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Isle Smile: The Keys to My Heart p.20

CINCINNATI, OH Candle Lighting Times Shabbat begins Fri 7:26p Shabbat ends Sat 8:27p

VOL. 159 • NO. 34

The American Israelite T H E




Cedar Village CEO assumes leadership role in national organization



National Hadassah president visits for donor events



YPs celebrate through three continents



2013 Range Rover Evoque—from the mold of the bold



Cafe Mediterranean —a quick trip from the usual







Ohio makes largest purchase of Israel Bonds in American history



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Holocaust trains are jewel of collection of Greek train enthusiast...

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Pact of pariahs forming between Iran and Hungary’s Jobbik

Peter Bloch honored for his service to people with disabilities Peter M. Bloch, who has been involved for years as a leader of Greater Cincinnati nonprofits, has been honored by Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services for his distinguished service. Bloch is the executive vice president of Easter Seals TriState as well as president and CEO of JVS Career Services. The county agency gave Bloch its Joanne M. Schreiner Outstanding Achievement Award to recognize his advocacy for people with disabilities, exceptional job performance and community service. The award was presented at the county agency’s annual banquet on March 4 at the Mayerson JCC in Amberley Village. The award is named after Joanne Schreiner, who served as a board member for the county agency for 10 years, the last two as president. Bloch initiated the discussions that led to combining the publicly funded programs of Jewish Vocational Service with Easter Seals Work Resource Center to form Easter Seals TriState, one of the region’s largest human service agencies, serving more than 15,000 people annually. Since the two organizations joined together last year, he has helped to integrate their programs. At the same time, he has been leading the newly formed JVS Career Services, which is expanding its career counseling and job-search services for the Jewish community.

Peter Bloch, a leader of Easter Seals TriState and JVS Career Services.

He has been involved with JVS since the mid-1970s when he joined its board and later became board chair. During that time, he saw that

people with disabilities could thrive if given opportunities. In supporting Bloch’s nomination for the award, Pamela Green,

president and CEO of Easter Seals TriState, called him a man of integrity and compassion. “Peter has dedicated the better part of his adult life to connecting people with disabilities to opportunities and experiences that help them improve the quality of their lives,” she wrote. In 2004, as the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati searched for a new chief executive officer, Bloch served as interim CEO for six months while also running JVS. Earlier, he served as the first executive director of The Manuel D. and Rhoda Mayerson Foundation in Cincinnati, overseeing the foundation’s investments and grant-making process. In addition, Bloch has served as president of his professional associations, including the Ohio Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, the International Association of Jewish Vocational Services and the Leadership Council of Human Service Executives in Cincinnati. He has served as the board chair of the Free Store/Food Bank of Cincinnati, president of Isaac M. Wise Temple and serves on the board of the Mercy Health Foundation. Bloch earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and is a chartered financial analyst. He grew up in East Walnut Hills and lives in Columbia Tusculum with his wife, Randy. He has two adult children, Jane and John.



National Hadassah president visits for donor events Cincinnati Chapter of Hadassah is honored to host Marcie Natan, Hadassah national president, at three special Donor events on April 24 and 25. The Donor Campaign supports Hadassah’s many projects in Israel as well as a medical collaboration with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Ghita Sarembock is Hadassah donor chair, and Bonnie Juran Ullner is Cincinnati chapter president. The first event is an intimate Major Gifts Wine and Dessert Reception with Marcie Natan on April 24 from 7 – 9 p.m. at the beautiful Hyde Park home of Kim and Larry Juran. Entertainment will be provided by Claire Lee, pianist. The next day, April 25, Natan will be on hand to speak and meet with Hadassah donors. This special reception will be held at the Kenwood Country Club from 10 – 11 a.m. Hadassah’s Annual Donor

Marcie Natan, national president of Hadassah

Luncheon will follow immediately at 11:30 a.m., also at the Kenwood Country Club. Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld will proclaim April 25 as “Hadassah Day” in Cincinnati, and will give Natan the proclamation in person

at the Donor Luncheon. While in Cincinnati, Natan will also meet with Michael Fisher, CEO of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC), and tour the hospital so that she can see firsthand the facility that is a partner with the two Hadassah hospitals in Jerusalem, as part of the Israel Exchange Program (IEP). The IEP was established in 2011 to improve clinical care for children, more expertly train scientists and pediatric providers and make research and technological advances that benefit the world. Hadassah and other hospital physicians in Israel collaborate with Cincinnati Children’s doctors to jointly treat patients with complex conditions in both Cincinnati and Israel. The IEP also provides for research and technological collaborations with Israeli start-ups and universities. Natan has served Hadassah with

her quiet strength, profound integrity and generosity of spirit since her early 20s. She first joined, then rose to become president of the Eastern Pennsylvania Region. A former national vice president, she has also served as chair of Planned Giving & Estates, Major Gifts, Unit Assessment and Hadassah College. Her positions have included national president’s training chair, national secretary and national treasurer. Natan has traveled to Israel more than 50 times, including visits during both intifadas and the 2006 Lebanon War. Her time in Israel has intensified her passion and honed the perspective she has brought to Hadassah’s National Board and Executive Committee, and the Hadassah Foundation Board. Claire Lee is a graduate of UC’s College-Conservatory of Music with a Master of Music degree in Piano Accompanying. She is an organist and free-lance accompa-

Camp Livingston joins national program Camp Livingston was selected as one of 38 North American summer camps to participate in the 2013 Camp Philanthropy Program of the Jewish Teen Funders Network (JTFN), a youth philanthropy project of the Jewish Funders Network. Through the JTFN Camp Philanthropy Program, Camp Livingston will create a Jewish teen foundation, in which campers will work together as a “foundation board,” giving away real money to non-profit

organizations of their choosing. Nestled deep in the rolling, wooded hills of beautiful southeastern Indiana, Camp Livingston offers an unmatched summer experience for children and teens. Since 1920, Camp Livingston has always provided a safe and nurturing environment where campers gain self esteem and confidence, and form lasting friendships with their cabin and unit friends, all within a fun and exciting Jewish atmosphere.

Recognizing the potential of Jewish youth philanthropy programs to empower and educate teens about effective philanthropy and Jewish values, JTFN awarded 38 grants to Jewish summer camps committed to creating high quality Jewish teen philanthropy programs. In addition to a grant of $1,000, JTFN will work closely with grantees on program development and staff training.

nist, directs the choir at Northern Hills Synagogue, and accompanies the JCC Troubadours. For fun, she plays flute in the New Horizons Band and keyboards for the New Horizons Dixieland group. She is also a Life Member of Hadassah. Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, is the largest women’s volunteer organization in America. Its members are motivated and inspired to strengthen their partnership with Israel, ensure Jewish continuity and realize their potential as a dynamic force in American society. Donor funds support projects like healthcare and medical research (Hadassah Medical Association), education (Hadassah College Jerusalem), youth programs (Young Judaea and Youth Aliyah/Children at Risk), and environmental resource development (Jewish National Fund). All events require a fee and reservation.






CAMP on page 19

We will be closing early for the holiday at 5:30 on Monday, March 25, 2013 and at 5:30 on Tuesday, March 26, 2013.

Please place your order by Saturday, March 23, 2013.


9525 Kenwood Road • 513-429-4567



Rabbi Kamrass presides over forward progress By Michael Sawan Assistant Editor Publisher’s Note: This is the third in a series of articles covering the Jewish Agency Executives of Cincinnati. Look for more profiles in future issues of The American Israelite.

(Clockwise) Rabbi Lewis Kamrass; Rabbi Karen Thomashow; Rabbi Rachel Maimin; Rabbi Sydney Henning

a given in larger congregations.” Such forward motion is used to confront the new issues in this “very quickly changing world,” as Kamrass puts it. “The changes are so wide and fast in scope that they require ongoing attention.[An organization must] rethink what [it] does, even past success.”

Women’s chocolate seder Miriam’s Cup is sitting next to Elijah’s Cup. A fragrant orange is on the Seder Plate. The Women’s Seder is now familiar, as the significant role of women in the Passover story has become well recognized. Wise Temple Sisterhood invites members and their guests to celebrate our deliverance from bondage on Sunday,

VOL. 159 • NO. 34 THURSDAY, MARCH 14, 2013 3 NISSAN 5773 SHABBAT BEGINS FRIDAY 7:26 PM SHABBAT ENDS SATURDAY 8:27 PM THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE CO., PUBLISHERS 18 WEST NINTH STREET, SUITE 2 CINCINNATI, OHIO 45202-2037 Phone: (513) 621-3145 Fax: (513) 621-3744 RABBI ISAAC M. WISE Founder, Editor, Publisher, 1854-1900 LEO WISE Editor & Publisher, 1900-1928 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


have such fond memories of gathering with my female friends and preparing food together for our Women’s Seder.” Cantor Deborrah Cannizzaro’s musical contributions will enhance the singing of familiar Passover songs, such as Dayenu, The Four Questions and Miriam’s Song. In addition to singing together, many members of Wise Temple Sisterhood will take part in this Seder by reading passages from the Haggadah. The menu and Haggadah are new, but as in years’ past, we look forward to celebrating Passover with our sisters, grandmothers, mothers and daughters, as well as our congregational family. The Wise Temple Sisterhood Women’s Seder will take place on March 17 at Wise Center from 10 – 11:30 a.m. For more information on either program contact Heather Spegal at WiseTemple

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March 17 with a twist: Deliverance with bon bons! Wise Temple Sisterhood Women’s Seder has been redesigned for this year. They will be using a new Haggadah and substituting some traditional foods with chocolate and sugar-free chocolate alternatives. Wise Temple Sisterhood member Sandy Stern states, “The Chocolate Seder is fun and unique, yet stays true to the traditions that are so important to the story of Passover.” In keeping with Wise Temple Sisterhood Women’s Seder tradition, some of the food will be homemade. Members from Wise Temple Sisterhood will prepare both Sephardic and Ashkenazi charoset. Sue Voos will be making chocolate Seder plates for each table, which will not only adorn the Seder but will also become Afikomen prizes. Sisterhood member Nancy Goldberg states, “I

ewish N h-J ew lis

be busy, the best busy is time spent with family and friends where lasting memories are made. A full and delicious Seder meal, crafts and prizes make for a great value. Wise Temple’s YoFI group addresses the social, spiritual and religious needs of families with young children. While events are designed for children from birth to age six, all the YoFI programs are geared toward the entire family including older siblings, parents and grandparents.



What’s happening at Wise YoFI Seder – truly different than all other nights Wise Temple invites young families for Seder on March 26 at 5:30 p.m. at Wise Center. Young families are busy families. Who has time to plan a Seder? Let’s be honest. You’re busy. You’re tired. You’re watching your wallet. You’re worried about your kids (or grandkids) sitting still through a Seder service. That is why Wise Temple’s young family group (YoFI) wants to make you a promise. A promise that this night, YoFI Seder night at Wise Temple, is truly different from all other nights. This will be an experience that is meaningful, engaging and entertaining for all generations. There’s no need to worry about the children being engaged because the action and the movement of the child-centered service never stops. The music and storytelling will rejuvenate you. And if you’re going to

The American Israelite

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growth, breadth, depth of programming and quality of Wise Temple’s education program, for both children and adults. This was accompanied by a “growth in areas of worship; many areas, too many to mention,” both combining to create “a sense of warmth and community that we enjoy, that we built through the years and is unique, not


r in Am ape er sp i

In his 28 years at Wise Temple, Rabbi Lewis Kamrass has maintained his focus on the future. “Jewish life is clearly entering a new chapter in Jewish organizations, synagogues included,” explained Kamrass, referencing the fast paced change that accompanies recent history. “We feel confident and enthusiastic about where we are and where we’re headed.” Originally from Atlanta, Kamrass came to Cincinnati to study at HUC. He was then hired as an assistant rabbi at Wise Temple, a position he held for three and a half years until his appointment as senior rabbi. When asked about the accomplishments that have accompanied his time at the temple, Kamrass laughed good-naturedly. “There are too many to name, not that I’m responsible for them.” He then listed a wealth of programs and initiatives that the temple has taken part in, including social action causes, high holiday food projects (“now in hundreds of congregations,” he added) and an interfaith hospitality network. “Wise Temple has been and continues to be an innovator in social action and community involvement,” concluded Kamrass. “[We’ve] been doing that for 30 years.” Kamrass also touted the

Through this self aware process of revision, Kamrass and Wise hope to make changes to the Temple that will inspire continued progress. The biggest change in the coming months is the appointment of three new rabbis. They will be replacing the temple’s two former assistant rabbis, who had both left after roughly 10 years of service. “That’s pretty unusual for that period of time,” commented Kamrass. “They left last May and December.” The decision to incorporate three adjunct rabbis instead of two is the result of the very same self analysis that Kamrass mentioned earlier. The two new assistant rabbis, Rabbi Rachel Maimin from New York City and Rabbi Sydney Henning from Los Angeles will arrive this summer. The new position of associate rabbi will be filled by Rabbi Karen Thomashow, a former intern at Wise Temple who has most recently been based in Toronto. “All three of them, I can say, brought a different series of skills” said Kamrass, explaining that between Thomashow, Maimin and Henning is a wealth of experience encompassing college students, young adults, pastoral care, community organization and congregational work, “all great skills,” added Kamrass. “They have great reputations with their colleagues and professors. They’re just stars. We’re fortunate enough to have three real stars.” Wise received three dozen applications for the three positions, a display of interest that tickled Kamrass: “We were just beyond delighted that there was so much interest in us as a congregation, and in Cincinnati as a city.”

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.



March happenings at Adath Israel The youths of Adath Israel are invited to Lazer Kraze in Erlanger, Ky., at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, March 17, to cheer on the Kadimaniks of Adath Israel Congregation, Ohav Shalom and Northern Hills Synagogue as they play dodge ball on the giant trampoline area. Each participant will pay a tournament entrance fee and bring in at least one school supply which will go to a family in need. Every time someone catches a fly ball, they will earn money, sponsored by the Brotherhoods and Sisterhoods of

the three congregations, which will then be donated. From Lazer Kraze, the participants will visit a charity to learn about everything they do. Adath Israel USY and Kadima (6th through 12th graders) will conduct a Chocolate Seder on Wednesday, March 20, from 6:30 8 p.m. This is an annual celebration to welcome the Passover holiday. The usual Seder Plate items will be replaced by CHOCOLATE! For example, the charoset will be represented by chocolate-covered

raisins, and the salt water will be replaced by chocolate fondue for dipping! The seder will be led by the USYers, and everyone will have a chance to read from the Chocolate Haggadah as they participate in the Chocolate Seder! The adults of Adath Israel are invited to hear Rabbi Irvin Wise lead Adath Israel’s Seder Workshop on March 17, from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The rabbi will examine the meaning of the seder in-depth , as well as how to run a seder so it will be a meaningful experience.

