THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2012 18 TISHREI, 5773
YPs at the JCC’s Painting & Pinot Event
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VOL. 159 • NO. 11
The American Israelite T H E
O L D E S T
E N G L I S H
New engagement program keeps students connected to Israel
Community invited to Presidential Candidates Forum
‘Harvesting people and pickles’: An inside look at Jewish farm...
Latino Jews weigh in on immigration, Israel leading up to election
Ferrari’s—where one hand washes the other
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At U.N., Netanyahu tries to portray Iran as ticking time bomb
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In ‘Fill the Void,’ haredi filmmaker Rama Burshtein aims lens inward
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In Scandinavia, kipah becomes a symbol of defiance for Malmo’s Jews
Jewish Foundation partners with Mayerson JCC’s Wolf Center for Arts & Ideas to bring performers to Cincinnati The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati has announced a special one-year investment as the Presenting Sponsor of the “2012 – 2013 Season of Arts & Ideas,” a program of the Wolf Center at the Mayerson JCC. This exciting season will showcase the talents of several internationally acclaimed artists. The first of these is bestselling author Mitch Albom, who wrote Tuesdays with Morrie and Have a Little Faith. He is coming to the J on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 21, to talk about his new book, The Time Keeper. This new book was #1 on the New York Times Bestselling Hardcover Fiction list on Sept. 23, and Albom has recently been featured on Good Morning America, The View, the CBS Morning Show, and others. Tickets to see Mitch Albom are on sale now through the JCC website. Each ticket includes a free copy of The Time Keeper, and Mr. Albom will be signing books after his presentation at the J. Also featured during the Wolf Center’s 2012 – 2013 Season of Arts & Ideas is Broadway and television star Bebe Neuwirth. Actress, singer and dancer Bebe Neuwirth earned two Emmy Awards as psychiatrist Lilith Crane in the hit comedy Cheers, and two Tony Awards on Broadway for her lead roles in Chicago and Sweet Charity. Neuwirth will perform a one-woman cabaret show of her favorite songs on Saturday evening, March 9. Another Wolf Center featured artist in the 2012 – 2013 season is renowned Israeli singer-songwriter David Broza. Broza is a multi-platinum Israeli icon who has won the hearts of audiences across the world. In addition to his mesmerizing musical performances, he is well known for his dedication to many humanitarian causes, including the IsraeliPalestinian conflict. Broza was the
Bebe Neuwirth will perform some of her favorite songs on March 9, as part of the JCC Wolf Center’s Season of Arts & Ideas.
first Israeli musician to play in Palestine, and his message of peace through music has earned him several international awards. Broza will perform live in Cincinnati on Sunday, April 21, as part of his world tour to cities in Spain, Germany, Canada and the United States.
The popular Jewish & Israeli Film Festival rounds out the 2012 – 2013 Wolf Center Season of Arts & Ideas. For more than 12 years, Cincinnati’s annual Jewish & Israeli Film Festival has drawn large audiences to see international award-
winning films. The movies range from contemporary dramas to documentaries, and showcase emerging film-makers as well as long-standing favorites. The Jewish & Israeli Film Festival is scheduled for Feb. 9 – 28, 2013. “We are excited to bring worldclass entertainment to Cincinnati through our Wolf Center events, and we are very grateful for The Jewish Foundation’s support,” said Mayerson JCC President Marc Fisher. “The 2012 – 2013 Season of Arts & Ideas enables us to partner with both Jewish and non-Jewish organizations to enhance Cincinnati’s reputation as a premier destination for first-rate speakers and artists.” The Wolf Center is uniquely positioned to work collaboratively with local organizations, both within and beyond the Jewish community, in order to further the impact of the Season of Arts & Ideas programming. Partnership activities are being developed in connection with Mitch Albom’s appearance in October, as well as with Bebe Neuwirth’s performance in March. The David Broza concert on April 21, 2013, is being planned in conjunction with community-wide festivities for Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Israel Independence Day), and will be the culminating event of our community’s six-month celebration of Israel’s 65th anniversary. “The Jewish Foundation is committed to investing its resources in multiple areas, including those that enable the Jewish community to make significant contributions to Cincinnati’s reputation as a firstclass community for arts and ideas,” said Michael R. Oestreicher, president of The Jewish Foundation. “We are pleased to partner with the Mayerson JCC, and especially with David and Nancy Wolf, who have inspired our commitment with the success of the Wolf Center.”
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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2012
Community invited to Presidential Candidates Forum The Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati is holding a Presidential Candidates Forum on Thursday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m., in the Amberley Room of the Mayerson JCC. Representatives (also known as “surrogates”) from the Obama and Romney campaigns will speak about their candidates’ positions. The event is free and open to the public, though reservations are encouraged. The forum will be moderated by WCPO-TV Investigative Reporter Hagit Limor. Limor, the Emmy and national-award-winning journalist who helms the “I-Team,” was born in Israel and moved to the U.S. when she was 8 years old. Representing the Obama campaign is Rep. Robert Wexler (DFla, 1997-2010), a chief Jewish surrogate for President Obama’s reelection campaign. During his time in the U.S. House of Representatives, Wexler was named one of the “50 Most Effective Legislators in Congress” and was included in the “Forward 50” list as one of the most influential leaders in the American Jewish community. He is currently president of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace. He has been an outspoken advocate for the unbreakable bond between the U.S. and Israel and a leading proponent of Israel’s right to selfdefense and the need for a just and
Representatives for both Mitt Romney and President Obama will be present.
comprehensive resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Candidate Romney’s surrogate is, as of Sept. 28, still to be determined. Come early to meet candidates for local offices, from 6:15–6:45 p.m. Local candidates running for office, as well as representatives from local issues and initiatives, will be available to share information about their campaigns. A full list of these candidates, issues and initiatives is available online. Additionally, a Post-Election Analysis event will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 27, at 7 p.m., also at the Mayerson JCC. Eric Rademacher, from UC’s Institute for Policy Research; Tim Burke, Hamilton County Democratic Party Chair; and Alex Triantafilou, Hamilton County Republican
New engagement program keeps students connected to Israel On Sept. 9, 68 Jewish highschool students from across Cincinnati met at the Mayerson JCC for the first in a series of six sessions of Israel HERE, a posttrip engagement program developed by the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati for recipients of Israel Travel Grants from The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati. The goal of the program is to connect students with their peers who have also traveled to Israel, helping them hold on to and process their experiences, strengthen their own personal Jewish identity and explore and expand their relationships with the local Jewish community. It also asks students to volunteer 25 hours of service to give back to the community that has generously supported their travel. This is the first year for Israel HERE, but going forward, it will be an ongoing component of the Foundation’s Israel Travel Grant Program. In order to make sure the grant recipients will get the
most out of their trips in future years, they will all be expected to participate. Community Shaliach Yair Cohen, who co-developed the Israel HERE program with Sharon Spiegel, director of Youth Israel Experiences at the Jewish Federation, said, “In the past, students who used the Foundation grants to travel to Israel came back and went on with their lives like they hadn’t just had this powerful experience. We’ve now realized that there must also be a post-trip component, to give students a platform to process their trips and make them relevant to their lives HERE, in Cincinnati’s Jewish community.” Students were able to choose from one of five “tracks” – dance, music, writing, photography and Israel advocacy – each of which will act as a channel for the students to discuss and share their experiences in and about Israel.
Party Chair, will show the local, state and nationwide results, discuss the controversies and upsets and explain the impact of the 2012 elections. All events in this “Election Special” series are brought to you by the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati with support from the Wolf Center for Arts & Ideas at the Mayerson JCC. Partnering organizations include Adath Israel Congregation, American Jewish Committee, Beit Chaverim, Beth Israel Congregation, Camp Livingston, Cincinnati Hillel Jewish Student Center, Congregation B’nai Tzedek, Isaac M. Wise Temple, Jewish Family Service, The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati, JVS Career Services, Northern Hills Synagogue and Temple Sholom.
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Please join us at Weil Funeral Home for refreshments and help us celebrate a tradition of caring for over 100 Years! Tuesday, October 30, 2012 7:30–9:00 PM Please join us for a lively and compelling discussion about Cremation or Burial: A Jewish View Doron Kornbluth is a renowned speaker, the best-selling author of Raising Kids to Love being Jewish and Why Be Jewish? and appears frequently in Jewish Media around the world. He will speak about this sensitive subject, discuss both sides of the question, and share his conclusions after three years of intensive research into the philosophies and practicalities of end-of-life choices. Doron has developed a very positive way of discussing this controversial issue . His book Cremation or Burial: A Jewish View is now available. He is a wonderful educator and this book is full of thought-provoking insights on this topic . Book signing to follow lecture .
100 Years in Business
PROGRAM on page 20
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American Jewish Committee award event
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VOL. 159 • NO. 11 THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2012 18 TISHREI 5773 SHABBAT BEGINS FRIDAY 6:56 PM SHABBAT ENDS SATURDAY 7:57 PM
tone) and Rachel Fankhauser (bass). The group is part of the VOA Chorus, which is a member of Sweet Adelines International, a worldwide organization of women dedicated to advancing the musical art form of
barbershop. Uptown Sound is the current fourth place medalist quartet in the Tri-State Region. There is a charge for nonSisterhood members; contact the synagogue office for more information.
Wise Temple hosts IHN in November Wise Temple continues its longtime commitment to serving homeless families at Wise Center as part of the Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) in November. Approximately 50 Wise Temple families will volunteer during the November hosting, serving as evening hosts, cooks or overnight hosts. Wise’s IHN co-chairs, Deb
LaFrance and Lisa Cooper, coordinate all of the volunteers, some who have been helping with IHN for over 20 years. Others are new to the program, including Lisa Cooper who encourages new volunteers not to be timid about helping out. “Just sign up even if you’re not really sure what to do. The veteran volunteers will help
out the new volunteers. We’re all working together for a good cause.” During the week of Nov. 11–18, Wise Temple religious school classrooms will be converted into bedrooms, complete with beds, cribs and curtains, so that homeless families can stay together, in private rooms, while waiting
for permanent housing. Congregants bring hot, homecooked meals for dinner each night and, in addition, provide breakfast and lunch throughout the week. Wise Temple volunteers of all ages arrive to socialize with the IHN families in the evenings. For more information or to register for IHN, call Margie Burgin.
Wise Temple congregants will be volunteering for a wide range of WiseUP Social Action projects this fall to fulfill the mission of Tikkun Olam—repairing the world—to bring greater meaning to their lives and the lives of others. WiseUP projects provide congregants with opportunities to help those who are disadvantaged or in need.
Kathy Claybon will lead volunteers in the sorting and packing of food at the Freestore Foodbank on Saturday, Oct. 13. Volunteers will serve brunch and play with children at the Bethany House shelter on Sunday, Oct. 14 with Project Leader Bess Gordon. From November 11–18, Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) guests will be staying at the Temple. IHN
co-chairs Deb LaFrance and Lisa Cooper will schedule and coordinate over 50 volunteers who will help guests feel welcome as they share meals and spend the week at Wise Center. Volunteers led by Stacey Bie and Lew Ebstein will cook and serve lunch on Sunday, Nov. 18 at the Over-the-Rhine Soup Kitchen. As Thanksgiving approaches, Mary and Scott Boster
will led an effort to collect cooked turkeys on Sunday, Nov. 18 that will be used for holiday meals at the Over-the-Rhine Soup Kitchen. Ann Safdi will coordinate volunteers to serve Thanksgiving dinner to approximately 200 guests at St. Francis Seraph Thanksgiving Soup Kitchen on Nov. 21. WiseUP cochairs are Carol Kabel and Jody Tsevat.
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 YEHOSHUA MIZRACHI MICHAEL SAWAN Assistant Editors ALEXIA KADISH Copy Editor JANET STEINBERG Travel Editor MARIANNA BETTMAN NATE BLOOM IRIS PASTOR RABBI A. JAMES RUDIN ZELL SCHULMAN RABBI AVI SHAFRAN PHYLLIS R. SINGER Contributing Columnists JOSEPH D. STANGE Production Manager ERIN WYENANDT Office Manager e Oldest Eng Th
ewish N h-J ew lis
Wise Temple WiseUP social action projects for fall
LEO WISE Editor & Publisher, 1900-1928
take place on Sunday, Oct. 14, at 11 a.m. at the synagogue. Uptown Sound is a women’s quartet singing in Barbershop style. Featuring Rochelle Strack (lead), Laura Witt (tenor), Maria Zink (bari-
RABBI ISAAC M. WISE Founder, Editor, Publisher, 1854-1900
Community Intergroup Seder, Thanksgiving Diversity Lunch, and Simon Lazarus Awards for outstanding high school volunteers.” Keynote speaker Dov Zakheim is a national AJC leader and former U.S. Under Secretary of Defense. He will tell about AJC’s recent thoughtful, principled global advocacy with international leaders, which has earned the respect and attention of leaders at the highest levels—prime ministers, presidents, foreign ministers, and ambassadors. Founded in 1906, AJC is a nonpartisan global advocacy organization with offices in the U.S. and overseas and partnerships with Jewish communities around the world.
Council. In the civic realm, John has been a leader of Downtown Cincinnati Inc. and the Hamilton County Mental Health Board and was president of the Cincinnatus Association. He currently is a Big Brother to a 10 year old, volunteers in an inner-city elementary school, and mentors an assistant high school principal. “Generous donors support our efforts to build international support for Israel, find global opponents to a nuclear Iran, diminish U.S. reliance on imported oil, and reform U.S. immigration policy,” explains Rick Michelman, vice president of Michelman Inc., AJC Cincinnati treasurer and a national AJC Comay fellow. “Locally, AJC sponsors the
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Rick Michelman and John Michelman
of democratic values for all. John Michelman, chairman of Michelman Inc., praises his longtime friend, honoree John Frank: “What he has done for the community is awesome. He’s a recognized expert in commercial and investment real estate. U.C. recognized him with its Distinguished Real Estate Service Award.” John Frank is a natural leader who has volunteered for decades. He was local president of Jewish Big Brothers Association and later a vice president of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. He was president of AJC Cincinnati, Rockdale Temple, Jewish Vocational Service and United Jewish Cemeteries, and chaired the Federation’s Leadership
Northern Hills Sisterhood features Uptown Sound The Sisterhood of Northern Hills Synagogue - Congregation B’nai Avraham invites the community to enjoy the music of Uptown Sound at the annual paid-up membership brunch. The event will
r in Am ape er sp i
Who: John J. Frank, Jr., chairman of the commercial real estate firm of Cassidy Turley and community leader What: Will receive the American Jewish Committee Community Service Award at the Initial Gifts Reception When: Wednesday, Oct. 17, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Where: Mayerson JCC Why: “John Frank is renowned for his professional and civic accomplishments,” notes Dr. Michael Safdi, AJC Cincinnati president. John J. Frank, Jr., will receive the Community Service Award of the American Jewish Committee Cincinnati Regional Office at the Initial Gifts Reception on Wednesday, Oct. 17, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Mayerson Jewish Community Center “We selected John Frank for this honor because of his outstanding professional and civic accomplishments,” notes Dr. Michael Safdi, AJC Cincinnati president. “John has a passion for making our community great. He is chairman of the commercial real estate firm Cassidy Turley. He is an accomplished leader and frequent volunteer.” The father-son team of John Michelman and Rick Michelman is chairing the Tribute Committee for AJC’s annual Appeal for Human Relations. The event benefits AJC’s global advocacy for the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel, and for the advancement
THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE (USPS 019-320) is published weekly for $44 per year and $1.00 per single copy in Cincinnati and $49 per year and $3.00 per single copy elsewhere in U.S. by The American Israelite Co. 18 West Ninth Street, Suite 2, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-2037. Periodicals postage paid at Cincinnati, OH. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE, 18 West Ninth Street, Suite 2, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-2037. The views and opinions expressed by the columnists of The American Israelite do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the newspaper.
