THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2011 16 ELUL, 5771
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VOL. 158 • NO. 8
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The American Israelite T H E
O L D E S T
E N G L I S H
Wise Temple Library establishes collection of historic children’s Judaica
Local youth baseball player helps bring home gold medal
For young European Jews, a week of unity, partying and romance
No end in sight for downward spiral in Turkish-Israeli ties
Marx Hot Bagels — simple preparations, natural flavors
J E W I S H
W E E K L Y
A M E R I C A
JFS executive director applies Harvard Business School training...
E S T .
1 8 5 4
Jewish groups say U.N. resolution is inevitable, but its wording isn’t set
Boehner delivers keynote address at JNF National Conference John Boehner, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, will deliver the keynote address to more than 500 of Jewish National Fund’s (JNF) leaders at the annual National Conference, Sept. 1819 at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza. The conference—the first time it will be held in Cincinnati—will feature high-level briefings on “Freedom and Democracy: Israel’s and America’s Shared Values”; “JNF’s 9/11 Memorial in Jerusalem: Commemorating 10 Years Since 9/11”; “Turmoil in the Middle East: What it Means and What are the Implications” and more. Speaker Boehner is a congressman from the 8th district of Ohio, representing communities around Cincinnati and Dayton. Being both a local and national figure, it is an honor to have Speaker Boehner deliver the keynote address at this year’s conference. Boehner has been a staunch ally of Israel in Congress and addressed this past year’s AIPAC national conference in Washington, D.C. He is a firm believer in Michael Oren’s description of Israel as America’s “Ultimate Ally.” “The United States and Israel have a unique relationship based on our mutual commitment to democracy, freedom and peace. Therefore, just as our commitment to these principles must be steadfast, so must our support
Congressman John Boehner
for Israel,” said Boehner. In addition to Boehner, speakers will include Israel Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren; Israeli Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Yaalon; Wall Street Journal Foreign Affairs Columnist Bret Stephens; and Jewish Educator Arna Poupko Fisher. TV personality Larry King will receive a special award at Sunday night’s Tree of Life gala dinner. At the dinner, local activists Nina and Eddie Paul will be honored with the Tree of Life award
for their contributions to the Jewish and philanthropic communities of Cincinnati and Israel. “We are thrilled to be traveling to Cincinnati for the National Conference in 2011,” said conference co-chair, Andrew Klein. “This year’s conference includes an incredible panel of dynamic speakers and guests and we expect record attendance. Of course, we are proud to honor Cincinnati natives Nina and Eddie Paul, a most deserving couple, for all they have done for their community, for JNF and for Israel.”
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Edward Stern Endowment to help Playhouse in the Park
JNF commemorates 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001 NEW YORK — Jewish National Fund (JNF) commemorated the 10th anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 last Sunday with a special program held at 2 p.m. at JNF’s Living Memorial in Jerusalem Park in the Arazim Valley outside of Jerusalem. “At this Living Memorial, we recall the tragic events ten years ago and vow never again should such a loss ever occur,” said JNF president, Stanley Chesley, who will speak at the event. “Why here in Israel? Because nowhere is there a place that can understand the pain of loss and have the courage for peace. Together we can yearn for peace and for better days. That is what this memorial is all about.” The Jerusalem monument is one of the first major international memorials to 9/11 and one of the only sites outside of New York to recognize the names of every victim of the attack. The Living Memorial, donated by Edward Blank and designed by awardwinning Israeli artist Eliezer Weishoff, is a 30-foot high bronze sculpture of a waving American flag that morphs into a memorial flame. It rests on a gray granite base, which includes a metal beam from the original Twin Towers. Surrounding the memorial is a circular stone-tiled plaza, funded by the Bronka Stavsky Rabin Weintraub Trust. It offers visitors a place to reflect upon their thoughts and memories. The ceremony, including a moment of silence and wreath laying ceremony, was attended by KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler; Hon. Nir Barkat, Mayor of Jerusalem; His Excellency Daniel B. Shapiro, U.S. Ambassador to Israel; and Ms. Sigal Shefi-Asher, who represented the Israeli families who lost loved ones in the attacks. One Family Fund Choir performed some songs, as well as the U.S. and Israeli national anthems.
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LOCAL • 3
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2011
JCC Annual Meeting, Sept. 22 The entire community is invited to the Mayerson JCC Annual Meeting on Thursday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m. This meeting includes news and information about the JCC, the Cohen Award presentation and the election of the 2011/12 JCC Board and officers. All adults are welcome to attend. The Annual Meeting is followed by the 7:30 p.m. special presentation by memory expert and best-selling author, Joshua Foer. The Sept. 22 JCC Annual Meeting is a great opportunity for the community to hear news and updates about the J. “At our Annual Meeting, we’re looking forward to introducing the Wolf Center, which brings opportunities for enrichment to everyone in the community,” said Jeffrey Baden, JCC executive director. 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. New nominees for the 2011/12 JCC Board are Carrie Barron, Fred Kanter, Steve Messer, and Mark Newman. Continuing board members nominated for another 3-year term are Marc Fisher and Buddy Goldstein. Additional board members include Scott Mattis, Renee Roth, Jack Rubin, Howard Schwartz and Tamar Smith. The meeting includes the election of leaders for the coming year. Nominees for the 2011/12 JCC officer positions are: Steve Shifman, president; Marc Fisher, vice president; Debbie Brant, vice president; Steve Messer, treasurer; Sherri Friedman, secretary; and Bob Brant, executive committee at
large. Retiring members of the JCC Board are Ariella Cohen, Len Eppel, David Fox and John Stein. The JCC Annual Meeting will also include a special presentation from best-selling author and memory expert, Joshua Foer, as seen on “The Colbert Report.” At this special presentation, Foer will discuss cutting edge research and venerable tricks of the mentalist’s trade from his book, “Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything.” For more information about the JCC Annual Meeting, the Wolf Center or the Joshua Foer presentation, visit the JCC website or call. The appearance of Joshua Foer is supported by a generous gift from Elaine and Bob Blatt, and is co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati. It has also been made through the Greater Talent Network Inc., New York, N.Y. The Wolf Center is generously funded by Nancy and David Wolf.
NHS HaZaK focuses on JNF The Jewish National Fund (JNF) will be the focus when Northern Hills Synagogue Congregation B’nai Avraham inaugurates its new series of HaZaK programs for seniors on Wednesday, Sept. 21. The program will take place at the Synagogue beginning at 12 p.m. Lunch will be served. The program will feature a presentation by Dr. Alan Weber about JNF’s successful projects and its vision for Israel’s future. Dr. Weber is a past president of the Fund’s Southern Ohio Region. Since its founding in 1901, JNF has been a leader in assisting in
the building and development of the Land of Israel and the State of Israel, through land purchase, reforestation, water management, infrastructure development and care for the environment. This month, JNF will hold its national convention in Cincinnati, and the HaZaK program is planned in conjunction with that event. “HaZaK” is an acronym, with the letters standing for the Hebrew words “Hakhma” (wisdom), “Ziknah” (maturity) and “Kadima” (forward). The HaZaK programs are for adults 55 and older, and are open to the entire community. In addition to members of Northern
Hills, many attendees have come from the Jewish Community Center, Cedar Village, Brookwood Retirement Community and throughout Greater Cincinnati. Future HaZaK programs will feature Shep Englander of the Jewish Federation, the Mariah Wind Quintet, Gene Sorkin on Laurel and Hardy, Judge Brad Greenberg, the history of the Cincinnati Zoo, Prof. Ethan Katz, and Dan Karlsberg’s jazz ensemble. There is no charge for the program and lunch, but donations are greatly appreciated. For reservations or more information, please call Northern Hills Synagogue.
Wise Temple Library establishes collection of historic children’s Judaica A unique research collection of children’s Judaica has been established at the Ralph and Julia Cohen Library. Named for Bess Shavzin and Judith Carsch, whose tenure as librarians at Wise Temple spanned nearly 50 years, it is unique among the various special collections of children’s literature housed in public, private and university libraries. Multicultural children’s literature is a field of its own in today’s academic world, and libraries devote space to special areas focusing on African-Americans, Native Americans (also called “First Nations”), and other ethnic groups, as well as to books with themes such as Cinderella motif stories, or children’s literature of specific geographic areas. The Shavzin-Carsch Collection is on track to be the major collection of historically significant
books of Jewish content for American children. “Its holdings date back to the mid-nineteenth century, and while other synagogue and community libraries were weeding these books out of their collections, Bess and Judy, with an eye to history, kept ours—cataloged and well-maintained—in our library’s stacks,” said Temple librarian Andrea Rapp. These stacks also house an amazingly exhaustive library of curriculum and instructional materials for Jewish children. The oldest dates from 1895: Jewish History Ethically Presented for Private or Sunday School Use, by H. Pereira Mendes, of New York’s Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue. Included are curriculum materials by various local BJE’s (Bureaus of Jewish
Education), and of the Reform Movement’s UAHC. Rapp notes: “Our collection will be open to teachers, librarians, students and other researchers interested in questions such as: • How has the treatment of the Holocaust, Israel, anti-Semitism, Bible, and/or Americanization developed over time in Jewish children’s books? • What have been the trends in teaching these subjects in the schools of the Reform movement? • How have styles of writing or illustration developed through the history of Jewish children’s books? The catalog of the Ralph and Julia Cohen Library is available online at the Wise Temple website. Click on the Library tab. For more information about the ShavzinCarsch Collection, contact librarian Andrea Rapp.
For more information please call Seena at 531-6654 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information and to sign up please call Cubmaster Phil Kahn or Troop Leader Batya Kahn at 531-6654.
4 • LOCAL
Wolf Center for Arts and Ideas debuts Sept. 22 The Mayerson JCC is proud to introduce the new Wolf Center for Arts and Ideas to the entire community at a special event immediately following the JCC Annual Meeting on Thursday evening, Sept. 22. The JCC meeting begins at 7 p.m. and the Wolf Center event begins at 7:30 p.m. The new Wolf Center at the JCC provides innovative events and inspiring presentations for the entire community. Generously funded by Nancy and David Wolf, the Wolf Center brings a broad
spectrum of arts and ideas to Cincinnati. On Thursday evening, Sept. 22, the Wolf Center debuts with a special presentation by U.S.A. Memory Champion, Joshua Foer. Foer has been recognized by the Amazon website as the author of one of the top 10 best-selling books of 2011, “Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything.” Joshua Foer has appeared on “The Colbert Report” and “Martha Stewart,” and was fea-
tured in the New York Times Magazine. During his presentation at the JCC on Sept. 22, he will discuss the impact of memory on our lives and share venerable tricks of the mentalist’s trade. His presentation is free and open to all. The honorary committee for this kick-off event to introduce the Wolf Center includes: Elaine and Bob Blatt, Alison and Bret Caller, Arna and Bob Fisher, Beth and Louis Guttman, Kim and Gary Heiman, Renee and Rabbi Lewis Kamrass, Rhoda and Manuel D.
Mayerson, Dianne and J. David Rosenberg, Renee and Dr. Eli Roth, and Sue and Jerry Teller. The appearance of Joshua Foer is supported by a generous gift from Elaine and Bob Blatt, and the event is co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati. Arrangements were made through the Greater Talent Network Inc., New York, N.Y. For more information about the new Wolf Center or the Joshua Foer presentation on Sept. 22, call the JCC or visit their website.
