THURSDAY, AUGUST 30, 2012 12 ELUL, 5772
AJC Annual Meeting 2012 p.12
CINCINNATI, OH Candle Lighting Times Shabbat begins Fri 7:52p Shabbat ends Sat 8:53p
VOL. 159 • NO. 6
The American Israelite T H E
O L D E S T
E N G L I S H
Rabbi/Chazzan Ben-Zion Lanxner will daven at Ohav Shalom High...
Hillel’s Mutts & Martinis — Cinti’s biggest ‘doggie do’...
Hal Weitzman teaches Latin lessons at AJC program
Founder of Liberal Egyptian Party delivers a warning...
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From homelessness to the table tennis summit, Paralympian Tahl...
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In the New Orleans area, a synagogue dedication, community...
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For southern Israel, start of school is start of ‘rocket season’
Introducing The American Israelite’s newest blogger, Lainey Paul Just two weeks ago Lainey Paul, daughter of Nina and Eddie Paul, made Aliyah (immigrated) to Israel. Starting next week, Lainey will begin writing a blog about her exciting adventures as she enters the Israeli army and begins her new life. It will be posted and updated weekly on The American Israelite’s website. The following is an introduction to Lainey and her upcoming blog: Shalom, my name is Lainey Paul and I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I attended Yavneh Day School (now Rockwern Academy) from pre-school all the way through 8th grade, where I graduated with a class of just 16. When I started as a freshman at Sycamore High School, I was thrown into a class of more than 450! During my sophomore year I attended Alexander Muss High School in Israel, and I truly believe this was the catalyst for the decisions I have since made. I was very involved in USY (United Synagogue Youth) in high school, so it was only appropriate to continue the “Conservative” journey by going on the gap year program called Nativ. For the first semester I studied at Hebrew University while living at the Fuchsberg Center in the heart of Jerusalem. Being 10 minutes in either direction from both Ben Yehuda Street and The Old City definitely made living independently in Israel fun, exciting and meaningful. Second semester I moved up north to the small absorption community of Karmi’el. I volunteered in the mornings on the Educational Agricultural Farm and at K’far Yeladim in the afternoons. Nativ was definitely one of the craziest, most incredible years of my life, and it was ultimately the most influential reason I chose to embark on my most recent adventure, Aliyah (immigration to Israel)! On Aug. 13, I made Aliyah to
Lainey Paul, the newest Israelite blogger
Nativ was definitely one of the craziest, most incredible years of my life, and it was ultimately the most influential reason I chose to embark on my most recent adventure, Aliyah (immigration to Israel)!
Israel. I am currently living on Kibbutz Tirat Tzvi with a group composed of some of the most amazing people imaginable. Since Alexander Muss High School I had always wanted to join the army, but Nativ made me realize that I want to
be a part of the people that is inhabiting the precious land we’ve been fighting for for thousands of years. I firmly believe that protecting the Jewish state isn’t the responsibility of just Israelis, but of Jews as a whole. Individuals choose to
express their Zionism in different ways, and physically being here was the route I chose for myself. My blog will hopefully allow you to follow me on my amazing journey. I hope you will join me. Until next time—Lainey
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THURSDAY, AUGUST 30, 2012
Hillel’s Mutts & Martinis — Cinti’s biggest ‘doggie do’ of the season Calling all dog lovers. Pack up your pooch and head over to a yappy hour playdate with hundreds of other people and their pets when Cincinnati Hillel presents Mutts & Martinis: The biggest “doggie do” of the season at Red Dog Resort and Spa, the poshest pet playground in Greater Cincinnati, on Sunday, Sept. 9, from 5-7 p.m. Guests will get the chance to celebrate the “dog days of summer” while mixing and mingling with both two- and four-legged friends at this fun and unique event featuring free Doggie Swag Bags and other treats for both humans and their hounds! There is a cost for the event. Advance registration gets you a discount. At the door cost includes a chance to walk the Red Car“pet”, compete for prizes in the Best Dressed Dog Pageant, meet a pet psychic, get photographed with your pet using fun props and backdrops and enjoy light bites and beverages donated by local companies. For guests of the “canine persuasion,” water bowls will be strategically placed around the grounds! Guests will also receive a Doggie Swag Bag packed with gifts, coupons, samples and other great giveaways. Don’t have a pet? Don’t worry, Mutts & Martinis is an equal opportunity party, so feel free to borrow one from a friend or just come and pet someone else’s pooch. The Mobile Vet Van will pay a visit and guests
Hundreds of pets and their people are expected to participate.
will also get to meet some lovable dogs looking for a good home, courtesy of a local animal rescue. “We thought it would be fun to have an ‘all dogs allowed’ event in which people could step out with their pets and enjoy a special evening socializing together,” explains event co-chair and Hillel board member, Susan Brenner. “My husband and I go for walks in Sharon Woods most weekends with our Black Lab, Bailey,” says Jodi Silver. “While he gets to see other dogs, it’s literally just in passing. We’re excited for this event because he’ll get the chance to actually hang out with other dogs which will be so much fun for him and for us! Plus, we dog lovers are our own special breed so I’m looking forward to all the giveaways and resources, and to meeting other pet owners too.” Proceeds from this event will benefit the Hillel Jewish Student Center at the University of
JCC annual meeting, Sept. 6 The entire community is invited to the Mayerson JCC Annual Meeting on Thursday, Sept. 6, at 7 p.m. This meeting includes news and information about the JCC, award presentations, the election of the 2012/13 JCC Board and officers, and a dessert reception. All adults are welcome to attend. The annual meeting includes the election of leaders for the coming year. The nominees for the 2012/13 JCC Board are Marty Hiudt, Sherri Symson and Todd Schild. Continuing board members nominated for another 3-year term are Bob Brant, Tamar Smith and Buddy Goldstein. Retiring members of the JCC Board are Howard Schwartz and Scott Mattis. New this year, the JCC will present a Volunteer of the Year award. This award will be presented yearly at the JCC Annual Meeting to a person who has given many hours of hands-on volunteer service to the Mayerson JCC. Also presented are the Staff Service Awards for employees with over 10 years of service to the J, the
Kovod Award and the JCC Community Partnership Award. The Kovod Award recognizes members of the JCC who have distinguished themselves through unselfish, committed service to the JCC over a period of years, and who are leaders in the Jewish community. The JCC Community Partnership Award is presented annually to an organization or business that has rendered exceptional assistance to the JCC in delivering their mission of providing programs and services to the Jewish community and the general community of Greater Cincinnati. One of the highlights of every JCC Annual Meeting is the announcement of the Sigmund M. Cohen Memorial Award recipient. This award was established in 1992 by Ruth Cohen and her children. The Cohen Award is given annually to a JCC member who has rendered distinguished volunteer service to the JCC, and who also volunteers in other Jewish community organizations in a selfless and quiet manner. JCC on page 19
Cincinnati. “While we are grateful to the many national and local corporations that have contributed to this event, the majority of support has come from the generosity of individuals in our Jewish community who became Dog Lover sponsors,” says Carrie Goldhoff, event co-chair and Hillel board member. “We truly appreciate their support which will allow us to increase our efforts in offering quality Jewish experiences to UC students in the coming year!” Members of the Mutt & Martinis event committee include Brenner and Carrie, plus Peggy Markstein, Barb Rothstein, Josh Rothstein, Karen Saeks and Pam Saeks. For more information or to RSVP, please consult the Community Directory in this issue for Hillel’s contact information. Pets must be leashed at all times. The event will take place rain or shine. Indoor space will be made available in case of inclement weather.
4 • LOCAL
“‘18 Voices Sing Kol Nidre’ will enhance our Holiday experience and give us much material for reflection.” Rabbi Gershom Barnard
origin of the prayer, its role in different periods of Jewish history, its influence on several different composers and on popular culture, and
vivor Shony Braun, Rabbis Stewart Weinberg Gershon and Yehoshua Metzger, and Professors Lawrence Hoffman, Suzanne Last Stone, and
Marsha Bryan Edelman. Observed Rabbi Gershom Barnard of Northern Hills, “Kol Nidre is one of the best-known and eagerly awaited parts of the High Holiday services, if not of the entire Jewish year. Yet, there is much more to this prayer and its traditional melody than meet the eye or the ear. ‘18 Voices Sing Kol Nidre’ will enhance our Holiday experience and give us much material for reflection.” The Selichot service itself will begin at approximately 11 p.m. Rabbi Lanxner is a follower of Reb Shlomo Carlebach and has been influenced by his musical tradition. “Given Rabbi Lanxner’s cantorial background, we anticipate some interesting perspectives in the discussion following the ‘18 Voices’ screening,” remarked Steve Segerman, president of Ohav Shalom.
Rabbi/Chazzan BenZion Lanxner will daven at Ohav Shalom High Holiday services as well. Members who have heard him sing marveled at the balance between his old world cantorial styling and his modern personality. “He really has a lovely voice,” quipped Darrell Radin, one of the
“We planned it specifically to enable Rabbi Lanxner to get acquainted with members and thus enrich the services on High Holidays through cultivating familiarity.” Barry Joffe
committee members who worked on the search. Rabbi Lanxner’s Carlebach infused melodies, passionate voice and Torah commentaries have only served to increase the already ruach-packed services that Ohav offers.
The American Israelite “LET THERE BE LIGHT” THE OLDEST ENGLISH-JEWISH WEEKLY IN AMERICA - EST. JULY 15, 1854
VOL. 159 • NO. 6 THURSDAY, AUGUST 30, 2012 12 ELUL 5772 SHABBAT BEGINS FRIDAY 7:52 PM SHABBAT ENDS SATURDAY 8:53 PM THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE CO., PUBLISHERS 18 WEST NINTH STREET, SUITE 2 CINCINNATI, OHIO 45202-2037 Phone: (513) 621-3145 Fax: (513) 621-3744 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com RABBI ISSAC M. WISE Founder, Editor, Publisher, 1854-1900 LEO WISE Editor & Publisher, 1900-1928 RABBI JONAH B. WISE Editor & Publisher, 1928-1930 HENRY C. SEGAL Editor & Publisher, 1930-1985 PHYLLIS R. SINGER Editor & General Manager, 1985-1999 MILLARD H. MACK Publisher Emeritus NETANEL (TED) DEUTSCH Editor & Publisher BARBARA L. MORGENSTERN Senior Writer YEHOSHUA MIZRACHI 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
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Congregation Ohav Shalom is excited to welcome Rabbi/Hazzan Ben-Zion Lanxner to lead 5773 High Holiday services. Rabbi Lanxner was born in Tel-Aviv, Israel but moved to Brussels, Belgium as a child. At a very young age he began training in the Eastern European Traditional Cantorial School and simultaneously attended the Rambam Talmudic School and the Wilrijch Yeshiva in Antwerp, Belgium. He went on to obtain Rabbinical Ordination from the Rabbinic Centre of Brussels, Belgium. He now lives in Detroit, Mich., with his wife Susan. He retired from his former synagogue, Congregation B’nai David in West Bloomfield, and now spends his time engaged in Judaic Education, outreach, teaching (Torah, Parshat Hashavuah, Talmud, and Kabbalah) and playing with his grandchildren. He has performed in concerts all over the world and will be sharing his talents with Ohav Shalom over the High Holidays. Rabbi/Hazzan Lanxner has led Shabbat services for Ohav Shalom several times this summer. “We planned it specifically to enable Rabbi Lanxner to get acquainted with members and thus enrich the services on High Holidays through cultivating familiarity,” explained Barry Joffe, chair of the Ritual Committee. Rabbi Lanxner will be leading Selichot services at Ohav
what it has meant and can mean to worshippers. Among the 18 are Cantors Angela Warnick Buchdahl and Bruce Siegel, Holocaust sur-
sion, gives 18 different perspectives – musical, historical, theological and personal — on the Kol Nidre prayer. The video teaches about the
Once again, Northern Hills Synagogue — Congregation B’nai Avraham and Congregation Ohav Shalom will combine to open the High Holiday season with a special Selichot program and service. This year, the program and service will be held at Ohav Shalom, beginning at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8. Selichot are prayers for forgiveness. It is a Jewish tradition to recite these prayers each night beginning a few days before Rosh Hashanah (the New Year) and until Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). The Selichot service will be conducted by Rabbi BenZion Lanxner, who will also serve as High Holiday cantor at Congregation Ohav Shalom. Prior to the Selichot service, the video “18 Voices Sing Kol Nidre” will be presented. This video, which was shown on public televi-
r in Am ape er sp i
NHS, Ohav Shalom plan joint Selichot observance
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 30, 2012
Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts Golf Manor Synagogue is proud to sponsor the only Jewishthemed Boy Scout and Girl Scout Troops in Cincinnati. Boys in grades 1-5 may become members of Cub Pack #613 under the leadership of our programming director and cub-
master, Phil Kahn, and girls in grades 1-7 may become members of Brownie Troop #613 under the leadership of program director Batya Kahn. Along with outdoor programming such as hiking, fishing, camping and much more, the
groups will meet every week and engage in exciting activities that are both fun and educational, with a special emphasis upon Jewish elements and their significance. Synagogue membership not required to participate! Call Phil Kahn for more information.
