Issuu on Google+

www.davidlv.com APRIL 2012

UNREAL ESTATE COREY LEVITAN SHORT SELLS IT

BRING YOUR HAGGADAHS MOM PROVIDES BRISKET, BUT NOT CHAD GADYAS

DISTURBING THE DEPARTED POSTHUMOUS BAPTISM AND JEWISH RESPONSE

FILLING IN THE BLANKS A LITHUANIAN EXPLORES HER CHOSEN BIRTHRIGHT

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Las Vegas Design Center is home to the city’s most comprehensive selection of home furnishings and interior design resources. LOCATED AT WORLD MARKET CENTER LAS VEGAS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY, 10AM TO 5PM AND SATURDAY, 10AM TO 3PM COMPLIMENTARY VALET PARKING · LVDESIGNCENTER.COM

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14 explore The month’s event listings to help plan your day or your stay 18 devour Where to find some of the best eats, drinks and foodie happenings in the Valley 20 desire Sin City abounds in worldclass shopping ... these are a few of our favorite things 22 discover Hot spots to go, cool things to do, hip people to see—the Entertainment Capital of the World, need we say more 23 mingle Snapshots of the latest, greatest Vegas events

28 speak Local humorist, Corey Levitan sells his American dream short. 32 know Theodore Bikel sits down with DAVID to discuss his life, loves and what he has learnt on the way. 36 taste Who doesn’t love chopped liver? Some timeless, tasty and traditional Passover recipes from our table to yours.

42 BYOH Chaos ensues as the Passover seder participants advocate for the use of the Haggadah of their choice. 46 Finding Me A young woman discovers her Jewish roots and visits Israel on a Birthright scholarship. 52 Disturbing the Departed Mormon posthumous proxy baptism and the Jewish response.

58 Michael A.Cherry, Associate Chief Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court The month’s spotlight on someone of interest

on the cover Lithuanian student, Erika Bruzaite photographed by Vaida Virbickaite.

Copyright 2012 by JewishINK LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. DAVID MAGAZINE is protected as a trademark in the United States. Subscribers: If the Postal Service alerts us that your magazine is undeliverable, we are under no further obligation unless we receive a corrected address within one year. The publisher accepts no responsibility for unsolicited or contributed manuscripts, photographs, artwork or advertisements. Submissions will not be returned unless arranged for in writing. DAVID MAGAZINE is a monthly publication. All information regarding editorial content or property for sale is deemed reliable. No representation is made as to the accuracy hereof and is printed subject to errors and omissions.

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PASSOVER CELEBRATION

Beginning Friday, April 6 at Sundown through Monday, April 14 at Sundown

In addition to our regular buffet we will feature: Matzo Kugel Roast Chicken and Vegetables Roast Beef Brisket with Vegetable Charosis Boiled Potatoes Steamed Asparagus Chop Chicken Liver Macaroons

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max@davidlv.com editor@davidlv.com

Joanne Friedland joanne@davidlv.com

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Editorial Assistant

Jeremy Leopold a

Copy Editor Contributing Writers

Brianna Soloski

brianna@davidlv.com

Pat Teague Erika Bruzaite Allison Calhoun

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Marisa Finetti Jaq Greenspon Corey Levitan Pat Teague Lynn Wexler-Margolies ART & PHOTOGRAPHY

Art Director/ Photographer

Steven Wilson

Contributing Photographer

Vaida Virbickaite

steve@davidlv.com

ADVERTISING & MARKETING

Advertising Director Senior Account Executive

Joanne Friedland joanne@davidlv.com

Alan Margolies alan@davidlv.com

SUBSCRIPTIONS 702-254-2223 | subscribe@davidlv.com

Volume 02 Number 12 www.davidlv.com DAVID Magazine is published 12 times a year.

Copyright 2012 by JewishINK LLC. 1930 Village Center Circle, No. 3-459 Las Vegas, NV 89134 (p) 702-254-2223 (f) 702-664-2633

To advertise in DAVID Magazine, call 702-254-2223 or email ads@davidlv.com To subscribe to DAVID Magazine, call 702.254-2223 or email subscibe@davidlv.com

DAVID Magazine sets high standards to ensure forestry is practiced in an environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable manner. This copy of DAVID Magazine was printed by American Web in Denver, Colo., on paper from well-managed forests which meet EPA guidelines that recommend use of recovered fibers for coated papers. Inks used contain a blend of soy base. Our printer meets or exceeds all federal Resource Conservation Recovery Act standards and is a certified member of both the Forest Stewardship Council and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. When you are done with this issue, please pass it on to a friend or recycle it.

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Chag Semeach!

Best wishes for a Happy and Joyous Passover from the Board of Directors, Leadership and Staff of the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas.

Days of Commemoration an anD D Celebration 2012 Yom HaShoah April 19

Yom HaZikaron April 24

Yom HaAtzmaut April 29

Yom Yerushalayim May 20

Holocaust Memorial Day Observance

Memorial Day Service for Israel’s Fallen Soldiers & Victims Of Terror

Israel Independence Day Las Vegas Community Celebration Fun! Food! Music!

Jerusalem Day Concert “Jerusalem, City of Peace”

Pre-Program Movie 5:30 - 6:30 pm

1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

2:00 pm

Guest Speaker Dr. Michael Berenbaum Noted Holocaust Educator 7:00 pm

TeMple sinai 9001 hillpoinTe rd las Vegas

Program 6:30 - 8:00 pm

Featuring The Peatot.. One of the hottest Israeli music groups in the USA!

Midbar Kodesh TeMple 1940 paseo Verde pKwy henderson

The VeneTian resorT-hoTel-Casino 3355 las Vegas blVd souTh las Vegas

Midbar Kodesh TeMple 1940 paseo Verde pKwy henderson

Join together as one unified Jewish community. All programs free and open to the entire community. For more information and reservations please call the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas at 702-732-0556 or visit www.jewishlasvegas.com/4yoms 702.732.0556 www.jewishlasvegas.com facebook.com/JewishFedLV twitter.com/JewishFedLV

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contributors job #: 17734 client: The Smith Center title: Cabaret Jazz – David April ______________________________ run date: April 2012 release date: 3/15/12 release via: email ______________________________ technician: Pam software: InDesign CS5 color: CMYK fonts: Neutraface 2 Text ______________________________ pub: David Magazine bleed size: 9.25” x 11.125” trim size: 9” x 10.875”

Erika Bruziate is a second-year student at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania, studying public communication. She looks forward to continuing her writing and her exploration of her Judaism. And she’d be willing to exchange minus-25C winters in Lithuania for any warmer climates — make her an offer.

Vaida Virbickaitė enjoys art, but her passion is photography. 3 years ago, she started taking pictures of surroundings and people in it, but now her main interest is portrait photography. Currently, she’s connecting photography with other materials, making collages and experimenting. 8

Allison Calhoun is a writer, actress, and director who lives in Los Angeles, California. Having recently finished her undergraduate degree from Syracuse University she is now continuing her studies at UCLA. Allison spent the majority of her life in Tennessee and New York where she grew up and where her family still lives.

Marisa Finetti is a local writer, marketing professional and blogger. The Tokyoborn Finetti has called Las Vegas home since 2005. She has written for such publications as Spirit and Las Vegas and Nevada magazines and has a healthy-living blog at bestbewell.com. When she’s not writing, Finetti enjoys family time with her husband and two boys.

Live: 7.875” x 10.375”

Jaq Greenspon is a noted local journalist, screenwriter and author with credits on The New Adventures of Robin Hood and Star Trek: The Next Generation. He also is a literary and movie critic, has taught and written about fi lmmaking but is most proud of his role in the fi lm, Lotto Love. A Vegas resident for most of his life, his native language is Hebrew, but he doesn’t speak it anymore.

Corey Levitan HI-RES MECHANICAL ______________________________ is a local journalist who was laid off spell check run: Pam ______________________________ four months before Lynn Wexlerinitial date the Nevada Press Margolies CD Association named has been a feature CW his “Fear and AD writer and Loafing” series the prod mgr contributor for Best Local Column designer magazines and of 2011. He is now a newspapers, locally freelance writer,OK a to produce and nationally, for new dad and a over 20 years. She by: __________________________ pauper. With writes a monthly unexpected timedate: on ________________________ online column his hands he has become a three-time entitled Manners NASCAR champion, in the News, which comments an avid shrunken head collector and is on the behavior of politicians, now in training to celebrities and become the first others thrust in eunuch in space. the public arena. She is the Founder and President of Perfectly Poised, a school of manners that teaches social, personal and business etiquette to young people. She is a former TV Reporter and News Anchor. Of her many accomplishments, she is most proud of her three outstanding teenaged children.

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Inspired by the greatest live music clubs in the world, from Dizzy’s to Feinstein’s, Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center is a new, elegant yet easygoing club where you can grab a bite, lift a glass and be entertained by the finest musicians from around the country. Featuring two stories of intimate seating and a stage overlooking the city, it’s the kind of place Vegas has been waiting for. A place where live music can truly come alive.

TICKETS STARTING AT $35 Clint Holmes

Andrea Marcovicci: Marcovicci Sings Movies

First weekend of every month,

Friday, April 13 – 8:30pm

beginning in April

Saturday, April 14 – 7:00pm & 9:30pm

Suzanne Vega and Duncan Sheik

Joey DeFrancesco Trio

Sunday, April 15 – 8:30pm

Friday, April 20 – 8:30pm

Monday, April 16 – 7:00pm & 9:30pm

Saturday, April 21 – 7:00pm & 9:30pm

James Gavin’s STORMY WEATHER: The Lena Horne Project Starring Mary Wilson Friday, May 11 – 8:30pm

Jane Monheit Friday, May 18 – 8:00pm & 10:00pm Saturday, May 19 – 8:00pm & 10:00pm

Saturday, May 12 – 7:00pm & 9:30pm

Visit TheSmithCenter.com to see the full lineup today I 702.749.2000

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feedback To the Editor, The world’s religions express the sanctity of birth, life and death in many ways. For Jews, death involves contemplation, introspection, gradual acceptance after mourning that the deceased rests in peace. Jews do not believe in “rebirth,” that the dead can become a different spirit or that the soul travels an unorthodox path. The paramount certainty — the loved one’s soul is eternally Jewish – is unquestioned. This is why we find so abhorrent that some Mormons are posthumously baptizing Jews by proxy, to engender a different enlightenment through a Mormon depiction of heaven and a savior in Jesus Christ. By ignoring the family and subverting the respect and dignity of Jewish funeral customs, these supposed conversions constitute nothing less than contempt for Judaism. Isn’t this why King David’s temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, why the Spanish Inquisition was so anti-Semitic? It is the ultimate act of degradation and insult. The Mormon Church must stanch this behavior – once and for all. David Blackman Las Vegas

g Handlints, all eveneddings, ,w caterinngdraising, fu s, birthdasyarys r e iv n n a re. and mo

Happy Passover For Catering Call 702-327-5074 or email desiree@OriginIndiaRestaurant.com 4480 Paradise Road, #1200 | Across from the Hard Rock Hotel 702.73-INDIA (4-6342) | www.originindiarestaurant.com

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Happy Passover!