LOCAL / NATIONAL • 5
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2012
Constella String Trio performs at the J, Oct. 14 The entire community is invited to attend a free concert at the Mayerson JCC on Sunday, Oct. 14 at 1 p.m. This special event celebrates Daniel Pearl World Music Day and is a part of the Constella Festival of Music & Fine Arts. The free concert features family-friendly classical music performed by the acclaimed Constella String Trio. Daniel Pearl World Music Day was created in remembrance of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, an American who was kidnapped and murdered by extremists in Karachi, Pakistan. Pearl’s family and friends came together to work toward a more humane world, forming the Daniel Pearl Foundation. Pearl was also known as a talented musician who joined musical groups in every community he visited. He had a passion for music and a lifelong mission of uniting people from different cultures with music. Over the past nine years, Daniel Pearl World Music Day has included more than 6,700 performances in 110 countries.
The free concert at the JCC is the only Daniel Pearl World Music Day event in Cincinnati on Sunday, Oct. 14. At this event, the J uses the power of music to promote cross-cultural understanding and remind people of all cultures and religions that everyone shares a common humanity. Constella String Trio is comprised of Tatiana Berman, Yael Senamaud-Cohen, and Ilya Finkelshteyn. Violinist Tatiana Berman is also a founding member of concert:nova, a chamber music ensemble described by The Cincinnati Enquirer as “the future of classical music,” and is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Constella Festival of Music and Fine Arts. Yael Senamaud-Cohen serves as the principal violist in the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, and has played with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, concert:nova, and ProMusica in Columbus. She was awarded tenure as a viola professor in the Paris region conserva-
tory system in 2005, and holds a Graduate Performance Diploma from Peabody Conservatory where she studied with Paul Coletti. Ilya Finkelshteyn, principal cellist of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Japan and Europe. He also served as the principal cellist of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and as a member of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra under the late Hans Vonk. “In its second year, the Constella Festival has challenged Cincinnati to see the richness of arts in our community through collaborations and partnerships with both local and international artists. The Mayerson JCC is proud to partner with the Constella String Trio to bring classical music to a broad audience of all ages and backgrounds, and to celebrate the message of ‘Harmony for Humanity’ of the Daniel Pearl World Music Days,” said Courtney Cummings, JCC Cultural Arts manager.
When Bibi didn’t meet Barack— a story of comity? By Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraph Agency WASHINGTON – President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not meet, but they ended up sounding not so far apart. Netanyahu’s address to the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday in many ways echoed Obama’s speech there on Tuesday, with both ratcheting up the heat on Iran over its nuclear program. The themes that echoed in each speech suggest that despite the bickering between the two leaders, they may be converging on policy. Obama reiterated that “containment” of a nuclear-armed Iran is not an option, a stance that is in accord with Israel’s position. Netanyahu, meanwhile, articulated a red line – something Obama has been reluctant to do, beyond saying that Iran should not be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon. But the Israeli prime minister set that red line in a spot that allows the United States some more time to give diplomacy and sanctions a chance to work. The speeches reflected a joint effort to see if a coordinated strategy is possible which, if successful, could make clear to the Iranians that the United States and Israel are aligned, said David Makovsky, a senior analyst with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. The key is that the U.S. and
Israel eventually arrive at common thresholds, Makovsky told JTA. “If that is conveyed to Iran publicly, that would be effective,” he said. “What I saw was effective in Netanyahu’s speech was that he was able to sharpen the focus on the Iranian nuclear program while not sharpening the conflict with the president.” Netanyahu in his speech suggested that the United States and Israel were working to get on the same page. “Israel is in discussions with the United States over this issue, and I am confident that we can chart a path forward together,” he said. For all of the focus on the details of the difficult relationship between the two leaders – the fact that they are not meeting during Netanyahu’s U.S. visit made headlines – the speeches sounded similarly tough notes on Iran’s nuclear program. “Make no mistake, a nucleararmed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained,” Obama said. “It would threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations, and the stability of the global economy.” Obama has explicitly rejected containment since he spoke to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in May. On Tuesday, the president used blunt language at a venue not as receptive to tough talk on the issue, and characterized Iran’s nuclear program as an existential threat to Israel. The latter
statement is the sort of warning that Netanyahu has been repeating since being elected to his second term as prime minister in 2009. BIBI on page 21
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At U.N., Netanyahu tries to portray Israel’s deputy foreign Iran as ticking time bomb minister anticipates energy-driven change
Courtesy of UN Photo/J Carrier
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showing a cartoonish diagram of a bomb during his address to the U.N. General Assembly, Sept. 27, 2012.
By Neil Rubin Jewish Telegraph Agency For Benjamin Netanyahu, it’s all about advancing the view that a nuclear Iran is not simply a theoretical threat, but a ticking time bomb. It’s why he’s pressing President Obama to establish explicit red lines when it comes to Iran’s nuclear progress. It’s why he came to the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday brandishing a placard with a cartoonish diagram of a bomb meant to depict Iran’s nuclear threat. And it’s why, in a first, Netanyahu offered an explicit timetable about when he believes Iran will reach the nuclear red line in 2013. “By next spring, next summer at most,” Iran will have finished the “medium enrichment” stage, Netanyahu said in his U.N. speech, pointing to the red line he had drawn on his diagram. “From there, it’s less than a few months, possibly a few weeks, until they get enough uranium for an enriched bomb. The relevant question is not when will Iran get the bomb; the question is at what stage can we stop Iran?” President Obama, who addressed the U.N. General Assembly two days earlier, made clear he, too, will not abide an Iranian nuclear bomb. While he agreed with Netanyahu’s assessment of the broad threats a nucleararmed Iran would pose, he has refused to commit the United States to a red line short of Iran’s actually obtaining a weapon. (Netanyahu says Iran cannot be allowed to have nuclear weapons capability.) “Make no mistake, a nucleararmed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained,” Obama told the General Assembly on Tuesday. “It would threaten the annihilation of Israel, the security of Gulf nations and the stability of the global econ-
omy. It risks triggering a nucleararms race in the region and the unraveling of the non-proliferation treaty. That’s why a coalition of countries is holding the Iranian government accountable. And that’s why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” However, Obama noted, “America wants to resolve this issue through diplomacy, and we believe that there is still time and space to do so.” Obama also linked the recent anti-American violence triggered by a YouTube clip of a movie insulting the Prophet Mohammed to Holocaust denial. “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam,” Obama said. “But to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see in the images of Jesus Christ that are desecrated, or churches that are destroyed or the Holocaust that is denied.” For the moment, it wasn’t clear what impact the rhetoric at the United Nations would have—on world opinion, on the U.S. stance on Iran, or on American votes for the president come November. But Obama’s Iran remarks and Netanyahu’s praise for them may be a sign that public tensions between the U.S. and Israeli administrations on Iran, which spilled over into public view in recent weeks, are subsiding. The Israeli leader reportedly had been miffed that Obama turned down a meeting with him during the General Assembly in New York. The White House countered that the president was not meeting with any world leaders. And some Democrats were irked when Netanyahu went on the Sunday morning talk shows in America to push the Iran issue, viewing it as meddling in election-year politics.
That followed Netanyahu’s declaration in Israel on Sept. 11 that nations that fail to establish a clear red line on Iran “don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel” – a statement Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) called “utterly contrary to the extraordinary United States-Israel alliance.” This week, it seemed, there was an effort to move beyond these episodes. “I very much appreciate the president’s position, as does everyone in my country,” Netanyahu said on Thursday. Obama’s remarks on Iran and Netanyahu’s praise for Obama “lowered the noise” on the tensions, said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. While the Palestinians’ unilateral statehood bid made headlines at last year’s annual gathering of world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly, this year it was clear that Iran was the main event, with the Palestinian issue barely a sideshow. Even though Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ speech gained strong applause in the cavernous hall, it didn’t get much attention elsewhere. Abbas lashed out against Israel’s “apartheid” policies against the Palestinian people and won sustained applause when he called for non-member state status at the United Nations. He talked about Israel’s “position of apartheid against the Palestinian people,” and said, “Israel is promising the Palestinian people a new catastrophe, a new Nakba. I speak on behalf of an angry people.” Nakba, Arabic for catastrophe, is the term Palestinians use for Israel’s creation. The Palestinian issue got little more than passing reference in Netanyahu’s and Obama’s speeches. If anything, Obama appeared to lay more blame on the Palestinians for the standstill in negotiations, talking about the need to “leave behind those who thrive on conflict, those who reject the right of Israel to exist,” without singling out any obstacles to peace on the Israeli side. On Wednesday, Yom Kippur, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad delivered what is likely to be his last speech at the world body, with his term set to end within a year. He made but scant reference to his country’s nuclear program, decrying how the “pledge to disclose these armaments in due time is now being used as a new language of threats against nations.” He added, “Continued threats by the uncivilized Zionists to resort to a military action against our great nation is a clear example of this bitter reality.”
By Maxine Dovere JointMedia News Service NEW YORK – Danny Ayalon anticipates dramatic changes for Israel, the Middle East and Europe, giving a decade as his timeframe. In an exclusive conversation with JNS on Sunday morning in New York, Israel’s deputy foreign minister said that, while it is unrealistic to expect any nation dependent on Arab oil to jeopardize its economic wellbeing to publicly support Israel, changes in energy availability “will be the next segment of geo-strategic planning” for the Jewish state. Israel’s recent discoveries of extensive natural gas resources can change the real politic, according to Ayalon. With the ability to export fuel from its recently discovered – and extensive – natural gas reserves, Israel will be able to dramatically alter political relations and current political positioning within 10 years, he said. Emphasizing the extensive bilateral, albeit under the radar, cooperation in multiple areas between Israel and many of its Arab neighbors, Ayalon told JNS that such cooperation is “a very important reflection of positive bilateral activities and associations.” The problem, he said, is “with votes in public” – when privately friendly nations, including Arab and non-aligned countries, are “under public pressure” to vote against Israel. Ayalon came to the UN to draw attention to the 850,000 Jewish refugees driven out of their homes in Arab countries following the declaration of Israeli statehood. Speaking at the Sept. 21 “Justice for Jews from Arab Countries” conference he hosted, Ayalon said the government of Israel “has decided to flush out the truth – to teach our children the truth in a systematic way.” For more than six decades, little was done to recognize Jewish refugees. But on Feb. 22, 2010, the Knesset adopted legislation declaring the discussion of the plight of Jewish refugees from Arab countries to be an integral part of any peace negotiation. The Knesset legislation came after passage of a non-binding resolution in the United States House of Representatives in 2008 requiring every reference to Palestinian refugees be mirrored by “explicit reference” to the refugee communities of Jews from Arab lands. The Knesset proposal was passed by an unusual coalition: sponsored by MK Nissim Ze’ev, a
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon speaks at the Sept. 21 “Justice for Jews from Arab Countries” conference he hosted in New York.
member of the right-leaning Shas party largely supported by Jews from Arab countries and their descendants, together with a group of Zionist parties, including the left-leaning Labor and Meretz parties. Before a packed room Sept. 21, Ayalon said, “There will not be a final peace until the questions of the refugees is solved.” “We will not arrive to peace without solving the refugees’ problems on both sides of the line…with real respect of each for the other,” he said. Ayalon assured Arab leaders that “this is not something designed to discomfort or condemn or be an obstacle to peace.” He called the action “a bridge to peace – a real peace with security, justice and longevity. Based on the truth even if the truth is not comfortable.” Leaving behind the public proclamations and protests shouted from the public forum of the UN, Ayalon went on to take significantly positive, albeit cautious, positions at a separate Sunday morning briefing in New York. “On a bilateral basis, Israel is not too isolated, as measured by investments, tourism, and integration of its ideas in the real world,” he said. Warning of the “tyranny and evil forces threatening all of Western Civilization” and attacks by Islamist regimes “because of who we are and what we represent,” Israel, said the deputy foreign minister, “must be prepared for any eventuality…Israel today is not defenseless: we have the capability to defend ourselves, by ourselves.” DEPUTY on page 22
NATIONAL • 7
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2012
‘Harvesting people and pickles’: An inside look at Jewish farming By Paul Foer JointMedia News Service
Close Michigan State case, alleged victim’s family requests (JTA) – The family of Michigan State student Zachary Tennen, who said he was the victim of a hate crime following an off-campus party, has asked prosecutors to close the case. Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III said police investigators interviewed 50 witnesses in the Aug. 26 attack but did not turn up any evidence that the attack was due to racial or religious bias. Tennen, 19, claimed that two suspects with shaved heads yelled “Heil Hitler” during the assault, during which his jaw was broken. The family wrote in a Sept. 24 letter that “justice will be best served by closing this investigation at this time,” according to reports. “The Tennen family is cognizant of the fact that substantial resources were expended to investigate these allegations and that there is insufficient evidence of a hate crime to go forward with a criminal prosecution.” Americans hold strong favorable views of Israel, new poll finds (JTA) – Seventy percent of Americans view Israel favorably, according to a survey conducted by the Foreign Policy Initiative. Moreover, when asked their view of Israel, nearly 81 percent of political conservatives shared that view while the number was at 68.5 percent for moderates and approximately 63 percent of liberals. The survey, called “Foreign Policy Matters in 2012,” was conducted Sept. 15-17 by Basswood Research for the Foreign Policy Initiative. Its margin of error is 3.1 percent. Some 40 percent of respondents identified as Republicans, 40 percent as Democrats and 20 percent as either independents or with no party affiliation. Asked the open-ended question about America’s best ally in the world, Israel came in at 15.9 percent, second only to the United Kingdom at 54 percent. On Syria, nearly 66 percent of Americans supported Washington working “with our allies to establish no-fly zones in Syria to protect civilians and help ensure a transition to a more pro-Western government instead of the terrorist-supporting regime of Bashar al-Assad.”
