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The American Israelite T H E



Jewish Foundation partners with Mayerson JCC for a ‘Season of Arts...



U.S.–Israel tensions on Iran are boiling over



Media mogul Zuckerman assesses the threats against...



Meritage of Cincinnati —the right kind of classy




Cincinnati native Fred Hersch returns for two concert dates



Rabbi Irvin and Kathy Wise’s 20 Years at Adath Israel Celebration p.12

4 TISHREI, 5773

CINCINNATI, OH Candle Lighting Times Shabbat begins Fri 7:18p Shabbat ends Sat 8:19p

VOL. 159 • NO. 9 SINGLE ISSUE: $1.00






Obama in rabbis call: No ‘space’ with Israel on Iran, but also no red lines



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Egyptian admits involvement with anti-Islam film, Jewish connection...




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Palestinian economic protests point to uncertain future for PA, Israel

Celebrating the life and music of Bonia Shur Bonia Shur was a gifted composer who had a major impact on the musical liturgy in the Reform Jewish Movement of North America. His 300 published compositions – many of which are currently used in synagogues around the world – can also be found in theater, television and film. With a musical style that integrated and reflected the diverse cultural heritages in which he lived, Bonia Shur left a mark on this world. Mr. Shur, age 89, died on August 30, 2012 at his North Avondale home. “Bonia Shur’s life and musical expression reflected the trajectory of 20th-century Jewish experience, from the destruction of the Shoah to the birth of Israel and the flowering of Jewish culture in America,” stated Rabbi David Ellenson, president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). “His charismatic presence will be missed greatly, and his extraordinary music will endure as a living legacy.” Born in Latvia in 1923, Mr. Shur came from a family of gifted musicians. He and his family escaped the Nazi invasion of Latvia shortly after his mother passed away. After living as a refugee for a year, he was drafted into the Russian Red Army, where he became an officer and fought against the Nazis. Mr. Shur documented his experiences in a war diary called “Diary of Bonia Shur 1941-1945: Life Lessons from Behind the Eastern Front,” which was recently published by Amazon. In 1949, Mr. Shur immigrated to Israel and lived on Kibbutz Neitzer Sereni. This kibbutz – with a population of 80 percent Holocaust survivors – gave Mr. Shur an opportunity to bring music and joy back into people’s lives, and his insistence to teach people how to play music lifted the morale and spirits of the kibbutz. While in Israel, he studied music with Paul Ben Chaim, the leading Israeli composer of the time. In 1960 he moved to Los Angeles, where he collaborated in compositions for films and television. In 1966 Mr. Shur was commissioned to participate in the soundtrack to the film “The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming,” directed by

Bonia Shur

Norman Jewison and nominated for four Academy Awards. In 1968, he was asked to become the musical director at Temple De Hirsch Sinai in Seattle, Wash. The family moved to Seattle and remained there for the next six

A chance meeting one summer with former HUC president Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk changed the course of Mr. Shur’s life once more. In 1974, he was appointed as the Director of Liturgical Arts at the Cincinnati campus of HUC-JIR, a position he held

“His charismatic presence will be missed greatly, and his extraordinary music will endure as a living legacy.” Rabbi David Ellenson

years. It was in Seattle where Mr. Shur began his long career in liturgical music. He started by composing pieces for the High Holidays and then continued composing other pieces that would interpret the text of the prayer book.

for more than three decades. In those years he taught countless rabbinical and cantorial students at all of the campuses of HUC. “All through his life, he was a genius at improvising the next solution,” his wife Fanchon said, in

regards to the many ways his life could have taken a different turn, with tragic outcomes. Mr. Shur collaborated in many works with his wife of 46 years, a nationally known dancer/choreographer and movement therapist. Together with Fanchon, their home was full of music and dance, and inspired their childrens’ creativity. Daughter Ahdda Shur is an opera singer with a vocal studio in Los Angeles; Limore Shur is chief creative officer and founder of the ad agency Eyeball; composer-musician Itaal Shur won a Grammy Award (Song of the Year) for “Smooth,” a song he co-wrote for Carlos Santana, and the late Ophir Shur was also a composer. In March 2012, Mr. Shur was honored in a gala concert at the Plum Street Temple, Downtown. More than 40 cantors gathered from around North America to perform and to celebrate his music. In a letter written in honor of the tribute event, Rabbi Ellenson wrote: “The legacy of Bonia Shur – the originality and joy that emerge from him music – is singular and enduring. We at HUC-JIR feel so privileged that Bonia has been associated for so much of his life with the CollegeInstitute, and are grateful for all the blessings he has bestowed upon our school, his adopted community of Cincinnati, and the larger world through his incomparable knowledge and unparalleled spririt.” Surviving relatives include his wife, Fanchon Shur; his sons, Limore Shur and Itaal Shur, both of New York; his daughter, Ahdda Shur of Los Angeles; two step-sons, Michael (Ximena) Rossato Bennett of New York and Robert (Laurie Pilgrim) Bennett of Tampa, Fla.; and seven grandchildren, Zahava Lior Jaffe, Nathanael Sonnhalter, Inno and Asha Rossato Bennett, Max, Michael and Mikayla Bennett. He was preceded in death by a son, Ophir Shur, and a brother, Yekutiel Shur. The family would appreciate memorial contributions to the Bonia Shur Memorial Music Fund, Hebrew Union College, 3101 Clifton Ave., Cincinnati OH 45220; (513) 221-1875.

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Jewish Foundation, Jewish Federation CINCINNATI’S OWN bring top-flight Wexner Foundation FRED leadership program to Cincinnati HERSCH The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati and Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, in partnership with the Wexner Heritage Program, are coinvesting in bringing Wexner’s nationally acclaimed leadership development program to Cincinnati next year. This premier institute is designed for a select group of individuals who will be invited to apply, and then chosen by the Wexner Foundation using proven criteria, including a demonstrated track record of leadership in the Jewish community, and the ability to shape and transmit a vision of Jewish life and communal responsibility. Twenty Wexner Fellows will ultimately be chosen to participate following a competitive selection process. Through a series of shared experiences, intensive discussion, travel, study, and reflection, the Fellows will gain a deeper understanding of Jewish history and peoplehood, and a strengthened commitment to the future of the Cincinnati Jewish community. “The Jewish Foundation and the Jewish Federation have a shared interest in cultivating and developing the next generation of leadership in our Jewish community,” said Brian Jaffee, executive director of The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati. “We are very pleased to partner in bringing this prestigious program to Cincinnati, which connects with The Jewish Foundation’s overall strategy of building leader-

ship and capacity in local Jewish institutions. The Foundation has already made a contribution in promoting excellence in the ranks of our community’s professional leaders, and this initiative will provide opportunities for local volunteer leaders to enhance their knowledge and skill sets.” Jewish Federation CEO Shep Englander added: “For Cincinnati to become a model community, we will need to continue to support and enhance the vision and dedication of our talented leaders. Several factors make the Wexner Heritage Program uniquely effective in advancing this goal. First, the faculty of professors, rabbis, and civic leaders are hand-selected from around the world both for their expertise and for their dynamism as teachers. Second, the rigorous selection process focuses on each candidate’s community leadership experience, capacity and commitment.” Local Jewish communal leaders are encouraged to nominate their top volunteer leaders for this twoyear program, which will begin in August 2013. The final group of 20 will be selected by the Wexner Heritage Program through a rigorous process of nomination, written application and personal interviews. Candidates must be nominated by Friday, Oct. 19 to apply. They must be approximately 30-45 years old, with personal, professional and

communal lives that reflect a history of leadership and commitment to the Jewish people. Information about the nomination process and program content is available through Jewish Foundation director of operations, Eric Dauer. The Wexner Foundation was created in 1985 by Leslie Wexner, chairman and CEO of Limited Brands. The Wexner Heritage Program, a prestigious two-year program designed to develop and strengthen the skills of top Jewish communal leaders, has been conducted in 31 communities throughout North America and boasts more than 1,500 alumni who have gone on to become top leaders in their communities. With a distinguished faculty of professors, rabbis, professionals and civic leaders, the Wexner Heritage Program will offer participants the opportunity to engage in this experience with peers from a broad range of community institutions. Upon completion of this program, participants will be offered opportunities to move into high-level leadership positions within the Cincinnati Jewish community. This investment by the Foundation and Federation will extend beyond the life of the program as both institutions are committed to developing post-program initiatives that will sustain the commitment and involvement of the 2013-2015 Wexner Fellows.

Jewish Foundation partners with Mayerson JCC for a ‘Season of Arts and Ideas’ The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati has announced a special one-year investment as the Presenting Sponsor of the 2012 2013 Season of Arts & Ideas, a program of the Mayerson JCC. This exciting season will showcase the talents of internationally acclaimed artists, beginning with bestselling author Mitch Albom on Sunday, Oct. 21, and additional performers will be announced this fall. By presenting world class arts and ideas to the community, the JCC is adapting successful models for cultural arts programming made famous by the JCC of San Francisco and the 92nd St. Y in New York City. “We are very grateful for The Jewish Foundation’s support of this initiative,” said Mayerson JCC President Marc Fisher. “This Season of Arts & Ideas will help further the transformation of the JCC into the Jewish Neighborhood of Cincinnati, and enable us to partner with both Jewish and non-Jewish organizations to enhance Cincinnati’s reputation as a premier destination for

first-rate speakers and artists.” The JCC and its partners are uniquely positioned to work collaboratively with local organizations both within and beyond the Jewish community in order to further the impact of the Season of Arts & Ideas programming. As an example of this, several local Jewish agencies, as well as a local branch of the Cincinnati Public Library, have expressed interest in developing programming around the themes in Mitch Albom’s new book, The Time Keeper. This supplemental programming will take place before or after Albom’s appearance at the JCC. Similar ideas will be developed in connection with the other performances this year. “The Jewish Foundation is committed to investing its resources in multiple areas, including those that enable the Jewish community to make significant contributions to Cincinnati’s reputation as a firstclass community for arts and ideas,” said Michael R. Oestreicher, president of The Jewish Foundation. “We

are pleased to be partnering with the Mayerson JCC.” Oestreicher added that the Foundation’s investment in this Season of Arts & Ideas is intended to provide a community-wide benefit beyond just the Jewish community, along the same lines as its collaboration with The Center for Holocaust & Humanity Education and Xavier University in bringing Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel to Cincinnati; its partnership with the Jewish Federation and several local Jewish agencies in supporting the Israeli choir’s participation in this summer’s World Choir Games; and its presenting sponsorship of the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center, which will run from November through April, and will also feature supplemental programming throughout the year organized by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the University of Cincinnati’s Judaic Studies Department, the Mayerson Foundation, Mayerson JCC and many other local organizations.





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Cinti Hillel ‘Gift of Life’ drive matches donor over 200,000 in 40 countries. Through this registry, 9,145 matches have been made since its inception in 2000. To volunteer for Hillel’s next drive, or to be registered as a donor, please contact Sarah Ganson.

Mitch Albom speaks at the J, Oct. 21 now on sale through the JCC website. Tickets include a copy of The Time Keeper, and Albom will sign books after his presentation. Albom will discuss The Time Keeper—a compelling story about the first man on earth to count the hours. Told in Albom’s signature spare, evocative prose, this remarkably original tale is sure to again inspire readers, as have his previous best-sellers. In The Time Keeper, Albom brilliantly con-

structs three characters who demonstrate how humans seek to control time. Creatively named Dor (Hebrew for “generation”), Albom's first character lived 5,000 years ago and was the first human to measure time. Andrea Beck, a member of the Mitch Albom planning committee, said “Our entire community is looking forward to this amazing opportunity to hear Mitch Albom speak at the JCC. We are so fortunate to have this world-renowned

author come to Cincinnati to share his thoughts with us.” “We are thrilled to be able to bring world-class presenters like Mitch Albom to Cincinnati. Everyone should stay tuned over the next few weeks for more exciting news about our 2012 – 2013 Season of Arts & Ideas!” added Courtney Cummings, JCC cultural arts manager. For information about Mitch Albom’s appearance at the J, call Courtney Cummings.

what sets Eizenstat apart from mainstream Jewish sentiment is his strong belief that India should join Israel and the U.S. to form a triangle of strong relations. “The best hope for Israel amongst [the BRIC countries] is India, but China is certainly also a possibility,” Eizenstat said. “But what China really craves is Israel’s military technology which Israel can’t provide because of the restrictions put in place by the Pentagon. However, those restrictions don’t exist with respect to India. Israel is one of the top three suppliers of military equipment to India.” On the topic of strengthening Israel-India relationship, Eizenstat highlighted India’s large Muslim minority as the main factor holding back the deepening of ties between Jerusalem and New Delhi. “India should be a model of a [close] political and economic relationship,” he said. “Both India and Israel got their independence from Great Britain at the same time, 1947. Both had been under colonial rule, both are democracies with common values and both have more or less common enemies: Pakistan and radical Islam.” He continued, “And yet, no Indian prime minister, foreign minister, or defense minister has ever visited Israel. There have been prime ministers from Israel who have visited India, but not the other way around. Not one comparable senior Indian official has come...Why is that the case? Because they have a very large Muslim minority, as large as the largest Muslim majority country almost. And that is a significant impediment.” While the shift of the global economy toward Asia will cause

VOL. 159 • NO. 9 THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012 4 TISHREI 5773 SHABBAT BEGINS FRIDAY 7:18 PM SHABBAT ENDS SATURDAY 8:19 PM THE AMERICAN ISRAELITE CO., PUBLISHERS 18 WEST NINTH STREET, SUITE 2 CINCINNATI, OHIO 45202-2037 Phone: (513) 621-3145 Fax: (513) 621-3744 RABBI ISAAC M. WISE Founder, Editor, Publisher, 1854-1900

significant changes in U.S. foreign policy, Eizenstat doesn’t believe it will alter the special relationship between the U.S. and Israel. It will, however, change the way Israel needs to approach its foreign relations with other countries. Of utmost significance for Israel, said Eizenstat, is the shift in global power from Western countries with Judeo-Christian traditions and significant Jewish communities to rising developing countries that lack either of those elements. “[With these countries,] Israel starts from scratch,” Eizenstat said. “It has to prove its value to these countries and what is that value: its high-tech, its innovations, its creativity.” “Obviously the U.S. is its key ally and it has to do everything possible to cement that relationship and vice a versa but with the emerging giants in Asia and Latin America, Israel needs to turn its sort of monofocus on the United States to developing patterns and relationships with China, with India, with South Korea, with Brazil and with the Vietnams of the world,” he said. However, in Eizenstat’s estimation, Israel’s ability to broaden economic and diplomatic ties with growing developing countries will continue to be impeded by the Israeli-Palestinian issue until that festering conflict is resolved. “Until this [Palestinian] issue is resolved, the capability of Israel to broaden its political and economic horizons is going to be inevitably impaired,” said Eizenstat. “Now, I’m not suggesting this is Israel’s fault. What I am suggesting is it is predicate for improving relations with the Indias, Brazils and Chinas of the world that this issue be resolved.”

