germany’s military. No one knows the exact number, but insiders guess there are some 200 Jews in a military of about 200,000. Many of them, such as Fischer, have complex family histories. His mother’s family moved from Germany to South Africa prior to World War II. She returned to Germany in 1945 and married a Catholic German. “But our Jewish identity was always there,” he said. In 1971, while visiting relatives in Israel, Fischer met his future wife, whose family had made aliyah from Tunisia. They
Lt. Col. Bernhard Fischer, a Jewish officer in the protocol branch, in his office at the German Federal Ministry of Defense.
moved to West Germany in 1975 and have three children. Until the postwar obligatory conscription was dropped last year, Germans whose parents or grandparents were victims of Nazi persecution were exempted from military service. Nevertheless, some chose to serve. Michael Fuerst signed up in 1966 and is likely the first Jew to do so in West Germany. The Jewish community called him “the shmuck from Hanover who joined the army,” he recalls with a laugh.
To Jews from the outside, such patriotism may seem odd. But like all social and legal institutions in West Germany (which carries over to today’s unified Germany), the military was remade in a democratic image. One major difference is that soldiers are empowered to disobey a command if they believe it would lead to a criminal act. And unlike in Hitler’s day, soldiers do not swear allegiance to the Fuehrer “but to uphold the constitution and defend the freedom of the German people,” Fischer said. The earliest records of Jews in Germany go back to the fourth century. Lt. Col. Gideon RomerHillebrecht, the co-editor with 1st Lt. Michael Berger of a new tome on “Jewish Soldiers-Jewish Resistance in Germany and France,” says Jews may have fought in Germanic troops as early as the 13th century. But it wasn’t until Napoleon’s conquest of the western regions that Jews were granted equal rights -- including the right to be drafted, RomerHillebrecht told JTA. In World War I, more than 100,000 Jews served — that was about a fifth of the total Jewish population at the time — and about 12,000 died on the front. Hitler later blamed Germany’s defeat on Jewish soldiers. PATRIOTS on page 21
10 • ISRAEL
Reflecting on the 1972 Olympics By Robert Gluck JointMedia News Service Forty years ago, Palestinian “Black September” terrorists murdered 11 Israeli team members during the Olympic Games in Munich. Although the International Olympic Committee (IOC) declined Israel’s request for a moment of silence at this summer’s London games, there are scholars working to ensure that the 1972 tragedy isn’t forgotten. One such expert is David Clay Large, a professor of history at Montana State University and author of the book Munich 1972: Tragedy, Terror, and Triumph at the Olympic Games. In May, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon wrote to the IOC on behalf of the widows of two 1972 victims, who called for a specific memorial during the upcoming Olympics. IOC President Jacques Rogge responded that a moment of silence would not be held because the IOC “has officially paid tribute to the memory of the [killed Israeli] athletes on several occasions.” The same month, Large gave a presentation on the 1972 Munich Olympics at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York. In an interview with JNS.org, Large explained that a request for a moment of silence “has been made before a number of times by various groups, and the IOC has always declined.” “The reasons they give are that the Olympics are above politics, that they should be just about inter-
Courtesy of Israeli National Lacrosse Team
Israel's national lacrosse team practices as it prepares for the European Lacrosse Championships, its first tournament.
Nascent Israeli lacrosse team sticking out, surprisingly, in European tourney Courtesy of Avishai Teicher.
A memorial in Tel Aviv for the 11 Israeli team members killed by Palestinian "Black September" terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
national competition and not drag into this atmosphere the political, social controversies of the day,” Large said. “That is the argument they give, but the Games have always been political, right from the beginning, and none more so than Munich 1972. The IOC should acknowledge reality and acknowledge this event that took place 40 years ago, which was the greatest tragedy to befall the Olympic Games. I think it is hypocrisy on the part of the IOC.” Set against the backdrop of the turbulent late 1960s and early 1970s, Large’s book provides a comprehensive history of the 1972 games, the abduction and the
hostages’ tragic deaths after a botched rescue mission by German police. Drawing on a wealth of newly available sources, Large interweaves the political drama surrounding the games with the athletic spectacle in the arena of play. According to Gabriel Sanders, director of public programs at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, Large’s presentation was appropriate for several reasons. “The story of the Munich Olympics is in many ways about Germany’s overcoming its Nazi past, and it is also a story about the Arab-Israeli conflict and the birth of OLYMPICS on page 22
Holocaust survivors beauty pageant crowns Romanian-born winner By JTA Staff Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) — A beauty pageant for Holocaust survivors was held in Haifa, featuring female survivors walking down a red carpet and sharing details of their travails during World War II. Fourteen women, aged 74 to 97, participated according to news reports. Hava Hershkovitz, 79, who had fled her native Romania to survive the Shoah, was crowned the winner. Organizers called the event a celebration of life, but critics denounced it as trivializing the horrors of the Holocaust. Shimon Sabag, who organized the event, said the 14 finalists had been chosen from hundreds of applicants based on their personal stories and later roles in their communities in Israel, according to the BBC. "It's not easy at this age to be in a beauty contest," the silver-haired Hershkovitz said, according to The Associated Press. "But we're all
Avishag Shaar Yashuv/FLASH90
Romanian native Hava Hershkovitz was crowned the winner of the "Miss Holocaust Survivor" beauty pageant in Haifa, June 28, 2012.
doing it to show that we're still alive." Collete Avital, who chairs the umbrella group the Center of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors in Israel, criticized the pageant. "It sounds totally macabre
to me," AP quoted her as saying. "I am in favor of enriching lives, but a one-time pageant masquerading [survivors] with beautiful clothes is not what is going to make their lives more meaningful."
ByAdam Soclof Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) -- Israel’s national lacrosse team is clinging to a onegoal lead with 20 seconds remaining when the referee blows his whistle -- the Wales coach wants a stick check on an Israeli player. The challenge fails, the stick is legal and the Israelis go on to upset heavily favored Wales, 14-13, on Monday in the European Lacrosse Championships in Amsterdam. “It was a desperation move but was completely within the rules,” says Scott Neiss, executive director of Israel’s nascent lacrosse program, who studied communications and business at St. John's University in New York. “If we were on the other side, we would have done the same thing.” Beating Wales, ranked 11th by the Federation of International Lacrosse, is a monumental victory for the 18-month-old Israeli squad in a tournament full of them. Competing in its first international tournament, unranked Israel is riding a Maccabean 4-0 run into its quarterfinal matchup with host Netherlands on Wednesday. Israel will finish no lower than eighth in the 17-team field. "We’ve come to achieve everything we set out to do [at the tournament]," says team captain Mathew Markman. "Everything from here on out is icing on the cake." The squad is gaining attention for quickly adapting to the game -and the competition. Its supporters are hoping the surprise tournament showing will help catapult lacrosse onto the Israeli athletic scene. “We’ve had a program a year and a half; we've been together as a [national] team two weeks now,” says head coach Bill Beroza, an inductee into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in the United States and the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. The program is the brainchild of Neiss, a 27-year-old sports management whiz from Oceanside, N.Y., who moved to Tel Aviv earli-
er this year to build a national program. He began brainstorming the idea for a national lacrosse program as a participant on Birthright Israel’s free 10-day trip to Israel in 2010, sneaking away from Birthright activities to attend meetings with prospective partners. Less than two years later, the program has gained official recognition from the Culture and Sport Ministry, enabling it to play in the European tournament. Neiss sees unique advantages - and opportunities -- for expanding lacrosse into a national sport. For starters, aside from padding, sticks and a couple of nets, the startup costs are minimal -- the game can be played on any field. “Rather than buy a state-of-theart facility for a few, I’d rather buy 400,000 lacrosse sticks and put them in people’s hands,” Neiss said. Can lacrosse be a different athletic import to the Jewish state? Other North American sports that have made aliyah have had mixed results. The Israel Football League has enjoyed success, but the Israel Baseball League collapsed after a single season in 2007. The baseball league's stated aim of fielding an Israeli team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic may yet come to fruition. Of lacrosse, Neiss says, “I think it’s the best-kept secret in sports. Because it’s such a cult sport in the U.S., players feel an obligation to promote it more so than others.” With Johnny Appleseed-like gusto, the team -- comprised mostly of North American olim or their children -- have been planting the seeds of the sport in Israel, running a dozen youth clinics in the past year and holding an exhibition game recently in Turkey. The team also markets itself in Israel by donning gear in public. ”We’ve seen it on the beach; people see our sticks and ask, 'What is that’?” says New Jersey native Stephanie Tenenbaum, the interim director of the women’s lacrosse program.
SOCIAL LIFE • 11
THURSDAY, JULY 5, 2012
HELPING ON CHAI at Ronald McDonald House Helping on Chai, a social action series sponsored by the Women’s Philanthropy Division of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, visited Ronald McDonald House on March 18. Led by team leaders Beth Kotzin and Laura Berger, volunteers served dinner to the resident families. The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati cares for those in need. Through our community-wide network of over 39 programs, 25 agencies and 13 congregations, we provide a safety net for the most vulnerable, while nurturing and sustaining Jewish life.