JFS executive director applies Harvard Business School training to agency Jewish Family Service Executive Director Beth Schwartz, MSW, LSW, recently completed an Executive Education training at The Harvard Business School. Schwartz, along with 149 other international leaders, participated in the Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management to strengthen their ability to improve the effectiveness of their organizations. The program’s focus was on leadership, strategy and performance impact and measurement. “It was a career-changing opportunity,” Schwartz said of her Harvard experience. “The lessons were both validating and eyeopening. I have already applied its lessons toward taking a more busi-
ness-minded approach in the way I lead Jewish Family Service and its place in community strategy. Schwartz is eager to begin implementing some of the ideas inspired by the Harvard program, and is currently laying out an execution plan reflective of what she learned. As a result of her training, she has already begun working on one initiative, a Board Renovation project. Andi Lerner Levenson, Jewish Family Service vice-president, is chairing this effort that will further strengthen the infrastructure of JFS and elevate its stature in the community. “Jewish Family Service is such a dynamic and effective organiza-
tion,” said Levenson. “With the appropriate investment of time and effort into the composition, skill set, and engagement of our Board lay leaders, we can heighten the community’s recognition of JFS as the premier social service agency that it truly is.” Schwartz is most grateful to the benefactors who provided the financial support that allowed her to participate in the Harvard program. She received grants from the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati and The Manual D. and Rhoda Mayerson Foundation to help with tuition costs. The Jewish Family Service Board of Directors approved both a financial investment for program
CONGREGATION SHA’AREI TORAH INVITES YOU TO OUR
1ST ANNUAL SELICHOT PROGRAM SATURDAY NIGHT, SEPT. 24 AT 11:00 PM • MAYERSON JCC
Lecture by Arna Poupko Fisher: “It’s Deeply Personal: The Case for Jewish Peoplehood” COFFEE & LIGHT DESSERTS WILL BE SERVED • SELICHOT SERVICE AT MIDNIGHT
CONGREGATION SHA’AREI TORAH INVITES YOU TO OUR
ROSH HASHANA SERVICES THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29TH & FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30TH At 2209 Losantiville Road (RITSS High School) Open to all – no tickets necessary • Services Begin at 8:30AM, Shofar 10:00AM
Guest Rabbi: Rabbi Yuval Kernerman, Principal, Cincinnati Hebrew Day School Complimentary babysitting and youth groups for ages 12 months and up. For more information on upcoming events, please visit
tuition as well as the gift of a sabbatical of which this educational experience was the highlight. Schwartz covered travel costs to and from Boston herself. “The partnership of the investment from the Federation, Mayerson Foundation, and Jewish Family Service was a demonstration of the community’s confidence in me professionally and their desire to boost the capacity of Jewish Family Service by enhancing the skills of the agency’s lead professional,” said Schwartz. JFS affords senior management staff the opportunity to take a professional sabbatical on a seven-year cycle. Although Schwartz has been with the agency for 12 years, it was her first sabbatical experience. “Five years ago when I was first eligible, it wasn’t the right time for me to be away from the agency. I had just accepted the appointment to Executive Director, and Jewish Family Service wasn’t in the same strong situation as it is today. JFS has now enjoyed a balanced budget for the past three years, we’re crystal clear on mission and focus, and our programs and services are solid,” she said. “This was the right summer for my sabbatical. I’m grateful for the community’s financial support and also the abilities of the talented JFS staff who allowed me to step away somewhat from the day to day management of the agency during those weeks. This experience proved that I can invest more of my time on building external relations, developing strategy and executing big ideas.” Schwartz concluded of her Harvard experience, “It was an opportunity of a lifetime. My learning at Harvard will allow me to work more effectively with the Jewish Family Service Staff and Board to build upon what is already a strong organization and make it even better.”
The American Israelite “LET THERE BE LIGHT” THE OLDEST ENGLISH-JEWISH WEEKLY IN AMERICA - EST. JULY 15, 1854
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LOCAL • 5
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2011
Local youth baseball player helps bring home gold medal The Young Cadets Israel Junior baseball team has taken home the gold medal in the Tuscany Series Tournament in Italy. The team finished the tournament with a 4:1:1 record. The rival Nettuno team came undefeated to the championship game and, having scored an average of 11 runs per game, were the heavy favorites of the tournament. It is the first time that any “young” or “old” Israel cadet team has won the Tuscany Series Tournament. In the past, two juvenile teams have won the tournament but never has a cadets team won. At the closing ceremony, Yoav Halper won the MVP of the tournament (he had a .417 hitting batting average, five runs scored and 2 RBI). The team’s best hitter— Elyashiv Segal—had a batting average of .714, scoring six runs and 3 RBI. The first eight players in the line-up, all had an on-base
The winning Israeli youth team, the Young Cadets
percentage of over .444 throughout the tournament. Cincinnati local Adam Miller pitched a two-hit shutout to get the young cadets into the championship game. Pitcher Yotam was
running out of pitches, but a great unassisted double play by Avi Watson, to get the first two outs in the bottom of the last inning, and then a ground ball to Adam at third base finished the game.
6 • LOCAL
Northern Hills, Ohav Shalom plan joint Selihot observance Once again, Northern Hills Synagogue - Congregation B’nai Avraham and Congregation Ohav Shalom will combine to open the High Holiday season with a special Selihot program and service. This year, the program and service will be held at Northern Hills, beginning at 9 p.m. on Saturday evening, Sept. 24.
Selihot 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 Selihot service introduces the main themes of the Days of Awe, the High Holidays – repentance and forgiveness –
together with familiar High Holiday prayers, such as the confession ‘Ashamnu’ and the 13 Attributes of God’s mercy. The late night hour for the service is connected with a tradition, going back to the Talmud, that God’s mercies are most readily available at that time,” observed Rabbi Gershom Barnard of Northern
Hills. The Selihot service will be conducted by Dr. Albert Weisbrot, who will also serve as High Holiday cantor at Congregation Ohav Shalom. At 9 p.m., the program will start with a showing of the documentary film “Praying With Lior.” Focusing on a Jewish boy (Lior) who has Down Syndrome, the
film raises questions about the nature of disability and about prayer and faith. The Selihot service itself will begin at approximately 11 p.m. Questions about the program or about the High Holidays may be directed to Congregation Ohav Shalom or Northern Hills Synagogue.
Mitzvah Challenge class raises over $10k for the community Twenty-one participants of the Mitzvah Challenge program, a teen tzedekah project of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, raised $7,000 through 39 gifts to the Mitzvah Challenge fund, and allocated $10,600 to four different local and international organizations last month. Two of the gifts were eligible for generous dollar for dollar matching gifts from The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati. Mitzvah Challenge teen participants contributed a minimum of $100 each to the special fund established at the Jewish Federation.
The 2011 Mitzvah Challenge class
On Aug. 16, the teens came together under the leadership of Lauren Cohen, and under the guidance of Adam Schimberg and Phoebe Chaiken, teen advisors, to review and discuss the 12 grant requests received from various Cincinnati community, local Jewish community, Israeli and international agencies and organizations. The teens decided to allocate $1,800 to American Jewish World Service for the Child Miner Education Development Center of Bolivia; and $1,800 to Jaffa Institute Israel for the Bet Metsuba After-School Activity
Center for Children with Special Needs. Their donations to these Jewish agencies will be matched dollar for dollar by a generous grant from the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati. The teens gave $1,800 to Talbert House in Cincinnati to provide protective mouth barriers for the staff to be used in the event of CPR. They also gave $1,600 to Lighthouse Youth Services in Cincinnati, to fund Anthony House, the area’s only around-theclock drop-in center for homeless, abused and neglected youth. “I was inspired this year, the group taught me a lot. I’ve really
enjoyed being a mentor. It’s important to find what you feel passionate about, and I enjoy learning what others care about. Figuring out what you care about is what it’s all about. I also have a better understanding of the needs in the community,” said Phoebe Chaiken, 2008 participant and mentor since 2009. “It was fun to lead and fun to see what decisions I had to go through as a participant. It (the program) definitely stayed with me. It’s also better to do Mitzvah Challenge with your friends than alone, it makes the whole experience more meaningful. I think the
kids get a lot out of it,” said Adam Schimberg, 2010 participant and first-year mentor. “The program is a great way for a child to learn about becoming a philanthropist. Seeing their bar and bat mitzvah gifts put into action with charities they choose is very meaningful,” commented Stacey Schimberg, Adam’s mother. For more information about participating in or donating to the Mitzvah Challenge Teen Tzedakah project of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, contact Rebecca Hoffheimer at the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2011
NATIONAL • 7
Persian Jewish Von Trapp offers new spin on penitence By Dvora Meyers Jewish Telegraphic Agency NEW YORK (JTA) — Growing up, Galeet Dardashti toured and performed with her father, Farid, a renowned cantor, performing Middle Eastern and Persian music throughout the United States and Canada as part of The Dardashti Family. “We’ve been called the ‘Jewish Von Trapps,’ ” Dardashti says jokingly. Dardashti, a mother of two in her mid-30s, now is carrying the musical mantle of her family, which stretches back several generations in Iran, on her own. The lead singer of Divahn, an allfemale Middle Eastern ensemble, has a new solo show, “Monajat,” premiering Sept. 2 in Miami that will tour several U.S. cities throughout September until the start of Rosh HaShanah. In “Monajat,” Dardashti has taken the 13th-century Sufi poem of the same name, which means “fervent prayer,” and blended it into the traditional Persian songs and liturgy for Selichot, the penitential prayers recited by Jews in the days leading up to the High Holidays. “My idea with this show,” Dardashti explains, “was reinventing a ritual” — a task made more difficult by the fact that Selichot isn’t even on the radar of most North American Jews. The show is the first commission of the New Jewish Culture Network, a partnership between the Foundation for Jewish Culture and performing arts presenters across the United States. It features Dardashti performing some of the Persian piyyutim, or liturgical poems, traditionally chanted by men as part of the Selichot service, as well as other liturgical and secular Hebrew and Persian poetry set to new music. Dardashti first learned of “Monajat” while listening to recordings of her grandfather, Yona, a famous singer of Persian classical music as well as a cantor. At the end of his recitation of Selichot, he would freestyle to the poem in a manner consistent with other Persian classical singers. “You choose poets you like and then you basically improvise to their poems,” Dardashti says, explaining her grandfather’s method. “It’s a cool thing he found this poem so thematically related to Selichot.” But more than serving as the inspiration for “Monajat,” Yona, who had a weekly television program in his native Iran, will accompany his granddaughter during the performance — she plans to sing along with her grandfather’s recorded voice. “Monajat” also will feature video from artist Dmitry Kmelnitsky, who will incorporate
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In her new show, “Monajat,” Galeet Dardashti has taken the 13thcentury Sufi poem of the same name and blended it into the traditional Persian songs and liturgy for Selichot.
images during the performances. Dardashti hopes that the added feature will make “people feel part of the ritual instead of being [merely] audience members.” Given Dardashti’s lineage, it may seem like her musical path was preordained. Yet it came as a surprise, if not to everyone else then at least to her. “I didn’t think my music would take a major part of my career,” says the singer, who in 2009 earned a doctorate in anthropology with a focus on Middle Eastern and Arab musical performance in Israel. She thought that her academic pursuits would occupy a more central position in her life. But, she recalls, in “Austin, Texas, as a graduate student, I started to do some music on the side. The music just took off in a way that I would not have expected.” Dardashti began to receive recognition for her first album, “The Naming.” The project, which she produced with the support of the Six Points Fellowship, brought together stories about female characters from the Torah, midrash and other sources to create a collage of Jewish texts, which gave voice to the marginalized women in the Bible such as Michal, the daughter of Saul and wife to David, who never bore any children, or Vashti, the wife of Achashverosh, who often is vilified in rabbinic literature. While “Monajat” has no explicitly feminist message like “The Naming,” Dardashti does recognize that being a woman reciting Persian liturgical poetry is statement enough, especially in a community that does not have female cantors. “I’m doing this sacred music from the Persian tradition basically as a chazan [cantor], so I don’t think I need to do anything more,” she says. Yet Dardashti has never
encountered any resistance in her immediate family. Her father, recently retired, was a Conservative cantor at an Ashkenazi synagogue who encouraged his daughters to pursue their passions. “I was never told this was a male realm,” she says. For Dardashti, her new show is about helping people rediscover a powerful tradition. “I’m hoping,” she says, “that people will come away from the performance with a new appreciation for the ritual of Selichot.”
8 • NATIONAL
After 80 years, wondering about American cousins By Hillel Kuttler Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Courtesy of United Nations
Israel and its supporters hope to head off a vote in the U.N. Security Council recognizing a Palestinian state when the council meets again in late September. The council is shown meeting to discuss developments in Kosovo, Aug. 30, 2011.
