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Chabad Jewish Center discusses death with Rabbi Lazer Gurkow



Episcopal Retirement Homes earns awards, certification and recognition in 2012 p.10 J E W I S H







Obama’s likely takeaway from Israeli election: More two-state advocates

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American-born Orthodox rabbi among the faces of Israel’s future

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Benjamin Netanyahu the next Israeli prime minister

The American Israelite archives now online By Michael Sawan Assistant Editor

Young Cincinnatians take life-changing trip to Israel

THURSDAY, JANUARY 31, 2013 20 SHEVAT, 5773


Every issue of The American Israelite between its initial publication in 1854 and the present day is now available on our website. This means 159 years of knowledge is now accessible for genealogical and family history research, including a wealth

of birth, b’nai mitzvah, engagement, wedding and obituary notices. The archives are accessible through The American Israelite’s homepage. Once there, scroll toward the middle of the screen. You’ll see a blue box on the left titled “Access to The American Israelite Archives.” Clicking this link will direct you to a search menu, where you can enter

names, places, events or any other search terms. The archives cover locally written articles, photos, graphics and advertisements as they appeared in print. The archives are also being utilized for academic research. Many major universities and Judaic Studies programs around the country maintain access for their students so that Jewish

history from the eyes of those who witnessed it might be easily accessible. Viewing the abstract of any article is free. Memberships are available for more in-depth research, which allows for the viewing and downloading of digital copies of the archive’s materials. Memberships are available in one month, three month, and 12 month increments.

Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit enters second phase By Michael Sawan Assistant Editor Donors struggling to defray the rising costs of Jewish camp



Eddie Merlot’s— comfort, community and class



Holocaust concert gives voice to the silent


The Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit has switched gears. On Jan. 23, the first set of 10 excerpts from Genesis, Numbers, Samuel, Psalms and more began its rotation out, replaced with 10 new excerpts from Deuteronomy, Leviticus, Numbers, Isaiah Commentary, the Book of War, Aramaic Levi, PseudoEzekiel, Apocryphal Lamentations, Papyrus Law, Community Rule and Psalms. This new selection will remain on display until the exhibit’s close on April 14. Meanwhile, the old set will be left to “rest” in complete darkness for one year as compensation for their three months of display time at the Museum Center. The rest of the exhibit, featuring roughly 600 objects from ancient Israel, will also remain on display. This portion features an astounding array of archaeological artifacts, which Nili Fox, a professor at HUCJIR and director of various institutions, laid great praise upon. “They brought a tremendous array of pottery, ceramics, coins [and] small finds, and the way they are exhibited, you know, with the magnifying glass and then projected on the walls, it’s extremely user friendly.” Fox’s fellow professor, Jason Kalman, was quick to add: “Things are well explained. Everything is visually accessible. I can’t think of a better way to describe it. If there is a piece you are interested in looking at, you can actually LOOK at it. It’s not blocked by 30 other things.” The combination of artifacts, academia and scrolls pleased Fox and Kalman. “I think the actual exhibit

Cincinnati Museum Center, which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit.

itself is the most substantial of all of the Dead Sea Scroll exhibits that have ever visited North America,” commented Kalman, to which Fox added: “And I think what’s important here is that the scrolls are contextualized in a broader time frame. So that the exhibit begins not with the second temple period but rather with the first temple period, it gives a nice background, and gives people who might not be familiar with the history a walkthrough from at least 1000 BCE through the Roman period.” Fox put an even finer point on her praise: “I’ve seen other exhibits that have come to the U.S. and they really only focus on the Dead Sea Scrolls, and they’re small exhibits. This is a much larger exhibit. And because it has so many other objects it just gives you a really good insight

into the ancient culture.” The story of how the Dead Sea Scrolls came to Cincinnati is in and of itself a saga. “I know that the Museum had been trying for a while to [bring the scrolls],” said Kalman, “There have been several exhibits of the Dead Sea Scrolls in North America, and they have been talking for a long while about having one. I think the fact that it was a touring exhibit finally put it in the range of a possible, rather than having to build something from scratch.” Fox elaborated: “They did contact some HUC folks when they first were considering bringing the exhibit here, when they were weighing the cost, because you know it is very costly to bring an exhibit like this here.” Fox was among the HUC faculty

contacted in this first round, an experience she recounted warmly: “I mean the whole idea of bringing this exhibit to Cincinnati was exciting, a number of our students are excited, a number of them have given lectures to different groups in Cincinnati about the Dead Sea Scrolls.” Kalman agreed: “Those of us who work on the scrolls or things related to them very often have the privilege to go and see them in their own space.” “In Jerusalem,” Fox added. Kalman continued: “The opportunity to bring that experience to others, I mean we talk about the Bible or the scrolls all the time, but the opportunity to bring those items to people who only normally get to hear about them, that’s a special experience for people who are teachers by nature.” For those looking to receive an education on the scrolls there will be a series of guided tours through the exhibit in the coming months. Fox herself will lead a general tour on Feb. 17, while other professionals will offer lens-specific tours on Feb. 4 and March 7. The Feb. 4 tour will be led by Jodi Magness, a UNC–Chapel Hill professor of religious studies. The tour is titled The Archaeology of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls and will discuss the ancient city of Qumran, which may be closely associated with the production and preservation of the Scrolls. The March 7 tour will be led by Eugene C. Ulrich, a professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame. His tour will discuss the impact that the Dead Sea Scrolls have had on the contemporaneously used Bible.




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(1st row) Courtney Cummings, Yair Cohen, Victor Kamesar, Kyle Goldhoff, Alex Kraus, Louis Stillpass; (2nd row) Jeff Blumental, Joseph Hiudt, Jillian Goldberg, Samantha Nadler, Jessica Melowsky; (3rd row) Zach Fink-Sigler, Justin Junker, Ari Levine, Dana Askin, Chelsea Manning, Benjamin Heldman, Jeremy Kiner; (4th row) Jacob Hiudt, Luci Simon, Weston Wolf, Alex Roth, Ben Lee; (5th row) Shelby Gilgoff, Abby Cooper, Noa Belillti, Sarah Perlman; (Last row) Arielle Ingber, Samantha Zola, Michael Mintz, Michael Natarus, Tommy Zipperstein, Charles Lappin, Ryan Lavigne, Matthew Moler, Tyler Wolf, Danield Garfield, Zachary Zakem, Dan Nadler

Young Cincinnatians take life-changing trip to Israel Earlier this month, 38 travelers made the long trip back from Tel Aviv, Israel, to Cincinnati, Ohio, after a two-week trip to Israel. While winter trips to Israel have become commonplace with the rise in popularity of programs such as Birthright, this particular trip was unique in many ways and a milestone in its own right. Let’s rewind to the summer of 2012 – not such a long time ago, all things considered – and a small group of Jewish young adults from Cincinnati with an idea. (A little background: The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati funds Israel travel grants for students and young adults. Each Cincinnatian is eligible for two grants, one during high school and one post-high school, up to age 26. The program has helped send hundreds of young Jewish Cincinnatians on lifechanging trips.) “A lot of people my age don’t use their second Foundation grant, but also aren’t eligible for Birthright because they went to Israel in high school,” explains 22year-old Cincinnati native Victor Kamesar, currently a senior at Oklahoma State University. “So we wanted to figure out a way to put together a group of us who could all use our grant together, and Kyle Goldhoff just sort of had this idea.” (A little more background: “Birthright” is Taglit-Birthright Israel, which provides a gift of a peer educational trip to Israel for Jewish young adults ages 18 to 26 years old who haven’t already

been to Israel on such a trip.) The idea was simple: get together a group of Jewish young adults from Cincinnati and take them on a trip to Israel over winter break. The only hurdle was that it had never been done before. “We just started having conversations with our friends from Cincinnati, and there was a lot of interest,” Kamesar recounts. “So we came to the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati with the idea, they were really excited about it and it just took off from there.” And take off it did, largely because of the hard work of Yair Cohen, Cincinnati’s community shaliach (emissary from Israel) and Sharon Spiegel, director of Youth Israel Experiences at the Federation, who planned and organized the trip contacting travel agents, creating itineraries and guidelines and generally putting in all the behind-the-scenes legwork necessary for such an undertaking. And on Dec. 20, 2012, less than six months after the initial idea, 38 young Jewish leaders departed for Israel on the trip, using grants funded by the Jewish Foundation. “We knew that there was this huge opportunity in going as a defined group of Cincinnatians, as opposed to having these same people go on separate Birthright trips individually,” Yair states. “And we didn’t want to let it slip by.” “Yair’s enthusiasm for our idea helped push the whole thing forward,” recounts Kamesar. “He helped us take it from a vision to a

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reality. To state it simply, there’s no chance we would have pulled this off without him.”

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Ted Deutsch at (513) 621-3145 or

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NHS Sisterhood learns about pre-diabetes from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo. Currently, Schneider serves as outpatient dietician and diabetes educator at Bethesda North Hospital. The program will take place at the synagogue. Light, healthy refreshments will be served.

JCC Jewish and Israeli Film Festival, Feb. 9–28 JCC Cultural Arts Manager. The organizing committee watched over 50 films before deciding on the perfect ones.“When picking films, we search for ones that create an instant connection with the viewer. Whether they are documentaries or fictional stories, it is vital that you feel invested in the events that are unfolding on the screen in front of you. If that happens, then we have done our job,” Cummings said. The 2013 Mayerson JCC Jewish & Israeli Film Festival will present films on Saturday, Feb. 9 – Thursday. Feb. 28 at five convenient locations across Cincinnati: The Cincinnati Museum Center,

Esquire Theatre, Kenwood Theatre, Mariemont Theatre and the Mayerson JCC. The Feb. 9 Opening Night Gala at the Cincinnati Museum Center features the acclaimed film “Hava Nagila,” a comedy by filmmaker Roberta Grossman, that tells the story of the ubiquitous party song starting from its origins in the Ukraine in the 18th century, to 1915 Jerusalem, when it was adapted with Hebrew lyrics and officially became “Hava Nagila” (literally, “let us rejoice”). The film includes interviews with Regina Spektor, Connie Francis, Leonard Nemoy, Harry Belafonte and others.

After the film, guests can avoid the lines and crowds for Museum Center’s Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit with an included and private, afterhours admission. Guests who have already seen the exhibit will want to tour again, as the scrolls that have been on view since November 2012 are being gradually rotated out; an entirely new set will be installed by January 28. This year’s Film Festival allaccess festival pass includes the Opening Night Gala (with access to the private after-hours viewing of the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit), and all 12 films. Individual tickets can also be purchased for each showing.

Wise Temple presents play about interfaith issues On Friday, Feb. 8 Wise Temple offers a thought-provoking Shabbat when it presents Both Sides of the Family, a spiritual and moving play about the journey through interfaith parenting, childhood and marriage. “He” is the child of two Jewish parents and the father of two families, one Jewish and one Christian. “She” is raising a Jewish daughter for her Jewish husband, although

she is not interested in converting. This play examines the moving story of these two individuals’ experiences of interfaith family life while offering the viewers an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the interfaith experience, and a challenge to reconsider beliefs and perceptions. Over the past three years, Both Sides of the Family has been performed in cities large and small, in synagogues, churches, and JCCs. Both Sides of the Family reflects the complex issues of interfaith marriages in a sensitive manner that both seeks to inform and to open the viewer’s perspectives. The presentation is insightful for those who are the partners, parents or loved ones of interfaith relationships. We encourage those involved in interfaith marriages, those whose family members are involved in interfaith marriages, and those who are simply interested in a critical issue that is changing the landscape of Jewish life and impacting the lives of so many Jewish individuals and families to join us. Shabbat services will be held at Wise Center at 6:15 p.m. and the dinner and play will follow an hour later. The play is appropriate for adults and teens. Elementary age children, grades one through six, are invited for services and dinner and, while the parents and older children view the play, the younger children will have a slumber party movie event. Reservations are required. Wise Temple Teens to attend The Laramie Project On Feb. 2, The Excellent Youth Group of Wise Temple (eYGOW)

VOL. 159 • NO. 28 THURSDAY, JANUARY 31, 2013 20 SHEVAT 5773 SHABBAT BEGINS FRIDAY 5:40 PM SHABBAT ENDS SATURDAY 6:41 PM THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE CO., PUBLISHERS 18 WEST NINTH STREET, SUITE 2 CINCINNATI, OHIO 45202-2037 Phone: (513) 621-3145 Fax: (513) 621-3744 RABBI ISAAC M. WISE Founder, Editor, Publisher, 1854-1900 LEO WISE Editor & Publisher, 1900-1928

will attend Sycamore High School’s production of The Laramie Project. This play is about the tragic murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay University of Wyoming student, in Laramie, Wyoming in 1988. The murder was denounced as a hate crime and brought attention to the lack of hate crime laws in various states. After the play, the teens will then come together for a discussion of the issues addressed in the production. eYGOW is the youth group for Wise Temple high school students. Wise Temple offers adult learning sessions in February In the ongoing array of adult lifelong opportunities at Wise Temple, Eitz Chayim (The Tree of Life) Lifelong learning presents several options, including an exciting private, guided tour of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the weekday noontime series Tuesday with Torah. On Sunday, Feb. 17, Wise Temple’s Sunday Series continues with a private guided tour of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Cincinnati Museum Center. Dr. Nili S. Fox, Director of the School of Graduate Studies at HUC-JIR and Director of the Archaeology Center of the Skirball Museum, will be the guide for this private tour of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest known copies of the Hebrew Bible and the ancient handwritten texts of the words that shaped the future of the Western world. Attendance is limited and there is a cost for this program. WISE on page 19

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 JANET STEINBERG Travel Editor MARIANNA BETTMAN NATE BLOOM IRIS PASTOR RABBI A. JAMES RUDIN ZELL SCHULMAN RABBI AVI SHAFRAN PHYLLIS R. SINGER Contributing Columnists JOSEPH D. STANGE Production Manager ERIN WYENANDT Office Manager e Oldest Eng Th

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Hollywood comes to Wise Temple On Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 1 p.m., Wise Temple Seniors will host Kristen Erwin, executive director of the Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky Film Commission. This program will be a fun, informative and enter-

taining conversation with Erwin. Her exciting job includes interacting with film, music and movie companies as they consider Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky for shooting of their movies, TV shows and music videos. She’s also got her eye on our city in a unique way as she scouts the nooks and crannies of our town to find unique neighborhoods and houses that can serve as shooting locations. Erwin represents the Film Commission both in Greater Cincinnati and across the nation. Her credits include: Ides of March, Secretariat, Dreamer, Traffic, In Too Deep, Seabiscuit, Elizabethtown, and Cincinnati’s rank as number one for reality TV production. In addition to her production role, Erwin spearheads the Film Commission’s educational endeavors and oversees workshops on Screenwriting, Documentary Filmmaking, Media Streaming and Locations. Erwin has received many accolades including the Queen City Advocate Award, 40 Under Forty and Cincinnati Enquirer’s 20 Women to Watch this year.


