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Jewish Community Federation



in this


Volume 67 | Issue 4



Adar II/Nisan 5779

| April 2019


















See pages 16 and 17


Richmond Wish You and Your Family A Very Joyous Passover

• April 11 | 6:30 p.m. ‘Books and Brews’ Hardywood Brewery, Richmond

• April 8 | 11 a.m. Intergenerational Model Seder Led by Rabbi Bart, RTA students Weinstein JCC

• April 28 | 10:30 a.m. Sofie Stahl Memorial Brunch Weinstein JCC

• April 10 | 7:30 p.m. ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ Opening Night Weinstein JCC

The Officers, Board and Staff of the Jewish Community Federation of

• April 4 | 7 p.m. Brown-Lyons Lecture at VCU James Branch Cabell Library

• Through June 9 Tradegy of War Exhibit Virginia Holocaust Museum

Visit for a complete calendar of Jewish community events.

Jonathan Greenblatt of ADL to speak at Yom HaShoah, April 28 well-lit parking lots. For more information on the Yom HaShoah Observance and other museum programs, call (804) 257-5400 or visit For more articles about the VHM, see page 30.



Jonathan Greenblatt ADL Photo

SAVE THE DATE Jewish Community Relations Committee & the JCFR welcome

Stephanie Hausner of the Israel Action Network “Combating the BDS Movement”

Israel November Auditorium at the Weinstein JCC May 21, 2019 | 7 PM Open to the Community RSVP to Diane Munsey at (804) 545-8654 or


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onathan Greenblatt, CEO, of the AntiDefamation League, will be the keynote speaker at the Virginia Holocaust Museum’s 2019 Yom HaShoah Observance on Sunday, April 28., 2 p.m. The VHM cordially invited community members to the annual Yom HaShoah commemoration. Every year, we pause to remember and honor the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. Winners of the 2019 Student Art Contest will also be announced and awarded. Greenblatt is the sixth national director of the organization, leading all aspects of one of the most respected civil rights organizations in the country. Since becoming CEO in July 2015, Greenblatt has modernized the organization while re-focusing it on the mission it has had since its founding in 1913: to stop the defamation of the Jewish people, and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Under his leadership, ADL has worked in new and expanded ways to combat and uncover anti-Semitism. The VHM is located at 2000 East Cary St., Richmond. It is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Free parking is offered in an adjacent,

How good & pleasant it is for brethren to dwell in unity. The Reflector is published monthly by the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond. Copy must be received two-and-a-half weeks prior to the date of publication. The Reflector reserves the right to edit or refuse any copy or advertisement submitted. Views expressed by guest writers and reader’s letters do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond. Call for information about advertising in The Reflector at 545-8655. Acceptance of advertising does not endorse or guarantee Kashruth.

Ellen Renee Adams, President Daniel Staffenberg, Chief Executive Officer Raymond (Skip) Kozakewicz, Editor Sara Rosenbaum, Director of Impact and Community Planning

Rod Brinks, Advertising Salesman

Jewish Community Federation OF RICHMOND

5403 Monument Avenue • Richmond, VA 23226

(804) 545-8620 Email:

Something big is happening,don’t miss out A

Daniel Staffenberg Chief Executive Officer Jewish Community Federation of Richmond

mission to Israel is an experience like none other. Countless members of our community have shared with me how their participation on a mission to Israel continues to impact their lives and friendships. Our Board recently decided it’s time to go back! We are excited to share that the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond and our community Synagogues, agencies, and organizations will launch our 85th Anniversary Community Mission to Israel next April, and we want you to join us! The mission, supported in part by the Sherry Rose Memorial Mission Fund of Richmond Jewish Foundation and Federation will be chaired by Stuart Siegel, Jay and Lynn Schwartz and Brian and Ruth Greene. It has been over a decade since the JCFR organized a

Community Mission to Israel, but ask any participant from one of those overseas journeys how they enjoyed it, and you will get a glowing smile and an answer brimming with enthusiasm. There really is nothing more powerful than a trip to Israel. Being in Israel with so many of your friends and neighbors … traveling with people from your Synagogue and local Jewish agencies … sharing the same experiences ... and getting a behind-the-scenes look at the land of Israel and its people… There are many ways to see Israel, but a Federation Mission packs so much in for so many people. It is a trip that will inspire first timers to Israel and 20 timers. Whether you have a love of art, nature, fashion, food or technology – or any of several other subjects – participants on the Community

