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Jewish Federation announces Cincinnati 2020 progress, holds 117th annual meeting
Young leaders integral to Community Campaign success
How Jewish young professionals do Shabbat in Cincinnati
Steak to stake one’s name on—Tony’s
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The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati will hold its 117th Annual Meeting — Cincinnati 2020 LIVE — on Thursday, May 23, at 7 p.m., at the Mayerson JCC. Attendees will pay tribute to our agencies’ and congregations’ achievements in the past year and honor our community’s volunteers and professionals who are making Cincinnati 2020 a reality. They will also be the first to hear about a generous gift to the Jewish Federation, which will fund a new Cincinnati 2020 initiative that focuses on encouraging young adults to move to and stay in Cincinnati. The Annual Meeting will celebrate local Jewish organizations and congregations with the premiere of a video that highlights the achievements of the past year and showcases programs that have reached the entire community. “We are proud of what our organizations and congregations have accomplished in the last year—and of the good they do every day,” said Federation CEO Shep Englander. “We want to honor them for their integral role in building our vibrant community.”
In addition, 36 volunteers from throughout the community, having been nominated by their agencies, organizations and congregations, will be honored at the Annual Meeting for their dedication and hard work. A full list of volunteers, including each individual’s organization, photo and quote, can be found on the Jewish Federation’s website. Community members are encouraged to attend the event to show support for their organizations and congregations and applaud each one’s chosen volunteer. Another focus of the meeting will be to celebrate the work of volunteers and professionals from throughout the Jewish community. The Robert V. Goldstein Volunteer of the Year Award will be given to Beth Guttman, past president of the Jewish Federation and current Federation and Jewish Foundation board member. The Goldstein Award is given to the individual who best exemplifies a lifelong commitment of leadership to the Jewish community; who has a history of broad and dedicated service to the Jewish Federation as well as other organizations or congrega-
tions; and who sets an example of leadership for others to follow. The Jewish Federation will also pay tribute to two premier communal professionals. Danielle V. Minson, the Federation’s Chief Development Officer, will receive the Harris K. & Alice F. Weston Senior “Avodah” Award, given to professionals with 10 or more years of experience in their field. Sarah Ganson, Program and Engagement Associate at Cincinnati Hillel, will receive the Weston Junior “Avodah” Award, given to professionals with five or fewer years of experience. New or re-elected Federation board members for the 2013 – 2014 year — Dr. David Bernstein, Nina Croog, Mike Dattner, Suzette Fisher, Cindy Guttman, Ronnen Isakov, Tovah Kirschner, Michelle Rothzeid, Scott Samuelson and Mark Sass — will be officially nominated and voted into office. Cincinnati 2020 has brought the community together to develop a vision for the future — of Cincinnati in the year 2020 as a model community that attracts, retains and meaningfully engages
individuals and families with its breadth and quality of Jewish life. It continues to encourage communitywide collaboration to create the programs and projects necessary to achieve that vision. Annual Meeting attendees will learn about the concrete progress that has been made so far and get a preview of future projects. Jewish Federation President Andy Berger said, “At last year’s Annual Meeting, we helped you imagine what Cincinnati would look like in the year 2020. This year, we will show you how we’re turning that vision into reality.” A choir of boys from both Cincinnati Hebrew Day School and Rockwern Academy will kick off the Annual Meeting by leading the audience in the singing of the national anthems of the United States and Israel. A dessert reception, with dietary laws observed, will be held immediately following the Annual Meeting. The event is free and open to the public; advance registration is recommended, as seating is limited. For more information and to RSVP, visit the Federation on the web.
LOCAL • 3
THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2013
Cedar Village President and CEO heads to China
Ariella Cohen and David Wise
Young leaders integral to Community Campaign success The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati is proud to announce that young adult giving to the 2013 Cincinnati’s Community Campaign has increased 21 percent from 2012. A total of 200 young adults, ages 21-45, have made a gift to this year’s Campaign. Thirty-one donors have made new gifts this year. This success is largely due to the leadership of the two Young Adult Division (YAD) Campaign Chairs, Ariella Cohen and David Wise. Jeff Blumental, YAD director, said, “It’s been a pleasure working with Ari and David on my first Community Campaign. Their passion and commitment to the community is evident in the success they’ve already achieved with this year’s Campaign.” Ariella Cohen sits on the Mayerson JCC board and Rockwern Academy’s marketing committee, in addition to serving on the YAD board and the committee for the Federation’s BenGurion Society. She is a member of the Adath Israel Sisterhood and a supporter of Chabad Jewish Center. Cohen is currently enrolled in the Wexner Heritage Fellowship program—an intensive, two-year Jewish leadership course. She lives in Amberley with her husband, Andy, and their three children. Cohen said, “Being one of the YAD Campaign Co-Chairs has helped me realize that the future of our Jewish community will be well supported by committed, dedicated leaders and young people. The ‘L’dor V’dor’ (from generation to generation) saying rings true for our community, and I am thankful to be one among many following in the footsteps of the leaders who have helped pave the way for our community so far.”
David Wise is a business owner and an active member of the Cincinnati Jewish community. He dedicated seven years to the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, receiving recognition in his last year as the recipient of the Warren J. Heldman Memorial Award as Big Brother of the year. He has served on the local board of the Jewish National Fund, as well as on the Federation and Rockwern Academy boards. But Wise’s greatest passion was his four years of service to the community’s March of the Living delegation, leading teens on an inspiring journey to Poland and Israel. He was a proud recipient of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati’s Allen A. Cowett Leadership Award for his work in building this program. He is married to his high school sweetheart Sarah; they live with their three children in Montgomery. “There is no asset of our Jewish community more important than our young leadership,” said Wise. “Because of this critical importance, I was truly honored to be asked to help contribute to the YAD campaign. What I have seen first-hand is a group of intelligent, philanthropic and enthusiastic young leaders who really ‘get it.’ They successfully chaired the Super Sunday phonea-thon and generously contributed to the campaign, which should give all of us an enormous amount of hope for the future.” The funds raised through the annual Community Campaign go to programs that care for, connect and educate Jews in Cincinnati, in Israel and around the world. These programs work to reduce poverty and isolation, create an engaged community, assure our Jewish future and support Jewish communities worldwide.
Carol Silver Elliott, President and CEO of Cedar Village Retirement Community in Mason will be speaking this month at a conference in China devoted to sharing best practices about the retirement industry around the world. Elliott will be the only American to address the China Aging Industry Summit Forum in Shanghai. The annual conference is billed as an international gathering of aging industry practitioners and a platform for international cooperation. The conference is being organized by a collection of Chinese agencies and associations involved in elder care. More than 500 people representing 300 organizations, including those in the Chinese government and private sector, are expected to attend. During her May 19 presentation, Elliott will be representing LeadingAge, an association of 6,000 U.S. nonprofits focused on improving the way Americans grow old. It promotes adult day services, hospices, senior housing, nursing homes and related services. Elliott is a LeadingAge board member. “Each time we have the opportunity to share and to learn from others, our perspectives grow,” she said. “The knowledge I will gain through this experience will most certainly be useful to Cedar Village and those national organizations with which I am very involved, including LeadingAge.
Carol Silver Elliott
“I’m looking forward to some lively dialogue with my colleagues in China about the stateof-the-art in older adult services in the United States,” she continued. “Their questions may provoke new thoughts for me, and I hope my experience and presentation will be informational for them.” Elliott is planning to give a comprehensive overview of the
American retirement system, including nursing homes, assisted living and independent living. She’ll talk about the trend toward “aging in place” with older adults receiving more support services in their homes, the expansion of hospice and rehabilitation services, challenges with funding and changing population demographics. In addition, she will explain initiatives to improve care for people with dementia. The conference is being organized as China struggles to confront challenges in caring for its aging population. “Socially responsible and economically sustainable retirement is becoming a great concern,” the organizers wrote in the conference program. Chinese traditionally care for their aging relatives at home. But the rapidly rising number of older adults and other societal pressures are prompting China to make changes.
HAPPY 65TH ISRAEL! Ellen W. Feld, M.D. Richard G. Valido, M.D. Lisa Gennari, M.D. Connie Rudolph, C.N.M. 8231 Cornell Road, Suite 320 Cincinnati, OH 45249 513-794-1500
4 • LOCAL
bers of Northern Hills, many attendees have come from the Jewish Community Center, Cedar Village, Brookwood Retirement Community, and throughout Greater Cincinnati. There is no charge for the program and lunch, but donations are greatly appreciated. Please RSVP to the Synagogue office by Monday, May 20th. For reservations or more information, please call Northern Hills Synagogue.
NHS holds Quintessential Marriage Celebration Northern Hills Synagogue Congregation B’nai Avraham will honor 31 couples who were married in years ending with “3” or “8” at a special Friday night service on May 17, at 8 p.m. This “Quintessential Marriage Celebration” is so called because all of the couples being recognized are celebrating a wedding anniversary which is a multiple of five. The service will begin with instrumental music during Kabbalat Shabbat. Gayna Bassin (violin), Jeff Gushin (mandolin), and Claire Lee (flute and keyboard) will help give the service a rousing start. Rabbi Gershom Barnard, spiritual leader of Northern Hills,
observed, “For many years, Northern Hills Synagogue has used the first Shabbat evening service of each month to recognize and con-
way of sharing nachas within the synagogue community. In 2010, Bobbi Handwerger and Sandy Spitz, who were, at the time co-
“The anniversary service has been a way of sharing nachas within the synagogue community.” Rabbi Gershom Barnard gratulate couples whose wedding anniversaries occur in that month. The anniversary service has been a
presidents of Sisterhood, came up with the idea of raising this recognition to a new level, celebrating
love and marriage by spotlighting couples who were celebrating “significant” wedding anniversaries. Thus began the Quintessential Marriage Celebration, in which we congratulate couples whose wedding anniversaries end in “5” or “0” – 5, 10, 15, etc. This year, Bob and Temmy Hessel and Alexey and Emma Serota celebrate their 60th wedding anniversaries, and Ron and Sandy Richards celebrate their 55th. Arnie and Bea Horowitz, who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on May 30, are sponsoring the gala Oneg Shabbat following services.” For more information, please contact the Synagogue office.
Wise Temple Brotherhood hosts end-of-year picnic for religious school On Sunday, May 19, members of the Isaac M. Wise Temple Brotherhood will prepare and treat all to a gourmet picnic lunch in honor of the last day of the Wise Temple Religious School. Typically, at least 20 members work to prepare a lunch for well over 250 members of the school. The picnic allows the
staff, students and parents a time to relish the accomplishments of the year in a relaxed environment. Students look forward to this picnic each year. All Temple members are invited to attend. This picnic, which is an annual event, is among the key events of the year for the men of the Wise Temple
Brotherhood. As an organization that prides itself on being devoted to providing a service and social outlet for the men of the congregation, the brothers look forward to hosting this event for the Wise Temple students, families and faculty. In addition to the delicious array of food options, the brothers provide
the children with a variety of carnival games. Students will have the opportunity to play and win prizes. Some children will have to be lured away from the games to eat lunch. The picnic seems to be a fitting finale for the school year and sets the stage for an enjoyable summer break for all.
Golf, Tennis & Mah Jongg tournament recognizes JCC Senior Center Adams Classic is recognizing the JCC Senior Center. We are proud to serve the needs of so many. This event will allow us to continue to support and enable seniors to stay healthy while living independently in their community,” said Tsippy Gottlieb. JCC Senior Center programs and services include specialized transportation, many wellness and socialization programs, daily onsite nutritious lunches, as well as Meals on Wheels and ShalomPhone daily assurance calls for homebound seniors. The JCC Adams Classic offers entertainment for everyone—18 holes of golf with two tee times, a tennis open, a new Mah Jongg tournament, a delicious course of caterers dinner featuring local
chefs, and a raffle with large ticket prizes including a seven-day Florida vacation and a large HD flat screen television. “We are excited to add Mah Jongg to the JCC Adams Classic this year. With so many people playing this popular game, it seemed like a perfect fit. It is a great opportunity for Mahj groups to compete in a tournament and support their community,” said Mildred Schwartz, Mah Jongg committee co-chair. Additionally, there will be prizes for the top finishing teams and top individuals in each event. Golfers will have a chance to win a Rolex in a hole-in-one contest. Tennis players can win private tennis lessons and all Mah Jongg participants will receive a Spanx
gift card. The schedule includes two golf tee times: 8 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.; an afternoon tennis open at 2:30 p.m.; and a Mah Jongg Tournament of Tiles at 1:30 p.m. A casual lunch is offered for golf and tennis players, and everyone is invited to the Course of Caterers Dinner and raffle at 6 p.m. Those who do not wish to play in any of the tournaments can support the JCC by attending the dinner reception and/or purchasing raffle tickets. Raffle winners do not have to be present to win. For more information about the JCC Adams Classic, to register, buy raffle tickets or volunteer, see the Mayerson JCC contact information in the community directory of this issue.
The American Israelite “LET THERE BE LIGHT” THE OLDEST ENGLISH-JEWISH WEEKLY IN AMERICA - EST. JULY 15, 1854
VOL. 159 • NO. 43 THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2013 7 SIVAN 5773 SHABBAT BEGINS FRIDAY 8:27 PM SHABBAT ENDS SATURDAY 9:28 PM THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE CO., PUBLISHERS 18 WEST NINTH STREET, SUITE 2 CINCINNATI, OHIO 45202-2037 Phone: (513) 621-3145 Fax: (513) 621-3744 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com RABBI ISAAC M. WISE Founder, Editor, Publisher, 1854-1900 LEO WISE Editor & Publisher, 1900-1928 RABBI JONAH B. WISE Editor & Publisher, 1928-1930 HENRY C. SEGAL Editor & Publisher, 1930-1985 PHYLLIS R. SINGER Editor & General Manager, 1985-1999 MILLARD H. MACK Publisher Emeritus NETANEL (TED) DEUTSCH Editor & Publisher GABRIELLE COHEN JORY EDLIN Assistant Editors ALEXIA KADISH Copy Editor JANET STEINBERG Travel Editor MARIANNA BETTMAN NATE BLOOM IRIS PASTOR RABBI A. JAMES RUDIN ZELL SCHULMAN RABBI AVI SHAFRAN PHYLLIS R. SINGER Contributing Columnists JOSEPH D. STANGE Production Manager ERIN WYENANDT Office Manager e Oldest Eng Th
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The 19th annual JCC Adams Classic will be held on Thursday, June 6 at Losantiville Country Club and recognizes the JCC Senior Center. All proceeds from the event will benefit the critical programs and services of the Mayerson JCC. The JCC Senior Center is the only senior center in Greater Cincinnati that is accredited by the National Institute of Senior Centers, a unit of the National Council on Aging, and meets their nine standards of excellence, including community collaboration, mission and quality of facility. Under the leadership of Tsippy Gottlieb, the JCC Senior Center has received many local and national awards of excellence. “We are very honored that the
Salonikan Jews. She grew up in Cincinnati, and received her undergraduate degree at Indiana University and her medical degree from the University of Cincinnati. “HaZaK” is an acronym, with the letters standing for the Hebrew words “Hakhma” (wisdom), “Ziknah” (maturity) and “Kadima” (forward). The HaZaK programs are for adults 55 and older, and are open to the entire community. In addition to mem-
at the Synagogue and begin at noon. On the eve of World War II, over 50,000 Jews lived in Salonika. The community, with a rich cultural heritage as a center for Sephardic Jews, was decimated by the Holocaust, and has a population of only about 1,300 today. But efforts are ongoing to preserve this historic cultural legacy. This topic is very personal for Dr. Schneider, a Cincinnati pediatrician, as she is a descendant of
The historic Greek Jewish community in Salonika will be the topic when the HaZaK group of Northern Hills Synagogue Congregation B’nai Avraham holds its monthly program on Wednesday, May 22. Following a delicious lunch, Dr. Ronna Schneider will discuss her recent travel to Salonika as part of the 2012 Jewish Federation of North America National Young Leadership Cabinet mission to Greece. The program will take place
r in Am ape er sp i
Northern Hills HaZaK learns about Jews of Salonika
THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE (USPS 019-320) is published weekly for $44 per year and $1.00 per single copy in Cincinnati and $49 per year and $3.00 per single copy elsewhere in U.S. by The American Israelite Co. 18 West Ninth Street, Suite 2, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-2037. Periodicals postage paid at Cincinnati, OH. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE, 18 West Ninth Street, Suite 2, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-2037. The views and opinions expressed by the columnists of The American Israelite do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the newspaper.