JFS offers workshop on forgiveness Professionals are invited to learn an alternative to forgiveness when Jewish Family Service hosts award-winning author and national media guest Janis Abrahms Spring, Ph.D., ABPP for Don’t Ask Me to Forgive You! A radical approach to healing from interpersonal wounds 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Thursday, April 11, at the Mayerson JCC. This full-day professional development workshop offers 6 CEUS (Continuing Education Units) and will focus on ways to recover from pain caused by a partner, parent, in-law, sibling, child, friend or significant other. Spring is a nationally acclaimed expert on issues of trust, intimacy and forgiveness. The originality and clinical richness of her work make her a popular media guest and prized presenter to both public and professional audiences. She authored three award-winning books and has been in private practice for 35 years. Spring is Board Certified in Clinical Psychology and is a former clinical supervisor in the Department of Psychology at Yale University.

Janis Abrahms Spring

“Dr. Spring will teach a radical, new alternative to forgiveness through a healing process called Acceptance. This approach can be accomplished by the hurt party alone when the offender can’t or won’t make meaningful repairs for the damage caused,” says Susan Shorr, Ph.D., co-chair of the workshop along with Marcy Bachrach. Professional certificates will be provided for Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, Counseling, Psychology, Teaching, Chemical Dependency, Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation

HUC concert honors Wendy Kanter Internationally acclaimed performers, flutist Gary Schocker and guitarist Jason Vieaux, will perform at the Scheuer Chapel on the campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion on Sunday, March 17, at 2 p.m. for the second annual Wendy Kanter Memorial Concert. The concert, presented as a part of the Concerts on Clifton series, is free and open to the public with a reception to follow. Schocker and Vieaux are longtime collaborators and have been performing duo concerts across the nation for 15 years. According to Vieaux, his work with Schocker has been influential on his own musical career. “I learned and improved my chamber music playing a great deal early in my professional career largely by working with Gary on a wide range of music,” he says. The program will include: • Ibert’s Entr’acte

• Leclair’s Sonata in E Major • Jobim’s A Felicidade, arr. by Roland Dyens for solo guitar • Bartók’s Rumanian Folk Dances • José Luis Merlin’s Progresiones para Pauline • Ravel’s Habanera • Gary Schocker’s Once Upon A… • Piazzolla’s ‘Café 1930’ and ‘Bordel 1900’ from Histoire du Tango Flutist-composer-pianist Gary Schocker is an accomplished musician of outstanding versatility. At age 15, he made his professional debut when he performed as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He has won numerous competitions including the Young Concert Artists, the National Flute Association, the New York Flute Club and the East-West Artists. Often, he concertizes in duo with HUC on page 19

Counseling. A Certificate of Completion is also available. Social Workers, Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, Educators, Psychologists, Case Managers, Nurses, Chemical Dependency Counselors, Rehabilitation Counselors, Life Coaches, Clergy, Psychiatrists and Occupational Therapists are encouraged to attend. This is Jewish Family Service’s 9th annual Miriam O. Smith Educational Series (MOSES) symposium, which provides an opportunity for professional development as well as offers the community a chance to learn from nationally recognized mental health experts. Jewish Family Service established the series to honor the memory of Miriam O. Smith, a longtime social worker at Jewish Family Service who provided extensive individual and family therapy, headed the adoption program, and also served as interim director of the agency. There is a charge to attend.



The J hosts Passover Party and Parenting Perspectives “Why is this Sunday different from all other Sundays?” Because on all other Sundays there isn’t usually this much exploration and fun all rolled into one! Your family is sure to enjoy the activities this coming Sunday, March 17, when the Mayerson JCC, Rockwern Academy, PJ Library and Jewish Family Service present a free, interactive afternoon that offers something for everyone in the family, beginning at 3 p.m. at the Mayerson JCC. First up, from 3 – 4 p.m.: While the parents are away, the kids can play! Mom and Dad can drop the

little ones off for a jam-packed hour of supervised fun in J Play or Club J, and then join other parents for a fascinating discussion facilitated by Dr. Donna Mayerson, a licensed psychologist and special educator who will provide insights into parenting and speak about “Recognizing and Nurturing Your Child’s Unique Strengths.” Dr. Mayerson is a certified coach who has worked with hundreds of educators and families, and is currently the Director of Practice at the VIA Institute. “If there is a single gift a parent can give to his or her child, it would be

the gift of knowing what is good and strong within them,” says Dr. Mayerson. “I believe that with that kind of self-knowledge, children can build a good life for themselves.” Next up, from 4 – 5 p.m.: After everyone in the family enjoys a little “me time,” they’ll have a chance to get together for some fun “we time” at the pre-Passover party, featuring a bounce house, crafts, games, songs, PJ Library stories and a tasty Passover treat in the JCC’s comfortable Amberley Room. “I am gratified that we can

present this enlightening and entertaining afternoon. It is a perfect opportunity to bring our community’s families together to celebrate Passover,” explains Dr. David Finell, Rockwern Academy’s Head of School. This Sunday, March 17 program is the first in the new series called “Parenting Perspectives,” which will offer opportunities for parents to glean top-notch parenting insights and learn about the latest in child development. “It is rewarding when our community benefits from collaborative efforts. Bringing together the

expertise of the JCC, PJ Library, Jewish Family Service and Rockwern Academy to provide high-quality programs like the one planned for this Sunday gives families a wonderful blend of learning and fun for parents and their children,” summarizes Marc Fisher, interim CEO at the Mayerson JCC. The March 17 event is free and open to all families with children, ages 6 and younger, as well as their siblings. For more information, contact Rockwern Academy or the JCC, whose contact information can be found in the Community Director located in this issue.

Cedar Village CEO assumes leadership role in national organization Carol Silver Elliott, president and CEO of Cedar Village Retirement Community, has become chair of an organization that represents 120 North American nursing homes, housing communities and outreach programs. Elliott this month started a twoyear term as chair of the board of directors of the Association of Jewish Aging Services, which is based in Washington, D.C. AJAS is an association of notfor-profit organizations that are rooted in Jewish values. It supports the delivery of services to older adults through education, professional development, advocacy and community relationships. As one of the newer members, Elliott said it’s exciting for Cedar Village to have a leadership role in AJAS. Cedar Village is 16 years old.

Carol Silver Elliot

“As the new kids on the block, it is wonderful to take our place among the more-established organizations and give Cedar Village a national role and presence,” she said. “I feel very strongly about AJAS and the role that this organi-

zation can play in helping to strengthen and build all of our member organizations and look forward to helping move AJAS forward over the next two years.” As chair, her goals include providing more opportunities for members to collaborate on projects, identifying more ways to learn from each other’s successes and supporting each other when challenges arise. “All of us share a commitment to our tenants, residents and patients that is unparalleled and unwavering,” she told members as she assumed the new role. “We see that commitment constantly as it gives life to innovation, improvement and setting the standard for others to follow. I have no doubt that our organizations will continue to be the standard bearers in this

new environment. And through AJAS, we can leverage that vision, creativity and passion to benefit all of our organizations, our communities and all the people we serve.” Elliott of Deerfield Township has held the top job at Cedar Village since 2007. Her accomplishments include directing the development of the Shalom Center for Elder Abuse Prevention at Cedar Village, the first safe haven in Ohio for abused older adults; leading three groundbreaking trips to Israel for Cedar Village residents; and guiding the creation of innovative programs that stimulate the minds of people with dementia. Under her leadership, Cedar Village raised funds to more than double the capacity of its rehabilitation programs, including open-

ing a location at the Mayerson JCC in Amberley Village. In addition, she has initiated the development of new Cedar Village services, including home health care and community hospice. Previously, she held senior management positions at Stamford Health System in Stamford, Conn. and the Jewish Home of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y. She is a member of the boards of the national LeadingAge and LeadingAge Ohio, which are organizations that promote the health and well-being of older adults, children and those with special needs. She has degrees from Ithaca College and Central Michigan University, including a master’s degree in health care administration. She did graduate work in communications at Cornell University.

Conference on Reform Judaism Heritage: The Wises, Einhorn and Beyond This spring, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati, and the Society for Classical Reform Judaism will celebrate the fourth year of a partnership that has enabled a new generation of rabbinic students to encounter the distinctive principles and traditions of the Reform Jewish heritage. In addition to the ongoing scholarship opportunities, liturgical resources and annual seminars sponsored by the Society, this milestone will be marked by a special conference on the theme “reclaiming and renewing our heritage” with a variety of programs exploring the legacies of leading pioneers of the Movement. National lay and rabbinic leaders will join students and faculty, as well as others in regional Jewish communities, to explore the history, values and vision of the American liberal Jewish tradition in three days of seminars, March 21-23, on the Cincinnati campus. Examining the foundations of Reform Judaism will point the way for building for the 21st century, say conference planners. The work of three spiritual forbearers – Isaac Mayer Wise, Stephen S. Wise and David Einhorn – will play a significant

(L-R) Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise and Rabbi David Einhorn

part in this year’s conference. Each of these prominent rabbinic leaders played an instrumental role in the shaping of the Reform Movement in the United States. When Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, the founder of American Reform Judaism, came to America in 1846, he quickly understood the urgent need for rabbinical training for a new generation of progressive, enlightened and modern JewishAmerican spiritual leaders. He established the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, an umbrella group for America’s first 28 Reform congregations. Two years later, this body (renamed the Union for Reform Judaism) opened Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati as the

first permanent Jewish institution of higher learning in the New World. A half-century later, another Rabbi Wise – this one New Yorker Stephen S. Wise, the renowned social justice and human rights advocate (no relation to Isaac Wise) – founded the Jewish Institute of Religion. Established in 1922, JIR merged with HUC in 1950. David Einhorn was the first rabbi of the Har Sinai Congregation in Baltimore, the country’s first congregation founded as a Reform Temple, in 1842. He was one of the most prominent Jewish abolitionists in the Civil War period, and shaped the Movement’s commitment to social action, as well as its liturgical foundations.

A group of HUC students study.

The conference will feature forums that cover such topics as the role of the Wises and Einhorn as, respectively, moderate pragmatists and radical visionaries; the integration of Reform Judaism’s historic principles and practices into a contemporary setting; and the creative renewal of the Movement’s historic worship traditions. The opening session of the conference will include greetings by Rabbi David Ellenson, president of HUC-JIR; Rabbi Jonathan Cohen,

dean of HUC-JIR, Cincinnati; and Rabbi Howard Berman, executive director of the Society of Classical Reform Judaism. The conference will begin following HUC-JIR Founder’s Day ceremony on Thursday, March 21, at 11 a.m. and will conclude with the Shabbat morning service on Saturday, March 23, at 10 a.m. in the Scheuer Chapel. This program is open to all interested individuals, rabbis and lay leaders, free of charge.



Class studies American Hebrew with Israelis The community is invited to spend an afternoon learning (virtually) alongside Israeli peers at “Global Study Partnership,” on Sunday, March 17, at 12 p.m., at the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives (AJA), on the campus of Hebrew Union College. The free program, which is a part of the Israel@65 celebration is being hosted by Partnership2Gether (P2G), a Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) initiative funded in part by the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati’s Community Campaign. Dr. Gary P. Zola, executive director of the AJA and a historian of American Jewry, will present “Pesach and Parody: An Experience with American Hebrew.” Most people find it hard to believe there were Hebrew writers in the U.S., even before the Yishuv. Dr. Zola will introduce this kind of writing by focusing on the works of Gershon Rosenzweig, an American Jew who, more than a hundred years ago, specialized in writing Hebrew satire on life in America, including poking fun at the U.S. through Pesach. Israelis from Cincinnati’s partner city, Netanya, will participate in the

program via video conference, allowing both Cincinnatians and Netanyans to discuss the cross-cultural impact of the American Hebrew phenomenon. “Americans writing in Hebrew played a historic part in the revival of Hebrew into the modern, living language we know today,” said Scott Joseph, who, together with Alan Brown, co-chairs the P2G Netanya-Cincinnati committee. “This will be a rare opportunity for Jews in both countries to discover this little-known topic and share their personal point of view of Diaspora-Israel relations.” An extraordinary global platform connecting some 550 communities around the world in 45 partnerships, the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Partnership2Gether (P2G) program is building living bridges among these communities by sharing ideas, strengths, challenges and models of success and by empowering both communities to generate waves of change. A local endeavor with national impact, each P2G partnership provides the opportunity for communities to connect and interpersonal relationships to flourish.

COMMUNITY NEWS 11th grader reports on her experience at NFTY convention Alyssa Weisman, an 11th grader, attended the NorthAmerican Federation of Temple Youth [NFTY] Convention in Los Angeles, Calif., and sent this report: “North-American Federation of Temple Youth [NFTY] is the epitome of acceptance. As a Jewish American teenager, it is extremely challenging to find a place to fit in and be ‘you.’ Expressing your Judaism in a fun, creative way is a struggle. Before I joined NFTY I almost suppressed my Judaism and went on with my life. My school is less than 3 percent Jewish and I felt the need to hide my religion and culture. “I found out about NFTY through my synagogue, Isaac M Wise Temple. Our temple youth group helped me get involved by hosting local events such as lockins, color wars, baking parties and community service projects. The next step of my NFTY journey was regional events. NFTY Ohio Valley has six regional events each year and I wanted to attend all of them. This led me to my decision to run for Regional Board. I was elected as Membership Vice President of the region last spring! “My next opportunity to grow and develop through NFTY was NFTY Convention 2013 in Los Angeles, Calif. I saw the chance and grabbed it. I received scholarships from Ohio Valley and NFTY

to help me pay for the Convention. I got a job as a waitress at a retirement home and worked at Wise Temple as a madricha to help fund my trip. I worked six days a week and I have to say, it was worth every minute of work. The day that I raised enough money to go to convention I did a happy dance! “Over the next few months I booked my flights, bought new outfits, and joined the Facebook group. I connected with people all over the country without meeting them face-to-face. My mom always warned me about people on the Internet so this was thrilling. Weeks passed and I got more and more excited. I started packing up my things and getting everything ready. On Feb. 15, the long awaited day, I woke up at 5:30 a.m. to drive to the airport. After a long, 5-hour flight, stuck in the middle seat, I finally got to hop off the plane at LAX with a dream and a cardigan. “The bus pulled up to the hotel and there was an enchanting glow radiating from the LAX Hilton. As I walked inside I was attacked with hugs and screams from new and old friends. All throughout the weekend we heard inspiring keynote speakers such as Marc Elliot, author of What Makes You Tic? and Joshua Malina, a Jewish actor and supporter of Mazon. Another speaker was 17-year-old Talia Lemen, founder of RandomKid, a non-profit built to help people accomplish their goals. COMMUNITY on page 21

YPs celebrate through three continents No packing, no passports, no 12hour plane rides… Now Jewish young professionals can join the “jet set” without ever leaving home when Access presents an international itinerary that will have them hopping the globe in style. From the City of Light to the Land of Israel and back home via the Big Apple, YPs can start the season off in style with a whirlwind tour of some of the most desirable destinations in the world. So get ready to experience the nonstop fun this spring when Access crisscrosses the continents to visit a new and fabulous city each month, from March through May. The best part is all participants get to “fly” for free with an advance RSVP! First stop – Ce magnifique… it’s Paris, France! It might be called the City of Light but the real electricity will happen after dark when YPs rendezvous at Access’ biggest soirée of the year, Midnight in Paris, on Saturday, March 23 at 9 p.m. at the Cincinnati Club, downtown. This French-inspired evening will pay homage to one of the most sophisticated cities on earth, where guests will get to experience the many sights, sounds and flavors of “Gay Paree,” all inside the glamorous ballroom of one of Cincy’s chicest venues. In addition to dancing the night away amidst a 10-foot replica of the infamous Eiffel Tower, attendees are invited to take unlimited trips to the decadent dessert bar, get creative at the build-your-own crepe station, and enjoy other delicious confections while sipping on café au lait and liqueurs at the mini French

YPs can enjoy live camel rides at Access’ Chai Sixty5 Birthday Beach Bash.