Jewish groups say U.N. resolution is inevitable, but its wording isn’t set By Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraphic Agency WASHINGTON (JTA) — All but resigned to the inevitability of a
Palestinian push for statehood at the United Nations later this month, Jewish groups are hoping that its effects can be blunted through aggressive diplomacy and the threat
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of action by the U.S. Congress. Jewish groups are urging foreign diplomats to push for language that would make any resolution more palatable to Israel and supporting a renewed push to restart the peace process as an incentive. Meanwhile, they are counting on congressional penalties against the Palestinians should the eventual resolution be unfavorable to Israel. “It’s still interesting,” said Daniel Mariaschin, the executive vice president of B’nai B’rith International, expressing the cautious optimism characteristic of a range of conversations with Jewish officials that engage in U.N. forums. “We don’t know what kind of resolution will be introduced.” The Obama administration is pressing hard to avoid any resolution, and is hoping instead to get the parties back to the table under the aegis of the Quartet, the grouping of the United States, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union that guides the peace process. The administration recently dispatched Dennis Ross, the National Security Council’s Middle East adviser, and David Hale, its Middle East peace special envoy to the region, to try to come up with a formula for moving forward that will convince the Palestinians to shelve their U.N. bid. “I have been in contact with the White House, with Dennis Ross, David Hale and their team, and I know they’re working extremely hard with the Quartet,” Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), the senior Democrat on the RESOLUTION on page 21
BALTIMORE (JTA) — Eliyahu Finkelstein grew up in the only Jewish family in the village of Zavizov in northwestern Ukraine, escaped from the Nazis after losing his parents and sister, fought in the Red Army disguised as a Russian gentile, served in North Korea, then wound his way through Europe to Israel two months following the state’s founding in 1948. In Israel, he spent most of his career delivering cream, yogurt and cheese for the Tnuva dairy cooperative. Finkelstein and his wife, Yaffa, also a Shoah survivor, raised a daughter, Esther, and a son, Boaz, who produced five children between them. Now 88 and living in the Tel Aviv suburb of Givatayim, Finkelstein recently decided to search for a long-lost branch of his family that settled in Philadelphia. Finkelstein has only eightdecade-old facts to go on, but hopes that JTA’s readers can recognize enough threads of information to assist in his search. What Finkelstein knows is that his paternal uncle immigrated to the United States in the 1920s and changed his name from Shimon Finkelstein to Sam Stone. Stone often wrote to his father, Eliyahu Finkelstein’s grandfather Shmuel — who lived back in Zavizov with Eliyahu; Eliyahu’s sisters, Rosa (who died at age 6 of scarlet fever) and Chana, and their parents, Pesach Wolf (known as Muni) and Esther. Eliyahu Finkelstein’s father told him that Stone’s first job in Philadelphia involved standing outside a grocery store, wearing a tallit and tefillin, to entice Jewish customers to purchase kosher food there. Finkelstein also recalls Stone’s letters in the 1930s sometimes containing $25 in cash — “a ton of money then,” he says. Stone once sent a photograph of his new American family — there were four children, Finkelstein thinks — which included a hunchback daughter. “All these years, I never searched for them because I know that sometimes there is bad blood directed (toward the seekers), out of concern that money or assistance is sought. … I didn’t want to be seen by them as a loser, as someone who needs help or something,” Finkelstein says of the Stones. “Now, I’m 88, and I want them to know that someone is alive from their family. I don’t want anything from them — just for them to know that someone is left. My (immediate) family was killed, so there’s no one remaining.” Finkelstein’s grasp of the details of his past remains strong. He can
plot Zavizov’s precise location: eight kilometers from the town of Hoshtch and 28 from Rovno. The village of Bukhariv (one kilometer away) contained three Jewish families: Finkelstein’s uncle, Lieber, and two with the surname Ronion; Bashyne (two kilometers away) had two Jewish families, and the five Jewish households in Pezov (three kilometers away) all were from the Dorfman clan. Jews in the three villages walked to the Finkelstein home for Shabbat and holiday services, since Shmuel owned a Torah scroll.
“Courtesy of Eliyahu Finkelstein
Pesach Wolf “Muni” Finkelstein, above, had a brother who immigrated to Philadelphia before World War II and changed his name to Sam Stone.
Jewish life ended when the German army conquered the region in 1941 from the Russians, who had held it two years. Finkelstein says his father died at 48 of “heartbreak” after learning that two of his brothers were among the 17,500 victims of a Nazi massacre. “He heard the news on a Wednesday and walked around, not saying a word,” Finkelstein recalls. “Thursday evening, he said he didn’t feel well and lied down in bed. Friday morning, he was dead.” Two other of his father’s brothers and their families were murdered later in Hoshtch and Buhryn, respectively. The Nazis deported Finkelstein, Esther and Chana to the ghetto of Ostroh, 20 kilometers away. The women were murdered there in late 1942 with the ghetto’s other prisoners. Finkelstein heard the news while working in a granary at a German labor camp nearby, and fled immediately to the forest. A gentile friend procured for him a Russian army uniform of slacks, shirt and boots. Finkelstein invented a new identity: an escaped Russian prisoner of war, Pvt. Sergei Bondarchuk. Through the next summer, he farmed the land of a Czech immigrant, Kovac Voitek, in COUSINS on page 22
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15,INTERNATIONAL 2011
Courtesy of Alex Weisler
Some of the 500 participants in the European Union of Jewish Students’ Summer U event reveling on the beach in Greece, September 2011.
For young European Jews, a week of unity, partying and romance By Alex Weisler Jewish Telegraphic Agency CHANIOTIS, Greece (JTA) — It’s called Summer U, but most of the more than 500 young Jews who attend the European Union of Jewish Students’ largest annual event don’t come for the seminars. Packed three and four to a room in two boxy white hotels in this speck of a beach town on northeastern Greece’s Chalkidiki peninsula, participants juggle workshops, speakers and the most popular option — straying from the program and heading to the beach. Attendees bond over cocktails and nightly theme parties. Relationships blossom and, by week’s end, phone numbers have been exchanged, Facebook photos tagged and reunion plans made. For a Jewish Europe grappling with the challenges of assimilation and intermarriage, Summer U is a success story. It is known for producing more than a few marriages over the years. “We have to be honest: If we don’t want to disappear, we need to get married together,” said Deborah Abisror, the executive director of EUJS. “And it’s just crazy — it works for that.” Deborah Teboul of Marseilles, in southern France, admits she came to Summer U with a specific goal in mind. “I won’t lie to you — I wanted new friends and maybe the opportunity to meet some guy,” she said, smiling. “When you’re my age, you can’t meet Jewish people unless you go the synagogue every Saturday. It’s not easy.” At a salsa class early in the Summer U week, Teboul danced with a Swiss man — a fellow participant she says she’s now “in a sort
of relationship with.” Stories like hers are standard fare at Summer U, which ran from Aug. 28 to Sept. 4 and draws Jews aged 18 to 35. The event, sometimes more formally referred to as Summer University, has been around since 1984. Abisror, who is from France, said the true focus of EUJS is on smaller events — like a 50-person interfaith delegation she led to Morocco last year. EUJS, however, has come to depend on the infusion of funding and the raucous enthusiasm provided by Summer U. And the larger Jewish world is taking notice: The gathering receives financial support from a host of international Jewish organizations. In past years, the American Jewish Committee’s executive director, David Harris, has shown up to address the gathering. This year the AJC sent two representatives in their early 20s to lead a pair of workshops and stay for the full week. Harris’ assistant, Ellisa Sagor, said the experience of attending the conference offers “a fuller picture of what European Jewry looks like today.” “They don’t look afraid. They don’t look timid,” she said. “They’re happy, they’re spirited, they’re vibrant and they’re outwardly proud Jews.” Sagor noted the value of allowing friendships and connections to develop over the course of eight days. Indeed, at last year’s Summer U, another young attendee from the AJC met her now fiance, a Colombian Jew. Yet for all of Summer U’s success as a social event, the festive elements can overshadow the more PARTYING on page 21
10 • ISRAEL
Beyond religious and secular, some No end in sight for Israeli schools are forging a third way downward spiral in By Linda Gradstein Jewish Telegraphic Agency
JERUSALEM (JTA) — At first glance, Reut looks like a typical religious Israeli high school. The first day starts with Shacharit, the morning service. The boys, all wearing kippot, sit separately from the girls. Only boys lead the service. There’s plenty of singing and clapping. The service lasts more than an hour. But on closer inspection, a few things are different. Unlike religious schools, most of the girls here are wearing jeans and many have piercings in various parts of their bodies. Many of the boys are not wearing tefillin, although many are wearing earrings. Some even have both. Reut, a Jerusalem middle school and high school, defies the usual Israeli dichotomy of “secular” or “religious.” The school calls itself a pluralistic community, and it is part of a third stream of education that tries to bridge the gaps between secular and religious Israelis. “Spirituality doesn’t have to be religious,” said principal Avital Levy-Katz, 42. “We teach the children that they are part of a community — in their family, their school, in Israel and in the Jewish nation. Being part of a community entails rights and responsibilities.”
By Linda Gradstein Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Courtesy of Linda Gradstein
Seniors at the Reut School in Jerusalem welcome new students on the first day of the new term, September 2011.
Nothing is simple in Israel, and education is no exception. Many of the 1.97 million students who started school this week will attend either “state” schools or “state religious” schools. In addition there are hundreds of haredi Orthodox schools, which are funded by the Ministry of Education but do not have to follow the state curriculum. Arab students, about 20 percent of Israel’s population, have their own schools and curriculum. The complexity does not end there. Some 120,000 students study in a third stream of education that defines itself as “pluralis-
tic” or “integrated.” Religious and secular students study together, and Jewish texts are emphasized. Each of the 320 schools finds it own way to do this. “Israeli society is becoming more and more polarized,” said Rabbi Michael Melchior, the initiator of the push for pluralistic schools and a former Knesset member. “The secular schools have disconnected themselves from any kind of Judaism, and the religious schools have become more and more closed.” SCHOOLS on page 19
A big climax to Israel’s summer of protest, but what comes next is uncertain By Jessica Steinberg Jewish Telegraphic Agency JERUSALEM (JTA) — Saturday night’s demonstrations by more than 400,000 Israelis calling for social justice represented a powerful climax to an unprecedented summer of protests and activism. The nationwide protests, billed as the March of the Million, have been called the largest demonstration in Israel’s history. Whether they ventured out in person — in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa and many smaller cities throughout Israel — or watched the protests on television, many Israelis felt galvanized by the mass mobilization. The next morning, as some protesters headed home after dismantling the tents they had raised in city parks this summer, organizers said the movement was entering a new phase. For now the country is awaiting the recommendations of the Trajtenberg Committee, a panel of academics, economists and policymakers appointed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in response to the protests. The committee will be releasing its suggestions for socioeconomic reforms in the next few weeks.
Courtesy of Chen Leopold/Flash90
Thousands of demonstrators in Haifa were among the 400,000 people throughout Israel who took part in the largest social protest in the nation’s history, Sept. 3, 2011.
Yet Israelis are wondering precisely what sort of change will result from the summer of protest. Will it come to an abrupt end with recommendations to cut some budgets and augment others, or will there be a more far-reaching transformation of Israeli politics? Unquestionably it is the first time that “Israelis got a sense of empowerment that they can change things, that they can get organized and protest in a peaceful way,” said
David Nachmias, a lecturer in the School of Government at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya. “They want social justice, they want to change public policy.” How this desire will translate into the realm of politics is an open question. Many signs at the protests assailed Netanyahu and his government, and the leader of the opposition Kadima Party, Tzipi Livni, PROTESTS on page 22
JERUSALEM (JTA) — The bad diplomatic news for Israel just kept getting worse. First Turkey announced that it was slashing the level of its diplomatic ties with Israel to the second secretary level, giving the senior Israeli embassy staff 48 hours to leave the country. Turkey also said it was suspending all military ties with Israel. Next the Turkish Embassy in Washington vowed that Turkey would pursue legal action against Israeli soldiers and officials who were involved in the deadly 2010 raid on the Gaza-bound Turkish ship the Mavi Marmara. Then 40 Israeli travelers on a Tel Aviv-toIstanbul flight were separated from the other passengers upon landing and subjected to humiliating searches. Turkey’s actions came as the United Nations released the report of its Palmer committee, which investigated Israel’s actions during its May 2010 interception of a flotilla that was trying to break its blockade of Gaza. Israeli troops encountered violent resistance when they tried to board the Mavi Marmara, and the ensuing battle left eight Turkish citizens and one dual Turkish-American citizen dead. The Palmer report found that Israel’s blockade of Gaza was legal and that Israeli commandos needed to use force as they came under attack on the Mavi Marmara. The report also found, however, that Israel used excessive force when boarding the ship. Turkey has demanded an apology for the deaths of its citizens, but Israel has refused. “We need not apologize for the fact that naval commandos defended their lives against an assault by violent IHT activists,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet this week, using the initials of the Turkish charity that sponsored the Mavi Marmara. “We need not apologize for the fact that we acted to stop the smuggling of weapons to Hamas, a terrorist organization that has already fired over 10,000 missiles, rockets and mortar rounds at our civilians. We need not apologize for the fact that we acted to defend our people, our children and our communities.” Netanyahu then made a lastditch attempt to head off Turkey’s decision to limit ties with Israel. “I reiterate that the State of Israel expresses regret over the loss of life. I also hope that a way will be found to overcome the disagreement with Turkey,” he said.
“Israel has never wanted a deterioration in its relations with Turkey; neither is Israel interested in such a deterioration now.” The crisis in ties with Turkey could have far-reaching implications for Israel. Severing trade between Israel and Turkey, which is more than $3 billion annually, would have a negative impact on the Israeli economy.