Hal Weitzman teaches Latin lessons at AJC program By Barbara Glueck Guest writer Financial Times Chicago and Midwest bureau chief Hal Weitzman will speak about his book Latin Lessons: How the U.S. “Lost” Latin America at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10, at Xavier University’s Cintas Center. His visit is co-sponsored by the American Jewish Committee (AJC), the Foreign Policy Leadership Group, and Xavier’s Brueggeman Center for Dialogue. The event is free and open to the public. “AJC is bringing Hal Weitzman here to tell about the decline of the U.S. in Latin America and the growth of Iran’s influence in the region. As part of AJC’s global Jewish advocacy, we want to alert the community to this significant change,” explained Cheryl Schriber, chair of the event for AJC. Weitzman is originally from Wales. He was educated at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard; Oriel College, Oxford; and Leeds University. He has been
from the region has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Miami Herald, New Statesman,
on the staff of the Financial Times since 2000. He first joined as an editor on the FT’s Op-ed desk, was named Americas News Editor in 2002, and was the newspaper’s Andes bureau chief from 2004 to 2007. He was based in Lima, but traveled extensively, reporting from Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Chile. His reporting
“AJC is bringing Hal Weitzman here to tell about the decline of the U.S. in Latin America and the growth of Iran’s influence in the region.” Cheryl Schriber The Irish Times, The Australian and Jane’s Foreign Report. For further information, please contact the AJC Cincinnati office.
6 • NATIONAL
From homelessness to the table tennis summit, Paralympian Tahl Leibovitz is London-bound By Hillel Kuttler Jewish Telegraph Agency BALTIMORE – Tahl Leibovitz spent much of his adolescence riding New York City’s subways – not for transportation or because of the trains’ allure. The subways were where Leibovitz lived. A troubled home and problems at school got Leibovitz kicked out of both places. Daytime, he wandered. At night, he rode the trains. Now, at 37, Leibovitz is flying to London to compete in the Paralympics, the international event for athletes with physical handicaps that runs Aug. 29-Sept. 6. A world-class table tennis player, Leibovitz has osteochondroma, a sometimes-painful condition characterized by noncancerous bone tumors. Leibovitz is in class 9, among the least severe physical limitations that categorize Paralympians. (Classes 1 through 5 are for those who are wheelchair users, with class 1 the most severe.) Leibovitz also has competed in standard tournaments, including the 2004 Olympic regionals, where the United States lost to Canada. He earned two bronze medals at the 1997 Maccabiah Games in Israel and
Courtesy of Gaël Marziou
Israeli-born table tennis player Tahl Leibovitz is competing for the U.S. team in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.
plans to compete there in 2013. The 227-member United States team includes at least one other Jewish athlete, Ian Silverman, a 16-year-old swimmer from Baltimore whose cerebral palsy affects both legs. “This is my first international meet,” Silverman said Monday from Germany, where his Paralympic team is training. “I’m really privileged and honored to represent the U.S. Hopefully, I’ll do well and make the country proud.” Olympic great Michael Phelps,
who trains at the same swim club, has given Silverman pointers on his flip turns and kicking. “That was really nice of him,” Silverman told JTA. Leibovitz, meanwhile, discovered table tennis as a teenager. A Haifa native who moved to New York at 3, the adolescent Leibovitz often ran away from home or was kicked out by his father, Ernest, a Romanian native who fought in Israel’s Six-Day War. The sport was his salvation. PARALYMPIAN on page 20
Jewish cult survivor fights for others’ freedom By Matt Robinson JointMedia News Service Steve Hassan’s story begins like that of so many cult victims. Deceptively recruited by three “pretty women,” he was quickly indoctrinated by the Unification Church organization run by Sun Myung Moon (aka, “The Moonies”) and sent to recruit others. When Hassan returned home from his indoctrination retreat, his mother suggested that he see a rabbi, but even the religious leader had no idea what questions to ask or how to guide the misguided Hassan. With no new advice or direction, Hassan returned to The Moonies. “Within two weeks,” Hassan tells JNS, “I was sucked into the cult.” The Talmud teaches that when someone saves one life, it is as if he has saved an entire world. Hassan, eventually saved from the throes of cult practice, has taken it upon himself to save others whose worlds have been torn by practitioners of mind control. Hassan has been involved in cult education and counseling since 1976. He is the author of some of the most respected books on the subject, including his 1988 Combatting Cult Mind Control and Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves. This year, Hassan, a Boston resident, released an updated edition called Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults, and Beliefs. Instead of rough “deprogramming” that can often be more detrimental than beneficial, Hassan uses his unique Strategic Interaction Approach (SIA) to offer support with respect and care. Numerous media outlets recently interviewed him during the early days of the Tom Cruise-Katie Holmes divorce as an expert on Scientology. Former cult members consider him to be anything from hero to family member, while cult leaders see him as enemy number one. Personally, Hassan was introduced to mind control as a young boy. His childhood best friend’s father had been involved with an occult guru who espoused a philosophy that people were, as Hassan puts it, “asleep” and therefore needed to be helped with their so-called “evolution” by one who was “awake.” “I read a number of [his] books,” Hassan recalls, “and…this set me up for some ideas I later encountered when I was recruited.” Perhaps this explains why Hassan was so susceptible to being influenced by a cult and how he rose so quickly through the ranks of The Moonies, eventually being promoted to the rank of Assistant Director of the group’s Church at National Headquarters in New York City.
Another reason may be that he had become a bit disillusioned with his faith. “I grew up in a Conservative Jewish home,” Hassan explains, recalling kosher food, regular Shabbat observances and attending Hebrew school until his bar mitzvah. “My grandparents…were Orthodox and I was very close to them growing up.” Hassan says he began to take issue with the idea of a god who he saw as “angry, jealous and punitive.” Fortunately for Hassan, tragedy struck. “I fell asleep at the wheel of a fundraising van,” Hassan says. “It took emergency crews 30 minutes to cut me out of the wreckage!” The reason why it was so fortunate that Hassan was involved in this accident is that during his bodily recovery in the hospital, his family arranged to have him mentally repaired as well. “My folks arranged a deprogramming,” Hassan says, noting that the cult had taught him to consider his family “satanic.” Once he was restored to his own senses, Hassan dedicated himself to helping others become “free.” He scoured the globe for other former cult members, eventually assembling the first and largest ex-member organization in the world. “As a Jew who had been educated about the Shoah, who learned psychology, but still got sucked into the Moonies, I became obsessed with understanding brainwashing and mind control,” Hassan says. “I felt very guilty for having recruited many people into the cult.” These days, in addition to standing up against those who would keep people down through mind control, Hassan is also a champion of all human rights. His Freedom of Mind Resource Center offers a beacon of hope for all who are imprisoned in some way. But Hassan suggests that despite his dedicated efforts, such numbers are on the rise. FREEDOM on page 21
NATIONAL • 7
THURSDAY, AUGUST 30, 2012
Founder of Liberal Egyptian Party delivers a warning for America By Peter Rothholz JointMedia News Service
Courtesy of the United Nations
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, left, meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the U.N. General Assembly, September 2011.
U.S., Israel, Jewish groups apprehensive about Iranhosted non-aligned summit By Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraph Agency WASHINGTON – As Iran gets set to host the Non-Aligned Movement triennial summit, Israel, the United States and a number of Jewish groups are worried that what happens in Tehran won’t stay there. The decision Wednesday by Ban Ki-moon, the U.N. Secretary General, to attend the 16th triennial event from Aug. 29-31, has set off alarm bells in Washington and Jerusalem. The U.S. State Department spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, reiterated after Ban’s announcement “concerns that Iran is going to manipulate this opportunity and the attendees, to try to deflect attention from its own failings.” U.S. Jewish groups that deal with the United Nations echoed that apprehension. “For Iran the goal is quite clear,” David Harris, the director of the American Jewish Committee, who had released a web video urging Ban not to attend, told JTA. “Tell the United States and its friends not only are we not isolated, we are fully engaged. We are going to purport to speak on behalf of the non-aligned movement of 118 nations.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Aug. 12 urged Ban not to attend – and, in a rare diplomatic breach, made the plea public. “Even if it is not your intention, your visit will grant legitimacy to a regime that is the greatest threat to world peace and security,” Netanyahu told Ban in the phone call, according to a statement from the prime minister’s office. Israel and the West are locked in a diplomatic struggle with Iran to force the Islamic Republic to make more transparent a nuclear program it insists is peaceful but
that Western intelligence agencies say is intended to produce a bomb. The non-aligned summit sharpens tensions between Israel and western nations over whether diplomacy and sanctions have been played out; Netanyahu believes they have, and is pressing the Obama administration to make more specific the military consequences should Iran not comply. Obama administration officials are in turn pressing Israel to stand down from rhetoric that suggests an Israeli strike is imminent. The non-aligned summit, planned long before the recent intensification of efforts to confront Iran, throws such tensions into the spotlight. Which may seem odd, given the relative relevance – or lack of it – of the movement. The movement, a 1960s relic that once brought together nations seeking to resist cooption by either the United States or the Soviet Union, has struggled for definition since the end of the Cold War. With the summit, Iran assumes the rotating three-year presidency of it. A measure of the movement’s declining significance – and of Iran’s isolation – is that just 30 leaders of about 120 member nations plan on attending the 16th triennial summit. Still, expect the Iranian government to exploit the event for its symbolic value, said Alireza Nader, an analyst at the Rand Corporation, a think tank that often consults with the U.S. government. “It’s a lot of posturing and photo-ops,” Nader said. “But the fact that Iran is hosting the summit and the fact that the U.N. Secretary General is going and especially that Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is showing up are good public relations moves.” SUMMIT on page 21
EAST HAMPTON, NY – “Islam is a political doctrine, not a religion, and America needs to speak out to make sure that Cairo does not turn into another Tehran.” That is the warning recently delivered by Egyptian-born Cynthia Farahat, 31, the advocacy director at Coptic Solidarity, cofounder of the Liberal Egyptian Party (which merged with the Egyptian Democratic Party to form the Egyptian Social Democratic Party in March 2011), and senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy. Speaking on the state of Coptic Christians and other Egyptian minorities to an overflow audience of Christians and Jews at the Jewish Center of the Hamptons in East Hampton, N.Y., Farahat said that since Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser came to power in 1952, Christians, like Jews, have been considered “enemies of the state.” Moreover, when Egypt ceased to be a secular state in 1971, nonMuslims were no longer considered full citizens under Sharia law. With the recent election of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood’s rise to power, “Copts don’t have a chance, and the Brotherhood’s war against us is going to get much worse,” Farahat said. As proof, she cited that the Brotherhood is currently distributing leaflets “urging good Muslims to kill Christians.” When asked about the condition of Egypt’s tiny Jewish community, she said that they have suffered severe antiSemitism for more than a half century but are currently “on the bottom of the list” and not a high-priority target. The same cannot be said about Egypt’s relationship to Israel, however. Farahat believes that Morsi “will not move against Israel at this time because his army is not strong enough.” “However, if the U.S. continues to arm Egypt, they will make a move; those American weapons will be targeted at Israel and there will be a bloody war,” she said. Farahat and her associates began their fight against jihadism after 9/11. They initially formed an online community dedicated to working for “intellectual and ideological change in Egypt” and became an organized political party in 2003 with the support of Mohsen Lotfi El-Sayed, grandson of the founder of Egypt’s modern liberalism. While their fight was initially against the Mubarak regime, they – like the young pro-
Courtesy of YouTube
fessionals and others who rose up during the “Arab Spring” – discovered that they had little leverage, and are now deeply disappointed. They consider the newly elected regime of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood to be equally repressive. According to Farahat, “the
