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Seeking Kin: Did Sonia Lifschitz’s infant Israeli sister die, or was she...
Hadassah Education Day presents A Chocolate Seder
Columbus memorial competition enters semi-finals
Ed Koch, pugnacious New Yorker and passionate Jew till his dying day
Andy’s Mediterranean —maintaining a new phase of flavor
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Remembering Stephen Cohen Longtime Cincinnati attorney Stephen Cohen passed away the evening of January 25, 2013, at the age of 80. Born in Mansfield, Ohio on March 15, 1931, he was the middle child of Leona and Aaron Cohen. The Cohen family lived in Lima, Ohio for several years before moving to Huntington, W.Va., where he graduated from Huntington High School in 1950. Mr. Cohen attended the Ohio State University for a quarter and a half before electing to return home to Huntington. He surrendered his college deferment and submitted his name to the local draft board. Mr. Cohen was drafted and inducted into the United States Army on October 3, 1952. Following basic training at Fort Belvoir, Va., he was assigned to further training in an Engineer Battalion. He was deployed to the Korean Combat Theater where he served on active duty in North Korea until the armistice was signed on July 27, 1953. He finished active duty in September 1954 and returned to Huntington, W. Va., where he graduated from Marshall College in 1956 before starting law school at the University of Cincinnati. During his tour of duty he had exchanged correspondence with a young woman, Marcia A. Josselson, from Ashland, Ky. whom he had met while in high school. Marcia followed Steve to Cincinnati when he started law school and they were married on September 2, 1956. Mr. Cohen began the practice of law in 1960. He worked for a small firm for several years before being hired by the Office of the Cincinnati Solicitor. He worked as a prosecutor during the Civil Rights Movement. He left the prosecutor’s office in the late ‘60s and joined with three other lawyers to form a small firm. He was later hired by the firm of Wood, Lamping, Slutz and Reckman (now know as Wood Lamping), where he remained until his retirement in 1996. Following his retirement, Mr. Cohen shared office space with his daughter, Teresa, who, like her brother Gregory, had disregarded their father’s stern advice and fol-
lowed him into law. For 31 years, Mr. Cohen also served the Village of Amberley as solicitor. Mr. Cohen loved the law and the intellectual challenges it brought. He took time to mentor younger lawyers, which was one of his great joys, and he was never too busy to answer another lawyer’s question. He believed that lawyers had an obligation to help the indigent and he was active with the Cincinnati Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers for the Poor. He was also president of the Cincinnati Bar Association from 1983-1984. In addition to his law practice Mr. Cohen was very active in the community. He helped start the Cincinnati Bar Association’s Ethics committee and was on the Ohio Ethics Commission. He also was a member of the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates.
He co-taught at Chase College of Law and was an instructor at the University of Cincinnati’s Adult Continuing Education program. Enjoying a great passion for music, Steve and Marcia loved attending the symphony, taking their children to symphony in the park, and listening to such radio programs as “When Swing was King.” Mr. Cohen was not particulary religious, but he lived his life as a Jew, and not only practiced law but also practiced and upheld the ideals of Judaism. He was involved with philanthropic organizations and provided pro bono work for others. He was a past president of Jewish Family Service and served on its board of directors for many years. He was also an active member of Rockdale Temple’s (K.K. Bene Israel) Brotherhood through the ‘60s and ‘70s and continued as a congregation member to date. His life was
devoted to giving to others and helping others, traits which he passed along to his own children. Mr. Cohen is survived by his wife, Marcia; his children, Gregory (Deborah) Cohen, Lisa (Andreas) Krober, Teresa (Michael) Ames and Michelle (Andy) Forrest; his grandchildren, Benjamin and Ethan Cohen, Jakob Krober, Tucker and Griffin Ames and Joei Forrest; and his siblings, Nelson A. (Ann) Cohen and Paula (Victor) McDonald. The funeral for Mr. Cohen was held on Tuesday, January 29, at Weil Funeral Home, and was officiated by Rabbi Sigma Faye Coran of Rockdale Temple. The family would appreciate memorial contributions to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Heart Fund, P.O. Box 5202, Cincinnati, OH 45201-5202; or to the Cincinnati Bar Association Foundation.
LOCAL • 3
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2013
Hadassah Education Day presents A Chocolate Seder Cincinnati Chapter of Hadassah invites the community to its annual Education Day on Sunday, Feb. 10 from 2 – 4 p.m. in the Teller Student Lounge at Hebrew Union CollegeJewish Institute of Religion (HUCJIR). Rabbi Judy Chessin will lead a unique experience, “A Chocolate Seder: Chocolate Dips and Seder Tips,” featuring delicious chocolate treats and little-known facts about the holiday of Passover. There is an admission fee. Tobe Snow is programming vice president and Bobbi Handwerger is Education Day chair. Education Day committee members are Bea Goodman, Karen Silverman, Gilda Schwartz,
Rabbi Judith A. Chessin at Hadassah Education Day on Jan. 8, 2012.
Ellen Jaffe Drake, Sandra Berg and Sandra Spitz. Rabbi Chessin is well known to local Hadassah members, having participated as a guest speaker at Hadassah Coffee Talk as well as last year’s Education Day. She has been the Rabbi of Temple Beth Or since its inception in 1984. Temple Beth Or, a member congregation of the Union for Reform Judaism, has now grown to 225 families and serves the needs of Reform Jewish families from all over the Dayton area. Originally from Orlando, Fla., Rabbi Chessin received her undergraduate training at the University
of South Florida. After studying in Jerusalem, she went on to complete her Masters of Arts in Hebrew Letters at HUC-JIR in Cincinnati. There she received ordination as Rabbi in June 1984 and was awarded the Morris H. Youngerman Prize for Homiletics. During her tenure at HUC-JIR, she served pulpits in Owensboro, Ky., and Brookhaven, Miss. She also directed the seminary’s Youth and College Programming for three years. She received a Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa, from HUC-JIR in 2009. Along with her duties at Temple Beth Or, Rabbi Chessin speaks extensively in Dayton area univer-
sities, churches, synagogues and organizations on topics of Jewish interest. She also serves as a mentor to rabbinic students at HUC-JIR who are preparing for a career in the rabbinate. Additionally, she spends several weeks each summer teaching Jewish youth at the Goldman Union Camp Institute in Zionsville, Ind. She is currently the president of the Synagogue Forum of Greater Dayton and was honored in 2004 as a Woman of Influence by Dayton’s Y.W.C.A. Rabbi Chessin is married to Professor Michael Cook, who teaches at HUC-JIR. They have two sons, Brett and Chad.
Cedar Village opens physical therapy center in Amberley The community is invited to attend the grand opening of the Cedar Village Rehabilitation Center at the Mayerson JCC in Amberley Village. A full range of rehabilitation services will be offered there to anyone of any age. Cedar Village already provides inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services at its campus in Mason.
The second location, on the ground floor of the JCC, will provide outpatients with another option. The grand opening events will be held Wednesday, Feb. 6 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 to 6 p.m. At the grand opening, Cedar Village will offer balance assessments, blood pressure and physical therapy screenings, discussions with a dietitian about healthy eating
and more. Refreshments and giveaway items will be offered. As it does in Mason, Cedar Village has equipped its Mayerson JCC location with the latest physical therapy technology, including a medical laser, which can promote healing and increase blood circulation; a Biodex balance trainer; free weights and kettle bells; and a widescreen television with a
Executive changes at Halom House By Michael Sawan Assistant Editor Halom House executive Jamie Steele will soon pass on his post to Kathleen Shannon. The change will be finalized on Feb. 11, when Shannon officially takes over. This comes after Steele served Halom House for 21 years. “Only myself and one other executive have served that long in the Jewish community,” said Steele good-humoredly. This fact was pointed out to Steele during a recent ceremony: “A few years ago I was honored with an award from the Jewish community for being a senior service professional,” explains Steele. “That was one of my highlights, that was a big moment.” Steele has made a name for himself in Cincinnati’s Jewish community by leading Halom House, an organization that provides in home care to adults with disabilities. When Steele arrived at the organization in 1992, they had one facility in Roselawn which housed eight people. “I slowly grew the agency, and at one point we had 26 individuals we were providing service to,” said Steele. “That’s the highest we’ve ever provided services to in different sites. So, we have a group home with eight people, and then we have up to seven different sites.” This increase in residence merited more changes still: “In about 1997 we were able to raise a good amount of money so we moved our
agency and our group home to Blue Ash,” explained Steele. “That’s where we are currently, and we’re very proud of that, we have a beautiful building here.” Steele is a Cincinnati native, having attended Moeller High School, received his Bachelor’s degree from the College of Mount St. Joseph and his Master’s degree at the University of Cincinnati. He has also done post graduate work in family therapy. His interest in caring for those with disabilities began with his family life. Steele was one of six children, with one of his brothers being severely disabled. While in college, Steele worked full time at a group home in Hyde Park for adults with disabilities. It was at this point that Steele knew he wanted to devote his life to residential care for the disabled. “I just knew it was the perfect fit for me.” Steele has accomplished other great changes at Halom House. Some clients used to live in rented apartments, which led to problems of rent inflation and maintenance inconsistency. Steele’s solution was to co-found a new organization, Dream House Home, Inc. “[Dream House] has a separate board and I am the liaison between [them and Halom House],” explained Steele. “Dream House is a land holding company. So we bought small houses, fixed them up, then rented them out to clients that Halom House is rendering services to. That way we could fix the rent at an affordable cost and maintain it.
That’s pretty innovative for Halom House, not a lot of agencies do that.” This development has all been done chiefly with government funding. “All of our funding comes from Medicaid. We’re not supported by the Jewish Federation,” points out Steele. And, with an 80 percent Jewish client base, problems like maintaining a kosher kitchen come into play The Jewish Federation has supported Halom House in other ways. “The Jewish Federation is very supportive of us, always has been,” said Steele. “For myself, not being Jewish, they immediately took me under their wing and mentored me in the community. They supported Halom House by doing that, it was a great support in many ways.” As he leaves his post, Steele is happy with the progress that Halom House has made: “I feel Halom House is a shining star in the Cincinnati Jewish community that a lot of people don’t know about. We operate every day, 365 days of the year, supporting people with disabilities. I do feel that the Jewish community needs to remain very active in supporting people with disabilities who are Jewish, because they are often forgotten. They want to be a part of the community as much as anyone else. That would be my biggest challenge to the community as I leave: to continue to keep people with disabilities involved in activities and planning.” Steele is moving on to a new job with Ohio Valley Residential Services.
Nintendo Wii system to treat balance problems, commonly known as Wiihabilitation. A Cedar Village physical therapist will be onsite fulltime at the JCC. A JCC membership will not be required. All major medical insurance plans will be accepted. The new rehab center is a cooperative effort between Cedar Village and the Mayerson JCC, which are
nonprofit institutions. Under the guidance of a physical therapist, patients will be able to use the JCC’s modern fitness facilities, including swimming pools, indoor track, gym, weight room and other fitness equipment. The Cedar Village Rehabilitation Center at the Mayerson JCC was made possible, in part, by the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati.
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With an arched eyebrow, a subtle shimmy and a flick of her wrist, Bebe Neuwirth keeps crowds in the palm of her hand. In this solo show, her unforgettable brand of sass and sheer talent captivates audiences. She will be singing works by Kurt Weill-Brecht, Stephen Sondheim, Kander & Ebb and more. “I gathered all the songs I love,” Neuwirth says. “Then you see which ones go together beautifully. There is a progression of how love matures: from the moment you first fall in love when you’re young, to a point where you see the reality of a loving relationship.”
Wise Temple’s upcoming social action projects The WiseUP Social Action Committee’s purpose is to encourage and inspire congregants to work as a community to fulfill our ongoing sacred obligation to repair the world and, in so doing, bring greater meaning to our lives and the lives of others. Wise Temple members will bring cheer to women at the
YWCA Battered Women’s Shelter on Sunday, Feb. 10. Julie Kantor leads this Wise Temple Sisterhood sponsored project which will provide food, a motivational speaker and pampering for the residents. On Sunday, Feb. 24, Wise Temple members will continue their commitment to the Overthe-Rhine Soup Kitchen when,
led by Stacey Bie and Lew Ebstein, they prepare and serve hot lunches to Cincinnati’s homeless and less fortunate neighbors. Another ongoing project for Wise Temple is the Freestore Foodbank. Twenty or more members, led by Paul McOsker, will receive, sort and pack donated food items for the Freestore
Foodbank. This agency successfully distributes over 12 million pounds of food per year to help feed those in need. On March 17, Kim Goldwasser and Wise Temple members will once again prepare and host brunch for women and children at the Bethany House, an emergency shelter.
Wise Brotherhood helps lead Shabbat services Isaac M. Wise Temple Brotherhood is doing it again – they are leading by example. The Wise Brothers are known for taking care of others through their avid volunteerism, which includes numerous opportunities diverse enough to meet the talents and interests of every Brother. They are involved in everything from cooking for Wise Temple’s youth group, religious school and special
events to spending hours building healthy relationships with the young men of Lighthouse Youth Services. All along the way, they are leading by example, showing others how selfless volunteerism impacts others. On Friday, Feb. 15, Brotherhood members will lead yet again as they help the Rabbis lead Shabbat services. While the Brotherhood is often known for their fabulous cooking and their abundant community serv-
ice hours, David Snyder, Brotherhood president, explains that there is another side to this group of men: “The Brotherhood has a spiritual side. Our participation in this Shabbat service is just one of the ways we build our spiritual connection. We also take time at each of our monthly board meetings to explore our spirituality with a brief Torah study.” The passion the Brotherhood
brings to their work is contagious. As Steve Pollak, Brotherhood secretary, explains, “We are all eager to talk about the Brotherhood, the friendships we’ve made within the group, the work we’re doing for others and how rewarding it is to be involved.” You will probably meet Brotherhood members if you come to Wise’s services on Feb. 15, at which time you may discuss their volunteer experiences.
NHS family Shabbat dinner goes West Did y’all hear the news? Wild Max Shilkrot, a famous cowboy of the Wild, Wild West, is looking for a posse to help him celebrate Shabbat and partake of the Great Shabbat Feast. He is calling on all courageous cowboys and cowgirls to help.
All brave souls in grades K-7 are invited to bring their families and join in the Oregon Trail Shabbat Adventure at Northern Hills Synagogue on Friday, Feb. 15 at 6:15 p.m. Combine kiddush, hamotzi, songs and other traditional Friday night Shabbat activities with
cowboy stories, a Fire Circle and the excitement of the West. There is no charge for dinner, which will include hamburgers, hot dogs, beans and potato chips. Vegetarian burgers will also be available. Cowboys and cowgirls should bring big appetites and dress in western
style. Please RSVP by Feb. 12. Wild Max declared, “Accordin’ to ‘em folks down west the Oregon Trail is ready fer travelin’. So, c’mon up to Northern Hills and sign up fer my posse to help me celebrate Shabbat and partake of the grand feast, if y’alls dare!”