RABBI JONAH B. WISE Editor & Publisher, 1928-1930

What’s happening at Wise Temple Justice Sonia Sotomayor broadcasts to Wise Temple from 92nd Street Y On Feb. 5, Wise Temple presents Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor with Thane Rosenbaum via the 92nd Street Y program. The appointment of Sonia Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court electrified the nation. The first Hispanic Justice on the high court, and a Latina with a compelling life story – raised in a Bronx housing project, educated at Princeton and Yale, worked as a Manhattan prosecutor and then a federal judge – she already possessed a sterling legal career before becoming perhaps the most recognizable face on the Supreme Court. And now she is the author of a memoir, My Beloved World, a revealing book about the personal values and important influences that propelled this fascinating American success story. The “Live from New York” series originates and is broadcast live from New York’s prestigious Jewish cultural center, the 92nd Street Y. The broadcasts are fed into Wise Center and viewed on a large screen. This program begins at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7:30) and is exclusively offered by Wise Temple’s Eitz Chayim adult education program. There is a charge to attend.

The American Israelite

The Mayerson JCC Jewish & Israeli Film Festival opens Saturday night, Feb. 9 with 12 films that organizers say are “the best of the best.” This year’s Film Festival has greatly expanded to include more theaters, more dates and more variety. “Variety was important to us when we carefully selected films for this year’s Festival. We included dramas, comedies, documentaries and a thriller, with plots ranging from star-crossed young lovers to the Israeli Secret Service to saving a piece of Israeli history. There is something for every taste and interest,” said Courtney Cummings,


Est. 1854

betes through positive lifestyle changes, focusing on diet and behavior modification techniques. Schneider is a registered and licensed dietician and a certified diabetes educator. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics and Food Administration

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which can severely damage the cardiovascular and renal systems, and cause many other complications. Pre-diabetes has been described as the “gray area” between normal blood sugar and diabetic levels. Schneider will address ways to reduce the risks for developing dia-

r in Am ape er sp i

The Sisterhood of Northern Hills Synagogue – Congregation B’nai Avraham will learn about pre-diabetes at a special program on Sunday morning, Feb. 10. Dianne Schneider, a dietician, will lead the program, which will begin at 11:30 a.m. Diabetes is a serious condition

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.



Film commemorates Columbia shuttle disaster Friday, Feb. 1 marks the 10th anniversary of the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster. In recognition of this anniversary, the Public Broadcasting Service will air the documentary “Space Shuttle Columbia: Mission of Hope.” The film will be shown locally at the following times: WCET 48.1: Friday 2/1, 2 a.m.; Saturday 2/2, 4 a.m. WPTO 14.1: Tuesday 2/5, 10 p.m.

WPTD 16.1: Sunday 2/10, 3:30 p.m. WCVN 54.2: Friday 2/1, 2 a.m.; Saturday 2/2, 4 a.m. WCVN 54: Saturday 2/2, 4:00 a.m. “Space Shuttle Columbia: Mission of Hope” tells the true story of Ilan Ramon, Israel’s first astronaut, and a tiny Torah, the five books of Moses, that traveled from the depths of hell to the heights of space. The miniature Torah belonged to Ramon’s friend,

Holocaust survivor and Israeli physicist Joachim Joseph, and was used for his Bar Mitzvah in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Ramon brought the Torah with him on the Columbia Space Shuttle. The film reveals the significance this flight, and its ultimate crash, had for Israelis and many faiths and other nationalities. The film has a connection to Cincinnati. Local Holocaust sur-

vivor Professor Henry Fenichel is briefly featured in the film. Professor Fenichel’s little Torah traveled into space in 2006 at the request of Ramon’s wife Rona, in honor of Ramon and the entire crew of the Columbia Space Shuttle. “The two Torahs represent the survival of the Jewish people during the Holocaust, and the ability to rise from the depth of despair and reach for the stars. It symbolizes a hopeful promise for

new beginnings and a shining example of respect between cultures and religions,” says Fenichel. “The powerful story of these two tiny Torah scrolls is the foundation for an educational program called Reach for the Stars that connects 100 kids from Cincinnati with their peers in Netanya, Israel each year,” says Sarah Weiss, executive director of the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education.

Chabad Jewish Center discusses death with Rabbi Lazer Gurkow The Chabad Jewish Center Goldstein Family Learning Academy announces a lecture by world renowned author and lecturer, Rabbi Lazer Gurkow, titled, “So What Really Happens on the Other Side?” The lecture takes place on Thursday, Feb. 14, at 7:30 p.m. at Chabad Jewish Center. “This is a subject much thought of, but little discussed,” says Rabbi Gurkow. “People often think of the finality of death and wonder if it is

an end or a transition. They wonder whether Jewish mysticism and kabbalah addresses the phenomenon of near death experience. They wonder if there is a heaven and hell in Jewish thought.” This spell binding presentation promises to paint a vivid portrait of the Soul’s Journey in Life & the After-Life. Join us for a fascinating glimpse into a world we might never have known existed. Rabbi Gurkow, a thinker and

teacher that audiences can relate to, will offer a glimpse into a world often unknown, and paint a vivid portrait of the soul’s journey through life and the afterlife. Gifted with the ability to present the complex in easily understood language, Gurkow, who has lectured to audiences worldwide, will speak of the human spirit as he describes the relationship between departed souls and their loved ones on earth. A prolific author, Gurkow has

published more than 600 essays in print and online publications. “We invite young and old alike, regardless of background or affiliation, to take this opportunity to explore in depth their own Jewish identity,” said Rabbi Yisroel Mangel, director of Chabad Jewish Center “We will discuss fresh ideas that will stimulate your Jewish identity and satiate your mind with Jewish knowledge long after the evening is over,” he con-

The Skirball Museum presents programs on locally made wood block prints The Skirball Museum at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion begins the New Year with a solo exhibit of hand-colored wood block prints by children’s book illustrator Alexi Natchev. The exhibit, “Alexi Natchev: Hand-Colored Block Prints from The Elijah Door” features the original prints, which illustrate a book by Linda Leopold Strauss, a Cincinnati based children’s author.

An example of Alexi Natchev’s work.

The exhibit opens on Sunday, Feb. 3, with a special program from 2 – 4 p.m. The exhibit will be on display in The Skirball Museum library from Feb. 3 – March 31. The exhibit includes a special program, “HaMagidah: Folktales, Music & Magic!”, by Cantor Yvon F. Shore, Director of Liturgical Arts and Music, HUC-JIR Cincinnati campus, spinning an afternoon of Yiddish and Sephardic yarns sure to delight the hearts of children ages 3 to 93 on

Sunday, Feb. 10 at 2 p.m. The exhibit closes on Sunday, March 31, with a demonstration of wood block printing by Natchev from 2 – 4 p.m. A hands-on printing activity will be led by the artist. All the events are free and open to everyone. The Skirball Museum is located on the campus of Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Clifton. The book for which the prints were made has been named a 2013 Sydney Taylor Award Honor Book in the Younger Readers category. In addition, the book has been selected by the national PJ Library Family Engagement Program and will be sent to member families around the world in March 2013. The story is an original folk tale set in “a village that was sometimes Poland and sometimes Russia.” Illustrator Natchev chose to create hand-painted wood block prints, a medium he had not used before, to help tell the story. The book is about young David Lippa and Rachel Galinsky, whose families are feuding, but who, with the help of their neighbors and the town rabbi, devise a scheme to bring their two families together to once again celebrate Passover at the same festive table. Publisher’s Weekly wrote, “Natchev’s artwork – created by carving an image into wood and linoleum plates, inking the image with a roller, printing it by hand, then hand-coloring with watercolors – does a magnificent job of

bringing this Jewish Romeo and Juliet fable to life.” Illustrator Alexi Natchev was born and educated in Sofia, Bulgaria. A graduate of the National Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia, his work has been shown in many international exhibits and biennials, and he has received a number of national and interna-

tional awards. Since moving to the U.S. in 1990, he has published more than 15 children’s books with major American publishers. Currently he is the Illustration Area Coordinator at Delaware College of Art and Design in Wilmington. SKIRBALL on page 19

tinued. A question and answer period will follow, to allow audience participation in this fascinating discussion. There is a charge for admission.



Chicken Soup for the stomach and a mitzvah By Jory Edlin Assistant Editor On Sunday, Jan. 27, the Jewish community joined each other to taste many different versions of chicken soup, to bid on items in silent auctions, to listen to music by Shir Chadash, and to shmooze with friends at Wise Temple’s ninth annual Chicken Soup CookOff. Plenty of kids brought their parents and grandparents. Ample parking was available with overflow available at the JCC. Even with that size crowd, people were able to flow through the room of tables with 25 different renditions of chicken soup. Not the least important outcome of the day were the awards. The People’s Choice awards went to Hannah Berger for her Coconut Curry Thai Chicken in the amateur category and in the pro category, Izzy’s took first place. In the Pro Division, Chef Ari Rubinoff of Blue Ash Kroger won Best Matzo Ball for his

Courtesy of Jory Edlin

(L-R) Rick Seelig, Jay Rissover and Kari Fagin

“Traditional Matzo Ball.” Parker’s Grill won Most Original for their “Chicken Chili with White Beans.”

In the Amateur Division, the Excellent Youth Group of Wise won the Best Matzo Ball award.

Hannah Berger won the Most Original-Spicy award for her “Coconut Curry Thai Chicken.” The Best Chicken Noodle award went to Jay and Angela Erisman for their “Pho Nu.” Steve Nassano won the Most Original-Smokey Chicken award. In the Best Decorated Tables category, Jeff Cohen won the Best Asian Table award. Mary Jo Cropper Family Breast Center won the Prettiest in Pink Table award. Barony of Fenix of the SCA won the Best 14th Century Table award. Even though this was all fun and games, there was also some altruism (mitzvah) going on around this event. In 2013 so far, 28 gallons of soup have been donated to a local soup kitchen. To date, 663 gallons of soup have been donated. If you missed this chance to eat, shmooze and perform a mitzvah without even trying, be sure to make room on your calendar for next year’s Cook-Off.

International community remembers the Holocaust By Maxine Dovere JointMedia News Service NEW YORK – Speaking in a voice fraught with emotion at the United Nations General Assembly, Israeli ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor proclaimed, “The loss [of the Holocaust] is unimaginable… the riches lost to the world untold. But, their spirit lives on, their dreams never died… Nothing can break the 5,000-year-old chain of Jewish history.” Looking to his own emotions, Ron Prosor noted during the Jan. 25 ceremony that he is a father of the generation for whom it is “incomprehensible to comprehend what it meant to be a Jew in the face of evil” without the protection provided by the Jewish state. Partisans and survivors, politicians, leaders of religions, and people of conscience joined together to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day this week in front of statues, at museums and memorials, and in the halls of the UN. The UN in 2005 designated Jan. 27 as a yearly memorial day for the victims of the Holocaust – 6 million Jews and millions of other victims of Nazi Germany during World War II. The date honors the anniversary of the 1945 liberation of Auschwitz, the most notorious of the Nazi concentration camps. On Sunday in Rome, the German-born Pope Benedict XVI, appearing at his window in the Vatican, called for vigilance against racism. “The memory of this immense tragedy, which above all struck so harshly the Jewish people, must

Courtesy of UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

Ron Prosor (right), Permanent Representative of Israel to the UN, chats with Rabbi Arthur Schneier, Senior Rabbi at Park East Synagogue in New York, before an event at UN Headquarters on “Children and the Holocaust,” held to mark the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. Between Mr. Prosor and Rabbi Schneier, is famed psychotherapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer.

represent for everyone a constant warning so that the horrors of the past are not repeated, so that every form of hatred and racism is overcome, and that respect for, and dignity of, every human person is encouraged,” the Pope said of the Holocaust. “Those who experienced the horrors of the cattle cars, ghettos, and concentration camps have witnessed humanity at its very worst and know too well the pain of losing loved ones to senseless violence,” U.S. President Barack Obama said. “The United States, along with the international community, resolves to stand in the way of any tyrant or dictator who commits crimes against humanity, and stay true to the principle of

‘Never Again.’” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a clear link to Iran’s nuclear efforts and the Nazis’ efforts to annihilate the Jews. “Anti-Semitism has not disappeared and – to our regret – neither has the desire to destroy a considerable part of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. They exist and they are strong,” Netanyahu said. This year is the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Israeli Yad VaShem Holocaust Museum’s “Righteous Among the Nations” recognition for gentiles who helped save Jewish lives during the Holocaust. In New York, UN SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon, greeting those gathered in memory of the

victims of the Holocaust on Jan. 25, said “the examples of these brave men and women demonstrate the capacity of humankind for remarkable good even in the darkest days…” Ban also stressed the need to “work against hatred and prejudice to prevent future genocide.”Prosor at the UN acknowledged the sparks that lit humanity’s darkest hours – Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, Italian construction worker Lorenzo Perrone, and the Japanese Consul in Lithuania, Sugihara, calling their actions “inspiring stories that must become guide posts for the international community… There is much work to do in a world… where hate is met with silence.” The state of Israel is a living, breathing monument to survival, stated the ambassador. “Am Yisrael chai!” he extolled. Also recognized was the courageous Irena Sandler, a Polish Catholic nurse who saved 2,500 children, and Eli Zborowski, who survived the war in hiding and was the driving force behind the creation of Yad VaShem’s Valley of the Communities as well as a founder of the American Society of Yad VaShem. Mordecai Palodiel, a Holocaust survivor who spoke at the UN, was 6 years old when he and his family escaped to Switzerland. He was instrumental in gaining acknowledgement for the non-Jewish heroes who risked their lives to save at least one Jewish person. Palodiel helped develop the Garden of the Righteous. Fifty years after HOLOCAUST on page 19

National Briefs Murdoch to Sunday Times: Apologize for ‘grotesque’ cartoon of Netanyahu NEW YORK (JTA) Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corp. owns the Sunday Times of London through a subsidiary, said the paper should apologize for printing what he called a “grotesque” cartoon of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Murdoch, the founder and CEO of News Corp., made his remarks Monday on Twitter about the cartoon that appeared the previous day. Netanyahu is depicted as building a brick wall with the blood of Palestinians as mortar. “Gerald Scarfe has never reflected the opinions of the Sunday Times,” Murdoch tweeted, referring to the cartoon’s illustrator. “Nevertheless, we owe major apology for grotesque, offensive cartoon.” Murdoch’s statement was made in response to criticism from leaders of the Jewish community in the U.K. who said the drawing was reminiscent of anti-Semitic blood libels. Jon Benjamin, the head of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, called the cartoon “appalling” and said it was similar to the offensive images of Jews “more usually found in parts of the virulently antiSemitic Arab press.” Benjamin said its appearance in the broadsheet on International Holocaust Remembrance Day added insult to injury. Earlier on Monday, the Sunday Times defended the cartoon, saying it was “aimed squarely at Mr. Netanyahu and his policies, not at Israel, let alone at Jewish people.” Keep Lebanese terrorist in prison, U.S. lawmakers urge France WASHINGTON (JTA) A bipartisan congressional effort is aiming to keep the former head of the Lebanese Armed Revolutionary Brigade behind bars in France. Twenty members of Congress, led by U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (DN.Y.), signed a letter to France’s ambassador to the United States, Francois Delattre, calling on French officials to stop the release of George Ibrahim Abdallah, who was convicted in 1987 of killing U.S. military attache Charles Ray and Israeli diplomat Yacov Barsimantov. Abdallah also was found guilty of the attempted murder of U.S. consul general Robert Homme in 1984. Abdallah is serving a life sentence in prison, but a French appeals court this month gave a conditional release provided that he is deported to Lebanon. However, the French government still has the right to keep Abdallah behind bars, according to Meng.



