THURSDAY, JANUARY 16, 2014 15 SHEVAT, 5774
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VOL. 160 • NO. 26
The American Israelite T H E
O L D E S T
E N G L I S H
Major project undertaken to locate Wallenberg suvivors
JCC celebrates MLK Day with nonstop activity
Retiring London Fletcher lauds bridge to NFL success – a Jewish couple
Former Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon, dies at age 85
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Female IDF soldiers shatter contemporay infantry lines
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Book review: My Promised Land
Rabbi Gershom Barnard to retire from Northern Hills Synagogue After 39 years of service, Rabbi Gershom Barnard, rabbi of Northern Hills Synagogue - Congregation B'nai Avraham since 1975, will retire at the end of June. Rabbi Barnard, a native of Brookline, Massachusetts, came to Northern Hills as a recent graduate of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. There he earned a Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters, with honors, as well as rabbinical ordination. Since joining Northern Hills as spiritual leader, he has led the congregation through many landmark events, including the embrace of equal rights and responsibilities for both men and women as well as the relocation of the synagogue from Finneytown to Deerfield Township in 2004. As the congregation's spiritual leader, Rabbi Barnard has encouraged strong support for Israel and social justice, and challenged the members of the congregation to think and act in accordance with Jewish values. In contemplating his upcoming retirement, Rabbi Barnard noted, "While I can point to a list of programmatic accomplishments from my career, more significant to me are the lives which I have affected, hopefully for the better. When I came to Northern Hills Synagogue, I had no expectation of staying for more than a few years, but things turned out differently, and I am deeply pleased at that. My relationships with members of the congregation and the community, people with whom I go 'way back,' are of inestimable value. I look forward to exercising more regu-
larly, cooking, reading, research, and writing. I am looking for opportunities for continued involvement in the Jewish community and education." Rabbi Barnard received his B.A. degree in philosophy from Harvard University in 1969. He studied Jewish
philosophy at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and earned an M.Ed. from the University of Cincinnati. He is a member of the Rabbinical Assembly, the National Rabbinic Cabinet of the Jewish Federations of North America, and the Greater Cincinnati Board of
Rabbis, which he served as president from 1983-1985 and 2001-2003. He has been honored with the Israel Freedom Award by State of Israel Bonds, and with honorary degrees from Hebrew Union College and the Jewish Theological Seminary. Rabbi Barnard is married to Sarah Barnard, and they have three children, Noam, Miriam, and Ryvka. To celebrate Rabbi Barnard's career and legacy, Northern Hills plans a number of events in coming months. The first will be a Scholar-in-Residence weekend February 14-16 featuring Rabbi Naomi Levy, author of Talking to God, Hope Will Find You, and To Begin Again. On April 30, Rabbi Barnard will be the featured speaker at the monthly program and luncheon of Northern Hills' HaZaK chapter for seniors. The congregation is in the process of searching for a successor, and expects to hire a new rabbi this spring. Joe Lazear, President of Northern Hills, commented, "For the past thirtynine years, Northern Hills Synagogue and Rabbi Gershom Barnard have been intertwined. As he grew as our spiritual leader, so did the congregation. What I have found most interesting is hearing from our sons and daughters, in their twenties or thirties. Their memories of Rabbi Barnard are full of his concern and his teachings. The coming months will be a celebration of his leadership, his teaching of Torah, and the assistance he has given to countless individuals, both members and nonmembers."
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LOCAL • 3
THURSDAY, JANUARY 16, 2014
JCC celebrates MLK Day with nonstop activity When school is out, the J is in! From kindergarten to high school, and every grade in between, the Mayerson JCC is serving up an MLK day full of nonstop fun sure to keep participants of all ages active and engaged all day long on Monday, January 20th Kids in grades K–6 can ward off the frigid winter weather with an action-packed indoor “day-cation” when they participate in the JCC School Break Zone camp, complete with swimming in the indoor water park, free time in the gym, arts and crafts, camp-style games and lots of other popular activities. “This year, in celebration of MLK Day, we wanted our Break Zone campers to understand what it means to be part of the greater community around them,” explains JCC Child Enrichment Manager, Christina Zaffiro. “The kids will get a chance to contribute their own unique creation to a special Community Quilt that will be put on display at the JCC for everyone to see,” she adds. “Plus, we will also get a visit from a local animal shelter who will talk to the children about how they can help find homes for animals in need.” JCC School Break Zone is open to the public and offers built-in flexibility to accommodate even the most hectic of schedules. Regular Break Zone Hours run from 9:30am to 3:30pm, but for an additional fee, parents have the option to drop their children off as early as 8am, and pick them up as late as 6pm. Whichever arrangement
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they choose, parents will have peace of mind, knowing that their kids are staying active and engaged in a safe, welcoming environment all day long. And while the younger children are enjoying all that the J has to offer, the 6th–12th grade set will be off on an MLK getaway to play in the powder at Perfect North Slopes in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, where they can ski, snowboard or snow tube to their heart’s content. “This ski trip offers the perfect way to spend Martin Luther King Day with Jewish tweens and teens from Cincinnati, as well as from other nearby Jewish communities in the region, such as Indianapolis and
Louisville!” says Freddie Wolf, JCC Tween Coordinator and Teen Program Assistant. “We’re going to take full advantage of this day off of school in the great outdoors at our area’s most popular winter playground!” Ski Trip participants will meet at the JCC by 9:30am and board a bus that will be departing promptly at 10am. The bus will return to the JCC at 6pm. To learn more about MLK Day offerings at the J or to register for School Break Zone or the Ski Trip to Perfect North, please contact the JCC.
Hadassah Coffee Talk hosted Shari Goldsmith, LISW, discussed ‘The Male Brain vs. the Female Brain’ Hadassah Coffee Talk took place on Monday, January 13, 2014 from 7:30-9:00 p.m. at the home of Marsha Barsman. Guest speaker Shari Goldsmith, LISW, led a spirited discussion on "The Male Brain vs. The Female Brain: Do we really see the world through different eyes? How can we all get along?” After socializing over refreshments, the group settled into the living room, where Tobe Snow spoke about upcoming Hadassah events and Hadassah’s ongoing mission. She then introduced guest speaker Shari Goldsmith, a Women’s Success Coach, motivational speaker,
and author. Shari read a series of scientific statements comparing male and female brains and how they function, challenging the group to guess which statements were true or false. Among the surprising revelations was the fact that men’s and women’s brains are wired differently, with men’s wiring running from front to rear, while women’s brains functioned more from side to side, allowing for better empathy and emotional intelligence. By the end of the evening, we all agreed that you can’t expect your man to respond to you like your girlfriends, but we wouldn’t have it any other way!
Tobe Snow, Coffee Talk Chair, thanked Shari Goldsmith and hostess Marsha Barsman, and presented them each with a red rose and a Hadassah certificate. Coffee Talk is a monthly casual get-together, usually held in a Hadassah member’s home, to discuss topics of interest. Meetings are held the second Monday of the month, alternating between evening and morning times.
4 • NATIONAL
Streep ignites debate: Was Walt Disney Anti-Semitic? By Rafael Medoff (JNS) Actress Meryl Streep has reignited a debate that has simmered below the surface in Hollywood for decades: Was Walt Disney anti-Semitic? The occasion was the annual awards event of the National Board of Review, an organization of filmmakers, students, and movie scholars. Streep presented an award to Emma Thompson, for her role in the new movie “Saving
Mr. Banks,” about the making of Mary Poppins. Thompson co-stars as Poppins author P.L. Travers, alongside Tom Hanks as Walt Disney. Streep took the opportunity to blast Mr. Disney as racist and misogynist who also “supported an anti-Semitic industry lobbying group.” She did not actually call Disney an anti-Semite, but many people took it that way. The Hollywood Reporter declared that
Streep accused Disney of being “sexist, racist and anti-Semitic.” Film professor David Hajdu said Disney was “a deeply flawed human being. A misogynist? You bet. An anti-Semite? That, too.” An unnamed “female Academy member” interviewed by the Reporter referred to him as “that old anti-Semite, himself, Mr. Disney.” Hollywood historian Neal Gabler examined the antisemitism charge in his 2006 biography of
Disney. “Of the Jews who worked [with Disney], it was hard to find any who thought Walt was an antiSemite,” Gabler reported. “Joe Grant, who had been an artist, the head of the model department, and the storyman responsible for Dumbo declared emphatically that Walt was not an anti-Semite. ‘Some of the most influential people at the studio were Jewish,’ Grant recalled, thinking no doubt of himself, production manager DISNEY on page21
Sam Berns, a public face of rare aging disease, dies at 17
Courtesy of NIH Directors blog
Sam Berns, center, pictured with Dr. Francis Collins and Cookie Monster.
“I loved Sam Berns and am richer for having known him,” Kraft said in a statement. “He was a special young man whose inspirational story and positive outlook on life touched my heart.” In October, prior to the HBO broadcast, Kraft made a
$500,000 matching donation to the Progeria Research Foundation to further its hunt for treatment and a cure. The foundation was started in 1999 by Sam’s parents, Leslie Gordon and Scott Berns, both doctors, after Sam, then a toddler, was diagnosed with the condition.
The foundation’s research team made quick progress in isolating the gene that causes the condition and has since developed a drug treatment that has prolonged the lives of children such as Sam. Last month, Sam was featured at a TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talk — a global set of conferences owned by the private nonprofit Sapling Foundation — speaking on “My Philosophy for a Happy Life.” “Even though there are many obstacles in my life, I don’t want people to feel bad for me,” he said there. It was a sentiment that ran through his life, according to those who knew him. Rabbi Harold Kushner lost his son Aaron to progeria, prompting him to write the bestselling book “When Bad Things Happen To Good People.” In a statement confirming Sam’s death last Friday, the Progeria Foundation wrote, “The entire PRF community mourns the loss of this remarkable young man who not only inspired PRF’s creation, but also touched millions of people worldwide.”
“LET THERE BE LIGHT” THE OLDEST ENGLISH-JEWISH WEEKLY IN AMERICA - EST. JULY 15, 1854
VOL. 160 • NO. 26 THURSDAY, JANUARY 16, 2014 15 SHEVAT 5774 SHABBAT BEGINS FRIDAY 5:23 PM SHABBAT ENDS SATURDAY 6:24 PM THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE CO., PUBLISHERS 18 WEST NINTH STREET, SUITE 2 CINCINNATI, OHIO 45202-2037 Phone: (513) 621-3145 Fax: (513) 621-3744 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org RABBI ISAAC M. WISE Founder, Editor, Publisher, 1854-1900 LEO WISE Editor & Publisher, 1900-1928 RABBI JONAH B. WISE Editor & Publisher, 1928-1930 HENRY C. SEGAL Editor & Publisher, 1930-1985 PHYLLIS R. SINGER Editor & General Manager, 1985-1999 MILLARD H. MACK Publisher Emeritus NETANEL (TED) DEUTSCH Editor & Publisher JORY EDLIN BETH KOTZIN Assistant Editors YOSEFF FRANCUS Copy Editor JANET STEINBERG Travel Editor JULIE TOREM Special Assignment Editor MARIANNA BETTMAN NATE BLOOM IRIS PASTOR ZELL SCHULMAN PHYLLIS R. SINGER Contributing Columnists JENNIFER CARROLL Production Manager BARBARA ROTHSTEIN Advertising Sales
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BOSTON (JTA) — A Boston-area Jewish teen whose fight against a rare genetic disease that causes accelerated aging was chronicled in an Academy Award-contending documentary has died. Sam Berns of Foxborough, Mass., died Friday after a lifelong battle with progeria. He was 17, three years older than the typical life expectancy for children with the disease. Sam came into the public eye through the documentary film “Life According to Sam,” which was broadcast last October on HBO. The film is on the shortlist for an Oscar nomination. It was voted best documentary at the 2013 Boston Jewish Film Festival and has been screened at Jewish film festivals across the country. Robert Kraft, a philanthropist who supports numerous Jewish causes and is owner of the New England Patriots, took a personal interest in Sam, an avid sports fan who was scheduled to serve as honorary captain at Saturday night’s New England Patriots playoff game. Instead, a moment of silence was held in his memory.
The American Israelite
The Policy for Addressing Religious Holiday Conflicts with Residence Hall “MoveIn” Days was created in 2007
was affected in order to comply with a U.C. policy that conflicts with “the observance of a major religious holiday.”
following complaints the previous year from the Jewish community, when move-in days conflicted with the High Holidays, according to the Modesto Bee. The policy last affected the start of the school year in 2009, when late August movein days for U.C. Berkeley and Merced, which operate on the semester system, conflicted with the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. Some 3 percent of U.C. students on the seven campuses identify themselves as Jewish, according to a 2010 University of California Undergraduate Experience Survey.
(JTA) — The University of California system shifted its academic calendar for the start of a new term to avoid a conflict with the Jewish High Holidays. The change, which affects all seven of the U.C. campuses, means that campus movein days will not be in conflict with Rosh Hashanah, The California Aggie, the daily student newspaper of the University of California, Davis, reported. The term will begin on Oct. 2, a week later than usual, and winter break will last two weeks instead of three, according to the newspaper. The change in the schedule
r in Am ape er sp i
Univ. of Calif. shifts academic calendar for Rosh Hashanah
THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE (USPS 019-320) is published weekly for $44 per year and $2.00 per single copy in Cincinnati and $49 per year and $3.00 per single copy elsewhere in U.S. by The American Israelite Co. 18 West Ninth Street, Suite 2, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-2037. Periodicals postage paid at Cincinnati, OH. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE, 18 West Ninth Street, Suite 2, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-2037. The views and opinions expressed by the columnists of The American Israelite do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the newspaper.
NATIONAL • 5
THURSDAY, JANUARY 16, 2014
Major project undertaken to locate Wallenberg survivors Raoul Wallenberg would have celebrated his 101st birthday this year had he not mysteriously vanished at the end of World War II. While the circumstances of his death remain a mystery, the more than 100,000 people that he saved spawned a new generation, in countries all over the world. Now, through the efforts of the Wallenberg Heritage Foundation, a project undertaken by YI Chovevei Zion, which is an affiliate of the National Council of Young Israel, a 501 C(3) nonprofit organization, a comprehensive effort is being undertaken to gather stories and personal accounts by survivors and their families to memorialize Wallenberg’s contribution to freedom and human rights. This project, during its formative stage and as its culmination, will strive to educate this generation’s and future generations’ youth about the heroic acts of
Raoul Wallenberg. A virtual museum, as well as one of brick and mortar, accessible from anywhere in the world, is contemplated to be the repository of the artifacts and stories of this major hero of the 20th Century. At the inaugural dinner of the Wallenberg Heritage Foundation, held Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at the Young Israel of Jamaica Estates, Rabbi Shlomo Hochberg invoked the famous passage of the Talmud that “he who saves one life is as if he has saved the world.” Hochberg intoned, “Had there been just 60 Raoul Wallenbergs there would have been no Holocaust.” Dennis Hamill, noted columnist for the Daily News, wrote (quoted a Wallenberg survivor) in an op-ed on Sunday, December 22: ‘Multiply Schindler’s list by 100 and you have Raoul Wallenberg.' During World War II, the Swedish diplomat saved tens
of thousands of Jews in Nazioccupied Hungary by issuing protective passports. Hamill made note of Vera Koppel, 76, “who is one of those whom Wallenberg saved. She sat
at a table at the Queens dinner and told me she was just 8 years old when she, her brother and her parents were forced by Nazis out of their suburban Budapest home and into an apartment house in the inner city with a large yellow Star of David painted on the front door.” For Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum, the Wallenberg story has special meaning. His daughter married the grandchild of a Wallenberg survivor. Tannenbaum, who served as a featured speaker at the event, relayed in vivid form, Wallenberg’s heroic activities during the final years of World War II. He went on to tell the harrowing true story of a man who frequently found himself on the wrong end of Nazi guns, and despite the constant threats and harassment (and even an assassination attempt!) “didn’t flinch.” This was a man, notes Tannenbaum, who was born into
an affluent Swedish family, the equivalent of “a Rockefeller or a Kennedy,” who nonetheless abandoned a life of luxury and put his own neck on the line to save lives during the Holocaust.” Michael Reagan, son of (former) President Ronald Regan spoke passionately of the similarities between his father and Raoul Wallenberg, “Both men,” he said, “planted trees not so they could sit under them, but so that others could sit under them.” President Regan awarded honorary US Citizenship to Wallenberg during his presidency. Dr. Joe Frager, noted activist and Chairman of the event, implored the overflow crowd to commit themselves to helping to locate Wallenberg survivors. The Wallenberg Heritage Foundation plans in the next few weeks to send out over 20 million emails to heed Dr. Frager’s request.
