THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012 23 CHESHVAN, 5773
Natalie Portman visits the Queen City p.13
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VOL. 159 • NO. 16
The American Israelite T H E
O L D E S T
Sandy’s wrath spurs comprehensive Jewish community response
Yale professor’s exhibit shows that ‘Big Food’ is real—and scary
A surprising reminder from Kanak India
E N G L I S H
See-ing the world... at ground level
FIRST PERSON p.21
Interfaith trip returns from Israel
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Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati hosts 16th Annual Meeting The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati held its 16th Annual Meeting last week at the Mayerson JCC. The Foundation’s leadership reviewed the core themes and principles guiding its investments in our community, reported on its grantmaking activity during the past year, and outlined some of the priorities that the Foundation will focus on in the year ahead. The Foundation also paid tribute to one of its Founding Trustees, Benjamin Gettler, who retired from the Board in March. Special video presentations showcased several of the Foundation’s most impactful investments during the past year, and also highlighted the collaboration between the Foundation and the Jewish Federation. The videos, which featured representatives from Cedar Village, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and Jewish Family Service, served as case studies of the Foundation’s new grant-making process, and they reflected the themes woven into Board President Michael R. Oestreicher’s report on the Foundation’s new approach to community philanthropy. “The Foundation Trustees and staff worked very hard during the past year to understand the community’s most pressing needs and to develop and implement plans to invest our resources in ways that will maximize their beneficial impact to our community,” said Oestreicher. “Achieving a community-wide return on our investments, encouraging prospective grantees to dream big while at the same time being realistic and disciplined in their requests and always aiming for sustainability, promoting collaboration among multiple organizations, and using the Foundation’s resources to spur increased individual giving, are some of the key principles
Board President Michael Oestreicher speaks at the 2012 Annual Meeting.
that have informed our Board’s decisions during the past year.” Foundation Chairman Gary Heiman opened the meeting by providing an update on how the organization has grown, with additional staffing, a new website, and a move to new headquarters in Blue Ash. Heiman also presented an award to Mr. Gettler for his decades of service and commitment to The Jewish Foundation and Cincinnati’s Jewish community. Executive Director Brian Jaffee reported on the grants approved and distributed since the Foundation’s last Annual Meeting in July 2011. During that period, the Foundation approved more than $20 million in new grants,
a full list of which can be seen on page 12 of this issue. Although the majority of these new investments were in the areas of Unmet Basic Needs and Jewish Educational Opportunities, the report included significant progress made in each of the Foundation’s three other goal areas: Leadership Development & Capacity Building, Continuous Jewish Involvement and Israel Connection. In presenting the videos featuring the Foundation’s signature investments in 2012, Jaffee emphasized their common theme: In each case the original grant request needed something different to fit with the Foundation’s new community objectives, but rather than rejecting the
request, the Foundation worked with the organizations to develop additional or alternative ideas. This resulted in the organizations becoming more enthusiastic and motivated about their new initiatives. Oestreicher closed the evening with remarks about some of the key issues that will be on the Foundation’s agenda in 2013, including support for congregations, Jewish Day Schools, overnight Jewish camping and overall sustainability of community initiatives. For more information, and to see video footage from The Jewish Foundation’s 2012 Annual Meeting, please visit the Jewish Foundation’s website.
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LOCAL • 3
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012
Rabbi Hanan Balk steps down from Golf Manor Synagogue By Michael Sawan Assistant Editor After 24 years of service, Rabbi Hanan Balk has stepped down as the Head Rabbi of Golf Manor Synagogue. He is now the Rabbi Emeritus of the congregation and will be available to congregants upon request to lead special events. In a memo announcing the rabbi’s resignation, Shmuel Plotsker, the Chairman of the Board at Golf Manor Synagogue, explained that the temple will not remain rabbi-less indefinitely: “Going forward, we will have guest rabbis officiating until a new permanent rabbi is found.” Similarly, all activities at the synagogue will continue on their normal schedule. The memo offered high praises for Rabbi Balk, noting that “[the congregation] will miss his regular drashas, his marvelously creative and insightful weekly Torah classes in Talmud and Tanach and his powerful and uplifting voice davening for us at the Yomim Tovim and High Holiday Services.” As to why Rabbi Balk is retiring, the only explanation the memo offered is that “Rabbi Balk’s decision was arrived at with great deliberation and concern for the well-
being of the synagogue.” Rabbi Balk himself fleshed out this explanation in a letter to congregants dated Oct. 22: “The painful decision was necessary due to the economic challenges that our congregation now faces as a result of the unfortunate splitting of our membership just over a year and a half ago. It was a decision that was made in consultation with the Board of Directors, in consideration of what would be best for both my future and that of the synagogue.” Both Rabbi Balk’s letter and Plotsker’s memo contained positive praises. The memo states that “Rabbi Balk provided a clear, nonapologetic voice of halachic Judaism and Torah values.” This characterization is fleshed out by Rabbi Balk’s career and accolades, which includes publication in a wide variety of media, leadership positions on several local and national boards, a talk show on Local 12, and even meetings with Presidents Clinton and G.W. Bush. His education is of a similar pedigree, with degrees from Columbia University and rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University. According to his official bio, Rabbi Balk has also taken great pride in his direction of Golf Manor
Synagouge, having made it a place that is open “to all who enter its doors.” This includes “seasoned Torah scholars, those who are only beginning their journey toward a Torah life as well as many who seek to convert to the Jewish faith.” In his letter, Rabbi Balk added more details concerning his leadership style: “I feel that I can say to you without reservation and with a clear conscience that your rabbi never sacrificed his integrity in any matter of halacha or in any matter that concerned this congregation.” Rabbi Balk’s current plans, as outlined by his letter, are as follows: “I plan to continue to serve on some of the community boards and organizations of which I have been a part. Should individuals need to speak to me about halachic or personal issues, I will still be accessible, though at my home and not at the shul office. I hope to work on a book that will convey the original Torah insights that I have developed and shared in my tenure.” Later in the letter he adds: “I do not know as yet where it is that the Ribono shel Olam will choose to lead me so that I may continue to serve Him and the Jewish people, but I do know that wherever it is, I will never forget the experiences I had here with you.”
Jewish Federation of Cincinnati offers women’s mission Between Feb. 2 and 8, 2013, women of all ages from across North America will travel through Israel, meeting Israeli women and participating in hands-on social action programs. This is a part of the fourth Heart to Heart Mission, organized by the Women’s Philanthropy division of the Jewish Federations of North America (of which the local Jewish Federation of Cincinnati is a member). The third Heart to Heart Mission took place in February 2012; two Cincinnatians, Evelyn Fisher and Sarah Wise, participated in the trip with over 150 other women. “What I liked about this trip was that it took us to the sites our Federation money supports,” said Fisher. “It was a different experience of Israel and a great way to have a dialogue between American Jewish women and Israeli women.” The trip will allow travelers to meet the first female ranking Aluf (Major General) in the Israel Defense Forces, enjoy a gourmet cooking demonstration in Mahane Yehuda, participate in basic training at a Naval Air Base and take a sunset tour that follows in the footsteps of a female paratrooper,
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among many other activities. Fisher continued, “The highlight for me was getting to meet some wonderful women from all over the United States. I will continue to see the people I met in Israel at national conferences. I know we will always have that connection.” “Heart to Heart is such a special mission, because it is a warm, welcoming experience to Israel— her people, beauty, culture, poli-
tics and history,” said Gail Norry, National Chair of the Women’s Philanthropy Division. “Traveling with a group of women offers each of us the gift of friendship and the opportunity to learn about how we can get more involved in our home communities in a meaningful way.” Registration for the 2013 mission is open now. For more information, please contact the Jewish Federation.
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Lori Krafte and Kurt L. Grossman (Partners) and Ken Germain (Of Counsel) with Wood Herron & Evans, the region’s largest Intellectual Property law firm – have been selected by their peers to be listed among the top Ohio attorneys for professionalism and achievements.
Sarah Wise and Evelyn Fisher on the 2012 Heart to Heart Mission.
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Krafte has been named 2013 Cincinnati Trademark Law Lawyer of the Year by The Best Lawyers in America; and named by Super Lawyers among the top 25 women attorneys in Cincinnati. Krafte is a firm partner who counsels clients in all areas of advertising and media law, privacy, trademarks, copyrights, and domain name disputes and other Internet law matters. She also teaches Advertising Law and Trademark Law at the University of Cincinnati College of Law, where she received the Adjunct Faculty Teaching Excellence Award in 2008. Krafte has been selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America in the fields of Advertising Law, Copyright Law, Litigation – Intellectual Property, and Trademark Law; and was named by Ohio Super Lawyers as one of the top 25 women lawyers in Cincinnati in 2009 and 2010, and one of the top 50 women lawyers in Ohio in 2010. Germain was selected for inclusion in 2013 Ohio Super Lawyers. With more than 30 years of experience, he focuses his practice on trademark counseling, consulting and litigation. He is often retained as an expert witness on issues relating to trademarks and unfair competition, working on cases involving some of the nation's largest companies in high-stakes, cutting-edge cases. For many years, Germain has been an active speaker on trademarks and unfair competition, lecturing at national, regional and local conferences. In addition, in 1990 he founded, and is chairman of, the All Ohio Annual Institute on Intellectual Property seminar.
Kurt L. Grossman
Germain has been an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Law, and currently serves as distinguished professorial practitioner in the University of Dayton Law School's Program in Law and Technology. A firm partner, Grossman was selected for inclusion in 2013 Best Lawyers in America® and in Ohio Super Lawyers®. He is involved in all phases of the firm's intellectual property practice, including litigation, prosecution, client counseling, and licensing; and his expertise is concentrated in the electrical, software, and biomedical device fields. Prior to joining WHE in 1983, Grossman served as the technical advisor to Judge Helen W. Nies of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Both The Best Lawyers in America and Ohio Super Lawyers listings distinguish the top attorneys as determined through extensive peer-review evaluations. No more than five percent of attorneys statewide are selected to be among the respected list of Super Lawyers. About Wood Herron & Evans – For more than 140 years, the firm has been a regional, national and international leader in providing innovative solutions for clients seeking to protect their intellectual property assets. Its practice is committed to aiding clients in the acquisition, development, protection, licensing, defense, and enforcement of patent, trade secret, trademark, and copyright rights and in advertising, privacy, data security, and related matters. Those clients include businesses, trade associations, universities, foundations and individuals, many of whom are leaders in science and industry worldwide. Integrity and in-depth legal expertise, coupled with technical and business experience, are the hallmarks of Wood Herron & Evans service.
4 • LOCAL
Memorial honors Jewish WWII victims Jewish Family Service and the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education have been working for over a year to bring to reality the dream of many: The creation of a permanent memorial to honor all Jews who lost their lives to the Nazi regime. This includes all Jewish sol-
diers, partisans and innocent victims. The community is invited to attend the dedication of a WWII memorial at 11 a.m., Friday, Nov. 9, at the Mayerson JCC. Schott Monuments donated the stone for the memorial. The Mayerson JCC is providing the
public location and facilitated the establishment of the marker. “We especially want to thank Zygmund Keller, a Holocaust survivor and WWII veteran, for his determination in seeing this project take place,” said Sarah Weiss with the Center for Holocaust and
Humanity Education. “I’m proud to be part of the process to erect this WWII memorial that is inclusive of the experiences of Jews from the former Soviet Union,” said Gail Ziegler with the Jewish Family Service Center for Holocaust Survivors.
The Amernet String Quartet plays at HUC On Sunday, Nov. 11, at 4 p.m., Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion welcomes the Amernet String Quartet in concert as a part of the Concerts on Clifton series. The quartet will perform music of the Jewish Diaspora for string quartet, featuring compositions by seminal Jewish composers Pavel Haas, Aleksandr Zhitomirskii,
Jacob Weinberg, Viktor Kohn, David Grunfeld and Dmitri Skosta. Lauded for their “intelligence” and “immensely satisfying” playing by The New York Times, the Amernet String Quartet has garnered worldwide praise and recognition as one of today’s exceptional string quartets. All four musicians are graduates of the Julliard School, with an
extensive list of credentials. Violinist Misha Vitenson is a twotime winner of the Harid Conservatory Concerto competition and two-time recipient of the Harid Conservatory’s Joseph Gingold Award for Excellence, while various members of the quartet have played in many of the prestigious halls of our country: Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall,
MoMA, Steinway Hall, and the Kennedy Center. All are well traveled, with the collective experience of the ensemble having covered North America, South America, Europe and the Middle East. The concert will take place in the Scheuer Chapel on the Cincinnati campus of HUC and is free and open to the public.
Charity sale to be held at Adath Israel
The American Israelite “LET THERE BE LIGHT” THE OLDEST ENGLISH-JEWISH WEEKLY IN AMERICA - EST. JULY 15, 1854
VOL. 159 • NO. 16 THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012 23 CHESHVAN 5773 SHABBAT BEGINS FRIDAY 5:11 PM SHABBAT ENDS SATURDAY 6:12 PM THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE CO., PUBLISHERS 18 WEST NINTH STREET, SUITE 2 CINCINNATI, OHIO 45202-2037 Phone: (513) 621-3145 Fax: (513) 621-3744 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org RABBI ISAAC M. WISE Founder, Editor, Publisher, 1854-1900 LEO WISE Editor & Publisher, 1900-1928 RABBI JONAH B. WISE Editor & Publisher, 1928-1930 HENRY C. SEGAL Editor & Publisher, 1930-1985 PHYLLIS R. SINGER Editor & General Manager, 1985-1999 MILLARD H. MACK Publisher Emeritus NETANEL (TED) DEUTSCH Editor & Publisher JORY EDLIN MICHAEL SAWAN Assistant Editors ALEXIA KADISH Copy Editor
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during an event that raises funds for a variety of non-profits. From paintings to sculptures, textiles and one-of-a kind jewelry, every item is handcrafted and unique. More than 20 regional artists will be onsite at Adath Israel Congregation, selling their work, on Saturday, Nov. 17, from 8 – 11 p.m. “Canvas & Cocktails is an annual shopping experience where you can count on finding something special,” said Debbie Lempert, who is president of the Sisterhood women’s group at Adath Israel. “A portion of every purchase goes toward activities that support local charities. So you can buy holiday gifts that give back to our community, too.” Art will be available for every budget. Some of the unique items include reverse gilded glass, encaustic wax pieces, woodworking pieces, fine art paintings, fiber art, jewelry and sculptures. Contact Adath Israel for ticketing information.