Donors struggling to defray the rising costs of Jewish camp By Gil Shefler Jewish Telegraph Agency

Courtesy of The White House / Pete Souza

President Obama speaking with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following their meetings on May 20, 2011.

Obama’s likely takeaway from Israeli election: More two-state advocates By Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraph Agency WASHINGTON – With the Israeli election results split evenly between the right-wing bloc and everyone else, no one in Washington is ready to stake their reputation on what the outcome means for the U.S.-Israel relationship and the Middle East. Except for this: The next Israeli government likely will include more than two lawmakers committed to a two-state solution with the Palestinians. In mid-December, resigned to what then seemed to be Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s certain reelection at the helm of a hard-right government, staff at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv drew up what they believed would be the most likely new governing coalition. Then they researched each member and counted the lawmakers who had expressly committed themselves to a two-state solution.

They came up with a grand total of two: Netanyahu and Carmel Shama HaCohen, a real estate agent from Ramat Gan and a political up-and-comer. HaCohen is unlikely to claim a seat in the next Knesset. He’s No. 32 on the Likud Beitenu list, which is projected to take 31 seats, though some ballots have yet to be counted. But the prospect of more than two two-staters on the governing side has risen dramatically with the split Knesset, while apprehension within the Obama administration about a Netanyahu driven into recalcitrance by hard-line partners has likely diminished. White House spokesman Jay Carney eagerly took a question on Jan. 22 on what the elections meant for peace prospects, even before official results were in and when exit polls projected Netanyahu’s right-religious bloc emerging with a razor-thin majority. TAKEAWAY on page 21

Rabbis tweak inaugural readings to make them ‘Jewier’ By Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraph Agency WASHINGTON – Preaching to a preacher man – or woman – doesn’t always play out as planned. That’s the lesson learned this week by officials at the National Cathedral after several clergy, including three rabbis, made impromptu changes to the readings they were given to deliver at a prayer service following the Jan. 22 inauguration of President Obama. Rabbis Rick Jacobs, Sharon Brous and Julie Schonfeld made changes to the texts they were handed in the hope of making the lan-

guage “Jewier,” as Brous put it later: more conversational, more forthright and more reflective of the rabbis’ understanding of Jewish theology. “I wanted to be able to pray with real kavannah [intention] in that moment, so the specific language mattered a lot to me,” Brous, the founder of the independent IKAR congregation in Los Angeles, told JTA in an email. “I worked to find a way to capture the essence of the prayer in a Jewish idiom, to translate the beautiful sentiment into words that would be more personally resonant.” RABBIS on page 21

NEW YORK — Spending the summer at Jewish overnight camp once was a spartan affair, often little more than a collection of ramshackle buildings scattered in the woods by a placid lake. Those were the days. “Today it’s all about the toys,” said Rabbi Allan Smith, the former head of the Reform movement’s camp network and a 46-year veteran of the summer camp business. “You have a go-kart track, a climbing wall, a swing, a Burma bridge. “When I was a kid, 90 percent of the camps were by a lake. Today if you don’t have a pool you’re a loser. Kids don’t like lakes, they’re dirty.” Such amenities may make camps more appealing, but they don’t come cheap. Parents can expect to shell out anywhere from $800 per week per child at one of the less expensive nonprofit camps to $2,000 per week at some of the pricier options. For families already struggling to cover the costs of Jewish education during the school year, sending a child to camp might be one expense too many. In a bid to help defray the cost, the Foundation for Jewish Camp has awarded more than 43,000 grants to attend a nonprofit summer camp. The grants can be up to $1,000 per family .

Courtesy of Foundation for Jewish Camp

Jewish campers on a pedal boat show their enthusiasm at NYJ Cedar Camp in New Jersey.

“We believe summers at Jewish camp are an important component in one’s Jewish identity,” said Jeremy Fingerman, the foundation’s CEO. “Camp teaches a joyful Judaism and becomes an important building block for a Jewish future. We believe families challenged economically should not be penalized.” The high tuition at Jewish camps, which directors at the camps agree is considerably costlier than at their Christian counterparts, is cause for concern among those who fear that a potent identity-building opportunity is slipping away from middle-income families. For Debra Hollander of Shaker Heights, Ohio, sending her chil-

dren to Jewish camp is a top priority, despite the costs. “Our three kids go to secular education schools, so for us Jewish camping became even more important,” she said. A 2011 study commissioned by the Foundation for Jewish Camp lends credence to Hollander’s view of Jewish camps as important shapers of Jewish identity. According to the study, Jewish camp alumni are 30 percent more likely to donate to a Jewish charity; 37 percent more likely to light Sabbath candles; and 45 percent more likely to attend synagogue. COSTS on page 21


International Briefs


American-born Orthodox rabbi among the faces of Israel’s future By JNS Staff JointMedia News Service

EU official: Hezbollah may not make terror list, even with Bulgaria bombing (JTA) Hezbollah may not be included on the European Union’s list of terrorist groups even if it did bomb Jewish tourists in Bulgaria, the EU’s top counterterrorism official reportedly said. On Monday, the news site EUobserver quoted the official, Gilles de Kerchove, as saying that Bulgaria’s investigation into the incident is likely to be concluded next month. According to Israel, the Lebanon-based Hezbollah was behind the bombing on July 19 in Burgas, which targeted a bus of Israeli tourists and left five Israelis and one Bulgarian dead. U.S. and Israeli officials have said the EU should blacklist Hezbollah if the Bulgarians find it guilty of perpetrating the attack. Its inclusion would make it illegal for Hezbollah sympathizers in Europe to send money to the group, which the United States and Israel list as terrorist. “There is no automatic listing just because you have been behind a terrorist attack,” de Kerchove is quoted as saying. “It’s not only the legal requirement that you have to take into consideration, it’s also a political assessment of the context and the timing.” Auschwitz rite marks 68 years since liberation WARSAW, Poland (JTA) The 68th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz was marked with a ceremony at the site. Ex-prisoners and liberators of the Nazi death camp attended the ceremony on Sunday, International Holocaust Memorial Day, at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski served as the honorary patron. Russian former prisoner Ksenia Olchowa, speaking on behalf of the prisoners, appealed to those on hand to remember the horrors of the past and do everything they can to ensure they never recur. “When our soldiers saw the first group of prisoners, they were afraid to even approach them. They didn’t look like people,” Iwan Martynuszkin, who took part in the liberation of Auschwitz, recalled during the ceremony. Israeli Ambassador to Poland Zvi Rav-Ner said, “Today we also remember the brave people—the Righteous Among the Nations— who risked their lives to rescue Jews. Poles are the largest group of Righteous in Europe.”

The surprise of Israel’s 2013 election was the rapid ascendance of the new Yesh Atid (There is a Future) party, led by former television celebrity Yair Lapid, at the expense of Israel’s known political entities. The party surpassed all polling estimates to become the nation’s second-most powerful party in Israel’s 19th Knesset. With 19 out of 120 parliamentary seats, Yesh Atid is in prime position to dictate many of the terms of Israel’s next ruling coalition, to be led by re-elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The surprising rise of a fresh party is highly indicative of a disenfranchised electorate searching for leaders that are better in touch with the issues important to the general populous. One of the new leaders emerging from the election is incoming Yesh Atid Member of Knesset (MK) Rabbi Dov Lipman,

Courtesy of Flash 90

Rabbi Dov Lipman – in front, far right – celebrates the preliminary 2013 Israel election results with other members of the Yesh Atid party in Tel Aviv on Jan. 22.

an American-born Orthodox rabbi and longtime Jewish educator living in Beit Shemesh. “For the last decade, sectoral divisions within our population have been fighting against one

another and dividing our country,” Lipman, 41, said in an interview with JNS. “We’ve been fighting between right and left, between religious and secular, and we’ve kind of lost our way.”

Netanyahu’s Likud party, running together with the Russiancentric Yisrael Beitenu (Israel Our Home) party, won 31 seats to easily secure re-election. The total of those two parties, however, was 11 seats lower than the 42 seats the two parties held in the outgoing Knesset. Similarly, the once-ruling Kadima party, which had 28 seats in the outgoing parliament, plummeted to near non-existence, and barely crossed the minimum election threshold with only two mandates. Many of the votes went instead to Yesh Atid, despite the fact that the party is unproven. All 19 incoming Yesh Atid Knesset members are new to the parliamentary ranks, an anomaly in Israeli politics. MK Lipman rose to prominence this past summer while leading protests against ultra-Orthodox intimidation. That attracted Lapid, known to be a staunch secularist. FUTURE on page 20

Censored by Facebook, journalist forges on as lonely dissenting Arab voice on PA By Alex Traiman JointMedia News Service In an environment where criticism of Israel is not only common, but encouraged, Arab-Israeli journalist Khaled Abu Toameh is a lonely voice of dissent on issues relating to the Palestinian Authority (PA). “I believe that a journalist should be loyal to the truth, as opposed to a president or a prime minister,” Abu Toameh said in an interview with JNS. “I do not wish to be a mouthpiece for any leader, an organ of any structure, or a cover-up agent for anybody. A journalist should be free to criticize anyone as long as he is

telling the truth.” Abu Toameh’s unique role in the media world was perhaps no more apparent than when Facebook recently removed his profile following complaints about his posts, which are highly critical of the PA and the Kingdom of Jordan. Though his page was quickly restored after a backlash of complaints, the attempt to silence Abu Toameh’s online presence is the latest in a campaign to censor any perceived anti-Arab sentiment. In an op-ed challenging the Facebook incident, Abu Toameh commented, “During the past year alone, a number of Palestinian jour-

nalists and bloggers were arrested by Western-funded Palestinian Authority security services in the West Bank for criticizing the PA leadership on their Facebook pages.” “It is the duty of Facebook and Western societies to side with those seeking freedom, and not to be complicit in suppressing their voices,” he wrote. The award-winning journalist, who writes for the Jerusalem Post, reports for NBC News as well as several European media outlets, and posts often-stinging opinion pieces for the Gatestone Institute, does that which most Arab journalists would

never dare: he attempts to hold Palestinian and Arab leadership accountable for their actions. “The prevailing concept in the Arab world is that if you are not with us, you are against us,” Abu Toameh told JNS In other words, he said, a Palestinian journalist “is expected to be loyal to the cause of Palestinian nationalism.” Abu Toameh got his start more than 30 years ago working with Palestinian media but left because of the limitations placed on his work. Today journalists face similar restrictions. JOURNALIST on page 22

Doubling down on culture: Inside the expanded Tel Aviv Museum of Art By Maxine Dovere JointMedia News Service TEL AVIV – There is hardly any movement in the entry of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. The vacant hall allows a rare opportunity to view the huge, multi-media Yaacov Agam work that dominates the museum’s lobby unobstructed, from every angle. Sound, from the chatter of children’s voices to the even tones of a doyenne leading a touring group, is absent. Even the quiet undertone of the ubiquitous Israeli cell phone conversations is missing. At the entry door, a mother learns that she has to change her kids’ schedule –

on this quiet Sunday morning, the museum is not receiving visitors. Beyond the lobby, behind the exhibition halls and galleries, the work of art continues. JNS recently spoke with Shuli Kislev, senior deputy director of the museum and project manager of the museum’s new wing, the Herta and Paul Amir Building. The formal opening of the Amir building in late 2011 marked the conclusion of an unprecedented annum marked by loss, change and accomplishment. The low point was the death of the museum’s longtime director, Professor Mordechai (Moti) Omer. At the

same time, a new era began through the completion of the new $50 million building and the appointment of Director Susan Landau, former chief curator of the Israel Museum. Now, the expanded museum continues to gain admiration throughout the international art community, and its exhibits have attracted visitors from around the globe. “Israeli art has attained the national venue it has long deserved,” Kislev told JNS. Israel’s “principal institution of modern and contemporary art” opened its nearly 200,000 squarefoot-addition in September 2011. The design, by Boston-based archi-

tect Preston Scott Cohen, was selected from almost 100 submissions in an international competition. The freestanding, white concrete, multi-angled structure glistens in the light of the Tel Aviv sun. Its massive galleries, dedicated to the display of the museum’s premier collection of Israeli art, are a series of large, white, rectangular spaces constructed around a central, 87-foot-high atrium called the “Light Fall.” The design “provides surprising, continually unfolding, vertical circulation through all the floors,” Kislev explained. MUSEUM on page 22



What Israel’s next gov’t might look like

Benjamin Netanyahu the next Israeli prime minister By JNS staff JointMedia News Service

Courtesy of Flash90/JTA

Party leaders Benjamin Netanyahu of Likud-Beitenu, Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid, Naftali Bennett of Jewish Home, and Aryeh Deri of Shas.