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

ewish N h-J ew lis

Much ink has been spilled over the past 12 years regarding the shift in global power from West to East in the still-young 21st century, but the implications of this momentous shift for the Jewish people and the Jewish state have been raised only recently. One of the significant players entering that debate is former United States Ambassador to the European Union and current cochair of the Jewish People Policy Institute, Stuart Eizenstat, who served in senior positions in the administrations of both Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. This May, Eizenstat came out with a new book, The Future of the Jews: How Global Forces Are Impacting the Jewish People, Israel, and Its Relationship with the United States, and in June he participated in a panel discussion about America’s Middle East foreign policy at Jerusalem’s “Facing Tomorrow” Presidential Conference. While at that conference, Eizenstat spoke at length with JNS about his book and the impact the rise of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries will have on the U.S. and Israel. A widely reported story this past year was President Barack Obama’s decision to distribute U.S. armed forces evenly between the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, marking a substantial U.S. pivot toward the increasingly economically and strategically important Asia-Pacific region. What has been relatively underreported, however, is that U.S. dependence on foreign oil imports has been declining since 2005.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, as of 2011, 45 percent of total domestic oil demand was supplied by net imports (foreign, imported oil minus exported U.S. oil). Moreover, only one of the top five oil exporters to the U.S. – Saudi Arabia – is from the Middle East, with America’s largest foreign oil supplier by far being its northern neighbor, Canada. These two developments, Eizenstat told JNS, have important ramifications for U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. “It has a number of implications... As a global power the U.S. will remain engaged in every region, and certainly it will not disengage in any way from the Middle East and Europe,” Eizenstat said. “But the fact is that within 25-30 years, three-fifths of global GDP (gross domestic product) will be in Asia.” He elaborated, “That will be accentuated by dramatic change in the energy dimension in the United States. There has been an enormous reduction in the purchase of oil from Saudi Arabia. Our heavy oil and natural gas production has grown astronomically... and with the tar sands in Canada and with Brazil’s deepwater resources, the energy future of the world is more likely to be in the Americas than in the Middle East. Combined with the intractability of the IsraeliPalestinian issue, I don’t think one should say we will disengage [from the Middle East], but I think the locus of attention will be focused more heavily on Asia than in the past.” Throughout his interview with JNS, Eizenstat indicated a faith in the deep-seated commonality of American and Israeli interests. But


LEO WISE Editor & Publisher, 1900-1928

Stuart Eizenstat’s global outlook By Ronen Shnidman JointMedia News Service

The American Israelite

Mitch Albom, the author who has inspired millions worldwide with books like Tuesdays With Morrie and The Five People You Meet In Heaven, will speak at the Mayerson JCC on Sunday, Oct. 21, at 4 p.m. Fans will have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet Mitch Albom in an informal setting, as he shares insights about his life, lessons learned, and his new book, The Time Keeper. A limited number of tickets to this exclusive event are


Est. 1854

saved an entire world.’ We are humbled to have played our small part in connecting this man with a donor who might save his life. And we hope that many more matches will be found through our drives.” Gift of Life has a registry of

• ca

Then last week, they learned that one of those potential donors matched a man suffering from chronic myelogenous leukemia. Cincinnati Hillel Engagement Professional Sarah Ganson said, “The Talmud says ‘whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he

r in Am ape er sp i

Last winter, students from Cincinnati Hillel, in conjunction with the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation, hosted drives all over the city, swabbing cheeks and ultimately adding over 300 names to the registry of potential bone marrow donors.

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.



Amid tension on Iran, White House denies nixing Netanyahu meeting

Courtesy of the White House

President Barack Obama with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak – both checking their watches – in September 2010 at the White House. Netanyahu now says time is of the essence in solving the Iranian nuclear issue, while the U.S. says it will not set deadlines for Iran.

By Jacob Kamaras JointMedia News Service Against the backdrop of a reportedly growing rift between the U.S. and Israel regarding the Iranian nuclear threat, the White House denied reports that it rejected a meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested with President Barack Obama. According to a report in Haaretz, Netanyahu’s office reached out to the White House about a meeting when the prime minister is in the U.S. for two and a half days during the United Nations General Assembly in New York this month. While Netanyahu was willing to meet the president in Washington, D.C., the White House rejected his proposition due to Obama’s schedule, the newspaper said. However, the White House went on to dispute that information. “Contrary to reports in the press, there was never a request for Prime Minister Netanyahu to meet with President Obama in Washington, nor was a request for a meeting ever denied,” the White House said Sept. 11. National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor wrote in an email to Bloomberg News that a meeting between the leaders couldn’t take place because Netanyahu isn’t going to arrive in New York until after Sept. 25, the day Obama was scheduled to leave the city. “They’re simply not in the city at the same time,” Vietor wrote. Addressing the Iranian threat Sept. 12, Netanyahu hinted at the differences he has with Obama on that issue by saying “leadership is tested when it keeps to its goals

even when friends disagree and even when they are the best of friends,” according to a statement from the prime minister’s office quoted by Bloomberg. Reports of the White House declining the meeting with Netanyahu came after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sept. 10 raised the eyebrows of Israeli officials by saying the U.S. is “not setting deadlines” for Iran and still considers negotiations to be “by far the best approach” to prevent the Islamic Republic from developing nuclear weapons. Additionally, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey recently said he does not wish to be “complicit” in a potential Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. On Sept. 12, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) reacted to reports on the ObamaNetanyahu meeting by criticizing Obama for scheduling a Sept. 18 appearance on the “Late Show” with David Letterman, but not making time for the prime minister. “It is clear that the impending Iranian nuclear threat is an existential one for both Israel and the United States,” the ZOA said in a statement. “It is only common sense that a meeting between the two leaders would underscore what the White House has been professing about the two nations being in firm agreement on the need to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.” The White House said in a statement that Obama spoke with Netanyahu on the phone for an hour the night of Sept. 11, including a discussion on the Iranian threat. The two leaders “reaf-

firmed that they are united in their determination to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and agreed to continue their close consultations going forward,” according to the statement. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, meanwhile, said it isn’t “particularly useful” to debate the Iranian threat in public. “It doesn’t help the process and it doesn’t help the integrity of the diplomacy,” she told reporters Sept. 11. “To be standing here at the podium parsing the details of the Iranian nuclear program is not helpful to getting where we want to go.” Nuland also said that establishing “red lines” – points that will prompt the U.S. to take military action if they are crossed by Iran – is “not useful.” Netanyahu, however, continues to push for red lines to be set. Speaking to reporters Sept. 11, he criticized the world’s wait-and-see attitude on Iran. The Obama administration, for one, has repeatedly said that there remains time for diplomacy and sanctions to solve the nuclear problem. “The world tells Israel ‘wait, there’s still time,’” Netanyahu said. “And I say, ‘Wait for what? Wait until when?’ Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel.”

Wishing you and yours a sweet new year from

Boris Litwin Jewelers 7565 Kenwood Rd #204, Cincinnati, OH 45236 513-621-1123 •

8th Annual Heidi Leib Memorial

MAH JONGG TOURNAMENT Sunday, October 14, 2012 Temple Sholom • 3100 Longmeadow Lane Cincinnati, OH 45236 • (513) 791-1330 Doors open at 1:00 p.m. Tournament from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. Bring your group and play the first round together! MAH JONGG TOURNAMENT RESERVATION - Fee $25 Reservations by October 1, 2012 Make check payable to Temple Sholom Sisterhood Send to: Elaine Wolf -- please include your name, phone, address and email. For questions, call the office at 791-1330

Family Fun at the J SUNDAY, SEPT. 23 • 1PM FREE The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s ArtReach Presents

The Sword in the Stone

Merlin helps young Arthur discover the “real magic” he needs to become the King of England. Recommended for grades K - 5

a program of the Wolf Center for Arts & Ideas at the JCC

SUNDAY, SEPT. 30 • 10:30AM FREE PJ Library Presents

Petting Zoo & Fall Festival Bring your family to the J and celebrate Sukkot with a petting zoo, story time, snacks, and fun!

For children ages 6 months - 6 years & their families The J closes for Yom Kippur at 5pm on Tuesday, Sept. 25, and is closed all day on Wednesday, Sept. 26. 513.761.7500

Manuel D. & Rhoda Mayerson JCC on The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati Campus

8485 Ridge Road at Reagan Highway Cincinnati, Ohio 45236




Obama in rabbis call: No ‘space’ with Israel on Iran, but also no red lines By Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraph Agency WASHINGTON (JTA) – President Obama told rabbis in a pre-Rosh Hashanah conference call that there is “no space” between the United States and Israel on Iran, but added that he would not make public a red line that could trigger a strike against Iran. “There may come a time” Obama told 1,200 rabbis of all denominations on the call Friday, that the United States would “exercise a military option” to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

He said, however, he would not set red lines or a deadline, as Israel has demanded, noting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would also not make public Israel’s own trigger for military action. “No leader ties his own hands,” he said. Still, Obama said, “there is no space between the U.S. and Israel” on Iran. He also said that “I have been explicit and clear that we will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” Obama reiterated his belief in

exhausting other options. “There remains time and space for diplomacy,” he said. Obama also spoke about the recent anti-American violence in the Middle East. “We knew this process would not be easy,” he said, referring to the development of democracies in the wake of the Arab Spring. “The United States must be aligned with democracy and human rights.” The rabbis asked Obama why he has been focused so much during this election year on the middle class, at times seemingly to the exclusion of the poor.

Obama responded that the programs he has championed as benefitting the middle class, including expanded health care, would also benefit the poor. Obama said he and his wife, Michelle, “wish you a happy and sweet New Year.” The rabbis, in introducing Obama, also noted their outstanding plea that he commute the life sentence of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard. The call was organized by the rabbinical umbrellas of the Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist and Orthodox streams.

U.S.–Israel tensions on Iran are boiling over By Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraph Agency WASHINGTON – Between the red lines, the deadlines, the diplomacy and the dress downs, the vaunted cooperation between Israel and the United States on whether and when to strike Iran seems to be in a free fall. In an unusually blunt outburst, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday blasted the “international community” – widely seen in Israeli media as code for the Obama administration – for refusing to set red lines in its effort to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. “The world tells Israel, ‘Wait, there’s still time’,” Netanyahu said in English at a ceremony in which he greeted Bulgaria’s prime minister. “And I say, ‘Wait for what? Wait until when?’ Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel.” That appeared to refer directly to the rejection of deadlines by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday in an interview with Bloomberg News. “We’re not setting deadlines,” Clinton said. “We’re watching very carefully about what they do because it’s always been more about their actions than their words.” The comments were made a day after Netanyahu in his weekly Cabinet meeting called on the international community to “set Iran moral and practical red lines, lines that will stop its race to achieve nuclear weapons.” In another sign of increasing tension over the Iran issue, people close to Netanyahu leaked to the Israeli media that President Obama would not meet with the prime minister when they both address the U.N. General Assembly later this month. Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for the National Security Council, dismissed the account, noting that Obama and Netanyahu would not be in New York at the same time.

Courtesy of the U.N., design by Uri Fintzy

Left to right, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Obama and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressing the U.N. General Assembly in 2011. Israeli officials told the Israeli media that Obama’s refusal to meet with Netanyahu at this year’s General Assembly is a sign of tension over Iran policy.

“The president arrives in New York for the U.N. on Monday, September 24th, and departs on Tuesday, September 25th,” Vietor said in a statement. “The prime minister doesn’t arrive in New York until later in the week. They’re simply not in the city at the same time. But the President and PM are in frequent contact and the PM will meet with other senior officials, including Secretary Clinton, during his visit.” Netanyahu reportedly offered to come to Washington to speak with the president. By that time, Obama will be deeply involved in his presidential campaign, and White House officials have said he has scheduled no bilateral meetings during the General Assembly week, when the world’s leaders meet in New York. Netanyahu wants a clear sign from Obama that he will strike if Iran is poised to acquire a nuclear bomb. The Obama administration, which has blitzed Israel in recent months with a parade of official visitors, has said that it is keeping all options on the table, including the possibility of a military strike. But the administration will not make clear in public or in private what the trigger for such a strike would be. Israeli anxieties are exacerbated

by reports out of Iran that the Islamic Republic’s suspected nuclear weapons program is accelerating. On Tuesday, The Associated Press quoted unnamed diplomats as saying intelligence provided to the International Atomic Energy Agency shows that Iran has advanced its work on calculating the destructive power of an atomic warhead through a series of computer models that it ran sometime within the past three years. The information comes from Israel, the U.S. and at least two other Western countries, according to the diplomats. Iran denies it is working on a nuclear weapon. The IAEA would not comment, but four of the six diplomats who spoke to the AP on the issue said the new intelligence is alluded to in an oblique passage in the IAEA’s August report on Iran saying that “the agency has obtained more information which further corroborates’’ its suspicions. Netanyahu last month dressed down the U.S. ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, over the Iranian nuclear issue at a meeting between the Israeli leader and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), the chairman of

the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee. “There was no doubt,” Rogers told WJR, a Michigan radio station, in a story picked up by The Atlantic magazine. “You could not walk out of that meeting and think that they had not lost their patience with this administration.” Israel’s U.S. ambassador, Michael Oren, played down the tension in an address Monday to B’nai B’rith International’s annual policy conference. “Not everything you read in the newspaper is true,” he said. Disagreements were natural because Israel is “located in the backyard of Iran” and is threatened daily, whereas the U.S. is a “big country located far” from Iran and has “vastly better” weapons. “It was a candid, respectful and substantial” discussion, Oren said. Obama’s chief of staff and his informal top liaison to the Jewish community, Jack Lew, assured proIsrael Democrats at a private lunch last week in Charlotte N.C., where the Democratic National Convention was being held, that Israel was up to date on U.S. plans. “We have made it clear to others what we think that time horizon will look like” regarding an Iran timeline, Lew said, according to an official of the Center for Middle East Peace. The Obama administration has made clear its preference to exhaust diplomacy and sanctions before considering a military strike – a preference that Clinton reiterated in her Bloomberg interview. “We have always said every option was on the table, but we believe in the negotiation, the diplomatic effort through the P-5+1, but also pressure. And we are working to increase that pressure. The sanctions, we know, are having an effect,” Clinton said. “The efforts that the P5+1 have made to pin Iran down on what exactly they are willing to do are still underway, and we will be having some meetings in the next month in New York and elsewhere to take stock of where we are.”

National Briefs As protests rage over anti-Muslim movie, the cast claims it was misled by script (JTA) – Protests over an antiMuslim film continued outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, while in Yemen security guards fired at demonstrators who stormed the U.S. Embassy gates. On Sept. 13 in Yemen, the protesters tore down the American flag and burned it, according to reports. The protests in Cairo continued late Wednesday, a day after protesters climbed the embassy walls and tore down and tried to torch the American flag. Security reportedly was increased at U.S. embassies and diplomatic missions around the globe in the aftermath of the violence allegedly incited by the film “Innocence of Muslims.” The two-hour film, which attacks the Islamic prophet Muhammad, was seen as leading to the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other U.S. diplomats in a rocket attack on Sept. 11 at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. The protests were sparked by the translation into Arabic of a trailer for the movie. In a statement sent to CNN, the 80 members of the cast and crew said they were “grossly misled” about the film, which they believed was a historical movie about life in the Arabian Desert. “We are shocked by the drastic rewrites of the script and lies that were told to all involved,” the statement said according to CNN. “We are deeply saddened by the tragedies that have occurred.” Anti-Muslim dialogue was dubbed in after the filming, an unnamed actress, who also said there was no Muhammad character in the script, told CNN. The actress said she spoke to the director on Sept. 12 and “He said he wrote the script because he wants the Muslims to quit killing,” CNN reported. The director reportedly told the Wall Street Journal that “Islam is a cancer.” Media outlets, including JTA, had reported that a man calling himself Sam Bacile, who said he was the film’s director and producer, claimed that he was an IsraeliAmerican real estate developer. But a consultant to the film, Steve Klein, a self-described militant Christian activist in Riverside, Calif., told the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg that the film’s director is not Israeli and that the name is a pseudonym. Klein told Goldberg that some 15 people were associated with the making of the film, all American citizens and most evangelicals.