Wine and dessert will sweeten the holiday shopping experience
The crowd and booths from a previous year.
JANET STEINBERG Travel Editor
r in Am ape er sp i
More than 20 artists will be available to sell their work.
THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE (USPS 019-320) is published weekly for $44 per year and $1.00 per single copy in Cincinnati and $49 per year and $3.00 per single copy elsewhere in U.S. by The American Israelite Co. 18 West Ninth Street, Suite 2, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-2037. Periodicals postage paid at Cincinnati, OH. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE, 18 West Ninth Street, Suite 2, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-2037. The views and opinions expressed by the columnists of The American Israelite do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the newspaper.
LOCAL • 5
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012
Coffee Talk discusses the importance of Israel The Cincinnati Chapter of Hadassah will present its monthly Coffee Talk program on Monday, Nov. 12 at 9:30 a.m. at the home of Gilda Schwartz. Guest speaker Yair Cohen will talk about “A Jewish Israeli or an Israeli Jew: Perceptions of Judaism and Religion in the Israelis Eyes.” Tobe Snow is Coffee Talk chair. Light refreshments will be served. Yair Cohen is the community shaliach (emissary) of the Israel Center of Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, funded by The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati. He arrived in Cincinnati in September 2011, after being trained by the Jewish Agency for Israel, and is primarily responsible for strengthening the unique and multi-faceted significance of Israel in the local Cincinnati Jewish community by connecting the next generation of Jewish people to Israel’s people and homeland through education and advocacy. Cohen works closely with the rabbis and educators of the
Yair Cohen, Cincinnati Community Shaliach
region’s synagogues and day schools, the Mayerson JCC, Camp Livingston, the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education, the Jewish Community Relations Council and local Zionist organizations. He serves as a resource and an official representative of Israel on behalf of the
Jewish Agency for Israel. His most recent job was as the director of programming at Gesher, an NGO focusing on developing a stronger Jewish identity for Israelis and exploring the multicultural society of Israel with the goal of enhancing tolerance, identity and Israeli Jewish democracy. He has a Master’s degree in political science from Tel Aviv University and a Bachelor’s degree in Jewish philosophy from Hebrew University. Coffee Talk is a monthly, casual get-together, usually held in a Hadassah member’s home, to discuss topics of Jewish interest. Meetings are held the second Monday of the month, alternating between evening and morning times. Upcoming Coffee Talk programs will feature Judge Heather Stein Russell, Dr. Laura Wexler and Rabbi Judy Chessin. Consult the Hadassah website for a full schedule. There is no charge to attend Coffee Talk, but RSVPs are requested.
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Rabbi Michael Weinstein's Temple Installation
Parents Night Out, Thanksgiving Camp at the JCC Enjoy an evening to yourself when you drop the kids off at the JCC for a night of fun they won’t want to miss! During Parents Night Out on Saturday, Nov. 17 from 7 – 11 p.m., children in grades K – 6 can take full advan-
There will be wacky gym competitions, ridiculous pool races, and a yummy, crazy cook-off. tage of the popular JCC facilities and have the chance to earn the title of “Top Turkey” at this J Game Night. There will be wacky gym competitions, ridiculous pool races, and a yummy, crazy cookoff. There will also be time to splash around and swim in the indoor waterpark, play games in the gym, and have fun with crafts projects. Dinner is included and kids should bring a swimsuit and towel. Advance registration is required. Need time to prepare your
Thanksgiving Day meal or finish up work before the holiday? Thanksgiving Break Camp at the J is great for working parents. On Wednesday, Nov. 21 from 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., kids in grades K6 can join the hunt around the J for the Great Turkey. Search for clues in the pool, gym, and Club J. Don’t let the trail grow cold, because no one likes cold turkey! Thanksgiving Break Camp is open to everyone and J Members receive discounted rates. Extended day care is also available: drop off as early as 8 a.m. and pick up as late as 6 p.m. Make sure to pack a lunch with a drink, bathing suit and towel. Advance registrations are required. Both of these great programs are headed up by the new JCC Camp Director & Children and Family Program Coordinator, Ilana Gildenblatt Nadel. Ilana most recently served as a preschool teacher at Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation and was the Midwest Director of Admission, Recruitment and Madricha for Alexander Muss Institute for Israel Education. Ilana served as the Program Director of Hillel at Indiana University and worked for many years at URJ Goldman Union Camp Institute. She is an experienced camp director and is currently working on her Master’s degree in Camp Leadership and Administration.
Ilana said, “It is wonderful to be back in Cincinnati and working at the Mayerson JCC. I have great memories from growing up at the JCC and am excited to create memories with the next generation.”
Rabbi Lewis Kamrass and Rabbi Michael Weinstein
After teaching and doing fundraising in Boston for two years following his ordination from HUC-JIR, Michael and his family have now relocated to Johns Creek, Georgia where Michael has taken an assistant rabbinical position at Reform Congregation Dor Tamid. When Rabbi Lewis Kamrass first joined Wise Temple twenty seven years ago, he tutored Michael, did his Bar Mitzvah, mentored him, taught him at HUC, and then was with Michael at his ordination. Their twenty-six year relationship is special, so when Michael asked Lewis to participate in Michael's Installation at his new Temple, Lewis, as an Atlanta native, was happy to join Michael for this special event.
6 • LOCAL
Afternoon of music, food at Northern Hills Jewish and popular music will be featured when the HaZaK group of Northern Hills Synagogue – Congregation B’nai Avraham holds its monthly program on Wednesday, Nov. 14. Following a delicious lunch, Northern Hills’ members Gayna Bassin (violin), Claire Lee (piano) and Jeri Fish (vocals) will entertain. The program will take place at the synagogue, and begin noon.
Bassin is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and Indiana University, where she studied with famed violin pedagogues Ivan Galamian, Josef Gingold, Jascha Brodsky and Jaime Laredo. She was a member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s First Violin section for 20 years and has soloed with the Colorado Philharmonic Orchestra, the Windsor Symphony, and the Cincinnati Community
Orchestra. Bassin performs locally with the Musica Sacra orchestra and teaches violin. Lee graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s CollegeConservatory of Music, with a Masters of Music degree in Piano Accompanying. She serves as an organist and freelance accompanist, directs the choir at Northern Hills, and accompanies the JCC Troubadours. For fun, Lee plays
flute in the New Horizons Band and keyboards for the New Horizons Dixieland Band. While in her teens, Fish began singing the popular music of the day with her mother and grandmother. She has sung in choruses and choirs ever since, including the Seven Hills Chapter of the International Sweet Adelines, the Female Barbershop Harmony Chorus, and the JCC Senior Show Chorus.
“HaZaK” is an acronym, with the letters standing for the Hebrew words “Hakhma” (wisdom), “Ziknah” (maturity), and “Kadima” (forward). The HaZaK programs are for adults 55 and older, and are open to the entire community. There is no charge for the program and lunch, but donations are greatly appreciated. For reservations or more information, please contact Northern Hills Synagogue.
Documentary and dinner at Café Chabad Cafe Chabad is back! Made popular by providing Jewish adults with social events that feature delicious food, great entertainment and good company, Cafe Chabad is the place to be in Cincinnati. Held several times throughout the year, these evenings are a wonderful time to meet up with old and new friends in the Jewish community. On Saturday, Nov. 17, Cafe Chabad will hold a film screening of “Welcome to the Waks Family,” along with a soup, salad and the-
ater-style snack buffet. Welcome to the Waks family, an hour-long documentary directed by Australian filmmaker Barbara Chobocky, has screened at numerous Film Festivals including many Jewish Film Festivals around the world. Over a period of five years, Chobocky followed one of the largest families in Australia: Zephaniah and Haya Waks and their 17 naturally born children. At the Waks’ home, everyday life is a
logistical operation of monumental proportions. The family also stands out in another way: They follow a strictly Orthodox Jewish way of life that doesn’t allow for many modern privileges and keeps them distanced from the rest of society. How do the Waks cope with so many kids, and with the challenges presented by mainstream society? Why have they made these choices? “Welcome to the Waks Family” is a rare invitation to step inside a family and a religious life that are
extraordinary in almost every respect. Yet, hidden within the tight social fabric of school, work, synagogue and family life, are many surprises that challenge the common assumptions about the lifestyle and values of such a family. “Cafe Chabad is a lively community party,” says Simon Groner. “The food and merriment are wonderful, and enhance the enjoyment of being with old friends, renewing old acquaintances, and meeting new people in our community.”
From past experience, Rusty and Gale Goldner say, “Cafe Chabad is a wonderful and memorable evening. To enjoy good food, drink and conversation in the Café Chabad setting is well worth one’s time.” Café Chabad will take place on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 8 p.m. It will be held at Chabad Jewish Center in Blue Ash. There is an entrance fee, contact the Chabad Center for more information. Adults only, please.
BBYO attempts to craft tomorrow’s leaders The dictionary defines “spirit” as a particular mood or an emotional state characterized by vigor and animation, but after last month’s Spirit Convention at Camp Campbell Gard in Hamilton, Ohio, nearly 200 Jewish teenagers would say that BBYO is their definition of spirit and fun! Drawing from a five-city KIO (Kentucky-Indiana-Ohio) region, this program gave high school students from Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Indianapolis and Louisville a chance to come together for a weekend of competition and camaraderie to show their pride in their cities. Chapters faced-off in an Olympic-style contest with the coveted “Spirit Stick” being awarded as the grand prize to the victors. “Spirit Convention is just one of many opportunities Jewish teens from around the region have to share fun and meaningful experiences with one another throughout the school year,” explains KIO BBYO Regional Director, Josh Rothstein. “Each convention has a different purpose and theme, and all are run by the teens for the teens. There is a very rigorous selection process by which the convention coordinators are chosen. In fact, parents must also sign off on their son or daughter’s application to be a convention coordinator so they have a full understanding of the expectations of the job,” he continues. “After all, planning a convention for hundreds of people is a daunting task, no matter what your age. However,
Some of the nearly 200 Jewish teens who got into the “Spirit” this fall with BBYO.
for those who are up to the challenge, they will learn valuable leadership skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.” “I was one of the coordinators of a BBYO regional convention back in the ‘70s,” shares Marsha Robbins. “It taught me early on how to manage people and gave me hands-on experience running committee meetings, planning budgets and creating programs. I went on to become the president of Hillel at my university and was
active in student government on campus. I credit BBYO for giving me the experience and confidence I needed to be a leader, something that continues to serve me well to this day!” This year’s Spirit Convention was coordinated by Zach Samuelson, from Cincinnati, and Halle Herman from Columbus, who along with their steering committee put lots of creativity and thought into every detail of the weekend, from the menus to
the activities and everything in between. “This year’s theme was the KIOlympics,” explains Zach. “Everyone showed their utmost dedication and loyalty to their chapters by competing and cheering their hearts out. The Spirit Stick winner for the boys was Dayton, and for the girls, Columbus. This event was one of our top two most well-attended conventions to date, and everyone had an awesome time seeing their friends from all over the region!”
“Not only did the coordinators of Spirit Convention do a phenomenal job, we got about 60 more participants than we had for the same event last year,” says Josh Rothstein. “This increase is also reflected in our overall membership numbers across the region. In fact, we have far exceeded our goals in all five cities and are really on a roll. We are lucky to have such passionate and committed City Directors and advisors, who along with some very dedicated teens have helped set the stage for this amazing growth, and we believe it’s only the beginning!” Spirit Convention is just one example of the numerous activities and programs that BBYO puts on throughout the year. With more than 30,000 members and 250,000 alumni, BBYO is the leading pluralistic Jewish youth organization in the world, giving teens across the globe a chance to strengthen their Jewish identity and connections to Jewish life through local, regional, national and international programs, conventions, leadership training, summer camp, travel to other countries and Israel and more. BBYO’s broad program menu enables teens to explore areas of leadership, service and civic engagement, Israel education, and Jewish values with the expectation that they will exhibit positive attitudes and behaviors about being Jewish while maintaining the values and relationships that strengthen the Jewish people.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012
NATIONAL • 7
Sandy’s wrath spurs comprehensive Jewish community response By Maxine Dovere Jewish Telegraph Agency NEW YORK – Hurricane Sandy stormed into New York and New Jersey with unmitigated force, carrying death and destruction, disrupting lives, and devastating neighborhoods in America’s most densely populated regions – which happen to be home to some of the country’s largest Jewish populations. In response, the Jewish community banded together to meet immediate needs and plan for a long-term revival. Cheryl Fishbein, chair of the Emergency Committee of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), told JNS Sunday that the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY) is working on insurance – or lack thereof – issues. “We’re pulling together, recognizing that people have really been demolished,” Fishbein said. “The entire community – religious, not religious, left to right, Chabad and secular, synagogues, organizations – everybody is under the tent, a tent that stretches as big as it can possibly be,” she said. “People need to know we’re out there, checking on one another, making sure everyone is safe.” Rabbi Daniel Freelander, senior vice president of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), told JNS that URJ sent New Orleans-based congregational leaders who helped rebuild synagogues after Hurricane Katrina to consult with two synagogues that were partially wiped out, Temple Sinai in Massapequa, N.Y., and West End Temple in Neponsit, N.Y. Leaders of those two Long Island synagogues were “overwhelmed by what they need to do” after the hurricane, Freelander said, particularly regarding setting priorities – for example, what needs to be rebuilt first, bathrooms or the sanctuary? The New Orleans leaders affirmed that synagogue members come before any infrastructure. “Guys, a congregation is not a building, it’s the people,” the New Orleans leaders told the Long Island synagogues, according to Freelander. Carol Goldstein, president of the Marks Jewish Community House in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, detailed the work being done by volunteers and staff. “I’m so proud to be part of an agency that exemplifies the Jewish belief we are responsible one to another,” she told JNS. Marks Jewish Community House Executive Director Alex Budnitsky, together with staff and volunteers, climbed innumerable flights of stairs, carrying meals and
Courtesy of Rivkah Brikman
A look at the devastation at Chabad by the Ocean in the Sea Gate section of Brooklyn following Hurricane Sandy.