Muslim Brotherhood will stay in power as long as it gets foreign support. The Egyptian people no longer see Israel as the enemy; rather they see their own government as the enemy and consider Morsi a terrorist,” she said. And while Farahat and her associates look to the United States to place Egypt on a list of terrorist states, she does not believe that the American embassy in Cairo fully understands the current situation and believes it is “infiltrated by the Egyptian secret state police.” Consequently, “the message the Egyptian people get is that you can do anything and still get paid by the United States.” WARNING on page 22
8 • NATIONAL
In the New Orleans area, a synagogue Looking for a Jewish dedication, community rejuvenation education? There’s an and Orthodox-Reform bonds app for that By Charlotte Anthony Jewish Telegraph Agency Seven years ago an iconic picture for many Jews of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina was of men waist deep in a flooded synagogue carrying Torahs to safety. On Sunday, in a celebration of physical and spiritual unity, the Torahs of that congregation will be carried into their new home next to the Reform congregation that offered space to the Modern Orthodox synagogue and now shares with it a new playground. “Our congregation is a remarkable story in the way the Jewish
community leaned on itself and supported one another,” says Rabbi Uri Topolosky of the Modern Orthodox Congregation Beth Israel. “This is a story that I think resonates with so many of us in town and it symbolizes great things for all of us who have been rebuilding since Katrina.” Seven years after the hurricane hit the region on Aug. 29, 2005, and the subsequent failure of levees devastated much of Greater New Orleans, Beth Israel is opening in a new home in Metairie, a suburb five miles from its former home in New Orleans. The Sept. 2 dedication ceremonies symbolize the rejuvenation of the area’s
Jewish community. Some 2,000 young adults have moved to the region in recent years. Holly Pollack, 28, is among them. In 2008, the native of nearby Baton Rouge returned to the area with her husband because she thought that she had a responsibility to help rebuild. Pollack is excited to be part of the reopening of Beth Israel, the only synagogue that was completely destroyed during the hurricane. “People didn’t think it could be done, and in many ways it happened one person at a time,” she says. “It wasn’t rebuilt because the government decided it should be rebuilt; it was rebuilt because people refused to give up on their city and I felt that we needed to be a part of that.” Pollack and the other young Jewish professionals returning to or new to the area were aided by the Jewish Newcomers Program, an initiative of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans designed to lure newcomers. “We’ve lost a lot of the older folks, but we’ve gained younger people dedicated to tikkun olam and social justice,” says Michael Weil, the federation’s executive director. “It has become a young and vibrant community with a lot of Jewish experimentation.” The New Orleans area currently has about 9,500 Jews, Weil says. The community had about 13,000 people the year before the storm, according to the 2004 American Jewish Yearbook. National Jewish groups helped sustain the community after the hurricane. The United Jewish Communities, now the Jewish Federations of North America, coordinated a national campaign that raised $28 million for Katrina relief in the Jewish and general communities of Baton Rouge, Biloxi and New Orleans. Likewise, many Jewish groups sent volunteers to the area to help clean up and rebuild homes. Also, the Rabbinical Council of America, Yeshiva University and the Orthodox Union launched a joint online fundraising campaign for Beth Israel that raised more than $400,000. The Jewish Newcomers Program, Weil says, offers social, professional, financial and membership incentives, including free one-year memberships to the Jewish community center, any area synagogue, the National Council of Jewish Women and Hadassah. NEW ORLEANS on page 20
By Josh Lipowsky Jewish Telegraph Agency TEANECK, N.J. – The man sitting on the commuter train focusing intently on his iPhone might be playing Angry Birds. Or he might be studying Talmud, Skyping with a chevruta partner in Israel or even teaching Hebrew school. “Mobile technologies could help people practice Judaism,” said Barry Schwartz, CEO of Rusty Brick, a West Nyack, N.Y.-based software company that has created more than 30 Jewish mobile apps. “It is the future. Wherever you go – the airport, shul – people are looking stuff up and praying.” Welcome to Judaism’s digital age. Mobile technologies are augmenting traditional learning and how people fill their free time, said Rabbi Jack Kalla of Aish HaTorah, which has long been at the forefront of digital Jewish outreach with videos, podcasts and an extensive website. Later this summer, the Orthodox organization will roll out its first mobile app, which will reproduce content from Aish’s website for mobile devices. “From our perspective, the use of the Internet in trying to reach people who are searching or may
not even have started their search in Judaism is really wide open,” he said. “This is where people are, and the Internet itself is the means to reach people today.” Jewish organizations across the spectrum are taking advantage of developing mobile and digital technologies to reach new people across multiple platforms. And all seem to agree: Get on board or get left behind. “It’s not going to be the new model; it is the new model,” said Rabbi Simcha Backman, who directs his own website. “This is the new way and we should embrace it. Forward-thinking organizations are doing that.” Created to reach people who don’t have access to rabbis, Backman’s website offers live chats with scholars online, Backman said. Earlier this year the site began a text-messaging program, while later this summer a mobile app will be unveiled, part of a larger strategy to continue reaching people wherever they are, Backman said. “Social media is literally a whole new world for Jews and Judaism,” he said. “The options are limitless how we can reach out to people.” APP on page 20
American Hebrew Academy facing ambitious challenges in bid for elite status By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraph Agency GREENSBORO, N.C. – Sitting at an oblong table, 11 students, each with a school-provided computer tablet, discuss John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men,” parse the four types of classic love and veer off into talk about sex – all the while interrupting each other and their teacher. These ninth-graders attend the American Hebrew Academy, a Jewish pluralistic boarding school in Greensboro, N.C., that is trying to reach the status of highly ranked Jewish high schools such as Gann Academy in Boston or the Ramaz School in New York City, as well as elite college preparatory boarding schools like Phillips Academy Andover in Massachusetts or Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut. To achieve that aim, AHA, the only school of its kind in the United States, has a 100-acre campus, technology-filled classrooms, an athletic complex surrounded by
sports fields and courts, students hailing from as far away as Thailand and Russia, and a faculty in which two of every three teachers has a graduate degree. About 20 percent of the teachers have doctorates. “The goal of the school was to create a single place in which Jewish teens of all backgrounds could come together to live and learn,” said Glenn Drew, the academy’s executive director. But as Drew himself noted, the school faces major challenges, inherent in its mission, that have prevented it from becoming the top destination for the country’s best and brightest Jewish students. More than 10 years after its founding, only 160 students attend AHA – far short of the 400 Drew hopes will one day fill the campus. Unlike other pluralistic Jewish schools, AHA asks parents to send their children far from home and far from a major Jewish population center for four years. ACADEMY on page 19
INTERNATIONAL • 9
THURSDAY, AUGUST 30, 2012
The UN secretary-general German circumcision ban shows and Mary Robinson’s Jew-hatred back in fashion Iranian debacle By Jonathan S. Tobin JointMedia News Service
By Gerald M. Steinberg JointMedia News Service UN Secretary General Ban KiMoon – who is reportedly headed to Tehran for the conference of the “non-aligned movement,” beginning Aug. 26 – would have been wise to more carefully ponder the lesson provided by Mary Robinson. During her tenure as UN Commissioner for Human Rights in 2001, Robinson authorized, planned and chaired a disastrous meeting in Iran, and is still paying the price for this fundamental moral failure. Robinson’s Iranian misadventure took place in the context of the Asian regional preparatory session for the UN’s effusively named World Conference on Racism – the infamous Durban conference, which took place in September 2001. The planning for the Durban human rights disaster, over which Robinson also presided, took place in the Iranian prepcon, which adopted the poisonous anti-Israel texts that launched a decade of political warfare. Under the façade of human rights, Robinson was responsible for this moral debacle. Robinson’s record of failure began when she failed to act to prevent the selection of Iran as the venue for the preparatory conference. In placating the powerful Islamic bloc in the United Nations, she lent her name and reputation to the whitewashing of the Iranian regime. The promises that she and others made to hold a serious and civil discussion of human rights, without the hatefilled and anti-Semitic language usually heard from Iran’s leaders, were clearly not credible coming from a country run by Islamist clerics who oppress Bahais, Jews and other minorities. Robinson also blindly repeated
International Briefs Yad Vashem to scan documents on Dutch Righteous among the Nations THE HAGUE (JTA) – The government of the Netherlands and Yad Vashem have agreed to digitally archive documents connected to Dutch rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust. The documents will be scanned by Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust commemoration authority, in the next two years, Yad Vashem deputy spokesperson Yifat Bachrach-Ron told JTA.
Courtesy of World Economic Forum
the Iranian government promises to provide visas to the official Israeli delegates and the Jewish NGO representatives, as required by UN regulations for any host country. As predicted, the Iranians never provided these visas, and while she could and should have cancelled at that point, Robinson instead chaired a conference without Israelis or Jewish NGO officials. The hate-filled texts were the entirely predictable result. But instead of learning the lessons and changing course, Robinson continued to turn two blind eyes to these results, as did her allies from powerful groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, for whom moral objectives have become empty slogans. The planning for Durban continued apace despite the Iranian debacle, with Robinson acting as if nothing significant had happened. It was only after the NGO Forum at Durban, characterized by blatant anti-Semitic attacks and crude Israel bashing, that Robinson was forced to pull back. DEBACLE on page 22 Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev and Caspar Veldkamp, the Dutch ambassador to Israel, signed the agreement on starting the process Monday at Yad Vashem. Yad Vashem has recognized 5,204 Dutch residents as Righteous among the Nations – its title for nonJews who risked their lives to save Jews. It is the highest figure of any Western European nation and second highest in total. Poland tops the list with 6,339 righteous gentiles. During preparations of documents connected to Dutch recipients of the title, Yad Vashem researchers discovered the last known letter of resistance fighter Hein Sietsma, who along with his fiancee, Berendina (Diet) Eman, helped save dozens of Jews in The Hague before being caught and murdered in the Dachau concentration camp.
When a court in Cologne, Germany ruled in June that circumcision should henceforth be considered illegal, those who are tasked with raising the alarm about signs of anti-Semitism spoke out. But cooler heads, including those who know Europe well, told us not to worry so much. However, when prosecutors were petitioned to bring charges this week against a rabbi in Bavaria for performing brit milah – the covenantal rite of circumcision that is integral to Jewish identity – it was widely taken as a sign that this issue is not going away. Indeed, with hospitals in Germany, Austria and Switzerland now refusing to perform circumcision for fear of legal sanctions, it’s clear that this is just the beginning of what may be a long hard fight with no assurance of a happy outcome for European Jews. It is true that the bris ban is a threat to Muslims as well as Jews, and optimists are cautioning horrified onlookers to see it as more a function of intolerance of any minority rather than a specific recurrence of anti-Semitism. But Jews and Muslims are in very different situations in Europe these days. Prejudice against Islam has cropped up throughout Western Europe. But the sheer number of Muslims also works in their favor
Courtesy of Jacques Grießmayer
While German Chancellor Angela Merkel (pictured) has vowed that the German parliament will pass legislation legalizing circumcision in the fall, negotiations over the language of such a bill have revealed that many in the Bundestag may push for restrictions on the practice such as forcing the use of anesthetics or requiring a doctor to be present.
since, as is already the case in France, they have the potential to be a major political force. The scattered remnant of European Jewry has no such advantage. In the last generation animus against the state of Israel, often imported into these countries by Muslim immigrants, has given a veneer of faux respectability to traditional Jew-hatred now practiced by both intellectuals and street toughs. It is in that context of what the U.S. State Department has admitted is a “rising tide of anti-Semitism” that movements to ban circumcision or
kosher slaughter in Europe must be understood. What makes the circumcision ban in Germany so upsetting is that it was assumed that fear of awakening the ghosts of the Nazis would keep anti-Semites in check there. Laws and a culture of guilt about the legacy of past generations have served to keep expressions of Jew hatred on the margins of German society. But with judges and doctors and others openly attacking Judaism, it’s apparent Germans are increasingly undeterred by such factors.