FALLS VILLAGE, CONN.— Nadav Slovin cultivates the fields of potatoes and other crops in the rural Litchfield Hills of northwestern Connecticut. As he moves between the rows, he could be mistaken for an Amish farmer, especially with his reddish beard and straw hat. Then again, maybe he looks more heimish than Amish – especially when you notice the tzitzit protruding from his pants and the yarmulke beneath his hat. The 22-year-old Slovin, raised in a Conservative Jewish home in Worcester, Mass., is among a new breed of Jewish youth learning farming skills – as well as Jewish sensibilities and teachings – as a fellow with the Adamah Farm, a unit of the Isabella Freedman Center. On a blazing Friday afternoon this summer, about a dozen Adamah fellows joined in a circle in the shade to go over the week’s work and plan for Shabbat and Sunday, the annual farm day open to the public. They went off to the mikvah, enjoying a tributary of the Housatonic River that served to irrigate not only the fields but also their souls. Separated from the women, the men stripped down to the suits given to them by nature, slid down a path to the refreshingly cool water and gathered in a deep bend of the river, immersing themselves completely. The river was perfect for a hot July afternoon. That same river, however, had flooded the previous summer, wreaking havoc in the fields around harvest time. Whatever the weather brings, the Adamah staff and fellows work together to produce food for their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) members, who buy shares in the Adamah Farm produce. In addition to produce, they sell pickles, cheese, berry preserves and other items produced on the farm, and they also provide food for the kitchen of the Freedman Center, which hosts Jewish groups and conferences. Early one morning, Rachel Stern gathers eggs as if she were an old pro – the Goucher College senior did grow up on a small Vermont family farm. However, other than some Passover and Hanukkah observances, mainly with her grandmother, she says, “Judaism played a very small role in my upbringing.” She began to explore and study Judaism in college and now majors in religion, which helps her find “more and more meaning in Judaism in my personal life.” “My decision to attend Adamah came out of my personal journey with religion and a craving to experience life in Jewish community,” she tells JNS. “While I was there my most excit-
Adamah Farm fellow Rachel Stern working in the Adamah fields in Connecticut.
ing discovery was the incredible meaning to be within an intentional community that rests upon a spiritual foundation.” Slovin, who arrived at Adamah with a stronger Jewish background than Stern, was searching for a deeper relationship with what he calls “my source, myself, and my surroundings.” “Connecting with the land, the physical source of my sustenance, is connecting with my creator,” he tells JNS. “Working the soil, for me, has become play, a creative dance that magnifies Hashem’s gifts.” But the summer at Adamah
“was by no means Pleasantville,” Slovin says. “Conflict grew as profusely as the flowers of a cucumber plant,” he says. “Yet out of the flowers grew cucumbers, glorious relationships and learning experiences that taught me how I fit into a community, how I relate to Judaism compared to my peers, how I can improve upon myself in order to be a more appreciative and caring individual. Ultimately, learning how to be a more responsible, caring, humble person is learning how to be a better Jew. My experiences at Adamah have deepened my con-
nections with my source, my self, and my surroundings.” Adamah’s director is Shamu Sadeh, the son of Hungarian Jews who moved with his family from Washington, D.C., to a rural area in Maryland, where they enjoyed fresh produce and milk and cheese from their goats. His mother is a weaver and his father, a writer and horticulturalist, descends from Jews who farmed in Europe. Sadeh, his wife and children live near the farm, but he does much more than merely overseeing the farm. Adamah provides a setting for work, study and reflection for the fellows who come to participate in a three-month leadership-training program called the Adamah Jewish Environmental Fellowship. The program for Jewish adults ages 2032 “integrates organic agriculture, farm-to-table living, Jewish learning, community building, and spiritual practice.” Fellows work in the farm, the commercial kitchen and the goat pasture, and in the evenings they learn about Judaism and sustainability, building community and cultivating leadership skills. Adamah says it “connects people to their roots, to the land, to community, to Judaism and to themselves by providing educational programs to build a more sustainable world. Cultivating souls and soils, harvesting people and pickles.” HARVESTING on page 22
8 • NATIONAL
Latino Jews weigh in on immigration, Israel leading up to election By Alina Dain JointMedia News Service
Courtesy of Yossi Zamir/Flash90
Rescue workers clear the area of the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem bus 405 attack that occurred on July 6, 1989. Abd al-Hadi Ghneim, a Palestinian traveling in a crowded bus, seized the steering wheel from the driver and crashed the bus over a steep precipice in the area of Qiryat Ye’arim. Sixteen passengers died in the crash.
Tongue tied on terrorism—again By Rafael Medoff JointMedia News Service The controversy over how to define the attack on the American consulate in Libya is not the first time the U.S. government has raised eyebrows by refusing to use the word “terrorism.” A similar dispute in 1989 sparked a major row between George H. W. Bush’s administration and Israel. American officials initially traced the Sept. 11 Libya attack, which took the lives of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other diplomats, to “spontaneous reaction” during protests against the film “Innocence of Muslims.” It was not until Sept. 28 that Shawn Turner, director of public affairs for the Director of National Intelligence, conceded in a statement that the U.S. “revised our initial assessment to reflect new information indicating that it was a deliberate and organized terrorist attack carried out by extremists” linked to al-Qaeda. On July 6, 1989, a Palestinian terrorist named Abd al-Hadi Ghneim grabbed the steering wheel of a bus traveling on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway. Shouting “Allahu Akhbar!” (Allah is great), Ghneim drove the bus off the road and into a steep ravine. As it careened down the rocky slope, the bus caught fire and exploded. It was the first recorded instance of Palestinian suicide terrorism. Sixteen passengers were killed, including 39 year-old Rita Levine, of Philadelphia, and two Canadians, Winnipeg teenager Fern Rykiss and Dr. Shelley Volokov Halpenny, of Vancouver. Among the 27 injured passengers were six Americans, including a woman on her way to see her daughter, a gymnast, competing in the Maccabiah games in Jerusalem. Ironically, the terrorist survived. State Department spokesman
Richard Boucher called the attack a “senseless, tragic incident,” but declined to use the word “terrorism.” Defining the attack posed a political problem for the Bush administration. Seven months earlier, the U.S. had initiated contacts with Yasir Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization, claiming the PLO had renounced terrorism. If the PLO was involved in the attack and the U.S. verified that it was terrorism, the administration might have to end its dealings with Arafat. New York Times op-ed columnist William Safire was blunter. He wrote that the State Department was “worried about upsetting Mr. Arafat’s followers.” As it turned out, Ghneim, a 25 year-old Gaza Strip resident, was not a member of Arafat’s PLO, but rather of Palestinian Islamic Jihad. But PLO spokesman Bassam Abu Sharif complicated matters by praising the terrorist attack as “a human reaction” to “desperate conditions.” Sharif said, “He who protects his rights and opposes occupation is not a terrorist. If it were so, George Washington himself would be a terrorist.” The State Department ignored Sharif’s statement, but praised Arafat for telling an interviewer, “It is painful for me to witness the loss of all these civilian lives.” Arafat did not directly condemn the attack. Some prominent journalists likewise seemed reluctant to use the “T-word.” Washington Post correspondent Nora Boustany described Ghneim as an “activist.” New York Times reporter Joel Brinkley called him an “assailant.” In his first dispatch on subject, Brinkley characterized the massacre as an “attack,” an “accident,” and a “bus crash.” In his second article, however, he did call it a “terrorist attack.” TERRORISM on page 22
Meet Alex Halberstein. A swing voter in a swing state, the registered Independent’s family moved in 1938 from Vienna to Peru, and then immigrated to Miami following the Peruvian revolution of 1968. Though Israel is the most important political issue for Halberstein, “the economy is important because we have to make a living,” he says. On immigration reform, Halberstein believes “if you don’t follow the rules, you shouldn’t be rewarded for it.” According to estimates by the American Jewish Committee (AJC)’s Latino and Latin American Institute, Halberstein is one of roughly 100,000 Latino Jews residing in the U.S. Leading up to November’s presidential election, JNS spoke to a group of Latino-Jewish immigrants now eligible to vote in America on how they see issues often associated with typically disparate voting groups – while many Latino voters are concerned with immigration reform and many Jewish voters are concerned with Israel, Latino Jews have both on their minds. “The awareness about the presence of Latino Jews in the U.S. is relatively new,” says Dina Siegel Vann, director of the AJC Latino and Latin American Institute. Primarily European Jews and Sephardic Jews from the Ottoman Empire formed contemporary Jewish communities in South America during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and after World War II. Eventually, some of those Jews came to the U.S. Home to 40,000 of the nation’s 100,000 Latino Jews, among many other Jews, the swing state of Florida is critical battleground territory for Jewish votes. Credit: NASA and Gage Skidmore. Juan Dircie, associate director of the AJC Latino and Latin American Institute’s Miami branch, says roughly 40,000 Latino Jews reside in Florida. Since the gap between the Republican and Democratic parties in Florida is so small, a group of 10,000 eligible voters could potentially sway the state – or even the entire national election, as was the case in 2000. Halberstein became involved in the American Jewish community through organizations like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. He also entered political activism by founding the non-partisan Florida Congressional Committee (FCC), which financially supports proIsrael U.S. senators and Congress members. The South Florida
Courtesy of Alliance of Latinos and Jews
Pictured is the summer 2012 celebration of the Chicago-based Alliance of Latinos and Jews, which marked its 18th year of existence.
Jewish community is “slowly but surely” increasing its political influence through donations to Jewish organizations like the FCC, NACPAC (Pro Israel National Action Committee) and SunPAC (Florida Hispanic Outreach), Halberstein says. Siegel Vann, who is from Mexico, says that in the U.S., “Mexican Jews act as an interesting bridge between Mexico and the U.S,” she says. Mexican Jews denounced California Proposition 187, a 1994 bill intended to screen for citizenship and limit public services to illegal immigrants that was later deemed unconstitutional. Like Siegel Vann, Fanny Herman is from Mexico, where she attended a Jewish day school and Ibero-American University. Her family came to Mexico around 1910 from Turkey and Greece, but she later married an American and moved to the U.S. She is now chair of the AJC Latin American Task Force, as well as the liaison to the Latino community for both the AJC in Chicago and the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. “Israel is extremely important to me,” Herman says. “But I don’t consider myself Zionist.” Herman sees herself as part of the Diaspora and wants to work with it to help Israel. “As Jews all over the world, we can live in peace because we have a place to go,” she says. As both Jewish and Latino, Herman always thinks back to what Jewish immigrants “have gone through,” and believes “it’s a moral thing to do” to help immigrant families stay together. She believes the Democrats are “concerned about [immigration reform and Israel],” but that some policies could be improved. Herman par-
ticularly wants the U.S. to enact stronger sanctions against Iran and to take the nuclear threat more seriously. Iran “is not just an Israel issue, but a world issue,” she says. Daniel Ajzen came from Mexico to the U.S. 30 years ago. He currently resides in San Diego, where he is the president of the Latin American Democracy Defense Organization, LADDO – which monitors anti-democratic activities by potentially hostile entities, including Arab terrorist organizations, in Spanish speaking countries. The organization has detected and reported activities by Iran and Hezbollah in Mexico, Nicaragua and other Central American countries. “I care about the survival of Israel,” he says. Ajzen even volunteered in Kibbutz Or-Hanner in the Sha’ar Hanegev region by the Gaza border during the Six Day War. Ajzen’s articles are published on Hispanic and Jewish websites such as Jewishwebsite and Diariojudio. By assisting nonprofit, citizen advocacy organizations worldwide to develop professional websites at subsidized prices—sites such as the foreign language Web pages of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) and Porisrael—Ajzen works to help Israel build a better and more realistic image around the world. Ajzen also advocates for immigration reform, as he started several online campaigns to help Hispanic immigrants integrate into U.S. society. The website tuspuentes links immigrants with their place of origin and the website Dondeestajose helps families locate lost relatives. LATINOS on page 22
INTERNATIONAL • 9
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2012
In Ukraine, new funds for survivors brings high—some say unrealistic—expectations By Cnaan Liphshiz Jewish Telegraph Agency ODESSA, Ukraine (JTA) – In her dilapidated apartment, Larisa Rakovskaya examines a stack of unpaid heating bills. Sick and alone, the 86-year-old Holocaust survivor and widow is preparing for another encounter with the cold, her “worst and only fear.” Rakovskaya says her hope of staying warm this winter lies with a one-time payment of approximately $3,200 that she may receive from Germany via the Claims Conference following Berlin’s recent decision to include victims of Nazi persecution in the former Soviet Union as beneficiaries of the so-called Hardship Fund. Some 80,000 survivors across the former Soviet Union are expected to qualify for the payouts, half of them in Ukraine, where a crumbling welfare system often leaves the old and disabled to live and die in penury. Rakovskaya says that once she uses the Hardship Fund payment to pay off the few hundred dollars of debt she owes utilities, she wants to visit Israel for the first time. “I don’t want to renovate, and I don’t need a boiler. My last wish is to see Jerusalem,” she tells JTA. Marina, her social worker from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, asks Rakovskaya to “be realistic” and use
International Briefs Cuban Jewish leaders visit Alan Gross (JTA) – Two Cuban Jewish leaders visited jailed American contractor Alan Gross and said they found him in “good spirits.” Adela Dworin, head of Cuba’s Jewish community, and David Prinstein, president of the Patronato Synagogue and Jewish community vice president, spent two hours with Gross on Sept. 27 in the military hospital where he is imprisoned, according to reports. The visit was to mark the High Holidays. Gross reportedly told his visitors that he fasted on Yom Kippur, and that he lifts weights and walks daily on the hospital grounds. Dworin told Reuters that while Gross had been very depressed when she met with him four months ago, he seemed to have a more positive outlook about his future. Dworin and Prinstein have
Holocaust survivor Larisa Rakovskaya in her Odessa apartment, Sept. 14, 2012.
the money for day-to-day living. The Claims Conference, which negotiated the expansion of the Hardship Fund with Germany, says the money will have “an enormous impact.” The application process starts in November, and eligible claimants are expected to be approved as quickly as eight weeks afterward, according to Claims Conference spokeswoman Hillary Kessler-Godin. Applications will be processed throughout most of 2013. JDC, which funds Jewish welfare operations in the former Soviet Union known as Heseds, called the new money a “welcome addition” but cautioned that survivors, as well as other Jews in the region, still need ongoing assistance. UKRAINE on page 19 had regular meetings with Gross in advance of Jewish holidays. During the meeting, the Jewish leaders reportedly spoke about topics ranging from Gross’ health to the U.S. elections, and of his love for Cuba, Dworin told Reuters. Gross, 63, of Potomac, Md., was sentenced last year to 15 years in prison for “crimes against the state.” He was arrested in 2009 for allegedly bringing satellite phones and computer equipment to members of Cuba’s Jewish community while working as a contractor for the U.S. Agency on International Development. Earlier this month, a Cuban Foreign Ministry official rejected claims by Gross’ wife, Judy, that Gross was in ill health and said Cuba was willing to negotiate his release with U.S. officials, reportedly in exchange for five Cuban spies, four of whom remain in jail in the U.S. Gross reportedly has lost more than 100 pounds since his arrest and his family says he is suffering from degenerative arthritis. His mother is dying and one of his daughters has cancer.