Hadas Zamir and Felicia Zakem
Bryna Miller and Angie Zawatsky preparing salad.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
The American Israelite
Team leaders Beth Kotzin and Laura Berger
Dshon Miller, Wendy Pellberg, Sarah Wise, and Marsha Firestein making lasagna.
Sarah Wise giving lasagna instructions.
12 â€˘ CINCINNATI SOCIAL LIFE
Dr. Samuel S. Rockwern Passover Delivery of Jewish Family Service on Sunday, April 1, 2012
Sallie (17) and Allen Cohen
Chana (3) and Debbie Horewitz, Jacob Zimmerman
Adam (13) and Richard Behrman
Rabbi Gershom Barnard, Eve Smiley (7), Monica Valentini (15)
Alex (13) and Elizabeth Woosley
Sarah and Charles Gentry
Fouad and Mary Ezra
Dennis Mitman and Susan Shorr (right of table) check in Volunteers
CINCINNATI JEWISH LIFE â€˘ 13
THURSDAY, JULY 5, 2012
Rabbi Stuart Lavenda, Ari Ziv (13)
Beth Schwartz with daughters Monica (15) and Eve (7)
Phil Weintraub, Bruce Lazarus
Carolyn Wetzler, Jeff Haas, Elana Wetzler (16)
Jewish Family Service Volunteer Coordinator Sandee Golden explains project to Binah UC StudentsSharon Rosner,Samantha Gerstein, Dora Powell, John Blevins, Anna Nagle
Bob and Diane Steele
14 • DINING OUT
Going home to Gabby’s By Taylor Strong Dining Reviewer Gabby, the woman, the inspiration of the café, doesn’t actually exist..Well she does I suppose, in her own evolved way. But for all intensive purposes, she is not real. When owner Dino DiStasi ‘bought her’ at eight months old , she had already been given her name—a perfectly fine name— thus, leaving DiStasi to deal with the pressing, greater issues: dinner. What Gabby lacks in personality, she provides in space. Finally, Dino has a table big enough to serve everyone he would like. The obligatory, what’s in a name musings, are trite— unavoidable—but later establish a poignancy: there is a certain victory in the girl, one of his, being allowed to keep her name after all. Gabby’s, located on Wyoming Ave, on the corner, echoes the sentiments of any small, charming restaurant that you wish was full of bartends and proprietors who know your name. Destasi, and head chef Chris Singleton, are the type of people you wish had you on their on speed dial. A railroad crossing is close enough to make you wonder if you have entered some sort of northern version of Fried Green Tomatoes. Maybe not,but there is a distinct energy at Gabby’s Café that fosters an imaginative spirit; patrons find Gabby’s to be the type of place that allows for dessert to be eaten first. I meet eyes with the carrot cake “ DO IT!” yells DiStasi and for a moment, I swear will be able to have it too. The cake is dense and cool, the icing is mediumbodied, a sweetly, perfected piece of cake. that Chef Singleton assures that it is in fact, for real. The ingredients, as with all the dishes at Gabby’s, Café, are fresh, seasonal and whenever possible –sourced from local vendors. There is something, else though, a sort of Italian/American je ne sais quo that, is tough to place. You know you have had it before, but can’t remember its name. “It’s comfort,” DiStasi answers, without being asked. Instantly you know him to be an expert in the field. He expounds with Singleton about the basics of food, a simple concept so complex, it is just now becoming
trendy again. “Carrots are not supposed to come from a can,” says DiStasi, seemingly unaware of the greater profundity of his words. “And everyone is different,” He has indeed, been raised by the right women. As he talks about his mother you can feel the apron strings that connect him to his siblings (six children total, fed daily “like kings”) and guide him through his days. His wife, Mary Ann, learned to cook from her—as did so many others—by watching the show—recipes aren’t really the family’s style. “You name it, he can make it,” says DiStasi of Singleton, the man he’s known for over twenty years. Singleton tells me that DiStasi is the Kevin Bacon of Cincinnati, and I watch as people line up for his autograph. Or handshake. Or prank, “She’s with the Food Channel,” he tells an old pal, who for a second, believes him. It is ironically in the same conversation that Gabby’s abundance in kosher food is discussed. The legacy, as it goes, lives on—as evidenced by DiStasis’ daughters. Andrea and Lisa, who too have found themselves genetically blessed in the kitchen. In fact, it is Andrea to whom I have to thank for the homemade black bean garden burger and the zucchini linguini, both of which I have to blame for the inadvertent “Rachel Ray noise” I made in response. Both dishes, now regular menu items, sprung from the sort of accidental creative approach now synonymous the DiStasi name. The Mona Lisa pizza, gourmet and grill fired, is named after ‘the other daughter,’ Lisa, who lives in New York. Slowly, the many faces of Gabby are revealed. “Good food is good food,” says DiStasi—boiling it down to its most basic form. Some things are understood, and you begin to understand this, too. “I eat for the taste.” Ah, the taste. The flavor. The prices are fair, the quality is high. Distasti means it when he says he wants to take care of you, and he does. You, like so many others, have come home. (Clockwise) Quaint exterior of Gabby’s Cafe in old Wyoming; Delicious selections: fire grilled vegetable pizza, basa fish platter, vegan burger with saratoga chips and barbecue sauce; Chef Chris Singleton, Mary Ann and Andrea DiStasi, manager Lesley Tchorz, and Dino DiStasi; Meltingly tender five cheese ravioli, terrific tiramisu, eggplant parmesan with “hidden treasures.”
Gabby’s Cafe 515 Wyoming Avenue Wyoming, OH 45215 513-821-6040
DINING OUT • 15
THURSDAY, JULY 5, 2012
RESTAURANT DIRECTORY 20 Brix
101 Main St
515 Wyoming Ave
111 Main St
Ambar India Restaurant
Parkers Blue Ash Grill
350 Ludlow Ave
4110 Hunt Rd
4200 Cooper Rd
Andy’s Mediterranean Grille
At Gilbert & Nassau
800 Elm St • 721-4241
121West McMillan • 861-0080
2 blocks North of Eden Park
612 Main St • 241-6246
7880 Remington Rd
5098B Glencrossing Way
Montgomery • 794-0080
NEW SUMMER MENU & WINE LIST The Best Japanese Cuisine, Asian Food & Dining Experience In Town
PAT I O O P E N !
RECIEVE $10 OFF EVERY $50
9521 FIELDS ERTEL ROAD, LOVELAND
& WINE DURING JULY 906 Nassau St • Cincinnati, 45206
(513) 239-8881 asianparadiserestaurant.com
andyskabob.com • 513.281.9791
SPENT ON FOOD
2 BLOCKS FROM EDEN PARK
347-9699 Asian Paradise
1198 Smiley Ave • 825-3888
9521 Fields Ertel Rd
300 Madison Ave
4858 Cooper Rd
Covington • 859-292-0065
791-2223 • 791-1381 (fax) Johnny Chan 2
Baba India Restaurant
11296 Montgomery Rd
Stone Creek Dining Co.
3120 Madison Rd
The Shops at Harper’s Point
9386 Montgomery Rd
489-2388 • 489-3616 (fx)
Montgomery • 489-1444
6200 Muhlhauser Rd K.T.’s Barbecue & Deli
West Chester • 942-2100
8501 Reading Rd
4858 Hunt Rd
Sukhothai Thai Cuisine
8102 Market Place Ln
891-8900 • 834-8012 (fx)
Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-3 Dinner: Mon-Thu 5-9:30 Fri 5-10:30 • Sat 4:30-10:30
8102 Market Place Lane Montgomery, OH 45242 794-0057 • 794-0235 (fax) www.sukhothaicincy.com
Montgomery Kanak India Restaurant
10040B Montgomery Rd
2912 Wasson Rd
8702 Market Place Ln
Montgomery Marx Hot Bagels
9701 Kenwood Rd
9525 Kenwood Rd
12110 Montgomery Rd
Montgomery Mecklenburg Gardens
✳EXOTIC DISHES✳ ✳ADJUSTABLE SPICE SCALE✳ ✳FABULOUS DRINKS✳ ✳VEGETARIAN - FRIENDLY✳
4858 Hunt Rd • Blue Ash, 45242 (513) 891-8900 • Fax 834-8012
"Top 100 Chinese Restaurants in America" Chinese Restaurant News - 2004
. Sushi Bar . Full Bar, Liquor . Sunday Brunch The Shops at Harpers Point . 11296 Montgomery Road Banquets
AMERICAN CUISINE WITH AN ITALIAN FLAIR
Carlo & Johnny
302 E. University Ave
9769 Montgomery Rd
514 W 6th St
Dine-In / Take-Out / Delivery
OPEN LUNCH & DINNER EVERYDAY
Covington, KY Oriental Wok
Ferrari’s Little Italy & Bakery
2444 Madison Rd
7677 Goff Terrace
MONDAY IS ITALIAN NIGHT! OPEN SUNDAYS AT 10AM FOR BRUNCH 515 Wyoming Ave • Wyoming, OH 821-6040 • gabbyswyoming.com
The American Israelite
Ask about our Specials!
