THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012 5 ELUL, 5772
Rockwern Academy Celebrates Israel’s 64th Birthday p.12
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VOL. 159 • NO. 5
The American Israelite T H E
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Former president of Israel applauds Cincinnati’s Jewish community
Access’ Tuscan Summer Shabbat brings a taste of...
Father of comic book dynasty, Joe Kubert dies at 85
Hillel’s new plan: Programming for and by students not...
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Adath Israel Congregation builds community with Mitzvah Day More than 15 organizations will get a helping hand from Adath Israel’s upcoming Mitzvah Day. Volunteers can fight hunger, pack school supplies for needy children, or choose a project closer to their hearts on Aug. 26, from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The event is open to the community. “Mitzvah Day shows the community who we are and what we believe in,” said Adath Israel Congregation’s Rabbi Irwin Wise. “It’s a call to action before the New Year and a unique way for Cincinnati’s Jewish community to reach out to its neighbors in need. It’s an experience where you truly do give a little and get a great deal in return.” For the first time, the event includes a drive to collect iPods and MP3 players for the Lone Soldier Center. The electronics will be given to soldiers serving in the Israeli Defense Forces who don’t have family in Israel. This year, soldiers from six Adath Israel families will serve far from the comforts of home. The Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation also is celebrating its first appearance at Mitzvah Day. The registry offers hope to 30,000 patients suffering from leukemia and other blood related diseases by matching them with potential donors. Cincinnati’s furriest residents will be on-site—puppies, kittens, dogs and cats all seeking loving families through the SPCA. Other organizations benefiting from the program include: Over the Rhine Drop Inn Center, AIDS patients, Interfaith Hospitality Network, Jewish Hospital, Vitas Hospice, Cedar Village, Dragonfly Foundation, Linus Project, Tender Mercies, Ronald McDonald House Charities, and the Council on Child Abuse. Mitzvah Day is organized by the Adath Israel Social Action Committee sponsored by the Kreines Family Endowment Fund. Volunteers can register to participate in specific projects by visiting
Mitzvah Day volunteers gather to help out.
their website or calling the synagogue. Drop-ins are welcome. Those planning to join in the “after-event cookout” are asked to RSVP ahead of time.
Located in Amberly Village, Adath Israel Congregation is a Conservative Jewish community, that supports congregants during
significant life events, and in their journeys to become more involved, knowledgeable and spiritually fulfilled Jews.
The Sam and Rachel Boymel Museum and Center for Research and Holocaust Studies
Sam and Rachel Boymel’s extraordinary gift enabling the Trisk Exhibition at Moreshet and the perpetuation of the memory of the Holocaust
n August of this year, we shall be marking the 70th anniversary of the brutal mass murder of the Jews of the village of Turzysk, located in the Wolyn region (formerly part of Poland) and also known, in Yiddish, as Trisk. Sam Boymel was the only survivor of what was termed by the Nazis an aktion – in actuality, a massacre in which the remainder of his family perished. Hiding among the sheaves of wheat, he managed to escape at night to the forest, where he found a pit in which he could continue hiding for a few days, until hunger forced him to leave and seek out the nearest village. There he was given shelter by a Ukrainian gentleman for a number of months, until the neighbors attempted to betray him to the authorities. His savior, Pyotr (“Petro”) Tokarsky, introduced him to a unit of partisans, and Sam (or Shloymel, as he was then known) fought alongside these forces until the victorious conclusion of the war. Turzysk/Trisk was first established by Jewish merchants and tradesmen in 1193. It grew over time, eventually developing into an important regional trade center. The village was renowned as the home of the famed Twersky dynasty of Hasidic rabbis, originally from Chernobyl, beginning with the Maggid, Rabbi Avrehmeleh Twersky, who chose to make it his place of residence. Eventually, modern schools were established. The Hovevei Zion movement – a precursor to the Zionist movement – took root there, soon to give way to Zionist and other youth movements. With the German occupation during WWII, a ghetto was established for the local Jews, and the slow but steady extermination of the Jewish population
began. This culminated at the end of August 1942, when the Jews of the village were forced to march toward an abandoned brick factory, where, over the course of an entire day, some 5,000 of them were shot to death. Immediately after the war, Shloymel left the partisans and met Rachel, a Holocaust survivor like himself. They got married and moved to Germany and from there to the United States. Shloymel never forgot his mother’s solemn last request – that he perpetuate the memory of all that happened. As the years went by, he prospered, becoming a prominent philanthropist, donating to social causes and generously assisting Holocaust survivors. Among other projects, he contributed a big donation toward the erection of a respectable monument and fencing at the site of the massacre of the Jews of Trisk. When it was first suggested that a site dedicated to the memory of the Jews of Trisk be established in Israel, Sam and Rachel Boymel gave their enthusiastic support to the founding of a Trisk wing at the Mordechai Anielevich Memorial Museum at Moreshet. Thanks to their generous support, the Trisk exhibition is now a central site to all Trisk survivors, descendants and for youths and adults from Israel and abroad. Moreshet and the former Trisk citizens extend their deepest gratitude to Sam and Rachel Boymel for their donation and contribution for such an important cause. Sam and Rachel Boymel will continue assisting Moreshet in the activities concerning the museum.
Sam Boymel (R) and BenZion Weiner at the Trisk Exhibition
LOCAL • 3
THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
Former president of Israel applauds Cincinnati’s Jewish community Yitzhak Navon, the fifth president of Israel and honorary president of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, recently sent a letter addressed to the people of the Cincinnati Jewish community, expressing thanks for the support and hospitality for the Academy’s Ankor Choir. The choir visited Cincinnati in July as part of the 2012 World Choir Games. President Navon wrote, “Thank you for taking such good care of the young singers, for opening your homes and your hearts and for giving up time and effort to make this trip a successful one.” He continued, “The choir had a most wonderful experience, both professionally and personally, mainly due to the very warm and loving welcome by your community.” He thanked specifically the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati; The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati; individuals, Susan Brenner and Steven Mombach and April and Harry Davidow; and Community Shaliach Yair Cohen. President Navon’s letter was one of three received by the Jewish Federation in praise of the local Jewish community. Current president of the Academy, Ilan Schul wrote, “The choir came back singing your praises, talking about the great experience and joy they had in meeting the Jewish community and learning about all the wonderful things you do for Israel.” Dafna Ben Yohanan, the choir’s conductor, also sent her thanks and passed along those of the choir members. She wrote, “I don’t know how to put into words the emotional experience we all had. I don’t know how to begin to tell you what an experience this was, and I can’t begin to
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A letter to Cincinnati from Yitzhak Navon, the fifth president of Israel.
describe to you how touched, excited, moved, overjoyed and loved we all felt…We are a very lucky group. Many of the girls came back saying they felt so privileged to have taken part in such an experience and it was all made possible through you.” The word of the Ankor Choir’s visit to Cincinnati and their participation in the World Choir Games even reached Zubin Mehta, music
director of the world-renowned Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, who wrote to offer his congratulations on their gold medal. We at the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati extend our gratitude as well. We are proud to have been a part of the choir’s visit to Cincinnati and the lasting connections it has formed between our community and Israel.
Temple Sholom starts new lifelong learning program From the outside looking in, Temple Sholom has a Sunday morning religious school for kids and adults, and Wednesday afternoon Hebrew classes for kids and adults. Opening days are September 9 and 12. From the inside looking out, Temple Sholom begins an exciting new chapter in its Jewish education history after a two-year planning process consistent with its tradition of innovative Jewish learning. Led by Director of Lifelong Learning Chris Kraus and 20 Jewish education faculty members comprised of staff, volunteers and teen teaching guides (madrichim), Temple Sholom will live out the ancient biblical command, V’Shinantam L’Vanecha, “And you
shall teach your sons and daughters with diligence,” (Deut. 6:7). Temple Sholom’s Jewish educational vision is based on three principles of lifelong learning. The first principle — Learning by Doing (Na-ahseh V’Nishmah), through action that engages the learner with a living world around him or her, and actions that bring a measure of justice to the world. The second principle — Learning from each other across generations (L’Dor V’a Dor), because it’s through relationships that meaningful change and spiritual growth occurs. The third principle — Critical Thinking from diverse voices and experiences. Each year, Temple Sholom’s lifelong learning program will
have an instructional theme. The theme for 5773 is Yom Tov — “Marking Jewish Time in Sacred Ways: Honoring Tradition and Innovation.” Lesson plans, courses, programs, social action and worship are designed so that learners will think about time in Jewish ways, practice traditional Jewish holiday celebrations in class and at home, narrate meaning and origins of Jewish Holidays, experiment with new ways to celebrate Jewish Holidays, and feel empowered to make a moment in time sacred. In other words, the curriculum and instructors will be teaching each other how to make a day a GOOD DAY, a Yom Tov, a Holy Day. SHOLOM on page 19
4 • LOCAL
Transformative interfaith exhibit returns to Cinti “How fitting it is that two leading organizations in interfaith relations collaborate on the return of this important exhibit to Cincinnati.”
The American Israelite “LET THERE BE LIGHT” THE OLDEST ENGLISH-JEWISH WEEKLY IN AMERICA - EST. JULY 15, 1854
VOL. 159 • NO. 5
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 Assistant Editor 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
the son of the president of Wadowice’s Jewish community. Scholars believe these early experiences instilled in him openness to Jews and a profound respect for their faith. As pope, he broke the chains of 2,000 years of painful history between Catholic and Jews. He became the first pope to enter a synagogue; the first to officially visit and recognize the State of Israel; and the first to formally engage in an act of repentance for the Catholic Church’s past treatment of Jews. The 2005 exhibit opening also gave concrete witness to the 40th anniversary of Nostra Aetate, a declaration of the common spiritual heritage shared by Christians and Jews and denunciation of all displays of antiSemitism. The exhibit’s video interviews with Kluger were conducted by Ingber. These interviews are the most extensive ever given by Pope John Paul II’s closest Jewish friend. “As both Karol Wotyla and Jerzy Kluger have died since the exhibit’s opening, it is up to us to see that their message lives after them. ‘A Blessing to One Another’ inspires visitors to commit—or recommit—themselves to ideals of mutual understanding and fellowship,” said Ingber. The return of “A Blessing to One Another” to Cincinnati is a collaborative effort of Xavier University, Hebrew Union CollegeJewish Institute of Religion, The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati, The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education, The Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the Skirball Museum. “A Blessing to One Other: Pope John Paul II & The Jewish People” will be at the Skirball Museum on the campus of Hebrew Union Campus-Jewish Institute of Religion, from Sept. 10 through Dec. 31. Admission is free. The museum will be open to the public Monday, Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. (The museum will be closed on Saturdays.) Tours for schools, synagogues, churches and other groups will be available Monday through Friday, 9 to noon.
ewish N h-J ew lis
the advancement of understanding between Catholics and Jews. As Hebrew Union College serves as a cultural resource for greater dialogue and understanding between all members of our community, this exhibition fits perfectly with our mission.” The 2,200 square-foot exhibit takes its name from the pope’s 1993 letter commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising: “As Christians and Jews, following the example of the faith of Abraham, we are called to be a blessing to the world. This is the common task awaiting us. It is therefore necessary for us, Christians and Jews, to be first a blessing to one another.” Dr. James Buchanan, Rabbi Abie Ingber and Dr. William Madges were the three principals in the creation of the exhibit. “There is particular importance to the message of the exhibit for both the Jewish and Catholic communities now,” says Buchanan, “for among other reasons, because the current pope, Benedict XVI, will be the last pope who has direct memory and experience of the Holocaust. The question is whether the next Pope will give the same importance to relations between the Church and the Jewish people that John Paul II did. Therefore, it is critical that we get the Jewish-Christian relationship on firm foundations now.” Visitors will experience a multimedia walk through the 20th century through the eyes and experiences of Pope John Paul II from his childhood in Wadowice, Poland, his experience of the World War II and the Holocaust, and his years as a young priest in Krakow and his Papacy. At the end of the exhibit there is a replica of a part of the Western Wall where visitors are invited to insert their own prayer on the back of a replica of the prayer that Pope John Paul II inserted in the Wall during his historic trip to Israel in 2000. These prayers are taken, unread, to Jerusalem and placed in the real Western Wall. To date, more than 80,000 prayers have been hand delivered to the Western Wall. Born Karol Wotyla, Pope John Paul II lived in Wadowice, Poland, a town where one quarter of his classmates were Jewish. He was especially close to Jerzy Kluger,
THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012 5 ELUL 5772 SHABBAT BEGINS FRIDAY 8:02 PM SHABBAT ENDS SATURDAY 9:03 PM
Rabbi Jonathan Cohen
the opening exhibit at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, which is now completing construction. From there, the plans are for it to travel through Poland, Germany, Austria, Italy and France. Discussions are underway for the exhibit to also go to Israel in 2013. In Cincinnati, the exhibit will open Sept. 10 at the Skirball Museum on the Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. “How fitting it is that two leading organizations in interfaith relations collaborate on the return of this important exhibit to Cincinnati,” says Rabbi Jonathan Cohen, dean of Hebrew Union’s Cincinnati campus. “Over the past 50 years, we have seen a significant growth in Catholic and Jewish relations, in no small part because of the commitment of Pope John Paul II. His support has been crucial to
r in Am ape er sp i
In October 2004, representatives from Xavier University, Hillel of Cincinnati and The Shtetl Foundation met with Pope John Paul II to ask his blessing for an exhibition documenting his lifelong affirming relationship with the Jewish people, the first exhibition on the subject ever assembled. That blessing was given and the exhibit, “A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People” opened at Xavier University on May 18, 2005, which would have been Pope John Paul II’s 85th birthday. From there it has traveled to 17 venues around the United States, where it has been seen by more than 800,000 and has had positive impact on Christian-Jewish relations in each of those communities. The exhibit will make one last visit to Cincinnati before beginning a European tour in 2013. It will be
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.
LOCAL • 5
THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
Access’ Tuscan Summer Shabbat brings a taste of Italy to Cincinnati
YPs will enjoy a taste of Italy at a Tuscan-style Shabbat dinner.