3/14/12

Dear Editor: Please give a shout-out to Skids Poppes. His story Starlets of DAVID featured in your January 2012 issue (page 50) needs correction. Kibitzing is not ‘giving unwanted advice’.  It is  ‘joking around’. Giving unwanted advice is incorporated into being a yenta Now if he wants to hold a conversation, I can do that, too. 9:27 AM Sincerely, Ardelle  Bellman Las Vegas To the Editor, We pick up 50 copies of David Magazine which we distribute at the first service of the month at Temple Bet Knesset Bamidar. Your magazine is greatly appreciated by our membership. Thank you for producing such a fine magazine. Joan & Len Wiener Las Vegas To the Editor, David Magazine has not only greatly helped to pull the Jewish community of Las Vegas into focus but placed pride, joy and culture into our lives.  The articles have been outstanding.  The variety is superb and the team is the best.  With thanks, Blanche Meisel Las Vegas

From the Berkley/Lehrner Family

We want to hear from you! Compliments and complaints are welcome, but only if we get them. Send them to the editor at editor@davidlv.com with “Letter to Editor” in the subject line or mail them to DAVID, 1930 Village Center Circle, No. 3-459, Las Vegas, NV 89134

Paid for by Berkley for Senate

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from the publisher It is not often that a letter to the editor inspires a reworking of the content of a magazine, but this month it did. I was filling up DAVID’s magazine rack at The Bagel Café in the beginning of March when I ran into David Blackman. After he introduced himself, we chatted for a while. He was most concerned that Mormons were posthumously baptizing Jews. Blackman informed me that the likes of Daniel Pearl and Anne Frank had been subjected to the ritual. Notwithstanding his agnosticism, he still had strong feelings. For him it wasn’t a matter of religion, but an assault on his Jewishness. After a brief chat I left him with my characteristic invitation to submit a letter to the editor. A few days later I received a wellargued brief on the demerits of this intrusion on the eternal rest of the departed. The impact on the surviving family members cannot be underestimated. Even Holocaust victims were suffering this indignity. His significantly edited (due to a lack of space) letter appears opposite. A call to a writer and her willingness to be flexible resulted in a changed assignment. Both editor and writer were excited to be able to respond to a reader’s concerns. Putting out our publication every month is akin to having a conversation: We really need feedback or we will end up talking to ourselves, and the men in white coats will soon be knocking on the door. Erika Bruzaite’s charming piece “Finding Me” serves as the perfect Passover tale. Finding freedom is not only an act of ridding oneself of physical restrictions; it also has emotional and spiritual dimensions. Creating an identity in an ever-alienating world is the age-old challenge for young people. This is exacerbated for someone living in a country where, for more than a century, there has been the need to suppress religion. For the Lithuanians it was the Cossacks at first, then the Nazis and finally the Soviets; not fun. It must be a catharsis to wake up in the 21st century and discover you are Jewish. The tiny gold cross worn for so many years starts to react with her very DNA. On our cover she is caught between poles painted accidently in colors symbolizing the country of her birth, Lithuania and her new spiritual home, Israel. The fact that Erika qualified for a Birthright scholarship for travel to Israel is, in this humble scribbler’s opinion, a poetic conclusion of another cycle of history that denies victory to the world’s tyrants. What more perfect contemporary enactment of the power of the Passover. This year in our home we will in consciousness, add Erika to the tale of the Exodus and the gift the Promised Land.

Max Friedland max@davidlv.com

We Aspire

Transforming Education. Advancing Care. Touching Lives.

Regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. APRIL 2012 DAVID

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Israel Independence Day Celebration April 29, 2012, 1:00 - 5:00 pm SANDS CONVENTION CENTER HALL A

FREE ADMISSION • • • • • •

Entertainment by The Peatot Band Magic by Seth Grabel Camp K’helah Amusement Park Israeli Shuk Shopping Experience Israeli Dancing PJ Library Storytime

794-0090

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Children’s Scavenger Hunt Jewish Community Organizational Booths Performances by Jewish Youth Choirs Israel Connection Krav Maga Tel Aviv Kosher Food Promenade

732-0056

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pulse INSIDE explore @ 14 devour @ 19 desire @ 20 discover @ 22 JAZZ ROOTS: A Larry Rosen Jazz & Soul Series with Ramsey Lewis and Al Jarreau. March 27, 7:30 P.M., $29-$108. The Smith Center, 361 Symphony Park Ave., Las Vegas. 702-749-2012. Thesmithcenter.Com APRIL 2012 DAVID

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Mama’s Fabric: John Broussard. Through May 5, Weds.-Fri. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. & Sat. 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., free. West Las Vegas Arts Center Gallery, 947 W. Lake Mead Blvd., Las Vegas. 702-229-4800. artslasvegas.org Rod Stewart: The Hits, to benefit KNPR. 7:30 p.m., $125-$195. The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas. 702-258-9895. knpr.org Dutch Village at Bellagio Conservatory. Through May 13, free. Bellagio, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas. 702-693-7111. bellagio.com Jabbawockeez. Through April 21, Thurs.Mon. 7 & 9:30 p.m., $52. Monte Carlo, 3770 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas. 702-696-9925. montecarlo.com

4.2

JCC Spring Break Camp. Through April 5, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., 3+. JCC of Southern Nevada, 9001 Hillpointe Road, Las Vegas. 702-7940090. jccsn.org Rainbow Company Youth Theatre Spring Break Drama Camp. Through April 6, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., $135, grades 2-6. Charleston Heights Art Center, 800 S. Brush Street, Las Vegas. 702-229-6553. artslasvegas.org Spring Break Youth Dance Workshop. Through April 6, 3:30-6:30 p.m., $75, 7+. Charleston Heights Art Center, 800 S. Brush Street, Las Vegas. 702-229-6553. artslasvegas.org Free coffee with pastry purchase. Weekdays, 2:30-close. Leone Café at Tivoli Village, 400 S. Rampart Blvd., Las Vegas. 702570-7400. tivolivillagelv.com

Florence + the Machine. April 21, 9 p.m., $40, 18+. Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan, 3708 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas. 702-698-7000. cosmopolitanlasvegas.com

4.1

CSN Orchestra Club, feat. The Hot Club of Las Vegas. 2 p.m., $5-$8. Nicholas J. Horn Theatre at College of Southern Nevada, 3200 E. Cheyenne Ave., Las Vegas. 702-651-5483. csn.edu Golda’s Balcony. 5 p.m., $39.40-$139. The Smith Center, 361 Symphony Park Ave., Las Vegas. 702-749-2012. thesmithcenter.com Jewels: A Nevada Ballet Theatre Costume Exhibit. Through April 5. Crystals at CityCenter, 3720 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas. 702-590-9299. crystalscitycenter.com

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Rod Stewart: The Hits. Through April 7, 7:30 p.m., $49-$250. The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas. 702-866-1400. caesarspalace.com Excellence in Design 2011. Through Oct. 9, by appointment, free. Historic 5th Street School, 401 S. Fourth Street, Las Vegas. 702-229-1012. artslasvegas.org Art Coming to Life: Nja One. Through Nov. 5, Weds.-Fri. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. & Sat. 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., free. West Las Vegas Arts Center Gallery, 947 W. Lake Mead Blvd., Las Vegas. 702-229-4800. artslasvegas.org

4.3

Informal Dance Concert. 1 p.m., free. Nicholas J. Horn Theatre at College of Southern Nevada, 3200 E. Cheyenne Ave., Las Vegas. 702-651-5483. csn.edu Tuesday Afternoons at the Bijou. Through April 24, 1 p.m., free. Main Theater at Clark County Library, 1401 Flamingo Road, Las Vegas. 702-507-3459. lvccld.org The Color Purple. Through April 8, 7:30 & 2 p.m., $24-$129. The Smith Center, 361 Symphony Park Ave., Las Vegas. 702-7492012. thesmithcenter.com L’dor V’dor Passover Seder for Homebound Seniors. 10:30 a.m., free, transportation provided. For more information or to register, call Elaine Jacobs at 702228-0247.

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Drama de la Pasion de Jesus Nazaret. Through April 7, 6:30 & 2 p.m., free. Main Theater at Clark County Library, 1401 Flamingo Road, Las Vegas. 702-507-3459. lvccld.org

4.6 Photo by Tom Donoghue/Donoghue Photos

Piano Concerto Competition. Through April 7, 3 p.m., free. Nicholas J. Horn Theatre at College of Southern Nevada, 3200 E. Cheyenne Ave., Las Vegas. 702-651-5483. csn.edu Clint Holmes. Through April 7, 8:30 p.m., $38-$51. The Smith Center, 361 Symphony Park Ave., Las Vegas. 702-749-2012. thesmithcenter.com Rod Stewart: The Hits, to benefit KNPR. 7:30 p.m., $125-$195. The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas. 702-258-9895. knpr.org

Clint Holmes

Earth Science for Teachers, hosted by Nevada Mining Association. Through April 5, $1. Faith Lutheran High School, 2015 S. Hualapai, Las Vegas. To register, visit http://www.cvent.com/ events/southern-nevada-earth-scienceworkshop/event-summary-112aa56accb04895829d3edeaa27b551.aspx America’s Story Through Art: America Diversifying 1945-2000. 11 a.m., free. Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, 888 W. Bonneville, Las Vegas. 702-483-6023. keepmemoryalive.org Leone Café Coffee for a Cure. Through Dec. 31, ongoing Tuesdays. 25 cents from each large beverage will be donated to UC San Diego Nevada Cancer Institute. Leone Café at Tivoli Village, 400 S. Rampart Blvd., Las Vegas. 702-570-7400. tivolivillagelv.com Two for Tuesdays. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., ongoing Tuesdays. Buy one, get one. YoScream at Tivoli Village, 400 S. Rampart Blvd., Las Vegas. 702-570-7400. tivolivillagelv.com

4.4

Jewish Senior Singles 55+. 6:30 p.m., free. NV Energy, 6226 W. Sahara Ave., Las Vegas. 702-233-8618. Kid’s Day at YoScream. 12-4 p.m., ongoing Wednesdays. $.99/child. YoScream at Tivoli Village, 400 S. Rampart Blvd., Las Vegas. 702-570-7400. tivolivillagelv.com

4.5

Kelly Clarkson. 8 p.m., $69-$154. Pearl at the Palms, 4381 W. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas. 702-942-7777. palms.com

4.7

Chris Isaak. 8 p.m., $24.95-$57.95. Grand Events Center at Green Valley Ranch, 2300 Paseo Verde Parkway, Henderson. 702-6145283. greenvalleyranchresort.com

4th Annual Spring Fling Book Fair. 11 a.m.-4 p.m., free. Large Conference Room at Clark County Library, 1401 Flamingo Road, Las Vegas. 702-507-3459. lvccld.org Sonny Turner. Through April 8, 7:30 p.m., $15.95. Suncoast Showroom, 9090 Alta Drive, Las Vegas. 702-636-7075. suncoastcasino.com

4.8

Simon Restaurant Easter Brunch. 9 a.m.-4 p.m., $29-$49. Simon Restaurant at the Palms, 4381 W. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas. 702-942-7777. palms.com All You Can Eat at YoScream. 1-9 p.m., ongoing Sundays. $3/person. YoScream at Tivoli Village, 400 S. Rampart Blvd., Las Vegas. 702-570-7400. tivolivillagelv.com

4.9

JCC Spring Break Camp. Through April 12, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., 3+. JCC of Southern Nevada, 9001 Hillpointe Road, Las Vegas. 702-7940090. jccsn.org

4.10

Eddie Vedder. Through April 11, 8 p.m., $79. Pearl at the Palms, 4381 W. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas. 702-942-7777. palms.com

Wishing all a Happy and Healthy Passover 301 N. Buffalo Drive

255-3444 www.thebagelcafelv.com

4.11

UNLV Jazz Concert Series: Jazz Combos. 7 p.m., free. Main Theater at Clark County Library, 1401 Flamingo Road, Las Vegas. 702-507-3459. lvccld.org

WhereTheLocalsEat.com

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4.12

America’s original

hookah lounge Open Every day from 5pm-1am, Happy Hour every day 5pm-7pm & Tuesdays from 5pm-1am

Featuring Specialty Cocktails, Beer, Wine, Mixed Drinks, Hookahs and Food.