AVAILABLE AT THESE FINE LOCATIONS:
Marx Hot Bagels
Ridge & Highland
9701 Kenwood Rd. Blue Ash
In MainStrasse Village
Izzy’s 612 Main St. 800 Elm St.
Kroger Hunt Rd. – Blue Ash
EARLY-BIRD DINNER SPECIALS
9525 Kenwood Rd. Blue Ash
LUNCH & DINNER SPECIALS
NOT VALID WITH ANY OTHER OFFERS.
COME ENJOY A WIDE VARIETY OF GERMAN & AMERICAN SPECIALTIES.
514 W 6TH ST, COVINGTON, KY
16 • OPINION
Echoes of the past in the present
Do you have something to say? E-mail your letter to email@example.com
Dear Editor, The article titled “Israel cited in Caterpillar’s delisting from influential investment index” by Ron Kampeas in the June 28, 2012 issue of The American Israelite caught my attention. While I am familiar with investment funds that invest in corporations that are concerned for the Environment, Corporate Governance and well as Social Justice and Human Rights, I was nevertheless surprised and not surprised to see the State of Israel cited. With all the antisemitic going ons in the news these days, from the Presbyterian Church’s investment policies to author Alice Walker not allowing her book The Color Purple to be printed in Hebrew, none of this seems to amaze me after all my years. Where were these people and organizations when Hitler’s Nazi Germany was doing business with IBM? I am now reading a very interesting book that has illuminated an aspect of Holocaust history that I was unaware. IBM and the Holocaust - The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America’s Most Powerful Corporation by Edwin Black (2001) has enlightened me to a piece of Holocaust history I was totally unaware. (I also strongly recommend this book.) But, IBM was not the only American corporation doing business with Nazi Germany. As Black relates on p. 232, “Of course, IBM was not alone in its lucrative dealings with the Third Reich. Many American companies in the armament, financial, and service arena refused to walk away from the extraordinary profits obtainable from trading with a pariah state such as Nazi Germany. Indeed, (Thomas J.) Watson led them in his capacity as chairman of the American section of the International Chamber of Commerce.” Where was the Presbyterian Church and their concern for social justice and human rights then? Yes, I know that was a long time ago, but Israel’s existence, in my opinion, is a direct result of the blind eye that was turned, by the so called civilized world in the 1930’s, as it concerned the social justice and human rights of the Jews of Europe. While any death is a tragedy, whether it be an American or a Palestinian, Israel hardly needs the Presbyterian Church to teach it about social justice and human rights. Israel is a democracy, but the Big Lie constantly needs to be met head on and refuted by Jews on ever continent. Sincerely, Fred Zigler Cincinnati, OH
T EST Y OUR T ORAH KNOWLEDGE THIS WEEK’S PORTION: BALAK (BAMIDAR 22:2—25:9) 1. How many times did Bilaam request from Hashem to go to curse The Children of Israel? a.) One b.) Two c.) Three 2. How many times did Bilaam strike his donkey? a.) Once b.) Twice c.) Three times 3. Did Bilaam speak positively of The Children of Israel ? a.) Yes nation of the three Patriarchs or that celebrated three festivals in Jerusalem. Rashi 3. A 4. E 5. 22:7 Bilaam used sorcery as help for his profession. Rashi
Sneering cynicism. Self-glorification in the guise of advocacy. Ostentatious observance cloaking rank jealousy. “Democracy” in the pursuit of evil ends. Haughtiness pretending to the selfless pursuit of justice and truth. What do all those things bring to mind? A) The parsha we read on Shabbos. B) Much of the “Orthodox Jewish” blogosphere. Both, you say? You win. Korach is a good example for our times. Good, that is, in the sense that he perfectly exemplifies the similarly “populist” contemporary congregation that breeds under the rocks of Blogistan. We deserve to be free from our so-called leaders, Korach announced—and, even without the benefit of an instantaneous electronic soapbox, attracted followers to “the cause.” We are perfectly capable, he declared, to their excited panting, of sitting in judgment over those who claim to have been designated to stand at the helm of the Jewish ship. The entire people are holy, after all. All of us heard the voice of Hashem at Har Sinai. All of us are able to see things for ourselves as they really are, not as our “leaders” tell us they are. Moshe and Aharon were “chosen” to lead us? Please. We know better. Surely you do too. In fact, the Korachites broadcast, we have good reason to suspect some not-so-nice things about our so-called leaders, things that show them to be not only unworthy leaders but uncaring, corrupt, and worse. Have you heard, for instance, about what Moshe, the “chaste” and “modest” man, has been up to in his free time? The rabbis, they proclaimed sagely, are just protecting their perks. We don’t need such “leaders” telling us how to conduct our lives and what or whom to respect. We know better than they do, we see more clearly than they. They are the establishment. We, after all, are The People. And the truly religious ones, too; just ask Mrs. Ohn ben Peles, whose uncovered head we would not countenance. We’re the ones who really care about all Jews, about Jewish values, about Jewish children. Our “leaders,” by contrast, are clueless, if not worse.
Sound familiar? Of course it does. Yes, there are responsible Orthodox Jewish bloggers, who seek to share community news or ideas and observations with others, and to post informative, not libelous, readers’ comments. Some explore concepts in Jewish thought and law, others focus on Jewish history and society. The Korach blogs, though, are a separate category. Their anger,snideness, half-truths, and bald lies attract like-minded people like rancid meat draws flies. Together, the bloggerei and their devotees march proudly into what they believe will be a bright, shiny future, one devoid of the old bearded men who so vex them. They’re not insincere. They believe what they say; that, in fact, is the greater tragedy. Korach, too, was convinced that he was right. Why else would he have summoned all the people to witness the “showdown” with Moshe? Did he think for a moment that what happened was even a possibility? Surely not. But sincerity is no guarantee of rightness. Evil that recognizes itself is a rare bird. Perhaps that’s part of the meaning of the strange admonition “Do not be like Korach and his congregation” (Bamidbar, 17:5), which Rav (Sanhedrin, 110a) sees as a warning against fomenting strife among Jews. We don’t find any such warning against being hedonistic “like Lot” or hypocritical “like Esav.” Why a special prohibition here? Might it be because of the natural pull that “populism” propelled by cynicism and slander can exert, and the ease with which even fine people can be swayed by professions of righteousness and sincerity? Because Korach-ism is a particularly easy (forgive me) hole into which one can fall? The modern-day disparagers of Torah scholars and selfless communal leaders aren’t likely to change (though we must never give up the hope that they will). They may be too certain that they “know the score” and that they can’t possibly be misguided. But one hopes that those who have ever come across the knights of Blogistan’s defamations and obloquies and found themselves impressed by the apparent sincerity with which they are proffered paid attention when the Torah was read on Shabbos.