LOCAL • 5
THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2013
How Jewish young professionals do Shabbat in Cincinnati Jewish young professionals are about to get into a New York State of mind when Access brings a little bit of NYC to the QC (Queen City) for its New York City Shabbat on Friday, May 17, at the Metropolitan Club in Covington, Ky. This event is free with advance reservations and is part of Access’ newest dinner series, The United States of Shabbat, aimed at showcasing some of the best culture and cuisine our country has to offer, from sea to shining sea. With its eclectic mix of sights, sounds, tastes and traditions, what could be a more magnificent metropolis to celebrate than the “City that Never Sleeps”, the Big Apple itself? New York City is a fantastic fusion of different nationalities, ethnicities and cultures and has been home to many millions of Jewish people for nearly 430 years. Guests will have the chance to mix and mingle with other YPs from Greater Cincinnati and around the region, while enjoying a sit-down Shabbat dinner with all the trimmings, including some of the most popular ethnic flavors made famous in Manhattan, including an Italian pasta bar, Latin and Asian entrees and Jewish deli desserts to top it all off. There will be a cash bar and the event is dressy casual.
The American Israelite is now hiring for
Graphic Artist / Page Layout * * * A.S.A.P. * * * culture of a wide variety of different countries, including Israel, Italy, Mexico, India, Russia and others. Our constituents really enjoy winding down their work week together in a warm, friendly atmosphere, and there’s no better way to do that than at a Shabbat dinner with friends from all over
“Last year we offered the Got Shabbat dinner series in which we showcased the food and culture of a wide variety of different countries, including Israel, Italy, Mexico, India, Russia and others.” Rachel Plowden
New York City Shabbat is the second in Access’ United States of Shabbat dinner series, which features many of the iconic tastes and traditions of our country’s many unique cities. The first was Cincinnati Shabbat, which took place at the historic Plum Street Temple and included an optional service just for YPs beforehand in the spectacular sanctuary led by Rabbi Lewis Kamrass and featuring Wise Temple’s Shir Chadash band. “Our Shabbat Dinner Series is a huge hit,” explains Rachel Plowden, Access’ program coordinator. “Last year we offered the Got Shabbat dinner series in which we showcased the food and
the region,” she adds. “More than 250 YPs from Cincinnati and cities such as Columbus, Louisville, Lexington and Indianapolis attended our Cincinnati Shabbat this past November and we’re expecting even more to participate this time around.” There are still some spaces available for the New York City Shabbat event. However, it is expected to fill up. It is free with advance reservations, and open to Jewish young professionals, 21-35 from Greater Cincinnati and from around the region. Non-Jewish significant others are always welcome. Reservations are mandatory and will be given on a first
come, first served basis. Access is an initiative of The Mayerson Foundation and offers four to six programs a month designed to help Jewish young professionals get connected to one another and to the Jewish community. Most programs are completely free or deeply subsidized. To RSVP, or to learn more about this event, please consult the Community Directory listing in this issue for Access’ contact information.
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6 • REGIONAL / NATIONAL
Committee selects Daniel Libeskind to create Ohio Statehouse Holocaust Memorial Members of the Ohio Statehouse Holocaust Memorial Artist Selection Committee met on Monday, May 6 to select an artist to design a Holocaust Memorial on the grounds of the Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus. Daniel Libeskind’s design, of Studio Daniel Libeskind in New York City, was chosen by the committee, whose members include representatives from government, the arts and the Jewish community. Libeskind’s proposal features a plaza-like limestone pathway that leads the viewer to two vertical rectangular forms made of brushed stainless steel. A story from an Auschwitz survivor is embossed upon the two forms, which sit at an angle to one another and are separated by a slight opening, guiding the viewer’s eye skyward, eventually resting upon
a cut-out form of a bisected hexagram (six-pointed) star. The cutout provides a direct view of the sky (bypassing the buildings of downtown Columbus). Along the path is a graduated stone wall that also serves as a seating area. Engraved into that wall is an inspirational quote that honors the death camp liberators. Libeskind was born to Holocaust survivor parents in Postwar Poland and became an American citizen in 1964. He has designed major cultural, commercial and residential projects around the world, including the master plan for the World Trade Center, the Jewish Museum Berlin, the Military History Museum in Dresden and the Ascent at Roebling’s Bridge in Covington. He is considered one of the industry’s most influential thinkers and among the world’s leading architects.
He and semi-finalists Ann Hamilton and Jaume Plensa were chosen on the basis of their prior work and visited the capitol on March 12. There, they toured the Statehouse grounds, learned about the history and structural demands of the space, asked and answered questions and were then given six weeks to submit their proposals to the committee. The artists were asked to create a proposal for a piece that will serve as a permanent memorial in remembrance of all victims of the Holocaust (1933 - 1945) and those Ohioans who participated in the liberation of the death camps during World War II. The memorial should provide enlightenment on man’s inhumanity to man and inspire people to think and act differently in the face of discrimination, hatred, anti-Semitism and genocide. The memorial will be an economic development for the
region. “The process developed by the Ohio Arts Council worked very well. We had three excellent presentations by internationally renowned artists and there was thoughtful discussion following the presentations,” said Ginger Warner, co-chair of the Holocaust Memorial Artist Selection Committee and vice chair of the Ohio Arts Council board. “Although the decision to pick one was difficult, after serious discussion the committee quickly agreed upon the selection of Studio Daniel Libeskind. His proposal best fulfilled the project’s mission and also provided the best opportunity to educate the public on man’s inhumanity to man.” The decision will now go before the Holocaust Memorial Site Committee and the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board for approval.
Defendants in $57 million Claims Conference fraud trial found guilty By Maxine Dovere JointMedia News Service NEW YORK – More than three years after the discovery of fraudulent activity at the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (“Claims Conference”), which continued for about a decadeand-a-half and deprived Holocaust survivors of more than $57 million, former Claims Conference Director of Hardship and Article 2 Funds Semen Domnitser and two co-conspirators on Wednesday were convicted on charges of mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. During the course of a prolonged investigation that began in 2009, 31 people – including 11 employees of the Claims Conference – were criminally charged and arrested in the conspiracy. Twenty-eight defendants pled guilty. U.S. v. Domnitser et al., the case against the three who pled innocent – Domnitser, Oksanna Romalis, and Luba Kramish – had started April 8 at the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Courthouse in New York City. Sentencing is set for Sept. 10. Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement Wednesday that the verdict against Domnitser, Romalis, and Kramish, which came after half-a-day of jury deliberations, means not just the three defendants were guilty, but that “all 31 people who played roles in the theft of $57 million dollars intended to benefit victims of the Nazi genocide – one of the darkest chapters in all human history – have been convicted.”
Courtesy of Maxine Dovere
Julius Berman, pictured, chairman of the board of the Claims Conference, said alleged fraud at the Claims Conference amounted to “phony evidence” provided for claims of eligibility for Holocaust compensation. The fraud lasted for about a decadeand-a-half and allegedly deprived Holocaust survivors of more than $57 million, according to the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
“We said we would not stop until we brought to justice those who committed these unthinkable crimes and today our objective was accomplished,” Bharara said. The original indictment in this case said the defendants for more than a decade “knowingly approved nearly 5,000 fraudulent applications,” thereby diverting more than $57 million in funds that were intended for Holocaust survivors, in exchange for kickbacks. The Claims Conference, the designated administrator of reparations paid by the German government to Holocaust survivors, over-
saw the funds in question. “Outrageous,” Julius Berman, chairman of the board of the Claims Conference, has told JNS. “A fraud, no question… The arrangement with the German government is that they will pay [Holocaust reparations to] every individual who can prove presence in a qualifying situation… The qualifications were clear. Qualifications had to be met; the fraud was that there was phony evidence for the claims of eligibility.” But that fraud – which U.S. Attorney Bharara said had been going on since the German govern-
ment began paying pensions to Holocaust survivors in 1994 – was not revealed until 2009, following the Claims Conference’s appointment of Greg Schneider, a new executive vice president who replaced the departed Gideon Taylor. Schneider had been a high-level Claims Conference employee since 1995, generally responsible for overseeing the claims process. Upon discovering the fraud – which involved doctoring birth certificates, passports and other documents needed to provide acceptable documentation for reparations claims – during a November 2009 internal investigation, Schneider and the Claims Conference brought the situation to the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Among those now on trial is Domnitser – the former Claims Conference Director of Hardship and Article 2 Funds – who worked for the organization from 19932009, until he was terminated following the discovery of the fraud. Schneider’s investigation revealed 4,957 fraudulent claims for one-time hardship payments of about $3,600 each, totaling about $18 million, and 658 fraudulent pension claims totaling $24.5 million. After the verdict on Wednesday, Berman said in a statement, “Those who perpetrated this unthinkable fraud enriched themselves by abusing the historic effort to obtain a small measure of justice for Holocaust victims.” DEFENDANTS on page 19
National Briefs IRS flagging controversy may extend to pro-Israel groups (JNS) The admission of a policy violation by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), in which it flagged conservative political groups, has brought to light a similar episode involving a proIsrael group. Lori Lowenthal Marcus, president and founder of the proIsrael group Z Street, wrote for The Jewish Press that the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, which will be investigating bias at the IRS in light of the agency’s admission, “might want to ask the IRS whether their list of targets extended beyond political party discrimination.” Z Street in 2010 filed a lawsuit against the IRS alleging that the group was told by an IRS agent that its tax-exempt application would receive “additional scrutiny” because Z Street is “connected to Israel.” The agent also told Z Street that the applications of other “Israel-related organizations” were assigned to a “special unit” in the Washington, D.C. office of the IRS to determine “whether the organization’s activities contradict the Administration’s public policies,” Marcus wrote. Stephen Hawking boycott of Israeli conference ‘outrageous,’ organizers say (JNS) World-renowned theoretical physicist Professor Stephen Hawking has bowed to anti-Israel pressure and will not be attending the fifth annual Presidential Conference in Jerusalem in June, The Guardian reported Wednesday. Israeli Presidential Conference Steering Committee Chairman Israel Maimon slammed what he called Hawking’s “outrageous, wrongful decision.” Roz Rothstein, CEO of the pro-Israel education group StandWithUs, told JNS, “It’s too bad that physicist Stephen Hawking only has room in his heart for the one side in an ongoing conflict, and is unable to recognize the suffering of Israeli civilians who are bombarded by acts of terrorism by Palestinian groups like Hamas. The Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center—noted that Hawking is boycotting Israel despite the fact that the computer-based system he uses to speak “runs on a chip designed by Israel’s Intel team.” Hawking has ALS, known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
NATIONAL • 7
THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2013
To stay afloat, shuls merging across denominational divide By Ben Gittleson Jewish Telegraphic Agency The Jews of Corpus Christi knew a decade ago they had to act fast to save their two synagogues.With at most 1,000 Jews left in the Texas town and only 60 families making up its membership, the 60-year-old Conservative synagogue was in shaky financial shape. So in 2005, B’nai Israel Synagogue merged with Temple Beth El, a Reform shul, to form Congregation Beth Israel, combining customs and sharing sacred spaces to preserve Jewish life in an area that saw its heyday around World War II. The combined synagogue, and a small but growing number of others like it, makes a concerted effort to be inclusive despite denominational dif-
Courtesy of Karen Phillippi
Members of the Jewish community in Canton, Ohio, celebrate the dedication of a new building housing the local federation and two synagogues, July 12, 2012.
ferences in liturgy and theology. Friday night services are tailored to Reform-minded members, while Saturday morning is conducted in the
more traditional Conservative style, according to Kenneth Roseman, Beth Israel’s Reform-ordained rabbi. Families marking a bar or bat mitzvah can choose which day and denomination they want for their celebration. Members even used furnishings from the old Conservative synagogue in a small chapel and put up some of the old building’s stained glass in the new congregation’s social hall. “It’s not perfect,” said Roseman, “but it works.” Across the country, scores of synagogues have overcome denominational differences to merge formally, share space or otherwise collaborate, often due to financial hardships wrought by shrinking Jewish populations. Shifting demographics and a challenging economic envi-
ronment have led synagogues to consider remedies that previously were unthinkable, said Rabbi David Fine, the rabbinic director of the Union for Reform Judaism’s small congregations network. “Many congregations worked hard for years to distinguish themselves,” Fine said. “It wasn’t so much ‘who are we’ but ‘who are we not?’—looking at the other place across town. Now it’s more ‘what do we have in common?’” That kind of thinking was evident in the merger of the Reform Temple Beth El with Congregation Eilat, a Conservative synagogue in Southern California that was struggling with a significantly reduced membership. In 2010, the congregations merged formally with about 80 percent of Eilat’s 120 families join-
ing the 650-family Beth El. Eilat members were granted board positions, one of Beth El’s kitchens was brought up to Conservative kosher standards and differences on issues such as music on Shabbat and patrilineal descent were followed in each denomination’s services. Today, the congregation’s three rabbis – two Reform and one Conservative – run educational programming for the congregation at large and, on the High Holidays, deliver sermons to both the Reform and Conservative services. “I think the success of it is measured by the fact that the lines are totally blurred now,” Welland said. “We’re one congregation; we’re one community.” SHULS on page 22
Breaking with all black, some Chabad men pushing fashion boundaries By Gil Shefler Jewish Telegraphic Agency NEW YORK – Yosel Tiefenbrun looked in the mirror and he liked what he saw. The 23-year-old Chabad rabbi and apprentice at Maurice Sedwell, a bespoke tailor’s shop on London’s Savile Row, was wearing a vintage double-breasted jacket with gold buttons, tasseled Barker shoes, a claret bow tie and matching handmade hat and square handkerchief. Then he ran out the door to attend the “Oscars of tailoring” – the Golden Shears Award ceremony honoring the best in British fashion. Several of his colleagues were in the running for a prize. They came back empty, but Tiefenbrun did not.
Courtesy of David Nyanzi
Yosel Tiefenbrun, an apprentice tailor at Maurice Sedwell’s and an ordained Orthodox rabbi, modeling an outfit he put together.
