ROSH HASHANAH 5772
Molly Fisher, 8, Rockwern Academy, 2011 - Rosh Hashanah Cover Coloring Contest Runner-Up
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2011
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HAPPY NEW YEAR!
5771 in Cincinnati: Year in Review Vulcan Waterproofing By Elijah Plymesser Assistant Editor 5771 proved to be a year filled with awards and events that honored many members of the Jewish community and its institutions. The Mayerson JCC marked two years in its new location and the myriad of events held there this past year, included a film festival, nationally renowned speakers, a fantastic AIPAC event and a groundbreaking interfaith ceremony. Some long awaited projects finally reached completion, such as the opening of the new community Mikveh in Amberley Village. This year saw the appointment of new officials, such as Brian Jaffee to the position of executive director of The Jewish Foundation, and Sally F. Korkin to the Cedar Village Foundation. The Cincinnati Jewish Community was also fortunate to receive a presidential appointment of Dr. Gary P. Zola to an administration post on the Commission for Preservation of America’s Heritage board. In addition, 5771 held not one, but two JNF Tree of Life award galas honoring Tom and Mary Ellen Cody in 2010, and Edward and Nina Paul in 2011. Cincinnati was also host to the largest JNF National Conference in the organization’s history, with over 800 present including numerous political and philanthropic dignitaries from at home and abroad. The American Israelite was saddened to hear of the loss of many great Cincinnatians this past year. We mourn the loss of Ernst L. Kahn, Melvyn Fisher, Harold “Pat” Goldberg, Dr. Aaron Perlman, Dr. Leonard A. Burgin, Rabbi Ben Zion Wacholder, Max Frankel and many other important members of the community, z”l. They will all be remembered and cherished. The American Israelite Newspaper wishes you a happy, healthy and fruitful New Year. Shana Tovah u’metukah! Next Year in Jerusalem, Elijah Plymesser September 23 — The 2010 Rockwern Academy Tribute Dinner and Silent Auction, “Teach Them Diligently to Your Children,” honored three of our city’s finest devotees to Jewish education, Mary Lee Sirkin and Barry and Ellen Finestone.This event was a success as a fundraiser, netting a sum that helps to bridge the gap between tuition and expenses, particularly in the area of making Rockwern affordable for more families. The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati was selected as a winner of the Jewish Communal Service Association of North America’s (JCSA) national Cost-Savings Contest. The Jewish Federation was chosen by JCSA for its
Honoree Mary Lee Sirkin and her husband Louis
“Community Efficiencies Group” (CEG) initiative — a process that included developing innovative collaborative strategies, generating new ideas for external partnerships and assisting partner agencies and congregations. September 30 — The Mayerson Jewish Community Center celebrated two years at its current location during its annual meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 21. The meeting was held in the JCC’s Amberley Room where balloons and a birthday cake reception helped celebrate the event. Outgoing president Howard Schwartz gave a report about the past year and his presidency. He said that because of the economic downturn the JCC has undergone some “tough times,” but the “community embraced the J,” and the dedication and devotion of the staff has not changed. As part of a long-standing tradition, worshippers at Northern Hills Synagogue-Congregation B’nai Avraham came to the synagogue before the Yom Kippur holiday bearing bags of non-perishable food items. Members of the synagogue’s youth groups accepted the donations, taking them afterward to the Shared Harvest Food Bank, serving Butler and Warren Counties, and to the Kosher Food Pantry of the Cincinnati Jewish community, which provides needy Jews with food that conforms to
Jewish dietary laws. Over 50 bags of food were collected. The Vaad Hoier of Cincinnati, the local organization for overseeing kashrut, restructured their organization. In our Sept. 2, 2010 issue we announced that Rabbi Aaron Daniel was appointed the new executive director. Rabbi Daniel was to assume the duties of Rabbi Yacov Toron. Rabbi Toron, the previous rabbinic administrator, served the Vaad for 18 years as mashgiach before being relieved of his duties. He came to Cincinnati in 1971 as a shochet, a ritual slaughterer, and has dedicated 39 years of service to the community. October 7 — Kim and Gary Heiman received the Community Service Award of the American Jewish Committee Cincinnati at a reception benefiting AJC’s annual
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Kim and Gary Heiman, recipients of AJC Service Award 2010
Appeal for Human Relations on Oct. 13 at the Mayerson Jewish Community Center. The keynote speaker was Rabbi Ed Rettig, acting director of AJC’s Jerusalem office. “We selected Kim and Gary for this honor because of their outstanding volunteer roles and civic accomplishments,” noted John Stein, AJC Cincinnati president.
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Mary Ellen and Tom Cody
Tracy Weisberger, Northern Hills Director of Programming & Education, with some of the bags of food.
For their ongoing commitment to the Cincinnati community and the world at large, the JNF honored Tom and Mary Ellen Cody with the Tree of Life™ Award, a humanitarian distinction presented by JNF to individuals for their outstanding community involvement, their dedication to the cause of AmericanIsraeli friendship, and their devotion to peace and the security of human life. On the 135th anniversary of the founding of the Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union College, the Cincinnati Associates of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion hosted a celebration and
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tribute dinner — Planting for Our Future — on Sunday, Oct. 24 at the Hyatt Regency Ballroom in downtown Cincinnati. Event proceeds provided scholarship support for the rabbinical and graduate students on the Cincinnati campus. Karen Hoguet and James A. Miller were honored for their civic and philanthropic leadership and achievement. The Isaac M. Wise Temple continued its major contribution of food to the Cincinnati Freestore Foodbank and brought 17,002 pounds of food this past Yom Kippur, an offering sufficient to completely feed over 4,858 people for a full day. John E. Dolibois, United States ambassador to Luxembourg from 1981 to 1985, was the special guest when Northern Hills Synagogue Congregation B’nai Avraham resumed its monthly HaZaK program for seniors on Wednesday, Oct. 13. In 1981, after retiring as vice president for university relations for Miami University, President Ronald Reagan appointed Dolibois as U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg, 50 years to the day after he arrived in Akron, Ohio from his native Luxembourg. Rabbis Without Borders (RWB), Clal’s new initiative to help rabbis make Jewish wisdom accessible to the wider American public, selected its second cohort of fellows for its competitive rabbinic fellowship program. More than 80 applications were received for the 22 spots. Of those selected, Rabbi Laura Baum from Cincinnati was picked for this program.
In addition to this already busy week, Dr. Adi Gordon joined the UC Judaic Studies Department. October 14 — The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education (CHHE) celebrated their 10th anniversary with a dinner entitled “A Decade of Difference: Honoring History, Celebrating the Future.” The honorees were: Dean Richard E. Friedman, Immediate Past President, CHHE; Father Michael Graham, President, Xavier University; Joe Hale, Founding Board President, CHHE; Shawn Jeffers, Director of Programs, Bridges for a Just Community; Sam Knobler, President, MidLife Development; Dr. Michael Meyer, Adolph S. Ochs Professor, Hebrew Union College; Margaret Moertl, Senior VP of PNC Bank; John Neyer, President and CEO, Neyer Management; Dr. Racelle Weiman, Senior Director, Dialogue Institute, Temple University; and Gail Ziegler, Jewish Family Service.
Dee and Ben Gettler
October 21 — The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati embarked on a major new strategic planning process to expand the Foundation’s philanthropic capacity and strategically invest its resources. “The recent sale of the Jewish Hospital of Cincinnati affords us an historic opportunity to envision the ideal Jewish community,” said Gary Heiman, president of the board of trustees. The JCC announced that in April 2011, local high school seniors would embark on a once-in-alifetime trip focusing on Jewish history, as part of the international March of the Living program. The
goal of this educational and emotional journey is to teach Jewish teens the lessons of the Holocaust, so they can lead their peers into a future without anti-Semitism. Dee and Ben Gettler have generously committed funding to ensure the continuation of a breakfast briefing series organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) for the past 20 years. The series, which will be renamed The Gettler JCRC Breakfast Briefing Series, kicked off with its first event on Nov. 4, 2010, at the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. The first briefing featured Anne Bayefsky, a human rights scholar and expert on the campaign to delegitimize Israel at the United Nations. October 28 — Temple Sholom held a gala weekend celebrating Rabbi Miriam Terlinchamp’s formal installation. As part of its outreach effort, Temple Sholom also streamed this service live on its website. Rabbi Terlinchamp joined Temple Sholom on July 1 after being ordained in May from HUCJIR Los Angeles. On Oct. 24, the community celebrated the official opening of the Cincinnati Community Mikveh on Section Road in Amberley Village. A large crowd attended, including a number of members of the mikveh’s all female board of directors, to welcome the long-awaited replacement of the mikveh in Roselawn. The facility is available to the entire Jewish community. Adath Israel hosted Cantor Linda Hirschhorn, Vocolot and a community chorus this past week. Hirschhorn and the chorus led Kabbalat Shabbat services. On Sunday, Vocolot joined Hirschhorn and the community chorus for a concert that was free and open to the public. Both events were held at Adath Israel’s sanctuary and about 200 people attended the concert. During a 135th anniversary gala event on Oct. 24, Hebrew Union College president, David Ellenson, announced that the Society for Classical Reform Judaism (SCRJ) had awarded a five-year grant in the amount of $500,000 to the Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
Andi Levenson, Hirschhorn with Vocolot, Rabbi Wise, the Levenson sons and Mitch Cohen
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2011
ROSH HASHANAH • 5 (513) 891-4444
November 4 — On Nov. 4 at the Mayerson JCC, the Jewish Community Relations Council and The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministries co-sponsored an unprecedented pro-Israel event, “Standing Together: An Evening of Christian-Jewish Support for Israel.” This was the first time in recent memory that an event of this kind was co-sponsored by Jewish and Christian organizations and held at the JCC. On Sunday, Nov. 7, Congregation B’nai Tzedek honored two women, Susan Farber and Barbara Taggart-Milberg, who have enriched the congregation in a myriad of ways. Both Farber and Taggart-Milberg are longtime members of B’nai Tzedek and have been enormously active in congregational matters over the years. Big Brothers/Big Sisters Association, the oldest Big Brother program in the area and a charter member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, celebrated its 100th anniversary on Nov. 17 at the Mayerson Jewish Community Center. November 11 — Ernst L. Kahn, Yehuda ben Moshe haKohen, passed away, at the age of 90, on October 12, 2010 – the 5th day of Cheshvan, 5771. Born on July 31, 1920, in Bad Hamburg v.d.h. (near Frankfurt) Germany, he was the only child of Moritz and Else (Neuman) Kahn. At age 16 he came to the United States with his parents, got a special work permit and began to work at U.S. Shoe Corporation, where he continued to work for 54 years until his retirement. In 1947 Ernst met Ruth Eichberg at a Purim party and they were married the following year. Along with Ruth, his bride of 62 years, Mr. Kahn is survived by the couple’s two children, Jeffrey Kahn (Linda Heide) and Emmy (Bob) Friedenberg; and grandchildren Zack and Nick Kahn, David and Laura Friedenberg and Dylan Heide.
Mr. Kahn was involved in New Hope Synagogue from its inception in 1938 until it folded; in the 1950s he played a critical role in the leadership of New Hope Congregation. In 1957, when his father passed away, Mr. Kahn took over his father’s duties as hazzan. In 1958 he was instrumental in organizing
daily morning and evening minyanim. Over the years he held many positions on the synagogue board, including that of president for several years. Northern Hills SynagogueCongregation B’nai Avraham invited the entire community to participate as it hosted Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson as its scholar in residence the weekend of Nov. 19–21. The weekend was the culminating event in the Conservative congregation’s year-long celebration of its 50th anniversary. Cincinnati Chapter of Hadassah held its Leading Gifts Pre-Donor Brunch on Wednesday, Nov. 17 at the home of Ghita Sarembock in Amberley Village. Guest speaker Marc A. Levitt, M.D. spoke about collaborations between Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem in the areas of clinical care, medical education and research.
Brian Jaffee, new executive Director of the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati
November 18 — The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati announced the appointment of Brian Jaffee as its executive director, effective early January 2011, to facilitate the dramatic expansion of the Foundation’s philanthropic capacity and to develop new strategies to invest its resources. Since 2007, he has been the director of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), which is the public affairs arm of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati. On Sunday, Nov. 14, the Jewish National Fund/Judge Carl B. Rubin Legal Society honored Professor Marianna Brown Bettman as Attorney of the Year at the home of Todd Bailey, the society’s previous honoree. “We are honored to have Marianna as our 2010-2011 Attorney of the Year recipient,” noted Louise Roselle, Southern Ohio Regional President of JNF. Roselle, who is also a lawyer, said that Bettman was chosen as the recipient for the honor “because of her lifetime commitment to the law, and also, she is the embodiment of a true professional.” On Sept. 29, the eve of Simchat Torah, 39 children of the Isaac M. Wise Temple were welcomed as consecrants into the study of Torah at the Plum Street Temple. This beautiful ceremony was a very
exceptional and meaningful milestone in the lives of the children and their families. The service was the creation of the late Rabbi Samuel Wohl. Students carried their own small Torahs as they walked down the aisle of Plum Street Temple led in by the Temple’s board of trustees. The children sang songs from the bimah, danced around the sanctuary in celebration of Simchat Torah, received individual blessings from the rabbis and were presented with a certificate of consecration. Since the Chaverim M’Israel (Friends From Israel) program’s founding in 2004, Gaby Silver, 18, and Matan Moyal, 19, are the seventh pairing of young people from Cincinnati’s Partnership 2000 (P2K) city in Netanya, Israel. They both have deferred their service from the army for a year of volunteer service in Cincinnati. “They are here to teach Israel,” their supervisor and program director, Sharon Spiegel noted. While here, the Chaverim develop and provide informal and formal educational programs and activities throughout Greater Cincinnati. November 25 — Melvyn Fisher lived a life dedicated to others, his family and philanthropy, and to business. He was an entrepreneur and one of Cincinnati’s leading philanthropists. Mr. Fisher passed away on Nov. 18, 2010 of natural causes at Cedar Village in Mason. He was 80 years old. Born and raised in Camp Washington, Mr. Fisher lived above the family-owned paint store. Throughout his life he owned or ran a number of businesses, and those who knew him referred to him fondly as a “serial entrepreneur.” He worked hard to build his companies, and he made sure his four sons had the same opportunity to become entrepreneurs.
On Sunday, Nov. 21, at the Fairfield Pavilion, Yad Vashem posthumously honored Petrivna (Petr) Tokarsky for sheltering Cincinnati businessman Sam Boymel during the Holocaust. December 2 — Ben Schneider, president of Rockwern Academy,
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has announced that a committee has been formed to begin a national search for a new head of school and new director of Jewish life. The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati Board of Trustees approved the recommendations of the planning and allocations committee for 2011 at its meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010. The allocations will take effect on Jan. 1, 2011. Under the leadership of Suzette Fisher, vice-president of planning and allocations, the planning and allocations committee was faced with making challenging decisions and recommendations for distributing the available dollars from the Federation’s 2011 community campaign which, at $5.1 million, remained about even with the 2010 campaign. The American Israelite wished the Jewish Community a Happy Chanukkah in its December 2 special issue. December 9 — Steven M. Holman was chosen as the new president of The Jewish Hospital. Mercy Health Partners announced Dec. 3 that Holman has been selected to fill the position and will start in his new role on Jan. 3, 2011.