By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraph Agency TEL AVIV – One day after the election, all of the Israeli news sites show an even pie chart: 60 Knesset seats for the left and 60 for the right. But the Knesset isn’t actually divided 60-60. It’s split four ways – 42 for the right, 48 for the centerleft, 18 for haredi Orthodox and 12 for the Arab parties. Haredim have been called the “natural partners” of the right, though they’re really free agents. And Arab parties have never been asked to join a coalition, which makes them all but irrelevant to the process of forming the next government. That leaves Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a bind. His right-wing faction, Likud-Beiteinu, is the biggest at 31 seats, and will probably be asked to form the coalition. Will it opt for the same government it has now – a narrow, uncompromising alliance of the right-wing and haredi parties? Or will it tack toward the center? Here are some possible coalition scenarios: Status quo: right wing-haredi Parties: Likud-Beiteinu (31), Jewish Home (11), Shas (11), United Torah Judaism (7) Size: 60 MKs This government would be just big enough for Netanyahu to survive a no-confidence vote in the Knesset (which requires a majority), but it would be hard to get much else done. The parties agree on a broad right-wing agenda, but dissatisfaction from one party could doom the government. Most important, Shas and UTJ, the haredi parties, would stridently oppose including haredi yeshiva students in Israel’s mandatory conscription, a stated goal of Netanyahu and Jewish Home. And Netanyahu would be on the ideological left of this coalition rather than in the center. Center-right Parties: Likud-Beiteinu (31), Yesh Atid (19), Jewish Home (11). Possibly: Hatnua (6), Kadima (2) Size: 61 to 69 MKs

According to analysts, this is Netanyahu’s top choice. It includes three of the four biggest parties, and puts Likud and Netanyahu squarely in its center – with Jewish Home on the right and Yesh Atid, Hatnua and Kadima on the left. Every party agrees on the need to draft haredi yeshiva students, and Yesh Atid and Jewish Home agree on some aspects of economic reform. But it’s hard to imagine Hatnua, founded to advance the peace process, sitting in the same government as Jewish Home, which strongly opposes Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. That would leave the coalition at a weak 61 to 63 MKs. All-secular Parties: Likud-Beiteinu (31), Yesh Atid (19), Labor (15), Hatnua (6), Kadima (2) Size: 73 MKs This option is unlikely because it includes Labor, which vowed not to join a Netanyahu-led coalition. If the party changes its mind, though, this coalition would allow Netanyahu to leave out Jewish Home, which he attacked in the campaign. And if Netanyahu changes tack and decides to pursue Israeli-Palestinian peace, he’ll have the support. But such a change is a long shot, mostly because Netanyahu is right wing and his party shifted even further to the right in this year’s primaries. Center-left-haredi Parties: Yesh Atid (19), Labor (15), Shas (11), UTJ (7), Hatnua (6), Meretz (6), Kadima (2) Size: 66 MKs Here are a few reasons why this coalition, suggested by some analysts, probably won’t happen: • Netanyahu leads the biggest party, so he’ll almost definitely get to form the coalition. • Yesh Atid has said expressly that it would join Netanyahu’s government. • Haredi parties fit more naturally on the right, which shares their traditionalist values. • In return for joining a center-left coalition, the haredim probably would demand continued draft exemption for yeshiva students, which would drive away Yesh Atid.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will regain his position after his Likud-Beitenu party alliance won 31 Knesset mandates, followed by Yesh Atid at 19 the Central Elections Commission confirmed Wednesday. Just after 10 p.m. Israeli time Tuesday, Netanyahu declared victory with a message on his Facebook page. “I wish to thank the millions of the citizens of Israel who carried out their democratic right today. According to the exit polls it is clear that the citizens of Israel have decided that they want me to continue in the position of prime minister of Israel and that I form as wide a coalition government as possible. The early results are a big opportunity for many changes that will favor all of Israel’s citizens. The elections are behind us and many complex challenges lie ahead. Starting tonight I will start the efforts to form a government that will be as wide as possible,” Netanyahu wrote. At 6 a.m. Wednesday Israeli time the Central Elections Committee released its final results after counting 3,616,947 votes. While the final results could change the overall picture by one or two seats, the joint Likud-Yisrael Beitenu list headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads with 31 seats,

Courtesy of Yossi Zamir/Flash90

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shaking hands with Israeli citizens during a visit to the southern city of Ashdod, as Israelis went to vote in Israeli general elections for Israel’s 19th parliament January 22, 2013. Exit polls project Netanyahu’s win.

followed by the surprise of these elections, the Yesh Atid party led by Yair Lapid, with 19 seats. Labor, led by Shelly Yachimovich, came in third with 15 seats – a number considered a great disappointment for the social democratic party. The ultra-Orthodox Shas party received 11, and Habayit Hayehudi, led by Naftali Bennett, garnered 11 too. The Ashkenazi haredi party United Torah Judaism received 7 seats, followed by Hatnuah, led by former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, with 6 seats. Left-wing Meretz, under Zahava

Gal-On, doubled its electoral strength to win 6 seats. ArabIsraeli voter turnout was low, once again, with Ra’am-Ta’al leading the pack with 5 seats; Hadash received 4, and the National Democratic Assembly received 3. Kadima, which was the largest party in the 2009 elections with 28 seats, crashed to 2 seats, and may still not pass the electoral threshold once all the votes are tallied. Far-right Strong Israel did not pass the threshold. NETANYAHU on page 22

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Episcopal Retirement Homes earns awards, certification and recognition in 2012 On all measures, 2012 was an outstanding 60th year for Episcopal Retirement Homes (ERH) as it was recognized on multiple levels by industry leaders, the Cincinnati community, its staff, and its residents as the premier provider of quality older adult services and senior living communities in southwest Ohio. To start with, ERH won the Enquirer Media Top Workplace award for the third straight year. Not surprisingly, Deupree House and Marjorie P. Lee, ERH’s premier retirement communities in Hyde Park, earned first and second place for the Community Press Reader’s Poll for Best Retirement Communities on the east side for the last two years it was awarded. ERH was also chosen as a regional pilot site by the Greater Cincinnati Hospital Council to develop electronic medical records transfer systems between hospitals and our nursing care centers. City officials recognized ERH and its commitment to providing quality, affordable living communities to lower income seniors as well for a multimillion dollar renovation of St. Paul Village in Madisonville. In addition, ERH added four more communities to its affordable living group in the fourth quarter. In 2012, both Deupree House

Marjorie P. Lee retirement community — recognized for high resident satisfaction scores.

and Marjorie P. Lee earned the stamp of approval from an independent organization of outside examiners. Both communities offer all levels of care including independent living, assisted living, nursing care and memory support. The prestigious accreditation was awarded from the internationally recognized Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission (CCAC). CARFCCAC is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of human services that sets standards of excellence in the industry. Accreditation demonstrates a provider’s commitment to continuously improve service quality and to focus on the satisfaction of the persons served. Laura Lamb, Vice President of Residential Housing and Healthcare for Episcopal Retirement Homes, likens the accreditation to winning the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award on a corporate level, or getting a Consumer Reports’ “Best Buy” designation and a Good Housekeeping “Seal of Approval” on the consumer level. Further, The Ohio Department of Aging 2011 nursing home resident satisfaction survey results came out this year and both Marjorie P. Lee’s Lee Gardens and Deupree House’s

Deupree Cottages scored among the highest in the region with a 96.7% positive score on the key satisfaction measure: “Would you recommend this organization to others?” This rating was particularly meaningful as it was given by those who actually experienced the quality service and care offered by these skilled nursing communities. In addition, Deupree Cottages was one of only six American nursing homes recognized in the newly published book, Design for Aging: International Case Studies of Building and Program for being among those with “excellent agedcare environments.” The book includes a total of 26 nursing homes worldwide and devotes an entire chapter to the Cottages and their innovative design, architectural challenges, and the quality care provided by their non-traditional Person-Centered Care approach. Already this year the Deupree Cottages skilled nursing care center, located on the Deupree House campus in Hyde Park was recognized in the recently published 2012 Nursing Home Family Satisfaction Survey conducted by the Ohio Department of Aging. It came in eighth out of almost 950 nursing homes statewide and was the only nursing home in Cincinnati to earn a ranking in the top 10 in the state.



Senior Adults stay connected with JCC ShalomPhone Home alone certainly doesn’t have to mean lonely at home for senior adults who participate in the ShalomPhone program through the Mayerson JCC Senior Center. ShalomPhone provides telephone reassurance to seniors, ages 60 and older, who are living alone and do not have someone regularly checking on their wellbeing. This not only benefits the seniors themselves, but it provides increased peace of mind for their family members. JCC ShalomPhone is currently accepting new clients. ShalomPhone works to eliminate some of the concerns facing those who may feel isolated in our community, and allows them to remain independent. Custom reassurance plans are created for each senior adult, and trained volunteers provide scheduled daily social and safety phone calls. The purpose of these calls is not only to check on the senior’s well-being, but to also provide regular contact that helps reduce loneliness. Another part of the program provides high-risk clients with a device that allows for emergency

2-way communication and phone calls. This new technological device is the world’s smallest 2way voice emergency pendant communicator. It has the ability to automatically call up to 4 custom contacts, such as a family member, neighbors, friends, or 911 in the event that the client has fallen and cannot reach the telephone to get help. JCC ShalomPhone is designed for seniors who spend several hours alone each day and/or seniors with chronic diseases such as diabetes, arthritis or osteoporosis who have an increased risk of falling. The program has already saved lives. “One of our clients was a very fragile diabetic. Her volunteer had some medical background and she knew what signs to look for regarding diabetes. The volunteer was able to call the emergency contact person to seek necessary help for her when needed. In another circumstance, the ShalomPhone volunteer was told by a client that his back and neck were in pain, and the volunteer called 911 on her cell phone. That call to 911 saved his life,” said

Tsippy Gottlieb, director of the JCC Senior Center. The Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio and many Cincinnati area synagogues, as well as out-of-town children of Cincinnati seniors, utilize JCC ShalomPhone as a resource to help area seniors stay socially connected and independent in their homes. This program has won the national Jewish Community Centers Association Award for Best Programs and Practices for Outreach. Many senior adults enjoy the opportunity to give back to their community by volunteering to make calls to fellow seniors. Volunteers are trained to communicate over the phone with someone who is hard of hearing, lonely or depressed, to meet the needs of homebound seniors, and what to do if there is no answer. These volunteers also provide a vital service to the community. They observe changes in the health of seniors and help protect those who are vulnerable to neglect or theft. JCC on page 19



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going home, you can have the opportunity to experience quality care at its best at Deupree Cottages – ranked high in resident satisfaction in the latest state survey. With input from our residents, we are continually improving our senior living services so that you might have worry-free living in a fun, enriching and healthy environment. More than that, you will find great friendship with neighbors and staff alike. Life at Deupree House: We provide the options, you make the choices. Family Bridges Home Care Family Bridges is a Cincinnati home care agency with additional offices in Dayton and Northern Kentucky. We offer in-home elder care which allows seniors to live the way they want to. In-home assistance provides elders with a sense of independence and comfort that can’t be found outside of their home. Our service allows clients to remain in a safe environment with one-on-one assistance from our experienced and compassionate caregivers. Family Bridges offers its services to individuals of all ages and was founded in 2003 by Mike Garfunkel, an active member of Adath Israel. Independent You

Life can be difficult for those struggling to fasten the buttons on a shirt or pull a top over their head. The owners of this unique shop in Wyoming saw this firsthand while working with nursing home residents as health care social workers. Those with limited dexterity or mobility depended on these social workers to shop for their clothes. The choices were scarce. Independent You offers both a store-front and online shopping, to aid customers in getting the right fit. The owners, Suzanne and Amy, have personally selected the clothing, accessories and unique stylish, dignified choices. And as an added personal touch, all the fabrics are wash and wear! Jewish Family Service One call is all you need to make to have peace of mind. Jewish Family Service Care managers with expertise in aging can manage your (or your aging parents’) Social Security, insurance, Medicare or Medicaid claims; simplify the confusing maze of mail and bill paying; and arrange for reliable home services so older adults can live comfortably and independently at home. Call Jewish Family Service today at (513) 469-1188 so you can relax tomorrow.


The Kenwood by Senior Star The Kenwood by Senior Star is Cincinnati’s premier retirement community. You’ll have it all at The Kenwood – condo-style apartment homes, world class amenities and on-site health care, should you need it. Plus, The Kenwood offers inclusive monthly leasing starting at just $2,990 and no entry fees. At The Kenwood, you’ll enjoy diverse programming ranging from wine tasting to exclusive live performances. In addition to independent living, The Kenwood boasts the best in assisted, memory and nursing care. Call for your personalized visit and to ask about the Dempsey floor plan upgrade incentive. The Mayerson JCC Senior Center Ready to get together with friends and get moving? The JCC’s senior adult program offers a variety of weekly activities for seniors 60 years and older. Seniors can participate in a range of programs including water classes, chair aerobics, hot lunches, entertainment, intergenerational programs and much more. No transportation? No problem! We’ll pick you up so you don’t miss a thing! The best anyone can do is strive for wellness, a positive approach to living that emphasizes the whole person. Lifestyle has been found to be the single most important factor determining your pattern of general health, so it is important to be educated and “take charge” of your daily life and set healthy lifestyle goals. That’s where the JCC comes in, offering classes, programs and activities to facilitate this healthy lifestyle. The Mayerson JCC Senior Center has earned the official status of National Accreditation by meeting the nine standards of excellence for senior center operations that were developed by the National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC), a unit of the National Council on Aging (NCOA). These standards serve as a guide for all senior centers to improve their operations today and position themselves for the future. Visiting Angels Visiting Angels non-medical home care services allow seniors to maintain the independence of their daily routines in their familiar surroundings and to avoid the emotional trauma of leaving their cherished home. We believe that you and your family should have a choice about where and how to live, as well as who will provide your care. Our caregivers possess the genuine desire and dedication to providing quality one-on-one care for those they serve. They are subjected to the most comprehensive screening process in the industry. Visiting Angels home care agencies, each independently owned and operated, have served tens of thousands of families from locations across the United States. In hundreds of newspaper articles,

magazines, on radio, and network television, Visiting Angels’ commitment to its clients has been recognized nationwide. VITAS Hospice Care VITAS employs 9,000 professionals who care for terminally ill patients daily – primarily in the patients’ homes, but also in the company’s inpatient hospice units as well as in hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living communities/residential care facilities. VITAS team members include registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, home health aides, physicians, social workers, chaplains and other caregiving professionals. VITAS means experienced care, with 46 hospice programs in 15 states and the District of Columbia. Weil Funeral Home For over four generations – a span of 100 years – Weil has served Cincinnati. Services include the use of their state-of-the-art chapel, which is wheelchair accessible and able to comfortably hold over 350 people. This allows them to handle large public funerals or small private ceremonies, whichever the family desires. Also provided are all of the necessary materials for Jewish practices, including all-wood, orthodox caskets, burial vaults, traditional burial garments, kria ribbons, shiva candles, acknowledgement cards, registry books, folding chairs, shiva stools, prayer books and other requested items. Weil is nothing if not accommodating. Services can be held at various locations, including synagogues and cemeteries.




Eddie Merlot’s—comfort, community and class By Michael Sawan Assistant Editor So often restaurants have to pick a position and go with it. “I am a dive bar,” says some place in North Side. “I am EXTREMELY classy,” says another in Mason. “I’m depressing,” says someplace with a drive through. For five years now, Eddie Merlot’s in Montgomery has managed to walk two fine lines. The executive manager of the restaurant, Tony Bassano, puts it this way: “What we strive to do is to build the repertoire; the special anniversaries, the birthdays, the special occasions. But also to make it your mom and pop place to walk in, to go to the bar, have a burger, just have a beautiful dinner.” It’s a formula that has its roots in the restaurant’s beginnings. “Our concept was started by a gentleman named Bill Humphries,” explained Bassano. “What he wanted to do was to have a steak house and offer an elegant atmosphere, but also the fine dining element of steak and fresh seafood. To have those amber colors, lots of windows, high ceilings, really large booths. Not the typical steak house; dark, you know, you can’t see.” This has allowed the restaurant to maintain a wide appeal. “We really attract a wide variety of personal opinions. Families, [all sorts] are accepted.” A big part of this come-as-youare atmosphere takes place in the lounge. “We do have two fireplaces in the restaurant,” explains Bassano. “We have these leather barrel chairs, it makes it a little more comfy, a little more like you’re at home.” Bassano makes this comfort one of his prime objectives: “As far as I’m concerned I think the important aspect is about taking care of the guest. I feel like you welcome the guest in the door, they’re a guest at your house, and that’s my motto, it’s always been, each guest each and every day. They’re guests in my house and that’s how I treat them. Hospitality has always been my number one goal.” For those looking to class it up, Eddie Merlot’s can easily accommodate. The restaurant is one of the few remaining in the city to offer old-world table service. “We actually prepare [certain dishes] at the table,” explains Bassano. “We carve at the table. We actually cook it in front of you.” And this is with the finest quality materials the restaurant can obtain. “We cut all of our meat here, everything is minimum 21 days wet aged. We cut and hand select it, and it is cut and butchered, in house, by our chef. We do have some dry aged selections as well.” For those looking for an even higher caliber of service, Eddie Merlot’s offers membership into its Platinum Club, which entitles

Courtesy of Michael Sawan

(Clockwise) Tony Bassano, the executive manager of Eddie Merlot’s in Montgomery, with Bryan Hopping, the restaurant’s executive chef; The wine wall, which extends across the back wall of the restaurant; The Lounge, complete with fireplace; The main dining room; The bar at Eddie Merlot’s.

you to rewards and special services. One can even reserve a private wine locker, so your choice wine is available as long as you remember to stock it. But whatever the case, the benefits of the restaurant are best summed up in both its huge breadth and high quality. Again, Bassano: “All of our stores offer 75 glasses, 75 wines by the glass, and over 250 wines on our reserve list. You don’t see that with a lot of restaurants. One wine wall encompasses both rooms, the bar/lounge and the main dining room.” Bassano himself takes pride in his ability to identify with his clientele. “I’m born and bread here, in Cincinnati,” said Bassano.