Street Café. Participants can also capture the artistic spirit that lines the streets of Paris by having their portraits drawn by a caricature artist and striking a pose for the paparazzi. Open to all young professionals, 2135, this event is free and includes a complimentary glass of Champagne (but of course?) for those who Répondez S’il Vous Plait (RSVP) in advance. All others pay $10 at the door. There will be a cash bar. Haute couture or dressy chic attire please!

Next stop – Welcome home… to Israel! Kick off your shoes and come live the “chai life” when Access pulls out all the stops to party it up for Israel’s 65th birthday at a beach bash extravaganza featuring a taste of some of the best the Homeland has to offer when it presents Chai Sixty5: A Star and Stripes Celebration! on Sunday, April 14 at noon at Grand Sands in Loveland. YPS on page 21



Ohio makes largest purchase of Israel Bonds in American history Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel recently purchased $42 million in Israel Bonds. Finalized on March 1, the acquisition is the largest single government purchase of Israel Bonds in United States history. This investment increases the total amount of Israel Bonds in the Ohio Treasury portfolio to over $80 million, which is the largest amount of Israel bonds ever held by an Ohio Treasurer. Israel Bonds have provided security and competitive yield for Ohio. The bonds maintain a high

credit rating, are dependable and yield a competitive interest rate. The fixed rate Israel Bonds purchased by the Ohio Treasurer’s office in this offering have yields that are three to four times the rates of comparable U.S. Treasuries. Every Ohio Treasurer since 1993 has invested in Israel Bonds, as have more than 70 state and municipal public employee pension and treasury funds. Senate Bill 181, enacted by the State Legislature in 2010 on a unanimous and bipartisan vote, allowed the Treasury to

increase debt interests in foreign nations from one-half of one percent to a full one percent of the state’s portfolio, which made this historic purchase possible. This new investment is also in line with Mandel’s past investment strategies. As Ohio Treasurer, Mandel has focused on streamlining operations by implementing an investment strategy that is focused on security, liquidity and yield. After two years in office, Mandel generated $2.6 million in savings, and increased the Treasurer’s liquid-

ity portfolio by $2.5 billion. Mandel weathered the European sovereign debt crisis not only without a loss, but earning a yield. He earned a AAA rating on his multibillion dollar STAR investment fund and earned the first upgrade in a decade for the Ohio Enterprise Bond Fund. Mandel earned these high credit and bond ratings even as other similar state and local funds and the federal government were downgraded. The investment also reflects Mandel’s history on divesting from terror sponsoring nations. Treasurer

Mandel’s first piece of legislation as a State Representative was an initiative to force Ohio pension funds to divest from companies doing business in terrorist-sponsoring nations. Mandel led the bipartisan effort to make Ohio the first state in the nation to divest pension dollars from these nations. Since this success, Treasurer Mandel has worked with legislators and fiscal officers across the country to support Iran divestment nationwide, and today over a dozen states have embarked on terror-free investment initiatives.

Obama to Jews: Peace is essential but prospects are bleak By Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraphic Agency WASHINGTON (JTA) – President Obama believes prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace are “bleak,” but he still will urge both sides to avoid unilateral actions that might further damage a process he hopes will be back on track within a year. That was the message Obama delivered Thursday in a meeting with about 25 Jewish community figures at the White House to discuss his planned trip to Israel later this month. Obama was especially engaged, participants said, when it came to discussing how he might best convey to the Israeli people his enthusiasm for Israel and its Jewish history. Participants were under strict instructions to speak to news media only in the most general terms, and most of the participants contacted by JTA hewed to that stricture. Two participants, however, shared notes

Courtesy of The White House

President Obama speaking at a White House reception honoring Jewish American Heritage Month on May 31, 2012.

on the particulars and a third confirmed those accounts. According to the partipants, Obama appeared weary and was emphatic about not bringing any “grandiose” plan for Middle East peace to the region. He said he would, however, counsel the parties against making “unilateral” moves. He did not elaborate, but U.S. references to unilateralism generally refer to Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and Palestinian attempts to achieve statehood recognition. Obama reportedly rejected an

entreaty from one participant to stake out a harder line on Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program, emphasizing that a military option was still on the table even though he preferred to first exhaust diplomatic options. Officials from the major powers, led by the United States, are meeting with Iran in Istanbul later this month to negotiate terms for making Iran’s nuclear program more transparent. Obama said he would not engage in “chest beating” to make people feel better. He also said it’s natural for the United States and Israel to have differing assessments of how advanced Iran is in its nuclear quest. Such differences are a matter of interpretation, the president said, and exist within Israel’s political and security establishments as well. When he goes to Israel, Obama plans to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is still attempting to cobble together a government after January’s election. Obama also will meet with

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and will travel to Jordan to meet with King Abdullah. Obama told the Jewish participants that he thinks prospects for peace are “bleak,” but added: “That doesn’t mean six or nine or 12 months from now we won’t be in the midst of a policy initiative.” Obama said he would tell the Israelis that “the prospects for peace continue to go through the Palestinians.” A White House official confirmed that the president would not be seeking a specific outcome from this visit. “The president noted that the trip is not dedicated to resolving a specific policy issue but is rather an opportunity to consult with the Israeli government about a broad range of issues – including Iran, Syria, the situation in the region and the peace process,” the official said. “He also underscored that the trip is an opportunity for him to speak directly to the Israeli

people about the history, interests, and values that we share.” Obama seemed more enthusiastically engaged, participants said, when he was seeking input from them on how best to reach out to Israelis and make them feel secure about the U.S.-Israel alliance. The exchange took up the bulk of the meeting, with Obama fielding more than a dozen questions and suggestions over 45 minutes. Nathan Diament, the Washington director of the Orthodox Union, said that he counseled the president to emphasize the Jewish connection to the land. “I underscored the need for him to go to a place where he can both symbolically and in his statements speak about the millennia of connection between the Jewish people and Israel,” said Diament, who spoke under conditions that allowed participants to relay their own words to reporters. OBAMA on page 21

At AIPAC, Netanyahu and Biden offer Lautenberg Amendment, their takes on strategic timetable for Iran Soviet-era law now helping By Jacob Kamarass “Let me make clear what that JointMedia News Service commitment is,” Biden said. “It is Iranians, gets lifeline to prevent Iran from acquiring a WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday offered their takes on the strategic timetable for the Iranian nuclear threat, with Biden saying there remains “time and space” for diplomacy to work and Netanyahu dismissing diplomacy because Iran is “running out the clock.” Netanyahu told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) via a live satellite message that “diplomacy has not worked” for Iran, providing a contrast to the earlier remarks of Biden. “Iran has ignored all these offers,” Netanyahu said of what the Islamic Republic has been offered during its nuclear talks with the West. “It is running out the clock.” “Thus far, the sanctions have not stopped the nuclear program either,” the prime minister added,

Courtesy of Maxine Dovere

Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the 2013 AIPAC policy conference.

explaining that amid a struggling economy, Iranian leaders “just grit their teeth and move forward.” Biden – appearing in the absence of President Barack Obama, who, like Netanyahu, did not address the AIPAC conference in person this year because the two heads of state plan to meet in Israel later this month – told the AIPAC crowd that the U.S. and Israel “have a shared strategic commitment” on Iran.

nuclear weapon. Period.” “Not contain. Prevent,” Biden added for emphasis. He said Obama, “has flatly stated that.” Nevertheless, Biden said, “Our strong preference, the world’s preference, is for a diplomatic solution.” The Obama administration has so far refused to set the “red line” requested by Netanyahu that would prompt U.S. military action against Iran if the Islamic Republic’s nuclear progress crosses that line. The window for diplomacy with Iran is closing, but the U.S. believes “there is still time and space to achieve [that] outcome,” Biden said. “If God forbid the need to act [militarily against Iran] occurs, it is critically important for the whole world to know, we did everything in our power, we did everything that could have reasonably be expected, to avoid a confrontation,” he said. AIPAC on page 22

By Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraphic Agency

WASHINGTON – When the Lautenberg Amendment was introduced in 1990, it provided a mechanism for hundreds of thousands of Soviet Jews to exit their crumbling country and immigrate to freedom in the United States. Since 2004, it has served as a lifeline for religious minorities fleeing the Islamic theocracy of Iran. The amendment, named for the U.S. senator from New Jersey who introduced the measure, has kept open a critical path to American safe haven for certain foreigners persecuted because of their religion. That path was in danger of closing early this month. The amendment was subject to a sunset clause – meaning that funding had to be renewed every five years – and the sequester’s across-the-board programming cuts did not augur well.

Courtesy of HIAS

Iranian Jews who were able to come to the U.S. because of the Lautenberg Amendment arriving at LAX in 2009.

But on March 6, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives handed the program a lifeline when they included it in a “continuing resolution,” a stopgap measure that funds critical government programs while Congress and the White House continue to negotiate a budget. The resolution passed by a vote of 267 to 151. It now goes to the LAUTENBERG on page 21



Holocaust trains are jewel of collection of Greek train enthusiast. But are they real? By Gavin Rabinowitz Jewish Telegraphic Agency THESSALONIKI, Greece – It was spring in northern Greece, 1943. Efthymios Kontopoulos, 13, had come to Thessaloniki for the day when he saw Nazis rounding up the city’s Jews. “My father brought me into town,” Kontopoulos, who is not Jewish, said. “We saw them being taken away. They were with their [yellow] badges.” On March 15, 1943, the Nazis began deporting the Jews of Thessaloniki. Some 4,000 people were loaded onto cattle cars and shipped off to Auschwitz. Eighteen more convoys followed. By August, the Jewish community of the city, known as the Flower of the Balkans and a major center of Sephardic Jewry for 450 years, was no more. Of the 55,000 Jews in the city on the eve of the war, 49,000 were deported. Only 1,950 survived. This month, as the remnants of the Thessaloniki Jewish community prepare to mark the 70th anniversary of the deportations, Kontopoulos believes he has a powerful symbol of the community’s destruction: four of the railway cars used in the transports to the death camps. Kontopoulos is neither a historian nor a Holocaust expert. He’s a

Courtesy of Gavin Rabinowitz

The Jews of Thessaloniki were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau in railway cars like this one, currently on display at the Railway Museum of Thessaloniki.

train enthusiast and collector who sees much of life and history through the prism of rail. Which perhaps explains his certitude in the provenance of the cars despite some doubts raised about their authenticity. “My life is the wagons as they are,” says Kontopoulos, now 83 and the founder and curator of the Railway Museum of Thessaloniki. “That is history.” After the war, Kontopoulos followed his passion and joined the Greek railway, spending his career as

an engineer. After he retired in 1985, he turned his attention to memorabilia. He convinced the city to donate an old military railway building, which he renovated and filled with his collection of photographs, maps, uniform buttons, an Ottoman-era conductor uniform and Morse code devices. There’s even a bathroom set salvaged from the Greek royal railway carriage. The museum is open two mornings a week and entry is free. But it’s outside where he has his pride and joy: a collection of rusty

locomotives and carriages. A few stand out in stark contrast to the others. One is an English carriage built in 1900 for the iconic Orient Express, which ran from Paris to Constantinople. A dining car with a full kitchen, bronze velvet tablecloths, rich leather seats, filigree wood panels and brass finishings, it conjures up the luxury and intrigue of the line that inspired plot lines in James Bond films and Agatha Christie mysteries. On the other side of the yard stand four dilapidated wooden carriages. Some have panels missing; in others, the floorboards are gone. Inside one is a rusty iron ladder, a large plastic bottle of turpentine and a pile of old lumber. Sunlight comes in through one tiny, barred window and through holes in the walls. In these, Kontopoulos believes, the Jews were sent to the gas chambers. “Everyone was loaded onto wagons designed for merchandise or livestock: newborns, invalids, everyone,” said Paul Hagouel, whose father, Leon, survived the journey from Thessaloniki and two years in Auschwitz. “All they had was a bucket in one corner for their needs. So you can imagine many died. It was terrible.” TRAINS on page 22

International Briefs France arrests three Islamists suspected of planning attack on Toulouse shooting anniversary (JNS) – Three Islamists who were suspected of planning an attack around the anniversary of the Toulouse shooting were arrested in southern France last week. According to French prosecutors, police found weapons and explosives in one of the suspect’s homes in a town near Marseille. Police also intercepted communications between the men suggesting they were planning on going into action. Syria rebels vow to ‘liberate Golan Heights’ after Assad falls (JNS) - Syrian rebels operating in the region near the border with Israel threatened on Sunday to fight to regain the Golan Heights from Israel following the toppling of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Israel Hayom reported. A spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry has voiced his concerns about the potential for radical Sunni elements to take power in a postAssad Syria.