Over half of U.S. Senate sign bill to intensify sanctions against Iran WASHINGTON (JTA) -- More than half the United States Senate has signed on to a bill that would intensify sanctions against Iran. But in a sign of the so-far successful effort by the White House to keep the bill from reaching a veto-busting 67 supporters, only 16 Democrats are on board. The number of senators cosponsoring the bill, introduced by Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), reached 58 this week, up from just 33 before the Christmas holiday break. Notably only one of the 25 who signed up in recent days -- Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) -- is a Democrat, a sign of intense White House lobbying among Democrats to oppose the bill. Backers of the bill say it would strengthen the U.S. hand at the negotiations. But President Obama has said he would veto the bill because it could upend talks now underway between the major powers and Iran aimed at keeping the Islamic Republic from obtaining a nuclear bomb. A similar bill passed this summer by the U.S. House of Representatives had a veto-proof majority. On Thursday, the White House said backers of the bill should be upfront about the fact that it puts the United States on the path to war. "If certain members of Congress want the United States to take military action, they should be up front with the American public and say so," Bernadette Meehan, the National Security Council spokeswoman, said in a statement posted by The Huffington Post. "Otherwise, it’s not clear why any member of Congress would support a bill that possibly closes the door on diploma-
cy and makes it more likely that the United States will have to choose between military options or allowing Iran’s nuclear program to proceed." A number of pro-Israel groups, led by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, are leading a full-court press for the bill’s passage, with prominent Jewish leaders in a number of states making calls and writing letters to holdouts. Dovish Jewish groups such as J Street and Americans for Peace Now oppose the bill. The bill would expand sanctions in part by broadening existing definitions targeting energy and banking sectors to all “strategic sectors,” including engineering, mining and construction. It would also tighten the definition of entities eligible for exceptions and broaden the definition of targeted individuals who assist Iran in evading sanctions. The National Jewish Democratic Council, in an effort to back a Democratic president while not expressly opposing intensified sanctions, issued a mixed verdict on the bill, saying it does not support its passage at present though the option of intensified sanctions should remain open down the road if the president seeks it. "We encourage Congress to support the President's foreign policy initiative by making stronger measures available should they be required," the statement said. "Final action on the legislation should be dependent upon Iran's full compliance with its obligations.” Rabbi Jack Moline, the NJDC's executive director, accused AIPAC and the American Jewish Committee of “strong-arm tactics, essentially threatening people that if they don’t vote a particular way, that
somehow that makes them antiIsrael or means the abandonment of the Jewish community.” David Harris, the AJC's executive director, said he was “shocked” by Moline’s allegations. “We support the Iran sanctions bill, as do a bipartisan majority of U.S. senators,” he said. “Can a group differ with him on a critically important issue like Iran, where potentially existential issues are at stake, without being maligned or misrepresented, or is that the price
we're supposed to pay for honest disagreement?" A spokesman for AIPAC declined to comment. Despite its majority, the law faces significant Senate opposition. Ten committee chairmen in the Democratic-led Senate have pushed back against new legislation in a letter to Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the Senate majority leader. One of the committee chairman, Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) of the banking committee, has the parliamentary
power to hold the bill. Among the other committee chairs opposed to advancing the bill now are four Jewish senators: Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee; Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the chairman of the Armed Services Committee; Barbara Boxer (DCalif.), the chairwoman of the Environment Committee; and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the chairman of the Energy Committee.
6 • NATIONAL
Bend the Arc’s new leader is a black belt with a radical streak NEW YORK (JTA) -- When Stosh Cotler takes over as CEO of Bend the Arc, a Jewish group that fights for immigration reform, workers’ rights and other domestic liberal causes, she will be one of the few women leading a national Jewish group of its size. But Cotler’s gender is not the only thing that sets her apart. It’s not just that she only connected with Judaism as an adult or that her appearance during an interview in her Manhattan office -- all-black clothes, dark red lipstick, pale blue fingernail polish and a visible tattoo on her arm -- is more Goth than corporate. How many Jewish communal CEOs have a black belt in kung fu,
trained women in self-defense, danced at a sex club or protested Israel’s treatment of Palestinians during the second intifada? The 45-year-old Olympia, Wash., native declined to discuss her past or present views on Israel, which she said are not relevant to her work at Bend the Arc. But she describes her unconventional background as an advantage in reaching out to Jews on the margins of the community. “If we are successful in reaching more Jews who have little or no or an ambivalent connection to being Jewish, if they come to us, we will be transformed because of that infusion of very different perspectives,” Cotler said.
Bend the Arc was formed from the 2011 merger of the New Yorkbased Jewish Funds for Justice and the West Coast-based Progressive Jewish Alliance. It has billed itself as “the nation’s leading progressive Jewish voice solely dedicated to mobilizing Jewish Americans to advocate for the nation’s most vulnerable.” In addition to its policy advocacy, Bend the Arc collects funds for community investing in disadvantaged areas, makes grants to grassroots activist groups and conducts leadership training. The organization had a budget of $5.7 million last year. Cotler has been with the organization since 2005, for the
past three years serving as its executive vice president. She is replacing Alan van Capelle, who spent two years at Bend the Arc’s helm and is leaving to become CEO of the Educational Alliance, a venerable Jewish institution on New York’s Lower East Side. Cotler’s colleagues at Bend the Arc and liberal Jewish groups give her high marks for her strategic planning skills and collaborative approach. She has led Bend the Arc’s Selah Leadership Program, which has trained more than 300 Jewish activists working for a mix of Jewish and secular organizations. Cotler said that she was drawn to Jewish communal work by her
growing awareness of American Jewish power. “We have responsibility to leverage our financial resources, intellectual heft, cultural capital, to leverage our deep organization, to leverage the positions of influence and power that Jews have attained in politics, business, finance and education” to assist “other communities that are still facing discrimination, that are still disenfranchised, who are not experiencing the kinds of opportunities Jews experience on a daily basis,” she said. Prior to her Jewish communal career in New York, Cotler -- who LEADER on page 22
Americans with Israeli bank accounts could face troubling tax season By Maayan Jaffe (JNS) -- Americans with Israeli bank accounts may be in for a financial nightmare in just several months if they haven’t filed their taxes properly. According to Charles M. Ruchelman, a member of the Washington, D.C. law firm of Caplin & Drysdale, some Israeli banks are already notifying U.S. account holders that they may be disclosing the relationship between the Israeli banks and their U.S. owners to the U.S. Department of Justice, which could result in fines— or even prosecution—for Israeli account holders who didn’t inform the U.S. of the funds they have
National Briefs Former Bank of Israel head Stanley Fischer appointed vice chair of U.S. Fed (JNS.org) U.S. President Barack Obama appointed former Bank of Israel head Stanley Fischer as the vice chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve. Fischer, 70, will serve as secondin-command at America’s central bank under recently appointed chairwoman Janet Yellen. As governor of the Bank of Israel from 2005-2013, Fischer was widely credited with helping to successfully steer Israel through the global recession. “Fischer is one of the great macroeconomists of our generation,” Steven Plaut, an economics professor at the University of Haifa, told JNS.org. “Under his stewardship, Israel managed to keep steady and evade most of the pitfalls of the financial crisis that broke out world-
abroad. By law, Americans are required to submit 1040 tax forms to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) each year. Those forms ask them whether or not they hold a foreign bank account. If they do, and the aggregate value of all foreign financial accounts exceeded $10,000 at any time during the calendar year to be reported, they must file another form, the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). The IRS penalties for failing to report foreign accounts include fines of up to 50 percent of the account balance for each year of each violation. Since 2007, the United States has been aggressively working to
counter tax evasion, going after foreign banks to find what assets Americans are hiding within, and threatening to shut them out of the U.S. financial system if they don’t comply. Just this past year, the IRS convinced UBS Switzerland and Credit Suisse to disclose information on their U.S. account holders; prosecution followed. The banks are revealing the data because they are participating in a special program with the U.S. Department of Justice in order to avoid criminal prosecution themselves. The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) was enacted in 2010 and accepted by Switzerland in August 2013. According to multiple reports,
Israeli banks have also agreed to sign on and will begin turning over information as early as July 2014. Media reports indicated that the Swiss branches of Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, and Mizrahi Tefahot are under investigation. “Israel wants to stay on the good side of the U.S. and to be a friend and an ally, so the banks are going to cooperate with the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. government,” Caplin & Drysdale’s Ruchelman told JNS.org. As part of the participation in and implementation of the program, explained Ruchelman, the Israeli banks will be required to disclose to the U.S. authorities certified details about U.S. held accounts, includ-
ing—on an account-by-account basis—the highest value since 2008, the number of persons affiliated with the account, whether the account was held in a structure (i.e. foundation), and information about transfers of funds into or out of the account. An IRS examination could be triggered by the banks’ disclosures to the U.S. authorities. The challenge: This aggressive, all-encompassing approach may pick up a lot of people not intentionally trying to hide money. Yaakov Jacob, a certified public accountant with Philip Stein & Associates, said his firm—which has offices in Jerusalem, Beit
wide starting in 2007. Monetary management for the U.S. of course is a very different set of problems, but Fischer is one of the better-qualified people on the planet to tackle it.”
can wear baseball caps and hats purchased at the prison commissary, and that Jewish inmates in federal prisons are permitted to wear a kippah at all times.
Boston teenager Caleb Jacoby was found safe Thursday night in New York City’s Times Square. The Boston Jewish community had united around the search for Jacoby, who disappeared around 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 6, police in the Boston suburb of Brookline, Mass., said. Caleb is the son of prominent Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby. Local Jewish organizations and community members circulated fliers with Jacoby’s photograph and personal description, and the case drew national attention, particularly on Twitter.
in a South Carolina court to determine if the matter goes to trial. Rosenfeld instructed his two sisters to name the charities to benefit from his estate, which would receive the bequests after his wife died. She passed away in 2012. The sisters directed 89 percent of the estate to Congregation Beth Tikvah, which they helped found. They also agreed to allocate 7 percent for ORT, 2 percent for the Blumenthal Home for the Aged, and 1 percent each for Americans for Peace Now and Hadassah. Both the sisters have died. Beth Tikvah merged with Congregation Shaarei Kodesh in 2007, and the combined Conservative congregation took on the name Shaarei Kodesh, according to the Sun Sentinel. The congregations neglected, however, to file articles of merger with the state, and the Rosenfeld trust said the Jewish organizations chosen by his sisters had to exist in compliance with IRS charity codes at the time of his death, otherwise Blumenthal, Hadassah and ORT were to receive equal shares.
Revise kippah rules, ACLU tells Wyoming prison services (JTA) -- The American Civil Liberties Union asked the Wyoming Department of Corrections to revise its policy on inmates wearing kippahs. On behalf of Clarence Fisher, an Orthodox Jewish inmate, the ACLU and the ACLU of Wyoming sent a letter on Jan. 9 to the Department of Corrections saying that its refusal to allow Fisher to wear his kippah at all times violates his religious freedom. The Corrections Department allows a prisoner to wear a kippah only in his own cell or during religious services, according to the ACLU, which said the department cited non-specific "security concerns" for refusing to accede to Fisher's request to wear a kippah at all times in accordance with his religious beliefs. The ACLU noted that prisoners
MLA moderator supported academic boycott of Israel (JNS.org) University of California, Davis professor Margaret Ferguson, a moderator of the delegate assembly at the Modern Language Association (MLA) convention in Chicago, has endorsed the U.S. Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel. Peggy Shapiro, Chicago community coordinator for the pro-Israel education group StandWithUs and a member of the MLA, said Ferguson “kept changing the MLA rules to suit her agenda” at the convention. MLA’s delegate committee on Saturday passed Resolution 2014-1, which condemned Israel for alleged denials of entry for U.S. academics into the West Bank, in a 60-53 vote. Missing Boston Jewish teen found safe (JNS.org) Sixteen-year old
Jewish groups challenging Fla. synagogue over $3 million bequest (JTA) -- Jewish organizations are challenging a merged synagogue in Boca Raton, Fla., for a $3 million bequest. Hadassah, ORT, Americans for Peace Now and the Blumenthal Home for the Aged in North Carolina are challenging the estate of Nathaniel Rosenfeld, who lived in South Carolina and died in 1997, the Sun Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale reported. A hearing is set for Jan. 20
ACCOUNTS on page 22
NATIONAL • 7
THURSDAY, JANUARY 16, 2014
Retiring London Fletcher lauds bridge to NFL success—a Jewish couple By Hillel Kuttler BALTIMORE (JTA) – The rain dripping from his uniform provided an unceremonious end to London Fletcher’s career as the Washington Redskins linebacker headed to the locker room following a recent road loss to the New York Giants. His team’s last-place finish was hardly the idealized final walk off the gridiron for Fletcher as a professional player. But his 16-year National Football League career might never have launched were it not for Charlotte Kramer and Leonard Schwartz. The Cleveland philanthropists first met Fletcher when he was a sixth-grader in the city’s East Madison Elementary School – one of 71 to whom the Jewish couple promised college tuition assistance. He would be the student they got to know the best. Fletcher would graduate from John Carroll University; make the NFL as an undrafted free agent; star at linebacker for the St. Louis Rams, Buffalo Bills and Redskins; win one Super Bowl and compete in another; and play 256 consecutive games, fourth most in league history. “I had the drive and determination, but the resources and opportuni-
International Briefs World leaders praise Ariel Sharon, Abbas mum on former Israeli leader (JNS.org) The leaders of Israel’s top allies praised former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon following his death on Saturday. U.S. President Barack Obama sent his “deepest condolences” to Sharon’s family and the people of Israel. “As Israel says goodbye to Prime Minister Sharon, we join with the Israeli people in honoring his commitment to his country,” Obama said. French President Francois Hollande said Sharon was a “major actor in the history of his country.” “Ariel Sharon is one of the most significant figures in Israeli history, and as prime minister he took brave and controversial decisions in pursuit of peace, before he was so tragically incapacitated. Israel has today lost an important leader,” British Prime Minister David Cameron said. U.N. Secretary-General Ban KiMoon echoed the focus on the Gaza disengagement. “Prime Minister Sharon will be remembered for his political courage and determination to carry through with the painful and historic decision to withdraw Israeli settlers and troops from the Gaza Strip,” Ban said. Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority
Courtesy of Courtesy Washington Redskins
An enthusiastic London Fletcher being introduced as a starter for the Washington Redskins. He holds the NFL record for consecutive starts by a linebacker with 216 while playing for three teams.
ty they provided made it a lot more feasible,” Fletcher, speaking of the couple, told JTA in an interview two days after his final game. “Some of the things they exposed me to gave me more of a drive and hunger to succeed. I knew the way of life I President Mahmoud Abbas has been silent on Sharon’s passing. While prime minister, Sharon courted Abbas as a moderate alternative and successor to former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, whom Sharon blamed for orchestrating the Second Intifada. French comedian who popularized Nazi-style salute cancels nationwide tour (JNS.org) French comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, who has been accused of anti-Semitism in connection with his Nazi-style “quenelle” salute, has canceled his planned nationwide “The Wall” tour after several cities banned his show. "We live in a democratic country and I have to comply with the laws, despite the blatant political interference,” Dieudonné said in a statement on Saturday, Le Monde reported. The quenelle, described as a “reverse Nazi salute,” was made popular by Dieudonné, who ran for the European Parliament under the “antiZionist” party list in 2009. On Friday, France’s highest court upheld bans on Dieudonné’s shows in Nantes, Tours, Orleans, and Paris. Russian-Jewish teacher Ilya Farber released from prison (JNS.org) Russian-Jewish teacher and painter Ilya Farber was released from Russian prison on Friday. Farber was jailed on bribery charges in 2011 after receiving a sevenyear prison sentence. Local residents, Jewish groups, and the Kremlin’s human rights council protested the
wanted to have and what I needed to do to attain them.” Fletcher seized on the opportunity to ultimately earn a life far beyond what his childhood seemed to offer. A Sports Illustrated profile last August described a string of family tragedies, including the rape and murder of his teenage sister in Fletcher’s Superior neighborhood, where crack cocaine and gunfire were prevalent. Role models – notably the director of the local recreation center, where Fletcher excelled at basketball, and the mentoring couple – encouraged him to seek success. Fletcher’s accomplishments are gratifying for Kramer, 94, who has maintained contact with him over the years but never attended any of his football games. “It’s been a really fruitful, delightful relationship. He’s a warm, smart young man,” Kramer said from her winter home in Palm Beach, Fla. “He has a very nice wife and lovely children.” Kramer says many she mentored “didn’t make it, but London certainly did.” “He has many opportunities now, [and] I think many people will want him on their team – and I don’t mean an athletic team,” she said. decision, suggesting that anti-Semitism played a role in Farber’s conviction after a prosecutor said during his trial, “Can a person with the last name Farber truly help a village for free?” “The release of Ilya Farber was a long time coming. Unfortunately, both of his trails were marred by hints of overt anti-Semitism. National Conference Supporting Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia (NCSJ) is glad Mr. Farber will be reunited with his family,” NCSJ Executive Director Mark B. Levin told JNS.org in December after a regional court reduced Farber’s sentence. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calls U.S. ‘Satan’ amid resumption of nuclear talks (JNS.org) Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made antiAmerican comments before Thursday’s resumption of nuclear talks between Iran and the European Union in Geneva. "We had announced previously that on certain issues, if we feel it is expedient, we would negotiate with the Satan (the United States) to deter its evil," Khamenei said, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported. “The nuclear talks showed the enmity of America against Iran, Iranians, Islam and Muslims,” he said. Iran and the P5+1 powers, including the U.S., last November reached an interim nuclear deal that gave the Islamic Republic what the U.S. said was $7 billion in sanctions relief in exchange for reduced uranium enrichment.