Nick Carvell, the online fashion editor at British GQ, snapped his picture and posted it the following day on the magazine’s website, naming Tiefenbrun “best in show.” Within days, the photograph of the
hasidic rabbi and his natty attire was picked up by Jewish publications around the world. “This is a very important message,” Tiefenbrun told JTA. “You can be a [religious] man and still be successful in whatever you do if you are constantly working on yourself and keeping your Jewish life alive.” Hasidic Jews are well known for flouting the conventions of contemporary fashion, adhering to a strict dress code that originated in Eastern Europe and emphasizes modesty and piety. For men, the uniform mandates a black hat, coat and pants with a white shirt. But in recent years, some haredi Orthodox women have sought to push the limits of tznius, or modesty, wearing more elaborate and, in some cases, slightly more
revealing clothes. Now a group of young men affiliated with the Chabad hasidic movement are doing the same, in some cases breaking dramatically with their community’s sartorial codes. Last year, Rabbi Dovi Scheiner and his wife, Esty, a Chabad couple who run the “boutique” SoHo Synagogue in Lower Manhattan, were named among the Big Apple’s 50 best dressers by Stylecaster, a fashion news website. The 36-year-old rabbi posed for the online outlet sitting on a velvet chair wearing a smart gray suit and laceless Converse sneakers. Meanwhile, Mendy Sacho, a South African designer based in New York, has gained mainstream media attention for his innovative take on kapotas, the long black
frocks worn by hasidic men. Sacho invigorates the traditionally drab coats by adding colorful linings and a sharper cut. Rather than seeing their sartorial sensibilities as a departure from traditional dress, this new crop of fashionable hasidim tend to see being stylish and religiously observant as complementary. “Look at the rebbe,” said Sacho, referring to Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the late spiritual leader of Chabad. “When he was young, he was a very wellgroomed man. The style he wore in the ‘50s in France is the style many Chabadniks are now adopting.” Photos of Schneerson from the period show him in dapper outfits that sharply contrast with the conservative look he adopted later as Chabad’s leader.
Innovation a common ground for ‘start-up nation’ Israel and Massachusetts By Susie Davidson JointMedia News Service BOSTON – What do Israel and Massachusetts have in common? Many recent comparisons have centered on the fact that, when the Boston Marathon bombings occurred, Bostonians got a taste for the kind of attack Israelis endure on a regular basis. To that end, Israeli trauma teams were called upon to lend their expertise in Boston following the marathon bombings. But Israeli environmental entrepreneur Yosef Abramowitz stresses a different area of common ground, explaining that both Israel and Massachusetts have few natural resources, but ample know-how and ambition. The president of pioneering Israeli solar energy companies Arava Power and Energiya Global, Abramowitz – named one of the top six “Green Pioneers” in the world by CNN, which on May 11 aired a half-hour documentary
Courtesy of Combined Jewish Philanthropies
Israeli entrepreneurs Eyal Gura, with microphone, and Yosef Abramowitz, pictured during their recent panel discussion in Boston, where they were hosted by the Combined Jewish Philanthropies. The entrepreneurs discussed how Israel has earned the nickname “start-up nation.”
on Arava’s solar work in Israel and Rwanda – recently spoke on a panel with fellow Israeli entrepreneur Eyal Gura as part of the Innovation Exchange series of Boston-based Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP). Abramowitz, who also presented in New York and Los Angeles while in the U.S., told
JNS after his talk in Boston he doesn’t “have much time for speaking engagements” due to his companies’ solar work. But when CJP calls, the former Newton, Mass., resident, who graduated from Brookline High School in the Boston area, says yes. “I respect [CJP’s] leadership,” Abramowitz said, describing that his family has “a long and productive relationship with CJP, as my father served for a quarter of a century as the Vice President for Planning.” CJP held its event at the headquarters of MassChallenge, a startup incubator in Boston’s seaport district that opened its first overseas office in Israel. “MassChallenge may be the world’s largest incubator and Israel is the [incubator’s] first location outside of Boston, so I came to learn about their important work and give them a boost,” Abramowitz said. “I believe that CJP is usually ahead of the national community on innovative pro-
gramming, and I liked the concept of a reverse Israel mission, bringing a diverse group of Israelis to Boston to blanket the city with a positive view of Israeli innovation.” Abramowitz told JNS that Arava, “after closing successfully on $300 million, is proud to be building nine commercial scale solar fields in Israel this year.” “Energiya Global, our sister company developing solar fields in poorer countries, is conducting a Friends and Family Round to raise $2 million, and I was pleased that many people have approached me on this [U.S.] tour to ask for information about investing in something that provides both a financial and mission return,” he said. “Eighty-five percent of Africa doesn’t have any electricity, so we have a lot of work ahead of us.” Abramowitz and his wife, Rabbi Susan Silverman, adopted two Ethiopian Jewish children and have three of their own. They moved to Israel in 2006. Elected
to the Israeli Green Movement Knesset list in 2008, he was named “Person of the Year” last year by the Israel Energy and Business Convention. “I came to hear Yossi, who is a bit of a superstar,” Andrew Fischer, a Boston attorney specializing in bicyclist advocacy whose son is an environmental engineer, told JNS. “I am a big supporter of the Arava Institute and of conversion from fossil fuels to solar energy.” Gura, a venture partner at Pitango, which with $1.5 billion is Israel’s largest venture capital company, is a Wharton MBA and a graduate of the Zell Entrepreneurship program of the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, Israel. “I come from a family of entrepreneurs,” he said on the panel. “When we see friction in the world or something wrong, we want to fix it.” INNOVATION on page 22
8 • INTERNATIONAL
Syria, target of reported Israeli airstrikes, Netanyahu in China to jumps to top of Iran’s foreign interests cultivate relations with increasingly relevant ‘sleeping giant’
By Alex Traiman JointMedia News Service
The recently reported Israeli airstrikes on Syria, which were neither confirmed nor denied by the Jewish state, targeted weapons depots allegedly storing Iranianmade weapons intended for the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah. While the transfer of high-grade weapons may pose a direct threat to Israel’s security, there are greater questions about a tectonic shift in the balance of power in the Middle East. “Iran has been exerting increasing influence across the region, in countries including Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and even in the Gulf States, such as Kuwait and Bahrain,” Israel Defense Forces Brig. Gen. (ret.) Dr. Shimon Shapira told JNS. Shapira, a senior fellow at the Jerusalem Center of Public Affairs (JCPA), recently published a report detailing Iranian intentions to partner with Hezbollah to affectively grab control of Syria. The report cites coordination at the highest levels between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Hezbollah. “Syria is the bridge between Iran and Lebanon,” Shapira said. According to the JCPA report, “Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah paid a secret visit to Tehran where he met with the top Iranian officials headed by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Gen. Qasem Suleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guard Corps.” The leaders discussed an operational plan that includes the “establishment of a 150,000-man force for Syria.”
By Alex Traiman JointMedia News Service
Courtesy of Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90
Palestinian supporters of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine wave the group’s red flag, the Syrian flag, and the Palestinian flag as they hold posters of Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah during a rally on May 7, 2013, following two reported Israeli airstrikes near Damascus that sent regional tensions soaring.
The tactical coordination is the latest manifestation of a long-established Iranian pattern of expansionist foreign policy – a principle outlined in the Iranian constitution. Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iran has been tangibly extending its influence across the region by force, particularly during periods of civil turmoil. “Iran created Hezbollah in the summer of 1982. This was a strategic decision to export the revolution to the Arab World,” Shapira told JNS. According to Shapira, Iran was able to establish influence in Lebanon partly because both are Shiite-majority states with similar religious views. Perhaps more importantly, Iran was taking advantage of long-term instability
plaguing Lebanon, during a 15year civil war. Decades later, following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, multiple insurgencies against U.S. troops were led by the Quds Force, an elite division of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. Numerous experts have cited growing Iranian influence in Iraq – another unstable Middle Eastern nation with a sizable Shiite population. Today, Iran is attempting to take advantage of a similar crisis in Syria. “We can now say that there are over 1,000 Hezbollah fighters operating in Syria,” Shapira said. Furthermore, Iran is now recruiting Shiite fighters in Iraq to come to Syria. SYRIA on page 20
In violent region where Boston bombers have roots, Jews are sparse but maintain relative calm By Alina Dain Sharon JointMedia News Service Since the Boston Marathon explosions in April, the largely Muslim Russian territory of the North Caucasus has come back to the forefront via Chechnya, where the family of the Boston bombers’ father originated, and nearby Dagestan, the native land of the bombers’ mother and where the elder Tsarnaev brother (Tamerlan) had visited last year. Flashbacks to the wars of the 1990s between Russia and Chechen separatists, and alerts of Islamic insurgency spilling out of Chechnya, appear more prominently in news outlets. Just last week, a bomb exploded and killed two teenagers in Dagestan’s capital, Makhachkala. Less is heard about the region’s
Jewish community, which, although dwindling, continues to maintain relative calm while living in a violent region – or so its members say. Although many Jews from the former Soviet Union (FSU) emigrated in the 1990s – many to Israel – between 60,000 and 68,000 Jews still live in Russian-controlled north Caucasus region, according to estimates by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). The Jewish community in Makhachkala estimates that there are just under 5,000 Jews remaining in Dagestan, according to journalist Judith Matloff, who has traveled to the region. There are no concrete estimates for the current number of Jews in Chechnya, and the JDC is not aware of any Jews who live there. Today’s Jewish community in
the northern Caucasus is a mix of Ashkenazi Jews, who migrated there from European Russia, and Mountain Jews, who have lived there for many centuries and have their own language called Tat, a blend of Farsi and Hebrew. Mountain Jews were renowned over the centuries “for their prowess with weapons and horses, not very common attributes for Jews in the former Soviet Union,” Matloff told JNS. They were also known for cultivating tobacco and wine, and “men still sometimes ‘kidnap’ brides,” a custom usually done with “tacit approval by the family and the community, but which nonetheless is not a custom we normally associate with Jews anywhere,” Matloff said. CALM on page 22
As tensions brewed along Israel’s northern border with Syria, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left the country for highly anticipated talks with leaders of one of the world’s superpowers. To the surprise of many who closely follow Israeli geopolitics, that superpower is not the United States, but China. Netanyahu’s five-day trip to China, which began Sunday, presents Israel with numerous economic and diplomatic opportunities during a time of growing global and regional instability. “Well it’s I think really obvious to any observer of what is going on in the world, these past decades, that China’s importance in the world is growing from year to year. And I think it’s probably correct to say at this stage that there are two superpowers: the United States and China,” Moshe Arens, former Israeli Defense Minister and Foreign Minister told JNS. Netanyahu may have considered delaying the trip, just days after Israel reportedly twicebombed Syrian targets, allegedly storing sophisticated Iranian weaponry on its way to the Hezbollah terrorist organization in Lebanon. Choosing to continue with the pre-scheduled visit may signal that tensions are not expected to escalate further with Syria in the near-term. But more importantly, the trip signals that Netanyahu did not wish to insult the Chinese, after twice canceling trips to a country that is growing increasingly important to Israel. “It is important for us to have good, very good relations with China, better relations than what we have today,” Arens said. “I think considering China’s status in the world today, it is appropriate and I would say probably natural for China to play a bigger role in Middle Eastern affairs than it has in the past.” “China has been a sleeping giant for a long time, but in the last 20 years, as its economy began to grow, its relevance started to become more and more important,” Carice Witte, Executive Director of SIGNAL (Sino-Israel Global Network and Academic Leadership), an institute working to advance Israel-China relations, told JNS. The economic decline of Europe and the U.S., and changing balances of diplomatic and military power, have necessitated that Israel
Courtesy of Avi Ohayon/GPO/FLASH90
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits a technology exhibition in Shanghai, China, on Monday, May 6, during his five-day visit to the country.
develop additional allies. “In 2008 when the sub-prime debacle happened, Israeli business people began to realize they need to spread their interests and investment and their outreach beyond the U.S. and EU,” Witte said. Netanyahu on Monday in Shanghai said, “I came to open doors for Israeli companies. We’re interested in a small piece of a giant market.” But economics are only one piece of the China-Israel equation. “Among several reasons, China is very significant to Israel because it has a vote in the Security Council,” Witte told JNS. And China has taken a growing interest in the Middle East, a region critical to China’s economic stability. China has grown tremendously as a manufacturing power over the past several decades. And one of the fuels powering that growth is oil. “The two nations providing most of China’s oil are Saudi Arabia and Iran. So the area of the Middle East is core for China’s domestic policy, for China’s domestic economy. Stability in the region is essential,” Witte said. Disturbances in the flow of oil, or rises in prices could have a significant impact on China’s economy. According to Witte, China has watched its investments in Libya and now Syria decline due to the events of the “Arab Spring.” While China wants tensions between Israel and Iran to cool, the Chinese see Israel as one of the most stable and forward-thinking countries in the region. The Chinese have been particularly impressed with Israel’s rapid growth in an often-hostile environment. In the past two decades—with both countries experiencing significant economic growth—Israel and China have begun to recognize that perhaps they share more common interests than they did in the past. Yet it has been historically difficult for the two countries to develop strong bilateral relations.
INTERNATIONAL • 9
THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2013
International Briefs Iran, Egypt, other Muslim countries top violators of religious freedom, report finds (JNS) Iran, Egypt and several other Muslim nations are among the world’s top violators of religious freedom, particularly for their anti-Christian and antiSemitic persecution, according to the 2013 annual report released by the bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. The report singled out Iran’s theocratic leaders, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, for their suppression on non-Islamic religions. The report also singled out the Egyptian government’s failures in protecting its Christian community since the 2011 revolution. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood holds massive anti-Israel rally (JNS.) Egypt’s ruling party, the Muslim Brotherhood, staged a massive anti-Israel rally outside of Cairo’s Al-Azhar mosque following Friday prayers, the Associated Press reported. During the rally, demonstrators chanted, “The people want the destruction of Israel,” and a leading Muslim Brotherhood member got up and shouted over the microphone, “We will repeat it over and over, Israel is our enemy,” according to the Associated Press. Meanwhile, Egypt’s ultraconservative Salafi party, al-Nour, boycotted the anti-Israel rally. Instead, the Salafis urged Morsi to wage jihad. Germany to keep Israel out of the UN Security Council (JNS) Israel issued a formal complaint against Germany for blocking it from serving on the United Nations Security Council in 2018, Israel Hayom reported. Israel has never held a position on the council, although nations such as Syria and Iran have. The Security Council comprises five permanent and 10 rotating members, elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms and chosen from regional groups. The Israeli Foreign Ministry said that Israel and Germany had an agreement in which Germany said it would not run, but the agreement was breached. Church of Scotland agrees to amend controversial report on Israel (JNS) The Church of Scotland has agreed to amend a recent controversial report on Israel, The
Guardian reported. After provoking an unexpected storm of protest, the report was removed from the Church of Scotland’s website. Senior church leaders have agreed to amend the official report entitled “The inheritance of Abraham,” after outrage over the report’s questioning of Israel’s legitimacy and the biblical Jewish connection to the land of Israel. In particular, the Church of Scotland clarified its positions regarding Israel, stating, “There is no change in the Church of Scotland’s long held position of the right of Israel to exist.” British lawyer fined for anti-Semitic rant (JTA) A British lawyer who said she “cannot stand Jewish people” during an office rant was found guilty of discrimination by a disciplinary panel. In a ruling published last week, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in London fined Danielle Morris, 34, some $3,840 and ordered her to pay $8,060 in costs for the 2009 remarks, according to a report by the Lancashire Telegraph daily newspaper. Her comments came after a Jewish man cut in line at a medical center before Morris, an assistant solicitor at Mulderiggs Solicitors in Rawtenstall near Manchester and mother of two. Morris later commented to a receptionist at her firm, “I cannot stand Jewish people.” A Jewish colleague heard the comment and asked Morris “not to say that.” But Morris replied, “I don’t care; I cannot stand them ever since an incident at the Bardoc [medical center].” Holocaust educators from former Yugoslavia meet for seminar (JTA) Some 65 teachers from countries of the former Yugoslavia attended a seminar for Holocaust educators at the Holocaust Museum in Skopje, Macedonia. The seminar, held over the weekend, was organized by Centropa, a Vienna-based research and education center that fosters teaching about Jewish heritage and history through interactive technology. Soccer club calls in police over anti-Semitic abuse of Israeli player (JTA) Managers of an English soccer club contacted police to investigate online anti-Semitic abuse of an Israeli player. After Yossi Benayoun revealed last week of the abuse on Twitter, the Chelsea Football Club contacted police, The Guardian daily reported. The tweet read: “f**in Jew a**hole” and was written in reply to a message by Benayoun in which he thanked his followers for their birthday greetings.