water to those trapped in high-rise apartments without electricity. Brooklyn’s Neptune Avenue, he said, “truly looked like a war zone.” “I applaud the efforts of the volunteers of the community,” he told JNS. “The response is unprecedented. People of all ages from all over Brooklyn have given their time, energy, knowledge, language skills and more to make sure care is taken of everybody from seniors to kids.” Volunteers from synagogues and Entwine, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) young leadership program that usually works in eastern European Jewish communities, were on the ground in Brooklyn, according to Goldstein. The director of a clinic in Kharkov, Ukraine, asked how he could help Russianspeaking Jews in Brooklyn. Teens whose classes were canceled visited the elderly and calls were made to Holocaust survivors, she said. Sigal Greenfeld Middelman arrived in New York just days before the storm. She is chaperone of the Israeli contingent of the America Israel Friendship League’s YASE (Young Ambassadors Student Exchange) program. Sandy, she said, created “a really awful situation.” “I had to keep the kids calm and assure their safety – especially without electricity,” she told JNS. “Parents were worried – there was no phone service for days.” Email and Skype helped Middelman keep parents 6,000 miles away as calm as possible. U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (DNY), who represents several of the devastated Brooklyn neighborhoods, said Sandy should lead to a “massive reordering of priorities.” His district includes Sea Gate, a historic “gated community” that suffered massive wind and water damage. Many homes were entirely washed away. Rabbi Chaim Brikman of Chabad by the Ocean, which serves Sea Gate and Coney
Island, told JNS that Sandy “hit with about 10 feet of water.” “Everything was destroyed – offices, classrooms, the library,” Brikman said. “Somehow I had the intuition to bring all the Torahs to the upper floor – some are over 100 years old.” Rivkah Brikman, the rabbi’s wife, stressed that the storm did not stop Shabbat. “Homemade food came from Crown Heights (where Chabad headquarters are located),” she told JNS “We gathered in one of only three undamaged homes. Even without heat, the warm feelings made it the most beautiful Shabbat ever.” “This is a very loving community,” she added. “Everyone is helping one another – Jews and nonJews: reaching out to one another. No hurricane will stop us.” As Shabbat approached Nov. 2, the UJA Federation of New York distributed more than 800 challot to people hurt by the storm. By Shabbat eve, many Chabad centers had reopened their facilities; some organized virtual bake-a-thons to produce challot – even when power was out – and many organized Shabbat meals. In Freehold, a town on the hardhit New Jersey shore, Rabbi Avrohom Bernstein invited people to share a Friday night meal – even without electricity. “It’s a very meaningful time, because people really put things into perspective,” he told Chabad. “There are things that we take for granted so many times.” Rabbi Eliezer Zaklikovsky of the Chabad Jewish center of Monroe, N.J., distributed self-heating kosher meals to Jewish college students in area shelters. “We’re trying to get hot soup as well,” Zaklikovsky told Chabad. “Our spirit is strong. The damage is great, but we’re trying to move on.” RESPONSE on page 19
8 • NATIONAL
In wake of Hurricane Sandy Refugee-turned-activist disaster, Jewish volunteers step up seeks attention for plight of Egyptian Jews
By Chavie Lieber Jewish Telegraph Agency
NEW YORK – Just before Shelly Fine went to sleep Tuesday night, he posted his contact information and an appeal seeking volunteers for the Hurricane Sandy relief effort on a popular Upper West Side blog. When the 63-yearold woke up the next morning, he had 163 responses. Together with other volunteers, Fine is helping to orchestrate a grassroots effort to help out at the city’s local shelters. “The response of the Jewish community up here has been amazing,” Fine told JTA. “Synagogues, organizations and individuals – everyone has been coming out to volunteer. We’ve been sending people with medical training around to the evacuation sites to make sure everyone is OK, people are showing up and handing out cooked food, fresh clothing and games for children.” Fine is just one of a number of Jewish volunteers stepping up to bring relief to New Yorkers affected by Hurricane Sandy. Tens of thousands of residents across the five boroughs still have no heat and electricity after the storm ripped through the city earlier this week, tearing down trees, homes
and power lines. Many residents evacuated to local shelters or, stuck inside their homes, were relying on volunteers to bring them food and supplies. Uri L’Tzedek, an Orthodox social justice organization, hit the streets of New York City Wednesday to hand out food and supplies to those in need. After placing an announcement on Twitter and Facebook, some 45 volunteers showed up to distribute candles, batteries, flashlights, water and food. “We brought just about every flashlight we could find, and eventually just stood on street corners and handed out water to anyone who needed,” said Uri L’Tzedek’s Yael Keller. “A lot of people approached us telling us about elderly people stuck on higher floors who needed company and supplies. We climbed stairs.” In Brooklyn, Masbia, a network of kosher soup kitchens that usually provides 500 meals a day, has been making more than four times that number since the storm. The organization originally prepared to close its facilities ahead of the storm since many employees live in affected neighborhoods. But Masbia’s executive director, Alexander Rapaport, told JTA that
after receiving several calls from shelters in need of food, he gathered a team of volunteers and has been working around the clock to provide meals to thousands of people in three public shelters in Brooklyn and Queens. “We’ve been sending most of our meals to the seniors evacuated to Park Slope Armory, which is part of the government’s evacuation plan,” Rapaport said. “There were hundreds of people being bused in, on stretchers and in wheelchairs. We usually aren’t equipped to make this much food, but we’ve had a lot of volunteers. People understand the sense of urgency to help these older people.” Rapaport said that Masbia was particularly concerned about the food seniors at shelters were eating. Shelters were providing military-grade food rations, he said, describing the offerings as “lasagna meets chulent” that were high in sodium. Rapaport said that Masbia had recently received a large shipment of fresh fish that it would bring to the shelters. “It’s low in sodium and much healthier for the older people,” he said.
VOLUNTEERS on page 19
Yale professor’s exhibit shows that ‘Big Food’ is real—and scary By Elisa Spungen Bildner Jewish Telegraph Agency NEW HAVEN, Conn. – What is it with Jews and food? We’re obsessed about it, but often with the wrong kind, like the large bagel we crave on the way into work – 337 calories, add another 50, plus 3 grams of saturated fat, for one tablespoon of cream cheese. Or, the oil-laden latkes we’ll be scarfing down come December – 83 calories, 5 grams of fat, and that’s merely one frozen potato pancake. (Courtesy of the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s vast nutritional database, Food-A-Pedia.) Jeannette Ickovics, a professor at the Yale School of Public Health, is also obsessed about food, but more often with the right kind. Yet she credits this directly to growing up in her Jewish home. Ickovics is the lead curator of “Big Food: Health, Culture and the Evolution of Eating,” an exhibit at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History in New Haven, Conn. Despite the lofty subtitle, it’s really a graphic and entertaining display of our society’s escalating descent into obesity, provoked by bad food choices and the creeping supersizing of portions.
Courtesy of Yale School of Public Health
Sarah Conley, a visitor to the “Big Food: Health, Culture and the Evolution of Eating,” exhibit at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History in New Haven, Conn., grimaces as she handles the equivalent of five pounds of human fat while her sister, Gloria, looks on.
The exhibit runs through Dec. 2, but chances are you may not make it there – New Haven tends to get outflanked by Boston and New York on the I-95 corridor – so I’ll give you a digest of the highlights. I begin my Ickovics-guided tour with lunch: She thoughtfully schleps a portable smorgasbord of lentils, grilled peppers, zucchini and at least three other vegetables to the Peabody, so that I will be less inclined to grab a slice of Frank
Pepe’s legendary pizza on my way into town. Ickovics tells me her parents – both Holocaust survivors – settled in Philadelphia in 1961 by way of Hungary, where her father joined the army during World War II, using fake Catholic papers, before spying for the Russians in the Resistance. Her mother came through Auschwitz-Birkenau and the Reichenbach concentration camp. Post-Holocaust: a displaced persons camp; Genoa, Italy, and finally, Haifa. In 1960s America, when other parents opened boxes of Kraft spaghetti dinner for supper or Kellogg’s brown sugar cinnamon Pop-Tarts for breakfast, Ickovics’ newly immigrated mother, Rachel, served borscht from fresh beets, shlishkes – the Hungarian version of gnocchi – and walnuts and honey or an occasional apple cake for dessert – homemade, of course. “We grew up on whole foods,” says Ickovics. “We didn’t get meals from a can, box or plastic bag.” She ate in the same way her mother was reared in her Hungarian Jewish home: fresh vegetables, beans, everything from scratch, she says. EXHIBIT on page 22
By Maxine Dovere JointMedia News Service NEW YORK – For Levana Vidal Zamir, it was a “good childhood” – until May 14, 1948. At midnight, she recalls, Egyptian officers rampaged through her family’s house and destroyed everything. They denounced her uncle as a “Zionist,” arrested him, and held him in jail for almost two years. The Egyptian government confiscated the family’s business – the largest printing company in Egypt – along with much of the family assets. “All of a sudden, being a Jew was a crime in Egypt,” Zamir recalls in an interview with JNS. “The persecution was rampant – beatings, jail, torture – [and] became regular occurrences.” Zamir – now a filmmaker and the representative of the current Egyptian Jewish community for Justice for Jews from Arab Countries (JJAC) – came to the United Nations in September to bear witness. At the recent JJAC international conference in Jerusalem, she spoke for the more than 80,000 Egyptian Jews forced to flee homes in which they had lived – some, for centuries. In New York, she was set to represent her community at the first JJAC meeting in the halls of the UN. However, no testimony about Egypt’s Jewish community was presented during the UN program. Zamir says that, only 24 hours prior to the gathering, she had been informed she would not be speaking. In 2008, U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler D (D-NY) led efforts in the House of Representatives to pass a “bipartisan resolution recognizing the reality of Jewish refugees.” In July 2012, Nadler introduced another bipartisan bill “designed to secure equal treatment of Palestinian and Jewish refugees” and “pair any explicit reference to Palestinian refugees with similar reference to Jewish and other refugee populations.” Florida Congresswoman U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, supported the legislation. In Israel, legislation promulgated by Member of Knesset Nissim Ze’ev, head of the Shas Party, and passed by the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) February 23, 2009, confers “refugee” status on Jews forced to leave Arab countries. The Ze’ev legislation effectively laid the foundation for both the Jerusalem conference and the recent UN meeting. “The catalyst to action was the 2009 Cairo speech of U.S.
Courtesy of Maxine Dovere
Levana Vidal Zamir
President Barack Obama, during which he equated the Holocaust to the Palestinian refugee situation,” says Zamir. Rep. Nadler said, “It is simply wrong to recognize the rights of Palestinian refugees without recognizing the rights of Jewish refugees…This is, in part, thanks to efforts by the Israeli government, which recently announced plans to hold a national day of recognition of Jewish refugees.” For 12 years Zamir was called Amarene – meaning moons, in Arabic. (She was named in honor of both of her grandmothers.) In 1950, her name and life were transformed. She became Levana, meaning a singular moon in Hebrew. The child and her family, stripped of all property and under threat, fled a hostile Egypt. With virtually nothing, the family was finally allowed to leave via ship to France and was sent to a transit camp – Campe de’Arenas – outside of Marseilles. The VidalMorresi family arrived in Israel several months later, during one of the coldest winters, and was sent to a marbarah (refugee camp) near Tiberias. Their only shelter from the cold winter rain was a tent. More than a half century later, Levana remembers the December night when the family’s canvas shelter blew away in a blasting rainstorm. Her mother cried every night, she recalls, telling no one but her diary. It took several years, but the family eventually found a home in Schronat Florintine – the Florentine neighborhood – in Tel Aviv. “The difference between the Israeli refugee camps and the Palestinian ones is that in Israel we worked, studied, got out, and prospered,” Zamir says. “The Palestinians keep themselves in their camps for four generations, with UNRWA (the United Nation Relief and Works Agency) giving more and more money.” ACTIVIST on page 22
NATIONAL / INTERNATIONAL • 9
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012
As Morsi and Brotherhood spur alarm, what to do about Egypt? By Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraph Agency WASHINGTON – Jewish groups looking for signals from Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi regarding his views were appalled when one finally came – in the form of a nod and what appeared to be a muttered “amen” to an imam’s call for God to “deal harshly” with the Jews. Morsi’s nod at Friday prayers Oct. 19 and a separate call from the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s top leader for Muslims to unite and use force against Israel in a “holy Jihad” have drawn expressions of alarm from Jewish groups. The Anti-Defamation League released a statement expressing its “deepening concern over the antiSemitic rhetoric coming from the highest echelons of Egyptian society.” The Zionist Organization of America and the Simon Wiesenthal Center called on the Obama administration to cut off ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, the movement behind Morsi’s Freedom and Justice Party, though the new Egyptian president formally resigned as the party’s head after his election. The American Jewish Committee said it is reaching out to Egyptian officials for further clarification. “AJC has a longstanding rela-
Courtesy of UN Photo/Marco Castro
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi addressing the U.N. General Assembly, Sept. 26, 2012.
tionship with the Egyptian government, we are determined to maintain that relationship throughout his transition,” said Jason Isaacson, the AJC’s international affairs director. “Whatever the views of Egyptian leaders, the fact remains Egypt is a neighbor of Israel, maintains a peace treaty with Israel and requires constant attention.” Morsi, who assumed office in June, has done little since then to assuage concerns that his Muslim Brotherhood background would severely alter the most populous Arab nation’s relationship with the West and, more particularly, its peace with Israel. “Anyone who thought the
Muslim Brotherhood would moderate simply because it won elections doesn’t understand how ideological the organization is, and doesn’t understand how it is structured to resist moderation,” said Eric Trager, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Trager described a system in which it takes five to eight years to attain full membership in the Brotherhood, and during which aspirants are subject to tests that weed out moderates. Jewish concerns about how Morsi will handle relations with Israel have mounted in recent weeks. Addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 27, Morsi did not mention Israel by name once, although he spoke at length about the Palestinian cause. His only reference to Israel was as “a party in the international community” that denied Palestinian rights. The text of Morsi’s speech as prepared and distributed in advance by Egypt’s mission to the U.N. included a positive reference to the Arab League’s 2002 peace initiative, which called for comprehensive peace and recognition of Israel in exchange for Israel’s withdrawal to the 1967 lines and a resolution to the Palestinian refugee issue in exchange. Yet Morsi, JTA has discovered, omitted that part in the speech he delivered.