Tradition. Tradition. Tevye sang about it. The Rambam wrote about it. And now Access has added a new twist to it with its Got Shabbat dinner series which focuses on a different country every quarter. It showcases the special culture, customs and cuisine that are unique to each one. Next up is a Tuscan Summer Shabbat, where participants will get to bid arivaderchi to America for the night and experience the flavor and flare of Italy without ever leaving Southern Ohio. It takes place on Friday, Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. at The Art of Entertaining in O’Bryonville. This event is open to Jewish young professionals, 2135 and is free with advanced reservations. Non Jewish significant others are always welcome. Tuscan Summer Shabbat offers a perfect chance for guests to wind down their work week with other Jewish YPs while they enjoy an
Italian wine tasting and fourcourse gourmet dinner prepared by top chefs in an open view kitchen, and a chance to dine in an outdoor trattoria-style setting. “I love the Got Shabbat events because they combine an international theme with a Jewish tradition giving them a unique twist,” explains Rachel Feldman. “My family didn’t celebrate Shabbat when I was growing up but after attending a few Access Shabbat dinners, I discovered that I really like it and definitely plan to make a regular practice of it when I have kids of my own someday.” Access has hosted four other international Got Shabbat events to date, including Mexican-Style Shabbat, CelebRUSSIAN Shabbat, Israeli Wine and Dine Shabbat and an Indian Summer Shabbat. “Whenever we would conduct a focus group the idea of a multi-cultural party would inevitably come
JCC fall programs start Sept. 4 Opportunities for fitness, learning and enrichment abound with new fall programs for the whole family at the Mayerson JCC. Classes start the week of Sept. 4, and advance registration is required. Most JCC programs are open to the public, and J Members pay discounted fees. Children will have fun reading and cooking in the new PJ Library: Little Chefs class. In this unique program, 3- to 5-year- olds will read and make recipes from the popular PJ Library children’s book collections, followed by a fun cooking activity related to the story. Recipes and book summaries will be sent home each week to share. PJ Library is a Jewish family engagement national program that offers free, high-quality Jewish children’s literature and music for ages 6 months — 5 and a half years, on a
monthly basis, and the program is locally implemented by the J. After the success of JCC Boys Club, a weekly preschool age boys-only class that offers themed activities, the J is excited to add a new girls-only program, Girls Squad. This class provides all the fun your little girl loves! Each week features different themed activities with a story, games, activities and a snack. Exercise and healthy choices are included. In addition to new classes for kids, the J is proud to introduce a new dance instructor for children and youth ages 3 and half to 7. Shani Zisovitch was born and trained as a dancer in Israel where she earned a Bachelor of Dance and a teaching certification from the Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem. She JCC on page 19
up,” explains Rachel Plowden, Access Program Manager. “We decided that instead of a one-time event, it would be way more fun to focus on a different country every few months, and use it as a really cool backdrop for a Shabbat dinner! These dinners give our guests a chance to experience Shabbat in a whole new way!” Tuscan Summer Shabbat is the last in the international Got Shabbat series. However, this coming November, Access will bring the fun back to our own shores when it introduces a brand new series entitled, The United States of Shabbat, focusing on the iconic tastes and traditions of our own country’s many unique cities and regions. First in the series will be Cincy Shabbat, a tribute to the Queen City’s rich Jewish legacy which will be held at Plum Street Temple, one of the most famous Temples in the U.S. and around the world. It will include an optional pre-dinner Shabbat Service led by Rabbi Lewis Kamrass, Senior Rabbi of Isaac M. Wise Temple, and a Shabbat dinner featuring cuisine from some of Cincinnati’s most popular restaurants. Space for the Tuscan-style Shabbat is limited to the first 200 people and is already filling up quickly. Reservations are mandatory and will be given on a first come, first served basis. To RSVP, or to learn more about this event, please consult the Community Directory listing in this issue for Access’ contact information.
6 • LOCAL / NATIONAL
Wise Temple Senior Adults present a conversation with Marguerite Levy Feibelman The Wise Temple Senior Adults are proud to present a conversation with local author Marguerite Levy Feibelman on Tuesday, Aug. 28, at 1 p.m., at Wise Center. Since Feibelman’s memoir, Whisper Your Name Into My Ear, was published almost one year ago, this remarkable woman has been touring the country and talking about her experiences during the Holocaust. “As soon as we heard about Marguerite’s work, we
knew we had to talk to our group,” commented program co-chair Joyce Alpiner. “We are eager to have her share her story with us in this personal and intimate way,” added co-chair Judy Spitz. Feibelman’s family was originally from Germany, but they relocated to France, where young Marguerite grew up with the French ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity close to her heart. When the Nazis arose, she was determined to be treated just like
everyone else, and live free and independent. She convinced her parents to alter their papers and live with false identities in the French Alps, where Marguerite joined the French Resistance group. “Marguerite’s story is so fascinating,” shared co-chair Julie Fink. “I know that we will all be riveted by her presentation.” This program is open to the community, and there is no charge. For more information, please contact Wise Temple.
Father of comic book dynasty, Joe Kubert dies at 85 By Ronen Shnidman JointMedia News Service Jewish comic book great Joe Kubert, who worked on acclaimed series such as Tor, Tales of the Green Beret, Sgt. Rock and Tarzan, died Aug. 12 at age 85 from multiple myeloma in Morristown, N.J. At the tender age of 12, Kubert broke into the comic book business in a rather brash way: He just showed up. “I didn’t even know what kind of materials to use,” Kubert said in an interview with JNS last year in Israel. “I drew on the paper bags from my father’s [butcher] shop. And I brought those drawings [to Manhattan] to show them what I could do. And they gave me paper. They gave me pencils. They gave me brushes. I never had known that they used those kinds of materials. The guys in the business just gave it to me because they recognized in me a heavy desire to do this work.” While perhaps less recognized by the general public than Spiderman writer Stan Lee, Kubert’s impact on the world of comics and American culture may be longer lasting. That influence is due in no small part to the Kubert School, which he established in 1976 in Dover, N.J. “He’s the longest-lived continuously important contributor to the field,” Paul Levitz, a former president of DC Comics, told the New York Times Aug. 13. “There are two or three of the greats left, but he’s definitely one of the last.” Less than a year before his death, Kubert had taken his first and only trip to Israel to display some of the original artwork and pages from his graphic novel Yossel for a special exhibit of his and his sons’ contributions to the world of comics at the Israeli Cartoon Museum in Holon. “The Kuberts are responsible for some of the iconic figures of American culture,” said United States Embassy press attaché Kurt
Courtesy Israeli Cartoon Museum and DC Comics
Several panels from Jew Gangster, by Joe Kubert.
Hoyer at the time. “The Kuberts have worked on every comic I have ever read.” In addition to the comic books series that the elder Kubert worked on, his sons Adam and Andy earned their own reputations in the industry working on the X-Men and Superman series and X-Men and Batman, respectively. Hoyer added, “The clarity of the drawing [in Joe Kubert’s work] and the way the colors grip you, really takes you back to a youthful outlook on life as a battle between good and evil.” Neal Adams, who shook up the comics industry in the 1960s with his own drawing style, shared Hoyer’s assessment. “Joe, in his way, was a primitive, he drew from his gut,” Adams was quoted as saying in the Los Angeles Times. “Joe, because of his gritty style, because of his down-in-the-dirt approach, mixed the heroic with the terribleness of war... He never made it seem appealing, but, to men, the nature of war is that you can be a hero.” The Kubert School, now run by Joe’s family, is the first and still only
accredited school that focuses exclusively on the art of cartoon drawing. In his later years, Joe helped oversee the overall management and course development at the school, while his sons Adam and Andy work as teachers there. Joe gave special credit to his deceased (2008) wife Muriel’s business acumen for allowing the school to survive and flourish while he maintained a full-time career as a comic book artist. “The agreement was,” Joe explained, “that she handled the business side and I would try to make sure that the courses taken were the proper ones.” He said, “It is more because of her than anyone else that the school exists.” Since its inception, the school has produced generations of successful alumni, many of whom now inhabit the distant corners of the comic book industry, having worked on such diverse projects as Spongebob Squarepants, Swamp Thing, Spiderman, Daredevil, Hellboy, Scooby Doo, the Archie Comics, and Conan the Barbarian. Joe Kubert’s graphic novel Yossel, the highlight of the exhibit at the Israeli Cartoon Museum, had a special resonance with the artist. The story of Yossel is that of a boy living in Holocaust-era Poland and the experiences he goes through trying to survive the Holocaust. The story had a very personal appeal to the elder Kubert, who himself was born in Yzeran, Poland, and in 1926 immigrated as a baby with the rest of his family to New York. It is an imaginative quasi-autobiographical look at one of the alternate paths Joe’s life could have taken had his parents not decided to leave a middle-class life in pre-war Poland for the clamor and bustle of immigrant New York and the land of opportunity. KUBERT on page 19
Courtesty of Uri Fintzy, via Creative Commons
Israeli analysts say that signals from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and his leadership are showing a call for an unequivocal commitment from the administration of President Obama, right, to come to Israel’s aid in case of a strike against Iran, led by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Increased Israel chatter on Iran is about sending a message to Washington By Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraphic Agency WASHINGTON – How much noise does Israel’s leadership have to make to get the Obama administration to say what it wants to hear about Iran? It’s a question now preoccupying Israel, along with its corollary: How much noise is too much and risks precipitating a crisis between Jerusalem and its closest ally? Some Israeli analysts say that pronounced signals from their country’s leadership in recent days that it is readying for a strike against Iran are less an immediate call to arms than a call for an unequivocal commitment from the Obama administration to take the lead in such an attack or to come to Israel’s aid if it goes first. “We are at a serious juncture,” said Ehud Yaari, an Israel-based fellow for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “The way I understand it, the Israeli leadership is trying to signal to the administration that unless there is a change of tack on the part of Washington concerning the Iranian nuclear program, Israel may have to decide to make its own military move.” The signals have included: • An interview in Haaretz with a top Israeli official, whom is widely believed to be Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who argued that Israel risks more in the short term by not striking than it does by striking. • The appointment to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Cabinet of Avi Dichter, a former head of Israel’s internal security service, the Shin Bet, to bring the home front up to speed. • A series of notices to the Israeli public, including a call to update gas mask equipment and a listing of Tel Aviv underground parking lots that could double as bomb shelters. • A series of public statements
by Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, suggesting that an Israeli strike would reap sufficient rewards to justify it. “One, two, three, four years are a long time in the Middle East – look what’s happened in the last year,” Oren said this week in a Bloomberg News interview, addressing the claim that an Israeli strike would “only” delay Iran and not end the nuclear program. A key Israeli fear is that a nuclear Iran would provide an umbrella to hostile forces consolidating their hold along Israel’s borders in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, and possibly in Syria and Egypt as those nations undergo turmoil that threatens to disrupt decades of peace on their borders. “The idea of these non-state actors on Israel’s borders which may be controlled by a nuclear Iran is a serious threat, the kind of which Israel has not encountered before,” Asher Susser, a senior fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Tel Aviv University, said in a conference call organized by the Israel Policy Forum on Thursday. Still, Obama administration officials are not yet publicly buying the rhetoric. “I don’t believe they’ve made a decision as to whether or not they will go in and attack Iran at this time,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters on Aug. 15. “With regards to the issue of where we’re at from a diplomatic point of view, the reality is that we still think there is room to continue to negotiate.” Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the military Joint Chiefs of Staff, said an Israeli strike would have limited effect. “I may not know about all of their capabilities, but I think that it’s a fair characterization to say that they could delay but not destroy Iran’s nuclear capabilities,” Dempsey said at the same briefing.
NATIONAL • 7
THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
Amid record aliyah, recalling Truman’s push against Israeli army volunteers By Rafael Medoff JointMedia News Service When a record 127 North American Jewish volunteer soldiers for the Israel Defense Forces arrived in Tel Aviv on an aliyah flight last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a cheering crowd, and a live band greeted them. They were the latest of some 8,200 foreign citizens who have come to fight for Israel during the past three years. But volunteering for Israel’s armed services was not always as simple as buying a plane ticket and filling out some forms. A group of about 100 young men and women who sailed from New York for Israel in May 1948, hoping to take part in the War of Independence, ran headlong into President Harry Truman administration’s military embargo on the new State of Israel. Instead of defending the Jewish state against Arab invaders, they found themselves prisoners in a Lebanese detention camp. On the eve of Israeli independence, agents of the Haganah, the pre-state underground militia, set up an American front group, “Land and Labor for Palestine,” to smuggle weapons and volunteer soldiers to the Holy Land. Its activity was illegal because the Truman administration had imposed an arms embargo on the Jewish state-to-be. Would-be soldiers had to concoct various excuses to secure visas from the British Consulate in New York to enter Palestine. Elihu King, 19, of Los Angeles, later wrote that he “made up a story about my sick aunt who had nobody and needed me there, with a forged letter to prove it all.” Ray Kaplan, 20, a leader of the nationalist Zionist youth movement Betar, told the British he was going to “volunteer to work on a kibbutz.” King and Kaplan were part of a group of about 100 young men and women whom Land and Labor agents brought to a farm in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., in May 1948 for several days of training before embarking for the Middle East. An officer handed each of the recruits a 3 x 5 Hebrew Bible with a metal cover, according to King. “He told us, ‘Wear it in your shirt pocket, and it will deflect a deadly bullet’.” Stephen Esrati of Cleveland, one of the seven Betar members who traveled to the Poughkeepsie farm, told JNS that although the Labor-affiliated Haganah was officially Betar’s political rival, he and his comrades “were quickly sworn
in as members of the Haganah.” The soldiers-to-be were bused to New York City’s Pier 48, where they boarded the S. S. Marine Carp, with stops scheduled for ports in Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Britishcontrolled Palestine (Haifa), and Egypt. The majority of the passengers were Lebanese or Egyptian citizens returning home. Halfway across the Atlantic, the ship received the news that the State of Israel had been proclaimed. “We gathered in the dining hall and roared out our joy and pride,” King wrote. “We sang ‘Hatikvah’ and a thousand other anthems and songs, danced the hora until we dropped, cried, laughed, and carried on.” On the morning of May 19, the Marine Carp approached the port of Beirut. Since Lebanon was officially at war with Israel and the ship was carrying Israel-bound passengers, the captain radioed ahead to U.S. Consul General John Faust. The consul assured him there would be no problem docking in Beirut. Faust himself was on hand when the ship arrived – but so were several hundred Lebanese soldiers. “I think if the United States had insisted, the Lebanese would have had to back off,” Kaplan told JNS. But with the establishment of Israel, the Truman administration had expanded its embargo to include preventing “men of military age” from reaching the Jewish State. Lebanon’s intervention was consistent with Truman’s policy. In meetings with representatives of the passengers, Consul Faust made no secret of his hostility toward the Zionists. Muriel Eisenberg, the future wife of Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Arens, who was part of the Betar contingent, told an Israel Television interviewer that Faust mockingly declared, “Moses was greater than any of you here, and he didn’t make it to Palestine either.” According to Esrati, Faust also used anti-Semitic language, referring to them as “kikes” and “Jew boys.” The Lebanese soldiers, pointing their machine guns, arrested all 69 of the male passengers whose papers indicated they were bound for Haifa. Forty-one of the 69 were American citizens. Betar member Marilyn Schindell watched the men being led away. “Did you ever feel your heart break into a thousand pieces? That is how I felt,” she wrote to a friend as the Marine Carp sailed out of the Beirut harbor. TRUMAN on page 22
Hillel’s new plan: Programming for and by students not so involved in Hillel By Neil Rubin Jewish Telegraphic Agency ST. LOUIS – Meet 22-year-old Jeremy Moskowitz, the poster child for what Hillel hopes will be a revolution in campus Jewish life. The catch: He didn’t spend much time at Hillel during his four years at Duke University. Moskowitz attended Jewish day school before college, but chose Duke in part because it was “less Jewish.” Once on campus, he stayed away from Hillel except for a few Shabbat dinners, instead throwing himself into Greek life as a leader of the AEPi chapter there. But a Hillel staffer challenged him to reach out to students uninvolved or little involved in Jewish life. By his senior year he had agreed to serve as a Hillel Peer Network engagement intern, a key role in the international campus organization’s thrust to use students not very involved in Hillel to reach other students not very involved with Hillel – with programs having little if any overt connection to Hillel. In Moskowitz’s case, this meant building his own 12-by-12 sukkah and inviting 28 people over for a meal, and hosting a Passover seder for 73 fellow students – Jews and non-Jews – in his backyard, not to mention cooking 80 or so matzah balls and creating his own hagaddah that included photos, jokes, traditional prayers
Courtesy of Jonathan Pollack
College student outreach leaders came to the Hillel Institute at Washington University in St. Louis to learn the ins and outs of engaging their less engaged peers, August 2012.