Cincinnati’s Jewish heritage will be the topic when the HaZaK group of Northern Hills Synagogue – Congregation B’nai Avraham holds its monthly program on Wednesday, Feb. 13. Following a delicious lunch, Gale Ossenbeck, a volunteer docent for the Cincinnati Heritage Program of the Cincinnati Museum Center will discuss the roles played by Jews in building Cincinnati. The program will take place at the
Synagogue and begin at noon. A Northern Kentucky native, Ossenbeck is a former public health nurse and a local history enthusiast. Her presentation will begin with Joseph Jonas, the first Jew known to have lived in Cincinnati, and trace the growth of the community through the 19th century. In the mid-19th century, Cincinnati had the third largest Jewish community in the United States. She will focus
on prominent Jewish personalities of Cincinnati, both historical figures such as Rabbi Isaac M. Wise and more recent or contemporary figures such as Dr. Albert Sabin and Steven Spielberg. “HaZaK” is an acronym, with the letters standing for the Hebrew words “Hakhma” (wisdom), “Ziknah” (maturity) and “Kadima” (forward). The HaZaK programs are for adults 55 and older and are
open to the entire community. In addition to members of Northern Hills, many attendees have come from the Jewish Community Center, Cedar Village, Brookwood Retirement Community and throughout Greater Cincinnati. There is no charge for the program and lunch, but donations are appreciated. Please RSVP to the Synagogue office by Monday, Feb. 11.
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VOL. 159 • NO. 29 THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2013 27 SHEVAT 5773 SHABBAT BEGINS FRIDAY 5:49 PM SHABBAT ENDS SATURDAY 6:50 PM THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE CO., PUBLISHERS 18 WEST NINTH STREET, SUITE 2 CINCINNATI, OHIO 45202-2037 Phone: (513) 621-3145 Fax: (513) 621-3744 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com RABBI ISAAC M. WISE Founder, Editor, Publisher, 1854-1900 LEO WISE Editor & Publisher, 1900-1928 RABBI JONAH B. WISE Editor & Publisher, 1928-1930 HENRY C. SEGAL Editor & Publisher, 1930-1985 PHYLLIS R. SINGER Editor & General Manager, 1985-1999 MILLARD H. MACK Publisher Emeritus NETANEL (TED) DEUTSCH Editor & Publisher JORY EDLIN MICHAEL SAWAN Assistant Editors ALEXIA KADISH Copy Editor 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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In addition to her litany of accomplishments, Neuwirth recently signed with streaming giant Amazon to offer its first streaming TV series, Browsers, a musical comedy set in contemporary Manhattan that follows four young people as they start their first jobs at a news website (Neuwirth will play their boss). The pilot was written by Emmy-winning comedy writer David Javerbaum (The Daily Show) and will be directed by Don Scardino (30 Rock). On March 9, Neuwirth will perform a set of her favorite songs accompanied by pianist Scott Cady.
Neuwirth has established herself as a versatile performer on stage, film and television. She most recently starred as Roxie in the Broadway production of Chicago – the same production for which she won a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and an Astaire Award for her turn as Velma – making her the only triple-threat to play both leading lady roles on Broadway. She also received a Tony Award for her role as Nickie in Sweet Charity. Her other Broadway credits include Fosse, Damn Yankees, Dancin’, Little Me, A Chorus Line and The Addams Family.
The Mayerson JCC Wolf Center for Arts & Ideas is proud to present award-winning actress, singer and dancer, Bebe Neuwirth on Saturday evening, March 9 at 8 p.m., at the School for Creative & Performing Arts (SCPA) – Corbett Theatre. Due to increased ticket demand and past sold out events, the J has partnered with the SCPA to provide guests with a larger auditorium and the ability to choose their own reserved seats for this March 9 performance. After the show, VIP ticket buyers will enjoy a post-concert reception and meet and greet with Ms. Neuwirth.
r in Am ape er sp i
Meet Broadway triple-threat, Bebe Neuwirth at School for Creative & Performing Arts
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.
REGIONAL / NATIONAL • 5
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2013
Columbus memorial competition enters semi-finals By Michael Sawan Assistant Editor Three semi-finalists have been selected for the Ohio Statehouse Holocaust Memorial project. The project aims to create a large scale public work that will be located on the Ohio Statehouse’s grounds, along State Street in Columbus. Governor John Kasich initiated the project on May 4, 2011, at the Annual Governor’s Holocaust Commemoration. A Committee was then formed, made up of “Jewish community leaders, three board members of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Holocaust survivors who [then] researched memorials around the state, country and world,” according to documenta-
National Briefs New York City to name subway station after Koch NEW YORK (JTA) – New York City will rename a subway station in memory of Edward Koch, the three-term mayor who died last week. U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) will announce Monday that the station at East 77th Street and Lexington Avenue will be renamed the Mayor Ed Koch Subway Station, the Associated Press reported. Koch, who died Feb. 1 at 88, will be buried Monday in Manhattan following a funeral service at Temple Emanu El Reform synagogue. Former President Bill Clinton, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Israel’s consul general in New York, Ido Aharoni, are all scheduled to speak. Jewish books illustrated by Sendak sold at auction (JTA) – Two rare Jewish books illustrated by Maurice Sendak were sold at auction days before the posthumous publication of a new book by the author. At Swann Galleries in New York, “Good Shabbos, Everybody,” by Robert Garvey, sold for $1,440, and “Happy Hanukah Everybody,” by Hyman and Alice Chanover, sold for $1,920. The books were published in the 1950s by the United Synagogue Commission on Jewish Education prior to Sendak’s publication of his immensely popular “Where the Wild Things Are” in 1963. “The books were real finds for Sendak collectors,” said Christine
tion associated with the project. The document continues, saying that the committee then “develops a mission statement for the Ohio Statehouse Holocaust Memorial.” The project was approved by Gov. Kasich in 2012, and a general call for any and all artists was made. The application pool was whittled from 78 down to 13, from which the three semi-finalists were selected. They are Jaume Plensa, currently of Chicago, Ill.; Ann Hamilton, of Columbus, OH; and Daniel Libeskind, of New York, N.Y. The commission for the public work is $2 million, which has been raised through private channels. This is an all-inclusive commission, meaning that the winning artist will be given $2 million with von der Linn, senior specialist of art and illustrated books for Swann, adding that they were in unusually good condition and both were signed by Sendak. Sendak’s newest book was published Monday, nine months after his death last May. “My Brother’s Book,” published by Harper Collins, combines poetry and art, and was the last book written by Sendak. A tribute to his brother Jack, who died 18 years ago, it is a lyrical work that deals with separation, longing and reunion. The auction last week, part of a sale of books and art by 20th century illustrators, included the sale of a rare first edition of “Where the Wild Things Are” for $18,000 that includes a humorous inscription to Reed Orenstein, a friend and collector of Sendak’s work. The first edition was among 62 lots of Sendak items from the collection of Orenstein, who died in 2010. One of the more comprehensive collections of Sendak’s work held by private collectors, it was the first of Sendak’s work to come on the market since his death, according to von der Linn. Other items in the sale included another rare first edition of “Where the Wild Things Are” without an inscription that sold for $6,240. While some initially criticized “Where the Wild Things Are” for its overly dark imagery, the tale of how a rebellious boy hero, Max, tames the dark and ghoulish creatures that inhabit many children’s nightmares was instantly popular among children. The book, which has sold more than 10 million copies and been translated into 15 languages, made the Brooklyn-born son of Jewish immigrants one of the most influential children’s writers of the 20th century.
Courtesy of UrbanOhio
The Ohio Statehouse, in Columbus, OH, the grounds of which will host a new Holocaust Memorial.
which to fund the project, with a certain amount left over for compensation. After a trip to Columbus for a viewing of the installation space, the artists will have six weeks to create a project proposal. These will then be scrutinized by the same memorial committee, so that “the memorial itself [helps] everyone who visits and works in the Statehouse to understand not just the history of the Holocaust, but also the fact that today we must continue to stand against evil,” in the words of the project’s literature. The winner of the competition will be announced in May, with the project expected to reach completion by the spring or summer of 2014.
Christian leaders converge on DC to lobby against Hagel confirmation By Maxine Dovere JointMedia News Service WASHINGTON, DC – Hundreds of pro-Israel Christians descended on Washington, DC, on Monday to raise heated voices against the confirmation of former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense. The Action Fund of Christians United for Israel (CUFI) brought more than 400 Christian leaders, in addition to some rabbis, from 46 different states to Capitol Hill to lobby their U.S. senators and U.S. representatives to vote against
Hagel’s confirmation. At Monday’s preliminary session of the CUFI Emergency Summit, which began with a dinner and policy briefing, Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (RTX), CUFI Founder and Chairman Pastor John Hagee, and CUFI board member and President of American Values Gary Bauer presented the organization’s positions – which were conveyed to House and Senate members Tuesday. “We Jews like to stand before God,” said Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg as he led the ceremonial blessing of the bread at the rapidly convened
Emergency Summit dinner. Hagee laid out CUFI’s objections to an attentive audience, concluding “we pledge that we will stand with Israel when push comes to shove.” “Well,” extolled Hagee, “push has come to shove!” Hagee acknowledged Hagel’s record as a Vietnam veteran and senator “with all due respect,” but stressed that the positions the former senator has taken on Iran and Israel make him unsuitable as Secretary of Defense. LEADERS on page 19
6 • NATIONAL
Ed Koch, pugnacious New Yorker and passionate Jew till his dying day By Ron Kampeas and Uriel Heilman
Jewish Telegraph Agency NEW YORK – One of the proudest moments of Ed Koch’s life came during a trip to Israel in 1990, in the midst of the first Palestinian intifada. Koch had recently left City Hall after 12 years as mayor of New York City and was touring Jerusalem when a Palestinian threw a rock at his group, striking Koch in the head. The ex-mayor was bleeding a bit but wasn’t really hurt, and he mopped up the wound with his handkerchief. The incident would become one of Koch’s favorite stories, the moment, he would say, when “I shed a little blood for the people of Israel.” It was reflective of the pugnacity of the man who served three terms as mayor of New York, spent nine years in Congress, earned two battle stars as an infantryman in Europe during World War II, wrote 17 books, and spent the last two decades of his life as a lawyer, talk show host, professor and even restaurant critic – working almost to his last day. Koch, 88, died of congestive heart failure early Friday morning at New York-Presbyterian Columbia Hospital. He had been hospitalized twice in recent weeks to drain fluid from his lungs. His death came on the same day as “Koch,” a documentary about his life, opens in theaters nationwide. Tributes to Koch immediately poured in from all corners of the Jewish world, including the Israeli ambassador to the United States, and both sides of the political aisle. “Mayor Koch was a passionate and principled leader and an outspoken defender of Israel and the Jewish community,” said Matt Brooks, the director of the Republican Jewish Coalition. “He chose principle over politics and didn’t engage in partisan bitterness.” The National Jewish Democratic Council hailed Koch as a “consummate and proud Jewish Democrat who advocated fiercely for the U.S.-Israel relationship and the progressive domestic policies in which he truly believed.” Famous for greeting constituents with “How’m I doin?,” the Jewish mayor presided over some of the city’s most difficult years, from 1978 to 1989, and helped spur the recovery that would flourish under one of his successors, Rudy Giuliani. Edward Irving Koch was born in the Bronx on Dec. 12, 1924 to Jewish immigrants from Poland. The family moved to Newark, N.J., when Koch was 9, after his father’s fur shop closed during the Depression, but returned to New York in 1941 when business picked
Courtesy of Zeitgeist Films/The New York Post
Ed Koch sitting in the office of his campaign manager, David Garth, September 1977.
up again. After high school, Koch enrolled at City College and worked as a shoe salesman, but his studies were interrupted when he was drafted into the army in 1943. He served in the infantry and after the war spent time in Bavaria helping replace Nazis who occupied public posts with non-Nazis, according to The New York Times. He was discharged in 1946 and went to law school at New York University. Koch got his start in politics as a Democratic district leader in Greenwich Village, then worked his way up to City Council, and in 1968 beat incumbent Whitney North Seymour Jr., a Republican, in a race for Congress. Though he served for nine years in Washington, Koch remained a creature of New York, saying he got the “bends” whenever he stayed away from the city for too long, according to the Times. In 1977, Koch ran for mayor, upsetting Abraham Beame, another Jewish mayor who oversaw a fiscal crisis that brought New York to the edge of bankruptcy. Upon taking office, Koch immediately set to cutting the municipal budget, trimming the city’s workforce, reaching a settlement with unions and securing federal aid that had been denied to Beame. In his second term, he turned the $400 million deficit he had inherited into a $500 million surplus. He won a third term with 78 percent of the vote, but then things went sour. His administration was beset by a series of corruption scandals, rising drug-related violence and burgeoning racial tensions. Koch became the target of black ire for closing a hospital in Harlem – a move he later conceded had been a mistake – and for saying that Jews would be “crazy” to vote for the Rev. Jesse Jackson in the 1988 presidential primary, given Jackson’s support for Palestinians and his 1984 reference to New York as “Hymietown.” After losing his bid for election to a fourth term in 1989 when David Dinkins bested him in the
Democratic primary, Koch retired into a happy existence as a Jewish Yoda, blessing or cursing political figures as he saw fit and not always hewing to the prescripts of the Democratic Party. In his later years, Koch seemed to swing like a pendulum between Democrats and Republicans, and his political imprimatur was eagerly sought by both sides. He endorsed Giuliani, a Republican, in his successful mayoral bid in 1993 against Dinkins. He often shared – and sometimes took over – the stage at endorsements for other Republicans, including New York Gov. George Pataki, Sen. Al D’Amato and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Koch stumped hard for George W. Bush’s presidential reelection in 2004, and was not afraid to tell baffled Jewish Democrats why: Bush had Israel’s back, Koch said. Four years later, Republicans hoped to win a repeat endorsement for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), but Koch, alarmed at what he saw as Republican plans to degrade the social safety net he had championed as a congressman in the 1970s, instead threw in with Barack Obama. Almost as soon as Obama became president, however, Koch became one of his biggest Jewish detractors, lacerating the president with criticism for his perceived coolness to Israel. “I believe we are seeing a dramatic change in the relationship between the United States and the State of Israel that adversely affects the State of Israel and it is being orchestrated by President Barack Obama,” Koch said in early 2010, after a cool meeting between the president and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “The president, when he invited the prime minister of Israel, Netanyahu, to the White House, was extremely rude to him, treated him as though he were a Third World tyrant.” In 2011, Koch endorsed Republican Bob Turner for a spe-
cial election to fill a vacant congressional seat in New York in what was seen as a safe Democratic district, even though the Democratic contender, David Weprin, was both Jewish and stridently pro-Israel. Turner won and many credited Koch’s endorsement with tipping the scales during the campaign. When Obama subsequently retreated from criticism of Israel’s settlement policies, Koch claimed credit. “I believe the recent vote in the 9th Congressional District in New York affected in a positive way the policy of the U.S. on the Mideast,” Koch wrote supporters in an email. Last year, Koch enthusiastically endorsed Obama in a long video released just before the election – an appearance Jewish Democrats credit with helping boost Obama’s Jewish numbers in Florida, a critical swing state. Yet in recent weeks Koch turned on Obama again, making no secret of his disappointment in Obama’s choice of Chuck Hagel, a former Republican senator with a fraught relationship with the pro-Israel community, for secretary of defense. “Frankly, I thought that there would come a time when he would renege on what he conveyed on his support of Israel,” Koch said of Obama in a Jan. 7 interview with the Algemeiner, a Jewish publication. “It comes a little earlier than I thought it would.” Rabbi Joe Potasnik, the executive vice president of the New York Board of Rabbis, said Koch told him his hero was Harry Truman, another Democratic Party leader unafraid of defying his base. “He admired independence,” Potasnik recalled in an interview Friday. Koch, who never married, held twin passions he guarded ferociously: the Jewish people and New York. After the stone-throwing incident in 1990, Koch took the stone and blood-stained handkerchief to a frame shop, but the shop lost the stone and substituted a fake – which Koch immediately spotted. He was placated only by a letter from Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, who praised him as “the first eminent American to be stoned in the Old City.” Instead of the stone, Koch framed Shamir’s letter along with a photo of his wound. Koch’s tombstone is engraved with his name, his years as mayor, the Shema prayer, and the final words of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter murdered in Pakistan on Feb. 1, 2002, the same date Koch died: “My father is Jewish. My mother is Jewish. I am Jewish.” His chosen burial place is a non-denominational churchyard at the corner of 155th Street and Amsterdam – selected because he could not imagine spending eternity outside Manhattan.