Also removed in the remarks Morsi delivered was a vow that was included in the advance text to uphold international commitments – an assurance that the United States has sought, particularly as it relates to the 1979 peace treaty with Israel. (Next, in October, in a public message, Mohammed Badie, the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme guide, reportedly said that “Zionists only understand the language of force” and “increased their corruption throughout the world, shedding the blood of the people, trampling sanctuaries and holy places, desecrating even their own sanctuaries through their actions.”) Then, on Oct. 19, Morsi attended Friday services at a mosque in Mersa Matruh, an Egyptian seaport, at which the imam – a prominent local Brotherhood figure – prayed to God to “deal harshly with the Jews and those who are allied with them.” The Middle East Media Research Institute published video of the event in which Morsi appeared to nod and mouth “amen” to those words. “The drumbeat of antiSemitism in the ‘new’ Egypt is growing louder and reverberating further under President Morsi and we are increasingly concerned about the continuing expressions of hatred for Jews and Israel in Egyptian society and President Morsi’s silence in the face of most of these public expressions of
hate,” the ADL said in a statement. Morsi and the Brotherhood also have been consolidating their power. In August, Morsi replaced the leadership of the military – long seen as a bulwark of support for maintaining strong ties with the U.S. and upholding the peace treaty with Israel. He has also removed limits on the presidency that the junta that controlled Egypt after Hosni Mubarak’s ouster in early 2011 had inserted. Joel Rubin, the director of government affairs for the Ploughshares Fund, said that much of this posturing has to do with internal political considerations as the Brotherhood seeks to consolidate its leading role in the Egyptian polity. “He’s making a priority of maintaining the leadership profile,” said Rubin, who previously worked on Middle East issues as a congressional staffer and at the State Department. “He has a political base he speaks to.” Trager said that the offending statements of the sort delivered by the imam were not uncommon in Egypt. “What is as disturbing is that these prayers are ubiquitous in Egypt and a common feature,” Trager said. “It’s awful, the president sitting there and saying amen, but you have tens of millions of Egyptians saying amen.” EGYPT on page 22
In Toulouse, French president vows to fight anti-Semitism By Cnaan Liphshiz Jewish Telegraph Agency MARSEILLE, France – France will clamp down on anti-Semitic hate speech online and elsewhere, French President Francois Hollande said at a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “We will relentlessly combat anti-Semitism, also on social networks where haters may have anonymity,” Hollande said at a press conference that he held on Thursday with Netanyahu at the Jewish school in Toulouse where three children and a rabbi were murdered in March. In his speech, which followed a commemorative ceremony dedicated to the attack’s victims, Hollande said that he would promote new legislation against hate speech. “We will tear off all the masks, all the pretexts, to anti-Semitic hate,” Hollande said. Addressing Netanyahu, he added: “I would like to remind you of the determination with which the French Republic has confronted anti-Semitism, not only with words but with actions.” A police report released last week highlighted French security authorities’ failures in handling surveillance of Mohamed Merah, the 23-year-old Muslim radical
Courtesy of Avi Ohayon/GPO/FLASH90/JTA
French President Francois Hollande, right, meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara at the ceremony at the Jewish school in Toulouse, Nov. 1, 2012.
who killed the four Jews on March 19 at Toulouse's Otzar Hatorah school. The attack on the Jewish school came four days after Merah gunned down two French soldiers in a nearby town and eight days after he killed another French soldier in Toulouse. Merah was later shot and killed by police following a lengthy standoff at his apartment. “Every time a Jew is targeted because he or she is Jewish, it concerns Israel. That is the meaning of your presence here, which I understand,” Hollande told Netanyahu. The Israeli prime minister was
making his first visit to France since Hollande was elected president. Netanyahu said that Hollande’s presence expresses “the spirit of resistance to evil and tyranny.” Netanyahu said that “anybody who doesn’t respect the human rights of Jews will not respect the human rights of other peoples.” He added: “It was not accident that the killer of Toulouse killed not only Jews but also French soldiers, Christian and Muslim alike.” Netanyahu ended his speech with nine seconds of vigorous singing of “Am Yisrael Chai,” or “the people of Israel live on,” in response to “all of Israel’s haters, be they in France or at the Dolphinarium or Itamar,” the scenes of past attacks by Palestinian terrorists. The chairman of the Jewish Agency, Natan Sharansky, accompanied Netanyahu to Toulouse. Sharansky announced the establishment of a fund to help upgrade security in Jewish communities. The fund will support infrastructure upgrades and other security measures for communal institutions in small Jewish communities, including schools and synagogues. Yaacov Monsonego, director of the Otzar Hatorah school and the father of one of the victims, told Hollande that his presence at the school shoulder to shoulder with
Israel’s prime minister attested to the French president’s devotion to confronting anti-Semitism. “I let go of Miriam’s hand, and two minutes later she was executed just because she was Jewish,” Monsonego said, his voice choking with emotion. Merah gunned down his daughter along with two other boys and their father, Rabbi
Jonathan Sandler. “Hatred ruined my life and that of my wife, the tragedy plunged us into darkness. We felt alone,” Monsonego said. The empathy of the French people, Israelis and Jews and non-Jews from all over the word helped the community return to normal, he said, “but the pain continues to dwell in us.”
10 • INTERNATIONAL / ISRAEL
As Golden Dawn gains popularity, Greek Jews strategize on how to combat neo-Nazi party
By Gavin Rabinowitz Jewish Telegraph Agency
ATHENS, Greece — For every Jew who lives in Greece, there are about 100 Greeks who voted for the country’s neo-Nazi party, Golden Dawn, last spring. The party now controls 18 seats in Greece’s 300-member parliament, and its popularity is rising rapidly: A poll taken in October showed that if elections were held again today, Golden Dawn would capture 14 percent of the vote, making it Greece’s third-largest party. A September poll showed that 22 percent of Greeks have positive views of Golden Dawn, up from 12 percent in May. With its swastika-like flag, gangs of black-shirted thugs attacking immigrants and its ideology of Greek racial superiority, Golden Dawn’s sudden and significant rise has prompted condemnations from around the world. It also has put many of Greece’s 5,000 Jews on edge. Community leaders already have begun a campaign to educate Greeks about the dangers of allowing a neo-Nazi party to flourish, and Greek Jews are trying to figure out what more they can do to arrest Golden Dawn’s rise. “We definitely think that a very
Courtesy of YouTube
Greece’s Golden Dawn party leader Nikolaos G. Michaloliakos speaking in a political ad, April 2012.
basic tool to promoting social equality and combating the rise of extremists like Golden Dawn is educating schoolchildren,” said Zanet Battinou, director the Jewish Museum of Greece. The museum and its programs teach visiting schoolchildren about Greece’s Jewish community, its heritage and, in particular, about the Holocaust, in which more than 80 percent of Greek Jews were murdered. The museum also has set up a traveling exhibition, works extensively with Greek schools to aid in teaching about the Holocaust and,
together with the Israeli Embassy in Athens, sent 24 Greek teachers to the International School for Holocaust Studies at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and museum in Jerusalem. “It certainly is a very strong weapon against misinformation, bigotry and prejudice,” Battinou said. “But the biggest benefit is, and should be, to teach young people to think for themselves.” While Golden Dawn mostly has targeted those it holds responsible for Greece’s dire economic plight and its international humiliation – immigrants from Asia and Africa,
politicians and the Communist opposition – the party also has a clear anti-Semitic streak. Golden Dawn’s leader, Nikolaos Michaloliakos, denies there were gas chambers or ovens at Nazi death camps and has a penchant for giving the Nazi salute. Statements from the party refer to Israel as a “Zionist terror state.” Party spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris, who made international headlines when he punched a female Communist Party member in the face during a live television debate, recently read out a passage from the anti-Semitic forgery “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” in parliament. “We must react to everything they do against the Jews,” David Saltiel, president of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, told JTA. “We protest, we fight in every instance where there are displays of anti-Semitism and will not let ourselves fall down. We take every measure we can within the spirit of democracy.” The Greek Jewish community is also trying to maintain a dialogue with the government and mainstream political parties and urging them to take a stronger stand, according to Saltiel. GREECE on page 22
Israel Briefs Three Israeli soldiers wounded in Gaza border blast (JNS) – Three Israeli soldiers were wounded on Tuesday morning when a roadside bomb exploded near an armored vehicle along the border with the Gaza Strip, Army Radio reported. The injured soldiers received medical care at the scene and one was later transported to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba for further treatment. The incident occurred in the Kibbutz Nirim area as soldiers from the Givati Brigade were conducting a routine patrol. In a statement, the Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson’s Unit said the IDF would continue to act against terrorism emanating from the Gaza Strip. It cast blame for such terrorism on Hamas. Two weeks ago, an IDF company commander was seriously wounded by an explosive device along the fence near the Kissufim border crossing.
Israeli startup Argo hopes to put paraplegics back on their feet By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraph Agency YOKNE’AM ILIT, Israel – Radi Kaiuf was serving in Lebanon in 1988 with the Israel Defense Forces’ Golani Brigade when, in the middle of an operation, he took two bullets to the stomach and one to the back. He was lucky to be alive, doctors said, but he would never walk again. Now, Kaiuf meets co-workers at eye level, standing with them in the hallway of his workplace, Argo Medical Technologies. It’s on the sixth floor of an office building, and if he wanted to he could take the stairs. Four oblong black plastic cases are strapped to Kaiuf’s legs and waist and connected to a thin black backpack. In his hands he’s holding what look like ski poles. Before walking away, Kaiuf presses a small button atop one of the poles, leans forward ever so slightly, and with the sound of a whirring machine, his legs begin to move. In one sense at least, the doctors were right: Without this device, Kaiuf would be confined to a wheelchair. But he is one of six people who, almost daily, use the ReWalk, a 44-pound exoskeleton that allows individuals with spinal cord injuries to walk, stand and sit with minimal exertion.
Courtesy of JTA
Radi Kaiuf, who is paralyzed from the waist down, walks using the ReWalk, a device made by Israel’s ArgoMedical Technologies that allows paralyzed people to walk, stand, sit and even climb stairs.
“At the beginning I didn’t believe I could walk,” said Kaiuf, who now works full time at Argo testing the device. “All you know is the wheelchair. It was really incredible. It’s fun to walk. It returns me to normal, like everyone else.” The ReWalk, which was developed by Argo and released in September, is the brainchild of Amit Goffer, an Israeli computer scientist and inventor who became paralyzed after a 1997 car accident. Although he cannot use the ReWalk
himself because he lacks the use of his arms, he began designing the device with the help of a $50,000 grant from the Israeli government because he was frustrated at the lack of alternatives to a wheelchair. “It’s natural to me that if there’s a problem, physics has a solution,” said Goffer, 59, who is now Argo’s chief technological officer. He hopes to one day help develop a similar device for quadriplegics, though for now he is focused on launching the ReWalk.
The device functions through motors attached to the legs that can propel a disabled person at a slow walking speed. A tilt sensor, the same technology used on Segway electric transporters, can sense whether the user wants to move forward or back, stand or sit. Poles are used for added support. Training for the ReWalk takes about 12 hours over the course of a few weeks. Larry Jasinski, Argo’s CEO, says the most difficult part of the training is getting used to walking and balancing again with only the upper body. “Individuals who got injured, they changed the environment around them to live with ramps and function on wheels,” said Jasinski. “We give them functionality in a regular environment. There’s an emotional component of this product.” Though not yet cleared for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Jasinski estimates that 250,000 people in the United States and Europe could use the ReWalk. The device is already available in Europe, where 32-yearold Claire Lomas completed the London Marathon with the help of a ReWalk in May. Lomas walked about two miles of the 26.2-mile course each day, completing it in a little over two weeks. That kind of performance doesn’t come cheap: the device costs
$65,000 and current models are not expected to last more than five years. Jasinski counters that highend electric wheelchairs are not much cheaper and added that Argo is working to conduct studies touting the ReWalk’s health and work benefits in an effort to persuade insurance companies to cover part of the cost. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has already agreed to help buy ReWalks for injured veterans, and Jasinski is also hoping for assistance from Israel’s Defense Ministry. He noted that using the ReWalk burns fat and builds some muscle. “A healthier person can work better,” said Jasinski. “It’s easier to work when you can stand up and talk to people. If it becomes clear that the medical benefit outweighs the cost, you will get groups to pay for it.” For many currently confined to wheelchairs, however, the promise of walking again is priceless. “For them, if you have something that can make you stand, you go to the end of the world to get it,” Kaiuf said. “In their dreams, they’re still walking. Their dream is to walk.” His happiest moment with the ReWalk came when his daughter saw him with it for the first time. “She said, ‘Abba, you’re tall!’” he recalled. “That made me feel good.”
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012
SOCIAL LIFE • 11
ANNOUNCEMENTS ENGAGEMENT arty and Linda Mandel announce the engagement of their daughter, Mallory Mandel to Jeffrey Adler, son of Steve and Margie Adler, both of Cincinnati, Ohio. The future bride graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and The Ohio State University’s College of Dentistry. She is employed as a dentist in Blue Ash. The future groom graduated from Tulane University. He is employed as an Investment Analyst at Morgan Stanley in Cincinnati. Mallory is the granddaughter of Thelma Essig, and the late Dr. Joel Essig, of Cincinnati and Jack and Clarie Mandel of Hamilton, Ontario. Jeffrey is the grandson of Thelma and Harvey Bergman of Cincinnati, and Marilyn Adler and the late Ernest Adler of Evansville, Ind. The wedding will be October 6, 2013 at Adath Israel Congregation, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Jeffrey Adler and Mallory Mandel
ANNOUNCEMENTS ARE FR EE! EE B IR THS • B AT /B AR M I T ZVAHS E NGAGE ME N TS • W E DDINGS B IR THDAYS • A NNIVE R SAR IE S Place your FREE announcement in The American Israelite Newspaper & Website by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The American Israelite
12 • CINCINNATI SOCIAL LIFE
A full list of the grants that the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati approved for 2012
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012
CINCINNATI JEWISH LIFE â€˘ 13
NATALIE PORTMAN VISITS THE QUEEN CITY Photo courtesy of Mike L. Howard
(R-L) Front: Natalie Wolf, Michele Fisher, Julie Brook, Gal Spinrad, Pam Saeks and Barb Myers; Back: Sarah Weiss, Bonnie Ullner, Natalie Portman, Tobe Snow, Marlene Ostrow and Nina Paul
ABOMINABLE SNOW BIGOT SPOTTED DOWNTOWN
This photo taken on Fountain Square, Downtown Cincinnati, Friday, November 2, 2012.