The family of Kramer – she is a life trustee of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland – has made quite a team itself philanthropically in the city and beyond. Her father, Samuel Rosenthal, established a charitable foundation that grew out of his business manufacturing industrial uniforms, the Cleveland Overall Company, which became the Work
Wear Corp. Her son, Mark Kramer, established Foundation Strategy Group, a consultancy for charitable giving, and two of his children work for nonprofit organizations. The mentoring program that propelled Fletcher on his successful FLETCHER on page 22
8 • INTERNATIONAL / ISRAEL
Women of power: Female IDF soldiers shatter contemporary infantry lines By Maayan Jaffe (JNS) -- From the inception of the Jewish state to the present, Israel’s military has been anything but a male-dominated institution. On May 26, 1948, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion established the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Less than three months later, the Knesset instituted mandatory conscription for all women without children. Today 57 percent of all officers in the Israeli army are women, according to the IDF. The IDF recently highlighted the stories of a select group of those women on its blog, in a list titled “8 Female Soldiers Who Shattered Barriers in 2013.” The article, which featured women in a variety of military roles and from diverse backgrounds, said that in recent years women have “taken increasingly high-level positions in the IDF.” The female soldiers included in the list “challenge stereotypes,” wrote the IDF. Among those listed are two soldiers originally from the U.S.: Cpl. Dylan Ostrin, from Houston, who made aliyah at the age of 7, and Sgt. Sarit Petersen, from Maryland, who is currently in the process of making aliyah. Petersen, who recently completed her IDF term, served as a shooting instructor in the Nahal Infantry Brigade. Her job was to teach reconnaissance brigade soldiers (Special Forces) to use their weapons. Speaking from her parents’ home in Baltimore, Peterson waxed modest about being chosen for the IDF blog entry. “There are awesome people doing awesome things in the army all the time,” she said with a giggle. A 2010 graduate of the Yeshiva of Greater Washington, Petersen told JNS.org that she was “surprised” at her selection, though she was one of the first to hold her position in the IDF. Petersen trained soldiers slated for elite army units. They had already completed at least eight months of basic training, and often had several additional months of more intense training. She said that she and her colleagues would “sit for hours and hours” planning and analyzing how they were going to take these men from “regular soldiers to Special Forces—to even better.” “We would spend hours and hours on an exercise list. We would look at their old ones, see what they had done and figure out how to make it harder and faster, how they could run more. Then we would go to the shooting range and make them do all of these [exercis-
es] we had set up for them and they would do it,” she said. “We would do it first, to test it out, and then they would do it.” Is Petersen good with a gun? “Yeah,” she said. “I am a pretty good shot.” Petersen said she shot her first gun as a 14-year-old on a vacation with a friend in Nevada; they shot cans in the desert. “I thought, ‘Wow! I am really good at this and it is really fun,’” she reminisced, noting that she could never have dreamed then of her time in the IDF. Other female soldiers on the list have vastly different roles. Take Pvt. Or Meidan. She moved to a southern kibbutz in Israel from Uganda. In November 2012, her town was a regular target of Hamas rockets. Today, she is an Iron Dome missile defense system operator. Also listed is First Sgt. Monaliza Abdo, an Arab-Israeli combat soldier. While most ArabIsraelis don’t even take part in army service, Abdo rose through the ranks to become a commander, teaching soldiers how to combat terrorism and other threats. In December, she completed three years of service—one more than the required number for Israeli women. Lt. Amit Danon, a former Israeli national champion in rhythmic gymnastics, became a combat officer in the mixed-gender Caracal Battalion. She is also on the IDF’s list. “She was one of the first women to become an officer in a combat unit,” Risa Kelemer, a commander who also serves in Carcal, told JNS.org. Kelemer, who is from Baltimore, said Caracal is the only co-ed combat unit in the world. “Boys and girls play the same roles,” she said, noting that despite this she has felt little tension from the men she works with. “I encounter more difficulty when I am in civilian life. I meet someone who says, ‘You are a combat soldier? Girls aren’t combat soldiers!’” Kelemer does not pretend to be as strong as her male counterparts, though she said she is able to hold her own. When it comes to an operation, however, she said each person has a role. Kelemer, for example, is a trained grenade launcher. Another female comrade is a sharp shooter. Another is a medic. “Combat is not just running with 50 pounds on your back,” said Kelemer, “though we also do that.” Katja Edelman, originally from SOLDIER on page 22
Former Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon, dies at age 85 (JTA) -- Ariel Sharon, one of Israel’s last warrior statesmen, whose military and political careers were woven into his nation’s triumphs and failures, has died. Sharon, 85, died Saturday at the Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv after eight years in a coma. "He went when he decided to go," said his younger son, Gilad, who has become the fierce guardian of his father's legacy. As a military general, Sharon helped turn the tide of the Yom Kippur War with Egypt in 1973. As defense minister, he plunged his nation into the crucible of Lebanon in 1982, an engagement that nearly cut short his career after he was found to bear indirect responsibility for the massacre of Palestinian refugees at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon. But Sharon would rise from the ashes of that calamity to effect an astonishing about-face as prime minister, orchestrating the evacuation of thousands of Israeli settlers from the Gaza Strip after spending the bulk of his career championing the settlement enterprise. As prime minister, Sharon began the construction of Israel's controversial security fence in the West Bank. His overriding concern, Sharon always said, was to protect a nation built on the ashes of the destruction of European Jewry. “I arrived here today from Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Israel, the only place where Jews have the right and capability to defend themselves by themselves,” he said in a May 2005 visit to Auschwitz to mark 60 years since the Holocaust. He forged affectionate bonds with Diaspora Jewish leaders, often urging them to emigrate to Israel. Ideological loyalties meant little to the man known in Israel simply as Arik. In 1973, he helped cobble together the Likud party from a coalition of interests that had little in common except that they had been frozen out of government for decades by the ruling Labor party. A generation later, in 2005, he bolted Likud to form Kadima, a centrist party that attracted lawmakers from Likud and Labor, including his old partner and rival Shimon Peres. As agriculture minister in the first Likud government, from 1977 to 1981, Sharon vastly expanded Jewish settlement in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, areas conquered in the 1967 Six-Day War. In 2005, he led the disengagement from Gaza, overseeing the evacuation of nearly 10,000 Israelis from 21 communities in Gaza and four settlements in the northern West Bank. “Sharon did what no one on the left was able to do,” said Rabbi
Ariel Sharon is pictured in Jerusalem with the Temple Mount in the background on July 24, 2000.
Michael Lerner, editor of the progressive magazine Tikkun. “Split the right, marginalize the extremists who believe that holding on to the biblical vision of the Land of Israel is a divine mandate, and acknowledge that a smaller Israel with defensible borders is preferable to a large Israel that requires domination of 3 million Palestinians.” Born Ariel Scheinermann in 1928 to Russian-speaking parents in the village of Kfar Mala in the central part of prestate Israel, Sharon for much of his career was known more for his impetuousness than his pragmatism. His bravery in the battle for Jerusalem in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence made the infantry unit commander the stuff of legend at the age of 20. He took a bullet to the stomach and, when all seemed hopeless, ordered the soldiers who were able to retreat. He eventually crawled to safety. Five years later, Sharon led a raid on the Jordan-ruled West Bank town of Kibya in retaliation for a terrorist attack that killed an Israeli mother and her two children. The raid killed 69 Palestinians, half of them women and children. Sharon claimed he hadn’t known there were people in the homes he was blowing up, but the stain marked his subsequent military and political careers. In the 1956 war with Egypt, Sharon captured the strategic Mitla Pass in the Sinai Peninsula after defying orders not to advance. During the 1973 war, he again challenged his superiors who feared crossing the Suez Canal was a risky maneuver that would incur too many losses. But Sharon prevailed, leading his forces across the canal and trapping an Egyptian army unit, a move many consider a turning point in the conflict. His penchant for insubordination making it unlikely he would ever secure the top military job, Sharon quit the army in 1972 --
returning only to fight in the Yom Kippur War -- and launched his political career. His ability to keep an unruly coalition in line helped Likud leader Menachem Begin win the 1977 elections, ending the hegemony that Labor leaders had enjoyed since the founding of the state. Sharon was rewarded with the agriculture portfolio, ostensibly because of his farming roots, but also because he turned the ministry into a cash cow for the settlement movement. After another hardfought Likud victory in 1981, Begin could hardly deny Sharon the prize he had sought for so long: the Defense Ministry. A year later, in June 1982, Sharon launched Israel’s invasion of Lebanon to push back Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization from its mini-state in southern Lebanon. The invasion rankled both the Reagan administration, which had brokered a mostly successful cease-fire with the PLO nine months earlier, and Sharon's government colleagues. On Sharon’s orders, the army breached the 40-kilometer line the government initially said was its goal, pursuing the PLO all the way to Beirut, where it laid siege to the city. The Lebanon war also would give birth to one of the darkest stains on Sharon's career -- the September 1982 massacre of hundreds of Palestinian refugees by Israel’s Lebanese Christian allies. A state commission subsequently cleared Sharon of knowing in advance of the massacre, but held him indirectly responsible, asserting that he should have anticipated and prevented the carnage. The commission recommended Sharon’s dismissal, and by the beginning of 1983 he was gone from power. The exile would not last long, however. Sharon rebuilt SHARON on page 21
ISRAEL • 9
THURSDAY, JANUARY 16, 2014
Ariel Sharon’s forgotten legacy: Jews marching to the White House By Rafael Medoff (JNS) -- Although Ariel Sharon will be remembered primarily for his achievements on the battlefield and his decisions as an Israeli political leader, an often-overlooked aspect of his legacy was his impact on the American Jewish community. In March 1980, Sharon arrived in the United States in the midst of an uproar over the Carter administration’s support of a United Nations resolution branding Jerusalem “occupied Arab territory.” Sharon, as a member of Prime Minister Menachem Begin’s cabinet, was invited to address an urgent meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, in New York City. In his remarks, Sharon criticized U.S. Jewish leaders for not responding more vigorously to the Carter
administration’s action. He recalled the hesitant response of some Jewish leaders during the Holocaust, and added, “Jewish silence will bring disaster upon the Jewish people and upon Israel.” Sharon charged that recent friendly meetings between Jewish leaders and White House officials had served to “cover up” the administration’s tilt away from Israel. He urged American Jews to speak out strongly against Carter’s pressure on Israel, and said he was “shocked” that 100,000 Jews did not march to the White House to protest the U.S. vote on the U.N. resolution. No transcript of the meeting was released, but one press report at the time claimed that some of the Jewish leaders in the room “took umbrage at the interference of the Israeli in such strident tones in American Jewish affairs.” An editorial in the New York
Jewish Week said Sharon’s advice was “counter-productive” because it might give the American public the impression “that all of America's foreign policy and domestic problems are based on Israel.” But the Jewish Week also emphasized that “American Jews, as voters, have a means of expressing themselves.” With the 1980 New York presidential primaries just weeks away, the Week seemed to be encouraging Jewish voters to oppose President Carter’s re-election. Sharon was also strongly attacked in the pages of the Jewish magazine Midstream, by historian Bernard Wasserstein. “If 1,000 rabbis had marched up and down in front of the White House and had refused to disperse until something concrete was done for the Jews, then, he believes, the administration’s conscience might have been stirred,” Wasserstein
Ariel Sharon learned the limits of force (JTA) -- Ariel Sharon’s development as a leader was very similar to that of Menachem Begin. In the final years of their political careers, both men came to realize the limits of relying on force alone. These realizations led to historic decisions: While Begin gave up the Sinai Peninsula -- an area three times the size of Israel proper -Sharon withdrew from the entire Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements, even though no one demanded this of him. Both leaders demonstrated considerable courage in acknowledging that the national interest, as they had come to see it, clashed with everything they had previously believed and with the views of many of their followers. It was not for nothing that some of their erstwhile admirers came to regard them as traitors. For decades, Sharon, the venerated military commander turned politician, had subscribed to a worldview that was simple and straightforward: The only thing that our Arab neighbors understand is force. We cannot reach agreements with them because they seek our destruction and will continue to do so regardless of any treaties we sign. Territorial compromise will only weaken Israel in Arab eyes and lead to more demands. As there is no real prospect of peace, we must rely on our military might, cling to land conquered during the Six-Day War and wait for the world to eventually accept our control over that territory. Sharon was the right’s bulwark. He made highly hawkish prime ministers like Begin, Yitzhak Shamir and Benjamin Netanyahu seem soft. He served in their Cabinets, never hiding his reservations about anything he perceived to be a concession. He believed the whole world
could be defied. He thought Jewish settlements should be set up at every turn in the occupied territories in the hope that establishing such facts on the ground would prevent future Israeli withdrawals. He was blunt in talks with world leaders, including U.S. presidents, and believed that courageous Israeli leadership could bend the world to our will. But some time after Sharon became Israel’s prime minister, he came to recognize just how wrong he had been. Israel is not North Korea. It is not isolated from the world. It depends on good international relations for its exports, for its security needs, for scientific and cultural partnerships, and for the preservation of the interests of Jewish communities in the Diaspora. And he recognized the demographic problem that Israel faced. When he was elected prime minister, he was asked how Israel could continue to be a Jewish and democratic state if it had a Palestinian majority. He said he expected a million Jewish immigrants from the United States. It wasn’t long before he realized this was a pipe dream. He saw that the Palestinian majority was around the bend and that the world would not accept a Jewish state if the majority of people under its control were Palestinians. He also realized that this would be a situation that many people inside Israel could not accept, either. This turnabout seemed quite sudden. He famously suggested that there was no difference between Tel Aviv and Netzarim, a small Jewish settlement in Gaza. Yet only a short while later he decided to pull out of Gaza in a resounding rejection of everything he had preached. He tore down all the settlements there, evacuated the synagogues and cemeteries, and withdrew from every inch of
Gaza back to the 1967 lines -against the protests of his former followers. At the time, I headed the Meretz party, which gave Sharon the Knesset majority that he needed, though we remained in the opposition. When the ultimate hawk finally ended the occupation of Gaza, we had to support him. Until the very last moment, I tried to persuade him to withdraw in the framework of an agreement with the man whom the Palestinians had elected as their president, Mahmoud Abbas. In one of our talks, Sharon told me he did not trust the Arabs, and that is why he preferred a unilateral move to an agreement that he felt would amount to nothing more than a piece of paper. I regretted this deeply. I told him he was serving Gaza to Hamas on a silver platter. He explained that he saw no difference between the PLO and Hamas. Sharon was right to leave Gaza, but he was wrong not to do so as part of an agreement. Indeed, his unilateralism in some ways set back the cause of peace. On the Palestinian side, some said: Decades of negotiations brought no results, but terrorism forced even Sharon’s hand. In Israel, people asked: How can we make peace if even after we withdraw, they shoot at us? And the world still holds Israel responsible for what happens in Gaza. So while Sharon’s courage in withdrawing from Gaza and evacuating thousands of settlers is his greatest legacy, it is also a tragically ambiguous one. (By Yossi Beilin. Beilin served as a minister and deputy minister in five Israeli Cabinets and proposed the idea for what would become the Taglit-Birthright Israel program.)
wrote. “It is a picturesque scenario— and one which would no doubt earn the warm approval of Ariel Sharon— but, alas, is unaccompanied by any supporting evidence that might raise it to the level of a serious political proposition.” Wasserstein was evidently unaware that in 1943, just before Yom Kippur, some 400 rabbis did march to the White House. That protest garnered important publicity for the cause of rescuing Jewish refugees, and helped galvanize congressional pressure on the Roosevelt administration on the rescue issue. As it turned out, Sharon was ahead of the curve: American Jewry did follow his advice—22 years later. In the spring of 2002, Israel was rocked by a series of major Arab terrorist attacks, including a suicide bombing at a Passover seder in Netanya, which killed 30 civilians,
most of them elderly and many of them Holocaust survivors. Sharon, who by then was prime minister, ordered Operation Defensive Shield, a major counterterror offensive throughout the West Bank territories. More than 20,000 Israeli soldiers were mobilized to carry out hundreds of raids, which went on for several weeks and included capturing or killing numerous terrorists, seizing weapons depots, and sealing up safe houses. Within days, the George W. Bush administration was pressing Sharon to halt the operation and withdraw the troops. American Jews responded precisely as Sharon had been hoping back in 1980: on April 15, 2002, more than 100,000 protesters gathered near the White House to support Israel’s actions. Many evangelical Christians also joined the rally. WHITE HOUSE on page 20
10 • ISRAEL
Meet the Israeli bureaucrat who decides who can marry in the Jewish state By Ben Sales
Itamar Tubul, the head of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate’s personal status division, decides which American rabbis are qualified to vouch for the Jewishness of Israeli immigrants.