Courtesy of IDF / Flash90 / JTA
Footage taken from cameras aboard the Mavi Marmara showing passengers apparently preparing for a confrontation with Israeli soldiers, May 31, 2010. Turkey has demanded an apology for the deaths of its citizens aboard the flotilla ship, but Israel has refused, causing a major rift in ties between the two former allies.
Diplomatically, the crisis could badly affect Israel’s relationships with Egypt and Jordan. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Egypt last week to discuss deepening that country’s strategic relationship with Turkey. The trip came amid growing opposition in Egypt to the longstanding peace treaty with Israel. Egypt’s military leaders could come under increasing pressure to follow Turkey and recall their ambassador from Israel. “Erdogan will say to the Egyptians, ‘What are you doing for the Palestinians?’” Alon Liel, a former Israeli ambassador to Turkey, told JTA. “Egyptians will say, ‘Turkey is not even Arab, and they expelled the Israeli ambassador.’ It will add to the public pressure.” Liel believes there is even a chance of a military confrontation between Israel and Turkey if, as expected, Israel signs a deal to export liquid natural gas to Cyprus, an island nation that is tensely divided between Greek and Turkish sectors. “Those vessels will need to go through the Mediterranean, and Turkey will do whatever it can to stop them,” Liel said, adding that Turkey has 40,000 soldiers in the Turkish part of Cyprus. TIES on page 22
SOCIAL LIFE • 11
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2011
ANNOUNCEMENTS daughter of Kenneth and Natalie Levy of Wyoming, Ohio. Lisa earned a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Cincinnati, a masters in Hebrew Letter and Rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2009. She currently serves as Assistant Rabbi at Temple Beth Emeth in Ann Arbor, Mich. Brent earned a B.A. in Computer Science and Judaic Studies from Hiram College. He is currently employed as an IT Operations Manager with General Electric. An October wedding is planned at Temple Israel in Columbus, Ohio. The couple will reside in Ann Arbor, Mich. ANNIVERSARY ANNIVERSARY r. and Mrs. Donald Mendelson (Judith Rose), of Northridge, Calif., and formerly of Cincinnati, recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary at a party hosted by their three children, Margo Sellers, Daryl Mendelson, and Braddon (Heather) Mendelson. The Mendelsons married on June 17, 1951, at the Gibson Hilton in Cincinnati. Seven years later, they moved to California. Margo was five years old and Daryl was two. Later, a native-born Californian came about — Braddon. On June 18, 2011, family and friends gathered at the home of Brad and Heather along with Rabbi Mark Sobel of Temple Beth Emet in Burbank to help Judy and Don celebrate this “Diamond” Anniversary. They renewed their vows with Judy speaking a special message to Don and he singing a special song to her. Rabbi Sobel commented that there was not much he could tell them, whatever they were doing must be right. “Look around at these friends and family — there are not many times we see someone celebrating 60 years together.” Judy had her father Jack’s old white Bible with her, just
M Newborn Mason David Howard, grandson of Mrs. Susan Ouziel BIRTH BIRTH rs. Susan Ouziel is delighted to announce the birth of her grandson, Mason David Howard. He was born July 12 to proud parents Melanie and Brad Howard. Mason is the first great-grandchild of Mrs. Bella Ouziel and the first great-grandson of Mrs. Yetta Rush.
ENGAGEMENT arci and Larry Delson of Dublin, Ohio happily announce the engagement of their daughter, Lisa Jill Delson to Brent Joel Pliskow, son of Rhonda and Robert Pliskow of Huntington Woods, Mich. Lisa is the grand-
Judith and Donald Mendelson with granddaighter Marissa Sellers Green (far left) and Rabbi Mark Sobel (Far right)of Temple Beth Emet, Burbank, CA together for the Mendelson’s 60th wedding anniversary. as she carried it at her wedding. Rabbi Sobel presented the couple with a certificate of 60 years of marriage. He said he “wanted to get some signatures of their wedding attendants but was unable to find anyone,” so the Mendelson’s children signed the certificate. Granddaughter Marissa Sellers Green and her husband Adam, the chef for this momentous occasion, along with grandsons Jason Sellers and Laird Mendelson also shared in the preparations. Little Hunter Green, the couple’s great-grandson was also in attendance. It was a beautiful and memorable party with wonderful decorations by daughter-in-law Heather. Don was with his walker and back brace throughout, recuperating from back surgery.
12 â€˘ CINCINNATI SOCIAL LIFE
Shalom Family presents Circus Sundae, the Biggest Show on Earth for Little Ones On Sunday, June 26th, hundreds of people ran away with the circus when Shalom Family presented Circus Sundae, the Biggest Show on Earth for Little Ones. Guests got to soar to great heights on the flying trapeze, balance on a tight rope, learn to juggle, spin plates and just plain clown around! The event was free and also included face painting, inflatable moonbounces, balloon artists, a Graeterâ€™s Ice Cream Sundae bar and other Circus snacks. Shalom Family is an initiative of The Mayerson Foundation for families in the Jewish community with children 10 and younger.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2011
CINCINNATI JEWISH LIFE • 13
14 • DINING OUT
Marx Hot Bagels — simple preparations, natural flavors By Sondra Katkin Dining Editor Would you like your bagel sandwich with a side of personality? The bagel man, aka, John Marx, will be happy to accommodate. The proprietor of Marx Hot Bagels definitely presents himself as gruff, and he will readily express his opinion on any number of subjects. However, it is soon obvious that the store has a family atmosphere and his gruffness is a good disguise for a caring man, dedicated to his business, his family and his employees. His baker, D.J. Yuellig, who has been there for eight years, since he was 16, said, “John’s taught me everything I know. He’s a good man...he has a good heart. He’s kept me out of trouble.” Marx’ wife Danielle said, “John likes to talk. He talks in his sleep,” to which Marx added, “I give orders in my sleep.” “He was giving orders so bad last night, his recliner tipped over,” she said. Danielle (pronounced “da NIL”) retired from social work to help with the popular restaurant’s paper work, then began adding trays for their growing catering clientele. I appreciated the unusual pronunciation of her name since I also have that unbearable heaviness of choice, to correct or not to correct (Sondra not Sandra). I felt such kinship, and they did treat me like family, ordering various “tastes” for me that they thought I would enjoy. But even before they began regaling me with fun tidbits, the smell of the fresh bagels became irresistible. I begged D.J. to pass me a hot poppy seed bagel and reveled in its allencompassing chewiness. This is the type of jaw exercise I relish. It lived up to its aroma and matched my bagel memories from childhood — thick, yeasty, with no overwhelming flavors getting in the way of the pleasure. And definitely no sweetness please. Save that for the blueberry or chocolate chip. You expect it there. No wonder their sandwiches are desirable when they start with a perfect bagel base. Marx said, “The biggest key to making good food is simplicity; don’t disguise the real taste of food. Our tuna has carrots and celery for moistness, onion powder and very little mayonnaise, very simple. Doesn’t have all kinds of garbage in it.” He describes his egg salad, which along with the tuna, are the two most popular lunch items, the same way. He added that they boil their eggs fresh every day and would never use the frozen product that some other restaurants serve. They are a kosher location, approved by the Vaad of Cincinnati, and almost everything is vegetarian except the fish. Danielle told me that for the chicken soup they use a kosher vegetarian base, Osem, recommended by the rabbi’s wife. It is cooked in a
(Clockwise) Danielle and John Marx with a freshly prepared party tray; Savory matzoh ball soup; D.J. Yuellig based at the bagel boiler; Bright interior of restaurant; Golden fresh challah; “Catchy” invitation on front window .
crockpot-style vessel early in the morning with pepper, onion powder and vegetables. Long cooking and fresh vegetables equals good flavor. Their matzoh balls are the fluffy kind, my favorite. Although some people like the hockey puck style, I prefer to keep my remaining teeth. It’s amazing how “chickeny” a “chickenless” chicken soup can taste. Check it out. Also full of flavor, the roasted vegetables are a testament to the Marx style of simplicity. Sweet potatoes, red cabbage, onion, carrots, broccoli, peppers and cauliflower, a drizzle of olive oil and Italian seasoning create a mélange of healthy and tasty snacking. As I was “noshing” on the soup and veggies, Danielle and John were thinking of other things I might like. Next, they regaled me with their own vegetarian chili. It was “meaty” and satisfying. Someone who works for Skyline told them it’s the best vegetarian chili he’s ever tasted. They followed this with tortellini. This made me close my eyes briefly
because the combination of the toothy texture of the pasta with its creamy filling and a fresh ratatouille style sauce was my idea of dinner delight. Restaurateurs earn our loyalty with their delicious food, but I have been struck in the short time I’ve been writing this column by their dedication, long hours and passion for producing a pleasing product that is an everyday requirement in this business. John Marx and his wife Danielle are excellent examples. They must spend mega hours supervising, working, planning and serving — whatever it takes. Marx said that he’s cut back recently. Now that he’s 71, he takes a whole day off. Should I believe him? Marx, a Catholic, went on a mitzvah mission to Israel in 1992, one of only two non-Jews in the group. A Jewish lady friend who knows and admires him told me that he didn’t go with the Catholic group in order to experience it from the Jewish point of view. He said that most people thought he was
Jewish because of his attitude and knowledge of Israel. He met people there at the Western Wall he knew from Cincinnati due to his kosher connections. Marx has a colorful background with many different kinds of work experience. He was even a bouncer in Mt. Adams (where bellicose behavior would be a welcome attribute). He found a niche for himself in the bagel world in spite of thinking, “it would be a “dead-end job.” The business was going under when he took it over and made it a success. When I was leaving I asked Danielle to send me home with some apple strudel and of course, like a good Mom, she insisted that I also try their popular brownie. Needless to say, by this time I was impossibly full, taste buds needing to rest, sensory savorings surrendered. Later that night I tried the strudel first since everyone knows that after tasting chocolate you lose your cutting edge discernment. This was a good strudel. The apple filling had the perfect sweet/tart cinna-
mon flavor and the crust, a good balance of flaky/chewy. I understand why she’s proud of the nondairy brownie. With its thick, seemingly rich chocolate icing and “cakey” texture, it must be a crowd pleaser. All their desserts are homemade as is their potato salad and coleslaw, good accompaniments for the irresistible bagel sandwiches. In addition they offer a wide variety of beverages, breads, the classic lox and bagel, a low carb selection and even a veggie burger salad—a potpourri of plenitude. Marx Hot Bagels “prepares and delivers trays for shivahs, bar mitzvah family breakfasts, cocktail parties, all kinds of functions, with everything freshly homemade,” according to Danielle. The restaurant is open Monday to Friday, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Marx Hot Bagels 9701 Kenwood Rd. Blue Ash, OH 45242 513-891-5542
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16 • OPINION
The Jew is now ready. Presenting the cub to the poritz, he declares the animal shul-worthy and hands him the here-and-therehoneyed siddur. reach Yehei shmei rabba alongside my fellow Kaddish-sayer, I came close but didn’t quite make it. Rounding the bend of Oseh sholom on the equivalent of two squealing wheels, I hoped to at least conclude in coordination with my partner. Alas, as my son observed, I came in only a close second. I’ve always been struck, over years and in many cities, at how the most important words most of us say each day, those bonds that tie us to our Creator, are so often spoken auctioneer-style, with nary a pause for breath (and sometimes with the text heavily edited). An experiment I ran (which you can try at home): Using a stopwatch, I read all the words of Aleinu from a siddur as quickly as I possibly could. I don’t think it can be done in less than 45 seconds. Yet I suspect that I have often clocked in at less than that. Some other speed records I’ve compiled: Ashrei: not less than 50 seconds. Kri’as Shma: not less than 1 minute, 30 seconds. Shemoneh Esrei: not less than 3
Rabbi Shafran is an editor at large and columnist for Ami Magazine
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The American Israelite
T EST Y OUR T ORAH KNOWLEDGE THIS WEEK’S PORTION: KI TAVO (DEVARIM 26:1—29:8) 1. In a time of troubles, what would the sky resemble? a.) Iron b.) Copper c.) Glass 2. In a time of troubles, what would the ground resemble? a.) Glass b.) Copper c.) Iron 3. Which country is mentioned by name in the “Tochacha”? said thru Sukkot. That is the harvest season, which is a time true happiness. Rashi 5. B Blessings are Chapter 28:1-15, the curses are from 28:16-68
“You lost,” my 18-year-old son somberly informed me in shul the other day, and we both laughed. Davening had just ended. I recite Kaddish these days at the end of each service in the merit of a distant relative. At this particular Mincha, a visitor was saying Kaddish too, and he did so very quickly. I’m no slouch, though; while I prefer to recite holy words at a slower pace, I can speed-daven with the best of them. So, in an attempt to not confuse the congregation with out-ofsync recitations, I switched to third gear. Approaching warp speed to
minutes, 30 seconds. And those times are for a bare minimum of enunciation (and no time at all allotted for pausing to better concentrate, or, in the case of Shemoneh Esrei, to add any personal prayer). Basicallywe’retalkingaboutpr onouncingthewordsofourprayerslikethewordsofthissentence. Call it an occupational hazard of observance. The quality of things we do regularly can naturally become degraded with time. But natural needn’t mean acceptable. A funny-sad story (considerably less humorous in writing than when it was told by my father, may he be well, at the Shabbos table when I was a child) concerns a shtetl Yid who owes a powerful landowner, or poritz, a good sum of money. Yankel somehow convinces the poritz to forgive the debt if he, the Jew, can teach a bear how to pray. Faced with the need to produce results, Yankel obtains a cub and hands him a siddur with a drop of honey on its cover and on each of the book’s pages. The bear wipes up the first drop of honey with its paw and puts it on his tongue. Bright bear that he is, he opens the book and locates and eats the other drops of honey too. The next day, Yankel gives Smokey the same siddur, this time with a drop of honey only on every other page. The bear, with a murmur of disappointment at each page bearing only words, still manages to service his sweet tooth from the others. The following day the honey is only on random pages. The bear goes through the sefer, wiping up what drops of sweetness he finds and licking his paw, murmuring all the rest of the time. The Jew is now ready. Presenting the cub to the poritz, he declares the animal shul-worthy and hands him the here-and-therehoneyed siddur. The bear opens it, turns a few pages, murmuring all the while, stops a minute to lick his finger, then resumes page-turning and murmuring. The poritz is not impressed. “That’s not praying,” he says. “Come with me,” says the Jew, leading the poritz to the local shul. Yankel opens the door. Lo and behold, the poritz sees an entire congregation of supplicants doing pretty good imitations of the bear. He has no choice but to forgive the debt. And everyone lived happily ever after. Well, other than those of us listening to the story, left to wonder whether our own prayers are something more than page-turning and mumbles.