Oil-rich Qatar pushing to make its name as a Mideast peace broker By Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraphic Agency WASHINGTON – When it comes to the latest Arab peace initiative, two questions are circulating in Washington: Why Qatar? And why now? The three answers: Because Qatar is rich; it is scared; and why not? Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani, the Qatari prime minister and foreign minister, in recent weeks has driven the revivification of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, moderating it slightly to hew closer to the outlines touted by the Obama administration since 2011. The updated version, outlined by Hamad in remarks to reporters following his meeting April 29 with Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden in Washington, pulls back from the 2002 demand that Israel withdraw to the 1967 borders in exchange for comprehensive peace. Instead, Hamid proposed “comparable and mutual agreed minor swaps of the land” – a formulation that opens the door to Israel’s retention of several major settlement blocs. Hamad also did not mention the Palestinian “right of return” and the division of Jerusalem, elements
Courtesy of U.S. State Department
Secretary of State John Kerry, right, delivering a Joint Statement with Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al-Thani in Washington, April 29, 2013.
of the original Arab initiative that had led to its rejection by the Israeli government. Qatar, the fabulously wealthy Persian Gulf state that is host to the forward headquarters of the U.S. Central Command, hasn’t been known until recently for grabbing onto thorny diplomatic challenges. So what does Hamad hope to gain? The Qatari Embassy did not respond to multiple requests for comment, but experts and officials say that Qatar is wealthy enough to do what it likes and, as an autocracy concerned for its survival in a region roiling with revolution, is driven to make friends and demonstrate its usefulness. “For a small country, they’re
throwing money around, organizing diplomatic events, trying to shape a range of issues, much of it related to the Middle East uprising,” said Brian Katulis, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a think tank considered close to the Obama administration. “It’s rich, it’s small, it lacks the inner turmoil of other countries. It’s one of the [Middle Eastern] countries... that are more internally stable and have more resources.” Just prior to unveiling the revised peace plan, Hamad, a distant cousin of the Qatari emir, was honored by the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy, an organization that received $2.5 million to $5 million from the government of Qatar in 2012, according to Politico. Tamara Cofman Wittes, the Saban Center’s director, said Qatar for years had accrued influence through such uses of “soft power” – the generous dispensation of money and assistance – coupled with its ownership of Al Jazeera, the region’s most influential news outlet. When uprisings swept the Middle East at the beginning of 2011, Qatar was able to step into a vacuum left by the toppled dictators, she said. QATAR on page 22
Amid rising Islamism in Africa, Israel-Senegal ties still flourishing By Cnaan Liphshiz Jewish Telegraphic Agency DAKAR, Senegal – Struggling to be heard over a flock of bleating sheep, Israel’s ambassador to Senegal invites a crowd of impoverished Muslims to help themselves to about 100 sacrificial animals that the embassy corralled at a dusty community center here. The October distribution, held as French troops battled Islamists in neighboring Mali and one month after Muslim radicals killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya, is held annually in honor of Tabaski, the local name of the Muslim Eid al-Adha feast. The distribution is broadcast on national television in a land that is 95 percent Muslim, providing Israel with a powerful platform to burnish its image among Senegalese. “It registers very strongly with locals that Israelis give them sheep for a Muslim holiday while most Arab embassies do nothing,” said Eli Ben-Tura, the Israeli ambassador. The animals are just part of the millions that Israel has spent over the years in Senegal, a Frenchspeaking Western African nation of 12 million where the average
Courtesy of Cnaan Liphshiz/JTA
Spectators at the Israel Independence Day celebration at the grand theater in the Senegalese capital of Dakar, April 30, 2013.
monthly salary is $158. In return, Senegal has supported Israel’s erection of a barrier to protect itself from Palestinian terrorism and, in December, signed over oil prospecting rights in its territorial waters to an Israeli-owned mining company. Over the past decade, Israel’s trade with Senegal has more than tripled. “Like Israel, Senegal is an island of stability in an unstable region,” Ben-Tura told JTA in an interview last week at the Israeli Embassy overlooking Independence Plaza in Dakar, the capital city. The importance Israel places on its partnership with Senegal
was evident in Ben-Tura’s speech on April 30 at Israel’s 65th Independence Day celebration at the Grand Theatre National, a magnificent structure built with Chinese funding in 2011 near Dakar’s main port. Speaking to an audience of 1,000, Ben-Tura listed Israel’s latest gifts to the country: training for hundreds of farmers; preparations to train thousands more by Israeli experts stationed in the country; and the establishment of a permanent depot for agricultural equipment and disease control. Even intercultural activities have not been overlooked. After speeches by Ben-Tura and Mamadou Talla, Senegal’s minister of professional training, Israel Ballet artistic director Ido Tadmor and 40 local artists performed a modern dance routine featuring tea cups. Dozens of onlookers avidly recorded their every move on smartphones. “Cultural exchange with Africa has been neglected for too long,” Ben-Tura said. Yet beneath this seemingly symbiotic partnership may be a deeper concern. ISLAMISM on page 19
10 • ISRAEL
Haredi Orthodox youth mob Western Israeli Paralympian Wall to protest women’s prayer service Pascale Bercovitch eyes 2016 Games in Rio
By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraphic Agency
By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraphic Agency
caught under its wheels. Both of her legs had to be amputated. “What hurt the most was that I couldn’t dance and I couldn’t do floor gymnastics, couldn’t jump, couldn’t run,” she said. “It was inconceivable. I couldn’t live like that.” The injury, though, didn’t stop her from fulfilling another dream – moving to Israel, where she felt she could “build a small state” and “do something new and good.” She went on to enlist in the Israel Defense Forces, where she became one of the first volunteers in a wheelchair. “I understood that there was no other choice than to fulfill your dreams,” she said. “Life can end in an instant. What’s important is to savor every moment. It didn’t matter how.” Once in Israel, Bercovitch started swimming as part of her rehabilitation and was invited to join the Israeli national team leading up to the 1992 Paralympics in Barcelona. It took her until 2008, though, to make it to the Games. Without a full-time salary, she had to quit the 1992 team. For nearly the next two decades she worked as a journalist and documentarian, producing “Three-Hundredths of a Second,” an award-winning film on the 2000 Israeli Paralympic delegation to Athens.
JERUSALEM – Haredi Orthodox youths mobbed the Western Wall plaza by the thousands to protest Women of the Wall as they held their monthly prayer service. The youths, many of them students from haredi Orthodox yeshivas, filled the Western Wall Plaza by 6:40 a.m. on Friday, 20 minutes before Women of the Wall, a women’s prayer group that holds monthly services at the site, also called the Kotel, began praying. Because haredi Orthodox women had packed the women’s section of the plaza earlier in the morning, Women of the Wall were forced to pray in the back section of the plaza, further away from the Kotel itself. The Women of the Wall service to mark Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of the new Hebrew month, was the first since a ruling last month by a Jerusalem District Court judge that the group’s services do not violate the law and merit police protection rather than arrests. Police were on hand Friday morning to protect the women, a reversal of scenes from months past, when women wearing prayer shawls to the monthly service would be arrested for breaking a law that outlawed any deviation from “local custom” at the wall. Police arrested
three haredi protesters, and a police spokesman said more arrests may be in the offing as police review video. One day before the service, Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteynman, a haredi leader, called on thousands of students to protest Women of the Wall. When the service began on Friday, it was met by an ongoing din of screaming, and shrieks erupted when a woman wearing a prayer shawl tried to push through the mob to reach the service. Police, alternately holding hands or linking
Israeli government budget proposal includes unprecedented taxes, extensive cuts
Courtesy of Flash90
Israeli riot police scuffle with haredi Orthodox Jews at the Western Wall plaza in a bid to keep them away from Women of the Wall’s monthly prayer service at the holy site in Jerusalem, May 10, 2013.
By Zeev Klein and Israel Hayom JointMedia News Service Poll says nearly half of Israelis support ‘Women of the Wall’ (JNS) Nearly half of Israelis, 48 percent, support the right of the group known as Women of the Wall to hold traditional Jewish prayer services at the Western Wall, according to a recent poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University, Israel Hayom reported. The poll also found that 64 percent of the secular public, 53 percent of the “traditional nonreligious public,” and 26 percent of the traditional-religious public support the group. But the group was unanimously rejected by the poll’s ultra-Orthodox respondents. A proposed plan by Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky calls for the creation of an egalitarian prayer section at the Western Wall in a bid to quell tensions over non-Orthodox prayer at the site.
Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid has presented the Israeli government with his ministry’s final budget proposal for 2013-2014, outlining aggressive cuts and a series of new taxes meant to help cover some of the Israel’s 39 billion shekel ($11 billion) deficit. The Israeli government budget proposal cuts 25 billion shekels ($7 billion) from government spending in 2013-2014, including 7 billion shekels ($2 billion) this year and 18
arms, held back the crowd while two officers, with difficulty, escorted the woman through. “It’s sad that they’re using the Kotel to advance their interests,” said an Orthodox graphic designer from Jerusalem, 29, who declined to give her name. “They want to change all of Israel. It’s an insult to this place.” Women of the Wall’s service has rarely, if ever, seen this many people come to protest. Many of the haredim said that they were there to pray, as many Jews do daily at the wall.
billion shekels ($5 billion) in 2014. Some 4 billion shekels ($1 billion) will be cut from defense spending, as well as 2 billion shekels ($560 million) from education and transportation, over the two years. Additional cuts, yet to be determined, will be made from the Israeli government welfare and health budgets. As part of Lapid’s deal with Histadrut labor federation Chairman Ofer Eini, negotiated to avoid a general strike that could potentially shut the Israeli economy down, a 2 billion shekel cut and wage freeze
TELAVIV – Pascale Bercovitch has a firm handshake and a ready smile. She’s hard to keep up with as she takes an elevator to a cafe on the ground floor of her gym in northern Tel Aviv and talks about her hopes to compete in 2016 in Rio De Janeiro. It’s easy to forget that she’s 45 years old and has no legs. “I love to find my limit and push it, to succeed more than I did yesterday,” Bercovitch told JTA. “What interests me is the journey.” For Bercovitch, who has represented Israel as a rower and handcyclist in the Summer Paralympics, the journey has been long, spanning three decades, three sports and two countries. But she has never stopped competing, even after a gruesome accident left her without her legs at age 17. Born and raised in a suburb of Paris, Bercovitch started training as a gymnast at age 10. In high school, she began training for competitions and also became a dancer. Those plans came to an abrupt end one morning in 1985 when Bercovitch, late for school and rushing to catch a departing train, got
planned for the public sector will be revised. Finance Ministry and Histadrut officials are still negotiating the final agreement, which Lapid and Eini are expected to sign next week. One of the biggest bones of contention in the proposed Israeli government budget is the Finance Ministry’s plan for a 3 billion ($841 million) cut in child allowances and day care subsidies. The bill proposes cutting child benefits from 175 shekels ($50) to 140 shekels ($39) per month per child. Knesset members from all fac-
tions are expected to oppose the child allowance cut vigorously. But the Finance Ministry has already prepared two compromises to help win it a favorable vote: If the proposed child allowance cut meets what ministry sources define as “mere opposition,” the benefit will be cut to 150 shekels ($42) instead of 140 shekels. And if the cut meets fierce opposition that might jeopardize the entire budget bill, the child benefit will be set at 160 shekels ($45) per month. PROPOSAL on page 21
Syria attacks suggest Israel can act with impunity By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraphic Agency TEL AVIV – Twice in three days, Israeli warplanes entered Syrian airspace and fired on suspected weapons caches bound for Hezbollah – and nothing has happened in response. Some experts are predicting that will continue to be the case following airstrikes near Damascus on Friday and Sunday that are widely believed to be the work of the Israel Defense Forces.
According to reports, the strikes targeted shipments of long-range, Iranian-made Fateh-110 missiles capable of striking deep into Israel. Israel hasn’t commented on the strikes, but the IDF has moved two Iron Dome missile defense batteries to its northern border and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delayed his departure to China for several hours to convene his security cabinet. Meanwhile, Syria’s foreign minister told CNN on Sunday that the strikes amounted to a “declaration of war.”
But such gestures, analysts say, are merely symbolic. Torn by a civil war now in its third year, the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad is too beleaguered to fight back. And Hezbollah, the Lebanese party considered a terrorist organization by the United States and Israel, is considered too preoccupied propping up its Syrian patron to respond. “Today Israel can act with impunity in Syria,” said Hillel Frisch, an expert on Arab politics at Bar-Ilan University’s Begin-Sadat
Center for Strategic Studies. “The [Syrian] air force isn’t functioning and there’s no defense system. It’s very exposed and weak.” Syria’s civil war augurs a major strategic shift for Israel. The two countries have technically been in a state of war since the Yom Kippur War ended in 1973. And though the border since then has been largely quiet, Syria was Israel’s only neighbor to pose a threat of conventional attack. ATTACKS on page 22
SOCIAL LIFE • 11
THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2013
Israel65 Award at the Israel Bonds Prime Minister’s Club Dinner
Cincinnati leaders Pamela and Bernard Barbash were among 19 recipients of the Israel65 Award at the Israel Bonds Prime Minister’s Club Dinner, held Jan. 27 in Boca Raton, Fla. The Barbashes were recognized for dedication to Israel and the Jewish community.
Stephanie Zemboch and David Goldberg
ENGAGEMENT r. and Mrs. Thomas Zemboch are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter,Stefanie, to David Goldberg, son of Sunny and Robert Goldberg of San Antonio, Texas. Stefanie is the granddaughter of Joseph Schneider and the late Ellen Schneider, and the late Irma Zemboch Bender and William Zemboch. David is the grandson of Doris Levine, and the late Josephine and Sol Levine of Dallas,Texas, and the late Dorothy and Charles Goldberg of San Antonio, Texas. Stefanie, a graduate of Indiana University, is a senior account manager at SpinMedia in Chicago. David,a graduate of Indiana University Kelley School of Business, is the managing partner of Circular Quay Properties. A November wedding is planned.
(L-R) Master of Ceremonies Howie Mandel; Finance Minister of Israel Yuval Steinitz; Bernard and Pamela Barbash; Israel Bonds president and CEO Izzy Tapoohi; Israel Bonds Chairman of the Board Richard Hirsch
Thomas Lockshin and Howie Mandel
Izzy Tapoohi and Howie Mandel
FIRST ISRAELI CITIZEN TO BE PART OF XAVIER UNIVERSITY 2013 COMMENCEMENT
n Saturday, May 11, the Israeli flag will appear on stage for the first time in Xavier University undergraduate history among others representing nationalities of graduates. Natalie Handler of Herzliya, Israel is the first Israeli citizen to onnie and Michael Fishel are graduate from Xavier with an pleased to announce the undergraduate degree. The engagement of their daughter, daughter of Kenneth and Solange Handler, 24-year-old Natalie has earned a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. She is a four year member of Xavier’s women’s tennis team. She played international amateur women’s tennis tournaments in Israel and abroad and was ranked among the Top 10 high school players in Israel. She was given the status of “special athlete” while serving her compulsory term in Michael Wolkoff and Stefani Fishel the Israeli Army.