Ed Koch, FDR, and the Holocaust By Rafael Medoff JointMedia News Service “Mayor Koch last night took on the ghost of President Franklin D. Roosevelt,” an item in the New York Daily News in 1988 began, which probably surprised no one, since Ed Koch had spent a lifetime taking on everybody who deserved to be taken on, whether they were alive or dead. Indeed, his willingness to vigorously battle for what he believed, and let the chips fall where they may, was precisely what endeared Koch – who died Feb. 1 – to so many people across the political spectrum. As a historian who has written about President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s response to the Holocaust, what intrigued me about that 1988 speech was the unique way in which the New York City mayor framed his criticism of FDR: “I will never forgive him for closing the doors to Jews who could have left Germany. Never will I forgive him. If you believe in purgatory – and I don’t even know what it is – that’s where he is, for that sin.”
Courtesy of Provided photo
In the years to follow, as Mayor Koch and I became friends and then coauthors, I had the opportunity to speak with him about that “purgatory” remark. And when a reporter from Italian National Television who was scheduled to interview Koch on the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz asked me what topics I thought he should raise, I suggested bringing up the purgatory issue. “I think it’s a Catholic expression,” Koch told him. “I’m not Catholic, I’m Jewish. I don’t think Jews have purgatory. I’m not really sure, I’m not religious myself, although I believe in God. But ‘purgatory’ [means] that you have an opportunity to deal with your sinful life and ultimately get to Heaven… you have to spend a time in purgatory, winning the right to enter Heaven.” KOCH on page 19
NATIONAL • 7
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2013
Seeking Kin: Did Sonia New textbook study threatens to Lifschitz’s infant Israeli undercut argument that sister die, or was she Palestinian schools preach hate abducted? By Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraphic Agency
By Hillel Kuttler Jewish Telegraph Agency BALTIMORE – Meir and Esther Ohayon died in 1988 and 2010, respectively, mourning as no parents should: They lost three children to illness in their native Morocco and another child two years after moving to Israel in 1956. But Sonia Lifschitz, one of the Ohayons’ three surviving children, thinks that her Israeli sister did not die at the Haifa hospital where she’d been delivered – or at all. She believes her sister is still alive and could be residing in the United States. Lifschitz, 55 and a resident of Bar-Yochai, a Modern Orthodox village in Israel’s Galilee region, aims to find her. The circumstances of her sister’s birth and presumed death remain unclear because the Ohayons always deflected questions from their children: Lifschitz, her older brother, Eli, and her younger brother, Nissim. The girl died at the hospital – that’s about all the adults said. Lifschitz believes the infant may be one of more than 1,000 babies of Sephardic origin who are believed by some to have disappeared during Israel’s early years. In that era, parents – almost exclusively immigrants from other Middle East countries – were told that their child or newborn baby had died in a hospital and then was buried. But the parents’ pleas for explanations, death certificates and a viewing of the body were rebuffed. Many suspected that their babies were seized in a plot to provide infants to childless Holocaust survivors or for adoption abroad. More than 1,000 such cases – mostly involving Yemenite immigrants – were reported to official investigative commissions in the ensuing decades. Some involved babies who fell ill and were taken to hospitals from the kibbutzim and tent cities where their families then lived; those babies sometimes were returned to the wrong place and never were reunited with their parents. Three official Israeli commissions determined that children were not kidnapped and the government was not involved in their disappearance. Dov Levitan, a professor at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University who is an expert on Yemenite Jewry and on the allegations regarding the babies’ disappearance, said most of the children really died, as the
Courtesy of Sonia Lifschitz
Sonia Lifschitz says she has "a strong intuition" that her sister is alive and well.
parents had been told. In 1957 or 1958, the period covering the Ohayon case, “there was not a real demand for children and adoption. There was not a need to take children for the newcomers,” he said. “It’s very easy to publish or complain, but on what basis?” Lifschitz doesn’t have a lot to go on. She does not know when her sister was born or whether she ever received a name, and no photograph was ever taken of the baby. Her mother told her that the day after giving birth at Rambam Hospital in Haifa, the Ohayons were visited by Aharon Peretz, the physician who had delivered the baby – and delivered Lifschitz in 1957 and would deliver Nissim in 1961. Peretz sat on Ohayon’s hospital bed and informed the parents that their baby had died. Meir asked to see the body, and Peretz said the baby had been buried in a yard on the hospital’s grounds. The parents accepted the news and soon returned to their home in Ma’abarat Kiryat Nachum, across the road from the town of Kiryat Ata, east of Haifa. This was one of many ma’abarot, or tent cities, that the government in the nascent state established to house the thousands of new immigrants for whom apartments were not available. For the last five years, Lifschitz has been looking for answers. She knew the baby was delivered a year and a half after Lifschitz, so she dates the birth to the autumn of 1958. Lifschitz has read personal accounts written by Yemenite Israelis whose children disappeared and spoke with two Moroccan-Israeli neighbors whose mothers similarly lost a child. SEEKING on page 20
WASHINGTON – An in-depth comparative study of Palestinian and Israeli school textbooks is offering some conclusions that already are making some Israeli government officials very unhappy: Palestinian textbooks do not have as much antiIsrael incitement as often portrayed. While this finding might appear to be welcome news for supporters of Israel, it also threatens to undercut one of the central elements of the official Israeli narrative. For years, the charge that Palestinians “educate to hate” has been an Israeli trump card in undermining claims that Palestinian statehood is overdue, and it is an article of faith among many lawmakers in Congress. “This obviously cuts down one of the pegs and a linchpin in the argument that the Israel government makes, that the Palestinian Authority is teaching hatred to their kids,” said an official who works closely with mainstream Jewish organizations in the United States. The official declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter. Titled “Victims of our own Narratives?” and funded by the U.S. State Department, the study finds both Israel and the Palestinians lacking in making the case for the other side’s presence in the Holy Land. It
Courtesy of IRIN/Creative Commons
Palestinian schoolchildren studying at the UNRWA Gaza Elementary School in Gaza City, 2010.
also scores Israeli books as better than Palestinian ones at preparing schoolchildren for peace. But in the same pages it praises both Israel and the Palestinian Authority for publishing textbooks virtually free of “dehumanizing and demonizing characterizations of the other.” “Both the Israeli and Palestinian communities should be commended for this important positive aspect of their books,” the study says. “Extreme negative characterizations of the other of this sort are present in textbooks elsewhere in the world.”
The study was launched in 2009 by the Council of Religious Institutions in the Holy Land, a multifaith body that aims “to prevent religion from being used as a source of conflict, and to promote mutual respect,” according to its website. It is comprised of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate, the Palestinian Islamic Waqf, and the heads of Christian churches in Israel and the West Bank. The Israeli government did not formally cooperate with the study; Palestinian Authority officials did. STUDY on page 22
8 • NATIONAL / INTERNATIONAL
Hagel fight heats up with senators’ grilling, pro-Israel Christian opposition By Jacob Kamaras and Maxine Dovere JointMedia News Service WASHINGTON, DC – Chuck Hagel, President Barack Obama’s defense secretary nominee who has come under fire for both his statements and actions relating to Israel, was pressed on his foreign policy record throughout a daylong Senate confirmation hearing last week that came on the heels of lobbying against his confirmation by more than 400 pro-Israel Christian leaders. During the Jan. 31 hearing, the former Nebraska senator mistakenly expressed support for a U.S. policy of “containment” in dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat at his Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday. “I’ve just been handed a note that I misspoke and said I supported the president’s position on ‘containment,’” Hagel went on to say. “If I said that, I meant to say that obviously – his position on containment – we don’t have a position on containment.” U.S. Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) then intervened, saying, “Just to make sure your correction is clear, we do have a position on containment – which is we do not favor containment.” Responding to U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), who questioned Hagel on a 2007 speech he gave
Courtesy of Maxine Dovere
Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg (left) raises a question to Rabbi Pesach Lerner at the CUFI (Christians United for Israel) emergency lobbying session against the nomination of Chuck Hagel for defense secretary in Washington, DC, Jan. 28.
the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in which he said “the strategy of containment remain[s] relevant today” regarding Iran, Hagel said “I don’t have the speech in front of me.” “I think there was more to it,” Hagel added. Hagel’s initial comment supporting containment came after he had read from a different speech, in which he stated that he was “committed to the president’s view
that the United States should take no options off the table in our efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.” “What should we believe? What he read from the page or what he said later on?” Boaz Bismuth asked in an oped for Israel Hayom, adding that “Hagel perhaps ‘slipped’ at his Senate hearing – but his appointment will be a slip up for the administration.” Hagel expressed regret for the
infamous comment he made to former Middle East negotiator Aaron David Miller in 2008 that “The Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here.” Hagel said he should have instead used the term “pro-Israel lobby.” “I’m sorry and I regret it,” Hagel said. “On the use of ‘intimidation,’ I should have used ‘influence,’ I think would have been more appropriate.” U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NB) said Hagel’s ideas are “extreme” and “far to the left” of Obama’s. Hagel chairs the Atlantic Council think tank, which in December published a column titled “Israel’s Apartheid Policy” as well as a policy paper predicting that Iran “should be viewed as a potential natural partner” for the U.S. Hagel while in the senate declined to sign an August 2006 letter asking the European Union to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization (12 out of 100 senators did not sign), a November 2001 letter asking President George W. Bush not to meet Yasser Arafat until Arafat took steps to end violence against Israel (11 senators did not sign), and an October 2000 letter in support of Israel (four senators did not sign). Hagel did, however, sign a March 2009 letter asking Obama to directly negotiate with Hamas. HAGEL on page 20
Brooklyn cantorial concert a milestone for new Barclays Center
For California mountain man, road to God runs through kosher wine
By Chavie Lieber Jewish Telegraph Agency
By Chavie Lieber Jewish Telegraph Agency
NEW YORK – Who knew the man behind the Brooklyn homecomings of Jay-Z and Barbra Streisand had a thing for heimische melodies? Bruce Ratner, the developer and majority owner of the Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn, which opened last September with a JayZ show and hosted borough native Streisand a month later, holds a special place in his heart for cantorial music. “My parents are both from Eastern European descent, so that type of Jewish music is in my blood,” Ratner told JTA. “I grew up going to my Conservative synagogue in Cleveland, where they had an amazing cantor who I absolutely loved to listen to. And as I got older, I was always buying cantor CDs. The music is just so refined.” Ratner, the chairman and chief executive of the real estate development firm Forest City Enterprises,
is taking personal pride in having spearheaded efforts to put on the first Jewish event at the venue: a Feb. 28 concert featuring the renowned Israeli-born violinist Itzhak Perlman sharing the stage with Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot. The Barclays performance comes on the heels of the pair’s recent collaboration, “Eternal Echoes: Songs and Dances for the Soul,” an album of Jewish music released in August. In an age where klezmer music has gained a following in the downtown jazz scene and Yiddish culture has experienced something of a revival, Ratner is optimistic that between Brooklyn’s hipsters and Chasidim, the show will find an audience. “I know not everyone listens to cantorial music today, but if they really listen, they’ll find such a history behind it,” said Ratner, who became acquainted with Perlman 30 years ago when their daughters attended private school together in CONCERT on page 20
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – Producing wine atop a tranquil mountain in a remote area of northern California is quite a way to make a living. For Benyamin Cantz, whose one-man operation in the hills of Santa Cruz produces kosher wine from organic grapes, it’s also a calling. “This is my livelihood but I don’t quite run it like a fullfledged business,” Cantz told JTA in an interview on his vineyard, Four Gates Winery. “It could definitely be run more efficiently, but I don’t see the process like that. I just love making wine and the holy concept behind it, and I just want to share it with others.” Four Gates is one of the smallest kosher wineries in the country, producing only 400 cases a year. It’s also one of the only ones in the world that grows its own grapes organically.
The vineyard is located deep in the folds of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Just getting up Cantz’s driveway is like an amusement park ride, with a newly paved road meandering up and around a labyrinth of thick foliage. The journey ends at a quaint sign greeting visitors in Hebrew. Beyond, sprawling green pastures give to way to breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Cantz, 65, arrived at this mountaintop 42 years ago for a summer job doing handywork and never left. He had studied calligraphy in college, never intending to become a winemaker. But after becoming religiously observant with the help of a Chabad rabbi he met in town, Cantz says he came to understand the spiritual transformation grapes undergo on their way from the vine to the Shabbat table, and he felt a strong desire to become involved in the process. WINE on page 22
International Briefs 100 imams to commemorate Holocaust near Paris memorial site (JTA) – Some 100 imams will commemorate the Holocaust at a memorial monument near Paris. Monday’s event is planned for Drancy, a suburb of the French capital where tens of thousands of Jews were confined in 1942 before being transported to extermination camps during the German Nazi occupation, according to a report in the French daily Le Figaro. The paper called the event unprecedented. Hassen Chalghoumi, the imam of Drancy and a veteran activist for dialogue between Muslims and Jews in France and against anti-Semitism, will host the imams. Manuel Valls, France’s interior minister, also is scheduled to attend the event, which Le Figaro reported is the initiative of Chalghoumi and the French Jewish novelist Marek Halter. In explaining the goal of the event, Halter recalled a landmark visit by 19 French Muslim leaders, many of them imams, to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial museum. “This had a huge impact in Israel and the Arab World,” Halter told Le Figaro. “The objective is to re-create this at Drancy.” Since the second intifada of 2000, France’s Jewish population of approximately 550,000 has experienced an increase in anti-Semitic violence, mostly by Muslim extremists. Last March, Mohammed Merah, a 23-year-old French-Algerian Islamist terrorist, killed four Jews at a Jewish day school in Toulouse. “We are in a period of crisis, and tensions take the form of violence,” Halter said. “We need to soothe the tensions. It’s a time bomb.” British court accepts N.Y. rabbinical court’s divorce ruling (JTA) – A British court accepted a New York rabbinical court’s ruling in a dispute between a haredi Orthodox man and his ex-wife over their two children. The ruling by a judge of the London-based High Court of Justice last month was the first of its kind in England and Wales, according to a report last Friday in the Jewish Chronicle. BRIEFS on page 22
INTERNATIONAL • 9
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2013
European producers eager to ride exploding Tel Aviv bicycle scene By Cnaan Liphshiz Jewish Telegraph Agency
Courtesy of UEJF
A poster produced by the Union of Jewish French Students of Jesus and Mary spray-painted with the words "dirty Jew."