a.) Babylon b.) Egypt c.) Aram 4. What type of mood should a person have when bringing his first fruits to the Temple? a.) He should tremble b.) Remember the bondage in Egypt c.) Be joyful 5. Which topic has more verses? a.) Blessings b.) Curses
refers to the Romans 4. C 26:10 First fruits are brought from Shavout even until Chanukah. However, the statement of gratitude for taking us from Egypt could only be
Rabbi Avi Shafran Contributing Columnist
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Written by Rabbi Dov Aaron Wise
ANSWERS 1. B 28:23 2. C 28:23 3. B 28:27,68 However,the “nation” in 28:49
Beware the bear market
JEWISH LIFE • 17
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2011
Sedra of the Week
SHABBAT SHALOM: PARSHAT KI TAVO DEUTERONOMY 26:1 – 29:8
by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel — My father (Jacob) was a wandering Aramean and he descended into Egypt and they (the Egyptians) afflicted us … And we called out to the Lord of our fathers … And the Lord took us out of Egypt and brought us to this place (Deuteronomy 26: 5-11). This week’s biblical portion opens with the commandment for every landowner to bring his first fruits to the Temple. This ordinance can only be honored after the Israelites have settled their Promised Land and built G-d’s Temple in Jerusalem. The Mishna (Bikkurim) describes the ceremony: the glorious decorations, the musical accompaniment, the dancing and colorful fruits which adorned the marketplaces of Jerusalem. Each individual would set down his basket of fruit at the Temple altar and give a brief synopsis of Jewish history – from the exile of Jacob until the return of his descendants to the Land of Israel. And this short expression of thanksgiving – which comprises the centerpiece of our retelling during the Pessah Seder – is said in the first person (“My father,” “afflicted us,” “we called out,” “the Lord took us out”). Each Jew must see himself as the embodiment of his history, and feel responsible for the succeeding generations. The Mishna, however, places a striking limitation on the identity of the spokesman: “These are the individuals who are responsible to bring [the first fruits], but do not declaim [the narrative]: the convert brings but does not declaim, since he cannot refer to ‘the land which the Lord swore to our forebears to give to us.’ If, however, his mother was an Israelite (from birth), he does bring and declaim, since the religious status of the child follows the religious status of the mother.” And then the Mishna makes a similar point regarding converts and the language of their prayers: “And when [the convert] prays the Amida by himself, he says ‘Blessed art thou O Lord, our G-d and the Gd of the forefathers of Israel’ [rather than ‘and the G-d of our forefathers’]; when [the convert] is praying in the synagogue, he says ‘and the G-d of your forefathers.’” And if his mother was an Israelite, he says [with everyone else] ‘and the G-d of our fathers!’” (Bikkurim 1:4) The normative law does not fol-
Each individual would set down his basket of fruit at the Temple altar and give a brief synopsis of Jewish history – from the exile of Jacob until the return of his descendants to the Land of Israel. And this short expression of thanksgiving – which comprises the centerpiece of our retelling during the Pessah Seder – is said in the first person (“My father,” “afflicted us,” “we called out,” “the Lord took us out”). Each Jew must see himself as the embodiment of his history, and feel responsible for the succeeding generations. low this Mishna; the convert has the same legal status as the born Jew, using the same speech when bringing his first fruits to the Temple and the same liturgy in daily prayers. The Jerusalem Talmud disagrees with the Mishna in the Babylonian Talmud (which only cites the view of R. Meir), citing an alternative view of Rabbi Yehuda: “The convert himself must bring and declaim! What is the reason? Because G-d made Abraham the father of a multitude of nations so that Abraham [metaphysically] becomes the father of everyone in the world who enters under the wings of the Divine Presence…” In the Jerusalem Talmud, Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi declares that the normative law is to be in accordance with Rabbi Yehuda. Rabbi Abahu actually decided a practical case, determining that a convert bring and declaim in the manner of every born Israelite. Maimonides decides similarly (Mishne Torah, Book of Seeds 4:3), and even penned a poignant response to Ovadiah the Proselyte (Mekitzei Nirdamim, Siman 293) which includes the converts’ praying to “the G-d of our forefathers” as well! This is why every convert becomes the son/daughter of Abraham and Sarah, with the ritual immersion at the time signifying their being “born again” into the Jewish family/nation. This does not take anything from the biological parents who nurtured them, and so deserve heartfelt gratitude and sensitive consideration. Hence, the convert too has Jewish history and
even Abrahamic “blood” in his/her veins – and Judaism has nothing to do with race! I would conclude this commentary with one additional point from an opposite direction: The Jew begins his declamation with the words, “My father was a wandering Aramean…” Yes, we have seen from the Mishna in Bikkurim (as well as Kiddushin 3:12) that the religious status of the child is determined by the mother, probably because the fetus is inextricably intertwined with the mother as long as it is in the womb. Nevertheless, the DNA contribution from the father cannot be denied. This gives rise to a special halachic category for a child born to a gentile mother and a Jewish father, known as zera yisrael, or “Israelite seed.” Such a child would require a conversion to become a Jew. However, most decisors throughout the generations have felt it incumbent on the Jewish community to encourage conversion of such individuals, and to be as lenient as possible to effectuate these conversions. Last year, Rabbi Haim Amsalem published an important and even monumental work called Zera Yisrael. In the book, he documents the relevant responsa which suggest that “the religious court is duty-bound to convert” an individual with zera yisrael. These leniencies are limited to Israel, and are especially germane to the Russian immigrant population among us. Shabbat Shalom Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Chancellor Ohr Torah Stone Chief Rabbi – Efrat Israel
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18 • JEWZ IN THE NEWZ
By Nate Bloom Contributing Columnist EMMYS ROUND-UP The Emmys, for excellence in primetime TV, will be telecast, live, on Fox, at 8 p.m., on Sunday, Sept. 18. Here are the Jewish nominees in the acting categories: JULIANNA MARGULIES, 45 (“The Good Wife”), best lead actress in a TV drama; JOSH CHARLES, 39 (“The Good Wife”), best supporting actor in a TV drama; EVAN RACHEL WOOD, 24 (“Mildred Pierce”), best supporting actress, miniseries/movie. Wood vies for this Emmy with her “Mildred Pierce” co-star, MARE WINNINGHAM, 52; RANDEE HELLER, 64 (“Mad Men”), best guest performance, drama; ELIZABETH BANKS, 37 (“30 Rock”) and GWYNETH PALTROW, 38 (“Glee”) are both up for best guest actress, comedy; SETH GREEN, 37 (“Robot Chicken”), best voiceover performance. Three Jewish performers are nominated for best variety, musical or comedy special: BETTE MIDLER, 65 (“The Showgirl Must Go On”); CARRIE FISHER, 54 (“Wishful Drinking”); and PAUL REUBENS (the real name of Pee Wee Herman), 59 (“PeeWee Herman on Broadway”). There are too many nominated Jewish writers, directors, musicians and producers to name them all here. Some are multiple past winners, like JON STEWART, 48 (twice nominated this year — as the producer/host of “The Daily Show” and as a writer of the program) and MATTHEW WEINER, 46 (nominated twice this year — as a producer of “Mad Men” and as the writer of a nominated episode). Here is just a sampling of other tribe members who scored 2011 nominations in multiple categories: STEVE LEVITAN, 49 (directing, writing and producing “Modern Family”); LORNE MICHAELS, 66 (producing/directing “SNL”); AKIVA SCHAEFFER, 33, and ANDY SAMBERG, 33 (musical numbers for “SNL”; writing show); and TODD HAYNES, 50 (directing/producing “Mildred Pierce”). It probably won’t happen again — so I thought I’d point out, as a “fun footnote,” that this year four non-Jewish actors are nominated for playing Jewish characters: Alan Cumming (“The Good Wife”), for playing political consultant Eli Gold; Nathan Lane (“Modern Family”) for playing Pepper Saltzman, a former boyfriend of one of the show’s main characters; and James Woods and Paul
Giammati, who played, respectively, (real life Jews) DICK FULD, 65, the former CEO of Lehman Bros., and Fed Chair BEN BERNANKE, 57, in the HBO film, “Too Big to Fail.” All these actors, save Cumming, have a long track record of playing Jewish characters. NEW FLICKS/DR. ADMIRAL Opening on Friday, Sept. 16, are “Drive,” and “Straw Dogs.” “Drive” was very well-reviewed at the Cannes Film Festival, and was an audience favorite. Ryan Gosling stars as “Driver,” a Hollywood stuntman who makes movies by day and moonlights as a get-away driver for criminals. Driver helps pull a heist to get an ex-con (Oscar Isaac) out of the life of Irene (Carey Mulligan), his pretty neighbor, and her young daughter. The heist goes wrong and two members of a criminal syndicate (ALBERT BROOKS, 64, and RON PERLMAN, 61) come after Irene and her child. “Driver” becomes smitten with Irene and does what he has to do to protect her. “Straw Dogs” is a re-make of the 1971 film of the same name which starred DUSTIN HOFFMAN, now 74, as a mild American academic who tries to fit into his wife’s English village only to find out that some of the neighbors are violent thugs who only can be stopped with violence. The re-make stars James Marsden as a Hollywood screenwriter who tries to fit into his wife’s (Kate Bosworth) American South hometown. (This film is absolutely not for children and the violence is too intense for many adults’ sensibilities.) It is directed by ROD LURIE, 49. Born in Israel, Lurie moved to the States as a small child when his father, famous political cartoonist RANAN LURIE, 79, took a job here. A West Point grad, Rod Lurie was an American army officer; a film critic; and now a director (“Last Castle,” etc.) who is still looking for a big box-office hit. Opening last Friday, Sept. 8, was “Contagion,” an actionthriller about the threat posed by a deadly disease and an international team of doctors the Center for Disease Control (CDC) puts together. I just became aware that Kate Winslet’s character, Dr. Erin Mears, is loosely based on Dr. ANNE SCHUCHAT, a Navy Rear Admiral and medical doctor who is CDC director of immunization and respiratory diseases. She has been profiled in Hadassah Magazine and Jewish Woman Magazine. Winslet interviewed her to prepare for her role.