On Caracas streets, fear and eerie quiet as Venezuela mourns By Gil Shefler Jewish Telegraphic Agency CARACAS, Venezuela – Students at the Ma’or HaTorah yeshiva in Caracas knew something was afoot Tuesday afternoon when bodyguards driving bullet-proof vehicles started showing up unexpectedly at the gate, whisking teenagers from wealthy families to the safety of their homes. “After the second and third came, we realized this was serious,” Aron Misadon, a 16-yearold student at the school, told JTA on Wednesday. “At that point they closed the school and we all ran home.” That something was the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who had been gravely ill for months and had recently returned from months-long treatment in Cuba. The announcement sent many in Caracas into panic mode, fearing that the death of this larger-than-life figure – alternately loved or reviled by millions in his country – might lead to chaos in the streets. Stores were shuttered, meetings were canceled and Venezuelans braced themselves. As the government announced a seven-day national mourning period, Jewish schools and the Jewish community

Courtesy of JTA Staff

A Hugo Chavez supporter flying a Venezuelan flag on his bike in Caracas Wednesday.

center in Caracas all closed. The only activity in town seemed to be at the military academy, where Chavez’s coffin lay in state. He is to be buried on Friday. The scheduled opening next Sunday of a new Sephardic synagogue was likely to be postponed. The new shul, a multimillion dollar edifice, had been built to replace an older one located in a part of town that had become unsafe. Under Chavez’s rule, Caracas has acquired one of the world’s highest murder rates, and violent crime is an omnipresent threat. In the early hours after Chavez’s death, the fear was of the unknown. Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro’s accusation that Venezuela’s enemies had “inculcated” Chavez with his cancer, as unnamed foes had done to the late

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, sent shivers down the spines of many Venezuelan Jews. “We are very worried that his followers might decide to ‘avenge’ his death,” said Sammy Eppel, a local journalist who is Jewish. But two days after his death, an eerie calm had taken hold. Driving down the four-lane highway connecting Simon Bolivar International Airport with downtown Caracas, David Bittan noted how quiet things were. “So far, nothing has happened,” said Bittan, the Jewish owner of a car service company whose cousin, also named David Bittan, is the head of CAIV, Venezuela’s Jewish umbrella group. “I don’t think there’s any reason to worry right now. I think they are focusing on his funeral on Friday.” At one point during the drive, Bittan noted a group of Chavista motorcyclists wearing red shirts and flying Venezuelan flags driving besides his SUV in a long line. “They’re on their way to attend the procession of Chavez’s coffin,” he said. That massive procession on Wednesday, which culminated in a huge rally at the military academy, was attended by Maduro and Bolivian President Evo Morales and was broadcast live on all five

state-owned TV stations. Venezuelans of all stripes, both supporters and opponents of the late president, gathered around TV screens at gas stations, restaurants and bars to watch the proceedings. “Our son, brother, teacher, revolutionary,” gushed a TV anchor, eulogizing Chavez. “His light will shine on.” One woman interviewed during the broadcast said she would be forever grateful to Chavez for implementing a program that gave her a house for free. “He was better than all of us,” she said. “This should not have happened. I will always have him in my heart.” At a downtown hotel catering to businessmen located a few metro stops away from the military academy, the spectacle was received very differently. “All the supporters are government employees,” said one woman dismissively. “They are not forced to go, but they feel under pressure to show up. They might lose their job if they don’t.” By nightfall Wednesday, the streets of Caracas had emptied out – even more so than usual. “I don’t like being out on a night like this,” Bittan said uneasily. Vendors at a supermarket in the Altamira neighborhood said

they ran out of water bottles as locals rushed to stock up on basic foodstuffs. Nearby, a large poster of Chavez, one of many around town showing the leader known as El Comandante in various outfits and poses, depicted a youthful Chavez in a red beret and olive-green military uniform, raising his right fist aloft. The sign read: “Complete the mission.”



Pact of pariahs forming between Iran and Hungary’s Jobbik By Cnaan Liphshiz Jewish Telegraphic Agency BUDAPEST, Hungary – The potholed streets leading to Tiszavasvari’s rusty train station offer no clue that this sleepy town of 12,000 in eastern Hungary is considered the “capital of Jobbik,” the country’s ultranationalist, antiJewish party whose name means “better.” The first sign appears near the office of the mayor, Erik Fulop, the first of five Jobbik politicians elected to run a Hungarian municipality. Shortly after taking office in 2010, Fulop set up a twinning arrangement between Tiszavasvari and the Iranian city of Ardabil, and a sign in Hungarian and Farsi near the office celebrates those ties. Observers say the announcement of the twinning arrangement was the first international event held in Hungary under Jobbik’s auspices and a mark of a growing partnership aimed at breaking through the isolation that both the party and the Iranian government are laboring under – Iran for its suspected nuclear weapons program and support for terrorism, Jobbik for its hyper-nationalism

Courtesy of tiszavasvari

Jobbik Chairman Gabor Vona, left, receiving a gift from a visiting Iranian businessman in the Hungarian town of Tiszavasvari, January 2011.

and anti-Semitism. Tiszavasvari’s official website states that “the embargo on Iran is merely a way for world powers to monopolize trade with Iran,” and expresses hope that the town “may lead the way to reversing this process.” Jobbik’s leader, Gabor Vona, has hosted a number of Iranian delegations there since the start of the twinning arrangement. “The Persian people and their leaders are considered pariahs in the eyes of the West, which serves Israeli interests,” said Marton Gyongyosi, Jobbik’s foreign policy chief, at a pro-Iran demonstration organized by the party in December at the U.S. Embassy in

Budapest. “This is why we have solidarity with the peaceful nation of Iran and turn to her with an open heart.” Jobbik’s meteoric rise since its founding in 2003 has long been a source of consternation to Hungary’s Jewish communal leaders, some of whom fear its growth is a driving factor behind Jewish emigration from the central European country. Currently the third largest faction in parliament, Jobbik has increased its share of the popular vote nearly eightfold in the four years prior to 2010 and currently holds 47 of 386 parliamentary seats. Less well known is the party’s intensifying partnership with Iran. Following Fulop’s decision to twin with Ardabil, another Jobbik mayor, Juhasz Oszkar of Gyogyospata, also twinned with an Iranian municipality. Top Jobbik figures joined Hungarian businessmen on a trip to Iran to help deepen commercial ties between the countries. And Jobbik is one of only two parties represented in parliament’s Hungarian-Iranian Friendship Committee. PARIAHS on page 22

‘Putting a face on every soldier’ By Sean Savage JointMedia News Service Ben, an Israel Defense Forces reservist, recalls when his unit took up a position to sleep inside a beatup old Volkswagen van outside a Palestinian village. Hearing a knock on their van’s door, and preparing for the worst, the soldiers jumped up with their guns ready – only to discover it was a “little old Palestinian grandma.” Telling personal stories such as that one, which Ben recently recounted at Boston University (BU), helps put a human face on Israeli soldiers who are often condemned by anti-Israeli activists as “war criminals” or worse, Ben believes. “The most important thing for me is putting a face on every solider, I think it’s important for people to understand that Israeli soldiers aren’t super soldiers, they aren’t Spartans or what you see in the movies,” Ben tells JNS. “We are just regular kids, but due to the circumstances Israel faces, we have to join the army in order to protect our country from existential threats.” Ben’s talk at BU was part of a unique program from the pro-Israel education group StandWithUs called Israeli Soldiers Stories. Now in its fifth year, the program attempts to bring a fresh perspective to the IDF by sending 12 Israeli solders on a speaking tour of campus-

Netanyahu, with team of rivals, puts together a govt. By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraphic Agency TEL AVIV – He’s had to bite a few bullets to get there, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will lead Israel’s next government. Barring a last-minute surprise, Israel’s new governing coalition will be sworn in this week: a center-right grouping of Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud-Beiteinu faction, the centrist Yesh Atid party, the religious nationalist Jewish Home party, the center-left Hatnua led by Tzipi Livni and the tiny, centrist Kadima. In total, the coalition will include 70 of the Knesset’s 120 members. The government’s priorities will be to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, enact budget reform, expand Israel’s mandatory military conscription and lower the cost of living, according to Netanyahu. “Above all,” Netanyahu said at his weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday, the next government must address “the major security challenges that are piling up around us.” The coalition deal is a bittersweet victory for the prime minis-

Courtesy of Miriam Alster/FLASH90/JTA

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leading the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, March 10, 2013.

ter. He won a disappointing 31 seats at the ballot box in January. That divided vote has turned into a divided government that he’ll have to lead with ambitious rivals by his side. The divisions have grown more intense since the election, as Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid and Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett formed an alliance after the vote. “He’s a much weaker prime minister,” said Hebrew University political science professor Shlomo Avineri. “We see the emergence of two popular leaders who are not constrained by internal party institutions and can dictate to their own parties whatever policies they wish.”

For Israeli souk’s old-timers, healthy Mediterranean diet is no secret By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Courtesy of the IDF

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz (far left) with a reserve division that held a joint-training drill at the Tzalim base, involving forces from the Israel Air Force, Armored Corps, Paratroopers Brigade and Artillery Corps.

es, schools and community centers in dozens of cities across the U.S. “I am a core believer in that if we can change one kid’s perspective then we have been successful,” Ben says. “If I can open up one apathetic student, then personally I feel like I have achieved something.” “However, I do think there needs to be larger campaign for pro-Israel students to be informed and to know how to counter such [negative] claims about Israel,” he says. “I also think they need to be taught on how to answer.” But Jossi, another soldier who participates in the program, tells

JNS that he feels students shouldn’t always need to worry about countering their anti-Israel counterparts. “Why should they always be countering? Why can’t people come, who have been to Israel, and share something positive and personal about their experience?” Jossi says. For Ben and Jossi, the most effective tool on their speaking tour was recalling their army experience and offering students an unfiltered perspective about Israel and the threats it faces. SOLDIER on page 22

TEL AVIV (JTA) – Puffing on a cigarette, Amnon Tubi says he always knew what scientists only recently have proven about staying healthy. “I knew that Mediterranean food is the best,” he said, surrounded by tables overflowing with tomatoes, cucumbers and oranges. “The legumes are healthy. There’s a lot of fiber.” Tubi, 60, has worked in Tel Aviv’s crowded, open-air Carmel Market for four decades, peddling produce and fresh fish. He’s no doctor, but that won’t stop him from recommending a daily diet: fish, vegetables, chicken, legumes and eggs. Subtract the eggs, and what’s left are some of the recommendations from a comprehensive dietary study published last month in the New England Journal of Medicine, which found that a Mediterranean diet can reduce the effects of heart disease by up to 30 percent. Which foods are best? Olive oil, fruit, nuts, vegetables, cereals, fish and poultry. The study makes the Carmel Market, the one-lane pedestrian bazaar known to locals simply as

Courtesy of Liron Almog/Flash90/JTA

Elderly woman shopping for fruit at the Tel Aviv Carmel Market, 2009.

“the shuk,” seem like a health food store. Along the souk’s narrow, cramped and sometimes smelly corridor, there are at least three natural fruit shake stands, two stores specializing in varieties of olive oil, several fish shops and endless rows of produce. Which stand gets business often depends on which grocer can yell the loudest. And some of the market’s most voluble salesmen are happy to point out what they’ve long known about their product. “I always knew it, of course,” said Yossi, who has worked in the souk for 30 years selling potatoes, onions and garlic. “Mediterranean food is spicy. In Israel, it’s healthy. American food is disgusting. It doesn’t have natural ingredients.” DIET on page 19



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2013 Audi A4—proof of the progress we preach

2013 Audi A4

Already renowned for its athletic driving character and spacious interior, the Audi A4 returns for 2013 with a fresh look, a revised interior and a new electromechanical steering system for better agility and efficiency. As usual, it’s the small touches that create a masterpiece. Even after attaining such a high aesthetic standard, the A4 enters 2013 with a fresh design both inside and out. A new instrument cluster greets the driver, and Alu-optic accents have been applied throughout the cabin. Outside, the body incorporates a new design for the hood and all the lights, with distinctive LEDs now available to power the daytime run-

ning lights and taillights. But how does it drive? All that could be said already has: Expectations are set to be outperformed. Every A4 features a 2.0liter TFSI engine that combines direct fuel injection, intercooled turbocharging, and variable valve timing and valvelift to perform stronger than its actual size. This helps provide more power without sacrificing efficiency. No wonder it’s one of the most often-imitated Audi technologies. How the A4 drives largely depends on your own personal tastes. Indulge your preferences. Those wanting a more sporting character can choose the optional 18-inch wheels with lower-profile tires, or go a step further with the Sport package for its 19-inch wheels, lowered suspension, and sport seats. The A4 also offers no less than three different transmissions — a six-speed manual, an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic, and a multitronic continuously variable automatic — and for even more personal tailoring, the optional Audi drive select enables

2013 Range Rover Evoque—from the mold of the bold

2013 Range Rover Evoque

Range Rover Evoque in five door form offers breathtaking contemporary kinetic design with added practicality, superb accessibility and extraordinary versatility. Bold and compact, Range Rover Evoque uses the latest materials and technology to help make it the most efficient Land Rover vehicle ever. Individual, exquisite, Range Rover Evoque gives you the opportunity to create precisely the vehicle you want with an extensive selection of exciting colours, materials, finishes and luxury options, all based on three stunning, totally individual design themes: Pure – the purest expression of the Range Rover Evoque design form and intent. Prestige – the ultimate in Range Rover Evoque luxury with a distinct exterior design and an opportunity for greater individuality for the interior. Dynamic – the boldest expression of Range Rover Evoque with sports interior themes and Gloss

Black detailing. One of Range Rover Evoque’s premium feature is advanced lighting technology that achieves outstanding performance as well as providing some of the vehicle’s most striking signature design elements. The innovative LED lighting systems are used to create the unique graphics of the front daytime running lights and complex 3D “petal” design in the rear lamps. The striking exterior design conveys an immediate sense of luxury with its precision build quality and the use of eye-catching metallic finishers or sophisticated details such as the vents on the bonnet and at the side of the vehicle, as well as the jewel-like characteristics of the front and rear lamps with their LED signature lighting and the tapering blade indicator clusters. Both active and passive safety technologies on Range Rover Evoque are state-of-the-art. The high strength safety cell, airbags and advanced restraint systems provide an exceptional degree of safety for you and your passengers. The powerful all-disc braking system is complemented by the latest generation of active electronic safety systems, while the advanced traction and stability technology is configured to maximize performance and safety in the widest range of driving conditions. MSRP starts at $42,040.

adjustment of steering effort, throttle response, and transmission shifting style on the fly. In the A4, safety does not take a back seat to performance and

practicality. Six airbags keep occupants protected from the front and sides, while stability control helps secure your trajectory at all times. In the event of a collision,

intelligent sensors automatically unlock the doors, switch on interior and hazard lights, and cut off fuel flow to the engine. MSRP starts at $32,500.