and Mad Libs (Hillel provided kosher chicken and seder plates). “A friend called her mom after and said, ‘You’ll never guess where I just was. I was at a Passover seder,” Moskowitz says with a grin while taking a break from last week’s Hillel Institute, a gathering at Washington University here of about 1,000 Hillel professionals, student leaders and guests. For Moskowitz, the conference was the start of a post-graduation yearlong stint as the Bronfman fellow at Hillel’s Schusterman International Center, the operation’s headquarters in Washington, where he will serve as an assistant to Hillel President & CEO Wayne Firestone, learning the ins and outs of running a high-profile international organization based in the nation’s capital.
For the wider Hillel movement, the gathering in St. Louis served as a rollout venue for a new five-year strategic plan that the organization’s board approved in May. The plan, pushed by Firestone, looks to build on the work of Moskowitz and the other 1,200 peer outreach interns on 118 campuses – and moves further away from the traditional model of focusing primarily on improving programming inside the walls of campus Hillels for the most Jewishly engaged students. It comes with an ambitious mandate: The 800-plus Hillel professionals active to varying degrees on more than 500 campuses are now supposed to “engage” 70 percent of identified campus Jewish students, HILLEL on page 22
8 • INTERNATIONAL
Scandinavia’s Jews brace for fresh attempts to ban circumcision By Cnaan Liphshiz Jewish Telegraph Agency Untrained rabbis mutilating hysterical babies while black-clad men stand around praying: The description of a Jewish circumcision in the mainstream Danish media indicates the xenophobia creeping through Scandinavia, some Jewish leaders fear. “Around the baby stand ten black-clad men – a must in every Jewish circumcision,” the text declares. “As usual in Judaism, women aren’t allowed to be present. An untrained rabbi mutilates the baby, who cries and bleeds profusely as the men pray.” The words typify “the level of the current debate on circumcision in Denmark,” said Finn Schwarz, president of the Jewish Congregation of Copenhagen. Schwarz says the false account of a Jewish circumcision indicates the increasing intolerance toward the ritual, couched in xenophobia. Buttressed in recent bans elsewhere in Europe, Schwarz worries that a Danish push could turn into parliamentary action on circumcision in Denmark as early as this year. The false description belongs to Kjeld Koplev, a well-known Danish journalist who converted from Judaism to Christianity. He began telling the story to the media after a court in Cologne, Germany, ruled in June that the non-medical circumcision of a minor amounted
to a criminal act. Koplev’s account of how ritual circumcision is child torture and abuse appeared on television and in an Op-Ed in the newspaper Politikien. “When a former Jew says this, people listen,” a frustrated Schwarz told JTA.
Courtesy of Eva Lehrer/Schmuus
Chief rabbi of Denmark Bent Lexner, speaking in Copenhagen.
His community has published a 20-page defense of circumcision as it prepares for a protracted rearguard battle. Beyond medical aspects, it attempts to explain why circumcision – the first biblical covenant between man and God – is central to Jewish life. Although Scandinavian societies and governments have led opposition to circumcision long before June’s ruling in Cologne,
the debate has taken “a nasty turn” since the German court’s ruling, Schwarz says. Several politicians in Denmark, Norway and Finland said this summer that they were in favor of banning circumcision. Yet no party has submitted a bill to restrict the ritual. Hostile media are the least of the concerns of Scandinavian circumcision advocates. In 2003, Denmark’s Children’s Ombudsman, a government body, classified circumcision as a children’s rights violation. Its Norwegian counterpart concurs. And Finland’s Child Welfare Union lists circumcision as “violence.” Schwarz worries that Copenhagen may set a precedent. “Yes, I think we will see a bill to ban circumcision from one of Denmark’s radical left parties,” he said, adding that the outcome of such a vote is anyone’s guess. Sophie Lohde, speaker of Venstre, Denmark’s largest party, supports a ban, as do speakers of other parties, according to the newspaper Kristeligt Dagbold. Yet JTA contacted all of Denmark’s parties in the legislature and not one indicated that they were ready to support a ban. Laura Glavind, a spokeswoman for the liberal party Venstre, told JTA that the party did “not have enough knowledge” and would take a stand after consulting the Health Ministry. CIRCUMCISION on page 20
Awareness of Ludwig Guttman, the ‘angel of the Paralympics,’ is undergoing a revival By Miriam Shaviv Jewish Telegraph Agency LONDON – In 1917, Ludwig Guttmann, a young German Jew volunteering as an orderly in the local Accident Hospital for Coalminers, came across a strong miner with a broken back. The patient, he was told, would be dead within three months. In fact, he died after five weeks. “Although I saw many more victims suffering the same fate,” Guttmann wrote in his memoirs, “it was the picture of that young man which remained indelibly fixed in my memory.” The encounter changed history. Guttman, who eventually fled Nazi Germany to the United Kingdom, became a doctor and was inspired to specialize in patients with spinal injuries. He eventually founded a sports competition for the disabled, which evolved into the
Paralympics, and now is commonly regarded as the “father” of the Paralympic Games. The Games, which use the Olympics facilities, run this year from Aug. 29 through Sept. 9. While awareness of the German-English refugee had faded since his death in 1980, it is now enjoying a revival. One of the Olympic mascots was named Mandeville; during World War II, Guttman was asked by the government to set up a spinal unit at Stoke Mandeville hospital, north of London, to help the expected many disabled veterans from the war. Also, earlier this month, the BBC screened “The Best of Men,” a drama based on Guttman’s work at the hospital. And London’s Jewish Museum is showing a small exhibit about Guttman’s work through Sept. 16 comprised mainly of photos and documents from Stoke Mandeville and the early Games, and memorabilia
that Guttmann brought back from the second Paralympics, in Tokyo. Meanwhile, a life-size bronze statue of Guttmann has been placed at the Stoke Mandeville hospital’s stadium that will be transferred later to the hospital, while a new bust of Guttmann will be present at every future Games. “It is a huge irony,” says Abigail Morris, chief executive of London’s Jewish Museum. “Hitler tried to kill all the Jews and people with disabilities. Thanks to his actions, Guttmann ended up here, in the UK, and this year over 4,000 athletes will compete in London at the Paralympic Games. It’s the triumph of human spirit over adversity.” In fact, Guttmann had an even broader legacy than the Paralympics – he is widely credited with revolutionizing the treatment of spinal injuries. GUTTMAN on page 22
Courtesy of Presidential Press and Information Office.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (right) with Russian Prime Minister Dmitriy Medvedev. Another Russian official, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, reportedly told the Saudi newspaper Al-Watan Tuesday that Assad is ready to step down.
With Assad’s status in flux, official says Syria at war with Israel and U.S. By Israel Hayom Jointmedia News Service Syrian President Bashar alAssad is ready to step down, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov reportedly told the Saudi newspaper Al-Watan Tuesday. Bogdanov said the deteriorating security situation in the wake of last month’s assassination of top regime figures is what may have led to Assad’s decision. The information has so far not been confirmed. Meanwhile, Syrian Ambassador to Iran Hamed Hassan declared on Monday that Syria was at war with Israel and the U.S., calling the Israeli and American capitals the “axis of evil.” “This is a bitter, persistent war,” Hassan said at a rally in support of Assad in Tehran on Monday. “The axis of evil based in Tel Aviv and Washington has been joined by Turkey and Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar. These countries are helping our enemies sow fear and panic in Syria and are even arming the terrorists that infiltrate Syria through the Turkish border.” Russia’s Bogdanov said Assad’s brother, Maher, was seriously wounded in last month’s bombing. He said Maher Assad had lost both legs in the blast and was in critical condition. Maher Assad serves as the commander of Syria’s 4th Division and the Republican Guards, whose mission is to defend the capital of Damascus. Among those killed in the bombing, which rocked the national security building in Damascus, were Defense Minister Daoud Rajiha and the president's confidant and brother-in-law, Assef Shawkat, who also served as deputy defense minister and was instrumental in dealing with the 17-month insurgency in Syria. The bombing was attributed to the Free Syrian Army, one of the main
rebel groups in the country. Bogdanov said Russia would like to see an orderly transition of power, since this would be the only means of ending the bloodshed, Army Radio reported Tuesday. Assad has previously said that he would not leave his post, despite repeated calls by both Arab leaders and the West. More than 15,000 are said to have died in the Syrian conflict since it began in March 2011. Israel has been worried about potential adverse ramifications from the civil war and the weakening of the centralized government in the event the regime implodes. Of particular concern is the fate of Syria’s chemical weapon stockpiles and its grip over global jihad elements, which would likely exploit the vacuum that would be generated if the rebels—a loose alliances of various Sunni groups—manage to topple the regime. On Monday, Syrian rebels circulated a video of what they claimed was the downing of a warplane. The video showed armed men holding the captured pilot, who had ejected as the MiG fighter was engulfed by flames. Syria acknowledged that a pilot had bailed out of a disabled plane but blamed the crash on a technical malfunction. The authenticity of the images or the claims could not be independently verified. If the rebels did bring down their first aircraft, that could signal a significant jump in their firepower and give opposition forces their most high-profile military captive. But wider questions remain even if the rebel reports are confirmed, including whether this could be just a one-time blow against expanding air offensives by the forces of Assad’s regime. Just days ago, protesters across Syria pleaded for the rebels’ main backers—including Turkey and Gulf states—to send anti-aircraft weapons for outgunned fighters.
INTERNATIONAL / ISRAEL • 9
THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
International Briefs Egyptian president to visit Iran, a first in decades (JNS) – Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi will visit Tehran to attend a summit later this month, according to the Wall Street Journal. The announcement comes after Morsi and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met recently at a summit in Mecca. The visit to Tehran will be the first in decades since relations soured following the 1979 Iranian Revolution. While it is still too early to assess the implications, analysts suspect that Morsi’s visit is part of an effort to align foreign policy with popular sentiment in Egypt and to be independent of the West and Gulf States. “This really signals the first response to a popular demand and a way to increase the margin of maneuver for Egyptian foreign policy in the region,” said political scientist Mustafa Kamel el-Sayyed. However, any normalization of relations between the countries will have to involve careful steps, according to the Journal. Serious religious tensions exist between Sunni Muslim Egypt and Shi’a Muslim Iran. Egyptian Sunni clerics consider Shi’a to be heretics. Additionally, the Gulf States fear Iran’s regional ambitions with its nuclear program and support for terrorist organizations. Outrage ensues from anti-Semitic caricature on Austrian leader’s Facebook page (JNS) – The leader of Austria’s far-right Freedom Party (FPOe), Heinz-Christian Strache, has come under fire from Jewish community leaders and politicians over anti-Semitic images on his Facebook page, AFP reported. One image was a caricature of an overweight man with a crooked nose and Star of David cufflinks. “It’s not a coincidence that a caricature of Jews, like the ones in (Nazi newspaper) ‘Stuermer’ in the 1930s and 1940s appeared on the Facebook page of FPOe leader Strache,” said Oskar Deutsch, the president of Austria’s Jewish community. Also appearing on Strache’s Facebook was a picture of him posing at a pig roast with a caption: “Isst du Schwein, darfst du rein” (If you eat pork, you can come in).