Board of Health says Feh! to metzitzah b’peh By Adam Soclof Jewish Telegraph Agency NEW YORK – Orthodox groups expressed disappointment in the decision by the New York City Board of Health to require parental consent for a controversial circumcision ritual but gave no indication that they would mount legal challenges to the new regulation. On Thursday, the health department voted 9-0 to require mohels, or ritual circumcisers, to obtain signed consent forms from parents outlining the risks of communicable disease before engaging in “metzitzah b’peh” – a circumcision ritual in which the mohel uses direct oral-genital suction of the infant’s blood. Following the vote, the haredi Orthodox Agudath Israel of America said it was “profoundly disappointed” with the measure. “Tens of thousands of families in New York City” require metzitzah b’peh, the statement said. For those individuals, “the City is

inserting itself directly into a religious practice. It does so by compelling mohalim to deliver a message with which they fundamentally disagree.” The Agudath statement also said that “the regulation raises serious constitutional concerns, and will surely be subject to strict judicial scrutiny,” but it did not indicate whether attorneys for Agudath would challenge the new regulation directly. Before the vote, the Rabbinical Council of America, a membership group for centrist Orthodox rabbis, had expressed concern about the regulation even while advocating that rabbis use pipettes to avoid direct genital contact. After the vote, Rabbi Mark Dratch, executive vice president of the RCA, told JTA that his organization would not engage in a legal challenge. “While we would prefer the government wouldn’t involve itself in matters of religious practice, we don’t see it as anti-Semitic and we would encourage everyone to abide

by these regulations,” Dratch said. In a statement before the vote, the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly applauded the commissioner’s push for parental consent. “This practice, which is not required by Jewish law, and emanates from older practices designed to prevent illnesses that precede current medical knowledge about disease, presents a serious health risk to babies and is inconsistent with the Jewish tradition’s preeminent concern with human life and health,” Rabbi Gerald Skolnik, president of the RA, said in a statement released Monday. “There have been tragic incidents of babies becoming ill as a result of this practice, and we encourage the Board of Health to require parental consent.” The new regulation comes just days after a vote in Germany by the state of Berlin to impose new regulations on circumcision mandating that only doctors may perform circumcisions.



A reunion that may be among the last of its kind By Hillel Kuttler Jewish Telegraph Agency BALTIMORE – William Juksch, a self-described “hillbilly from the Ozarks” of southwest Missouri, was a 19-year-old private fighting for the U.S. Army near the end of World War II when he was assigned to scout observation points for a U.S. artillery bombardment of German forces. It was May 4, 1945. Juksch’s 5th Infantry Regiment of the 71st Infantry Division had fought for a year through France and Germany. Reaching the Austrian city of Wels, Juksch and two other privates, Ohioans Frank Braughbau and Peter Carnabuci, and their captain, a college graduate named Nicholson, followed a trail through the woods. The jeep stopped at a gate, the men not knowing what stood behind it. It was Gunskirchen Lager, a subcamp of the Mauthausen concentration camp. With the Allies closing in, the Nazis had led thousands of Jewish prisoners from Mauthausen on a death march to Gunskirchen. Before the Americans’ arrival, the Germans had fled. Dead Jews were sprawled on the ground or stacked atop one another. Everyone else constituted the walking dead. “Those who could walk grabbed our feet, kissed our boots, kissed our hands. They said things in German,” Juksch, an 86-year-old retired electronic scientist, said Sunday from his home in Virginia Beach, Va. “The captain radioed back what we’d

Courtesy of William Juksch

William Juksch during a dedication of a monument near the site of the Gunskirchen concentration camp in Austria, 2006.

found. … In no time flat there were trucks of medics and supplies. We gave them every bit of food we had with us: candy bars and K-rations.” Still needing to complete their scouting mission, Juksch and the other men stayed less than an hour. Juksch, who had never encountered Jews back in Missouri, didn’t speak or think much about the experience until the early 1970s, when a university student in Alabama asked to interview him for a research paper on American soldiers who had liberated concentration camp prisoners. Now Juksch is in Alabama to attend the 71st Infantry Division’s annual reunion, which began

Wednesday and runs through Sunday in Huntsville. Three Jews whom the 71st liberated at Gunskirchen are attending, too: Simon Braitman, 82, from Majowicie, Poland, who lives in Rochester, N.Y.; Aron Zoldan, 85, from Kusnice, Czechoslovakia (now Ukraine), who lives near Detroit; and Robert Fisch, 87, from Budapest, who lives in Minneapolis. The sons of two now-deceased survivors also are attending, as are several wives and relatives of survivors. The division has held reunions since the late 1980s – Juksch attended his first around 1993 – but only in the past decade did the Holocaust survivors learn about them and ask to come, too. “Frankly, this may be the last one,” Braitman said of the reunions. In the past year, approximately 60 ex-soldiers and their wives have died. The poignancy of Braitman’s words is striking – and ironic. According to Steven Vitto, a researcher at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, reunions between survivors and soldier liberators have been “happening more” in the past 20 years. “Almost every” U.S. military base here and abroad hosts a Yom Hashoah commemoration, he said, often asking the museum’s Civic Defense Initiatives department to suggest resources, including survivors as speakers. REUNION on page 19

2012 Rosh Hashanah Cover Coloring Contest entries can be seen @




Media mogul Zuckerman assesses Egyptian admits involvement with anti-Islam film, Jewish the threats against Israel By Peter Rothholz JointMedia News Service EAST HAMPTON, NY – For the first time since its founding in 1948, Israel is now the most dangerous place in the world for Jews. That is the assessment of Mort Zuckerman – editor in chief of U.S. News &World Report, publisher of the New York Daily News, and past chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Israel is in a “terrible dilemma,” Zuckerman said in an interview with JNS, because unlike the United States, it is a small country that can be destroyed by just one or two nuclear bombs and therefore does not have “the luxury” of waiting to act. Moreover, Israel “does not want to be blamed for the outcome of the American election,” Zuckerman said. Finally, the media mogul noted how Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey has pointed out that Israel does not have the “super bunker busters” and the large aircraft it would need to carry those bunker busters that are critical for the Jewish state to succeed were it to act on its own. Speaking of an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear program, it was Dempsey himself who recently grabbed headlines by saying he does not wish to be “complicit” in such a strike if Israel chooses to take that route. Addressing a standing-room only audience at The Jewish Center of the Hamptons on Sept. 2, Zuckerman said the “siege”

Courtesy of PD-US

Mort Zuckerman

around Israel “is getting tighter every day.” He illustrated this by pointing out that “as a result of the democratic election of a tyrant (in Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi), Egypt has turned into a major opponent of Israel instead of being a major ally,” that relations with Turkey have soured, and that Israel’s border with Bashar al-Assad’s Syria can no longer be considered to be “quiet.” On top of that, Israel faces an existential threat from a soonto-be nuclear Iran, he said. The question Zuckerman asked was “How do we get from now to a more peaceful future?” He said the answer lies with the U.S., for “if Iran knew that the U. S. would retaliate in a major way” against an attack on Israel, the situation might change. He feels, however, that President Barack Obama’s promises cannot be trusted because he has walked away from his campaign commitments in support of an “undivided” Jerusalem (Zuckerman

said this even before the controversial omission and then restoration of language affirming Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in the 2012 Democratic Party Platform), Israel’s secured, recognized and defensible borders, and other assurances that the U.S. has “Israel’s back.” According to reports in the New York Times, the White House is considering formulating a new negotiating strategy “around clear ‘red lines’ for Iran, beyond which the United States would not allow” Iran to go. Even if this were to happen, Zuckerman told JNS that as a result of its policies that failed to support the leaders of Egypt and Saudi Arabia – leaders who were longtime American allies – the U.S. has lost much of its credibility in the Middle East. There was also a recent report in Yedioth Ahrnonot that Washington told Tehran “it will not join in an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear program” if Iran does not “draw [the U.S.] into a conflict by firing on American army bases and aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf.” When asked about that report, Zuckerman told JNS “if the report is indeed true, it is a serious indication of the kind of support to be expected from the Obama administration.” In response to a question from the audience in the Hamptons concerning the effect of the current stalemate in Israel’s peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, Zuckerman said a settlement with the Palestinians “would definitely change the political realities on the ground and it is, of course, in Israel’s self-interest to solve the problems with the Palestinians.”

Celebrating life with a tahara dance By Edmon J. Rodman Jewish Telegraph Agency LOS ANGELES – With her arms raised heavenward and fingers signifying the Hebrew letter shin, Andrea Hodos danced to the choreography of a mitzvah. At a recent Los Angeles conference on Jewish burial practices and the mitzvah of tahara, Hodos used her talents as a dancer and choreographer to interpret the seldomdiscussed ritual preparation for burial of a Jewish body. Her dance, introduced in June at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles, was part of the evening program of The North American Chevra Kadisha and Jewish Cemetery Conference organized by Kavod v’Nichum – literally, honor and comfort – a national chevra kadisha education and support organization. The conference covered such topics as natural burial and green cemeteries, the environmental and

financial issues involved with burial vs. cremation, and emerging gender issues in Jewish burial. “How you treat people when they’re dead really changes how you treat them when they’re alive,” said Dr. Michael Slater, the president of Kavod v’Nichum and a member of a tahara group. Slater, a practicing Chicago physician, met Hodos in Jerusalem in 1991 and continued to follow her work. He said he invited her to the conference to “help find a different way to represent to the world what we do.” “Death is hard, but it shouldn’t be scary. No one wants to talk about it,” Slater said, noting that those who work with the dead have issues, too. “There are emotional and physical challenges to performing tahara.” Tahara, which means ritual washing, includes rechitza, a cleanliness washing, as well as halbasha, dressing the meit (male deceased) or meitah (female) in shrouds.

To create the dance, Hodos, who uses movement and theater exercises in her work interpreting the Torah, reached into her family history. “I began thinking about my grandmother,” who had died a few years earlier, said Hodos. After the funeral Genie Zeiger, who had participated in the tahara for Hodos’ grandmother, presented the family with a poem titled “Washing the Corpse.” “She lay in stillness under a thin white sheet,” began the poem, which unemotionally takes the reader through the steps of tahara, as well as connects those steps to the meitah’s life. “Needlepoint was her specialty,” the poem continued, “and so it was with that exacting care that we tied her white linen vestments.” “I was moved by how the poet had captured so much without even knowing her,” Hodos said. DANCE on page 21

connection seems unlikely

By JTA Staff Jewish Telegraph Agency NEW YORK – He’s not a Jew. At least that’s the latest on the man behind the anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims,” which has fueled attacks on U.S. diplomatic installations in Libya, Egypt and Yemen. The Libya attack left the country’s U.S. ambassador, J. Christopher Stevens, and three other diplomats dead. The filmmaker appears to be an Egyptian Christian rather than an Israeli Jew, as he had claimed in interviews. The Associated Press tracked down an Egyptian Coptic Christian living in Southern California who admitted to involvement with the film’s logistics, and whose middle name and a known alias closely resemble the apparently fake name – Sam Bacile – used by the filmmaker. A 14-minute trailer for the crudely produced film ridiculing Islam’s Prophet Muhammad and posted to YouTube with an Arabic translation has been cited as the reason for the outbreak of violence at U.S. diplomatic posts in the Middle East. On Tuesday night, heavily armed Islamists stormed the U.S. Consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi, killing Stevens and three members of his staff. Fighters claimed that their actions were driven by anger at the film, though U.S. officials believe the assault may have been pre-planned. The deadly attack followed angry protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, where rioters breached the compound’s walls and destroyed its American flag. On Thursday, protesters stormed the grounds of the U.S. Embassy in Yemen’s capital city of Sana’a. There were also more antiAmerican demonstrations in Cairo and other capitals of Muslim countries. In the wake of the initial violence, several media outlets interviewed a California man who gave his name as Sam Bacile who reportedly had produced, directed and written “Innocence of Muslims.” The man said he was an IsraeliAmerican real estate developer hoping to help Israel with the film, which he said was financed with $5 million by 100 Jewish donors. While media outlets, including JTA, widely repeated his claims, they quickly came under scrutiny. There appears to have been no such person by that name involved in film or real estate, nor was that name known in California’s Jewish and Israeli communities. A highranking Israeli official in Los

Courtesy of U.S. Department of State

Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens was one of four U.S. diplomats killed in a rocket attack in Bengazi on Sept. 11, 2012.

Angeles told JTA on Wednesday that extensive inquiries among Hollywood insiders and members of the local Israeli community failed to turn up a single person who knew a Sam Bacile. A self-described Christian activist from Southern California who was a consultant to the film told The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg that Bacile was a pseudonym and he was not Israeli, and likely not Jewish. The consultant, Steve Klein, who has a history of antiIslam activism, said that those behind the film were largely Evangelical Christians and included some Copts. A member of the film’s cast, who said she and others involved with the film were misled about its true message, said the film’s director was Egyptian. The Associated Press located an Egyptian man by the name of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula who said that he had handled logistics for the company that produced the film. While Nakoula denied being Sam Bacile, the AP traced the cell phone it had used to contact the filmmaker to Nakoula’s address. The wire service said that when Nakoula showed a reporter his driver’s license, he had kept his thumb over his middle name, which resembles the filmmaker’s alias. In 2010, Nakoula pleaded no contest to federal bank fraud charges and was ordered to pay more than $790,000 in restitution, the AP reported. The report cited federal court papers saying that Nakoula had used the name Nicola Bacily, among other aliases. Nakoula said that he supported the concerns of his fellow Coptic Christians regarding their treatment by Egypt’s Muslim majority. A host of Jewish organizations have issued statements condemning the attacks on U.S. installations.