Cafe Mediterranean—a quick trip from the usual By Michael Sawan Assistant Editor A little piece of home in a foreign place reminds you of just how far you have come. But there’s no need to find an embassy on your next trip; simply stop into any old fast food joint to get a whiff of home that you would never miss, under normal circumstances. The inverse holds true, too. Travel doesn’t have to mean long flights, traveler’s checks or heavy baggage. A trip to Turkey, for instance, may be much closer than you think. Cafe Mediterranean, owned and operated by Fahri Ozdil, is a little slice of Turkey right along Kenwood Road, in Blue Ash. And by this point they’re an old hand in the “restaurant embassy” game. “We’ve been one of the first Turkish restaurants in the city, ten years ago,” says Ozdil. “At that time people didn’t know anything about Turkish culture, Turkish food, Turkish anything. But it has been ten years, and I believe we’ve done a good job, especially in this area, getting a lot of people to know about Turkish cuisine. They know all of the normal Mediterranean flavors, and they know what makes us different.” This contrast is no accident. Ozdil and his restaurant go to great lengths to present authentic Turkish food. “All of the spices, herbs, all comes from Turkey. We go every three or four months, or they deliver it, from a Turkish supplier in New York. Even the simple oregano, or mint, all of it comes from Turkey.” Cafe Mediterranean has been working overtime to spread the word about Turkish cuisine. And perhaps for the best, the work may still be many years from completion. New faces come through the restaurant every day, and Cafe Mediterranean’s knowledgeable staff are there to make the plunge into new food comfortable. “My chef is Turkish, so is the sous chef,” begins Ozdil, “but I have a server from Cincinnati, he’s been here almost five years. He knows the Turkish heritage and culture sometimes better than my Turkish servers. Sometimes people are surprised, like ‘how does this guy know the menu, the spice, the Turkish culture?’ Obviously he doesn’t speak Turkish, but he learns the culture stuff, he’s a smart guy. Plus, my other servers and my other cooks that aren’t Turkish know about all of this.” This Turkish School of Cuisine has graduated many students. “We have all the local regulars,” explains Ozdil, “and in the last two months we’ve added many new faces. Many of them are now regulars. I’m so happy with that.” For those who are old hands in the pallet of Cafe Mediterranean,

Courtesy of Michael Sawan

(Clockwise) One angle of the restaurant; Some of the turkish silver that Ozdil brought back from Turkey, these two for serving coffee and sugar; A vessel for serving a popular Turkish yogurt drink; A collection of wines and turkish dinner ware. The restaurant now has its liquor license; Fahri Ozdil, the owner and operator of Cafe Mediterranean; One of the dining areas of Cafe Mediterranean, with a view into the kitchen through several arches.

rest assured that new specials and flavors are on the horizon. “We always keep our regular menu, but we make a lot of new specials,” says Ozdil. “Either appetizers, main dishes or desserts. We added a calf liver appetizer, that’s very, very popular. Then for a main dish, we sometimes do a lamb shank. People ask me every time why we don’t just put it on the menu...We’re going to start this weekend doing the Sultan Pleasure, which is a smoked eggplant dish with cheese. It’s one of the top specials. We just started doing a chocolate pudding, with crushed walnuts and really rich chocolate. Like, REALLY chocolatey. We’ve just done, a couple of weeks ago, a pumpkin dessert because of the season. But we’re probably not able to do it now.” And this is only recently. Ozdil has yet more plans down the road: “Spring is coming, so we’re thinking of getting new specials. And by June we’ll be able to get local, organic farm vegetables. We didn’t get that much last year, but my goal

is to get at least 60 percent local organic farm vegetables.” More changes have occurred in the past months. Cafe Mediterranean recently acquired its liquor license, and now serves wines from all across the globe. “We got our wine license six months ago or so, and I’m surprised,” explains Ozdil. “We have a lot of unique wines, from Turkey, from Lebanon, Argentina, Spain...” The list goes on, until Ozdil notices a trend from his customers. “People wonder, ‘does Turkey make wine?’ Seriously? I just came from Turkey last Thursday, after seven years [away]. I was happy to visit my family, but at the same time, I was so surprised. I tried to go buy wine... Oh my goodness! I couldn’t imagine how many wines they had added! I can’t remember the names, but they tasted so good!” Ozdil’s trip to Turkey had been a long time coming. “My hometown was amazing. It was 65 degrees. But for them it’s cold! I was the one not wearing a coat. And the last night, my family did a huge barbecue

party. The other days weren’t sunny, but when we had the cookout I wore short sleeves.” He had even brought back various crafts to incorporate into his restaurant, including vessels for holding cream, coffee, a yogurt drink, sugar and the check. Since his return, things have again turned local for Ozdil. He has been building his online presence, though his recent burst of customers has presented some happy road blocks. “I’m putting things on Facebook. Actually, today I’m going to take a bunch of pictures. Since I came back we’ve been very busy, I didn’t have so much time to work on that, I’ve been missing a lot of office things to do.” The private event business has been taking off for Cafe Mediterranean as well. “We’ve done several private parties lately, especially for businessmen, groups of ladies, book clubs, or community members. Parties and events bring us a lot of new business. People don’t know about us, but they came and tested

the food, they enjoyed it, and they keep coming back, bringing more people, bringing more business.” The procedure for hosting an event is relatively straightforward. “If you have more than 20 people, 30, 35, 40, you come here, sit and discuss, and you pick one chicken dish, one lamb dish, one seafood dish, and one vegetarian dish. Then a cold sampler and a chef salad. We make two long, big tables. Then your guests can pick from the main dishes. Also, you can pick two desserts. Then we can toss in champagne and two Turkish wines, a red and a white, [many] bottles of each. That’s usually how we do it.” Whether you need a getaway or a tasty afternoon retreat, Cafe Mediterranean is the safe, yet adventurous, bet. Their hours are Monday – Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Cafe Mediterranean 9525 Kenwood Road Blue Ash, OH 45242 (513) 745-9386




Ferrari’s Little Italy & Bakery


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Dos Yiddishe Mensch By Rabbi Avi Shafran Contributing Columnist If you’ve noticed a little less dignity, geniality and nobility in the world of late, it may be because we no longer have Reb Yosef Friedenson here with us. Reb Yosef’s humble bearing, good will and astuteness would have been remarkable in any man. But for a veteran of the Warsaw ghetto and a clutch of concentration camps to have emerged from the cauldron of the Holocaust as so shining a model of calm, forbearance and fortitude is little short of amazing – and something that deeply impressed all who had the privilege of knowing him. I am among those fortunate souls, and I had the additional honor of working in the same offices as he, at Agudath Israel of America. There were times here and there when he would ask me to do some minor research for him. I tend to overschedule my days and, especially if I’m in a cranky mood, I sometimes feel put upon when asked to do something I hadn’t included on my day’s agenda. But when the asker was Reb Yosef, no matter how grumpy I might have been a moment before, the very sound of his voice, which transmitted his modesty and eidelkeit (sorry, there’s no English word that can do the job), melted any cantankerousness I might have been nursing. I was happy and honored to help him in any way I could. Because of the person he was. He was known as “Mr. Friedenson” but in fact was a wiser man and more of a rabbi by far than most who coddle that title. He was not into titles but into work, on behalf of the Jewish people. For more than a half-century – beginning in the Displaced Persons camps after the war’s end – Reb Yosef edited a Yiddish publication, which became the monthly “Dos Yiddishe Vort” – “The Yiddish [or Jewish] Word” – produced under Agudath Israel’s auspices. Even as the periodical’s readership dwindled with the loss of Holocaust survivors over the years, he forged ahead and, until virtually the last day of his life, worked hard to produce the glossy monthly that regularly offered Orthodox commentary on current events, historical articles and rare photographs from the preHolocaust Jewish era and the Holocaust itself. He approached his editing duties carefully and professionally, in the beginning of the venture recruiting top-notch writers and doing his own topnotch writing. He once said about his father, Eliezer Gershon Friedenson, who edited the prewar Agudath Israel newspaper in

Europe, that he was “bristling with energy and ideas.” It was an apt description of himself. During his final years, Reb Yosef did much of the writing for Dos Yiddishe Vort himself, often under pseudonyms that were transparent to most everyone who read the publication. (No one cared; his own recollections and writings were deeply appreciated by readers.) And the issues increasingly focused on rabbinical figures who perished during the Holocaust, and on pre-war Jewish communities. Special editions were devoted to the Jews of Lodz or Lublin, to the Gerer rebbe or the Chazon Ish. And throughout, there were personal recollections of the war years and accounts of spiritual heroism during that terrible time. That, in fact, was Reb Yosef’s overriding life-mandate: to connect new American generations with the world of Jewish Eastern Europe. He didn’t harp on Nazism or anti-Semitism. That there are always people who hate Jews was, to him, just an unfortunate given. It didn’t merit any particular examination. What did, though, was the decimation itself of European Jewry and the horrifying toll taken by the upheaval of the Jewish people on the Jewish dedication to Torah. When he would reference the Germans it was usually to note their perceptive realization that Torah is the lifeblood of the Jewish nation. They tried to drain that figurative lifeblood along with their pouring of so much actual Jewish blood. But – and this was what yielded Reb Yosef’s victory smile – they failed. He saw the ultimate revenge on the Nazis and their henchmen in the reestablishment and thriving of observant Jewish life, yeshivos and Bais Yaakovs on these shores and others. He would sometimes call attention to a line from a prayer said on Mondays and Thursdays, the long version of Tachanun. “We [Jews] are like sheep led to slaughter,” he would quote, and know well how true that has been over the course of history. But, Reb Yosef would continue, the operative words, the secret to Jewish survival and Jewish identity, lie in the supplication’s subsequent phrase: “And despite all that, we have never forgotten Your name.” Reb Yosef never forgot G-d’s name, not in the ghettos, not in the camps, not in the office where he toiled for decades to remind others of the Jewish world that was, and that can be again. And we, for our part, will never forget either him or his message.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Do you have something to say? E-mail your letter to

Dear Editor, At a relatively unpublished meeting at the Amberley Village Hall Tuesday, March 5, a group called “The Walnut Group” basically asked the leaders of the village to grant them a six month listing of the former Crest Hills property now known as Amberley Green so they can explore the possibilities of exploiting this irreplaceable tract of land! The “North Site” should be the focus of attention for development, perhaps a sign on Cross County might facilitate some action there. Come to the meetings and let your voice be heard: Leave the village alone! Sincerely, Dian Levine Cincinnati, OH Dear Editor, In last week’s issue, Mr. Jerome

Liner submitted a letter to the editor recognizing the tremendous financial burden of Jewish day school. The issues of affordability and access to Jewish education are indeed critical, especially as we strive to make Cincinnati a model Jewish community and an attractive place for young families. We would like to respectfully correct any misunderstanding, however, that The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati has overlooked Cincinnati Hebrew Day School. To the contrary, The Jewish Foundation has been extremely generous with the school and has already provided it with more than $2 million – including nearly $800,000 in the past two years alone. This funding has been used to meet budget shortfalls, satisfy certain long-term debt obligations, address space needs arising from the school’s continued growth in student enrollment, and

to make curricular enhancements (including funding for new textbooks and computers and other technology for classrooms) and improvements to its facility. A forthcoming article will describe these improvements in greater detail. Without this funding, the school would not have been able to survive over the past two years. There is no question that CHDS faces significant financial burdens and other challenges. CHDS continues to work closely with The Foundation to improve the quality of education for the 230+ students who are deserving of educational excellence. With the Jewish Foundation’s help, we foresee a bright future; one that will benefit our students, our parents, and the larger Cincinnati Jewish community. Sincerely, The CHDS Board of Trustees Cincinnati, OH

Last Week’s Corrections The American Israelite’s 2013 Wedding Guide, from the March 7 issue, has two corrections. The listing for Lane Catering should have read as follows: Lane Catering Taste, Style and Attention to Detail that will make your wedding unforgettable. Lane Catering has been serving the Jewish community of Cincinnati for over 25 years, working in area synagogues, public and private venues, catering every type of special event. They have served fine meals for Prime Ministers of Israel and guests during visits to Cincinnati and to several United States Presidents. Lane Catering beautifully prepared and served events for over 4,000 people in the Qumram Desert in Israel. Would you like a custom menu tailored specifically toward your wedding theme? Lane Catering can serve you at the location of your choice. Preparation under the supervision of the Vaad Hoier of Cincinnati upon request. The listing for B’nai Tzedek/Beit Chaverim should have read as follows: B’nai Tzedek/Beit Chaverim’s Sanctuary: Spiritual Space for Jewish Events Special moments in life deserve to be set in spaces radiant with beauty. B’nai Tzedek sanctuary on Kugler Mill Road is such a space. Jose Garcia, Argentina-born

and Cincinnati based architect who worked at that time for BHDP, designed B’nai Tzedek’s synagogue building on Kugler Mill Road. He conceived and designed its space to be a place of spiritual significance. Though visible through a glass curtain wall, the sanctuary is enclosed by a freestanding stone wall raised above ground by concrete pillars. When you enter the sanctuary of B’nai Tzedek/Beit Chaverim synagogue you realize immediately that you are in a significant space. Light pours in from all four sides of its simple rectangular hall. The sunshine amplifies additionally a sense of lifting you upward. The light gently touches the wooden pillars and guides your eyes toward the ceiling. The wooden ceiling’s square tiles reveal themselves to your eyes and you respond to the surprise – a recognition of a familiar Torah text. Your brain takes over because you recognize the Hebrew letters of the words you’ve heard each year at the beginning of the Torah reading cycle: “Be-reshit bara...” And if you walk with your head up and turn to your right, you will continue to read sentence after sentence in gold letters realizing that you are at the end of the Torah text, that you are in Deuteronomy, and getting near its closing words. They are taking you all the way to the end of the social hall where you will find “le-eyne kol Yisrael.” The inner space, so open to its environment, is enclosed from out-

side by the stone wall hugging it from behind the bimah; the old ark, inherited from the extinct North Avondale shul, connects you to our more immediate communal past. The place is still radiant at night, although there is no longer contact with an external source of natural light. Yet the light does reflect softly from the Hebrew writing on the ceiling as well as from the pillars that are covered with light colored wood panels. They contrast gently with the darkness of the glass walls. Pam and Simon Newman had the honor of being the first couple to celebrate their wedding ceremony in B’nai Tzedek’s sanctuary. It was the second marriage for both of them and they felt comfortable working with the Rabbi to create an event that would be authentic and would express fully their commitment to each other. Their non-Jewish friends were so impressed with the ceremony that they asked for permission to copy elements of it for their own celebrations. Anne Greenfeld and Mel Cohen were married at B’nai Tzedek because these academics not only loved the spiritual uplift of its sanctuary but also because of its acoustic qualities. Anne is an accomplished singer and a lay cantor and she has developed a deep appreciation for acoustic friendliness of this space. Sound carries in a very lively way through the sanctuary and it improves further when it is filled with people.