b.) No 4. What did Balak do to help Bilaam curse The Children of Israel? a.) He promised a large reward b.) Honor c.) Make sacrifices before Bilaam started d.) Provide a good view of The Children of Israel e.) All of the above 5. What did the representatives of Moab take to Bilaam? a.) Good wine b.) An idol c.) Sorcery Answers 1. B 22:12,19-20 Even though Hashem told him the first time not to go, but Hashem will open an oppurtunity for a person even if it is not good for him. R'Bchai 2. C 22:21-28 Three times was a hint to Bilaam that he could curse a
By Rabbi Avi Shafran Contributing Columnist
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Written by Rabbi Dov Aaron Wise
JEWISH LIFE • 17
THURSDAY, JULY 5, 2012
Sedra of the Week
by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel - "A star shall shoot forth from Jacob…." (Num 24:17) What is the meaning of our faith in a Messiah and why is the Messianic vision prophesied by a Gentile prophet, Balaam? At the conclusion of the morning prayers most, if not all Orthodox prayer books list the "Thirteen Principles of Faith" formulated by Maimonides including the declaration: "I believe with complete faith in the coming of the Messiah; and even though he may tarry, nevertheless, I anxiously await him, every day, that he may come." Despite our history of exiles and persecutions, belief in the Messiah remains one of the deepest sources of our national strength and resilience. The Sages of the Midrash express this in a most accurate and poetic fashion: The Messiah was born on Tisha B'Av (the ninth day of the Hebrew month Av, the annual fast day of mourning for the destruction of both Holy Temples) and Comforter (Menahem) is his name." Our Sages are underscoring the truism that unfortunately, we only really appreciate what we have after we lose it; hence, our deep yearning for the Messiah and the national renaissance (Jewish sovereignty over the Land of Israel, the Holy Temple restored in Jerusalem) only became central pillars of Jewish prayer and expectation with the destruction of our Temple. Moreover, it was specifically our belief in the ultimate vindication of our nationhood, and our mission to illuminate the world with compassionate righteousness, morality and peace that prevented us from being crushed on the rocks of despair. The optimism of our faith in a perfected humanity at the end of the days, lies in stark contrast to the Greco-Roman pessimism which informs the myth of Sisyphus, much of Christianity and Freudian psychology. Our optimism is one of the greatest gifts Judaism has bequeathed to the world. Fascinatingly, the explicit Pentateuch sources for Messianism are only to be found in three places: God's election of
SHABBAT SHALOM: PARSHAT BALAK NUMBERS 22:2-25:9
Fascinatingly, the explicit Pentateuch sources for Messianism are only to be found in three places: God's election of Abraham, Jacob's final blessings to his sons, and perhaps most specifically, in the words of the Gentile prophet Balaam. Abraham, Jacob's final blessings to his sons, and perhaps most specifically, in the words of the Gentile prophet Balaam. God initially promises Abraham; "I will make you a great nation… He will bless those who bless you, those who curse you shall be cursed, and all the families of the earth shall be blessed through you". (Gen 12:1-3). The descendants of Abraham will form a great nation which will ultimately disseminate Abraham's ethical monotheism, compassionate righteousness and moral justice throughout the world. (Gen 18:18, 19), At the conclusion of the Book of Genesis, Jacob gathers his sons around his death-bed to tell them what will befall them "at the end of the days" (Gen 49:1). Judah, the anointed leader (the Hebrew word Messiah refers to the King anointed with sacred oil) over his brothers, will eternally wield the "scepter" of rulership, into the period of Shiloh (Messiahship or Peace) when all the nations will surround him (See Gen 49:8-11). But the most explicit reference is in our Biblical portion of Balak, which strikingly builds upon our previous sources. The Gentile prophet, Balaam, was hired by King Balak of Moab to curse the newly freed, "invincible" Israelites, but Balaam cannot curse those blessed of God, "whose "blessers will be blessed and whose cursers will be cursed". (Numbers 24:9) Balaam then declares to Balak what Israel will do to Moab "at the end of the days,…when a star shall shoot forth from Jacob and the Judean scepter (shevet) from Israel, who shall crush the nobles of Moab . . . Israel will emerge victorious…. Amalek's end shall be eternal destruction". (Numbers 24:17-20) What is especially noteworthy about Balaam's prophecy is that it is preceded by his assessment of the encampment of Israel: "How goodly (tov, morally and ethically excellent) are your tents, O Jacob, your dwelling houses, Israel" (Numbers 24;5,6). He clearly
sees their cleanliness, their modesty and their sanctity. As long as they are worthy, they must be blessed by God; this is Balaam's unmistakable message to Balak, as well as to subsequent Jewish and world history. He also does not see the star "Messiah" as arriving immediately, "Messiah now". Much the opposite, "I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near— a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the borderlands of Moab, and the territory of all the Shethites. Edom will become a possession, Seir a possession of its enemies, while Israel does valiantly". (Numbers 24: 17-20) The essence of our faith in the Messiah is our "anxious anticipation of his coming", preparing for him by making ourselves more worthy. This is the significance of the Maimonidean formulation with which we opened this commentary; this was the importance of the various "campaigns" of the peerless Rav Menachem Mendel Schneerson ztz"l (unfortunately, the Messianists miss the point!). I heard it said in the name of the Chief Rabbi of England, my distinguished friend, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, that the Captain of the Ship is guided by the star even though he knows he will never quite reach it. One thing is certain: we cannot hope to be a Kingdom of priest-teachers to the nations of the world until we first become a holy nation ourselves. Why then is the Messianic vision of the Pentateuch most explicitly expressed by a Gentile prophet? Perhaps because it is only when the Gentiles can truly say "How goodly are your tents, O Jacob" that they will want to learn from us; and only then will we be close to the striking distance of the star, destined to shoot forth from Jacob and bring blessings to all the families of the earth.
WHAT’S HAPPENING @ YOUR SYNAGOGUE? NAME ADDRESS CITY
CHECK TYPE OF SUBSCRIPTION
1 YEAR, IN-TOWN
CHECK TYPE OF PAYMENT
ZIP 1 YEAR, OUT-OF-TOWN
1-Year Subscription: $44 In-town, $49 Out-of-town Send completed form with payment to: The American Israelite
18 W. 9th St. Ste. 2 • Cincinnati, OH 45202-2037
CHANGE OF ADDRESS? SEND AN EMAIL TO
Shabbat Shalom Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Chancellor Ohr Torah Stone Chief Rabbi – Efrat Israel
The American Israelite
18 • JEWZ IN THE NEWZ
SPIDEY GOES FOR MATZO BALLS The three “Spider-Man” films, starring Tobey Macguire, were huge hits. Now comes “The Amazing Spider-Man,” which is labeled a “re-boot” rather than a sequel (opened Tuesday, July 3). It stars ANDREW GARFIELD, 28, in the title role, with Emma Stone, 23, as Spider-Man’s love interest. Garfield and Stone both began pro acting careers in their early teens and they became a real-life romantic couple not long after the “re-boot” began filming in late 2010. Garfield’s film breakthrough role came in “The Social Network” (2010) in which he played EDUARDO SAVERIN, a (real-life) Brazilian Jewish guy who aided MARK ZUCKERBERG in the creation of Facebook. Stone’s big hits include “Zombieland,” “Easy A,” and “The Help.” Garfield was born in Los Angeles and raised in England. His father’s father, SAMUEL GARFINKEL, grew up in London, the son of Polish-born Jews. He wed Andrew���s Jewish grandmother in a UK synagogue in 1933. They moved to the States around 1945 and Samuel changed his last name sometime after coming to America. Andrew’s father, RICHARD, was born in the United States in 1950. Andrew was three years old when his parents moved (1986) to England, where they opened a small design business. Andrew’s mother, Linda, was born in England. It isn’t clear whether she is Jewish or not. The actor has called himself Jewish in interviews, but hasn’t mentioned anything about religious education. In a recent interview, he did say that he eats matzo ball soup every day he’s in New York (where he lives with Stone). Embetz Davidtz, 46, plays Spider-Man’s mother, Mary Parker. Davidtz is best known for her bravura performance as HELEN HIRSCH, a (real-life) Jewish woman who worked as a maid in the home of the concentration camp commander in “Schindler’s List” (1993). I know most people erroneously assumed that Davidtz was Jewish in real life when “Schindler’s List” came out. In 2002, she married Jewish attorney JERRY SLOANE in what brief press reports described as a Jewish wedding. She and Sloane are still married and have two children. (It’s possible that Davidtz converted to Judaism. But, I don’t know more than I just wrote). WOODY DOES ROM Opening on Friday, July 6, in
Cincinnati, is the new WOODY ALLEN flick, “To Rome with Love.” It is a series of vignettes that have a light comic air. Allen, 76, acts in “Rome,” playing Jerry, a retired American opera director whose daughter is engaged to an Italian guy. The guy’s father, who works as a mortician, has an incredible singing voice and Jerry tries to put him on the stage. One segment features JESSE EISENBERG, 28, as an American architect living in Rome with his girlfriend (Greta Gerwig). Complications ensue when he falls hard for his girlfriend’s best friend (Ellen Page). Alec Baldwin plays an architect who mentors Eisenberg and Baldwin also stars in his own segment. As most people know, several of Allen’s earlier movies explored the issue of personal intSegrity and Allen, the screenwriter, seemed quite transfixed about whether there was a price to be paid for “doing the wrong thing.” I thought of this when Woody’s only biological child, Ronan Farrow, born Satchel Farrow, tweeted on Father’s Day: "Happy father's day—or as they call it in my family, happy brother-inlaw's day.” Ronan was five years old when, in 1992, his father left his mother, Mia Farrow, for his legal sister, Soon-Yin Previn, now 41 (she and Allen have two adopted daughters). Allen may have hardened himself to such digs, but still he is paying a “karmic” price for his behavior— the contempt of a son who by any standard is an extraordinary person—Ronan graduated college at 15, studied law at Yale, and is now a prominent human rights attorney. Last December, Ronan was named a Rhodes Scholar. Plus he is very handsome in a “WASPy” way. CHECKIN’ IN WITH LINKIN PARK The rock group “Linkin Park,” which has sold 50 million CDs, is out with their first new CD (“Living Things”) in two years and critics say it is a return to form following 2007 and 2010 CDs that disappointed many fans. The Los Angeles based group became a Generation X and Y favorite with its 2000 breakthough CD, “Hybrid Theory.” “Living Things” was produced by the almost legendary RICK RUBIN, 49, and this is the first time he’s worked with the band. Two members of the six member band are Jewish: guitarist BRAD DELSON, 34, and drummer ROB BOURDON, 34. Delson and his wife, ELISE, have distinguished themselves with their charitable giving.