Mission to Israel will have the opportunity to explore their personal interests from a uniquely Israeli perspective. To enable participants to fully experience the excitement being felt across Israel, the Community Mission to Israel will have numerous opportunities for interaction and connections with the Israeli people. There will be programs with high-ranking military officials, public-opinion-shapers and policymakers; and volunteer activities with residents of Richmond’s partnership area of Hadera-Eiron. In addition, the mission will be on the ground for two extremely special days in Israel. Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day) commemorates and memorializes those lost fighting for Israel and Yom Ha’atzmaut (Independence Day) is the biggest party of the year, celebrating Israel’s



Independence Day. This once-in-a-lifetime Community Mission to Israel will enable members of the Greater Richmond Jewish community to experience Israel together. The trip leaves Richmond on April 21, 2020, and returns on April 30. There also will be an optional post-mission trip to Petra, Jordan. Petra always appears on top travel lists and is your opportunity to see one of the new seven wonders of the world. Prices start at just $1,999 per person - Land Only for the Israel Mission. All packages include luxury accommodations, most meals, bus tours and mission programming. To learn more and get your name on the list for early access, contact my colleague Ellen Moncure at SEE YOU IN ISRAEL!

Mark Sisisky nominated to be next JDC President I

t is with deep pride and profound excitement that we share the fantastic news our friend Mark Sisisky has been nominated as the next President of our overseas partner JDC, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. JDC’s Nominating Committee worked diligently for several months reviewing the interests and qualifications of those JDC Board members who had been recommended by the Committee as candidates for JDC’s next President. They came to the same conclusion we have had in Richmond for many years -- Mark Sisisky is the best person for the job. Mark joined the JDC Board in 2009, is one of JDC’s Vice Presidents and a member of the Executive Committee and Officers Cabinet. Mark previously served as Chair of the Former Soviet Union Committee. Here in Richmond, Mark and his wife Susan, have had an immeasurable impact on the Jewish and general Community. Mark is a past President of the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond, and in 2000 was awarded the Distinguished Community Service Award of the JCFR; recently renamed in memory of Neil November. Mark and Susan created

the Susan and Mark Sisisky JDC Global Enrichment Fund of Richmond Jewish Foundation, through which emerging Jewish leaders travel internationally to learn the important work of our partner JDC and the Federation around the world. The group has resulted in numerous community leaders and strengthened the understanding and commitment of our Richmond Jewish community to support and sustain world Jewry. The program has impacted the lives of 26 emerging leaders in Richmond. “The President of JDC is one of the most important and impactful volunteer roles in the Jewish world,” said JCFR CEO Daniel Staffenberg. “JDC is the leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization in the world and represents our best values of Chesed (caring) and Tzedek, (justice). It says a great deal about Mark, his passion and leadership, and our own Richmond community, that he would be selected among many outstanding candidates.” Our Campaign Chair and longtime friend, Adam Plotkin, shared, “Mark has been a leader, a mentor and a friend to so many. I cannot think of anyone better suited to lead one of the finest agencies in

Mark Sisisky with Sisisky Fellow Michal Coffey visit with children at a JDC Preschool in the Ukraine several years ago. File Photo

the world. I’m extremely grateful and proud that the rest of the world will get to see Mark as we’ve known him in Richmond.”

On behalf of our entire community we congratulate Mark, Susan and the entire Sisisky family on this great honor!

In honor of Mark, the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond has established a special Tzedakah Fund to honor his selection as JDC President. You can contribute to the fund by visiting or mailing a donation to the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond,5403 Monument Ave., Richmond, VA 23226. 100% of all Donations will be used to support JDC’s work in our sister city of Zaporozhye, Ukraine.


April 2019 Adar II/Nisan 5779 | the Reflector | 3

Jewish Community Relations Committee

An update on key events

Andrew Fishman Director - Jewish Community Relations Jewish Community Federation of Richmond


hese are busy and exciting times at the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond, and the JCRC has been quite active with events and programming for the community. For my column this month, I am recaping events that have occurred, and inform you of upcoming programs that will be of great interest. Feb. 21: Meeting with 7th District Rep. Abigail Spanberger Rep. Spanberger met with a small group of community members at the JCFR for nearly two hours, and was gracious, kind, and thoughtful. She was attentive and answered our questions, including issues about anti-Semitism and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions move-