Vayikra, quoted above, which deals with the issue of the sins of the entire congregation. Commentators ask how can an “entire congregation” sin, and Rashi identifies the “congregation of Israel” with the Sanhedrin. In other words, when it says “..if the entire congregation of Israel errs..” it really means that if “the Sanhedrin errs.” The Jewish people are a nation defined by commandments, precepts and laws. Therefore the institution that protects and defines the law is at the heart of the nation’s existence. In fact, how the Jewish people behave, what they do, can become the law. (“A custom of Israel is Torah.”) Knowing all this, it should not come as a surprise that Maimonides wanted to revive the ordination, and found a method utterly democratic in its design. The “people” equals the Sanhedrin, the “people” can choose one leading Jew who will then have the right to pass on his ordination to others, to re-create the Sanhedrin! And for Maimonides, it is the population living in the land of Israel which represents the historical congregation of Israel (B.T. Horayot 3b). And apparently Maimonides is saying that before the next stage of Jewish history unfolds, the nation will have to decide who shall be given the authority to recreate the ordination, as to who will be the commander-in-chief of the rabbis. Will it happen in our lifetime? 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: VAYIKRA (LEVITICUS 1:1 - 5:26) 1.) Can a sacrifice to Hashem be from money? a.) Yes b.) No 2.) What was added to every (mincha) offering? a.) myrrh b.) salt c.) olive oil 3.) If one swore falsely that he did not steal someone's item, which had been in his safekeeping, he must return the item 4.) C. Chapter 3, verse 1 Shlamim means “whole”, therefore male or female animals can be sacrificed. E.C.) According to Rashi, G-d receives pleasure when man performs His will, just as a parent gets nachas when a child does the right thing.

EFRAT, Israel – “If the entire congregation of Israel commits an inadvertent violation as a result of (a mistaken legal decision of the Highest Court)... and they thereby violate one of the prohibitory commandments of G-d, they shall incur guilt” (Leviticus 4:13). If the Jewish state could be revived virtually from the ashes of destruction after 2,000 years, then why hasn’t the Sanhedrin, the great Jewish court of the 1st and 2nd Commonwealths, been revived? During the centuries of its existence, this august body, comprised of 71 elders and sages who ruled on every aspect of life, brought unity to the land because their decisions were binding on the entire nation. On the surface, reviving the Sanhedrin seems impossible because its members must be recipients of the classic Jewish ordination that traces itself back to Moses himself, and even to the Almighty, as it were, who ordained Moses, then Moses ordained Joshua, Joshua the elders, the elders the prophets, the prophets the Men of the Great Assembly. But this special ordination came to an end in the 3rd century of the common era. And since intrinsic to the idea of the Sanhedrin is a living tradition of ordination, when ordination died out, so, it would seem, did the Sanhedrin, and the possibility of its revival. But a verse in this week’s portion creates alternative possibilities. In his commentary to the Mishna, Maimonides writes, “…if all the Jewish Sages and their disciples would agree on the choice of one person among those who dwell in Israel as their head [but this must be done in the land of Israel], and (that head) establishes a house of learning, he would be considered as having received the original ordination and he could then ordain anyone he desires.” Maimonides adds that the Sanhedrin would return to its original function as it is written in Isaiah (1:26), “I will restore thy judges as at first and thy Sages as in the beginning.” Such a selection would mean an election, a list of candidates, ballots. And who does the choosing? The sages and their disciples – everyone with a relationship to Torah sages, to Jewish law. In an alternate source, however, Maimonides extends the privilege of voting to all adult res-

idents of Israel! (Commentary to the Mishnah, Chapter 4 of B’Khorot, on the words “one who slaughters a first born animal and shows its blemish…) This idea reappears in Maimonides’ Mishna Torah, Laws of Sanhedrin, Ch. 4, Law, 11, except here he concludes with the phrase: “… this matter requires decision.” In 1563, a significant attempt was made by a leading sage of Safed, Rabbi Yaakov BeRab to revive classic ordination using the Mainionidean formula, and in an election in Safed, Rabbi BeRab was declared officially ordained. He proceeded to ordain his most important student, Rabbi Yosef Karo, the author of the Shulchan Aruch, along with several others of his disciples. In the meantime, the rabbis in Jerusalem, led by Rabbi Levi ibn Habib, strongly opposed the Safed decision. When the question was put before the Ridbaz, Rabbi David Ben Zimra, the chief rabbi of Egypt, he ruled in favor of the Jerusalem rabbis because not only had the election been restricted to one city of Israel, Safed, but also because the closing phrase, “…this matter requires decision” opened up the possibility that Maimonides may have changed his mind, and was in effect leaving the issue un-adjudicated. Rabbi Yaakov BeRab, on the other hand, understood that the phrase in question, “requires decision,” referred to whether one sage was sufficient to ordain others, or three sages were required for ordination. But he was absolutely convinced that Maimonides had no doubt whatsoever about the method and the inevitability of reviving classic ordination. Three centuries later, the first minister of religion in the new government of the Jewish state, Rabbi Yehuda Leib Maimon, renewed this controversy when he tried to convince the political and religious establishments that along with the creation of the state there should also be a creation of a Sanhedrin. In his work, The Renewal of the Sanhedrin in Our Renewed State, he cites the existence of a copy of Maimonides’ commentary to the Mishna published along with emendations and additions written by Maimonides himself after he wrote the Mishna Torah, where he specifically writes that ordination and the Sanhedrin will be renewed before the coming of the Messiah, which implies that it must be achieved through human efforts. A photocopy of these words, in Maimonides’ own handwriting, is provided in the book by Rav Maimon. What is the basis for his most democratic suggestion? I believe it stems from a verse which we find in this week’s portion of

with a penalty of a.) one quarter of the principal b.) one fifth c.) one half 4.) What gender animal is brought as a peace (shlamim) offering? a.) male b.) female c.) both What does the phrase (chapter 1, verse 9) “Satisfying aroma to G-d” mean?

2.) B. Chapter 2, verse 13. Salt was added to every sacrifice not just meal offerings. An offering to Hashem should be less than an a gift to a dignitary. The minimum would be to add salt. R Bchai. 3.) B. Chapter 5, verse 24

by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin


Written by Rabbi Dov Aaron Wise

ANSWERS 1.) B Vayikra 1:2 In Vayikra the Torah speaks of sacrifices from animals. Bamidbar 31:50 the Torah speaks about donations of objects. There is a difference of the level of sanctity between the two sacrifices.

Sedra of the Week




By Nate Bloom Contributing Columnist VANITY FAIR GOES JEWISH The January and March issues of Vanity Fair magazine have an astonishing amount of first-class Jewish related celebrity news and the good news is that most of that material can be read online. The January “comedy” issue, edited by JUDD APATOW, 45, has interviews with the mostlyJewish cast of “Freaks and Geeks”; a joint interview with ELAINE MAY and MIKE NICHOLS, both 80; and a very revealing interview with ALBERT BROOKS, 65, in which he gives his really moving reason why he insists that his two children, ages 14 and 10, go to temple with him. The March issue includes a profile of MARV ADELSON, 83, who went from being a showbiz frontman for the Mafia; to a top TV producer married to BARBRA WALTERS and worth $300 million; to his present state – divorced, broke, and living alone in a tiny apartment. It also includes an interview with a happy and lively STANLEY DONEN, 88, who directed such classics as “Singin’ in the Rain,” “On the Town,” and “Charade.” Donen has been living with Elaine May for the last 12 years. Donen wants to do “the right thing”: he says he has asked May to marry him “about 172 times.” She gave him a medallion that he wears around his neck. It says: “Stanley Donen. If found, please return to Elaine May.” SHORT TERM TROIKA? On March 5, Los Angeles city councilman ERIC GARCETTI, 42, came in first in the open primary to become the city’s next mayor. His father, Gil Garcetti, 71, the former L.A. District Attorney, was born in Mexico to Italian and Mexican Catholic parents. His mother, SUKEY ROTH, is an American Jew. Eric was raised Jewish and is a synagogue member. Garcetti will now face City Controller Wendy Greuel, whose husband is Jewish, in a May runoff. If he wins, he will take office in July. If he wins, until the end of the year, the mayors of America’s three largest cities will be Jewish: there’s RAHM EMANUEL, 52, who took office as Chicago’s first Jewish mayor in May 2011; and MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, 71, who completes his third term as New York’s mayor at the end of this year and cannot, by law, run again. If he wins, Garcetti will be



Los Angeles’ second Jewish mayor. BERNARD COHN (1835-1889) was acting mayor of Los Angeles for a few weeks at the end of 1878. He was appointed to replace a mayor who died in office. In 1849, at age 14, Cohn worked as a seaman on a San Francisco bound ship. After a short time in the gold fields, he worked on sheep ranches, and then moved to Los Angeles in 1857. There he prospered as a wool merchant. He was a big benefactor to the Jewish community, but his death exposed his “black sheep” past: his “official wife,” with whom he had children, was Jewish. She died before him. In the 1870s, he had a “marriage-like” arrangement with a Mexican woman while married to his Jewish wife. He gave quite a bit of property to this woman and to the children he had with her. She wanted widow’s rights to his estate, but the courts turned her down. I’m glad to say that although some contemporary politicians have had Cohn-like scandals – Emanuel, Bloomberg and Garcetti have never been accused of similar bad behavior. Equally “clean” is BOB FILNER, 72, who became mayor of San Diego last December. San Diego is America’s 8th largest city and, currently, three of the 10 largest American cities have Jewish mayors. SAD NEWS BONNIE FRANKLIN, best known as the star of the hit sitcom, “One Day at a Time,” died on March 1, age 69, of pancreatic cancer. She met her husband, MARVIN MINKOFF, when he produced an excellent 1980 TV movie about the life of birth control pioneer Margaret Sanger that Franklin starred in. The couple wed in 1980 and remained married until Minkoff’s death in 2009. She was a loving stepmother to Minkoff’s two children. From 1999-2001, she hosted a cable TV show in which she interviewed other Jewish celebrities. Valerie Harper, 73, who isn’t Jewish, but played the famous Jewish character “Rhoda Morgenstern” on the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” and on the spinoff, “Rhoda,” has been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor. In 2007, she starred as GOLDA MEIR in the film adaptation of the hit Broadway play, “Golda’s Balcony.” DAVID GROH, the Jewish actor who played Joe, Rhoda’s non-Jewish husband, died in 2008, age 68, from cancer.

FROM THE PAGES 150 Y EARS A GO Notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather during a part of the week, the house has been tolerably well patronized, and the management will produce, the first time this (Friday) evening, the beautiful spectacle of the “Seven Sisters,” which will be produced with new scenery, machinery, properties, costumes and appointments; it will be placed on the stage at an expense of $2000, in a style unequalled by any Theater in America. Mons. Gilbert, Baptisian Mille Sophie, and all the numerous auxilaries connected with the wellknown Ballet and Pantomine Troupe will appear. Do not fail to see one of the best treats ever offered to a Cincinnati public. – March 27, 1863

for conviction in most cases where arrests were made. The resignation of Bernard Bettmann as Collector of Internal for the First Ohio (Cincinnati) District has been placed in the hands of Commissioner Cabell at Washington. This was in pursuance of Collector Bettmann’s intention, announced over a year ago, to retire from the position with the close of President Taft’s tenure of office. Mr. Bettmann received his appointment as Collector from Pres. McKinley in March 1897, and served countinuously until July 1, 1905, when he resigned in order to go to Europe. He remained abroad a year and a half, and on his return in the summer of 1907, Mr. Bettman resumed the duties of the office, his appointment to it this time being by President Roosevelt. – March 13, 1913

125 Y EARS A GO On Thursday evening, March 22, there will be given at the Y. M. H. A. Hall an entertainment for the benefit of several destitute females. The arrangements are in the hands of a number of efficient and charitable ladies, who assure the public that the object is a most worthy one and calls for public assistance. Aside from the consciousness of having done a good deed, the following programme will prove most agreeable: 1. Messrs. Kingsley, Foster and Gorman, Musical Artists. 2. Miss Myme Kelso, kindness Queen City Opera Club. 3. Recitation, Miss Amelia Ring. 4. Duet, Miss Minnie Belcher and Mr. Jones, kindness Queen City Opera Club. 5. Piano solo, Sig. Louisa Fugazzi, College of Music. 6. Solo, Miss Phoebe Feiler, Miss Clara Baur Conservatory. 7. Recitation, Mr. Harry Levy. 8. Solo, Mr. Maurice Strauss. 9. Piano solo, Miss Hough, Miss Clara Baur Conservatory. 10. Queen City Opera Club Quintet. It is very pleasant to note the increasing number of young ladies in attendance at the literature class of the Y. M. H. A. every Monday evening. The study of Othello is drawing a large audience, and the success of the class is certainly very flattering to the Rev. R. Benjamin, M.A., the instructor. – March 16, 1988

100 Y EARS A GO At the Jewish settlement on Sunday night Chief of Police Copelan addressed the American Citizens’ Association. He spoke on gambling, and said that there were no known gambling houses in Cincinnati today, that policy was played here and there, but that most of the policy players were women. Speaking of craps, he described it as a “Niggers’ Game,” in which no self respecting man should participate. He also spoke on the difficulties to procure sufficient evidence

75 Y EARS A GO The Parents Association of the Avondale Talmud Torah invites the public to a card party at the Bureau of Jewish Education Wednesday, March 30th, at 2 p.m. Prizes will be awarded. Refreshments will be served. Assisting Mrs. Julius Grusd, chariman, and Mrs. Sam Rassell and Nathan Blackman, co-charimen, are Mrs. Jack Liscow, Mrs. Joseph Weinberg and Mrs. Louis J. Glasser. Saul Levin, Martin Litz and Ray Kuhn are among the Walnut Hills High School students active in “The Walnuts of 1938,” show to be presented at that school Friday and Saturday, March 25th-26th, at 8:15 p.m. Saul and Martin have leads and the latter is co-author. Ray is in the chorus. Others in the cast include Alfred Edelsohn, Howard Revelson, Nellie Friedman, Ben Bernstein, Eugene Sirak, Leonard Baskind, Ernie Greenberg, Faith Mincowsky, Marjorie Baum, Marvin Rassel, Jules Gilbert. – March 24, 1938