In ‘Fill the Void,’ haredi filmmaker Rama Burshtein aims lens inward By Josh Tapper Jewish Telegraph Agency TORONTO – On a dark Tel Aviv terrace, a young haredi Orthodox man and a younger haredi woman discuss love and heartbreak. There is tension and animosity, hurt feelings and broken promises. Then, in an emotional crescendo, the man steps toward the woman, stopping inches from her face. His breathing is heavy, their noses nearly touching. This unusual and powerful scene is one of the climaxes of “Fill the Void,” the award-winning movie debut from Israel’s Rama Burshtein. While the film, Israel’s entry into the 2012 Oscars’ foreign language category, tackles death, attraction, love and sex inside a community not known for openly addressing emotion, Burshtein, who is haredi herself, insists she’s not a rabble-rouser or a rule-breaker looking to ruffle feathers inside the cloistered world of the haredim. “Everyone else is trying to interpret what is going on” in the haredi world, the 45-year-old director told JTA in a recent interview, after “Fill the Void” played to critical acclaim at the Toronto International Film Festival. “I felt it was time to tell a story from within, and say something that comes from really living the life,” Burshtein said. “That’s what I felt was important: to just tell a story that has no connection with the regular
Courtesy of Karin Bar
Yiftach Klein as the widower Yochai in a scene from “Fill the Void.”
subjects that you deal with when you talk about the Orthodox world.” “Fill the Void” may be the first film about haredi life directed by an insider for a secular audience. Aesthetically daring, softly lit, intimate and flecked with light humor, the film recently earned seven Ophir Awards – known as the Israeli Oscars – including best film and best director. After showings at the Venice Film Festival – where Hadas Yaron won a best actress award for her portrayal of the lovelorn 18-year-old protagonist, Shira – and in Toronto, “Fill the Void” makes its U.S. debut at the New York Film Festival on Oct. 9. Burshtein, a native New Yorker who grew up in Tel Aviv, became
religious at 25, shortly after graduating from Jerusalem’s Sam Spiegel Film and Television School. While no shortage of films have depicted the rigid confines of haredi Orthodox life, most, such as Gidi Dar’s “Ushpizin” and Amos Gitai’s sombre “Kadosh,” have been from a secular perspective, focusing on haredi Jews struggling with their identity or looking for escape. The characters in Burshtein’s frank, fishbowl depiction of a tragedy-stricken haredi Orthodox family struggling to keep itself together live comfortably in a world ruled by faith. BURSHTEIN on page 22
10 • INTERNATIONAL / ISRAEL
In Scandinavia, kipah becomes a symbol of defiance for Malmo’s Jews
By Cnaan Liphshiz Jewish Telegraph Agency MALMO, Sweden – Across Scandinavia, the kipah is becoming a symbol of Jewish defiance. On Sunday, about 70 Danish Jews took a double-decker bus from Copenhagen on a 10-mile bridge across the Strait of Øresund, on the Baltic Sea, to go to Malmo in a show of solidarity with the embattled Jews of that Swedish city. All the men on the bus wore kipahs, a rarity in Scandinavia. Last December, a small group of Malmo Jews violated security protocol by keeping on their kipahs on the street after attending synagogue, according to Fredrik Sieradski, a spokesman for Malmo’s 700 or so Jews, and then made a regular habit of it every few weeks. New marchers join every time. And in August, hundreds of people from across Sweden went on public “kipah walks” in Malmo and Stockholm. It’s not just in Scandinavia. In early September, a flash mob wearing kipahs gathered in Berlin after a rabbi and his 6-year-old daughter were attacked. The yarmulke-clad crowd included not just Jews but Christians, Muslims, local celebrities and politicians. But in Scandinavia, where the Jewish communities of Denmark, Sweden and Norway are relatively tiny and used to keeping a low profile, the shift to public demonstrations against anti-Semitism marks a turning point. Sunday’s bus trip marked the first time that Scandinavian Jews from another country had come to Malmo to express solidarity. Malmo, Sweden’s third-largest city and the site of some of the country’s highest profile attacks on Jews, has been a focal point for the demonstrations. “The community here used to keep a low profile, but there’s a feeling that we are lost if we do nothing now,” Sieradski told JTA. He attributed the change in Malmo to “a slow build-up” of frustration since 2009, when Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza sparked anti-Israel and anti-Semitic demonstrations in the city, leaving Jews with the feeling that they were under threat and without sufficient protection from the authorities. “This build-up has finally reached a critical mass,” Sieradski said. The need for Jewish response became impossible to ignore in 2009, community leaders say, when Israeli tennis players showed up to compete in the Davis Cup, which Malmo was hosting. Anti-Israel demonstrations erupted and quickly morphed into violent, anti-Semitic riots.
Joshua Kaufman of Malmo addressing visitors from Denmark in the city’s only Orthodox synagogue, Sept. 23, 2012.
Some 50 to 100 anti-Semitic incidents occur here annually, according to police and community statistics. Many of the perpetrators are first- and second-generation Muslim immigrants, who make up 30 to 40 percent of Malmo’s population of 300,000. Sieradski says that wearing a kipah in Malmo can lead to insults, harassment and vandalism. Rabbi Shneur Kesselman, a Chabad envoy to Malmo, has been targeted many times since coming here in 2004. Last week, someone carved the word “Palestina” into his new car. “I had no idea it would be like this before I came here, and I probably wouldn’t have come had I known,” said Kesselman, who has four children. “But it would be very bad for the community if I left.” Making matters worse, Malmo Mayor Ilmar Reepalu has advised Jews who want to be safe in Malmo to reject Zionism. Though he has condemned anti-Semitism, Reepalu has called Zionism a form of “extremism” comparable with antiSemitism, said the Jewish community had been “infiltrated” by antiMuslim agents and denied that Muslims perpetrated the attacks on Malmo Jews. During her visit to the country in June, Hannah Rosenthal, the Obama administration’s special envoy for combating antiSemitism, said that Reepalu had made “anti-Semitic statements.” Malmo under Reepalu, she said, is a “prime example” of “new antiSemitism,” where anti-Israel sentiment serves as a thin guise for Jewhatred. Reepalu’s unsympathetic stance has been among the key factors that have galvanized Scandinavia’s Jews. Aboard the bus on Sunday from Copenhagen to Malmo, the mayor was a subject of frequent condemnation. Finn Rudaizky, a Copenhagen alderman and former leader of
Denmark’s Jewish community, said he felt there was “a Jewish duty” to show the Malmo community it was not alone. “Leadership especially matters in conflict situations,” he said. “Reepalu’s approach is complicating the situation.” “Reepalu needs to be fired,” said Anya Raben, a young Jewish woman from Copenhagen. “He is a problem, and the fact he still holds his post is scandalous.” Following the 30-minute drive through the tunnel and bridge that since 2000 have connected Copenhagen to Malmo, the passengers disembarked at Malmo’s main Jewish cemetery and attended a Holocaust commemoration ceremony. One of the headstones there is a testament to the strong bonds that connect the Jewish communities of Copenhagen and Malmo, despite cultural and language barriers. Born in 1943, Golde Berman was 4 months old when thousands of Jews fled Nazi-occupied Denmark to neutral Sweden en masse aboard boats in a famous rescue operation. Sweden’s Jewish communities mobilized to absorb the refugees from Denmark by sharing their homes and food and raising funds. Gothenburg’s Jewish community gave up some of its offices in favor of a Danish school for the refugees’ children. Many refugees stayed in Malmo. Little Golde, however, was in a hospital on the day of departure, Oct. 1, 1943, and her parents left her behind. She died in December. The Danish Red Cross transported her small body to her parents in Malmo, where she was buried. It was Golde’s brother-in-law, Martin Stern, who spearheaded the solidarity visit from Copenhagen and covered most of the costs. “Now it is the Danish Jews’ turn to return the favor, when the Jews of Malmo are in their hour of need,” Stern said.
Jordan appoints new ambassador to Israel (JTA) – Jordan reportedly has appointed a new ambassador to Israel. The appointment late last week of career diplomat Walid Obeidat was reported by the French news service AFP and Ammon News. The position has been vacant since mid-2010, when Ali al-Ayed left to become the country’s minister of media affairs. Jordan did not fill the position immediately, citing the lack of progress in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, and Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Obeidat is expected to arrive in Israel next month, and will become the fifth Jordanian ambassador to Israel since a peace treaty between the two countries was signed in 1994. The appointment comes three weeks after Egyptian leader Mohamed Morsi named a new Egyptian ambassador to Israel, who will officially take office on Oct. 17. Brother of Rabin’s killer: We would do it again, only earlier (JTA) – Hagai Amir, a co-conspirator in the 1995 murder of Yitzhak Rabin, has said that in hindsight he would have helped assassinate the Israeli prime minister at an earlier date. Amir, the brother of Rabin assassin Yigal Amir, wrote on his Facebook page that he and his brother would have killed Rabin “two years earlier” if they could do it over and that he was “most definitely proud” of his actions. Hagai Amir was released from prison in May. His brother is still imprisoned for gunning down Rabin on Nov. 4, 1995 in Tel Aviv. The Amirs opposed Rabin’s territorial concessions, a condition of the Oslo Accords, which Rabin signed with then-Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat. A Facebook user named Itzik Karsik asked Amir whether he would support assassinating Zehava Galon, a lawmaker for the left-wing party Meretz, which favors a Palestinian state. “Of course not – this is not about hating any one person,” Hagai Amir replied. “We don’t fight people’s views, even if they are extreme, but only actions that endanger the existence of the Jewish people in the land.” Hagai Amir removed the discussion from his Facebook page on Sept. 27 and put a message on Galon’s page saying that he apologized if the discussion “offended her.”
Israeli experiment pits man against computer (JNS) – More than two-thirds of participants in an experiment held in Israel on Sept. 24 could not tell the difference between a person and a computer. In a game show simulation of the “Turing test,” in which the audience had to deduce whether answers to trivia questions were provided by a human or a machine, the audience witnessed multiple contestants: Intel Israel CEO Maxine Fassberg, Israeli model Adi Neuman, Israel Space Agency chairman Professor Yitzhak Ben-Israel, and student representative Jonathan Bonatzel. The contestants were asked assorted trivia questions by TV host Avri Gilad, ranging from general knowledge to emotional intelligence and life experience. One of the contestants was fed answers from a computer; the rest answered to the best of their knowledge. The audience then voted on who they thought was the computer among them. The more than 2,500 votes showed that 27 percent correctly identified the student’s answers to be computer-generated; one-third thought Professor BenIsrael was the machine; 22 percent thought it was model Adi Neuman; and 21 percent thought it was the Intel CEO. “Since the majority of the participants did not correctly identify the computer, it shows they thought it was a human, and therefore with some reservation it can be said the computer passed the Turing test, at least for this event,” Israeli Science and Technology Minister Professor Daniel Hershkowitz said. There are a few notable machines that have successfully mimicked and defeated human intelligence, including IBM’s “Deep Blue,” the supercomputer that defeated Russian Chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997. Haredi sect pledges no gender separation in Jerusalem neighborhood on Sukkot JERUSALEM (JTA) – A haredi Orthodox sect has pledged not to impose gender segregation on the streets of Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighborhood. The Toldot Aharon Chasidic sect in discussions with the Jerusalem police and municipality agreed not to impose gender segregation, including using special ushers on the streets to maintain the segregation, Ynet reported. A safety fence will be erected to maintain order during the massive Simchat Beit Hashoeva celebration, however. Segregation on the streets of Mea Shearim and other Jerusalem neighborhoods has been imposed in previous years. It has included having separate entrances for men and women. Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that police must prevent gender separation on the streets.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2012
YPs at the JCC’s Painting & Pinot Event The JCC played host to nearly 100 young professionals on Thursday, June 14th when Access and YPs at the JCC presented Painting and Pinot, featuring dinner, drinks and live classical music in the J’s outdoor Courtyard where guests had a chance to create their own one-of-a-kind masterpieces on canvas. A professional artist was on hand to give pointers and help guests perfect their technique. Access is an initiative of The Mayerson Foundation and YPs at the JCC is a partnership between The Mayerson Foundation and the Mayerson JCC that offers social programs, special events, group exercise classes and more for young professionals 21-35. Photos continued on page 12.
SOCIAL LIFE • 11
12 • CINCINNATI SOCIAL LIFE
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2012
CINCINNATI JEWISH LIFE • 13
14 • DINING OUT
Ferrari’s—where one hand washes the other By Michael Sawan Assistant Editor The remarkable thing about Ferrari’s Little Italy is that it’s actually two businesses in one: There is the restaurant, serving all the things you would expect from any self respecting Italian restaurant, and then there is the bakery. I at first assumed that one business must receive more attention than the other, and wouldn’t you know, that old adage about one who assumes proved true. Patty Bassano, the owner of Ferrari’s, explained to me that both sides of her business work toward making a happy customer. “The portions are generous,” she began, “we encourage people to share, and I think a lot of families come in because of that... We have multiple small rooms for private parties. We have lots of regulars... from all over the city.” She even mentioned all of the specials they regularly offer, encompassing drinks for adults and meals for kids. The bakery, meanwhile, “bakes every day but Sunday.” What’s more, their assortment of desserts and sweets is all made in house (except for the gelatto, made by Madisono’s, itself a Cincinnati company). Bassano stresses this point of locality often, even having most of her waitresses wear shirts that say “EAT LOCAL, EAT ITALIAN.” Such an emphasis on the local makes the decor of Ferrari’s more noticeable. The place has a strong “little Italy” feel, with brick walls, stucco, white tablecloths covering ones with red checkers, bottles of wine scattered around, and on and on. My favorite touch was the ambient music, which sounded like it would have been at home in one of the Godfather movies. But again, there was this push to be local which came across strongly. It struck me that Ferrari’s would be at home in one of the storefronts lining Findlay Market, it has that old Cincinnati, well-worn feel. This is all the more impressive when you realize that the restaurant has cultivated such a heritage in only 16 1/2 years of business. For my meal I ordered the Potato Crusted Cod Sandwich with a cup of their soup of the day, which happened to be minestrone. With the colder months on their way this was a reasonable choice, a hearty meal that warms you from the inside out. The broth of the soup was well balanced, with the dominant taste being a sort of tomato-marinara flavor. It was spot on with its salt level, not lacking or overbearing. The only issue was that it was a bit mild for my taste. I would have preferred a little more zip, a bit of spice-bite to accompany the tomato-marinara base line. All of this was remedied with the absolutely ridiculous amount of
(Clockwise) An outside view of Ferrari’s; The outdoor patio of Ferrari’s; In the back at the bakery, with bread ovens, bread slicer, and baskets dangling for decoration; The made-in-house Tiramisu; Two waitresses at Ferrari’s, Sandi Gibbs (left) and Shelly Glass; Fresh baked loaves of bread; The Potato Crusted Fried Cod Sandwich and a bowl of minestrone soup.