Jewish Federation of Cincinnati/ Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC). The purpose of the trip was to find new businesses and technologies where a partnership would benefit both Cincinnati’s and Israel’s economies. Rockdale Temple was one of four recipients of Hamilton County’s Go Green Challenge Award and the only religious organization to win a prize out of a field of 157 businesses, institutions and communities. December 23 — Rabbi Josh Finegold has begun working as the new executive director of the Vaad Hoier of Cincinnati. For the past year and a half, he has worked as the assistant administrator with the Columbus Vaad Hoier where he has implemented new policies and procedures to keep processes more uniform. On Thursday, Dec. 16, Todd Winkler created a Jewish singles group for people in the Cincinnati area to meet online. After gaining five members over the weekend, Winkler is hoping for others to join the non-affiliated and free-to-join website assemblage. December 30 — Rabbi Dr. David I. Indich z”l, spiritual leader of the Golf Manor Synagogue for 37 years, whose active role in all aspects of the Cincinnati community endeared him to individuals of all walks of life, will be remembered on the occasion of his 20th yahrzeit on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011, at 6 p.m. Rabbi Indich came to the congregation as a young man from the famed Telshe Yeshiva and immediately revealed his unique ability to connect with people, no matter their background or social station, through his keen sense of humor, concern for the plight of every person, and Torah wisdom.
Wishing all our family & friends a
Happy New Year Steve & Beatrice Rosedale Ronnie & Dina Wilheim
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The Jewish Community Relations Council is proud to recognize the achievements of the Cincinnati Jewish community’s own Arna Poupko Fisher, who has been honored by Jewish Women International as one of 10 Women to Watch in 5771. Arna and her fellow recipients will be recognized at the annual Women to Watch gala in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 6, 2010. On Tuesday, Nov. 30, the first of two leader forums for “Cincinnati 2020”—a long-term plan for making Cincinnati into a more viable community for the Jewish people currently of this city, as well as a destination for new Jewish families—was held at the Mayerson Jewish Community Center. December 16 — In midNovember, a Cincinnati delegation of 30 business leaders, venture capitalists and investors went to Israel for a six-day business development mission spearheaded by Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber and
January 6 — United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism’s newly formed central district elected its first slate of district council officers earlier this month. Among the officers elected was Jeff Bassin of Montgomery, Ohio. Shoshana Kaufman and her sons, Oran and Gil, have established a memorial fund at Adath Israel Congregation in memory of their husband and father, Enrique N. Kaufman, M.D., who passed away in April 2010. The fund will sponsor the Rabbi’s Forum, an annual lecture focusing on critical contemporary issues. January 13 — The American Israelite announced the launch of its new online website, helping to bring the nation’s oldest English Jewish Weekly to the web. The Cincinnati Jewish and Israeli Film Festival has been providing the community with insights on various aspects of Jewish and Israeli life, culture and history for more than a dozen years. The 2011 Cincinnati Jewish and Israeli Film
Festival was held at the Mayerson Jewish Community Center from Saturday, Jan. 29 through Thursday, Feb. 3. On Dec. 14, Steve Savitsky, the international president of the Orthodox Union came to Cincinnati to visit Congregation Ohr Chadash. January 20 — On Thursday, Jan. 13, the second leaders’ forum for “Cincinnati 2020,” was held at the Mayerson Jewish Community Center. About 130 lay and professional representatives from different Jewish community agencies, congregations and organizations were seated at 15 tables for the forum, to hear speeches and discuss the final four of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati-based initiative’s seven goals. At the recent Central District (Biennial) Convention of the Women of Reform Judaism in Cleveland, Debbie Loewenstein, current co-president of the Rockdale Women of Reform Judaism, was one of 15 women in the central district to be honored with a 2010 Deborah Award. January 27 — Rockdale Temple welcomed Rabbi Gary Zola as the 2011 scholar-in-residence, Friday, Jan. 14 through Sunday, Jan. 16. Congregants studied the evolution of religious freedom in America during the three-day program scheduled to coincide with the national Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend. February 3 — During a gala event at the Duke Energy Center on Jan. 25, 2011, Shep Englander, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, received the “NonProfit Executive Director of the Year” Award —one of several Pillar Awards given by Smart Business Cincinnati. The awards program is meant to celebrate individuals and companies that lead the way in improving the quality of life for all in the Greater Cincinnati area. The Isaac M. Wise Brotherhood’s seventh annual Chicken Soup Cook-off was the largest cook-off ever with almost 1,150 attending and participating. In the pro division, Best Matzo Ball went to Kroger Blue Ash Chef Avi Rubinoff. Bravo! in Deerfield won Most Original. The award for Best Chicken Noodle went to Mongomery Inn. The Profressional Peoples Choice Award went to Izzy’s Deli. In the Amateur division, Best Matzo Ball went to Andy and Alexander Petty. Jeremy Richards won Most Original. Ginny Minton Huntington Bank won Best Chicken Noodle. And the amateur Peoples Choice Award went to Louis and Lisa Claybon. February 10 — The Cincinnati Community Mikveh opened for men on Friday, Feb. 11, 2011 after a lengthy wait. The Federation of Jewish Men’s
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2011
Clubs, Kentucky-Indiana-Ohio Region, has provided four youth scholarships through the Rose and Elliot Segerman Scholarship. Michelle Glazer and Lainey Paul from Adath Israel Congregation won the awards locally for demonstrating the exceptional leadership qualities and commitment to service which are the hallmark of the award. The Adath Israel Brotherhood will match the $500 scholarships to those deserving young women. Michelle is the daughter of Susan and Brad Glazer. Lainey’s parents are Nina and Eddie Paul. The other two award winners are Samantha Levy and Rebecca Sigal from Tifereth Israel in Columbus, Ohio. February 17 — Harold “Pat” Goldberg, age 91, a longtime leader and representative of the Cincinnati Jewish community, passed away on February 6, 2011 — the 7th of Adar I, 5771. Born in 1919, Mr. Goldberg was the son of the late Lewis and Annie Goldberg. Growing up in the Bronx, N.Y., he attended and graduated from the City College of New York (CCNY) in 1939. While at CCNY, he played basketball and would often referee games. One time an angry fan demanded, “Who do you think you are? Pat Kennedy (Matthew “Pat” Kennedy was a famous referee at the time)?” The nickname “Pat” stuck and remained with him throughout his life. February 24 — Dr. Leonard A. Burgin died on February 12, 2011, at the age of 84. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Dr. Burgin was the son of the late Sylvia and Sam Burgin. His parents had immigrated to the United States separately in 1920 and met in Cincinnati at an English-speaking class offered to immigrants. Graduating cum laude from Walnut Hills High School, Dr. Burgin continued his education at the University of Cincinnati, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1947 with a Bachelor of Science. He was a member of Phi Eta Sigma, a national honor society for first-year college students. Dr. Burgin then went on to the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine where he graduated in 1950. He interned in Internal Medicine at Kings County Hospital in New York and later served as a Resident Physician at the former Cincinnati General Hospital. Jewish Family Service has been selected as a training site for the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine’s geriatrics program, Next Steps in Physicians’ Training in Geriatrics. Dr. Gregg Warshaw, professor of family medicine and director of the office of geriatric medicine at UC, personally chose Jewish Family Service based on the university’s previous work with the agency’s Aging and Caregiver Services. March 10 — Cincinnati Chapter of Hadassah presented a special
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Coffee Talk program, “From Memories to History: Contemporary German Youth and The Holocaust” at Cedar Village in Mason on Monday, March 14. Gail Ziegler, Jewish Family Service program director of the Center for Holocaust Survivors, spoke about the Action Reconciliation Service for Peace (ARSP), a German peace and volunteer service organization founded in the aftermath of World War II to confront the legacy of the Nazi regime. March 17 — Cedar Village Retirement Community announced the appointment of Dr. Scott Kotzin as their new Medical Director. Dr. Kotzin, a doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, graduated summa cum laude from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (formerly University of Health Sciences – College of Osteopathic Medicine) in 1995. March 24 — Dr. Aaron Perlman, founder of the pediatric cerebral palsy clinic at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (known since 1995 as The Aaron Perlman Cerebral Palsy Center), died March 18, 2011— the 12th day of Adar II, 5771, at the age of 96. Born on January 2, 1915, in New Haven, Conn., he was the oldest of four sons of the late Phillip and Minnie Perlman. Dr. Perlman graduated Yale University cum laude in 1935 and then continued at Laval University Medical School in Quebec, Canada, graduating in 1939. While at Laval University he studied medicine in French, a language he did not know when he entered. He did his orthopedic residency at Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati and a pediatric cerebral palsy fellowship at Johns Hopkins University. Cedar Village announced its nominees for its “Eight over Eighty” honorees, recognizing Dr. Larry Essig; Benjamin Gettler; Murray Guttman; Eric Hattenbach; Dr. Albert Miller; Barbara Rosenberg; Freda and Pearl Schwartz; and Sue and Jerry Teller to receive this honor. April 7 — Cincinnati Chapter of Hadassah held its annual Donor Luncheon on Wednesday, April 6 at the Kenwood Country Club. Violinist Gayna Bassin and pianist Claire Lee performed a program of Jewish Melodies, including works by Zinovi Bistritzky, Nomi Shemer, Julius Chajes and Ernest Bloch. Longtime Hadassah member Rita Rothenberg was honored for her many contributions to Hadassah and the community. April 14 — On April 12 the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), held its annual Cincinnati event at the Mayerson JCC. Those attending the dessert reception heard featured speaker, Hillel Neuer. Neuer is the executive director of U.N. Watch, a non-governmental organization based in
Geneva, Switzerland, whose purpose is to monitor the performance of the United Nations.
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Beth Guttman, an accomplished Jewish and civic communal leader, is the newest member of The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati’s Board of Trustees. She becomes the fifth new Trustee to join the Foundation. April 21 — A new Modern Orthodox congregation serving the Amberley Village and Golf Manor area began holding its first services in recent weeks. Congregation Sha’arei Torah, “The Village Shul,” held its first services March 25. During its first week, the new shul’s leadership organized Friday night, Shabbat morning and evening services, daily morning services, Torah Youth groups and a Shaliach Tzibur club to help youth learn various tefilot sung during Shabbat. American Jewish Committee celebrated Passover, the festival of freedom, with hundreds of nonJews at the 18th annual AJC Community Intergroup Seder on April 14.
Werner Coppel, Auschwitz survivor, lighting the six yellow memorial candles for all who perished in the Holocaust.
Northern Hills Synagogue Congregation B’nai Avraham held its annual meeting. As prepared by the nominating committee, Karroll Miller will serve a second one-year term as president. Other officers will include Joe Lazear, presidentelect; David Goldstein, Brian Leshner, Barry Wolfson and Oded Zmora, vice-presidents; Phylliss Shubs, treasurer; Matt Lee, financial secretary; Judy Knapp, corresponding secretary; Roz Shapiro,
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8 • ROSH HASHANAH recording secretary; and Matt Yosafat, cemetery warden. The annual Northern Kentucky Yom Hashoah observance was held at the Florence Christian Church on April 10. Held in various Northern Kentucky churches and parishes for the last 16 years, this is one of the first and longest running observances in America by an interdemoninational association of Christian churches and communions.
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April 28 — President Barack Obama has announced his intention to appoint Dr. Gary P. Zola, executive director of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives and professor at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), to an administration post as member, Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad. Rarely do we hear about the deeds of kind-hearted teens, like the 67 students nominated for this year’s 46th annual Simon Lazarus, Jr. Human Relations Award, presented by American Jewish Committee Cincinnati Region (AJC). AJC honored 10 finalists who excel in volunteerism at this year’s awards ceremony, which took place on May 2, at Rockdale Temple. At CHDS’ annual dinner, which took place May 30 at the Mayerson JCC, this year’s honorees—Mr. and Mrs. Michael and Jan Maltinsky, and Dr. Hannah Shonfield—exemplify using Torah learning and values, combined with dedicated hard work, to better our world. Jewish American Heritage
Month kicked off at the beginning of May, with various events around Cincinnati. May 12 — Rabbi Ben Zion Wacholder, professor emeritus of Talmud and Rabbinics at HUC-JIR in Cincinnati, who held the Solomon B. Freehof Professorship of Jewish Law and Practice, died peacefully at home in Roslyn Heights, N.Y., on March 29, 2011, at age 88, after a long illness. The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, the largest Jewish nonprofit fundraising and community planning organization in Cincinnati, held its 115th Annual Meeting,“Living Our Legacy– Fueling Our Future,” on May 25, at the Mayerson Jewish Community Center. The Federation showcased Cincinnati 2020, the unprecedented community-wide strategic planning intiative that will provide a path for achieving a dynamic, sustainable community. Camp Livingston in Bennington, Ind., is one of 45 nonprofit Jewish camps across North America chosen to participate in the Foundation for Jewish Camp Cornerstone Fellowship. From May 23-26, 2011, approximately 258 thirdyear returning bunk counselors from the selected camps will attend this intensive leadership training aimed at enhancing the Judaic strength of their programs, creating good role models for campers, and building leadership in emerging professionals.
Andy Shott, board member of Cedar Village, pictured with Carol Silver Elliott, CEO and President of Cedar Village
May 19 — Andrew Shott, Cincinnati Attorney and Board of Trustee Member for Cedar Village Retirement Community, was awarded Trustee of the Year by the Association of Jewish Aging Services. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Association of Jewish Aging Services (AJAS) is a non-profit organization which functions as the central coordinator for homes and residential facilities for Jewish elderly in North America. May 26 — The American Israelite was saddened to learn of the death on May 13, 2011 of Max Frankel. Although some will remember with fondness how Mr. Frankel led the auxiliary services for the High Holidays for many years at Golf Manor Synagogue—and his
Max and Gloria Frankel
extraordinary Jewish Culture and Arts program, which featured noted artists and performers several times each year—he is perhaps best remembered in local circles for his 25 years of dedicated service as the executive director of the Bureau of Jewish Education. At the time of his retirement 14 years ago, Mr. Frankel was the most senior in length of service of all directors of Bureaus and Central Agencies for Jewish Education in the United States. His administration of the BJE was marked by tireless effort and numerous innovations that made the now defunct Federationfunded agency an effective and respected partner of all area Jewish schools. Dick Weiland was recognized for his tireless activism on behalf of Cincinnati’s nonprofit sector at the Peace of the City dinner Sunday June 5 at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza. The Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati and Jewish Family Service took the lead role in this event that will benefit over 35 local nonprofit organizations. United States Senator Rob Portman was the guest speaker. June 2 — The 115th Annual Meeting of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati (JFC) — “Living our Legacy ... Fueling our Future” — was held on May 25, 2011 at the Mayerson Jewish Community Center. The event, which hosted 385 attendees, celebrated JFC’s successes of the past year; recognized many volunteers and professionals for their service to the Jewish Community; and looked ahead to an even brighter future. Cardiologist John Szawaluk, M.D., will be practicing at Cedar Village on a regular schedule. Dr. Szawaluk completed his medical degree at Georgetown University, his internship and residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and a fellowship in
Rob Portman and Dick Weiland at the Peace of the City Dinner
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2011
Cardiovascular Disease at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. June 9 — Sycamore High’s 2011 commencement speech was delivered by Brandon Sosna, who delivered a speech filled with Jewish values. The grandson of Sam and Rachel Boymel will be attending the University of Pennsylvania this coming school year. During the Central Region United Synagogue Youth (CRUSY) regional convention in early April, CRUSY presented the Chapter of the Year award to Adath Israel’s high school USY (AIUSY) group and its Kadima middle school group. They also presented AIUSY with awards for the best monthly newsletter, best Shabbat experience program and best social action program. In addition, CRUSY’s regional executive board honored Lainey Paul, Sycamore High School senior and president of AIUSY as USY-er of the Year for her leadership skills. The Simeon Zigler exhibition opened at the Skirball Museum at HUC, June 26. The collection included 40 pieces of art from 1930-1960s. June 16 — The Isaac M. Wise Temple celebrated with the 22 high school seniors who recently completed their studies at Kulanu, Cincinnati’s Reform Jewish High School. “This is an incredibly impressive group of students,” commented Rabbi Lewis Kamrass. Cincinnati lawyer Michael W. Hawkins received the prestigious Judge Learned Hand Award on June 28 at a dinner held in his honor at the Hilton Netherland Plaza Hall of Mirrors. Hawkins was honored for being a compassionate humanitarian, whose devotion to diversity and to international relief efforts is noteworthy. On Monday, June 13, about 20 parents and administrators of Rockwern Academy met in the school’s Boymel Synagogue for the Jewish day school’s annual meeting. Following the conclusion of the school year the previous week, the 2011-2012 board of directors were motioned and accepted. The new board includes Ben Schneider as president; Julie Torem as secretary; Steven Miller as treasurer; Kim Heiman as vice president (advancement); Gayle Warm as vice president (committee on trustees); and Stacey Fisher as immediate past president. June 23 — On June 14, the Mayerson Jewish Community Center hosted the annual meeting of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC). The JCRC elected new board members Chris Bortz, Michelle Kohn, Steven P. Miller, Robert A. Oestreicher, and John Youklis for the 2011-2012 term. Peace of the City Dinner honored Dick Weiland on June 5. Rob Portman was the guest speaker.