JERUSALEM (JTA) – To be married in Israel, immigrants must prove their Jewish ancestry to the country’s Chief Rabbinate. Couples can solicit a letter from their hometown rabbis or present their parents’ Jewish marriage contracts. Sometimes they even bring a Yiddish-speaking grandmother before a rabbinical court. In the end, every claim has to pass through one man: a midlevel bureaucrat named Itamar Tubul. Tubul, 35, is the soft-spoken rabbi who heads the Chief Rabbinate’s personal status division
– a job that places him at the center of a brewing crisis between the Chief Rabbinate and the American Modern Orthodox community. In October, Tubul rejected a proof-of-Judaism letter from Avi Weiss, a liberal Orthodox rabbi. The move sparked widespread outrage that Weiss, a longtime synagogue leader in New York who had vouched for the Jewishness of many Israeli immigrants in the past, was suddenly having his reliability called into question. Tubul rejected the letter from Weiss after two members of the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), the Modern Orthodox rab-
binic organization of which Weiss is a longstanding member, questioned Weiss’ commitment to Orthodox Jewish law. “They said there were problems with his worldview,” Tubul told JTA. “His system raised doubts regarding his non-deviation from what is accepted in matters of proof of Judaism and personal status.” The Chief Rabbinate says it is considering whether it can trust Weiss, who has pioneered a number of controversial innovations in the Orthodox world, most recently with his decision to ordain women as clergy through a new religious seminary called Yeshivat Maharat.
Critics say the process for evaluating American rabbis lacks transparency and objective standards. To make his recommendations, Tubul relies on a network of personal contacts. His first step is to confer with judges on nine U.S. rabbinical courts approved by the Chief Rabbinate. If the judges don’t know the rabbi in question or doubt his credentials, they refer Tubul to local colleagues. After soliciting their recommendations, Tubul accepts or rejects the letter. “There aren’t enough checks and MARRY on page 19
Temple Mount report ignites concern over Israel’s preservation of holy site By Josh Hasten (JNS) – A recently revealed Israeli State Comptroller’s report that remains under a government gag order has ignited concern over the Muslim Waqf’s attempts to erase Jewish ties on the Temple Mount – Judaism’s holiest site – and Israeli authorities’ neglect of those activities. The classified document, whose contents were published by the New York-based newspaper The Jewish Voice, details ongoing illegal excavations being carried out on the Temple Mount by the Muslim Waqf (trust) and places blame on those responsible for overseeing the site – namely the Israel Antiquities
Israel Briefs Ariel Sharon death elicits Palestinian celebrations, rockets fired despite warning (JNS.org) Two rockets from Gaza were fired at Israel on Monday despite Israel’s warning to Hamas not to fire rockets on the day of former prime minister Ariel Sharon’s funeral. “It was made clear to [Gaza] that [Monday] would be a very bad day for anyone there to test Israel’s patience,” said an anonymous Israeli security source, according to Reuters. Some Palestinians to Sharon’s death Saturday by cheering and distributing sweets, while others prayed for divine punishment for the former Israeli leader. In Ramallah, Wasel Abu Yousef, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said Palestinians would remember Sharon for “his crimes against the Palestinian people.” “As any Palestinian I am happy [by Sharon’s death],” said Hebron
Courtesy of Godot13 via Wikimedia Commons
A view of the Temple Mount.
Authority, the Jerusalem Municipality, and the Israeli police. The report suggests that those Israeli
bodies have been turning a blind eye to the damage caused by the Waqf pertaining to ancient Jewish archeo-
resident Fawaz Al Karaky.
schools relocating to the new complex. Policymakers hope the pooling of resources will cut costs, as well as free up lucrative real estate in central Israel, and create jobs in southern Israel.
New Israeli legislation seeks to ban use of Nazi symbols (JNS.org) Israel’s Ministerial Committee on Legislation on Sunday approved a bill that seeks to ban the use of Nazi symbols, attributes, and language in Israel except for historical, educational, or documentary purposes. The bill, promoted by MK Dr. Shimon Ohayon (Yisrael Beiteinu), head of the Knesset lobby against anti-Semitism, seeks to make the use of Nazi symbols a criminal offense punishable by a 100,000-shekel ($28,700) fine and up to six months of incarceration. Ariel Sharon is namesake for new IDF training complex in Negev (JNS.org) The Israel Defense Forces’ new training complex in the Negev will be named after late former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said Sunday, Israel Hayom reported. The Ariel Sharon Training Complex (or the City of Training Bases, as it is commonly known) is an ambitious IDF undertaking that will see numerous military training
Israeli museums to look for heirs of Nazi-looted art (JNS.org) Representatives of Israeli museums and the Company for Location and Restitution of Holocaust Victims’ Assets decided Thursday to begin searching for the rightful owners of Nazi-looted art in Israeli museums and return the works to them. The meeting included, among others, representatives from the Culture Ministry, the Israel Museums Association, the Israel Museum, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the Museum of Art, Ein Harod, the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, and the Ghetto Fighters’ House museum, Israel Hayom reported. Poll: More than half of Israelis don’t trust Kerry as impartial negotiator (JNS.org) More than half of the Israeli public does not trust U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to act as an impartial mediator
logical findings. In response to the leak, attorney Aviad Visoly – chairman of the Joint Staff Movement of the Jewish Temple Mount Organizations, an umbrella for 27 bodies that advocate for Jewish rights on the Temple Mount – says that he has sent a letter to the state comptroller requesting an immediate removal of the gag order so that Members of Knesset can discuss its findings. Visoly tells JNS that the goal of the Muslims on the Temple Mount “is to eliminate all remnants of Jewish history.” Nevertheless, he is optimistic that as a result of the report, along with a “tremendous rise” in the willingness of Jews to visit the Temple Mount, “we are on
the verge of a revolution of a state of affairs in which for the first time in 2,000 years, Jews will be able to pray freely on the Temple Mount.” Visoly says that currently around 100,000 non-Muslims visit the site per year, with approximately a third of them being Jewish. Israel’s Chief Rabbinate opposes visits by Jews to the Temple Mount due to the concern that they may inadvertently step into an area that, according to halacha, is forbidden to enter unless one is ritually pure. Yisrael Medad, the secretary of the El Har Hashem Temple Mount advocacy group and a member of the Temple Mount organizations’
between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, a new Israel Hayom poll revealed. In the poll, 53.5 percent of respondents said they did not trust Kerry in that respect. Kerry is an unbiased mediator, said19.8 percent of those polled, and 26.7 percent said they had no opinion on the matter. Regarding the recent proposal, brought up as part of the negotiations on a framework peace deal, suggesting that Israel withdraw its security forces from the Jordan Valley, 69.8 percent of respondents oppose such a move, while only 14.3 percent support it.
came from local spending and other areas such as extensions and return trips, totaling $260 million. “For years we have conducted research showing our program’s effectiveness in promoting Jewish continuity. With this study, we validate the important contribution we make to the Israeli economy,” Taglit-Birthright Israel CEO Gidi Mark said.
Birthright generates more than $825 million for Israeli economy (JNS.org) The Taglit-Birthright Israel program has contributed more than $825 million to the Israeli economy over its 14-year existence, according to a new study released by the global accounting firm Ernst & Young. According to the report, the largest portion of the total was from “direct contributions such as travel, admissions and tour guides in Israel,” amounting to $565 million. Other indirect contributions
TEMPLE on page 19
IDF welcomes first female combat doctor in elite counterterror unit (JNS.org) The commander of the Israel Defense Forces Duvdevan counterterrorism unit recently welcomed the first female combat doctor to join an elite IDF unit. “I know that I am blazing a new trail and making history, and I am waiting for the action and to take part in special field operations with the combat soldiers. I am not afraid—on the contrary, I am ready and in good shape,” the doctor, Shani, told Israel Hayom. Shani, 29, beat out three other candidates (all male) and undertook a combat counterterrorism course with soldiers from the Duvdevan unit at the IDF’s Mitkan Adam army base.
SOCIAL LIFE • 11
THURSDAY, JANUARY 16, 2014
HADASSAH COFFEE TALK Hadassah Coffee Talk met on Monday, January 14th, with guest speaker Shari Goldsmith, LISW. The topic was “The Male Brain vs. The Female Brain”. The event was held at the home of Marsha Barsman. Tobe Snow updated the group on Hadassah events, then Ms. Goldsmith, a Women’s Success Coach, began her presentation.
RESIDENT OF THE MONTH edar Village is proud to announce Josie Brower as Resident of the Month, Fountain View, January 2014. Josie Brower was born on March 1, 1934 in Chicago, Illinois, so she will soon be celebrating her 80th birthday. Her father had a successful career as a garage builder, a craft he learned from his brother, who was a builder. Josie says that she thinks her dad built every garage in South Bend, Indiana. Josie graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Art Education and was immediately hired at Walnut Hills High School. She taught Art at Walnut Hills for five years and then left to get married and have her children. She did not stay away from teaching for long though; she missed it too much. So she went back to work, after several years, at Hughes High School. She was there for more than 10 years and then became a substitute teacher. Josie says she’d still be teaching Art if she still drove. She misses the students and art is truly her passion. When asked if teaching high school students was challenging, Josie said no. She said “If you talk to them and you’re honest with them, they are honest with you.” And that was the secret to her success with that age group. In fact, Josie still hears from some of her former students and sees many of them in the community and here at Cedar Village. Josie has been married and widowed twice to two men she described as both “wonderful.” Her three children are all from her first marriage. Her oldest son, Michael Deutsch, was born with a heart condition and they thought he would only live for a year or two. Instead, he lived to be 52 and Josie said he was a sweet, kind and wonderful man. Josie’s second son is Ted Deutsch who lives here in Cincinnati and owns the American Israelite. Josie’s youngest is her daughter Pam Chundrlek, who also lives here in Cincinnati. Josie also has six grandchildren. In addition to her children and grandchildren, Josie has a sister, Ailene Winer, who recently moved back to Chicago from Louisville. Ailene
and Josie are very close and speak frequently on the phone. Josie’s love for art did not, and does not, stop in the classroom. She has worked in almost every medium from sculpting in stone to painting with oils and acrylics. She also loves to make jewelry and sold much silver jewelry at various art shows over the years. In fact, she sold so much of her jewelry that she didn’t keep any of it for herself. In her first year at Summerfair, an art and craft show held each year here in Cincinnati, Josie completely sold out in a very short time, a tribute to her skills. In fact, here at Cedar Village she is constantly sketching and many have her drawings proudly displayed in their offices and other areas. Josie is proud of her family, her career as an artist and art educator and also of having had the opportunity to introduce art, and a love of creative expression, to young people. When she talks about values and beliefs she says that “Honesty is first. Tell the truth all the time. Don’t lie to anyone, especially yourself.” Her parents taught her another important lesson that she is happy to share and that is to “Listen.” She said that her mother would often tell her to stop talking and “open her ears.” She found that to be valuable advice and says she still thinks of it often. Her advice to others is to “Live life to the fullest. Be honest with everyone and with yourself.” Josie says that she’s had a nice life even with the traumas of losing both of her husbands and her son. She says that she likes her life and that she thinks it is very nice at Cedar Village. She says that “everything is easy here” and that she is happy. Cedar Village is happy to have her here as well.
12 • CINCINNATI JEWISH LIFE
HAVE PHOTOS FROM AN EVENT? Whether they are from a Bar Mitzvah, Annual Meeting, School Field Trip or Your Congregation’s Annual Picnic, spread the joy and share them with our readers in the Cincinnati Jewish Life section!
MAIL: MAIL Send CD to The American Israelite, 18 W 9th St Ste 2, Cincinnati, OH 45202 or E-MAIL: E-MAIL email@example.com Please make sure to include a Word doc. that includes the captions, if available, and a short synopsis of the event (date, place, reason, etc.). If sending photos by e-mail, please send them in batches of 3-5 per e-mail (16MB MAX). All photos should be Hi-Res to ensure print quality.
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14 • DINING OUT
Slatts new menu offers tasty dishes, retains popular choices By Bob Wilhelmy The two dishes shown with this write-up on Slatts are exceptional. Tried them both; enjoyed them both—fresh, tasty, great mix of flavors, textures, protein and veggies. One is called steakhouse wedge, the other is a fire-braised chicken taco. You’ll want to hold the cheese on both selections, but these are tantalizing dishes even without the cheese. Both are new to an updated menu. Let’s bite into these two dishes before getting to the changed menu. The steakhouse wedge features a quarter-chunk, sliced from a head of iceberg lettuce, drizzled with tangy vinaigrette dressing with hints of balsamic flavor, complementing the salad fixings. The steak is sliced in tender, flavor-loaded strips: not sure how the strips are flavored, but the taste goes well with the salad greens. Generally, I am not a fan of head lettuce—described by one food critique as the polyester of lettuce—but the iceberg wedge is perfect for this dish. The lettuce stays crisp with the steak shingled up onto the wedge. This dinner salad is an imaginative, very good meal that manages to plant one foot in the camp of the hearty and filling, and another in the camp of the light and comfortably satisfied. The fire-braised chicken tacos is the type of entrée that is gone before you know it. Not that they are skimping on the portion. The three tacos, complemented by a fresh corn salsa and tortilla chips, are plenty of food. But the chicken and fixins’ in the soft tacos just go down easily, bite after bite. I ate them as if I were doubleparked; they were that good! The salsa is fresh-made in the kitchen, and the corn in the salsa is a master-stroke: just right. A cold beer is the perfect beverage with this Mexican plate, and you’ll find many of your favorites (well, mine, anyway) on tap at the bar. The General Managers at Slatts say: “People can taste the freshness of our food.” For instance, the dressings for salads are made in the kitchen, and that makes a difference when there are no preservatives—you taste the freshness and don’t taste the preservative ingredients because there aren’t any in there. Among the hundreds of restaurants in Greater Cincinnati, only a handful of them make their own dressings. That says volumes about Slatts, in my book. Other new items on the Slatts menu include: harvest fruit salad, to which chicken or salmon can be added; meatloaf; grilled salmon, set on rice and spinach; blackened tilapia with Brussels sprouts and
At the bar is Clint Wooldridge, general manager.