FROM THE PAGES 100 Y EARS A GO Dr. and Mrs. J. Meitus have moved to their new home at 348 Hearne Avenue, Avondale, where they will be pleased to see their friends. Cantor Isadore H. Weinstock is judge in the Band Contest during “The Fernbank Dam” celebration, in which bands from all over the state participated. On Sunday, October 15th, Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Berman of 861 Lexington Avenue, Avondale, will be at home, in honor of the betrothal of their daughter, Aimee, to Mr. William M. Goldsmith. Regina Lehman Mailender, wife of Michael Mailender, died after a lingering illness on September 8, 1911. Dr. Deutsch performed the last rite over the deceased on Sunday, burial taking place at the United Jewish Cemetery, Walnut Hills. The many friends of Mr. Abe Pepinsky will be interested to hear of his return to the country after a three years absence in Europe having spent this time pursuing his musical education under noted masters. Mr. Pepinsky has accepted a position in St. Paul, as viola leader of the local Symphony Orchestra, after having held similar positions in some of the leading orchestras in Europe. He will visit for the next few weeks, with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Pepinsky of Walnut Hills. — September 14, 1911
75 Y EARS A GO Dr. Zevi Diesendruck is again in Cincinnati after a summer at Charlevoix, Mich. Mr. and Mrs. Milton Brown have purchased the Twin Oaks Golf club, which they will turn into a country home. New officers of the H. A. Seinsheimer Co. include the Messrs. A. Bowman, vice president. Mr. R. E. Nelson was elected to the board. The firm will soon observe its 50th year in business. The Misses Charlottee and Kathryn Pichel, 4530 Paddock Road, have returned from the Orient. In Manila they were houseguests of Mr. and Mrs. Morris J. Frieder, of Cincinnati and Manila. The wedding of Miss Martha L. Wolf, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leon Wolf, Reading Road, and Mr. Norman Shor, son of Mr. and Mrs. I. L. Shor, will be solemnized quietly Sunday, at the home of the bride’s parents. Only the immediate families will attend. Dr. David Philipson and Rabbi Louis Feinberg will officiate. Mr. and Mrs. P. Elias Phillips (Anita Murr), 707 N. Crescent Avenue, a daughter, Ann, Sunday, Sept 13th. Mrs. Phillips is the daughter of Mrs. Samuel Murr, of Hearne Avenue. Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Moskowitz (Sylvia Greenberg), 3441 Dury
Avenue, a son, Wednesday, Sept. 9th. — September 17, 1936
50 Y EARS A GO Wise Temple members will celebrate the 40th wedding anniversary of Rabbi and Mrs. Samuel Wohl as well as the 34th anniversary of Rabbi Wohl’s spiritual leadership of the Temple. Dr. Wohl came from Cleveland to attend the Hebrew Union College. He was the spiritual leader of the former Reading Road Temple when it merged with Plum Street Temple to form Wise Temple. During his leadership the Temple enjoyed remarkable growth not only in membership but in the scope of its activities and its influence in the community. The Board of Trustees has granted Rabbi Wohl leave of absence for several months during the coming winter. Max Kapson, 6136 Joyce Lane, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 6. Survivors include five daughters, Mrs. Robert B. Goldman, Mrs. Joseph Shallat, Mrs. Lee Gordon, Mrs. Norman Appel and Mrs. Max Bundman; two sons, Henry H. and Sidney S. Kapson; and two sisters, Mrs. Sam Tabakow and Mrs. Jennie Saborvitz. Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Biern and family are in their new home at 3185 N. Whitetree Circle Cincinnati. Mr. and Mrs. Julian Hirschberg, 1542 Shenandoah, announce the Bar Mitzvah of their son, David Jay, Friday, Sept. 29, at 8:15 p.m. at Temple Sholom. David is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Saul Hirschberg. Cincinnati undergraduates who qualified for the Dean’s List at Harvard University for 1960-61 include Mr. Jeffrey Goldman, ’62, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Goldman; Mr. Steven M. Goldman, ’62, son of Mr. Sidney Goldman; Mr. Stephen S. Hirschfeld, 64’, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Hirschfeld; Mr. Simon Lazarus III, son of Mr. and Mrs. Simon Lazarus; Mr. Richard M. Lowenthal, ’64, son of Dr. and Mrs. Gerson Lowenthal. — September 14, 1961
25 Y EARS A GO Mrs. Beth Levine of 7610 Reading Road passed away Sept. 13. She is survived by her husband, Albert Levine; a son and daughter-inlaw, Bert and Dolly Levine, a daughter and son-in-law, Marilyn (Mezzie) and David Cohen; a brother, Meyer Michaelson; two sisters, Mrs. Roslyn Aronoff and Mrs. Ruth Effron; five grandchildren. Steve, Larry and Linda Levine, Jan and Judy Cohen; and two great-grandchildren, Brad and Courtney Cohen. Dr. Isaac Jerusalmi has two miniature flags in his office — one is Turkish, the other Israeli. A professor of bible and Semitic
languages at Hebrew Union CollegeJewish Institute of Religion, Dr. Jerusalmi is a Turkish Jew, born in the city of Istanbul. He has been in the United States for close to 30 years but retains his Turkish citizenship. When Dr. Jerusalmi heard about the raid on the Neve Shalom synagogue last week he was “extremely upset.” “Really, it was a first on every level,” he explains. “It was the first time that there was a massacre inside a synagogue, the first open attack on Jews in Turkey of this type that anybody could remember.” When Dr. Jerusalmi first heard the reports of the massacre, he didn’t think he knew anyone who had been killed. The Neve Shalom Synagogue is in the city, while Dr. Jerusalmi’s family lives in the suburbs. He compares the distance to that of between Amberley and Covington. However, when the New York Times published a full list of those who had been killed, Dr. Jerusalmi recognized the name of a childhood friend, Eliezar Hara. — September 18, 1986
10 Y EARS A GO Judge Gilbert Bettman was memorialized Sept. 1 when an Eden Park fountain was dedicated in his honor. A quote from the book of Amos is inscribed on the fountain, reading, “Let justice roll down like water and righteousness as a mighty stream.” Judge Bettman, who died last year, served as a judge in Cincinanti for more than 30 years, as a state legislator and as a soldier in World War II. He was awarded a Bronze Star medal for his wartime service. “Gil always marched to his own drummer,” said Robert S. Brown, a former partner. “Often swimming upstream, Gil was a man of steadfast principles. His life on the bench was filled with controversies he refused to avoid.” After a protracted illness, Walter Wolf Hattenbach, passed away at his home in Amberley Village on Sept. 9, 2001. Mr. Hattenbach was born in Kassel, Germany in 1916. He was the son of the late Rudolf and Bertha Kohlhagen Hattenbach. He is survived by his wife, Charlotte, and three children and their spouses: Marion and Henry Bernstein of San Antonio, Ralph and Sara Hattenbach of Santa Monica, Calif., and Jonathan and Ellen Hattenbach of Deerfield, Ill. He is also survived by six grandchildren: Gilbert and David, Aaron and Jacob, and Kira and Mari. Also surviving him are a brother and his wife, Eric and Annette Hattenbach. Another brother, Arthur Hattenbach, predeceased him. Other survivors of Mr. Hattenbach include a sister-in-law, Hannah (Mrs. Arthur) Hattenbach; and a brother- and sister-in-law , Jerome and Suzanne Teller.— September 13, 2001
CLASSIFIEDS • 19
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2011
COMMUNITY DIRECTORY COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS Access (513) 373-0300 • www.jypaccess.org Big Brothers/Big Sisters Assoc. (513) 761-3200 • bigbrobigsis.org Camp Ashreinu (513) 702-1513 Camp at the J (513) 722-7226 • mayersonjcc.org Camp Livingston (513) 793-5554 • camplivingston.com Cedar Village (513) 754-3100 • cedarvillage.org Chevra Kadisha (513) 396-6426 Cincinnati Community Mikveh 513-351-0609 Fusion Family (513) 703-3343 • www.fusionnati.org Halom House (513) 791-2912 • halomhouse.com Hillel Jewish Student Center (513) 221-6728 • hillelcincinnati.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) 514-1200 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 • www.myshalomfamily.org The Center for Holocaust & Humanity Education (513) 487-3055 • holocaustandhumanity.org Vaad Hoier (513) 731-4671 Workum Fund (513) 899-1836 • workum.org YPs at the JCC (513) 761-7500 • mayersonjcc.org
CONGREGATIONS Adath Israel Congregation (513) 793-1800 • adath-israel.org Beit Chaverim (513) 984-3393 Beth Israel Congregation (513) 868-2049 • bethisraelcongregation.net Congregation Beth Adam (513) 985-0400 • bethadam.org Congregation B’nai Tikvah (513) 759-5356 • bnai-tikvah.org Congregation B’nai Tzedek (513) 984-3393 • bnaitzedek.us Congregation Ohav Shalom (513) 489-3399 • ohavshalom.org
Congregation Ohr Chadash (513) 252-7267 • ohrchadashcincinnati.com Congregation Sha’arei Torah shaareitorahcincy.org Golf Manor Synagogue (513) 531-6654 • golfmanorsynagogue.org Isaac M. Wise Temple (513) 793-2556 • wisetemple.org Kehilas B’nai Israel (513) 761-0769 Northern Hills Synagogue (513) 931-6038 • nhs-cba.org Rockdale Temple (513) 891-9900 • rockdaletemple.org Temple Beth Shalom (513) 422-8313 • tbsohio.org Temple Sholom (513) 791-1330 • templesholom.net The Valley Temple (513) 761-3555 • valleytemple.com
EDUCATION Chai Tots Early Childhood Center (513) 234.0600 • chaitots.com Chabad Blue Ash (513) 793-5200 • chabadba.com Cincinnati Hebrew Day School (513) 351-7777 • chds.shul.net HUC-JIR (513) 221-1875 • huc.edu JCC Early Childhood School (513) 793-2122 • mayersonjcc.org Kehilla - School for Creative Jewish Education (513) 489-3399 • kehilla-cincy.com Mercaz High School (513) 792-5082 x104 • mercazhs.org Kulanu (Reform Jewish High School) 513-262-8849 • kulanucincy.org Regional Institute Torah & Secular Studies (513) 631-0083 Rockwern Academy (513) 984-3770 • rockwernacademy.org
ORGANIZATIONS American Jewish Committee (513) 621-4020 • ajc.org American Friends of Magen David Adom (513) 521-1197 • afmda.org B’nai B’rith (513) 984-1999 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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SCHOOLS from page 10 Melchior, who served as the chairman of the Knesset’s Education Committee, says that the Ministry of Education’s division of schools into “state” schools (i.e., non-religious) and “state religious schools” is outdated. Many students today come from “mixed marriages” in which one parent is secular and one religious. Others come from religious homes but have left religion; others are moving toward greater observance. Melchior says his goal is to bridge the growing gaps in Israeli society, which he sees as “an existential threat to Israel.” “Once I brought a donor into Reut and he asked the kids to say whether they were secular or religious,” Melchior recalls. “And one girl got up and said to the donor, 'With all due respect, we’re not secular or religious, we’re Jews.’ That, to me, is exactly what I want the school to do.” In some schools like Reut, secular and religious students spend the entire day together. In others, such as the Keshet elementary school just down the street, secular students and religious students separate for prayer and Jewish studies. “During those hours, the secular children have Jewish studies but not from an Orthodox point of view,” Keshet’s principal, Tova Avichai-Kremer, told JTA. “We want the non-Orthodox kids to take ownership over their Judaism, make it significant and make it a place where they’re challenging themselves over Jewish values, tradition and lifestyle.” All of these programs are expensive. Parents usually pay higher tuition than at state religious or secular schools. While public schools are more heavily subsidized by the government, many Israeli high schools are semi-private, meaning parents pay $3,000 to $5,000 per student per year, mostly for extras like
• • • • •
Up to 24 hour care Meal Preparation Errands/Shopping Hygiene Assistance Light Housekeeping
class trips, music lessons in schools and extra teaching hours. Scholarships are available for children whose parents cannot afford the tuition. Schools such as Reut and Keshet cost up to $1,000 extra per student, and donors make up the rest of the additional cost. The Israeli education situation is further complicated by the fact that many of these schools still have not been officially recognized by the Ministry of Education, despite a 2008 law mandating recognition. The unrecognized schools receive only 75 percent of the budget of a recognized school. “There is a public system of education, and we think everyone should be part of it,” Raz Kiel, a spokesman for the Ministry of Education, told JTA. “We don’t think there should be private schools at all.” The movement for pluralistic schools comes amid the changing of demographics in Israeli society. Twenty years ago, non-religious state schools enrolled two-thirds of Jewish students in Israel. Now only half of Jewish students are enrolled in this stream. The percentage of haredi Orthodox students is growing fast because of the community’s much higher birthrate than that of the general population. In Jerusalem, for example, more than half of all Jewish first-graders this year are in haredi schools. Orthodox parents are sometimes hesitant to send their children to pluralistic schools, believing that the children will stop being observant if they are exposed to the secular world. Secular parents worry about religious coercion. The students themselves don’t seem to worry. “We used to hang out here all night sometimes,” said Gonen Ilan, 19, who graduated from Reut last year and now is volunteering with the incoming seventhgraders. “We just liked being here.”