Poland’s reviving Jewish communities come (way, way) out By Cnaan Lipshiz Jewish Telegraph Agency ZAKOPANE, Poland – In southern Polish woods, an unfamiliar blast alarms hikers and wildlife as it pierces the still of a misty morning. It has been a long time since a shofar echoed in these mountains. At the narrow end of the traditional Jewish horn are the puckered lips of Rabbi Tyson Herberger, an American who works for the Warsaw Jewish Community. Earlier this month, he led Poland’s first Torah Trek – an adult summer camp that marries Jewish learning with hiking. With Poland’s synagogues and Jewish centers once again providing basic services, local Jewish communities are taking to the outdoors as the next step toward expanding Jewish community life here with more exotic activities. The Torah Trekkers stayed for five days at the remote Kalatowki lodge, a mountain resort so isolated that it can be reached only by four-wheel drive. The daily shofar sessions – a tradition in Elul, the Hebrew month that precedes Rosh Hashanah – took place on the trail, out of consideration for the lodge’s other guests. It still drew some attention. “People would stop and look and take pictures, of course,” Herberger says at the lodge. He and

his Norway-born wife, Rebecca, and other partners negotiated and set up a makeshift kosher kitchen here just for the trekkers. “It showed how little is needed, not even a synagogue, to live a Jewish life,” Rebecca Herberger says. “That’s especially important for a community in the process of rebuilding itself.” Organizers plan to make an annual event out of the Torah Trek, which was largely subsidized by the Luxemburg-based Matanel Foundation. Small, diverse and enthusiastic, the 14-person Torah Trek team seems representative of Polish Jewry today. Some participants regularly wear kipahs and keep basic mitzvot; some are expatriates; others only recently explored their Jewish roots. The trek’s Torah portion went beyond the basics, to explore and discuss the relationship between man and nature in Jewish sources, as well as Jewish philosophy and the ideas of Martin Buber. The Jewish Polish student group Zoom, founded in 2007, recently started holding winter retreats near the Torah Trek lodge at Zakopane, a well-known ski resort. “There are all kinds of such programs now,” says Karina Sokoloska, country director for Poland for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). Her organization held a one-

International Briefs

At one Jerusalem shul, prayer’s not three times a day, it’s morning to night

(R-L) Jakob Staszevski, Tyson Herberger and Rebecca Herberger at Kalatowki Lodge in southern Poland, Sept. 6, 2012.

week summer camp on the Baltic coast last month for young families. More than 200 people attended. The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation held yet another family retreat with greater emphasis on religion. Polish Jewry’s annals reveal that the current summer camp trend is the resumption of an old tradition. The Tatra region’s gravest hiking accident befell a young Zionist group not three miles away from the Torah Trek venue. Climbing a peak in stormy weather, four members of the Akiba group were killed by a lightning bolt on Aug. 15, 1939. That fateful year, Zakopane registered its first independent Jewish community, just weeks before World War II broke out. The com-

munity was wiped out in the Holocaust. The grounds of one synagogue are now home to a marketplace; the remains of the other shul were incorporated into a cemetery that was restored in 2004. Jews in Poland are not the only ones seeking to reconnect with nature. In Ukraine, the JDC-funded Metzuda group of Odessa started leading summer camps for young adults three years ago. It was the first time in decades that this community of 45,000 Jews had organized such an outing on its own initiative, according to program coordinator Mariya Zarud. However, the Jewish Agency for Israel had organized some camps during the past 20 years.

By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraph Agency Iran commander: If Israel attacks, ‘nothing will remain’ (JTA) – Iran’s top Revolutionary Guard commander warned that “nothing will remain” if Israel takes military action against Iran over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear activities. “Our response to Israel is clear: I think nothing will remain of Israel” should it attack Iran, Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari said Sunday, providing more specifics than are typically included in Iranian threats, according to The Associated Press. “Given Israel’s small land area and its vulnerability to a massive volume of Iran’s missiles, I don’t think any spot in Israel will remain safe,” he said. Jafari also warned that Iran might close the Straits of Hormuz if it is attacked, withdraw from the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty and hit U.S. bases in the Middle East, AP reported. INT’L BRIEFS on page 19

JERUSALEM – On the ground floor of a building on a leafy residential street in southern Jerusalem, two men squeeze past each other in a crowded foyer. One is wearing a small, flat, glistening black hat and a long coat, the typical dress of some Chasidim even in the summer heat. The other seems dressed to the season, his head bare save for a kipah. His tight black T-shirt reads “And the Oscar goes to...” They are two of approximately 1,200 men, according to a fundraising flier, who arrive daily to pray at the Shtiblach, a four-room synagogue known to some locals as a minyan factory. The Shtiblach – Yiddish for “small synagogues” – hosts 50 prayer services daily, one every 15 to 30 minutes morning, afternoon and night. “It’s an opportunity to pray at unconventional hours,” said Kenny Fisher, 50. “You don’t get the feeling of a community shul, but it offers the convenience of minyans throughout the day.” Indeed, the Shtiblach is no place for weddings, bar mitzvah recep-

The foyer of the Shtiblach, a round-the-clock synagogue in southern Jerusalem.

tions or charity drives. There are no paintings or stained-glass windows. Its walls, instead, feature clocks and bulletin boards stuffed with fliers advertising minyan times, membership dues or the occasional class. Far from doubling as a community center, as most American and some Israeli synagogues do, it has a singular purpose: all prayers, all the time, from 6 a.m. to midnight. Despite the military efficiency with which services stop and start,

the place presents an aura of controlled chaos. Men come and go in a loud foyer, some stopping to talk, others reading religious pamphlets, and others inserting coins into a stack of tzedakah boxes that evokes an apartment building’s mailboxes. With the sanctuaries’ doors open, a cacophony of worshipers is heard. Outside, on a front lawn filled with picnic tables, four men attempt to start yet another minyan. Across from them, two

Torah Trekking required some sacrifice on the part of Jakob Staszevski of Warsaw. He helps to make up the minyan – the minimum 10 men required for some ritual rites – in three different synagogues every week and “staying in one place was not easy,” he says as he hurries back from the lodge into civilization. For Staszevski, 32, the summer camp was a late “tikkun” – repair. As a boy, he was bullied by “some rude boys” at a non-Jewish summer camp and never returned to one until Torah Trek happened. His story is typical of young, educated adults from Jewish homes. “I knew one of my grandparents was Jewish. Then I found out about additional relatives, then I learned I was Jewish according to halacha,” he says, referring to Jewish law. “I explored my Jewishness in university and gradually became more involved.” Many like him re-entered Jewish life after the collapse of the Soviet bloc, whose regimes tried to blur religious affiliations as a matter of policy. “The Bible and other Jewish sources are full of nature, but we’ve moved away from it, becoming the people of the book. The trek was a way to reconnect,” says another participant, Jonathan Orenstein, the New York-born director of the Jewish Community Centre of Krakow.

haredi Orthodox men contemplate buying a snack from a vending machine. Within the sanctuaries, each service’s leader chooses the prayer style, be it Moroccan, Lithuanian, Chasidic or anything in between. The Shtiblach is hardly the only minyan factory in Jerusalem; others dot Jerusalem’s haredi Orthodox neighborhoods, while the Western Wall may host even more minyans at greater frequency than does the Shtiblach. But unlike those other minyan factories, which aside from the Wall cater to relatively homogeneous religious populations, the Shtiblach serves the diverse neighborhood of Katamon, bringing together Ashkenazim and Sephardim, haredi and modern Jews, and Americans, Russians and nativeborn Israelis. Not far away, Israelis of all stripes fill restaurants, cafes and shops on Emek Refaim Street. “You see the range that’s available in Israel, and people respect each other,” said Michael Schein, 30. “This is very much a communal institution. It’s not like a haredi neighborhood.” SHUL on page 22



Palestinian economic protests point 351 North American olim arrive in Israel... with a to uncertain future for PA, Israel

little help from their friends

By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraph Agency TEL AVIV – Could the Palestinian Authority’s budget woes end up costing Israel? Growing economic protests in the West Bank could lead to increased regional instability and perhaps even the end of the Palestinian Authority, experts are warning. At this point, however, they say the protests are unlikely to result in an eruption of violence against Israel. The unrest began last week in response to the rising cost of living in Palestinian cities, as well as to a delay in paying P.A. employees. Thousands of protesters in Nablus and Hebron burned tires and threw stones on Monday, injuring 50 people. The P.A. Cabinet responded by paying employees half of their August salaries, cutting spending and lowering taxes. And on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the transfer of an advance of about $65 million to the Palestinian Authority. “We are working on several fronts in order to help the Palestinian Authority cope with its economic problems,” Netanyahu said in a statement on Sept. 11. “We have made several changes in the taxation agreements. We are advancing certain transfers. We have also helped with Palestinian workers and with a series of other steps in order to make things easier for them.” In 2009, in his policy address at Bar Ilan University, Netanyahu had called “upon the leaders of the Arab countries to join together

By Judie Jacobson JointMedia News Service

Courtesy of Issam Rimawi/flash90/JTA

Palestinians demonstrating against the high costs of living in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Sept. 11, 2012.

with the Palestinians and with us to promote economic peace. Economic peace is not a substitute for peace, but it is a very important component in achieving it.” The P.A. crisis began in earnest in July, when an aid shortfall caused by regional instability and a bad global economy threatened to leave it without enough money to pay that month’s salaries. Even after a $100 million Saudi loan closed the P.A. budget gap, the authority received harsh criticism from the World Bank. In a July 25 report, the World Bank noted, “While the Palestinian Authority has had considerable success in building the institutions of a future state, it has made less progress in developing a sustainable economic base.” With protests expected to flare up again next week, economics experts say that Israel and the international community must do more to keep the Palestinian

Authority afloat. They are particularly concerned about the shortfall in the Palestinian Authority’s budget, which relies heavily on international aid. “If the Palestinian Authority is not going to get support from donors, it will not be able to survive six months from now,” said Samir Abdullah, the director general of the Palestinian Economic Policy Research Institute. P.A. Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, seen as an architect of the Palestinian economy, has been a target of the protests, but P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas has stuck by his side. Abdullah says that if Fayyad were to resign that would undermine the Palestinian Authority’s relationship with its donors. “He’s not going to resign,” Abdullah said. “He’s a good fighter and he can’t leave this to others who have very little experience and very little knowledge of how to have relations with donors.”

Israel tight-lipped over report on strike on Syria reactor By Israel Hayom JointMedia News Service Israel was tight-lipped following last Monday’s extensive revelations by The New Yorker magazine about the September 2007 bombing of a Syrian nuclear reactor which, according to foreign sources, was carried out by the Israel Air Force. Israel has never taken official responsibility for the incident. Then-Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi told the Calcalist financial conference in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, “This morning I got up and I read in the newspaper and I heard [through the media] that in 2007 the IDF attacked some Syrian reactor. I don’t know what you’re talking about, but I do know that

one shouldn’t discuss everything.” According to the report, Ashkenazi was the one who recommended a low-profile air strike five years ago. Environment Minister Gilad Erdan appeared to allude to the strike in an interview with Israel Radio on Tuesday on the issue of a possible Israeli strike on Iran. “According to what was reported, then, too, President [George W.] Bush was not enthused by an attack, did not agree to the United States taking part, and in any event the right step was taken,” Erdan said. Asked by Reuters when Israel might give an on-record account of what happened at the Syrian reactor at Deir al-Zor, dropping its censorship order, a defense official said there was no such decision pending.

But the official also indicated that Israel no longer felt the same reluctance to offend Damascus, having written off President Bashar al-Assad as the Syrian insurgency deepens. “Can you imagine what the mess in Syria would look like today if Assad had nukes?” the official said. According to The New Yorker article, written by David Makovsky, Mossad agents broke into the Vienna home of Ibrahim Othman, the head of the Syrian Atomic Energy Commission, on March 7, 2007. Israel was seeking information on the possibility that Syria had renewed its interest in a nuclear program, a suspicion that originally arose in Israel in 2006. REPORT on page 22

It was 7:30 in the morning on Tuesday, Aug. 14 when El Al flight 3004 out of New York touched down on a remote tarmac on the outer edges of Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport. Not a moment too soon for the planeload of passengers who had spent the previous 10 hours schmoozing in the aircraft’s cramped aisles, catching a catnap here and there and dining on airline cuisine. No sooner did the plane’s doors swing open then they came bounding down the portable metal staircase. A few minutes later, the group of more than 350 boarded buses for a short ride to what looked like an abandoned terminal, filled with family and friends…and a full-blown party. Finally, to much fanfare, in walked the Prime Minister himself. Mounting the podium, Bibi Netanyahu addressed the crowd in both Hebrew and English. “B’ruchim ha’ba-im ha’bayta,” he began. “Welcome to Israel; welcome home!” Okay, so it wasn’t your typical flight arrival at Ben Gurion Airport. Then again, El Al flight 3004 wasn’t your typical flight. In fact, the El Al charter flight that departed New York on Monday afternoon, Aug. 13 was filled with 351 “olim chadashim” – 351 North American new immigrants on their way to start a new life as citizens of the place where, as Netanyahu told the crowd, “the identity of our people was forged – where we are building a Jewish future.” Israel. Among the 351: 48 families, 93 children, 154 singles, and 127 young people set to enlist in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) – the largest number of new IDF soldiers to arrive on a flight ever. They came from three Canadian provinces, as well as 27 American states. There were among them, not surprisingly, a rabbi, several doctors, and a variety of computer experts; but there was also a meteorologist, an architect, a renowned cookbook author, and a massage therapist, as well as a host of other professions. There were almost as many stories on board as there were olim. “I was a student at [the University of California at] Berkeley and that’s actually where I got involved with Israel,” said Brian Maissy, a 22-year old from Orange County, Calif., who recently received his degree in computer science. Ironically, said Maissy, it was Berkeley’s infamous anti-Israel bent that prompted him to learn more about Zionism. “One of my first experiences was walking on the main campus and being handed flyers containing anti-Israel propaganda. I wasn’t expecting this. So, I

Courtesy of Nefesh B'Nefesh

Soon-to-be-soldiers exiting the Nefesh B’Nefesh aliyah flight on the runway at Ben Gurion airport Aug. 14.

looked for a Zionist organization on campus and found one called Tikvah Students for Israel.” Maissy spent the last three summers in Israel on various programs. “I just fell in love with the place and figured it was time to come home,” said Maissy, who was one of the flight’s 127 young adults making aliyah as part of Tzofim Garin Tzabar, a program for Diaspora youth who wish to serve in the IDF. “I’m going into the army because I want to do my part to contribute to the country.” For the Spiegels of Cleveland, Ohio, making aliyah was practically pre-ordained. “My wife and I have wanted to make aliyah since we were teenagers,” said Alan Speigel, who stood on the EL AL check-in line at JFK, watching over the family’s cart piled high with luggage, as his wife, Rivka, corralled their three young children – Orly, 7, Samuel, 5, and Amitai, 2. “We’ve been planning for this day for the past 10 years,” said Speigel, a pediatrician. As for Pam and Ira Brenner, they hadn’t imagined leaving family and friends in Hollywood, Fla. for an apartment in Ra’anana – not until their two daughters decided to make Israel their home. “We want to be near our children and our granddaughter,” said Pam, whose daughters each decided to make aliyah after participating in Taglit Birthright Israel trips. Despite the different narratives that may have brought them to this moment, however, the 351 olim shared two things: A strong desire, as Bibi put it, to link their “personal future with the future of the Jewish state and the Jewish people;” and the help they received in making aliyah from Nefesh B’Nefesh, an organization dedicated to revitalizing aliyah from North America and the United Kingdom by minimizing the obstacles that can hinder its success. The special charter flight that brought them to Israel to was organized by Nefesh B’Nefesh (NBN) and Friends of the IDF (FIDF), in cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel and Tszofim Garin Tzabar. 351 on page 22



Lion of Judah Thank You Event The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati hosted a Lion of Judah Thank You Event on May 30 at the Losantiville Country Club. Author and television host Alison Lebovitz was the featured speaker. Flutist Ariella Perlman, daughter of Itzhak Perlman; pianist Michael Chertok; and cellist Amit Even-Tov performed for the crowd. Lion of Judah is perhaps the most powerful symbol of today’s Jewish woman’s strength, a symbol of her caring about the organized Jewish world and a symbol of her financial commitment of at least $5,000.