ROSH HASHANAH • 9
June 30 — David Gershuny was recognized as this year’s recipient of the Walter Hattenbach Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award was presented during Shavuot services on June 8, 2011. The Hattenbach Award, named in memory of Walter Hattenbach, is given each year to a teacher who exemplifies a positive attitude toward the Jewish educational experience. July 7 — Cedar Village celebrated the grand opening of its new rehabilitation center on Sunday, July 10. Ohio State Representative Peter Beck was in attendance to cut the ribbon that opens the newly renovated and expanded 45,000 square foot rehabilitation and therapy center. Jewish Family Service held its annual meeting at Rockdale Temple on June 23. The 2011-2012 Officers of the Board are Michael Schwartz, president; Andrea Lerner Levenson, vice president; Danny Lipson, vice president; Mark Miller, co-treasurer; Pam Sacherman, co-treasurer; and Bruce Baker, immediate past president. Tzipi Dahan, Steve Halper, Steve Holman, Larry Juran and Scott Slovin were installed as new board members to serve a threeyear term. Leslie Miller was reelected to a second three-year term. Resigning from the board were Marcie Bachrach, Mark Kanter, Mike Kernish and Greg Miller. Board members continuing their term on the board are Bruce Ente, Gail Friedman, Suzy Marcus Goldberg, Jeff Harris, Elaine Kaplan, Amy Peskovitz, Bonnie Rabin, Lauren Scharf, Susan Shorr, Gary Smith, Max Yamson and John Youkilis. Andrea Lerner Levenson was presented with the Miriam Dettelbach Award. This award is given in honor of the first executive director of Jewish Family Service as recognition of exceptional volunteer service to the agency. Two staff members received Longevity Awards; Linda Kean for 10 years and Natalie Hurley for five years. July 14 — UC Hillel appointed Rabbi Elana Dellal as the new executive director. She was ordained by HUC in May of this year and originally hails from Madison, Wis. Temple Sholom announced that Chris Kraus has joined the congregation as its new Director of Lifelong Learning as of July 1. On the morning of July 7, 2011, the Westboro Baptist Church began their picket of the Mayerson JCC at 10 a.m. After protesting a Christian convention downtown earlier, a group made up of five or so of the Kansas-based church — signs in hand — stood near the Ridge Road entrance to the J, saying the Jews were cursed as Christ killers, and other such signs. About 15 more people were also there to counterprotest the group known mostly for its vocal picketing of military
Rabbi Elana Dallal, UC Hillel’s new executive director
funerals, such as the 2008 funeral of local soldier, Matt Maupin. July 21 — Sally F. Korkin, executive director of the Cedar Village Foundation, was elected president of Partners in Senior Life, formerly Associates of Jewish Homes and Services for the Aging at the 36th annual meeting held in Detroit, Mich. This year, librarian Julia Weinstein, teacher Elaine Kaplan and music teacher Shawn Wyatt were honored for the development and implementation of an innovative interfaith education program believed to be unique in the United States. Every student, from preschool to the 6th grade, at both Rockwern Academy—Cincinnati’s community Jewish Day School— and at the International Academy— the area’s community Islamic school—joined to do schoolwide readings of a single book: “Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson. In the book, the students learned
Wishing all my Family & Friends a Happy New Year To the Jewish Community, Rayman Barrett
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10 • ROSH HASHANAH
May the New Year Bring Special Blessings of Peace, Health & Joy • GENE, ELISE & LARRY MESH DR. CHARLES MESH, DR. DIANNE LITWIN & FAMILY DR. MICHAEL & SYDNEY HARRIS & FAMILY
about efforts to build much-needed schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan. July 28 — The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati held its 15th annual meeting, paying tribute to retiring Trustees, announcing new leadership and offering a preview of the priority funding areas in the Foundation’s strategic plan. Michael R. Oestreicher was elected to serve as the sixth President of The Jewish Foundation, succeeding Gary Heiman, who now serves a threeyear term as Chairman. J. David Rosenberg, was elected Vice President, Jeff Zipkin, Secretary, and Beth Guttman, Treasurer.
August 11 — Cincinnati native Teri Junker was installed as the new President of Hadassah Central States Region at the Region Spring Forum in Columbus, Ohio. Carol Ann Schwartz, also a native Cincinnatian, was honored for her exemplary service as Region President for the past three years. The Mayerson JCC is proud to have sent a Cincinnati delegation to the first-ever JCC Maccabi Experience in Israel. The eight teen athletes participating in the JCC Maccabi Games competed in basketball and soccer, and the eight artists performed in dance, rock, vocals and acting at JCC Maccabi ArtsFest. August 18 — Adath Israel hosted its 8th annual Mitzvah Day this week, preparing over 250 bag lunches for the Over-the-Rhine Drop Inn Center. Jewish Women International (JWI) has selected Kim Morris Heiman of Cincinnati, president of SK Textile and managing director at Standard Textile Company, as a 2011 Women to Watch honoree for her business leadership and role in reaching out to develop business in Israel. September 1 — The Jewish
Foundation moved its office to a new location on Lake Forest Drive in Blue Ash. Sally F. Korkin was named the first ever executive director of the Cedar Village Foundation. September 8 — Attorney Larry A. Neuman, a longtime leader in the Jewish community has been selected to chair the new Cedar Village Foundation, whose mission is to raise and invest funds for Cedar Village Retirement Community. The ReelAbilities Film Festival opened this week at the Mayerson JCC and featured keynote speaker Richard Bernstein a blind attorney and Hall of Fame marathon runner. September 15 — The Jewish National Fund held its 2011 National Conference in Cincinnati on Sept. 16-19. Guests from around the world heard Speaker of the House John Boehner deliver the keynote address. A gala dinner was held to honor Nina and Edward Paul with the Tree of Life award and entertainer Larry King with the Shalom Peace award. It was the largest JNF National conference ever, with over 800 attending the gala dinner.
5771: Death Notices Listed below are those who have passed on during the time between last year’s and this year’s Rosh Hashanah. If any persons have been left out, please contact us.
JACOBY, Vivian “Joy,” age 82, died on October 6, 2010; 28 Tishrei, 5771.
KATZ, Josephine, age 94, died on September 9, 2010; 1 Tishrei, 5771.
GREENBERG, Elaine, age 85, died on October 10, 2010; 2 Cheshvan, 5771.
SHOSTLE, Dorothy, age 95, died on September 15, 2010; 7 Tishrei, 5771. SCHEFFLER, Faye, age 91, died on September 16, 2010; 9 Tishrei, 5771.
TILLEY, Sidney Joseph, age 76, died on October 6, 2010; 29 Tishrei, 5771.
COSTANTINI, Joseph G., died on October 11, 2010; 3 Cheshvan, 5771.
ADLER, Leah Ruth, age 84, died on November 1, 2010; 24 Cheshvan, 5771. ROTHFELD, Shirley Ann, age 86, died on November 2, 2010; 25 Cheshvan, 5771. FESMAN, Sonia G., age 68, died on November 5, 2010; 28 Cheshvan, 5771.
KAHN, Ernst, age 90, died on October 12, 2010; 4 Cheshvan, 5771.
KANTER, Jerry, age 81, died on November 5, 2010; 28 Cheshvan, 5771.
GOTTLIEBSON, Dr. William M., age 44, died on September 17, 2010; 9 Tishrei, 5771.
WIDLANSKY, William, age 93, died on October 12, 2010; 4 Cheshvan, 5771.
KICHLER, Mildred, age 85, died on November 8, 2010; 1 Kislev, 5771.
DRESKIN, Ruth, age 87, died on September 17, 2010; 9 Tishrei, 5771.
WEINER, Charles, age 78, died on October 12, 2010; 4 Cheshvan, 5771.
GREENLAND, Dorothy Korros, age 95, died on November 8, 2010; 1 Kislev, 5771.
STERNWEILER, Josephine Y., age 85, died on September 17, 2010; 10 Tishrei, 5771.
JAFFE, Margery B., age 81, died on October 16, 2010; 8 Cheshvan, 5771.
FIERMAN, Edythe, age 91, died on November 9, 2010; 3 Kislev, 5771.
BUSH, Selma Klein, age 96, died on September 20, 2010; 12 Tishrei, 5771.
ROSENBAUM, Leonard E., age 80, died October 16, 2010; 8 Cheshvan, 5771.
KIRSCHNER, Jack Robert, age 85, died on September 21, 2010; 13 Tishrei, 5771.
SHAPIRO, Gwendolyn, age 95, died on October 17, 2010; 9 Cheshvan, 5771.
COOPER, Albert M., age 91, died on September 22, 2010; 14 Tishrei, 5771.
KURESMAN, Betty, age 92, died on October 20, 2010; 12 Cheshvan, 5771.
SANDLE, Rose, age 96, died on September 22, 2010; 14 Tishrei, 5771.
SORG, Jean D., age 80, died on October 21, 2010; 13 Cheshvan, 5771.
ZIMMERMAN, Wilbur “Sonny,” age 87, died on November 15, 2010; 8 Kislev, 5771.
FINER, Marvin, age 85, died on September 23, 2010; 15 Tishrei, 5771.
AZMIER, Jane Sally, age 94, died on October 29, 2010; 21 Cheshvan, 5771.
WIEDER, Mesel, age 96, died November 16, 2010; 9 Kislev, 5771.
WEISS, Marc E., age 52, died on September 28, 2010; 21 Tishrei, 5771.
SACHS, Jackie, age 67, died on October 29, 2010; 21 Cheshvan, 5771.
COWEN, Ruth Jean, age 92, died November 18, 2010; 12 Kislev, 5771.
STERNE, Harold Emanuel, age 81, died on October 2, 2010; 24 Tishrei, 5771.
KAPLAN, Bernice B., age 90, died on October 31, 2010; 23 Cheshvan, 5771.
FISHER, Melvyn, age 80, died on November 18, 2010; 12 Kislev, 5771.
HORDES, Frances M., age 92, died on November 9, 2010; 3 Kislev, 5771. SIEGEL, Debra Sue, age 59, died on November 10, 2010; 3 Kislev, 5771. KADIS, Dorothy, age 99, died on November 14, 2010; 7 Kislev, 5771.
ROSH HASHANAH • 11
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2011 ZWERIN, Jane S., age 80, died November 19, 2010; 12 Kislev, 5771.
VAK, Svetlana, age 80, died on January 14, 2011; 9 Shevat 5771.
GOLDFARB, Hyman, age 85, died on March 10, 2011; 4 Adar II, 5771.
STEINBERG, Richard “Rick” A., age 58, died on November 26, 2010; 19 Kislev, 5771.
SIMONS, Irvin, age 92, died on January 17, 2011; 12 Shevat 5771
CITRON, Hope, age 86, died on March 12, 2011; 6 Adar II, 5771.
PYNE, Dorothy, age 81, died on January 25, 2011, 20 Shevat 5771.
TOBIN, Harry, age 100, died on March 14, 2011; 8 Adar II, 5771.
WHITE, Esther Edith, age 105, died on January 27, 2011; 22 Shevat 5771.
SIGNER, Burton R., age 81, died on March 17, 2011; 11 Adar II, 5771.
POCKROS, Milton N., age 83, died on January 27, 2011; 22 Shevat 5771.
PRITZ, Louise A., age 88, died on March 18, 2011; 12 Adar II, 5771.
MAYER, Jule B., age 92, died on December 1, 2010; 25 Kislev, 5771.
MARKMAN, Dr. Sidney D., age 99, died on January 27, 2011, 22 Shevat 5771.
SWILLINGER, Erwin, age 80, died on March 18, 2011; 12 Adar II, 5771.
GLASER, Reita, age 97, died on December 2, 2010; 26 Kislev, 5771.
COHEN, Phyllis, age 78, died on February 2, 2011; 28 Shevat 5771.
HYMAN, Anita E., age 93, died on December 4, 2010; 27 Kislev, 5771.
OSTROW, Suzanne G., age 80, died on February 3, 2011; 30 Shevat 5771.
CALLER (ABEL), Gladys L., age 95, died on December 7, 2010; 30 Kislev, 5771.
STAMLER, Alvin, age 80, died on February 5, 2011, 1 Adar 5771.
MARGOLES, Lottie, age 94, died on November 27, 2010; 20 Kislev, 5771. KAPLAN, Helen, age 97, died on November 28, 2010; 22 Kislev, 5771. SOMMER, Kim, age 58, died on December 1, 2010; 24 Kislev, 5771.
FRIEDMAN, Ruth, age 89, died on December 8, 2010; 1 Tevet, 5771. HERMAN, Carol H., age 88, died on December 10, 2010; 3 Tevet, 5771. NEWBURGER, Larry D., age 70, died on December 13, 2010; 6 Tevet, 5771. SATIN, Irene, age 48, died on December 14, 2010; 8 Tevet, 5771. SCHULZINGER, Edward, age 93, died on December 18, 2010; 11 Tevet, 5771. POST, Selma Gettler age 87, died on December 23, 2010; 16 Tevet, 5771. WEILAND, Ruth, age 103, died on December 25, 2010; 18 Tevet 5771.
GOLDBERG, Stanley, age 85, died on February 5, 2011, 1 Adar 5771.
WEINBERG, Doris E., age 87, died on April 2, 2011; 27 Adar II 5771
WEYANT, William S., age 90, died on February 9, 2011; 6 Adar I, 5771.
ROSE, Andrew Z., age 51, died on April 8, 2011; 4 Nissan 5771.
LEVINSON, Herbert M., age 78, died on February 11, 2011; 7 Adar I, 5771.
STERN, Rabbi Jack, age 84, died on April 14, 2011; 10 Nissan, 5771.
NELSON, Howard Lee, age 90, died on February 11, 2011; 8 Adar I, 5771.
BEN-ZEEV, Moshe, age 71, died on April 15, 2011; 11 Nisan, 5771.
BURGIN, Dr. Leonard A., age 84, died on February 12, 2011; 8 Adar I, 5771.
KADETZ, David, age 70, died on April 16, 2011; 12 Nissan 5771.
FREID, Isadore Alan, age 82, died on February 14, 2011; 10 Adar I, 5771.
RICHSHAFER, William, age 93, died on February 15, 2010; 11 Adar I, 5771.
BARTEL, Dr. Philip Frederick, age 70, died on December 28, 2010; 21 Tevet 5771.
COHEN, Miriam B., died on February 16, 2011; 12 Adar I, 5771.