Las Vegas Youth Orchestra Spring Concert. 6:30 p.m., $11.50-$43. The Smith Center, 361 Symphony Park Ave., Las Vegas. 702-749-2012. thesmithcenter.com

4.13

The Shins. 9 p.m., $37, 18+. Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan, 3708 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas. 702-698-7000. cosmopolitanlasvegas.com Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. 8 p.m., $24.95-$44.95. Access Showroom at Aliante, 7300 Aliante Parkway, Las Vegas. 702-692-7484. aliantecasinohotel.com Vocal Jazz Solo Nights. 7:30 p.m., $5$8. Backstage Theatre at College of Southern Nevada, 3200 E. Cheyenne Ave., Las Vegas. 702-651-5483. csn.edu Women Fully Clothed. Through April 14, 7:30 & 2 p.m., $36-$43. The Smith Center, 361 Symphony Park Ave., Las Vegas. 702-7492012. thesmithcenter.com Andrea Marcovicci — Marcovicci Sings the Movies. Through April 14, times vary, $42-$81. The Smith Center, 361 Symphony Park Ave., Las Vegas. 702-749-2012. thesmithcenter.com Elton John. Through April 19, 7:30 p.m., $55-$250. The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas. 702-8661400. caesarspalace.com 4th Annual Wine & Jazz Fest. Through April 15, $199-$235, 21+. Golden Nugget, 129 Fremont Street, Las Vegas. 702-385-7111. goldennugget.com

4.14

Garbage. 8 p.m., $34. Pearl at the Palms, 4381 W. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas. 702-9427777. palms.com The Robert Cray Band. Through April 15, 8 p.m., $29.95. Orleans Hotel & Casino, 4500 W. Tropicana Ave., Las Vegas. 702-365-7075. orleanscasino.com

hookahlounge.com paymons.com 702.731.6030 4147 S. Maryland Pkwy.

702.804.0293 8380 W. Sahara Ave. 16

Saturday Movie Matinee: J. Edgar. 2 p.m., free. Jewel Box Theater at Clark County Library, 1401 Flamingo Road, Las Vegas. 702507-3459. lvccld.org Las Vegas Philharmonic Pops III. 8 p.m., $42-$82. The Smith Center, 361 Symphony Park Ave., Las Vegas. 702-749-2012. thesmithcenter.com 100th Anniversary of the Titanic at Bernard’s Bistro. 7 p.m., $100. Bernard’s Bistro at Lake Las Vegas, 15 Via Bel Canto,

Suzanne Vega

Henderson. 702-565-1155. bernardsbistro.com The Association. Through April 15, 7:30 p.m., $15.95. Suncoast Showroom, 9090 Alta Drive, Las Vegas. 702-636-7075. suncoastcasino.com

4.15

AFAN 22nd Annual Aids Walk Las Vegas. 8 a.m., free ($50 donation suggested). UNLV Student Union, 4505 S. Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas. afanlv.kintera.org/2012aw

Suzanne Vega & Duncan Sheik. Through April 16, times vary, $42-$61. The Smith Center, 361 Symphony Park Ave., Las Vegas. 702-749-2012. thesmithcenter.com Kosher Poker. 5 p.m., $60, 21+. Riviera Hotel & Casino, 2901 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas. For more information or to register, contact Rob Festenstein at 702-732-0556. jewishlasvegas.com Jewish Geneology Society, feat. Kahlile Mehr of the LDS Family History Library. 1 p.m., free. Sahara West Library, 9600 W. Sahara Avenue, Las Vegas. 702-5284334. jgssn.org

4.17

Impressionism. 11 a.m., free. Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, 888 W. Bonneville, Las Vegas. 702-483-6023. keepmemoryalive.org

4.18

Lion of Judah Luncheon, feat. Sherry Lansing of Paramount Pictures.

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Joey DeFrancesco Trio. Through April 21, times vary, $42-$55. The Smith Center, 361 Symphony Park Ave., Las Vegas. 702-7492012. thesmithcenter.com Garth Brooks. Through April 21, $225. Wynn Las Vegas, 3131 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas. 702-770-9966. wynnlasvegas.com

4.21

Florence + the Machine. 9 p.m., $40, 18+. Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan, 3708 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas. 702-6987000. cosmopolitanlasvegas.com GREENfest. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., free. Town Square Las Vegas, 6605 Las Vegas Blvd. S, Las Vegas. 702-269-5000. mytownsquarelasvegas. com

Staind

$95, 21+. CUT at Palazzo, 3325 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas. 702-607-7777.

4.19

YomHashoah Comemoration. 7 p.m., free. Temple Sinai, 9001 Hillpointe Road, Las Vegas. 702-254-5110. templesinailv.org Justice. 9 p.m., $35, 18+. Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan, 3708 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas. 702-698-7000. cosmopolitanlasvegas.com Aepi Alumni Happy Hour. 6 p.m., free. Mr. B’s Bar & Grill, 3824 Paradise Road, Las Vegas. To RSVP call Lou at 702-271-5295. Taste & Toast Thursdays at Tivoli Village. Ongoing, 5-8 p.m., free. Tivoli Village, 302 S. Rampart Blvd., Las Vegas. 702-5707400. tivolivillagelv.com

4.20

A Voyage Round My Father. Through April 29, 7:30 & 2 p.m., $10-$12. Backstage Theatre at College of Southern Nevada, 3200 E. Cheyenne Ave., Las Vegas. 702-651-5483. csn.edu Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. 8 p.m., $45-$100. Pearl at the Palms, 4381 W. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas. 702-942-7777. palms.com Momix Presents Botanica. 7:30 p.m., $27-$65. The Smith Center, 361 Symphony Park Ave., Las Vegas. 702-749-2012. thesmithcenter.com

The Cleveland Orchestra. 7:30 p.m., $42-$141. The Smith Center, 361 Symphony Park Ave., Las Vegas. 702-749-2012. thesmithcenter.com

4.22

Dr. H.L. Greenberg, Dermatologist

Paul N. Roth & SPLIT Trio. 2 p.m., free. Jewel Box Theater at Clark County Library, 1401 Flamingo Road, Las Vegas. 702-5073459. lvccld.org

Complimentary Cosmetic Consultations

Midbar Kodesh Gala. 5 p.m. Midbar Kodesh Temple, 1940 Paseo Verde Parkway, Henderson. 702-454-4848. midbarkodesh.org

Botox®, Dysport®, Juvederm® and Restylane® treatments

Animal Foundation’s 9th Annual Best in Show. 1 p.m., $5-$12. Orleans Showroom at Orleans Hotel & Casino, 4500 W. Tropicana Ave., Las Vegas. 702-365-7075. orleanscasino.com

4.24

Yo Yo Ma & Kathryn Stott, with the Assad Brothers. 7:30 p.m., $42-$141. The Smith Center, 361 Symphony Park Ave., Las Vegas. 702-749-2012. thesmithcenter.com Yom HaZikaron Memorial. 6:30 p.m., free. Midbar Kodesh Temple, 1940 Paseo Verde Parkway, Henderson. 702-454-4848. midbarkodesh.org

4.25

• • • • • • • •

Wrinkle Reduction Ear Lobe Repair Laser Hair Removal Chemical Peels Microdermabrasion Dermaplaning Skin Care Products Medical Spa Services 653 N. Town Center Dr., #410 Las Vegas, NV 89144

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Paco de Lucia. 7:30 p.m., $29-$108. The Smith Center, 361 Symphony Park Ave., Las Vegas. 702-749-2012. thesmithcenter.com

4.26

Cage the Elephant. 9 p.m., $27.50, 18+. Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan, 3708 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas. 702-698-7000. cosmopolitanlasvegas.com

Medical Grade Laser Tattoo Removal APRIL 2012 DAVID

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(Best Kept Secret)

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In the Trails Village Center 18

COMPANION PLANTING WITH ROBERT CUTBIRTH. 7 p.m., free. Lifelong Learning Center, 8050 Paradise Road, Las Vegas. 702257-5555. unce.unr.edu

SATURDAY MOVIE MATINEE: FOOTLOOSE. 2 p.m., free. Jewel Box Theater at Clark County Library, 1401 Flamingo Road, Las Vegas. 702-507-3459. lvccld.org

AN EVENING WITH DAVID SEDARIS. 7:30 p.m., $51-$61. The Smith Center, 361 Symphony Park Ave., Las Vegas. 702-749-2012. thesmithcenter.com

ACADEMY OF ST. MARTIN IN THE FIELDS WITH JOSHUA BELL. 7:30 p.m., $42-$141. The Smith Center, 361 Symphony Park Ave., Las Vegas. 702-749-2012. thesmithcenter.com

4.27

STAIND. 7 p.m., $32-$75. Ampitheater at Sunset Station, 1301 W. Sunset Road, Henderson. 702-456-7560. sunsetstation.com JAZZ ROOTS: A LARRY ROSEN JAZZ SERIES, PRESENTS JAZZ & SOUL. 7:30 p.m., $29-$108. The Smith Center, 361 Symphony Park Ave., Las Vegas. 702-749-2012. thesmithcenter.com CORKS & FORKS TO BENEFIT PLANNED PARENTHOOD. 6:30 p.m., 21+ Paris Hotel, 3655 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas. For more information or to register, contact Judith Hantin at 702-878-3622, ex. 204. JERRY SEINFELD. Through April 28, 7:30 p.m., $75-$150. The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas. 702-8661400. caesarspalace.com A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM. Through April 29, 8 & 2 p.m., $10-$30. Judy Bayley Theatre, 4505 S. Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas. 702-895-2787. pac.unlv.edu

4.28

!VIVA SKA VEGAS! Noon, $22-$42. Henderson Events Center, 200 S. Water Street, Henderson. vivaskavegas.com

4.29

GODSMACK. 8 p.m., $49-$79. Pearl at the Palms, 4381 W. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas. 702-942-7777. palms.com CELTIC WOMAN BELIEVE. 2 & 7:30 p.m., $59-$89. The Smith Center, 361 Symphony Park Ave., Las Vegas. 702-749-2012. thesmithcenter.com ISRAEL INDEPENDENCE DAY. 1 p.m., free. Venetian Hotel & Casino, 3355 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas. For more information, contact the JCC at 702-794-0090. jccsn.org TEMPLE BETH SHOLOM GALA. 5:30 p.m., $250/person. Temple Beth Sholom, 10700 Havenwood Lane, Las Vegas. For more information, contact Carol Jeffries at 702-8041333. bethsholomlv.org TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK. Through May 5. Leone CafĂŠ and YoScream are both offering specials with valid CCSD ID. Tivoli Village, 400 S. Rampart Blvd., Las Vegas. 702570-7400. tivolivillagelv.com

To submit your event information, email calendar@davidlv.com by the 15th of the month prior to the month in which the event is being held.

DAVID NISAN/IYAR 5772

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devour Total Wine Sometimes, choosing a wine can be the best part of planning a seder. There are so many great wines to choose from and so many ways to pair wine and food. When selecting a wine for Passover, Total Wine has a number of wines, both red and white, in a range of costs. When it comes to red, a good choice is the Ben Ami Cabernet. This full-bodied, smoky wine pairs best with red meat, especially steak. Not only is the wine imported directly from Israel, but it’s aged for eight months in an oak barrel once it arrives in the states and will definitely get better with age. $12.99. Total Wine & More, 730 S. Rampart Blvd., Las Vegas. 702-933-8740. totalwine.com

Origin India Dining out on Indian food can transport you to an exotic world. A symphony of the senses seduces, a welcoming atmosphere keeps you coming back for more. Origin India offers a fresh, modern take on Indian cuisine, providing a different Las Vegas gastronomic experience. Chef Singh, head chef at Origin India, changes his menu to fit what is available seasonally, allowing him to use the freshest ingredients possible, a rising trend in restaurants in the valley and around the country. Besides offering something to please everyone, the dishes on the menu can be made mild, medium, or spicy. So, no matter your food comfort level, Origin India is worth a visit. Origin India, 4480 Paradise Road, Las Vegas. 702-734-6342. originindiarestaurant.com

Kosher Experience @ Smith’s

Smith’s supermarket wants to save Las Vegans the hassle of preparing the Passover Seder dinner. They have ready to go meals, which include a full line of cooked meat and chicken dishes together with great salads, kugels and obviously matzah ball soup. And as for Matzah, they have mountains of the stuff in a wide range of flavors. For those with a sweet tooth check out the variety of deserts and snacks, kosher for Passover of course. Orders must be in by Sunday, March 25th. Call the store for the special hours of operation during Passover. Smith’s 2211 N Rampart Blvd, Las Vegas. (702) 256-5200. smithsfoodanddrug.com

APRIL 2012 DAVID

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desire

Town Square Las Vegas Marc Jacobs delivers an irresistible, oversized silhouette in eye candy-licious colors, $325. Solstice at Town Square Las Vegas, 6659 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas. 702-263-5070

Perfect with a crisp, white shirt, this classic fedora is updated with chic woven stripes, $42. Michael Stars at Town Square Las Vegas, 6569 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas. 702-851-0511

Reflect your style or mood with this glamorous eye shadow palette. Eight richly pigmented hues harmonize, while the mini eyeliner completes the look, $36. Sephora at Town Square Las Vegas, 6671 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas. 702-361-3727 Hello Kitty “Mon Amour� mirror compact captures the romance and beauty of Paris, with its charming pastel illustrations and sweet Hello Kitty bow, $19. Sephora at Town Square Las Vegas, 6671 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas. 702-361-3727

This Western-style denim shirt may just become your favorite pick for jazz on the lake or backyard cookouts, $110. Tommy Bahama at Town Square Las Vegas, 6635 S. Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas. 702-948-8006 20

DAVID NISAN/IYAR 5772

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A petite treasure like this coin purse with kiss closure is sweet to carry around, $48. Brighton at Town Square Las Vegas, 6659 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas. 702-369-0963 Victoria’s Secret’s newest fragrance is inspired by that exhilarating moment when a crush becomes something so much more. Love is Heavenly evolves that feeling, $42/$52. Victoria’s Secret, 6543 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas. 702-270-0088.