Sylvia Slovin, Roberta Fisher, Stacey Fisher

Evelyn Fisher, Linda Berger, Sue Price

Betsy Shapiro, April Davidow and Mona Kerstine

Speaker Allison Lebovitz with Ronna Schneider

Event co-chairs with speaker. (L-R) Gina Blatt, Pattie Heldman, Alison Lebowitz, speaker, Chrissie Blatt and Evelyn Fisher



Rabbi Irvin and Kathy Wise’s 20 Years at Adath Israel Celebration On June 3, over 600 people attended an emotion filled evening honoring Rabbi Irvin and Kathy Wise’s 20 years at Adath Israel Congregation. The evening included a surprise appearance from Cantor Dani and Bat’ella Birnbaum who live in Israel.

Committee Chairs Ellen Golub, Lilly Kurtz, and Nina Paul (Not pictured: Joel Golub, Mark Kurtz, Eddie Paul, Myles and Penny Pensak)

Daniel and Lesley Podberesky & Adam and Sherry Symson

M.C. Mendy Fisher pretends to get a phone call from Israel from Cantor Dani and Bat’ella Birnbaum

Becca Wood, Jennifer and Burke Byer and Gary Vernon and Shayne Byer

Steve and Mindy Nemoff

Cantor Dani Birnbaum with Paul Feldman

Marilyn Zemboch, Judge Susan Dlott, Stan Chesley, Tom Zemboch

Shelley Kipner, Alan Sholiton, Beth Goldfarb

Eddie Wolf, Rabbi Irvin Wise and Amy Diamond



Elizabeth Hall, Rabbi Wise, Ray & Patti Schneider, Beth Guttman, Harry Davidow

Cantor Dani and Bat’ella Birnbaum surprise everyone with a live appearance

The crowd is excited to see the Birnbaum’s appear onstage, including Rabbi Wise’s brother Ron (center) pictured with Ellen and Joel Golub, David Wise, and others.

Synagogue Band Shir Ami performs an original song in honor of Rabbi and Kathy Wise

Rabbi and Kathy Wise’s daughters Shalva, Ora, and Tehila

Lilly and Mark Kurtz - two of the Committee Chairs

Rabbi and Kathy Wise and their children take in the emotions of the original song “You Care for Us” performed by Shir Ami

Rabbi Wise and Cantor Dani Birnbaum embrace

0ver 600 were in attendance to honor Rabbi and Kathy Wise and their family.

The Committee Chairs present Rabbi and Kathy Wise with a beautiful photo of their family.

Rabbi Wise, Kathy Wise, and daughter Tehila sway to the music.



Meritage of Cincinnati—the right kind of classy By Michael Sawan Assistant Editor Never before have I entered a restaurant and thought “oh wow, they’ve had an interior designer in here.” But that’s how Meritage is: from design to smell to taste, you know you’re in for a professionally planned treat. There is plenty of natural light, the ceilings are moderately high and the color scheme is muted, but warm. The front room has flat screen TVs and the most impressive bar I’ve seen in a while: not only was their breadth of drinks respectable, but the bar itself just looked neat, a metallic and glass contrast to the otherwise painted plaster restaurant. All the while, the social atmosphere was friendly and accommodating. This is the place for anything from business to casual, a good low key restaurant to find impressive food with a smooth presentation. And I should add, the music in the background was great, too! Whoever makes their playlist should be a professional at having good taste. Kristie Fowee, the owner and chef of Meritage, explained to me that the restaurant has managed to find quite a niche since its opening a little over a year ago. “We’re different from all the other restaurants in this area,” Chef Fowee stated, adding that Meritage has been able to not only draw from its native Glendale, but all over Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. “We’ve gotten a lot of support from the community,” she added, and no wonder – Meritage’s menu could find support from most any taste. They have fresh fish dishes, fancy salads, burgers, and the aforementioned full bar. What’s not to like? My visit began with the amazingly crispy Fried Zucchini and Eggplant, an appetizer that came with a side of both cocktail and garlic aioli sauce. This is a very pretty dish with a presentation that covers a lot of ground: the green of the zucchini pops out between gaps in the golden brown batter, making a sort of “healthy but not” attitude that put me in a good mood. I decided to try the fried zucchini and eggplant sans sauce to start and I was not disappointed. The crispy outer layer was, of course, awesomely salty and crunchy, while the vegetables added a lightness that was unexpected. To contrast, something like french fries or cheese sticks are heavy all the way, but when you fry an eggplant you really do get a bit of a load off. It’s as though the veggies had been steamed, with the crispy batter adding the guilty pleasure. The dish really came alive with the cocktail sauce. Now there was the tangy-sweet taste of that rolled in, giving the appetizer a round, balanced, yet pointed taste. The dish had become a complete statement, enveloping a breadth of

(Clockwise) The Fish of the Day, which was corvina, served with rice and asparagus; The Fried Eggplant and Zucchini, with a side of cocktail sauce and garlic aioli; Owner and chef of Meritage, Kristie Fowee; The fabulously presented Creme Brulee with blackberries.

tastes under a unified sense of direction. The garlic aioli sauce had a similar effect, but oh gosh: just take it as a sign of how good that cocktail sauce was, it just blew the dish up. Next was the Fish of the Day, which for me was a freshly delivered corvina filet. Chef Fowee explained to me that it really is quite random what comes in, since there are so many variables in regards to both the season and general availability of all the various kinds of fish. I had never had corvina and I didn’t know what to expect. I was presented with a very even, smooth, buttery white fish that was seared brown, covered in an assortment of herbs and spices, and needless to say I was pleasantly surprised. The fish had three taste layers: an initial peppery

zest, created by the crispy exterior; a garlic and lemon blend that strikes in the middle; and a buttery smoothness that works as a base for the dish, constantly there but only when you go to notice it. It’s like watching a play and noticing what a nice color the stage has. The asparagus was a nice addition, giving a good crunch to the very flakey, smooth fish. It was also buttery, with a nice salt and pepper seasoning that had a similar effect as the fried zucchini and eggplant: healthy and hearty at the same time. The rice was also a good addition, a nice peppery bed that supported the fish in more ways than one. It had a slightly different pepper taste than the fish, as though the fish tasted like pepper the vegetable, while the rice tasted like pepper the spice. The two mixed wonderfully.

Finally I had a surprisingly complicated Creme Brulee. It was prepared very well, with a nice crispy shell on top and a smooth creamy custard underneath. Sometimes Creme Brulee can be a little too rich, but not this one. The dish’s sweetness was twisted together very well with the creaminess, making for a very balanced, easy going combination. No matter how much I ate, or how quickly, it never felt like it was “sticking,” or otherwise hanging heavily someplace inside of me. The supporting flavors were also well done, with a nice amount of vanilla and even a tapioca taste, though I can’t vouch for its presence in the dish. What ended up being most interesting about the Creme Brulee was the blackberries that came along with it. I took a

healthy spoonful with both included, and it ended up adding a tanginess that I had never thought to try. And, for the third time that night, I was presented with the lightness of one element combining with the heartiness of another, again to terrific effect. For any sort of meal, Meritage is a wonderful option. It can be dressed up or down, the menu has kid friendly options, and the atmosphere is pretty much anything you’re in the mood for, as long as you’re in the mood for friendly. Their hours are Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m – 10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Saturday, 4 – 11 p.m.; Sunday, 5 – 10 p.m. Meritage Restaurant 1140 Congress Avenue Cincinnati, Ohio 45246 513-376-8134


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

Dear Editor, This is a wake up call to all my fellow Jews who voted for Obama. You were able to relieve your ‘white guilt’ and felt warm and fuzzy voting for an African American President of the United States. You were warned about his anti Semitic left wing leanings however you voted for him based upon the color of his skin instead of his politics. Voting for someone because they were born a certain race is racist is it not? Well, be careful what you ask for. You may have to live with the consequences. Iran is about to unveil an atomic bomb to place on the missiles that they have been testing for the past three years. Israel has been described as a ‘one bomb state’. The famous Alamogordo test site is a spot of glass on the desert floor! Obama actively supported and encouraged the destabilization of the entire Middle East through the Arab Spring. The people he held hands with during the recent uprisings have attacked the American Embassies, assassinated the American ambassador (only the 4th in history) and declared “death to Jews , Israel and the USA.” What has President Obama done? He refuses to meet with

our only democratic friend in the Middle East, asked Iran to stop making nuclear weapons (we should give him credit, he said “pretty please” and then he got really tough and said “I double dog dare you to ignore me”). So, M.O.T. (Member of the Tribe) congratulations, your “White Guilt” is gone, unfortunately Israel may be next. Let’s give BHO four more years. He only has the situation 80% destroyed. Let him complete the job. Sincerely, Paul Glassman Cincinnati, OH Dear Editor, While I am not a fan of one issue voting, I do think it is important for our community to consider a presidential candidate’s views on Israel. Recently there was a dustup about the Democratic party’s platform. This seemed overblown, as most people never read a party’s platform, it has no force of law, and the statements contained in them are usually hyperbole. People have tried to blame Pres. Obama for removing any language about Jerusalem from the Democratic platform, but the New York Times reported September 5

that Obama himself asked that the Jerusalem language from 2008 be restored and there was no mention of Obama being responsible for the drafting committee taking the language out in the first place. It is true that the Obama administration has not recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. But, it is important to note that that is same position taken by the administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush. In 2002, the Bush administration ignored congressional instructions that it change the way it treats the city of Jerusalem, arguing that the instructions were merely nonbinding recommendations. The law said that the consul general should report to the ambassador, that government documents should identify Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and that Americans born in Jerusalem can insist that their place of birth be listed as Israel. President Bush said “Such provisions, if construed as mandatory rather than advisory, would impermissibly interfere with the President’s constitutional authorities to conduct the nation's foreign affairs.” Did anyone view Bush as anti-Israel due to this? Candidate Bush vowed to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, but President Bush

never did. Did anyone view Bush as anti-Israel due to this? The 2000 Republican platform said “Immediately upon taking office, the next Republican president will begin the process of moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s captial, Jerusalem.” The 2004 Republican platform said, “Republicans continue to support moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem.” By 2008, that language was gone and did not reappear for 2012. The 2012 Republican platform does not say that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. It says “we envision two democratic states – Israel with Jerusalem as its capital and Palestine – living in peace and security.” You envision something that does not exist yet, so even here, there is not a clear statement that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. However, I consider all of this platform discussion to be noise that distracts from the real issue of whether a candidate supports Israel. For any challenger, that will have to based on words. For the incumbent, what should count is whether he has supported Israel since taking office and the evidence shows he has. A few items to consider: President Obama signed into law the toughest sanctions ever against Iran that have already started to hurt Iran’s economy. He has declared that Iran will not be allowed to develop atomic weapons and no options are off the table. He opposed the Palestinians’

attempt to unilaterally declare a state. Since he took office, the US has voted with Israel 100% of the time at the United Nations, a first in modern history. He stood before the United Nations General Assembly and reaffirmed that any lasting peace must acknowledge the fundamental legitimacy of Israel and its security concerns and said that Israel must be recognized. He has insisted that any future border changes accommodate Israel’s security and demographic concerns.He has met with Prime Minister Netanyahu seven times since taking office. Security assistance to Israel has increased every year since President Obama took office. He fast-tracked arms sales to Israel including bunker buster missiles and F-35s. In July of this year, he signed the United StatesIsrael Enhanced Security Cooperation Act and offered $70 million in funding for Israel’s missile defense system, dubbed Iron Dome. He immediately intervened to rescue Israel’s diplomats in Cairo. I would not vote for a candidate who failed to support Israel, but despite the anti-Israel rap given by some, President Obama has been a strong supporter of Israel, not just in words, but in deeds. I understand that many people will not vote for President Obama for a variety of reasons, but his support for Israel should not be one of them. Sincerely, Andrew Steinberg, Cincinnati, OH

New Year’s holidays offer a universal message By Adin Steinsaltz Jewish Telegraph Agency JERUSALEM (JTA) – The start of the Jewish New Year, the month of Tishrei, is filled with holy days, among them four foundational celebrations: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Simchat Torah-Shemini Atzeret. They are quite different from one another. Yet we may also think of all four holidays as two pairs of two. The first two – the day of memory and accounting and the day of atonement – are awe inspiring and grave compared with the last two festivals, which are days of joy. At the same time, the first three holidays do have a common denominator: As much as they are

Jewish holidays, they carry a universal message. Embedded within them are three of humanity’s cardinal touchstones: accounting and judgment; mercy and atonement; and the joy of life. These attributes and qualities are essential to the lives of every human being. We mark the New Year by commemorating creation on the one hand and celebrating the Kingship of the Lord on the other. Both creation and God’s sovereignty pertain to all humankind and are not specifically Jewish. The Day of Atonement, too, is relevant to every human being. Life is full of mistakes and transgressions. Without atonement it would be unbearable to go on living with the unresolved and

C O R R E C T I O N: The Camp Livingston article that appeared in last week’s (September 13, 2012) issue was written by Linda Rothstein. We apologize for leaving out the author’s name.

The very touchstones that we mark in Tishrei are what make us human. painful pieces of our past. Sukkot at first glance seems to be far more connected with Jewish history. Yet at its essence, the holiday is actually a festival of thanksgiving for what we have. We acknowledge the tranquility in our lives and express our gratitude for Divine gifts. Moreover, our sages teach us that during Sukkot – in the days of the Holy Temple – 70 bulls were offered to God in the name of the 70 nations of the world. As the prophet Zachariah foretells, in the days to come it is on Sukkot that all the peoples of the world will

come as pilgrims to the Temple in Jerusalem (14:16-21). This combination of the particular and the universal is not just one more interesting point; it is the key for understanding the meaning of these three holidays. In all our other celebrations, and perhaps in Jewish religious life in general, we stress the specificity of Jewish existence. Most of our holidays and memorial days are deeply connected with our own history. In Tishrei, however, we focus on our fundamental humanity, on the fact that we are human beings with great problems. In this con-

text, humanity is not defined as a group of human beings. Here we speak of our basic humanity – humanity as a quality. The very touchstones that we mark in Tishrei are what make us human. The essence of the universality of these holidays, then, is not in the point of sharing with others, it is in delving into ourselves in order to reveal and find some of the fundamentals of our existence. We explore and acknowledge what is universal to all humankind within our own selves. The fourth and last of the holidays of Tishrei, Shemini Atzeret (and with it Simchat Torah), stands in clear contrast to the first three. As beautifully depicted by our sages, the King made a great banquet to which he invited all the citizens of his realm. At the end of these feasts, he called his most beloved friend and said now that all these big events are over, let us have a small banquet just for the two of us (tractate Sukkah 55b).



repeat again and again during the Yom Kippur prayers, “And I shall sprinkle upon you the waters of purification and you shall become pure” (Ezekiel 36:25). Jonah who is cast overboard into the raging waters has challenged G-d, endeavored to escape the Divine mission, and is therefore worthy of death. G-d, however, in His infinite compassion provides a great fish – a creature of the water – to follow Jonah and bring him back to life. In Jonah’s own words “I called, in my distress, to G-d and He answered me From the belly of the grave I cried out. You heard my voice. You cast me into the depth of the heart of the sea… your waves passed over me… yet You lifted my life from the pit O Lord my G-d” (Jonah 2:3-7). The waters almost destroyed Jonah and the waters in the form of a water-creature sent by G-d saved his life. G-d is teaching the crucial lesson that Assyria, who has been so evil and destructive, can and must make a complete turnaround if the world is to be redeemed. And G-d is also teaching that He, G-d, is willing to overlook the evil Assyria has committed if she will indeed repent. Jonah refuses to accept this. He is after all the son of Amitai, a name which is derived from emet, truth. Truth demands that evil never be overlooked; evil must be punished. This is how Jonah explains why he refused G-d’s mission “…. This is why I hastened to flee to Tarshish; I knew that you are a gracious and merciful G-d slow to anger abundant in loving kindness and forgiving of evil.” (Jonah 4:2) This is not the G-d in whom I want to believe, the G-d who described Himself earlier to Moses as the G-d who is “abundant in loving kindness and truth” (Exodus 34:6). But Jonah has forgotten that his first name means dove, and that just as the dove was saved from the flood so was he, Jonah, undeservedly saved from the raging waters. G-d is teaching him that the G-d of compassion will bestow His life giving purity even upon those who have sinned. On Yom Kippur, each of us descends into the “waters of

death.” We wear the white reminiscent of shrouds, we remove ourselves from all physical necessities and pleasures such as food, drink, and sex, and we wear the non-leather shoes of the mourner. For whom are we mourning? We are mourning for ourselves who have died because of our sins. G-d in his compassion, however, returns us to life on Yom Kippur, reborn and purified. G-d sprinkles upon us His life giving waters “For on this day, He shall provide atonement for you, to purify you; you shall be forgiven of all your sins; before G-d shall you stand pure” (Leviticus 16:30). All of us experience the death and the rebirth of Jonah. As the final Mishnah in Yoma says, “How fortunate are you O Israel! Before whom are you purified, and who purifies you? Our Father in Heaven.”