Bernard and Pamela Barbash
Stefani to Michael Wolkoff, son of Marlene R. Guttman and Howard Wolkoff. Stefani is the granddaughter of Edythe Fishel and the late Julius Fishel and the late Ted and Leona Reiff. Michael is the grandson of the late Blanche and Stanley Rich and Sara Wolkoff and the late Allen Wolkoff. Stefani is a licensed optician at Eye Care Optical and Michael works for Cohen Recycling.
14 • DINING OUT
Steak to stake one’s name on—Tony’s salad choices include: Caesar, Greek, iceberg wedge and to-order tossed, with homemade dressing choices. The potato choices include baked and Yukon gold mashed. “I pride myself on the fact that a couple can come in here and for under $100, they can eat very well; very well! A $50 check average is something you don’t see that much in a fine-dining restaurant, especially when that total includes a very good, generous salad and either mashed or baked potato to go with your steak. That’s value.” As for the beef, Tony’s features prime and choice beef, and seafood that is very fresh, sustainable, and best-of-market. On the beef, his purveyor ages the beef for 21 to 35 days and provides the strips and filets in loins. The chef cuts the beef to spec in the kitchen. Generally, the New York strip steaks and bone-in ribeyes are prime beef, and the filets are choice. A little inside tip is that since filets come from the tenderloin where there is no marbling to speak of, choice beef is the better choice. It costs less and is every bit as good as a prime cut would be. So, better value. The seafood is delivered fresh every other day, and the chef orders only the best, and only enough to make it to the next delivery. If they run out, they run out. Now, what about perception? In writing about restaurants, one food-quality indicator for me is the salad course. The salad is the firstimpression opportunity for an eating establishment; a showcase, really. Yet, often, the salad is just so-so. Or worse. We had a Caesar and an iceberg wedge (hold the bacon), and both were freshly made, carefully plated, crisp, cold and delicious. Tony informed me that he keeps a dedicated person on the salad station, preparing each salad to order, just like the steaks. It shows, believe me. And the steaks were superb. The New York strip, called the Dallas Clark on the menu, was juicy, tender, flavorful and large. The menu says a 14-ounce cut, and it was at least that, and likely more. The filet was fork tender and also delicious. Both steaks were done exactly to order. Tony’s is open seven days, for dinner only, beginning at 5 p.m. Wine dinners are offered periodically, and the menu includes: appetizers; side dishes such as sautéed spinach, asparagus and roasted mushrooms; pasta dishes such as puttanesca and rig-a-Tony; steak toppers; and desserts. There is a full bar, and a quality wine list. See you at Tony’s.
By Bob Wilhelmy Dining Editor A person’s name on a restaurant means something, in my book. No better example will you find of just how much it can mean than at Tony’s, where Tony Ricci is out to wow you. He believes with conviction in “genuine hospitality and great food.” He told me so, and reinforced every word as we ate and watched him provide the “owner’s” touch in his restaurant on a recent dining occasion. He checked on tables, making sure dining experiences were just so. He chatted with regulars, seated guests and moved around the dining room with a sense of purpose. Tony Ricci wanted to ensure that every guest was pleased with every aspect of dining with him. You could say he takes it personal, and you’d be right.
“People around the dinner table, eating, sharing —it’s a cultural extension of who I am. It’s just natural.” Tony Ricci
“The hospitality, the approach in the dining room, all that comes from my up-bringing and family experiences,” he said. “People around the dinner table, eating, sharing—it’s a cultural extension of who I am. It’s just natural. Most people, they eat to live, but some cultures, the people live to eat.” Ricci named Italians, Greeks and Jews as examples of such live-toeat cultures. Of course, hospitality goes only so far in pleasing diners. The payoff is the food. Here, too, Tony Ricci takes pride, and the food quality will tell you his pride is well founded. “For me, it’s perception, value and flavor. All those have to be present, and hospitality seals the deal,” he said. The perception we’ll get to, but in the value category, Tony’s achieves a value standard few American fine-dine restaurants reach, he said. He places emphasis on offering both a choice of salads and of potatoes with your steak and chop entrée selections. The
(Top-bottom) Tony Ricci stands in the midst of his restaurant’s dining room; The steak pictured is one of three sizes of filet mignon offered at Tony’s.
Tony’s 12110 Montgomery Road Cincinnati, Ohio 45140 (513)677 - 1993
DINING OUT • 15
THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2013
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4858 Hunt Rd • Blue Ash, 45242 (513) 891-8900 • Fax 834-8012
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16 • OPINION
Netanyahu must take a page from Sadat By Marc Schneier Jewish Telegraphic Agency NEW YORK – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is correct to describe a new proposal by the Arab League to revive IsraeliPalestinian peace talks as “a very big step forward.” Yet there will be no serious movement toward peace until Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responds to the Arab League initiative by evoking the words of the late Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat before traveling to Jerusalem in the later 1970s, vowing “to go to the ends of the earth” – even to the Qatari capital of Doha or the Saudi capital of Riyadh – in order to achieve peace. The new peace initiative, which was presented to Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden by a Qatari-led Arab delegation in Washington on April 30, would revive – and improve, from Israel’s standpoint – the so-called Saudi Peace Initiative of 2002. That proposal, subsequently endorsed by the entire Arab League, promised Israel full peace and recognition in exchange for a return to its pre-1967 borders. Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani presented the new initiative, which would accept for the first time a modification of those borders. According to Al Thani, “The Arab League delegation affirms that agreement should be based on the two-state solution, on the basis of the 4th of June 1967 line” with the possibility of a “comparable and mutual agreed minor swap(s) of the land.” This important Arab League initiative comes in the wake of another significant but little noticed development that also originated in the Gulf: an April 8 resolution by the Kingdom of Bahrain condemning Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. The outlawing of Hezbollah, overwhelmingly passed by Bahrain’s parliament, represents the first known instance that an Arab country has used the T word to describe a militant Arab organization like Hezbollah, which has rained missiles on northern Israel and last year murdered Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. When I visited Bahrain in December 2011, becoming the first rabbi to meet with King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah in his palace, the king told me – as widely reported by the media – that
Bahrain and Israel share a common enemy in Hezbollah’s patron, Iran, which sits directly across the narrow Persian Gulf from Bahrain and other Gulf states including the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait. Yet nearly a month after the Bahraini statement, there has been no official response by the Government of Israel. Indeed, when a reporter for the Times of Israel asked the Israeli Foreign Ministry why it has not commended Bahrain for its anti-Hezbollah stand, a spokesman blandly responded, “If the Bahrainis had wanted Israel to say something, they could have sent us a message through diplomatic channels. Since they didn’t, we didn’t.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may well have decided to err on the side of caution in responding to both the Bahraini and Arab League initiatives by waiting to see whether support will hold up across the Arab world. Yet this is one of those critical moments in Middle East history when an excess of caution may doom hopes for a breakthrough by strengthening cynicism and peace process fatigue on both sides. Following the dramatic steps by Bahrain, Qatar and the Arab League, Netanyahu needs to respond in similarly dramatic fashion. Just as Sadat fundamentally transformed Israeli-Egyptian relations 35 years ago by declaring his willingness to travel even to Jerusalem, Netanyahu should declare his readiness to fly to Doha or Riyadh to demonstrate his genuine desire for peace – with the Palestinians as well as Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states. The Israeli government and people need to remember that Israel exists and is destined to live forever in the heart of the Middle East, not the Middle West. The Jewish state can only secure its long-term survival by reaching an accommodation with the Arab world – or at least an important part of it. Thankfully, the positive initiatives of the past few weeks by Bahrain and the Arab League delegation led by Qatar – neither of which would have taken place without the encouragement and support of Saudi Arabia – make clear that a historic opportunity exists for Israel to build a strategic alliance with the oil-rich states of the Arabian Peninsula. NETANYAHU on page 22
C O R R E C T I O N: In the article titled “Torah navigation leads to new journeys,” published on May 9, 2013, a name was missspelled. Russel Neiss is the correct spelling. We regret the error.
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Dear Editor, “Do not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor,” Leviticus 19:16. The Greater Cincinnati Board of Rabbis strongly supports Governor Kasich in his request to expand Medicaid coverage in Ohio as provided for by the Affordable Care Act, and urges our state representatives to vote for this expansion. We see this as a clear “win/win” decision, on the one hand doing what is right, moral and good (providing health care coverage for Ohioans with low income), and on the other hand, reducing Ohio’s health care expenses. Sometimes taking the moral high ground requires sacrifice. In this case, no sacrifice is needed. Rather, it is in everyone’s best interests to provide better health care at less cost via Medicaid expansion. Judaism holds that the life and health of individuals is of great importance, and providing health care is a societal obligation. Almost all self-governing Jewish communities throughout history set up systems to ensure that all their citizens had access to health care. Doctors were required to reduce their rates for poor patients, and when that was not sufficient, communal subsidies were established (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 249:16). We hope our representatives in the Ohio legislature will concur by expanding Medicaid coverage, thereby enabling Ohioans to take care of the health care needs of our low income neighbors while reducing our state health care expenditures. Sincerely, The Greater Cincinnati Board of Rabbis, Rabbi Elena Stein, President Dear Editor, I am a parent of an AEPi executive board member at Miami University. I am writing to let prior AEPi members who attended Miami University that the chapter is in danger of expulsion. I am the mother of the only member from Cincinnati. They are facing expulsion for two years from the University, despite appeals to University officials. AEPi is a small minority fraternity on campus. It welcomes not only Jews but have blacks and Hispanics in their chapter. They are fighting a losing battle to remain on campus. They admit they engaged in hazing where they asked pledges to drink a gallon of milk in half an
hour, and consume a burrito in five minutes. For this, they are to be kicked out. They do not deny this and would welcome a penalty to remain on campus and want to make amends. They are not being held to the same standard as fellow fraternities that faced expulsion and on appeal were reinstated in the past for worse transgressions. For example, Phi Delta Theta members tampered with grades. Zeta Beta Tau had a liquor olympics that forced copious amounts of liquor on pledges that resulted in hospitalization, yet were reinstated upon appeal. AEPi has had two appeals denied. AEPi national leadership has been shut out of the appeals process when they tried to intervene on behalf of AEPi Miami U. chapter. They had AEPi national headquarters’ advisors and mediators sent to help their cause. The AEPi leadership at national level were not allowed to attend appeals meetings. And were barred from these meetings. AEPi doesn’t have the wealth and clout of some of the other fraternities on campus. They are a small minority fraternity on campus unique to the University. They have engaged in charity work. Many of the students go to Hillel as well, and they have good grades. Despite this, two appeals were denied and they were called a bad organization. Why such a double standard? AEPi is a fraternity where many young Jewish men have found a home for themselves. They also engage with other AEPi chapters several times a year at conventions, and are welcome as brothers when visiting other schools. I hope that they can work something out with officials such as President Hodge of the University. Many parents participated in a letter writing appeal which was to no avail. Obviously, Miami University doesn’t appreciate the diversity that was fostered by AEPi. Jewish kids from all over the country at Miami University have found a place to socialize. Hillel is important, but there is a Jewish frat house too. Some families have siblings who pass the torch of membership onto younger family members. My son has found a home within AEPi and made good friends, if AEPi is removed it will have a difficult time growing to strength again or may not be back for years. Clearly this is about fairness and holding this chapter to a double standard. Sincerely, Elana Kuperstein Rosen Cincinnati, OH Dear Editor, These are my thoughts on
Obama’s trip to Israel. Several weeks in this section of AI, I wrote about President Obama’s upcoming trip to Israel. Many of us were apprehensive of what to expect. Would he make Israel a pariah, declare recognition of a Palestinian state? As we now know, the outcome was simply a ‘love-fest’ between Obama and Netanyahu, what the press had referred to as archenemies. There was so much positive said about his itinerary and comments that the Arab press universally and bitterly complained. I guess, when the Arab press is unified in their condemnation of Obama, it can’t be all that bad! There are a few points I’d like to share that illustrate what can be hoped for as a new relationship between President Obama and Israel. (1) Right to defend herself. Several times during his visit Obama referred to Israel’s right to defend herself, whether in the context of Iran, Hezbollah or Hamas. It was hard to determine whether Obama outscored Netanyahu on this talking point or vice versa. (2) Affirmation of the Jewish right to the land. Obama’s visit to the Dead Sea Scrolls /Israeli Museum, while disappointing to Islamic extremists, affirmed the historic Jewish connection to the land. His visit to Yad Vashem affirmed the consequences of evil perpetrated on the Jewish people. (3) Future decisions. While some criticized Obama’s open meeting with common citizenry and students and feared a different message, Obama remained on point and not prescriptive (i.e., calling settlements illegal). While he did challenge all Israelis and Palestinians to consider ways to make peace without preconditions, importantly, Obama acknowledged its inherent risks. He referred to an Israel seeking peace by withdrawing from Lebanon and Gaza, only to be rewarded with new hatred and wars. Finally, Obama recognized that Israel’s neighborhood has changed. While an Arab Spring brought hope to the region, the current net effect has been more regional instability and uncertainty. Nonetheless, it was incumbent for Israelis (and Palestinians) to find ways to create a real and enduring peace. The prize was too great. One can only wonder what would have happened if Obama visited Israel and spoke these words four years ago. Out of naiveté much trust, opportunities, and precious time were lost. Sincerely, Ray Warren Amberley Village
JEWISH LIFE • 17
THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2013
throughout Jewish history: “Do not imagine in your soul that you will be able to escape in the king’s palace any more than the rest of the Jews. For if you persist in keeping silent at a time like this, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether it was just for a time such as this that you attained the royal position” (Esther 5:13,14). The Jews in Shushan gather for three days of prayer and fasting, Esther persuades the king to allow the Jews to protect themselves during the Persian “pogrom” against them, Haman and his sons are killed, and the Jewish community survives. The Talmud (B.T. Megila 14a) rules that despite all the other festivities, Hallel (psalms of praise) is not to be chanted on Purim; since “we still remained slaves to Ahasuerus” – and an Ahmadinejad can still become a replacement for Haman. Esther was born of Jewish parents but married the gentile Ahasuerus. Ruth was a Moabite, she followed Naomi to the Land of Israel, changing geographically and existentially by converting to Judaism. Her ancestor Lot had defected from Abraham when he left Israel and moved to Sodom, now she repaired this by becoming a second Abraham. Like our forefather, she left her birthplace and homeland for the Land of Israel, a strange nation and the God of ethical monotheism. In her own words, “Where you go, I will go” (to the Land of Israel) – “your nation will be my nation, your God shall be my God” (Ruth 1:16). In the deepest sense, Ruth entered Abraham’s “Covenant between the Parts” (Genesis 15). God promised Abraham that he would be an eternal nation, his seed would never be destroyed and his descendants would live in their homeland, Israel and through this nation, “all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Gen. 12:1). This is more than the survival of the Jews in Persia, this is world redemption. Hence Naomi sends Ruth to the threshing floor to seduce Boaz, to bear his Jewish seed, just as Tamar, the widowed daughterin-law of Naomi’s ancestor Judah the son of Jacob, had seduced her
father-in-law in order to bear his seed (Gen. 38). But Ruth is not satisfied. She understands that Jewish eternity is linked to two crucial components: Jewish seed in the land of Israel. She doesn’t consummate their relationship on the threshing floor; she asks him to “redeem” her, to buy back Naomi’s familial inheritance and to marry her “in accordance with the law of Moses and Israel” so that her descendants can be Jews in the Jewish homeland. Through their actions, Esther succeeded in gaining a respite in persecution, which is the most we can hope for in galut (exile). Ruth succeeded in entering Jewish eternity, the Abrahamic Covenant, and due to her compassionate righteousness and loving-kindness toward Naomi she became the herald of Jewish redemption. Her journey leads to the day when the nations of the world will join the family of Abraham, father of a multitude of nations. 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: NASO (BAMIDBAR 4:21—7:89) days are over 1. How does one become a Nazir? b.) A Beth Din declares it over a.) By making an oath b.) Signing an agreement with the kohen c.) Brings sacrifices c.) Offering a sacrifice 4. When did Samson become a Nazir? 2. What could force the Nazir to a.) At birth recount his time? b.) Six years a.) Drinking wine c.) At his Bar Mitvah b.) Shaving hair or beard c.) Contact with a corpse 5. Who made Samson a Nazir? a.) Angel of Hashem 3. How does a person end his b.) His Father term of Nazir? c.) His Mother a.) Make a declaration that the thirty 4. A Judges 13:5 5. A Judges 13:3
EFRAT, Israel – This week’s reading of Naso describes the “Sota,” the woman who acts immodestly. At the very least, she sequesters herself alone with a man despite the fact that her husband warned her against seeing that person. She therefore undergoes the test of the bitter waters. However, during the spring holiday period, we saw two other women – great heroines of our people, Esther (Purim) and Ruth (Shavuot) who also commit immodest acts, for which they are ultimately praised and through which salvation and redemption are brought about. Let us revisit their stories to see how they differ from that of the Sota. Both heroines compromise their modesty and perhaps even their chastity, Esther with Ahasuerus in the palace of the king and Ruth with Boaz on the threshing floor in Efrat. Moreover, both of these outstanding women hail from gentile countries of exile and one even from gentile stock: Esther from Persia and Ruth from Moab. But here is where the comparisons end. Although each of these two women undergoes a profound, existential change, a switch in direction with profound ramifications, they part company in very significant ways. Esther seems to have been an assimilating Jewess who was eager to become the Queen of Persia. She used her Persian name – from the pagan goddess Astarte – rather than her Hebrew name Hadassah; she is taken for the nighttime beauty contest and undergoes a 12-month preparatory beauty treatment without protest. She even concurs with Mordecai (her cousin, or even perhaps her husband as the midrash suggests) not to reveal her national heritage (lest she be rejected on the grounds that she is Jewish – see the suggestion, albeit rejected by the Ibn Ezra). It is only when Mordecai publicly demonstrates in front of the king’s gate in sackcloth and ashes against Haman’s decree to annihilate the Jews of Persia, bidding Esther to “come out of the closet,” as it were, and go before the king on behalf of her people, that Esther puts her life on the line. By doing so, she becomes one of the greatest penitents of Jewish history. The words Mordecai uses to convince Esther have reverberated
Both heroines compromise their modesty and perhaps even their chastity, Esther with Ahasuerus in the palace of the king and Ruth with Boaz on the threshing floor in Efrat.