20 • ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Meet author Dori Weinstein at Rockwern Academy Author Dori Weinstein will be visiting Rockwern Academy to share her new children’s chapter book, “Sliding Into the New Year,” on Thursday, Sept. 22.
“In Sliding Into the New Year, Dori Weinstein captures the attention of youngsters and their parents alike with captivating storytelling that links contemporary kids, their families,
and their lives to the core of Jewish traditions and values,” according to Rabbi Alvin Mars, Ph.D., and senior consultant to the president of the JCC Association of North America for
Education Development. Weinstein will be speaking to Rockwern’s 3rd-6th graders during the school day. Parents and others in the community are invited to
come meet her at The Shuk at Rockwern from 3-4:30 p.m., where she will be signing copies of her book. Books will be available to purchase.
See Goodman’s glass art at Cincinnati Art Museum Darren Goodman, a Cincinnati born artist, is this year’s winner of the 4th Floor Award at the Cincinnati Art Museum. His exhibit, Trial By Fire, will open on Saturday, Sept. 24 and will run through Jan. 1, 2012. Goodman is a 1999 graduate of
King’s High School and graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree from Bowling Green State University in 2003. He opened his own art studio in 2005 in Waynesville, Ohio. His first major project was the Ner Tamid at the Wise Center, and
he did the Holocaust and Humanity award that was presented to attorney Stanley Chesley at the “Light into the Future” event. He has donated pieces to Cedar Village, the Ronald McDonald House and to other charities as well.
Goodman has trained around the world with some of the greatest living glass artists. He also shares his talent by performing live installations to expose people to the beauty of glass and how it reflects life. He recently presented a pro-
gram called “glass experience” at the Toledo Museum of Glass. He worked with a team of glass blowing students from Bowling Green State University to create his “Tears of Joy” project that will be on display at the Trial By Fire exhibit.
Edward Stern Endowment to help Playhouse in the Park Ed Stern, the producing artistic director of the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, will be honored by the theatre community and his audiences over the past 20 years with the creation of the Edward Stern Endowment for Artistic Excellence. According to Endowment
Campaign Chair Howard Tomb, “Under Ed Stern’s leadership, the Playhouse has become one of the most notable and respected regional theatres in the nation. This endowment will not only honor and celebrate Ed’s remarkable 20 years of artistic leadership at the Playhouse, but will also help
us to ensure that the talented artists who deliver a superb theatre experience each and every time will receive competitive compensation.” Playhouse Board of Trustees Chair Victoria Buyniski Gluckman said, “Ed Stern’s unwavering commitment to the Playhouse’s talent-
ed artists has been a priority since day one. While monies themselves don’t necessarily guarantee this level of talent, our inability to keep pace with the best regional theatres would adversely affect whom we can attract to the Playhouse. The creation of the Edward Stern Endowment for Artistic
Excellence will help guarantee outstanding theatre for our current and future audiences.” The Ohio Arts Council helps fund the Playhouse with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.
throughout the Rosh Hashanah service as they highlight our celebrations of God’s kingship over our world. Rabbi Sacks’ commentary does not require a significant amount of prior knowledge to understand even though he interweaves many sources in his explanations. For those who are interested in exploring additional traditions the Koren Machzor provides a number of alternative piyutim in the back of the volume. On a technical level the Koren Machzor is easy to follow with clear instructions. The order of the shachrit service changes when the days Rosh Hashanah falls on are
Shabbat and Sunday. The Koren Machzor has managed to structure the service so that the congregation does not need to skip backward and forward in the machzor in order to keep track of the service. There will also be those who are unfamiliar with the Hebrew on the left and the English translation on the right. But these are minor quibbles when discussing such a noteworthy publication. The Koren Machzor is a well worth being considered by an individual or a synagogue looking for a well written, easily followed, and readable Rosh Hashanah service.
Klein to cooperate with the FBI. In other autobiographical stories, Klein has a life and death struggle with an armed felon who has tried to rob the Woodlawn Food Market, and in another, Klein pursues an armed robber of a Fairfield King Kwik. Baby boomers and car nuts should enjoy Klein’s autobiographical stories about his hot–rodding days, all of which took place well before his career in law enforcement. In “From the Other Side of the Badge,” a young Klein travels the Southwest in a hot Corvette, staying ahead of would be hot rod rivals and, of course, the law. Later, in “More, From the Other Side of the Badge,” Klein fondly and in amusing detail retells the story of his first car, a doughty 1952 Crosley. In a matter of months—most of which occurred before he was old enough to get a driver’s license—Klein turns the old Crosley into a roaring street machine—much to the chagrin of his Amberley neighbors and the
local police department. Unfortunately for the reader, Klein’s enjoyable autobiographical narratives are scattered throughout the book, with essays about police training and fiction short stories in between. This lack of organization, especially with the fiction shorts, is both irritating and confusing. Some of the fiction pieces involve people and places which are familiar to Cincinnatians, and appear in the book right after an autobiographical story. Since the fiction pieces are not identified as such, it often takes the reader time to realize that he is now immersed in a work of fiction. If Klein did this deliberately as a rhetorical exercise to blur the lines in his fiction pieces, his efforts are a misguided failure. Instead, the overall confusion this creates leaves the reader wondering how much of Klein’s autobiographical work in “The Badge” is truth, and how much is fiction—something I’m sure Klein did not intend to do.
The new Koren Machzor review By Yossi Francus Contributing Columnist Until now the choice of a High Holiday machzor with the traditional form of the liturgy used in Orthodox synagogues with an English translation has been mostly limited to Birnbaum—now out of print—(Hebrew Publishing Company, 1951) and Art Scroll (Mesorah Publications Ltd., 1991). To that list can now be added the Koren Machzor for Rosh Hashanah (Koren Publishers Jerusalem, 2011 – Yom Kippur volume planned for release in 2012) with introduction,
translation, and commentary by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. This machzor follows the Koren Siddur and the Koren Tisha B’av service which were published in the last few years. The Koren machzor uses the same readable Hebrew and English fonts found in the other Koren publications. Rabbi Sacks’ introduction is easily comprehendible and insightful. He first examines the history of Rosh Hashana observance and how it has evolved over time to be not just a celebration of creation but also the start of the days of awe and penitence. Only then does he delve further into the
meaning of Rosh Hashanah and what it means to us. Throughout his commentary and introduction he makes use of the philosophical insights of philosophical thinkers from previous generations. A prototypical example of Rabbi Sacks’ commentary can be found in his comments on the Untaneh Tokef prayer. He begins by explaining the structure of the prayer and only then does he delve further into the history of the prayer with references to documents in the Cairo geniza. Rabbi Sacks succeeds in translating and interpreting the oft difficult piyutim — poems — that are sprinkled
‘The Badge’ by Chuck Klein Stories and tales from both sides of the law By Morris Berg Contributing Columnist Chuck Klein is at it again. Cincinnati’s own ex-cop, ex-private investigator, novelist, story teller and Second Amendment advocate has a new collection of stories and essays which treat the author’s many interests. These include old fashioned beat cop stories and hot-rodding tales evocative of James Dean or American Graffitti. Klein, a Jew raised in Amberley Village and a 1960 graduate of Woodward High School, is at his best in “The Badge” when recounting his role in investigations and arrests during his days as a Woodlawn, and later Terrace Park, patrol officer. As a very young man, Klein had little interest in a career in his family’s paper business, and
instead, after volunteering with the Amberley Police Department, realized that he had a real passion for law enforcement. In “First Time Behind the Badge,” Klein recounts how he overcame the potential obstacles to a career in law enforcement created by his somewhat rebellious teenage years, to get his first full time police job with the Woodlawn Police Department. Klein is at his best in his autobiographical stories about investigations and arrests during his time in the 1970s with the Woodlawn and Terrace Park departments. The stories entertainingly illustrate that daily police routine can suddenly escalate into critical situations in which the officer is in great danger. These stories are a pleasant read because they contain references to people and places in Cincinnati’s not all-too-distant past. During Klein’s brief stint with Woodlawn, the entire police department threatened him to go along with an elaborate theft ring,
a ring which included Woodlawn’s Chief of Police. Klein pretended to go along and reported the ring to Amberley Police Captain Bill Krueger. Krueger then arranged for
FIRST PERSON • 21
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2011
The Maj Maven Incidentally Iris
by Iris Ruth Pastor I figured out what makes me comfortable now that I’m living in a new city—it’s having a Mah Jongg group. Sounds kind of silly if you base it on the fact that for the 30 years or so I lived in Cincinnati as an adult, I don’t think I even played more than a few times. But hey, it was my home town. I regularly ran into my high school cronies while doing errands and my rolodex bulged with people that my husband and I could call to go out with on Saturday night. I didn’t need a maj game to ground me. Not so when I
RESOLUTION from page 8 foreign operations subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee, told JTA. “They’ve been working nonstop to be creative with their language.” Insiders with information about the Quartet negotiations, however, say they don’t have much hope that the American efforts will succeed. The Palestinians and Russia oppose language in a statement that would relaunch negotiations that include recognizing Israel as Jewish state as well as “realities on the ground” — code for large settlements. Palestinian officials continue to insist that they intend to go through with their statehood effort and will ask the U.N. Security Council to admit a Palestinian state as a U.N. member. The United States has made clear that it would veto any
PARTYING from page 9 serious components. The nightly parties with themes such as Facebook and “red carpet” — each with its own corresponding dress code — were packed, while most workshops drew crowds of about 30 at most. After all, it’s not easy for a PowerPoint presentation on the American Jewish community’s response to the Palestinian statehood push to compete with beach volleyball. “Of course it’s a lot of people partying. What do you want from a mass of Jewish students?” said
moved to Tampa five years ago. Things didn’t gel right away. The job I re-located for didn’t work out and I spent six restless months unemployed, isolated and lonely. After going to work at the Conservative synagogue just blocks from my rented bungalow, things started improving. After hosting a Sisterhood maj event, I spotted a few stragglers longing to play in a regular game. We were a diverse crew: a South African, a New Yorker, a Missouri gal, an Ohio native and a New Jersey Shore transplant. One was a physically-fit personal trainer; the rest of us were in varying degrees of age-engendered decrepitude. Wide variances also existed in our financial portfolios, marital and employment status, health conditions and recreational preferences. We came together, not as friends, but as lovers of maj. Our individual skill levels varied terrifically—often a source of friction. And our individually acquired and peculiar maj habits presented endless opportunities for “compromise.” Picking ahead? Not picking ahead? Declaring someone’s hand
dead when they miscounted their tiles or letting them pick a future out of turn and then just going on with the game? We were outspoken, judgmental and resolute. We argued about the temperature of the room, the strength of the coffee, the squeaking of the chairs, the size of the card table and the restaurant we should go to for celebrating our joint birthdays. Over time, as to be expected, we did forge a tenuous alliance, evolving into friendships of a sort. But to this day, the snipping and complaining continues— in between the calling out of the bams, the dots and the cracks (wise and not so wise). When my oldest son ran for Tampa City Council, my “majing” intensified. As I campaigned, I once again stumbled upon women yearning to play this age-old Chinese game. The only difference was: they didn’t know how. As a gesture of thanks to them for helping elect my son, I instituted maj teaching sessions each Tuesday night at my house. Drama unfolded almost immediately. Within two weeks, one of the gals was diagnosed with
breast cancer. Virtually still strangers, we rallied round and fell into a dynamic that belied the short time we had known one another. Though we too are diverse in demographic make-up, my second maj group is also downright quirky. On a typical night, someone comes late. Someone forgets their card. Someone doesn’t get the message correctly and comes all dressed up for theater. Someone leaves in an emotional melt down unrelated to the game. Someone goes home to get her card and forgets it for the second time. And yet, we plug along—me endlessly teaching, repeating, explaining and illustrating—the rest of them learning the hands on the card, picking a tile after they throw, keeping careful track of the number of tiles in their rack, remembering the difference between a pong, kong and quint. After six weeks, we manage to get through roughly three games per evening. So here I sit with two maj games back to back – Monday and Tuesday nights. At times I lament the frenetic pace, the loss of free time on successive evenings, the
stress on Monday of playing with women who endlessly snipe at one another, the exhaustion on Tuesday stemming from teaching a game to novices who often are not paying close attention. And yet, every Monday and Tuesday— usually without fail—I once again participate in that 4,000 year-old rite of passage: The Maj Game— coming together to arrange the tiles, pass the tiles, throw the tiles and pick the tiles. And, as any seasoned Mah Jongg player will tell you, it’s more than a Chinese gambling game. The evenings offer diversion, catharsis, entertainment, inspiration, camaraderie and constancy. And then there is the tremendous comfort I personally gain from knowing that in another city— 1,000 miles away—my mother is studying her card, arranging her tiles, and throwing out her one bam, two crack, three dot— around a card table with her friends too. It’s all so timeless. It’s all so reassuring. And it’s all so fleeting.
such resolution before the Security Council, insisting that the proper venue for achieving Palestinian statehood is at the negotiating table with Israel. A resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood in the U.N. General Assembly would likely gain the support of a majority of member nations, but a General Assembly vote would be largely symbolic and would not grant U.N. membership to the Palestinians. Jewish groups say efforts are under way to persuade key countries to shape a resolution that would be more favorable toward Israel. “We’re in a much better place than a couple of months ago,” said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, the president of The Israel Project. “A lot more of the diplomats are better educated about nuances and challenges and opportunities.”