FROM THE PAGES 125 Y EARS A GO Mr. and Mrs. I.M. Simon are summering at Deer Park, Md.Mr. and Mrs. E Simon will summer in Richfield Springs, N.Y. Mr. and Mrs. Ben May and family have moved to Walnut Hills. Mr. Ike Harris, of Louisville, spent a day with his friends in the city. Mr and Mrs. Ben Lehman have returned from Atlantic City and and will spend the rest of the summer at Boman’s. Avondale Rabbi Davidson will leave on Monday to represent his congregation, Sherith Israel (Richmond Street Temple), at the Pittsburgh conference— July 5, 1887
100 Y EARS A GO Protested against Poland’s treatment of her Jews were adopted resolutions Tuesday evening, June 29th, at the Cincinnati Jewish Center. Speakers included the Rev. Dr. Jesse M. H Halsey, president of The Cincinnati Federation of churches; John D. Ellis, City Solicitator, and acting city manager; and Rabbi Samuel Wohl of Wise Temple-Chairman of the Emergency Committee for Jews in Poland Society has its “climbers” although novelists often reveal their methods and hold them up to deration. The Sunday newspaper prints the weekly record of their successful efforts(not the unsuccessful: they do no send items of failures to the society editor. There is more “climbing” in this country than in the other countries like England, partly because the older countries have a more stable population, and bills which are drawn on society, in general, can be cashed at some bank in any country of the realm.— July 5, 1912
75 Y EARS A GO The Federation of American Zionists met in annual session at Gesangvermet Hall, Cleveland, O., last Sunday, June 30 Leaders of the Zionist movement from all
over the country were in attendance and letters and telegrams from a number of distinguished men were received, all urging the convention to a renewed effort to make Zionism a reality. Tue purpose of Zionism, as it appears from the addresses at the meeting, is foster the Jewish race spirit and the spirit of Jewish nationalism. Two plans are proposed to this end. To establish, in Palestine, a self-governing Jewish colony. This colony will be recruited from countries where Jews are being persecuted, from places where they are economically unfit, from Jews who would welcome a place where the traditions of the race will be preserved.Here also, will grow up a new Jewish culture and ultimately a Jewish indiversity. — July 1, 1937
50 Y EARS A GO Jack Kalan, show business personality, will inaugurate a suburban dance studio this fall at the Golf Manor Recreation Hall. He plans to hold sessions for 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grad youngsters. Four Ukranians were sentenced to death for murdering Jews and other Soviet citizens during German occupation of the arena World War II according to news dispatch from Kiev. The trial took place at Smela, 30 miles from the Ukranian City of Cherkassy. The Cherkassy District Courty returned guilty verdicts, and imposed the death sentences on A. Litvin, I. Piotrosky, F. Pomenkp and W. Knowalenko. — July 5, 1962
25 Y EARS A GO The Judaic Studies Program has announced Fred “Skip” Leeds is the winner of the first annual Daniel J. Ransohoff Prize. Leeds,who is pursuing a certificate in Judaic studies,is a full-time student majoring in biochemisty. An outstanding student, he has won two prestigious student awards’
The Merck Index Award in organic chemistry and an Arts and Sciences Faculty Scholarship. The Temple congratulates Abe Villensky, Vicot Lerman on their birthdays, Mr. and Mrs. Larry Waldman, Mr. and Mrs. Victor Young, Mr.and Mrs.,Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Seitel; Mr. and Mrs. Nelson weinberg. Dr. and Mrs. Louis Clayborn on their anniversaries; Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Apfel and Mrs. Mary Scheineson on the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter and grandaughter, Lynn Apfel Harry S. Sudman was elected the 25th president of the Jewish Community Center at the annual meeting May 31. In his acceptance speech, Sudman, who has been active at the center since he was a member of the tween/teen Council, expressed gratitude for being given the opportunity to lead the agency reciting the shechechayanu Blessing. “We are here to...enhance the quality of life ina Jewish setting, Sudman stressed. “That is our mission.”.— July 15, 1987
10 Y EARS A GO Stanley M. Chelsley, a nationally known plaintiff’s attorney and principal of Waite, Schneider, Bayless & Chesle CO. LPA, Cincinnati’s oldest law firm in continuous operation, was the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor May 11 in New York Harbor. Established in 1986 by NECO, Ellis Island Medals of Honor pay tribute to ancestry groups that comprise America’s cultural mosaic. To date, some 1,300 ethnic American Citizens and Navtie Americans have received medals. The Melton Adult Mini School has announced its expanded schedule of classes to be offered this fall. Students will have a choice of daytime or evening classes, a variety of locations, teachers representing all denomoninations and class sessions ranging from 4-30 weeks.— July, 5, 2002
THURSDAY, JULY 5, 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
Personal Driver $10/hr. If you need a driver, I am avaiable for you. I will take you to Doctor appt., grocery etc. I can stay with you as long as you need me. I can also take you or pickup someone at Cincinnati airport for $25 or Dayton airport $70. Will go both directions. Please call me a day notice or possibly the same day.
Please call Shelley Harris at 641-4123 or 315-1225.
BROTHERHOOD from page 4 Mubarak spurred privatization reforms in the 1990s that helped grow Egypt’s economy, but they did not trickle down because he also tolerated — if not encouraged -- the kleptocracy of the Egyptian elites, said David Schenker, an Egypt expert at the Washington Institute and a former Pentagon Middle East official. As a result, people have come to associate a free market economy with
• • • • •
Up to 24 hour care Meal Preparation Errands/Shopping Hygiene Assistance Light Housekeeping
(513) 531-9600 crony capitalism,” Schenker said. “There is no longer respect or fear of Egypt,” he said. “Mubarak presided over this.” Ultimately, the thieving weakened Egypt's economy and undercut its regional influence. Whereas in the 1990s Mubarak could strong-arm Arafat into peace, in the 2000s he was barely able to get the Palestinian polity, split between Hamas Islamists and Palestinian Authority moderates, to heed his pleas for a unified front.
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
AVIATOR from page 5 Paul Glenshaw, an aviation historian with the Discovery of Flight Foundation, said Welsh “was the second of only two pilots trained by Orville Wright exclusively.” Glenshaw confirmed that Welsh was the first JewishAmerican pilot. Historians further believe, but cannot confirm, that Welsh was the first Jewish aviator in history. “The Wrights were very private,” Glenshaw said this month on the 100th anniversary of Welsh’s death. “Trust was earned. They did not bring people into their inner circle very easily. By November 2011, all their pilots were gone except Welsh.” What made Welsh different was that he “didn’t make a lot of glaring headlines,” Glenshaw said. “He was a married man,” said Glenshaw, who added that most other early pilots were millionaires, stuntmen or racecar drivers. “Here’s a short, little guy, apparently kind of gruff but he just did sober, straight-ahead flying.” “It was probably through [Welsh’s] sheer determination and probably a great deal of charm that he was able to get into the Wrights’ inner circle and to become their good friend,” Glenshaw added. The cause and details of the fatal crash were not completely clear, although many observers— including journalists—were present. Welsh was apparently ejected, and crushed his skull as he crashlanded in a field of daisies. Some accounts say the wings collapsed or that the plane buckled, with one saying it fell from only 30 feet. An Army investigation concluded that Welsh was at fault, but that was disputed. Welsh and
Hazelhurst were but two of 11 killed in Wright Model C flights by 1913. Welsh’s funeral, held on June 13, 1912, was briefly postponed so that Orville Wright and his sister Katharine could come from Dayton. It was just two weeks after the funeral of their brother, Wilbur. Wright served as a pallbearer along with Lt. Arnold. Welsh was buried in the Adas Israel Cemetery in Anacostia (which is in Washington). In his autobiography, General Arnold said Welsh “taught me all he knew, or rather, he had taught me all he could teach. He knew much more.” Welsh’s widow died in 1926, and their daughter Aline moved to England and lived until her 90s. The public reception marking the 100 anniversary of Welsh’s death featured speakers, the new exhibition, and descendants of the great aviator. A commemorative sign honoring his unique place in aviation history was unveiled along with an Arthur Welsh Commemorative Medal, commissioned by the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington (JHSGW) and sculpted by former Leningrad Mint Chief Engraver Alex Shagin. JHSGW President Laura Apelbaum remarked that, “The notion of a Jewish immigrant penetrating the inner circle of the Wright Brothers seemed improbable.” Cathy Allen, former College Park Aviation Museum director, recalled how the late Adas Israel rabbi, Stanley Rabinowitz, had once insisted to her that any exhibit about Welsh should prominently say he was a Jew. Allen recalled the rabbi admonishing her by saying that, “Being Jewish is why Al Welsh is who he was”.