2. C 6:12 3. C 6:13
by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin
SHABBAT SHALOM: PARSHAT NASO NUMBERS 4:21-7:89
Written by Rabbi Dov Aaron Wise
ANSWERS 1. A 6:2
Sedra of the Week
18 • JEWZ IN THE NEWZ
By Nate Bloom Contributing Columnist HONORS NEWS The 2013 induction ceremony for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was held on April 18 and, on Saturday, May 18, at 9PM, HBO will broadcast ceremony highlights (many encore showings). Three tribe members were inducted: RANDY NEWMAN, 69; GEDDY LEE, 59 (as a member of the three-man Canadian rock band, “Rush”); and LOU ADLER, 79. Newman, who began as a singer-songwriter, has mostly been a film score composer since 1981. He’s been nominated for 20 Oscars (won twice) – and while he has only had one pop hit (“Short People”), his songs (“I Think It’s Going to Rain Today”) have been recorded by a who’s who of pop/rock singers. His 1974 song, “Louisiana 1927,” about a great flood, became virtually the theme song for Hurricane Katrina (2005) benefits. Lee, the band’s bassist and lead vocalist, is an icon for progressive rock devotees. Lee was born Gary Lee Weinrib, the son of two concentration camp survivors. He’s referenced his parents’ experience in a couple of “Rush” songs. In 1995, he accompanied his mother to Bergen-Belsen to mark the 50th anniversary of the camp’s liberation. Adler has worn many hats. His record company discovered the Mamas and the Papas. He was a mentor to CAROLE KING, 71, who sang a song in his honor at the ceremony. He produced the great (for-charity) 1967 Monterey Pop festival, which showcased incredibly talented new faces in rock music, like Jimi Hendrix. Also, Adler had the great sense (and great mazel) to buy up the rights to the stage version of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and turn it into a movie. (He always sits courtside at Lakers’ games, next to Jack Nicholson, and Nicholson was at the HOF ceremony.) On Monday, May 20, at 9PM, most PBS stations will show an “American Experience” documentary about MEL BROOKS, 86. This is the first time Brooks aided in the making of a documentary about himself and he says he’s very pleased with the film. SAVING EARTH, AGAIN J.J. ABRAMS, 46, the director of “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” says that this will be the last time he helms a “re-boot” of the “Trek” franchise (Opens today). Abrams’ first Trek pic, “Star Trek” (2009), was a box office and critical suc-
cess. Advance reviews of “Darkness” indicate Abrams will go out on a very high note. Chris Pine, whose maternal grandpa was Jewish, returns as Capt. Kirk. ANTON YELCHIN, 24, once again plays Ensign Pavel Chevkov. PRETTY WOMEN NEWS As I write this, actress MILA KUNIS, 29, and her boyfriend of about a year, actor Ashton Kutcher, are reportedly set to travel to Israel. Kutcher is supposed to check out some high tech companies and, perhaps, touch base with his Israel-based Kabbalah Centre buddies. Reports that Kunis is not enamored with the semi-cultish Centre seem borne out by the fact that she’s never been spotted going to Centre facilities with Kutcher. Reports that Kutcher is about to convert to mainstream Judaism are only found in the “make-it-up” corners of the internet. Still, according to NATALIE PORTMAN, 31, Kutcher knows a great deal about Judaism and can read Hebrew (it’s unclear if he can speak/understand much Hebrew). On the positive side: he probably is the driving force in getting Kunis to visit Israel and may actually lead her to be more formally (mainstream) religious. In short, it’s hard to say how the relationship between Kutcher, who follows a “Jew-Ish” religion (Kabbalah Centre), and Kunis, who has a firm, if almost completely secular Jewish identity, will play out. By the way, FHM magazine just selected Kunis as their 2013 “sexiest woman in the world.” I guess it’s an honor, even though FHM, a UK based mag, has a peculiar idea of the “world”: almost all the women on the list are Brits and Americans and most Americans wouldn’t know who most of the Brits on the list are. Actress KAT DENNINGS, 26 (“2 Broke Girls”) recently appeared on “The Chelsea Handler Show” and told HANDLER, 38, that she and big-time rap star DRAKE, 26, are just friends. A couple of months ago, Drake tweeted something nice about her (they met long ago when they worked on an indie film). This led to a flood of tweets from Drake fans directed to Dennings’ twitter account. Rumors that they were dating went into overdrive when they were spotted dining at a sushi restaurant. Dennings, who is dating a TV series co-star, added that Drake is “very intelligent and a perfect gentleman.” She was a bit weirded-out, however, by the hovering presence of Drake’s large security entourage.
FROM THE PAGES 150 Y EARS A GO The Italian Opera has proved a success. Large and brilliant audiences have assembled nightly in this beautiful theater to listen to the soul-stirring music of the greatest composers. The early part of this week was devoted to Meyerbeer’s latest grand work, “Dinorah,” in which M’lle. Angiolina Cordier made her debut, and she sustained the character of the heroine admirably; her beautiful execution of the celebrated “Shadow air” was received with enthusiastic applause. The Orchestra is all that could be desired, and though the choir is rather weak, numerically, it contains some very excellent voices. This Friday evening, Halevy’s great compostition “The Jewess” will be produced, with Mlles. Lorini and Cordier in the prinicipal characters. It will no doubt attract an immense audience. – May 29, 1863
125 Y EARS A GO Mr. and Mrs. Hirschheimer and son, of Pittsfield, Ill., are on a visit to the city, the guests of Mrs. G. Moritz, of West Ninth Street. Mr. Hirschheimer has been a continuous subscriber to THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE since 1856. Among those present at the Heinsheimer silver wedding were the following: Mrs. Heinsheimer, mother of the groom, and his sisters: Mrs. Amanda Strauss, of Lexington, Ky.; Mrs. Julia Joseph, and Miss Nettie Heinsheimer, of Louisville. There was a most enjoyable picnic on Sunday last in the beautiful woods near Dr. Wise’s place, close to College Hill. A congenial party of young people made a day of it and all expresss the same opinon, viz., that they had a splendid time. Among those present were the Misses Lillie Goldsmith, Fanny Adelsdorfer, Stella Bauer, May Goldsmith, Erny Roth, Sara Wolfstein, Nettie Mannheimer, Tillie Lowenstein, Fiora Hanauer, and the Messsers. Lep Block, Henry Wildberg, Lee Ach, Harry Lowenstein, Clifton Levy, Sol Kahn, Will Friedman, Abe May, Ike Meyer, Julius Josephy. The affair was a most enjoyable one, and all expressed themselves as highly pleased. – May 18, 1888
100 Y EARS A GO Nahum Sokolov, member of the Zionist Inner Actions Committee, who is touring the country, delivering eloquent addresses in English, German, Hebrew and Yiddish, has concluded his visit to Cincinnati, and gone to St. Louis. During his stay here
he addressed the general public at the Emery Auditorium. An admission was charged and, perhaps in consequence, the audience was most disappointing in numbers. Those who failed to go, whether Zionists, non-Zionists or antiZionists missed an intellectual treat. Mr. Sokolov spoke for nearly two hours in English, and held his audience spell-bound throughout. The following evening, Friday, he spoke in Hebrew in the Plum Street Temple under the auspices of the Hebrew speaking society “Ibria.” Rabbi Louis Grossman acted as Chairman of the meeting. Addresses in Hebrew were also made by Prof. David Nenmark, Prof. Gotthard Deutsch and Joshua Block, President of the Hebrew-Speakng Society. – May 15, 1913
75 Y EARS A GO Mrs. Carl Strauss (Eleanore Mendelson) has as her guest her twin sister, Mrs. George J. Rau (Irma Mendelson), of Engi, Switzerland. Mrs. Rau has been visiting her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Julius Mendelson, of Brooklyn. Mrs. Strauss entertained in honor of her sister at her home on St. James Place, with a luncheon. The guests included former Smith College classmates of Mrs. Strauss and Mrs. Rau. Relatives and friends gathered at a dinner at the Cincinnati Club Friday, in honor of the 70th birthday of Dr. Charles S. Levi, formerly associated with the late Rabbi Isaac M. Wise in the then Plum Street (now Wise) Temple in Cincinnati. Dr. Levi is a graduate of the Hebrew Union College. Those attending the dinner included: CINCINNATI: Polly Albright, Dr. and Mrs. Henry C. Rotter, Edwin A. Levi, Evelyn Levi, Peggy Wolf, Fanchon Rotter, Martin Rotter, Abe Baumring, Dorothy Baumring, Charles Wolf, Myrtle Wolf, Louis Levi, Mr. and Mrs. Leon Levi, Ralph Baumring, Mr. and Mrs. Abe S. Levi. Mr. and Mrs. Max Marmer of Iliff Avenue, Price Hill will celebrate their golden wedding anniversary Sunday. – May 26, 1938
50 Y EARS A GO Philip M. and Sidney Meyers were honored Wednesday evening at a testimonial and victory dinner at the Jewish Community Center. The dinner climaxed a community-wide fund-raising campaign by the city’s four Reform temples on behalf of the Combined Campaign for American Reform Judaism. Dr. Nelson Glueck, president
of the Hebrew Union CollegeJewish Institute of Religion, presented awards – statuettes of the Prophet Isaiah – to the two brothers for their service and leadership in Reform Judaism. Miss Nancy Schott, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Stuart Schottt, has been designated winner of the first Herbert J. Kahn Youth Leadership Honor Award for the Jewish youth who exemplifies the highest qualities of leadership. Judge Benjamin S. Schwartz will make the presentation at the Teen Age Council’s annual award banquet Sunday at the Jewish Community Center. – May 16, 1963
25 Y EARS A GO Fran Cohen was presented with one of the Elizabeth Campbell Outstanding Public Broadcasting Volunteer Awards at the National Friends of Public Broadcasting Awards Luncheon during their April Conference in Washington, D.C. She is the first Cincinnatian to receive this award. Sue Platt has been appointed chairman of the annual meeting of the Jewish Community Relations Council, to be held on Friday at the Omni Netherland Plaza. Platt is active in numerous community organizations, and is a member of Adath Israel Synagogue. According to JCRC President June Burgin, Platt “has planned an outstanding event, with a program that is both timely and provocative.” Dr. Daniel J. Ransohoff will be the featured speaker at the annual meeting of Jewish Family Service on Thursday. The meeting will be held at the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History. A picnic dinner will be served. – May 19, 1988
10 Y EARS A GO An overflow crowd of over 200 people, observing the state’s 23rd annual Holocaust Commemoration, filled the North Hall outside Ohio Gov. Bob Taft’s office at the Statehouse. Cincinnatian Henry Blumenstein, 67, a Holocaust survivor who lost famiy members during the Shoah, was the keynote speaker. This year’s recipient of the Mesel Wieder Mensch Award is Stan Grad. The award will be presented at the Jewish Federation annual meeting, Wednesday, at Adath Israel Synagogue. “Stars of the Year” Ollie Tunick and Mary Levenstein were honored at Na’amat’s annual luncheon where soon-to-be ordained Israeli Rabbi Dall Sara Marx addressed members. – May 22, 2003
CLASSIFIEDS • 19
THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2013
COMMUNITY CALENDAR June 4 7:30 p.m. - Adath Israel Annual Meeting 3201 E. Galbraith Rd. (513) 793-1800
All of May Jewish American Heritage Month May 19 2 p.m. - Jewish American Heritage Month Guest Lecture with Carmi Neiger Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County 800 Vine St. (513) 369-6900 May 23 7 p.m. - Jewish Federation of Cincinnati Annual Meeting Mayerson JCC 8485 Ridge Rd. (513) 985-1534 May 29 6:30 p.m. - AJC Annual Meeting Losantiville Country Club 3097 Losantiville Ave. (513) 621-4020 June 1 6 p.m. - Evening at the Piano Lounge Wise Temple 8329 Ridge Rd. (513) 793-2556 June 3 7:30 a.m. - Jewish National Fund Annual Breakfast Mayerson JCC 8485 Ridge Rd. (513) 794-1300
June 6 Golf 8 a.m. or 1:15 p.m., Mah Jongg at 1:30 p.m., Tennis 2:30 p.m., Dinner 6 p.m. - JCC Adams Golf Classic & Tennis Open Losantiville Country Club 3097 Losantiville Ave. (513) 722-7220 June 11 7 p.m. - JCRC Annual Meeting Mayerson JCC 8485 Ridge Rd. (513) 985-1500 June 11 6:00 p.m. - Rockdale Annual Meeting 8501 Ridge Rd. (513) 891-9900 June 25 7p.m. - JFS Annual Meeting 8487 Ridge Rd. (513) 766-3326
COMMUNITY DIRECTORY COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS ORGANIZATIONS Access (513) 373-0300 • jypaccess.org Big Brothers/Big Sisters Assoc. (513) 761-3200 • bigbrobigsis.org Camp Ashreinu (513) 702-1513 Camp at the J (513) 722-7258 • mayersonjcc.org Camp Chabad (513) 731-5111 • campchabad.org Camp Livingston (513) 793-5554 • camplivingston.com Cedar Village (513) 754-3100 • cedarvillage.org Chevra Kadisha (513) 396-6426 Cincinnati Community Kollel (513) 631-1118 • kollel.shul.net Cincinnati Community Mikveh (513) 351-0609 • cincinnatimikveh.org Eruv Hotline (513) 351-3788 Fusion Family (513) 703-3343 • fusionnati.org Halom House (513) 791-2912 • halomhouse.com Hillel Jewish Student Center (Miami) (513) 523-5190 • muhillel.org Hillel Jewish Student Center (UC) (513) 221-6728 • hillelcincinnati.org Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Cincinnati 513-961-0178 • jcemcin.org Jewish Community Center (513) 761-7500 • mayersonjcc.org Jewish Community Relations Council (513) 985-1501 Jewish Family Service (513) 469-1188 • jfscinti.org Jewish Federation of Cincinnati (513) 985-1500 • shalomcincy.org Jewish Foundation (513) 214-1200 Jewish Information Network (513) 985-1514 JVS Career Services (513) 985-0515 • jvscinti.org Kesher (513) 766-3348 Plum Street Temple Historic Preservation Fund (513) 793-2556