14 • DINING OUT
A surprising reminder from Kanak India By Michael Sawan Assistant Editor Things can easily become commonplace. Is it not amazing that I can hop into my car and zip by massive structures at 60 miles per hour? And that’s nothing compared to hopping into a plane and going 10 times that speed, through the air, no worse for wear than my popped ears. Even the smaller things are impressive: I, right now, am looking at a computer. What IS it? I’m suddenly surprised to realize I have no idea how it works, what I’m even looking at. And more still! Recently I went to a strip mall in the middle of Montgomery and was able to eat food from over 8,000 miles away. Take it as a sign of the restaurant’s quality that it inspired this awe in me. I’ve had the privilege of eating Indian food for most of my life, and I will confess that the first restaurant I was taken to was Ambar India. So Kanak India, the most recent sibling in the X- India conglomerate, felt like a solid homecoming. Kanak India was founded four years ago this January, but the space doesn’t show it. The restaurant’s interior and exterior have been kept immaculate, giving the sense that the restaurant opened within the past three to six months. The decorations tend to be sharp and fresh, with a prevalence of western style photography about Indian subjects. What drew my eye most, as it turned out, was the buffet itself. The day of my visit was cold, gray and rainy, so you can imagine the pleasure I took in seeing this gleaming, steaming line of food. As I ate I watched the steam rise up and dissipate which, unsurprisingly, inspired me to go ahead and get more food. I spoke with Gurpreet, the manager of Kanak India, who explained to me many of the restaurant’s other notable features: “First of all, we are family owned and we are one of the pioneer families for Indian food.” The restaurant also has several popular dishes, which Gurpreet noted with strong certainty. “The Chicken Tikka Masala, that’s popular,” he began emphatically. “Very, very popular.” He then went on to note how certain vegetarian dishes, such as the Saag Paneer and Nav Rattan Korma, also remained top sellers. Gurpreet explained to me the general clientele of Kanak India with similar certainty. “They tend to be from around here,” he said, “but some of them come from Hamilton, Florence, too. Last night we had some customers from Florence. But mostly they are regular, all local patrons.” I began the buffet with Chicken Mater and rice. This has been my standby Indian dish for years, and Kanak’s take did not disappoint. It
(Clockwise) An outside view of Kanak India; The front room staff at Kanak India; A buffet plate filled with Chicken Tandoori, rice, Saag Paneer, and Bhatoora; A second plate loaded with two Veggie Pakoras, Naan, Chicken Mater, and rice; The Lunch Buffet, with the Veggie Pakora, Chicken Tandoori, and Carrot Halwa visible; A dish of the extremely surprising Carrot Halwa.
was something like a two or a three on the hotness scale, allowing for the tomato in the dish to pop out prominently. That, combined with the tenderness of the chicken, won my affection. I’m realizing now that the Chicken Mater is a good example of taking something simple for granted. I think back to the spices, the balance between them, and wonder what their make up must have been. I’m pleasantly surprised to realize that I can’t separate them in my memory, to find a balance or order. The sauce was unified, making just one unmistakable taste despite its combination of many. I used the Naan to hold the last of the Chicken Mater and it did a wonderful job. The bread had a very doughy, full consistency, making it an ideal wrap. I then tried the Veggie Pakora, a breaded, fried spinach. Unsurprisingly, it tasted
nice and buttery, with a prominent pleasing crispness. Surprisingly, it also tasted like seafood and buttered popcorn. I don’t know how to explain this phenomenon, but I can say that I liked it. It was very eatable; if I had been presented with a bowl of the stuff I could have tucked it away over and over again. I could see different sauces being good on it, as well. If I had had leftover Chicken Mater sauce that could have easily gone on, or come to think of it, pretty much any of the Indian sauces that are common. The Spinach Saag would have been a good option. It was a uniquely creamy take on the dish, adding a heartiness that I had never heretofore experienced. They even had cubes of cheese in the dish, roughly the texture and consistency of tofu, which added body and yet more fullness. It was not at first terribly spicy, but as I ate its intensity built.
This tidal wave was easily managed with a little bit of Bhatoora, a fried puffy naan, which easily soaked up the spice and left a delicious doughnut sort of depth in its place. The Chicken Tandoori tasted fresh off of the barbecue. It was evenly cooked, juicy, and that perfect texture that simply feels well cooked. Here is another one that is easy to take for granted; it is at once familiar, just a roast chicken, but then the redness of it is pleasantly startling. The spices are unique, another mysterious mix that leaves a nice tingle in its wake. What really blew my mind, though, was dessert. Never before had I eaten bread-rice-honey-pudding-cheese-carrot cake, but here it was: Carrot Halwa. I ate this dessert in frustration. How did they fit all of these flavors in here? Which one was most important? Everywhere I focused there was a
new flavor, and what’s more, new reminders of other flavors. The great thing about food is that it can connect you to another time and place, a memory of having eaten a similar thing before. Well, here was a dish that tied me back to at least three places, all the while with an incredibly pleasant, easy-going, delicious quality. Kanak India, one of five restaurants associated with the Ambar India family, easily fits in with the quality and style of its sister restaurants. Their dinner hours are Monday through Saturday, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Sunday, 3:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. Their lunch buffet is open Monday through Saturday, 11:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. Kanak India 10040B Montgomery Road Cincinnati, OH (513) 793-6800
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012
DINING OUT • 15 Glendale’s Best Kept Secret!
RESTAURANT DIRECTORY THAI SUSHI PASTA 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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16 • OPINION
Misguided markings By Rabbi Avi Shafran Contributing Columnist In slow but clear Hebrew and with an endearingly wry smile, the elderly Jewish lady recalls a trip to America one summer with her sister. At a bank, she recounts, the teller, a young woman, said to her, “Oh, you have numbers on your arms! Yours ends with a ‘4’ and hers with a ‘5’!” That’s cool!” The bubbeh’s smile widens and her eyes seem to twinkle as she recounts her response to the girl. “You’re right,” she quietly told her in English. “It’s cool… It’s from another epoch of our life. It’s cool.”
Their actions have been labeled a fashion-statement hijacking of the Holocaust; characterized as an effort to usurp others’ identities; condemned as a trivialization of the horrific. The testimony is offered in a documentary film, “Numbered,” whose U.S. premiere is scheduled for later this month at a Chicago film festival. The film’s focus, however, is not so much on the cluelessness of young Americans but rather on the attitudes of different tattooed survivors to the memory-marks they carry day-in, day-out on their arms. And on the recent trend among some young Israelis who seek to perpetuate a connection to the Holocaust and the Jewish people by tattooing their own arms with numbers borne by concentration camp inmates. According to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, such tattooing was introduced at Auschwitz in the autumn of 1941 and in Birkenau the following March. After the war, some survivors whose arms bore the inked record of their ordeals sought to remove the reminders. Others wore them with pride. A well-known teshuvah, or responsum, by Rav Ephraim Oshry (She’eilos Uteshuvos Mima’amakim, 4:22) advised a woman who wished to have her con-
centration camp tattoo surgically removed to regard it instead as a badge of honor. It is told that Rav Yoel Teitelbaum, zt”l, the Satmar Rov, once counseled a follower seeking a blessing to go into a shul and find a man with numbers inked into his skin; such a person, the Rov explained, is worthy of providing a meaningful bracha. But the thought of Jews today electing to subject their bodies to markings like those the Nazis and their collaborators used to dehumanize their forebears grates – or should grate – like a knife run across the edge of a glass. And indeed, there has been no dearth of criticism of the newly number-tattooed. Their actions have been labeled a fashion-statement hijacking of the Holocaust; characterized as an effort to usurp others’ identities; condemned as a trivialization of the horrific. The contemporary Holocaust remembrance enterprise is, to be sure, deeply inappropriate, but – in the manner of the Berditchever’s spirit of seeing good in all Jews – it, or at least the motivation behind it, might be regarded more generously. Ten young number-tattooed Jews interviewed by The New York Times last month, in the reporter’s words “echoed one another’s motivations: they wanted to be intimately, eternally bonded to their survivor-relative. And they wanted to live the mantra ‘Never forget’ with something that would constantly provoke questions and conversation.” Worthy goals, if misguided means. What is mostly missing, though, from all the criticism is what should be the most fundamental one: that a tattoo – even a well-intentioned one – is forbidden by the Torah. “You shall not make a cut in your flesh for the dead,” it states, “and a tattoo you shall not place upon yourselves – I am Hashem” (Vayikra, 19:28). And that prohibition remains even – one might argue especially – if one’s intentions are sublime. For the opinion of R. Shimon ben Yehudah in the name of R. Shimon (Makkos 21a) is that the phrase “I am Hashem” implies that the prohibition specifically refers to a tattoo of Hashem’s name! And so an irony practically screams out here. Klal Yisrael is only a nation by virtue of the Torah. Throughout all of the vicissitudes of our history and all the challenges our people has faced, what has always ensured our survival, indeed, our eternal nature, is that which bonds us to our Creator: the study and practice of Torah. Those are the keys to Jewish unity and Jewish eternity. Pity the newly number-tattooed. Not only are they unintentionally punishing their Jewish souls by their actions, they are undermining the very things – memory, their historical heritage, Jewish peoplehood – that they seek to preserve.
Red lines and preemption By Yoram Ettinger JointMedia News Service Just like the role of red lights in intersections, so would “red lines” reduce the probability of a military collision with a nuclear Iran. Clear red lines would upgrade the U.S. posture of deterrence and enhance preparedness against – and minimize the cost of – aggression. On the other hand, the absence of red lines constitutes a green light to aggression. For example, the U.S. provided a green light to Iraq’s Aug. 2, 1990 invasion of Kuwait by failing to flash a red light during the July 25, 1990 meeting between Saddam Hussein and the U.S. ambassador to Kuwait. At the meeting, which took place during the height of the Iraq-Kuwait border dispute, Ambassador April Gillespie echoed Secretary Jim Baker’s self-destruct policy of engagement and diplomacy with rogue Iraq. She stated, “we have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait ... We hope you can solve this problem using any suitable methods via the Arab League or via President Mubarak ... All that we hope is that these issues are solved quickly.” Prior to that meeting, the State Department clarified to Saddam that the U.S. had made no special defense or security commitments to Kuwait. Setting and implementing red lines would have deterred Saddam Hussein, and would have spared the U.S. the first, and possibly the second, Gulf Wars and their devastating human life, economic and military cost. The U.S.’s failure to establish effective red lines to combat Islamic terrorism, and Washington’s determination to engage and negotiate with rogue
Islamic regimes, has eroded the U.S.’s power of deterrence, constituting a green light to intensified anti-U.S. Islamic terrorism. For instance, the first attempt to blowup the World Trade Center in 1993; the 1995/6 killing of 17 U.S. soldiers in Saudi Arabia; the murder of 300 civilians during the 1998 car-bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania; and the killing of 17 U.S. sailors during the 2000 suicide attack on the USS Cole. The absence of U.S. red lines and appropriate military response emboldened Islamic terrorists all the way up to 9/11. The absence of red lines in the face of clear and present danger to U.S. diplomats in Libya; the U.S. suspension of disbelief; the subordination of unilateral U.S. military action to multilateral diplomatic considerations; and the submission of counter-terrorism to the ideology of engagement and negotiation, signaled – inadvertently – a green light to the bombing of the U.S. Consulate and the murder of the U.S. ambassador and the three American security personnel in Benghazi. The Second World War could have been avoided if British Premier Neville Chamberlain had approached Hitler with thundering red lines rather than with appeasement. Moreover, a British-French steadfastness in defiance of Hitler’s pre-war could have triggered a revolt by the top German military command. In order to be effective, the violation of red lines by terror-sponsor, Hugo Chavez-supporter Iran must be followed by a devastating, disproportional military preemption with no boots on the ground. The 1980 Iraqi invasion of Iran united the oppressed Iranian people and the tyrannical Ayatollahs against the mutual threat of occu-
pation. However, “no boots on the ground” would clarify that the goal is not occupation, but the elimination of the oppressive regime. The Iranian people yearn for a regimechange, which they know cannot be realized via diplomacy or sanctions, which require the unattainable cooperation of China, Russia, Japan and India. They were betrayed by the West during their 2009 uprising, and will not attempt to topple the Ayatollahs while the U.S. refuses to confront Tehran. They are concerned that the U.S. is hell-bent on repeating the mistakes that paved the road to the nuclearization of North Korea. A military preemption, with no boots on the ground, is a prerequisite for regime-change. It would constitute a departure from the U.S. apathy of 2009, thus providing a robust tailwind to the Iranian people in their attempt to overthrow the Ayatollahs. In fact, a military preemption with no boots on the ground would prevent a nuclear war with Iran, while refraining from military preemption would – unintentionally – pave the road to a devastating nuclear war. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Oman all register with the U.S. Congress their anxiety about a nuclear Iran, which would devastate their pro-U.S. regimes. They urge the U.S. to preempt and relieve them of a lethal threat, just as Israel did in 1981, preempting Iraq’s nuclear drive, thus ridding pro-U.S. Gulf regimes of a nuclear Saddam Hussein. Will the U.S. heed the desires of the Iranian people and U.S. allies in the Gulf, thus sparing the U.S. the economic and national security devastation caused by a nuclear Iran in control of the Straits of Hormuz, the nerve center of global oil price and supply?