Court decision on antiSemitic tweets emboldens European activists By Cnaan Liphshiz Jewish Telegraph Agency BRUSSELS – Immediately after a French court ordered Twitter to reveal details about users who had posted anti-Semitic messages, a proud Sacha Reingewirtz was already spreading the word about a judgment he helped win – via Twitter. Within minutes of the Jan. 24 ruling, the vice president of the Union of French Jewish Students was firing off tweets with the details of the decision. The Grand Instance Court in Paris, responding to a complaint filed by the union and several other groups last year, gave Twitter 15 days to hand over personal details of users suspected of posting anti-Semitic tweets in violation of France’s restrictive laws on hate speech. The court also imposed a $1,300 fine for every day that Twitter fails to comply and ordered the company to set up a system that would flag illegal content for removal. “It is a major victory for us and a legal breakthrough for others to use elsewhere in Europe,” Reingewirtz told JTA. The French ruling is the latest skirmish in the fight over the extent of free speech protections in the digital age, exposing the gap between Europe’s more restrictive post-Holocaust legislation on hate speech and the sweeping protections of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. It’s a rift that also runs through the Jewish world, with European Jewish groups hailing the ruling as an important bulwark against hate. “Behind the anonymity that Twitter affords them, some European users feel safe to air out hateful views which they would not disseminate under their own names,” said Esther Voet, deputy director of CIDI, a Dutch Jewish watchdog on anti-Semitism. “But Twitter is also a public space, subject to the same laws that apply on the street.” The Anti-Defamation League, an American group, offered a more
muted response and declined to directly address the substance of the court order to reveal the identities of the offending users. “Whether the French court order can or should be enforced in the United States gives rise to complicated issues of French legal interests versus American legal interests,” said Abraham Foxman, the ADL’s national director. “While the law may be one tool in the fight against online hate, we believe that the best antidote to hate speech is counter-speech.” Foxman also encouraged Twitter and other social media companies to “protect readers from harmful, hateful content.” The French lawsuit centers on thousands of tweets organized under the hashtag #unbonjuif (“a good Jew”). Hashtags are labels used to index tweets on a particular topic. In October, a competition of anti-Semitic and Holocaust jokes was indexed with the #unbonjuif hashtag. A similar phenomenon developed this month in Spanish with the hashtag #esdeJudios, or “just like Jews.” In meetings with Twitter attorneys, the union demanded the removal of thousands of antiSemitic tweets. Twitter agreed to block access to the tweets only in France. It also refused to delete the tweets entirely, set up a flagging system or hand over details about those who were seen by UEJF as inciting hatred against Jews. The union and other groups filed a complaint with the Paris court on Oct. 23. “Of the social networks, Twitter were the only ones to reject that they bear any responsibility for content put on their site,” said Mike Whine of the Community Security Trust, British Jewry’s security unit. “You have to remember that the social networks were started 10 years ago by college kids, sometimes from their parents’ garages, who are only now beginning to accept their social responsibilities. It’s a journey.” DECISION on page 21
AMSTERDAM – A short ride on a luxury wooden bicycle can take much longer than expected in south Tel Aviv. The roads are fine, Maxime van Gelder says, “but people keep asking you to stop and take their picture with the bike.” Van Gelder, the 22-year-old marketing director for the 2-yearold boutique Dutch bicycle maker Bough Bikes, was in Tel Aviv this month to help establish the city as the company’s fourth international market, after New York, London and Berlin. Bough, based in the city of Alkmaar, manufactures the distinctive bikes entirely from sustainably grown French oak and sells them for about $1,600 a pop. Van Gelder ended up leaving three bikes with Caspar Veldkamp, the Dutch ambassador to Israel, whose staff was to try them out before they were formally unveiled at the embassy’s annual Holland Day event on Jan. 28. “I know bikes and I know Tel Aviv and the advances the city has made, so I know it has the potential of being an ideal arena for us,” van Gelder told JTA. Bough isn’t the only European bike maker to notice the growing demand for high-quality, luxury bicycles in Tel Aviv, whose residents are relying increasingly on
Courtesy of Serge Attal/FLASH90/JTA
An Israeli soldier riding her bicycle past a graffiti-painted wall in Tel Aviv, 2012.
bike-friendly developments that have reshaped the flat, congested metropolis into a world-class bicycle city. Dozens of miles of bike lanes now wind along the iconic Rothschild and Arlozorov boulevards in central Tel Aviv; along the city’s broad beach promenade; and most recently along Sheinkin Street, the epicenter of the city’s vibrant cafe culture. In 2011, Tel Aviv joined some 100 other cities in launching a municipal bikesharing service. “We in Israel have always turned for inspiration to Europe’s bicycle culture, and to Holland and Denmark in particular, so it’s very
exciting and perfectly logical that they are now looking back,” said Oded Gilad, a spokesman for the nonprofit Israel for Bikes. “There is a real bicycle renaissance in Israel, and especially in Tel Aviv.’” Among the pioneers in Israel’s European-inspired bicycle market is Ari Rozenzweig of Copenhagen, who seven years ago opened Israel’s first boutique bicycle factory. “In comparison to Europeans, Israelis really love bling bling,” said Rozenzweig, 41, a former professional dancer who immigrated to Israel shortly before opening his shop. PRODUCERS on page 22
10 • ISRAEL
Reports of Israeli attack come amid mounting concerns over Syrian chemical weapons By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraph Agency TEL AVIV – Israeli planes reportedly struck a Syrian weapons transport on the Lebanese border amid increasing fears that the country’s chemical weapons stockpile could fall into the hands of Hezbollah. The strikes, which occurred in the early hours of Wednesday morning, were reported to Reuters by a Western diplomat and anonymous regional sources who said that warplanes had struck the convoy as it passed from Syria into Lebanon. It was unclear from the reports whether the strike occurred on the Syrian or Lebanese side of the border. The Israel Defense Forces declined to comment on the reports. As the Syrian civil war persists and the regime of President Bashar Assad grows increasingly unstable, Israeli officials are concerned that Assad may transfer chemical weapons to his ally Hezbollah, the Lebanese terrorist group. Senior Israeli officials have been issuing warnings about such a transfer for months. On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel must closely follow developments “with the deadly weapons in Syria, which is increasingly coming apart.” Experts say that a transfer of chemical weapons to Hezbollah is possible, as Assad is slowly losing his grip on power and does not want the weapons to fall into his
Courtesy of Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Israeli postal workers distribute gas masks to Jerusalem residents amid warnings of chemical weapons used by both sides in the Syrian civil war, Jan. 30, 2013.
opponents’ hands. Dany Shoham, an unconventional weapons expert at Bar-Ilan University’s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, said reports of the strike might be credible. “I wouldn’t regard it as a surprise,” Shoham told JTA. “Israel posed this possibility as a red line already.” Syria is widely believed to possess two types of chemical weapons – the nerve agents sarin and VX, both of which target the nervous system and can cause paralysis or death. Even if they can acquire the weapons, experts say Hezbollah is unlikely to use them. In any case, they would be difficult for the terrorist group to weaponize.
Chemical weapons must explode at the correct height to be effective: too high, they evaporate into the air; too low and the ground absorbs the chemicals. More likely, Hezbollah would seek to use the weapons as a deterrent. “The question is what Hezbollah can do with them,” said Yiftah Shapir, a director at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies. “It can’t do anything with aerial bombs because it doesn’t have planes. “We need to look at Hezbollah like an organized army. It’s a political group with political missions and goals. If it uses them, it will use them like a state.” Shapir added that any use of chemical weapons would draw
widespread international condemnation and “justify any reaction” from Israel. “They’re not more lethal than conventional weapons,” Shapir said. “If you add the negative political effects that using chemical weapons has, it has worse effects. An army wouldn’t be excited to use them because of tactical reasons.” Israel’s North has equipped itself with bomb shelters that can be sealed off in the event of chemical warfare, and an Iron Dome missile defense battery was moved this week near the northern city of Haifa. But Nissan Zeevi, a spokesman for the Home Front Defense Ministry, told JTA that no special preparations are happening near the border. Tel Aviv University Professor Eyal Zisser, in an interview with the Israeli news website Walla, said that Syria is unlikely to retaliate against the alleged strike. He noted that Syria did not retaliate after Israel allegedly bombed its nuclear reactor in 2007, when Assad was in a more secure position than he is now. “His state is falling apart,” Zisser said. “He’ll just deal with it.” Zisser added that the fall of Assad could be good for Israel, as it will weaken Hezbollah and its patron, Iran, though it will likely bring instability and possibly empower terrorist groups. “We’ll have problems with elements of al-Qaida,” Zisser said, “but in the long term it’s more positive than negative.”
After Bank of Israel head’s resignation, looking back and ahead By Alex Traiman JointMedia News Service Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer shocked Israeli markets when he announced his resignation just one week after the country completed national elections. Add Fischer’s vacated post to the list of major political, diplomatic and economic appointments that will be made in Israel in the coming weeks and months. Fischer successfully steered Israel’s economy through global financial turmoil and is generally credited with avoiding many of the pitfalls that have plagued other Western economies, particularly in Europe and the United States. “Stanley Fischer was one of the best governors the Bank of Israel has ever had,” Steven Plaut, Professor of Economics at Haifa University, told JNS. “The announcement of his resignation is both surprising and disappointing.”
Fischer said he is “leaving the central bank in good shape.” “I will continue working until the end, and I have five more months,” Fischer stated at a press conference announcing his sudden resignation. “Eight years is a long time. I intended to stay here eight years. I arranged with the prime minister that I would leave after the budget was submitted. I wrote a list of tasks, and I achieved most of them.” “Professionally, I achieved the things that I believed I could achieve, and personally, my family lives far away,” he added. “The next governor will be in a better position than I was when I arrived at the Bank of Israel.” That is because of the caution Fischer exercised during his tenure, according to Plaut. “Perhaps the best things that he did were the things he did not do,” the professor told JNS. “In the United States, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke
Courtesy of World Economic Forum
Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer talks during the session "Redesigning Financial Regulation" at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 30, 2010.
essentially enabled President Barack Obama to spend trillions of dollars and push America’s debt to new limits.” “Unlike governors in Europe and the U.S., Fischer didn’t spend billions on stimulus, and he didn’t print excessive sums of money,” Plaut said. “Fischer understands that eventually the public pays for these measures. A government should not force taxpayers to stimulate themselves.” Fischer, a former chief economist at the World Bank, utilized his professional standing as well as his expertise to help steward Israel’s growth as an emerging economic power, despite regional security challenges not faced by many other nations. His leadership amidst global economic uncertainty and regional turmoil has earned him and Israel’s economy praise in the international marketplace. RESIGNATION on page 21
Israel Briefs Iran’s security head: Israel will ‘regret’ striking Syrian targets JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel will “regret” striking targets in Syria, Iran’s national security council head said during a visit to Damascus. “(T)he Zionist entity will regret its aggression against Syria,” Saeed Jalili, head of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said Monday. “Syria is at the forefront of the Muslim world’s confrontation with the Zionist entity.” His comments came a day after Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak at the Munich Security Conference implied that Israel was responsible for a strike last week on a Syrian military facility and also reportedly a convoy of advanced missiles being delivered to Hezbollah. Israel has neither confirmed nor denied that it was responsible for the strikes on Syrian territory. Anat Kamm wants compensation from Haaretz for revealing identity JERUSALEM (JTA) – Anat Kamm, who was jailed for turning classified military documents over to a reporter, is seeking compensation from Haaretz for revealing her identity. Kamm, a former Israeli soldier, is asking the newspaper for more than $540,000, according to Haaretz. “Kamm views you and some of the newspaper’s employees as directly responsible, or indirectly, for revealing [her] as the source,” Kamm’s lawyer, Ilan Bombach, wrote to Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken more than a week ago, the newspaper reported on Monday. “This exposure caused my client enormous damage.” Haaretz attorneys said that Kamm’s claims “have no real basis.” Kamm charges that her house arrest and jail time cut short her career as a journalist and her academic studies. Her lawyer said that if she does not get the money from Haaretz, she will sue. Kamm was convicted in February of collecting, holding and passing on classified information without authorization. She had been charged originally with espionage, but the charge was dropped as part of a plea bargain. Kamm was arrested in late 2009 or early 2010.
SOCIAL LIFE • 11
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2013
Adath Israel Congregation / Jarson Education Center May Lerner Pre-Gan Classes Adath Israel Congregation feels it is never too early to start building your child’s connection to Judaism. Spurred by our parents’ desires for us to create a Sunday morning program so their little ones could join their older siblings, connect with other Jewish children and learn more about their religion in a fun, handson, and active manner, the Jarson Education Center May Lerner Pre-Gan classes began in October. We kicked off our program with two classes of 21 of our youngest congregants enrolled! Our teachers, Marcie Oliff, Pam Meisner and Sherryl Sommer are all very experienced teachers and have developed an amazing program for pre-Kindergarteners. Students learn about mitzvot, holidays, Jewish values and more as well as being introduced to some basic Hebrew vocabulary. As one pre-Gan student so eloquently put it, “I love coming to religious school. I am having so much fun with my new friends!!!” Photos continued on page 12.
One of the Pre-Gan students with her completed apple tree.
Putting together a puzzle about apples and honey.
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Dancing and singing to “If you’re Jewish and you know it....”
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Our new large motor room is ready to go, complete with pictures of our students!
It’s time to get up and dance during music time with Mitch. We begin with Modeh Ani to wake up and start the day!
Our Madricha works with one of the students on a Hebrew letter puzzle.
Each week both classes visit the library with Mrs. Bresler.
Trying out the tactile balance beam in the large muscle room.
Teacher Pam Meisner and several children play during free play time.
Building a tower.
Children choose books to look at in the library and to check out and take home for two weeks.
Playing on “Noah’s Ark” outside.
Children learned about Sukkot and then colored a picture for mom and dad.
For Parshat Noach, the children learned a song about animals, one of which was a unicorn!
Some of the boys check out the ball track.
Children say the brachot and then have their morning snack.
CINCINNATI JEWISH LIFE â€˘ 13
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2013
Shaking the tambourine as we dance and learn new songs.
Now that there is a Pre-Gan program, the brothers can both come to Religious school on Sunday mornings.
Choosing a book about Shabbat in the cozy book corner.
14 • DINING OUT
Andy’s Mediterranean—maintaining a new phase of flavor “from shawarma to hummus to everything. Our beef and chicken kebabs are famous. We marinate them with our special family recipe, a secret recipe. Our marinade is so secret it’s sold in a store, in a bottle. You can find it in most of the local small stores in town... Our beef kebab is like a filet mignon kebab, we only use tenders.” The restaurant has also expanded the menu, trying to avoid any situation where a guest might feel penned in. “We do some different things in the menu, we expanded the menu. We make different things. So we have that very famous falafel, [but we also make] special sautés, lamb shanks which are very famous, and so on.” Andy’s even plans on having a small holiday change in the near future: “For Valentine’s Day we’re planning to have heart-shaped pita bread. We make our own fresh pita bread, cooked every day. Our pita is very thick, very unique, small, a nice pocket.” In the end, no matter the food, Andy’s keeps an eye on quality and character, since that speaks for the food more than anything else. “You have to be consistent about what you do,” said Andy. “Don’t cut down, don’t cut short your inventory, even though things are more expensive now.” In this way Andy’s Mediterranean has built itself up from a small deli on an obscure street to a interstate destination. “We get different clients all of the time,” said Andy. “We have a lot of regulars, too, they come from all over town. We’re a destination, a lot of people come from Louisville, Columbus, Dayton, Lexington, Indianapolis. We have a unique menu, we have belly dancing on the weekend. We’re very well known.” A part of this reputation is staying visible in the local community, which Andy’s has done through charity work. “We do a lot of events, we support the community by raising money or donating food. There’s an event coming up, The Taste of NFL, for the Freestore Foodbank. There’s another one called Taste of Duveneck, they raise money for the Art Museum. Then there’s the Cincinnati Zoo’s Zoofari. So we do our share trying to help the community.” Other specials include Andy’s Happy Hour, which features half off certain appetizers and drinks. The restaurant also offers a value priced three course lunch or dinner. It all creates a combination that keeps things fresh, a new phase of flavor that keeps the excitement steady. Their hours are Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m - 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.; Sunday, 5 - 11 p.m.