Shalom Family (513) 703-3343 • myshalomfamily.org The Center for Holocaust & Humanity Education (513) 487-3055 • holocaustandhumanity.org Vaad Hoier (513) 731-4671 Workum Fund (513) 899-1836 • workum.org YPs at the JCC (513) 761-7500 • mayersonjcc.org CONGREGATIONS CONGREGATIONS Adath Israel Congregation (513) 793-1800 • adath-israel.org Beit Chaverim (513) 984-3393 • btzbc.com Beth Israel Congregation (513) 868-2049 • bethisraelcongregation.net Congregation Beth Adam (513) 985-0400 • bethadam.org Congregation B’nai Tzedek (513) 984-3393 • btzbc.com Congregation Ohav Shalom (513) 489-3399 • ohavshalom.org Congregation Ohr Chadash (513) 252-7267 • ohrchadashcincinnati.com Congregation Sha’arei Torah shaareitorahcincy.org Congregation Zichron Eliezer 513-631-4900 • czecincinnati.org Golf Manor Synagogue (513) 531-6654 • golfmanorsynagogue.org Isaac M. Wise Temple (513) 793-2556 • wisetemple.org Kehilas B’nai Israel (513) 761-0769 Northern Hills Synagogue (513) 931-6038 • nhs-cba.org Rockdale Temple (513) 891-9900 • rockdaletemple.org Temple Beth Shalom (513) 422-8313 • tbsohio.org Temple Sholom (513) 791-1330 • templesholom.net The Valley Temple (513) 761-3555 • valleytemple.com EDUCA EDUCATION Chai Tots Early Childhood Center (513) 234.0600 • chaitots.com
Chabad Blue Ash (513) 793-5200 • chabadba.com Cincinnati Hebrew Day School (513) 351-7777 • chds.shul.net HUC-JIR (513) 221-1875 • huc.edu JCC Early Childhood School (513) 793-2122 • mayersonjcc.org Kehilla - School for Creative Jewish Education (513) 489-3399 • kehilla-cincy.com Mercaz High School (513) 792-5082 x104 • mercazhs.org Kulanu (Reform Jewish High School) 513-262-8849 • kulanucincy.org Regional Institute Torah & Secular Studies (513) 631-0083 Rockwern Academy (513) 984-3770 • rockwernacademy.org Sarah’s Place (513) 531-3151 • sarahsplacecincy.com Yeshivas Lubavitch High School of Cincinnati 513-631-2452 • ylcincinnati.com ORGANIZATIONS ORGANIZATIONS American Jewish Committee (513) 621-4020 • ajc.org American Friends of Magen David Adom (513) 521-1197 • afmda.org B’nai B’rith (513) 984-1999 BBYO (513) 722-7244 Hadassah (513) 821-6157 • cincinnati.hadassah.org Jewish Discovery Center (513) 234.0777 • jdiscovery.com Jewish National Fund (513) 794-1300 • jnf.org Jewish War Veterans (513) 204-5594 • jwv.org NA’AMAT (513) 984-3805 • naamat.org National Council of Jewish Women (513) 891-9583 • ncjw.org State of Israel Bonds (513) 793-4440 • israelbonds.com Women’s American ORT (513) 985-1512 • ortamerica.org
DO YOU WANT TO PLACE A CLASSIFIED? Send an e-mail including what you would like in your classified & your contact information to
business@ americanisraelite.com or call Erin at 621-3145
DEFENDANTS from page 6 Martin Stern, an Israeli citizen born in England, whose mother escaped Germany during the Holocaust and whose wife’s family survived World War II in Scandinavia, told JNS that the Claims Conference has been lax in its surveillance of the reparations application process. “The [Claims Conference] staff was told [by the German government] to ‘get us people… find us names,’” Stern said. “There was a demand to find more and more claimants.” Stern said Germany “signed more and more agreements to pay survivors, and the Claims Conference needed to find more and more survivors who did not exist.” The indictment against the Claims Conference employees stated that during one month, one employee typically approved applications for Holocaust reparations in just a few days, whereas other caseworkers generally spent at least 60 days reviewing an application before approving it. Schneider has indicated his investigation and eventual discovery of the fraud was sparked by the realization that certain applications were processed with unusual speed, rather than the normal period of several months. In December 1999, the U.S. and German governments agreed to a $5.2 billion settlement that Germany would pay to resolve all Holocaust-era slave and forced labor claims by survivors against German companies, and the Claims Conference has administered Germany’s reparations payments to the survivors. Attorney Sam Dubbin, who has worked on behalf of Holocaust survivors in Florida, told JNS that the entire ISLAMISM from page 9 Mali, which used to be part of a federal entity with Senegal, last year witnessed an Islamic insurgency so powerful that French troops were called in to quell it. Some 475,000 people became refugees, many of them in Senegal. Some observers believe Senegal is wooing Israel and the West mainly for protection from the Islamic upheaval. “The effects of the insurgency are not felt here for the time being,” said Oleg Sergeev, minister-coun-
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Up to 24 hour care Meal Preparation Errands/Shopping Hygiene Assistance Light Housekeeping
(513) 531-9600 current system for compensating survivors is flawed and that there should have been “no individual settlement.” “The Jewish community should have offered survivors three things: home care and assisted living insurance, Medicare supplement, and funeral insurance so survivors could live with dignity and not be a burden to their children,” Dubbin said. He added, “We made a mistake for all survivors by not going that way.” Defendant Esfira Bas, who has admitted to processing 60 fraudulent reparations applications, became a witness for the U.S. government during the trial. Bas was not a Claims Conference employee and agreed to cooperate in hopes of receiving a lighter sentence, according to facts cited in court during her testimony. “The recipients all knew they were not eligible,” Bas said in court. “Some were born after the war.” Bas noted that advertisements promoting the program were placed in Russian-language newspapers. Bas said she collected documents, even from those she knew to be clearly ineligible for reparations, and passed them to a person named “Fainia.” For her part in the scam, Bas said she received $9,000. Bas stated in court that she has provided all the information available to her to the FBI and other U.S. government agencies. She stated she “had no contact” with the applicants and acted “because they gave money back” to her. When asked if she considered how her part in perpetrating the fraud would affect Holocaust survivors, she responded, “I did not think about it.” selor of the Russian Embassy in Dakar. “But the Senegalese authorities are turning westward out of concern over the possibility that the Mali insurgency may be trickling over.” As an impoverished Muslim nation heavily dependent on foreign aid, Senegal must toe a careful line in its embrace of the Jewish state. AntiSemitic books with titles such as “Hitler the Zionist Puppet” are sold here at bookstands and in 2009, several hundred people burned an Israeli flag at a rally to protest Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.
20 • A&E / FIRST PERSON
Global water dances—Cincinnati What: Global Water DancesCincinnati at Paddlefest/Pedalfest 2013 is a multi-media event of unprecedented scope, using the power of the arts to engage members of our region on the critical topic of sustainable water purity, safety and availability here and around the world. Where: Serpentine Wall on the Ohio River (located at Yeatman’s Cove between the Purple People Bridge and Taylor-Southgate Bridge, at the foot of Broadway on Pete Rose Way). When: 10 a.m. on June 22, to kick off the Paddlefest Finish Line Festival. Over 3,000 kayakers and
canoers will be floating by, creating a moving backdrop honoring our beautiful Ohio River. Why: To bring awareness to the critical issue of pure, clean, safe, available drinking water to ensure the sustainability of our planet Earth, her people, animals, plants and ecosystems. Global Water Dances is a visionary global initiative in which groups across the world unite to raise awareness of water quality and availability issues through the power of the arts. Who: Over 100 artists including dancers, choreographers, musicians, visual artists and key
environmental groups in the Greater Cincinnati region under the artistic leadership of Fanchon Shur, Lead Choreographer, and Shari Lauter, Composer/Music Director. Official event sponsors include ArtsWave, Greater Cincinnati Dance Alliance, Growth in Motion, and ShariSilks with event support from Paddlefest/Pedalfest 2013. How Much: Free to all. Donations day of event and advance sponsorships are welcome. All advance sponsors will be acknowledged verbally the day of the event and in print via programs, signs and press releases.
Russ and Daughters: Reflections and Recipes from the House That Herring Built By James A. Mills Book Review Editor Joel Russ, an immigrant from Strzyzov in what is Poland today, started selling cured, smoked and pickled fish in New York’s Lower East Side in 1914. After a move to Houston Street nine years later, his store, known since the 1920s as Russ & Daughters, thrives in the same, but now much changed, location. Joel’s grandson, the author Mark Federman, gave up a promising career as a trial lawyer (Georgetown law school, no less) while in his 30s to become the third generation of Russes to run the family business. Federman makes it clear that while his decision was easy to make, leading the store through neighborhood, economic and technological change, proved to be a constant challenge. No kvetching from Federman, though. Leading Russ & Daughters into the 21st century was clearly a labor of love: love of family, of handling with smoked fish dealers and most of all, a love for the generations of eccentric and demanding customers who have made Russ & Daughters a unique American institution. Federman’s store history is much more than a business memoir. It is an insightful account of SYRIA from page 8 As many as 80,000 or more have been killed in Syria since the start of country’s civil war in 2011. As the Alawite regime of Bashar al-Assad strains to retain power, radical Sunni opposition groups, including elements of al Qaeda, are seeking to take control. “The Iranians are afraid that if the Sunni radicals will achieve a victory, this will affect the Sunni balance of power in Iraq and the Gulf,” Shapira said. Iran is attempting to take con-
the challenges in preserving a family business across generations, and a history of one of New York City’s most storied neighborhoods. And yes, there is plenty about the fish, too; from how to fillet a herring or slice lox, to selecting the best schmaltz herring. I confess to having made only one trip to Russ & Daughters. But I remember it well, and have recalled it frequently over the years. And each time I do, it is with the same sigh and smile that accompanies all reminiscences of a memorable nosh. A fellow fish gourmand and I took a cab from mid-town to Houston Street for a bagel my way (lox, lettuce, tomato, capers and a little onion). The store was busy and loud, but smelled, well, wonderful. The counterman sliced the lox before me, thin and almost translucent, and assembled the rest grudgingly but with care. The rest of the story is too personal to relate, but suffice it to say, it ended too soon. Who would enjoy Federman’s book? Lovers of all kinds of smoked or cured fish, of course. Students of the 20th century Jewish immigrant experience will find plenty of interest, too, as Federman tells the story of his neighborhood through the unique lens of his family’s modest store on Houston Street. Federman
chronicles tenement life, the importance of the once thriving Yiddish theater, the deterioration of the neighborhood as a result of rent control, and its current gentrification. Perhaps the most poignant and enduring part of Federman’s story, however, is his heartfelt description of the anxiety each generation of Russes experienced over the future of the store. Although all required their children to work considerable hours at the store, the decision of each succeeding generation to make the store a career has always been an entirely voluntary one. What if after attending college your child chooses a different life? Federman’s own fondest hope, his son who encouraged this hope from early childhood with a keen interest in fish anatomy, instead chose medicine (Federman admitted, “I was thinking sturgeon, not surgeon”). Federman’s daughter, though, stepped forward – unasked – and has, along with a cousin, modernized the store’s accounting and marketing and left Federman contented that Russ & Daughters is in very good hands for another generation. A very happy ending indeed, for Federman and for those who look forward to again taking a number and waiting for a slice (or 5 or 6) of heaven.
trol of Syria, to further entrench itself as the primary power broker of an empowered Shiite Crescent that includes Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Bahrain, and even parts of eastern Saudi Arabia. To do this, Iran needs the help of its most trusted proxy, Hezbollah, which has committed a laundry list of global terror attacks, but at the same time works to assert greater civil and even political control, as has been seen in Lebanon. “Hezbollah has two wings with one head,” Shapira said. “One
wing, the civilian wing, takes care of the population. This includes clinics, pharmacies, schools, and youth movement organizations. This wing functions to support the second wing: the military wing.” According to Shapria, the military wing has two divisions. The first is a militia, widely considered to be an organic arm of the Iranian army. The militia’s primary aim has been to fight against Israel, although now much of its attention is focused on Syria. The other arm is the well-known terrorist organization.