20 • LEGAL
Selling old school buildings subject to deed restrictions Legally Speaking
by Marianna Bettman In 2009, the Cincinnati School Board sold nine old unused school buildings at public auction. Under the law at the time, if old schools were still suitable as classroom space, school boards were required to offer them first to charter schools. (officially, these schools are community schools, but almost everyone calls them charter schools, and so shall I ). If not, that step could be skipped and the old buildings would be sold at public auction. In this case the Board decided none of the nine was still suitable as classroom space, so all were put up for sale at auction. The purchase and sale agreements for all the old schools contained deed restrictions that the properties were not to be used for school purposes. Dr. Roger Conners and his mother Deborah Conners bought the old Roosevelt school in South Fairmount at auction for $30,000. They were the only bidders on that SPITZER from page 6 As the decades have passed, Spitzer, a television journalist who at 66 still aggressively covers Israel for Dutch and Belgian television and radio, has continued her campaign for a minute of silence. Spitzer has attended each Olympic Games since, with the exception of Moscow in 1980, in which Israel did not participate, and Los Angeles in 1984. She has continued to pursue a memorial, despite knowing it is a long shot. Her perseverance and diligence come as no surprise to those who have watched her lobby Israel’s politicians, and confront national and international Olympic officials over the years. “She doesn’t give up, but there is no chance,” said Uri Afek, a three-time Israeli Olympic delegation head and past director-general BRIEFS from page 7 substances, common or garden, that can be purchased in supermarkets, equipment and information that would help them to make explosives, and began the process of assembling an improvised explosive device. In addition, the couple took “multiple reconnaissance” trips to
property. The Purchase and Sale Agreement contained the deed restriction. Initially, the Conners weren’t sure what they planned to do with the building, but later they decided to open their own charter school there, and so advised the School Board. The School Board went to court to get a determination that the restriction in the deed was valid and binding, and to stop the Conners from opening a charter school on the property. The trial court found the deed restriction void as against public policy. The First District Court of Appeals agreed that a deed restriction that sought to prevent the use of the property for educational purposes was against the public policy of Ohio. The Ohio Supreme Court accepted review of the case. The School Board argued that by law, boards of education can enter into contracts for the benefit of school districts, and there is absolutely no prohibition on deed restrictions. Courts should be very wary about voiding contract terms, since the freedom to contract is basic, and well-recognized. The restriction in this deed was valid, and the courts should not step in and invalidate it on public policy grounds. Ohio’s public policy regarding charter schools is mixed, at best. The Conners argued that Ohio public policy clearly favors school choice. The deed restriction in this sale violated Ohio public policy favoring conveying old school
buildings to charter schools (and other public schools) to effectuate school choice in failing districts. Public policy trumps the deed restriction, and vitiates any intent the Conners had to ignore it. The conveyance itself was valid; only the restriction should be stricken under the contract’s severability clause. The Conners also disagreed with the School Board’s unilateral determination that the building wasn’t suitable as classroom space, but that is not an issue in this case. (the law was changed in 2011 to eliminate the “suitable for use as classroom space” requirement, but the first offer requirement remains). In a 7-0 decision authored by Justice Judy Lanzinger, the Supreme Court held that the deed restriction violated Ohio public policy. Justice Paul Pfeifer agreed with that, but dissented from a small part of the holding. The Court went through a number of basics before reaching its conclusion. Boards of education are political subdivisions, and are creatures of statute with powers limited to those expressly granted by statute or clearly implied from them. They do have the right to enter into contracts. The high court agreed that the freedom to contract is highly important and favored in law. Justice Lanzinger quoted this from past precedent: “The right to contract freely with the expectation that the contract shall endure according to its terms is as fundamental to our society as the right to write and to
speak without restraint. ” But the Ohio high court also noted that the freedom to contract is not absolute, but is “always subservient to the public welfare.” A narrow public policy exception to the freedom of contract has long been recognized in the law. Carefully acknowledging the separation of powers between the judiciary and the legislative branch, Justice Lanzinger noted that the question of when the public policy exception applies belongs to the courts, but the final arbiter of public policy is the General Assembly. In this case involving a contract between a private party and a political subdivision, the Court found a compelling reason to apply the public policy exception. While school boards have the power to contract, they must always do so with the public interest in mind. And the Court underscored the fact that by definition, charter schools are public schools. In applying the public policy exception in this case, the Court found that the legislature has clearly signaled both past and ongoing policy preferences for helping charter schools. The Court cited a number of statutes the legislature had passed as evidence of strong legislative support for charter schools, including the 1997 Community Schools Act and two 2001 statutes enacted to help charter schools acquire buildings at a lower cost, and to supply funds to charter schools to assist them with improving them
The opinion also expressed concerns that the deed restriction seemed designed to stifle competition, contrary to the legislative preference for school choice. So, the Court held that “the inclusion of a deed restriction preventing the use of property for school purposes in the contract for sale of an unused school building is unenforceable as against public policy.” Justice Pfeifer’s only point of disagreement was that he thought the ruling should only apply prospectively. It struck him as unfair that the Conners got the property at a reduced price because of the deed restriction, but are now getting a windfall, while the school board is not receiving full value for the building. For things to be fair in this case, he thinks the Conners should have to pay the school board the difference between the purchase price and the fair market value of the property without the deed restriction. But no one joined him in this position. There is something of an ironic twist to this case. According to local newspaper reports, on May 2, Dr. Conners was fired as superintendent of Roosevelt and another charter school he had founded. Financial irregularities were alleged. Things could get dicey, since Conners still owns the Roosevelt school building.
of the Israel Olympic Committee. Time, he says, is pressing on those who want to see the IOC remember the murdered athletes now. “The families are not so young,” Afek, 80, said of the Munich 11 relatives. “They are looking at it like it’s the last chance.” In May, IOC President Jacques Rogge turned down an official request for a commemoration from Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon. While Israel has never actively trumpeted the cause in the past, Ayalon’s interest fronts a large groundswell of worldwide political support. On Monday, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution pushing for a minute of silence. A similar resolution passed in the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee and in the N.Y. State Assembly. Canadian, Australian and British lawmakers have taken up
the cause, with similar support. Germany's foreign minister sent a letter to Rogge, and Ayalon is looking to introduce a measure in the Knesset. The online petition at Change.org, initiated by the JCC Rockland in suburban New York, spurred much of the interest, according to Spitzer. The JCC took up the cause two years ago, making remembrance of the 11 athletes a centerpiece of the JCC Maccabi Games it is hosting in August and dedicating to the Munich 11. CEO David Kirschtel contacted Spitzer at the time, hoping she would approve of the project and attend one of the 11 memorial events leading up to the Maccabi Games. “You could tell in talking to her that this was a driven woman, a woman who cared deeply about the importance of remembering,” Kirschtel said. “She had nothing
but consideration for the athletes, the husbands, the family members.” Spitzer is not the only person to attribute the extraordinary attention this Olympic cycle to the petition. Ben Berger, whose Cleveland-born son, David, a weightlifter, was the only American among the murdered athletes, says the petition has really made a difference this year. “We’ve had anniversaries ever since 1972, but it’s pretty hard to ignore a petition that has 70,000 signatures,” said Berger, who has lobbied on his own since 1972 for a “moment of silence for peace among nations.” Thousands of signatures notwithstanding, he doesn’t see the IOC changing its tune anytime soon. Spitzer doesn’t see her quest as quixotic or obsessed. She likes to note that in addition to having a demanding career, she has raised
four children, as evidence that she has other interests and pursuits. Nonetheless, she has been living most of her life with the weight of what happened in Munich upon her. She had to pause to think how those events had changed her. “I don’t know how I would have been different,” she said. “It does teach you a few things. It teaches you how important it is when you have found the love of your life, that it exists. I did that with Andrei.” The memory of that love spurs her forward and she vows today, just as she did in 1972, to continue. She believes that one day the IOC will cave in, if not to her, to her children or their children. “I think one day it is going to happen, but maybe I’m a totally unrealistic person,” she said. “If they had done it already, I’d be gone.”
Jewish neighborhoods, according to the Guardian. British citizens Mohammed Sajid Khan, 33, and his wife, Shasta, 38, allegedly were inspired by al-Qaida propaganda on the Internet, the court was told, the newspaper reported. The couple’s alleged intentions were discovered when a police officer was called to their home
during a domestic dispute. “She took it as an opportunity to spill the beans about the activities Sajid Khan had been undertaking,” Cheema reportedly said.
in its reporting of the massacre of the Fogel family by Palestinians in the West Bank village of Itamar, the broadcaster's outgoing director-general said at a parliamentary committee hearing. Mark Thompson of the BBC made the admission June 19 while being quizzed by Conservative member of Parliament Louise Mensch, according to the London
Jewish Chronicle. Mensch complained about the light coverage of the killings on BBC radio and television programs. Thompson, according to the Jewish Chronicle, responded that the story occurred during a “very busy news period,” including the fighting in Libya and the tsunami in Japan, and that “news editors were under a lot of pressure.”
BBC official admits the network ‘got it wrong’ on Fogel murders (JTA)—The British Broadcasting Corp. “got it wrong”
Marianna Bettman is a professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Law.