Hungary’s dropping of claims against alleged Nazi arouses suspicions, potential counter charges By Cnaan Liphshiz Jewish Telegraphic Agency Trained by life in surmounting grief, Marika Weinberger focuses on the silver lining in the recent decision in Budapest not to try Hungarian war criminal Laszlo Csatary in connection with the murder of her nine uncles in 1941. “At least now I won’t need to testify and relive the pain,” Weinberger, 84, told JTA in a phone interview from her home in Sydney, Australia. She says she is nonetheless prepared to do “everything necessary to bring Csatary to justice.” Weinberger claims that Csatary, a former police officer who was arrested last month in Budapest, was responsible for deporting her uncles to a killing site in Ukraine. Yet prosecutors in Budapest last week dismissed her claims without ever speaking to her, raising concerns by Weinberger and others about the seriousness of the investigation. The Federation of Jewish Communities in Slovakia has called publicly for Csatary’s extradition to that country based on information it claims to have that points to Csatary taking property from Jews in Kosice, a city in eastern Slovakia. Those charges also are being investigated, says Martin Kornfeld, the federation’s CEO. Kornfeld adds that he has no
Courtesy of Creative Commons
Efraim Zuroff, above, tracked down alleged war criminal Laszlo Csatary in Budapest, but with the dismissal of some of the charges against Csatary, a Hungarian lawyer called for the indictment of Zuroff.
indication that alleged acts of cruelty by Csatary to Jewish prisoners were being investigated. He notes that the acts were addressed in Csatary’s 1948 conviction in absentia by a Czechoslovakian court for torturing prisoners at Kosice. The office of Budapest’s chief prosecutor, Dr. Zsolt Grim, did not respond to interview requests for this article. According to Weinberger, her father told her that Csatary had organized the deportation of her
mother’s nine brothers from Kosice on Aug. 19, 1941. Her testimony was part of the file that the Simon Wiesenthal Center had prepared on Csatary that led to his arrest last month. The center’s research implicates Csatary in the deportation of 300 people from Kosice in 1941 and another 15,700 in 1944. Csatary was arrested after London’s The Sun newspaper published an expose about him. Csatary had fled to Canada in 1949 after the Czech court sen-
tenced him in absentia to death for war crimes. He returned to Hungary in the 1990s after Ottawa revoked his citizenship. Last week, the Budapest Prosecutor’s Office dismissed Weinberger’s testimony and dropped the charges from 1941, saying Csatary was not in Kosice at the time and lacked the rank to organize the transports. The Hungarian prosecution team is said to be continuing to probe allegations pertaining to the events from 1944. Weinberger, a former vice president of the Sydney Jewish Museum and a past president of the Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants, stands by her story. “I was young, but I remember the name Csatary,” she said. “It surfaced when my father was trying to find out what happened to my uncles.” Weinberger says she even recalls the weather on the night of the deportation, adding that “I remember it better than I remember what happened yesterday.” According to Weinberger, her father found out that on Csatary’s orders, four of her uncles were recalled from forced labor to Kosice for deportation with her remaining five uncles and another 300 people. HUNGARY on page 22
Despite hardships, some Bedouins still feel obligation to serve Israel By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraph Agency RAHAT, Israel – On an August weekday afternoon, 19-year-old Mohammed Kernowi stands in front of a small store in Israel’s largest Bedouin city, a hot plate in front of him with small pancakes sizzling in preparation for the end of that day’s Ramadan fast. At his age, many Israeli men have been through basic training and are weathering their first of three years of compulsory military service either on the country’s borders, in the West Bank, in an office or on one of the country’s many bases. Kernowi, however, prefers baking to bullets. “No one goes from our family,” he said. “It’s a waste of three years of your life.” While some Bedouins continue to voluntarily serve in Israel’s military, their community – just as with some in Israel’s Jewish community – debate whether it is worthwhile. Bedouins, separated physically and to some extent culturally from other Israeli Arabs, are exempt from serv-
ing in the Israel Defense Forces. There are about 250,000 Bedouins in the country, according to Israeli government figures. The IDF could not provide an estimate of the army’s current Bedouin population, but Doron Almog, head of Israel’s Bedouin Improvement Program Staff, estimates that half a percentage of eligible Bedouins head to the army. Army service has been a defining part of Israeli public life; many Jewish Israelis make professional connections they use throughout their civilian careers. But the debate about who should serve in the IDF has become especially heated this summer. This month, the Israeli army officially began drafting young haredi Orthodox men when no new compromise legislation was passed by lawmakers about their service. In February, the Israeli Supreme Court had struck down the law that exempted the haredim from serving and mandated that they serve in either the military or civilian volunteer organizations. A faction of the Israeli Knesset is
demanding that Arabs be required to serve as well. A month ago, the leader of Israel’s nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party, Avigdor Lieberman, submitted a bill to the Knesset that would have required all Israelis, regardless of background, to be drafted. The bill was voted down, and Lieberman incurred protests from Israeli-Arab leaders. Kernowi complains that Negev Bedouins receive “no equality, no respect” from Jewish Israelis – a claim that is echoed by other Bedouins who also lament lackluster education and employment programs in Rahat. Another source of resentment toward the state are the IDF demolitions in recent years of unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev. Bedouin leaders say the villages are part of the seminomadic Bedouin culture; the Israeli government maintains they are illegal. Despite the complaints, some Bedouins serve readily and with distinction. Several sound no different than the most patriotic Jewish Israelis in describing the obligation they feel to serve the country, no matter how Israel treats their com-
munities. “We live in the state and we should give to it,” said Sammy, 35, who joined the army (legally) at age 16 1/2. “I wanted to give the state three years.” But Sammy, who works in a Rahat grocery store, also says he regrets his time in the IDF. “I don’t see any value,” he said. “It didn’t help my life. It would be better if there were equality. There’s no equality even between Jews.” On one complaint – the lack of education – Col. Ahmed Ramiz, the head of the IDF’s minority department and himself a Bedouin, says army service can help. He says the IDF provides Bedouin soldiers the opportunity to advance their careers, in part by offering trade courses to soldiers along with scholarships. Ramiz adds that unemployment among Bedouins is due to their location rather than their ethnicity. “The unemployment exists in the North and South,” the regions where Bedouins live, he said. “The soldiers, if they want to serve, they can learn. We give them an opportunity to work and enter society.”
10 • ISRAEL
Israel state prosecution and Migron outpost clash over land purchase validity By Israel Hayom JointMedia News Service All the structures in the disputed West Bank outpost of Migron must be removed, despite residents’ claims that they legally purchased some of the land, Israel’s state prosecution said in a brief filed with the High Court of Justice Monday in response to the residents’ petition. Seventeen Migron families asked the court to overturn its order forcing them to vacate their homes, citing recent real estate transactions that allegedly proved the land is no longer owned by its original Palestinian owners. The state claims that only one plot, No. 10, is potentially owned by the residents, and suggested that the court allow a three-month stay in vacating the plot to allow further hearings on the matter. Migron, 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) to the northeast of Jerusalem, is the largest of more than 100 outposts built without official Israeli government authorization, and is currently home to some 50 families. Peace Now, a
Courtesy of Daniel Ventura
The Jewish outpost of Migron in the West Bank.
left-wing advocacy group, petitioned the High Court of Justice against the residents of Migron in 2006, claiming that the land might in fact be privately owned by Palestinians. The court concurred, and in an unprecedented ruling last August, it told the government to ensure the outpost was evacuated by March 31 this year. Several months ago, the court
rejected a deal between the residents and the state that would have had the residents vacate their homes and relocate to a nearby community. The court leveled harsh criticism against the agreement, saying the residents were trying to undo the ruling using questionable and invalid legal maneuvers since the court had already weighed the merits of the case and made a final ruling on it. The agreement also did not explicitly stipulate the demolition of the structures in the community and thus did not fully comply with the court’s decision. Last month, the court agreed to postpone the evacuation until at least late August. Officials feared some extremist settlers might exact revenge for the move by targeting Arabs and IDF bases, overwhelming the army during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a sensitive period for security. The court also agreed to hear arguments on the merits of the land purchase deals on Aug. 21. The issue of illegal outposts – sparsely populated settlements in Judea and Samaria established
without official government sanction and often on private or disputed Palestinian land – has occasionally caused tempers to flare on the Right. Last September, the demolition of structures in Migron led to clashes with settlers and even to suspected “price-tag” attacks in the form of vandalism on Arab property and an Israeli army base. Yesha Council head Dani Dayan, whose organization is the umbrella body of the Jewish communities of Judea, Samaria (and until 2005, the Gaza Strip) attacked the prosecution’s position Monday, saying the “hearing at the High Court of Justice is a test; if the court upholds the property rights of settlers it will have restored some of its lost honor.” Peace Now General Director Yariv Oppenheimer attacked the government Monday for what he called its “refusal to abide by the ruling that mandates a complete evacuation of the outpost.” Coalition Chairman Zeev Elkin said the state prosecution’s conduct was unacceptable and called it a “legal coup.”
New money, old habits and a growing brand make Rami Levy Israel’s new grocery store king By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraphic Agency JERUSALEM – The corporate offices of Rami Levy, Israel’s nouveau riche supermarket mogul, sit atop one of his grocery stores in southern Jerusalem. It’s not a busy neighborhood, nor is it easily accessible by public transit. But once the building comes into view, there’s no mistaking that it’s his. Plastered across the side wall in bold letters on a yellow background are the words Rami Levy Hashikma Market. The company name appears at least six more times elsewhere on the building. Meet the new Israeli mogul – with a net worth about $1 billion, according to Haaretz – whom many Jews outside Israel do not yet recognize, but who is emerging as a champion of the country’s economically struggling families. Levy, 57, is the owner of the third largest grocery store chain in Israel, with 24 stores across the country en route to the goal of 50. Other competitors have much larger chains, but Levy has gained attention in part by cultivating the persona of a poor boy who made good and now is passing along the benefits to his customers. The benefits include sales and special deals for Jewish holidays, like low prices on matzah for Passover. Last week, as the cost of bread
Courtesy of Rami Levy
Shoppers checking out at a Rami Levy Hashikma Market, one of 24 stores in a chain across Israel that reportedly has helped to make Levy worth about $1 billion.
in Israel rose 6 1/2 percent, Levy’s stores said they would not raise their prices until after Sukkot. Levy’s larger competitors will raise their bread prices after Rosh Hashanah, according to Israeli reports. “I want the consumer to be happy,” said Levy, a man of few words who sticks to his message. “You want to kill two birds with one stone – to do business so that it’ll be good for the consumer.” Levy grew up in the crowded Jerusalem neighborhood of
Nachlaot, near the open market of Mahane Yehuda. He decided to open his first store when he witnessed a nasty interaction between his grandmother and a shop owner there during one of his furloughs from the Israeli army. “He didn’t talk to her nicely and it troubled her,” Levy said. He thought, “I’ll get out of the army and I’ll open a store.” His grandfather owned a small warehouse down the block from the shop owner, on Hashikma Street, a side road in the market
that would give his chain its name. In 1977, Levy cleaned, painted and converted the warehouse into a grocery store. He attracted customers by selling food at the same price as his wholesalers. After three months he connected directly with the companies that supplied his wholesalers and began to buy directly from them, which allowed him to turn a small profit and later to expand his chain. Levy has since launched an insurance company and a cell phone provider, both of which bear his name. The Israeli business publication Calcalist reported two weeks ago that Levy’s cell phone provider now serves 66,000 customers, compared to several recently launched providers with more than 100,000 customers. Below his corporate office, attached to the store, customers can also eat at Hashikma Pizza or Hashikma Burger. Levy said he would enter any industry “where I can do well for my customers, sell at low prices and make sure my customers can have good service.” Customers at the store said they shop there for the low prices, but some other potential buyers prefer the supermarket across the street – a branch of the larger Super-Sal chain. They said they chose to forgo Levy’s deals because his shops are too crowded.
Israel Briefs Famed comic actor John Cleese to appear in Israeli chocolate spread ad (JNS) – Famed British actor John Cleese has been recruited by one of Israel’s most-popular chocolate spread producers, Hashahar Ha’oleh, to promote their spreads, Israel Hayom reported. A set of commercials were filmed last weekend at Cleese’s home in Monaco, under the direction of the Inbar, Merhav, Shaked Advertising agency, and will aim to convince Israeli parents that Hashahar Ha’oleh chocolate spread is really the most filling option for their growing children. Cleese, of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers fame, was recently cast in Reshef Levy’s new movie “Hunting Elephants.” He had to turn the part down, however, due to medical reasons. Patrick Stewart will instead play the role, and is currently in Israel for filming. Hashahar Ha’oleh was not prepared to give up on Cleese and because he could not fly to Israel, they flew to his home in Monaco. The entire production staff was flown out from Israel to make the commercials, with Cleese apparently receiving $50,000 for his participation. Peres condemns attack by Jewish teens on Arab youths (JNS) – Weighing in on the Aug. 16 racial attack in Jerusalem, which left one Arab youth almost dead until ambulances revived him with CPR, Israeli President Shimon Peres said, “There is no legal dispute on the traditional commandment, applying to all us, that ‘Thou shalt not murder.’ It is a religious commandment and it is also our law. A society without violence must be an urgent priority for us.” The brawl hospitalized one Arab youth with severe injuries, Israel Hayom reported. Police suspect that about 10 Jewish youths were involved in an attack on a group of Arab youths at Zion Square in the center of Jerusalem. One suspect was arrested on Saturday and four additional suspects were arrested on Sunday. All of the suspects are minors. Police also say that during the attack dozens, if not hundreds, of bystanders looked on without lifting a finger to help the people being attacked. Peres cautioned, “violence affects all that is good in our youth and in our schools. We cannot and do not need to be a society tainted by violence.”