“I’ve been in family business for the last 20 years. I know the area, I grew up in Madeira, so I feel like I’m entrenched in the community.” This is evident from Eddie Merlot’s extensive charity and benefit work. “We do a lot of charity functions, fundraisers involved in the community,” explains Bassano. “We’re very involved with the Marvin Lewis Foundation, very involved with the March of Dimes. In addition to that we do two fundraisers where we actually close the restaurant. One of them is right around the corner, it’s called Stepping Stones. Feb. 5 is the event. It’s a United Way Adult Education Program. It’s a 275 per-

son event and we do a four course meal with hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction. In addition to that we do the Boys Hope Girls Hope dinner in the fall, in conjunction with the Kenwood Country Club. We serve about 250 guests then.” That’s the big side of Eddie Merlot’s. The restaurant also caters to private parties, anywhere from 15 to 75 people, and can even have several private parties all on the same night. This is in conjunction with the restaurant’s traditional, a la carte guests, who may find service at the restaurant seven nights a week. The brand has been lucky enough to expand to three new locations in 2013: Detroit,

Pittsburg and Denver. Eddie Merlot’s is even branching out into your kitchen, offering cookbooks, signature wines, sauces and spice blends for retail sale. In whatever state, it is a given that the restaurant will be true to itself and true to your appetite. Or, as Bassano puts it, “we just do a lot of things that you don’t see at other restaurants.” Their hours are Monday through Saturday, 4 - 10 p.m.; Sunday, 4 - 9 p.m. Eddie Merlot’s 10808 Montgomery Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45242 (513) 489-1212





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Prisoners of preconceptions By Rabbi Avi Shafran Contributing Columnist Even with protective cover from Senator Charles E. Schumer – as determined a defender of Israel as there ever was – and even speaking only for myself, I hesitate to address the overwrought reaction in some corners to President Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense. I don’t want to be labeled an anti-Semite too. Not that there wasn’t or isn’t cause for some concern about Mr. Hagel. He is famously on record as having once referred to AIPAC as the “Jewish lobby,” and in the past questioned the wisdom of too hastily employing military force against Iran. But such things – you might want to sit down – do not an anti-Semite or unconscionable isolationist make. At least not to reasonable eyes. Unfortunately, some tend to the visceral rather than the rational in such matters, prisoners of their own preconceptions. Despite the clear and ample evidence to the contrary, they just can’t stop pegging the president as less than committed to Israel’s wellbeing, and can be counted on to shoot at anything that moves if Mr. Obama set it into motion. So Mr. Hagel was immediately judged by some as bad for Israel, if for no other reason than that his nominator was the Dark Prince himself. Thus does circular reasoning attain its orbit. A mindset is a terribly hard thing to move. Mr. Hagel may turn out to be unsuited for the job of Defense Secretary. But that is a judgment to be made by Congress, based on the candidate’s testimony at his confirmation hearings – not by a trigger-happy pundit gallery. Do Mr. Hagel’s critics even know what a Secretary of Defense does? Hint: He does not make U.S. foreign policy. He oversees the operations of the military and, as part of the chain of military command, is answerable to the Commander in Chief. (Of course, that will hardly reassure those who choose to project their darkest fears onto Mr. Obama; cue the circular reasoning. And so, unfortunately, it goes.) Particularly irksome is that the media has adopted the moniker “pro-Israel” for what would more accurately be characterized as proLikud. Employing the phrase implies that, somehow, anyone who dares to wonder whether every building project in Israel is a geopolitically wise thing to do is somehow insufficiently concerned with the country’s future. But not

every legitimate right is rightly acted upon. I can understand (although I’m no less irked for the fact) how a believer in Israel as a re-established Davidic Monarchy might see Israel’s thumbing its nose at the (admittedly largely unsavory) family of nations as some sort of religious imperative. But that is not the approach of mainstream Orthodox Jewish theology – i.e. the teachings of the universally recognized Torah leaders of past generations and our own. No, those interpreters of Judaism insist that the Messianic Age is yet to come, and counsel Jews as individuals to embrace modesty, and as a people to demonstrate a degree of deference to the nations of the imperfect world in which we float. Just as Jews in the Middle Ages or pre-Holocaust Europe had to pay (often distasteful but nonetheless necessary) homage to the nobleman or Czar, so do contemporary Jews bear a responsibility to take the feelings – yes, even unjustified, even hypocritical, even evil-fueled feelings – of the rest of the world into account. Even in a world with a Jewish state in the ancestral Jewish land, we are still in exile. Maybe the Israeli right is right, and there’s a rational reason why contested population centers must be expanded, no matter what the United States or European countries say. Maybe there’s some larger-picture strategic need to do such things even if they alienate important global players, even Israel’s closest friends. But one thing is clear – or should be: Doubting those maybes, as all recent American administrations have done, is no sign of unconcern with Israel, and certainly not of anti-Semitism. Senator Schumer spent some time with Mr. Hagel the other day, and emerged from their long conversation satisfied that the nominee’s views, both concerning Iran and Israel, are in consonance with his own. Mr. Hagel apologized for calling AIPAC a “Jewish lobby.” To be sure, even if the nominee is approved, none of us can know the future. “In no man do I place my trust,” goes the prayer taken from the Zohar, advice for the ages. We cannot assume that even leaders who have demonstrated good will toward the Jewish people (or, today, the Jewish state) will always remain the same. But neither do we have the right to indulge in unwarranted panic attacks. No question about it, it’s a dangerous world for Jews and for Israel. But that’s all the more reason for eschewing alarmism. We have all too many all too real enemies out there. What we really don’t need is to imagine, or create, new ones.

Why America has no chief rabbi By By Jonathan D. Sarna Jewish Ideas Daily The public face of world Jewry will change this summer. Come September, both England and Israel will install new chief rabbis. Jonathan Sacks, the brilliant and widely published chief rabbi of the United Kingdom, is retiring to be succeeded by the affable Ephraim Mirvis, currently rabbi of the Finchley Synagogue in North London. Yona Metzger, the chief rabbi of the Ashkenazi community of Israel, is completing his 10year fixed term, to be succeeded by whomever a special 150-member electoral assembly selects — for the moment, a subject of intense speculation and backroom maneuvering. The position of chief rabbi dates far back in Jewish history. In the Middle Ages, when Jews were treated as a corporate body, the chief rabbi served not only as the judge, scholar and supreme religious authority for his community but frequently bore responsibility for collecting its taxes as well. Many a chief rabbi, as a result, was appointed or confirmed directly by the king. Chief rabbis today confine their authority to the religious realm, but their role is never purely ceremonial. Inevitably, they must also devote themselves to promoting their own brand of Judaism (usually some variety of Orthodoxy) over all the others. Israel’s Chief Rabbinate in recent years has sought to undermine more liberal approaches to conversion and taken a hard-line stance on women’s issues and on the thorny problem of who is a Jew. Rabbi Sacks alienated liberal Jews early in his tenure and promoted a centrist form of Orthodoxy that was disdained openly by those to his religious right.

America is unusual in never having had an official chief rabbi. In 1888, a short-lived Association of American Orthodox Hebrew Congregations imported Rabbi Jacob Joseph of Vilna to serve as chief rabbi of New York, but that effort ended disastrously. Consumers soon balked at the extra charges imposed in return for the rabbi’s supervision of kosher food. Competing rabbis, some of whom also styled themselves “chief rabbi,” offered their supervisory services at lower rates. Without its projected income stream, the association of Orthodox congregations that had brought Rabbi Joseph to America defaulted on its obligations to him and went out of business. The unfortunate rabbi spent his last years as an impoverished invalid. No successor was ever appointed. A few Orthodox rabbis in other American cities carried the title “chief rabbi” for a time based on their learning and status. One or two even pretended to the title “chief rabbi of the United States.” But none ever achieved recognition outside their own Orthodox circle. As a matter of law, the First Amendment precludes the government from recognizing one religious authority as “chief” over another. Just as America introduced free-market capitalism into the economy, so it created a free market in religion. Contrary to expectations, this has had the paradoxical effect of strengthening religion in the United States. As Thomas Jefferson observed as early as 1820, religion thrived under the maxim “divided we stand, united we fall.” In this environment, the creation in America of a government-protected form of Judaism under the authority of a chief rabbi was clearly impossible. Instead, American Jews accommodated themselves to the nation’s competitive religious

marketplace, which by and large has served them well. Rabbis, like their Christian religious counterparts, win or lose status through their individual activities and accomplishments, exemplified by Newsweek’s annual listing of the 50 most influential rabbis of the year. American Jews have nevertheless been reluctant to recommend their free-market approach to religion to Jewish communities abroad. A recent conference hosted by the prestigious American Jewish Committee, for example, heard a litany of complaints concerning the Israeli Chief Rabbinate and its maltreatment of non-Orthodox Jews, Russian Jews, women and converts. But in the end, AJC called for “significant modifications” to the Chief Rabbinate rather than the embrace of the religious free market. A paper by former Undersecretary of Defense Dov Zakheim, delivered at the conference, argued that “what is needed ... is not the abolition of the Chief Rabbinate, but rather its transformation into a much more circumscribed, yet relevant and all-inclusive authority.” Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, America’s foremost 20th-century Modern Orthodox thinker, was wiser. Soloveitchik, who exercised vast influence on American Jewish life without ever having been selected chief rabbi, turned down the invitation to serve as Israel’s chief rabbi because, he explained in 1964, he “was afraid to be an officer of the State.” As England and Israel prepare to install new chief rabbis, Rabbi Soloveitchik’s decision deserves to be remembered. “A rabbinate linked up with the state,” he warned, “cannot be completely free.” This article was first published by Jewish Ideas Daily and is reprinted with permission.

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standing of His words. The use of the word “Anochi” – “I am like the Lord your God” – denotes that our understanding of the Revelation is not complete; it is rather an estimate and mere comparison to the total light that is gradually and continuously revealed to us. The Izhbitzer goes on to write that the very next verse prohibiting idolatrous graven images comes to denigrate – nay, forbid – any manifestation of the Divine that is shaped according to specific and precise dimensions, perfect and complete. No Divine expression can come to a human being in a fixed, unchanging and whole-initself fashion. Any such expression must be taken as idolatrous. Hence whatever one says about the Revelation must include the fact that it was open-ended, unclear and unspecific; beyond the clear, moral, ethical and theological directions of the Ten Commandments (and even these are open to interpretation throughout the generations). Hence the Divine Presence always appears in a nebulous cloud and when Moses descended from his encounter with the Divine on Mount Sinai, his face was covered with a mask since the rays of God’s splendor made it impossible to look directly at Him. Apart from that which was revealed, much more had to remain hidden. This is the true meaning of the Name of the God of Exodus, the Name that is not read the way it is written, the Name that itself is never completely revealed (Exodus 6:2, 3). This is built into the strange and open-ended, imprecise Name which God tells Moses to reveal to the Jewish nation: “I shall be what I shall be” (Exodus 3:14). This is the Platonic God of becoming, the shadows of the cave striving to come closer and closer to the ideal forms of true reality which always remains beyond human grasp—the elusive and evolving God of redemption— rather than the fixed Aristotelian Unmoved Mover of Creation. This is the nature of an openended Revelation that must leave room for history, for human empowerment and input, for an ongoing dialogue between the “image of God” in every human being and the divine words that descended from the eternal, ethereal heavenly spheres. This is the



Torah whose letter outlines were given at Sinai, but whose proper reading and interpretation continues to develop in every generation. “Blessed art Thou, O, Lord our God, who [continuously] gives us Torah.” This is the meaning behind the Talmudic story (Menahot 29b) of Moses who, having ascended to the supernal realms to receive the Torah, finds the Almighty placing crowns atop the sacred letters. God explains to him that in future generations a man named Akiva ben Yosef will arise who will derive mounds of new laws from each of those crowns. But when God shows him the future and he sees Rabbi Akiva lecturing in his academy, Moses doesn’t understand the lessons and the great prophet of the Revelation becomes weak from frustration and despair. Then, when one of the disciples asks Rabbi Akiva for the source of his conclusions, and Rabbi Akiva responds, “The halacha given to Moses at Sinai,” Moses feels comforted and fulfilled. 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: YISRO (SHMOT 18:1-20:23) 1. What did Moshe do all day? a.) Teach Torah b.) Judge cases between people c.) Collect and distribute money to poor people 2. Who disapproved of his schedule? a.) Yisro b.) The leaders of the tribes c.) the Children of Israel

3. Who agreed with the questioner in question two? a.) Hashem 3. C 18:24 4. C 19:6 Kohen means a minister of Hashem. Rashi 5. C 18:5 The Torash praises Yisro for going to a desert wasteland to learn Torah Rashi

EFRAT, Israel – “The Lord said to Moses, behold I come to you in the thickness of the cloud” (Exodus 19:9). The most momentous of all biblical experiences – dwarfing the Ten Plagues, the splitting of the Re(e)d Sea and perhaps even the creation of the world itself – was the Revelation at Sinai. This was the time when God came to Moses “in the thickness of the cloud” and revealed to him the Ten Commandments and much more: According to Rabbeinu Saadya Gaon, the Revelation included the 613 commandments; according to the Maharitz Hayot, the 13 hermeneutic principles of biblical interpretation, and according to the first Mishna in Avot, the corpus of the Oral Law. What actually occurred? Did God speak in words that were heard by the Jews at the foot of the mountain? Does God have a voice, in the physical sense of a larynx, which admits of speech emanating from the Divine? Or was it the “active intellect” of Moses that “divined” or “kissed” the active intellect of God, enabling Moses to understand and communicate the Divine will to the entire assemblage, as suggested by Maimonides in his Guide for the Perplexed? The only thing we can say with certainty is that the Sinai encounter miraculously transformed a bedraggled and beaten group of Hebrew slaves into a Godenthused and Torah-intoxicated nation. This nation dedicated itself to a concise and exalted moral code that has not been rivaled by any other nation, philosopher, ethicist or theologian in the past 4,000 years. But can we attempt, nevertheless, to describe this numinous, fateful and glorious experience with any precision? At the risk of complicating our understanding even further, permit me to cite a commentary on our portion of Yitro written by Rabbi Mordechai Yosef Lerner (18001854), the Izhbitzer Rebbe, in his masterful work Mei Hashiloah. The Izhbitzer explains that while the first of the Ten Commandments begins “I am the Lord your God,” the word used for “I” is not the normal “Ani.” The Hebrew word “Anochi,” which is used instead, could also be read as “I am like the Lord your God.” Had it simply stated “I am the Lord your God,” the implication might be that God revealed the totality of His essence at Mount Sinai, precluding the possibility of any further under-