FIRST PERSON • 21
THURSDAY, JULY 5, 2012
Memories of a loved one This Year in Jerusalem
by Phyllis Singer This year in Jerusalem is sad for the Singer family. As you probably know from reading the obituary in the June 21st Israelite, Allen passed away June 8. Although we made aliyah almost 13 years ago (Aug. 26, 1999), we still have family and friends in Cincinnati. I’d like to share some reminiscences about Allen with all of you. Better than my words, I’d like to share some thoughts that our children conveyed in eulogies at the funeral on June 10. From Hanan: “Fifty-three years ago this Shabbat, Parshat Bahalotcha, my father marked his aufruf before his wedding to my mom; 53 years ago on the Sunday evening after Shabbat Bahalotcha, my father and mother wed in Cincinnati. Today, 53 years later almost to the day, we lay my father SOLUTION from page 8 Lawyers promoting the new Holocaust insurance bill in Congress most probably have already collected names of potential plaintiffs and plan to bring suit on their collective behalf in the hope of being awarded hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, in yet another settlement. The proposed bill also risks raising unrealistic expectations. After ICHEIC was formally dissolved in March 2007, the German insurance companies agreed to continue processing Holocaust-era PATRIOTS from page 9 Fuerst, an attorney who has chaired the Jewish Association of the State of Lower Saxony since 1980, said his grandfathers and uncles served in World War I, “but nobody was protected by that.” Some of his relatives fled Nazi Germany to the United States, but his paternal grandfather died in the Riga ghetto. His mother survived Theresienstadt. “I am a German patriot, but you know, I know exactly what happened here,” Fuerst said. “That is the difference between the normal patriot and the Jewish patriot.” Fuerst was born in 1947 in Hanover, his father’s hometown. In 1966 he signed up to become a
to rest in the ground of Eretz Yisrael and Yerushalayim that he loved so much. “If I had to point to one trait that characterized my father, it would be his warm and nice personality. But ‘Nice Guy Al’ was more than a pleasant person to be around. He was a true mensch, a role model of patience and loving kindness who never seemed to find it difficult to do the things that endeared him so much to others. He could talk to and find interest in anyone — and everyone liked him immensely. “In his own way, my dad was a fighter, even though I always thought of him as a very easygoing, even laissez faire kind of guy. He clung to life, through each medical setback… I think that as much as anything, his constant positive outlook held him up through many hardships. In Pirkei Avot, we learn ‘Eizeh hu ashir hasameach bechelko.’ ‘Who is a wealthy man? He who is happy with his lot.’ By conventional standards, my parents were never rich. But based on this saying of Ben Zoma, my father may have been the wealthiest man alive. He was a perennial, incorrigible optimist. His default was always seeing the good in people, and in situations. Even in the last days of his life, my dad seemed to express his consideration of others… When he
started to pass on erev Shabbat, we couldn't decide what to do. Would we stay in the hospital? What if he died right before Shabbat? Or right after Shabbat started? In the end, my Dad finished his life the way he lived it, gently, without too much drama, and with consideration of others, allowing my family and mother to be together in his home for Shabbat.” From Joe: “When my parents made Aliyah together, they achieved a lifelong dream. Being in Jerusalem, with their new friends, going to ulpan or a shiur made my dad happy. But my father always told me, now having the opportunity to spend a Shabbat or chag on Kibbutz Merav [with Hanan and Judy and their family] was one of the greatest things in his life. “During these last few years that my father struggled with cancer he always kept a positive attitude. At every decision point he strived for life. Some of the doctors referred to him as a walking miracle. Unfortunately, the struggle became too difficult during these last few weeks to overcome. My father certainly was a light unto others as every day he lived his life as a commitment to his family and the Jewish people.” From Roz: “My Dad was an incredibly nice guy who always had a smile on his face. He said
hello to people on the street. He always had time for you. He allowed my older brothers to turn our back yard into the neighborhood playground and then tolerated when Sid turned our front yard into the local baseball diamond (although he wasn’t so happy about what happened to the grass). He made great hot chocolate. In the winter, after we would play in the snow for hours, he would warm up our slippers in front of the heater, so that our feet would be toasty warm. He was joyful and had an infectious belly laugh that made you laugh as well. He was a wonderful man, a great father and a role model for me. I shall miss you forever.” From Sid: “Perhaps my Dad is best known, however, for his amazingly positive attitude and outlook on life… I never saw him complain about getting sick. If he was afraid, I never heard it. The best time for us to do a Skype call with the kids is on Sundays around noon or 1 p.m., about 8 or 9 Israel time; often he had just come home from a long day in the hospital for treatments. No matter how tired he was, he always had energy for a call with the kids. He loved to talk with them and see their drawings they would hold up to the screen for him. Even with his physical limitations, he tried what he could. Our kids, like my nephew and
nieces, know their grandfather loved all of them very much. “I want to close with a story that some of you may have already seen me post online. In what would turn out to be my final two-way conversation with Dad, a little more than two weeks ago, I asked him how he was feeling. Despite being in a lot of pain, immobilized from his hip which had come loose, being somewhat incoherent, and not being able to speak much — not to mention still in the midst of chemo for his colorectal cancer — he spoke the words I had heard him say so many times before, and which would be the final words I would ever hear him say: ‘I feel great!’ That was the essence of my Dad. “Thank you for being a wonderful Dad and role model, Pop. We love you and will always miss you.” In May, I wrote about the cycle of joy and sadness in the Hebrew yearly calendar. For the Singer family, the Hebrew month of Sivan represents joy and sadness. Our granddaughter Sivan was born on the 18th of Sivan, and Allen died on the 18th of Sivan, which will be his yahrzeit. And so on a personal level we will always experience the cycle of joy and sadness – times of the highs and lows of the Jewish experience, the time of birth and the time of death.
claims under ICHEIC’s relaxed standards. Yet the German Insurance Association reports only 219 inquiries regarding such claims in the past five years. That’s led to the identification of only 102 policies, 60 of which had previously been disposed of. It seems doubtful that thousands or even hundreds of additional policies will now be suddenly discovered. Hence my suggestion that the relevant insurance companies be asked to agree to an independent monitor, a person who would determine whether all potentially valid but as yet unre-
solved Holocaust-era claims are being honestly processed under the relaxed ICHEIC standards. The monitor, who should have the confidence of Congress and the survivor community, should be authorized to examine claims that ICHEIC supposedly disposed of in violation of its own rules. The monitor should report to Congress periodically on the status of all open or disputed claims. If the insurance companies reject such a compromise, or if the monitor were to find one or more of these companies to be recalcitrant, congressional action could then
loom as a final remedy. There is precedent for such oversight. Ambassador J.D. Bindenagel, the U.S. State Department’s special envoy for Holocaust issues in the Clinton and Bush administrations, recently pointed out to the Senate Judiciary Committee that the New York Holocaust Claims Processing Office is mandated to report on the insurance companies’ processing of survivor claims and has done so. To date, it appears that all such claims have been handled appropriately. We need a new path. Our col-
lective challenge must be to at least try to provide, in the words of Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), an actual and viable “approximation of justice” for Holocaust survivors and their families. This proposal may be able to accomplish just that. (Menachem Z. Rosensaft, general counsel of the World Jewish Congress and vice president of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants, teaches about the law of genocide and World War II war crimes trials at the law schools of Columbia, Cornell and Syracuse universities.)
paratrooper -- the only one of his Jewish friends to join the Bundeswehr. “I always heard from my other friends that I am German, so there were no discussions in my family about whether I would go to the army or not,” he said. During the 1967 Six-Day War, he considered fighting for Israel. “For me it was not so easy. I thought, ‘How can I get to Israel?’ But after five days I did not have to think about it anymore,” Fuerst said. “I have no dual loyalty,” he adds. “I have loyalty only for Germany and for my Jewishness.” Still, his fellow soldiers sometimes admired him simply because they looked up to Israeli para-
troopers, Fuerst says with a laugh. Fuerst says he rarely experienced anti-Semitism, either before or during his service. But he balked during an early military apprenticeship when a captain told the trainees, “Don’t be so loud: You’re not in the Jew school.” Fuerst asked to be transferred to another course. The captain responded, "It is good that you request this because I have to tell you, I am an anti-Semite … All the problems we have in Germany were brought to us by the Jews.” The captain was dismissed from his post the next day. Romer-Hillebrecht, 46, whose mother was Jewish, joined in part “to heal my own family history.” His Jewish ancestors “lost their
whole identity, their belief in the German state.” While serving recently in Afghanistan, he either received kosher rations from the American forces or ordered frozen meals from a glatt kosher caterer back in Frankfurt. “Sometimes the others were jealous,” joked RomerHillebrecht, deputy chair of the Association of Jewish Soldiers, a 6-year-old group with about 25 members and functions like a “virtual memorial” to the history of Jewish soldiers. One member, Rainer (Reuven) Hoffmann, 64, has contributed articles in two books the group has published. Probably the main reason his
Jewish mother survived the war, Hoffmann says, is because she married a non-Jew — Hoffmann’s father — in 1933.The rest of her family was scattered throughout Europe. A brother died in Auschwitz; two other siblings survived. “But my mother did not speak about this time,” he said. During the height of the Cold War, Hoffmann’s sense of patriotism surged. “We had the Soviet army at the border,” he said. “I felt we needed to defend our country and our political system.” Like Fuerst, he considered fighting for Israel in June 1967. “I thought perhaps I am serving in the wrong army. But it was over too fast.”