SOCIAL LIFE • 11
THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
MARTA HEWETT GALLERY finely crafted contemporary art
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Lainey Paul (R) arriving in Israel with Julian Robins and Natan Sharansky.
ainey Paul a local Cincinnati girl made Aliyah
this past week. She arrived in Israel and is preparing to be sworn into the Israeli Defense Force.
and watch glass blowing demonstrations by Ben Johnson with Neusole Glassworks Mobile Hotshop VIEW THIS EXHIBIT AND ALL WORKS IN GALLERY INVENTORY ONLINE AT
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12 • CINCINNATI SOCIAL LIFE
Rockwern Academy Celebrates Israel’s 64TH Birthday The program was put together by the Judaic staff. All students participated. Each class made decorations to highlight the event. The Parent Teacher’s Association provided blue and white cupcakes to all the students at lunch time. The students met in the auditorium. There was a lot of dancing and singing in honor of Israel.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
CINCINNATI JEWISH LIFE • 13
14 • DINING OUT
Go ahead, KT’s Barbecue: Make my brisket By Joe Levy Dining Editor You wouldn’t expect to find a High Holiday tradition lurking in Reading, Ohio, especially lurking at a place with a name like KT’s Barbecue. Sure, some of Greater Cincinnati’s most august institutions and places of worship reside in nearby Amberley Village, Roselawn, Blue Ash, Golf Manor, Montgomery and Wyoming, but Reading is not exactly the center of it all. What on earth is a KT? It sounds a bit like Katie but there is no Katie around. There is a Barbie of sorts however: KT’s famous Barbie-Q mannequin stands silently out front. KT is Kenny Tessel. (His initials, get it?) Yes, that is the same Tessel family that ran Stanley’s deli in Golf Manor from 1972 to 1982. Kenny worked there as a busboy for his father. He’s been running KT’s since 2004, using pretty much the same brisket recipe his Russian-born babushka taught his mother. It’s the same recipe for the brisket Kenny enjoyed at Tessel family dinners, including High Holiday celebrations. Stanley’s used to serve it too. Yes, that is the same Kenny Tessel whose name you will find listed in the Internet Movie Database for his tv acting credits. This is also the same Kenny Tessel who once was a cook to the stars and who learned publicity techniques from Clint Eastwood, no less. Kenny knows that Reading is obscure—even more so for the community of High-Holidaybrisket eaters now scattered throughout the Tri-State region – but likes to remind everyone how easy it is to find him. “We are just a mile or so from the Ronald Reagan Highway’s Galbraith exit. We’re one block north of Galbraith on Reading Road.” Easy to find yes, but don’t forget to call first for carryout. Not just an hour or two before stopping by – Kenny insists you order one of his two holiday dishes at least a day, maybe two days in advance. “That is because we cook every meal fresh to order,” Kenny says. “Your order will be fresh.” “We do not serve kugel,” he continues. “No matzo ball soup. What we do offer is a quarter to a third pound of brisket dinners with potatoes and carrots and gravy for $13.99 per serving and chopped liver for $10 a pound. I make my own chopped liver and cook the schmaltz myself.” Nor should you expect a palace when you finally do find KT’s. The restaurant has been called a smoking beacon of culinary hope. It is not a fancy beacon. The ultra drab converted Dairy Queen has watermarked ceilings and features a couple of black, wire outdoor tables
(Top-bottom) An outside view of KT’s Barbecue, in Reading; “Grandma taught me this one,” says KT of the brisket.
and chairs, a modest kitchen, and a backroom where Kenny watches tv or reads during downtimes. Parking is tricky. You must ignore the sign on his north window that says “Parking in rear.” “You can park on the neighboring car wash lot,” Kenny explains. “I just never bothered to remove the sign.” Like many patrons I took the sign at its word and tried “parking in rear” only to find two parking spaces that were already occupied. I finally parked along a side street before making a short jaunt back to the Reading Road entrance. I strut past the five-foot high barbecue smoker padlocked in a little metal pen directly behind the hope shack. It’s three o’clock on a Friday and Kenny has just loaded it with meat. He is now relaxing at one of his tables. Kenny hands me a foil wrapped brisket sandwich ($6.25) to get a foretaste of the holiday offering and a small tub of cole slaw ($1.50). I
unwrap the aluminum torpedo to find a yellow egg bread bun. Tender, somewhat thinly slices of mild, moist brisket await. No carrots, no potatoes and darn little gravy but I close my eyes and imagine the egg bread as challah. Every nibble is enjoyable, especially after pouring a little KT barbeque sauce to make up for the gravy deficit. The slaw is his own special recipe – made with mayo, celery salt, pepper, cider vinegar, carrots, purple cabbage, cabbage and yes just a hint of barbecue sauce. If you are used to creamy cole slaw, it can be a bit startling, maybe a little dry. However if you like quirky and different, it is worth a try. “Quirky and different” indeed is a good way of summing up the whole KT’s experience. Kenny is known to the general public as much for his publicity stunts as his food. Sure he has won best of cuisine from Cincinnati Magazine, but his high profile shenanigans with
Barbie-Q bring him the most fame and is his strongest “branding” tool. Kenny got press when he first “hired” her. He got more press when he bowed to pressure and dressed Barbie-Q in her first set of clothes. He tried running her for office – more press. He has sponsored contests with her – more press. I suspect someday someone is going to propose to Barbie-Q and generate another round of press attention. “She is responsible for my still being here,” Kenny says, flatly. (Sounds like maybe he would be the one doing the proposing.) As flamboyant as Barbie-Q is, Kenny himself has a deceptively underwhelming or perhaps understated personal presence. Dressed in a KT’s tee shirt and a do-rag kerchief Kenny does not match the mental image of what you would expect from someone who used to cook for the stars. But he did. Need proof? Just look around him. Celebrity photos dot the wall. The
gallery includes Quentin Tarantino, Geena Davis, Elvira Mistress of the Dark and a couple of Fox 19 television news anchors, Rob Wlliams and Sheila Gray among many others. Or talk to him. Kenny loves to swap stories, especially about the old timers and his elbow-rubbing California dreamin' days. Fortunately, those salad days yielded more than stories. It improved his cooking. “It is where I learned to formulate my rubs for the meats. I developed them over a few years by trial and error with the help of my friends. It is these custom rubs that bring out the flavor in the brisket. I also use both marinades and rubs for the chicken.” After the holidays, KT’s marketing push will broaden again to emphasize the whole menu. Kenny’s overall selection is not huge but does have enough variety to justify an occasional or even regular visit. Highlights include: Pulled chicken sandwiches ($5.50), cornbread ($1.00), vegetarian beans ($1.50), whole chickens ($15.00) and soups of the day ($2.00-$4.00), such as Cuban black bean and mushroom. Kenny’s drink selection is sparse. A modest case filled with Pepsi, Mountain Dew cans and bottled water stands by the wall in the dining area next to the drawbridge counter leading to his kitchen. Customers never cross the drawbridge. However, because I am a reviewer, Kenny lifts the drawbridge to let me peek into his private cooking world. He agrees to show me around the tiny, cramped kitchen filled with a sink, a wash basin, a prep table, several refrigerators, blenders galore, a microwave and an oven. Kenny puts on a mitt, opens the heavy-duty industrial oven door to remove a pan filled with brisket dinners. He lifts the aluminum foil lid. Steam pours out. He grimaces, “This is what they will be getting for the holidays when they order from me.” I snap a photo. The brisket pan, however, is too unwieldy for Kenny to hold for a photograph. I want a photo of him holding something. “Anything you can handle?” I ask. “Cornbread,” he says and then he pulls a pan of cornbread off the prep table. Yes, he makes his own cornbread – with an orangey kick to it, by the way. “You can take my picture with the cornbread,” he announces. “I will teach you a trick I learned from Clint Eastwood. I will turn around and smile on the count of three.” “One. Two. Three.” I snap the picture. “That’s a wrap,” Kenny announces. KT’s Barbecue 8501 Reading Road Cincinnati, OH 45215 513-761-0200
DINING OUT • 15
THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
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16 • OPINION
What was happening there
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wouldn’t be pretty.
Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) disrespectful, disparaging and disgraceful comment that those Jews considering favoring Romney do so not because of concerns regarding Obama’s support (or lack of it) for Israel but because Jews want taxes on the wealthy decreased or not increased. In other words, Jewish concerns about Israel are just a “Trojan Horse”; really only manifestations of our “greed”, not concerns about how the Obama Administration (of which Pelosi is a key player) views Israel and its security. Unfortunately, Pelosi’s thoughts are similar to other doctrinaire liberal Democrats such as the Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Jew. Importantly, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has denounced Pelosi’s views as untrue and unfair to Jews everywhere. Are we going to accept the blasphemous views of people like Pelosi and Schultz? The Jewish community must monitor how Democrats in high positions view us very closely to see if they and/or their political party merit our continued, often “kneejerk” support. Can you imagine how the Jewish community would react to a Republican in a leadership position making the same comments? It wouldn’t be ignored (as Pelosi’s are) and it
Sincerely, John Feibel, Cincinnati, OH Dear Editor, In late September 2008, I was talking to a Christian friend. She asked me if I would be voting for Obama. Her assumption was that being Jewish, I would be an Obama supporter. She was quite surprised when I told her that I would not be voting for Obama. My gut reaction was that this could lead to serious reactions for Jewish people if an Obama Presidency turned out to be as bad as I had suspected. On election night, I sat in wonder hoping that my intuition was wrong. As this disastrous presidency has unfolded it is clear that my worst thoughts could become reality. These thoughts were based partly on history. As democracies fail, (we have slowly lapsed into a democracy) they become dictatorships with bloody retribution to vulnerable minorities. Plato warns of this in Republic. Modern history only reconfirms it. During the Constitutional Convention James Madison was asked what sort of government would we have? His answer, “a Republic if you can keep it!” The framers of the Constitution were well aware of the dangers of failed democracies and were careful to set up the
government we used to have. President Obama has sidestepped the separation of powers and has created rules without the consent of Congress. We are in the midst of a terrible economic downfall due to a compliant Congress who are more interested in political gain than good American patriotism. As our situation grows worse, money will be printed in larger and larger denominations. I have examples of German and Zimbabwean bills up to 20 billion dollars. They would buy nothing. In our case, how often will you hear that the blame is on the Jewish bankers? Or, the business men? Or, the voters? Sadly, many of the Jewish population has been exposed to elite educations. The reason I say exposed is that in many cases the proper word is indoctrinated. Perhaps the liberal elite have not considered an election in Germany 79 years ago under similar economic conditions. They elected a charismatic leader with poor qualifications. The results were disastrous for the entire world and especially the Jewish people. My suggestion for Jewish voters is that if you can not break from your Democratic habit, please leave your choice for President blank. Sincerely, Edward M. Levy Cincinnati, OH
T EST Y OUR T ORAH KNOWLEDGE THIS WEEK’S PORTION: SHOFTIM (DEVARIM 16:17—21:9) 1. What are the gifts to the Priests called? a.) Kindness to the Priest b.) Wage c.) Judgment 2. What can the Kohen do with the stomach? a.) Lining for kishka b.) Make cheese c.) Whatever he wants to do with it 3. What is described as an abomination
of the nations? a.) Idols b.) Magic and superstition c.) Their foods 4. Can a king have any unlimited number of wives? a.) Yes b.) No 5. Is the kingship an inherited position? a.) Yes b.) No
Hashem like sacrifices in the Temple. The Priest could use the stomach as a lining for kishka or the rennet laden in the cows stomach for cheese. 3. B 18:9-13
4. B 17:17 The Talmud says a maximum of 18 5. A 17:20 The son would inherit his father's position if he deserves it
With a few predictable exceptions, media coverage of the mammoth recent Siyum HaShas at MetLife Stadium was remarkably positive. Yes, the New York Times tried hard to find some woman at the event who felt slighted at being seated separately from the men, or who had boldly undertaken Daf Yomi. But it came up empty. (So it resorted to shlepping into its story a liberal rabbi in Riverdale who delivers a Gemara shiur to women, and cited the grumbling of one of the group’s members, a 70-year-old feminist, who has been “wrestling” with Talmud’s “attitude toward women.”) Similarly, even before the Siyum, Haaretz tried to force a similar angle into its reportage, focusing on what it called “the female revolution in Talmud study,” and highlighting a group of 30 women whose members, it reported, have completed a Daf Yomi cycle (well, most of them; a third of the group, it was parenthetically noted, joined in the middle of the cycle). But the agenda-less media were straightforward in apprising the larger public of what was an unprecedented and astounding event: the gathering of some 90,000 Jews in one arena, under threat of inclement weather, to celebrate Torah. Yes, the Siyum marked the end of the 12th cycle of Daf Yomi, but the gathering was, in the end, a rejoicing in the Jewish heritage. Torrential downpours through the day reminded us all about Who, despite all our meticulous planning, is in charge in the end. But the rain suddenly stopped when the Siyum began, only adding to the remarkable nature of the happening. I was pretty much stuck throughout in a room where members of the media came and went, gathering information and conducting interviews. I went outside onto the field for Mincha, the actual siyum, and Maariv, but most of the Siyum found me, among several colleagues, “entertaining” guests. There were notable moments, though, in the press room too. Small things, perhaps, compared to what was transpiring outside on the field and in the stands, but memorable all the same. Like the
tall, ramrod stiff, light-haired state police sergeant who mentioned in passing that he had some “ethnic Jewish” blood, since his mother’s mother’s mother had been Jewish. (Yes, he was informed that that made him fully Jewish.) Or the young, non-observant, Conservative-raised documentary filmmaker who was visibly moved by talking about Yiddishkeit with two observant women, one, a grandmother, the other a great-grandmother and well-known rebbetzin. And then there was a television reporter’s puzzlement at my response to his most basic question about the Siyum: “Could you tell me what’s happening here?” It was every reporter’s first question that evening, and my stock short answer “A celebration of Torah study” seemed to bewilder him. “What do you mean by ‘study’?” he asked. “And why is it being celebrated?” He wasn’t being difficult, it was clear. He simply couldn’t wrap his head around the idea of study as anything but the means to an end. One studies to pass a test, he (I think) was thinking, for a diploma, to advance a career. But celebrate study? What was this study meant to lead to? I tried my best to introduce him to the idea of study for the sake of study, study as, in itself, a religious devotion. His next question was one I hadn’t heard before. “Do you know of any other religion,” he asked, in all honest curiosity, “that treats study in a similar way?” I’m no scholar of comparative religion, I admitted, but no, I told him, in fact I didn’t. It was a “teaching moment,” as they say. But a learning one, too, for me. A non-Jewish reporter had made me more fully realize the uniqueness of the idea of Torah-study as a mitzvah, a devotion, a vocation. The day of the Siyum was the day Israel’s Tal Law’s expired, authorizing the state to draft fulltime Torah scholars and students into military service. I wished that the members of Israel’s Supreme Court, who had brought about that crisis, could have been there in the media room with the reporter and me, and could have, like me, come to more keenly appreciate the uniqueness and inherent value of the lifeblood of Klal Yisrael.
Written by Rabbi Dov Aaron Wise
ANSWERS 1. C 18:3 The Priests got these gifts because they were not given their own land in Israel. 2. C 18:3 These gifts were not sanctified to
By Rabbi Avi Shafran Contributing Columnist
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
JEWISH LIFE • 17
THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
Sedra of the Week
by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel - You shall appoint judges... [who] will not pervert justice... Righteousness, righteousness shall you pursue... You shall not plant for yourselves an ‘ashera’ (tree used for purposes of idolatry according to Rashi and Ibn Ezra) near the altar of the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 16:1820, 21). The juxtaposition of these verses—the demand for honorable and righteous judges, the concern for an impartial legal system which is a “no-bribe zone,” immediately followed by the prohibition of idolatry—seems to mix two completely different areas of religious concern. It combines the moral and ethical laws of interpersonal conduct together with the ritual laws of Divine Service. Each of these two realms holds a respected place in the Bible, but why group them so closely together without any kind of segue between them? Second, which of these two crimes is the more grievous? Is it a corrupt judicial system which undermines the very infrastructure of an ethical society or is it a mistaken religious notion which calls for the worship of a tree instead of worship of the Creator of the tree? Certainly, the injurious implications emanating from the first seem far more damaging than those emanating from the second. Indeed, the Bible itself adds a rider to the command to pursue justice: “in order that you may live and inherit the land which the Lord your God gives you.” A just society is a necessary prerequisite for the continued life of historic Israel and for Israel’s ability to retain sovereignty over her homeland. No such caveats or conditions appear pursuant to the prohibition of the ashera. Moreover, the Bible has already expressed its displeasure at those who worship trees or stones which can neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell (ibid. 4:28).