In spicy and glossy coral red, Guess’ Tabari wedges boast alluring style to your wardrobe, $99. Guess at Town Square, 6543 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas. 702-617-3489.

For the one who loves fresh, feminine colors, this opulent statement necklace is a real eye-catcher, $310. Swarovski at Town Square, 6643 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas. 702-269-9508.

Like a harbinger of spring, the organza peony top is refreshing, delicate, and enticing, $88. Ann Taylor at Town Square Las Vegas, 6543 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas. 702-270-0692 APRIL 2012 DAVID

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discover Best Kept Secret It can be hard to find unique clothing in Vegas, a city that is full of shopping malls and chain stores. Sure, there are a number of stores throughout the valley that offer one of a kind pieces, but it can be cost prohibitive to shop at some of these establishments. The addition of (Best Kept Secret) Boutique to the Trails Village shopping center has changed all that. Founded and run by 19 year old Lauren Feather, the store offers exclusive clothing at prices even someone on the tightest of budgets can afford. The driving force behind (Best Kept Secret) is doing what most teens only dream of. (Best Kept Secret) Boutique, 1930 Village Center Circle, Las Vegas. 702-2551100. bestkeptsecretboutique.com

Red Rock Audubon Society You’re probably wondering why DAVID Magazine is sharing something about bird watching this month. You’re also probably thinking that the only birds that reside in Las Vegas are pigeons and the ones that people keep as pets. We are here to lay those stereotypes to rest and introduce you to the Red Rock Audubon Society. Besides protecting and restoring the natural bird environment around the valley, the group strives to educate locals and tourists about the birds that flock the area. Active since 1976, the group offers workshops, lectures, and field trips throughout the area. Perhaps you’ve been in the area your whole life or have just relocated here – either way, checking out the Red Rock Audubon Society is a great thing to do this spring, especially if you have kids. We bet they’d get a kick out of seeing some really awesome birds. 702-390-9890. redrockaudubon.org

Seder App There’s an app for that! It’s a common phrase these days, with the advent of smart phones, iPads, and Kindle Fires. Everyone seems to have invented an app for anything you could possibly need. The iTunes store even has an app that lets you pop bubble wrap – how fun is that? Now, from KosherFest, comes an app that will help Jews of all stripes figure out exactly what is Kosher for Passover. With Passover representing over 40% of all Kosher food purchases during the year, it makes sense that someone would have come up with something to help us out. The app is pretty simple and user-friendly, allowing people to figure out which foods are appropriate to eat and where they can find them — everything from meat to matzah to breakfast cereal. The app is formally called OU Kosher and is certified (Kosher) by the Orthodox Union. Find the app at ou.org/apps. 22

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mingle Ido and Sheri Gavish

Maurice and Carole Pockey

jewish community center of southern nevada, patron of the arts reception Ronnie & Dorit Schwartz Residence Wednesday, March 20

Photographs by Tonya Harvey www.pbth.net

(from left to right)Effie Shencher, Ronnie Schwartz and Yigal Sharoni

Dorit Schwartz

(from left to right)Michelle and Alan Perlmutter, Haim Ventura, Fran Fine Ventura and Tanya Amid

(from left to right)Kate Harris, Neil Popish and Michele Rothstein,

Eric Blank and Andrea Behrens

(from left to right)Gail Schlossberg, Joanne Friedland, Dorit Schwartz, Juli Ruben and Noa Jensch

24

(from left to right)Yoni Schwartz, Robyn Williams and David Nordheim

DAVID NISAN/IYAR 5772

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mingle

(from left to right)Ben Simon, Kacy Ulam, Emily Fox, Laramie Ulam, Richard Simon, Connie Pectol and Barry Pectol

david l. simon center for education & tikun olam opening Midbar Kodesh Temple, Henderson Sunday, January 8

Rabbi Bradley Tecktiel and families at the ribbon cutting.

Erica Friedman and Eve Wellish

Photographs by Gerald Welt

(left to right)Erica Friedman, Jordan Doctors, Ariel Kline Samuel Grant and Sarah Dushoff

(left to right) Richard Simon, Barry Pectol, Ben Simon, Casey Ulam, Connie Pectol, Emily Fox and Laramie Ulam

Rabbi Bradley Tecktiel and Dr Hugh Bassewitz Sturdents entering the building for the first time

Elliot Karp and Rabbi Bradley Tecktiel

(left to right) Barry Pectol, Richard Simon, Emily Fox, Laramie Ulam, Congresswoman Shelley Berkley, Kacy Ulam, Ben Simon and Connie Pectol

APRIL 2012 DAVID

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mingle

cosmopolitanconnections.com HOSTED BY YVETTE BROWN

Lilly Bar & Lounge @ Bellagio Thursday, March 15

Photographs by Roger Bennett rogerbennettphotography.com

26

DAVID NISAN/IYAR 5772

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live INSIDE speak @ 28 know @ 32 taste @ 36

Matzah or matzo depending where you come from is an unleavened bread traditionally eaten by Jews during the week of Passover. Since the fleeing Jewish slaves were really eager to get out of Egypt they grabbed their unbaked bread so the story goes, slapped the dough on their backs and headed for the desert. The product they created has provided business for laxative manufactures for centuries. APRIL 2012 DAVID

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speak

Unreal Estate Corey Levitan’s Las Vegas housing crisis

D

ear bank: If you take possession of my dream home sometime this year or next, you’re probably going to want to replace the flapper in the guest toilet. It leaks.
I remember how stunning the 3-bedroom/2.5-bath on Old Mine Creek Lane appeared at first sight. Everywhere you turned, hardwood floors, plantation shutters and modern color schemes bedazzled the eyes. Cirque du Soleil could practice in the living room, the ceiling was so high. And the community was gated. This guaranteed our safety because what robber or 28

rapist would be resourceful enough to figure out to wait two minutes and tailgate in behind the next vehicle gaining legitimate entry? Upon closer inspection, the house had breadbox bedrooms, uninsulated walls and a porch for a backyard. But so what? Without ever attending law school as my mom dreamed, I now finally had a shot at raising a kid just as middle-class as she and my dad raised me. I was to become a homeowner, someone with a roof over his head that belonged to him – and that didn’t rumble at all hours

DAVID NISAN/IYAR 5772

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from fat people dancing in the apartment upstairs. And I was to do my homeowning in Summerlin, a place so nice non-residents call it “Snobberlin� because they want you to believe they can afford to live there but choose to live off Rainbow Boulevard instead. The decision to purchase was a no-brainer in 2006. Home values were still helium balloons. Entire communities were sold as they left the drafting table. Everyone was getting in before they were forever locked out. APRIL 2012 DAVID

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Around this time, my dad reminded me of how, in 1969, he was warned against buying my childhood home by my grandfather. Paying $35,000 for a house in Oceanside, Long Island, was reckless, Grandpa advised, when prices would eventually come back down to earth. (Ignoring that advice earned my parents a $515,000 profit when they sold in 2004.) Note to self: Any future decision that requires no brain is one that should raise a red flag. Even though the same story is unfolding all over Las Vegas, there’s a stigma attached that some residents go to insane lengths to avoid. Last month, some lovely neighbors we knew relocated overnight, in darkness as black as the kind they kept us in for two years. To them, appearances were as essential to keep up as the lawn. Being financially underwater? It’s an adventure! Waiting 20 more years to see dollar one of home equity? Hell, we’ll wait 30! At the other end of this mess, they’re hiding the truth just as hard. Currently, every fourth or fifth house around ours is vacant. But there are no “for sale” signs because the public can’t know how many homes the banks really own. This secret supply would quickly and utterly overwhelm the housing demand that TV news stations allow bank execs and real-estate brokers to cite as evidence of some perpetually imminent turnaround. (The truth that no one wants to face is that the Vegas housing market is nowhere close to bottoming out. And that’s why, even though a 3-bedroom/2.5 bath in a gated community can be nearly squeezed onto a credit card, it›s still a bad investment.) My grandmother used to have a favorite Yiddish saying. It translated to “man plans, God laughs.” And boy, did Jo Ann and I plan. In

a couple of years, we would sell our house for a disgusting profit that would pay for a dream home that we shouldn’t be able to afford even more. A real-estate website had even come along to track our flipping path, which was to follow that gay neurotic guy from Bravo›s “Flipping Out” straight up into the Hollywood Hills. I clicked on zillow.com every 20 minutes of our first homeowning month. Then I zoomed to the dollar figure below our little map blip. (Strangely, the website wasn”t updating correctly. Our home value held for the month at exactly what we paid, instead of gaining $500 as it was supposed to.) Meantime, $2,000 granite kitchen countertops and $1,000 contemporary stair rails were installed, because that›s what dream houses require. I›m going to skip the part of this article where the bottom falls out of the housing market. I’ll assume that you›ve heard about it. Join me now three years later, at the part where my personal bottom falls out (already in progress) and zillow.com, along with myfico.com, are long-deleted from my web browser’s bookmarks. Covering a $2,200 mortgage by stretching the modest paycheck my wife earns as a Social Security disability advocate – combined with the third of my former paycheck that I earn as a freelancer – is still a possibility. But when you also factor in repaying $20,000 in fertilitytreatment loans, $300 a month in new Blue Cross premiums and frequent pediatrician runs at $150 each even with Blue Cross, it’s a possibility that requires providing sexual favors in Pahrump, handdelivering packages of “nothing you need to worry about” to visiting rock musicians or – worst of all – asking my parents for money only a couple of years before the AARP starts asking me for money. Compared to others, I have no right to complain. Worse things can happen at such a trying financial juncture than not having to