pasta, peas, potatoes, onions, chickpeas, carrots, corn, kidney beans, and tomatoes in the broth. The soup was loaded with it all, and since every addition added its own taste, each spoonful ended up slightly different; for instance, with a spoonful of mostly pasta and potatoes there was a gnocchi sort of taste and texture that was surprisingly impressive. Then, as you can imagine, with more peas it tasted pea-y, with more carrots, carrot-y, and so on. When moving onto the cod sandwich I reached the point where the two businesses of Ferrari’s collided. As to the “restaurant side of things,” the sandwich itself looked amazing. It simply looked like it was going to be delicious, with a good blend of earthy yet bright colors. I wasn’t expecting such large pieces of cod, either, so that was an incredibly pleasant surprise. The cod was fried almost perfectly, with a great crunch and a very smooth,
buttery inside. The dill tartar sauce added another buttery dimension, as well as a creamy tang that rounded the sandwich out, pushing it toward a complete set of satisfying tastes. Then the lettuce and tomato, they created a final, tasty touch that added not only another layer of crispness, but a comfortably slight amount of health. The real show stealer, though, and the reason this dish shows both sides of Ferrari’s, was the rye bread. Baked in-house, it was the sort of bread that makes you realize you don’t often pay attention to bread. It was fresh, still soft and slightly chewy. The rye seeds themselves were very mild, making this a light rye. The effect it had when combined with the rest of the sandwich was as an initial jumping off point, similar to onion: It’s the first thing you notice, and so everything else that follows is in its shadow. And since the bread was so delicious, it
set up the pins for the rest of the sandwich to knock down. My meal ended with a huge piece of tiramisu, also made in house. You know how sometimes something is placed in front of you and you think “oh gosh, I’ll never be able to eat all of that.” I had that moment with this tiramisu, and in the next instant knew that I was mistaken. The dessert started with a shock. I tasted mostly coffee and was left wondering, “where’s the sweetness?” With bite two it was pointed out to me wonderfully. The creamy top was whipped up just right, a cloudy consistency that was thick, yet easily melted in your mouth. The coffee portion underneath added that terrific tiramisu counter balance, and the two layers very successfully bounced off of one another. Then, with the whipped cream, chocolate sauce and caramel, that was it, I was done
and so was the dessert. I made a note while halfway through the tiramisu that it was surprisingly light, that I could easily eat the whole huge thing by myself. By the end, I understood Bassano’s comment about people sharing. This is a dish best served for two, with a richness and intensity that can overwhelm you if you try to follow a gluttonous mood. Ferrari’s is a great example of a place that packs a double-punch. For desserts, bread, dinner or lunch, Ferrari’s has the substance and style to satisfy your cravings. They serve lunch Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.; dinner Monday through Thursday, 5 –10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5–11 p.m.; Sunday 4 –9 p.m. Ferrari’s Little Italy & Bakery 7677 Goff Terrace Madeira, OH 45243 513-272-2220
DINING OUT • 15
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2012
RESTAURANT DIRECTORY 20 Brix 101 Main St Historic Milford 831-Brix (2749)
Gabby’s Cafe 515 Wyoming Ave Wyoming 821-6040
Padrino 111 Main St Milford 965-0100
Ambar India Restaurant 350 Ludlow Ave Cincinnati 281-7000
Incahoots 4110 Hunt Rd Blue Ash 793-2600
Parkers Blue Ash Tavern 4200 Cooper Rd Blue Ash 891-8300
Andy’s Mediterranean Grille At Gilbert & Nassau 2 blocks North of Eden Park 281-9791
Izzy’s 800 Elm St • 721-4241 612 Main St • 241-6246 5098B Glencrossing Way 347-9699 1198 Smiley Ave • 825-3888 300 Madison Ave Covington • 859-292-0065
Pomodori’s 121West McMillan • 861-0080 7880 Remington Rd Montgomery • 794-0080
Asian Paradise 9521 Fields Ertel Rd Loveland 239-8881 Baba India Restaurant 3120 Madison Rd Cincinnati 321-1600 Bangkok Terrace 4858 Hunt Rd Blue Ash 891-8900 • 834-8012 (fx) Bella Luna Café 4632 Eastern Ave Cincinnati 871-5862 Blue Elephant 2912 Wasson Rd Cincinnati 351-0123 Cafe Mediterranean 9525 Kenwood Rd Cincinnati 745-9386 Carlo & Johnny 9769 Montgomery Rd Cincinnati 936-8600 Ferrari’s Little Italy & Bakery 7677 Goff Terrace Madeira 272-2220
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Johnny Chan 2 11296 Montgomery Rd The Shops at Harper’s Point 489-2388 • 489-3616 (fx) K.T.’s Barbecue & Deli 8501 Reading Rd Reading 761-0200 Kanak India Restaurant 10040B Montgomery Rd Montgomery 793-6800 Marx Hot Bagels 9701 Kenwood Rd Blue Ash 891-5542 Mecklenburg Gardens 302 E. University Ave Clifton 221-5353 Meritage Restaurant 1140 Congress Ave Glendale 376-8134 Oriental Wok 2444 Madison Rd Hyde Park 871-6888
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16 • OPINION
Living ‘out of the box’ By Rabbi Avi Shafran Contributing Columnist Olivewood is beautiful. It reminds me of Eretz Yisrael and little carved camels; it has a delicate, calming hue. And silver, well, it is pure and shiny and smooth, and brings sefer Torah ornaments to mind. The esrog boxes made of ornately carved olivewood and elegant, glimmering silver are most fitting containers for holding an “objet d’mitzvah.” My personal preference, though, is cardboard. Not any cardboard, that is, but my cardboard, the white heavypaper stock box in which an esrog of mine, many years ago, was packed when I bought it. These days, the standard-issue boxes tend toward illustrated green affairs. The old-fashioned white ones were more bland, but also better canvases on which a child’s imagination could assert itself.
True joy comes from things more rarified than what can be purchased. It comes from our relationships not with things, but with people... And so my old esrog box – or at least its panels, re-attached now to a more sturdy modern box, covering up the garish green – is unique. Its sides and top feature a young child’s rendering in colored markers of, respectively, an esrog and lulav; a sukkah; a smileyface; and (inexplicably but endearingly) a turtle whose shell is a sukkah covered with schach). The artists are now either mothers or “in shidduchim,” but some of us like, on occasion, to time-travel. We look at our grown children and see 5-year-olds where they stand. The artwork was beloved to me many years ago when it was created; it’s no less beloved to me now. And so, in my own personal ritual, I yearly unpack my new esrog from its sale-box and delicately place it in the one whose panels have enclosed each of my esrogim over nearly 20 years. It’s not olivewood, and not silver. Not even gold or platinum. It’s more
precious than that. I admit I get some stares in shul. Some may think I’m a cheapskate, unwilling to shell out a few dollars for what they think would be a more respectable container for a holy object, or insufficiently aware of the importance of hiddur mitzvah, the ideal of “beautifying a commandment.” Others, though – at least I like to imagine – understand the ethereal beauty of my unusual esrog-box, and perhaps are brought to some memories of their own, and even to some thoughts appropriate to Sukkos. The word sukkah, sefarim note, can be seen as rooted in “socheh” – “to see” or “to perceive.” A sukkah, it seems, can afford us a deeper perspective on life. Most people – and Jews are people too – go through life trying to “get stuff.” What storehouses of gold and silver once conferred on their owners is today bestowed by new-model cars and luxurious homes built on the ruins of less luxurious predecessors. But stuff is stuff. And even those of us who buy used vehicles and live in modest homes are far from immune to the “get stuff” societal imperative. We may apply it differently, limited as we are by reality. But we still feel the push to add to the inventories we’ll never take with us. When we sit in our primitive week-house, though, outside the homes that harbor so many of our possessions, we may find it easier to realize that our accumulations are not essential. We can exist without them. They do not define us. They will one day be left behind for good. It might seem odd, but that thought – after all, Sukkos is zeman simchaseinu, “the time of our happiness” – is a joyous one. For true happiness begins with the realization of what doesn’t really make us happy. Possessions may provide a rush but, like any drugs, it quickly wears off. The soul is not satiated, which is why, as per Chazal, “No man dies with half his desires in hand.” True joy comes from things more rarified than what can be purchased. It comes from our relationships not with things, but with people – our parents and our children, our teachers and our students, our friends and our neighbors. What we really have in life is not what we own, but what we are. Some who have seen me walking to shul on yomtov with my reconstituted cardboard esrog box proudly in hand may have wondered why I hadn’t opted for a hiddur mitzvah. What they failed to comprehend is that I did.
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To all of the people whose names appeared last week in the “I stand with President BHO” advertisement: Your names have been submitted for the annual “Neville Chamberlain Award.” As Old ‘Nev’ put it “I believe it is peace in our time.” Sincerely, Paul Glassman Cincinnati, Ohio AJC is in the midst of an intensive series of private meetings with leaders of countries around the world who have come to New York City for the UN General Assembly. It is the 22nd
year of AJC’s “diplomatic marathon,” a ten-day period that is a pioneering hallmark of the global advocacy organization’s year-round worldwide diplomacy. The agenda is challenging: 1. The deepening threat of Iran achieving nuclear-weapons capability; 2. The renewed Palestinian attempt for UN recognition of a state without negotiating with Israel, this time by seeking upgraded status for the Palestinian delegation; and 3. Encouraging European Union nations to add Hezbollah to the list of terrorist organizations. Lay leaders and experienced
professionals eager to engage in high level diplomacy have scheduled more than 70 meetings with presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers in New York City. Early in October, AJC leaders from Cincinnati and four other Midwest cities will take part in a second Diplomatic Marathon, to bring up the same agenda with some of the 25 consuls of foreign nations in Chicago. Making the case for a peaceful and secure Israel is the focus of AJC’s global advocacy. Sincerely, Barbara Glueck, Cincinnati, OH
Dinner with Ahmadinejad By Josh Lipowsky Jewish Telegraph Agency NEW YORK – We could have been in Tehran. Men in dark suits and earpieces stood outside the doors of the hotel, keeping watch for protesters and anybody else who didn’t belong. Inside, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad prepared to meet a group of university students. Except this was New York City, and I was one of those students. In town for the United Nations General Assembly and between a whirlwind of media interviews, Ahmadinejad hosted a private dinner and briefing session Monday night at the Warwick Hotel with more than 150 students and professors from Harvard, New York University, Rutgers, the University of Pennsylvania, Penn State, Columbia and Stony Brook University, as well as some 50 U.N. interns. As a journalist and student, I was eager for my firsthand encounter with one of the world’s most polarizing figures. As a Jew and the grandson of Holocaust survivors, I worried how I would get through the night without shouting, “You’re a damn liar!” Before gaining admittance, we all had to give up our electronic devices and pass through security – staffed by U.S. Secret Service agents. Wait a minute, aren’t they supposed to protect us from the likes of him, not vice versa? Upstairs, a buffet of Persian rice, kabobs and salads awaited. Sadly, no kosher option. After a little schmoozing, we were led into a ballroom where Iran’s ambassador to the U.N., Mohammad Khazaee, prepped us for the encounter. Our meeting is the most important of Ahmadinejad’s visit, Khazaee told us, because, “you are
the people who will shape the future of the world and the United States.” That platitude unnerved me only when Ahmadinejad was greeted with a standing ovation by these “future leaders” when he entered the room. Likewise, I cringed when students later addressed him as “Your Excellency” during the question-and-answer session. One even prefaced her remarks by saying it was “a pleasure” to be in his presence. That’s when I felt my dinner beginning to come back up. After eight years of listening to sound bites of this man denying my family’s suffering during the Holocaust and the rights of my cousins to live in peace in their ancestral home, the moment had finally arrived. What would he say? “We believe all humans are seeking dignity,” Ahmadinejad said via the calm, disembodied voice of his translator on my headset. “The best way of bringing minds closer together is through dialogue. No one should seek to impose their views on others.” Rather, he said, we should be building “a new world” utilizing new “humanity-driven points of view with fairness and tolerance for all human beings.” Earlier in the day, Ahmadinejad had referred to the Jewish state as “a fake regime” and predicted that Israel would not be long for this world. But in this meeting, Ahmadinejad kept up an almost Pollyanna-ish demeanor as he sought to paint Iran as a symbol of peace and stability in the Middle East. “We all must live in prosperity and security, showing kindness to one another,” he said. “All nations together can build a much more beautiful world, a much more loving world.” His saccharine words were bellied by his constant refusal even to
acknowledge Israel by name. Addressing a question about how to repair U.S.-Iran relations, Ahmadinejad said these “two great countries” have been at odds for 33 years but would be better off if they cooperated. U.S. support for the Shah and for Saddam Hussein during Iraq’s war with Iran in the 1980s created “a negative mindset” toward the U.S. government among Iranians, he said. “This doesn’t mean Iran has not committed mistakes. Perhaps Iran could have behaved better,” he said. “We are ready today for transparent dialogue.” It all sounded nice, even if it had little to no relation to the truth. There was no mention of Iran’s clandestine nuclear weapons pursuits, support for terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas, sponsorship of terrorist attacks or violent suppression of domestic dissent. “Without the presence of Iran, the region cannot be managed properly in a friendly manner,” Ahmadinejad said. I couldn’t figure out whether or not he actually believed his own words. When it came to Israel, Ahmadinejad said the role of the “Zionist regime” in the region is to create tension, and he blamed Israel – not by name, of course – for instigating five wars against its neighbors, imprisoning tens of thousands of Palestinians and destroying Palestinian homes with people still inside. Western governments are unwilling to rein in the Zionists, he said, calling on the international community to “officially and severely” condemn threats against Iran, which is “committed to eradicating fundamental reasons that give rise to these tensions.” DINNER on page 19
JEWISH LIFE • 17
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2012
seventh month when you gather the crops of the land (of Israel) you shall celebrate this festival to the Lord…” Hence, there are two identities to the festival of Sukkot. On the one hand, it is a desert festival, alongside of Pesach and Shavuot, which celebrates our desert wanderings and survivals while living in flimsy booths. From that perspective, perhaps it ought to have found its place immediately after Pesach in terms of the calendar and certainly before the description of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur in the Biblical text. However, this second identity of Sukkot, the four species which represent our conquest and inhabitancy of our homeland signaling the beginning of redemption, belongs after Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur—the festivals of G-d’s kingship over the world and his Divine Temple which is to be “a house of prayer for all the nations.” This aspect of Sukkot turns the Sukkah into rays of Divine splendor and an expression of the Holy Temple. So which Sukkot do we celebrate? Both at the very same time! But when we sit in the Sukkah, are we sitting in transitory booths representative of our wandering or rather in a Divine sanctuary protected by rays of G-d’s glory? I think it depends on whether we are celebrating the festival in the Diaspora or in the Land of Israel. Shabbat Shalom Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Chancellor Ohr Torah Stone Chief Rabbi – Efrat Israel
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T EST Y OUR T ORAH KNOWLEDGE THIS WEEK’S PORTION: ZOT HABRACHA (DEVARIM 33,34) 1. Hashem should give special attention to which part of the tribe of Judah? a.) His strength b.) Sacrifice for others c.) His voice 2. By Levi, which special part of the Temple service is mentioned? a.) 12 show-breads b.) Incense c.) Two goats of Yom Kippur 3. Which tribes land “satisfied” its inhabitants? a.) Judah 4. A Joshua 1:1 Hashem tells Joshua, had Moshe been alive he would want him to lead. Rashi 5. B Joshua 1:2