No Divine expression can come to a human being in a fixed, unchanging and whole-in-itself ashion. Any such expression must be taken as idolatrous.

b.) the Children of Israel c.) Moshe 4. What would the Children of Israel become by accepting the Torah? a.) Rich b.) Smart and wise c.) Kingdom of ministers (important people) 5. Where did Yisro meet Moshe? a.) Marah b.) Rephidim c.) Mount Sinai d.) Kadesh

2. A 18:14,17,18 Yisro felt it was not proper respect to the people that Moshe should sit all day and everybody stand around him. Rashi Moshe answered that there was nobody at that time to ask Hashem for an answer. Rashi and Rashbam

by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin


Written by Rabbi Dov Aaron Wise

ANSWERS 1. B 18:13 A judge who judges a case correctly is considered as if he learned Torah all day and a partner with Hashem in creation because the world stands on judgment. Rashi

Sedra of the Week




By Nate Bloom Contributing Columnist MINI-SERIES: NEW AND OLD Starting on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 9PM, is the four-part BBC America series, “Spies of Warsaw.” It is from the novel of the same name by acclaimed historical spy fiction writer ALAN FURST, 71. The series follows Col. Jean-Francois Mercier (David Tennant), a WWI hero, who, in the years leading up to WWII, is drawn into a world of abduction, betrayal, and intrigue in the diplomatic salons and back alleys of Warsaw. Of course, he has a torrid and sometimes dangerous romance along the way. Mercier’s bohemian sister has a Jewish jazz pianist boyfriend and Mercier takes under his protection two Soviet Jews who have defected from working for the Soviets (one is played by English actor ALLAN CORDUNER, 62) The PBS series, “Pioneers of Television,” concludes its third season on Tuesday, Feb. 5 (8PM) with an episode about groundbreaking TV mini-series. Interviewees include ED ASNER, 83, who played a morally conflicted slave ship captain in the 1977 blockbuster, “Roots,” and PETER STRAUSS, 65. Strauss co-starred in the enormously popular “Rich Man, Poor Man” series (and its sequel), which aired in 1975, 1976 and 1977. He also co-starred as the Jewish commander of the Masada fortress, who battled the Romans, in the 1981 mini-series, “Masada.” SOMETIMES FUNNY GANGSTERS Opening on Friday, Feb. 1, is “Stand-Up Guys,” a comedy/drama film directed by FISHER STEVENS, 49. Al Pacino plays Val, a “stand-up guy” who spent 28 years in prison without “ratting out” his crime partners, including his crime boss (played by MARK MARGOLIS, 73). The boss isn’t grateful, and plans to have Val killed shortly after his release, because Val accidentally shot and killed the boss’s son during the same caper that landed Val in jail. Val is met at the prison gate by his buddy, Doc (Christopher Walken) and they begin carousing. Too much viagra lands Val in the hospital. His nurse (JULIANNE MARGULIES, 46) turns out to be the daughter of Doc and Val’s old getaway driver, Hirsch (ALAN ARKIN, 78). The daughter tells them that Hirsch is in a nursing home. They quickly get him out of his pajamas, out of the nursing home, and behind a car



wheel, again. However, things get sticky when Val begins to sense that Doc has taken the boss’s contract to kill him. NOW HE CAN SPEAK FREELY Frank Langella, 75, is a highly respected actor best known for his stage work. I recently came across his 2012 memoir, “Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women As I Knew Them.” About 60 quite famous people are the subject of short profiles. All are deceased, so Langella can be completely candid and I found many of his entries really fresh and interesting. Famous Jewish subjects include TONY CURTIS, LEE STRASBERG, DINAH SHORE, ELIZABETH TAYLOR, ARTHUR MILLER and PAUL NEWMAN. About Newman, Langella writes: “He was a deeply feeling, decent man...[but he was] a pretty dull companion. Never rude or unkind, just dull... But he was so beautiful, people thought it must be their fault if he went silent or just emptily gazed at them.” CHUCK LORRE SPEAKS CHUCK LORRE, 60, the creator of “Big Bang Theory” and many other big TV hits, is famous for his personal essay, “vanity cards,” which flash on the screen for an instant at the end of each episode of his shows. For many years, you could read the cards online and now, with a DVR, you can easily hit “pause” and read them. A card (labeled #396) that ran last week after a Big Bang episode seems very timely and “very Jewish.” Here’s part of the text: “It appears as if roughly half the people in this country think that they’re in mortal danger from their own government. That’s a lot of people sensing a lot of malice and threat. I worry that I don’t see it. Sure, I see inefficiency and incompetence, but I’ve always seen that – regardless of which party’s in office. And frankly, I’ve always welcomed it...A cursory glance through history would indicate that well-organized governments tend to enjoy well-organized parades, followed by wellorganized ethnic cleansing. Which is why I celebrate the magnificent, muddle-headed ineptitude of our democracy. As far as I’m concerned, a little confusion and waste may keep the trains from running on time, but it also keeps people like me from getting a oneway ticket in a cattle car. [Yes, there’s a lot of waste] But keep in mind that bureaucrats who can’t find their tush with a flashlight are not likely to find you either.”

FROM THE PAGES 150 Y EARS A GO Concert of the Cincinnati Amateur Orchestra – This is the first Orchestra, consisting only of Jews, in the old and new world. Its members are noy professinal artists; but young men, engaged during the day in commercial pursuits. In the evenings, instead of following the dissipating pleasures of youth, they meet for the purpose of cultivating their artistical taste, studying the master-pieces of master spirits, and thereby improving and elevating their hearts and souls. Such a re-union must be greeted by every philanthropist with the most cordial approval, and is deserving of the most unbiased encouragement. With these sentiments we went to the Concert, given by the PhoenixBand, in the Melodeon-Hall, on Wednesday, the 4th. We were resolved, to encore every performer, though we did not expect anything, worthy of the applause of an artist. The society was established but a few months ago; several of the members were novices on the instruments, they had to play on, and though we knew, that an unequalled enthusiasm had presided over all the reheasals, what could be expected from dilettanti, who but a very short time were practising the most diffficult ouvertures and Patpourrisi. But we were more than agreeably disappointed, when the Orchestra had finished the “Ouverture of Fra Diavolo.” The Ensemble was excellent, and the whole large assembly was astonished at this unexpected success. – February 13, 1863

125 Y EARS A GO At a special meeing of the Executive Board of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, held at the Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, on January 24, 1888, the following was presented and unanimously adopted: The Almighty has called to eternal rest an estimable kind friend and fellow-member, Max Hoffheimer. We deplore his demise with true sorrow. His labors in the field of true religion and humanity have been untiring and devoid of ostentation. He was always willing and ready to further any good cause which presented itself; hence be it Resolved, That his good advice and judgement will be greatly missed from our councils, and that we extend our heartfelt sympathy to his bereaved family. May his good deeds and noble life serve as a source of consolation to them. Resolved, That these resolutions shall be placed upon the minutes, and a copy thereof be transmitted to his grief-stricken family. M. Loth, Pres’t. Attest: Lipman Levy, Sec’y. – February 3, 1888


The management of the exposition “The Jews of Many Lands” wishes to express heartiest appreciation for the co-operation shown by the different organizations and individuals of the city who have made possible the success of this undertaking. It is hoped that this new educational feature will be introduced in the Jewish Settlement work of other cities and the effort of the Jewish Settlement of Cincinnati to revive interest in the Jews of many lands will be fruitful of permanent results. Special thanks are due “The American Israelite,” and the daily papers for the publicity given the exposition and to the Misses Jennie and Edna Mannheimer for gratuitus services, as well as to the host of volunteers and professionals who have joined heart and soul in the undertaking. – January 30, 1913

75 Y EARS A GO B’nai B’rith Junior Auxiliary committees, appointed by Mollie Kaufman, president include: Publicity, Helen Levenson; ways and means, Emily Radkin, Florence Tepper, Helen Levenson, Francis Scheer, Anita Gotlieb, Flo Hendler; program, Eva Cohen, Sarah Weiner, Lee Appel, Patty Rubin, Helen Aronoff; sick and cheer, Bessie Schindler; happy day fund, Bessie Zarisky. The public is invited to make reservations through the Adult Education Council, Cherry 0762, for the luncheon and address – or the address alone – by Dr. T. V. Smith on “A Defense of Our Friend–the Politician,” Saturday, Feb. 5th, at 12:30 noon, at the Netherland Plaza. Dr. Victor E. Reichert is co-chairman for the meeting. Dr. Smith is a professor of philosophy and member of the Illinois Senate. Miss Rose E. Boster is serving cocktails at 5 p.m. at her home at 860 Hutchins Avenue in honor of her guests, Mrs. M. Perlowin, of New York, and Miss Mary Russak, of Oklaoma, bride-elect of Mr. Alvin Butches. Mrs. Arthur E. Rozin and Mrs. Murray Perlowin will be co-hostesses. – February 3, 1938

50 Y EARS A GO The City of Hope National Medical Center will bestow the 1963 Humanitarian Award upon David Frisch at the local Chapter’s annual dinner dance and testimonial on May 25 at the Netherland Hilton Hall of Mirrors. Philip M. Meyers, Sr., won the first annual award by the National Footbal Hall of Fame for that former athlete who has contributed most to his community. Announcement of the award was made Thursday evening, Jan. 24, at the sports dinner in Cincinnati. “Man of the Year” Award was

presented to I. C. Elman by Maurice A. Chase at Histadrut night Jan 20. Mr. Elman, a co-founder of the Cincinnati Histadrut Committee 15 years ago, was cited for service to Histadrut and other commuity organizaitons. He has been active on boards of Community Hebrew Schools, Yavneh, Jewish National Fund and Adath Israel. Former Gov. George M. Leader said Histadrut’s assistance to new Afro-Asian states was a forerunner of the U.S. Peace Corps. – January 31, 1963

25 Y EARS A GO Eleanor S. Lazarus is serving as chairman of the Community Services Department of the American Jewish Committee, said Theodore Ellenoff, national AJC president. The department oversees the field offices of the agency in 30 communities across the country. A member of the board of governors and the board of trustees of AJC, Lazarus is a past chairman of the Cincinnati chapter. Stanley M. Chesley, well-known Cincinnati attorney and Jewish community leader, was elected to a oneyear term as chairman of the board of trustees of the University of Cincinnati Jan. 26. Chesley was named to a nine-year term on the board in 1985 by Gov. Richard Celeste. – February 4, 1988

10 Y EARS A GO “I did not plan to have a career; it just evolved,” wrote Phyllis Shapiro Sewell in a recent Wellesley College Class of 1952 publication. Regardless of her intentions, Sewell succeeded in carving out a place for herself in the male-dominated world of business. As the retired senior vice president of Federated Department Stores, Inc., Sewell broke the proverbial glass ceiling while remaining a committed wife and mother – a rare accomplishment for a woman in the 1960s. Despite her success in balancing work and family, Sewell does not believe much progress has been made for women in the workplace over the years. “Women have an obligation to the home that men don’t feel, and therefore they have to do that in addition to their job.” In addition to her career with Federated Department Stores, Sewell has served as a member of multiple boards of directors, including Lee Enterprises, Inc., Pitney Bowes, Inc. and the Sysco Corp. She has also contributed her time to a number of community service organizations, such as Jewish Vocational Service, the Cincinnati Chapter of the CysticFibrosis Foundation and Cincinnati United Way and Community Chest. – February 6, 2003



COMMUNITY DIRECTORY COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS Access (513) 373-0300 • Big Brothers/Big Sisters Assoc. (513) 761-3200 • Camp Ashreinu (513) 702-1513 Camp at the J (513) 722-7258 • Camp Chabad (513) 731-5111 • Camp Livingston (513) 793-5554 • Cedar Village (513) 754-3100 • Chevra Kadisha (513) 396-6426 Cincinnati Community Kollel (513) 631-1118 • Cincinnati Community Mikveh (513) 351-0609 • Eruv Hotline (513) 351-3788 Fusion Family (513) 703-3343 • Halom House (513) 791-2912 • Hillel Jewish Student Center (Miami) (513) 523-5190 • Hillel Jewish Student Center (UC) (513) 221-6728 • Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Cincinnati 513-961-0178 • Jewish Community Center (513) 761-7500 • Jewish Community Relations Council (513) 985-1501 Jewish Family Service (513) 469-1188 • Jewish Federation of Cincinnati (513) 985-1500 • Jewish Foundation (513) 214-1200 Jewish Information Network (513) 985-1514 JVS Career Services (513) 985-0515 • Kesher (513) 766-3348 Plum Street Temple Historic Preservation Fund (513) 793-2556 Shalom Family (513) 703-3343 • The Center for Holocaust & Humanity Education (513) 487-3055 • Vaad Hoier (513) 731-4671 Workum Fund (513) 899-1836 • YPs at the JCC (513) 761-7500 •

CONGREGATIONS Adath Israel Congregation (513) 793-1800 • Beit Chaverim (513) 984-3393 • Beth Israel Congregation (513) 868-2049 • Congregation Beth Adam (513) 985-0400 • Congregation B’nai Tzedek (513) 984-3393 • Congregation Ohav Shalom (513) 489-3399 •

Congregation Ohr Chadash (513) 252-7267 • Congregation Sha’arei Torah Congregation Zichron Eliezer 513-631-4900 • Golf Manor Synagogue (513) 531-6654 • Isaac M. Wise Temple (513) 793-2556 • Kehilas B’nai Israel (513) 761-0769 Northern Hills Synagogue (513) 931-6038 • Rockdale Temple (513) 891-9900 • Temple Beth Shalom (513) 422-8313 • Temple Sholom (513) 791-1330 • The Valley Temple (513) 761-3555 •

EDUCATION Chai Tots Early Childhood Center (513) 234.0600 • Chabad Blue Ash (513) 793-5200 • Cincinnati Hebrew Day School (513) 351-7777 • HUC-JIR (513) 221-1875 • JCC Early Childhood School (513) 793-2122 • Kehilla - School for Creative Jewish Education (513) 489-3399 • Mercaz High School (513) 792-5082 x104 • Kulanu (Reform Jewish High School) 513-262-8849 • Regional Institute Torah & Secular Studies (513) 631-0083 Rockwern Academy (513) 984-3770 • Sarah’s Place (513) 531-3151 •

ORGANIZATIONS American Jewish Committee (513) 621-4020 • American Friends of Magen David Adom (513) 521-1197 • B’nai B’rith (513) 984-1999 BBYO (513) 722-7244 Hadassah (513) 821-6157 • Jewish Discovery Center (513) 234.0777 • Jewish National Fund (513) 794-1300 • Jewish War Veterans (513) 204-5594 • NA’AMAT (513) 984-3805 • National Council of Jewish Women (513) 891-9583 • State of Israel Bonds (513) 793-4440 • Women’s American ORT (513) 985-1512 •