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DAVID NISAN/IYAR 5772

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pay mortgage or rent for 2.5 years (the average time banks are delaying foreclosure proceedings). A real-estate agent friend of mine is, we hope, going to short-sell our house just before foreclosure, which banks are routinely forgiving deficiency balances to avoid. And we were lucky because we were stupid. I mean, in addition to buying a house that was overvalued at the height of housing overvaluation, Jo Ann and I were also stupid in a good way. We ignored advice from everyone we knew with real-estate experience – I mean everyone — to put as much down as possible. In the Bizarro World, stupidity is genius. “Break into your 401K if you have to,” insisted my friend, Rob, a multimillionaire landlord who owned more than 10 valley houses and always said “trust me” after dispensing his wisdom. “For every dollar you avoid borrowing, you’ll save three dollars in the end,” Rob said. “Trust me.” Rob was correct, of course. And now Rob is a guy with only one house left, who hides inside it from piano repo men. He also borrowed $10 from me last April that he has yet to pay back. Bringing nothing to the table is the only reason my family – unlike thousands of others in Las Vegas – is losing nothing. We are only out our mortgage payments, which will average out to belowmarket rent payments when our 2.5 years of not-paying-mortgage windfall figures in. Our American dream was not lost along with our ability to pay the mortgage last June. It was lost in 2008, when the sub-prime mortgage crisis began eroding our home’s value to $100,000, a third of what we currently owe on it. As shocking, hurtful and preposterous as my layoff was, it triggered an earthquake of stress relief by rendering us unable to keep paying off a loan that was

irrational to keep paying anyway. Fixating on it used to keep me up all night – especially in conjunction with the vegetable egg rolls from China One. The best that banks are currently offering is a temporary modification to their mortgage interest rates, a short-term answer that can’t hope to solve what for us has become a long-term problem. The Internet didn’t just make porn free. It also has demonetized the process of stringing words together into articles that people like to read in between searches for free porn. Employment prospects continue to bleaken for all print journalists – but especially for over-40ers like me. There are no other fulltime jobs available being a wacky journalist in Las Vegas. I’ve checked. Repeatedly. In fact, even the job of being me is apparently taken. (One of the alt-weeklies in town now employs a guy 15 years my junior to write humor articles about – I poop you not -- trying out all the crazy jobs that Las Vegas has to offer.) As much as it kills me, our 1-year-old daughter is looking at a childhood spent in rented apartments off Rainbow Boulevard with dancing fat people upstairs and not even a porch for a backyard. And, frankly, we’ll be lucky to land them, considering how ravaged our credit will be from not paying mortgage for 2.5 years. But all will end up OK. I know that. My dad grew up poor. So did my wife, for that matter. And they’re two of the most well-adjusted people I’ve ever met. Still, I keep hearing my mother’s voice in my head. It’s saying “I told you so” about law school. — Corey Levitan

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know

Tribal Troubadour The Lyrical Life of Theodore Bikel

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T

heo Bikel sits down for an interview on an overcast winter day in Los Angeles. At almost 88 years old, the venerated performer exudes the wisdom and power of someone who has led a prolific life, a human venture that has encompassed acting, entrepreneurship, union activism, folk singing, creativity and plenty of real-life drama. As he sips his cappuccino, he opens up with DAVID Magazine about his journey as a Jewish artist and activist, and fills us in on his upcoming concert series in Las Vegas. Theodore Meir Bikel was born in Vienna on May 2, 1924, named for the father of modern Zionism. His family relocated to Palestine when he was 13 – shortly after the Nazis began their occupation of Austria. Since then, he has lived in numerous cities across four continents. He speaks seven languages, has played chess with Humphrey Bogart, has protested for peace in New Jersey and was jailed in Mobile, Ala., during the Civil Rights era. He has acted with Sir Laurence Olivier, and has performed as Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof” more than 100 times. He originated the role of Captain Von Trap in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music.” He has appeared in 36 feature films and countless television shows, and has been nominated for an Oscar and a handful of Emmys. He opened a coffee house in Los Angeles where legends such as Maya Angelou and Lenny Bruce honed their crafts. He has shared a stage with Bob Dylan, spent time on a kibbutz, was a delegate to the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago and served as president of the Actors’ Equity Association. He has released more than 20 albums. At his core, Bikel is an artist, a creative. He believes in humanity and peace. He is a man who has inspired change and believes in its possibility. “Art is a part of life, not apart from life,” he says. “I’m an artist.” While on the kibbutz during the war, he realized he was destined for the performing life. “I was standing there on a hill of dirt, singing about all the work I could not do,” he jokes. “On occasion, history bears down on you and teaches you that you must use the tools you were given to further what you believe in. If you are an artist, you have

many things at your disposal – your talent, your voice. Some people can argue peace. I can sing peace!” In 1943, at age 19, he left the kibbutz to pursue his dreams as a performer. He found his way to the Habimah theater in Tel Aviv, and eventually co-founded Israel’s Chamber Theatre. But with World War II drawing to a close, the doors of opportunity swung open. Bikel was accepted into the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. After two years of training there, Bikel graduated with honors and made his debut in the West End. He found himself in the company of Olivier and playing opposite the famed actor’s wife Vivian Leigh in A Streetcar Named Desire. By 1954, Bikel had received an invitation to Broadway. In his autobiography “Theo,” Bikel attempts to dissect the magic of performing on stage: “Human beings fashion their lives drawn or driven by images and dreams. In my case, it was not stardom or riches. I was still enough of a chalutz, a pioneer, not to concern myself with these. But the burning urge to stand before an audience, to reach out, to make words come alive, hear the intake of breath in surprise or shock, hear the stillness of the imagination captured or the laughter of release. To this day, those are the most thrilling aspects of what I do.” Bikel was singing at a friend’s party in New York City when Jac Holzman discovered him and signed him to Elektra records. His first album, Folk Songs of Israel, was released in 1955. He would record 16 more albums for Elektra and earned a 5 percent share of the company. His songs vary thematically, and he does them in an array of languages, from English to Yiddish. Bikel doesn’t romanticize his experiences during the Civil Rights struggles in the Deep South of the early ‘60s. “It wasn’t particularly enjoyable. I don’t relish being beaten or jailed. Sometimes you subject yourself to things because you believe in what you are doing,” he says. Whites and blacks were arrested and kept in separate cells, he says. They sang throughout the night to keep their courage up. “At the time I dreamed of the day that

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jails wouldn’t be segregated,” Bikel recalls. “I wasn’t able to dream as high as the thought that two little black girls could live in the White House (some day) because their father was president of the United States.” UncoverDiscoverCoaching Bikel knows that music can bridge gaps and create harmony. “Standing alone, voices “Empowering people are by themselves and are quite powerless. to obtain more of what Standing together, people have the opportunity to band together and a chance they want, and less of to give a voice to those who wouldn’t what they don’t want.” otherwise have one.” But, he acknowledges, “Music doesn’t • Feeling stressed out and always flow from momentous overwhelmed? occasions. Music is also light• Do you need someone to talk to hearted. It lets people forget without fear of reprisal or harsh their burdens of the day. It helps judgment? children smile.” • Economic and personal problems Ever the raconteur, Bikel got you down? confirms that he is a curious • Do you need a personal, positive person at his essence. “My father plan of action? was that way,” he says. “I like to know what other people have to Call UncoverDiscoverCoaching say and what they believe in,” he adds with a smile. “Because if I don’t know, how will I be able to for a FREE one hour consultation! argue with them?” No one disputes that “Fiddler www.uncoverdiscovercoaching.com on the Roof” is a show Bikel holds dear. He toured as part of the production for years and uncover0312.indd 1 2/14/12 9:19 AM continues to sing its songs. Tevye was his easiest role, he says, “because I was playing my own grandfather in the part.” Bikel thinks of Judaism as his ethnicity rather than his religion, for “We are not only what we are, but we are what we were.” Still, says Bikel, “I don’t always sing my own (Jewish) songs. I sing (non-Jewish) songs as well. I make people as curious about mine “We go the extra mile as I’m curious about theirs.” He wishes everyone could examine the for a better cleaning” world through a less-biased prism. He blames the mass media for some of the onetion Men and FREE WINDOWS d sidedness. a s thi 0.00 e $2 v i “Radio and television have done a great e c t CARPET CLEANING re un disco disservice. We are taught that sound bites AFFORDABLE PRICES mean something and they don’t,” he says. “They are just little morsels thrown at you, so you can buy something – or, worse, so that you can vote for someone. Don’t think CALL FOR A FREE ESTIMATES in slogans. Don’t buy slogans. Inquire what you are capable of perceiving, not what someone tells you. … I am also a political LIC# M01-09616-4-14154 human being. Prejudice is a dangerous thing to have. And too many people proceed on prejudice. They think in slogans.”

In his self-effacing way, Bikel speaks of his affection for the “proliferation of my life,” for the myriad experiences he has enjoyed – and endured. “I was once asked, ‘How come everything you do, you do so well?’ and I replied: ‘Because what I don’t do well, I don’t do.” He says a “girl came up to me in an acting class that I was teaching once and said, ‘I want to grow up and be just like you.’ And I said to her: ‘You want to be a fat Jew?’”

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Bikel is enthused about his upcoming concert series, made possible by King David Memorial Chapel. “They are a very good outfit,” he says. “They have a sense of balance and of grace.” King David Memorial Chapel opened in 2001. Its cemetery features gardens for all three denominations of Judaism, and the entire rabbinic community has endorsed the organization. The concert series will take place Sunday, April 8, at the Congregation of Ner Tamid. A parlor concert will be held Monday, April 9, at the home of Joan and Leslie Dunn. For more information, or for tickets or to purchase a collection of Bikel’s songs and remembrances, call the Congregation of Ner Tamid, at (702) 733-6292. — Allison Calhoun

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taste

Anyone for Seconds Passover Seder Recipes for the Ages

T

here are a few times in the year when Jewish women (to be gender correct, men as well) connect with the sprit of passed generations. The house is cleared of all Passover taboo morsels and the stage is set for the ritual of the ages. Dog-eared recipes lovingly written in the hands of long lost great grandmothers see the light of day. As the dishes are prepared the imperative is, as always, to make sure that these traditions pass on to future generations.

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The challenge is to create culinary masterpieces without legumes and the five essential grains (wheat, rye, barley, oats and spelt). Once again over enthusiastic consumption of matzah play havoc with the constitution and inordinate quantities of fruit are consumed. The following are a few tried and tested recipes that are reliable winners to serve for the Seders and for the rest of the holiday.

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8 CHICKEN SOUP

6-8 pounds of stewing hens, including neck and giblets 5-6 quarts of water 4 large onions halved 6 carrots scraped and cut into large chunks 15 sprigs of parsley 10 crushed peppercorns Dill

Preparation: 1. Remove all fat from the cavities of the hens and set aside 2. Place one hen in a stockpot with water and half of the vegetables. The ingredients should barely be covered with water. 3. Bring to boil and immediately lower the heat. Skim the foam that rises to the surface and adjust the heat so that only a bubble or two appears on the surface of the liquid. Add the parsley sprigs and peppercorn, partially cover the pot, and simmer for about 2 hours, skimming occasionally. The hen should be tender, but not falling apart. 4. Remove the hen to a large platter, and when it is cool enough to handle remove the meat from the bones. Put the skin and bones back in the soup and cook for another hour. Strain the soup in a large bowl and discard everything in the strainer. Cool the soup and refrigerate overnight. Remove the fat that has hardened on the surface. 5. For a really superb soup, start again with the just made defatted chicken stock; the remaining vegetables, the second hen, and more water is necessary to cover the ingredients. 6. Serve with matzah balls.

8 MATZAH BALLS

4 eggs ½ cup seltzer or water 6 tablespoons schmaltz or vegetable oil Salt Freshly ground black pepper 1-cup matzah meal

Preparation: 1. Beat the eggs until the whites and yolks are just combined. Stir in the seltzer or water, schmaltz (or oil), salt and pepper. APRIL 2012 DAVID

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Gradually add the matzah meal, stirring until it is well combined. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. 2. Bring a stockpot full of water to boil. Between moistened palms, roll 2 tablespoons of batter into a ball and drop into the boiling water. Repeat until all the batter is used. Cover the pot and cook the matzah balls for 30 minutes. Serve in chicken soup. Makes about 16 matzah balls

8 CHAROSET This is symbolic of the mortar and bricks that the enslaved Jews used to build the pharaohs’ cities. 1 lb apples 1¼ cups walnut halves ¾ tablespoon ground cinnamon 3 to 5 tablespoons sweet wine

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Preparation: 1. Peel, core and chop the apples. Add the walnuts and chop finely. 2. Add the cinnamon and wine and mix well. The charoset should have the texture of a coarse paste. Taste and add more cinnamon or wine if needed.

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a

CHOPPED LIVER

1lb chicken livers 3 onions diced 5 tablespoons canola oil 4 hardboiled eggs 2 dessertspoons sherry Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation: Boil chicken Livers, which have been thoroughly washed, in water with salt and pepper for about six minutes. Drain off water and rinse with cold water. Fry onions in canola oil. In the food processor add liver, three hard-boiled eggs, fried and browned onions and sherry. Add a teaspoon of mustard if desired. Decorate with the last egg.