Efrat, Israel - “You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All native Israelites shall dwell in booths” (Leviticus 23:42). One of the most picturesque and creative festivals of the year is the Festival of Sukkot – when the entire family is involved in building and decorating a special “nature home” which will be lived in for an entire week. But what are we actually celebrating and what is the true meaning of the symbol of the Sukkah? Is it the Sukkah of our desert wanderings, the temporary hut which the Israelites constructed in the desert when they wandered from place to place? If so, then the Sukkah becomes a reminder of all of the exiles of Israel throughout our 4,000 year history, and our thanksgiving to G-d is for the fact that we have survived despite the difficult climates—the persecution and pogroms—which threaten to overwhelm us. Or is the Sukkah meant to be reminiscent of the Divine “clouds of glory” which encompassed us in the desert with G-d’s rays of splendor, the sanctuary which served as the forerunner of our Holy Temple in Jerusalem. In the Grace after Meals during the Sukkot festival we pray that, “the Merciful One restore for us the fallen tabernacle of David,” which would certainly imply that the Sukkah symbolizes the Holy Temple. The Talmud (B.T. Sukkot 11b) brings a difference of opinion between Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Eliezer as to which of these options is the true significance of our celebration. I would like to attempt to analyze which I believe to be the true meaning and why. The major Biblical description of the festivals is to be found in Chapter 23 of the Book of Leviticus. There are two textual curiosities which need to be examined. The three festivals which are considered to be our national festivals, and which also Biblically appear as the “desert” festivals, are Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot; commemorating when we left Egypt, when we received the Torah at Sinai and when we lived in desert booths. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are more universal in nature and not at all related to the desert sojourn. It seems strange that in the Biblical exposition of the Hebrew calendar Pesach and Shavuot are explained,
after which comes Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, and only at the conclusion of the description comes Sukkot. Now of course one can argue that this is the way the months fall out on the calendar year! However, that too is strange. After all, the Israelites left Egypt for the desert; presumably they built their booths immediately after the Festival of Pesach. Would it not have been more logical for the order to be Pesach, Sukkot, Shavuot, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur? Secondly, the Festival of Sukkot is broken up into two parts. Initially, the Torah tells us: “and the Lord spoke to Moses saying, ‘… on the fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Festival of Sukkot, seven days for G-d… these are the Festivals of the Lord which you shall call holy congregations…. ‘” (Leviticus 23:33-38). It would seem that these last words conclude the Biblical description of the festivals and the Hebrew calendar. But then, in the very next verse, the Torah comes back again to Sukkot, as if for the first time: “but on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you gather in the crop of the land, you shall celebrate G-d’s festival for a seven day period…. You shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of a citron tree, the branches of date palms, twigs of a plaited tree (myrtle) and willows of brooks; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your G-d for a seven day period…..You shall dwell in booths for a seven day period….. so that your generations will know that I caused the people of Israel to dwell in booths when I took them from the Land of Egypt. I am the Lord your G-d’” (ibid. Leviticus 23:39-44). Why the repetition? And if the Bible now wishes to tell us about the four species which we are to wave in all directions in thanksgiving to G-d for his agricultural bounty, why was this verse not linked to the previous discussion of the Sukkot booths? And why repeat the booths again this second time? I have heard it said in the name of the Vilna Gaon that this repetition of Sukkot with the commandment concerning the four species is introducing an entirely new aspect of the Sukkot festival: the celebration of our entering into the Land of Israel! Indeed, the great philosopher legalist Maimonides explains the great joy of the festival of Sukkot as expressing the transition of the Israelites from the arid desert to a place of trees and rivers, fruits and vegetables symbolized by the four species (Guide for the Perplexed, Part 3 Chapter 43). In fact, this second Sukkot segment opens with the words “But on the fifteenth day of the
b.) Ephraim c.) Naftali 4. How does the Torah describe the relationship between Moshe and Joshua? a.) Mentor - Attendant b.) Teacher - Student c.) Master - Slave 5. What is Hashem's first command to Joshua? a.) Look for idols b.) Prepare to cross the Jordan River c.) Send spies to scout Jericho
Hashem should accept his prayer. 2. B 33:10 3. C 33:23 The territory of Naphtali satisfied its inhabitants. Rashi
by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin
SHABBAT SHALOM: SHABBAT CHOL HAMOED SUKKOT
Written by Rabbi Dov Aaron Wise
ANSWERS 1. C 33:7 There are several in places Tanach that records prayers of the descendants of Judah. Rashi. Also, Judah would lead in battle therefore
Sedra of the Week
18 • JEWZ IN THE NEWZ
By Nate Bloom Contributing Columnist MOVIE/TV NEWS: RYDER, GOULD, BARRYMORE Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie” is an animated, high-tech homage to classic horror films: filmed in black and white and then rendered into 3-D. The plot: Victor Frankenstein, a child scientist, is devastated by the death of Sparky, his dog. He uses science to bring Sparky back to life, but havoc ensues when Sparky gets out and roams around town. WINONA RYDER, 40, is the voice of Elsa, a kind next-door-neighbor who is Victor’s classmate and love interest. MARTIN LANDAU, 84, voices Victor’s wise but eccentric science teacher. (Opens Friday, Oct. 5) Earlier this month, I reported on the re-release, now in 3-D, of the 2003 animated mega-hit “Finding Nemo.” I noted that it featured the voice of ALEXANDER GOULD, now 18, in the title role. I also noted that Gould has co-starred as “Shane Botwin” in the Showtime cable series “Weeds” since 2005. A recent past director of the Conservative Movement’s United Synagogue Youth (USY) organization saw the item and tells me that “Alex is currently in Israel for 9 months, participating in Nativ, USY’s gap year program.” The program is described in detail on the Nativ website. In short, it is a challenging academic year program aimed at creating future Conservative Jewish leaders. “Nativ” means “path” in Hebrew and the program includes academic university classes, including intensive Hebrew and Judaic/Yeshiva studies. Recent high school grads can earn college credits both inside and outside the classroom. Back in June, I reported on the Reform Jewish wedding of actress Drew Barrymore, 36, and art consultant WILL KOPELMAN, 33. Just before the wedding, Barrymore’s press agent denied tabloid reports that she was going to convert to Judaism. However, on Sept. 23, “The Sunday Telegraph,” an Australian paper, published what seems to be a totally legit recent interview with Barrymore. The article says: “Kopelman’s father is the former CEO of Chanel and he was brought up in a traditional Jewish family. Barrymore is in the process of converting.” Barrymore is then quoted as saying: “The religion [Judaism] as a faith is so beautiful and it’s so much about family being together, first and foremost. I subscribe
to that so much in my own life, so that’s a really wonderful and easy transition.” (The Sunday Telegraph of Australia has a better reputation for accuracy than the UK paper of the same name.) Barrymore, who is due to give birth to the couple’s first child in the next few weeks, said about her husband: “I love art so much and it’s great to be with somebody that works in that world and appreciates art and teaches me about things when we go to museums and galleries. When you have common interests with someone, although our upbringings are very different and we’re quite different people, for us, art is a brilliant bridge.” TWITTER HOLIDAY GREETINGS Here are some celebrity Rosh Hashanah tweets I found: Gold medalist ALY RAISMAN, 18 (“Happy Jewish New Year to all”); “Entourage” actress EMANUELLE CHRIQUI, 34 (“Shana tova to all who celebrate the Jewish new year. Wishing you only sweet things this year and always, have a beautiful holiday”); PAULA ABDUL, 50 (“I’m looking forward to a lovely Rosh Hashanah”); Singer LISA LOEB, 44 (“L’Shana Tova! Have a sweet new year. Time for apples and honey.”); LARRY KING, 78 (“From my Jewish heart to all of you – a very happy Jewish new year may we be blessed with good times & peace”); JOAN RIVERS, 79 (“Today is the start of the Jewish New Year and the High Holidays. May this year bring peace, prosperity, and health for ALL.”); and actress KAT DENNINGS, 26, the costar of TV’s “2 Broke Girls.” (“Let your Jewishness flag fly on these holy days, y’all”). Dennings’ tweet was re-tweeted by rap star DRAKE, 25. (Drake’s 2012 Rosh Hashanah dinner celebration, with two buddies, is featured on MTV’s website.) Dennings, meanwhile, showed more than her Jewish flag at the Emmy awards. Her “va-va-va voom!” cleavage-revealing dress was mentioned in most articles about the Emmys. (By the way, “Dennings” is a stage name. Her birth name is Katherine Litwack). Footnote: Chriqui’s parents are Moroccan Jews who settled in Canada and that’s where the actress was born and grew-up. Abdul’s father is a Syrian Jew and her mother is a Canadianborn Ashkenazi Jew. The ‘90s pop star and former “American Idol” judge was born and raised in Southern California.
FROM THE PAGES 150 Y EARS A GO The National Theater has secured the valuable services of the intrepid tight-rope performer, Mr. W. H. Donaldson, and the celebrated pantomimist, Mr. Harry Gilbert, for this week. Mr. Donaldson is considered one of the best performers in his line that have ever appeared here and as they make but a limited stay, all should secure seats early. We anticipate some new attractions soon. – October 10, 1862
125 Y EARS A GO The general annual meeting of the Jewish Hospital Association took place last Sunday morning at Covenant Hall. President James Lowman is the chair. The minutes of the last annual meeting were read and approved. The reports of the retiring officers were read and the proper action upon them taken. President Lowman, in his report, dwelt upon the general condition of the Hospital and Association, defined at length the matter of establishing a home for the poor, aged and infirm. In speaking of this he said: “We need a home for our aged and infirm. During the year we obtained liberal subscriptions for this purpose, but of course not sufficient to purchase suitable grounds for the erection of buildings, etc. To further the object in view it would be necessary to give your consent that if the incoming board deem it advisable to continue the management of the two institutions, vis a vis, Home and Hospital, they may have authority to do so.” – September 30, 1887
100 Y EARS A GO A very interesting service was the annual children’s harvest feast held last Sunday afternoon at the Rockdale Avenue Temple. As Dr. Philipson told the children in his short address the feast of the harvest is a Jewish observance of the olden times and these little people of the Bnai Israel have been the first to revive it for hundreds of years. Two hundred children, the girls in white dresses, with an array of pink and blue ribbons, filed into the temple singing a hymn of praise and greeting and each bearing some symbol of a fruitful harvest. Group by group children carrying apples, pears, grapes, wheat, corn and autumn leaves took their places on the pulpit and laid their tribute on the altar, chanting words of thanksgiving. They told about the mellow, golden, glossy pear, about grapes in bunches rich and rare, seen in beauty everywhere; about the rustling sheaves
of golden grain that crowned the field and glowing plain, and about the messages of the autumn leaves, some falling early and some waiting to greet the first fall of snow. A little girl with a sweet voice stood at the altar and read the succoth prayer of long ago, and eight other little girls, bearing cornucopias of blossoms recited a poem of thanksgiving. – October 3, 1912
75 Y EARS A GO Miss Miriam Urban, Associate Professor of History at the University of Cincinnati, has been obtained by the Jewish Center for its first lecture series of the season. Miss Urban will give a series of six lectures, beginning Tuesday, Nov. 2, at 8 p.m. She will treat of the situation in various European countries since the World War. Miss Urban has attained an enviable reputation as an authority on European affairs and World History and is always in great demand as a lecturer, both because of her familiarity with the changing political scene and because of her ability as a speaker. The subscription for the entire series has been set at $1.00 for Center members, and $2.50 for non-members. Single admission is 50c. – September 30, 1937
50 Y EARS A GO Lodge 4 again plans an outstanding service activity for October, in keeping with the Lodge’s goal of “A Deed a Month.” The Lodge will be co-sponsoring an educators symposium on alcoholism. The In-Service Education Committee of the Council on Alcoholism of the Cincinnati Area requested Lodge 4 to aid in this program. The symposium will be held Thursday, Oct. 18, at 4 p.m., at the Community Chest Building, 2400 Reading Road. The purpose is to help teachers have a better understanding about the problem of alcoholism and its related areas, so as to enable them to relate this subject more effectively to their students. Brother Leonard Simon, executive director of the Council on Alcoholism, urges all teachers in the Cincinnati area to attend. Included in the program are David J. Young, Lodge 4 President; Dr. Wendell Pierce, public school superintendent, and Dr. T. Bonstedt, M.D., Director of Out-Patient Department, Rollman Receiving Hospital. The program will begin at 4 p.m. A Dinner will follow and the program will end at 8:45 p.m. – October 4, 1962
25 Y EARS A GO Issac M. Wise Temple Sisterhood announced that Jerry Springer, co-anchor of WLWT, Channel 5 news will be the featured speaker of their opening luncheon. Springer will speak on the topic “Has the media gone too far?” Four Soviet physicians visiting Cincinnati Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 were asked to intercede on behalf of eight Soviet refuseniks and to bring their cases to the attention of Soviet officials. The eight are all medical hardship cases. The four physicians were in Cincinnati as part of an educational, medical and cultural exchange sponsored by International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and Physicians for Social Responsibility, IPPNW’s United States affiliate. IPPNW won the Nobel peace prize in 1985. While in Cincinnati, the Soviet physicians, all of whom are members of IPPNW, attended a reception at the Academy of Medicine, toured the city, lectured at the University of Cincinnati Medical School, toured colleagues’ laboratories and visited with Russian students at the Cincinnati Bilingual Academy. – October 8, 1987
10 Y EARS A GO Thirty Israeli artists, jewelers, weavers, calligraphers, sculptors, painters and shop owners from Jaffa, Ben Yahuda Street, Jerusalem, and the Cardo will arrive in Cincinnati, Sunday, Nov. 24, from 12-7 p.m. at Adath Israel Synagogue, 3201 East Galbraith Road. The show is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, and all products for sale are made by the artists or made in Israel. Health and beauty products from Israel will also be featured. “If you are looking for an easy way to support Israel and to help those Israelis who have suffered financially from a lack of tourism, this is the way to do it,” said Gary Zakem, chair of the Israel Programs Cabinet. “Fairs of this nature have been occurring throughout the country and with great success. Many people are looking for ways to support Israel and this is just one fun, easy, and satisfying way to do so,” said Barbara Miller, Israel experience recruiter of the Jewish Federation. The Israel Fair concluded the month-long festival of Israeli art and culture, “ArtBeat of Israel.” The fair is open to the general community and admission is free. – October 3, 2002
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2012
CLASSIFIEDS • 19
COMMUNITY DIRECTORY COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS Access (513) 373-0300 • jypaccess.org Big Brothers/Big Sisters Assoc. (513) 761-3200 • bigbrobigsis.org Camp Ashreinu (513) 702-1513 Camp at the J (513) 722-7258 • mayersonjcc.org Camp Chabad (513) 731-5111 • campchabad.org Camp Livingston (513) 793-5554 • camplivingston.com Cedar Village (513) 754-3100 • cedarvillage.org Chevra Kadisha (513) 396-6426 Cincinnati Community Kollel (513) 631-1118 • kollel.shul.net Cincinnati Community Mikveh (513) 351-0609 • cincinnatimikveh.org Eruv Hotline (513) 351-3788 Fusion Family (513) 703-3343 • fusionnati.org Halom House (513) 791-2912 • halomhouse.com Hillel Jewish Student Center (Miami) (513) 523-5190 • muhillel.org Hillel Jewish Student Center (UC) (513) 221-6728 • hillelcincinnati.org Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Cincinnati 513-961-0178 • jcemcin.org Jewish Community Center (513) 761-7500 • mayersonjcc.org Jewish Community Relations Council (513) 985-1501 Jewish Family Service (513) 469-1188 • jfscinti.org Jewish Federation of Cincinnati (513) 985-1500 • shalomcincy.org Jewish Foundation (513) 214-1200 Jewish Information Network (513) 985-1514 Jewish Vocational Service (513) 985-0515 • jvscinti.org Kesher (513) 766-3348 Plum Street Temple Historic Preservation Fund (513) 793-2556 Shalom Family (513) 703-3343 • myshalomfamily.org The Center for Holocaust & Humanity Education (513) 487-3055 • holocaustandhumanity.org Vaad Hoier (513) 731-4671 Workum Fund (513) 899-1836 • workum.org YPs at the JCC (513) 761-7500 • mayersonjcc.org