DO YOU WANT TO PLACE A CLASSIFIED? Send an e-mail including what you would like in your classified & your contact information to

business@ or call Erin at 621-3145 WISE from page 4 The weekday series, Tuesday with Torah, continues in February with two multi-session courses taught by Rabbi Maura Linzer. Each Tuesday from noon until 1 p.m. the community is invited to bring lunch and to learn together. On Feb. 12 and 19, Rabbi Linzer will study ethical wills from the SKIRBALL from page 5 Linda Leopold Strauss began her writing career more than 30 years ago. She has previously published eight books for children and stories in numerous children’s magazines. Her work includes ficHOLOCAUST from page 6 its initiation, some 25,000 names are inscribed in its stones, each representing a commitment to help others in need despite of the risk to themselves. “We have an obligation to pass on to future generations the legacy of the Righteous Among the Nations and the lesson of the spark of goodness the individual can arouse within himself,” he said. Only weeks before International Holocaust Remembrance Day, JNS reported from Warsaw, Poland, on the occasion of its 70th anniversary of “Zegota,” the official unit of the Polish Underground Army tasked with helping Jews in German-occupied Poland from 1942-1945. As one walks along the streets on which Jews were murdered in Warsaw, the horror and the heroes of World War II Poland are palpaJCC from page 11 Volunteers and JCC staff view the well-being of ShalomPhone participants as their number one priority. Referrals to community services are made when health or safety concerns are identified. For example, referrals to social service agencies like Jewish Family Service (JFS) can put ShalomPhone clients in touch with JFS case managers who can help them with financial or business affairs, as well as personal affairs. Persons interested in serving as volunteers with ShalomPhone, or those wishing to sign up new clients, are encouraged to contact the JCC Senior Center, which also


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Up to 24 hour care Meal Preparation Errands/Shopping Hygiene Assistance Light Housekeeping

(513) 531-9600 Bible through the present day. This class will include drafting your own ethical will. On Feb. 26 and March 5, Rabbi Linzer will explore Jewish law as it relates to making of end-of-life decisions for us and our loved ones. She will challenge the class to think about these difficult decisions by applying traditional Jewish texts to modern scenarios. tion and non-fiction for a wide variety of ages and has been translated into French, Italian, Swedish and German. She regularly visits schools and libraries to engage with young readers and has taught writing to students from kindergarten-age to adults. ble. In this centuries-old center of Polish and Polish-Jewish culture, neighborhoods became ghettos and friends became enemies. Images of the barbed wire and stone that enclosed the bodies of hundreds of thousands were almost tangible on a cold December day. Though 70 years have passed since the last courageous hostages of hate were killed in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, the moment is only a blink of an eye away. Only ruble remains as witness. When JNS visited Auschwitz last month, Holocaust survivors gathered in the cold Polish winter. Each year, their numbers grow smaller. They remember the Nazi order: to the left, the right. Now, “never again” is heard from within the brick and iron gates of Auschwitz-Birkenau, factories whose main product was death. They are gravesites for more than 1.1 million – most of them Jews. offers a vast array of other programs and events for senior adults. Most are open to the public when participants register in advance. ANSWERS to last week’s puzzle (1/24/13).



Holocaust concert gives voice to the silent By Michael Sawan Assistant Editor The Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion hosted a well attended concert Sunday, Jan. 27. Part of the Concerts on Clifton series, the afternoon was also in commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. As such, the music of two Holocaust victims, Viktor Ullmann and Erwin Schulhoff, was featured. The concert was headlined by Dimitri Schostakovich’s Piano Quintet in G Minor, op. 57, which is at first a puzzling choice: Schostakovich had no direct contact with the Holocaust and was not Jewish. However, the composer was known to have both sympathy and interest in the Jews and their culture and, though it was no Holocaust, Soviet Russia was not kind to the composer. We can understand the concert, then, as an offering of music written by those who have suffered from oppression, in its many forms, regardless of nationality or religion. The first piece of the afternoon was Ullmann’s String Quartet No. 3, op. 46, performed by Rebecca McMullan Culnan and Chika Kinderman, violin, Yaël Senamaud, viola, and Daniel Culnan, cello. It was well placed in the program, a TRIP from page 3 “I think what made this trip so valuable was that it wasn’t something that the Jewish institutions created and tried to attract young leaders to participate in,” Cohen asserts. “Rather, the young leaders had the idea, and we did our best to listen to what they wanted and to make it happen.” Cohen came up with a demanding itinerary that took them up and down Israel, as well as into Jordan. From paying a visit to the grave of David Ben-Gurion to stopping by Hebrew Union College’s campus in Jerusalem to biking around the Ramon Crater to celebrating New Year’s Eve in Tel Aviv, a lot was packed into two weeks. “We went in thinking that people would want something different than what they’d already seen. We tried to focus on cultural experiences and look at some of the other religions in Israel other than Judaism,” explains Kyle Goldhoff, who co-chaired the trip with Kamesar. “We made it into a very Cincinnati-based trip; we added a visit to HUC and went to Netanya FUTURE from page 8 “When I first learned about the party, I heard that Yair must be antithis and anti-that, particularly with regards to religion,” Lipman told JNS. “But here is a secular individual who is willing to work together with religious communities to set aside sectarian concerns.”

listenable, sweet piece that retained a sense of freshness despite being 70 years old. The piece was one of the first that Ullmann wrote upon his internment at Theresienstadt concentration camp, the one that was initially designed for propaganda purposes: The prisoners would be allowed to pursue cultural activities so that the Nazis might fool the allies into thinking things were not so bad. All of this is in the music if one listens for it, yet the piece also main-

tains an identity separate from the Holocaust. One can hear fear, agony and foreboding, yet the piece is also reflective, even dreamy. There are moments of energy, of intense focus and attack that propel the music well, all with a terror that must have accompanied the composer as his world was torn down around him. The performers treated the music with great care, supplying a sweetness of tone and range of emotions that infused the music with interest

and power. The ensemble’s attention to one another was also admirable, with the performers evenly fusing in an ever changing web of focus. The piece is one that trades off the solo voice regularly, a trait that was brought out by the quartet with that “so easy I could do that” effect that is so challenging to create. The second piece of the afternoon was 5 Etudes de jazz for piano solo, by Erwin Schulhoff. These were performed by James Tocco, a locally based pianist who has crafted a worldwide career for himself. Tocco gave a brief speech before his performance, explaining how he came across the pieces and has admired them for their individuality and their ability to absorb early jazz in an original way. There are five etudes in Schulhoff’s piece: Charleston, Blues, Chanson, Tango, and Tocatta on the Shimmy/Kitten on the Keys. Unique was definitely the word of the set. Within each piece one could pick out the germ of inspiration: the Charleston had a frantic, exasperated quality that Tocco nailed in his performance. Blues was never truly “blue,” instead hovering somewhere around the purple-deep red region. There was a sort of serenity in place of sorrow, though one would never call it an up-beat piece.

[Cincinnati’s partnership city].” Cohen also went along as one of the chaperones, playing a key role in creating an environment for dialogue. “Yair did a phenomenal job engaging all the participants along the journey and provided important and powerful insights about leadership, the politics of Israel and more,” comments chaperone Sarah Weiss, executive director of the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education. “His perspectives encouraged the participants to think, engage and stay curious about Israel, the Jewish community and their own Jewish identities.” “He did a very good job making sure that different opinions were heard,” adds Luci Simon, a University of Cincinnati student. “He just added this incredible insight and wisdom to each discussion. His ability to relate to us as Cincinnatians looking into Israel also added a lot.” “One of the themes we discussed throughout the trip was how fortunate we all are to be from Cincinnati and to be a part of such a supportive Jewish community,” says Sarah Perlman, a senior at

Vanderbilt. “Many Israelis we met on the trip thought we were part of a Birthright trip. When we explained to them that we were on a trip that our own city’s community had funded to strengthen our connection to Israel, their reactions made us realize just how unique the opportunity given to us was.” “The community that we grew up in is about as strong as it gets in the entire country. For that to continue, the people who grew up here need to feel connected but also that they have an opportunity to take ownership of it,” Kamesar says. “What this trip did for us was show us that we have an opportunity, sooner rather than later, to play a big part in continuing to grow that community we grew up in. It really just got that back on our mind and reestablished the lifetime connection we have to all of this.” Goldhoff adds, “It made me remember how lucky we are to have this opportunity, because no other community has what we have. It made me see Cincinnati in a different light and made me remember what I’ve been given

here. It definitely renewed my faith in a place that I got really far away from when I left for college.” Another theme that came up was leadership. “Participants had the opportunity to learn about and reflect on both the history of Jewish leadership as well as their own commitment to leadership,” Weiss comments. Jillian Goldberg, a senior at Tulane, echoes that sentiment. “As a result of what everyone shared, we have a newfound sense of self and our relationship to each other, Israel, our Judaism and our Jewish community. Although I cannot speak for everyone, I believe we all left the conversation with a new outlook on the Jewish community and our future as Jewish leaders.” More than just discussing leadership, the group was afforded a chance to interact with some of the current Cincinnati Jewish leaders, who happened to be in Israel at the same time. “We were invited to a dinner with several families from Cincinnati while in Israel,” Kamesar says, “and the coolest part about that was that it was like a real-life example of some of the

things we had been talking about on the trip. These are people who deeply influenced how we grew up in the community with all of their own individual contributions. So we talked about how to give back to the community that shaped us. Being able to have that conversation with those people right in front of us just reaffirmed how strong our community is, as a result of the people who make it that way.” All told, there has been no shortage of positive feedback about this breakthrough trip. The participants have not only been thankful, but also genuinely expressed hope that others get to share their same experience in the future. “While this was my seventh trip to Israel and fourth as part of an organized tour, I have to say that this was the most powerful,” says chaperone Sarah Weiss. “Everyone involved had a powerful experience, and I look forward to following up with the amazing young leaders who took part in this trip,” Jeff Blumental, the Federation’s new Young Adult Division (YAD) Director, adds.

Atop the Yesh Atid platform are socioeconomic issues, which include reducing the soaring prices of housing—particularly for young families, first time homeowners and IDF veterans— breaking entrenched monopolies that dominate Israel’s economy, and creating an equal burden of military service for all Israeli citi-

zens including Israeli Arabs and Ultra-Orthodox groups. “It is clear that the old politics, based on sectarian self-interests are failing the country,” Lipman said. “We believe our party can be a unifier. The unity we will generate will bring Israel to a whole new place.” Many credit Yesh Atid’s social

agenda and middle-of-the-road image with attracting new voters, even as security threats and diplomatic challenges sit atop PM Netanyahu’s priorities. The challenge now will be for the party to meet the nation’s newly granted expectations, by effectively working to effect change from within the nation’s

primary legislative body—the Knesset—where not a single party member has any experience. “We are capitalists with a proud connection to the land,” Lipman said. “We believe we can forge a very good partnership with the Prime Minister, who generally seems to be on the right track.”

The audience gathers in Scheuer Chapel before the concert.

The sections unfolded like this to a warmly receptive audience, with occasional exclamations of “wow” popping out at the most dramatic points. This music, like Ullmann’s, has managed to remain surprising and fresh through the years. The final piece of the afternoon, Schostakovich’s Piano Quintet in G Minor, op. 57, combined Tocco with the string quartet of McMullan Culnan, Kinderman, Senamaud and Culnan. Since Schostakovich was restricted by the Soviet government under Stalin, his music sounded tame compared to the avant guard experiments of Ullmann and Schulhoff. This wasn’t a bad thing, just a change of pace. What was more troubling was the balance between Tocco and the string quartet. The former dynamic display that the quartet maintained with Ullmann’s piece was dwarfed by the power that Tocco brought to bear, obscuring who had what role in certain passages. The added volume of the piano also caused the string players to push their instruments harder, sometimes resulting in unpleasant extremes in Senamaud’s viola. For a piece so dependent on subtle gradations and careful development, this problem of balance was the one blemish in an otherwise enjoyable piece of music.

NEWS • 21


TAKEAWAY from page 7 “The United States remains committed, as it has been for a long time, to working with the parties to press for the goal of a two-state solution,” Carney said. “That has not changed and it will not change. We will continue to make clear that only through direct negotiations between the parties can the Palestinians and Israelis address all the permanent status issues that need to be addressed and achieve the peace that they both deserve: two states for two peoples with a sovereign, viable and independent Palestine living side by side in peace and security with a Jewish and democratic Israel.” The language was boilerplate, but the context was not: Just a week ago, the narrative was that President Obama had all but given up on advancing peace while Netanyahu was prime minister, believing that “Israel doesn’t know RABBIS from page 7 A spokeswoman for the National Cathedral said the institution had no problem with the changes. Neither did Josh Dubois, the White House’s faith-based initiatives boss, who helped coordinate the event. Gina Campbell, the cathedral’s director of worship, “encouraged all the religious leaders to be faithful to their own traditions” and to emend texts as they saw fit, said the spokeswoman, who spoke on condition of not being named. Clergy were assigned readings rather than asked to offer their own because the service was pegged to the inauguration’s theme, Faith in America’s Future, drawn from Abraham Lincoln’s determination 150 years ago to keep the nation united and to expand its liberties to all its people. COSTS from page 7 “The analysis indicates that [camps] bring, first of all, an increased inclination to practice Jewish behaviors in their lives, from Shabbat lighting candles to using Jewish websites and to appreciate the value of Jewish charity,” the study concluded. “Secondly, they bring an inclination to value and seek out the experience of Jewish community, whether in the immediate sense of joining other Jews in prayer or in the more abstract sense of identifying with fellow Jews in Israel.” The FJC, which has a mission to increase the number of Jewish campers, is working to identify ways for camps to slash costs. In recent years it has coordinated the sharing of resources, encouraged the development of alternative revenue sources and helped camp directors improve their managerial skills through a program the organization likens to “an MBA in camping.”