8 ROAST LAMB AND POTATOES WITH MINT SAUCE

James Canfield-Artistic Director

Serenade Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust

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Photo by Jeff Speer

1 leg of lamb (approximately 5 lb)

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6 cloves of garlic, cut into slivers 1 onion cut into pieces 2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 dessertspoon freshly chopped or dried rosemary 1 dessertspoon freshly chopped or dried parsley ½ cup olive oil ½ cup balsamic vinegar

Preparation: 1. Wash meat off well. Make incisions all over meat and insert pieces of garlic and onion into the leg. 2. Mix together all remaining ingredients and rub well into the lamb, pouring over the balance. 3. Roast uncovered (bottom shelf) in 400 F oven for 1¾ to 2 hours. 4. Parboil peeled potatoes for 20 minutes and halfway through the roasting time place potatoes around the lamb. Mint Sauce Chop a few sprigs of mint very finely and mix with ½ cup of oil, 1 cup of brown vinegar, 1-teaspoon sugar and a dash of salt and pepper.

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8 MATZAH BREI

3 matzah’s 4 eggs Salt 3 tablespoons butter Jam or honey, sugar and cinnamon

Sunday, April 8, 2012 · 7 p.m. Congregation Ner Tamid 55 North Valle Verde Henderson, Nevada 89074

Tickets available from $18 – $54 To purchase, call (702) 733-6292

Preparation: 1. Break the matzah’s in half and half again and soak them in water for about 2 minutes. Remove from water and, with your hands squeeze out as much water as you can. 2. Beat the eggs lightly in salt in a mixing bowl. Add matzah and mix. 3. Heat the butter in a heavy skillet and, when it starts to brown add the eggs and matzah. Stir the mixture as you would scrambled eggs. This will be done in about 5 minutes, depending on how well you like your eggs.

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Serve immediately with jam or honey or the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Sour cream is also a good complement. APRIL 2012 DAVID

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think INSIDE BYOH @ 42 Finding Me @ 46 Baptism by Proxy @ 52

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, Germany. This 4.7 acre site is covered with 2,711 concrete slabs arranged in a grid pattern. This project was inaugurated on May 10, 2005. An attached underground facility holds the names of all known Jewish Holocaust victims.

APRIL 2012 DAVID

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BYOH *Bring Your Own Haggadah

*

New American

Haggadah, Jo

nathan Safra

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han Englande

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By Jaq Greenspon

F

or Mom, Passover is the most important week of the year. OK, technically it’s eight days, and even more technically, as far as Mom is concerned, it’s really just two dinners, of which, as her children, we’re only required to attend one (ideally the same one, but either will do). This rule holds no matter where you are in the world: No matter what you are doing, you are expected to somehow make it back to Las Vegas, and if we can’t, well, there’d better be a good, valid and reasonable excuse available. And it’s not just the immediate family, although they are by far the most important. No, with our folks, as in Jerusalem, their doors are open to everyone who wanders by. The cousins, of course, love this. They see it as an excuse to come to Vegas and see family – kill two birds with one stone. They’ll participate in the Seder and be gone by the time the afikomen is redeemed like 42

a two-for-one at a local buffet. This year promises to be no different. OK, technically, it promises to be incredibly different, but we’re all trying to pretend that it’s not. See, this year, Mom has decided she doesn’t want to be responsible for the Seder. She’ll provide the location and even cook the food, but as for the service, we’re on our own. This wouldn’t be much of a problem, or even an issue, if there were one sure-fire way to do the service. But that’s not the way it works with us Jews, is it? As David Ben-Gurion so rightly pointed out, if you have two Jews, you are likely to have three opinions. And the guest list for Passover this year will have much more than two landsmen in attendance … and each will be bringing a personal Haggadah in an attempt to win over the rest of us and set the tone for Pesach to come. I’m expecting a battle, one to rival the original 10 plagues, and I’ll be prepared.

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I may not be painting the doorframe with lamb’s blood, but I will most assuredly be prepared. As a traditionalist, my younger sister will be lobbying hard for the original Haggadah of the family. She’s committed to the Maxwell House edition and I don’t blame her. Originally, the Maxwell House Haggadah came out in 1932 as a promotional giveaway when you bought a can of coffee. The idea was to tie coffee with the Seder, mostly to assure the masses that the coffee bean was not a grain, which would make it unacceptable for consumption during the holiday. It makes sense, then, that my younger sister would opt for this. It’s what she’s known and what the folks have always used. In our house, the original printings of the Maxwell House booklets were a treasured commodity on Seder nights. The head of the table (Dad) and honored guests would get the pre-printed copies, while the rest

of us, especially the kids, would get mimeographed copies of copies, with the detail fading at the outside margins and stapled together at the corner. And every year, there were more casualties. Wine would usually take at least one Haggadah a year, while one might leave with a goyim visitor who was enamored of the ceremony itself. Ironically, in 2011, this most printed Haggadah in the world, with more than 50 million copies produced, underwent a textual reconditioning that transferred all of the wonderful, archaic, quasi-biblicalsounding “thee’s” and “thou’s” back into plain, modern-day English. But I still think, for nostalgia’s sake alone, this is the one to beat. If we were to look at this, then, in the spirit of the holiday, my younger sister would be the first of the four sons (I know, it’s a cross-gendered metaphor, but it is 2012 so I figured it would be OK). She’s keeping the traditions and passing them down. Now, APRIL 2012 DAVID

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along those same lines, my younger brother, he’s the second son (well, he really IS the second son but that’s not really germane to the discussion). See, he’s a stockbroker and makes a good deal more than the rest of us siblings. No matter the market, he’s making money. I guarantee he’ll show up with something beautiful, amazing and completely impractical. Odds are he’ll stop off somewhere on his way to the house, somewhere like Bauman Rare Books, and drop $9,500 on a copy of Orden de la Agada de Pesah, en Hebraico y Espanol, which is from 1813 and is “the only Spanish translation of the Haggadah to be printed in London.” While a fascinating piece of history, it isn’t something we can use to run the service, for several reasons – not the least of which is it’s in Spanish. It’s also a prime example of the type of Haggadah that was in use in the early 19th century by the Sephardic Jews after the Diaspora. … This is all well and good, except for one thing: We’re Ashkenazi! He just doesn’t get it. But then with his Shiksa wife and “Chanukah bush,” it’s no surprise he wouldn’t know his karpas from a hole in the ground. Last year, he brought a custom embroidered afikomen cover made from 1,200-thread count Egyptian cotton. We didn’t tell Dad. My cousin, who is a single mother with three kids under 10, and who shows up every year with an offering of jellied fruit slices (most of which will be eaten by her own children as bribes to keep them quiet during the responsive reading) will probably suggest the 30 Minute Seder Haggadah so we can get in and out and still feel like we’ve done our duty to God. This edition features simple language, cartoony illustrations and easy-to-read transliterations of the Hebrew prayers. Everyone’s happy. Sure, it’s designed for the kids, but for the older folks who are losing patience with the world around them, the 30 Minute version comes in a large print edition so Zaida can read it without his glasses. The same company that produces this also provides the kids’ table with coloring placemats and Seder place cards, which are all great while the kids are young. But I don’t think she’s going to win out in the long run. That said, I suppose it is a step up from Richard Codor’s Joyous Haggadah, which would be her second choice. The Joyous Haggadah is an illustrated look at the whole Passover story with artwork reminiscent of a Sunday comic strip, and the

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four sons represented by the four Marx brothers. Codor, a multiple award-winning artist whose work has been seen in The Big Book of Jewish Humor, does get props, at least from me, for doing the lyrics of “Had Gadya” (a traditional Passover song) as an illustrated rebus. It’s a silly book, sure, but for the foreigners sitting around the Seder table, the pictures are perfect. And at our house, there are always foreigners. As I’ve said, for my parents, opening the door for Elijah is the least of it. There are always open seats and if English and Hebrew are the only languages spoken, they feel like they’ve failed in their Jewish duties. This is why, a few years ago, we picked up a copy of 300 Ways to Ask the Four Questions so they could make anyone feel at home. If you’re the kind of person for whom Ma Nishtana is a little too … vanilla … this book will give you most languages in the world, active and dead. Just for fun (or if you want to channel your inner Howard Wolowitz) you can also learn them in Klingon and Na’vi (that’s the language of the blue people from Avatar). We were recently informed that my uncle had RSVP’d for this year’s Seder, and to be honest, he’s the wildcard in the race. He’s very proud of the fact he was probably at Woodstock (the time and location were right, but he doesn’t remember if he was actually there or not, which, to his mind, means he was). But, then, as a reformed hippie he’s also adopted most other fads and philosophies that have come along. Originally, my money would have been on

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him offering up Asher Kalderon’s Artistic Passover Haggadah, which Josh Lambert of Tablet has called the “most appropriate for a Seder fueled by psychotropic drugs.” This would fit his personality and history perfectly and the Haggadah itself is a beautifully designed book, in Hebrew and English, with “gradient-shaded images, which have all the trippy verve of 1960s rock posters” and is only recently available in the U.S. But, then, his mid-’90s sense of moral outrage might lead him to bring A Passover Haggadah by Elie Wiesel and illustrated by Mark Podwal. Wiesel, probably the world’s most well-known Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate, adds a running commentary to the story of the Israelites’ departure from Egypt, often incorporating allusions to more recent historical events. Then again, my uncle’s more recent turn to mysticism might incite the desire to turn all of us on to A Mystical Haggadah, which brings a kabbalistic approach to the text. According to the book’s website, “this Haggadah … includes many Hassidic teachings and stories that have never been presented to the English-reading audience. The book is … refreshing in its creative and spiritually based adaptation and translation of the primary Haggadah text.” Understandably, this is where to turn if you’re looking to “explore this root tradition of Judaism as a ritual of cosmic importance” – or if you “wish to explore the mystical, meditative and empowering aspects of Jewish traditions, as seen through the rich and meaningful Passover eve

Seder ritual.” As I said, he could really throw a wild wrench into the proceedings. And then there’s me. I certainly have to voice my own opinion, right? I mean, what kind of a Jew would I be if I didn’t? And to be true to my people, since there’s only one of me, I have two very different opinions. The first is to go completely old school and bring the Washington Haggadah. This is a beautifully produced facsimile of a 1478 Hebrew Haggadah (the original of which is in the Library of Congress), with the direct English translation on the facing pages. The original work was created by Joel ben Simeon, who according to David Stern in his introduction, was one of the most well known illustrators and scribes in the history of the Haggadah. But I don’t think so. I think the horse I’m backing in this race is Jonathan Safran Foer’s New American Haggadah, which has been a while in coming. Foer recently was on the Colbert Report, and spent some time explaining what he was trying to do and why. This is “a new translation by Nathan Englander that is, I think, more accessible, more clear, more engaging than any other Haggadah translation.” For Foer, this is a book that has been revised more than any other religious text, with thousands of editions, and he wants to get it fine-tuned to the point that you don’t just read it, you feel it. “It’s the least original story,” he said. “It’s very familiar, it’s been told by hundreds of generations of Jews, it is one of the most widely recognized stories across cultures, it’s been borrowed by probably more social justice movements than any other story, and the Haggadah compels us to experience its retelling, to be characters inside the story rather than just sit back and receive it. So to do that, you have to create a document that is really engaging, confrontational, provocative … .” That’s what we need at our house for Passover: engagement, confrontation and provocation. If we’re going to shake things up, I say we really shake them up. Let’s bring the service into the 21st century, and not by making it shorter or cuter or anything else. Let’s redefine what it means to be Jewish today by retelling a remarkable story from yesterday. For more information and links, please visit our website www.davidlv.com.

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Erika Bruzaite at home in Kaunas, Lithuania.