Shown abover are two of Slatts new dishes, the steakhouse wedge salad, and the fire-braised chicken taco.
seasoned rice; a meatloaf sandwich; and several other selections. Clint Wooldridge, newly installed general manager of Slatts, had this to say about the new menu: “Our focus is on more comfort foods; adding more to a menu that has a lot of really great entrée and lunch items already.” One of those “really great entrée” items is the Shanghai chicken salad, with the soy-ginger vinaigrette dressing on the side. The dressing is tangy and tasty, and affords the salad greens a
delightfully wholesome gingerlilted flavor. The mix of crunchy wonton noodle strips, fresh, crisp snow peas, bean sprouts, bok choy and romaine lettuce, topped with sesame-crusted chicken strips makes for a delicious lunch or dinner salad. It’s a full meal, yet of the type that leaves a diner feeling satisfied but not stuffed at the end. Personally, I like that feeling. A whole list of entrée items will be in place with the meatloaf, salmon and tilapia, including: Slatts sirloin sizzler, a steak mari-
nated and brought to the table on a hot skillet, along with sautéed onions and mushrooms, sided by fried redskin potatoes; a NY strip; and the long-popular pecan-crusted chicken entrée. New Englandstyle fish and chips, grilled Atlantic salmon and baked Alaskan halibut top the fish menu. Other sandwiches under the Pub Sandwich listing are: the grilled tilapia, served on a Kaiser roll, with a lemon aioli dressing as a topper; and the deep-fried fish sandwich.
Slatts is open daily, with continuous service from open to close. Hours are: Mon.-Th., 11 a.m. to 10 p.m; Fri., 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sun., 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. See you at Slatts! Slatts 4858 Cooper Rd. Blue Ash 791-2223
DINING OUT • 15
THURSDAY, JANUARY 16, 2014
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16 • OPINION
Anti-Semitism links boycott of Israel to quenelle By Ben Cohen (JNS) – About five years ago, I participated in a head-to-head debate about contemporary antiSemitism that was published in the Congressional Quarterly. Facing off against a particularly tiresome Jewish anti-Zionist, I tried to shed some light on the issue by drawing a distinction between what I called “Bierkeller” and “Bistro” antiSemitism. “Bierkeller” anti-Semitism – named for the drinking establishments in Germany where the Nazis chugged down beer while shouting themselves hoarse about the “Jewish menace” – is, I said, pretty transparent. You wear a uniform, you yell about Jews (not “Zionists,” mind you, but “Jews”), and you burn down a synagogue. By contrast, “Bistro” anti-Semitism – named for the trendy eateries adored by bien-pensant metropolitan leftists – is an altogether more refined affair. It does not demonize Jews as Jews. It regards any talk of anti-Semitism as a reprehensible technique to divert attention away from Israel’s “crimes.” And it insists that there is no common ground between today’s calls to destroy the Jewish state and Hitler’s obsession with destroying the Jewish people; the former is grounded upon principles of justice, while the latter refers to a regrettable historical event that is, whatever the paranoid fantasies conjured up by Jewish leaders, over and done with. As I observed the furor around two separate but related events in recent weeks – the mushrooming of a movement in American universities in favor of an academic boycott of Israel, and the disturbing trend in France for performing the “quenelle,” an inverted Nazi salute, in public spaces – I thought once more of that distinction. What, I asked myself, connects the worldview of Dieudonné M’bala M’bala – the anti-Semitic French comedian who invented the quenelle, and who heads a party called the “antiZionist List” while admitting that the voice of a Jewish journalist makes him nostalgic for the gas chambers – with the worldview of the Israel-haters in the American Studies Association, the Modern Language Association, and similar academic bodies? Put another way: Is there now an inviting bistro in some corner of the loud, intimidating bierkeller? It’s likely that many, though not all, American advocates of the academic boycott of Israel would be horrified by any association with Dieudonné. In their minds, a huge expanse separates their opposition to what they call Israel’s “apartheid” system of government
from the young man who gave the quenelle while standing outside the Jewish school in Toulouse where, during a March 2012 terrorist atrocity, a rabbi and three small children were murdered. That fellow, they would say, is motivated by hatred of Jews; we, on the other hand, are motivated by justice for the Palestinians. The truth is that it’s nowhere near that simple. Here’s why: In the post-Holocaust era, there isn’t a single example of something defined as “anti-Zionism” that hasn’t been contaminated by antiSemitism. When the Arab League launched its “anti-Zionist” boycott in 1945, three years before Israel’s creation, its target was the besieged Jewish community in British Mandate Palestine. When the Soviet Union threw in its lot with the Arab regimes during the Cold War in the name of “anti-Zionism,” the primary victims were Soviet Jews. When Poland’s ruling communists launched an “anti-Zionist” campaign in the late 1960s, the people whom they purged were Jewish. And when left-wing German terrorists hijacked an Air France plane in 1976, they demonstrated their “anti-Zionism” by separating the Jewish passengers from the non-Jewish ones. Today’s boycott activists need to be reminded of this sordid history. They need to be asked why the cause of Israel’s elimination is a magnet for individuals like Dieudonné, as well as for the myriad others who warn darkly about the power of the so-called “Israel Lobby,” or the existence of an “Israel Firster” mentality among Jews. Is it just a coincidence? Or are we dealing with a situation in which anti-Semitism is acceptable so long as it calls itself by some other name? Are we really so dim as to be fooled by an exercise in rebranding? After all, if the antiSemitic Nazi salute were not illegal in France, there would be no need for the “anti-Zionist” quenelle. Israel’s defenders might also want to ponder the important question of what the future holds. Will forthcoming incarnations of antiZionism belong to the earnest dogmatists of the academy, or will they be trumped by the theatrical provocations of Dieudonné and his quenellistas? Only the latter have the possibility of becoming a mass phenomenon, because they exercise an appeal that stretches from the street corners of depressed European cities to glitzy VIP rooms filled with celebrity athletes. That’s why the days when we look back upon the academic boycott of Israel as a comparatively innocent affair may not be too far in front of us.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Do you have something to say? E-mail your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Editor: AJC mourns the death of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. He was a man of towering strength, uncompromising commitment, steely determination, and creative vision. He was among the giants of Israel’s founding generation. Against all the odds, they established the democratic state, defended it against those who sought its destruction, and participated in its remarkable growth and development over the last nearly six decades. Sharon loved the land, both literally and figuratively. Never happier than when he was on his farm, he was a devoted son of the Jewish people who cherished the return to the land of their biblical roots.
While he fully understood the importance of military strength and strategic acumen to ensure Israel’s security in a turbulent region, he also displayed a political pragmatism that surprised his external and domestic critics. His withdrawal of all Israeli settlers and soldiers from Gaza in 2005 was one telling example. Despite his earlier support of their presence, he concluded that Israel’s long-term security goals could best be met by their removal. In doing so, he changed Israel’s political map and, not for the first time, outmaneuvered his adversaries. And while he was long viewed as a “hard-liner” by his critics, as prime minister he spoke of a twostate solution to the conflict with the Palestinians, a goal that tragically proved unachievable because of the
Palestinian failure to seize Israel’s outstretched hand. He also devoted considerable attention, over many years, to relations with Jordan and developed close personal ties with its leaders, as he did with several other Arab rulers. On a personal level, Sharon was always warm and welcoming. On a professional level, he was always engaged, passionate and focused on the challenges of the day. With his passing, a defining chapter in Israel’s history goes with him. We shall miss him. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his grieving family and to the nation to which he devoted his entire life. Sincerely, Barbara Glueck, Director, AJC Cincinnati
Murder by stoning: Palestinian terrorists’ forgotten weapon By Stephen M. Flatow (JNS) – The weapons used by Palestinian terrorists against Jews are well known: suicide bombs, like the one that killed my daughter Alisa in 1995; knives, like the ones used to slaughter the Fogel family in Itamar two years ago; rifles, like the one used in the sniper shooting of the infant at Shalhevet Pass in Hebron in 2001. Sometimes we forget that there is another terrorist weapon that can be lethal: the rock. Last week, there were two reminders of that tragic fact. One of the terrorists released by the Israeli government last week was Taktuk Ibrahim, who was serving a sentence of life imprisonment for his participation in the murder of a 24 year-old reserve soldier, Binyamin Meisner. In February 1989, Ibrahim and several fellow terrorists lured Meisner into an alley in Nablus, where they ambushed him and stoned him to death. Binyamin and his family had immigrated to Israel from Argentina. They lived in the town of Kiryat Tivon, where Binyamin was the star of the local water polo team. By coincidence, on the same day that Meisner’s killer went free, an Israeli military court convicted one of the participants in the 2011 murder-by-stoning of Asher Palmer and his 11-monthold son, Yonatan. Ali Sa’ada and his friend Waal al-Arjeh, a member of the Palestinian Authority security forces, carried out the
attack in September 2011. Three fellow terrorists helped with the planning. They decided to throw rocks from a moving car at an Israeli car traveling in the opposite direction, because the combined speed of the vehicles would significantly increase the damage they could do. Their target, Asher Palmer, an American citizen, was driving on Highway 60, not far from his home in Kiryat Arba. Yonatan was strapped in a baby seat in the back. They were on their way to meet Asher’s pregnant wife when the terrorists struck. The rocks smashed through the front windshield, hitting Asher directly in the head and causing the car to crash, killing both father and son. A Palestinian passerby, Shehada Shatat, witnessed the attack. Instead of calling for medical assistance, he stole Asher’s wallet and gun, and fled the scene. At least 11 other Israelis have been murdered by Palestinian rock-throwers. In 1983, Esther Ohana, 20, was on her way to her wedding rehearsal when the car in which she was riding was attacked by rocks, near Hebron. One struck Esther in the head, killing her. In 1990, a 4-year-old Arab boy was killed when he was hit in the head by a rock thrown by Palestinians who mistakenly thought the car in which he was riding was an Israeli auto. Eleven year-old Chava Wechsberg was a passenger in a car traveling in the Gush Etzion region in 1993, when Arab rockthrowers attacked, causing the car to crash; Chava was killed.
Many other Israelis have suffered severe injuries from Palestinian rocks. In fact, not long before Binyamin Meisner was stoned to death in that Nablus alley, another young soldier, 20 year-old Dan Cohen, was permanently paralyzed after being struck in the head and neck by rockthrowers on the very same street. Most Americans have no trouble recognizing the lethal danger of rock-throwing. Recall the case of three drunken teenagers who threw rocks at cars on the Capital Beltway in Washington, D.C., in 1990. Thirty drivers or passengers were wounded, including a girl who suffered irreversible brain damage. The attackers were convicted of “assault with intent to murder” and each sentenced to 40 years in prison. An editorial in the Washington Post at the time correctly asked, “What’s the difference between assault with a deadly weapon – a shooting – and assault with rocks that hit cars at potentially lethal speeds?” There is no difference, of course, to any reasonable person. But there’s a very big difference to New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman and some of his colleagues. In an April 2012 column, Friedman endorsed what he called “nonviolent resistance by Palestinians” – and then listed boycotts, hunger strikes, and rockthrowing as examples of such “resistance.” A New York Times Sunday magazine cover story in March 2013 glorified the Arab village of STONING on page 20
JEWISH LIFE • 17
THURSDAY, JANUARY 16, 2014
of transiency and illusion, and whose real universe in the spiritual, supernal domain of the Divine; and Halakhic Man (Ish ha’halakhah), who sees the material world as his universe of dialogue and concern, but who is dissatisfied with the world as it is. He brings to this world an eternal and transcendent Torah Guide which must shape and perfect it in accord with the supernal Divine will. The ish ha’halakha provides the third and most acceptable perspective, which expresses the mission of Israel and the purpose of Torah: to perfect the world in the Kingship of the Divine (Aleynu Prayer). Let us now return to the Biblical dialogue between God and Moses. God is about to provide Israel (and the world) with His Revelation. Moses, initially the prototypical “Religious Man”, understands that in order to receive the Divine Revelation, one must come close to the Divine, one must divest oneself as much as possible from one’s physical and material external trappings, one must, at least climb to the top of the mountain. “No”, says God, “this Revelation is meant for the material world, this Revelation is not limited to the intellectual and mystical elite; in this Revelation, now to all of Israel and eventually to the entire world (Al Ken Nekaveh, the second paragraph of the Aleynu Prayer), the people are not expected to go up to God; in this Revelation, God and His Torah will come down to the people, will come down – and hopefully suffuse, re-shape and perfect – the entire material world”. Moses doesn’t quite understand. He is perplexed by the fact that the people have been forbidden from climbing to the top of the mountain to receive the Revelation. But God patiently explains that just as He (as it were) “descended upon Mt. Sinai” (19:20), so must he (Moses) descend to the bottom of the mountain. And so the dialogue ends, “And Moses descended to the nation and spoke unto them” (19:25).
And so the Talmud records that when Moses later ascends heavenwards to receive the entire Revelation of the 613 Commandments, (Ex 24:12), the angels are loathe to release their precious treasure to a mortal human being. God instructs Moses to explain to them that they were never enslaved in Egypt that they have no desire for adultery, that they have no parents whom they must honor. (B.T. Shabbat 88b). And so our Sages teach that the Holy One Blessed be He has in this world only the “four cubits of Halakhah”: the laws of kashrut bring God into the kitchen and dining room, the laws of family purity bring God into the bedroom; the laws of business bring God into the work-place; the laws of interpersonal relationships bring God into all political forums. Our Torah is meant to perfect and sanctify every aspect of our material world.