SHABBAT SHALOM: PARSHAT SHOFTIM DEUTERONOMY 16:18-21:9
Indeed, the Bible itself adds a rider to the command to pursue justice: “in order that you may live and inherit the land which the Lord your God gives you.” A just society is a necessary prerequisite for the continued life of historic Israel and for Israel’s ability to retain sovereignty over her homeland. Why prohibit worshiping the asheratree specifically if it is planted near the sacrificial altar? Is it not equally forbidden to serve a freestanding asheratree even if it is nowhere near the sanctuary (Mishkan) or Temple?! The Talmud (B.T. Avoda Zara 52a) makes a startling comparison which begins to provide the solution to our questions: “ReshLakish said, ‘anyone who appoints an unworthy judge is considered like someone who plants an asheratree in Israel, as it is written, You shall appoint judges and executors in all your gates and it is written right next to it, You shall not plant for yourselves an asheratree.’ And Rav Ashi added, ‘And if it is in a place where pious scholars are found, it is as if he planted the ashera next to the sacrificial altar.’” What I believe the Sages are deriving from this juxtaposition of the biblical verses is that the real sin of idolatry lies in the perversion of justice perpetuated by the idolaters. This was found in their lack of morality and ethical conscience, in the orgiastic Dionysian rites which included eating the limbs and drinking the blood of living animals and in the drunken trysts with temple prostitutes. Idolaters paid no heed to “thou shalt not murder” when they sacrificed innocent children to Moloch. And worst of all was when the immorality of idolatry invaded the hallowed gates of the Holy Temple. At that point, the entire reason for Israel’s nationhood ceased to exist, so that God was forced to leave His House and see to it that it be destroyed. The truth is that almost every time the Bible forbids idolatry, it is within the context of the
immoral behavior which characterized it: “Do not bow down to their gods, do not worship them and do not act according to their practices...” (Exodus 23:24); “Guard yourself lest you seek out their gods... they burn their sons and daughters in fire to their gods.” (Deut. 2:30-31); “You shall destroy the Hittites...in order that they not teach you to act according to all their abominations.” (Deut. 20:17, 18). Remember that God chose Abraham because he was committed to compassionate righteousness and moral justice (Genesis 18:18-19); and on Tisha B’Av, the memorial day of our Temples’ destruction, we read publicly the verse, “Only in this regard shall one be praised: ‘Be wise and know Me, for I am the Lord who does loving-kindness, moral justice and compassionate righteousness in the land, because these are what I desire, says the Lord’” (Jeremiah 9:22, 23). Although Maimonides consistently defines idolatry in pure and absolute theological and metaphysical terms, Rabbi Menahem ha-Meiri (13th- and 14th-century Provence) defined idolatry in terms of the “disgusting immoral acts of the idolaters,” whose paganism prevented them from accepting the universal moral laws of the Noahide Covenant. For the Meiri, anyone who was moral was ipso facto not to be considered an idolater. In the final analysis, he understood that to know God is to pursue justice and righteousness. Shabbat Shalom Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Chancellor Ohr Torah Stone Chief Rabbi – Efrat Israel
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18 • JEWZ IN THE NEWZ
By Nate Bloom Contributing Columnist BRAFF ON TV, SEINFELD ON THE WEB ZACH BRAFF, 37, will reunite with his “Scrubs” co-star Donald Faison in the Aug. 29 episode of “The Exes,” a TV Land comedy (10:30 PM). “The Exes,” which began in Nov. 2011, began its 12-episode second season on June 30. Faison plays Phil, a womanizing sports agent who shares an apartment with a nice, recently divorced dentist (DAVID ALAN BASCHE, 43), and a couch potato who sells stuff on the ‘Net (Wayne Knight). Braff will guest-star as a pro tennis player who is a new client of Phil. Knight, of course, is best known for playing “Newman” on “Seinfeld.” The titular star of the show, JERRY SEINFELD, 58, is starring in a new web-only series that has largely flown below the radar, entitled “Comedians in Cars getting Coffee.” The premise is firmly within the “Seinfeld” world of a “show about nothing.” Jerry drives a comedian to a coffee shop and they banter about this and that. In the first episode, co-starring “Seinfeld” co-creator LARRY DAVID, 65, there’s a lot of talk about David’s refusal to drink coffee. The next two posted episodes feature, respectively, comedians Ricky Gervais and Brian Regan. All are about 14 minutes long. One starring Alec Baldwin will be up soon. A BERRY TURNS WHITE AND JEWISH Photos have just been released of African-American actress Halle Berry playing a white Jewish woman in the upcoming (October) sci-fi fantasy film “Cloud Atlas.” Created by the same guys who did the “The Matrix” films, it features characters that morph as they travel through time. Just google the name of Berry’s Jewish character (Jocasta Ayers) and you’ll come across a pic of the amazing makeup job. UNEXPECTED ALLEN GIFT AND NEW MOVIE This writer lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and the local media is full of reports of a new (unnamed, of course) WOODY ALLEN film being filmed around the area. As these reports appeared, I also happened to stumble upon a recent web profile of actress ARI GRAYNOR, 28. Graynor is one of my favorite actresses—I think she’s really talented and, with mazel, will “break-out” soon. She played the
“funny drunk” best friend in the charming 2008 film, “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” (starring KAT DENNINGS) and the Jewish girlfriend of a Jewish drug dealer in “Holy Rollers” (2010). In fall 2011, she starred in a Broadway production of a oneact Allen-written comedy that Allen also directed. I have always thought of Allen, 77, as being “militantly secular.” So I was surprised when I read about an Allen gift in the profile. Graynor showed the reporter her apartment and the reporter pointed out that she had many books on Jewish themes. She responded that during her Broadway play’s run that Allen gave her a mezuzah and included with it a note (which she’s framed) that reads: “You can come to my Seder anytime.” On Aug. 31, Graynor’s new film, “For a Good Time Call,” opens in most cities. It co-stars Graynor and LAUREN MILLER, 30, as roommates who become phone sex operators out of financial necessity. Miller co-wrote the film and her real-life husband, SETH ROGEN, 30, has a large supporting role. It is a raunchy comedy somewhat in the mold of the surprise hit “Bridesmaids.” In other words, a film created by women that combines broad humor with some pathos. In effect, it’s the female spin on the formula that Rogen, JUDD APATOW, and JASON SEGEL have used to create hit-after-hit. S O M E T H I N G H A P P Y, SOMETHING SAD Various sources are reporting that gold-medal winning gymnast ALY RAISMAN,18, has accepted an Israeli government invitation to visit Israel with her whole family. The trip is likely to take place at the end of December when Raisman’s three younger siblings are on vacation. This would be the first trip to Israel for Raisman and her family. On Aug. 14, the funeral of composer MARVIN HAMLISCH took place at New York’s Temple Emanuel-El. President Clinton said about Hamlisch in his funeral eulogy: “Genius is rare enough, but a good-hearted genius is rarer still. A good-hearted, humble and hilarious genius? Almost unheard-of.” Hamlisch’s bi-partisan appeal was demonstrated when a message of condolence from former First Lady Nancy Reagan was read at the funeral. Mrs. Reagan said that she sometimes liked to sing along with Hamlisch when he would perform for her and President Reagan.
FROM THE PAGES 150 Y EARS A GO Isaac Shire, lately of Canandaigua, N. Y., has an important letter at this office. Send address immediately. — August 22, 1862
125 Y EARS A GO Miss Julia H. Workum, of West Eighth Street, is in Detroit, Mich., visiting her grandmother. Miss Workum will make a tour of the lakes before returning home. A number of Cincinnatians are summering at Mount Washington, this county. Among them are Mr. and Mrs. Karl Weihl, Mr. and Mrs. M. Marcus, Mrs. Bing and family, and others. A very pretty lawn fete was given on the occasion of the anniversary of Miss Blanche Bing’s birthday. The regular monthly meeting of the Ladies’ Society for the Relief of the Sick Poor was held Wednesday last in the vestry-rooms of the Plum Street Temple. There are at present eleven families under the care of the society, making the expenses unusually large for the summer months. Five new members, Miss Jessie Meyers, Mrs. Clara Clayman, Mrs. John Cohen, Mrs. Herman and Mrs. Blumenthal have been enrolled. The following donations are gratefully acknowledged: Mrs. Jos. Silverman, $5; Mrs. Nathan Ransohoff, $1; Mrs. Aufrecht, Chicago, Ill., $5; and last, but not least, we thank the Misses Ray Plaut, Rosa Fruhauff, Emma Fruhauff and Mabel Williamson, through whose noble efforts were realized $20 from the proceeds of a fair held by them. The next meeting of the society will be held Wednesday, September 3rd. — August 19, 1887
100 Y EARS A GO Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Sachs of 856 Wyndham avenue, Avondale, have returned from a four week stay in Atlantic City. Mr. and Mrs. I. Steinman gave a card party and dinner last Friday evening in honor of Mrs. Samuel Sadler, of Chicago, who is visiting her daughter, Mrs. S. H. Goodman. While here, Mrs Sadler will stop at the home of Mrs. Goodman at 2506 Chatham street, Walnut Hills. Benton S. Oppenheimer, a well known attorney of this city, who was acting Judge of the Police Court during the summer, has been named by Governor Harmon as a member of the Commission of Uniform Laws, a national association. Mr. Oppenheimer’s term is for three years. On August 14 occurred the marriage of Miss Emma N. Gallop, of 3156 Harvey Avenue, Avondale, to Mr. Abraham Kaplan, of Monroe, La., the knot being tied by Dr. Julian Morgenstern, assisted by Rabbi Sol. L. Kory of Vicksburg, a personal
friend of the groom. It was a strictly family affair and in the evening a wedding reception was held for the many friends of the young couple from 7 to 11. Mr. and Mrs. Kaplan left the same evening for a trip to Chicago, Detroit, Niagara Falls and New York. They will be at home to their friends at Monroe, La., after September 1. —August 15, 1912
75 Y EARS A GO At the Indian Ceremonial at Camp Kawaga, Minocqua, Wis., Sunday, Aug. 8th, Louis I. Egelson, Jr., was given the highest honor that the camp bestows — the award of an Indian name. This honor is limited to seven boys each season, who are chosen by the unanimous vote of the counselors. It is awarded for high character and attainments. Among parents and friends who have visited Camp Kawaga during the past two weeks are the following from Cincinnati: Dr. and Mrs. Gilbert Mombach, Dr. and Mrs. Abraham Cronbach, Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Koch, Mr. and Mrs. Nobert Covy, Rabbi and Mrs. Louis I. Egelson, Mr. and Mrs. Moses Wilchins, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Stein, Mr. Sidney Rosin, Mr. and Mrs. Max Schwab, Mr. and Mrs. Isadore Bluestein and Mr. Charles Bluestein. Mr. and Mrs. Max Pollak, of Vienna, will become American citizens, friends here have been advised. They are expecting to reside permanently in Cincinnati. Mr. Pollak is an etcher of international reputation and recently was elected an honorary member of the Chicago Society of Etchers. They will return to Cincinnati in October. — August 12, 1937
50 Y EARS A GO Mr. and Mrs. Alvin J. Levine, 1611 Elizabeth Place, announce the forthcoming Bar Mitzvah of their son, Edward Lawrence, Saturday, Sept. 1, at 9 a.m., at Adath Israel Synagogue. Relatives and friends are invited to worship with the family and attend the Kiddush. A reception will be held that evening, Saturday, Sept. 1, from 8:30 until 12 midnight, at their home, 1611 Elizabeth Place. Relatives and friends are invited. Edward is a grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Levine, Mrs. Louis Guttman and the late Louis Guttman. Announcement is made of the marriage of Miss Barbara Jean Schaar, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward H. Schaar, of Pacific Palisades, Calif., to Mr. Marvin H. Singer, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Singer of Westchester, Calif. The bride is a great-greatgranddaughter of Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, founder of Reform
Judaism in America. Used in the ceremony was a silver goblet presented to Rabbi Wise in 1859 “by his friend of LaFayette, Iowa.” — August 23, 1962
25 Y EARS A GO More than 460 persons gathered at the Jewish Community Center Aug. 10 for the 45th anniversary celebration of the Senior Adult Department and the dedication of newly renovated senior adult facilities. Tribute was paid to Paul Newman and Samuel and Sarah Harris for their generous contributions making possible the establishment of the Max and Edith Newman Senior Activity Center and the Samuel L. and Sarah Harris Senior Adult Learning Center. (Rabbi Max and Edith Newman are Paul Newman’s parents.) The name Miller has been well known in Cincinnati — from the Miller Dairy to the Miller Brothers Wallpaper and Paint Co. to George Miller, builder. These Millers, plus six other siblings, were descendents of Benjamin and Hannah Miller, who immigrated to Cincinnati from Lithuania in 1920. Recently — 83 years after the first Miller family member arrived in Cincinnati in 1904—95 descendents of Benjamin and Hannah Miller gathered in Cincinnati for a family reunion — to meet each other and to learn about their family history. — August 27, 1987
10 Y EARS A GO Rabbi Moshe Meirovich will present a Selichot program prior to the annual Selichot service Aug. 31 at 10 p.m. at Congregation Ohav Shalom. The Cincinnati Community Kollel will begin a season of new classes at its Golf Manor location. The departure of staff members for other positions and the private sector has necessitated the hiring of new staff for the seven-year-old organization. Rabbi Yehiel Kalish has assumed duties as Midwest regional director for Agudath Israel. Rabbi Yehudah Bienstock has taken a position in the local healthcare industry, and Rabbi Ely Behar has returned to graduate studies in social work at the University of Cincinnati. New staff scholars at the Kollel include the following: Rabbi A.D. Motzen was born in Israel and rasied in Montreal, Quebec. He received rabbinic ordination at Ner Israel Rabbinical College in 2002. Rabbi Motzenand his wife, Shifra, both hold master’s degrees in special education from Johns Hopkins University. “No Jewish child should be denied his or her Jewish heritage because of a disbility.” — August 22, 2002.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 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 Chabad (513) 731-5111 • campchabad.org Camp Livingston (513) 793-5554 • camplivingston.com Cedar Village (513) 754-3100 • cedarvillage.org Chevra Kadisha (513) 396-6426 Cincinnati Community Kollel (513) 631-1118 • kollel.shul.net Cincinnati Community Mikveh (513) 351-0609 • cincinnatimikveh.org Eruv Hotline (513) 351-3788 Fusion Family (513) 703-3343 • fusionnati.org Halom House (513) 791-2912 • halomhouse.com Hillel Jewish Student Center (Miami) (513) 523-5190 • muhillel.org Hillel Jewish Student Center (UC) (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 • btzbc.com 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 • btzbc.com
Congregation Ohav Shalom (513) 489-3399 • ohavshalom.org Congregation Ohr Chadash (513) 252-7267 • ohrchadashcincinnati.com Congregation Sha’arei Torah shaareitorahcincy.org Congregation Zichron Eliezer 513-631-4900 • czecincinnati.org Golf Manor Synagogue (513) 531-6654 • golfmanorsynagogue.org Isaac M. Wise Temple (513) 793-2556 • wisetemple.org Kehilas B’nai Israel (513) 761-0769 Northern Hills Synagogue (513) 931-6038 • nhs-cba.org Rockdale Temple (513) 891-9900 • rockdaletemple.org Temple Beth Shalom (513) 422-8313 • tbsohio.org Temple Sholom (513) 791-1330 • templesholom.net The Valley Temple (513) 761-3555 • valleytemple.com