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Finding Me Experiencing the Promised Land Within By Erika Bruzaite

Vaida Virbickaite

“W

here are you from, darling?” The question, from an elderly woman, was not unusual. I was working in a clothing shop in a big mall in Kaunas, Lithuania’s second-largest city. This city is known for being very Lithuanian, more so than Vilnius, our capital. Vilnius is metropolitan, at least as much as a city can be in a country of fewer than 3 million people. It is possible there to hear all sorts of languages, from Russian to Polish to English and, of course, Lithuanian. In Kaunas, though, Lithuanian is the most common tongue. Lithuanians in this city are very proud of their heritage. “From here,” I said wearily. “Lithuania.” “No, no, you don’t look like a Lithuanian. Maybe your parents are from abroad?” she insisted. I had to be polite; she was my customer after all. And, besides, I had heard the question before. I had heard it because I look different from common Lithuanian girls. I don’t have pale skin, straight blond hair and blue eyes. Instead, my curly black hair reminds people of Spain, or my brown eyes make them think of the Ukraine, or my dark complexion marks me as Italian. “No, my dad is Lithuanian and my mom is Lithuanian Jewish,” I explained. A long, uncomfortable silence followed. “Oh … ,” she said quietly. If I had said I was from Spain or Italy, the conversation would go on with a few unimportant sentences about traveling and the

passionate character of people from Mediterranean countries, the delicious wine and inspiring culture of these regions. But our colloquy ended as soon as I said I was Jewish. This awkward feeling between me and the other person, no matter if that person is a customer, a new friend or a colleague, is always there. This repeated conversation creates an uncomfortable sense that is just wrong and makes me sick. Of course, having the conversation stop at this point is better than the alternative, a follow-up question: “So, are you Jewish or Lithuanian?” You know why? Because I hear this thought in my head constantly: “Who am I?” And the only answer I have is: “I am not sure.” I am used to this answer, because it has become a natural part of my life. And yet I believe this is not right. “Who am I?” From an early age I heard a lot of answers to this question. My father insisted I was Lithuanian and nothing else; my mother didn’t talk to me about “all the finding out who I am” thing. And my grandfather from my mother’s side used to tell me I needed to choose my nation for myself. Not only in my head, but I was told that I can decide what to write in my passport. Until 2003, the law in Lithuania stated that a nation must be written in each citizen’s passport: Lithuanian or Jewish or something else. When I started to tell people I was confused about my APRIL 2012 DAVID

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Above: Erika’s Grandfather, Zusel Goldin, 5 year old in the chair, and Leiba Goldin (Great Grandfather), Roza Goldin (Great Grandmother), the Rafael Goldin (Great Uncle), Israel Goldin (Great Uncle) and Fania Goldin (Great Aunt). Right: Ema Stenaite-Goldin (Grandmather) and Raja Goldinaite-Bruziene (Mother) and Zusel Goldin (Grandfather).

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Yad Vashem, World Holacaust Center, Jerusalem. Wall of martyrs, many from Lithuania.

background, I was told not to think about it. A lot of people informed me: “Baby, you are not Jewish; come on, you don’t know anything about the culture, traditions, religion or language.” Moreover, I heard really colorful explanations why I am not Jewish, and how being Jewish is not so great. For instance, my aunt, who gave me a gold cross for my eighth birthday, once told me that if I put in my passport that I was “Jewish” I wouldn’t be accepted for a decent job. She also said that because I am Jewish, people will blame me for all of the world’s issues. My dad had a similar opinion, but I believe I was told these things to protect me from the real world. Instead, I think my family should have taught me to be proud of my heritage, not to conceal that I had Jewish blood. Sadly, I don’t have that pride, or maybe I simply don’t know how to show it. When a conversation with strangers turns to my heritage and background, for instance, I am often silent and shy. With my friends, I am honest and tell them I am not sure and don’t want to talk about it. When communicating with new people, those who like to mock Jews, I keep silent — which is just wrong. I want to say something, defend myself or declare that I am a part of this community. But I don’t. In the end, I just feel a big lump in my throat, which I can’t swallow. I hate these moments and I am ashamed for not speaking up. Maybe if I had someone to stand beside me, to defend me, I’d feel more at ease. But even if I did, I’d still want to stand up for myself. Sometimes, I want to feel anger instead of fear. Is this right? I don’t know, but right now I think it is.

Perhaps I need to answer a question: “What is Judaism in my life?” I always thought, “Maybe, because it’s what I was always told, that my interest in Judaism was just a passing fancy, since I didn’t know the religion, I’m not really close with the traditions or even understand the language.” The historical experience, however, is more than familiar to me. My maternal grandfather Zusel Goldin was a survivor of German concentration camps. I always admired his last name, because he was a truly golden man for me. He raised me while my parents were at work. This must have been bittersweet for him, since his whole family, except one brother who immigrated to Brazil, was killed in those camps. Besides his parents, he also lost a second brother, Israel, and a pregnant sister, Fanya. When I was a young child, my grandfather and I shared a room. Like other curious children, I questioned him about those times, but I don’t remember a lot of his answers. I must have been an annoying, curious and energetic child, a lot to handle, especially for a blind man. When I was 12, this wonderful man passed away. Suddenly, I was alone in my room. Suddenly, I was without his protection and knowledge. Suddenly, no one could answer the important questions I had yet to ask, someone who could tell me who I really was. This awkwardness in my life became the usual experience. In 2010, I graduated high school and moved to Kaunas to study. The first thing I did was become part of the Jewish community, because APRIL 2012 DAVID

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Erika with Tel Aviv in the distance.

my mother was already a member. A few months later, the head of the community told me about the “Taglit — Birthright Israel” program, which offers one-of-a-kind, free trips to Israel for young people who have repatriation rights. When I heard about this program, I couldn’t believe it; it sounded too much like a dream. The same dream of going to Israel that my mother and grandfather had silently expected to come true for them one day was now possible for me. I felt so happy that finally I had the opportunity to visit my dream country. Not only was it my first time traveling so far away, it was my first time to sit in an airplane. I can’t remember my exact thoughts during the flight, but I know I was excited and wondering what Israel was going to be like. I was prepared for a thrilling and fascinating 10 days. A year after this trip, what sticks in my memory? I vividly remember walking through Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv and seeing a lot of people who looked alike, people who looked like me. I felt comfortable, calm. No staring, no awkward questions. I remember all those dinners at the hotels, when I didn’t harbor a second thought about whether to wear my necklace with a Mogen David. I recall being at Yad Vashem and crying with others. Before the trip, I thought those 10 days would bring a huge dose of excitement. Instead, I often felt really calm. “What is wrong with me? Why am I not walking on air? Maybe I am not enjoying this?” I thought. But back in Lithuania, I understood everything. Actually, the realization hit me in Kiev, our only stop before landing in Vilnius. A Lithuanian traveler who joined our flight asked our 50

Taglit group where we had been. Somebody said “Israel” and the uncomfortable “Oh … ” followed, along with the rush of awkward feelings. This inability to talk Judaism in my life, being unable to defend myself against a hatred I don’t deserve, and the uncertainty about naming myself, makes me sick. Actually, I’m wrong about that part with names — I’m still confused about Jewish versus Lithuanian — but I know my sociological name: “incompletely socialized personality.” Yes, it sounds like some medical condition, one that is not temporary and is not caused by a virus or bacterium. It’s a chronic disease, something you always have, but just don’t think about, until it comes out of your throat like something toxic. It is not disgusting, because you’re used to it, but it’s painful. Today, I realize how empty I am, without a real background, without the feeling that two cultures can manage to co-exist. While writing this piece, I became aware of how miserable it is living without religion and cultural upbringing. These incompletely socialized creations like me, in their confusing lives, dive into the rushing, stressful and exhausting routine of day-to-day existence, which doesn’t leave them a second for deeper thinking about nature, childhood, parents, culture and religion. After a long day at work, these individuals go home, go to bed and see their old friend Emptiness lying next to them. While writing this piece, I realized I don’t know a lot, but there is one thing I do know: I don’t want to be one of those people.

DAVID NISAN/IYAR 5772

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Congregation Shaarei Tefilla

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Chabad of Summerlin/ Desert Shores

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East

Congregation Or-Bamidbar

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Chabad Hebrew Center

8502 W. Lake Mead Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89128 Sephardic Orthodox/Chabad Rabbi Samuel Attal 702-271-8025

West

Chabad Central

Temple Bet Emet

1261 S. Arville St. Las Vegas, NV 89102 Orthodox/Chabad Rabbi Shea Harlig 702-259-0770

Mountain Shadows Community Center 9107 Del Webb Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89134 Reform Rabbi Craig Rosenstein Cantor Lola Rivera 702-254-8103

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Temple Sinai

Summerlin Bet Knesset Bamidbar

Desert Vista Community Center 10360 Sun City Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89134 Traditional Reform

9100 Hillpointe Road Las Vegas, NV 89134 Union for Reform Judaism Affiliate Rabbi Malcolm Cohen Cator Mariana Gindlin 702-254-5110

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Beth El Congregation

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Chabad of Green Valley

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Congregation Ner Tamid

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Midbar Kodesh Temple

1940 Paseo Verde Parkway Henderson, NV 89012 United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Rabbi Bradley Tecktiel Cantor Andres Kornworcel 702-454-4848

Candlelighting Nisan/Iyar 5772 THUR., APRIL 5,NISAN 13

SUN., APRIL 8, NISAN 16

Search for Chometz at 7:37 p.m. Second Day of Passover Yom Tov ends at 7:48 p.m.

FRI., APRIL 6,NISAN 14

MON., APRIL 9, NISAN 17

Eve of Passover 1st Intermediate Day of Eat Chometz until 10:30 a.m. Passover Burn Chometz until 11:29 a.m. TUES., APRIL 10, NISSAN 18 Light candles at 6:49 p.m. 2nd Intermediate Day of SAT., APRIL 7, NISAN 15 Passover First Day of Passover WED., APRIL 11, NISAN 19 Light candles after 7:47 p.m. 3rd Intermediate Day of Passover

FRI., APRIL 13, NISAN 21

FRI., APRIL 20, NISAN 28

SUN., APRIL 22, NISAN 30

Seventh Day of Passover Light candles at 6:55 p.m.

Light candles at 7:01 p.m.

Rosh Chodesh Iyar

SAT., APRIL 17, NISAN 29

MON., APRIL 23, IYAR 1

SAT., APRIL 14, NISAN 22

Blessing of the New Month Shabbat ends 8:00 p.m.

Rosh Chodesh Iyar

Eighth Day of Passover Passover ends 7:54 p.m.

FRI., APRIL 27, IYAR 5 Light candles at 7:07 p.m.

SAT., APRIL 28, IYAR 6 Shabbat ends 8:07 p.m.