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JEWISH LIFE • 17
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012
EFRAT, Israel – One major personality of the first Hebrew family, Mother Sarah, seems strangely absent in the awesome and awe-ful traumatic story of the Akedah about which we read last week. After all, Isaac was not really the “only son” of Abraham – the patriarch himself had responded to God’s guarantee that he would sire an heir with Sarah with the almost dismissive rejoinder, “Would that Ishmael live before thee” – but Isaac certainly was the only son of Sarah! And Sarah had been very aggressive in protecting Isaac, even to the point of pushing Abraham to banish Hagar and Ishmael when she caught Ishmael “mocking” Isaac. Could it be that father, son and two servants made the requisite preparations for their fateful desert journey from Be’er Sheva to Mount Moriah and left the tent “early in the morning” without awakening Sarah or rousing her suspicions?! Is it logical that Abraham would set out for the Akedah without first explaining to his wife and mission partner what God had demanded that he do to Isaac, especially after God had told him – in the context of protecting Isaac from Ishmael – “Whatever Sarah says to you, hearken to her voice.” Are we really to assume that Sarah’s only connection to the akedah took place after the fact? Rashi reports in this week’s reading, that “the death of Sarah is linked to the binding of Isaac since (Satan) informed the (Matriarch) that her son was being prepared for slaughter: her soul then flew away from her and she died.” (Rashi citing Tanhuma at end of Vayera – Gen 23:2) Was Sarah truly absent from the Akedah story? Let us begin to answer our query with another difficult textual problem. Our portion opens, “And Sarah died in Kiryat Arba which is Hebron in the land of Canaan; and Abraham came to eulogize Sarah and to weep over her.” (Gen 23:2) According to the chronology of Rashi and the Midrash which we have just cited, Sarah’s death took place at the precise time that the Akedah was happening: Abraham and Isaac left the familial tent in Be’er Sheva to go to the akedah – and Abraham returned to Be’er Sheva after the Akedah (Gen 22:19). What was Sarah doing in Kiryat Arba, where she apparently died?! The Ramban asks this question in his commentary (ad loc),
We have previously attempted to demonstrate that according to a not insignificant chorus of sages, Abraham did not properly understand the original command of God. and concludes that “Sarah must not have died at the time (of the Akedah) since Abraham would not have been living in Be’er Sheba while Sarah was living in Hebron.” But how do we explain the story according to the Midrash? Even according to the simple reading of the text, it would seem that Abraham returns from the Akedah to the familial tent in Be’er Sheva, and then – without the Bible informing us of a familial “move” – we are told that “Sarah died in Hebron, and Abraham ’came’ to eulogize her and weep over her.” Even if we do not posit Sarah’s death immediately following the Akedah, Abraham seems to be living in Be’er Sheba and Sarah seems to have died in Hebron?! We have previously attempted to demonstrate that according to a not insignificant chorus of sages, Abraham did not properly understand the original command of God. A powerful passage in the Talmud (B.T. Taanit 4a) cites a verse from the Prophet Jeremiah (19:5) to suggest that “it had never even crossed God’s mind” to order Abraham to sacrifice his son, and this view is confirmed by Rashi, “God never said that (Abraham) should slaughter (Isaac), since the Holy One Blessed be He only asked that he bring him up to the mountain, dedicate him and bring him down.” (Rashi on Gen 22:2) I would add to this the fascinating fact that Abraham survived Sarah by 38 years, during which he remained vigorous enough to remarry and have more children, but throughout this period there were no real conversations between God and Abraham and no significant incidents involving the Patriarch about which our sages could comment, “the deeds of the forefathers are a foreshadowing of what will occur to the descendants.” The Sefat Emet (1847-1905) goes so far as to say that when the verse describing Abraham’s journey to the Akedah says, “Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place from afar” (22:4), “the place” refers to God, since Abraham had misunderstood God’s true intent. Given all of the above, even if Abraham had attempted to conceal God’s command from Sarah, she could not possibly have been
unaware of the preparations for the journey and the anxiety–filled exit from the tent on the morning in which they set out. I would posit that a confrontation between Sarah and Abraham took place, in which Sarah vigorously disagreed with Abraham’s interpretation of God’s words and did everything in her power to prevent a sacrifice. In desperation, she told Abraham that if he set forth with the slaughtering knife, she would not be there upon his return. He left for the Akedah, and she left for Kiriat Arba. Had she not died of grief at this point in time and had she lived to see her position vindicated by the angel who stayed Abraham’s hand from slaughtering Isaac, she certainly would have returned to the family tent in Be’er Sheva. Unfortunately, the angel was too late for Sarah and as a result, Abraham had to travel to Kiriat Arba to eulogize his beloved wife and life partner who understood God’s will better than he did. 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: CHAI SARAH (BRAISHITH 23:1—25:18) 1. Did Avraham send gifts to give to Issac's future wife? a.) Yes b.) No 2. How did Avraham's servant Eliezer check if Rebecca was the right wife for Isaac? a.) Reviewed her family tree b.) How well she did her duties c.) See if she would give water to him 3. How did Rebecca do on this test? 4. B 24:62 Isaac is not mentioned until after Rebecca agreed to be his wife and is coming to Canaan. Hashem can answer a prayer even before it is offered. Sforno. 5. A 24:10,25:5 Abraham already bequeathed all he owned to Isaac when he sent Eliezer to look for a wife for him. Towards the end of his life, he gave Isaac actual control of them.
by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin
SHABBAT SHALOM: PARSHAT CHAYE SARA • GENESIS 23:1- 25:18
a.) She did as expected b.) Exceeded expectations c.) Kept her poise 4. Is Isaac mentioned during Eliezer's mission for him? a.) Yes b.) No 5. Did Isaac inherit all of his father's possessions? a.) Yes b.) No Answers 1. A 24:10 Sforno says Eliezer had power to use Avraham's property as he saw fit and did not need Avrohom's permission. 2. C 24:13,14 Showing kindness was a sign she was fit to marry into Avraham's house. Ramban. 3. B 24:24-25 Rebecca gave water to the camels and offered food and lodging.
Sedra of the Week
Written by Rabbi Dov Aaron Wise
18 • JEWZ IN THE NEWZ
By Nate Bloom Contributing Columnist BOND NEWS: NOW AND THEN The new James Bond movie, “Skyfall,” starring Daniel Craig, opens on Friday, Nov. 9. This one is directed by Brit SAM MENDES, 47, who was raised by his Jewish mother. I expect that Mendes and Craig showed “Bondian sophistication” about the fact that Mendes long dated RACHEL WEISZ, 42. After Mendes/Weisz broke-up, he married Kate Winslet, from whom he is now divorced. Weisz, meanwhile, ended an eight-year relationship with director DARREN ARNOFSKY, 43, in late 2010 and wed Craig in 2011. By the way, it’s been fifty years since the first Bond film, “Dr. No”, opened. It featured the “very Jewish” actor JOSEPH WISEMAN (1918-2009) in the title role. The movie was made for about a million dollars, a smallish sum even then, but it didn’t look cheap due to the incredible talent of set designer KEN ADAM, now 91. He did the futuristic sets for seven Bond films. Born Klaus Adam in Germany, he fled the Nazis (1934) and settled in England with his family when he was 13. Adam and his brother were the only German-born fighter pilots in the RAF during WWII. He was a crack fighter pilot. It may surprise a lot of people that a number of Jewish actresses have played “the Bond Girl” in the Bond movies: JILL ST. JOHN, 72 (born Jill Oppenheim), in “Diamonds Are Forever” (1971); JANE SEYMOUR, 61, (born Jane Frankenberg) in “Live and Let Die” (1973); BARBARA BACH, 65, in “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977); TANYA ROBERTS, 57, in “A View from the Kill” (1986), and EVA GREEN, 32 , in “Casino Royale” (2006). (St. John had two Jewish parents; Seymour and Bach – a Jewish father; Roberts and Green – a Jewish mother). BAR MITZVAH HYPE MEN The ABC series, “Happy Endings,” about six youngish best friends, premiered in 2011 as a mid-season replacement. It became a much better show in its second season. The third season began on Oct. 23. In this season’s premiere episode, Brad (Damon Wayans, Jr.), one of the six friends, was laid-off his job. The episode airing on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 9PM is entitled, “Boys II Menorah.” The plot: Brad’s buddy, Max Blum (ADAM
PALLY, 30), who is supposed to be Jewish and gay, has been working the Bar Mitzvah circuit as a professional “hype guy.” In other words, he emcees and he works hard to get the guests excited – so they get up and dance. Brad reluctantly agrees to partner up with Max. Things get a little testy between them when Brad turns out to be a quite good “hype man” and Max gets a little jealous. Pally is a regular contributor to the humor website Funny or Die, where he is best known for his series “Riding Shotgun with Adam Pally.” (He interviews celebrities in his car.) Raised a Conservative Jew in Livingstone, NJ, he’s been married since 2008 to DANIELLA LIEBEN, 30, a “hometown girl” whose parents belong to the same synagogue as Pally’s parents. In Dec. 2011, their first child, a son, was born. HIKING IN THE OTHER GEORGIA “The Loneliest Planet,” a film directed and written by JULIA LOTEV, 43, co-stars Gael Garcia Bernal and HANI FURSTENBERG, 30, as Alex and Nica, a loving couple who like to travel off the beaten path. They hire a local guide and hike through the Caucasus Mountains. In an instant, their relationship changes when Alex reacts to a threat to Nica in a way that is either cowardly or cautious. Nica then re-evaluates her perception of Alex and their future together. (Opens Friday, Nov. 9) Furstenberg was born in Israel. When she was an infant, her Israeli parents moved to New York, but returned to Israel, with her, when she was 16. In the last decade, she has become a star of the Israeli theater and has costarred in the hit Israeli films, “Yossi and Jagger” and “Campfire.” Lotev was born in Leningrad, the child of two computer scientist parents. The family moved to Colorado in 1977. (Look for this limited distribution IFC film via cable/satellite on-demand services or when it comes out in the near future on DVD.) NO, NOT A LAP BAND MARISA JARET WINOKUR, 39, who won a Tony playing the very heavy-set Tracey Turnblad in the Broadway musical version of “Hairspray,” and now co-stars on the TVLand series, “Retired at 35,” recently appeared at a movie premiere wearing a size “zero” jacket. She says her dramatic weight loss is due to “working out like a mad woman and eating healthy.”