SUGERMAN, Ruth, age 59, died on January 3, 2011; 28 Tevet 5771. WEST, Ilse E., age 80, died on January 6, 2011; 1 Shevat, 5771. CISNASKI, Saralee (Seidenman), age 62, died on January 7, 2011; 2 Shevat 5771. SHIFRES, Leonard D., age 84, died on January 10, 2011; 5 Shevat 5771. PIKOVSKY, Benjamin M., age 85, died on January 12, 2011; 8 Shevat 5771. MILOV, Blima, age 61, died on January 14, 2011; 9 Shevat 5771.
NAHEM, Albert, age 89, died on March 25, 2011; 19 Adar II, 5771.
MITZ, Michael, age 89, died on February 8, 2011; 4 Adar I, 5771.
HALBERSTEIN, Martin, age 85, died on December 27, 2010; 20 Tevet 5771.
LEVINE, Daniel, age 92, died on January 3, 2011; 27 Tevet 5771.
ROE, Roger B., age 73, died on March 25, 2011; 19 Adar II, 5771.
WACHOLDER, Rabbi Ben Zion, age 88, died on March 29, 2011; 23 Adar II, 5771.
LEVINE, Michael, age 65, died on February 14, 2011; 11 Adar I, 5771.
LEVINSON, Ruth Ann, age 84, died on December 31, 2010; 24 Tevet 5771.
FEUER, Irving, age 82, died on March 23, 2011; 17 Adar II, 5771.
GOLDBERG, Pat, age 91, died on February 6, 2011, 2 Adar 5771.
MUNICK, Wendy Beth, age 44, died on December 27, 2010; 20 Tevet, 5771.
TAFT, E. Gerald, age 95, died on December 30, 2010; 24 Tevet 5771.
PERLMAN, Dr. Aaron, age 96, died on March 18, 2011; 12 Adar II, 5771.
RABINOVICH, Inirida, age 54, died on February 16, 2011; 13 Adar I, 5771. WELLER, Marcia A., age 77, died on February 17, 2011; 14 Adar I, 5771. HALL, Doris Leiser, age 82, died on February 18, 2011; 15 Adar I, 5771. COHEN, Harvey D., age 89, died on February 27, 2011; 23 Adar I, 5771. BARRATT, Grace, age 91, died on February 28, 2011; 24 Adar I, 5771. HORVITZ, David, age 98, died on March 1, 2011; 25 Adar I, 5771. LOFTSPRING, Marjorie, age 86, died on March 6, 2011; 1 Adar II, 5771. POLASKY, Saul, age 81, died on March 7, 2011; 1 Adar II, 5771. KAHN, Joel Ira, age 58, died on March 8, 2011; 3 Adar II, 5771. LEVINE, Diana, age 100, died on March 9, 2011; 4 Adar II, 5771.
BARASCH, Bertha, age 91, died on April 17, 2011; 13 Nisan, 5771.
12 • ROSH HASHANAH
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KICHLER, Gene C., age 90, died on April 22, 2011; 18 Nissan, 5771.
MAZER, Ralph, age 80, died on May 25, 2011; 21 Iyar, 5771.
TITOVA, Faina, age 57, died on April 23, 2011; 19 Nissan, 5771.
PAUL, Albert, age 87, died on May 26, 2011; 23 Iyar, 5771.
KRAFT, Madeline J., age 78, died on April 25, 2011; 22 Nissan, 5771.
LANHAM, Pauline, age 82, died on May 27, 2011; 23 Iyar, 5771.
SCHNEIDER, Morris Isaac, age 79, died on April 26, 2011; 22 Nissan, 5771.
SIVITZ, Blessing, 90, died on May 29, 2011; 25 Iyar, 5771.
KATHMAN, Deborah A., age 50, died on August 7, 2011; daughter of John (Danielle) Marx and Dorothy Hardin.
HELLER, Morton, age 81, died on June 6, 2011; 4 Sivan 5771.
BARON, JoAnn Sue, age 73, died on August 10, 2011; 10 Av 5771
LIPSHULTZ, Matthew, age 51, died on June 6, 2011; 4 Sivan, 5771.
GREENBERG, Herbert J., age 94, died on August 10, 2011; 10 Av 5771
GUP, Louis, age 84, died on June 13, 2011; 11 Sivan, 5771.
WHITT, Blanche Yosafat, age 90, died on August 19, 2011; 19 Av 5771.
WEINBERG, Hillard, age 88, died on June 13, 2011; 11 Sivan, 5771.
BESKIN, Herta S., age 83, died on August 19, 2011; 20 Av, 5771.
BUCHMAN, Evelyn, age 91, died on June 14, 2011; 13 Sivan, 5771.
MARCUS, Ina, age 96, died on August 19, 2011; 20 Av 5771.
GRUSD, Edwin D., age 84, died on June 17, 2011; 15 Sivan, 5771.
TUNICK, Sara “Curly”, age 99, died on August 20, 2011; 20 Av 5771.
FORBUS, James Edward, age 72, died on June 17, 2011; 15 Sivan, 5771.
GRAD, Sylvia, age 90, died August 21, 2011; 21 Av 5771.
ZIMMERMAN, Irma Tess Euster, age 87, died on May 1, 2011; 28 Nisan, 5771. SACHS, Penina C., age 56, died on May 2, 2011; 28 Nisan, 5771. ZIV, Edward, age 47, died on May 4, 2011; 30 Nissan, 5771. KROPVELD, Ruth, age 89, died on May 5, 2011; 1 Iyar, 5771. GUBERMAN, Sidney, age 88, died on May 5, 2011;1 Iyar, 5771. PRICE, Frieda, age 82, died on May 5, 2011; 1 Iyar, 5771. ABBOTT, Marilyn, age 88, died on May 9, 2011; 5 Iyar, 5771. VICTOR, Irving William, age 89, died on May 11, 2011; 7 Iyar 5771. KAPLAN, Albert, age 86, died on May 11, 2011; 7 Iyar 5771. FRANKEL, Max, age 83, died on May 13, 2011; 9 Iyar 5771. KEMP, Simon, age 98, died on May 14, 2011; 10 Iyar 5771. GOLDBERG, Marvin, age 84, died on May 20, 2011; 16 Iyar 5771.
RABENSTEIN, Aaron, age 74, died on June 18 2011, 17 of Sivan, 5771. WITKIN, Sanford E. “Sandy,” age 69, June 20, 2011; 18 Sivan 5771. GROSSMAN, Claire V. Rothenberg, age 80, died on June 22, 2011; 20 Sivan 5771. ALTMAN, Sylvia “Sukey”, age 84, died on June 27, 2011; 26 Sivan, 5771. IPP, B. June, age 82, June 28, 2011; 26 Sivan 5771. BERMAN, Elizabeth F., age 57, died on June 28, 2011; 26 Sivan, 5771. ENGEL, Benjamin, age 90, June 29, 2011, 27 Sivan 5771. COHEN, Morris Nathan, age 96, died on June 30, 2011; 28 Sivan, 5771. STECKL, Frank, age 96, July 1, 2011, 29 Sivan, 5771.
DUMES, William “Bill”, age 94, died on July 31, 2011; 29 Tammuz, 5771. ZEMSKY, Morton, age 82, died on August 4, 2011; 4 Av, 5771.
ALTMAN, Lawrence L., age 82, died on August 24, 2011; 24 Av, 5771. TABAK, Henry H., age 86, died on August 25, 2011; 25 Av, 5771. RUBIN, Jack, age 101, died on August 26, 2011; 27 Av, 5771. MARMER, Cynthia Marver, age 72, died on August 28, 2011; 29 Av, 5771. DENNIS, Gerald L. age 66, died on September 3rd, 2011; 4 Elul 5771. BARTEL, Bernice, age 98, died on September 6, 2011; 7 Elul, 5771. GRIFFIN, Barbara, age 71, died on September 7, 2011; 8 Elul, 5771. EPSTEIN, Carol L. died on September 8, 2011; 9 Elul 5771. BARR, Ruth, age 80, died on September 8, 2011; 10 Elul, 5771. SUSSER, Leonard Lewis, age 85, died on September 11, 2011; 13 Elul, 5771.
BLEZNICK, Donald W., age 86, died on July 5, 2011; 3 Tammuz, 5771.
BARRON, Judith T., age 88, died on September 14, 2011; 16 Elul, 5771.
STATMAN, Nicholas J., age 80, died on July 6, 2011; 5 Tammuz 5771.
SHULLER, Saul E., age 95, died on September 20, 2011; 19 Elul, 5771.
SCHEAR, Betty Z., age 85, died on July 10, 2011; 8 Tammuz, 5771.
PILDER, Geraldine, age 94, died on September 21, 2011; 22 Elul, 5771.
SOLOMON, Minnie B., age 92, died on July 17, 2011; 15 Tammuz, 5771.
MENDELSOHN, Marjorie Cohen, age 83, died on September 21, 2011; 22 Elul, 5771.
MASSEL, Rebecca Dunn, age 92, died on July 17, 2011; 15 Tammuz, 5771. GARBER, Joseph M. age 91, died on July 20, 2011; 18 Tammuz, 5771. KAPLAN, Joseph M., age 92, died on July 27, 2011; 25 Tammuz, 5771. DRESKIN, Dr. O. Herman, age 95, died on July 28, 2011; 26 Tammuz, 5771.
BERNFELD, Ethel, age 94, died on September 21, 2011; 23 Elul, 5771. RUDNEY, Bernice, age 87, died on September 22, 2011; 23 Elul, 5771. DEUTSCH, Howard, age 93, died on September 22, 2011; 24 Elul, 5771. BONIFACE, William R. age 84, died on September 24, 2011; 26 Elul, 5771.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2011
ROSH HASHANAH • 13
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5771 Year in Review By JTA Staff Jewish Telegraphic Agency
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NEW YORK (JTA) — The following is a review of the news highlights of the Jewish year 5771. SEPTEMBER 2010 Despite offers of increased U.S. military equipment, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decides against extending the 10-month West Bank settlement freeze. OCTOBER President Obama’s top two Jewish aides — Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and senior adviser David Axelrod, both with offices within shouting distance of the Oval Office — announce that they will be leaving the administration. For the first time in history, the U.S. Supreme Court convened with three Jewish justices. A Knesset proposal to require loyalty oaths of non-Jews wishing to become Israeli citizens wins the endorsement of Israel’s Cabinet and prompts protests in Tel Aviv. The proposal is later amended to include Jews as well. The Anti-Defamation League lists a Jewish group, Jewish Voices for Peace, on its list of top 10 anti-Israel organizations in America. A month after the collapse of renewed peace talks with Israel, Palestinian Authority officials begin talking publicly about declaring statehood unilaterally. Packages containing explosive devices are mailed from Yemen to Jewish institutions in the Chicago area but are intercepted before they reach their intended targets.
Courtesy of Wagdi Ashtiyeh / Flash90 / JTA
Despite offers of increased U.S. military equipment, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decides against extending the 10month West Bank settlement freeze.
Wishing all our family and friends a year of health and happiness Courtesy of U.S. Supreme Court
For the first time in history, the U.S. Supreme Court convened with three Jewish justices.
NOVEMBER In the Republican Party’s near sweep of the 2010 midterm elections, six Jewish members of the U.S. House of Representatives lose their seats. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Claims Conference disclose that they have discovered thousands of fraudulent claims, including ones filed by Claims Conference employees; 17 people are arrested. By mid-2011, more than $50 million in fraudulent claims had been found. A review panel established by Israel’s Chief Rabbinate threatens to invalidate thousands of conversions performed under the auspices of the Israel Defense Forces. The Knesset moves to safeguard the IDF conversions. Israel allows another 8,000 Falash Mura from Ethiopia to immigrate. WikiLeaks’ release of thou-
Courtesy of I. George Bilyk
The National Museum of American Jewish History opens in Philadelphia with a gala headlined by Barbra Streisand, comedian Jerry Seinfeld and entertainer Bette Midler.
sands of classified U.S. documents shows Arab leaders expressing grave concern about Iran’s nuclear intentions and urging the United States to curb Iran’s nuclear program.
The National Museum of American Jewish History opens in Philadelphia with a gala headlined by Vice President Joe Biden, comedian Jerry Seinfeld and entertainer Bette Midler.
Jorian & Neil, David & Marisa Roth
14 • ROSH HASHANAH
power in Beirut, Israel is concerned at the prospect of a tectonic shift in the regional balance. FEBRUARY
Courtesy of Shay Levy /Flash90 /JTA
Forty-two people are killed and 12,000 acres are destroyed by a massive forest fire in northern Israel that prompts firefighting assistance from countries around the region.
HAPPY NEW YEAR from HUC-JIR Cincinnati
Forty-two people are killed and 12,000 acres are destroyed by a massive forest fire in northern Israel that prompts firefighting assistance from countries around the region. In a speech to an ArabAmerican group in Michigan, former White House journalist Helen Thomas says that Congress, the White House, Hollywood and Wall Street are “owned by the Zionists.” The remark prompts the Society of Professional Journalists later to drop her name from an annual lifetime achievement award. Newly released Nixon-era tapes include recordings of Henry Kissinger saying the theoretical gassing of Soviet Jews wouldn’t be an American concern. A Seattle group pays for ads to run on buses in the city that accuse Israel of war crimes. The ads are pulled before they ever run, prompting a lawsuit. Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav is convicted of rape.
Jews worldwide mourn the passing of Debbie Friedman, a popular singer and songwriter who is widely credited with reinvigorating synagogue music and best known for her composition “Mi Shebeirach,” a prayer for healing that is sung in many North American congregations. U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), the first Jewish woman elected to statewide office in Arizona, is shot in the head during a public campaign appearance in Tucson, triggering a national outpouring of sympathy and prayer. First responders later credit the emergency bandage colloquially known as “the Israeli bandage” with saving lives in the aftermath of the shooting that left six dead and 13 wounded. Newly leaked maps detailing Palestinian and Israeli negotiations over the West Bank in 2008 show how close the two sides were on some issues — and how far apart they were on others. With Lebanon in turmoil and a Hezbollah-backed prime minister poised to take
Courtesy of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords
Astronaut Mark Kelly, the husband of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, holds his critically wounded wife’s hand at the University Medical Center in Tucson the day after she was shot in a shopping mall in that Arizona city, Jan. 9, 2011.
Massive street protests drive Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, an ally of Israel and the United States, from power. Coming on the heels of a similar turn of events in Tunisia, Mubarak’s fall raises hopes that a wave of democracy has been unleashed and fears — especially in Israel — that what is being called the Arab Spring will end with radical Islamic forces in power. U.S. Rep. Jane Harman, a tough-talking Jewish Democrat from California, suddenly decides to quit Congress in a sign of the precarious position of the Democratic Party’s centrist bloc. An annual survey from The
Courtesy of DebbieFriedman.com
Jews worldwide mourn the passing of Debbie Friedman, a popular singer and songwriter who is widely credited with reinvigorating synagogue music.