EDUCATION Chai Tots Early Childhood Center (513) 234.0600 • chaitots.com Chabad Blue Ash (513) 793-5200 • chabadba.com Cincinnati Hebrew Day School (513) 351-7777 • chds.shul.net HUC-JIR (513) 221-1875 • huc.edu JCC Early Childhood School (513) 793-2122 • mayersonjcc.org Kehilla - School for Creative Jewish Education (513) 489-3399 • kehilla-cincy.com Mercaz High School (513) 792-5082 x104 • mercazhs.org Kulanu (Reform Jewish High School) 513-262-8849 • kulanucincy.org Regional Institute Torah & Secular Studies (513) 631-0083 Rockwern Academy (513) 984-3770 • rockwernacademy.org Sarah’s Place (513) 531-3151 • sarahsplacecincy.com
ORGANIZATIONS American Jewish Committee (513) 621-4020 • ajc.org American Friends of Magen David Adom (513) 521-1197 • afmda.org B’nai B’rith (513) 984-1999 BBYO (513) 722-7244 Hadassah (513) 821-6157 • cincinnati.hadassah.org Jewish Discovery Center (513) 234.0777 • jdiscovery.com Jewish National Fund (513) 794-1300 • jnf.org Jewish War Veterans (513) 204-5594 • jwv.org NA’AMAT (513) 984-3805 • naamat.org National Council of Jewish Women (513) 891-9583 • ncjw.org State of Israel Bonds (513) 793-4440 • israelbonds.com Women’s American ORT (513) 985-1512 • ortamerica.org.org
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SHOLOM from page 3 Temple Sholom’s lifelong learning also includes the design, construction and cultivation of a community garden, and integrates social action into the learning process with social justice partners such as Valley Interfaith Food & Clothing Shelter in Lockland, and Elementz—Urban Arts Center for Hip Hop and Respect in Over-theRhine. As it is written in the prophetic book of Micah 6:8, and on Temple Sholom’s sanctuary wall, “Oh humanity, what is good,
JCC from page 5 has been teaching dance and improvisation to children and adults for nine years. Shani’s choreography has won awards in Israel and she has performed in Israel and Europe. Her dance classes at the J are sure to be a hit. Children aren’t the only ones having fun at the J this fall. Chicago Style 16 Softball League is an exciting new league at the Mayerson JCC. Popular in Chicago since the 1920s, this form of softball uses a much larger ball that doesn’t travel as far or as fast. The rules and strategies are the same as the traditional game. Chicagoans play without a glove, but bring yours if you like. There are two leagues offered at the J: Men’s only league, ages 16+ and a Co-ed league, ages 21-35. Both leagues start in early September. Men’s 40+ Basketball is another new JCC adult sports
KUBERT from page 6 “There is nothing left of that town [Yzeran] at all,” Joe Kubert told JNS last year at the opening of the Israeli Cartoon Museum exhibit. “It doesn’t exist anymore... It was wiped out completely.” And Joe was certainly grateful to his adopted homeland. While the Kuberts were atypical in their chosen profession, they are very much the archetypal American Jewish success story. When he spoke to JNS, Joe recalled growing up in a traditional immigrant home in Brooklyn. “My father was a kosher butcher in Brooklyn, but he also
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Up to 24 hour care Meal Preparation Errands/Shopping Hygiene Assistance Light Housekeeping
and what does the Lord require of you? Only to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly before your God.” Torah study, meaningful worship (avodah), and acts of justice and compassion (gemilut chasadim) overlap and inspire the lifelong learning course of action at Temple Sholom this Rosh Hashana, 5773. For those interested in learning more about Temple Sholom’s new educational program, they can contact Chris Kraus or the Temple Sholom office. league that offers fun ways to socialize and get fit. Due to popular demand, this new competitive league is especially for participants over the age of 40. The league includes 10 games and a tournament, beginning in November. Red Cross Swimming lessons and lifeguard training classes are very popular at the J and programs fill up fast. A wide range of Red Cross Certified swim lessons are offered. Programs start with babies, as young as 6 months old, and go all the way up to lifeguard training for teens and adults. One popular swimming course is Aqua Tots. Parents love to spend time in the pool with their babies and toddlers while instructors teach them beginning swim lessons. Registration for these and many other JCC fall programs is in progress. To register or for a complete list of JCC fall classes, visit or call the J. happened to be very well-read,” Joe reminisced. “He was a chazan (cantor) in shul.” He continued, “My father observed all the holidays, and every Friday as a kid, my father after work would go down to the shvitz [public bath] in East New York.” Despite how far he came from his Depression-era youth, the senior Kubert still held affection for the tradition-filled milieu of his Brooklyn childhood, which perhaps led to the most unusual of collaborations in his 73-year career: drawing cartoons for the Hassidic group Chabad’s publications Tzivos Hashem and Moshiach Times.
20 • BUSINESS
Israel Bonds announces High Holiday appeals This Year’s Program to encourage investment in “A Nation of Heritage, Courage, and Inspiration” The 2012 Israel Bonds High Holiday appeals, a cornerstone of the Bonds program since the orga-
nization’s founding in 1951, will be conducted in synagogues throughout the country on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Bonds President and CEO Izzy Tapoohi said the theme of the appeals – This is Israel –“will encourage worshippers to invest in a nation of heritage, courage and inspiration. At the
same time,” he added, “they will have the opportunity to acquire a dependable investment well-suited for these uncertain economic times.” During High Holiday services, worshippers will be presented with tab cards enabling them to designate the type and amount of the Israel bond they intend to purchase. The
Bonds organization currently offers a choice of fixed rate bonds or floating rate bonds. Available instruments provide a choice of maturities, as well as income-generating bonds or bonds paying interest upon maturity. Individuals indicating they wish to purchase Israel bonds will have the opportunity to do so online.
Since its launch in late September 2011, sales via the online site have exceeded $12.3 million. Further information about the High Holiday appeals can be obtained by calling your local Israel Bonds/Development Corporation for Israel office or visiting the Israelbonds website.
New ambulances honor anniversary of slain Israeli athletes NEW YORK — This year’s Olympic games will be remembered for many feats that took place, an impressive medal haul for the United States, dramatic finishes in gymnastics, volleyball, track, and soccer, and a number of new Olympic and world records. But in the worldwide Jewish community, they’ll also be remembered for what didn’t take place, a moment of silence at the opening ceremonies to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the murders of 11 Israeli athletes by terrorists at the 1972 games in Munich. To counter this puzzling lack of
acknowledgement on the part of the IOC and to remember the 11 Israeli athletes in a way that affirms the Jewish belief in the sanctity of life, American Friends of Magen David Adom (AFMDA) is working to raise $1.1 million to purchase 11 urgently needed Life Support Ambulances to be deployed in Israel and dedicated in each athlete’s memory. “What better way to commemorate a person’s life, especially someone killed solely because they were Israeli, than to dedicate an ambulance that will save lives in Israel?” asked Arnold Gerson, chief
executive officer of American Friends of Magen David Adom, the U.S.-based fundraising arm of Israel’s national blood and emergency medical response agency. AFMDA already has a commitment for the purchase of the first of the 11 ambulances as a result of a grant from the 613 Foundation. “I was outraged the slain athletes weren’t acknowledged at the London opening ceremonies,” said Donna Fried Calcaterra, the foundation’s founder. “I thought a Life Support Ambulance, something that’s used to save lives, would be an appropriate way to remember
them in the absence of efforts by the International Olympic Committee.” While Ms. Calcaterra and her daughter, Jenna, originally planned to put the names of all 11 Israeli athletes on the ambulance her foundation is sponsoring, she and AFMDA determined that if another 10 ambulances could be purchased, they would truly honor the athletes by dedicating an ambulance to each one individually. “The Munich massacre looms large in Israeli history and in the psyche of the Jewish community because these were people murdered hideously at an event specifi-
cally designed to promote peace,” said Mr. Gerson. He noted that AFMDA’s chapter in Cleveland, in fact, was long ago named after one of the slain Israeli athletes, Shaker Heights native David Mark Berger. A run-walk event being held by the David Mark Berger Chapter on Sunday, Oct. 21, will also be used to raise money for ambulances in honor of the slain Israelis. The $100,000 AFMDA needs to purchase each ambulance can be donated by individuals or foundations, or the funds can be raised by people interested in organizing community campaigns.
Leadership lessons of AEPi International Fraternity By David Bernstein and Phillip Brodsky Guest Contributors Embarking on its 100th year, AEPi fraternity has become a vital force in Jewish life. Indeed, while many segments of American Jewish life are in decline, AEPi is rapidly growing. Ranked number one amongst fraternities in academic achievement, the movement has in the past four years grown from 7,000 to 9,000 undergraduate members and an all-time high 166 chapters worldwide. The national office of AEPi, under the leadership of executive director Andy Borans and newly sworn in supreme master (international president) Elan Carr, has demonstrated remarkable vision and leadership, defining a clear course for the organization. Other Jewish organizations would do well to learn from its example. Here are several of its lessons: Define what you are and what you are not While many historically Jewish fraternities and sororities wavered on their Jewishness, AEPi stood firm and even raised CIRCUMCISION from page 8 Detractors of circumcision rely on a survey published in 2008 by the Danish Health Ministry’s research institute, SSI. The study, conducted by Dr. Morten Frisch, indicated that circumcisions caused sexual performance problems.
its Jewish temperature. Phil Cohen, a former supreme master of AEPi in the 1970s, relates how he and other AEPi leaders decided to double down on Jewish life at the very time when other Greek organizations were peeling off their Jewish labels in the name of inclusivity and building a broader base. The organization’s mission statement is replete with references to the centrality of Jewish life, stating loud and clear that “today Jewish students search out Alpha Epsilon Pi because it is a Jewish fraternity.” AEPi rightfully boasts about the numbers of its members going on to lay and professional leadership positions within the Jewish community. Likewise, the fraternity is unabashedly pro-Israel. Our organization, The David Project, recently joined forces with AEPi to plan “Israel Amplified,” a pro-Israel training conference for Greek students. While students at Israel Amplified expressed diverse views on Israeli government policy, AEPi makes no bones about its membership in the pro-Israel consensus camp. Running simultaneous to Israel Amplified was AEPi’s Hineni, providing fraternity broth-
ers the tools to develop their Jewish identities and that of their chapters. By being clear about what it is—a Jewish, pro-Israel fraternity— AEPi has attracted those students who are looking for precisely such a Jewish experience, driving its remarkable growth. Being clear about what you are—and what you’re not—gives an organization a natural market and the prospect for energetic growth.
The research, which resurfaced last month in media debates about circumcision, included 125 circumcised men. Two were Jewish, five were Muslim and the rest were circumcised for reasons beyond their religious community’s beliefs. Dr. Ilan Raymond, a physician
short in their core competencies, and going it alone in areas they could use the help. Organizations that focus on their strengths and partner on all the rest excel at their core competencies and find leverage in the broader network of complimentary Jewish organizations.
deepest possible way.
Know what you’re good at, and seek partners to fill in the gaps In discussions with AEPi organizers leading up to Israel Amplified, fraternity leaders were refreshingly clear about what they do and don’t do well. They’re master recruiters, knowing exactly how to identify and motivate students to participate in fraternity activities. But they were also clear that they are not Israel advocacy experts and were more than willing to partner with The David Project and other organizations. The possibility of partnership emerges out of a realistic sense of self and a clear view of organizational strengths. Organizations that think they’re good at everything end up taking too much on, falling
Create experiences that inspire loyalty One of the most challenging endeavors for Jewish organizations is to inspire loyalty among stakeholders and potential stakeholders through creating meaningful experiences that connect them to the organization’s mission. Some organizations have an easier go at it than others. While AEPi may not be unique in this regard, it spends significant time and effort in initiating friends and partners into the fraternity (in full disclosure, David Bernstein was initiated in August 2012). Being sworn into the fraternity through a set of meaningful rituals inspires loyalty and connection to the fraternity’s mission. Every Jewish organization should ask itself how it can make its mission more accessible to stakeholders and find ways for stakeholders to connect to the mission in the
Don’t give away your programs and services for free Unlike many Jewish organizations operating in the youth and college space, AEPi doesn’t give away its services for free. As we’ve learned in the past few decades, free has a price. Over time it can cheapen programs and, paradoxically, make them less, not more desirable. By concentrating on a unique experience confined to a distinct segment of the population, AEPi proves that at least in some settings you can charge and thrive, a valuable lesson for Jewish organizations. The trick may be not charging for what you’ve given away for free in the past or what others are currently giving away for free, but to create unique programs for distinct segments of the Jewish market, the kind of programs people are willing to pay for. AEPi offers an instructive example of how clearly stated values, specialization and a partnership-orientation can pay dividends for an organization, and provide great value for the larger Jewish enterprise.
from Copenhagen and a member of the Jewish community’s board, hopes that talk of parliamentary action is a byproduct of what’s known as “the silly season.” During the slow summer months, journalists and backbench politicians often resort to statements about circumcision to stay relevant, says
Raymond. If a ban does come to pass, Danish Jews would “pack up [their] suitcases right away and end 400 years of Jewish life in Denmark,” Bent Lexner, Denmark’s chief rabbi, said in a recent filmed interview for a local news station. Regardless, merely following
the acrimonious debate on circumcision is painful for Danish Jews, a community of roughly 8,500. “It deeply saddens me,” Schwarz said. “For centuries we’ve been a very important factor and have done a lot for this society. Yet now we hear our customs are barbaric and that we need to evolve.”