10 • ISRAEL
For southern Israel, start of school is start of ‘rocket season’ By Israel Hayom JointMedia News Service As the school year got underway for more than two million Israeli students across the country on Monday, a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip exploded in open territory in the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council in southern Israel – midway between Beersheba and Ashkelon – causing no damage. President Shimon Peres visited a fortified high school in Sha’ar Hanegev on Monday. “Facing the threat of rockets, you have shown steadfastness in learning, achievements, and creativity,” Peres told students. “The state of Israel is proud of you.” Monday’s rocket attack came just a day after three Qassam rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza on Sunday. The first rocket exploded on the grounds of a factory in the industrial area of Sha’ar Hanegev, while the second rocket exploded in an agricultural factory.
Courtesy of Edi Israel/Flash90
Israeli president Shimon Peres sits with first graders on the first day of school in the Sha'ar Hanegev area in southern Israel on Monday, the same day a Qassam rocket was fired into the area from the Gaza Strip.
The third rocket was located by a police bomb squad in an open field. “The school year is opening today,” said Shani Cohen, a mother of three from Sha’ar Hanegev. “I have three small children in preschool and elementary school. I
can’t say I’m calm and relaxed when I know Hamas could, at any moment, remind us of its existence by firing rockets. It’s true that the schools themselves are fortified, but having [the children] actually reach the schools is enough to
worry me. Yesterday’s shooting was only the beginning of ‘rocket season,’” she said. “We will not give them the satisfaction of disrupting the new school year,” said Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council Head Alon Schuster. “Most of the education and public buildings in the council are fortified, including the new high school that will be inaugurated today.” Over summer vacation, workers in the Sha’ar Hanegev and Eshkol regional councils inspected all of the schools under their jurisdiction. “We’ve left nothing to chance,” a security officer said. “We put out a clear order to fix anything in need of repair, in relation to the safety of the students.” The sirens set off by Sunday’s rockets caused residents and those working in the factories to seek shelter in designated secure spaces. Despite the direct hit, only one shock victim was reported. According to Roni Elkabetz, all the
employees at the factory where he works were present when the rocket hit. “It’s been quiet here for several weeks now,” he said. “We’ve already gotten used to a calm life without any rockets, but now the story is repeating itself.” Another employee said that the factories in the area have become accustomed to this situation over the past 12 years. “It’s sad that we’ve come to terms with this, but the fact is we live with it, because this is where our homes and families are.” One of the factories hit on Sunday was also struck a few months ago. One worker was wounded in the June incident, and damage was caused to several structures. All the facilities had since been repaired, but they were damaged again on Sunday. “It all comes down to luck,” said one employee. “There’s no way to predict in these cases. It was just unlucky that our factory was hit twice.”
Israel’s haredi soldiers take their spirit into the field By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraph Agency TEL AVIV – Like any of the Israeli army’s combat battalions, the soldiers of Netzach Yehuda faced a 60-mile hike during basic training meant to simulate battle conditions. They hiked with their gear at night and during the day, up and down hills and through rough terrain. One night, their commanders told them that their supply trucks had been bombed and they needed to ration whatever food and water they had left. Finishing the hike, they put down their gear and caught their breath. As a band played traditional Jewish wedding tunes, they began to dance as if one of the sol-
diers had just been married. Popularly known as the Nahal Haredi, Netzach Yehuda is the haredi Orthodox division of the Israeli army, and its combat and reserve forces number several thousands of men. For decades, haredi men in Israel have received exemptions from otherwise mandatory service in the Israel Defense Forces, so that they could study in yeshivas. Many are non-Zionist or antiZionist, and mass protests erupted in haredi neighborhoods this summer when the government came close to passing a law requiring haredi men to serve. Even if a law were to be passed, some supporters of mandatory haredi service question the army’s ability to accommodate
thousands of new draftees who require stringent kosher certification and eschew any contact, especially physical, with women. Netzach Yehuda has attempted to address those issues on a smaller scale. And though they say that the IDF sometimes falls short in its efforts to accommodate the battalion, its soldiers and administrators feel that since its founding in 1999, the program has worked. “It’s a little more of a Torah atmosphere,” said Yehuda, 20, who is serving now in Netzach Yehuda. “There are fewer problems with prayer and army regulations.” After they finish training, Netzach Yehuda soldiers serve in and around the West Bank Palestinian city of Jenin, fulfilling the same duties as other combat
units. But when they’re not on combat missions, the soldiers’ schedule includes time for three daily minyans, including at least 45 minutes for the morning service. A synagogue always stands close to their barracks, giving the soldiers space to pray or learn a page of Talmud during breaks. Rabbis occasionally come to their bases to teach Torah. In addition, the battalion’s food is mehadrin kosher, an especially stringent certification. And the soldiers receive ritual fringes on a green rather than white undergarment, so that it will match their combat uniforms. Netzach Yehuda’s soldiers also have little if any direct contact with women, which accords with the strict gender separation in
haredi communities. While women often teach fitness classes in the IDF, men run those classes for the haredi soldiers. “They come back and they’re even stronger from a religious viewpoint than when they came in,” said Rabbi Tzvi Kledanow, head of the Netzach Yehuda nonprofit, which runs the battalion jointly with the army and Defense Ministry. “The environment is a very positive environment. It has everything it requires to avail itself to a haredi young man.” But Kledanow was quick to note that although the army accommodates the haredi soldiers, the soldiers don’t necessarily enter Netzach Yehuda supporting the army. SOLDIERS on page 22
On the eve of evacuation, Migron projecting tranquility By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraph Agency MIGRON, West Bank – Off a rough, paved road atop a mountain, on the thin stucco wall of a trailer home, black graffiti proclaims “Private Jewish land.” And underneath, in red, “Migron.” The trailer home is among dozens in Israel’s largest settlement outpost, deep in the central West Bank and not far from the Palestinian metropolis of Ramallah. To reach Migron, cars must exit a main highway and ascend a twisting road that barely has room for two lanes. Founded more than a decade ago, Migron remains unrecognized by Israel’s government. Security forces plan to evacuate
Courtesy of Ben Sales
A wood and tin shack in the West Bank settlement of Migron with quotes from Rabbi Hillel of the mishnah: “If I am not for myself, who is for me? And when I am for myself alone, what am I? And if not now, when?”
most of its 50 families on Tuesday based on an Israeli Supreme Court decision that they are living on private Palestinian land. But as bulldozers dig at the bottom of the mountain, installing new government-approved trailers for the soon-to-be evacuees, Migron persists in tranquility. Children crowd around a plastic airplane. A pregnant mother loads her car. Workers rest in front of a warehouse. A woman leaves the trailer emblazoned with graffiti and walks through a yard of gravel, dirt, litter and toys. About an hour later, the black and red writing is covered by a whitewashed square incongruous with the trailer’s off-white and brown exterior. The sense of calm, and the
whitewashing, are intentional. Even as they are locked in a fight with the government to maintain a settlement far from Israel’s recognized borders, Migron’s residents do not speak of ideology or biblical promises. Rather they portray themselves as nothing more than a coalition of citizens, loyal to the country, that is fighting to preserve its democratic rights through legal means. Graffiti is not part of that strategy. “We try to work only with democratic tools in a good, just system,” said Elisheva Razvag, a 27year-old mother of two and one of the only residents authorized to speak to the media. “The state broke the rules in acting like this.” MIGRON on page 22
THURSDAY, AUGUST 30, 2012
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SOCIAL LIFE • 11
12 â€˘ CINCINNATI SOCIAL LIFE
AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE ANNUAL MEETING 2012
John Stein, Barbara Glueck, Dr. Michael Safdi
Barbara Glueck receiving gift from tribute chairs Sandy Kaltman and Patti Heldman
Event co-chair Fred Melowsky, newly elected president Michael Safdi, M.D., Director Barbara Glueck, V.P. Sandy Kaltman, and past presidents Patti Heldman and John Stein
Jacob Stein, Polly Stein, Jennifer Stein, John Stein
Michael Oestreicher, Dianne Oestreicher, Rosemary Safdi, Dr. Michael Safdi
Dr. Michael Safdi, fifth from left and newly elected board members Todd Schild, Ed Kuresman, Rabbi Shena Potter Jaffe, Bess Okum, Rick Vigran, and Bob Moskowitz
CINCINNATI JEWISH LIFE • 13
THURSDAY, AUGUST 30, 2012
Dr. Charles and Barbara Glueck celebrate Barbara’s 20th Anniversary with AJC
AJC Executive Committee 2012-2013: Dr. Alter Peerless, vice president; Dr. Michael Safdi, president; John Stein, immediate past president; Rick Michelman, treasurer; Seth Schwartz, secretary ; Cheryl Schriber and Sandy Kaltman, vice presidents (Missing from photo, Trip Wolf, VP.)
Rabbi Margie Meyer, Barbara Glueck and Dr. Michael Meyer
Fred and Patti Heldman
Adam Safdi, Dr. Michael Safdi, Rosemary Safdi
Annual meeting co-chairs Fred Melowsky and Sandy Kaltman
Gloria and Dr. Alter Peerless
14 • DINING OUT
For family, friends or sports, Slatts Pub covers all bases By Michael Sawan Assistant Editor Let’s get the elephant out of the room: through rigorous journalistic training I was able to ignore the large “BROWNS COUNTRY” sign hanging across the bar. I instead appreciated Slatts Pub for the great American niche that it has been filling for six years now, offering a wide breadth of food, friendly staff and the comfort of three distinct sections. There is the restaurant’s sports bar area, with muted colors, dim lighting, big screen TVs and, of course, a bar. I imagine this is the area for comfort and encapsulation, that feeling of being self contained in your booth without distraction. Then there’s “the conservatory,” an open room with large windows and a skylight, great for more of a cafe/communal feel. For those craving a bit of fresh air, Slatts has that, too, in the form of an outdoor patio. One can even get some live entertainment there, since across the street on Friday nights is the Blue Ash “Friday Nights on the Square” series. As you might imagine, patio seating runs out quickly on those nights. This is nothing unusual, however, as even when I visited on a Friday afternoon at 1:30 I had trouble finding a place to park. I spoke with Cathy Daggitt, a server at Slatts, and she was all about the familiarity of the restaurant. She told me that most patrons were regulars, and that “we know them all.” Besides the variety of seating, she explained that “there were a couple of signature dishes [that] they come for,” including the Baked Alaskan Halibut and Slatts Signature Spicy Chicken Spring Rolls. Of the food, particularly the spring rolls, Daggitt explained that “it’s unique. I don’t know where else you’d get it around here.” And as to the halibut, “even people who don’t like fish like [it].” On top of it all is simple economics. “It’s well-priced for the quality,” Daggitt stated simply, pointing out that most basic of American traits: knowing a good deal and remembering it. I decided to go light during my visit to Slatts, trying only the Spicy Chicken Spring Rolls (and an unsweetened iced tea). What is it about this dish, I wondered, that has kept people coming back so often? A part of it must be the presentation, for these are like no other spring rolls you have ever seen. A chinese restaurant would bring you a crispy, flaky thing filled with greasy greens, while Slatts brings you a huge cannoli shell filled with cheese. It comes accompanied by a saucer of creole mustard sauce, and the entire dish is sprinkled with chopped green onions. The spring rolls are bigger than you would expect, too, more along the lines of
(Clockwise) The cozy sports bar section of Slatts Pub, complete with a widescreen TV; The cheesy, crunchy, saucy Spicy Chicken Spring Rolls, a Slatts classic; The Conservatory section of Slatts, with its open and bright cafe feel; The patio of Slatts. Friday Nights on the Square takes place right across the street; Cathy Daggitt, left, and Chelsea Donnellon, two employees of Slatts Pub.