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T EST Y OUR T ORAH KNOWLEDGE THIS WEEK’S PORTION: YISRO (SHMOT 18:1—20:23) 1. Where did Yisro go to meet Moshe a.) Mount Sinai b.) Marah c.) Yam Suf
a.) Thunder b.) Lightening c.) Earthquake d.) Wind
2. Which food did Yisro eat with the elders? a.) Manna b.) Fowl c.) Bread d.) Meat
4. Can animals work on Shabbat a.) Yes b.) No
3. Which phenomena of nature happened at Mount Sinai 3. A,B 19:16 4. B 20:10 5. B 20:15
EFRAT, Israel – “The Lord descended on Mount Sinai… and Moses went up…And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go down’…” (Exodus 19:21). The verses immediately preceding the Decalogue Revelation at Sinai are curious, to say the least. God and Moses enter into a dialogue which appears to be a discussion between two deaf individuals, as it were: “The Lord summoned Moses to the mountain peak, and Moses went up. And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go down’ and bear testimony to the people that they must not break the boundary towards God to see Him…” (that is, the people may not go up close to God). (Even) the priest Kohanim, who (usually) come near to the Lord, must separate themselves lest the Lord wreak destruction amongst them. And Moses said to the Lord, “The people cannot go up to Mt. Sinai; you (God) bore testimony against them, making the mountain off limits… And the Lord said (to Moses), ‘Go down.’ You can then (later) come (back) up along with Aaron” (See 24:12, after the Decalogue is given to the nation)… “And Moses went down to the nation” (Exodus 19:20-25). How can we understand such repetitious dialogue in which God tells Moses to come up in order to hear that he must go down? Moses argues that the people cannot come up, God once again tells Moses to go down, and Moses finally goes down? And why is this the most fitting introduction to the Decalogue Revelation? I would suggest that this dialogue is indeed setting the stage for the essential purpose of Torah. It is expressing the unique message of Torah, that which distinguishes Judaism from most other religious ideologies and even that which distinguishes Jewish philosophy from the Neo-Platonism of much of Western thought. My revered teacher, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik ztz”l, in his magnum opus Halakhic Man, distinguishes between three prototypical intellectual leaders: Scientific Man (Ish hada’at), for whom the only universe is the observable material world in which he finds himself; Religious Man (Ish ha’dat), who escapes from this material world
“No”, says God, “this Revelation is meant for the material world, this Revelation is not limited to the intellectual and mystical elite; in this Revelation, now to all of Israel and eventually to the entire world
5. Which item was used at Mount Sinai? a.) Trumpets b.) Shofar c.) Menorah d.) Torah scroll
2. C,D 18: Yisro brought sacrifices, Shlamim, which are are eaten and the bread is a meal to celebrate his joining the Jewish people. Sforno
by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin
SHABBAT SHALOM: PARSHAT YITRO EXODUS 18:1 - 20:23
Written by Rabbi Dov Aaron Wise
ANSWERS 1. A 18:5 Yisro is praised for leaving his home to go the desert to hear Torah. Rashi
Sedra of the Week
18 • JEWZ IN THE NEWZ
By Nate Bloom Contributing Columnist On the Tube: Rye and Funny The PBS series, “American Masters,” will broadcast the 2013 documentary, “Salinger.” This film about the late J.D. SALINGER (”The Catcher in the Rye”) was praised for providing some new biographical details. It was criticized for predicting that new Salinger fiction would be released soon. ABBI JACOBSON and ILANA GLAZER are the co-stars of the new Comedy Central TV series, “Broad City.” The official description of the 10 episode series says: “Its an odd couple comedy about two best friends navigating their twenties in New York City whose adventures always lead down unexpected and outlandish paths. They’re broke, flawed and don’t shy away from the sticky situations NYC throws at them – they dive right into the muck. But no matter how bad it gets, these young broads are always down with whatever hits them.” “Broad City” morphed from a web-based series of the same name that Jacobson and Glazer created. The web show caught the eye of Amy Poehler, who became a big fan, and Poehler is producing the TV show. “Broad City” is part of of a “movement of sorts” in which funny, “edgy” urban young women are getting their own cable shows. About two years ago, LENA DUNHAM’s hit HBO show, “Girls,” helped launch this trend – and its not a shocker to learn that Dunham, 27, is friends with Jacobson and Glazer. Meanwhile, the critical and ratings success of “The Amy Schumer Show”, which began on Comedy Central last April, also helped pave the way for “Broad City.” A new season of “The Amy Schumer Show” will begin this April. Also, AMY SCHUMER, 32, will star in a new JUDD APATOW-produced, film comedy called “Trainwreck.” It will begin filming soon and will open in July, 2015. Reports say that Apatow and Universal Studios are betting that Schumer, who wrote “Trainwreck,” will be the next big female comic star and they are giving her film a big budget and a “prime summer spot” for a comedy film opening. Schumer, who was raised in her father’s Jewish faith, has Cincinnati ties: her late maternal grandmother, who was Methodist, was born (1923) in Cincinnati and lived in Ohio until 1976, when she moved to Florida. Jews on Ice Here’s this season’s National Hockey League, Jewish player
round-up, prepared with the help of Jewish Sports Review magazine: MIKE BROWN, 28, right wing, San Jose Sharks; MICHAEL CAMMALLERI, 31, left wing, Calgary Flames. “Cam”, by the way, is his team’s alternate captain. JEFF HALPERN, 37, center, Phoenix Coyotes; ERIC NYSTROM, 30, defenseman, Nashville Predators; TREVOR SMITH, 28, left wing, Toronto Maple Leafs. Smith played 25 NHL games this season and has been on injured reserve since mid-December. DAVID WARSHOFSKY, 23, defenseman, Boston Bruins. Warshofsky got called up to the big club in late December and played in a few games replacing injured players. It’s likely he will be commuting to Boston from Providence several more times this season. JASON ZUCKER, 22, left wing, Minnesota Wild. Last year, Zucker made his big league debut (20 games total) with the Wild, while playing most games in the minors. This year he has stayed up with the “big club.” (Please note: one more NHL player is “pending confirmation”). DVD Heads-Up, More The acclaimed romantic comedy, “Enough Said,” was released to DVD/streaming media. Written and directed by NICOLE HOLOFCENER, 52, it co-stars the late James Gandolfini, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and TAVI GEVINSON, 17, in her feature film debut. Well worth a rental. Another acclaimed romantic comedy, “Don Jon,” was released to DVD on Dec. 31, 2013. It co-stars JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT, 32, in the title role and the young actor also wrote and directed the film. It co-stars SCARLETT JOHANSSON, 29. Gordon-Levitt is also the creator of HitRecord, a collaborative artist company that has been webbased until now. PIVOT cable channel, will premiere HitRecord on TV, hosted by Gordon-Levitt. HitRecord’s thing is to combine material from various artists to create short multi-media films that “work.” The TV show will feature short films, live conversations and performances. The actor’s father, DENNIS, is the CFO of HitRecord. He recently said of his left-wing Jewish parents, JANE GORDON and Dennis Levitt: “I think they both instilled into me the feeling that we’re part of the world, and that’s important – and that everybody’s well being is tied into each other.They’re hippies, but they were not so much about being flower children as getting things done... peace, civil rights, or the feminist movement – and they are still that way.”
FROM THE PAGES 150 Y EARS A GO Died, February 7, 1864, after a brief illness, Moses Mack of Cincinnati, age 81. The deceased left six sons here and in Memphis, known as Mack Bros., Mack & Worms, Mack & Bohm & Co., and about 20 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren in New York. Mr. Mack was a peaceable, pious old man, who led a quiet life, and rejoiced in the love and prosperity of his numerous family. He bequeathed one hundred dollars to the Jewish Hospital, one hundred dollars to the Talmud Yelodim Institute, and various sums to different benevolent societies. His funeral, on Tuesday last, was attended by numerous friends and the sons and grandsons of the deceased. Mr. B. F. Peixotto, of Cleveland, Ohio, Grand Saar, will deliver a discourse on the principles, aims and intents of the Independent Order B’nai Berith, on Sunday next, at the Melodeon Hall, at which the brethren of the order, with their friends, both ladies and gentlemen, are invited to be present. The young men of the Hebrew community are especially requested to be there. The hall will open at 2 o’clock pm and the ceremonies will commence at 3 o’clock pm. Seats free. – February 12, 1864
125 Y EARS A GO On Thursday, January 10th, at 1 o’clock pm, Mrs. Johanna Kaplan, widow of the late M. Kaplan, died. The funeral took place at the residence of A.O. Kaplan, Francis Lane, Walnut Hills, Cincinnati, on Sunday, January 13th. The services were held at the chapel of the Walnut Hills Jewish Cemetery, Dr. Wise officiating. The deceased was a long-time resident of this city, and beloved and respected by all who knew her. The comedian Dan Sully will hold the boards at Havlin’s Theater for a week, commencing at the Sunday matinee. He will appear in his sterling Irish comedy, “Daddy Nolan” This time he comes with a better company than ever: Will O. Wheeler is ahead. Mr. Wheeler is a well-known journalist. – January 17, 1889
100 Y EARS A GO Mrs. Hannah Marks Kahn, widow of the late Chas. Kahn, Jr., and mother of C. S. Kahn, died on January 7. Mrs. Kahn was a native of Cincinnati and had lived here all her life. Her parents were among the earliest Jewish settlers of this city. Burial was at the Walnut Hills Jewish Cemetery on January 9. Rabbi Philipson officiating. The inmates of the Jewish Home for Aged and Infirm received a treat this week of ice cream, cake and wine, from Mrs. B.F. Brown of the Sommerfield apartments of Avondale. Mr. and Mrs. S.A. Waxman of the Vernon apartments, Avondale, are
rejoicing over the arrival of a son, on Tuesday, January 13. Mother and child are doing fine, at the Bethesda. A very pretty wedding took place at the Hotel Alms, on Tuesday evening, January 6, when Miss Jess Kahn, daughter of Mrs. Rose Kahn, was married to Mr. Sam Wolf, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harris Wolf, of this city. – January 15, 1914
75 Y EARS A GO As per schedule, immediately after mid-winter vacation, the students of the McMicken campus have settled down to work. The library no longer hums with social conversation, for students are really studying. The typical “Grill Goons” have abandoned their favorite jitterbug pastime of listening to “hot” recordings. All is quiet and industrious. Reasons? Final examinations begin next Monday, and if there were ever a time when fewer students do fewer things in their extra-curricular, it could only be another exam period. This, in part, might explain the dearth of news this week. I might say that your reporter is literally starving for something to report. Mr. and Mrs. M. Lucas, Virginia Apartments, Rockdale Avenue, announces the marriage of their daughter, Ida, to Mr. Jack Minson, son of Joseph Minson of Hemlock Ave., on Sunday Jan. 15 in the study of Rabbi Louis Feinberg. The ceremony was followed by a buffet supper at the home of the bride for the immediate family. The couple has left for a honeymoon in Miami, Fl. – January 19, 1939
50 Y EARS A GO Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Wacksman (Betty Shapiro), 1032 Pelican Drive, announce the birth of a boy, Barry Neal, Saturday, Jan. 4. The infant has two sisters, Jan and Lori. The grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. William Shapiro of Meadow Ridge Lane, and Mr. and Mrs. Abe Wacksman of Elm Park Drive. Mrs. Nathan Schaen and Mrs. Frank Wacksman are the great-grandmothers. Miss Donna Stern was chozen AZA queen Saturday, Jan 4. She is a member of Sigma Theta Pi at Woodward. For the second consecutive year, Mrs. Mose Marcus has accepted the chairmanship of the Womens’ Division, State of Israel Bonds. Mrs. Marcus recalled that when she agreed to serve a year ago, it was shortly after the death of her father, Ben Levinson, active in the bond campaign, and other Israel causes. She wished to continue his tradition of service. Recently, Mrs. Marcus lost her mother, and it is her aim to continue the interest in Israel shown by both her parents. – Janaury 16, 1964
25 Y EARS A GO Dr. Ronald Drasnin has been named president of the medical/dental staff of Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Drasnin received his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1960. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Northwestern University and a bachelor of science degree from the West Virginia School of Medicine. He is on the board of directors of the Children’s Psychiatric Center and is a member of the Ohio State Medical Association and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatricians. Drasnin, his wife, and their two children reside in Amberley Village. The wedding of Sallie Ransohoff and Jeffrey Daniel Kreines took place Jan. 3 at the home of Dr. and Mrs. William Ransohoff. Rabbis Jacob Rader Marcus and Sidney Zimmelman officiated. The bride is the daughter of Dr. Daniel J. Ransohoff and Dielle Fleischmann. The bridegroom is the son of Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Kreines and the grandson of Evelyn Shulman. The couple resides in Cincinnati. – January 26, 1989
10 Y EARS A GO Amy and Scott Litwin announce the birth of a son, Gabriel Aaron Litwin, on December 23, 2003. He has an older brother, Seth Robert Litwin. The Department of Judaic Studies at the McMicken College, University of Cincinnati whill host author and scholar Judith R. Baskin, Ph.D., as the first speaker of the Beatrice Winkler Lecture in Judaic Studies. Baskin will present “Fruitful Vines and Silent Partners: Women as Wives in Rabbinic Literature,” on Feb. 5. Interim head of Judaic Studies, Cynthia Berryman-Fink explained the annual lecture came about as a tribute to Jewish community activist and departmental advocate, Beatrice Winkler. Bea is also the wife of UC president emeritus Henry Winkler. “Bea is so highly thought of in the community, we think this will be a nice tribute to her,” Berryman-Fink said. “We thought the topic of women in literature seemed appropriate.” Baskin visits UC from the University of Oregon, where she is Knight Professor of Humanities, professor of Religious Studies, and director of the Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies. She is also the president of the Association for Jewish Studies, the 1,500-member learned society devoted to promoting and supporting academic Jewish studies. Baskin’s lecture will be based on rabbinic literature created by rabbis, Jewish religious leaders and teachers during the late period of antiquity, between the first century and the sixth century. January 22, 2004
COMMUNITY DIRECTORY / CLASSIFIEDS • 19
THURSDAY, JANUARY 16, 2014
COMMUNITY DIRECTORY COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS ORGANIZATIONS Access (513) 373-0300 • jypaccess.org Big Brothers/Big Sisters Assoc. (513) 761-3200 • bigbrobigsis.org Camp Ashreinu (513) 702-1513 Camp at the J (513) 722-7258 • mayersonjcc.org Camp Chabad (513) 731-5111 • campchabad.org Camp Livingston (513) 793-5554 •camplivingston.com Cedar Village (513) 754-3100 • cedarvillage.org Chevra Kadisha (513) 396-6426 Cincinnati Community Kollel (513) 631-1118 • kollel.shul.net Cincinnati Community Mikveh (513) 351-0609 •cincinnatimikveh.org Eruv Hotline (513) 351-3788 Fusion Family (513) 703-3343 • fusionnati.org Halom House (513) 791-2912 • halomhouse.com Hillel Jewish Student Center (Miami) (513) 523-5190 • muhillel.org Hillel Jewish Student Center (UC) (513) 221-6728 • hillelcincinnati.org Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Cincinnati 513-961-0178 • jcemcin.org Jewish Community Center (513) 761-7500 • mayersonjcc.org Jewish Community Relations Council (513) 985-1501 Jewish Family Service (513) 469-1188 • jfscinti.org Jewish Federation of Cincinnati (513) 985-1500 • shalomcincy.org Jewish Foundation (513) 214-1200 Jewish Information Network (513) 985-1514 JVS Career Services (513) 936-WORK (9675) • www.jvscinti.org Plum Street Temple Historic Preservation Fund (513) 793-2556 Shalom Family (513) 703-3343 • myshalomfamily.org
MARRY from page 10 balances in the system,” said Rabbi Seth Farber, the founder of Itim, an Israeli organization that guides couples through the Chief Rabbinate’s bureaucracy. “This is all capricious. It’s all who they happen to know. That’s not a way to run a state.” Tubul told JTA that he corresponds with at least three rabbis regarding every American letter he investigates and never rejects a letter based solely on an initial negative recommendation. “We check every possibility to complete the puzzle,” he said. “If someone says you can’t trust [a letter], we don’t reject it. Sometimes there are interested parties that we don’t want to deal with, so we investigate further.” In the wake of the Weiss decision, the Chief Rabbinate has entered negotiations to give the RCA more say in the evaluation process. According to a draft agreement obtained by JTA, the Chief Rabbinate will consult with the RCA on every questionable
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 CONGREGATIONS Adath Israel Congregation (513) 793-1800 • adath-israel.org Beit Chaverim (513) 984-3393 • btzbc.com Beth Israel Congregation (513) 868-2049 • bethisraelcongregation.net B’nai Tikvah Chavurah (513) 284-5845 • rabbibruce.com Congregation Beth Adam (513) 985-0400 • bethadam.org Congregation B’nai Tzedek (513) 984-3393 • btzbc.com Congregation Ohav Shalom (513) 489-3399 • ohavshalom.org Congregation Ohr Chadash (513) 252-7267 • ohrchadashcincinnati.com Congregation Sha’arei Torah (513) 620-8080 • shaareitorahcincy.org Congregation Zichron Eliezer 513-631-4900 • czecincinnati.org Golf Manor Synagogue (513) 531-6654 • golfmanorsynagogue.org Isaac M. Wise Temple (513) 793-2556 • wisetemple.org Kehilas B’nai Israel (513) 761-0769 Northern Hills Synagogue (513) 931-6038 • nhs-cba.org Rockdale Temple (513) 891-9900 • rockdaletemple.org Shevet Achim, (513) 602-7801 • shevetachimohio.com Temple Beth Shalom (513) 422-8313 • tbsohio.org Temple Sholom (513) 791-1330 • templesholom.net The Valley Temple (513) 761-3555 • valleytemple.com
Chabad Blue Ash (513) 793-5200 • chabadba.com Cincinnati Hebrew Day School (513) 351-7777 • chds.shul.net HUC-JIR (513) 221-1875 • huc.edu JCC Early Childhood School (513) 793-2122 • mayersonjcc.org Kehilla - School for Creative Jewish Education (513) 489-3399 • kehilla-cincy.com Mercaz High School (513) 792-5082 x104 • mercazhs.org Kulanu (Reform Jewish High School) (513) 262-8849 • kulanucincy.org Regional Institute Torah & Secular Studies (513) 631-0083 Rockwern Academy (513) 984-3770 • rockwernacademy.org Sarah’s Place (513) 531-3151 • sarahsplacecincy.com Yeshivas Lubavitch High School of Cincinnati (513) 631-2452 • ylcincinnati.com ORGANIZATIONS ORGANIZATIONS American Jewish Committee (513) 621-4020 • ajc.org American Friends of Magen David Adom (513) 521-1197 • afmda.org B’nai B’rith (513) 984-1999 BBYO (513) 722-7244 • mayersonjcc.org 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
EDUCA EDUCATION Chai Tots Early Childhood Center (513) 234.0600 • chaitots.com
letter before making a decision. In addition, the RCA would provide the Chief Rabbinate with a list of rabbis accredited to give proofs of Judaism, marriage and divorce. “For the Chief Rabbinate to rely more formally on the RCA for approval of these letters is a question of helping the process along,” Rabbi Mark Dratch, the council’s executive vice president, told JTA. “Cooperation will help both sides be able to serve more appropriately and prevent the kind of embarrassment that exists from time to time.” The RCA does not have the power to override Tubul’s decisions. Rabbinate spokesman Ziv Maor told JTA that the RCA will be a partner in the process, but final authority will still rest with Tubul. Nothing in the draft precludes individuals within the RCA from conveying their concerns about particular rabbis directly to the Chief Rabbinate. And while Dratch told JTA that the organization stands by Weiss’ authority to
vouch for Jewishness, he acknowledged that most of the group’s members do not support the various innovations by Weiss. “A majority of RCA members feel that some of his decisions are pushing the halachic red line or beyond that,” Dratch said. “Our goal is to be able to support the rabbis of the RCA, to be able to make sure that their letters are accepted by the Chief Rabbinate’s office.” It’s unclear whether the reforms being developed will satisfy the Chief Rabbinate’s critics, Weiss included. His lawyer in Israel, Assaf Benmelech, told JTA that further formalizing the process could end up creating unnecessary bureaucracy. Better, Benmelech said, for the Chief Rabbinate to simply take a wider view of who counts as Orthodox. “When you have a known rabbi who knows Jewish law, he should be trustworthy,” he said. “To place formal boundaries is stupid. It’s all about personal trust.”