By Michael Sawan Assistant Editor Andy’s Mediterranean Grille has gone through several phases in its existence. The restaurant, which has been tucked away off of Gilbert Avenue for almost 20 years, began its life as a mediterranean deli. Andy Hajjar, who owns the restaurant along with his brother Majed and mother Therese, put it this way: “It’s always been the same building. We started here. We became a destination because of our food, the menu, the people, entertainment, you feel that you are in the middle east without the travel.” But the family-owned business had aspirations for something greater, to develop into a full-bodied experience. “We started bringing in imported food, from olives, to canned goods, halavah, hummus, and we had the vision of a good meal,” explained Andy. “We had the recipes from my mom, family recipes. We [developed] the atmosphere, the personality, the personnel, the people, so we decided to expand it to a restaurant.” The process was slow going at first, a matter of patience and hard work. “Me, my brother, and my mom had to work daytime in the grocery store and save our money. At night, after we closed, we worked after time expanding.” The family hired all of the necessary craftsmen, including an electrician, plumber, and heating and air conditioning specialist, but everything else was done by the family. “I did the drywall, the hanging, the finishing,” said Andy. “Even the woodwork and carpentry.” The restaurant’s first addition was a main hall and kitchen, which you can still see today when first entering Andy’s. “At first we couldn’t sit more than 30 people,” said Andy. “It was a good problem to have, so we decided to build more.” The family added a covered patio on the east side of the restaurant, but could only keep it comfortably open in the warm months. So they eventually finished it into a proper room, a full addition. It is now known as the Cedar Room. “It has booths, granite tables, blue ceiling, [it’s] very Mediterranean,” explained Andy. Even further, it has a painting of a giant cedar tree on its eastern wall, a reference to the Hajjar family’s Lebanese heritage. The last notable addition, the Hookah Room, was created out of legal necessity. “Since day one we never allowed smoking, cigarettes or cigars, I never liked them,” said Andy. “But we are a traditional hookah smoking place, people like that, so after the [smoking ban] came out we had to have a special room.” But ambiance is nothing if the food served is ho-hum. Andy’s has never had that problem. “We make all the famous Lebanese food,” explains Andy,
Courtesy of Michael Sawan
(Clockwise) Some of the faces around Andy’s Mediterranean Grille, with Andy himself on the right; The restaurant makes its own pita bread with these machines; The Cedar Room, with plenty of Middle Eastern flair; An outside view of Andy’s Mediterranean Grille.
Andy’s Mediterranean Grille (513) 281-9791 906 Nassau Street Cincinnati, OH 45206
DINING OUT • 15
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2013
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16 • OPINION
Allowing women to choose By Rabbi Avi Shafran Contributing Columnist Well-informed, they say, is well-prepared; and knowledge is power. An exception, though – at least in the judgment of some – seems to be when Jewish women in Israel are contemplating ending their pregnancies. When an Israeli magazine announced it would bestow an award on a group called Efrat, “pro-choice” advocates (seldom have “scare quotes” been so appropriate) howled in outrage. Efrat provides women with information about abortion, as well as financial support for mothers-to-be who are under economic pressure to terminate their pregnancies. The group’s detractors characterize it as preying on women at an emotionally vulnerable time. Efrat, however, does not parade with offensive placards in front of medical facilities like some American groups. Nor does it seek to shame women in any way. Its goal is simply to advance “a woman’s right to free choice,” by providing expectant women who want it with accurate information about medical matters and the development of the lives growing within them; it also offers needy such women who choose to carry their pregnancies to term things like food packages, cribs and strollers. The group claims that, since its founding in 1977, 50,000 babies were born as a result of its work. Strangely enough, that is precisely part of what irks some of the group’s critics. “They’re using the woman for demographics,” complained a protest organizer, Tzaphira Allison Stern, mixing pregnancy with politics. “Why shouldn’t a woman have an abortion?” she asks rhetorically in Efrat’s name. “Because we need the baby so there are more Jews, and so there are more Israeli soldiers, so we can defend the land and continue the occupation.” Ms. Stern is also piqued by her assumption that “the organization works only with Jewish women, rather than with Arab, Druse or Christian women, which illustrates that they care only about politics and not about women’s health.” Like many Jewish charities, Efrat indeed focuses on the Jewish community, but it is in fact open to any woman from any background. Denigrators of Efrat condemn it, too, for what they allege was the group’s role in the death of a young man this past October. Stopped by police after a traffic accident, the distraught man pulled a gun and threatened to kill
his pregnant girlfriend, prompting police to shoot him. He died of a wound to the head, and the tragedy, schlepped along a convoluted path, was laid at Efrat’s door. Critics claimed that an Efrat employee had convinced the young woman to carry her child to term, which agitated the young man, and hence that the group was responsible for his fate (“death by counseling of another person” presumably). As it happens, Efrat insists that it has no record of any interaction at all with the young woman. When Israel’s two chief rabbis came out in support of Efrat, the opposition grew even more heated, even though Ashkenazi chief Rabbi Yona Metzger made clear that when he opposes termination of pregnancies he is “not talking about a pregnant woman who has psychological, medical or familial reasons” for considering such a move, but rather women who do so “due to financial considerations,” which, he explains, is “where Efrat comes in.” The activists, nonetheless, were only further activated. “This is another step in the radicalization of religious figures,” declared Hedva Eyal, who runs an abortion hotline in Haifa, “and is part of the discrimination against women that we are witnessing… with respect to their decisions over their own lives and health.” Left unexplained is how allowing women to make fully informed decisions about babies they are carrying – yes, babies; Israel permits abortions even into the third trimester of pregnancy – is discriminatory. An equally over-activated Nurit Tsur, the former executive director of the Israel Women’s Network, scoffed that “the Chief Rabbinate… has been infiltrated by haredi elements,” as if any authentic Jewish approach condones abortion for financial considerations. There are many issues where contemporary mores stand in stark contrast with truly Jewish values. But both the modern mindset and the authentic Jewish one are in agreement that important decisions should be made with as much pertinent information in one’s possession as possible, and that limiting the acquisition of such information is wrong. In cases of life and death – even when it may be only potential life that is at stake – the ideal of informed decision-making is paramount, at least in theory. In reality, it seems, some would force it to pay homage to some imagined “higher” feminist ideal, where women are somehow best served by being denied information.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Do you have something to say? E-mail your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Editor, AJC applauds President Obama’s call for a comprehensive, rather than a piecemeal approach to immigration reform. We support the bipartisan readiness of Senators Schumer (DNY), McCain (R-AZ), Durbin (D-IL), Graham (R-SC), Menendez (D-NJ), Rubio (R-FL), Bennet (D-CO) and Flake (R-AZ) to make our borders secure, to give the undocumented a path to “earn” citizenship, and to permanently fix America’s broken immigration system. The President stressed family
unity, echoing the principles which many religious leaders in Cincinnati have already endorsed through the Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition. The President noted that “before they were us, they were them,” showing awareness of the hardship, racism and ridicule which have often met immigrants. We hope that the U.S. continues to be a “magnet for the best and brightest,” whose contributions strengthen our nation. Since its founding in 1906, AJC has been outspoken in support of fair and generous immigration policies, characterized by
the rule of law. As American Jews we recall how our parents and grandparents made their way to this country seeking a better life, and know that we have prospered in and contributed to this country. That same opportunity should be available for others. AJC looks forward to working with the President and Congress to make 2013 the year for a genuine breakthrough on this critical issue. Sincerely, Barbara Glueck, Director, AJC Cincinnati Office Cincinnati, OH
Holy Land home? Moving to Israel as a Christian Zionist By Maggy Vetterling JointMedia News Service Why Israel? My husband Kurt and I, as Christian Zionists, have constantly gotten that question since we moved to the Jewish state. We met in 2008 at a pro-Israel event hosted by the church where he was a pastor. At the time, I worked in Israel advocacy and was one of two Christians in an otherwise entirely Jewish office. I had been sent to network with the church that evening, so I suppose you could say it was a success, as we were married two years later. Growing up, I was always drawn to learning about Judaism and the importance of strong Jewish-Christian relations, to the point of making it my major in college. Learning about Israel was as much a passion of mine as was writing or cooking; it simply drew me in. Kurt was taught by his church to love Israel, but visited for the first time in 2010 and realized, on his own, how truly important it was. Then came our proverbial “bend in the road,” our life-changing event. It was April 14, 2012, the day we called our boss to say that we were quitting our jobs and moving to Israel. We made the call when we were out taking our dog, Lucy, for a walk. It was an epic, life-changing phone call, so naturally it dropped three times. I sat on the sidewalk, Lucy sat in someone’s yard, and Kurt walked around with his cell phone high in the air. Looking back, I suppose it’s a good thing we’re not superstitious. Despite our prior knowledge about and affinity for the Jewish state, no one on the Internet had put up a step-by-step guide on how to quit your job, sell your home and
move to the Middle East. I know, because I looked. Although, if there were, it would probably suggest having a job or a place to live once you arrived. We didn’t even have someone to pick us up at the airport. After all, we aren’t Jewish. Leading up to our move, we felt like our lives were being called in a different direction, literally, about 7,000 miles east. The idea of traveling to Israel with no promise of landing on our feet conflicted with my upbringing as a banker’s daughter who valued logic and stability. It did not, however, conflict with our faith. We believed we were being led out of our jobs and our stable lifestyle to something a bit more risky, but substantially more fulfilling. At the time, it seemed to many that we had foregone any sense of wisdom, but we disagreed. The wisest choice does not always look like the best one. Besides, the worse-case scenario was that we would spend three months in one of our favorite places in the world and would not have to live with the “What if?” Within one month we had sold our home. In fact, it took us longer to stage it than to sell it. We eased out of our jobs, sold our SUV, boxed up our belongings and somehow convinced my in-laws to keep Lucy, despite the protests of their small lap dog. My husband and I arrived in Tel Aviv on July 27, just a few hours before Shabbat descended. Exhausted and admittedly nervous, we hauled our duffel bags out of the airport and took a sherut (shared taxi) to Jerusalem. I remember sitting in the last seat of the van and looking out the window, watching the landscape go by and desperately hoping that we had made the right decision.
Two weeks later, once we had settled into a place to stay, we began visiting various organizations. Perhaps, if we pushed on doors, then the right one would open. We were determined, however, not to be another Zionist couple on a mission to the “Holy Land” with a twinkle in their eyes and a Bible under their arms. In fact, we happen to firmly believe that more Christians should understand modern Judaism. Not just because “God blesses those that bless Israel,” but instead because as logical, educated individuals, my husband and I stand with Israel. We believe in Israel and the Jewish people. We began attending a local congregation and suddenly felt as though we had known this community all our lives. Here were people who loved Israel, who sold their homes and left their stable salaries to work, volunteer or simply visit the country we loved so much. They too felt honored to be amongst a chosen people and dared to pursue a life they loved. As it turned out, in a few months my husband was offered a position at our (now local) congregation. We would not (do not) make a salary, but rely fully on the monetary support of individuals who similarly love Israel and the Jewish people, and understand our desire to live in the Jewish state. Our Israeli friends seem amazed that others would support us to live here. It’s an honor we don’t take lightly to show them that Zionism still exists, and not only among the Jews. Convictions and faith aside, we simply believe in living life to the fullest and allowing God to direct our steps. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway,” so we did. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
JEWISH LIFE • 17
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2013
Sedra of the Week
SHABBAT SHALOM: PARSHAT MISHPATIM EXODUS 21:1 - 24:18
Tzedaka is therefore the amalgamation of loving-kindness with justice; it is compassionate righteousness. by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin even your enemy, but only if he works together with you; you are responsible for him – he, too, is your brother – but no more than he is responsible for himself. Only if he is physically unable to help himself must you lift up the animal without his input (Mishna, Bava Metzia 32a). The Mishna teaches that “One who says that ‘mine is mine and yours is yours’ travels the middle of the road, perhaps even the golden mean; ‘mine is yours and yours is mine’ is an ignoramus; ‘mine is yours and yours is yours’ goes beyond the requirement of the law; ‘yours is mine and mine is mine’ is wicked.” I would argue that a society in which the poor do not assume responsibility, but only demand entitlement is destined to fail. The only answer is compassionate righteousness, whereby the wealthy are entitled to the fruits of their grains and labor while at the same time encouraged–sometimes even mandated–to share their bounty, a society where everyone who wishes to help improve their lot is given the wherewithal to do so. 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: MISHPATIM (SHMOT 21:1—24:30) 1. How many times must a person appear in the Temple? a.) Once a year b.) Three times a year c.) Every Shabbat and Rosh Hodesh 2. How is Hashem called when appearing in the Temple? a.) Hashem who took us out of Egypt b.) Hashem who created the world c.) Hashem the master 3. Who would lead the Children of Israel to Canaan? a.) Hashem be lead by angel and not Hashem. Rashi 4. A 23:28 The small and lowly insect would help defeat the mighty nations of Canaan. R Bcnai 5. A 23:29,30 The insects will slowly chase out the Canaanites and the Children of Israel will multiply until they take over the land. R Bcahi
We are commanded to demonstrate human sensitivity in all our interpersonal dealings. Therefore, we find in the Book of Deuteronomy (24:10-13): “When you make your fellow a loan of any amount, you may not enter his home to take a security pledge for it. You must stand outside and the man to whom you gave the loan shall bring to you the security pledge outside. And if the [borrower] is poor, you may not sleep with his security pledge [which would usually be a cloak]. He [the lender] must return the security pledge to the [borrower] as soon as the sun sets, so that the borrower will sleep in his garment and bless you. For you [the lender] it will be an act of tzedaka before the Lord your God.” The Hebrew word tzedek is usually translated as justice, precise and exact treatment of each side. Tzedaka is apparently a different noun, although certainly related to tzedek. The Talmud logically rules that the lender acquires ownership over the security pledge until the loan is repaid; hence, there is no legal obligation on the part of the lender to return the pledge to enable the borrower to cover himself with it on a cold night. Tzedaka is therefore the amalgamation of loving-kindness with justice; it is compassionate righteousness. The Bible does not believe in dealing with poverty by giving undeserved hand-outs. Yes, those who have more than they require are responsible to help the poor; but the poor are likewise responsible to help themselves. Hence, although there is a tithe for the poor twice in the seven-year sabbatical cycle, that is only a comparatively small amount; every land-owner must put away a portion of land for the poor to plow and seed and nurture and reap, so that the poor in Israel can rise each morning to go to work and earn their daily bread. Witness the magnificent picture presented in the Scroll of Ruth, and how the landless and povertystricken returnee immigrant mother-in-law and Moabite convert daughter-in-law respectably worked in gainful employment every day in the fields of Boaz. This week’s portion (23:5) teaches: “If you see the donkey of your enemy crouching under its burden, would you refrain from helping him? You must help again and again with him.” Yes, stipulates the Talmud, you must help
b.) An Angel c.) Moshe and Aaron 4. Which animal would fight for the Children of Israel against the Canaanite? a.) Venomous insects b.) Lions c.) Snakes 5. How quickly would Hashem drive out the Canaanites? a.) Slowly, little by little b.) Quickly c.) At one time ANSWERS 1. B 23:17 2. C 23:17 The three festivals are at peak agricultural times to thank Hashem for providing and sustaining the whole world. R Bchai 3. B 23:20 Hashem is hinting to the people that they would sin and would
EFRAT, Israel – “You must help repeatedly with him” (Exodus 23:5). “And these are the mishpatim [laws of moral justice] which you [Moses] shall set before Israel.” These opening words of our portion join together our civil law with the Ten Commandments of last week’s portion of Yitro, creating one unit of Divine demands for moral justice emanating from Sinai (Rashi ad loc). Additionally, it is the concept of “mishpatim” that directly links Moses to our first patriarch, Abraham. You will remember that God “chose [and loved] Abraham because he commands… his household after Him to keep the way of the Lord, doing righteousness and justice” (Genesis 18:19). These twin ideals of our nation come up again and again; the prophet Isaiah (1:27) insists that “Israel will be redeemed through justice, and those who return to her [after the exiles] through righteousness,” and the prophet Jeremiah exhorts us to understand that neither wisdom nor power nor wealth ought be sought after and praised, but praise is only deserved by people who do the following: “Contemplate and know Me, for I am the Lord who does loving-kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these is My desire” (Jeremiah 9:23). And it is important to note that this teaching of Jeremiah is in the Prophetic portion chanted on Tisha B’Av, the memorial day for the destruction of our Temples and our loss of sovereignty over our land. It is easy to understand the meaning and significance of moral justice; everyone realizes that without law and order it would be impossible for a just society and a free world to endure. But precisely what is the meaning of righteousness (tzedaka)? The Septuagint (Greek translation of the Bible) translates the word as kharitas, as in the Hebrew hen, graciousness, undeserved gifts; this is obviously the origin of our English word and concept, charity. But is that really a proper understanding of the Hebrew tzedaka, an undeserved hand-out? Is that what the Bible expects the Jews to teach the world to do? As is necessary when attempting to understand the meaning of an ambiguous “key word,” let us examine its usage in another central biblical passage.