an egg roll, or even a corn dog. They come sliced open diagonally, meaning that if the cheese were less viscous it would pour out freely. Before we go any further, let’s clarify something about what is actually a very deceptive cheese. It is actually two cheeses, cheddar and jack, though I could have sworn there were more. I tasted hunks of bleu, something mild like mozzarella, and maybe even some of the fancy cheeses, gorgonzola or goat. But never mind all of that, it really was just cheddar and jack, and a credit to the two of them for fooling me so wonderfully. The crust more than supports the cheese, adding a nice crispiness to the ever present gooeyness. As stated, the crust was something
along the lines of a cannoli shell, but a bit crunchier. The cheese had soaked into it slightly, too, adding a sort of chewy crunch that is incredibly pleasing. I imagine the only way to make the thing better would be to wrap it in a tortilla, but that’s for another day. I had at first focused so much on the cheese and crust that I forgot about the chicken. In fact, as I was eating I made a note of what I called “ghost meat,” a taste and texture that was like meat but lighter, ethereal, just a hint of what was possible. Only when I looked down at the spring roll did I see a large, half eaten piece of chicken. Needless to say I felt a little dumb. But the taste could not be argued with! It was a delicate com-
plement, a subtle way to allow the cheese to rule the dish while the chicken plays in the background, redirecting the cheese in a fun, unexpected way. Perhaps the chicken, after all, is where my initial cheese confusion came from. Despite the dish’s name it wasn’t terribly spicy. In a world of Indian food up to 10, the Spicy Chicken Spring Roll is something like a one or a two. It is quite mild, especially with all the cheese, so the spice-adverse need not be afraid. If the Browns were the first elephant in the room, the second was the creole mustard sauce. Daggitt put it wonderfully when I asked about the sauce, saying that “you could dip anything into that.” To
put in my own two cents, I wouldn’t be surprised if cotton candy tasted better with creole mustard sauce on it, it’s that terrific of a condiment. For the spring rolls it added a nice little spice, a slight, sweet tingle that seals the Slatts Signature Spicy Chicken Spring Rolls’ place as a calling card for the restaurant. With a dish like this one, plus many others, it’s no wonder that people keep coming back. Their hours are Monday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Saturday, 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. – 9 p.m. Slatts Pub 4858 Cooper Road Blue Ash, OH 45242 513-791-2223
DINING OUT • 15
THURSDAY, AUGUST 30, 2012
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16 • OPINION
“The question is how much depth does one really get into with a Daf Yomi kind of approach,” sniffed Conservative Rabbi Steven Wernick of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. “It’s breadth over depth,” he pronounced, explaining helpfully, and risibly, to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency how “the Conservative approach to Jewish study tends to be more depth-oriented.” Who knew? And then there was Arnold Eisen, the chancellor of the (Conservative) Jewish Theological Seminary, who penned an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal on August 9 about the Siyum and Daf Yomi’s implications for non-Orthodox Jews. He began with a short history of Daf Yomi, quoting Rav Meir
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Iran will be the new chair of the 118-nation group called the Nonaligned Movement. To mark the occasion, the Iranian government is hosting an August summit in Tehran, hoping to attract world leaders. Washington has urged leaders to stay away. A State Department spokeswoman said, “We, frankly, don’t think that Iran is deserving of these high-level presences.” AJC agrees, and our members across the U.S. have written many letters urging UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to skip the meeting. But Secretary General Ban plans to go to Tehran, as Iran craves. AJC is stunned that he would honor a regime that consistently ignores both him and the world body he heads in ways that threaten regional and global security. By participating, Secretary General Ban tragically missed an opportunity to send a powerful message to the Iranian regime that its posture is totally unacceptable. By going to Tehran, he may confer respectability despite Iran’s defying UN resolutions on its nuclear program, sponsoring terrorism worldwide, supporting the barbarism in Syria, and calling for Israel’s “annihilation.”
I am appalled at the disrespectful tone and unwarranted venom in your misguided, bigoted antiObama letters which you consistently print in The American Israelite. Whatever happened to civility? No American president in American history has done more for Israel than President Obama. Why do I support President Obama? He has guided us through a rough recession the past three years – a financial tsunami caused by our previous president with his wars and tax breaks. For the following reasons, President Obama deserves our utmost respect, full support and admiration. He has provided Israel with the largest amount of military aid in U.S. history, which includes $3 billion per year in aid plus $250 million to develop the Iron Dome missile system (which protects Israel from Hamas’ rockets). In July 2012 another $70 million was added. He has restored Israel’s qualitative military edge with advanced weaponry: selling Israel bunker busting bombs, F-35 fighter planes and fast-tracking arms sales; committing American troops to joint military exercises; working with Israel to combat smuggling into Gaza. He has committed American troops to the 2012 Austere Challenge joint military exercises – the largest and most extensive exercises with Israel; he has coop-
Sincerely, Michael A. Safdi President, AJC Cincinnati Regional Office Cincinnati, OH
erated on U.S.-Israel joint efforts such as missile systems. His diplomatic support for Israel is unparalleled: he opposed the Palestinian effort to declare statehood in the UN; he consistently defends Israel’s legitimacy and has vocally protested UN efforts to isolate Israel. He personally came to Israel’s aid immediately when needed: he intervened to rescue Israel’s diplomats in Cairo during the attack on the Israeli embassy; he gave priority orders to help Israel put out their fire in Carmel. He consistently affirms the U.S. – Israel bond and its unbreakable status. He repeatedly asserts Israel’s right to defend itself, including against the Gaza flotilla. The latest Gallup poll, from June 8th, shows that Jewish voters are favoring President Obama 68% to 25% for Mitt Romney. Most of my friends, who are proIsrael, are supporting Obama. With most Jewish supporters backing Obama, what chutzpah for Romney supporters to ask us to leave our choice blank! Now it’s my turn to ask Romney supporters to please leave their choice blank on ballots when they vote, if they truly care about our grand and wonderful country. Sincerely, Cherie Rosenstein Dayton, Ohio P.S. No, I am not working on the Obama campaign.
T EST Y OUR T ORAH KNOWLEDGE THIS WEEK’S PORTION: KI TZEI(DEVARIM 21:10—25:30) a.) Yes b.) No
1. What is the punishment for kidnapping? a.) Exile to a city of refuge b.) Pay double the value of the victim c.) Death 2. Which righteous person are we commanded to remember? Why? a.) Abraham b.) Miriam c.) Joseph 3. Can a lender enter the home of a debtor to collect collateral for a loan? Beth Din can force the debtor to sell his property to settle the debt. R Bcahi 4. B 25:4 5. C 25:9
“How,” he asks, “can they be offered a sense of community and meaning? What learning could galvanize nonOrthodox Jewish minds, stir our hearts, nourish our souls?”
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
4. Is it permitted to muzzle an ox when it threshes? a.) Yes b.) No 5. What does one do, if does not want to marry his deceased brother's wife? a.) Write a bill of divorce b.) Declare he does not want to do the mitzvah of levriate marriage c.) Chalitzah by removing his shoe
Moshe and was punished with Tzarat. This commandment also forbids cutting off the tzarat or any delay going to the Kohen for help. Rashi 3. B 24:10 If a debtor refuses to pay his debts, a
Like pretty much all publicity, the heavy reportage of the Siyum HaShas at MetLife Stadium earlier this month was something of a two-edged sword. Over the weeks since the Siyum, awareness of the event likely inspired many Jews to undertake Daf Yomi and legions of others to aspire to a greater degree of Jewish study and observance. It also brought the very idea of Torah study to the attention of large numbers of our fellow Jews who may have, in reading or watching reports about the Siyum, for the first time confronted Torah study as a real-life ideal. All the reportage of the Siyum and Daf Yomi, however, also provided grist for some grumbling mills.
Shapiro and acknowledging how the Siyum HaShas, whose first celebration included “only a small group of participants,” had now brought “some 90,000” to join in the main event, with “thousands more participat[ing] online.” It constitutes “a remarkable achievement,” he writes, “bearing witness to the vitality of Orthodox communities and the impressive network of Orthodox educational institutions that engage Jews in study from childhood through retirement.” So much for the objective, honest assessment part of the op-ed. But ah, Mr. Eisen continues, Daf Yomi “deprives students of a precious opportunity to raise difficult questions about meaning and truth.” He laments that a participant in the program “misses the chance to engage in the traditional back-and-forth arguments over facts and implications that have breathed life into Talmud study for centuries.” (Apparently he’s never attended one of the more lively Daf Yomi shiurim out there.) And—in case you were waiting for the other shoe (the fashionable one) to drop—Mr. Eisen also takes care to add that his critique “is even truer if women are absent from the table as learners and teachers—still the case at most Orthodox lessons.” All the de rigueur lamentation off his chest, the chancellor then turns, finally, to what “the rest of the Jewish world” can “learn from this grand study of the Talmud.” “How,” he asks, “can they be offered a sense of community and meaning? What learning could galvanize non-Orthodox Jewish minds, stir our hearts, nourish our souls?” Good and worthy questions, without doubt. In fact, they are questions we Orthodox Jews should be asking too. Mr. Eisen’s answer begins in a promising enough way. He proposes “a different page for Jewish learning,” one that “would cleave faithfully to texts, rituals, history and faith.” Beautiful: a Perek Chumash Yomi, or Perek Tehillim Yomi, or a Halacha Yomis. But Mr. Eisen isn’t finished. The course of daily Torah study he has in mind is “one that is open to the larger world and bears the impact of modern thinking,” one that is “informed by art, music, drama, poetry, politics and law.” A “passage from Job,” he suggests, “would be accompanied by clips” from a movie about a Jew; “the poetry of Isaiah could be explored side by side with that of the late Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai.”
Written by Rabbi Dov Aaron Wise
ANSWERS 1. C 24:7 The death penalty is only for using or selling the victim. Rashi 2. B 24:9 Miriam spoke ill of her brother
By Rabbi Avi Shafran Contributing columnist
JEWISH LIFE • 17
THURSDAY, AUGUST 30, 2012
Sedra of the Week
SHABBAT SHALOM: PARSHAT KI TETZE DEUTERONOMY 21:10-25:19
What defines a “wayward and rebellious” child? Whose fault is it by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel - “If a man has a wayward and rebellious child, who does not listen to the voice of his father and the voice of his mother, and they warn and flog him, but he still does not obey them; then his parents may take him out to the judges of the city, telling them that ‘this our son is wayward and rebellious, he does not obey our voice, he is a glutton and a drunkard,’ upon which all the people of the city pelt him with stones and he dies, so that you rout out the evil in your midst, and all of Israel will take heed and be frightened” (Deuteronomy 21:18-21). What defines a “wayward and rebellious” child? Whose fault is it – his, his parents’, or society’s? This week’s Torah portion deals with these questions with amazing courage and sensitivity – providing important directions for parenting. The words of the Bible are stark, and even jarring to the modern ear: The Talmud (Sanhedrin 68b – 71a) contends that here is a youngster who is growing into a menacing, murderous monster. They limit the time period of this case to three months following the onset of puberty, they insist that he must have stolen a large amount of meat and wine from his parents which he himself consumed, and conclude that “this youth is punished now for what will inevitably happen later on; it is better that he die (more or less) innocent rather than be put to death after having committed homicide.” Modern commentaries argue that ancient societies gave parents unlimited authority over their children to the extent of putting their rebellious children to death. Our Torah defines waywardness, limits the time span, and insists that judges be involved in the final decision. Nevertheless, the axiom of “punishing now for what will inevitably happen later” runs counter to judicial system, and is even countermanded by a famous midrash. The Bible tells us that Abraham’s wife Sarah saw that Ishmael, the son of Abraham’s mistress Hagar, was a bad influence on her son, Isaac; G-d agrees that both the mistress and her son should be banished into the desert.