DO YOU WANT TO PLACE A CLASSIFIED? Send an e-mail including what you would like in your classified & your contact information to
business@ americanisraelite.com or call 513-621-3145 TEMPLE from page 10 coordinating council, tells JNS that while according to Israeli law Jewish worship on the Temple Mount is legal, there is “collusion between the government, police, and the courts, who don’t want any problems.” Police at the site forbid Jewish prayer, claiming that allowing it will cause the Muslims to riot or could even ignite another violent intifada (uprising). Medad says that over the years, Israeli courts “have blindly accepted claims by the police that [Jewish worship] is illegal on the Temple Mount,” but that information contained in the comptroller’s report itself debunks that myth. Medad cites one instance in 1967 when Jewish prayer was temporarily banned, while the report explains in a footnote “that it appears that no general decision was made to forbid Jews from praying on the Temple Mount.” According to Medad, the report shows “that whatever laudatory government aims are in protecting law and order, the status quo only exists for the Jews, and even worse, the Muslims are destroying archeological artifacts.” “It’s one thing to say that the Temple Mount should be kept off the heater, but what they are actually doing is giving in on every single issue to Muslim fanaticism and destroying or not protecting anything Jewish there,” he says. Like all Israeli governments since 1967, the current government “doesn’t want to give the Jews any rights on the Temple Mount other than free access to the site,” says Medad. Israeli authorities “haven’t done the minimum to protect Jewish history, archeology, and construction, which [by doing so] doesn’t have to ignite World War III,” he adds. Yitzchak Reuven – assistantdirector of the International Department at The Temple Institute, an educational, not-for-profit organization which focuses on the universal significance of the Holy Temple as a house of peace and prayer for all nations – tells JNS that he believes the comptroller’s document proves that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has in effect given the
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Up to 24 hour care Meal Preparation Errands/Shopping Hygiene Assistance Light Housekeeping
(513) 531-9600 Israeli police full authority on the site to act on behalf of the Jerusalem Municipality, the body which is supposed to approve all construction in the city, and on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, which is tasked with maintaining a presence at all sites relating to historical archeological digs. Reuven expresses grave concern in regard to extensive construction work currently being carried out by the Waqf “without supervision or authorization.” He says that the police “never say no the Muslim Waqf [for carrying out their projects], but always give them the green light.” Regarding the 1994 peace agreement between Israel and Jordan, which was supposed to ensure freedom of worship for all monotheistic faiths on the Temple Mount, Reuven says that “Jordan and [the Jordanian] Waqf have essentially reneged on the agreement, but nobody says anything about it.” Israel is “willfully not exercising sovereignty over Temple Mount, thus creating a vacuum which the Waqf has filled,” claims Reuven. As a result, he says that Jews who ascend to visit the site are often screamed at and intimidated by Muslims who are hired and compensated by Raed Salah, the leader of the Northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, to sit on the Temple Mount for the purpose of disrupting visits by Jews as well as other non-Muslims. “If the Muslims decided to cause a scene, the police [won’t stop them but] will remove the Jews from the area, since the Jews represent a path of least resistance. In light of the report, it seems incontrovertible that the police are getting specific instructions from their superiors and ultimately from the Prime Minister’s office that their jobs will be on the line, if they screw up [and there are disturbances],” Reuven says. “The Temple Mount is used as an alarm by the Muslims to terrify a lot of people by saying that the Muslim world will rise up anytime a Jew moves a stone [at the site],” adds Reuven. “Israel has educated its own people to replace the importance and yearning of the Temple Mount with the Western Wall.”
20 • ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT / BOOKS
My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel by Ari Shavit By Sue Ransohoff Book Reviewer
The Goldstein, Peled, Fiterstein Trio
Matinee Musicale welcomes The Goldstein, Peled, Fiterstein Trio The Goldstein, Peled, Fiterstein Trio will perform in the third of five debut recitals in the 101st Matinee Musicale Season. The program will be held Thursday, January 30 at 11 a.m. at The Mayerson Jewish Community Center. A Trio concert reflects both the special gift and originality of the three artists as soloists as well as their marvelous sense of ensemble and love of chamber music. They also share their Israeli roots and summers in Vermont at the Marlboro Music Festival. Alon Goldstein, pianist, is one of the most compelling artists of his generation, admired for his musical intelligence and dynamic personality. His artistic vision and innovative programming have made him a favorite with audiences and critics alike throughout the United States, Europe and Israel. Amit Peled, a musician of profound artistry and charismatic stage presence, is acclaimed as one of the most exciting cellists on the concert stage today. Mr. Peled, recently described by the American Record Guide as “having the flair of the young Rostropovich,” has performed as a soloist with many orchestras
and in the world’s major concert halls; he is a frequent guest artist at prestigious international festivals. Alexander Fiterstein, one of the world's exceptional clarinet players, is a recipient of the 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant Award, first-prize winner of the Carl Nielsen International Clarinet Competition and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions. He has performed internationally with many orchestras and appeared in recital at the National Gallery of Art, Kennedy Center, 92nd Street Y, Carnegie’s Weill Hall, the Louvre in Paris, and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. Remaining Matinee Musicale artists include baritone Matthew Worth (Thursday, March 27, 11 a.m. at The Anderson Center); and pianist Gleb Ivanov (Tuesday, April 29, 11 a.m. at The Mayerson Jewish Community Center). With the purchase of a fiveticket package, patrons may attend any remaining concerts and/or share tickets with a friend. Individual tickets may be purchased at the door as well; students with ID, special pricing.
STONING from page 16
Rudoren, followed in August with a page one story depicting a heroic Arab teenager who seemingly has no choice but to throw rocks at Israelis – it’s a “rite of passage,” according to Rudoren. Her article was headlined “My Hobby is Throwing Stones.” Rock-throwing is not nonviolent. It’s not unarmed resistance. It’s not a “hobby,” a word which conjures up images of playing chess or collecting baseball cards. It’s attempted mur-
Nabi Saleh as a center of “unarmed resistance.” Amidst his cheerleading for brave young Arab “demonstrators” confronting cruel Israeli soldiers, author Ben Ehrenreich mentioned, in passing that “unarmed” activity includes throwing rocks or, as he put it, “throwing stones while dodging tear-gas canisters and rubbercoated bullets.” The Times’s bureau chief in Israel, Jodi
There is a great deal to say about this book – because there is so much IN this book. The author has included interviews, research into his own past and his grandfathers’ connections to the start-up of Israel. There are memorabilia and memoirs, history, praise and criticism. Pay attention to the title: not only to Triumph and Tragedy, but also to “My.” This is, I remind the reader, a review of the book, not of the nation of Israel. Shavit includes a great deal of negative comment about Israel’s history – its beginnings, its ethical failures, its parallels to the Holocaust itself. (I’ll explain shortly.) He writes also of the positive side of Israel with lyrically written passages about the spiritual beauty of “My” promised land. It is worthwhile noting that his negative portions come from someone who is on the spot and knows more about what he is reporting than those of us who are critical from a considerable distance. Shavit does not shrink from intricacies and complexities, indeed, that is what “My Promised Land” is all about. What is the parallel to the Holocaust? He finds himself at one point in his life, an Army guard to prisoners in a detention camp and in real ethical pain, he wonders: “Isn’t this the same as a concentration camp?” Then he denies that it is; there are, after all, no “showers,” no death at the end of a sentence. Actually, there is no sentence – no determined end to the imprisonment, which is in a sense the worst torture of all. The fundamental question about the ethical position of an Israel starts thus – speaking for his great-grandfather Herbert Bentwich, who has just landed, in 1897, in Palestine. He is travelling with an elite group of mostly British subjects, who are entranced with the possibilities of Palestine. He does not, Shavit, reports, “see the Palestinian village of Midia.” He sees “the ancient glory of the gorge leading to Jerusalem, but he does not see the Palestinian peasants tilling… the Jerusalem hills.” Passages similar to der. Last week’s release of Binyamin Meisner’s rockthrowing killer, and the conviction of one of the Palmers’ rockthrowing killers, is a grim reminder of that. Stephen M. Flatow is an attorney who lives in New Jersey. His daughter, Alisa, was killed in a Palestinian suicide bombing in 1995.
this are strewn throughout the book: of people who will colonize Palestine, later Israel, and choose not to see because of their need not to see. Similarly, in the 1970’s, “even Israelis who realized that settling was immoral… found it difficult to resist settlement.” Alternatively, strewn throughout the book, there are passages that celebrate the joyousness of being in Israel, of creating this new and idealistic land and of working hard to do so. The joy encompasses, too, the spiritual component of being a Jew. There are many interviews; one, of considerable length, is of an engineer involved in the building of the Dimona nuclear reactor – the engineer is one of the early residents of Israel, and talks to Shavit about his lengthy history. The water, we are told, with striking terseness, was heavy water. Shavit says: “Did the hands not tremble? Was there no sense that we had eaten the forbidden fruit?” The engineer, born in Israel and aged 80 at the time of the interview, makes it clear that “Israel must have the means to defend itself.” It had to be done – so the engineer and others did it. Throughout this book we are presented with unacceptable moral/ethical choices, and then shown “the other hand.” Although it is clear enough where Shavit stands, it’s equally clear that he sees both sides. That he is always aware of the complexity of Israel’s situation: does WHITE HOUSE from page 9 Christians also joined the rally. The New York Times reported that the rally illustrated the strong support for Israel, and uneasiness over President Bush’s position, among an emerging coalition of Jews and conservative Christians. According to the Times, the president “attempted to mollify the conservatives” by sending “one of the most hawkish members of his administration, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul D. Wolfowitz,” to speak at the rally. But Wolfowitz was
the existence of the Holocaust trump every bad choice made later? I do not, and you will not, agree with every one of Shavit’s positions, but there is a great deal to learn from “My Promised Land” and a great deal of excellent writing to admire. For better or worse, it will stir up in the reader many thoughts, positions, responses. Does it answer your questions about Israel? In my mind, they are unanswerable; they can only be pondered, and “My Promised Land” makes you ponder. When Shavit takes the pro-Israel stand he can make your spine tingle. Writing of the early days, of the Orange Groves, which became a significant part of Israel’s economy he says: “There is a feeling not just of success, but of justice… Two years after Germany chose Nazism, the need for a Jewish home became evident. Now any reasonable person can see that Europe is becoming a death trap for Jews. Only a Jewish state in Palestine can save the lives of the millions who are about to die. In 1935, Zionist justice is an absolute justice that cannot be refuted.” But time makes tremendous changes: years later, writing of “The Project” (the establishment of the Bomb, the Dimona nuclear reactor,) he writes “We brought not only water to the Negev, but heavy water. We brought not only agricultural modernity to the land, but also nuclear modernity. Because, between the Holocaust and revival, between horror and hope, between life and death, we did the colossal deed of Dimona. And to this day, it is impossible to know if this deed is a blessing for generations to come, or a nuclear curse.” There are many such passages – all laying out the alternative choices – and all equally disturbing. Shavit brings to us the right and the wrong, the good and the bad – and makes it clear not only where he stands, but how impossible it is to make the exact ethical decision. If you read this book, you will, as I did, end up more knowledgeable – but inevitably disturbed and confused. Guardedly, I recommend it. greeted with boos and chants of “No More Arafat!” In 2002, unlike in 1980, there were no Jewish leaders “taking umbrage” at the idea of such a rally, and no expressions of fear that supporting Israel would cause a backlash among the American public. Sharon had been vindicated, and a new standard for proIsrael activism in the United States was beginning to take shape. (Dr. Rafael Medoff is director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, in Washington, D.C. )
JEWISH LIFE • 21
THURSDAY, JANUARY 16, 2014
Incidentally Iris: The smartest woman I never knew Incidentally Iris
by Iris Ruth Pastor My friend and I were starting a monthly book club and were making a determined effort to recruit women we were not socially connected to on a daily basis. We scrambled in the planning stages to find a book for the first meeting that was a quick read and one that would facilitate a conversation among us that would help us get to know each other a little bit better. I perused my bookshelves and when I once again hit on my SHARON from page 8 his reputation, this time as a careful nurturer of alliances. He was an architect of the national unity governments that lasted until 1990. When Likud returned to power in 1996, Sharon became national infrastructure minister and later foreign minister under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Americans and Palestinians alike said they appreciated Sharon's role as an elder statesman who would make sure Netanyahu kept his word. Sharon was critical in achieving the 1998 Wye River Accords that kept the peace process alive through the rest of Netanyahu’s term. In 1999, Labor’s Ehud Barak ousted Netanyahu, who temporarily retired from politics, and Sharon became head of the Likud. The following year, Sharon visited the Temple Mount accompanied by a large escort of security officers, inflaming Palestinians and -- some have charged -- helping to provoke the second intifada. The uprising derailed Barak’s efforts to accelerate peace talks and Sharon was overwhelmingly elected prime minister in February 2001. In a flash, the sidelined statesman and disgraced defense minister, the soldier once marked as brilliant but uncontrollable, was in charge. Sharon and President George W. Bush, who assumed power at the same time, had an affinity dating to 1998, when Sharon hosted the thenTexas governor on a helicopter flight across Israel and the West Bank. Their friendship culminated in Sharon’s greatest diplomatic triumph: the 2004 White House letter recognizing some of Israel’s largest West Bank settlements as realities on the ground and dismissing the
friend Ilene Beckerman’s book “The Smartest Woman I Knew,” I was satisfied that this little 99 page wonder would do the trick as a conversation jump-starter. Everyone has someone they regard as the smartest woman they ever knew and since Ilene’s choice was her grandmother, Ettie, I figured we would exchange “Bubby Stories” for most of the afternoon. And I was right. Having a hard time not bending the rules - even when they are of my own making - I decided to go with the smartest women I never knew - my paternal grandmother - who died long before I was born. Here is what I said at the initial meeting of The Book Club: My father's memoir started with two simple declarative sentences: "This is my first attempt to bring together the many incidents of my life, which may be dull and boring to everyone. However, my children or my grandchildren may see or appreciate a bit of humor or
relate a piece of my experience to their own lives." The pages my father gave me told of his childhood - the constant moving around all over upstate New York, the sometimes less than savory places he lived in and less than exemplary (though very colorful and unforgetable) characters he encountered during his tumultuous growing-up years. I read the pages with hunger hoping also to catch a glimpse of the illusive, fleeting, fuzzy, halfformed image I had of the woman he used to call Mother – my paternal grandmother. Her given name was Ida Telsey and I learned that she loved cats and filled her home with many of those furry wonders. She also suffered from terrible asthma, which ultimately led to her premature death at age 46. No one ever made the connection. I learned that she spent long hours talking and gossiping on the phone with her sister Esther - to the constant chagrin of her chil-
dren. I learned that she was soft spoken, well bred, and acknowledged to be the smartest of all her siblings. But all four of her brothers, not she and not her sister, were sent off to college and became prosperous professionals. Their children took tennis lessons and later – following in their fathers footsteps - went on to attend either Harvard or Cornell. Her children played stick ball, wore hand-me-downs from their rich cousins and sold homebaked pies door-to-door to earn money. My grandmother bore four children -one daughter and three sons. She never lived to see any grandchildren. She never lived to attain economic security nor did she enjoy marital harmony or good health. My father's biggest regret is that his success came too late to help his mother. I reluctantly put the pages down and looked around the room at the 16 women seated before me. I notice the sun beams dancing on
their faces – highlighting their faintly lined brows, their soft chin lines, their carefully cut and colored hair. Though I was the only one who talked about a woman not personally known to me and though most of the women were only casual acquaintances, I sensed commonality. I knew I didn’t have to explain to them how a 66 year-old woman can yearn for a grandmother that she never knew. I knew they understood how I could cry for a woman who died without ever knowing the void she would create in the life of the little girl who carried her name. And that is when I knew for sure The Book Club was going to work. This column is dedicated to my three year-old granddaughter, Bobbie Olivia Pastor, who - like me - carries the name of a grandmother who she, too, will never personally know. Keep Coping, Iris Ruth Pastor
demand for a “right of return” of Palestinian refugees to Israel. In 2005, Sharon carried out one of the most astonishing moves of his career, abandoning his longstanding support for Israeli settlements by evacuating thousands of settlers from Gaza and relocating them inside Israel proper. Months after the disengagement was completed, he broke from Likud, much of which had opposed the operation, and formed Kadima. In December 2005, Sharon was rushed to the hospital after aides noticed impairment in his speech. He was released two days later having suffered a mild stroke. Weeks later, in January 2006, Sharon suffered a second stroke that left him in a vegetative state from which he would never recover. Here, too, Sharon defied expectations, holding on for eight more years, fed by a tube but breathing on his own. About a year ago, scientists reported that Sharon had exhibited brain activity in response to external stimulation, a finding that suggested he might have regained some ability to comprehend what was going on around him. His medical condition began deteriorating significantly in recent days, prompting renal failure followed by a decline in organ function. Sharon is survived by two sons: Gilad, 46 and Omri, 49, who served in the Knesset from 2003 to 2006 and carved out a niche as an environmentalist. Sharon’s first wife, Margalit, died in an automobile accident in 1962. Two years later he married her younger sister, Lily, who died of cancer in 2000. A son, Gur, from his first marriage died in a shooting accident in 1967.