ment or BDS. Rep. Spanberger told the group she would be willing to appear at a foreign affairs/Israel forum in the spring in Richmond. March 9: Israel Election Forum On March 9, three young Israeli emissaries briefed attendees at an Israel election forum hosted by Congregation Or Atid. The briefing was well executed and very informative. It was made possible by our Partnership2Gether Southeast Consortium and the Jewish Agency for Israel See Pages 16-17 for an article and photographs March 10: Stronger than Hate Jewish/Muslim Coalition On March 10, the “Stronger than Hate” coalition of Jews and Muslims gathered to consider how we can best serve the Richmond community. The focus of the meeting was to bring our two communities together, and share in the factors that unite us. The group discussed potential community service projects here in Richmond that we could perform together. The event was a success and we will build on the momentum and create enduring relationships with our shared vision for partnership and brotherhood. We are grateful to Rep. Abigail Spanberger for attending the event, as well as state delegates Schuyler VanValkenberg and Dawn Adams April 4: Dov Hoch of VIAB The JCRC will host Dov Hoch, executive director of the Virginia Israel Advisory Board, in a special program

Rep. Abigail Spanberger responds to a question during a meeting with community members on Feb. 21 at the JCFR office. JCFR Photo

at the Weinstein JCC (Sisisky Room) on Thursday, April 4 at 7 p.m. The session will help us understand what VIAB does and how it benefits Virginians. See Page 2 to RSVP May 21-22: Stephanie Hausner of the Israel Action Network Stephanie Hausner of the Israel Action Network will make a presentation on the BDS movement, and how to combat it on Tuesday, May 21 at 7 p.m., in the Israel November Auditorium at the Weinstein JCC. The next day, she will meet with various community leaders, and members of the JCRC. Upcoming Events/Dates to be Determined: • Spring forum with Rep. Abigail Spanberger • Anti-Semitism forum in the fall at University of Richmond For further details on the JCRC and these events, feel free to email me at or call (804) 545-8626.

A fifth question for Passover: What Matzah and lobster have in common? O ne of the most widely observed Jewish rituals, the Passover Seder was skillfully designed to inspire questions and connections to generations past. The essence of the Seder is to have our own intergenerational conversation like the one described in Exodus 13:14, “At a future time, your child will ask you, ‘What is this?’ And you shall say to him, ‘With a mighty hand, God brought us out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.’” As with other important parent-child discussions, many Jewish parents have sought guidance on how to have this particular conversation. What began as a rough outline evolved into the Haggadah’s thorough script, which includes four famous questions for children to ask. Known as the Arba Kushiot in Hebrew, these “questions” largely take the form of observations and all relate to food or the way in which we eat at the Seder. The first question is about Matzah, the


second about bitter herbs, the third about dipping foods (like parsley into salt water), and the fourth about the custom of reclining while we eat. The first of these questions invites an explanation of Matzah, arguably the most important Passover food. Like the Torah, the Haggadah offers two, seemingly conflicting explanations of Matzah’s significance. Most of us are familiar with the explanation that Matzah was what our ancestors ate when they hurried out of Egypt and had no time for their bread to rise. But another explanation of Matzah found in the Haggadah is that Matzah was “the bread of affliction,” which our ancestors ate as slaves in Egypt. Both explanations appear in the same Torah verse: “Seven days shall you eat unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, as you came forth out of the land of Egypt in haste. Then shall you remember the day that you came out of the land of

4 | the Reflector | April 2019 Adar II/Nisan 5779 5779

Egypt” (Deuteronomy 16:3). Looking at this verse, we may wonder if Matzah is meant to be a symbol of oppression or of freedom. The answer depends on our timeline. At one point, Matzah was considered the bread of affliction, a food fit only for the poor and oppressed. But later, Matzah rose in status as it was consumed by the chosen people in celebration of their freedom. Interestingly, Matzah is not the only food to have undergone such a dramatic social transformation. Another famous, albeit unkosher example is lobster. While many people consider lobster to be a delicacy today, it was once considered an undesirable food, known as “the cockroach of the sea,” which prisoners and poor people ate in Colonial-era America. The upward social trajectory of these two foods parallels our ancestors’ spiritual trajectory from degradation to redemp-

Rabbi’s Reflections

Rabbi Ahuva Zaches, Congregation Or Ami Rabbi Zaches also serves as chair of the Richmond Rabbinic Council and chair of the Richmond Coalition for Jewish Education. File Photo

tion. As we take each bite of Matzah at our Seder this year, may we appreciate each step of the journey that enabled Matzah to become the ultimate symbol of freedom. Chag kasher v’samei’ach!