Chronicle of Philanthropy finds that America’s most generous citizens gave less in 2010 than they have over the past decade, with Jews remaining among the top givers. At the Academy Awards, Jewish winners included Israelborn Natalie Portman for her portrayal of a tortured ballerina in “Black Swan” and 73-year-old “The King’s Speech” screenwriter David Seidler, himself a stutterer whose paternal grandparents perished in the Holocaust. Oscars were handed out as well to American filmmakers Kirk Simon and Karen Goodman for “Strangers No More,” a short documentary on the Bialik-Rogozin School in south Tel Aviv, and Susanne Bier, the Danish directorwriter of “In a Better World” who studied for two years at the Hebrew University and the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem. An Israeli backpacker is among the dead after an earthquake hits Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island. The city’s Chabad house is destroyed.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2011
ROSH HASHANAH • 15
Actor Charlie Sheen’s rant against his Jewish boss is called borderline anti-Semitism by the Anti-Defamation League and, after some additional outbursts by Sheen, results in his eventual firing from the popular CBS sitcom “Two and a Half Men.” MARCH The fashion house Dior fires acclaimed designer John Galliano after a video surfaces of him praising Hitler. In a terrorist attack in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Itamar, five members of the Fogel family are massacred as they sleep. Two Palestinians in their late teens are arrested; one is found guilty by an Israeli military court. The other suspect is awaiting trial. Israel’s Navy intercepts a ship laden with weapons bound for Gaza. Jewish and Israel groups begin sending aid to Japan as it struggles to respond to a massive earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis. American Jewish contractor Alan Gross is sentenced to 15 years in prison in Cuba for subversive activities. The United States says Gross was in the country to help Cuba’s Jews. A car bomb explodes in central Jerusalem, killing one. Groups on the Jewish left express outrage after a Knesset subcommittee votes to convene hearings on J Street, the Washington-based lobby that calls itself “pro-Israel, pro-peace.” NGOs condemn the hearing as part of an Israeli government campaign to target NGOs critical of Israel. Academy Award-winning actress Elizabeth Taylor, who maintained a support for Israel after converting to Judaism in the late 1950s, dies. Protests sweeping the Arab world spread to Syria.
Courtesy of Takver - Creative Commons
Massive street protests to drive Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from power.
the 2009 Gaza War that accused Israel of war crimes, withdraws the central tenet of that report in an Op-Ed piece in the Washington Post. That prompts an unsuccessful drive by Israel and its supporters to void the report formally in the United Nations. A bomb explodes outside a Chabad center in Southern California. The suspect turns out to be Jewish. Obama picks Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Jewish Democrat from Florida, to chair the Democratic National Committee. The Union for Reform Judaism names Rabbi Rick Jacobs as its choice to succeed Rabbi Eric Yoffie at the helm of the movement. Jacobs comes under fire for his affiliations with J Street and the New Israel Fund. He is later confirmed by the union’s board. The Palestinian Hamas and Fatah factions announce that they are reconciling, prompting calls for the U.S. government to cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority. However, a Hamas-Fatah unity government fails to materialize.
liquidation of al-Qaida’s leader makes a follow-up attack more or less likely and whether Jews could be a target. JTA launches its online digital news archive, for the first time making widely available on the Internet more than 90 years of English-language Jewish reporting. In a controversy over the Israel positions of Jewish playwright Tony Kushner, the City University of New York first cancels, then reinstates, plans to grant Kushner an honorary degree. Capping more than three decades of legal drama, a Munich court rules that former Ohio autoworker John Demjanjuk, 91, was a Nazi war criminal. Thousands of Arabs storm Israel’s borders from Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere to mark
MAY APRIL Richard Goldstone, author of the controversial U.N. report on
Osama bin Laden is killed in Pakistan by U.S. forces, prompting questions about whether the
Wishes the Greater Cincinnati Jewish Community a Year of Health and Happiness
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In a terrorist attack in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Itamar, five members of the Fogel family are massacred as they sleep.
DEVINDER S. MANGAT, M.D., F.A.C.S. DANIEL G. KUY, M.D., F.A.C.S. ALLISON M. HOLZAPFEL, M.D., F.A.C.S.
16 • ROSH HASHANAH
the Nakba — the anniversary of the “catastrophe” of Israel’s founding. Caught unprepared, Israeli forces hold the crowds back and more than a dozen Arabs are killed. The arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn in New York on sexual assault charges represents a particularly harsh blow for many in France’s Jewish community. Law enforcement officials would later report that major questions have emerged about the credibility of his accuser, but not before he resigns his post at the International Monetary Fund. His planned candidacy for the French presidency is considered dead. San Francisco approves a ballot measure for November to outlaw circumcision of minors in the city. A judge later strikes the ban from the ballot, saying the city has no authority to ban circumcision. President Obama delivers a major speech on Mideast policy in which he states that IsraeliPalestinian negotiations should be based upon “1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.” The for-
Courtesy of Hamad Almakt/Flash90/JTA
Arab demonstrators marking the 63rd anniversary of the Nakba hold Palestinian flags as they approach the village of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights, between Syria and Israel, May 15, 2011.
Courtesy of Alex Axelrod
San Francisco approves a ballot measure for November to outlaw circumcision of minors in the city. A judge later strikes the ban from the ballot, saying the city has no authority to ban circumcision.
Courtesy of Avi Ohayon/GPO/Flash90/JTA
Netanyahu receives multiple ovations during remarks to a joint session of Congress on May 24, 2011.
ROSH HASHANAH • 17
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2011
mulation sparks a fiery debate over whether the president was simply reiterating longtime U.S. policy or pressuring Israel. Soon after, the president holds a tense news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Both leaders speak to thousands of pro-Israel activists at the annual AIPAC policy conference. Later, Netanyahu receives multiple ovations during remarks to a joint session of Congress. After a deadly tornado strikes Joplin, Mo., the Jewish community sends help. In the Chasidic village of New Square, N.Y., an arson attack that leaves a Jewish man severely burned raises questions about religious violence in the name of fealty to a rebbe. JUNE One of the most hawkish proIsrael Democrats in Congress, New Yorker Anthony Weiner, is engulfed in scandal over lying about illicit messages sent on Twitter. Eventually he resigns. Yale University shutters its Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism, saying it failed to meet certain academic criteria. Critics, however, claim the program was killed for shining a light on Muslim anti-Semitism. Cottage cheese, a national staple in Israel that has seen its price rising steadily, becomes the focus of a consumer revolt and a symbol of frustration with the high cost of living in the Jewish state. Later, the protests broaden and focus on the shortage of affordable housing in the country, with mass demonstrations and tent cities popping up in Tel Aviv and elsewhere. JULY The lower house of the Dutch parliament passes a ban on kosher slaughter, spurred on by the unlikely convergence between animal rights activists and the country’s far-right, anti-Muslim movement. After a flotilla of ships to Gaza fails to launch from Greece, pro-
Courtesy of Uriel Heilman
One of the most hawkish pro-Israel Democrats in Congress, New Yorker Anthony Weiner, is engulfed in scandal over lying about illicit messages sent on Twitter. Eventually he resigns.
testers announce a planned “flyin” to Israel to protest its treatment of the Palestinians. Jewish communities in New York and Houston are rocked, respectively, by the murder of 8year-old Leiby Kletzky, who was abducted walking home from summer day camp in Borough Park, Brooklyn, and a car crash that instantly killed Josh and Robin Berry, 41 and 40, and left two of their three children paralyzed from the waist down. For the first time since 1945, the Maccabi Games — the socalled Jewish Olympics in Europe — are held in a German-speaking country. Maccabi officials said the crowd made up the largest gathering of Jews in Vienna since the Holocaust. Israel passes a law that penalizes those seeking to boycott Israel or West Bank Jewish settlements. American Jewish groups slam the law as undemocratic. As media mogul Ruport Murdoch’s News of the World is engulfed in a phone-hacking scandal and shuts down, some Jews worry that a pro-Israel voice in the media will be muted. British Jewish singer Amy Winehouse, 27, dies. Anders Behring Breivik, a
Courtesy of Avi Ohayon/GPO/Flash90/JTA
Protests in Israel broaden and focus on the shortage of affordable housing in the country, with mass demonstrations and tent cities popping up in Tel Aviv and elsewhere.
Norwegian anti-Muslim extremist who wrote a manifesto expressing sympathy for Israel’s plight, bombs a government building in Oslo and goes on a killing spree on the nearby island of Utoya, killing 77. Israelis protesting the absence of affordable housing and the high cost of living in Israel stage massive demonstrations, erecting a sprawling tent city in Tel Aviv and blocking roads around the country. Amid the crisis, the prime minister cancels an overseas trip and proposes a series of changes. The movement gains steam throughout the summer, culminating in a protest of hundreds of thousands in early September. A
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18 • ROSH HASHANAH
few days later the tent city in Tel Aviv is disassembled. Activists vow to continue their campaign.
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AUGUST Standard & Poor’s says ratings for the loan guarantees that Israel obtains from the United States dropped commensurate with its downgrading of the U.S. credit rating. The Obama re-election campaign hires Ira Forman, the exchief of the National Jewish Democratic Council, as its Jewish outreach director. The brother of Yankel Rosenbaum, the Jewish scholar murdered in the 1991 Crown Heights riots, decries the Rev. Al Sharpton’s participation in a synagogue event on the riots’ 20th anniversary. Sharpton pulls out of the event and pens an Op-Ed in the N.Y. Daily News acknowledging that he made some mistakes during the riots. Obama calls for Syrian President Bashar Assad to resign in the wake of attacks by his government that have killed thousands. Eight Israelis are killed in a terrorist attack along the EgyptIsrael border that sparks a diplomatic crisis with Egypt when Israeli troops pursuing the terrorists open fire on Egyptian soil and three Egyptian security forces inadvertently are killed. Israel quickly apologizes but expresses concern that terrorists from Gaza are using the Egyptian Sinai as a route to attack Israel. Meanwhile, Israel and Gaza rocket crews trade
Courtesy of Nati Shohat / Flash90
Israeli soldiers patrol the Israel-Egypt border a day after a terrorist attack on Aug. 18, 2011 left eight Israelis, several Palestinian gunmen and three Egyptian soldiers dead.
airstrikes and rocket fire. Libyan rebels topple Muammar Gadhafi from power, but fighting between Gadhafi loyalists and rebels continues in points around Libya. With Gadhafi the third Arab dictator to fall in nine months, analysts wonder if Syria’s Assad is next.
Courtesy of Ariel Hermoni / Israeli Defense Ministry
Eight Israelis were killed when Palestinian gunmen fired at Israeli vehicles, including this bus, near the Egyptian border on Aug. 18, 2011.
Menachem Youlus, a rabbi who claimed that he rescued Torah scrolls lost during the Holocaust, is arrested on fraud charges and accused of fabricating the stories. Hurricane Irene churns up the East Coast of the United States, flooding towns, disrupting transportation and killing more than 30
people, including three Jews, one of whom dies trying to save a boy and his father from electrocution. The boy later succumbs, becoming the fourth Jewish death reported in the historic storm. SEPTEMBER Lauren Bush, granddaughter of the first President Bush and niece of the second, marries Ralph Lauren’s son in a ceremony presided over by an ordained rabbi. Turkey expels Israel’s ambassador to the country and downgrades diplomatic and military ties. The Obama administration confirms it will veto any U.N. Security Council resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood ahead of an anticipated U.N. vote on a Palestinian state. An Egyptian mob breaks into the Israeli Embassy in Cairo, ransacking the building and tearing down its security walls. Israeli personnel are stuck inside for hours until Egyptian commandos arrive at the scene. The Israelis later are evacuated from the country by Israeli Air Force jets. The attack exacerbates fears in Israel that it is losing a once-reliable ally to the south.
Happy New Year
Courtesy of Maggie Osama/Creative Commons
Egyptian demonstrators attacking Israel's embassy in Cairo, Sept. 9, 2011.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2011
Roundup of new prayer books By David A.M. Wilensky Jewish Telegraphic Agency SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (JTA) — New High Holiday prayer books, or machzors, weren’t the only developments in Jewish liturgy over the last year. The following is a roundup of other new prayer books and related projects in that time. The Koren Talpiot Siddur: A Hebrew Prayerbook with English Instructions. Koren’s new version of its classic Hebrew-only prayer book has English instructions, for use in Israel and in the Diaspora. Unlike its popular 2009 release, which has a full English translation, this version has no commentary, only instructions. The Open Siddur Project: Run by volunteers with a budget of zero and a daunting mission, The Open Siddur Project was started in 2000 by Aharon Varady. Its goal is to create an exhaustive digital archive of Jewish liturgical texts that will be free to any user who chooses to access, contribute to or edit any element of their database. “Our siddur builder is a tech demo and barely functional,” Varady said in an email to JTA. “Most of the cool stuff we’ve introduced has been on the backend (read: aimed at programmers for now),” he said. OneShul Community Siddur: OneShul, an online synagogue run out of Marietta and Decatur, Ga., holds services online. Its minimalist siddur, presented almost entirely in English, is available online. Service-goers can follow along in a PDF of the new siddur on their computers as they watch the service unfold. Vaani T’fillati: Masorti, Israel’s Conservative movement, came out a year ago with a new siddur called “Vaani T’fillati.” Published in partnership with Israeli newspaper Yediot Achronot, the siddur has become a best-seller in Israel billed as a contemporary, universally Jewish prayer book. Expanded ArtScroll Siddur: Late in last year’s Jewish calendar, ArtScroll published a new edition of its wildly successful prayer book. The bulk of the expansion consists of highly specific prayers that will be unfamiliar to most Jews, such as a long selection of prayers to be said at specific holy sites in Israel.
ROSH HASHANAH • 19
There’s Heaven, you know By Ted Roberts Guest Author On the High Holydays, having completed our ethical accounting of the past year, some of us are forced to declare bankruptcy. But we promise our celestial creditor that next year there’ll be a heck of a payoff. We’ll do better, we wail to the heavenly scorekeeper — just put my name in that book! We want to see a glittering inscription in the Book of Life and the Scroll of Eternity. We want a Hereafter full of Nova Lox on fresh onion bagel, short, fascinating sermons by our rabbis, discounted shul dues, wives that hate credit cards, and finally a huge paycheck for doing nothing, which goes directly to our celestial checking account. I’ve left out a few goodies, but you get the idea. Don’t let anybody tell you we Jews don’t believe in Heaven. We do. We believe in a penthouse over the rainbow where everybody’s daughter marries an orthopedic surgeon. But we snap our theological fingers at that other place where the air conditioning never works and the average daily temperature will melt your silver Seder plate. My neighborhood church marquee, in a record breaking hot week in July stated, “You think it’s hot here?” Not a Jewish concept. So I ask my Rabbi, “If we don’t believe that evil doers burn in youknow-where, how is justice done?” I’ve noticed that liars, cheats, thieves, adulterers and my unscrupulous business competitors don’t always develop painful boils on their hindquarters. And they’re not always poverty stricken. So how are they punished? Consider Mannie, an ideal candidate for barbecuing. He’s so slick you won’t miss your wallet until you send your pants to the cleaners. How come he has a bigger house than me? And a fancier car, plus a wife that makes the best kreplach in town. And you’re telling me that later we’re going to have adjacent lockers up THERE? And he’s gonna tell me endless stories of his car’s 0 to 60 performance and his wife’s kreplach? Meditating on this hellish vision of Heaven, I dozed off and dreamed I was there already. I walked right through those pearly gates and the first creature I met was an angel in a flowing robe with a trendy brush cut who directed me to the nearest synagogue. It was Friday night and my first celestial assignment was to attend services.
Services in heaven. What a crisp, 30-minute experience. And the Rabbi’s five-minute sermon was mostly about my good works. My fellow worshiper turned and beamed at the pious newcomer. The rest of the service was about Mannie and what a louse he was to outdo ME on earth: and how lucky he was that the Jewish cosmology had banished hell. After we sang a snappy version of Ein Kalohenu, I was surrounded by well wishers — each of whom had something ugly to say about Mannie. Heavenly. Then to the kiddush. Ah, whatta feast. Plenty of raisins in the kugel. (This was heaven; so raisin-hating kugel eaters were equally pleased by a total lack of raisins.) And not too much mayonnaise in the potato salad. “Just right,” said mayonnaise enthusiasts. And there were thick slabs of lox on the table instead of pink, lox—flavored cream cheese. Best of all, as I was informed by a fellow diner, “No calories, you know — not a one.” Later, in the study session that afternoon, the Rambam, Rashi and Rabbi Akiva discussed the Torah reading in such elegant simplicity that even I understood it. And in the group discussion that followed, both Rashi and the Rambam smiled at me and commented that my questions were “insightful and penetrating.” Heaven, you know. This is too good to be true, I thought. I must write a story about this place. So I did. But who to sell it to. Let’s see, one of my Jewish Press editors? Hadassah? The Forward. . . .? I finally decided to call the largest and most prestigious Jewish newspaper in America — the one whose editor rejected me as regularly as Pharaoh rejected the pleas of Moses. With trepidation I punched in the numbers. “Hello,” answered a familiar voice. “Mt. Sinai Messenger.” But wait. It wasn’t Pharaoh. And it wasn’t Haman. IT WAS THE SWEET VOICE OF MY MAMA!! “Mama, is it you?” “Oh sure, Teddy. I’m the new editor of the Mt. Sinai Messenger and any other magazine or newspaper you decide to call. Hope you have a story for me — you know you never wrote a bad one.” Heaven, you know. (Ted Roberts, “The Scribbler on the Roof,” is a syndicated humorist whose work appears frequently in the Jewish press. He resides in Huntsville, Ala.)