50 Y EARS A GO Harry Glueck has been named a trustee of the Cincinnati Chapter of the National Cystic Fibrosis Research Foundatation. With the help of its medical advisory board composed of Dr. William Beckmeyer, Dr. Joseph Ghory, director of the Convalescent Hospital for Children, Dr. Kenneth MacLeod, public health commissioner, Dr. Arthur Ogden, Dr. Martin Saidelman and Dr. Louis Schwab, director of the Cystic Frbrosis Clinic at Children’s Hospital, the local group is working toward support of research beamed at an evental control of cyctic fibrosis. The chapter will meet Monday, March 18, at 8:30 p.m., in the OB classroom at General Hospital. Dr. Louis Schwab will speak on “New

Approaches to Treatment in Cystic Fibrosis.” – March 14, 1963

25 Y EARS A GO U.S. Rep. Bill Gradison will be honored by the Jewish National Fund. He will receive their “Tree of Life” Award, said Florence Lieberman, president of the fund’s Cincinnati Council. This award will be presented to Gradison at a testimonial dinner on Thursday, April 28 at the Hyatt Regency. Net proceeds raised from this tribute will establish an afforestation project in Gradison’s name to be located in the American Independence Park in the Judean Hills outside of Jersualem. Honorary chairman is Dr. Sidney Peerless. General Chairman Richard Weiland will be assisted by dinner co-chairmen including: Neil Bortz, Towne Management Realty, Inc.; James A.D. Geier, Cincinnati Milacron, Inc.; Lawrence A. Kane, Jr., Dinsmore & Shohl; Hugh McDonald, Arthur Young & Company; Charles S. Mechem, Jr., Great American Broadcasting Company; Gary Rabiner Jr., West Shell Realtors; Senator Robert Taft, Jr., Taft Stettinius & Hollister. – March 17, 1988

10 Y EARS A GO Dr. David Gilner, director of libraries for the four campuses of Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, will present “Is That a Hare in My Haroset?: Art and Whimsy in Haggadah Illustration” Sunday, March 23, at Northern Hills Synagague. Gilner will discuss the iconography of the hare hunt that has appeared as an important motif in haggadah illustration from the 14th century onward. The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati and the Jewish Agency for Israel honored local and Israeli men and women at “A Night of Heroes” March 16 at Cincinnati Country Day School. Deb Silverman of WCPO Channel 9 was the master of ceremonies. Ken and Leslie Miller served as co-chairs. Ali Bernstein, a member of BBYO, was honored as a “driving force” behind her chapter’s efforts in volunteering at a local retirement home. Ida Minson has volunteered her time to Israel Bonds and Cedar Village, among others. Silverman described her as “an inspriation to us all.” Ilana Linder earned 140 movie tickets through a program hosted by Kroger and donated half of them to Big Brothers/Big Sisters. March 20, 2003



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

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

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

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

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

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

business@ or call Erin at 621-3145 CAMP from page 3 Through the grantmaking process, campers will review grant proposals from non-profit organizations, visit potential grantees and determine which organizations to support; the philanthropists-in-training will examine Jewish texts, traditions and values related to giving. The program encourages campers to “learn by giving” and will generate at least $38,000 in grants, with each teen foundation awarding a minimum of $1,000. The program is supported by the Maimonides Fund. Jeremy J. Fingerman, CEO of the Foundation for Jewish Camp, sees the pilot program as a valuHUC from page 5 guitarist Jason Vieaux. Internationally, he has toured and taught in Colombia, Panama, Canada, Australia, Taiwan, Japan, Germany, France and Italy. Schocker has composed sonatas and chamber music for most instruments of the orchestra. He also has written several musicals, including Far From the Madding Crowd and The Awakening. Both shows were winners of the Global Search for New Musicals in the United Kingdom and were performed in Cardiff and at the Edinburgh Festival, as well as in New Zealand. In New York, they were winners of the ASCAP music theatre awards. Shocker has private flute studios in New York City and DIET from page 10 Tucked away behind one of the vegetable stands is a small doorway, framed in blue and white, whose sign simply says “Hummus.” The restaurant, which has gained a local reputation, is housed in a former synagogue and the food is prepared in full view of the patrons. Employees glop hummus on a dish from a metal bin, scoop in some beans from a large pot, add a sprinkling of spices and maybe some onion. What comes out is the Israeli staple snack hummus ful, or bean hummus. “It’s made from a natural process without any chemicals,” said Dror Zaidenberg, noting that hummus helps reduce fat and high blood pressure. “Jews and Arabs have been eating it for 5,000 years.


• • • • •

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

(513) 531-9600 able contribution to the field of Jewish summer camping. “FJC sees this JTFN program as a wonderful opportunity for campers to experience the act and the impact of Tzedakah on their world. Besides benefiting the recipients, the campers are learning valuable life lessons of responsibility and teamwork and gaining insight into the diversity of the non-profit world.” Indeed, Ben Davis appreciates the power of Jewish youth philanthropy.”We are delighted to be a part of the Jewish Teen Funders Network’s initiative in teaching our campers the power of tzedakah. This new program will engage our older campers in a brand new way”, he said. Easton, Penn., where he dually resides. Jason Vieaux is among the elite of today’s classical guitarists and is expanding the definition of what it means to be a classical guitarist, changing the face of guitar repertoire and building a devoted audience and fan base along the way. Vieaux is a musician noted for virtuosic and stirring performances, imaginative programming and uncommon communicative gifts. Vieaux is head of the guitar department of the Cleveland Institute of Music and has performed as concerto soloist with over 50 orchestras. In 1992, he was awarded the prestigious Guitar Foundation of American International Guitar Competition first prize, the event’s youngest winner ever. Our day-to-day movement is better.” But even hummus is too unnatural for Yossi, who said that his dietary staple is one of hummus’s core supplements, tahini, the sesame paste he calls “the original material, the most natural and the healthiest.” American cuisine has had a growing presence in Israel over the past few decades. At the market’s entrance is a large Burger Ranch, Israel’s answer to McDonald’s. If you prefer the original article, there’s a McDonald’s less than a mile away on Rothschild Boulevard. Greasy pizza is ubiquitous here, too, and French fries are a common add-on to falafel. “Israelis aren’t influenced by American food,” Zaidenberg said, though he admits, “We sin sometimes.”



Isle Smile: The Keys to My Heart Wandering Jew

by Janet Steinberg The keys to my heart are not made of silver or gold. The Keys to my heart are a 125-mile chain of laid-back islands in Florida that extend from Mile Marker 0 in Key West, to Mile Marker 126 in Key Largo. The 43 bridges that connect The Keys span the Atlantic Ocean, Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The most well known bridge on this Overseas Highway is the 1980s Seven Mile Bridge, one of the longest segmental bridges in the world. It replaced Henry Marvel that was badly damaged by the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. Come along with me as I visit the nooks and crannies of three of Florida’s well-known Keys: Marathon, Islamorada and Key Largo. MARATHON KEY: Settlements on the islands of Marathon can be traced back to the early 1800s, when Bahamians established tropical fruit farms and New England fishermen inhabited the region. Marathon Key got its name from workers constructing the monumental Over-Sea Railroad from mainland Florida throughout the Keys in the early 1900s. Working night and day to meet the grueling construction schedule, crews reputedly said, “This is getting to be a real Marathon.” I recently developed a fondness for turtles. Not the small chocolate covered ones with caramel bellies covered in pecans, but the humongous ones with flippers and hard shells. My new-found fascination with turtles began after I visited Marathon Key’s Turtle Hospital, the only state-licensed veterinary hospital in the world that is dedicated solely to treating sea turtles. Rescue… rehab… release. That is the motto of this volunteer staffed hospital. The Turtle hospital has two ambulances that transport sea turtles during rescues and releases. The rehab center is built around a large saltwater pool with many individual tanks and a pumping and filtration system to isolate diseased sea turtles. The hospital treats a variety of ailments such as flipper amputa-

tions caused by entanglements; shell damage caused by boat collisions; and intestinal impactions caused from ingestion of foreign objects. In an average year, the hospital receives as many as 70 injured sea turtles. To date, it has released more than 1,000 sea turtles back to their natural environment. From a visitor center at the west end of Marathon, you can take a ferry to Pigeon Key, a tiny island that once housed the workers who built Henry Flagler’s historic Over-Sea Railroad in the early 1900s. While the rest of the Keys have evolved with the years, Pigeon Key has remained essentially unchanged and is now a national historic treasure complete with a museum chronicling the railroad’s construction. For fresh-off-the-boat seafood, you can’t beat the thatched roofed Keys Fisheries located directly on Florida Bay. It was there that I was introduced to a tasty spear-caught fish named Hogfish. Evenings offer a special Marathon Key dessert.... a sun-sational sunset. ISLAMORADA: Welcome to Fin Land, the Florida Key known as the Sport-Fishing Capital of the World. Islamorada is heralded for its angling diversity and features the Keys’ largest fleet of offshore charter and shallow-water “backcountry” boats. It is where backcountry sport fishing and saltwater fly-fishing were pioneered. However, if you don’t care to fish, how about feeding a bucket of raw fish to the giant tarpons at Robbie’s of Islamorada? Schools of 50 to 100 tarpon swim to Robbie’s daily to catch the baitfish thrown to them by giddy tourists with blue plastic, fish-filled buckets. Resident pelicans compete with the “Silver Kings” for the small baitfish. This fisherman’s paradise was incorporated as a municipality in January 1998. Now called Islamorada, Village of Islands, the village that measures 20 miles long and, in some places, barely 150 feet wide encompasses Plantation, Windley, Upper and Lower Matecumbe Keys. Legend has it the area was named by Spanish explorers who, seeing the purple sky at sunset and the purple bougainvillea, used the words “isla”, the word for island, and “morado” the Spanish word for purple. Thus, purple island. Numerous high-profile figures, including past U.S. presidents and British royalty, have visited Islamorada to take part in the world’s best sport-fishing and to compete in acclaimed fund-raising fishing tournaments. A trip to Islamorada would not be complete without sampling some of the local island cuisine headlined by succulent fresh seafood served everywhere from island tiki bars and dockside fish

Courtesy of Janet Steinberg

(top-bottom) Randy Rudy, an amputee hawksbill turtle; Tarpon feeding at Robbie’s; The restored African Queen.

houses to gourmet beachfront cafes and secluded island bistros. Chef Michael’s is one of Islamorada’s best restaurants in which to eat fresh fish. Their fish deliveries go through a rigorous testing protocol before being served at the restaurant. Chef Michael’s knows just where, and by what method, the fish was caught. They usually even know the name of the fishing boat captain. Sunday brunch is a culinary happening at Chef Michael’s. “Sake to me Mary” is a unique eye-opener, and Challah Brulee is a creamy, caramelized French toast made with challah bread. Then go a few shorts steps from Chef Michael’s to Ma’s Fish Camp, “the new local joint”, for the best homemade Key Lime Pie you ever tasted. Postcard Inn Beach Resort and Marina at Holiday Isle is an oceanfront resort that offers the retro, throwback feel of a nostalgic American beach vacation. Each room, with its waterfront style of white woods and sandcolored stripes, has been personalized with hand-stenciled sayings on the wall. My wall read: “Life’s an ocean, sail it!” KEY LARGO: The Keys’ longest island gained fame when the 1947 movie classic “Key Largo,” featuring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, hit the silver screen. The Caribbean Club, a local waterfront saloon, is the only Florida Keys location where filming of the movie “Key Largo” took place; all other scenes were filmed on a Hollywood sound stage. Walls within the bar are decorated with memorabilia from the movie. However, Bogie’s presence is still apparent in Key Largo. The steam-powered African Queen, the actual boat he skippered in his epic 1951 film “The African Queen,” is on view at the Holiday Inn Key Largo Resort & Marina. As Charlie Allnutt, the gin swilling captain of The African Queen, Bogie and Director John Huston were the only ones that escaped dysentery while filming the movie in the Belgian Congo. Bogie’s explanation was as follows: “All I ate was baked beans, canned asparagus and scotch whiskey. Whenever a fly bit Huston or me, it dropped dead.” Key Largo, about a 60-minute drive from Miami International Airport, is often called the Dive Capital of the World. A leading site for experienced divers is Spiegel Grove, a retired U.S. Navy ship that is one of the largest vessels in the world ever purposely scuttled to create an artificial reef. Be it diving, fishing, or imbibing you seek, I guarantee you’ll fall for the Florida Keys... hook, line and drinker.