Written by Rabbi Dov Aaron Wise
18 • JEWZ IN THE NEWZ
By Nate Bloom Contributing Columnist TWIST OF FAITH Premering on Saturday, Feb. 9, at 8PM is the original Lifetime cable film, “Twist of Faith.” This tale of how an Orthodox cantor from Brooklyn ends up in Alabama is far superior to most TV movies and worth your time. If you want to be almost totally surprised by the plot twists, don’t read the last two paragraphs below. “Twist of Faith” co-stars famous African American singer Toni Braxton, 44, as Nina, a beautiful single mom who is a schoolteacher and the lead singer of her church gospel choir. Braxton, an acting newcomer, turns in a credible performance. She’s aided by playing opposite DAVID JULIAN HIRSH. Hirsh, 39, gives an extraordinary performance that raises the whole level of the film. He’s more than just believable as an Orthodox cantor and when called on to sing, he sings quite well. I recently spoke to Hirsh and told him that he had become the “go-to” guy for Jewish religious parts in Hollywood, noting that he had just concluded a seasonlong run as a rabbi on the Showtime series, “Weeds.” He laughed and said: “I’d rather be the go-to rabbi slash cantor than the ‘go-to killer.’ Truthfully, when I was young, I considered becoming a rabbi. Listen, if I’ve cornered the market on these Jewish roles, why not? I am always reading about – and fascinated by Judaism and I love it. I love that it is being explored on camera. [Although] I am not Orthodox, I am a practicing Jew. I absolutely have a very deep personal relationship with God. I love exploring [Judaism] in work, too.” Hirsh was born and raised in Montreal. He studied law at college until an acting workshop led him to pursue an acting career. “My first job,” Hirsh says, “was with the Jewish Repertory Theater of New York. I had to sing a few prayers [on stage] and that was probably the last time I sang in public [before this film]. I was really happy the way my singing turned out in the film. I was singing with one of the greatest R&B singers of all time” (Braxton). About his family: “My [maternal] grandparents were Holocaust survivors and hearing their stories was a huge part of my upbringing. They lost all of their family in the war. [My parents] wanted me to go to a Jewish school when I was young, which was great. We went to Orthodox
synagogues. It was a nice, solid Jewish upbringing, which I love. In preparing for the film, I drew on everything, including what my grandfather went through, losing his parents and his family. And then with his new family, bringing them to a safe place.” Horrible loss is a big part of “Twist of Faith.” Hirsh plays Jacob, a Brooklyn cantor who ekes out a living working for a small Orthodox shul and by doing carpentry work. His jewels are his wife and three children. All four are senselessly slain before his eyes. Feeling totally bereft, he leaves New York. He chances to end-up in a small Alabama town where he falls asleep on the lawn of a black church. The church is next door to the home of Nina. Nina’s uncle and young son, citing the need to be “good Christians,” eventually allow Jacob to stay in the church as long as he wants even though he doesn’t tell them anything about himself. He makes himself useful as the church’s carpenter. The film retains credibility because Jacob and Nina have something “real” to bond about beyond being nice, good-looking, lonely people. That bond is music. Nina’s choir is trying to win a statewide contest for the best black gospel choir and they know they need a dynamite song. It is believable that Jacob would try to comfort himself by composing a tune on the church piano and that Nina would encourage to write a tune for her choir. (I won’t disclose the ending, here.) GRAMMY TIME The Grammy Awards, for musical excellence, will be shown on CBS on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 8PM. Most Grammy awards are not presented on TV. Here are three Jews who are up for “TV worthy” Grammys: DRAKE, 26, the famous rapper, is nominated for best rap performance and best rap album (“Take Care”); the three-man, indie rock group “Fun” is nominated for six Grammys, including best new group, song of the year (“We are Young”), and record of the year. “Fun” includes Jewish Day School grad JACK ANTONOFF, 28, a guitarist and songwriter who had been dating LENA DUNHAM, 26, of “Girls” fame for the last six months; and DAN AUERBACH, 33, a songwriter, guitarist and lead vocalist with the rock group The Black Keys. The group is nominated for five Grammys, including best rock performance, best rock song (“Lonely Boy”), and record of the year. Fun and The Black Keys are scheduled to perform at the Grammy Awards.
FROM THE PAGES 150 Y EARS A GO Cincinnati – The Meshibath Nephesh society of this city, the oldest Hebrew Association here, who had the first burial ground, is going to dissolve, if a society forms to establish a home for widows and orphans, to whom they will give their property consisting of two houses and lots on Court street and $800 in cash. This proposition deserves a fair consideration from our wealthy and benevolent friends, and we expect it will receive it – Mr. Hess who lately died in this city bequeathed $1000 to the Bene Israel congregation and $500 to the hospital. Mr. N. Nussbaum who was buried the 15th inst. also bequeathed $100 to the hospital. – February 20, 1863
125 Y EARS A GO Mr. Morris Sachs, of the New York Life Insurance Company, and Miss Hattie A. Marks, daughter of M. H. Marks, Esq., both among our most popular society people, will be married on Sunday at the residence of the bride’s parents on Freeman Avenue. Rabbis Benjamin and Wise will officiate. Mr. Frank, the Allemania caterer, will attend to the supper. The young couple will go to witness the Mardi-Gras at New Orleans and then coastwise to Florida. After visiting various cities they will return and locate permanently at the Grand Hotel. Happiness attend them. Miss Emma Bruner, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Simon Bruner, of Lane Street, Walnut Hills, was tendered a glorious surprise last Saturday night. At about 8 o’clock the goodly crowd, numbering thirty young misses and boys, arrived in a body, and merry-making was kept up until midnight. Of course, dancing was the order of the evening, and an orchestra was on hand. It is needless to say that the collation was an inviting one and partaken of with the good appetite of youth. There were present besides the young hostess, the following young misses: Stella Meyer, Milly Meyer, Birdie Weil, Celia Pollock, Rena Henley, Dolly Chase, Rena Mayer, Madeline Newburgh, Frederica Herzog, Lily Hunter, Alice Cramsey, Mamie and Norma Bruner; also the following young gentlemen: Harry Heinsheimer, Will Gregg, Cliff Finch, Henry Frey, Frank Frey, Marc Heinsheimer, Ralph Bernheim, Cliff Neare, Harry Zimmerman, Harry Putnam, Ed Zimmerman, Marc Goldfinger and Willy Teasdale. – February 10, 1888
100 Y EARS A GO At the last meeting of the
Parents’ Association of the Plum Street Temple, which was held Sunday afternoon, Dr. Ruth Bernheim delivered an interesting and instructive address on “The Diseases of Children.” Joseph Adler, brother of Clarence Adler, was one of the soloists at the first concert of the Mozart Club, given at the Memorial Hall on Thursday evening, January 30. He played four selections with fine technical efficiency and fluency and sound musicianship. – February 6, 1913
75 Y EARS A GO The University of Cincinnati will be the scene of a protest meeting against Polish university “ghetto benches” Friday, Feb. 18th, at 11:30 a.m. The Student Union Building will be used for the meeting. President Raymond Walters of U.C. is one of the 202 U.S. educators who signed the recent open letter of protest, forwarded to Poland through the International League for Academic Freedom and condemning the ghetto benches. Dr. George E. Hedger, U.C. professor and head of Cincinnati’s American Civil Liberties Union, will preside. Speakers will include Dr. James G. Heller of Wise Temple; Dr. Howard D. Roeloffs, U.C. professor of philosophy and former dean of the College of Liberal Arts. Dr. Walters has approved the proposed meeting, Richard Hertz, general chairman, said. The U.C. News Record, official semi-weekly, in an editorial Feb. 5th, deplored the Polish segregation and congratulated Dr. Walters on his protest. – February 10, 1938
50 Y EARS A GO “Opening the Door to our Past” will be the founder’s day theme Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 2 P.M. Losantiville will honor past presidents. Principals of neighboring schools and PTA presidents will be guests. The musical skit, “Willie Wonderful, Way Back,” was written by Mrs. Alice Davidson and Mrs. Arlene Korelitz, produced by Mrs. Jeanne Cramer. Players include Ann Shapero, Naomi Parker, Adele Groban, Eileen Halpern, Wanda Huesman, Mary Dennis, Bibs Becker, accompanist. Losanti-Larks will sing Rodgers and Hammerstein selections. Mother Singers are directed by Mrs. Si Tennenholtz, accompanied by Mrs. Sheal Becker. Stagecrafters’ second production of this season, “Time Of Your Life,” will be presented in the Center Auditorium on Thursday,
Saturday and Sunday, February 14, 16 and 17 at 8:30 p.m. The cast for this Pulitzer Prize William Saroyan drama will be: (in order of appearance) Newsboy (Gary Schneider); Drunkard (Herb Winkler); Willie (Ralph Gadiel); Joe (Abe Dunsky); Nick (Dave Ringer): Tom (Jules Jacobs); Kitty Duvall (Sandra Lipson); Harry (Lee Fogel); Wesley (Bob Pollack); Lorene (Anita Fries) Blick (Art Sirkin); Arab (Hal Landsman): Mary L. (Marcella Valin); Krupp (Jack Onie); McCarthy (Hal Siegel); Kit Carson (Zeke Kamenetsky); Nick’s Ma (Dee Landsbaum); Sailor (Herb Engel); A Street-walker (Shirly Onie); Her Side Kick (Anita Sirkin); A Social Lady (Viola Feldman); A Society Gentleman (Lou Arkush); First Cop (Bob Levitch); Second Cop (Steve Davidson). – February 7, 1963
25 Y EARS A GO Dr. Alfred Gottschalk and Barbara H. Rabkin, co-chairmen of Cincinnati’s 40th anniversary celebraton of Israel’s Independence Day, Yom Ha’atzmaut, sponsored by the Jewish Federaton of Cincinnati, have announced the appointment of Dr. Jonathan Sarna as chariman of an essay contest. Sarna serves as associate professor of American Jewish History at Hebrew Union College, and as director of the Center for the Study of the American Jewish Experience. The competition is open to any full-time college or university student attending a Greater Cincinnati area college or university or whose home address is in Greater Cincinnati. First prize is a round trip ticket via El Al to Israel. Honorable mention prizes will be awarded. – February 11, 1988
10 Y EARS A GO Chabad Jewish Center will host two presentations by Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe on “The Ethics of War” that will explore the nature of the law of war in the Jewish tradition and history. Rabbi Gary Zola, executive director of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, spoke Feb. 3 at The Valley Temple, making the case for Charleston, S.C. to be considered the birthplace of Reform Judaism in America. The Outreach Committee at the Isaac M. Wise Temple will host “Making a Jewish Home” Monday, Feb. 24, 7-8:30 p.m. at the home of Kari and Dan Fagin. The program will explore Jewish family rituals, experiences, music and art, all of which contribute to creating a Jewish home. – February 13, 2003
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2013
CLASSIFIEDS • 19
COMMUNITY DIRECTORY COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS Access (513) 373-0300 • jypaccess.org Big Brothers/Big Sisters Assoc. (513) 761-3200 • bigbrobigsis.org Camp Ashreinu (513) 702-1513 Camp at the J (513) 722-7258 • mayersonjcc.org Camp Chabad (513) 731-5111 • campchabad.org Camp Livingston (513) 793-5554 • camplivingston.com Cedar Village (513) 754-3100 • cedarvillage.org Chevra Kadisha (513) 396-6426 Cincinnati Community Kollel (513) 631-1118 • kollel.shul.net Cincinnati Community Mikveh (513) 351-0609 • cincinnatimikveh.org Eruv Hotline (513) 351-3788 Fusion Family (513) 703-3343 • fusionnati.org Halom House (513) 791-2912 • halomhouse.com Hillel Jewish Student Center (Miami) (513) 523-5190 • muhillel.org Hillel Jewish Student Center (UC) (513) 221-6728 • hillelcincinnati.org Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Cincinnati 513-961-0178 • jcemcin.org Jewish Community Center (513) 761-7500 • mayersonjcc.org Jewish Community Relations Council (513) 985-1501 Jewish Family Service (513) 469-1188 • jfscinti.org Jewish Federation of Cincinnati (513) 985-1500 • shalomcincy.org Jewish Foundation (513) 214-1200 Jewish Information Network (513) 985-1514 JVS Career Services (513) 985-0515 • jvscinti.org Kesher (513) 766-3348 Plum Street Temple Historic Preservation Fund (513) 793-2556 Shalom Family (513) 703-3343 • myshalomfamily.org The Center for Holocaust & Humanity Education (513) 487-3055 • holocaustandhumanity.org Vaad Hoier (513) 731-4671 Workum Fund (513) 899-1836 • workum.org YPs at the JCC (513) 761-7500 • mayersonjcc.org
CONGREGATIONS Adath Israel Congregation (513) 793-1800 • adath-israel.org Beit Chaverim (513) 984-3393 • btzbc.com Beth Israel Congregation (513) 868-2049 • bethisraelcongregation.net Congregation Beth Adam (513) 985-0400 • bethadam.org Congregation B’nai Tzedek (513) 984-3393 • btzbc.com Congregation Ohav Shalom (513) 489-3399 • ohavshalom.org
Congregation Ohr Chadash (513) 252-7267 • ohrchadashcincinnati.com Congregation Sha’arei Torah shaareitorahcincy.org Congregation Zichron Eliezer 513-631-4900 • czecincinnati.org Golf Manor Synagogue (513) 531-6654 • golfmanorsynagogue.org Isaac M. Wise Temple (513) 793-2556 • wisetemple.org Kehilas B’nai Israel (513) 761-0769 Northern Hills Synagogue (513) 931-6038 • nhs-cba.org Rockdale Temple (513) 891-9900 • rockdaletemple.org Temple Beth Shalom (513) 422-8313 • tbsohio.org Temple Sholom (513) 791-1330 • templesholom.net The Valley Temple (513) 761-3555 • valleytemple.com
EDUCATION Chai Tots Early Childhood Center (513) 234.0600 • chaitots.com Chabad Blue Ash (513) 793-5200 • chabadba.com Cincinnati Hebrew Day School (513) 351-7777 • chds.shul.net HUC-JIR (513) 221-1875 • huc.edu JCC Early Childhood School (513) 793-2122 • mayersonjcc.org Kehilla - School for Creative Jewish Education (513) 489-3399 • kehilla-cincy.com Mercaz High School (513) 792-5082 x104 • mercazhs.org Kulanu (Reform Jewish High School) 513-262-8849 • kulanucincy.org Regional Institute Torah & Secular Studies (513) 631-0083 Rockwern Academy (513) 984-3770 • rockwernacademy.org Sarah’s Place (513) 531-3151 • sarahsplacecincy.com
ORGANIZATIONS American Jewish Committee (513) 621-4020 • ajc.org American Friends of Magen David Adom (513) 521-1197 • afmda.org B’nai B’rith (513) 984-1999 BBYO (513) 722-7244 Hadassah (513) 821-6157 • cincinnati.hadassah.org Jewish Discovery Center (513) 234.0777 • jdiscovery.com Jewish National Fund (513) 794-1300 • jnf.org Jewish War Veterans (513) 204-5594 • jwv.org NA’AMAT (513) 984-3805 • naamat.org National Council of Jewish Women (513) 891-9583 • ncjw.org State of Israel Bonds (513) 793-4440 • israelbonds.com Women’s American ORT (513) 985-1512 • ortamerica.org