FOOD • 21
THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
A peach of a treat Zell’s Bites
without the white pith Method 1. Cut the peaches into a 2-quart bowl. Mix the brandy and sugar. Microwave on High, 2 minutes or heat in a small saucepan, until sugar has melted. Add the lemon juice and rind and pour over sliced peaches. Refrigerate in a well-covered container overnight. Serve at room temperature.
by Zell Schulman When I was a small child, living in Park Hills, Ky., one of my favorite things was going with my father to the Covington Farmers Market on the weekend. He was a great cook and would point out just what I was to look for when we went shopping for our weekly produce and dairy products. He had quite an influence on my interest in the culinary world.
There is nothing quite so satisfying as biting into a fresh, ripe, summer peach. They make the perfect snack, dessert or side dish with poultry or beef. Picking peaches off of my friend Peggy’s peach trees was another summer treat I looked forward to. Her family had a large farm with many fruit trees as well as a huge grape arbor and vegetable garden. They also had a stand at the Covington Market where they sold what they grew. There is nothing quite so satisfying as biting into a fresh, ripe, summer peach. They make the perfect snack, dessert or side dish with poultry or beef. Serve them sliced, with your favorite cookie or as the topping over angel food or pound cake slices. If you haven’t time to poach your peaches, pick up a can or two of peach halves or slices. FRESH BRANDIED PEACHES Serves 6 Ingredients 1 dozen fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced into eighths 1/4 cup brandy 1/2 cup extra fine sugar 2 large lemons, juice and zest
2012 SPECIAL ISSUE
FRUIT FILLED PEACHES WITH BRANDY Makes 6 to 8 servings Ingredients A 1-pound 13 ounce can of peach halves in heavy syrup 4 ounces dried apricots from California 1 small navel orange, very thinly sliced 4 ounces pitted prunes, cut in halves One 10 ounce jar maraschino cherries 1/4 cup light brown sugar 1 tablespoon good brandy 1/2 cup cold water Method 1. Drain the peaches, reserving the syrup. Line an 8” square casserole with paper towels. Place the peaches, cut side down, on the towels to drain. Cover with another paper towel. Place the apricots in a small saucepan or 4 cup microwave safe container. Add just enough water to cover the apricots. Allow this to come to a boil then cook over medium low heat 5 to 10 minutes or microwave on High 2 minutes 2. Strain the cooked apricots and set aside. Combine the peach syrup, apricot liquid, and sliced orange into a 1-quart pan. Add the cold water, and let this come to a boil. Turn the heat to simmer and cook the oranges 30 to 45 minutes until tender and the liquid has reduced a little. 3. Preheat the oven to 400F. Remove the paper towels from the peaches. Turn the peaches cut side up. Fill each peach cavity center with an apricot, then a prune half, and top with a cherry. Distribute the brown sugar evenly over the peaches. Pour the cooked orange syrup evenly over the peaches. Bake the fruit 35 to 40 minutes. The recipe may be prepared up to this point a day or two ahead. Cover and refrigerate it. Just before serving, pour the Brandy over the cooked fruit and set in a 400F oven for 5 minutes. Serve warm. Zell’s Tips: Canned peaches vary. Look for the words “Elberta” or “Cling” on the label of the can. The number of halves in the cans may also vary. They may hold six, eight or nine halves and may also range in size.
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22 • OBITUARIES D EATH N OTICES BIENENFELD, Freda, age 88, died on August 16, 2012; 28 Av, 5772. MARK, Ruth, age 75, died on August 16, 2012; 28 Av, 5772. REISENFELD, Steven, age 41, died on August 18, 2012; 30 Av, 5772. TRUMAN from page 7 “At gun-point the boys were herded off the ship and onto trucks HILLEL from page 7 having “meaningful” interactions with 40 percent of them and turn 20 percent of them into Jewish leaders. “Jews are leaders all over campus, but we had to come back to teach them about what it means to be Jewish,” says the low-key Firestone, who can rattle off statistics one moment while retelling stories of a student’s profound shift in Jewish identity the next. Speaking of students like Moskowitz, Firestone adds, “When we get them to talk about and understand what it means to be Jewish, we have a force multiplier. We think about them as ‘proGUTTMANN from page 8 Guttmann, who was born in 1899 to a traditional Jewish family in Tost, Upper Silesia, was a senior neurosurgeon at Breslau Hospital until 1933, when the Nazis made it illegal for Jews to work in Aryan hospitals. Guttmann moved to the local Jewish hospital and was elected its medical director in 1937. Two years later, the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics brought him to the United Kingdom with his wife and two young children. He was partially escaping the attention of the Gestapo, who first noticed him on the night of Kristallnacht in November 1938, when he admitted more than 60 men to the hospital, fictitiously claiming that they all had serious medical conditions. At first he worked in medical research at a prestigious infirmary in the university town of Oxford; HUNGARY from page 9 “To think that Csatary went to all that trouble to have them murdered,” she said. “No one bothered to ask me what I know. Now he’s off the hook.” As the conversation progresses, the memories shake Weinberger’s determination to look at the glass as half full. “It’s a big disappointment,” she acknowledged. “I was recently very ill and I thought I wouldn’t live much longer, but I drew solace from knowing that the man
like animals,” Schindell wrote. “Oh, what a sight they were! They were defiant, laughing and singing [the] fighting songs of the Haganah and the Irgun...Such poise and dignity I have never yet seen and I doubt whether I ever will. Never will I forget it...and don’t you either.” They were driven 50 miles on army trucks to Baalbek, a ramshackle detention camp surrounded with barbed wire. For five and a half weeks, the 69 young men studied Hebrew, played cards, and subsisted mostly on pita bread, spoiled eggs, and thin soup. “I weighed 150 pounds when we arrived, 110 when
we left,” King wrote. The guards were Palestinian Arabs, “and some of them were sadistic bastards,” according to King. “One morning, out of the blue, Faust, the consul-general, shows up and tells us that we’re being sent back to America,” Esrati told JNS. “There was only one catch – Faust made us sign papers taking out a U.S. government loan of $300 each to pay our return fare. That’s what I call adding insult to injury.” Protests by American Zionist groups and members of Congress over the continued detention of U.S. citizens had embarrassed the Lebanese government and con-
vinced it to send the 69 back. But not all of them made the complete journey. Seventeen of the Haganah men left the ship when it docked in Palermo, Italy, and then made their way to Israel. Others disembarked in Naples. Esrati and two friends jumped ship in the Azores, but were arrested by the Portuguese police and taken back in handcuffs. They spent much of the return trip below deck, in the ship’s brig. But Muriel Eisenberg and the other women of the Marine Carp had the last laugh. The Truman administration’s policy of barring “men of military age” from reaching Israel specified “men,” not
women. The assumption in those days was that women would not serve on the battlefield. The policymakers did not take into consideration the fact that in the new state of Israel, women were not always confined to society’s traditional roles. To the delight of their comrades behind barbed wire in Baalbek, most of the female passengers of the Marine Carp who were permitted to go to Haifa promptly enlisted in the Israeli army. Arriving just days after Israel’s establishment, they helped initiate a tradition of American Jews serving in the Israeli army that continues to this day.
sumers,’ not just people we are servicing but people who are building communities.” The goal is being implemented by retraining staff, putting senior Jewish educators on some key campuses, putting Israeli shlichim, or envoys, on others and injecting a mantra of engagement into all things Hillel. Costs for the effort remain elusive, and privately some staffers worry about the new thrust sapping resources from existing programs as well as how their results will be measured. Nonetheless, it is taking root and Hillel has reams of statistics, studies and plans that it says shows the push is worthwhile.
Some in the Jewish world are taking note. Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, spent two days at the conference in St. Louis to study how the engagement effort could help his movement. “What everyone sees at Hillel is an incredibly smart, transformative process to literally re-create a whole different kind of campus Jewish life,” Jacobs told JTA. “It’s really remarkable to watch, certainly for someone in the midst of our own refocusing and realignment.” Also taking notice is the University of Toronto. Hillel’s Ask Big Questions initiative has been adapted campus-wide by the uni-
versity’s president, David Naylor. The push fosters conversations around “practical and existential topics” such as politics, social change, biology and God. Launched last year on 13 campuses, the initiative has involved 72 fellows building relationships with 3,574 students, according to Hillel. The engagement agenda began in earnest in 2008 when the Jim Joseph Foundation gave Hillel $10.7 million that was used in part to create 10 senior Jewish educator positions on various campuses. They set to work with 12 campus entrepreneur interns – students whose goal was to speak one on
one with their peers about where they might fit into Jewish life offerings on campus. By Hillel’s calculations, those educators and interns took part in a combined 746 personal encounters with students in one year. About a third of the students said they never or rarely went to the Hillel building. “The No. 1 reason students told us they didn’t participate in Hillel was that they didn’t know anyone who was going to be there or didn’t think they’d like the people there,” said Graham Hoffman, Hillel’s associate vice president of strategy. “By cultivating relationships with these people we can overcome that.”
Germans were not allowed to practice medicine in the UK. Soon, however, the government noticed a paper he wrote about how to treat people with spinal injuries. They were expecting many disabled veterans from the war and asked him to set up a special spinal unit at Stoke Mandeville. At the time, people with spinal injuries were “left as lumps of waste” to die, says Mike Mackenzie, chairman of the Poppa Guttmann Trust, which promotes Guttman’s legacy. Guttmann, however, actually wanted to treat them. He realized that the two main causes of death were sepsis from pressure sores and urinary infections, and instructed the nurses to turn patients in their beds every two hours to prevent the sores from developing. He also improved catheterization. Initially he faced resistance from the medical staff. But, says
Mackenzie – himself a patient in Stoke Mandeville after breaking his back in a car accident in 1993 – “people finally stood a chance of living.” Guttmann also focused on their mental health. “He was ahead of the curve with the idea that your mental state makes a massive difference, that your bodies and brains are one,” Morris says. “For these men to live, they had to want to live. You had to give them a life worth living.” One of Guttman’s ideas was to involve them in sport. On the day that the 1948 Olympic Games opened in London, Guttmann organized an archery competition for 16 patients at Stoke Mandeville, which he then repeated every year. In 1952, the games became international when a team of Dutch ex-servicemen was included. In 1960, for the first time, the games took place at the same venue as the main-
stream Olympics. The Rome games attracted 400 athletes from 23 countries and are commonly regarded as the first Paralympics, although the term did not become official until 1988. According to Mackenzie, Guttmann’s belief in the healing power of sport partially stemmed from his experience as a youth in Germany. “A number of Jewish fraternities used sports to prove to themselves that they’re as good as anyone,” he says. “Guttmann was a fencing athlete and knew what it had done for him and his fellow Jews in Germany, giving them confidence and ability.” He was fueled by an “extraordinary mixture” of empathy with his patients and ruthless determination. “He was a bit of a tyrant,” Mackenzie says. “Patients got seriously blasted if they skipped a session in the gym. He was liked and
loathed by patients and other authorities, but was considered to be remarkable in what he achieved. By the end of rehab everybody was grateful to him.” Guttmann, who was knighted in 1966, died of heart failure in 1980 after achieving considerable international renown. In 1974 he visited Heidelberg, Germany, where a street was named for him. Newspaper clips in the small Jewish Museum exhibit show him described as “the famous Englishman from Germany” and “the angel of the Paralympics.” For Morris of the Jewish Museum, ultimately, Guttmann’s is a very Jewish story. “It’s that moment when not only do you pick yourself up but you make the world a better place, helping people who literally are forgotten and left to die,” she says. “Guttmann gave these people life. It’s the spirit of l’chaim – to life.”
who killed my uncles would be brought to justice.” Quickly regaining her composure, she says, “Actually, I’m not surprised they dropped the charges. I’m sure they would’ve found a way to ignore my testimony even had they agreed to hear it.” Weinberger was deported to Auschwitz in 1944 along with other family members. Only she, her sister and an aunt survived the Holocaust. The dropping of charges pertaining to 1941 “and other points” lead Kornfeld, the Slovakia Jewish
federation’s CEO, to believe that “Hungarian authorities are trying to avoid a decision on Csatary in court and are trying to find points that make the trial positive for Csatary.” What is known is that in 1944, at the age of 29, Csatary owned a large house in one of Kosice’s most affluent neighborhoods— one that Kornfeld says was well beyond his salary at the police force. By the end of World War II, Kornfeld adds, Csatary also owned a foreign-made luxury car that few Czechs could afford. “Our opinion is that it looks
like Csatary took a lot of money and/or property from Jews from Kosice and that this was [used as] part of his business in Canada,” where Csatary was an art dealer, Kornfeld says. Meawhile, Efraim Zuroff, the New York-born Nazi hunter who tracked down Csatary in Budapest, says he is “very perturbed to learn that no one from the prosecution had spoken to” Weinberger. He adds, “This dismissal raises questions about the objectivity of prosecutors.” The dismissal has Zuroff, direc-
tor of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office, facing challenges of his own related to the case. Citing the dismissal, a wellknown Hungarian lawyer this week called on the Budapest Prosecutor’s Office to indict Zuroff. Futo Barnabas told the conservative newspaper Magyar Nemzet that “There are now valid grounds to charge Zuroff with deliberately making a false accusation.” The charge, which is meant to discourage libelous complaints, carries a five-year prison sentence in Hungary.