what its own best interests are,” according to a report by Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic. David Makovsky, an analyst with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a think tank with close ties to the major Israeli parties and the White House, said the Obama administration was likely to proceed with cautious optimism. “We’re entering into a period of uncertainty where Israeli politics will look like a Rubik’s cube,” Makovsky said. “But from Washington’s perspective, there might be more cards than a couple of weeks ago.” The Obama-Netanyahu drama of recent years, arising from tensions over Israel’s settlement building and how aggresively to confront Iran, may not soon disappear. In his post-election speech, Netanyahu said preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon remains his No. 1 priority. Obama also wants to keep Iran “The staff at the cathedral were sensitive about theological language and wanting people to speak in language that was comfortable and authentic,” said Jacobs, the president of the Union for Reform Judaism. Jacobs was assigned the recital of the priestly blessing alongside Laila Muhammad, the founder of a Muslim family service organization in Chicago. Muhammad told Jacobs beforehand that she would change “The Lord” in the blessing to “Allah.” Jacobs replied that he, too, would not use “the Lord,” substituting “the Holy One” to reflect the Reform movement’s tendency to abjure gender-specific references to God. Schonfeld, the executive director of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, had no objection to the translation of a psalm she was assigned. But reciting it without context raised difficult theological Ultimately, the foundation wants to see camps profitable enough to be self-sustaining. “Camps that are full are profitable and reinvest back in scholarships,” Fingerman said. “So there is a power in numbers, and we’re working hard to get them full.” Other organizations also have taken steps to make camp more affordable, particularly for lessaffiliated families and first-time campers who might be less sold on the value of the camp experience. The Avi Chai and Zell foundations jointly made a $600,000 donation to Ramah to help the Conservative movement’s camp network attract first-timers. “We’re calling it the Ramah Open Door Program, where we’re opening up to less Jewish-affiliated families,” said Rabbi Mitchell Cohen, Ramah’s national director. Paul Reichenbach, the director of camp and Israel programs at the Union for Reform Judaism, said a

from having a nuclear bomb, which the Islamic Republic has denied it is seeking. But the two leaders have disagreed on the efficacy of sanctions and the timing of a possible military option. Additionally, there is a sense among Israeli rightists that Obama’s remark was leaked to Goldberg in a bid to bring down Netanyahu’s poll numbers, although no evidence has emerged to support the claim. The upside for Obama, however, is that Netanyahu will likely first court the centrist parties in coalition talks. According to news reports, he called Yair Lapid, the leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, shortly after the polls closed on Jan. 22 and told him they had great things to do together. In his own speech, Netanyahu said he could see “many partners” in the next government. Lapid, the telegenic former journalist whose new party snagged an unexpected 19 seats, was the

surprise winner in the balloting. He backs negotiations with the Palestinians and withdrawal from much of the West Bank, although he also aggressively courted some settlers. More piquantly, his chief adviser is Mark Mellman, a pollster ensconced in Washington’s Democratic establishment who has close White House ties. Netanyahu’s pivot to the center is to be expected, said Josh Block, who directs The Israel Project, a group that disseminates pro-Israel materials to journalists and opinion makers. “Predictions of Israeli voter apathy and of a rightward shift in the Israeli electorate, both of which reached the status of conventional wisdom on the eve of the election, seem to have been incorrect,” Block said in an email. “The voting, which was marked by near-historic turnout, appears to show an Israeli electorate reflecting a practical centrism: a desire for strong security

Courtesy of Ron Kampeas/JTA

Rabbi Sharon Brous, left, leading a prayer at the presidential inaugural service at the National Cathedral in Washington, Jan. 22, 2013.

questions about human responsibility, especially in the wake of the massacre of schoolchildren last month in Newtown, Conn. The translation, as assigned by the cathedral, reads in part, “The Lord watches over the innocent.”

Schonfeld changed that to “The Lord watches over the innocent and calls upon us to watch over the innocent.” “God can only watch over the innocent insofar as human beings watch over the innocent,” Schonfeld

Courtesy of Foundation for Jewish Camp

Two campers share a hug at Camp Morasha, a Jewish camp in upstate New York.

significant number of children attending his movement’s summer programs also receive scholarships. While camp directors agree that the costs of Jewish overnight camps are high, they offer varying

explanations as to the reasons. Some say it’s the relative abundance of staff — a ratio of one supervisor for every two campers, according to Cohen. Others point to the salaries of directors, which average about $125,000 per year

and peace with Palestinians, a focus on economic issues and needs of the middle class, and a commitment to free markets and religious secularism.” Much of the election was fought on the widening income gaps in Israel, as well as on the role of the haredi Orthodox in Israeli affairs. Those issues likely will predominate in coalition negotiations, said Peter Medding, a political science professor at Hebrew University whose specialties include U.S.Israel relations. Medding said the negotiations could take weeks, particularly because of Lapid’s emphasis on drafting haredi Orthodox students and removing Orthodox influence from the public sphere. “The kind of policies Lapid has been putting forward does not sit well with some of the right’s natural coalition partners, particularly Shas,” the Sephardic Orthodox party that won 11 seats. wrote in notes on her emendations that she shared with JTA. The services also featured Cantor Mikhail Manevich of Washington Hebrew Congregation, who sang the Shema prayer in Hebrew. Christian clergy also made adjustments in keeping with their particular religious orientations. The Rev. Nancy Wilson, moderator of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, a denomination emphasizing outreach to the LGBT community, replaced five masculine pronouns in her assigned prayer, which opened the service. The National Cathedral is both an Episcopal seat and a place of worship chartered by the Congress in the 19th century as the natural setting for national events. The church’s website emphasizes that it “welcomes all faiths.” at nonprofit camps, according to public tax filings. Directors at Jewish for-profits can make even more. Perhaps the biggest factor driving costs, however, is the Jewish community’s relative affluence and the resulting expectations. “What [Jewish camps] provide may be higher with regard to facility, to program options, with regard to staff structure,” Reichenbach said. “And we are dealing with a community that has a certain expectation for quality.” Despite a growing recognition of the importance of making tuition affordable, Reichenbach predicted costs would continue to appreciate at a rate of 2 percent to 5 percent each year. “We live in the real world,” he said. “In the last few years our practices have reflected the rise in the cost-of-living index, the cost of energy, of food, of transportation. Right now we are doing the best we can to stay even.”



Morton A. Schwartz passed away January 23, 2013, on his 86th birthday. Morton is survived by his wife of 63 years, Ada Schwartz; two children, David Schwartz (Abby) and Barbara Rothstein (Steven); five grandchildren, Adam, Josh, and Rachel Rothstein and Jason Schwartz (Shira) and Amy Bazelon (Adam). Morton is also survived by three great-grandchildren, Harper and Jack Bazelon and

Levi Schwartz. Morton was born in Newark, N.J. and lived with his wife and children in West Orange, N.J. before moving to Cincinnati in 1991 to be near his children. He attended Hamilton College in Hamilton, N.Y. before serving in the U.S. Army during WWII. Upon his return, he graduated from New York University. His early career was in the wholesale candy business. Later he found his true calling in commercial real estate and worked actively in this field until his retirement last year.

Morton A. Schwartz

A lover of Jewish learning, Morton was active in synagogue life both at B’nai Jeshurun in Short Hills, N.J., and Rockdale Temple in Cincinnati. He was a history buff and a lover of classical music. He was a mentor to many young men and women in his work life, and a dedicated husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He smiled easily and often, and nothing gave him greater happiness than being surrounded by family and friends. If desired, memorials may be directed to Cedar Village Foundation or Rockdale Temple.

that threaten me roundly acknowledge that I am telling the truth,” he said. “They don’t question my reporting They just want me to shut up. I’d be much more afraid of what could happen to me if I were lying,” Abu Toameh stated. It is Abu Toameh’s reputation for reporting honestly that keeps his sources coming back “I speak to members of Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Palestinian officials, residents and terrorists,” he said. “They want to communicate to the international community, and I provide them with an outlet,” Abu Toameh added. Today, Abu Toameh’s articles can be found in the Jerusalem Post, but he rejects the notion that he is writing for a Jewish or proIsrael newspaper. “I am an Israeli citizen, and I write for an Israeli paper I will write for any paper that gives me a free platform,” Abu Toameh said. Steve Linde, Editor-in-Chief of

the Jerusalem Post, contends that Abu Toameh’s reporting is extraordinarily important. “Khaled is a real hero,” Linde told JNS “He exposes corruption within the Palestinian administration without fear or hesitation.” “I think just about everybody respects his integrity and credibility as a journalist He has a strong international reputation for being a top Palestinian journalist,” Linde said. Abu Toameh has no fears of reporting oftentimes-harsh truths When it comes to peace between Israel and Palestinians, according to Abu Toameh, the chances are not good. “In my opinion, it is nearly impossible to fit another state between Israel and Jordan We also need to ask what kind of state would that be? Would it be a terror state like in Gaza, or a secular dictatorship like we see throughout the Arab World,” he said. With regard to PA President

Mahmoud Abbas, Abu Toameh is not certain that he has the ability to make peace with Israel. “Shimon Peres might think Abbas can make peace, but Abbas has no mandate from his people,” he said. “Abbas might be serious and he might be sincere, but that is not the issue. Much more important is whether he can deliver. And right now, the answer is no, he cannot deliver.” Abu Toameh is not sure that Jordan is the answer for Palestinian self-determination either, even though a majority of that country is Palestinian. “I don’t see how you can dismantle Jordan and make it a Palestinian state,” he said. “In that case, you might end up with three separate Palestinian states: one in Jordan, one in Gaza and one in the West Bank You have to be careful what you wish for.” In the meantime, Jordan’s King Abdullah has managed to stave off protests of the Arab Spring like those in Egypt or

Syria. “So far he has managed, but I don’t think he sleeps that well at night,” Abu Toameh said. “The key is what winds up happening in Syria,” Abu Toameh contended. “Many of the Islamists fighting in Syria come from Jordan Once fighting in Syria comes to end, they may come back to start fighting in Jordan.” What that leaves is an unstable situation, one that could bring even more violence to the region, and particularly to Israel. “Within Israel’s borders, there is growing tensions, and daily confrontations between Israelis – the IDF as well as settlers – and Palestinians,” Abu Toameh added. “On the ground there is already a ‘popular resistance’ underway. We’ve seen skirmishes, clashes, stonings, Molotov cocktails and more.” “I believe the third intifada has already begun, albeit on a low flame.”

tions – stuck in the basement – exhibit space was never available,” Kislev said. “The museum can now present what Israeli art is all about, showing its full history. Having such space was the idea beyond the expansion.” Some 250 of these works, dating from 1906 to the present, were part of the inaugural exhibit. From concept to concrete, the new building took almost 15 years to complete. Kislev explained the process. “In 2003, following a program

of serious thinking about the museum needs – including facilities like auditoriums and classrooms – we held two architectural competitions,” she said. “The design was chosen via a two stage, international competition. During the first segment, four Israeli architects were chosen from among 70 submissions. Two made second cut, together with three from abroad.” Preston Scott Cohen’s winning design was developed with Israeli architect Amit Nemlich. The team spent years working together, both

in Israel and in Boston. The museum, a linchpin in Tel Aviv’s cultural center, is situated on a triangular plot. The need to create large, rectangular galleries presented a significant architectural design challenge. “Contemporary curators consider white rectangles the best design for display of both sculpture and painting,” Kislev said. “From the beginning, we kept that basic idea. It was important to maintain the Light Fall through all the galleries, so we started from the middle.”

In the 10 years between contest and completion for the Tel Aviv museum, vast changes in technology occurred. Artists now have interactive devices such as YouTube and other video platforms. “They do what they did before, in more inviting workshops,” Kislev said. As a city institution, the museum received about one-third of the construction costs from the municipality of Tel Aviv, while the Amir family provided significant funds.

NETANYAHU from page 9

on the price of housing.” Netanyahu said he would start immediately to form “as wide a coalition as possible” and had already called Lapid, Bennett and Shas. In his speech, former foreign minister and No. 2 on the Likud-Beytenu list Avigdor Lieberman said the campaign’s two main goals had been achieved: to secure the continuation of the nationalist camp’s leadership of Israel, and to make sure that Netanyahu returned for another term. Likud MK Tzahi Hanegbi said the country had given the Likud, under Netanyahu, a renewed mandate to lead the nation. Hanegbi added that there had been a signif-

icant change in the electoral map. Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar from the Likud said that Netanyahu would once again be prime minister, and that he would want to govern with as wide a coalition as possible. “The nationalist camp has won the election. Benjamin Netanyahu will be the next prime minister of Israel. He will lead the country in the coming years too. There will still be attempts by people on the left to block Netanyahu from forming a government. But we will now work to build a government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu,” Sa’ar, who is the Likud’s campaign chairman, said after the exit polls were announced.



SOLWAY, John “Jack”Jacob, age 85, died January 22, 2013; 11 Shevat, 5773.


SCHWARTZ, Morton Allen, age 86, died January 23, 2013; 13 Shevat, 5773. KOHNOP, Louis, age 92, died January 24, 2013; 13 Shevat, 5773. COHEN, Stephen, age 80, died January 25, 2013; 15 Shevat, 5773. JOURNALIST from page 8 “Media in the West Bank is controlled by Fatah,” Abu Toameh said. “Media in Gaza is controlled by Hamas. A journalist in those areas is not free to report as he sees fit.” One of the first Israeli papers Abu Toameh wrote for was a Hebrew publication called Yerushalayim (or Jerusalem) “At that time, I wrote articles criticizing Israel, and the IDF in particular, for various human rights violations, and I won several awards. Of course now that I am criticizing the Palestinian Authority, I am roundly condemned,” he said. Abu Toameh is not only condemned but is often threatened. “Today, I am getting more threats from the US, Canada, Europe and the UK than I am from within the Palestinian Authority,” Abu Toameh said. “But what is unique, is that those MUSEUM from page 8 “The Light Fall connects the galleries and allows natural light to reach into every gallery of the building,” she said. The Amir building is “dedicated to the heritage of Israeli art, presented in all its richness and variety,” said Kislev. The building was the vision of the late Omer, who recognized the need for additional gallery space. “We had an almost unheard of store of the best Israeli art collec-

Speaking to party supporters after midnight, Netanyahu said the election results provided an opportunity to carry out reforms that the citizens of Israel were demanding and that would serve the entire country. Netanyahu said his government would be based on five central pillars: “Strengthening Israel’s security in the face of the challenges ahead and especially Iran; fiscal responsibility in the global economic downturn; diplomatic responsibility in our constant striving for a true peace; increasing equality in the national burden, and a reduction in the cost of living with a special emphasis



The American Israelite

J A N U A RY 3

F E B R U A RY 7

MARCH 7 Wonderful Weddings *SECTION 14


14 Kids/Summer Camps *SECTION 21 Purim







21 Passover *ISSUE

31 Mature Living *SECTION


2 9 Israel@65 *ISSUE


6 The Car Issue *SECTION 13




25 Bar/Bat Mitzvah *SECTION



30 Travel Guide *SECTION

J U LY 4 Health & Beauty *SECTION

AUGUST 1 8 Back To School *SECTION


SEPTEMBER 5 Rosh Hashanah *ISSUE 12




25 Mature Living *SECTION




O C TO B E R 3 Financial Planning *SECTION




14 Gift Guide #1 *SECTION 21 Gift Guide #2 *SECTION


28 Chanukah *ISSUE




31 Event Planning *SECTION

1st Week: Legal | 2nd Week: Travel | 3rd Week: Arts & Entertainment | 4th Week: Business | 5th Week: Varies Business: | Editor: | Production: | Phone: 513.621.3145 Dates of Special Issues & Sections may change without formal notice.

Pierce Matthews, resident since 1998

John Parker, staff member since 1999

Our promise, your future. Our residents find real security and peace-of-mind in a very simple promise in their contract: you will never be asked to leave for financial reasons. It’s an important benefit of Episcopal Retirement Homes’ not-for-profit difference – a promise made possible by generous donors, our substantial endowment, and 60 years of financial stability. There is no up-front deposit or entrance fee required. To learn more, call Gini Tarr at 513.561.4200.

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The American Israelite, January 31, 2013  

The American Israelite, January 31, 2013

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