CONGREGATIONS Adath Israel Congregation (513) 793-1800 • adath-israel.org Beit Chaverim (513) 984-3393 • btzbc.com Beth Israel Congregation (513) 868-2049 • bethisraelcongregation.net Congregation Beth Adam (513) 985-0400 • bethadam.org Congregation B’nai Tikvah (513) 759-5356 • bnai-tikvah.org Congregation B’nai Tzedek (513) 984-3393 • btzbc.com
Congregation Ohav Shalom (513) 489-3399 • ohavshalom.org Congregation Ohr Chadash (513) 252-7267 • ohrchadashcincinnati.com Congregation Sha’arei Torah shaareitorahcincy.org Congregation Zichron Eliezer 513-631-4900 • czecincinnati.org Golf Manor Synagogue (513) 531-6654 • golfmanorsynagogue.org Isaac M. Wise Temple (513) 793-2556 • wisetemple.org Kehilas B’nai Israel (513) 761-0769 Northern Hills Synagogue (513) 931-6038 • nhs-cba.org Rockdale Temple (513) 891-9900 • rockdaletemple.org Temple Beth Shalom (513) 422-8313 • tbsohio.org Temple Sholom (513) 791-1330 • templesholom.net The Valley Temple (513) 761-3555 • valleytemple.com
EDUCATION Chai Tots Early Childhood Center (513) 234.0600 • chaitots.com Chabad Blue Ash (513) 793-5200 • chabadba.com Cincinnati Hebrew Day School (513) 351-7777 • chds.shul.net HUC-JIR (513) 221-1875 • huc.edu JCC Early Childhood School (513) 793-2122 • mayersonjcc.org Kehilla - School for Creative Jewish Education (513) 489-3399 • kehilla-cincy.com Mercaz High School (513) 792-5082 x104 • mercazhs.org Kulanu (Reform Jewish High School) 513-262-8849 • kulanucincy.org Regional Institute Torah & Secular Studies (513) 631-0083 Rockwern Academy (513) 984-3770 • rockwernacademy.org Sarah’s Place (513) 531-3151 • sarahsplacecincy.com
ORGANIZATIONS American Jewish Committee (513) 621-4020 • ajc.org American Friends of Magen David Adom (513) 521-1197 • afmda.org B’nai B’rith (513) 984-1999 BBYO (513) 722-7244 Hadassah (513) 821-6157 • cincinnati.hadassah.org Jewish Discovery Center (513) 234.0777 • jdiscovery.com Jewish National Fund (513) 794-1300 • jnf.org Jewish War Veterans (513) 204-5594 • jwv.org NA’AMAT (513) 984-3805 • naamat.org National Council of Jewish Women (513) 891-9583 • ncjw.org State of Israel Bonds (513) 793-4440 • israelbonds.com Women’s American ORT (513) 985-1512 • ortamerica.org.org
DO YOU WANT TO PLACE A CLASSIFIED? Send an e-mail including what you would like in your classified & your contact information to
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DINNER from page 16 Now that sounded like the Ahmadinejad I knew. As the meeting wrapped up, I was eager to get home. The next day was, after all, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Maybe part of me had hoped for a more Yom Kippur-like message, a plea for UKRAINE from page 9 Rakovskaya lives on a $111 monthly government pension in a one-bedroom apartment with her small dog, Chunya. Old newspapers absorb humidity from the broken floor; the brown walls are crumbling. With no hot water, she heats water over an electric stove and then washes over a rusty sink. She has managed to get food and medicine and keep her home heated thanks to support from her local Hesed. Established in the 1990s, Hesed provides relief, medical services and food to approximately 170,000 Jews in former Soviet countries. JDC’s 2012 budget for welfare and social services in the former Soviet Union comes to $113.5 million. Some of the money comes from the Claims Conference, which funds Hesed programs directed at Holocaust survivors. In 2011, those funds reached approximately $75 million. Approximately 7,000 Hesed clients live in Odessa, a city with a Jewish population estimated at 40,000. Ukraine has some 360,000 to 400,000 Jews, according to the European Jewish Congress. Rakovskaya has experienced far worse living conditions. As a girl she had to live with her mother in the catacombs that run under Odessa’s streets. They went underground after Romanian soldiers occupied the city in 1941 as allies of Nazi Germany. Once home to 200,000 Jews, only about 90,000 remained when the Romanians arrived. Most of them were murdered. Thanks to her father’s nonJewish last name, Rakovskaya and her Jewish mother were able to slip through the roundups. Greg Schneider, the executive vice president of the Claims Conference, told JTA that the new Hardship Fund payment is the fruit of 20 years of labor. During the Cold War, Germany “understandably” resisted compen-
• • • • •
Up to 24 hour care Meal Preparation Errands/Shopping Hygiene Assistance Light Housekeeping
(513) 531-9600 forgiveness, perhaps. But Ahmadinejad had other plans. The next day, while I was in shul reciting the “Avinu Malkeinu” asking God to “nullify the thoughts of those who hate us” and “seal the mouths of our adversaries and accusers,” Ahmadinejad was at the United Nations, delivering his speech. sating victims living behind the Iron Curtain for fear that Soviet regimes would confiscate the money, Schneider said. Since communism collapsed, the Claims Conference has “asked, pushed, pressed, urged and cajoled” Germany to compensate victims living in Eastern Europe just like victims living in the West. “I think it’s too late, but we’re happy this is finally happening,” he said. “For a Western,” he said, the $3,200 is “the equivalent of receiving a year’s worth of pension.” Asher Ostrin, the JDC’s director of activities in the FSU, calls the fund “a welcome addition,” but also says “It will not elevate anyone from extreme poverty to middleclass comfort.” Many of the Holocaust survivors who will receive the onetime payment from Germany will continue to be aided by Hesed, which has many other clients who are not Holocaust survivors. One of the recipients is Svetlana Mursalova, 56. Once a social worker for Hesed, she suffered a crippling hip fracture that rendered her bedridden and unable to work. She says her two children have no interest in her, leaving her to survive on a monthly disability pension of $109. “Without the help from Hesed, I would need to choose between food and medicines. I would have died,” she told JTA. “My situation is very painful because I always used to look after myself and others. But you have to stay optimistic.” On her wall is a portrait of her Siamese cat, Marquis, which she describes as her best friend. Mursalova thought about leaving for Israel, she says, but now that she is unable to walk properly, “leaving is even more difficult than staying.” Ostrin says many poor Jews resist immigrating to Israel for fear of the unfamiliar and a deep attachment to their apartments – often the only property they managed to keep during and after communism.
20 • LEGAL
Eminent Domain Legally Speaking
by Marianna Bettman This month’s topic is eminent domain. That’s the right of the government to take your property for some public purpose, but if it does, it must pay you just compensation. The Supreme Court of Ohio has decided two interesting cases in this area of law recently. First, some background. In 2005, in the case of Kelo v. New London, the United States Supreme Court held that a city’s decision to take property for economic development satisfied the public use provision of the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The case evoked a storm of controversy because the properties taken by the government under its power of eminent domain weren’t blighted or otherwise in poor condition. They were taken because they happened to be in the economic development area. But in that case, the majority opinion author Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that states were invited to place greater restrictions on their takings powers under their own constitutions than
that which was allowed under the federal constitution. Ohio accepted this invitation. In 2006, in Norwood v. Horney, a local case in which a developer sought more property for further development adjacent to the Rookwood shopping mall, the Ohio Supreme Court held that a taking solely for the purpose of economic development was unconstitutional under the public use requirement of the Ohio constitution. Maureen O’Connor, now Chief Justice, wrote the decision. Now to the present. The Ohio Supreme Court heard two takings cases the same day last fall. In the law of eminent domain, there is such a thing as a regulatory taking. I’m oversimplifying a complex subject here, but that means the government so regulates or restricts the use of your property that it deprives you of any economically viable use of it. When that happens, that is also considered a taking, and a property owner is entitled to just compensation, just as if the property had been physically taken to build a highway or a school. But in each of the two cases there was a twist. The property owner claiming a regulatory taking, and seeking compensation, was complaining about the zoning of someone else’s property, and in each case was outside of the jurisdiction of the governmental body that did the rezoning. In Clifton v. Blanchester, a farmer whose land was outside the limits of the village of Blanchester, owned 99 acres of land adjacent to J&M Precision Machining, which
was in Blanchester. Clifton farmed his land, but had planned to sell it to a developer in the future. He hoped to make good money on this. In 1997 Clifton sold about two acres to J&M. Those two acres were in Blanchester. In 2002, Blanchester annexed all of J&M’s property, including the two acres Clifton had sold it, and re-zoned it for general industrial use. According to Clinton, this reduced the value of his property. The question before the high court was whether a property owner outside the limits of a municipality (in this case, the Village of Blanchester) had standing to bring a regulatory takings claim. Standing means the complaining party has personally suffered an injury that can be redressed in court. The Court held, in a 6-1 decision, that Clifton did not have standing to bring a claim demanding compensation for the taking of his property. Blanchester’s rezoning was directed at the J&M property, not Clifton’s, so the zoning did not directly limit Clifton’s use of his own property. A government’s regulation of someone else’s property simply does not constitute a taking of the adjacent property. Simply put, the Court here rejected Clifton’s argument that “what you do to others harms me.” Also, by law, a municipality does not have the power to appropriate (and thus pay for) property outside its corporate limits. So there was no way Clifton could make Blanchester pay for any taking. Justice Paul Pfeifer wrote a
PROGRAM from page 3 “In the music track,” said Michael Sarason, one of Israel HERE’s leaders, “I’m leading the discussion for a group of 13 students. We’ll be looking at Israeli popular music and how it compares to its American counterpart. But really music will represent the lens through which we will be able to relate our Israel experiences to one another.”
Five more sessions of the program are planned... Five more sessions of the program are planned: two individual “track” meetings, a bus tour of Jewish Cincinnati and a community service project, all culminating in the community celebration of Yom HaAtzmaut (Israeli Independence Day).
The first batch of Israel HERE students, with faculty.
solo dissent in the Clifton case. While he agreed that Blanchester had no authority to appropriate property outside its boundaries, he thought what had happened to Clifton was unfair, and that there should be some kind of relief for Clifton under these circumstances. The same day that the Ohio Supreme Court heard the Clifton case, it also heard another zoning case, Moore v. City of Middletown. The plaintiffs in the Moore case owned property in Monroe that was adjacent to a parcel of land in Middletown, Ohio known as the Martin-Blake property. That 157 acre tract was zoned as lowdensity residential. Middletown re-zoned the Martin-Blake property to a general industrial classification and eliminated set-back requirements that were “incidental or ancillary” to the manufacturing process, in order to allow a Coke plant to be built on the site. As had the farmer in Clifton, the Moores argued that this re-zoning constituted a regulatory taking of their property. The Moores also challenged the re-zoning on the ground that it wasn’t for the benefit of the public, but for the benefit of the AK Steel Corporation, one of Middletown’s largest private employers. Since the two zoning cases appeared to me to raise similar issues—particularly the standing issue of the right of an adjacent property owner who doesn’t live in the municipality where the re-zoning occurred to challenge it, I was very surprised that the Ohio Supreme Court didn’t decide the
two cases the same day. I figured something had to be up, the longer the Moore case wasn’t released. It was finally decided on August 30, more than five months after the Clifton case. In Moore, the Court first agreed that like the farmer in Clifton, the Moores did not have standing to bring a regulatory takings claim, and couldn’t force Middletown to pay it for its property, which was outside the limits of the city of Middletown. There really was no way around that, because the Court had just decided it. But unlike Clifton, the Moores had also raised some other constitutional challenges to the re-zoning—arguing that it was arbitrary and unreasonable, and not in the public interest. The Court, in an opinion written by Chief Justice O’Connor (who has demonstrated a fierce protection of the rights of private property owners) held that the Moores did have standing to raise these claims, in a proceeding known as a declaratory judgment action. This time, the vote was 43. The dissenters found no such right. Interestingly, while he was the sole dissenter in the Clifton case, it looks like Justice Pfeifer— who was now in the majority in the Moore case—seems to have persuaded three colleagues that fairness warranted a creative remedy here. This decision doesn’t mean the Moores are going to win this case. It’s a tough row they have to hoe. But they get a chance to try. My friends who practice in this field of law tell me this is a very cutting edge decision.
FIRST PERSON • 21
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2012
Remembering those that Israel has lost This Year in Jerusalem
by Phyllis Singer The 2012 High Holiday season is coming to a close. One of the traditions that takes place during this season is visiting the cemetery to remember our loved ones. Between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Hanan and I visited the cemetery in Jerusalem where Allen is buried so we could say special prayers in his memory. The next day, I attended another memorial ceremony – the one sponsored by AACI (the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel). The AACI Memorial Ceremony is held each year during the High Holiday season to honor the memory of AACI members,
members of their immediate families and other North Americans who have fallen while serving the state of Israel or as victims of terror. The annual ceremony takes place in the AACI Memorial Forest. On the road from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, near Shaar Hagai, where fierce battles raged in 1948, AACI established a forest in conjunction with the Jewish National Fund. The first trees were planted there following the Six-Day War in 1967 to honor the memory of olim from North America and members of their families who fell in Israel’s wars. The forest is a living memorial, an eternal link between the fallen fighters and the land they loved. The scope was expanded to include those who fell in the pre-state days, as well as in terrorist attacks, including tourists and temporary residents. It serves as a site of remembrance and reflection for Israelis and visitors alike. The forest contains a memorial wall with plaques commemorating those who have fallen. Since before the establishment of the State, more than 300 American and Canadians have fallen in Israel’s wars, defensive actions and terrorist attacks. This year, plaques were dedi-
cated in memory of Asher Palmer and Yonatan Palmer and Netta Blatt-Sorek. On Friday, Sept. 23, 2011, Asher and his year-old son, Yonatan, were killed when their car overturned on the road near Kiryat Arba. Originally reported as a traffic accident, it was later reclassified as a terrorist attack. Police and IDF officials concluded that Asher and Yonatan were victims, with rocks having been thrown at the car, smashing the windshield, injuring Asher and causing him to lose control of the car. Netta Blatt-Sorek was born in Israel, moved to the United States, became a U.S. citizen and later returned to Israel, where she dedicated her life to building a bridge between Israel and her neighbors. In February 2010, Netta left home for a five-day vacation at the monastery of Beit Jamal near Beit Shemesh. The monks reported her missing after she failed to return from an afternoon walk. After her body was found, the initial police report called her death a suicide, but that was later changed to murder; the perpetrators were not found. The investigation a year later into the attack on Kristine Luken and Kay Wilson led police to charge members of a terror
cell with the murder of Luken and also with Netta’s murder. The main speaker at the memorial ceremony was Sherri Mandell, the mother of 13-year-old Koby, who was killed in a terror attack in 2001. She and her husband, Rabbi Seth Mandell, founded the Koby Mandell Foundation, which runs healing programs for families that have been directly affected by terror in Israel. Mandell noted that this was the first year that she and her husband have attended the memorial ceremony. In previous years, she said, they were just not able to attend; it was too painful. But this year they came. “Maybe it’s because we need to remember,” she said. “Remembering is not simple,” she added. “It can be so painful … for some too painful.” Noting that the AACI Memorial Forest is part of Jewish history, she remarked that “Koby’s death is part of Jewish history.” She went on to say that a bereaved family “can still be a healthy family.” She explained that Camp Koby, which is part of the programs run by the Koby Mandell Foundation, works with bereaved children and helps them to remember in a healthy way.