Retirement Incidentally Iris
by Iris Ruth Pastor Ha Ha. I am laughing so hard at my stupidity that I am almost falling off my kitchen stool. I thought retirement meant lazy days spent lounging on the couch popping chocolate covered cherries into my eager mouth, while avidly reading mindless romantic, bodice-tearing novels. Boy was I in for a big surprise. So far retirement has been catching up with all the annoying little errands I put off doing for the last decade and a half—fixing every broken piece of jewelry, trying my hardest to figure out the confusing maze of options on when to file for Social Security, picking a Medicare plan and prescription drug program. Not to mention my computer crashed in the midst of all this and I had to bravely face the dire consequences of poorly backed-up documents. Carbonite to the rescue. So far a vast amount of my retirement time has been learning the basic techy skills that everyone seems to know but me: Twitter. LinkedIn. Facebook. Pinterest. (I can’t even pronounce that one correctly.) And that doesn’t even take into account mastering the features of my newly leased car. The poor salesman probably rues the day I walked in the dealership showroom. Between setting up Sirius radio, figuring out the navigation system and remembering I don’t need a key to start the car, my mind is cluttered with a hopeless mass of disjointed directions, instructions and rules. Of course I will gleefully admit I have done some out-ofthe-box things in the weeks that I have not worked. I went to Target at 3 p.m. on a weekday afternoon in search of some reasonably priced work-out gear. Imagine that. And actually took the time to schlep my items to the dressing room, try on the tops I liked in each size from small to extra-large to properly assess the fit—rather than just grabbing a medium and heading for check-out. What an eye-opening experience to realize that the same garment in different sizes yields an array of different looks. And I’m not done yet with my adventures. Next week: a trip to
the cinema – all by myself. Midafternoon. The wonders of retirement never cease. I’m learning how to cook with herbs from my neighbor’s garden and can now readily identify thyme, rosemary, parsley and mint and all different varieties of basil. Too bad my cooking skills are still so rudimentary. I am taking a barre fitness class twice a week. To give you an idea of just how much I hate this exercise class, I have to attend the 8:15 a.m. class first thing in the morning or I won’t do it at all. And the favorite part of the class by far is cleaning the mat because that signals the end of the excruciating regimen. I actually read the Sunday New York Times before the next one arrives at my door and am learning all kinds of fascinating facts concerning human nature. For instance, do you know what heterosexual women prefer when looking for a satisfying sexual partner? Their choice was between genital size, broad shoulders and narrow waist or height? The shoulders and waist won out. Things are different since I retired. I actually paused in my shopping to listen to a pregnant woman hum as she stood in front of a display of picture frames. Living in the moment. I no longer check my email religiously every 15 minutes—ok —every 10. I no longer keep my iPhone in plain sight 24/7 nor pause when in face-to-face conversation with someone to check out each new message ping. Living in the moment. Things are different now that I have retired. I make my bed every morning because now I am the last one out of it, not my husband. I have time to talk to service people who keep my house free of snakes and spiders. If I don’t finish a project, I don't get stressed because I know I have the next day and the next to do it. I drive slower. I pick out grocery produce more deliberately and I talk to my mom every day. So far I have turned down two requests from businesses to work part-time. On the one hand, I feel fortunate that in this slowly recovering economy to be offered positions just three weeks after retiring. But a generalized malaise has slipped over me and the thought of being accountable to anyone but myself leaves me feeling anxious and put upon. My gut tells me to take this magical window of opportunity to follow my bliss, pursue my dreams and preserve my bloom. As my husband patiently reminds me, if not now, when? Keep Coping, Iris Ruth Pastor
FOOD / AUTOS • 21
THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2013
All about food Zell’s Bites
by Zell Schulman This coming week, on Tuesday evening, May 14, at sundown the holiday of Shavuot will begin. Known by several names, such as “the season of the giving of our law,” “the feast of weeks” and “the festival of the first fruits,” it is a holiday which has wonderful memories for me. Months of planning and preparation will come to fruition. I remember being dressed in a beautiful white dress, with ruffles. The celebration was held at the old Rockdale Temple. I was carrying a basket filled with plums. Walking down the aisle with another child, as we got closer to the bimah, I saw Rabbi Philipson, of blessed memory, waiting for me with a lovely smile on his face. The families were so proud and happy, watching us. It is this holiday of Shavuot at which Jewish children confirm their acceptance of the Torah making a Covenant (or contract) between God and Israel. We walked toward the Bimah by two’s. As we got closer to the rabbi, he bent down and blessed us, then we walked forward and were handed a miniature Torah. I remember taking it and holding it close to my heart, then we walked to the other side so the next child could have their turn. Shavuot is also the holiday when those who have chosen Judaism, prefer having their conversions. It is a gift we are given when our children fall in love with someone of another religion, decides not only to raise their children in Judaism, but accepts it as their own. It was a privilege for me to escort one of my future daughtersin-law to the Mikvah. I do believe I was as frightened and excited as she. Raised in an Orthodox Jewish PROPOSAL from page 10 “Every minister has already declared their ministry a disaster zone, which is fine,” Lapid said on Monday, adding he was ready to “deal with whatever pressure is exerted on me.” The proposed Israel government budget also calls for an unprecedented series of new
home, in Covington, Ky., I had never seen or been to a mikvah, so this was a “first” for me also. We had a synagogue called Temple Israel but not a Mikvah. Today, our synagogue is no longer in Covington. It was torn down and is now the sculpture garden of The Carnegie Museum, which used to be a library. Changes and choices continue to change as time passes. They are opportunities for us to grow, to learn and to accept as part of living. This holiday of Shavuot provides many opportunities and it is a happy time for all. This “giving of our laws” also provides an opportunity for celebration at home. I remember the luncheon my family gave after the service at the Temple. It was held at my late Grandmother Jacobs home. On Eden Avenue in Avondale, aunts, uncles and cousins by the dozens along with close family friends arrived for lunch. What a wonderful time we all had. Being the center of attention wasn’t too bad either. So many hugs and kisses and joy surrounded this holiday celebration. I can still remember the smell of the freshly baked challahs, cookies and cakes my grandmother had prepared. It was a happy time for all, and I want to thank my readers for joining me in this memorable Shavuot celebration. Lynn Marstellar’s Southern Roasted Pecans Make 3 cups Ingredients 3 cups pecan halves 4 tablespoons melted butter 1 teaspoon salt 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper Method 1. Preheat your oven to 325º F. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet, spread the melted butter over the pecans and bake for 10 minutes. 2. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the salt and cayenne pepper and roast 10 to 12 minutes more. It is very important to stir the nuts with a wooden spatula, every 4 or 5 minutes until they are roasted. Zell’s Tips: Lynn told me when she hears a bit of a grating sound of the salt as she stirs them in the pan, the nuts are ready. taxes, which the Finance Ministry believes will yield the state some 20 billion shekels ($562 million) in revenue over the next 18 months. Value added tax (VAT) will increase from 17 to 18 percent as early as June, which will automatically drive up public transportation prices in Israel, as well as the prices of most goods and services.
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2014 Audi RS5 Cabriolet
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22 • OBITUARIES D EATH N OTICES PERETZKY, Jackie (Jerris), age 59, died May 11, 2013; 2 Sivan, 5773. JACOBS, Toni, age 101, died May 12, 2013; 3 Sivan, 5773. QATAR from page 9 “It vaulted Qatar into a much more prominent role in regional politics because of the loss of [Egyptian President Hosni] Mubarak,” Wittes told JTA. “Its regional assistance and Al Jazeera have allowed it to play a larger role in how the awakening is viewed.” Backing winners, whether the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt or the forces that helped topple Moammar Gadhafi in Libya, also lends credibility – and insurance – to a regime that is itself autocratic, Katulis said. “If they win as many friends as possible, get in early on the ground floor, they’ll be all the more influential,” he said. A State Department official played down Qatar’s role in reviving the Arab peace bid, noting that the new plan formally emerged from the Arab League. And yet he emphasized that the Obama administration is focused mainly on returning the Israelis and Palestinians to the negotiating table and hopes the peace initiative can help them get there. “It’s a sign that the Arab League is a constructive member in the process,” the official said. “The regional partners have a role, but our major focus is getting the Palestinians and Israelis back to the table for direct talks.” NETANYAHU from page 16 Israel and the Gulf states are endangered by Iran, a genocidal theocracy with nuclear ambitions that vows to destroy the Jewish state and has extended its reach into the heart of the Arab world through skillful manipulation of proxies such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and the tottering Bashar Assad regime in Syria. If Netanyahu seizes the moment to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians, thanks to the initiative put forward by the Qataris and the Arab League, there is a chance that after generations of bitter conflict, Israelis will finally live in peace and security. If, however, the Israeli prime minister spurns this opportunity, he will only empower the extremists in the Arab and larger Muslim world who are determined to destroy the Jewish state. Now is the time for Benjamin Netanyahu to secure a better future for the people of Israel by taking a dramatic step for peace.
SHULS from page 7 Some synagogues in financial straits have stopped one step short of a full merger, opting to share facilities revamped for the needs of communities with a range of practices and beliefs. In Canton, Ohio, Jewish leaders worried about a declining population sold the Reform Temple Israel and put the local Jewish community center facility on the market, according to Ed Buxbaum, CEO of the Canton Jewish Community Federation INNOVATION from page 7 Gura, who helps portfolio companies realize investment opportunities in technology startups, founded IEC, the first Israeli club for entrepreneurship, and was named as one of Israel’s “40 under 40” leaders by The Marker Magazine and Globes Magazine. He serves on the Advisory board of Tmura, an Israeli public service venture fund that, with a portfolio of 275 Israeli startups, has created $7 million in cash from equity donations for socially responsible initiatives in education and youth opportunities. Abramowitz said on the panel that his solar energy ventures “want to make it so that the poorest people on the planet aren’t paying the highest energy bills.” CALM from page 8 The Russian Federation’s Northern Caucasus region includes five predominantly Muslim Republics, including bordering Chechnya and Dagestan on the east of the Caucasus mountains. The Mountain Jews’ distance from the USSR’s center helped them maintain their traditions when the regime repressed religious worship, but “many have left for mainly economic reasons – unemployment is massive,” and “some are disturbed by the violence as well,” Matloff said. Those who remain find themATTACKS from page 10 But the weakening of the Syrian regime has raised the frightening prospect that its stocks of chemical weapons may fall into the hands of Hezbollah. Israeli officials have said for months that they would take action should Syria transport unconventional weapons to Hezbollah. In January, Israel bombed a Syrian weapons convoy near the Syria-Lebanon border. In 2007, Israel allegedly bombed a Syrian nuclear reactor. Syria and Hezbollah didn’t respond to those attacks, either. But Hezbollah expert Eyal Zisser said Israel still needs to remain cautious. “Don’t play with your luck,” said Zisser, also from the BeginSadat Center. “There might be a
and a former president of the Reform synagogue. Last year, Temple Israel and the federation, which had been housed at the JCC, moved into the last remaining synagogue in town, a Conservative congregation, which renovated its building to meet the needs of all three. The institutions now split the bills equally and hold equal shares of a nonprofit corporation set up to oversee the facility. “It was not easy. It’s very difficult for people who have worshiped in a single facility for 55
years and whose families have had all their lifecycle services and everything” there, Buxbaum said. “Change is difficult.” Both Canton and Corpus Christi have received inquiries from other communities contemplating similar moves. Corpus Christi has even produced a monograph detailing its merger. But not all such collaborations have resulted from declining demographics. After Hurricane Katrina dumped 10 feet of water on New Orleans’ Congregation Beth Israel, the Modern Orthodox con-
gregation found refuge in a nearby Reform temple that had escaped the worst of the storm. Beth Israel shared a building with Congregation Gates of Prayer for several years before moving out – to a building constructed next door on land purchased from the Reform synagogue. The congregations still share a playground. “It’s all about relationships,” said Uri Topolosky, Beth Israel’s rabbi. “It’s all about a community that cared about itself, cared about each other and wanted to see a good thing happen.”
He said, “1.6 billion on the planet live with no electricity. 85 percent of Africa has no electricity. The poorest people virtually become part of the problem, as opposed to part of the solution. We want to help nations work their way out of poverty.” When discussion moderator Alexandra Adler, northeast regional director of the nonprofit startup accelerator Cleantech Open, asked what has made Israel a “start-up nation,” a term that originated in the 2009 book by Dan Senor and Saul Singer, Startup Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle, Gura cited the Israeli educational system and the Israel Defense Forces experience of risk-taking and technology. Abramowitz said that because of the book by Senor and Singer,
Israeli entrepreneurs don’t need to do their own marketing. He defined four kinds of capital – social, financial, intellectual and reputational – all of which Israel is rich in. “When Haiti was going to develop solar energy, they wanted an Israeli company because of the IDF’s setting up hospitals following the earthquake,” Abramowitz said. Gura said that lately, many Israeli companies have established themselves on the East Coast of the U.S. “Israeli companies must turn into global companies, and apply their prototypes,” he said, adding, “Anything that works in Israel can be applied here.” CJP, though its Innovation Exchange event, aimed to “con-
nect some of the brightest minds in Boston to people doing the most exciting work in Israel right now – entrepreneurship, the environment and education,” Daniel Seligson, CJP’s assistant Director of Israel advocacy marketing, told JNS. “MassChallenge clearly understands the amazing idea engine that is the start-up nation, electing to have their first overseas office in Israel,” said Seligson, who described that CJP had funded a 2011 Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) environmental mission to Israel, and took a delegation of water industry professionals to Israel this past December to see the Jewish state’s advances in desalination, wastewater recycling and filtration.
selves stuck in a volatile area. Two major wars took place between the Russian government and Chechnya during the 1990s and early 2000s after the region declared independence from Russia in 1991. Russian forces completely destroyed the Chechen capital of Grozny in 2000. Chechnya is now subject to the federal jurisdiction of Russia and is headed by the pro-Kremlin leader, Ramzan Kadyrov. Islamist rebel violence frequently spills out into neighboring autonomies like Dagestan. In 2004, Islamist Chechen terrorists took an entire school hostage in Beslan, North Ossetia.
More than 300 people were killed, including many children. Chechen terrorism has reached as far as Moscow. In 2002, Chechen terrorists took 850 hostages in Moscow’s Dubrovka Theater, 130 of whom eventually died as Russian forces pumped a chemical agent into the building to force an end to the siege. In 2010, Chechen terrorists exploded a bomb inside a Moscow subway, killing nearly 40 people. Given the violence, moving south it goes from “dangerous, very dangerous, to extremely dangerous,” said Shauli Dritter, director of field operations for the JDC in the FSU.
The JDC cares for Jews in 187 sites throughout the entire Caucasus region through their Chesed Welfare Centers, and is expanding its Metsuda young leadership development program to the area. During the 2008 Russian invasion of Georgia, an independent country farther south in the Caucasus, JDC rescued 19 Jews from the region. The son of an Auschwitz survivor, Dritter believes that “reaching every Jew in every corner is a mission.” The only protection that you have is “to keep your profile low, no guns, no nothing,” he told JNS.
response. Eventually something will happen. Everybody is taking precautions.” Shlomo Brom, a senior research associate at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, said the attack sent a message that Israel will act unilaterally if deemed necessary – in this case, the transfer of longrange weaponry to Hezbollah. “There needs to be a reason for these attacks,” Brom said. “There was an attack because they crossed our red lines. If they stop crossing our red lines, we won’t hit every weapons transfer.” Brom added that Hezbollah may avenge the weekend’s attacks several years from now, noting that its deadly bus bombing last year in Bulgaria may have been a response to Israel’s alleged assassination of a
Courtesy of Avishag Shaar Yashuv/Flash90/JTA
An Iron Dome anti-missile battery was moved near the northern Israeli town of Haifa in the hours following a second airstrike on Syrian targets, May 5, 2013.
senior Hezbollah officer, Imad Mughniyah, in 2008. Israel reportedly did not notify the United States before the strikes. On Saturday, President Obama said that Israel has the right to defend
itself and that he will “let the Israeli government confirm or deny whatever strikes that they’ve taken.” “What I have said in the past and I continue to believe is that the Israelis justifiably have to guard against the transfer of advanced weaponry to terrorist organizations like Hezbollah,” he told the Spanish-language network Telemundo. “We coordinate closely with the Israelis recognizing they are very close to Syria, they are very close to Lebanon.” The attacks, according to Frisch, also showed Iran that Israel could bomb the Islamic Republic’s suspected nuclear weapons program – a possibility Netanyahu frequently raises. But Brom called an attack on Iran “a totally different story – a lot harder and a lot more complicated.”
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