3 pieces. Time to set out the seder plates. Pass down the wine, and bring the matzah. Three, please, all nicely stacked. Pass down old stories, and gather new recipes. Time to set out the seder plates. Happy Passover from all your friends at Publix.


April 2019 Adar II/Nisan 5779 | the Reflector | 5

Pearl Society holds winter program with guest speaker from JFNA O

Pearl Society Co-Chairs Robin Adolf Salzberg (standing/left) and Melanie Stein Grossman (standing/right) address attendees at the gathering. Guest Speaker Wendy Abrams (seated) spoke to the women following the opening remarks. JCFR Photos

n the evening of Feb. 25, approximately 30 young women gathered at the home of Susan and Ronnie Adolf for a winter Pearl Society event featuring Wendy Abrams, Jewish Federations of North America’s National Women’s Philanthropy chair. Over the course of the evening, the participants had an opportunity to relax, got to know one another and learn about National Women’s Philanthropy and Abrams’ volunteer path. They also shared ideas as to what they would like to do as a group in the future. The Pearl Society, part of the Women’s Division, is comprised of women under the age of 45 who make a minimum commitment of $180 to the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond’s Annual Campaign. Their goal is to deepen the connection of young women to their Jewish identity and the legacy of Tzedakah. For information on the Pearl Society or to become active with the group, contact Mary Brown at

Guest Speaker Wendy Abrams. or at (804) 5458660. Also, you can speak with Pearl Society Co-Chairs, Robin Adolf Salzberg and Melanie Stein Grossman. Thank you to Robin, Melanie, Susan, Wendy Abrams, and JCFR Board President Ellen Renee Adams for making this evening a success!

Special LOJ luncheon held A (From left) Robyn Galpern and Karen Farzad listen to remarks by the guest speaker at the Pearl Society event.

Thank you Friends of Reflector The Reflector professional staff and Jewish Community Federation of Richmond thank the following for their donation to the Friends of Reflector.

group of women gathered for a special Women’s Division luncheon at the home of Sandy Sisisky on Feb. 26. The luncheon was a celebration of women’s philanthropy for the communities’ Lion of Judah donors. Following the lunch, JCFR President Ellen Renee Adams addressed the group, updating them on the Federation Annual Campaign as well as pointing out ideas on more ways the Lions could make an impact with each other in the community. After thanking hostess Sandy Sisisky, she introduced the program’s speaker, Wendy Abrams. Hailing from Chicago, Abrams is chair of National Women’s Philanthropy for the Federation’s umbrella organization the Jewish Federations of North America. Abrams then spoke to the group about what JFNA plans for the future for women’s philanthropy, reported on the most recent International Lion of Judah Conference,

The focus in her talk was about legacy giving. Abrams noted about how being a Life and Legacy community is a fantastic way of creating a culture of endowed giving. The main theme is as leaders of the community, those in attendance were responsible for not only for making sure their own giving legacy is not lost when they leave, but also their leadership. By this, she meant that bringing along the younger generation will help move our community forward and continue the vibrancy of the Jewish community L’dor V’dor, from generation to generation. At the Reflector press date, the JCFR Annual Campaign has raised $2,724,858 from 1,085 donors, as well as an additional $169,681 in supplemental gifts to support special programs. For more information about the Annual Campaign, please contact Jesse Feld, director of Development & Engagement at (804) 5458623 or

As always, we thank the community for supporting the Reflector. Thank You

Jack Boles Donald Imburg Regina Sager


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with special guest

Dov Hoch Executive Director Virginia Israel Advisory Board Thursday, April 4 • 7 PM Sisisky Family Community Room Weinstein JCC _____________________ To RSVP, contact Andrew K. Fishman Director of Jewish Community Relations JCFR at (804) 545-8626 or

Dream Home, Summer Home, Vacation Home, Retirement Home ... whether you’re looking for a hi-rise on the bay, a flat in downtown or a palace on the oceanfront, I stand ready to find your new address. I am a Hampton Roads native, raised in the Jewish Community, and am keenly aware of neighborhoods and their values.