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LEADERS from page 5 “The biggest threat to the security and safety of our front line ally, Israel, is an aggressive Iran in pursuit of nuclear weapons and regional domination… Hagel is not the man for this job: not now and not in the future!” Hagee said. Hagee suggested Iran “is so excited about Chuck Hagel’s nomination that they have endorsed him.” “Connect the dots: Iran is a nuclear threat to Israel and America’s candidate is Chuck Hagel. He is not ours!” Hagee said. “Iran wants to wipe the Jewish people off the face of the earth and their candidate is Chuck Hagel,” the pastor added. KOCH from page 6 President Roosevelt “did many, many good things,” Koch emphasized, recalling FDR’s role in “saving the United States from the Depression” and leading America against Hitler in World War II. But FDR “also had an opportunity to save Jews before World War II,” and his failure to do so is what landed him in purgatory, Koch explained. He cited Roosevelt’s decision to turn away the refugee ship St. Louis; his refusal to instruct the State Department to permit Jewish immigration up to the maximum allowed by law (the quotas were woefully under-filled); and the sham Evian Conference of 1938, which the Roosevelt administration convened to give the impression of concern for the Jewish refugees without actually doing anything to aid them. For me, however, perhaps the most significant part of the interview was Koch’s analysis of antiSemitism in the U.S. in the 1930s and 1940s. Given the public mood in those days, was it politically possible for FDR to have done much for the Jews? Scholars looking at this issue tend to rely on newspaper reports, public opinion polls about prejudice, and statistics about the size of anti-Semitic organizations. But an eyewitness account can be very revealing. And Koch, having grown up in hardscrabble neighborhoods in Newark and Brooklyn in the 1930s and 1940s, had much to say about the subject. “Yes, there was a lot of antiSemitism in America in those years, but that is no excuse for Roosevelt’s
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Up to 24 hour care Meal Preparation Errands/Shopping Hygiene Assistance Light Housekeeping
(513) 531-9600 Hagee reminded that Hagel has complained about what the former senator called the “Jewish Lobby.” In 2008, Hagel took a direct shot at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), telling former Middle East negotiator Aaron David Miller in a quote that appeared in Miller’s book, The Much Too Promised Land, that “the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people” in Washington. He also said, “I’m not an Israeli senator. I’m a United States senator.” “Well,” said Hagee, “we are the Christians of America and we stand with Israel.” “We have pledged our loyalty and our love for Israel and the Jewish people,” he said. “We have pledged our solidarity and love for Zion. We will not be silent.” inaction, which was vile,” Koch asserted. “A leader has to lead. He has to try to change minds.” What about claims that helping the Jews would have undermined Roosevelt’s ability to convince the public to fight Hitler? “I don’t accept that,” Koch said. “I believe that the American public could have accepted saving Jews.” Koch wasn’t a sociologist. He just knew what he had experienced among the people he met in the neighborhoods where he lived and worked. Some were bigots, but most weren’t. Koch wasn’t just speculating when he expressed his faith in the basic decency of most Americans. In April 1944—while the Holocaust still raged, and before the deportations of Hungarian Jews began— the White House quietly commissioned a Gallup Poll on the subject. It asked the public about offering “temporary protection” to Jews fleeing Hitler. The “anti-Semitic” American public supported the idea by a margin of 70 percent to 23 percent. Despite that overwhelming public sentiment, President Roosevelt agreed to create just one refugee camp—in upstate New York, where 982 refugees were brought in the summer of 1944. In a world of cynics and naysayers, where too many people almost instinctively assume the worst of their fellow citizens, our generation was fortunate to have Ed Koch, whose many contributions as a public servant included reminding us of the abundant goodness to be found, sometimes in unexpected places, both in those days and in our own time.
20 • LEGAL
An outstanding arrest warrant doesn’t ‘cleanse’ an earlier bad detention Legally Speaking
by Marianna Bettman Because three justices left the Ohio Supreme Court at year’s end, the Court unleashed a torrent of decisions in December to start with a clean slate in January. Over the next several months, I’ll feature some of the most interesting ones. My first choice was a stirring affirmation of the importance of the Fourth Amendment—a favorite subject of mine—authored by Chief Justice O’Connor who sounded positively ACLU-ish. The case is State v. Gardner. This is one of her most eloquent writings to date in the criminal context, so I’m going to quote a lot of it, because it is textbook Fourth Amendment stuff. Here’s what happened. As part of a unit that patrols high drug areas, Dayton Police Detective David House was patrolling in an unmarked cruiser in an area known for drug activity. He pulled up behind a pick-up truck bearing out-of-county license plates. Because drug dealers were known to come from outside Montgomery County to that SEEKING from page 7 She also obtained a Rambam Hospital document attesting to her sister’s birth. The document correctly states Meir’s and Esther’s names and identification numbers, the baby’s weight and Peretz’s name. But it lists the baby’s date of birth as Nov. 29, 1957. That is impossible, Lifschitz maintains, since she herself was born less than seven months earlier. At the top of the document, “K. Hahotrim” is written by hand. Lifschitz believes this refers to Kibbutz Hahotrim, just south of Haifa, and that the kibbutz was a CONCERT from page 8 Manhattan. “Growing up, cantors used to be treated like rock stars, and I think kids today unfamiliar with it will really find this concert enjoyable.” A century ago, it was hardly uncommon for Jewish cantors to perform at venues like Barclays.
particular area to deal drugs, House followed the truck. After running the plates, he determined that the truck was registered to a Clinton County man with a prior drug conviction. He followed the truck to a house, stayed there for 15 minutes to watch for suspicious activity, and then left. He returned to the house three hours later and found another car in the driveway, registered to a Richard Easter, who had an active arrest warrant on a drug charge. Detective House observed three men emerge from the house and get into the car. Damaad Gardner was one of the passengers. House followed the car to a gas station, where he approached the driver and determined that he was Easter. After placing Easter under arrest, House saw Gardner moving around inside the car. Concerned for his own safety and concerned that Gardner might flee, House ordered Gardner to step out of the car. House handcuffed Gardner, then patted him down, and found crack cocaine in Gardner’s pockets. House informed Gardner he was placing him under arrest, and then Mirandized him. After some other officers arrived on the scene, Gardner was taken into custody. It was later discovered that Gardner had an outstanding traffic warrant for his arrest. Under the landmark case of Terry v. Ohio, a police officer must have a reasonable, articulable suspicion for a stop and frisk to be valid. Gardner argued that the stop and frisk here was not valid, and moved to suppress the cocaine
found on his person. But the trial judge did not decide that issue. Instead, the judge ruled that even if the stop and frisk was unjustified, the evidence did not need to be suppressed when the accused was then subject to a valid outstanding arrest warrant, even if the arresting officer didn’t know it at the time, and even if it was for a totally unrelated offense. Gardner had no reasonable expectation of privacy, and the exclusionary rule did not apply. That ruling was the subject of this supreme court decision. At the Ohio Supreme Court, the prosecutor argued quite vehemently that a person who is subject to any valid outstanding arrest warrant has no expectation of privacy, and no right to complain that the police later stopped and searched him on legally insufficient grounds. The authority to arrest exists independently of the officer’s knowledge at the time of the unrelated event. In other words, an outstanding, unrelated arrest warrant somehow erases earlier unrelated police misconduct. Ex post facto legitimization, as it were. Gardner argued that such a rule would excuse any illegal search whenever it is discovered after the fact that the individual has an outstanding warrant, and would encourage exactly the kind of police misconduct the Fourth Amendment protects against. Writing for a unanimous court, Chief Justice O’Connor totally rejected the state’s argument. Here’s what she wrote: “No right is held more sacred, or is more carefully guarded, by
the common law, than the right of every individual to the possession and control of his own person, free from all restraint or interference of others, unless by clear and unquestionable authority of law… The Fourth Amendment protects the privacy and personal security of individuals from arbitrary and oppressive interference by limiting the search-and-seizure authority of law enforcement officials. “The state asserts that…” [b]ecause Gardner was subject to being arrested, searched, and taken to jail on the warrant, he had no expectation of privacy that would protect him from an insufficiently justified Terry stop and frisk… We disagree. “We will not condone the notion that the unlawfulness of an improper arrest or seizure always can be purged by the fortuitous subsequent discovery of an arrest warrant. As one federal court succinctly stated, ‘This argument is preposterous; the Fourth Amendment does not countenance such post hoc rationalization…’ There is always a temptation in criminal cases to let the end justify the means, but as guardians of the Constitution, we must resist that temptation.” For all the wonderful language in this opinion, this is by no means a win for Gardner. The case will go back to the trial court for a determination about whether the stop and frisk was valid under Terry v. Ohio—the issue the trial court should have decided in the first place, but did not. But this case made a very important statement by the high court.
waystation for babies taken and then placed with other families. One elderly woman on the kibbutz, Lifschitz said, told her that Hahotrim was one of two such transfer points in the Haifa area and that she and other kibbutz residents knew of babies who’d been sent from there to adoptive families in the United States. That’s why Lifschitz believes that her sister, who now would be 54, lives in America. Perhaps the sister inherited the dimple on Ohayon’s and Lifschitz’s chins. Lifschitz hopes that her sister knows that she was adopted; otherwise, she never would have reason to think that someone in Israel is
looking for her. “I feel inside that my sister lives in the United States,” Lifschitz said. “I have a strong intuition on this.” She hopes, too, that those listening to her recent interview on the Israeli radio program “Hamador L’chipus Krovim” (Searching for Relatives Bureau) will provide leads. However things turn out, Lifschitz says she aches for the misery her parents endured. Their first three children – David, 7, Sara, 3, and Aysha, 2 – died in Morocco of pneumonia and scarlet fever. In Israel, Esther eked out a living by sorting peanuts in a Haifa factory. Meir was unemployed. The losses took a severe toll on
Esther. She was hospitalized periodically in psychiatric wards, but “somehow, was able to function all her life,” Lifschitz said. The possibility that her country caused her parents such anguish does not dim Lifschitz’s patriotism. She loves Israel, she says, and is proud that her son, Maor, serves in the Israel Defense Forces. “Listen, my parents are in heaven. They know more than we do. They know that my sister is alive. They’ll help me,” Lifschitz said. “I pray. I think that belief definitely strengthens someone. If God wants us to meet,” she said of her sister, “He will help. If not, we’ll meet after I’m 120.”
Cantors such as Yossele Rosenblatt and Zeidel Rovener were mainstream stars, recording popular records and gracing the stages of Madison Square Garden and Carnegie Hall. Only about a third of Barclays’ 19,000 seats are going to be made available for the Perlman-Helfgot show, but it’s still likely to be one of
the largest cantorial concerts in the United States in nearly a century. “I can’t think of anything as big as Madison Square Garden after Rosenblatt or Rovner in the ‘20s,” said Neil Levin, the artistic director of the Milken Archive of Jewish Music in Los Angeles. Fans have long been taken with Perlman, who as a boy was crippled
by polio, yet became one of the premier classical musicians of his generation, straddling classical and pop in a way that many of his classical peers can only envy. Perlman appeared at the first inauguration of President Obama and on the soundtrack of the Oscar-winning 1993 film “Schindler’s List,” not to mention on “Sesame Street.”
HAGEL from page 8 But in his opening statement Jan. 31, Hagel said “No one individual vote, no one individual quote or no one individual statement defines me, my beliefs, or my record.” “My overall worldview has never changed: that America has and must maintain the strongest military in the world, that we must lead the international community to confront threats and challenges together, and that we must use all tools of American power to protect our citizens and our interests,” he said. Earlier in the week, hundreds of pro-Israel Christians descended on Washington, D.C., to raise heated voices against Hagel’s confirmation. The Action Fund of Christians United for Israel (CUFI) brought more than 400 Christian leaders, in addition to some rabbis, from 46 different states to Capitol Hill to lobby their U.S. senators and U.S. representatives to vote against Hagel’s confirmation. At the Jan. 28 preliminary session of the CUFI Emergency Summit, which began with a dinner and policy briefing, Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX), CUFI Founder and Chairman Pastor John Hagee, and CUFI board member and President of American Values Gary Bauer presented the organization’s positions – which were conveyed to House and Senate members Jan. 29. “We Jews like to stand before God,” said Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg as he led the ceremonial blessing of the bread at the rapidly convened Emergency Summit dinner. Hagee laid out CUFI’s objections to an attentive audience, concluding “we pledge that we will stand with Israel when push comes to shove.” “Well,” extolled Hagee, “push has come to shove!” Hagee acknowledged Hagel’s record as a Vietnam veteran and senator “with all due respect,” but stressed that the positions the former senator has taken on Iran and Israel make him unsuitable as Secretary of Defense. “The biggest threat to the security and safety of our front line ally, Israel, is an aggressive Iran in pursuit of nuclear weapons and regional domination… Hagel is not the man for this job: not now and not in the future!” Hagee said. Hagee suggested Iran “is so excited about Chuck Hagel’s nomination that they have endorsed him.” “Iran wants to wipe the Jewish people off the face of the earth and their candidate is Chuck Hagel,” the pastor said. Hagee reminded of Hagel’s “Jewish lobby” comment. The former senator also told Aaron David Miller, “I’m not an Israeli senator. I’m a United States senator.” “Well,” said Hagee, “we are the Christians of America and we stand with Israel.”