– his, his parents’, or society’s? An angel who sees them wandering and suffering, hungry and thirsty, comforts Hagar: “Do not fear; G-d has heard the (crying) voice of the lad from where he is now” (Genesis 21:9-17). On these words, “from where he is now,” Rashi cites the midrash which seems to defy the Talmudic position of the wayward child: “He is judged in accordance with his present actions and not for what he will eventually do. The angels in heaven began to prosecute (Ishmael), saying, ‘Master of the Universe, for someone whose children will eventually slay your children (the Israelites) with thirst, You are miraculously providing a well with water (in the desert)?! And (G-d) responded, ‘What is he now, righteous or wicked?’ They responded, ‘Righteous’ (in the sense that he was not yet worthy of capital punishment). (G-d) answered, ‘I judge him in accordance with his present actions. I judge him from where he is now.’” If G-d is explaining the foundations of Jewish jurisprudence, how do we explain the previous Talmudic explanation of “punishment now for what will eventually happen?” Based upon a very literal interpretation of the verses, the Talmud sets many more limitations upon the case of the rebellious child. The parents must have all their limbs, and full ability of hearing and seeing in order to punish the youth (after all, they “take him” with their hands, “to the judges,” with their legs, claim “he does not obey our voice,” so they cannot be mute, etc.). I interpret this as the necessary parental hands to embrace as well as to chastise, the necessary parental legs to accompany him to places of learning, inspiration and fun as he was growing up, the necessary parental ears to hear his dreams, fears and frustrations and the necessary parental eyes to see what he’s doing, what he’s not doing, and whom he is befriending. Children deserve to receive time and attention from parents – and quantity time is the real definition of quality time! If parents are not personally and significantly involved in the development of their child, then, according to the
Talmud, the child cannot be blamed, or punished, for becoming wayward or rebellious. Moreover, the parents must be “equal in voice, appearance and stature”: they must provide a single message of values and lifestyle, and they must act in concert and harmony in providing a unified household. Father and mother must be “fit for each other” – otherwise, mixed parental messages and models will also remove culpable guilt from the child. Finally, if either of the parents demurs, expressing unwillingness to bestow such a punishment, the punishment is not executed. All of this leads to a ringing Talmudic declaration: “The case of the wayward and rebellious child never was and never will be. Expound the verses and you will receive reward.” (B.T. Sanhedrin 71a). Apparently, the limitations were so great that they obviated the possibility of ever actually executing the punishment. Nevertheless, parents have much to learn about the seriousness of parenting by taking to heart, mind and action the rabbinic explication of the verses. I would merely add a few words regarding Ishmael. There were many reasons for his expiation by the Almighty: after all, Abraham and Hagar were not suited for each other and did not provide unified standards of behavior and values. Ishmael himself repents at the end of his life and it is G-d who ultimately forgives him. If flesh-and-blood parents can prevent execution, then our Divine Parent must certainly have the right to stay an execution. Only G-d knows that sometimes the genetic make-up of the child is of such a nature, or a traumatic event caused such a rupture in his personality, that neither he nor his flesh-and-blood parents can be held to be culpable. But whatever the case may be, it’s crucial that parents do everything they can, to the best of their ability, to give their children the basic three things which every child deserves: love, limits and personal involvement.
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18 • JEWZ IN THE NEWZ
By Nate Bloom Contributing Columnist JONES, SAMBERG, GORDON-LEVITT, AND LABEOUF “Celeste and Jesse Forever” stars RASHIDA JONES, 36, and ANDY SAMBERG, 34, in the title roles. It opens in Cincinnati on Friday, August 31. This film has gotten almost universally positive reviews. Celeste and Jesse have been friends and (later) lovers since childhood. As the film opens, their marriage is in serious trouble. Celeste is a workaholic and Jesse is a slacker artist. This difference and others drive them apart, but they both find it difficult to move-on and finalize their divorce. The script was co-written by Jones. Jones is the daughter of famous African-American composer Quincy Jones, 79, and actress PEGGY LIPTON, 65. Rashida Jones was raised Jewish and firmly identifies as Jewish in both a cultural and religious sense. Opening in most cities last Friday, August 24, was “Premium Rush,” an action flick starring JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT as Wilee, a Manhattan bike messenger who picks up a package at Columbia University. A “dirty” cop is desperate to get his hands on the envelope and chases Wilee around the city. There was a special prerelease showing for NYC bike messengers and Gordon-Levitt laughed as he told the Hollywood Reporter that “I would have to practice a little bit more [to really be able to deliver parcels in Manhattan for a living]…I got pretty good riding a bike, shooting Premium Rush, I was riding every day for a number of months, but I would not claim to be as skilled or as in shape as the real guys. They’re really special.” Gordon-Levitt, 31, just finished shooting “Don Juan’s Addiction,” a film he directed, wrote, and co-stars in. It co-stars Julianne Moore, SCARLETT JOHANSSON, 27, and Tony Danza. Another young Jewish actor, SHIA LABEOUF, 26, co-stars in “Lawless.” Based on a real family story, it’s about three brothers who are involved in bootlegging during the Prohibition era (192033). Conflict erupts when local rural Virginia authorities want in on the brothers’ liquor profits. Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, and LaBeouf star as the three brothers. (Opens August 31) The supporting cast includes Guy Pearce as a federal special agent.
THE MOST JEWISH MOVIE OF THE WEEK SAM RAIMI, 52, who is most famous as the director of the first three “Spider-Man” movies and many horror movies (“Evil Dead”), is the producer of “The Possession,” which some are labeling the Jewish version of “The Exoricist.” According to the press release, a young girl named Em (Natasha Calis) buys an old box at a yard sale and is obsessed with opening it, although her father says it appears to have been designed not to open. Em soon begins to exhibit bizarre and violent behavior. Since her parents recently divorced, her weirdness goes without much notice at first, but Em’s behavior soon becomes more and more extreme. Fearing for their daughter, Clyde (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Stephanie Brenek (KYRA SEDGWICK, 49) make various attempts – from brain scans to consulting rabbis – to discover what the supernatural force behind the box is, what it wants, and how to keep it from destroying Em. The box that Em purchased has Hebrew letters on it and it is revealed to be a “dybbuk box.” In other words, it contains an evil spirit (hence the need for consulting rabbis). Ultimately, the parents’ best hope is a rabbi who does exorcisms. He is played by MATTHEW PAUL MILLER, AKA MATISYAHU, 33, the reggae musician who recently announced that he was no longer a Hasid. TV NOTES If you are like me, somehow you missed the fact that there is a live-action show on the Cartoon Network called “Childrens Hospital.” Finally, I tuned in and this totally off-the-wall satire of medical/hospital shows amused me. The 14-minute or so length of the episode was “just right.” It’s a treat to see HENRY WINKLER, 66, as a very quirky hospital administrator. And did I mention that there is a meshugah Jewish doctor character that runs around wearing a yarmulke? New episodes air Thursdays at midnight, with web viewing anytime. JEFF ROSS, 46, is best known as one of the main and most acerbic “roasters” on the popular Comedy Central Celebrity Roast series. Ross has just been given his own weekly Comedy Central series, called “Burn.” It premiered on Tuesday, August 14 and new episodes air Tuesdays at 10:30 PM. Ross comes out and insults people in the news, then other celebs do the same thing, and then Ross hits the streets to insult meter maids, the paparazzi, etc.
FROM THE PAGES 150 Y EARS A GO
75 Y EARS A GO
It is our painful duty to chronicle this week the accidental deaths of two persons. Mr. Jacob Ullman of this city, a father of three children, was shot on the 20th inst., by Mr. Wolfsohn, unintentionally. Mr. U. was 59 years old, and lived about 22 years in this city, a peaceable and industrious man. He leaves a widow and three children almost destitute of any means. Aaron Stadler, son of M. Stadler, about 13 years old, was shot, on the 21st inst., by a boy, while playing soldiers, and died a few hours after. It is a hard case. – August 29, 1862
Kentucky Jim and his Hill Billy Serenaders are furnishing dance music at the clubhouse at Meadowbrook Swimming Pool and Amusement Park. Diving contests are on the program for the big Labor Day celebration which will include special events Saturday, Sept. 4, Sunday and Monday. Meadowbrook Swimming Pool and Amusement Park are at Venice, near Cincinnati, on stop 27 or via Ohio Bus Lines. From Cincinnati hilltops, route 126 offers a scenic drive. Two foremost contenders for the light-heavy elimination mat honors will collide Friday night, Aug. 27, when Billy Thom, Bloomington, Ind., will meet the Great Mephisto in the one-fall, 90-minutes feature of the wrestling show of the Quality Athletic Club will run off at the Parkway Arena. Lem Stricklin, Tennessee hillbilly, will oppose Ray Ryan of Jacksonville, Fla., in the semifinal, while Tuffy Cleet, Nashville, Tenn., returns to meet Al Perry of Detroit in the special event.– August 26, 1937
125 Y EARS A GO Dr. I.J. Dodd, until recently Professor of Hebrew at Vanderbilt University, will open a high school on September 5th. The Doctor is a fine Hebrew scholar, and a lover of the language and its literature. Aside from this he is an accomplished, classical and scientific scholar, an experienced and painstaking instructor, and in every way well fitted for the task which he has undertaken. We have no hesitation in recommending Dr. Dodd and his institution to those of Cincinnati and elsewhere who are seeking a proper establishment in which to have their children educated. – August 26, 1887
100 Y EARS A GO The Cincinnati School of Expression has outgrown its present quarters in the Lyric Theater Building and will move to large, airy rooms in the Greenwood Building, at Sixth and Vine, on October 1. The school will have its own recital hall for student events, rehearsal rooms music and make-up rooms, as well as a pleasant waiting and rest room for students. The eighteenth academic year begins on September 9 in the present quarters at the Lyric, where the associate director, Mrs. Clarice S. Westheimer, may be found early for interviews. The school has enlarged its scope, and has four excellent departments – elocution, acting, literature and music. The faculty numbers sixteen artist teachers, and the work is designed to prepare the student as reader, teacher of elocution and English, actor or musician. There is also a thorough non professional course for general culture, designed for high school graduates who wish to specialize in the spoken word. – August 29, 1912
50 Y EARS A GO Charles H. Tobias, Jr., president of the Jewish Vocational Service, announced that a Guidance Committee held an organizational meeting Aug. 29. Representatives of a variety of community groups were invited to serve on the committee which acts as a policy-making , planning and resources group for JVS vocational guidance and job placement programs. Sam Feldman, consultant to the committee, told of its accomplishments in helping young persons make career and school plans. The committee sponsored a summer work program for young persons needing financial assistance to continue college education, he said. It also has enabled youth groups to hear experts on occupations. The committee arranged for a tour of Ohio State and Miami University. The committee participated in development of a scholarship guide book. The committee includes representatives of the JVS Board, B’nai B’rith lodges and chapters and individuals at large, and has been in existence since 1946. “Our local JVS benefits from professional consultation, research and occupational and educational information provided by B’nai B’rith,” Mr. Tobias said. “JVS is one of several agencies in the United States which sponsors
a joint guidance program in cooperation with B’nai B’rith.” He called attention to the fact that the JVS library contains many books and pamphlets published by the B’nai B’rith Vocational Service. JVS is a Jewish Welfare Fund beneficiary and a member of Associated Jewish Agencies. George Newburfer is executive director. – August 30, 1962
25 Y EARS A GO Beth Schneider, violinist and senior at Wyoming High School, has been accepted as a member of the National Guild Youth Symphony Orchestra for its gala performance at Carnegie Hall on Nov. 8. She was selected as a result of a national competition which was open to Guild school students around the country. The orchestra will be conducted by Joseph Silverstein (music director of the Utah Symphony, and artist-in-residence at the Tanglewood Music Center) and will perform with Leonard Pennario (piano), Wynton Marsalis (jazz trumpet) and the Harlem Boys Choir. The concert is one of several events which will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Guild. Beth has studied at the local Guild school, Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, Preparatory Division, since age 4. She studies there with Conny Kiradjieff. – September 3, 1987