A resolution recognizing the eventual necessity of Palestinian statehood might even be beneficial if it included the right language, Mizrahi said. “A watered-down resolution that doesn’t say where lines are, doesn’t talk about refugees and recognizes the validity of a Jewish state, it’s a victory for all sides, it would be win-win for everybody,” she said. Leading the outreach has been the American Jewish Committee, which has had 300 meetings with diplomats from 70 countries in the past three months — and expects a last-minute flurry of another 100 such meetings before the matter comes to a vote, which is expected by Sept. 21. The AJC’s executive director, David Harris, said the message was getting across. “There have been some in the
Arab world who have said recently that this is not going to work, it’s not going to advance the goal of a Palestinian state, it may backfire, it may set the prospects for peace back, and the Palestinians may be blamed because this was their idea,” Harris said. Lowey and Jewish communal officials have said that in private conversations, Palestinian leaders fear that they have painted themselves into a corner — that a failure to achieve statehood recognition would spur anti-government protests among Palestinians inspired by the Arab Spring. The Anti-Defamation League’s national director, Abraham Foxman, said that might nudge the Palestinians toward accepting a General Assembly vote short of statehood recognition — one that upgrades the Palestinian U.N. delegation’s observer status.
“A lot will depend on language and how it’s presented,” he said. He also noted that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has told Israelis in recent days that he would be ready to return to talks once a vote goes through, one way or the other. Lowey said that might be too little too late and reiterated her warning made this summer with Rep. Kat Granger (R-Texas), the foreign operations subcommittee chairwoman, that the Palestinian Authority could lose much of the approximately $500 million in assistance it receives from the United States if it presses ahead with the vote. “Both the House and the Senate are very clear in cutting off funds to the Palestinian Authority if they go forward and take the vote without going back to the negotiating table,” Lowey said.
Andrea Gergely, who was elected at the conference to be the next president of EUJS. Still, Gergely, who lives in Budapest and will start her term in January, says she is looking to diversify the seminars and add arts and crafts, yoga and sports tournaments to the event’s schedule. Gergely hopes that a wider array of programming will appeal to Summer U participants, some of whom may be looking for a middle ground between lectures and the beach. Participants, for the most part, seem pretty happy with Summer U as an opportunity to socialize.
“Jewish marriage and friendship is one of the unofficial goals of any Jewish organization,” said Aleksey Krasnitsky, a project manager with the Ukrainian Union of Jewish Students and Kiev resident who has been coming to Summer U for the past six years. “I’d be very happy if after Summer U we get the news of a Jewish marriage — that’s the most important thing, in my point of view.” In interviews about the conference, participants often would begin by discussing Summer U’s seminars and speakers, move on to speak about the importance of panEuropean Jewish friendship and
then lower their voices, almost conspiratorially, to discuss the relationships they came here to find. For Stephen Przyrowski, a Parisian attending his third Summer U, the emphasis that many participants place on romance can be a little stressful. “You can see they put pressure on themselves, a lot of the men, especially,” he said. “They’re searching too hard for their soulmate.” Illan Obadia, a Parisian information technology and finance consultant who was attending his first Summer U, said he was not looking for a one-night stand. “During the nights, several cou-
ples are created, and by the morning they are finished,” he said with a wry laugh. “If I can find a woman for my life, yes, but for one night? No.” Still, Obadia is no cynic when it comes to Summer U. At the entrance to the main hotel, the event’s “animation team” — a sort of Summer U motivation squad — had posted several blank white sheets with the instructions “Make a wish — we will make it happen!” Writing in big block letters across several pieces of paper, Obadia asked the organizers to develop a Winter U, an Autumn U and a Spring U.
Keep coping, Iris Ruth Pastor
22 • OBITUARIES D EATH N OTICES BARR, Ruth age 80, died on September 8, 2011; 10 Elul, 5771.
O BITUARIES GRIFFIN, Barbara Barbara Griffin, age 71, of Tampa, Fla., died Wednesday, September 7, 2011. Mrs. Griffin came to Tampa in 1971 from her native Cincinnati, Ohio. She was COUSINS from page 8 Krayev, near a forest. Finkelstein joined the partisans, then fought with the Red Army in Ukraine, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. He was in Prague when the war ended, and remained in the cavalry and artillery corps until being discharged in May 1947. Upon arriving in Israel, he fought for an armored unit in the War of Independence in the Negev and Sinai. Only in the mid-1990s did TIES from page 10 Closer to home for Israelis, the crisis with Turkey could strengthen Hamas, which controls Gaza, and which Israel and the United States see as a terrorist state. Erdogan, an Islamist, has vigorously defended Hamas from those who say it is a terrorist group that should be isolated. Erdogan has said that he wants to visit Gaza. If Egypt agrees to let him enter Gaza from its territory, it would represent a victory for Hamas
a member and was secretary of the former Beth Israel Congregation, a member of Congregation Rodeph Sholom, was chairman of the American Red Cross Volunteers at Memorial Hospital and was an active participant of the Chesed Shel Emes during a time in their history which was vital for the continuance of the organization. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 52 years, John, her loving daughter, Robin and devoted brother, Ronnie
Ehrlich. Survivors include her sons Jeff (Beverly) Griffin and Greg Griffin, cherished grandchildren, Becky and Scott and her brother, Alan (Kathy) Ehrlich of Cincinnati, Ohio. Graveside services were held in Florida. Memorial contributions may be made to Congregation Rodeph Sholom or the charity of one’s choice. Condolences may be expressed online at segalfuneralhome.com. SUSSER, Leonard Lewis
Leonard Lewis Susser, age 85, of Boynton Beach, Fla., passed away on Sept. 11. He was a man of integrity and a loving, devoted husband to his wife Bobbie (Barbara) for 62 years. He adored his children, Gary (Judy) Susser and Robin (Allen) Susser Robin. His four grandsons were the light of his life, Jon Robin and his fiance Dana Webb, Xander Robin, and Adam and Brandon Susser. He is also survived by his sister, Marlene Kirschner, his sister-in-law Sylvia Susser, of
Delray Beach, and numerous loving nieces and nephews. Mr. Susser was a graduate engineer with an MBA who had a 40 year career with General Electric, ending as Manager of Manufacturing of the Jet Engine Division in Evendale, Ohio. He loved traveling the world, dancing, playing bridge and golfing with his buddies. He also made the best French Toast! The funeral was held on Tuesday, September 13 at Beth Israel Memorial Chapel, in Boynton Beach, Fla.
Finkelstein begin reconnecting with his roots. He contributed toward the erection of a Shoah monument at Ostroh, which he quickly notes is where 1,015 Jews were killed. In 2002, he returned to his homeland for the first time, joining a group going to Hoshtch, his grandfather Shmuel’s hometown, near Zavizov, to dedicate a monument to the 3,200 Jews buried in a common grave there. Visiting Hoshtch and Zavizov left Finkelstein feeling empty. “I said Kaddish and stood
there for 20 minutes. What else could I do?” he explains. “The Ukrainians destroyed our house, and there was nothing there. My grandfather had a barn for cows, and they destroyed it. I spoke to a Ukrainian there, who told me that they’d destroyed buildings because they thought the Jews had hidden gold there.” Finkelstein recently set out to locate his cousins and their descendants. He wrote to an Israeli radio program that helps reunite long-lost relatives and
friends. The host read the letter on-air in mid-June. Few of the show’s cases feature searches for Americans, but, Finkelstein says, perhaps “a miracle” will occur. “Since age 3, my daughter always dreamed of having a grandfather, a grandmother. ‘Why does everyone else have (them), and I don’t?’ she’d ask,” says Finkelstein, who is about to become a great-grandfather. “There were 43 people on both sides of my family, and I’m the only one to have survived. If we
can find our relatives, I’d tell (Esther) that she now has a family. I would be able to call them, say hello and invite them to visit us in Israel. I’d love it.”
and a further challenge to Israel. Beyond the diplomatic fallout, Israel’s relationship with Turkey played an important psychological role. Tens of thousands of Israelis visit Turkey each year with package tours that, even including the one-hour flight, is cheaper than staying at hotels in Eilat. The relationship with Turkey also made Israelis feel connected to the wider Muslim world. Turkey was the first Muslim country to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, in 1949.
“We used to hold up the relationship with Turkey as an example of how Israel can have a relationship with a large Muslim country,” a senior Israeli official told JTA. “We’re certainly concerned about this now.” In the early days of the state, there were very close ties with Turkey. Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, even studied law in Turkey. Those diplomatic ties intensified in the 1980s and 1990s. The senior Israeli official said there are two schools of thought in
Israel surrounding Erdogan. One says that the deterioration in the relationship is specifically because of the flotilla incident and that if Israel apologized, the relationship would return to what it was. The other school, which seems to be gaining ground, is that Erdogan sees himself as a potential leader of the Islamic world and is leading Turkey to become more religious and more Islam-identified. If that is true, then the flotilla incident is just an excuse to down-
grade ties with Israel. It seems unlikely that the relationship will improve anytime soon. Liel, the former ambassador, says a similar incident happened in 1980 after Israel passed the Jerusalem Law formalizing Israel’s unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem, which was captured in 1967. Turkey then reacted exactly as it did this week — downgrading ties to the level of second secretary. Liel, then a second secretary, was sent to Ankara.
PROTESTS from page 10
with the committee and, like other student leaders before him, is mentioned as a natural for entering politics. Shmuli is “one of the people to look for” as an emerging political leader, said Hani Zubida, an assistant professor of public policy at IDC Herzliya who helped organize a coalition of Israel’s peripheral populations for the summer protests that included single mothers, Arabs and lower-income communities. “People are calling for his campaign tour for the next primaries,” Zubida said. “The fact that we saw him week in and week out on the stage means something.” At the same time, says Zubida, nobody is sure what will happen next. He believes that some protest leaders may be co-opted into the current political parties, which could be “extremely beneficial, as it might show that the government is trying to face the challenge and embrace ‘these people’ into the system.” Nachmias is hoping that the wave of protests results in the formation of a new political party
with a socioeconomic agenda rather than focusing on security issues. Israel has been in the midst of a governance crisis, he said, and the government has been unable to formulate and implement longterm public policies, partly because of its electoral system that empowers small parties representing various interest groups. “People are sick and tired of the governance crisis,” he said. “The speakers were talking about the new Israel, the empowered Israelis. If there is a new political party, that’s the greatest achievement they can have.” Hebrew University historian Alexander Yakobson wrote in Haaretz that the movement itself cannot be turned into “a political party, or a camp with a clear-cut political and ideological character, without losing most of its participants and all of its public influence.” Yakobson also wrote that while the movement has given a boost to more social democratic economic policies, ultimately change will have to come through the championing of these issues in the political realm.
MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR
ABIGAIL ALBERT A Memorial Service will be held on SEPTEMBER 24, 2011 at 2:00 P.M. at The Cedars of Lebanon Chapel at The Spring Grove Cemetery, 4521 Spring Grove Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45232. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Doctors without Borders, The Sierra Club, The Woman’s Club of University of Cincinnati Scholarship Fund (please contact: The U of C Foundation 513-556-6781 for exact mailing information) or a charity of your choice.
urged Israelis to attend Saturday’s demonstrations on Facebook. Protest organizers, however, have tried to keep the political world at a distance from their movement in the hopes of appealing to wide segments of the Israeli public. Several leaders emerged from the tent cities and weekly protests as nationally prominent figures, including Daphne Leef, who was the first to set up a tent in central Tel Aviv to protest her inability to find an affordable apartment, and Itzik Shmuli, the chairman of National Student Union. Both were featured speakers at Saturday’s main rally that drew some 300,000 people to Tel Aviv’s Hamedina Square. Many observers have pointed to the differences between the two young leaders, which reflect tensions within the movement as a whole. Leef, who tends to speak from the gut, has blasted the Trajtenberg Committee as a cynical effort established to deceive the public. Shmuli, by contrast, has been interested in engaging
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Published on Sep 15, 2011
ISRAEL p. 10 JFS executive director applies Harvard Business School training... Wise Temple Library establishes collection of historic child...