FROM THE PAGES 150 Y EARS A GO The Clerks Bulletin. Below are the receipts for the last three weeks. Not one half of last year’s subscription is yet paid and people expect to see these papers go on as usually. Being charged with the management of the books of this establishment, I intend to do the busieness in a fair style. The first thing I want of the friends of this establishment is to pay arrears as fast as possible, to spare me the trouble of writing bills over and over again. Next I wish to receive payment for the current year of which the 19th No. has already been issued. I must have these books in good order. Simon Goetz. – November 11, 1862
125 Y EARS A GO The opening entertainment of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association took place last evening at the hall. A splendid audience was in attendance and a fine programme was rendered. The following wellknown artists paricpated: Louis Ballenberg, flute solo; Miss Flora Benjamin, flute solo; Mr. Nathan Blumefeld, violin solo; Mr. Charles Wood, tenor solo; Miss Ada Fiedeldey, vocal selection; Miss Selma Mendel, vocal selection and recitation; Mr. Nathan Blumefeld and Mr. Otto Iuettner, violin and piano. Miss Hannah Benjamin was the piano accompanist throughout and acquitted herself very creditably. The affair throughout was a most enjoyable one, and reflects credit upon the members who arranged the programme as well as upon those who carried it out so successfully. Last night’s entertainment formally opens the season of 1887 and 1888. – November 1 1, 1887
100 Y EARS A GO Samuel L. Matz, a prominent businessman of Bluefield and Pocahontas, W.Va., has bought the residence of Louis S. Levy on Prospect place, Avondale, and will make this city his home in the future while continuing his business in Bluefield and Pocahontas. Mr. Matz is the father of nine children, ranging from six months to sixteen years of age, and comes to Cincinnati to give his children the benefit of the great educational advantages which this city offers. A most charming play was given at the Orpheum in honor of grand officers of Ruth Lodge. Mrs. Fred Ewald deserves special mention for her excellent work as a
playwright and took her part beautifully. Mrs. Ike Beitman, who had the song arrangement, has a most beautiful voice and acted equally well. The cast, which consisted of nine ladies, deserve much credit. The following took part: Mrs. Percy Shields, Mrs. Jonas Frankel, Mrs. Lou Strauss, Mrs. Ben Wise, Mrs. Gus Lowenstein, Mrs. Louis Schroeder and Mrs. Alfred Mack. – November 7, 1912
75 Y EARS A GO Some 1,500 Red Cross volunteers of Cincinnati’s 1937 flood are expected to atttend the “flood veterans’ reunion” dinner Monday, Nov. 8th in Topper Ballroom at Music Hall. Entertainment will begin at 5:30 and dinner will be served at 6:30. Dinner tickets at a very nominal rate are on sale at firehouses and at the Hotels Sinton, Gibson, Metrople, Alms and Netherland Plaza. Charles H. Upson is dinner chairman. John J. Rowe is Cincinnati Red Cross chairman. Mrs. Leo Westheimer, Maurice W. Jacobs and Rudolph Benson are chairmen for food, entertainment and publicicity respectively. The annual Red Cross roll call for members will begin Armistice Day, running through Thanksgiving. Jeffrey L. Lazarus is roll call chairman. – November 4, 1937
50 Y EARS A GO Army ROTC Cadet Major Paul M. Cholak, UC Army Reserve Officer Training Corps, was awarded the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for Achievement. He is the second to receive this award in the 44 years of ROTC instruction at UC and the only ROTC senior division recipient in the U.S. Army Corps area. Cadet Cholak resides with his parents at 3115 South Whitetree Circle. His father is associate professor of industrial health, College of Medicine. Other awards Cadet Cholak has received include: deans list six semesters; Homer S. Toms honorary scholarship, freshman and sophomore years; outstanding freshman chemistry student award; offered Ford Foundation award; selected to attend American University on an exchange program; first in class in Arts and Science; and the following ROTC awards, superior cadet freshman and sohpomore years; JWV plaque;
and Defense Supply Association award, one of ten in the nation. – November 8, 1962
25 Y EARS A GO Bernard S. Rosenthal, president, Cincinnati Jewish Vocational Service, has been selected as the “Outstanding Rehabilitation Administrator” in the state by the Ohio Rehabilitation Administration Association. During the presentation made at the annual meeting of the state association held recently in Toledo, Rosenthal was praised for his leadership and achievements in the field of Rehabilitation Administration. Rosenthal is completing his 20th year as Chief Executive Officer of the J.V.S. During that time the agency has grown from a staff of eight persons and a budget of $150,000 to a staff of 65 persons and a budget of $1,850,000. It currently serves over 2,500 persons annually in a variety of vocational programs out of seven locations in Cincinnati and Dayton. Prior to his coming to Cincinnati, Rosenthal was Director of Rehabilitation at the J.V.S. in Newark, N.J., and served as a Vocational Counselor at the J.V.S. in New York. He has also been a Vocational Consultant to the Social Security Administration and State Departments of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, the Community Chest and the National Association of Jewish Vocational Services. He is currently chariman of the Executive Directors Council of the National Assocation of Jewish Vocational Services. – November 12, 1987
10 Y EARS A GO Cincinnati kids, grades 6 to 8, are invited to travel with the Cincinnati JCC to the new Dayton Center for Jewish Culture and Education for the “Turkey Trot,” Saturday, Nov. 23, 7 to 11 p.m. “It’s going to be a great evening. We’ll have DJ music, dancing, and snacks,” said Marc Jacob of the Dayton JCC. “This is the first time we have invited another city to the ‘Turkey Trot,’ and we know it will just add to the fun.” Jacob was previously the youth program coordinator for the Cincinnati JCC, and director of Cincinnati BBYO. The “Turkey Trot” is also a community service event. Participants are asked to bring a canned good to donate to the Dayton Food pantry. – November 7, 2002
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 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
WANTED PART TIME TORAH READER/COORDINATOR OF TORAH READING PROFESSIONAL POSITION WITH COMPETITIVE COMPENSATION
ADATH ISRAEL CONGREGATION CONTACT RABBI IRVIN WISE email@example.com
RESPONSE from page 7 The JCC in Manhattan prepared meals for more than 1,000 people in shelters at John Jay College and at George Washington High School. Water, blankets, clothing, and toys were given to more than 600 people. Aileen Gitelson, CEO of JASA (Jewish Agency for Services to the Aged), told JNS.org that the agency staff “has gone above and beyond the call of duty to assure the provisions are made for seniors in New York City.” JASA provides 650,000 meals a year. Gitelson said its meals program is now back in full force, as all 18 senior centers its serves have been reopened and only one of its Far Rockaway buildings was without power as of Sunday, Nov. 4. “Despite being urged to evacuate, perhaps 30 to 40 percent of the residents remained in their homes, even in the dark,” Gitelson said. “Everyone was visited or called; everyone is safe.” Peter Brick, chief operating officer of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty (“Met Council”) in New York, told JNS.org that a major food depot used to service the Met Council client’s needs had flooded, but VOLUNTEERS from page 8 Meanwhile, on the Lower East Side, students from Yeshiva University went on foot to the area’s public housing units, handing out water, flashlights, batteries, fruit and dried snacks. Volunteers were organized by students, and the supplies came from the student government’s own budget. “The student response has been great,” said Margot Reinstein, the student council president at Yeshiva’s Stern College for Women, as she lugged a case of water bottles down Cherry Street. “We all felt really lucky that the storm didn’t affect our families the way it did down here. People with Uri L’Tzedek told us there are some buildings here with seniors on life support who are stuck. No heat, no electricity, no way of getting out.” Many Jewish organizations set up relief funds online to funnel money to communities impacted by the hurricane. UJA-Federation of New York collected hundreds of
• • • • •
Up to 24 hour care Meal Preparation Errands/Shopping Hygiene Assistance Light Housekeeping
(513) 531-9600 assured that Met Council and UJA are working together to get food and water to thousands of Jews who were or are still without power, heat, or elevator service. “The network of volunteers and staff is tremendous,” Brick said. “We are working with [the] Hatzolah [emergency medical team], going door to door, to make sure all the seniors are okay.” The URJ is working with 180 congregations from affected areas, Freelander (its senior vice president) said, dealing with challenges such as finding alternative sites for services and religious school classes. The point is “for our member congregations to know that they’re never alone,” he said. Additionally, URJ’s Disaster Relief Fund is contributing to recovery efforts for both Jews and non-Jews. UJA of New York, JFNA, Chabad, and the National Council of Young Israel, among other groups, also set up relief funds. The role of synagogues is “to create Jews of value who serve the larger world,” Freelander said, echoing the Reform movement’s guiding principle of tikkun olam. “We have an obligation not just to help our own, but to help the larger community,” he said. challahs that it planned to distribute Friday in advance of Shabbat. Butterflake, a popular kosher bakery in New Jersey, donated over 300 challahs to the effort. Occupy Judaism, a group of Jewish supporters of Occupy Wall Street, has been live-blogging volunteer opportunities around the city on its Facebook page. Other organizations like Chabad Young Professionals and JCorps, a Jewish social volunteering group, also sent volunteers to hundreds of apartments in Lower Manhattan with supplies. Nechama, a Jewish disasterresponse nonprofit located in Minnesota, arrived in the New York area late Thursday to help cleanup efforts and utility crews. “We’ve deployed four staff members with two trailers equipped with tools for anything we will possibly encounter,” said Ross Topol, the group’s operations leadership fellow. “We do mucking and gutting of houses, chainsaw work, tree removal, roof tarping, debris removal and damage assessments.”
20 • TRAVEL
See-ing the world... at ground level Wandering Jew
by Janet Steinberg
Pinehurst: North Carolina’s Grande Dame PART 3 OF A SERIES “Strange that so few ever come to the woods to see how the pine lives and grows and spires, lifting its evergreen arms to the light.” – Henry David Thoreau Well into her 12th decade, the Grande Dame of North Carolina has undergone many facelifts. Yet she is still as lovely and charming as she was in her flaming youth. As in any successful transformation, her changes have been skillfully executed without altering the overall appearance of the patient. Born on January 1, 1901 to wealthy Bostonian James Walker Tufts, she was originally named Carolina. At the beginning of 1974, her name was changed to Pinehurst in honor of the village in which she was born. Pinehurst is a legend. In 1895, it was a depleted forest… formed by nature, but wasted by man’s ax. On a whistle stop through the Sandhills region of Central North Carolina, philanthropist Tufts breathed deeply of the light fresh air and felt the mildness of the atmosphere. Impressed with the mild yearround climate, Tufts envisioned a winter health resort. For $1 an acre, he purchased 5,800 acres of barren, ravaged timberland in the Sandhills region of central North Carolina. His dream was to replicate a New England town in the midst of North Carolina. Having carefully appraised his land, Tufts gathered together a team of architects, engineers, workmen, and other dreamers to build his vision. He enlisted the talents of the landscape architectural firm of Frederick Law Olmsted, creator of New York’s Central Park. Six months, and 222,000 trees and shrubs later, Pinehurst Village stood among the slender pines and rolling Sandhills of North Carolina. The opulent Carolina Hotel opened January 1, 1901 with 10
(Clockwise) Pinehurst’s Carolina Hotel; Pinehurst’s porch lined with a raft of white wicker rocking chairs; The putter boy is the symbol of Pinehurst; The genteel village of Pinehurst.
guests. By March, it was catering to 350 elite guests from the East, the South, and the Midwest. The Carolina flourished with sunrooms, piazzas, a billiard room, shops, a lavish lobby, and gardens. Recreation was important in the grand design of Tufts’ health resort. The majestic Carolina Hotel with its signature copper cupola and sweeping verandas has been dubbed the “Queen of the South.” Today, the Pinehurst Resort is a luxuriously renovated step back in time to an era when elegance defined grand hotels. Encircling North Carolina’s largest frame hotel is an open porch lined with a raft of white wicker rocking chairs. Lazy white ceiling fans stir the clear Carolina air. Serene silence is disturbed only by the tinkle of an ice cube in a frosty mint julep. The historic Holly Inn, Pinehurst’s first building, is a FourDiamond hotel where time seems to stop as you walk in the door. A saying above the door proclaims: “Time goes you say? Alas, no. Time stays. We go.” While tennis preceded golf at Pinehurst, it was the latter that brought worldwide recognition to the resort that has been called “America’s St. Andrews.” The Pinehurst golf legend
began in 1897 when a disgruntled Pinehurst dairyman approached Tufts to complain about hotel guests who were intruding in his pastures with waist-high clubs to strike little white balls. Within a year, Tufts saw to it that his guests had a proper course on which to play. The championship layouts of Pinehurst today bare little resemblance to the humble beginnings of the first 9-holes built in 1898 with sand greens and barren fairways. In 1900, Tufts commissioned a young Scot, Donald J. Ross, to further develop the game at Pinehurst. Mention Ross’s #2 at Pinehurst and pros waxed nostalgic with tales of triumph and frustration over its rolling expanse. Sam Snead said, “I have always rated Pinehurst #2 as my #1 course.” Today, Pinehurst features eight unique golf courses, making it the largest golf resort in America. Pinehurst’s #2, along with #8 and #4, are consistently ranked among the world’s best courses. Golf was not Pinehurst’s only claim to fame. Annie Oakley, sharpshooter and star of the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show, came to Pinehurst in 1916 with her husband, Frank Butler. Annie was in charge of the Pinehurst Gun Club,
and gave shooting exhibitions at the Carolina hotel twice a week. Between 1916 and 1920 she instructed up to 125,000 men and women in the art of marksmanship. Although Pinehurst’s eight golf courses may be its claim to fame, there are innumerable options for the non-golfer including tennis, bicycling, boating, bowling, croquet, fishing and “spa”-ing. The Spa at Pinehurst was one of the first spas in the South to receive the Mobil Four-Star spa designation. A day spent at the Spa at Pinehurst is a day of renewing your soul and your spirit. My day began with a Pinehurst Signature Massage customized to diminish my personal aches and pains. Pure tranquility. Then came the Carolina Peach Nourisher, a full body exfoliation with a peach and pecan scrub. This was followed by an application of peach-scented shea and mango butter that left my skin calm and left type-A me even calmer. So relaxed, I felt, and smelled, like a peach noodle. Dining at Pinehurst is another memorable activity. The elegant Venetian crystal chandeliered Carolina Dining room is a step back in time to a world of elegant dining. An amazing menu, that changes seasonally, features
hand-selected aged steaks crusted with Pinehurst’s signature dry seasoning rub. Piano music sets the tone during the legendary breakfast buffet. The historic 1895 Grille, located in the Holly Inn, is the only Four Diamond-rated restaurant in the area. This intimate fine dining room, named after the Inn’s opening year, offers an exceptional offering of tastes from the Carolinas. Top off your dinner with the restaurant’s specialty, a triple chocolate soufflé. Sinful. Before leaving Holly Inn, check out the authentic Scottish oak bar that is the centerpiece of the Holly Inn’s Tavern. After dinner, nothing could be finer than a stroll down the road in the quiet, genteel village that Tufts envisioned in 1895. Grand old homes and tree-shaded lanes reflect an old New England where time seems to have stood still. These are the things that have made Pinehurst special. For more than a century, this wonder-filled resort, has taken its guests back to a time when life wasn’t lived, it was played. Leaving an indelible mark on history, Pinehurst Resort is not just a place you visit. It’s a place you experience. Some things never change. Aren’t we glad they don’t?
FIRST PERSON • 21
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012
Interfaith trip returns from Israel By Phyllis Singer Contributing Columnist Twenty-nine tired but exhilarated travelers returned to Greater Cincinnati Airport Sunday after 10 days touring Israel as participants in the “Building Bridges at Any Age” Interfaith Mission. The mission was sponsored by the Jewish Community’s Cedar Village and the Otterbein United Methodist Senior Lifestyle Community in Lebanon, Ohio. (Thirty individuals participated in the mission, but one person stayed in Israel to spend time with family there.) The 30 travelers included eight residents from Cedar Village and five from Otterbein plus staff members from both homes. A few participants had been to Israel before, but most had not. Many told The American Israelite that they had always wanted to visit, but, somehow, had never made the trip. The mission provided an opportunity they could not pass up. Fred Schrier and his wife, Sharon, who was a “faithful convert” to Judaism according to Fred, had dreamed of visiting Israel, but had never been there, even though they had made many trips to different parts of the world. After Sharon died last October, Fred decided he would fulfill their dream alone by going on the mission. He just regretted that they had not made the trip together, he told The Israelite. Schrier told The Israelite that he thought the visit to Masada was the highlight of the mission. “When you think about what happened there – that Jews killed themselves rather than submit [to the Romans] – it was just a unique and most unusual feeling.” Georgianna and Jerry Ferguson of Otterbein also had wanted to travel to Israel for 25 years, Georgianna told The Israelite. But their son was in the U.S. military, and they feared that traveling to Israel might compromise his security clearance. But now that he no longer is in the military, they decided to fulfill their dream by being part of the mission. Georgianna said that she loved Nof Ginnosor and the Sea of Galilee. She was amazed by the topography and the variation throughout the country. Her husband, Jerry, said that he was “blown away” by the synagogue at Capernum. “As a Christian,” he said, “I would probably not have spent much time in the synagogue in Capernum, but I was so taken with it and ‘blown away’ by the setting and the stone work.” He noticed the detail of the columns, the intricacy of the space and the thoughtful way in which it was designed. As an engineer, he said, “that really spoke to him.” Marjorie and Stan Zeidman, who also had never been to Israel, celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary with a reconsecration ceremony on Masada on Oct. 29, the actual day of their anniversary.
(Clockwise) Mission participants at the Kotel; Cedar Village and Otterbein mission leaders: Left to right, Jill Hreben, Rabbi Gerry Walter, Pastor Barb Schnecker, Carol Silver Elliot, Jason Miller, Sally Korkin, Marcia Westcott; Zeidman wedding ceremony on Masada; Marjorie Zeidman opens an anniversary gift from Stan; Jerry Ferguson praying at the Kotel; Dancing on the boat on the Sea of Galilee; The Ankor Choir.