22 • OBITUARIES D EATH N OTICES FOHLEN, Eugene, age 91, died on, June 26, 2012; 6 Tammuz, 5772 HATFIELD, Jacob Ryan, age 20, died on June 30, 201; 10 Tammuz 5772 SCHREIBER, Sylvia, age 91, died on, July 1, 2012; 11 Tammus 5772
O BITUARIES SCHREIBER, Sylvia Z. Sylvia Z. Schreiber age 91, died July 1, 2012. Sylvia was born July 10, 1920 in Dayton, Ohio. Her family moved to Cincinnati when she was five and grew up here. Sylvia graduated in 1941 from the University of Cincinnati College Of Engineering with a B.S. in business. She began working for the State of Ohio helping to staff factories and businesses that were gearing up for WWII. Her supervisor at the employment bureau vetoed her application to enlist in the WAC because of the outstanding job she was doing at the bureau. Twenty-five years after receiving her B.S., Sylvia received a Masters in Education from Miami University. She spent twenty years teaching middle and high school in Cincinnati.Sylvia was predeceased by her husband Ben Schreiber, her mother Esther Groban Zukerman Litwack, and her devoted sister Betty Zukerman Schear.She is survived by her dear sister, Leba Rae Litwack, and children, Edward (Betsy) of Houston, Beverly (John) Jacoby of New York City, and Steven (Jill) Schreiber of Cincinnati, along with 9 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.A private family graveside service will be held Thursday, July 5 at Adath Israel Cemetery. Memorial contributions to Hospice of Cincinnati would be appreciated. Weilfuneralhome.com
SINGER from page 9 speech and charity as a means of combating global poverty. On the ethics of Israel’s establishment, he told JTA, “Clearly there were moral flaws in the setting up of the State of Israel without proper consultation and participation by Palestinians. But that was a long time ago now, and I think that instead of looking backwards, we should try to work out the best solution for all those living in Israel and the occupied territories.” In 2010 he signed a petition renouncing his “right of return” to Israel because it is “a form of racist privilege that abets the colonial oppression of the Palestinians.” The petition, issued by the farleft Independent Australian Jewish Voices, an offshoot of a British group, said that “It is not right that we may ‘return’ to a state that is not ours while Palestinians are excluded and continuously dispossessed.” Singer says he does not subscribe entirely to the views of the dissenting Jewish group, which has been marginalized by the Australian Jewish establishment. “I take my own stance on what I judge to be right," he said. "I have sometimes declined to sign statements from IAJV, for example, because I thought they were too one-sided, and while rightly criticizing actions taken by the Israeli government, did not also criticize actions taken by Hamas.” Singer has been opposing ritual slaughter, or shechitah, since the 1970s, when he wrote “Animal Liberation,” which catapulted the issue of animal rights from the sideOLYMPICS from page 10 Palestinian national consciousness,” Sanders told JNS.org. “What the book does is it situates the murder of the 11 athletes not only in those contexts but within the context of the Cold War and how the Cold War affected and was affected by Olympic politics.” Sanders said the Munich Olympics grew in part out of an effort to have an Olympic Games in East and West Berlin at the same time. “The Olympics had this vision
lines to the headlines and prompted some to describe Singer as the “founding father” of the animal liberation movement. “Even when shechitah is at its best, it is still less humane than modern slaughter properly done,” said Singer, who has been a vegetarian since 1971. "No one has a right to inflict needless suffering on another sentient being. And this is needless because no one with access to a wide range of food needs to eat meat.” Rabbi Moshe Gutnick of the Kashrut Authority of Australia and New Zealand disagrees about the suffering to animals. “Judaism forbids causing animals any unnecessary suffering,” he said. Gutnick adds that experts in animal welfare, such as Colorado State University professor Temple Grandin, "have stated that shechitah, when properly performed, is as humane a method as any other due to the sharpness of the knife and the rapid loss of consciousness due to loss of blood supply to the brain.” Singer, who promotes the freedom of speech, also has defended proponents of Holocaust revisionism such as David Irving’s “absurd” opinions. “If there are still people crazy enough to deny that the Holocaust occurred, will they be persuaded by imprisoning people who express that view?” he asked in 2006 when Irving was jailed in Austria for Holocaust denial. “On the contrary, they will be more likely to think that people are being imprisoned for expressing views that cannot be refuted by evidence and argument alone.”
Critics have compared some of Singer’s theories to Nazi ideology. The American anti-euthanasia advocate Wesley J. Smith labeled Singer’s 1995 book “Rethinking Life and Death” as “the 'Mein Kampf' of the euthanasia movement.” Singer, hailed by Time and The New Yorker magazines as among the world's most influential people alive, favors legal reforms that would allow people to end their lives if they are terminally ill. He also argues that the life of a baby who is seriously disabled should be actively -- and humanely -- terminated if the baby’s parents and the doctor make that decision. He opposes simply withholding or withdrawing life support, which he says can lead to a slow and inhumane death. “Killing a defective infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person,” he wrote, explaining that by “person” he means an individual who can anticipate the future. “Sometimes it is not wrong at all.” Such thinking provokes a firestorm of protest from disability rights activists, among them Diane Coleman, the founder of Not Dead Yet, a U.S.-based disability group that opposes euthanasia. Coleman has called Singer “a public advocate of genocide and the most dangerous man on earth.” Singer says of critics who use the Nazi label about him, “It’s absurd and it makes me sad,” adding that it “devalues the atrocities that the Nazis committed.” His latest crusade is global poverty, which he argues is morally indefensible and can be substantial-
ly alleviated, if not entirely eradicated, by charity, or tzedakah. In his 2009 book “The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty,” he proposes a sliding scale commensurate with income. But rather than the biblical tithe of 10 percent, he wrote that most people in the developed world should donate 5 percent and the affluent should give much larger amounts. He says he donates about 25 percent of his income to nongovernmental organizations, mostly those “helping the poor to live a better life.” Although his family has a Passover seder -- “with a beet root instead of a lamb shank” -- and he celebrates Purim with his grandchildren, and Rosh Hashanah, Singer says Jewish traditions “did not play much of a role in my life.” He concedes, though, that his family history did play a part in the development of his theories. “As three of my grandparents died in the Holocaust, and the fourth was fortunate to survive in Theresienstadt, that was very much present in my life,” he said. “I am sure that it had some impact on my thought -- on my abhorrence of cruelty, of the naked use of power over the defenseless and, of course, of racism.” His parents, he says, gave him the choice of whether to have a bar mitzvah celebration. He declined. “I never believed in a god,” he said. “There may have been times when I wondered if there might be a god, but it always seemed to me wildly implausible that a god worth worshiping could allow the Holocaust to occur.”
of themselves as being a bridge and something that superseded politics.” Large was in Munich in 1972 while researching his previous book, “Nazi Games: The Olympics of 1936.” He did not attend the Olympics but said the tragedy personally affected him. Security plays a major role in Large’s new book. Large told JNS.org that security has improved significantly at the Olympics since 1972, mainly because enormous amounts of money and effort have been spent on the games. “Along with construction, security has become the preeminent budget item,” he said. “Huge efforts go in to try to protect the games. For the most part those efforts have been successful. There was the bombing in Atlanta in 1996 that resulted in some fatalities, but nothing on the scale of Munich since 1972. We know that for London, they are spending a billion dollars on security alone.” The conventional wisdom surrounding the Munich tragedy is that the Germans were woefully unprepared. This is only partially true, according to the Sanders. “Germany did change and they wanted to project this demilitarized image of themselves,” Sanders told JNS.org. “They didn’t want to have
armed guards. At the same time, they were prepared. It was a tumultuous moment in world history. The Vietnam War was raging and politics had intruded on the 1968 Olympics with the famous black power salute. What the West Germans seemed more worried about was black militants and not Middle Eastern ones. They were prepared, but for the wrong kind of threat.” Large said the Black September commandos in Munich “wanted to take the Israelis hostages so they could exchange them for Arab prisoners.” They were “willing to kill and ended up doing so, but that resulted from their plan running amuck,” he said. “There was poor preparation on both sides,” Large explained. “The leaders did not tell the foot soldiers until the last minute what was going on. There was no coherent plan to take the hostages.” Shortly after the crisis began, the Palestinians demanded the release of 234 prisoners held in Israeli jails. By the end of the ordeals, the kidnappers had killed 11 Israeli athletes and coaches and a West German police officer. Five of the eight members of Black September were killed by police officers during a failed rescue attempt. In “Operation Wrath of
God,” Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir ordered the Mossad to assassinate the three surviving members— who were captured but later released by West Germany after Black September hijacked a Lufthansa plane—and others involved in the Munich massacre. The Mossad assassinated leading Black September figure Ali Hassan Salameh in 1979. Due to lack of preparation, Large said, the Bavarian police botched the rescue attempt in 1972. Today, things are different. “They had no training or counter-terrorism force, and they didn’t work well together or share information properly,” he said. “We have those things now, and London has them.” One of the issues still debated is whether Israel offered to help the Bavarian police. “The Israelis say they offered to send their [counter-terrorism] force right away and the Bavarians said ‘No we can’t have that,’” Large said. “I think the Israeli claim is true and the Bavarians declined it because it would have been embarrassing for them to have to turn matters over to the Israelis. The Bavarians didn’t have a counter-terrorism force at that time and the Israelis had the best force in the world.”