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The American Israelite


1. When is the Shofar blown? a.) Anytime during the day b.) During the Shachrit service c.) During the Musaf service d.) During Shachrit and Musaf 2. Which sound is blown first? a.) Tekiah (long unbroken sound) b.) Shvarim (3 short blasts) c.) Teruah (9 short blasts) 3. Must the shofar be curved? has three separate blessings special for Rosh Hashana. 5. A We show our confidence that Hashem will hear our prayers.

Efrat- Israel: “For on this day, He shall provide atonement for you, to purify you; you shall be forgiven of all your sins; before G-d shall you stand pure” (Leviticus 16:30). One of the highlights of the Yom Kippur liturgy is the reading of the Book of Jonah, a small book which contains a world of philosophy. The major message of Jonah is likewise the major message of Yom Kippur, so that the proper understanding of the former will most certainly illuminate the latter. G-d comes to Jonah, son of Amitai, sending him to call the people of Ninveh to repent. Jonah refuses to do so, and believes he can escape the G-d of the heavens and earth by sailing to the sea. Why did the prophet find a mission to Ninveh so objectionable? Ninveh was the capital city of Assyria which was the arch enemy of Israel. Indeed, in the 8th century B.C.E, Assyria defeated the Ten Tribes and banished them into exile. Jonah cannot understand why G-d is interested in Assyria’s repentance. After all, as long as the Jews have more merits than the Assyrians, the chances of an Israeli victory in battle are far greater. Hence Jonah seeks to escape G-d by boarding a ship bound for Tarshish. A raging storm develops at sea, and a drawing of lots demonstrates that Jonah is responsible for the storm. It is fascinating to note that water is both a major symbol of the Book of Jonah as well as a major symbol of the Tishrei period of festivals. Water is both a symbol of life as well as of destruction. The Bible opens “and the spirit of G-d hovered over the face of the waters” (Genesis 1: 2) and no life can grow without the presence of water. At the same time the Bible tells us right before its description of the life giving waters that “there was darkness on the face of the tehom,” usually translated as the depth of the cavernous waters of the netherworld. It was after all, the waters of the flood which threatened to destroy the world. The Mishna tells us that on the Festival of Sukkot, G-d judges our merit for the life sustaining rain. Rain is therefore a symbol of Gd’s gracious bounty, His purification of His children on the Day of Forgiveness. As the prophet Ezekiel says in words which we

At the same time the Bible tells us right before its description of the life giving waters that “there was darkness on the face of the tehom,” usually translated as the depth of the cavernous waters of the netherworld.

4. Are any prayers said with the shofar blowing? a.) Yes b.) NO 5. Is there a mitzvah to have a festive meal on Rosh Hashana? a.) Yes b.) No

2. A 3. B It is preferable for the shofar to be curved to symbolize bending our hearts to Hashem. 4. A The shofar is blown during Musaf which

by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin


Written by Rabbi Dov Aaron Wise

ANSWERS 1. C The Shofar is blown during the Musaf service. If one did not daven Musaf, the shofar can be blown during the daylight hours.

Sedra of the Week




By Nate Bloom Contributing Columnist EMMY TIME The Primetime Emmy Awards are being presented, live, on ABC on Sunday, Sept. 23, at 5PM PDT. Here are the “confirmed” Jewish nominees in the most prominent categories. Jews who created and/or are main producers of a “best show” nominee precede the show’s name. ACTING: Lead actor, comedy series: LARRY DAVID, 65, Curb Your Enthusiasm”; Lead actress, comedy: LENA DUNHAM, 26, “Girls”; Supporting actor, comedy: MAX GREENFIELD, 32, “New Girl”; Supporting actress, comedy: MAYIM BIALIK, 36, “Big Bang Theory”; Lead actress, drama series: JULIANNA MARGULIES, 46, “The Good Wife”; Supporting actress, mini-series/TV movie: MARE WINNINGHAM, 53, “Hatfields & McCoys”; Guest actress, comedy: MAYA RUDOLPH, 40, “Saturday Night Live” and ELIZABETH BANKS, 38, “30 Rock”. Guest actor, drama: MARK MARGOLIS, 72, “Breaking Bad” and BEN FELDMAN, 32, “Mad Men”; Voice-Over animated: HANK AZARIA, 48, “The Simpsons.” DIRECTING: Comedy series: L. Dunham, “Girls”; JASON WINER, 38, “Modern Family”; STEVE LEVITAN, 50,“Modern Family”; JAKE KASDAN, 37, “New Girl”; and ROBERT B. WEIDE, 53, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”. MiniSeries/Movie: JAY ROACH, 55, “Game Change”; and PHILIP KAUFMAN, 75, “Hemingway & Gellhorn”. WRITING: Comedy series: L. Dunham, “Girls”; Drama series: HOWARD GORDON, 51/GIDEON RAFF, 39, “Homeland”; and MATTHEW WEINER, 47/ERIN LEVY, 28, “Mad Men”. Mini-series/Movie: DANNY STRONG, 38, “Game Change”. Best drama series: HOWARD KORDER, 54, “Boardwalk Empire”; DAVID BENIOFF, 42, /D.B. WEISS, 41, “Game of Thrones”; M. Weiner, “Mad Men”; H. Gordon/G. Raff, “Homeland”; Best comedy series: CHUCK LORRE, 59, “Big Bang Theory”; L. David, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”; L. Dunham, “Girls”; STEVEN LEVITAN, 50, “Modern Family”; LORNE MICHAELS, 67, “30 Rock”; and FRANK RICH, 63, “Veep”. Best mini-series or movie: BRAD FALCHUK, 41, “American Horror Story” and P. Kaufman/BARBARA TURNER, 76, “Hemingway & Gellhorn”. Other notes: “The Daily Show”, starring and co-produced by JON STEWART, 49, is nominated once again for best variety series. It has been nominated every year since 2001 and has won every year since 2003; San Francisco Symphony conductor MICHAEL TILSON



THOMAS, 67, is nominated (best musical direction) for the PBS special about his grandparents, BESSIE and BORIS THOMASHEFSKY, legends of the Yiddish theater; Frank Rich, the co-producer of “Veep,” is the famous columnist Frank Rich, who used to write for the NY Times. WALLFLOWER NOTES Opening in Los Angeles and New York this Friday, Sept. 21, is “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” a film based on the best-selling 1991 young adult novel by Stephen Chobosky. Many more cities will be added on the 28th. Check for an October opening in Cincinnati. It follows the maturation of an adolescent named Charlie (who is also the novel/film’s narrator). LOGAN LERMAN, 20, stars as Charlie. PAUL RUDD, 43, plays his teacher. EZRA MILLER, 19, costars as Patrick, Charlie’s best friend. Emma Watson of “Harry Potter” fame plays Patrick’s step-sister. Miller has been steadily acting in good indie films since 2009, but most have barely been seen. This includes the award-winning 2011 Brit film “We Need to Talk About Kevin.” Miller played a kid who shoots up his high school. Despite great reviews for the film and Miller, it got little theater distribution. Miller landed on my radar when he told the Israeli newspaper “Ha’aretz” earlier this year: “My father is Jewish, my mother is not, but I consider myself entirely Jewish even though according to Jewish law I am not. I encourage everyone to understand that the rules were written before anyone could do DNA tests... I know that I am a descendant of Abraham through my father.” [And a visit to Israel?] “I definitely plan to do this.” That’s about as smart and determined a claim to one’s Jewish identity that I have ever seen come out of the mouth of any person with “only” a Jewish father. But it is especially impressive coming from a 19-year-old. TV UPDATES Here are two additions to my previous column item about Jews in new TV shows: The pilot of the new NBC sit-com, “Animal Practice,” was “sneak previewed” on Aug. 12. The official premiere is on Sept. 26, at 8PM. JUSTIN KIRK, 43 (“Weeds”) stars as a top city-based veterinarian who has a better rapport with animals than he does with humans. He’s surrounded by a group of comically wacky vets and a scenestealing capuchin monkey named Crystal (Kirk’s mother is Jewish). The ABC comedy, “The Neighbors,” which starts on Sept. 26, includes another Jewish cast member: CLARA MAMET, 17. She plays the daughter of a human family that live among space aliens. Mamet is the real-life daughter of playwright DAVID MAMET, 64, and his wife, actress REBECCA PIDGEON, 46.

FROM THE PAGES 150 Y EARS A GO Pike’s Opera House, a magnificent Temple of the Muse, was reopened on last Monday, under the management of Mr. Shires, with one of the largest and most talented stock companies that ever appeared in this city, also a number of the most popular stars, and an efficient Orchestra, under the leadership of Mr. H. Hahn, an artist well-known to the public. The energetic Manager will present the most popular plays in rapid succession, and can not fail to please. All those wishing to spend a pleasant evening, should visit Pike’s. – September 26, 1862

125 Y EARS A GO On Wednesday and Thursday , September 7th and 8th, the vestryrooms of Mound Street Temple were thronged with people who came to attend the fair given by the Grace Aguilar Literary Society at that place. The many booths were most elaborately decorated, and their beauty was augmented by the courtesy and grace of the young ladies in attendance at them. The fishing pond was a special attraction for the children, while the wheel of fortune and post-office served to attract the older persons. Through the efforts of the everactive members of the society, their fair proved to be very successful, both financially and otherwise. Although the report of the Treasurer is not yet completed it is certain that several hundred dollars have been realized. These proceeds will be put to the best possible use. Already one Jewish family, whose circumstances were most distressing, has been relieved. The society will gladly, as fast as it is able, assist those who need and deserve aid. We extend the thanks of the society to all who so generously assisted the members in their endeavors to make the fair a success. The Grace Aguilar literary Society is now, as ever, in a most prosperous condition, and in a fair way to become an important Jewish organization. – September 16, 1887

100 Y EARS A GO Charitable institutions will receive $5,000 immediately and $15,000 later, under the terms of the will of Louis Clock, Jr., wholesale whisky man, who died June 20. His widow is his only heir. The amount of the estate is not estimated. The bequests to be paid at once are: United Jewish Charities, $1,500; Home for Jewish Aged, $1,000; Jewish Hospital, $1,000; Home for Incurables, $500; Children’s Home, $200; Colored Orphan Asylum, $100; Jewish Orphan Asylum, Cleveland, $500; National Hospital for

Consumptives, Denver, Col., $200. The will provides that the entire remainder of the estate is to be held in trust, the income to go to his widow, who lives at 2401 Ashland avenue, Walnut Hills, as long as she lives. It is provided that if at any time the income does not amount to $600 a month the principle of the estate is to be used to allow the wife that amount. – September 19, 1912

75 Y EARS A GO Dr. David Philipson, of Cincinnati’s Rockdale Avenue Temple, wrote the following letter Sept. 9th to his friend of many years, Dr. Thomas P. Hart, upon learning that the latter is retiring from the editorship of The Catholic Telegraph of Cincinnati: “Dear Mr. Hart: “I have just learned that you are retiring from the editorship of The Catholic Telegraph after a service of forty years in that capacity. This is to be much regretted for you have been a great force for inter-religious fellowship and good will. “Personally I have always felt that you are a brother of mine in spirit. It has always been a joy to serve with you on such American enterprises as the Citizenship Council. “May yours be many years of well earned rest from your labors. May He Who is the Father of us all bless you and keep you. “Faithfully Your Friend and Brother, “David Philipson” – September 16, 1937

50 Y EARS A GO New studies of the Cincinnati School Foundation will be activated in early October and additional participants may still be enrolled, announced Dr. Roger C. Crafts, president. The subjects: Schools in Changing Neighborhoods: Factors and methods for adapting schools to provide a high quality of education for all children in a changing neighborhood. Citizens from varied geographic areas and interests are needed for this study. Student Motivation: A study of motivation of students who are not achieving to the full level of their capabilities; role of home and school. Special Education for the Physically, Mentally or Multiple Handicap Child: State, county and city standards and regulations that determine which children should receive public education; Cincinnati needs for special education of handicapped; evaluation of principle of maximum development of each child’s potential. – September 20, 1962

25 Y EARS A GO The high school cultural exchange group, Cincinnati Black & Jewish Youth Experience (BJYE), is starting its third year. The group is sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council, the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission and the Citizens Committee on Youth. The program was founded to improve and enhance relations between the Black and Jewish communities. In the past, the group has consisted primarily of students from Walnut Hills High School. This year the program is being expanded to include students from other schools. Biweekly meetings are usually held at the Harriet Beecher Stowe house. The program’s special aspect is that it is uniquely for young people. Students are given the opportunity to explore and discuss their feelings, personal experiences and biases about being black or Jewish. Community leaders and resource people are regularly called upon to assist with programming. Past activities have included a service at Plum Street Temple recognizing Martin Luther King Jr., watching and discussing “The Color Purple,” and preparing and conducting a Passover Seder. The goal of the program is to educate and prepare our future leaders. – September 24, 1987

10 Y EARS A GO Abby Kreines will become a Bat Mitzvah at Adath Israel Oct. 5. As a Bat Mitzvah project, she wanted to do something special for the Cedar Village residents, so during the summer, she brought her dog, Tess, to visit the residents. “Abby’s visits with Tess fit so perfectly with our Eden Alternative philosophy,” said Mercy Klein, director of volunteers. “They were regular visitors and were able to form lasting relationships with our residents. We were so pleased she thought of volunteering at Cedar Village for her mitzvah project.” While Abby was volunteering at Cedar Village, she approached Lois Kramer, director of recreation and leisure services, about wanting to do something meaningful for the residents with her Bat Mitzvah gifts. She decided to sponsor a trip to the Newport Aquarium and on Aug. 22, Abby and her father, Dr. Michael Kreines, accompanied Cedar Village residents and staff members on the excursion. “Acts of tzedakah and kindness like this touch the lives of our residents in a positive way. We are grateful to Abby for sponsoring this wonderful event,” said Kramer. – September 19, 2002