DISNEY from page 4
unpublicized donations to a variety of Jewish charities, including a Jewish orphanage, a Jewish old age home, Yeshiva College (precursor to Yeshiva University), and the American League for a Free Palestine. The League, better known as the Bergson Group, publicly supported the armed revolt against the British in Palestine by Menachem Begin’s Irgun Zvai Leumi. Disney was embracing not just Zionism, but its most militant wing. How, then, did the rumors of Disney's alleged anti-Semitism spread so far and wide? That’s where Meryl Streep comes in. The “anti-Semitic industry lobbying group” with which Disney was associated was the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals. The group’s statement of principles said nothing about Jews; its declared purpose was to prevent “Communist, Fascist, and other totalitarian-minded groups” from gaining a foothold in Hollywood. Among its members were politically conservative actors such as John Wayne, Clark Gable, and Ginger Rogers. But some of its other members were accused of being privately anti-Semitic, and in general it had a reputation as being reactionary. Gabler believes that “the most plausible explanation” for the rumors about Disney were a kind of guilt by association: “Walt, in joining forces with the MPA and its band of professional reactionaries and red-baiters, also got tarred with their anti-
Semitism. Walt Disney certainly was aware of the MPA’s purported anti-Semitism, but he chose to ignore it… The price he paid was that he would always be lumped not only with antiCommunists but also with antiSemites.” The irony is that while Meryl Streep was condemning Walt Disney for associating with extremists, she herself was doing the very same thing. The actress to whom she gave that award when she made her antiDisney speech, her close friend Emma Thompson, is active in the anti-Israel boycott movement. Streep hailed Thompson as “splendid, beautiful, practically a saint… a living, acting conscience.” Yet this ‘saint,’ together with other British actors, publicly urged a boycott of Israel’s Habimah theater troupe when it participated in a festival in England. Habimah, of course, has nothing to do with Israeli government policies or any political issues. Its only “crime” is that it’s Israeli. By contrast, Thompson had no problem with the National Theater of China taking part in that festival, even though it really does represent the Chinese regime—a regime guilty of the most heinous human rights violations, aid to terrorists around the world, and support for the genocidal government of Sudan. But of course, hypocrisy is the hallmark of the ‘saints’ of the anti-Israel boycott crusade.
Harry Tytle, and Kay Kamen [head of Disney’s merchandising arm], who once quipped that Disney's New York office had more Jews than the Book of Leviticus. Maurice Rapf concurred that Walt was not antiSemitic; he was just a ‘very conservative guy.’” On the other hand, one former Disney animator, David Swift, has claimed he heard Walt make an anti-Semitic remark, and another ex-staffer, David Hilberman, has alleged that one employee was fired because he was Jewish. (However, according to Gabler, Disney himself was rarely involved in firing anyone except the top brass). In addition, the original animated version of the “Three Little Pigs” portrayed the Big Bad Wolf as a stereotypically Jewish peddler, although after complaints, the segment was altered. When it comes to explicit proof that Disney was antiSemitic, the critics’ case weakens. “There is zero hard evidence that Disney ever wrote or said anything anti-Semitic in private or public,” according to Douglas Brode, author of Multiculturalism and the Mouse: Race and Sex in Disney Entertainment. Brode told The Hollywood Reporter that Disney used more Jewish actors “than any other studio of Hollywood’s golden age, including those run by Jewish movie moguls.” Gabler also revealed that Disney “frequently” made
22 • OBITUARIES D EATH N OTICES MENDELSOHN, Richard B., age 74, died January 4, 2014; 3 Shevat 5774 LOSHIN, Philip R., age 87, died January 9, 2014; 9 Shevat, 5774. KING, William W., age 68, died January 9, 2014; 8 Shevat, 5774.
O BITUARIES MENDELSOHN, Richard B. Richard B. Mendelsohn was born on March 13, 1939 to Joe and Sally Mendelsohn in Cincinnati, Ohio. He attended Avondale School, Walnut Hills High School and Harvard College. During this period he was a gifted and outstanding student and musician, and played a piano concerto with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. At Harvard he began as a Physics and Mathematics major, but switched into Social Relations. After college he had a very long hospitalization and subsequently settled in the Boston area. He began a position as bookkeeper for Morgan Memorial Goodwill whose mission is “to help individuals with barriers to self-sufficiency to achieve independence and dignity through work. Not charity, but a chance.” - where he developed many friendships and never missed a day of work for more than 40 years. Although he did not travel, he kept in close touch by telephone FLETCHER from page 7 career path grew from the Milton A. and Charlotte R. Kramer Charitable Foundation established by Kramer and her first husband. The foundation and another set up by her late brother, Leighton Rosenthal, endowed the Jewish studies program in their father’s memory at Case Western Reserve University. The ballroom at the Cleveland Heights Park Synagogue, where Kramer still attends Sabbath services, also is named for Samuel Rosenthal. Following the 1980 death of Milton, Kramer established a law clinic in his memory at Case Western, where law students assist indigent clients. Other recipients of her foundation’s largesse include the city’s symphony orchestra, art museum and botanical garden. The family’s charitable involvement goes back 100 years, says Steve Hoffman, the Jewish federation’s president. He calls the Kramers “one of the great families of Jewish Cleveland, and of Cleveland” generally. Fletcher says his own charity, London’s Bridge Foundation, was inspired by Charlotte Kramer’s mentoring program. “When I got into the position [to]
with his parents while they were alive; his brother John and sisterin-law Anne and his three nephews and their families; his nine first cousins who include Mendelsohns, Schwabs, Reicherts and Feibels; and many dear friends. Each of them looked forward to listening to his frequent updates and receiving his personal good wishes. Richard had strong beliefs in Judaism and the providence of the Judeo-Christian God. He truly loved humanity. He believed that all people are good, and it is social tensions that produce problems. He thought deeply about how to improve the world, and he planned to write a book that would have impact on the social, political and economic woes with which he was constantly concerned. Richard B. Mendelsohn died peacefully in his apartment in Arlington, Massachusetts on January 4, 2014. He was 74 years old. Richard's family is grateful for the lifelong love and support he received from his skilled physicians at McLean Hospital and his devoted friends. His ashes will be interred next to those of his parents at the Jewish Cemetery on Montgomery Road, Cincinnati. The Richard Mendelsohn Fund is being established in his memory to support Walnut Hills High School's academic programs. His activities and friendships there were the source of many fond memories throughout his life. Details can be obtained from his brother, John Mendelsohn, 1412 South Blvd., Houston, TX 77006. reach back and help others … I used those examples and exposed [students] to different experiences,” he said. The experiences have included meetings with members of Congress, dining at nice restaurants, visiting the Newseum in Washington and attending special preparatory classes for the pre-college Scholastic Aptitude Test. As a young man in Cleveland, Fletcher attended his first plays, concerts and recitals because of Kramer’s involvement. “They took me to see the Cleveland Orchestra. I fell asleep!” Fletcher recalled, hastening to add that he quickly awoke once the Harlem Boys Choir began singing. In the “first real restaurant I went to,” Fletcher said, he enjoyed the taste of cheesecake so much that he ordered a second slice. Fletcher would devour innumerable ball carriers during a career in which he made the Pro Bowl four times, recorded 39 sacks and more than 2,000 tackles, solo and assisted, intercepted 23 passes and even scored two touchdowns. Fletcher and Kramer last saw each other shortly before the start of this season at the wedding of another student from the mentoring program.
LEADER from page 6 previously went by the name Staci; Stosh was her family’s nickname for her -- was an activist in Portland, Ore. She founded Open Hand, a local organization that trained women in self-defense and provided violence prevention and girls’ empowerment programming in local schools. In her mid-20s, Cotler had what she describes as a spiritual crisis, but since none of her friends or family were active in Jewish life, it did not occur to her that Judaism could be a resource. A few years later, however, she had a transformative experience that she wrote about in the “Love & Justice in Times of War Haggadah.” In her essay for the 2003 ’zine-style, activist Haggadah, Cotler, who identifies as gay, recounted how a lesbian couple invited her to their Passover seder. She said going to that seder, her first in many years, set her on a Jewish path. “I realized I have a place in this tradition, that I am not alone, that other people like me found ways to connect, that this tradition has wisdom to teach,” Cotler said. Soon after, Cotler said, she met a rabbi who “literally took me under her wing and said, ‘Please come to synagogue, you can sit next to me.’” At age 30, after a few years as a weekday minyan regular, Cotler celebrated a bat mitzvah. In Portland, Cotler was involved in activist groups like the Jewish ACCOUNTS from page 6 has offices in Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, and Ramat Gan—is working with several Americans who have been living in Israel for decades (many since birth or since childhood) and didn’t know they had to file. “Sometimes people lived here since they were 3 or since they were born, and their parents were U.S. citizens, got for them a social security number and put them on the IRS’ radar,” Jacob told JNS.org. “Now, they have a filing requirement.” Similarly, Moshe Gelbtuch, senior manager at BDO Seidman Alliance in Brooklyn, said he sees American clients, generally wealthy businesspeople, who traveled often to Israel and opened an account there for simplicity or to support the Jewish state. SOLDIER from page 8 Katja Edelman, originally from Kansas and now a student at Columbia University, recently completed her service as a combat infantry soldier in the IDF’s canine unit. In that role, she worked with dogs in the field and trained them back at the base. She told JNS.org that the IDF “has a lot to be proud of regarding integration of women. … I felt like I had amazing opportunities in my service and was able to do many of the same things men
Radical Action Project and Jews for Global Justice, and she demonstrated against Israeli policies. In 2001, she protested a Portland appearance by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. The next year, Portland’s Willamette Week described her staging a mock Israeli checkpoint in a downtown intersection. “You are now at an Israeli checkpoint. If you protest, you will be killed. Expect to be blindfolded and beaten,” she shouted through a mega-phone, according to the paper. Cotler refused to discuss her participation in Israel-related activism, saying that Israel does not factor into Bend the Arc's work. “It’s fully outside of our mission. We have a principled approach that we just do not make any commentary on that issue at all,” she said. “We feel like by being so clear in this way what we create is a big tent, what we create is an organization where Jews who have a range of opinions feel like they can find a home at Bend the Arc to focus their activist energy on a very progressive domestic agenda.” Howard Welinsky, a member of Bend the Arc’s executive board who is also active in the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and chairs Democrats for Israel, Los Angeles, said that Cotler’s views on Israel are not relevant to her work at Bend the Arc. “I’m personally passionately pro-Israel and have been very
aggressive in those activities, but when I’m on a [Bend the Arc] call it’s about the domestic programs of our country and the progressive Jewish agenda we focus on,” Welinsky said. “All the other things we leave at the door. I have never had a conversation with [Cotler] about Israel.” Ruth Messinger, president of the American Jewish World Service, which participates with Bend the Arc in the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable, praised Cotler for being a “responsive, out-of-the box thinker” and a “real team player.” Like several other high-ranking Jewish women professionals interviewed for the article, Messinger praised Bend the Arc not only for hiring a female CEO but for recognizing talent within an organization rather than looking outside. Rabbi Jill Jacobs, executive director of T’ruah, formerly the American branch of Rabbis for Human Rights, said that as recently as five or 10 years ago, “the Jewish social justice world was surprisingly male, and now it’s really shifting.” Jacobs, who previously worked with Cotler at Jewish Funds for Justice, said that Bend the Arc’s newly tapped leader is known for being a “strong presence” who is “attuned to human dynamics and interpersonal issues.” Cotler, Jacobs said, is “not someone out there tooting her own horn, but everyone who’s ever worked with her is impressed by her.”
“Some of them may have forgotten they opened it or it never entered their minds that they would have to report it,” Gelbtuch told JNS.org. He noted that at the same time, until the U.S. focused its counter tax-evasion efforts on foreign bank accounts, accountants “didn’t know or think to ask clients. … [These accounts] simply got ignored.” Gelbtuch said right now is the time to take action. “If I were a betting person, I don’t know that I would want to take a chance. I don’t think any of this is hype,” he said. In 2013, six Israelis were prosecuted for having undisclosed bank accounts. Most recently, David Raminfard of Los Angeles pleaded guilty on Nov. 4 in federal court to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. According to court doc-
uments, Raminfard, a U.S. citizen, maintained undeclared bank accounts at an international bank headquartered in Tel Aviv, identified in court documents as Bank A. For tax years 2005 through 2010, Raminfard failed to report approximately $521,000 in income. The highest balance in Raminfard’s undeclared accounts was approximately $3 million. He faces a potential maximum prison term of five years and a maximum fine of $250,000. In addition, he has agreed to pay a civil penalty to the IRS in the amount of 50 percent of the high balance of his undeclared accounts, for failing to file FBARs. Ruchelman said that for another several months, Americans are able to take advantage of the Overseas Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) for people who have violated the law.
do. … It was always important to me to demonstrate professionalism and capability to set the right precedent for a continued and hopefully expanded role for women in the IDF.” Edelman said she did feel pressure to prove herself in the IDF, and she went to extra lengths not to show signs of fatigue “even if the boys were openly exhausted.” “I feel that most women in male-dominated workplaces can relate,” she said. Kelemer’s mother, Amian
Frost-Kelemer, said she is “incredibly impressed” with and proud of her daughter. But she is also “petrified.” “She believes she can do whatever the guys can do. She is really fast. But the weight they have to carry is not great for a woman’s body,” Frost-Kelemer told JNS.org. “Mentally, there is no issue. Physically, the reality is that as strong as she is, it is about heart—she is there for the heart.” Maayan Jaffe is a freelance writer in Overland Park, Kan.
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