FIRST PERSON • 21
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2013
This Year in Jerusalem This Year in Jerusalem
by Phyllis Singer This year in Jerusalem a mammoth (by Israeli standards) storm hit the city and most of the country. And for several days beforehand, meteorologists were predicting that Jerusalem was going to be hit hard. December saw a record amount of rainfall for the month, and meteorologists say this winter has seen the most precipitation in 20 years (actually, 21 years, but more about that later). Intense rain began in the country on Friday, Jan. 4, and total precipitation did not end until after rain turned to snow Wednesday night, Jan. 9, and continued into Thursday, Jan. 10. For former Americans from the Northeast or the Midwest living in Israel, it’s somewhat amusing to see how snow can be such an overpowering occasion for the country. And paralyzing. Of course, the city and the country are not used to extreme winter weather, so coping is difficult. But for all the excitement – and the day off from school and work – the storm wreaked havoc throughout the country. Massive flooding in the North and Center, and heavy winds that broke trees and caused heavy damage throughout the country. In Jerusalem, there was sleet DECISION from page 9 Last year, Whine attended talks in San Francisco between social media companies and representatives of European anti-racism NGOs to discuss how social networks could address hate speech requirements in Europe. The last round of talks, which have not been made public, was held four months ago at Stanford University. “The representatives of Twitter silently walked out when the time came to agree on something,” said Ronald Eissens, co-founder of the Dutch anti-racism group Magenta and director of Meldpunt Discriminatie Internet, a watchdog on cyber hate. Subsequently, Twitter agreed to block German users from accessing the account of a banned neoNazi group in the first application of a company policy known “country-withheld content,” The New York Times reported.
and hail as the temperature dropped and the rain began to turn to snow Wednesday night. By Thursday morning, entrances to the city were closed. The municipality announced that public transportation would be free in order to keep private cars off the streets. But bus company Egged was not running in Jerusalem; its buses could not navigate in the snow. And the light rail, which traverses part of the city, was canceled for a while due to technical problems. But somehow, hundreds – probably thousands – of Jerusalemites managed to get to the main city park, Gan Sacher, and play in the snow. Makeshift sleds, from tires or from cardboard boxes, were the vehicle of the day. Snowmen appeared everywhere. And the news announced, with a photo, that President Shimon Peres had built a snowman at the president’s residence. However, it turned out that his bodyguards had built the snowman, and Peres put on the finishing touch – a cap! Also featured in Friday’s papers was a picture of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his wife, Sara, and their two sons, Yair and Avner, having a snowball fight at the prime minister’s residence. In years past, if there was snow, I ventured outside. One year when there was a little snow, our granddaughters – who were about 6 and 8 – came to visit for Shabbat, and we all played in the snow Friday afternoon. But I decided this year to play it safe – stay inside and take pictures from the window. Much as I hate to admit it, I am an older woman these days, and I don’t need to fall in the snow. So caution was the better course. By Friday, the temperature had risen, the sun came out after a week, and the snow began to melt.
Slush was everywhere. By Saturday, the streets and sidewalks were dry, and most of the snow had disappeared. We have experienced snow in Jerusalem several times since Allen and I made aliyah in 1999, but nothing of the magnitude of this total storm, even though the total snowfall in years past might have been deeper. And off and on, it’s still raining – some days really hard, with lots of wind. All the newscasters and meteorologists compare this winter to the winter of 1992 – in terms of precipitation and snowfall. And that’s a winter that Allen and I knew well. Our son Hanan and daughterin-law Judy were married that year on Rosh Chodesh Adar, February 4, 1992. Allen and I were in Israel the week before the wedding, and every day it rained or snowed or there was sleet. Our entire family and Judy’s family were staying in an apartment hotel in downtown Jerusalem. At 7 a.m. the day of the wedding, the doorbell rang in our apartment. I
turned to Allen and said, “That must be the nervous chatan (bridegroom). Who else would be visiting us at 7 a.m.?” Sure enough, it was Hanan, who came into our room and threw open the drapes. Outside there was heavy, thick wet snow. There was a problem: The wedding was taking place at a restaurant on Mt. Zion. The dilemma: Would we drive our rental cars up the mountainside – a hazard, since no one in Jerusalem knows how to drive in the snow and ice. Or would we take cabs? If we took cabs, would we be able to get cabs to pick us up after the wedding? In the end, we opted for cabs, and we were able to get some to pick us up afterward. The wedding itself suffered from the weather. The ceremony took place on the outside patio, under a heavy tarpaulin that served as a roof for the patio in the winter. But it was not strong enough to withstand the weight of the snow. So it was dripping, and we all stood outside in our coats
A spokesperson for Twitter declined JTA’s request for comment about the meetings and would say only that Twitter was “currently reviewing the court’s decision.” In Europe, anti-racism activists see the ruling as a failure of such negotiations toward a modus vivendi that could bridge European hate-speech legislation and American constitutional protections. “The ruling is important, as social networks are the main vehicle for hate speech today,” said Valentin Gonzalez, co-founder of the Movement against Intolerance in Spain, where a new law outlawing Holocaust denial and antiSemitic speech is about to go into effect. “But it’s regrettable that an agreement could not be reached instead of litigation, which is the last resort. Litigation creates a bad atmosphere, but we will also sue only if we feel we are getting no cooperation.”
Others believe that imposing any domestic legislative limits on international online platforms is a step backward from the freedom of information they enable. Paul da Silva, a French computer journalist, said the Paris ruling was “excessive” and would hide hate speech instead of addressing it. And Benjamin Bayart, president of the French Data Network – a nonprofit promoting the online accessibility of academic research – said French prosecutors should “not hold the medium responsible for the content.” But European judges and legislators are more attentive to European history and the lessons of the Holocaust, according to Ronny Naftaniel, the executive vice chairperson of CEJI, a Brussels-based Jewish organization promoting tolerance through education. “We have experienced what incitement can do and countering it is part of our commitment to the
concept of ‘Never again,’” Naftaniel said. Nowhere are societies more open to both arguments than in Eastern Europe, according to Rafal Pankowski of the Polish group Never Again. Poland has resisted ratifying the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, fearing the censorship of online expression. Pankowski argues that curbing online incitement is inevitable if the region’s young democracies are to retain their commitments to human rights and pluralism. “There are hardly any Jews in Poland, so populists can’t even use them as scapegoats,” Pankowski said. “Yet there is anti-Semitism that is kept alive and being transmitted to younger generations through social networks. Ideally this would be stopped through dialogue with the social media, but they largely ignore our requests. So sometimes suing is the only way.”
The synagogue across the street from our apartment.
for the ceremony. Special risers had to be constructed quickly for the band, so their electric wires would not be on the wet floor. Numerous guests from the North never made it because, like this year, the Ayalon river had flooded the highway, and it was impassable. Fortunately, however, the rabbi, who was on reserve duty in the army, made it. The wedding took place on Tuesday, and the entire family remained in Israel through Shabbat. Judy’s brother and sisterin-law lived in Tzefat in northern Israel and invited all of us there for Sheva Brachot on Shabbat. By this time, the snow had stopped, so we were all able to drive there – about a three-hour drive from Jerusalem. Saturday night, everyone except us was leaving for the States and had to be at the airport for midnight planes. Allen and I and Hanan and Judy also left Saturday night and helped drive everyone to the airport. We returned to the apartment hotel in Jerusalem, and Hanan and Judy returned to their apartment in Jerusalem. Sunday morning we went to their apartment for brunch. Judy informed us that her sister-inlaw, Tzurit, had called to tell all of us that it was a good thing we left Saturday night because it started to snow at 3 a.m. and was still snowing at 11 a.m. If I remember correctly, I think it continued to snow until Wednesday that week. But by then we were back in Cincinnati. Fortunately, not stranded in Tzefat! So when the commentators compare this winter to the winter of 1992, the Singer family has vivid memories. I guess from now on, they will compare future winters to the winter of 2012/13. I’ll have vivid memories of that winter also. RESIGNATION from page 10 In 2010, the Bank of Israel was ranked first among central banks for its efficient functioning and Fischer was selected as Euromoney Magazine’s Central Bank Governor of the Year. In 2011, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s raised Israel’s long-term foreign currency credit rating from A to A+. “Fischer is an extremely smart guy that understands economics better than the politicians, and even better than most academics. Top economists are studying Fischer’s textbook on macroeconomics,” Plaut said. Many are sorry to see him leave his post two years before fulfilling a second five-year term, but others have blamed Fischer for the tremendous rise in Israeli housing prices that led to massive social protests in the summer of 2011. Since Fischer became governor, housing prices have risen 70 percent, putting their cost out of the reach of many aspiring first-time homeowners.
22 • OBITUARIES D EATH N OTICES BYER, Jeannette, age 86, died January 29, 2013; 18 Shevat, 5773. LE VINE, Shoshana, age 86, died January 30, 2013; 20 Shevat, 5773. FELDMAN, Florence, age 89, died January 31, 2013; 20 Shevat, 5773. KESSEL, Doris, age 85, died January 31, 2013; 20 Shevat, 5773. COLE, Ruth, age 84, died February 1, 2013; 21 Shevat, 5773. JACOBSON, Albert, age 83, died February 1, 2013; 22 Shevat, 5773. STUDY from page 7 Yale University psychiatry professor Bruce Wexler convened the study team, which was headed by Daniel Bar Tal of Tel Aviv University and Sami Adwan of the University of Bethlehem. They assigned Hebrew-Arabic bilingual research assistants to plow through more than 3,000 passages from textbooks – 74 from the Israeli side and 96 from the Palestinian side. The assistants assessed the passages based on criteria developed in part by an advisory panel that included Palestinian and Israel academics and outside experts, including those who have critiqued Palestinian books. Most of the advisory panel, including several Israelis, signed onto a statement Sunday endorsing its findings. “We agreed that the methods of the study were of the highest scientific standards and agreed on the main study findings,” the statement said. At least one Israeli member, Arnon Groiss, said he has reservations about the methodology and could not attach his name to the final report, which he said he has not seen. It’s not clear whether the study will alter fundamentally the standard Israeli narrative about Palestinian schools laying the groundwork for future conflict with Israel, and the study does not absolve either side. “This presentation bias, along with the general lack of information about the other’s culture, history and religion, creates an image of the other only as aggressive enemy to whom it is not possible to relate or respect, with whom there can be nothing in common,” Wexler said in an email. “This lack of information even more than the negative information constitutes a lack of recognition of the other’s legitimate presence.”
WINE from page 8 “In a non-irrigated vineyard, the water literally comes down from the heaven as rain, and that rain goes through a whole spiritual journey just to give us our wine,” Cantz says. “From the sky, down to the earth, into the grapes, then crushed and bottled for our Friday night tables, it just reminded me of the whole enterprise of living. And I liked the idea of a physical voyage that manifests to find something physical to elevate God through. It’s hard to keep this image in my head every day, but it’s what keeps me going and its why I do the entire process myself.” In 1991, Cantz planted four acres of vineyards, despite having no formal training. “There was no YouTube to figure these things out,” he said. It took Cantz many seasons to figure out the right way to plant and get his wine to taste just right – not to mention backbreaking labor and help from nearby vintners. Cantz doubles as vineyard manager and winemaker, tending to his vines on four acres of a 60acre parcel of land that once was managed by Mary Holmes, an art history professor at the nearby University of California, Santa Cruz. Cantz moved to the mountaintop to help Holmes tend the parcel and eventually took over her 50-year lease. He shares the land, which has a horse stable and is filled with 150-year-old redwood trees, with Holmes’ son, who lives in Berkeley but drops by occasionally. Cantz never married.
Courtesy of Chavie Lieber/JTA
Winemaker and vintner Benyamin Cantz and his dog Lucy in his Santa Cruz, Calif., vineyards, which overlook the Pacific Ocean, January 2013.
Maintaining a vineyard is strenuous work, especially for someone working alone who doesn’t use pesticides and must tend his vines on a slope where tractor use is impossible. In the spring and summer, Cantz spends his days planting, sowing, pruning and watering. In the fall and winter, he lives in isolation in a slightly dilapidated yet charming shack made of plywood and cinderblock that he built himself. There he crushes, presses, ferments, barrels, bottles, corks and labels his wine. While Cantz’s crop is certified by the California Certified Organic Farmers, his wine doesn’t qualify as organic because Cantz uses sulfur dioxide to prevent further aging – a practice European wineries consider organic but Americans do not.
These days Cantz is growing merlot, chardonnay, pinot noir and cabernet grapes. In a good year, he produces 5 to 8 tons, from which he extracts about 1,000 gallons of wine. The product is sold exclusively through his website. Cantz handwrites invoices and treks down the mountain to the post office himself to ship bottles. Like every agricultural business, there are good seasons and bad, and the past few were horrendous. Last summer, an excruciating heat wave struck California, killing half his crop. The season before, late summer rains caused a fungus which rotted his grapes. But Santa Cruz has been showered with abundant rains this winter, and Cantz is optimistic that this next crop will produce his best wine yet.
“Honestly, it’s really not that hard to make wine,” he says. “But making good wine means that you need to have all your ducks in a row. And the secret to the best wines is the perfect amount of fermentation.” Cantz will release new lines of pinot noir, petit verdot, syrah, zinfandel, cabernet sauvignon and merlot in the next few weeks, ahead of Passover. He also saves a few bottles of his bestsellers to rerelease the following year. This season, he’s offering cabernet and cabernet franc from earlier vintages. His wines generally range from $20 to $50 per bottle; his most expensive bottle, the cabernet franc, sells for $60. Because mountain-grown grapes tend to be sharper in flavor than valley-grown ones, Four Gates wine has a bit of a kick to it. But consumers don’t seem to mind. Cantz’s wines have sold out every season, even though Cantz doesn’t do any advertising. He relies entirely on word of mouth. Every now and then, Cantz says, he will get an email from a client begging to take over the winery when he retires. But Cantz has a lease on the land until he’s 92, and he doesn’t plan to stop any time soon. “I feel so lucky that God has blessed me with the opportunity to do something that I love,” Cantz says. “Wine has a whole scientific aesthetic to it, and includes so many elements of life I get to watch. It’s vigorous, but it’s all worth it.”
PRODUCERS from page 9
BRIEFS from page 8
While Danish and Dutch cyclists prefer the reliability and low profile of a good kibbutz bicycle over a snazzy mountain bike, Rozenzweig says, “Israelis will buy anything special or flashy. It’s good for business and I like their openness to novelty, but sometimes they buy crap they don’t need.” In 2010, Israel’s adoption of European standards for electric bicycles attracted other foreign bike makers: Kalkhoff, a highquality German brand, is now available through the Israeli bicycle supply company Moto Ofan. The Dutch Gazelle brand and the German A2B electric bicycle also are now available in Israel. A 2012 survey by the Heker Rating Marketing Surveys reported that in two years, the number of cyclists in Tel Aviv has increased by 50 percent, from 12,000 who cycled to work every day in 2010 to 18,000 last year. Meanwhile, the number of drivers has dropped in the same time period by 5 percent. Even as Israeli bike enthusiasm flourishes, the local infrastructure still leaves much to be desired, the recent advances
The couple, who married in 2006 and separated in 2009, were due to appear before the British judge to determine custody issues concerning their children but had sought arbitration by the New York rabbinical court, or beth din, before their court date. They were supposed to move to Toronto but ended up staying in the United Kingdom, the Jewish Chronicle reported. The beth din gave custody to the mother and said both parents would decide on their upbringing, including in medical, religious and education matters. Justice Baker, whose first name was not given in the Chronicle report, examined the beth din’s principles and ensured that they matched English law. The beth din had published its full ruling in 2011, but a final settlement was made only last year. In making the judgment, the British judge ruled that the beth din result could not be legally binding in England in order that it not supersede English law. “The outcome was in keeping with English law, whilst achieved by a process rooted in Jewish culture to which the families belong,” Baker said.
Courtesy of Cnaan Liphshiz
Maxime van Gelder of the Bough Bike company in the Netherlands with one of the bike maker's luxury models, January 2013.
notwithstanding. In the past five years, an average of 15 cyclists were killed on the road annually and another 100 or so sustained moderate to serious injuries in a nation of 7 million people and 1 million bicycles, according to data compiled by the Or Yarok road safety association. The figures are high compared to the 22 cyclists killed in 2012 in Denmark, a nation of 5.5 million people and 4.4 million bicycles, according to a study by the University of Technology in
Sydney. “Drivers are generally unaware of cyclers and bicycle paths, which are not always well defined, and this makes cycling comparatively dangerous in Israel,” Rozenzweig said. Rosenzweig says it will take another 20 to 30 years until Israel matches the bicycle friendliness of countries like Holland and Denmark. “Like everything here, it’s going to take a lot of lobbying,” he said. “But we’ll get there.”
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