10 Y EARS A GO The University of Cincinnati (UC) will host a series of programs allowing participants to reflect on the events of Sept. 11 and its effects on the local community. Hillel Jewish Student Center/UC Campus Ministries program will host “Night Watch” Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 12 a.m. at Hillel, located at 2615 Clifton Ave. The program will feature personal reflections, music and poetry readings. The public is invited to attend. The observance will end in silence at 8:46 a.m., the exact moment of the plane crash into the first tower of the World Trade Center. At 10 a.m., those who joined “Night Watch” and others will travel north on Clifton Ave., inviting other houses of worship on the route to join in a peace walk. The walk will begin at the Clifton Mosque (Islamic Association of Cincinnati) at 3668 Clifton Ave. and will travel back on Clifton Ave. to Hillel. – August 29, 2002
THURSDAY, AUGUST 30, 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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JCC from page 3 Bob Brant will be recognized as the 2012 recipient of the Sigmund M. Cohen Memorial Award at the JCC Annual Meeting. He is a lifelong member and active participant at the JCC. “Bob was instrumental in putting together the bond funding for the new JCC and structuring the new JCC Board of Directors, and has served the community in a broad variety of roles,” said Howard M. Schwartz, 2011 Cohen Award recipient and JCC past president. Brant has worked with the ACADEMY from page 8 And unlike other Jewish schools that accept boarders, such as the Orthodox Fasman Yeshiva High School near Chicago or the Yeshiva University High School for Boys in New York, AHA does not cater to students from one stream of Judaism in particular – meaning that parents cannot be certain that the school will reinforce their home’s Jewish practice. While all students must attend Sabbath morning services, the services have ranged from rock climbing to traditional Orthodox worship. “I’m sure students who come from a traditional background have peer pressure,” said Yosef Plotkin, the local Chabad rabbi, who teaches at AHA. “Your roommate may not be Shabbat observant, which can cause a big challenge. But overall the students are very respectful.” As a young and small school, AHA also doesn’t have a deep base of alumni that it can tap for fundraising. Its founder, commercial aviation reinsurance mogul Maurice “Chico” Sabbah, who died in 2006, donated more than $100 million to the school and paid the tuition of the school’s initial 77 students. The school set aside $1.5 million for scholarships last year and for the coming school year. Last school term it still had to turn away 23 accepted students who could not afford the tuition of $31,000, including room and board. AHA, which runs on a $10 million annual budget, has not increased its tuition for this term. Students who live in the area and
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Up to 24 hour care Meal Preparation Errands/Shopping Hygiene Assistance Light Housekeeping
(513) 531-9600 Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, The Jewish Foundation and the JCC. He has been chairman of the JCC investment committee since its inception, an active participant on the finance committee, a JCC board member and has chaired the sponsorship committee of the JCC Adams Golf Classic. Upon finding out he was the 2012 Cohen Award recipient, Bob said, “I love volunteering at the J. They are great people to work with and it is really gratifying to volunteer at a place as vital and used by the community as the JCC. I am honored to receive this award.” commute pay $19,000. The tuition falls in a normal range for American Jewish high schools. Students at Gann will pay $34,350 this school year, for example, while students at the Weber School in Atlanta will pay $23,730. To help with its fundraising, AHA released an advertisement featuring the endorsement of Jewish mega-philanthropist Michael Steinhardt, who helped found Birthright Israel and sits on the academy’s board of trustees. In 2009, Steinhardt gave $5 million to AHA. “There’s no telling how many people learn about the academy and its cost, and automatically presume that the academy is beyond their means,” Drew said. He added, however, “When you look at the price of day schools in the larger cities compared to the American Hebrew Academy, you begin to question the value that you’re getting” at the day schools. Drew says the school is not in direct competition with local Jewish high schools. Many AHA students come from areas with only one or no Jewish high schools, and a growing percentage is international. In addition to its course offerings, which range from plant biology in a botany lab to Basics of Fashion and Costume Design, from Holocaust and Human Behavior to Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism, AHA’s curriculum encourages students to stay physically fit. The school requires intensive physical and health education all four years, and hosts more than a dozen varsity, intramural and club sports teams.
20 • NEWS PARALYMPIAN from page 6 “My dad had problems with alcohol. At about 14, before I entered high school, I ended up living on the E train. I didn’t have anywhere to live,” Leibovitz related Sunday night from the Ozone Park, Queens, condominium he shares with his wife, Dawn. “I’d play table tennis in the day, and at night I would take the trains everywhere.” One summer, Leibovitz slept on the street nearly every night – other times, at the beach in Rockaway and at two Manhattan branches of Covenant House, a national organization that assists at-risk youth. Leibovitz had discovered table tennis at Lost Battalion Hall, a Queens parks department facility. He struggled to score any points in his games and waited hours for the chance to play again. At age 16, Leibovitz started winning. He did well at a tournament in Indianapolis and had found his passion. For sustenance, Leibovitz visited a neighborhood soup kitchen and shoplifted from supermarkets. Over several years, he frequently stole into a steakhouse by the back door and loaded items from the salad bar into his paper bag – “basiAPP from page 8 RustyBrick is set to release the ArtScroll Schottenstein Talmud this month in an app for the iPhone and iPad that will allow for instant translations, highlighting specific passages and quickly jumping from one section to another. Pricing has not yet been set, but Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz, co-founder of ArtScroll, expects it to be a fraction of the cost of purchasing the entire 73-volume printed set. NEW ORLEANS from page 8 “It has created an aura in the Jewish community that this is the place that young people move to and that the community is both vibrant exciting and welcoming,” Weil says. “We’ve already seen the newcomers take a prominent presence at synagogues, sending their kids to day schools and rising to leadership positions in the community.” At Beth Israel, it’s made a difference. Its gabbai, Irwin Lachoff, says that prior to Katrina, the congregation had struggled to get the required 10 men for a Shabbat morning service. Today the services draw 40 to 50 worshipers. “The young people have brought a more youthful look and new ideas,” he says. “We weren’t going to make it much longer because we lost most of our young families and kids, and we were able to bring that back.” When the canals broke, they left Beth Israel’s former building
cally, stealing it,” he admitted. “I was caught a few times.” It was a long fall from Leibovitz’s days attending Hebrew school at the Ozone Park Jewish Center, close to where he grew up in Howard Beach. He missed nearly all of junior high school and high school, but passed his General Educational Development exam and attended a community college. Leibovitz dropped out because his educational gaps placed him far behind in math. Eventually, he enrolled at Queens College, earning bachelor’s degrees in sociology and philosophy and a master’s degree in urban affairs. When he returns from London, Leibovitz will continue working toward a master’s of business administration. Leo Compton, who retired last January as executive director of the South Queens Boys and Girls Club, remembers Leibovitz being troubled by incessant bullying about his height – he now stands 5’4” – and his right arm’s being shorter than his left. Leibovitz said that the teasing led to fights and to his being kicked out of school. His home life deteriorated simultaneously, with Compton often asked to mediate between the boy and his mother, Felicia Weisskohl. She died of cancer in 2007. “This opens up the whole world of Jewish literature for the past 2,000 years,” Zlotowitz said, putting it “literally at your fingertips.” While such access may have been available previously in schools, libraries or private collection, the innovation, Schwartz said, is what you can do with the information because of the technology. The information can change based on the user’s location, time of day or preference of Ashkenazi or Sephardi customs, he said. in 10 feet of water. Seven of its Torah scrolls, thousands of prayer books and other items were destroyed. “When we came back, we started to clean out and salvage the things we could and very soon we stopped crying and started working hard,” said Jackie Gothard, 78, a fifth-generation member and one of the congregation’s past presidents. “We got over the initial hurt and realized that we lost our synagogue, but it was only a building. It wasn’t our people. Immediately after Katrina, the Reform temple Gates of Prayer offered Beth Israel a temporary home. “It was important to us when the storm hit that Congregation Beth Israel not go out of existence because it’s important for a community like us to have all the major expressions of Jewish life in order to be a Jewish community,” explains Gates of Prayer’s Rabbi Robert Lowey.
“I’d say, ‘You can’t ride the trains. It’s dangerous. You don’t have to love [your mother], but you have to respect her,’” said Compton. “My rule at the club is: You have to go to school. But with Tahl, it was different. He would’ve been lost if he didn’t have something to grow with and build his confidence. He had that
with table tennis.” At the club, Leibovitz befriended other boys passionate about the game. Leibovitz favored table tennis and billiards – never playing other sports or attending personal development sessions, Compton said. Leibovitz played for hours. When he had no one to compete against, Compton pushed the table against a wall so he could hit solo. Leibovitz would play from afternoon until the club closed after 10 at night. “The ball and paddle would just click, and he could spend an hour straight without missing the ball at all,” Compton said. “Then I bought a machine for him that could hit the ball to him at angles.” Leibovitz left at 18 to train at the U.S. Olympic Committee’s center in Colorado, returning to New York a serious player. He qualified for the U.S. Paralympic team, and taught table tennis at the South Queens club when not away at competitions. The sport is now Leibovitz’s livelihood. He’s worked for SPiN New York, a table tennis center in Manhattan co-owned by actress Susan Sarandon, since it opened a few years ago. A substitute teacher in city schools, he also coaches promising players in the Queens
neighborhood of Flushing, home to a large immigrant community from South Korea, where the sport is wildly popular. Sponsorship deals with the Stiga table tennis equipment company and United Airlines help, and Leibovitz receives USOC stipends and health insurance. Zeev Glikman, a coach on Israel’s Paralympic table tennis team, said he looks forward to seeing Leibovitz in London. The two have faced each other in the Paralympics. During free time at competitions, Leibovitz asks about Israeli political and diplomatic news. “He’s very nice,” said Glikman. “He’s one of the best players in the world in his category.” Assessing his medal chances in London is a dicey proposition for Leibovitz, who earned a gold medal in singles and a bronze medal in team competition at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics, and a bronze in singles in Athens in 2004. He also competed at the Paralympics in Beijing in 2008. “You can’t control the outcome of a match. You want to control what you can: your training and your energy level,” he said. “You can’t go into any match and say, ‘I’m going to win it.’ But you have to have the belief that you can win it.”
“Enhancing the text around those criteria is the future of Jewish text learning,” Schwartz said. “When you’re able to actually interact with the words on the page, it’s going to change how people understand what they’re learning.” Changing the way people learn is just what the Union for Reform Judaism is planning in its congregational Hebrew schools. In August, URJ will roll out a digital format of its Mitkadem Hebrew school curriculum, which
will allow students to communicate virtually with each other and their teachers. Students will work in small groups through each level of the curriculum, focusing on prayers, the meaning behind the prayers and vocabulary while the teachers act as facilitators, testing at each level. This will allow students to work at their own pace in the classroom and work remotely with teachers outside of class, said Michael Goldberg, URJ’s head of books and music. “They relate to each other online
on a regular basis anyway, but there’s something powerful about meeting virtually and in person,” he said. In one pilot program, a student who plans to travel to Scotland next year with his parents will use Mitkadem to keep up with his Judaic studies back home. Students, Goldberg said, have reacted positively to the classroom innovations, and URJ eventually hopes to expand the program to every aspect of Jewish education.
Courtesy of USA Paralympics
U.S. Jewish Paralympic swimmer Ian Silverman, received swimming tips from Olympic champion Michael Phelps, who belongs to the same Baltimore swim club.
Courtesy of Alan Smason
Congregation Beth Israel officials and key donors at the groundbreaking for its new building in Metairie, La., April 2010.