Rabbi Gerry Walter led the ceremony under the tallit that had been the chuppah for their actual wedding in Chicago 62 years ago. (Stan had used the same tallit at his Bar Mitzvah.) After the ceremony, the group enjoyed a festive lunch at a hotel at the Dead Sea. For Marjorie Zeidman, the ceremony on Masada was the highlight of the mission. “It was just awesome,” she said. Zeidman also found the visit to the Kotel (the Western Wall) inspiring and said she “never felt anything” like the way she felt at the Kotel. All the participants were “happy and sad” as the mission ended, said Carol Silver Elliot, CEO/president of Cedar Village. “Happy to be going home but sad to be leaving Israel.” Staff member Karen Raitt said that “no matter how much I imagined, each day was better than the last,” and staff member Danielle Sears said that “the trip broadened my spectrum and I loved sharing the emotions with the residents.” Michael Sinai, another Cedar Village resident and a Holocaust survivor, said that he was glad he made the trip. “It was beyond my expectations. I am glad I was here, that I have seen it, and I lived it.” Staff member Sally Korkin, who partici-
pated in the other two Cedar Village missions, said that “as always it is wonderful seeing Israel through the eyes of our residents and staff and now the Otterbein residents’ eyes. I loved the time I spent with my buddy, Elaine, and getting to know and connect with the team.” Other highlights of the trip included touring the North of Israel, where Otterbein residents and nonJewish staff members of Cedar Village visited historic sites where Jesus walked and performed his ministry. A highlight for the nonJews was a baptism ceremony performed by Pastor Barb Schnecker of Otterbein at the Jordan River. An outstanding part of the mission was a special concert in Jerusalem by the Ankor Choir, which had participated in the World Choir Games that took place in Cincinnati in July. The Ankor Choir, which is part of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, won gold and silver medals at the Cincinnati competition. While in Cincinnati, where their trip had been sponsored by the Jewish Federation, the Jewish Foundation and private donors, the choir gave several concerts, including one at Cedar Village. Participants in the mission promised they would visit the choir while in
Jerusalem. On Oct. 29, the choir gave a special concert in honor of Cincinnati’s Jewish community. Many Cedar Village residents, especially Bernie Siegel who had also participated in the 2009 mission, thought this was the highlight of the trip. “Absolutely!” he said. Among other places, the mission also included visits to the Old City in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Qumrun, Ein Gedi, the Dead Sea, Yad Vashem, the lower Galilee, Tiberias, the Kinneret, the northern border, Caesarea and Tel Aviv. The trip to the Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) included a boat ride, where residents and staff members danced to music playing on the loudspeaker. The impetus for the interfaith mission came from Silver Elliot. Cedar Village has brought residents on missions to Israel before – once in 2007 and again in 2009. The idea for this mission “developed over time,” Silver Elliot said, after she saw how moved non-Jewish members of the Cedar Village staff were by visiting Israel. An interfaith mission was not feasible for the trip in 2009 because that year’s trip was a B’nai Mitzvah mission, celebrating Cedar Village’s 13th year. But Silver Elliot continued to think about the idea of an interfaith mission.
When Cedar Village decided to plan another mission for 2012, Silver Elliot contacted Jill Hreben, president/CEO of Otterbein. It was a “no-brainer,” Hreben told The Israelite. “Of course we wanted to participate.” Five residents of Otterbein decided to join the mission along with eight staff members. Eight Cedar Village residents also took part, as did nine staff members. The residents of both homes ranged in age from mid-60s to late 80s. Most are in their 80s, and many use canes, walkers or wheelchairs. The trip was “amazing, enlightening, fabulous, stimulating,” Hreben told The Israelite. “To have studied the bible our entire lives and be there where it all happened was wonderful,” commented Mary Ann Wheeler, one of the Otterbein staff members. “We felt we benefited immensely from learning and gaining knowledge about the roots we share and an appreciation and respect for our differences,” Hreben added. “We were privileged to share in the practicing of the Jewish faith, even including a wedding! But most of all we made great friends. Otterbein is very grateful to Carol and the Cedar Village team for giving us this great opportunity... As the CEO of Otterbein, I believed our residents would welcome this opportunity to grow and learn, and this offered so many different levels in terms of the Christian and Jewish aspects, the history of Israel dating back to ancient times…. We believe you are never too old to grow.” The two groups prepared for the mission by participating in eight educational sessions, to learn more about each other’s faiths. The sessions were jointly led by Rabbi Walter of Cedar Village and Pastor Schnecker of Otterbein. In addition, Walter and Schnecker assigned reading for the mission participants to learn about the two religions. Before the mission departed, Otterbein residents attended Shabbat services at Cedar Village, and Cedar Village residents attended Sunday services at Otterbein. “For most of our folks this was a dream come true,” Silver Elliot said. “It was a privilege to share the experience with our Christian friends and to develop deeper understanding on both sides.” “We shared laughter and tears, we built new friendships and we all learned a great deal about Israel, about each other’s religions and about one another,” she concluded. “A mission like this is demanding and no easy feat to accomplish, but it all came off without a hitch and was an extraordinary opportunity for all concerned.” Residents who could afford it paid their way on the mission; those who could not, received subsidies. Trips for the staff members were subsidized. All residents were accompanied by a staff member—their buddy for the trip.
22 • OBITUARIES D EATH N OTICES NATHAN, James O., age 78, died on October 29, 2012; 13 Cheshvan, 5773. MAGARILL, Genrietta, age 85, died on October 30, 2012; 15 Cheshvan, 5773. FRIEDMAN, Frederick F., age 88, died on October 31, 2012; 15 Cheshvan, 5773. CANFIELD, Elaine F., age 88, died on November 2, 2012; 17 Cheshvan, 5773. KAPLAN, Ruth E., age 88, died on November 4, 2012; 19 Cheshvan, 5773. ZIMMERMAN, Patricia Sue, age 61, died on November 5, 2012; 21 Cheshvan, 5773. STREUSSAND, Mae, age 86, died on November 6, 2012; 21 Cheshvan, 5773. EGYPT from page 9 A poll in September commissioned by The Israel Project found 74 percent of Egyptians disapprove of the fact that Egypt maintains diplomatic relations with Israel. The poll, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, was based on face-to-face interviews with 812 Egyptians and had a margin of error of 3.5 percent. There are already disagreements between Congress and the Obama administration over how best to deal with the new Egyptian government. The State Department announced in September plans to maintain the $1.3 billion in military assistance to Egypt and to increase economic assistance and support for democratization programs. Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas), the chairwoman of the foreign operations subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, immediately put a hold on $450 million in emergency aid, saying “I am not convinced of the urgent need for this assistance and I cannot support it at this time.”
EXHIBIT from page 8 In her own life, Ickovics believes in moderation; she says research indicates this way of eating is more sustainable, especially for weight loss. “You could argue that there are traditional foods, Jewish treats like bagels, lox and cream cheese, that are high in fat and sugar, and that you should never have them,” she says. “But that’s not where I draw my personal line as a mother or professor of public health. Enjoy them, but only occasionally.” Ickovics clearly draws the line, though, at soda (or “pop,” as I called the Diet Rite Cola that was a staple in my ‘60s suburban Chicago home). “Big Food” is unmerciful toward sugary drinks: Choosing these is a no-no. One exhibit showcases cans and bottles of liquids alongside varying numbers of bright orange spoons corresponding to the amount of sugar in each: 16 spoonfuls of sugar in a 20-ounce can of Red Bull, 19 spoonfuls in a 23ounce can of Arizona Iced Tea. A slide show on milestones in our food history heralded the 1982 introduction of Diet Coke (weirdly, in retrospect) as one of the most successful product launches of the decade. How misguided we were: I also learned that “just one 8 oz. sugary drink every day increases a child’s odds of becoming obese by 60 percent.” Another display features clear ACTIVIST from page 8 Married for 56 years with two children, Zamir’s career has taken her from the world of business to a position as director of Israel’s major anti-drug programs – ALSAM “No Drugs” – and to her current work as a filmmaker and social activist. Zamir held an administrative position at the Office Français d’Exportation de Matériel Aéronautique [French Office for the Export of Aeronautic Material]. She was there in 1968 when the French placed an embargo on 15 mirage jets Israel had purchased. “My French was good, my Hebrew
plastic baby bottles painted with Diet Pepsi, Dr. Pepper and Mountain Dew logos. Ickovics tells me that she’s overheard people walking by, loudly complaining that it was poor taste for “Big Food” to fabricate such monstrosities for the exhibit. But they weren’t fabricated, Ickovits says. “They were purchased,” Ickovics insists, explaining that companies shrewdly manufactured these bottles because they knew that kids, potential consumers, “learn to identify logos before they learn to read.” We walk through the narrow entry to the exhibit, lined on either side with Plexiglas panels shielding, among other items, a mountain of 2-liter plastic bottles of Coke, Sprite and Pepsi on one side, and fake round loaves of white bread and a large oval platter of 36 pounds of dummy French fries on the other. The exhibition illustrates to scale the amount of food the average American eats every year. This includes 170 pounds of red meat, 79 pounds of added fats and oils, 607 pounds of dairy, including 33 of cheese and 5 gallons of ice cream. Compare this to only 127 and 149 pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables, respectively. A mock kid’s room, complete with a teen mannequin supine on his bed, his left hand reaching into a bag of Lay’s Classic Potato Chips and his right fiddling with a TV remote, wordlessly puts many of the
exhibit’s messages together. Sneakers lie unworn on the floor, a desktop computer is on, a sociology text sits closed on the night table next to a Pepsi can, a psychology book for school is also unread. Message on the computer monitor: Log out, go outside and play. Another exhibit speaks more pointedly to this kid’s parents. Chili con carne recipes from two editions of that American classic, “The Joy of Cooking,” are compared. A single serving in the 1936 edition is 243 calories; the 2006 version shoots up to 611 calories, thanks to three times the amount of beef. Perhaps Big Food’s piece de resistance is the slimy-looking yellow blob marbled with pink, situated alone in a case in the middle of the exhibit: the plastic equivalent of five pounds of human fat. A teenage girl walks by and tells her mom that “it’s the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen.” Her mother responds: “I can’t believe that’s really just five extra pounds.” Big Food is fun to wander through, although the obesity statistics are sobering: In 2010, more than 20 percent of the adult population in every state was obese, and in two thirds, that total was over 30 percent. One out of every two adults and one out of every three kids is overweight or obese. So what’s fun in Big Food? You can try “Smash Your Food,” which identifies the fat, sugar and salt in what you’ve (virtually) smashed. There’s another game consisting of
prettily colored wood doors, with a nutrition facts label posted on the outside of each. Visitors have to guess what food’s inside. One lime green door is plastered with an ingredient list 18 lines long. We learn that a single serving of this mystery product is 260 calories and contains 14 grams of fat. Open the door, and you’re staring at a package of Nacho Cheese Doritos. Big Food also turns its attention to that ubiquitous Jewish (Polish, to be exact) delicacy, the bagel. Two replicas, one looking minute, represents the bagel, circa 20 years ago (140 calories), the other, huger in comparison, signifies the bagel of today (350 calories). Even time-honored Jewish foods can’t escape supersizing. Ickovics says that Big Food has reached more than 100,000 people and that negotiations are underway for “Big Food to Go,” a national tour. The opportunity to improve the health of individuals, families and communities is part of her personal tikkun olam, and the reason she chose a career in public health and curated this exhibition. “All the work I do is guided by a moral compass deep in my core that says we must not be indifferent in the face of injustice and inequity,” she says. I asked if she had parting nutritional advice for a Jewish audience. “Break bread (not too much), enjoy your latkes (with applesauce instead of sour cream) and raise your glass (water, not soda). L’chaim!”
was good, my head was on my shoulders…The French said no… but we got them!” she recalls. How? “Nobody knows!” exclaims Zamir. “I don’t know… I was just doing my work for Israel.” In 1978, her contributions as a volunteer at an early anti-drug program led to her becoming the organization’s director. “Social work is a virus – like being a journalist,” she says. “If you’ve got it, you’ll work 18 hours a day – more – to build something.” Despite her dedication, the work eventually frustrated her. “A drug abuser,” she stressed, “can only be helped if he wants to be. Prevention is far more important.” At an age when many contemplate retirement, Zamir had a different idea. A third career, in social
politics and film production, loomed ahead. For the past 20 years, she has concentrated on the creation of film documentaries focusing on the work of female entrepreneurs. She journeyed to China as part of Israel’s delegation to the 1992 Women’s Conference and subsequently participated in the United Nation’s Nairobi Conference on Women. “You become who you wish to be,” says the onetime Egyptian refugee. “Today a woman can choose her roll.” She reminds us that in 1985, only 1 percent of managers of major corporations in Israel were women and only one of the country’s top 100 companies was headed by a woman. Change became her mission. “When you want to make a change you have to
be an extremist: only then can you make a difference,” she says. “When bras were burned in Nairobi, I understood. Extremism can be good and necessary.” In the 1960s, Zamir’s father broke his silence on the plight of Egypt’s Jews. He was a founder of the World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries (WOJAC) and served as president of the International Association of Jews from Egypt. Through a project sanctioned by Israel’s Ministry of Justice, he gathered testimony from Egyptian Jewish families. When he died, Zamir continued his work, discovering documentation about her family history, tracing its origins from Spain, to Livorno, Italy, Egypt and finally, “home, to Israel.”
GREECE from page 10
that in their lifetime they would see Greek support for a Nazi-like party,” said the Claims Conference’s chairman, Julius Berman. “There must be complete horror.” Golden Dawn’s political ascendance has been fast and furious, propelled by a Greek public weary of five years of economic depression, massive unemployment and what they see as Greece’s international humiliation and its betrayal by the politicians who got them into this mess. Similar factors led to Hitler’s rise in Weimar Germany, some have noted.
For years, Golden Dawn had lingered as a tiny party on the fringes of society. In the 2009 elections, the party won just 0.29 percent of the vote. But in elections in May and a do-over in June, the party captured just under 7 percent of the vote. Its popularity has been growing ever since. Given the relatively small size of the country’s Jewish community, Jewish leaders are aware that their efforts may appear like a drop in an ocean of hate and that they alone cannot fight Golden Dawn’s rise.
Outside Jewish groups are stepping in, too. In response to the rise of Golden Dawn, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, which assists Greece’s 500 Holocaust survivors, has begun funding the Greek Jewish museum’s traveling exhibition on anti-Semitism. “For survivors that went through what these people went through during the war, many of whom were saved by the underground efforts of other Greeks, they never expected
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