THURS., APRIL 12, NISAN 20 4th Intermediate Day of Passover Light candles at 6:54 p.m. APRIL 2012 DAVID

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Baptism by Proxy It’s All (About) the Rage By Lynn Wexler-Margolies

I

t seems that Mormon proxy conversions are all the rage these days. Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, captured and beheaded in Pakistan by al-Qaida in 2002 for being a Jew, was baptized posthumously by a Mormon temple in Twin Falls, Idaho, last June. So was Anne Frank (in February this year in the Dominican Republic), who died at 15 in the Bergen-Belsen death camp after writing her famous diary; as were the parents of both Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel and Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal; along with more than 300,000 Jews killed by Nazis in the Holocaust for their faith. Wiesel, who is still living, learned he recently was submitted to the Mormon genealogy database as “ready” for a posthumous baptism. Genealogist Bernard Kouchel, conducting a search of the Mormon International Genealogical Index, further discovered the proxy conversions of eminent Jews such as Maimonides, Albert Einstein, Menachem Begin, Irving Berlin, Marc Chagall and Gilda Radner. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Christian denomination, practices the ordinance of conversion to their faith after death not only on Jews, but Muslims, Hindus and Christians, ritually immersing a stand-in for the deceased dressed in white clothing. The deceased soul then may choose whether to accept the Mormon faith, which the church believes is the essential criterion to achieving eternal life in the kingdom of G-d. 52

Helen Radkey, who converted to Mormonism in 1971 and has since been excommunicated, exposed Mormon records showing the posthumous conversions of Joan of Arc, Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, Princess Diana, Ghandi, Barack Obama’s mother and even Adolf Hitler, serial killer Ted Bundy and one of the 9/11 hijackers. Within two hours of her death, Whitney Houston’s name was entered into the Mormon database for conversion, apparently without thought for her grieving Baptist relatives. Not surprisingly, this has engendered widespread outrage by many in various religious and cultural communities … especially in the Jewish community. “It smacks,” said Rabbi Moshe Waldoks of Temple Beth Zion in Brookline, Mass., “of a certain sense of proselytism: If you can’t get them while they’re alive, you’ll get them while they’re dead.” “This practice is abhorrent!” declared Las Vegas Rabbi Len Zukrow. “Presuming control of the sanctity of the Jewish soul, which is eternal, is unacceptable and hurtful to the Jewish community. In a society of religious tolerance, boundaries that define and delineate diverse beliefs must be honored and not crossed as we see here.” Abe Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, accused the LDS Church of “taking away the Jewishness of

DAVID NISAN/IYAR 5772

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APRIL 2012 DAVID

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Holocaust victims,” which he likened to “killing them twice.” “It’s important to say that, in some ways, it’s meaningless,” offered Temple Sinai’s Rabbi Malcolm Cohen. “But it’s also religiously arrogant. Jews look after the souls of their own by reciting Kaddish (a Jewish prayer to bring the Messiah speedily, because the dead will be revived when Moshiach comes); reciting Yizkor (the memorial prayer on holidays); lighting a Yahrzeit candle on the anniversary of a loved one’s passing; and by living the values they conveyed to us. The soul is eternal and does not have a choice to convert.” After hearing the shocking news of their son Daniel’s “conversion,” Judea and Ruth Pearl expressed their disapproval diplomatically, but firmly: “We appreciate your good intentions, but rest assured that Danny’s soul was redeemed through the life that he lived and the values that he upheld. He lived as a proud Jew, died as a proud Jew, and is currently facing his creator as a Jew, blessed, accepted and redeemed. For the record, let it be clear: Danny did not choose to be baptized, nor did his family consent to this un-calledfor ritual.’’ The controversy also has created a public relations nightmare for the LDS Church, and given way to theater of the absurd. Mark Saal, humorist and writer for the Standard-Examiner in Ogden, Utah, describes the Church as, “Racist homophobes, with latent polygamous tendencies, who have a thing for dead Jews.” An online proxy tool called All Dead Mormons Are Now Gay has emerged to 54

convert deceased Latter-day Saints to homosexuality. And latenight talk show host Stephen Colbert waded into the controversy, publicly calling for all dead Mormons to be converted to Jews, sermonizing, “By the power invested in me by renting Yentl, I hereby circumcise every dead Mormon. Congratulations dead Mormons, you’re now dead Jews.” He ended with, “This controversy just seems like it will not die, and if it did, the Mormons would posthumously baptize it.” So what gives with this bizarre and presumptuous practice to coopt the souls of other faiths? DAVID Magazine spent considerable time on the phone with LDS Church Utah media spokesman Eric Hawkins, gaining an understanding that at least offers a less acrimonious perspective on an otherwise unfortunate reputation. As one of the fastest-growing religions, LDS is led by 15 “apostles,” including Thomas Monson, president (and considered a prophet); Henry Eyring, first counselor; Dieter Uchtdorf, second counselor; and Boyd K. Packer, president of the Quorum of the Twelve. There are 134 temples worldwide, and a growing membership of more than 14 million – half of which lives in the U.S. Hawkins explained that the origin of proxy baptisms can be traced to biblical times. The practice began in the early 1840s, shortly after Joseph Smith founded the Church of LDS as a restoration of Jesus Christ through the New Testament of Christianity. Smith examined, in particular, Chapter 15, verse 29, in the Book of First Corinthians.

DAVID NISAN/IYAR 5772

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It states … “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?” He interpreted this as advocating for baptizing the dead. And in the Book of John, Chapter 3, Verse 5, Jesus states that man cannot enter the kingdom of G-d without being “born of water and the spirit,” or accepting Christ through baptism. Hawkins continued: “There are two more key tenets of the Mormon faith … Family is first and foremost, as is the G-d given agency for the soul to make choices, in this life and the next.” It thus became incumbent upon the Mormon community to research and identify their ancestors, and baptize, by proxy, those souls who did not have an opportunity to accept Christ, and, therefore, were unable to enter G-d’s kingdom. (This is how and why the Mormon Church became the number one genealogical database in the world, connecting families across the generations.) Church members consider this ritual a great act of love for family. The purpose of the sacrament is to ensure that ancestors can join church members in the afterlife. “These are not forced conversions,” said Hawkins. “Each soul has a choice as to whether or not to convert, with Church policy stipulating that only direct descendants of the dead can submit names.” Mormons believe they have missionaries in the spirit world that spread the Mormon gospel to souls who have not yet received it. “We do not believe, however, that they have the right or power to compel acceptance of vicarious ordinances, or change a deceased

person’s religious affiliation against his will. The validity of a baptism for the dead depends on the deceased person accepting it.” But, in recent decades and in blatant defiance of church policy, overzealous members have and continue to seek the conversion of prominent individuals and groups who are not their direct descendants. This has cast aspersion on Mormonism as a whole, and has caused an ongoing uproar from the Jewish community, as well as other religious groups. Nevada Hindu statesman Rajan Zed said, “It was appalling to note that Gandhi had been baptized by proxy. It is insensitive and hurtful to the feelings of about one billion Hindus worldwide.” National Public Radio reported: “In 2008, the Vatican instructed Catholic bishops throughout the world to decline to turn over parish records to genealogists working for the Mormon Church.” For his part, Hawkins said it is “distressing when individuals willfully violate the Church’s policy, and something that is offered based on love and caring becomes a source of contention.” In response to the then-growing controversy, Jewish leaders and the Mormon Church agreed in 1995 that all precautions would be taken to prevent the baptism of Holocaust victims. Clearly, efforts to uphold the agreement have not been sufficiently effective. “Despite rogue attempts, the church remains committed to being vigilant in preventing the misguided practice of submitting the names of Holocaust victims and prominent individuals for proxy baptism,” LDS spokesman Michael Purdy professed. “The highest governing APRIL 2012 DAVID

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body of the Mormon Church has reiterated its posthumous baptism policy in an effort to stop its congregants from converting Holocaust victims in a proxy ceremony.” To that end, the First Presidency of The LDS Church issued a letter in February, to be read during Sunday services. It states, “Without exception, Church members must not submit for proxy temple ordinances, any names from unauthorized groups, such as celebrities and Jewish Holocaust victims.” Meanwhile, there are some who feel that the offense taken has gone too far. Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby finds the practice of proxy baptisms “eccentric, but certainly not offensive. I hardly think this Mormon ritual presents a clear and present danger to Judaism. By my estimates, Mormon efforts to make salvation available to millions of deceased strangers are ineffectual.” He continued, “But plainly they were sincere, and intended as a kindness. Leaping to take offense at something the church has unequivocally repudiated is cheap grandstanding,” Jacoby said. Chabad of Summerlin’s Rabbi Shanowitz calls the conversion practice absurd, though ironic. “A Jewish soul is eternal. You can’t change it out, not in life or in death. Even when a Jew converts in life to another religion, their soul remains Jewish. It’s welldocumented that a convert on his or her deathbed often asks to be buried as a Jew.” Shanowitz added, “The Jewish religion is the only faith that doesn’t look for converts. We believe that all people contribute to G-d’s plan equally, and all people have the same access to G-d. You can be of any faith and still do G-d’s work. Access to our Creator is universal. No 56

one religion should claim exclusivity to G-d, or to G-d’s plan. Daniel Pearl was a Jewish hero. He was a great example of living and dying as a Jew. Nothing can take that away from him or his soul.” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said he “appreciated steps taken by (Mormon) church leaders to warn its members to stop the practice. We can only hope and pray that those who have persisted will heed the pain it causes the families of those who lived and died as Jews, and adhere to the church’s policy.” Throughout the ages, Jews have been targeted for conversion. Whether it is Jews for Jesus using subterfuge to convert modern Jews, or Spanish Inquisitors centuries ago forcing Jews to convert under pain of torture or death, Jews continually and viscerally feel this denial of their faith and traditions. Posthumous conversion efforts goad the collective Jewish soul. Perhaps there are those in the Mormon Church who will persist with this mission in spite of its rules and sanctions; and those who will question what all the fuss is about. It should be duly noted, however, that in Judaism there is no greater good than honoring the dead, especially those who were murdered sanctifying God’s name …many with the words of the sacred Jewish prayer Shema Yisroel — Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One — on their lips as they marched to their graves. The Mormons as a whole are a good people and contribute much to whatever society they’re a part of. But good-intentioned baptism by proxy dishonors the memory, and disrespects the holy traditions, of the Jewish people.

DAVID NISAN/IYAR 5772

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Call Michael (702) 845-1746 michael@mehrcpa.com www.mehrcpa.com APRIL 2012 DAVID

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3/22/12 9:35 AM


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Michael A.Cherry Associate Chief Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court DAVID: At an awards ceremony this past November, you were presented with the 2011 Champion of Indigent Defense Award by the Washington D.C. based National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. CHERRY: I started my career as a public defender back in 1970 here in Nevada. In fact I ended my law career, before becoming a judge, as a special public defender doing nothing but murder cases. What I saw stunned me… when a person is charged with a crime, whether a minor offense or the most serious being capital murder, the only person who sees the criminal defendant is his or her attorney. Prosecutors however have the help of police, investigators and a lot of money to prosecute a case. Court appointed defense attorneys face a shortage of money to properly defend a case, yet this is the only person the defendant can count on for justice to be served. Both as a lawyer involved in these trials, and as a judge involved in sentencing, I witnessed some horrible defenses which is incongruous with our judicial system that guarantees everyone the right to a fair trial. I knew we had to improve this not only for the people charged with crimes, but for the public and the victims as well. DAVID: Can you give me an example of one such horrible defense? CHERRY: Absolutely…the Roberto Moranda case…a Cuban immigrant who came to Nevada… charged with capital murder, convicted, given the death sentence and sat on death row for 14 years. He was represented by what we call a ‘baby public defender’. She was young, inexperienced and didn’t know how to handle the case. Further investigation years later proved him innocent. He then sued Clark County and won $5 million dollars of tax payer money. This is bad all the way around. There are many examples I could point to but the bottom line is that indigent defense is so important to oversee and it’s what I have been passionately committed to. DAVID: What are some of the changes you’ve made? CHERRY: After I was elected to the Supreme Court in 2006, I became chairman of the Indigent Defense Commission (IDC) because

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I knew the system and saw the holes. We’ve since implemented new performance and case load standards that must be met by criminal defense attorneys who represent those who cannot afford to retain counsel. We’re working now to enable an independent IDC, removed from the Supreme Court, and fully funded, run and overseen by the state legislature. DAVID: How has being a Jew affected your sense of fairness and justice for the underdog? CHERRY: Being raised as a Jew, I’ve always understood the obligations and responsibilities we all have toward one another. I’ve participated in Jewish charitable and civic endeavors throughout my career making me aware of the less fortunate. And my background as former chair of the ADL has also shown me the need to fight for justice for all. DAVID: What do you think needs to be done to improve life for Nevadans hard hit by the economy, foreclosures, and poor education? CHERRY: We have to get out of the habit of being first at everything that’s bad and last at everything that’s good! The primary objective has to be to offer the best possible education. Everything else will fall into place from there. DAVID: What are you most proud of in your life? CHERRY: Without a doubt I’m most proud of my two children, David Cherry and Meryl Thornton, my son and my daughter. I’m proud that I still have my mother living who is 87 years old. And I’m proud that I’ve had a good legal and judiciary career. DAVID: What would you like people to know about you that perhaps they’re not aware of? CHERRY: That I really care about other people. I worry that people won’t get a fair deal…whether from government or industry or education. My mother and father were divorced when I was 10 and my father wasn’t in my life until many years later, but then got killed in a car accident. To me, family, education and doing what you enjoy is important. I guess I have a good heart…a Jewish heart…that’s right, I have a Jewish heart!

DAVID NISAN/IYAR 5772

3/22/12 11:06 AM


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3/19/12 11:13 AM


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3/19/12 11:14 AM


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