FOOD • 21


COMMUNITY from page 7 Every speaker was motivating and captivating. They truly convinced each and every person to stand up for what they believe in. I now know that my dreams are tangible and in my reach. “Everyone worked hard and learned a lot, but still managed to have fun and even rock out at concerts with Dan Nichols, Alan Goodis and Josh Nelson. Honestly, NFTY Convention changed my life for the better. I now feel more positive, proud and excited about my Judaism. I can now come back to my Temple with new and innovative ideas about the same topics we learn about each year. The NFTY Convention helped me make 861 new best friends from all over North America.” Teen leader wins national contest Jacob Price, a high school junior and president of the Isaac M. Wise Temple Youth Group, recently won the North American Federation of Temple Youth’s Wendy Blickstein Memorial D’Var Torah Competition. Among many Reform Jewish teens who entered their D’var Torah—essay YPS from page 7 From the sun drenched Judean Desert to the sunny shores of the Mediterranean, guests will get to step into 21,000 square feet of white sand and sample an array of activities, including live camel rides, a mechanical surf board, a green screen photo shoot with a variety of scenic backgrounds from iconic Israeli locales such as the Old City in Jerusalem, plus a Bedouin tent, beach games and authentic food, beer, music and more straight from the Homeland! This event is free with advance RSVP, and open to all young proLAUTENBERG from page 8 Democratic-led Senate, where leaders have said they will work to pass a version that both parties and the White House can stomach. “We’re grateful to House leadership and appropriators for including this provision to protect Iranian religious minorities,” said Melanie Nezer, the policy director for the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, the lead Jewish group advocating for the amendment’s renewal. “This is probably the only way this provision could be extended this year, and it looks like there’s a good chance Congress will reopen the door soon to those needing to flee Iran.” The amendment hit a roadblock in 2011 when the Republicans recaptured the House

on the Torah portion—Jacob was selected as the winner of this contest, and was award a prize of a $5,000 scholarship to all future NFTY (Reform Jewish Youth) events and programs and any Reform movement Camp. In addition, Jacob was able to deliver his D’var Torah to 900 teens in attendance in February at the recent NFTY National convention in Los Angeles. “When I found out that I won I didn’t know what to do with myself! The thought of getting to share my D’Var with all of convention was overwhelming,” said Jacob. “After delivering the D’Var, I was greeted with hugs and congratulations from not only my friends but also by the rest of convention. I felt connected to the Kehilah Kedoshah (the sacred community) that we built that weekend.” The Wendy Blickstein Memorial D’var Torah competition was established in memory of Wendy Blickstein, for aspiring teen writers and Jewish educators to share their words of Torah with the NFTY Convention community and beyond. Jacob intends to utilize his scholarship prize to attend future NFTY events and is now considering the URJ Mitzvah Corps Program and one of its mis-

sions this summer. Beyond the experience of delivering the D’var Torah, the process of writing and preparing the essay was meaningful. Reflecting on that, Price suggested that “Writing this D’Var Torah allowed me to look at the text and make my own decisions about what it means. It’s that freedom that makes me love my Judaism. And of course I couldn’t have done it without my incredible rabbi!” Rabbi Lewis Kamrass, senior rabbi of Isaac M. Wise Temple noted, “We are proud of Jacob and the gifts of heart and mind that he brings to his active involvement in Judaism and in our congregation. It was a joy for me to study together with Jacob as he prepared his D’var Torah and to see his thoughts unfold. Being able to share his talent that we see here with the larger Reform Jewish Youth movement, was especially nice.” Jacob is the son of Sam Price and beyond his leadership as president of Wise Temple’s Youth Group, he serves as a teaching assistant at Wise Temple Religious School, attends Kulanu, the Reform Jewish High School, and is involved in Science Olympiad at his school.

fessionals, 21-35. It is part of the Cincinnati Jewish community’s Israel at 65 celebration. Dress for an afternoon in the sand and sun. Sandals and flip flops a plus! And the final destination… the city that never sleeps – New York, New York! YPs can channel a cool Manhattan-like vibe from high atop Northern Kentucky’s Metropolitan Club when Access presents, New York City Shabbat, Friday, May 17 at 7 p.m. Wind down the work week with other Jewish young professionals and enjoy drinks and a menu meant to bring out the best of NYC’s amazing mix of cultures, tastes and tex-

tures that make it unique in all the world! This event is free with an advance RSVP and is part of Access’ yearlong series, the United States of Shabbat, a salute to U.S. cities, from sea to shining sea. In addition to these events, Access hosts a wide variety of parties and programs throughout the year. From social events to social action and everything in between, there’s something to suit just about every Jewish young professional between the ages of 21-35. Each month, Access offers four-six events for this demographic, most of which are entirely free or deeply subsidized.

and Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) ascended to the chairmanship of the body’s Judiciary Committee. Smith, a hardliner on immigration, at first would not allow the amendment to advance to appropriations, saying his committee needed to take a closer look. “Whether some potential refugees should be singled out for special treatment is open to question,” Smith wrote in a May 2011 rebuttal to National Review, a conservative magazine that had joined an array of liberal and conservative opinion makers in advocating for the amendment. In 2012, incremental extensions of the amendment managed to get through despite Smith’s opposition, and the amendment was extended through Sept. 30. With the new Congress, Smith lost his chairmanship because of term

limits, but for months it wasn’t clear whether the amendment would pass. In recent years, the primary beneficiaries of the provision have been Iranians. Under the amendment, religious minorities in Iran may apply for visas to travel to Austria, where U.S. officials consider their eligibility. The program processes some 2,000 applicants a year, mostly from Iran, although some former Soviet Union applicants also are accommodated. Iranians eligible under the amendment include Jews, Christians and Baha’is. Overall, the Lautenberg Amendment is believed to have opened the door to some 400,000 people, many of them Jews and Christians from the former Soviet Union, but also religious minorities in Vietnam and Burma.

Shabbat as it was and is Zell’s Bites

by Zell Schulman Tomorrow’s Friday! Friday means Shabbat and an opportunity to continue traditions handed down from one generation to another. When I was small, Fridays meant going to my grandmother’s house. What memories I have of Shabbat. As I’d open the door and walk into the house, the smell of freshly baked challahs and golden chicken soup permeated the house. Chicken soup still has high priority, but in today’s health conscious world we’re told to remove the fat. My chef friends tell me that’s where the flavor is, so I always leave no more than a tablespoon in the soup. That small amount can’t hurt anyone. We’re lucky, today, if there’s time to bake our own challahs. Usually you pick one up from the bakery on your way home from work. Should you have a little extra time, pre-shaped, frozen challahs are available in the kosher frozen food section of specialty stores and supermarkets. They have wonderful flavor, and if you serve the challahs warm, everyone thinks you made them from scratch. (You did, you just didn’t have to prepare the dough.) Before lighting her candles, my grandmother handed us coins to put in the tzedakah boxes. They represented the Jewish National Fund blue box, the burial society tin and several yeshiva boxes. In our homes, these boxes have become a thing of the past. If you ask for it, you can still obtain a blue box. Many of the others can only be found in kosher delis, kosher bakeries, day schools

OBAMA from page 8 Israeli and U.S. officials for weeks have grappled with which venues would best convey Obama’s outreach effort. One factor is security; Israeli officials have told their American counterparts that securing Obama outside the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv corridor is daunting, which limits his options. Aside from the official meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem and dinner at the home of President Shimon Peres, who will

or Jewish Centers. Now Jewish organizations and yeshivas mail holiday cards you can’t return, books you won’t read, or address labels you don’t use. Yet I still send money. It’s the modern tzedakah way. After the Shabbat meal, our whole family—aunts, uncles, cousins—used to gather in grandmother’s living room, sharing stories and noshing fruit, nuts and candies. Today, grandparents are fortunate if their children live near them. Many families are separated because of the need to locate where job opportunities are available. When your children do live close by, the grandchildren’s social calendars are filled with football games, soccer games or other social obligations, often taking precedence over Shabbat. I’m thrilled whenever my family can get together. Sometimes it’s important for me to be at their game. Afterward, we come back to my house for cake and coffee and then share Shabbat. My grandmother always had a non-family member at her Shabbat table. I’ve continued this tradition as well as lighting her three brass candlesticks left to me. Whenever she’d walk into the room, we stood up until she took her seat. I’m lucky because my grandchildren remember to turn off the television video game before coming to the table. There’s always a special magic whenever our children and grandchildren join my Shabbat table. Each of my grandsons has his own kiddish cup, and be assured, wine will get spilled on the white tablecloth before all the blessings are sung, even though a little urging is needed for everyone to chime in. As I see it, the extended family may have gotten smaller, the tzedakah boxes may have lost their popularity and what’s on the social calendar may take precedence over what’s on the Shabbat table. Yes, as a modern Jewish Bubbie, welcoming in Shabbat will continue to be a joy and continue to bring back wonderful memories. Like my grandmother used to say, “There’s always more than one way to look at things.” present Obama with a medal, nothing has been confirmed. A visit to Jerusalem’s Old City is still under consideration, as is a tour of an Iron Dome missile defense battery, a system Obama funded and which successfully protected Israel from rocket attacks during the Gaza Strip war last November. Obama wants to speak to “young people,” White House officials have said, and Israeli officials reportedly are working on a venue that could accommodate a large crowd of university students, probably in Jerusalem.

22 • OBITUARIES D EATH N OTICES MERBLUM, Rose, age 94, died March 6, 2013; 25 Adar, 5773. COPPEL, Trudy, age 91, died March 11, 2013; 29 Adar, 5773. AIPAC from page 8 Biden said he and Obama “both know that Israel faces new pressures, new threats, and uncertainty.” Those threats “have changed, as the world and the region have changed over the last decade.” The “Arab Spring,” he said, forces the U.S. to “reassess” old relationships in the Middle East. Amid those regional changes, Biden said one thing has not changed – “our deep commitment to the security of the state of Israel.” The U.S. and Israel have “always disagreed on tactics,” but never on the “strategic imperative” to secure Israel. “No president has done as much to physically secure the state of Israel as president Barack Obama,” Biden said, noting that he has served as a national legislator during the tenures of eight presidents. There have never been as many meetings and as much coordination between U.S. and Israeli intelligence services and their militaries as there has been under Obama, according to Biden. In particular, Biden noted the $275 million U.S. investment in Iron Dome missile defense system, which intercepted nearly 400 Gaza rockets last November alone. “The world saw firsthand [during Operation Pillar of Defense] why it was and remains so critical,” Biden said of Iron Dome. “For too long, when those sirens blared in the streets of the [Israeli] cities bordering Gaza, the only defense had been a bomb shelter. But late last year Iron Dome made a difference.”


ing registration numbers beginning with Z-1, were the ones used

to carry Jews to the camps. After the war, some of them were converted to dormitory trains for railway workers. He found these four in an abandoned lot in 1996. “I feel very lucky we got them because everything else that was there was destroyed,” Kontopoulos said. Historians say it’s possible these are authentic Holocaust carriages. But Greeks traditionally are not strong on paperwork and there is no official documentation to back up the claim. “We have tried to find record of the railways, but we have not found confirmation of the make of the wagons or their serial numbers,” said Jason Handrinos, a historian who did research for a planned Greek exhibit at Auschwitz. “We are not even sure if they were Greek or German.” The Jewish community is ambivalent. Because of the lack of documentation, the community is reluctant to officially embrace

Kontopoulos’ claims. But, in an acknowledgment of the raw power of these carriages and their ability to evoke the horror of the transports, they take Jewish visitors to see them. “It was very moving to see those cars,” said Stephanie Block of San Francisco, who was part of a delegation from the Jewish Federations of North America that visited the rail cars. “You can imagine the misery of people huddled and packed inside as well as the hatred it must have taken to engineer such a system of mass transport.” For his part, Kontopoulos is unfazed by the doubts about their authenticity. Undeterred by age or lack of resources, the old collector wants to finish restoring them and put up a plaque so the cars can stand as a testimony to what he saw 70 years ago. “We have an obligation,” he said, “to use the history of the wagons to show the next generations the horror of that time.”

radical rhetoric and sees in Iran not only one of the few governments willing to engage with it, but one with a shared commitment to resisting Western hegemony. Jobbik officials did not reply to repeated requests for an interview, but party sources did speak to investigative journalist Ferenc Szlazsanszky, who believes the party is determined to nurture relations with any country capable of helping Hungary end its “enslavement” by the European

Union and the United States. According to Szlazsanszky, a writer with the Hungarian weekly Hetek, the “driving force” behind Jobbik’s pro-Iranian stance is Gyongyosi, the foreign policy chief, who drew a volley of international criticism in November when he called for the registration of Hungarian Jews, citing their potential as a security risk. He said later he was referring to Hungarian Israelis. The son of a diplomat,

Gyongyosi lived as a boy in several Muslim countries, and his ties in the East were a major factor in shaping the party’s pro-Muslim stance, Szlazsanszky wrote in November. “It is unacceptable that the once flourishing trade between Iran and Hungary sank to almost zero; this is what Jobbik intends to change,” Gyongyosi said in a recent interview in Barikad!, a Jobbik-affiliated weekly. “For Iran, Hungary is the West and for Hungary Iran is the gate to the East.”

dismay, the speaking tour confirmed the general apathy, ignorance, and latent anti-Israel hostility they had heard existed on American campuses. “I sort of had a preconceived notion [about campuses being bad here for Israel]; I was sort of secretly hoping was wrong. But after traveling here, what I was told about American campuses in Israel is mostly true. There is a large amount of apathy in the student body and anti-Israel feelings that come from misinformation or no real knowledge of the situation,” Ben says. At one event at Smith College

in Northampton, Mass., a group of students from Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), an anti-Israel organization with chapters throughout the U.S., showed up to protest the event. “They stood up a few minutes into Ben’s story, took off their jackets to expose their black shirts with papers that read a Palestinian child’s name, death, and ‘SILENCED.’ They walked out a few minutes later. Both Ben and Jossi asked them to stay and ask questions during the Q&A, but they silently all continued to walk out,” StandWithUs New England Campus Coordinator Lihi

Benisty tells JNS. Jossi criticized the students, who apparently belonged to an SJP chapter from nearby Hampshire College, for their closed-mindedness. “If you’re at a time at university when intellectual curiosity is supposed to be at its peak and you’re eager to listen to people from a different country where you don’t live and don’t have experiences in and then you decide the best way to learn from them is to make sure they know you are not listening to them, seems to be a futile and selfdefeating exercise,” Jossi says. Nevertheless, the tour had its positive moments for the soldiers. “I spoke to a Muslim girl from Yemen. She asked me if I thought the rest of the Middle East would be able to accept Israel. I said historically it seems unlikely, however I still remain hopeful. I then asked her the same question and asked if Yemen would ever be able to accept us and after breaking out into a smile she said ‘no,’” Ben says. “However, from the talk, I think she came to understand that not all Israeli soldiers are how she was taught growing up in Yemen. That was really a highlight for me on my tour, you could really see that she came to understand that there is something much deeper than what her country had been telling her about Israelis,” he says.

TRAINS from page 9 Kontopoulos gives tours of his rail collection with an infectious energy and enthusiasm, frequently skipping from topic to topic midsentence when something else catches his attention. But when he returns to the spartan wagons, he becomes sheepish. He has plans to renovate them and build a shelter, he says, but it’s just him and a few volunteers. Since Greece’s economic crisis erupted five years ago, the donations he relied upon have dried up. But he also has another problem. Due to a lack of documentation, there is isn’t sufficient evidence, historians say, to prove that these cars were the actual ones used in the deportations. Kontopoulos bases his claim on institutional knowledge. Within the Greek railway, he said, it was well known that these carriages, built in Belgium in 1873 and havPARIAHS from page 10 “It is anti-Semitism that binds the Hungarian ultranationalists with the ayatollahs of Tehran in a nexus of hate,” Abraham Foxman, the national director of the AntiDefamation League, wrote in 2011. “That is all they have in common.” In truth, Jobbik’s affinity toward Iran goes much deeper. The party is intensely opposed to globalization and the unification of Europe, lacks for international partners due to its SOLDIER from page 10 “It is important for people to understand the kind of day to day weights and measures we have to deal with in the army. When you’re confronted with moral dilemmas, how do you balance the ethics of the IDF with keeping yourself safe?” Jossi rhetorically asks. The soldiers said that to their

Courtesy of Gavin Rabinowitz

Efthymios Kontopoulos, the founder of the Railway Museum of Thessaloniki, believes he is in possession of four cars used to transport Greek Jews to Polish death camps.




Israel@65 is an international effort led by the government of the State of Israel to recognize and celebrate the unique and unprecedented achievements of the State of Israel in its first 65 years of existence.

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The American Israelite, March 14, 2013  

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