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20 • ROSH HASHANAH
The secret to an inspiring new year By Rabbi Yaakov Salomon aish I have always felt Rosh Hashana to be somewhat confusing. Solemn, yet celebratory. Stirring, yet scary. Inspiring, but rather intimidating. But there is one facet of this holy day that is as clear as the clarion call of the shofar itself—it is a day of opportunity for closeness to God. Some find it through introspection, others through meditation. For some, prayer is the medium of choice, while for others it is the shofar blasts that pierce through the curtains of the mundane. But for many of us, the closeness never really comes and the disappointment is palpable.
to be Inspired), otherwise known as Bushkill Falls. The Chamber of Commerce of this fine State has seen it fit to describe this attraction as The Niagara of Pennsylvania. Hmm… We parked, searched for the camera that my wife (not me... never me) forgot, purchased two bottles of water for about $150, and prepared to get “connected.” Our first task was choosing which trail to traverse. They ranged from Blue (the shortest walk), to Red (the longest). We chose yellow and began. This not being a travelogue, I'll spare you the unnecessary details. Bushkill actually contains eight different “falls.” Most of them are small, so we concentrated on the main one. It is actual-
The key to getting the most out of any experience is preparation before the event. You cannot expect to leap from the shower to the shul and instantly feel holy. It just doesn’t work that way.
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The key to getting the most out of any experience is preparation before the event. You cannot expect to leap from the shower to the shul and instantly feel holy. It just doesn’t work that way. With that in mind, this year I decided to do something practical to get “in the mood.” Mere reflection and contemplation were just not cutting it. Being a native of the asphalt jungle called “Manhattan,” I always felt that I was perhaps too easily impressed by anything that grew and was any shade of green. Show me an impressive patch of artificial turf and you just might catch me extolling some kind of sacred blessing. I needed to raise the bar. So I made plans to visit the picturesque Pocono Mountains in Eastern Pennsylvania. I had been there before and always appreciated the incredible scenery and Heavenly wonders. Perhaps that would do the trick. Maybe by witnessing God’s wonders of nature, that special closeness would be within reach. It was thankfully a glorious Tuesday when my wife and I embarked on our VTBI (Voyage
ly quite pretty. You see the falls from a distance early on the trail, and you walk down a series of winding stairs and bridges, getting closer and closer to the falls. Temperature in the area of the gorge is quite cool and the whooshing sound of the rushing water adds a soothing element to the serene ambiance. “Isn’t this…er… nice?” I said to Temmy. “I guess,” she said. When we reached the bottom and were at the closest possible distance to the falling water, I thought I detected a faint spray in the air. Maid of the Mist it wasn’t. “Well...” I commented. There was no reply. We lingered there about as long as we could and began our ascent toward the eventual exit. I didn’t need to be a genius to figure out what Temmy was thinking, because I was thinking the same thing. After all, this was a VTBI. “This is a very nice place, but THE NIAGARA OF PENNSYLVANIA??” I wasn’t sure if the ad exec who created that line should be fired or promoted, but I sure did want to meet him. Scenic? Yes.
Calming? I guess. But inspiring? Not exactly. We climbed our way back toward the top of the falls and spoke about various topics. Needless to say, the words Rosh Hashana were not mentioned. The trail ends at the top of the Falls. I had already written off the experience as something between disappointing and okay. The exit sign with the customary arrow beckoned to my left. But my eye caught something. It was small. It was subtle. But it was profound. We were standing above the Falls. We were able to see where the water originated from. The water was just moving slowly through the woodland. It was, I guess, what you call a creek. The stones caused the water to disperse into scores of different channels, all moving ever so slowly toward the edge of the cliff. Without purpose; without direction. But then, the channels all kind of narrowed at that edge. And when the waters hit the edge they simultaneously came cascading over the natural rock formations in a rushing torrent. You want to create a waterfall, but you have to start small. We stood there…fixated. Seeing just the Falls, we weren’t particularly impressed. After all, we were expecting a Niagara-like experience. But watching the source and seeing how this Falls came to be was quite another story. We sat down on a bench and peered out at our little creek. We said nothing. It was so simple and peaceful and unassuming. And then we spoke about Rosh Hashana… finally. People always talk about making big changes – New Year resolutions. “I want to lose 50 pounds.” “I want to finish the entire Talmud.” “I’m going to spend 90 minutes of quality time with my daughter every night.” It doesn’t work. It never does. And if it does, it peters out. You have no choice. You must start small. You want to create a waterfall…maybe a Niagara, or even a Bushkill. It doesn’t just happen. You need a creek and a few stones. The water has to crawl and meander and slowly reach its destination. And then…when the time is right…it can crash and splash and whoosh and become something. We almost missed it, but we had our Voyage to be Inspired. And I hope you have too. Take it slow and have a wonderful, inspiring New Year. Reproduced with permission from aish.
ROSH HASHANAH • 21
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2011
Dozing on the Days of Awe By Edmon J. Rodman Jewish Telegraphic Agency LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Don’t let Maimonides catch you napping on Rosh HaShanah. His famous quote, “Awake, awake, you slumberers from your sleep, inspect your actions and return” — usually found in the High Holidays prayer book before the sounding of the shofar — is meant as the ultimate shluf alarm, his righteous tap on your shoulder. But what if while sitting in services one Jewish New Year’s Day you should “accidentally” hit the snooze button and head off into the realm of somnambulant psalms? Some of us seem to become so drowsy the second we set foot in a synagogue. Then the passages seem long, the air conditioning makes us feel cool and comfy, words barely familiar buzz around our ears, the rabbi goes on and on ... our lids grow so heavy. As our heads lurch forward, startling us awake, we wish there was a Starbucks in the social hall or a private place to sacrifice a can of Red Bull. For many of us who work long hours, the prayers and sermons of the Days of Awe work best when they are preceded by nights of ahh. The need for sleep and wakefulness is even emphasized in the liturgy: On Rosh HaShanah morning we thank God for removing “sleep from our eyes, slumber from our eyelids,” as well as restoring “vigor to the weary.” Later in the morning, the shofar’s blast calls us to physical and spiritual attention. On Yom Kippur afternoon, when we are tired, hungry and out of it, we read the story of Jonah, who while heading by sea away from where God wants him to go, falls into a deep sleep in the ship’s hold. While he’s napping, the sky storms and the sea crashes; the ship begins to founder. “How can you be sleeping so soundly!” the captain cries out to him. To save the crew and ship, Jonah needs to rouse himself, and during the High Holidays we want to rouse ourselves, too. After all, apparently something important is going on, and that “gentle” elbow in the side from our partner can leave a mark. In talking about the relationship of sleep to the High Holidays, Dr. Rubin Naiman, the sleep specialist and a clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Arizona’s Center for Integrative Medicine, cited Shabbat as an example of how sleep relates to our spirituality. “It’s been a reminder to slow down and sleep,” he said in a
Happy New Year! Edmon J. Rodman
The Jewish New Year brings a long day of services. What happens if you nod off?
phone interview from his Tucson home. “Sleep is not simply unconsciousness; it refers to the deepest part of ourselves. “My parents, who were Holocaust survivors, taught me to honor sleep,” said Naiman, who grew up in a traditional Jewish home. Naiman feels sleep helped them to survive. In his book, “Healing Night: The Science and Spirit of Sleeping, Dreaming, and Awakening,” he suggests a battle between divine and man-made forces as a reason for our sleep deficits. “When God said, ‘Let there be light,’ he divided it equally with night,” he wrote. “But when Edison said let there be even more light, he appropriated it from night. And there are serious casualties.” To avoid being a casualty, Naiman has a couple of suggestions. “It’s not like you can prepare the night before. You need to run up to it,” he said. While reminding that sleep requirements differ, Naiman said, “Few people can get by with less than seven to nine hours.” To find a natural balance between sleeping and waking, he suggested “avoiding excessive stimulation.” But perhaps to the chagrin of pulpit rabbis everywhere, Naiman suggested that if growing drowsy, we should “stop
fighting sleepiness” and go with it. “Falling asleep is an act of faith,” he said. “Think of it as diving into a pool of water; close your eyes and descend.” In other words, if you feel the need, it’s OK to shut your eyes. At first I thought, napping through Rosh HaShanah: What’s next, recliners instead of pews? But later that day, taking the doctor’s advice, I closed my eyes to take a nap and re-thought our conversation. Feeling a pleasant wave come over me, I wondered if Naiman was on to something. While on the couch, I remembered being in synagogue on Shabbat closing my eyes and saying the Shema. More than once I kept them closed a few beats longer, even while chanting the first paragraph. When I finally opened my eyes, I had felt refreshed. I also remembered on Rosh HaShanah seeing several members of my congregation closing their eyes while the ba’al tekiah sounded the horn. Naiman had said the shofar’s blasts on Rosh HaShanah were “calling people to a higher state of wakefulness.” Were those with their eyes shut experiencing wakefulness within? This year I would close my eyes and see. (Edmon J. Rodman is a JTA columnist who writes on Jewish life from Los Angeles.)
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Prayer and justice work: the perfect complements By Jill Jacobs Guest Author
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NEW YORK (JTA) — In contemporary Jewish discourse, the worlds of the synagogue and the worlds of service and advocacy sit far apart. The former is a place of introspection, of prayer and of relationship with God. The latter is a place of action and engagement in the world. Many of us distinguish between “religious” Jews and “secular” Jews. Religious Jews attend synagogue, observe Shabbat and keep kosher. For secular Jews, their primary involvement comes through culture and justice. But these boundaries between prayer and justice, and between the internal and the external, are foreign to Judaism. Halachah, most often translated as “Jewish law,” literally means “the way to walk.” To be a Jew is to walk through the world in a Jewish way. This Jewish way includes contemplation and action, prayer and service, relationships with the Divine and relationships with other human beings. On Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, many Jews spend more hours in the synagogue than at any other time during the year. For this reason, these holidays can feel purely contemplative. Yet Rosh HaShanah is also “yom teruah,” “the day of sounding the shofar,” when we hear the sound that the Torah associates with liberation. And Yom Kippur morning is punctuated with Isaiah’s call to “loose the chains of injustice … to set the oppressed free.” These intrusions of real-life politics into the contemplative business of prayer remind us that prayer and justice work were never meant to be separate realms of behavior. Rather, the two constitute complementary aspects of an integrated Jewish life. In this integrated life, prayer and ritual push us toward justice work and sustain us in these efforts. We often think of prayer as a one-way conversation with God. We praise God for everything that is good in the world and beg for supernatural forces to change what is not. Instead, we might understand prayer as a two-way exchange that includes a challenge to us as well as an appeal to God. For example, Jews each morning traditionally recite a series of blessings about everyday miracles. We give thanks for our vision, our freedom, our clothing and our other basic needs. For those who have what they need to survive, these blessings remind us to be grateful for what we have, even when every one of our desires
Rabbi Jill Jacobs.
might not be fulfilled. For those who are struggling to get by, these blessings offer hope that our situations will improve. For all of us, these blessings challenge us to create a world in which every person is free, and in which every person can meet the basic needs of his or her family. We cannot simply thank God for opening the eyes of the blind without considering how we can make the world more accessible to people with physical limitations. And we cannot thank God for giving us freedom without working to secure the freedom of the estimated 12 million people in the world who remain enslaved. Rather than allow us to retreat internally, prayer forces us out into the world. At the same time, prayer provides a necessary check on the tendency of social justice activists to try to fix the world right now, no matter the cost to them or to others. Prayer, Shabbat and other rituals provide spiritual nourishment, the feeling that our work is connected to a broader whole, and even a sense of humility. Social justice work famously burns out many of the idealistic young people who sign up after
college to be organizers or campaign workers. As for the longtime social justice activists, some begin to feel like the work is the only thing that matters. In many cases, this leads to long work hours and a never-ending sense of urgency. In the worst cases, some come to believe that the relentless pursuit of the cause justifies bad behavior toward others or the tolerance of abusive work environments. Stopping to pray, to mark time or even to take off 25 hours for Shabbat is a means of acknowledging that even if we work every minute of every day, we’re not going to fix everything. This realization forces us to see ourselves as participants in a long-term struggle rather than as heroes able to repair the world on our own. Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur may be days to sit in prayer and contemplation. But this ritual does not constitute a break from justice work. Rather, these days should both nourish our justice work and challenge us to recommit to these efforts in the year ahead. (Rabbi Jill Jacobs is the executive director of Rabbis for Human Rights-North America.)
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2011
ROSH HASHANAH • 23
Wave of new holiday prayer books changing the ways to worship
Wishing All Our Family and Friends a Happy New Year Sylvan & Beryl Reisenfeld Bradley & Constance Reisenfeld and Children
By David A.M. Wilensky Jewish Telegraphic Agency SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (JTA) — New Jewish prayer books typically come in waves, the rarest of which bring new High Holidays prayer books, or machzors. The current wave has seen five new machzorim in a one-year span. Following on the heels of last year’s release of the official Conservative machzor and a popular chavurah machzor are the first Hebrew-English machzor from the Israeli publisher Koren, a revision to Hillel’s “On Wings of Awe” and pilot tests of services from the forthcoming Reform machzor. The Conservative movement’s “Mahzor Lev Shalem” was a surprise hit — insofar as a prayer book can be such a thing — selling more than 120,000 copies. More congregations are expected to adopt it for the High Holidays this year. The chavurah “Machzor Eit Ratzon” from Joseph Rosenstein, a math professor at Rutgers University and a founding member of the Highland Park Minyan in Highland Park, N.J., is a companion to his “Siddur Eit Ratzon.” Though “Machzor Eit Ratzon” is not in use on the same scale as “Lev Shalem,” it merits inclusion here as a popular new independently published machzor. Both are heavy on commentary. “Lev Shalem” includes diverse commentaries and readings from sources ranging from Chasidic masters to Abraham Joshua Heschel to contemporary poets. Though not entirely transliterated, “Lev Shalem” includes more transliteration than previous Conservative efforts. In “Eit Ratzon,” each two-page spread is laid out in a strict fourcolumn format, with one column each devoted to the Hebrew, Rosenstein’s translation, a robust commentary and a full transliteration. This year the wave continues with Koren Publishers releasing a Rosh HaShanah-only volume. Its Yom Kippur companion will follow next year. The venerable Israeli publisher built its reputation on the elegant fonts and layouts of legendary designer Eliyahu Koren. The machzor emphasizes type size and arrangement most strikingly in the machzor with the giant type used at one point for the word “melech” — king — to impart the seasonal liturgy’s stress on the theme of God’s kingship.* Commentary by British Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks is featured, as it was in Koren’s first Hebrew-English siddur that propelled the publisher onto the
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David A.M. Wilensky
The Koren and “Lev Shalem” machzors are among the many High Holidays prayer books that have been published in the past year.