“Remembering is a religious imperative” for the Jewish people, she emphasized. “So we can act ethically … [and] give meaning to our losses.” “When we commemorate together,” such as at the AACI Memorial Ceremony, she continued, “it brings us to another level … We see history as purposeful. That’s why we want to remember. It commits us to the bigger story. We want to bring peace to the world, so that our children will go on to create a just and ethical society to honor God.” “We can remember and create healthy and resilient families and a healthy and resilient country,” she concluded. “We pray that God will bless us and through those blessings we will reach peace for the world.” Close to 200 people attended the ceremony. One of the guests, U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro noted that he comes away “from these [ceremonies] emboldened” and is always “proud to be part of the group” that gathers at the memorial forest. After reciting words from the mourner’s Kaddish, Shapiro concluded his comments with “Yhi Zicron Baruch, may their memories be a blessing.”
BIBI from page 5 Obama concluded the Iran portion of his speech with a clear commitment to prevent a nuclear Iran: “And that’s why the United States will do, what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” Netanyahu’s speech, like Obama’s, was a no-holds-barred warning about the prospect of a nuclear Iran. Photos of Netanyahu holding up a simple drawing of a bomb with the fuse burning down made front pages. Of greater significance than the Israeli prime minister’s stern demeanor and dramatic delivery was the red line he drew on the cartoon – more precisely, where he drew it. The bomb represented the three stages Netanyahu says are required for Iran to achieve a nuclear weapon: Low-enriched uranium, medium-enriched uranium and high-enriched uranium. Iran is already enriching uranium to the medium levels of 20 percent. The spot between mediumenriched and high-enriched uranium is where Netanyahu drew the red line, suggesting that Iran’s arrival at the cusp between medium- and high-enriched uranium is what should trigger a military intervention by the United States or Israel. Making the cusp between medium- and high-enriched uranium is a major concession for Israel; Israeli officials over the summer pushed back against proposed U.S.-initiated compromises
Courtesy of the White House / Pete Souza
President Barack Obama talks on the phone with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, in the Oval Office, Sept. 28, 2012.
that would allow Iran to enrich at 3.5 percent to 5 percent, insisting that Iran end all uranium enrichment. Netanyahu’s red line conceivably would accommodate compromises third parties have suggested that would allow Iran to enrich at 20 percent, or medium level. Furthermore, Netanyahu’s prediction of when the cusp between medium and high enrichment would arrive, based on International Atomic Energy Agency reports, ended speculation that Israel could go it alone with a military strike before the U.S. presidential election, which has been a key request of an array of Obama administration officials who have been arriving in Israel each week over the past several months.
“And by next spring, at most by next summer at current enrichment rates, they will have finished the medium enrichment and move on to the final stage,” Netanyahu said. “From there, it’s only a few months, possibly a few weeks before they get enough enriched uranium for the first bomb.” Another overlap between the two speeches had to do with each leader’s call on the Muslim world to reject radicalism. “It is time to marginalize those who – even when not directly resorting to violence – use hatred of America, or the West, or Israel, as the central organizing principle of politics,” Obama said. “For that only gives cover, and sometimes makes an excuse, for those who do resort to violence.” Netanyahu echoed the concern
Courtesy of Avi Ohayon / GPO / Flash90/JTA
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during an offsite bilateral meeting as part of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Sept. 27, 2012.
about extremism: “That intolerance is directed first to their fellow Muslims and then to Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, secular people, anyone who doesn’t submit to their unforgiving creed. They want to drag humanity back to an age of unquestioning dogma, unrelenting conflict.” Significantly, Obama also focused on the extremist ideology of the Iranian regime, and its ties with terrorist groups in the region – also themes that Netanyahu has emphasized. “In Iran, we see where the path of a violent and unaccountable ideology leads,” Obama said. Netanyahu met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary on Thursday and spoke with Obama
on Friday in a phone call. A White House readout of the phone call said, “The two leaders underscored that they are in full agreement on the shared goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” The comity between the two leaders might not last, Makovsky said, but the effort is critical. “I’m not saying the U.S. and Israel have found common ground, I’m saying there’s an effort to find common ground,” he said. “Netanyahu’s calculation is that it’s better to make that effort.” In case Israel goes it alone against Iran, he said, Netanyahu “will be able to look into the eyes of the mothers of Israel and say, ‘I left no stone unturned.’”
22 • OBITUARIES D EATH N OTICES LEEVER, Judith, age 59, died on September 29, 2012; 13 Tishrei, 5773. HARVESTING from page 7 They are not kidding about the pickles. On Adamah’s annual “Farm Day,” a group gleaned cucumbers from the fields to pickle them in small jars. On Farm Day, Jack Wertenteil and his two children Pinny and Sara, all observant Jews, enjoyed pizza baked in an outdoor woodfired oven while learning about a farm truck powered by vegetable oil, and they made pickles to take back home to New Jersey. Other friends and supporters enjoyed fresh fruits and vegetables and milked the goats. Jon Greenberg, an agronomist specializing in the study of plants and nature in Torah and Jewish tradition, led a “Torah and Flora” tour of the nearby farm fields and orchards, peppering his audience with Midrash and exegesis about the plants they encountered. Two weeks later, at the similarly Jewish-focused educational farm of the Pearlstone Center just northwest of Baltimore in Reisterstown, Md., Morris Panitz – a graduate of Adamah – was showing a group of Jewish educators how to make pickles so they could teach their young students when they returned home. Similar to Adamah’s mission, the Pearlstone farm says that it “embodies and inspires vibrant, healthy, and sustainable living through experiential education grounded in Judaism, agriculture, and ecology.” Pearlstone is not quite as rural and is more “upscale” than Adamah, but among its staff are graduates of the older and more established Adamah program.
DEPUTY from page 6 “I am very optimistic about how we can meet the challenges of the future,” he said, noting the many investors, scientists and experts who seek Israeli cooperation and assistance. At the Sept. 21 Jewish refugees conference, Ayalon was not reluctant to criticize the UN. “I cannot name one war or genocide that has been prevented by the UN,” he said. Calling the international body “a political organization without enforcement capabilities,” Ayalon assured that Israel “will never allow the United TERRORISM from page 8 Israeli officials were shocked and disappointed by Washington’s position. Baruch Binah, spokesman for the Israeli Consulate in New York, said Sharif’s statements represented “the true feelings of the PLO,” and a letter circulated by the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, Yochanan Bein, said Sharif’s remarks “provide clear evidence that the PLO never had any intention of renouncing terrorism and violence.” An Israeli official in Washington said the episode showed that the PLO’s alleged LATINOS from page 8 Though Ajzen initially preferred Mitt Romney in the upcoming election, he now dislikes the social extremes the Republican candidate has chosen to defend. However, Ajzen says he is considering voting for Romney anyway, “if only to punish Obama for unfulfilled promises and broken dreams.” According to Dr. Jaime Suchlicki, an expert on Cuba and Latin American affairs from the University of Miami, more than 60 percent of Cuban Jews in the U.S. “will vote for Romney because of his position on Israel.” Among Jews in Cuba of his BURSHTEIN from page 9 The film probes the fraught relationship between Shira and Yochai, the widowed husband of Shira’s older sister, who died while giving birth. After Yochai hints he will remarry and move to Belgium, taking his newborn son with him, Shira’s grieving and desperate mother, Rivka, encourages her son-in-law to marry her second daughter. The unlikely pair attempt to reconcile the inconceivability of a union with the unexpected reality that they’re falling in love. That conflict helped Burshtein steer the film toward her central motive: quashing the notion that the seemingly impersonal haredi Orthodox practice of chaste courtship and arranged marriages precludes love or affection. Haredi couples, Burshtein says, simply have their own playbook for
Nations to dictate the mandates of peace or Israel’s security.” “When [Palestinian Authority President] Abu Mazen threatens to go to the UN to get the status of a state, it is wrong… It is against the agreements and principles of the UN,” he said. Ayalon reminded that “member” status has never been granted to a state lacking bilateral agreements with its neighbors. “The Palestinians are trying to put the procedure backwards,” he said. “Why? Because they do not want peace with Israel.” “We can no longer afford to be politically correct in the face of anti-Semitism rising in Europe”
and the threat of radical Islam in the Middle East, Ayalon said. It is “time to be not politically correct, but rather, to be correct,” he said. “Israel is telling the world that if the United Nations allows Palestine to push through [the unilateral declaration of statehood], this is slamming the door shut on any future peace,” he said. Despite the reality of the “automatic majority” including Arab and unaligned nations ordinarily aligned against Israel, Ayalon called on the “moral majority of 50 to 60 countries” to stymie any proposal of Palestinian statehood.” “We hope that there will be
responsibility among the responsible countries of the world,” he said. Acknowledging both existential and practical threats to Israel, Ayalon said the “threat to our right to defend ourselves is just as dangerous as the defense itself.” “We are at the front line, in the trenches... If Israel’s well-being is compromised, so will [the wellbeing of] the entire international community,” he said. Using a “no choice” analogy, he said Israel “will no longer be the lamb.” “We shall be the lion, especially in the volatile surrounding of the Middle East.”
renunciation of terrorism, in order to begin talks with the United States, was “meaningless.” In Jerusalem, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alon Liel minced no words. He said at a press conference that, “If the United States does not call it terrorism, in fact it gives a license to kill to every Palestinian individual or organization.” On Capitol Hill and in the American Jewish community, criticism of the Bush administration mounted. Congressman Tom Lantos (DCA) said that while even Radio Moscow was calling the attack ter-
rorism, “the State Department was diddling about trying to get answers.” Anti-Defamation League head Abraham Foxman said the administration’s reluctance to call it terrorism indicated a softening of the U.S. condition that the PLO had to sincerely oppose terrorism in order to qualify for dialogue with Washington. Even some who favored U.S.PLO contacts protested. Ten leaders of the International Center for Peace in the Middle East, including five who had recently met with Arafat, called on the PLO leadership to “strongly condemn” the
attack and “all other acts of violence against innocent civilians.” The PLO did not heed the appeal. But the Bush administration finally gave in. Six days after the attack, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said, “It was clearly an act of violence against innocent civilians. I think in everybody’s minds that would constitute an act of terrorism.” Although Boucher seemed to be hedging by using the term “in everybody’s minds,” his statement was widely regarded as sufficient to put the controversy to rest.
generation, there was a strong “proZionist feeling…before Castro,” Suchlicki says. “All of us were young people when Israel was created and grew up supporting Israel.” Many Cuban Jews have made aliyah, while many of them in the U.S. today want the government to be tougher on the Castro regime and believe a Romney government would do this. Patricia Levin came to the U.S. in 2004 from Argentina and currently teaches at a college preparation academy in Boston. In Argentina, it took a long time for Jews to integrate due to strong anti-Semitism during the country’s dictatorship period, Siegel
Vann says. Levin believes “that every Jew should actively support [Israel’s] existence.” Levin considers no one issue more important than all the others in this election. “I do profoundly care about civil liberties, human rights, Israeli-American relations, cultural issues, immigration issues, education, health care and the economy… and I believe that Mr. Obama will do a better job [than Romney] managing all of them,” she says. Monica Cooper, currently the analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America’s (CAMERA) Revista de Medio Oriente, says Argentinian Jews “may criticize the politics, but
they have strong feelings towards Israel.” Personally connected to the Boston Argentinean Jewish community, Cooper believes that “they consider Obama’s track record on Israel a relatively positive one.” The great grandfather of Bernardo Ferdman was from Bessarabia, and had settled with his family in Entre Rios, an Argentinean province where Moses Montefiore had sponsored the establishment of Jewish settlements. Ferdman is now a professor at the California School of Professional Psychology of Alliant International University and the co-chair of the San Diego Latino Jewish Coalition.
expressing emotion. “We’re somehow portrayed as a bit crippled when it comes to feelings,” she said. But, “the feelings are the same. We just have a different set of rules. It’s about attraction, it’s about sexiness – it’s about all those things that are usually absent when you talk about religion.” What prompted Burshtein to write “Fill the Void,” she says, was how, just as in the secular world, those rules could be complicated. At a wedding several years ago, she encountered a woman newly engaged to her late sister’s widower. It seemed unlikely, but the story arc excited her immediately. Months of research led her to several other women who married their sisters’ widowers. As common themes of sacrifice, responsibility, family, sense of duty and learned intimacy
began to emerge, it seemed less implausible that the couples actually could fall in love. “At the beginning of the research, it sounded like it was impossible to understand how it works,” Burshtein said. “And then at the end of it, it was like the natural thing to do, to marry within the family.” With the backing of her rabbi, Burshtein started production in January 2011 in a tiny Tel Aviv apartment not far from the home she shares with her husband and four children. Questions over whether her identity as a haredi woman stifled her creativity as a filmmaker were never raised, even as she dealt with a largely secular cast and crew, many of whom were male. “It was just like working with any other director,” producer Assaf Amir told JTA. “Religious, not
religious, Orthodox, not Orthodox, first of all, Rama’s a story-teller.” With “Fill the Void” set to premiere in Israel in early October, Burshtein anticipates some haredi backlash. But the trailblazing filmmaker emphasizes her open-ended, interpretative film was not made for haredi eyes. The art-house film grammar would be confusing, she said, for an audience unacquainted with secular movies. And yet, despite it all, she hopes that maybe her community will embrace the film. She fully expects some haredi Jews will seek it out. “The minute the posters come out, we will see what will happen,” she said. “I didn’t try to show something in an inelegant way. I love this world, I chose this world, I believe in this world and in its rules. I hope it’s a voice the Orthodox would like to be heard.”
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