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

CONGREGATIONS Adath Israel Congregation (513) 793-1800 • Beit Chaverim (513) 984-3393 • Beth Israel Congregation (513) 868-2049 • Congregation Beth Adam (513) 985-0400 • Congregation B’nai Tikvah (513) 759-5356 • Congregation B’nai Tzedek (513) 984-3393 •

Congregation Ohav Shalom (513) 489-3399 • Congregation Ohr Chadash (513) 252-7267 • Congregation Sha’arei Torah Congregation Zichron Eliezer 513-631-4900 • Golf Manor Synagogue (513) 531-6654 • Isaac M. Wise Temple (513) 793-2556 • Kehilas B’nai Israel (513) 761-0769 Northern Hills Synagogue (513) 931-6038 • Rockdale Temple (513) 891-9900 • Temple Beth Shalom (513) 422-8313 • Temple Sholom (513) 791-1330 • The Valley Temple (513) 761-3555 •

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

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

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

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REUNION from page 7 Juksch chided a reporter for “missing the chance” to cover the Huntsville event on site and witness “the bond that exists: not only between GIs who went through [war] but the bond that exists between us and the survivors.” Having been created “through difficult times,” the tie “never disappears,” Juksch said. At the 71st’s reunion six years ago, Zoldan asked the ex-soldiers if they remembered a kid running around who didn’t know English. “Was that you?” they said. “Yes!” Zoldan then told them of remaining behind with the Americans in Gunskirchen, assisting and speaking Yiddish with a Jewish corporal from Brooklyn, N.Y. Airplanes delivered Krations to a German military airfield nearby, and the soldiers piled the boxes nearly a story high. Zoldan, then a teenager, climbed to the top box and removed two cans of baked beans. A guard 100 yards away ordered Zoldan to halt. The boy ignored him, figuring he’d outrun the man. He scampered toward a field, then suddenly stopped. He identified a land mine, one of many the Nazis had compelled him to bury to repel the invaders who’d ultimately strolled unimpeded through the front gate. On his knees, Zoldan cleared the area around the mine as a warning to his American pursuer, who by then had caught up. The man now noticed the mine and, Zoldan said, “wobbled.” He blew a whistle; a flock of soldiers ran up to see why. One was the Jewish soldier from Brooklyn. Zoldan walked the field with him, identifying each mine that the Germans had INT’L BRIEFS from page 9 “The U.S. military bases sprawled around Iran are considered a big vulnerability. Even the missile shields that they have set up, based on information we have, could only work for a few missiles, but when


• • • • •

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

(513) 531-9600 him plant precisely 15 paces apart. “I worked with the corporal every day,” Zoldan said. Zoldan had survived Auschwitz, but was put on a train bound for Mauthausen as the Russians approached and the Nazi killing machine still had unfinished business with the Jews. After just a few days at Mauthausen, he was forcemarched 2 1/2 miles to the Gusen 2 camp, where he’d lost an older brother, Yaakov Shmuel, to a leg disease. Along with two brothers, who also survived, Zoldan was marched to Gunskirchen a month before the Americans stumbled upon it. His parents, two older sisters and a brother had been turned into ash on a single Auschwitz day. After the war, Zoldan was interned yet again, this time by the British, in Cyprus. He made it to prestate Israel on Jan. 14, 1947. He lived there nearly seven years before journeying to New Jersey to visit his sister for a month, but ended up staying because he had met his future wife. As Zoldan related the land mine incident to the ex-soldiers and ex-prisoners, an elderly man listened attentively. So did a woman sitting with him, who soon planted a kiss upon Zoldan’s cheek. But who was Zoldan to her, a man whose name she’d never heard? His name is one the woman will surely remember. In his familiar role of the pursued, Zoldan had jeopardized his hold on the cans of beans to save the life of a soldier he’d never met – someone who might, fatally, have entered a minefield had Zoldan not remembered the mines. She will remember because, as she kissed Zoldan, she said, “You saved my grandfather’s life.” exposed to a massive volume of missiles the shields will lose their efficiency and will not work,” he said. Jafari’s comments come as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been calling for the United States to set “red lines” on Iran’s nuclear program.



Cincinnati native Fred Hersch returns for two concert dates Jewish jazz pianist Fred Hersch will be returning home for two dates at the Blue Wisp: Monday, Sept. 24 and Tuesday, Sept. 25. The concert is a celebration of Hersch’s new double CD, Alive at the Vanguard, with bassist John Hébert and drummer Eric McPherson. Hersch’s trio displays all the rhythmic daring, preternatural interplay, harmonic sophistication and passionate lyricism that makes it one of the era’s definitive ensembles. “This may be my best trio playing on record, in terms of range, sound, being in the moment, and the way we play together,” says Hersch, 56. “Not that I disown any of my former (groups), but considering where I was three to four years ago, this is very strong, focused playing.” Much of the trio’s strength comes from Hersch’s side men. “I’ve always loved John’s playing,” Hersch says of bassist Hébert. “He’s from Baton Rouge, and his playing has a looseness that’s great for me. He’s also done

Fred Hersch

his homework in the tradition. He can really play a ballad and he knows where the substitute chords are.” The group’s revelation may be its drummer, McPherson, though he’s hardly a new face on the scene. A standout since he joined Jackie McLean’s band as a teenager in the early 1990s, he spent 15

years with the alto legend. That, along with his work accompanying heavyweights like Hill, Pharaoh Sanders and Greg Osby, established McPherson as a forceful and resourceful post-bop player versed in the polyrhythmic vocabularies of Elvin Jones and Jack DeJohnette. But in Hersch’s trio he comfortably embraces a less-ismore trap set aesthetic, with masterly dynamic control, quiet intensity and consistently thoughtful textural shadings. When it’s time to flex his muscles, like the rollicking Charlie Parker blues “Segment” or his cascading solo on “Opener,” which Hersch composed as a feature for McPherson, he plays with the requisite punch. “Eric is incredible at what we call the transition game, going from brushes to sticks and other implements,” Hersch says. “I’m not sure how many people realize that. He’s kind of a sleeper. He knows the tradition in and out. He came up as a sideman with some great musicians and he is quite a magician himself.” In many ways Hersch’s ascen-

dance to jazz’s top ranks is a wonder, given his relatively late discovery of the music. Born and raised in Cincinnati, he studied music theory and composition while growing up and sang in high school theater productions. It wasn’t until he was attending Grinnell College in Iowa that he turned on to jazz when he started listening to John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Miles Davis and Chick Corea. But the jazz bug really bit him when he went home for the holidays and happened into a Cincinnati jazz spot. He ended up dropping out of school and earned his stripes on the bandstand, with veteran musicians serving as his professors. After honing his chops for 18 months, he enrolled at New England Conservatory, earned an undergraduate degree and made the move to New York City in 1977. Hersch quickly gained recognition as a superlative accompanist, performing and recording with masters such as Stan Getz, Joe Henderson, Billy Harper, Lee Konitz, and Art Farmer. Since releasing his first album under his own name, he’s recorded in an

array of settings, including a series of captivating solo recitals, duos with vocalists Janis Siegel and Norma Winstone, and ambitious recent projects, like his chamber jazz setting for Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass.” As an educator, Hersch has shepherded some of the finest young pianists in jazz through his teaching at NEC and the New School. If there’s one thread running through Hersch’s career it’s the trio. From his first session with Marc Johnson and Joey Baron, he’s pushed at the limits of lyricism and temporal fluidity with similarly searching improvisers. It’s telling that his trio-mates have included versatile musicians such as Michael Formanek and Tom Rainey. “When trio is right it’s very strong, but also very fragile,” Hersch says. “If it’s right it’s transcendent, and if anything is off, the whole thing crumbles. John and Eric are both incredibly alert. I don’t feel like there’s any ego. We’re all trying to serve the music as it unfolds.”

Festival Ecothiopia: A Celebration of Ethiopian Culture and Environmental Action By Isaac Blachor Guest Writer By the time Adam Ganson made aliyah in 2010, he had already developed a profound connection with the Land of Israel. He just never expected to end up as the co-executive director of Earth’s Promise, an organization located in Be’er Sheva that works with Ethiopian immigrants. Jewish National Fund (JNF) helps fund Earth’s Promise, whose mission is to promote sustainability in the Negev by planting food gardens and urban farms in Be’er Sheva, Ashkelon and other Negev communities. Many of the participants who work in the gardens are new immigrants from the northern region of Gondar and Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. Adam attended Cincinnati’s Yavneh Day School, and by the time he finished high school, he had visited Israel three times. During college Adam stayed involved in Israel activities and majored in Jewish Studies. “Everyone I knew thought I was studying to be a rabbi,” said Adam. “I knew I was studying to get to Israel.” After commencement Adam participated in a summer program at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, a JNF partner, in Israel’s Arava region. Adam’s connection to JNF became stronger. His studies at the Institute were aided by a grant from the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati that makes educational trips to Israel possible.

The band that performed that night, Shabate, a mix of Ethiopian and Chassidic musicians. They had the place dancing in the aisles.

While studying for a Master’s degree in Environmental Law and Policy at Vermont Law School, the Jewish Law Student Association participated in JNF’s Alternative Break Program. A unique volunteer experience, the program activates and involves young adults to express their love for Israel and contribute to the society. On the JNF Alternative Break program, Adam was exposed to Earth’s Promise. “When I visited the Earth’s Promise Kalisher Community Garden for the first time I was shocked by the drastic contrast between neglected open desert space and the lush green gardens growing in the Be’er Sheva desert city,” he recalled. In 2009 he headed north to an internship in the Carmel region.

When he returned to Israel as a new immigrant in 2010, Adam worked with a community composting project where he went on weekly organic waste collection trips, and then became the Community Coordinator at the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI). When he received a call from the founder of Earth’s Promise offering him a job to manage the organization, Adam considered the offer: “I thought, this opportunity is clearly better than working in the garbage, so I decided to move to Be’er Sheva and take on the challenge.” The community garden in Kalisher is Earth’s Promise flagship project and base for expansion. The garden contains 50 family plots that have become an important focus in

the lives of recent Ethiopian immigrants that are living in Be’er Sheva. Their garden is the heart of community life. Parents and children work together to grow an important food source while getting to know and connect with the Land of Israel, their new home. Many of the varieties of food from Ethiopian cuisine that are grown there cannot be found at the local grocery market, so the seeds are bought from traveling vendors. Many Ethiopian immigrants come from rural areas in Ethiopia and immigrate directly into absorption centers located in cities. The transition from rural to urban living can pose an additional challenge in the absorption process. Facing a new reality where adaptation is so vital, some find the new language, setting and work a daunting challenge. They view the practice of traditional farming in the middle of their new desert city home as an expression of pride in their knowledge and abilities. The garden gives the older generation an important opportunity to pass on that knowledge to future generations. The oldest of men, known as Abba, are the most dedicated workers, limberly tending to the plot, pulling up weeds, and watering the gardens. The results are astounding: produce is grown that brings pride to the community and families. Although the new generation generally adapts quickly, the older generation can help the youth understand their roots and preserve traditional knowledge that might

otherwise be forgotten and lost. In addition to cultivating community gardens, Earth’s Promise also hosts an annual event called Ecothiopia, a celebration of Ethiopian culture and ecology. The event is a showcase for the urban gardens whose caretakers are the recent immigrants living in the adjacent absorption center. This year, the Ethiopian community opened its doors on Wednesday, June 6 for Festival Ecothiopia, which took place in the Kalisher Community Garden in Be’er Sheva. The third annual Festival Ecothiopia, organized by Earth’s Promise in cooperation with Kalisher Absorption Center and supported by JNF, drew hundreds of people from Be’er Sheva including new and veteran Ethiopian immigrants, students of Ben Gurion University of the Negev, and families from Be’er Sheva and the Negev region, as well Isaac Blachor, JNF Vice President for Israel Relations, who was instrumental in arranging the initial funding by JNF. The festival was a unique opportunity to meet the neighbors, experience new smells and tastes, and strengthen the environmental action in Be’er Sheva. The garden setting gave the immigrants an opportunity to show the summer season’s bounty of unique Ethiopian variety of crops, including corn, hot peppers and collard greens. The festival took place in tandem ECOTHIOPIA on page 21



DANCE from page 8 At the convention, before a small audience that included members of tahara groups in the United States, Hodos introduced her dance by reading from a description of tahara written by Rachel Barenblatt, better known by her nom de blog, the Velveteen Rabbi. “The steps of the process are simple,” the description began. “Wash hands and don gloves and aprons. Say a prayer asking the meit to forgive you for any inadvertent offenses of missteps committed during tahara.” According to Slater, tahara is performed by a team of three or four people – men prepare men, women prepare women – with as many as six or seven if new members are being trained. Volunteer burial societies, or ECOTHIOPIA from page 20 with an awakening of the Ethiopian community’s call to equality and to curb racism. In the midst of the backdrop of racist incidents in Israeli society, reports of gaps between Ethiopian and nonEthiopian students in the educational system, and the struggle of Ethiopians for a fair and equal society, Ecothiopia was an opportunity to learn about the beautiful elements of Ethiopian culture, from the smells and tastes of the food to the joyous music and the beautiful craftsmanship and art. The band that performed that night is called “Shabate.” It has Ethiopian musicians plus musicians from the Breslov and Stolin Chassidic communities. Their music had the crowd jumping and dancing in the aisles. In preparation for the event, Earth’s Promise staff took on two major projects, building a godjo/tukul, a traditional Ethiopian village hut in the garden, and renovating the ecological kitchen. The godjo was a goal of the elders of the community to exhibit the unique and rich culture and history from Ethiopia. The immigrants volunteered their time by building the traditional hut with an ecological spin, using recycled materials. The hut is a circular structure with a middle pole and a straw roof. The godjo served as a display for a photography exhibit of portraits and photographs of the Sigd holiday in Jerusalem, Ethiopian Jewry’s unique holiday that takes place 49 days after Rosh HaShanah. Earth’s Promise brought an expert in mud building to teach the participants the art and science of clay building. The volunteer, a stonemason from Wales, learned the technique building a clay ecological home in Moshav Be’er Milka, a newly established community in the Negev, which was established with the help of JNF. Earth’s Promise is sponsoring another mud building workshop to cover the Ethiopian home in mud. The earth building

chevrei kadisha, which organize and train the tahara groups, are located in rural and urban areas. Many societies in larger cities pay a stipend. Generally, Barenblatt’s description follows an outline of first ritually washing the hands, then with warm cloths washing the body. Then the body is washed with a constant stream of poured water using nine kavim, or three buckets of water about two gallons apiece. Once the washing is finished, the group repeats the words “tehorah hee,” “she is pure.” The meitah is dried off and dressed in handstitched white linen, with the strings tied “so that the loops form a letter ‘shin,’ representing Shaddai, a name of God.” The meitah is then placed in a simple pine box and the lid is closed. materials are just as strong as concrete while cooling the interior of the hut during the day hours and warming the hut at night from the day’s solar rays. The kitchen was renovated by students from the African Studies department at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev. Earth’s Promise and the students doubled the size of the kitchen and built two traditional Ethiopian stoves for the purpose of cooking workshops and nutrition education. The festival included ecological crafts booths, homemade Ethiopian food, beautiful examples of dishware and traditional clothing, cooking and drum workshops, and of course the music of Ethiopia. Abata Brihon, saxophonist for the AfroJewish Jazz band Shabate, was the featured musical act for the evening. “In Israel, there is a big population of Ethiopian Israelis that not many know about their culture,” said Brihon. “Ethiopian music has African beats that lifts up and makes a crowd happy; we need this kind of energy here in Israel. Anything that can lift up our spiritual situation and bring us closer to unity is a blessed thing.” Earth’s Promise plans to expand and multiply the successful model of the Kalisher Community Garden. The grounds of the festival are the future home to 75 more plots that will be strategically developing in line with sustainable practices and JNF’s Blueprint Negev program. Be’er Sheva’s new urban farms will provide new Ethiopian immigrants with the economic opportunity to maintain family plots while earning money from crops grown especially for grocers and restaurateurs. Parallel to this program, veteran immigrants will be trained to branch out and transform more urban spaces into micro farms. These programs are meant to strengthen the new arrivals in Israel, help people to develop the skills to adapt and succeed, create local economies, and develop more neglected urban spaces into productive urban farms.