English-language siddur market in 2009. In cooperation with Hillel, Ktav has published a major revision of the 1985 release “On Wings of Awe.” The original was released with a number of transliterations, which was rare at the time. The new version includes a complete transliteration in keeping with the trend outside the Orthodox world toward increasingly extensive transliteration. Perhaps the most anticipated material of the wave, the drafts of new Reform Rosh HaShanah services, will not be a true release at all. According to Rabbi Hara Person, the publisher and director of CCAR Press — the largest publisher of Reform movement liturgy — some 70 to 100 Reform congregations will test the draft services. It’s a considerable sample size considering the Union for Reform Judaism’s membership of 800 congregations. Person noted that it will be the first new American Reform machzor since “The Union Prayer Book II” was published in 1925. The Reform movement’s current machzor, “Gates of Repentance,” was adapted from the High Holidays prayer book of its counterparts in Britain’s Liberal movement. Work on the new Reform machzor began in 2008 following the success of the movement’s new siddur, “Mishkan T’filah,” in 2007. Like “Mishkan T’filah,” the new machzor will feature a layout that includes Hebrew, translation and transliteration on the right side of each spread, while the left side is devoted to commentary and a range of interpretative readings connected with the prayer to the right. “One of the challenges is how do you do a machzor that’s a companion to ‘Mishkan T’filah’ for people who aren’t really familiar with ‘Mishkan T’filah’ because they only come on High Holidays,” Person said.
The Rosh HaShanah morning service was piloted earlier this year in some congregations. Person called the response “very positive.” “People were really excited that we’re doing this and that they can be part of the feedback process,” she said. One challenge faced by Reform liturgists is that the most evocative Rosh HaShanah prayers are in musaf — a section the Reform movement did away with long ago. In the draft, these sections of the musaf service — shofarot, malchuyot and zichronot — have been distributed throughout the service.
Happy New Year
24 • ROSH HASHANAH
Rosh Hashonah: Selected thoughts By Fred Toczek Guest Author Rosh Hashonah, the Jewish New Year, is observed on the first and second days of Tishri. It is called Yom Hadin, the Day of Judgment, and marks the beginning of the Ten Days of Teshuvah, which culminate in Yom Kippur. It is a solemn day, a time of selfexamination, when we reflect on our past mistakes and deeply regret our offenses against God and the hurts that we have caused others. A MULTI-FACETED DAY A Day of Judgment. The Talmud (Rosh Hashonah 16b) teaches that three books are opened before G-d on Rosh Hashonah: one for the wholly virtuous, one for total evildoers, and one for those in-between. The first are inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life; the second are inscribed and sealed in the Book of Death; the fate of the third is held in the balance between Rosh Hashonah until Yom Kippur — if they repent and are found worthy, they are inscribed for life; if not and they are found unworthy, they are inscribed for death. Hilchot Teshuvah teaches that each of us should consider ourselves in the last category. That is, each of us should consider ourselves (and the entire world) during the entire year as half-meritorious and half-
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guilty – one sin tips the scale of guilt for ourselves and for the entire world; one mitzvah tips the scale of merit for our ourselves and the entire world. Incidentally, how can Rosh Hashonah be both a Day of Judgment and a Yom Tov (i.e., a day of celebration)? While we are being judged, we know that G-d does so with kindness and to give us life; thus, we celebrate. A Day On Which God T ests Our Hearts. As we recite in the Rosh Hashonah liturgy, “give praise to the One Who tests hearts on the Day Of Judgment; to the One Who reveals the depths in judgment.” As the Siach Sarfei Kodesh teaches, deep inside the heart of every Jew – even the most estranged — there is a spark of Jewishness that remains pure and perfect; this spark is reawakened and invigorated on Rosh Hashonah. A Day Of New Beginnings. Rosh Hashonah, which occurs at the beginning of the month of Tishri, has been a time of new beginnings throughout history. Among the new beginnings ushered in by Tishri are the following: (a) God created Adam on the first day of Tishri, thus completing the creation of the universe (R’ Eliezer); (b) the Patriarchs were born at Tishri; (c) God remembered Sarah, Rachel and Hannah, who had been childless for many years; (d) Joseph was freed from prison (where he had been confined on false charges), beginning his rise to power in Egypt; and (e) the process of redemption of our ancestors in Egypt began with the end of their bondage and harsh labor. Additionally, the month of Tishri is in the autumn, a time when the harvest of the previous year has been gathered in and we take stock in order to close the books. A Day Of Personal Introspection. The knowledge that God sits in judgment of us on Rosh Hashonah, determining our collective and individual fortunes for the year to come, sobers us to do serious self-searching and reappraise our personal life. Proof of this is found in the details of the mitzvah of Shofar. This mitzvah does not prescribe an ensemble of instruments, but only one. It thus emphasizes that our orientation should be, first and foremost, on improving ourselves, and introducing sanctity into even the ordinary and commonplace of our daily lives. As Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch wrote, “first become a blessing to yourself so that you may be a blessing to others.” Additionally, the Shofar is symbolic of prayer/introspection in the purest form – during the entire year, we pray with our physical being (our throat, tongue,
teeth and lips); on Rosh Hashonah, we pray with our spiritual essence (our breath). MALCHUYOT; ZICHRONOT AND SHOFAROT The Mussaf Shemonah Esrei (Amidah), contains three special sections which are devoted to the main themes of the day: (a) Malchuyot (God is King), in which we accept God as our sovereign King and Ruler of the entire universe; (b) Zichronot (God remembers and judges), in which we affirm our belief in Divine Providence, that all of our deeds are remembered by God and that we are rewarded or punished according to our actions (we also ask God to remember Abraham’s supreme self-sacrifice when he bound Isaac on the altar); and (c) Shofarot (the Shofar), in which we relive the Giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai which occurred amidst thunder and lightning and powerful blasts of the Shofar, and we anticipate the final redemption and coming of the Mashiach, (when “the Lord God will blow the Shofar”). Each of these three sections is composed of an introduction followed by ten scriptural verses that express the central idea of the section: three of these verses are from the Torah, three from the Writings, three from the Prophets, with the concluding verse again from the Torah. In the Chazzan’s repetition of the Amidah, the Shofar is blown at the end of each of the three sections. THE SHOFAR SERVICE R’Saadiah Gaon enumerates ten symbolic meanings to the mitzvah of the Shofar: 1. Rosh Hashanah marks the anniversary of the creation and beginning of God’s sovereignty over Creation. The Shofar coronates God as King; 2. The Shofar proclaims the Ten Days of Repentance; 3. At Mt. Sinai, the Jews shouted “we will do and [then] we will listen” when they accepted the Torah; at that time, the sound of the Shofar continually increased and was very great. The Shofar thus reminds us of our commitment to “do” and [then] “listen” in the service of G-d; 4. The Shofar reminds us of the Prophets’ admonitions and calls to repentance; 5. The Shofar reminds us to pray for the rebuilding of the Holy Temple; 6. The Shofar, a ram’s horn, reminds us of the Binding of Isaac, and of our obligation to sacrifice our lives in Sanctification of the Holy Name;
ROSH HASHANAH • 25
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2011
7. The Shofar inspires fear and trembling in our hearts; 8. The Shofar reminds us of the awesome Judgment Day of the future; 9. The Shofar reminds us of the long anticipated ingathering of the exiles and arouses an inner yearning in our hearts for that time; and 10. The Shofar reminds us of (and awakens our belief in and yearning for) the resurrection of the dead. The Lubavitcher Rebbe, z’tl brings down a number of additional beautiful insights into the Shofar, including the following: (a) its sound is compared to that of a child crying out to his/her parent (and, in turn, to our crying out to G-d, our Father); (b) the use of an animal’s horn reminds us that even our most hardened “animal-like” instincts are included in the service of G-d; (c) although many ritual vessels can become “tameh” (ritually impure), the Shofar cannot — the Shofar is the device with which we express our innate connection with G-d; this connection can be neither severed or sullied; it remains intact and is always ready to be drawn upon; (d) the Shofar preferably has a bend in it, symbolizing our willingness to bend our will to that of G-d; and (e) the mitzvah of the Shofar is only fulfilled when it is blown with the intent of connecting to G-dliness; the same is true of all mitzvos – they are not simply tasks to be blindly carried out, but rather are spiritual tools to connect with G-d in a meaningful way. APPLES & HONEY The apple and honey represents our wishes for a sweet year for ourselves, our families and the entire Jewish people. They also symbolize the following: (a) on most fruit trees, the leaves appear first to provide a protective cover
for the young fruit. The apple, however, appears before its leaves. We are like an apple because we are willing to live out our Jewish lives even if it seems to leave us unprotected; (b) a bee can inflict pain by its sting yet also produces delicious honey; life has the same duality of potential; and (c) it focuses on the duality of a “good” and “sweet” year. Everything that happens is for the good since it is part of Divine Will. Thus, even things that look “bad” in our eyes are actually “good.” So, we ask God that the year be “sweet” (in addition to “good”) because we know that everything will be for the good, but we also ask that it be a “revealed” good (i.e., one that tastes “sweet” to us). TORAH/HAFTORAH READINGS The First Day. The Torah reading begins with Sarah’s conception of Isaac and his ensuing birth. The Haftorah recounts how the childless Hannah was blessed with a son. According to the Talmud, both Sarah and Hannah conceived on Rosh Hashonah. These readings remind us of Hashem’s mercy, and that sincere prayer and repentance can bring about Divine compassion that overcomes all adversity. The Second Day. The Torah reading recounts the Akeidas Yitzchak (binding of Isaac), which recalls the sacrifices Abraham and Isaac were ready to make for God, and the additional merit to us on this day of judgment. (It also describes Abraham’s substituting the ram for Isaac, which is one of the reasons we blow the Shofar.) The Haftorah is from Jeremiah and ends with the famous verse “is Ephraim (Israel) My Dear Son or Delightful Child, that whenever I speak of him I should remember him? Therefore, My inner Self
yearns for him, and I shall surely take pity on him, says the Lord.” God is, in effect, saying that after all of Ephraim’s sins he does not really deserve God’s compassion; yet, God was moved by his pleas and had mercy on him. It also contains God’s promise to Jeremiah that the Jewish people will be redeemed, and the very moving passage of Rachael weeping for her children’s salvation. TWO PARTING STORIES A prince built a tree-house in his father’s orchard. He failed to care for the tree and allowed vines and thorn branches to grow around it. Soon, it was impossible to approach the tree. Fortunately, the royal gardener inspected the orchard once a year and repaired all damage. With his tools, he cleared the vines and branches and the tree was free to breathe and grow again. On Rosh Hashonah, G-d releases each of us from “prison” and renews our lives. On this day, we too have the opportunity to free ourselves from our obstacles and renew our lives. There is a famous story about an elderly sage named Reb Zusia. As he laid on his deathbed surrounded by his disciples and wept, they implored, “you were almost as wise as Moses himself,” “You were almost as kind as our father Abraham” and so on. Yet, Reb Zusia would not be comforted. “When I pass from this world and appear before the Heavenly tribunal,” he said, “they won’t ask me, ‘why weren’t you as wise as Moses or as kind as Abraham;,’ rather they will ask me ‘why weren’t you Zusia!’ Why didn’t I fulfill my potential, why didn’t I follow the path that could have been mine.” On Rosh Hashonah, we confront our potential.
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From Ramadan to Elul: a California Chasid’s spiritual journey By Andrew Friedman Jewish Telegraphic Agency
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(JTA) — For Lee Weissman, a Breslov Chasid in Irvine, Calif., the recent onset of Elul caps a spiritual journey he began a month ago with the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Weissman, a teacher at the Tarbut v’Torah Community Day School in Irvine and a scholar of Southeast Asian religions, says similar themes run through Ramadan and Elul, the Hebrew month of repentance, charity and extra prayers leading up to Rosh HaShanah and the High Holidays. And he says his close ties with local Muslims has helped to put him in the “correct” frame of mind to begin his own month of penitence and prayer. He recalls attending a talk about Ramadan given a few years ago by an imam in Orange County.
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“It was a very bizarre experience — he talked about different levels of the soul, about the animal soul. It was classic chassidus. He could have been talking about Elul,” Weissman said, using the Ashkenazi intonation. Weissman, 56, says that in the past several years, as Ramadan has coincided with the Jewish High Holidays (two years ago) and with Elul itself (last year), the similar themes have added richness and depth to his own spiritual quest. “Everybody knows about the fasting part of Ramadan, but there is so much more to it than that,” he said. “It’s an all-encompassing experience — people try to give additional charity [the Arabic word ‘zaikai’ is nearly identical to the Hebrew ‘tzedakah’], they try to add extra prayers and they try to concentrate on them, and they try to think about G-d’s plan for the world and how they can serve Him more completely. That is exactly what Elul is supposed to be for us.” Weissman says he was attracted as well to the Ramadan ideal of community — an entire society of people working together on their character traits and focusing on repentance. He quotes a Koran verse about Ramadan that refers to a month of repentance. “So my Elul has absolutely become Ramadan-ized. I now take Elul as a much more complete experience, not just as a lead-up to Tishrei [the month of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur],” he said. “That could even include fasting; I’m not sure yet. Fasting is certainly a legitimate Jewish part of the teshuvah process.” Weissman says that although his first exposure to religious Islam came while conducting graduate research in southern India in the late 1980s, it wasn’t until he became Orthodox in his Jewishness that he developed a personal appreciation of Islam. Especially attracted to Judaism’s concern with peace, tzedakah and peaceful relations with others, he forged relationships with Muslim students at the University of California, Irvine, during the difficult years of the second intifada in the early to mid-2000s. Two occurrences in the past 10 years started him on the path to appreciating Islam, he says. “The Ashkenazi style of selichot always left me feeling a bit dry spiritually speaking,” Weissman said. “So when a Sephardic community developed here in Irvine, I took an interest in their customs, and especially in the full month of selichot prayers, which were much more powerful to me.”