For nearly seven years, Beth Israel held weekly services in the Gates of Prayer chapel and leased office space in the building. When it came time to rebuild,
Beth Israel decided to buy land next to the Reform synagogue. “We built a playground at the center of the two buildings that will be shared by the two congre-
gations,” says Topolosky, who arrived in 2007. “It’s a statement that we have different practices and beliefs but at the end of the day, we remind ourselves that we are one Jewish family.” The dedication ceremony for Beth Israel will start at Gates of Prayer, then have a procession to the new building with five Torahs donated by families throughout the country. Adorning the outside of the new building are two biblical quotes: “Mighty Waters Cannot Extinguish Our Love” and “Build for Me a Sanctuary and I will dwell amongst you,” the latter of which was lifted from the front of the old synagogue. And while grateful for the hospitality of Gates of Prayer, Beth Israel congregant Hilton Title is excited to be able to worship in his own congregation’s building. “It’s a homecoming,” he says. “We’ve been on an odyssey and now we have our own place, and there’s no place like home.”
NEWS • 21
THURSDAY, AUGUST 30, 2012
FREEDOM from page 6 “People are overwhelmed with information and not taught how to analyze using their critical faculties,” Hassan observes, noting that cult recruiters are also “more sophisticated” and more successful in preying on perplexed people. Instead of random flirtations, cult recruiters now use the latest technology to track and approach their targets. “I have done some cases where the person was recruited online and…[became] totally isolated and alienated from family and friends,” Hassan says. Another problem is that many cults are more “underground” than The Moonies and Joneses of old. “Young people in college today do not know about cults,” Hassan suggests. “They are virtually sitting ducks.” Though Hassan has returned to the Jewish fold, he notes that even Judaism has what he considers to be elements of cultic practices. “The very early Temple worship
SUMMIT from page 7 The presence of Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood leader recently elected president of Egypt, will likely be exploited by Iran as a signal that it is extending its influence in a region roiled by regime change, Nader said – although that would overstate the case. “Iran has in recent months tried to boost relationships with Egypt, but Egyptians have been relatively standoffish. They haven’t embraced Iran, and that’s more important than whether a meeting will be held,” he said. Already, Iranian officials were hyping the summit as a nexus for resistance to Western “hegemony.” “In light of its focus on multilateral cooperation, disarmament, sustainable world peace, rights of nations and horizontal relations defying hegemonic structures, the Non-Aligned Movement is a major cross-regional group in the United Nations, and U.N. leaders have always participated in its summits,” Alireza Miryousefi, the Iranian envoy to the United Nations, wrote in an Aug. 21 letter to the Washington Post. “By bringing dozens of world leaders together, the summit promises to make significant contributions to the movement’s lofty objectives.” It is precisely the exploitation of such symbolism that concerns Jewish groups, said Michael Salberg, the director of international affairs for the Anti-Defamation League. “Symbols matter, and when the symbol is represented by the secretary general of the United Nations it’s a neon light – and that makes it all the more troubling at a difficult time,” Salberg said. The concern, said the AJC’s
definitely had aspects of cultism and a fear of the almighty wrathful God who you needed to be obedient to or else,” he observes, recalling some of the very elements of the faith that had turned him away in his early years. “Many Jews are attracted to cults because of two very deeply instilled values: love of learning and a strong commitment to tikkun olam, making the world a better place,” he adds. Hassan emphasizes, however, that there is a key distinction to be made between authentic religions and cults. “Legitimate groups tell people up front who they are, what they believe, and what is expected of members after they join,” he explains. “Destructive cults do not.” So what can be done? Can the “fight” for mental freedom and true tikkun olam be won? Hassan, for his part, tries to repair the world one life and one mind at a time. “It gives me much happiness to know my work is helping more people,” he says. Harris, is that the gathering grants legitimacy to the Iranian leadership’s unvarnished and incessant anti-Semitism, as well as its oppression of its own people, its backing for terrorism and its role in the Syrian regime’s violent repression. “The fact that an Iranian regime can support Syria’s barbarism before the world’s eyes, call for the annihilation of a U.N. member state and incite religious hatred and still be seen by some nations as a partner,” Harris said, “Does that validate Non Aligned Movement policies?” Nuland, the State Department spokeswoman, said that absent a boycott of the summit, reminding Iran of its obligations was the least it expected from those attending. “We hope that those who have chosen to attend, including U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, will make very strong points to those Iranians that they meet about their international obligations,” she said. “For them to begin to come clean on their nuclear program and to solve this particular issue diplomatically, and about all the other expectations that we all have of them.” Ban suggested in his announcement that he got the message. “With respect to the Islamic Republic of Iran, the SecretaryGeneral will use the opportunity to convey the clear concerns and expectations of the international community on the issues for which cooperation and progress are urgent for both regional stability and the welfare of the Iranian people,” it said. “These include Iran’s nuclear program, terrorism, human rights and the crisis in Syria.” Salberg said such caveats paled next to the symbolism of Annan’s participation.
2012 Rosh Hashanah Cover
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2012 Rosh Hashanah Cover Coloring Contest Entry Form
22 • OBITUARIES D EATH N OTICES DORMAN, Marlyn E., died on August 22, 2012; 4 Elul, 5772. BLATT, Sol, age 85, died on August 22, 2012; 5 Elul, 5772. GALLON, Justin, age 84, died on August 26, 2012; 8 Elul, 5772.
O BITUARIES DORMAN, Marlyn E. It is with deep sorrow that Teri Dorman Kolovos and Theodore Kolovos, Donna, Neal, Amanda and Adam Mayerson announce the death of Marlyn E. Dorman, devoted wife, mother, mother-in-law and grandmother, on Wednesday, August 22, 2012. Marlyn was married to Bert L. Dorman, of Cincinnati, Ohio. A memorial service was held at the Fairway Bay Club House, 2016 Harbourside Dr., Longboat Key, Fla. on Sunday evening. The family would appreciate donations be made to the Center for Building Hope in Sarasota 5481 Communications Pkwy., Sarasota, Fla. 34240-8476.
WARNING from page 7 Farahat was born in Cairo in 1980 and received her education there. She came to the U.S. in November 2011 on a tourist visa at the invitation of Daniel Pipes, founder and director of the Middle East Forum and a well-known author and lecturer with whom she had been in contact by means of the Internet. She has since applied for asylum in the U.S. due to her activism on behalf of Christians in Egypt. Her writing has been published in the National Review, Middle East Quarterly and in several other publications in English and Arabic, and she has also testified before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. She is a recipient of the “Rays of Life Award” from the Endowment for Middle East Truth.
DEBACLE from page 9 By then, the damage had been done, and her reputation continues to be tied to the Teheran-Durban disasters. Robinson’s promising career, including being the first woman to have served as President of Ireland, and then as the UN human rights commissioner, reached a dead end, and her campaign to become Secretary General of the United Nations never got off the ground. Instead, whenever she appears on uni-
versity campuses to speak or accept honorary degrees, particularly in the United States, demonstrators, often including faculty members, remind her and her supporters of her Iranian legacy. Members of the U.S. Congress voiced the same criticisms when she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the White House. These are important lessons reportedly shunned by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. There can be no compromise with the blatant racism, anti-Semitism and other
forms of hated heard daily from the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The genocidal threats and the frequent references to Israel and Zionism as “cancers” have even drawn the condemnation of European political leaders and officials. The head of the UN’s decision to go to Iran will be seen as an endorsement of the regime’s legitimacy and another whitewashing of hatred and anti-Semitism, as in Robinson’s precedent. In addition, Iran had been found
to be in massive violation of its commitments under international agreements – particularly the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty – and is running an illicit nuclear weapons program, as the United Nations Security Council (belatedly) determined. Given Iran’s illicit drive for nuclear weapons and penchant for anti-Semitism and hatred, Ban KiMoon should have avoided Mary Robinson’s fate by staying away from Tehran.
SOLDIERS from page 10 “They’re not Zionist at all,” Kledanow said. “Not only are they not Zionist, but their education is anti-Zionist.” He says the soldiers enlist because “not every haredi boy is cut out to sit and learn 12 to 14 hours in yeshiva every day. They feel they need a different life, and in order to work you have to do the army.” That pragmatic line of thinking stands in contrast to the official position of Israel’s haredi leaders and much of their rank and file, which remains opposed to the idea of haredi army service even as the government tries to mandate it. A large portion of haredim are opposed to or agnostic toward Zionism. “Everyone out there is a sinner,” said Yehuda Cohen, 20, a haredi student at Yeshivat Porat Yosef in Jerusalem’s Old City. “The Land of Israel belongs to Jews if they keep the Torah. If there’s no Torah we don’t deserve the land.” Such communal attitudes make returning to haredi life difficult for Netzach Yehuda soldiers. Because “to marry a boy that was in the army is a no-no,” Kledanow says, Netzach Yehuda helps the battalion’s veterans to find matches for marriage and then helps them fund their weddings, if necessary. Serving in a combat unit also MIGRON from page 10 Razvag hopes that the Supreme Court will approve a petition on Tuesday allowing some of Migron’s
Courtesy of Noam Moskowitz/FLASH90/JTA
Swearing-in ceremony for the Israeli army’s unit for haredi Orthodox soldiers, May 31, 2012.
poses challenges to men raised in strictly observant communities, as they must perform missions and guard duty on Shabbat and Jewish holidays. But the battalion consults a rabbi who tries to minimize those occurrences, while Netzach Yehuda soldiers do what they can to perform rituals regardless of where they are. “On seder night there will be 100 soldiers, so 30 soldiers will be on guard duty,” said Eli Lax, who runs the nonprofit Coalition for the Torah-Observant Soldier. “But
if they finish guarding at 10 or 11, they’ll start praying at 10 or 11 and have the seder at 12.” Moshe Lifshits, a veteran of the battalion who now works with Pledanow, and who participated in the 60-mile hike and subsequent dance, loved Netzach Yehuda’s Jewish atmosphere. “The spirit of the guys is very strong,” he said. “Shabbat there, you feel like a yeshiva.” He said that even as 20 or 30 percent of the battalion is Modern Orthodox rather than haredi, “You see
everyone together.” While most men are required to serve in the IDF for three years, after two years of service in Netzach Yehuda, its soldiers have the option of taking a year of classes, either to prepare them for university or to teach them a profession. “A boy coming into the army from the haredi community has a sixth-grade skill level,” Kledanow said. “It’s not enough to do army service. They want to enter into the workforce, so they need some educational skills.”
families to stay, and that in fact the entire evacuation will be delayed. But should the residents have to leave, Razvag said “it’s possible that part of the settlement will move” to the newly built trailers. Asked about possible violent settler opposition to an evacuation – as has happened elsewhere – she would say only that the community is waiting on the court’s decision. “We are also the state,” she said. “I have no other place.” Although only a fragment of an Israeli flag remains flying on a lamppost above the main road, Razvag said it was not torn down in protest. Rather, she said, Migron raised many flags for Israeli Independence Day and Jerusalem Day in the spring, and some have since been damaged naturally. A full flag flies on a post down the road. But beyond the end of Migron’s main road and across a rocky field, loyalty ends and open
ideology begins. A shack built of thin wood panels and a corrugated tin roof stands in defiance not just of the state but also of Migron’s residents. On one of the walls, green and red grafitti quotes Rabbi Hillel of the Mishnah: “If I am not for myself, who is for me? And when I am for myself alone, what am I? And if not now, when?” There will be no whitewashing here. The cabin is the latest iteration of Ramat Migron, an outpost that the government has evacuated and demolished multiple times. Both Migron’s residents and a young man from Ramat Migron stress that despite being adjacent to each other, the two have no connection. Razvag and Itai Chemo, Migron’s spokesperson, say they haven’t been to Ramat Migron in at least a year and do not communicate with its residents. Nor do they share common
cause. Unlike Migron, whose continued existence depends on government recognition, Ramat Migron is a project of the Hilltop Youth, a group of young, ideological settlers who build outposts in spite of Israeli law. With thick peyot hanging from his light brown hair and a black velvet kipah perched askew on his head, the man wore dark green pants, sandals and a gray T-shirt that said “Jews buy from Jews.” “The most important thing is to build the Holy Temple,” he said, adding that he is not a Zionist. “We’ll watch,” said the young man of how he would react to a government evacuation of Migron. And if the bulldozers come to his cabin? “War,” he said. Ramat Migron’s lack of weapons did not seem to bother him. “We’re two different places,” Razvag said. “Definitely two different places.”
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