Remembering those who inspired us Incidentally Iris

by Iris Ruth Pastor The year is 1961 and I am 14years-old and in the throes of a fierce case of puppy love. I go to see the movie “Splendour in the Grass” starring Warren Beatty and Natalie Wood. So moved by the movie’s plot of doomed and thwarted love, I beg my mom to drive me to Bond Hill Public Library on Dale Road so I can glean some information about the movie’s title. I learn that the title comes from a poem by William Wordsworth and it goes like this: “Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendour in the grass of glory in the flower we will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind.” My father, E. Pike Levine, died September 6th. Here are a few memories of him that remain behind. Over the last months of his life, my dad never lost his spark nor his sense of humor. He continually joked with his nurses, aides and his devoted caregiver, O. Z., that all he wanted was a martini with plenty of olives and two blonde, divorced nymphomaniacs. So in keeping with my memory of his ability to keep smiling through adversity and declining health, I am devoting this particular column to lighthearted, but poignant, anecdotes and vignettes relating to my dad. He will be forever remembered as the scrappy little kid who, at age 13, went to work selling sandwiches and coffee on board the trains running through Utica, N.Y. And my dad will forever be remembered as the scrappy little kid who saved all those earnings so he could buy his beloved late mother a headstone for her cemetery plot. He will forever be remembered as the scrappy young man who enlisted in the army rather than keep his draft deferred factory job at Hudson Motor Company in Detroit and who later went AWOL (absent without leave) to marry my mother. As they were walking down the aisle, my mom’s Aunt Agnes was taking bets that the marriage would never last. Well it did, for almost 68 years—through good times, bad times, fat times and lean times. It

was always Bev and Pike. Here is one of my mom’s many memories: At a Bring Your Own Booze event one New Year’s Eve, Pike provided a bottle of booze and said it was “sloe gin.” Many guests had several shots. We can only speculate how they spent New Year’s Day, as the sloe gin was actually mineral oil. In spite of my father’s legendary sense of fun, Pike was not an especially mellow fellow. And many times his intense rage was directed at inanimate objects when I pushed the limits behaviorally. I remember him ripping out my pink princess phone from my bedroom wall and throwing it down the stairs because my best friends, the Rubin twins from down the street, broke the cardinal rule and called me after 9 p.m. on a school night.

cial when you said, “You’re just run of the mill, kid. Just run of the mill.” Dad, I always knew I could triumph over setbacks when you said, “If you throw enough ‘stuff’ against the wall, some of it has to stick.” Dad, I always knew I could survive the demise of disappointing relationships when you said, “There’s nothing deader than yesterday’s romance.” And, Dad, I always knew I could count on you as a safe haven, when you said, “It’s a hard, cruel world out there.” My dad was patriotic and his war experiences were so much a part of who he was and what he was. My cousin, Hal Levine, researched, filmed and produced a documentary about my dad’s wartime feats as a ball turret gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress in

I remember him ripping out my pink princess phone from my bedroom wall and throwing it down the stairs because my best friends, the Rubin twins from down the street, broke the cardinal rule and called me after 9 p.m. on a school night. Years later, when I had children of my own, Pike’s mischievous manner and tendency to do things his way continued unabated. On Sundays, he took my boys out to breakfast before dropping them off at Sunday School. He encouraged them to eat as much bacon as they could stuff into their little mouths, all the while knowing that Steven and I were trying to keep on a more kosher track. And I’m sure they never got to Sunday School on time—not even once. As the years passed, my dad had a harder and harder time keeping my kids’ educations and occupations straight. He knew most of them were lawyers but couldn’t remember if they were still in law school or out practicing law. Ditto for remembering which greatgrandchild belonged to which of his grandsons and their wives. My dad even forgot that my husband, Steven, and I had moved to Tampa, Fla.—even though he and my mother had lived there with us for two years. But when I would come back to Cincinnati for visits and would tell him I was going to the Bagel Shop, he’d pull me aside and say, “Be nice to John Marx. You know he just lost his daughter to cancer.” That was one fact he never forgot. Dad, I always knew I was spe-

the 8th Army Air Force during World War II. Entitled “True Gunner,” not only are parts of it on YouTube, but it has won numerous film awards and is in the permanent collection in the Library of Congress. In addition to making copies available to the mourners, we gave additional homage the day he was buried by making sure an Honor Guard was at the cemetery to send Pike off with respect and dignity. Unbeknownst to us, he was getting an additional sendoff that afternoon in another part of Cincinnati as well. My brother’s dear friends on the day that my dad was buried arranged for a special tribute. On that Sunday, a B-17 was visiting Cincinnati at Lunken Airport. Their relatives went to Lunken and asked the pilot to take Pike’s picture with him and the crew in honor of his bravery and the 25 missions he flew over Europe in World War II. The pilot reverently took his photo and promised it would stay with him and the crew as they flew that day and for days to come. Pike would have been so thrilled to see his beloved plane hovering close by as he flew “his last and final mission.” Keep Coping, Iris Ruth Pastor

22 • OBITUARIES D EATH N OTICES BEREN, Sara Lee, age 92, died on September 11, 2012; 24 Elul, 5772. LURIE, Virginia Stix, age 85, died on September 13, 2012; 26 Elul, 5772. GUREVICH, Mirra, age 90, died on September 15, 2012; 28 Elul, 5772.

O BITUARIES LEVINE, E. Pike E. Pike Levine, 89, longtime resident of Cincinnati, passed away September 9, with his family by his side. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Beverly Friedman Levine, of Cincinnati; his three children: Iris Pastor (Steven) of Tampa, Fla.; Steven Levine (Karen) of Cincinnati; and Lori Luckman (Jeff) of Newport News, Va.; and his brother, Arnold Levine (Doreen), of Detroit, Mich. He is also survived by seven grandchildren: Harry Cohen, Frank Cohen (Julie), Max Pastor (Jenny), Sam Pastor, Lou Pastor, Suzanne Luckman and Courtney Luckman; five great-grandchildren: Sophie, Charlie and Lucy Cohen and Benjamin and Bobbie Pastor, plus numerous nieces, nephews and friends. He was predeceased by his parents, Harry and Ida Levine; his brother, Daubert Levine; and his sister, Melva Case. Pike, a native of Utica, N.Y., served in World War II in the 8th Army Air Corps, 452nd Bomb Group. He was a ball turret gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress and was an official member of General Hap Arnold’s “The Lucky Bastard’s Club.” After the war, Pike founded and was president of American Research and Appraisal Company and made his living as an appraiser specializing in commercial and industrial real estate, machinery and equipment, and eminent domain issues and disputes. He also appeared as an expert witness in a large number of cases. Pike worked on such projects as the aftermath of the city of Xenia tornado and was instrumental in setting the fair market value for the land that would later become I-71, I-75, Norwood Lateral and Cross County Highway, as well as being responsible for helping to preserve many local historical sites. Memorial contributions may be sent to Hospice of Cincinnati or a charity of choice.


SHUL from page 9 But in a city known more for its religious tensions than for its tolerance, even the Shtiblach has its limits. Little space exists for female worshipers; in one room they must peer through a hole resembling a skylight to witness the service. Schein calls the women’s section “very non-ideal.” And while leaders may choose any version of Orthodox prayer, services of other denominations are not welcome. Shlomo Hudja, who runs the Shtiblach’s day-to-day operations, has no qualms about prohibiting non-Orthodox worship. “There are no Conservative, no Reform, no nothing,” Hudja said.

“It’s a Jewish place, not a place for them.” In his mind, though, the Shtiblach is a bastion of diversity. “It’s like New York,” he said. “People from all over the world. There’s nothing like this.” Since Hudja began running the Shtiblach three years ago – he calls himself the CEO – his biggest accomplishment perhaps has been in improving its efficiency, finances and outward appearance. He commissioned a renovation to the Shtiblach, which moved to its current location from Jerusalem’s Old City in 1948, that left the space with pink marble walls and shiny wooden arks with intricate curtains. The ubiquitous clocks are his doing, as are the

coin slots that worshipers must feed to activate the sanctuaries’ air conditioners. Hudja opts for a straightforward and casual management style. The Shtiblach runs on a budget of about $11,400. To obtain these funds, Hudja sits behind a long folding table in the back of the foyer, accepting donations and writing receipts that sometimes include a dedication to a sick person. He reminds worshipers that membership is $7.60 monthly, while $12.60 will make the donor a “friend” of the Shtiblach and $25 a “generous person.” A flier notes that only 300 of the 1,200 people who worship there daily have paid membership dues.

during a meeting between thenDefense Minister Amir Peretz and his American counterpart Robert Gates. The information from this meeting was passed on to the government of then-U.S. President George W. Bush. The article reported that Peretz, who did not have a good command of English, read from notes prepared in advance as he made the revelation to Gates. The Bush administration felt that it did not have enough evidence to justify a U.S. attack on the reactor and Israel began to plan an independent strike. Then-U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice believed that an Israeli attack on the Syrian reactor would lead to a regional war. Olmert asked Bush to again consider an attack on the Syrian reactor, saying that this would serve American interests. For the Americans, an attack would kill two birds with one stone, as it would

deter the Iranians. On July 12, Bush convened a meeting with advisers. After the meeting, Bush wanted to send a special letter to Assad containing an ultimatum to dismantle the reactor. Olmert warned Bush that the opening of a diplomatic channel would only give Assad time, during which the reactor would become active. The Israel Defense Forces, Mossad and then-Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni all supported a low-profile strike on the Syrian reactor. Israel also examined the possibilities of a larger-scale air strike or a commando operation on the ground. Experts in Israel assessed that a low-profile strike would not provoke a military response from Syria, as Assad would seek to deny he had a nuclear project, the existence of which would have contradicted his past declarations. In June 2007, an elite IDF unit was sent into Syria. The soldiers col-

lected soil samples and secretly photographed the reactor site from a distance of 1.5 kilometers. In the meantime, Barak had replaced Peretz as defense minister. According to the article, Barak asked that the attack be delayed to give the IDF more time to plan and prepare the strike. Six cabinet discussions were held on the matter in the following weeks. Government ministers said these meetings were very dramatic. The final discussion was held on Sept. 5, when Olmert, Barak and Livni were given authority to decide the nature and timing of the attack. Every minister voted in favor of the attack, except Public Security Minister Avi Dichter, who abstained. Olmert, Barak and Livni retired to a side room where they were joined by then-IDF Chief of Staff Ashkenazi, who recommended that a low-profile air strike be carried out that night. Ashkenazi’s recommendation was accepted. Operation Orchard was launched close to midnight when four F-16s and four F-15s took off from an IAF base. The planes flew north along the Mediterranean coast before turning east and flying along the SyrianTurkish border. The planes used electronic warfare devices to blind Syria’s aerial defense network. Olmert, Barak and Livni monitored the operation from the IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv. Between 12:40 and 12:53 a.m. on Sept. 6, the planes transmitted the code word “Arizona” to headquarters, indicating that 17 tons of explosives had been dropped on the target. “There was a sense of elation,” an Israeli official was quoted as telling The New Yorker. “The reactor was destroyed and we did not lose a pilot.”

in Israel, it was because they were lonely, they couldn’t find jobs, they were daunted by the bureaucracy.” Then, in 2002, recognizing the need to untangle the aliyah process, Nefesh B’Nefesh was founded by Rabbi Yehoshua Fass and businessman/philanthropist Tony Gelbart. That summer, the organization brought its first aliyah charter flight

to Israel. Over the course of the past decade, the organization has brought more than 30,000 people from North America and the United Kingdom to live in the Jewish state. “Now we’re bringing close to 5000 a year with a retention rate of approximately 97 percent – which really means we’ve quadrupled

aliyah,” says Freedman. How do they do it? The key to the organization’s success, says Freedman, is its “holistic approach” to aliyah in which every potential oleh is assigned a case manager who gets to know the person’s needs and helps the oleh navigate his or her way through the entire process.

REPORT from page 10 Othman was in Vienna to participate in a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board of governors. Mossad agents reportedly entered his home, hacked into his personal computer and copied from it several dozen photos taken inside the secret Syrian nuclear facility. The facility itself was very similar to a North Korean nuclear site in Yongbyon. Israel immediately understood what was taking place at the Syrian facility, which was located near the border with Turkey, and it was clear the Begin Doctrine had to be implemented. According to this doctrine, Israel must not permit any enemy country to obtain nuclear weapons, and the government must act as Prime Minister Menachem Begin did in 1981 when he ordered the IAF to bomb the Iraqi nuclear reactor. Then-Mossad chief Meir Dagan and other officials met with thenPrime Minister Ehud Olmert and presented their findings to him, along with the recommendation that immediate action be taken before the nuclear material in the Syrian reactor became active. If an attack was carried out after the material became active, there was a danger that radiation would leak and contaminate the nearby Euphrates River. Olmert reportedly held meetings with former prime ministers Shimon Peres, Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak on the matter. These meetings, which took place between the end of March and start of September 2007, were always held on Fridays. The participants were made to sign secrecy agreements. On April 18, Israel informed the U.S. about the Syrian nuclear reactor 351 from page 10 “Ten years ago there weren’t more than 2000 people a year making aliyah, and more than 50 percent of those left,” explains Doreet Freedman, NBN’s director of strategic partnerships. “The retention rate was so poor, but it wasn’t because people didn’t want to stay

“Whoever takes a candy needs to pay,” Hudja instructs a man taking a sucker from a cabinet. “I paid for those.” When he isn’t filling out donation slips or breaking big bills for worshipers from a big box of loose change, Hudja is schmoozing. He comes to the Shtiblach every day from 6:15 a.m. to midnight – with breaks – and claims to remember all of the regulars. It’s easy, he says, to settle a religious dispute, such as whether to say confessional prayers on Israel’s Independence Day. Dealing with individual complaints is the hardest part of his job. “You need seven souls to survive,” he said. “A Jew stops complaining only when he dies.”

Courtesy of the IDF

Lt. Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi, the IDF Chief of Staff who according to The New Yorker recommended making a strike on a Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007, says he heard about his involvement through the media.


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The American Israelite, September 20, 2012  

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