Also, Weissman became involved with the Muslim Students Association at UCIrvine. In much of the Jewish community, the group is known for its members’ verbal disruptions and heckling during a speech by Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to the United States, at a campus event in February 2010. Several students involved in the outbursts were arrested and are on trial for conspiracy to disturb a meeting. The Muslim Students Union subsequently was suspended temporarily by the university. For Weissman it was a learning opportunity. “There was a lot of tension between them and the Jewish students on campus, and I wanted to see what it was all about,” Weissman told JTA. “I’m a generation older than most of the students, which already made me a bit less threatening, and I’m religious, so I could really empathize with some of the challenges and struggles with drinking and sex that religious Muslim students face in an American university setting.” Weissman blanches when asked if he is a Zionist — though he is not anti-Zionist, he says he is uncomfortable with the triumphalism and nationalism of modernday Israel. He stresses that his relationship with Muslim students does not touch on politics — “it’s not where my head is,” he says. But like most things related to Arabs and Jews, politics worked its way in. Weissman recalls a Muslim student at his house on Shabbat picking up a bencher on the table and noticing in the English translation that the Grace After Meals is about giving thanks for the Land of Israel. “He asked me why that is and we talked about it,” Weissman said, “then all of a sudden the student got it.” “ ‘Wait a second. Israel’s like a holy place!’” he remembers the Muslim student saying. “That was a concept he could understand. He couldn’t understand why Jews had to [in his opinion] take a country away from other people in order to make really great cell phones, but he could relate to the idea of a holy land.” Weissman says his relationships with the students also has had a positive effect on campus. “Once they felt they had a friend in the Jewish community who wasn’t interested in politics or fighting, they were able to hear some of my concerns,” he said. “For instance, they decided last JOURNEY on page 28
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2011
ROSH HASHANAH • 27
Sweet season: Apples and honey for Rosh HaShanah
Wishing our friends and family a happy and healthy New Year Drs. Robyn & Lester Suna, Michael & Elise
By Sybil Kaplan Guest Author JERUSALEM (JTA) — Among the familiar customs of Rosh HaShanah is the dipping of apple pieces in honey — but what is its origin? King David had a “cake made in a pan and a sweet cake” (II Samuel 6: 15, 19) given to everyone. Hosea 3:1 identifies the “sweet cake” as a raisin cake. Honey also may have been used in the cake, but the honey of ancient eretz Yisrael was made from dates or grapes or figs or raisins because the land at the time had no domestic bees, only Syrian bees. To extract honey from their combs, it had to be smoked. Still, honey was of importance in the biblical times because there was no sugar. During the Roman period, Italian bees were introduced to the Middle East, and bee honey was more common. The Torah also describes Israel as “eretz zvat chalav u’dvash,” the land flowing with milk and honey, although the honey was more than likely date honey, a custom retained by many Sephardic Jews to this day. Today, Israel has some 500 beekeepers who have some 90,000 beehives that produce more than 3,500 tons of honey annually. Kibbutz Yad Mordechai is the largest producer of honey — 10,000 bottles a day. According to an article from a few years ago, the average Israeli eats 125 apples and 750 grams of honey a year, mostly around the High Holy Days. Among Ashkenazim, challah is dipped in honey instead of having salt sprinkled on it for the blessing, then the blessing is given over the apple, “May it be Your will to renew for us a good and sweet year,” which is dipped in honey. Dipping the apple in honey on Rosh HaShanah is said to symbolize the desire for a sweet new year. Why an apple? In Bereshit, the book of Genesis, Israel compares the fragrance of his son, Jacob, to “sadeh shel tappuchim,” a field of apple trees. Scholars tell us that mystical powers were ascribed to the apple, and people believed it provided good health and personal wellbeing. Some attribute the using of an apple to the translation of the story of Adam and Eve and the forbidden fruit that caused the expulsion from paradise. The word honey, or “dvash” in Hebrew, has the same numerical value as the words “Av Harachamim,” Father of Mercy. Jews hope that God will be merciful on Rosh HaShanah as He judges
Barry A. Kaplan/Jerusalem
Dates used by some for making date honey for Rosh HaShanah.
us for our year’s deeds. Moroccans dip apples in honey and serve cooked quince, which is an apple-like fruit, symbolizing a sweet future. Other Moroccans dip dates in sesame and anise seeds and powdered sugar in addition to dipping apples in honey. Among some Jews from Egypt, a sweet jelly made of gourds or coconut is used to ensure a sweet year and apples are dipped in sugar water instead of in honey. Honey is also used by Jews around the world not only for dipping apples but in desserts. Some maintain in the phrase “go you way, eat the fat, drink the sweet,” sweet refers to apples and honey. The recipes below will help make your Rosh HaShanah sweet. CHICKEN WITH HONEY FRUIT SAUCE Ingredients: 3/4 cup apricot jam 1 1/2 cups orange juice 1 1/2 cups red wine 1 tablespoon ginger 2 teaspoons garlic powder 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme 2 tablespoons honey 2 teaspoons corn starch 2 teaspoons cold water 6 ounces apricots 6 ounces prunes 3 to 4 pounds cut-up chicken Preparation: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a baking dish. Place chicken parts in dish. Set aside. 2. Place apricot jam, orange juice, red wine, ginger, garlic powder, thyme and honey in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer to reduce to 3 cups. 3. Stir in corn starch and water and blend. Add apricots and prunes. Pour over chicken. Bake in preheated oven 45 minutes or until chicken is done. Makes 6 servings
POPPYSEED HONEY DRESSING Ingredients: 1/4 cup honey 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons cider vinegar 1/2 cup oil 2 teaspoons poppy seeds Preparation: 1. Beat honey, mustard and vinegar in a bowl or shake well in a jar with a lid. 2. Add oil and poppy seeds and shake some more. Use in a salad with mixed greens and fruit such as grapefruit. Makes about 1 cup. APPLES AND HONEY CAKE Ingredients: 2 cups flour 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon cloves 3 cups grated, unpeeled apples 2 eggs 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 3/4 cup vegetable oil 1/3 cup non-dairy creamer or pareve whipping cream 1/2 cup honey or honey substitute Preparation: 1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a bundt pan. 2. In a mixer or food processor, blend flour, baking soda, salt, sugar or sugar substitute, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Add apples. 3. Add eggs, vanilla, oil, nondairy creamer or whipping cream, and honey and blend slightly. Pour into greased bundt pan. Bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool before removing from pan. (Sybil Kaplan is a journalist and food writer in Jerusalem.)
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28 • ROSH HASHANAH
Going around the world to break the fast By Sybil Kaplan Jewish Telegraphic Agency JERUSALEM (JTA) — Breaking the fast has its own set of traditions. Ashkenazim usually break the fast with something salty, like herring, because they believe fish restores salt lost by the body while fasting. Herring also was the cheapest fish in Eastern Europe, where the custom originated. Egg and cheese dishes — dairy products in general — are popular among the Ashkenazim for the first foods after Yom Kippur. Some Eastern European Jews break the fast with a German sweet roll called shnekem, from the German word for snails, because of its coiled shape. The yeast dough containing milk and sour cream is rolled out, brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with a cinnamon sugar, raisin and nut filling then rolled up, cut into slices and baked. Gil Marks writes in “The World of Jewish Desserts” that Central European Jews ate cheese kuchen, a coffee cake, for the meal following Yom Kippur. German Jews also ate erstesternen, a cinnamon star cookie, so called because stars were the sign of the end of the fast day. Zimbabwe Jews break the fast with juice, traditional rolls with oil called rusks, oil biscuits and cheese. Sweets include almond and honey turnovers and sponge cake. Later they dine on a meal of cold chicken,
WISHING THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY A SHANA TOVA!
fried fish, chicken soup and other sweets. The Jews of South Africa, whose origins were in Europe, have babke, a sweet milk bread with almonds and raisins originating in Poland. They also drink soda water, milk or lemon tea. Later they have a meal starting with pickled herring and lemon fish. Typical among South African Jews whose ancestors came from the island of Rhodes is breaking the fast with melon pip milk, bread with olive oil, sponge cake, honey and almond turnovers, and rusks. Others break the fast with cold chicken, chicken soup and sesame biscuits, followed by almond sponge cake with syrup or marzipan. Layered phyllo pastry with almonds and honey also may be served. Pan dulce, a sweet yeast bread in loaf form or rolls, is served by some Sephardim before and after the fast. The Jews of India have a semolina-filled turnover called singara or kushli, and sutlach, a Middle Eastern rice flour pudding. Some Yemenites break the fast with ginger cake or watermelon, then they drink coffee and eat cookies. Afterward they have more of the broth from before the fast or another Yemenite soup. Edda Servi Machlin, author of the cookbook “Classic Italian Jewish Cooking,” among others, recounts that her Italian family drinks vermouth and then eats a special, oval-shaped bread to break the fast. They then enjoy a meal with soup and pasta, chicken, fish, stewed fennel, cold noodles with sauce, sweet cakes and fruit. Nicholas Stavroulakis, who wrote “The Cookbook of the Jews of Greece,” relates that Greek Jews prepare interesting drinks to break the fast. One is made with grenadine; another with almonds; another with lemons; and one has melon seeds, water, sugar and almond extract or rosewater. Rachel Dalvin, who has researched about the Jews of Ioannina, Greece, shares the fact that these Jews broke the fast with avgolemono—egg-lemon soup— and a variety of stuffed vegetables that were common in Turkish cookery and acquired because Turkey occupied that part of Greece for centuries. Some Moroccan Jews break the fast with fijuelas, a deep-fried pastry soaked in sweet syrup. They may also drink arak, an anise-flavored liqueur. Later they have coffee with milk, cake and cookies. Still later they have harera, a special thick soup with chicken and ground vegetables. Here are some special recipes to break the fast from “Olive Trees and Honey,” by Gil Marks. PERSIAN YOGURT AND CUCUMBER SOUP 6-8 servings
Ingredients: 2 to 5 garlic cloves 1 teaspoon table salt or 2 teaspoons kosher salt 4 cups plain yogurt 1 cup milk or 1/2 cup buttermilk and 1/2 cup water 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil (optional) 4 cups peeled, seeded, diced or grated cucumbers 1/2 cup chopped scallions 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill, cilantro or mint or 6 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon plus 3 tablespoons fresh dill 2 chopped hard-boiled eggs or 1/2 cup chopped walnuts Preparation: Mash garlic and salt into a paste in a bowl. In a large bowl, blend yogurt, milk and oil. Stir in garlic, cucumbers, and scallions. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Five minutes before serving, stir in herbs. Pour into serving bowls and garnish with eggs or walnuts. Serve with crusty bread or pita. ITALIAN COLD PASTA IN EGG-LEMON SAUCE 5-6 servings Sauce Ingredients: 2 large eggs 2 large egg yolks 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons flour or 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1 teaspoon salt or 2 teaspoons kosher salt 2 teaspoons sugar (optional) 2 cups boiling vegetable soup or water Pasta Ingredients: 1 pound tagliolini/taglierini or thin egg noodles such as linguine 1 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup olive oil 2 tablespoons fresh parsley (optional) Preparation: Beat eggs, egg yolks and lemon juice in a saucepan. Whisk a little of the egg mixture in a bowl with the flour or cornstarch to make a paste. Stir it back into the egg mixture. Add salt and sugar if using. Gradually beat in hot soup or water. Cook over medium heat, stirring continually with a wooden spoon until smooth and thick, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and continue to stir for 1 minute. Pour into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt then noodles and stir. Return and bring to a boil and cook 7 to 10 minutes. Drain. Place in a bowl and toss with olive oil. Let cool at least 30 minutes. Mix noodles with sauce and garnish with parsley.
ROSH HASHANAH • 29
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2011
Yom Kippur: It’s fourth and long By Edmon J. Rodman Jewish Telegraphic Agency LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Yom Kippur, the fourth quarter of the High Holidays, is coming and time is running out. Our seats are waiting, the gates are closing. Each year we look for a new way to prep for the day: Could football offer a strategy? Though Yom Kippur certainly is no day for sports, like football it does have a time limit, sundown and a playbook, the machzor. There is even a halftime and cheerleaders — liturgical cheerleaders, that is. It’s a day when the liturgy seems to ask: Are you going to run, pass or pray? Football is in the air at Yom Kippur time, but the holiest day of the Jewish calendar need not compete with a sacred Saturday or Sunday. Teams will change game dates to avoid a Yom Kippur conflict and allow fans to observe the day. The Jets did so in 2009, and the University of Toledo moved its homecoming game this year. On Yom Kippur, our ultimate game day, we can apply football’s well-known pattern of timed territorial struggle to the personal struggle being played out for our attention, intention and understanding. Here’s the play by play: First quarter: Yom Kippur morning, it’s You vs. the Machzor. Almost fumbling the opening play, you remember that the book opens backward. Turning to “Mah Tovu,” “How goodly are your tents,” you are welcomed into the venue. One of the first plays in the book is the morning blessings, including “Blessed are You … who girds Israel with strength.” A good call; you’re going to need it. The night before on Kol Nidre, a kind of big sunset pep rally, you made a major pledge to the team: You decided to fast. So no Gatorade or any food aids this game day. Besides, if University of Wisconsin greats Matt Bernstein and Gabe Carimi could fast on Yom Kippur and even play later in the day, why can’t you? Even so, by the end of the first quarter, you’re beginning to feel it. Second quarter: Let the day’s Torah reading get you back in the game. The portion, from Leviticus, in part is about Azazel, a sacrificial goat, a sort of temporary mascot upon whom the high priest confessJOURNEY from page 26 year not to host Amir Abdel Malik Ali, an openly anti-Semitic Islamic preacher, at UCI this year because it wasn’t the image they wanted to spread of Islam and of Muslims. That was their decision. I had nothing to do with it, but it wouldn’t have happened were it not for the true relationship we’ve formed.”
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The High Holidays prayer book provides the X’s and O’s for a winning Yom Kippur strategy.
es all the sins of Israel. How does it end? Let’s just say that Azazel really takes one for the team. The quarter closes with a haftarah by Isaiah, quite a player in his day, who reminds every new generation of players that true repentance involves helping the hungry and the afflicted, and changing your ways. Halftime: With the concession stands closed, you really need some inspiration. It’s time for the coach, usually a rabbi, to present a rousing locker-room speech. Yes, you’ve heard it all, but sometimes Coach rallies the team by introducing a new move called teshuvah. It means turning or returning. Teshuvah is tough. Here’s where a good coach becomes a cheerleader. On Yom Kippur you need it. Seems that both on and off the field, Coach wants you to confess all your bad plays, like “harsh speech,” “wronging a neighbor,” “being obstinate” — unteamlike play they say can keep you from making it into the end zone. Halftime closes with Yizkor, where we solemnly remember all those in our personal halls of fame who are no longer with us. Third quarter: It’s time to move toward the goal with musaf. The key play here is a piyyut called Unetaneh Tokef, “Let us now relate the power of the day’s holiness.” It was written by a liturgy Hall of Famer named Rabbi Amon of Mainz about a thousand seasons ago. It’s a play that gives the other half of the coaching team, the can-
tor, a chance to really belt out audibles. In Unetaneh Tokef, the whole team is likened to a flock of sheep, and as they pass before the heavenly host’s staff, they are counted and considered, and a verdict is written. We are reminded that some of us just won’t make it to next season, with some passing by water and others by famine. It sounds like third and long, but hope is the play here. With “repentance, prayer and charity,” we might be given a shot at the Book of Life and a new season. Fourth quarter: It’s long and Neilah. Here is where we are asked to grind it out for the victory. So many in this final frame are punchy and prayed out, but ignoring our kvetching, Coach tells us to get off the bench and stand. In our minds the chain gang comes out to measure; we’re only pages from the goal. In the sky, it’s only inches till sundown. There’s only time for one more play. Coach makes the call: “Avinu Malkeinu,” “Our Father our King.” We pray that all the hard calls that have gone against us during the year are reversed, that our adversaries fade into the background, that the team avoids injuries (sickness), and that we be remembered, be given another playbook for a good life. With time running out, and only seconds left, the horn sounds. Hopefully we have scored.
With the start of the 2011-12 academic year at Irvine, Weissman says he will continue to befriend Muslim and Jewish students on campus, but for the next month he will concentrate on transposing the values of Ramadan — charity, prayer, penitence and introspection — onto the Jewish scorecard. “I think the Jewish community is terrific, but I also think we’ve
got a lot to learn from the Muslim community here,” Weissman said. “Many people take their religion very seriously, they go to mosque every day, they pray more and are more careful about how they speak to people. That ethical dimension is very inspiring to me. “If I can be encouraging to others, I certainly try to be. And I take encouragement from them, too.”
Edmon J. Rodman is a JT A columnist who writes on Jewish life fr om Los Angeles.
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L'SHANA TOVA & THANK YOU for a great year as we look forward to serving you and the community this year. WE HOPE EVERYONE HAS A HAPPY & HEALTHY 5772 Marianna Bettman and family Netanel (Ted) Deutsch and family Lynn Hiller and family Alexia Kadish and family Sondra Katkin and family Lev Lokshin and family Millard H. Mack and family Michael Mazer and family Barbara L. Morgenstern and family Iris Pastor and family Elijah G. Plymesser and family Zell Schulman and family Nicole Simon and family Phyllis R. Singer and family Joseph D. Stange and family Janet Steinberg and family Erin Wyenandt and family and all contributing editors, writers, photographers & staff members.
The American Israelite
Published on Sep 29, 2011