Nancy Evans

(757) 287-5765

Over 30 years assisting buyers and sellers in Hampton Roads Experienced and Local ... A winning combination


April 2019 Adar II/Nisan 5779 | the Reflector | 7

Jewish Family Theatre presents The Pulitzer Prize-winning story of a transformational friendship

Driving Miss Daisy

Directed by Debra Clinton Written by Alfred Ahry

This warm-hearted play takes place in 1948 in the Deep South and is the affecting study of the unlikely relationship between a crotchety white Southern Jewish widow and a proud, soft-spoken black man. In a series of absorbing scenes spanning 25 years, the two, despite their mutual differences, grow ever closer to—and more dependent on—each other, until eventually, they become almost a couple.

Opening Night Wednesday, April 10 at 7:30PM

Performances April 11, 16 and 17 at 7:30PM • April 14 at 2PM $24 General Admission/$20 JCC Members/$15 Seniors, Students and Groups of 10+

An evening of food & funds at the Weinstein JCC’s Center Plate T he Weinstein JCC’s inaugural Center Plate fundraiser was a resounding success on Thursday, Feb. 21. The sold-out event brought together a diverse group of individuals from members to corporate partners, community leaders and newcomers to raise essential funds to ensure that the Weinstein JCC’s enriching programs and services remain accessible and open to all. The innovative event featured a four-course gourmet meal inspired by Michael W. Twitty’s life and experiences as described in his James Beard award-winning book, “The Cooking Gene” highlighted by interactive readings throughout the evening. Guests also had the

opportunity to hear from Michael as he shared some personal anecdotes that have shaped the trajectory of his unique career and cuisine. Community spirit was in the air as the event was capped off with a record-breaking Tzedakah appeal, which will enable the Weinstein JCC to continue to provide financial assistance to those in need. The Weinstein JCC extends a special thank you to the committee members, sponsors, volunteers and supporters who helped make the event a success. The Weinstein JCC is supported, in part, by a generous contribution from the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond.

Sponsored by the Belleman Family and Gilbert Rosenthal

Tickets and details at

Screening of ‘Big Sonia’ will honor Yom Hashoah I

n honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah), the Weinstein JCC will partner with the Virginia Holocaust Museum to present the film, “Big Sonia” on Thursday, May 2. Co-produced and co-directed by her granddaughter, Leah Warshawski, “Big Sonia” tells the story of Sonia Warshowski, 91-year old great grandmother, businesswoman and Holocaust Survivor whose tailor shop she’s owned for more than 30 years is served an eviction notice. Faced with the reality of retirement, Sonia is prompted to revisit her harrowing past as a refugee and witness to genocide. While many Holocaust films tend to focus on the events of the past, “Big Sonia” is a story of survival and healing. A poignant story of generational trauma, “Big Sonia” also offers a laugh-out-loud funny portrait of the power of love to triumph over bigotry and the power of truth-telling to heal us all. This special event will take place at the VHM on May 2 at 7:30 p.m. and is sponsored by Lisa and Nathan Zasler, with additional support from the Henry


The Moirs, Grossmans and Salzbergs mingle at the event. Weinstein JCC Photos

and Gertrude Kupfer Holocaust Education Fund of Richmond Jewish Foundation. Tickets are $10 for general admission; $7 for Weinstein JCC members and can be purchased online at For information, contact Leslie McGuigan, Weinstein JCC director of cultural arts, at (804) 545-8644.

8 | the Reflector | April 2019 Adar II/Nisan 5779

Michael W. Twitty with past Weinstein JCC presidents Shelley Gouldin (event committee chair), Helen Horowitz and Chris Greenberg.

Weinstein JCC Happenings


TER PLATE N E C A Cultural Culinary Experience

(Front/from left) Rick Nelson (Weinstein JCC CEO), Michael W. Twitty and Daphne Maxwell Reid. (Standing) Samantha Willis (“Richmond Magazine”), Nannette Shor, Roben (event emcee) and Karen Farzad, Sara (Weinstein JCC President) and Juan Villalona

A special thanks to our sponsors and supporters who made this inaugural Weinstein JCC event a success! Platinum Sponsor

The Arenstein Family Gold Sponsor

Silver Sponsors

Dr. Nathan & Lisa Zasler

Sold-out event included Center members, corporate partners and many others.

Committee Members Shelley Gouldin, Chair Susie Adolf Kenny Bendheim Melanie Grossman Lynn Schwartz

Nannette Shor Barbara Simon Stacy Struminger Bob Weisberger Lisa Zasler

Emcee Roben Farzad

Rabbi Scott Nagel reads a passage from “The Cooking Gene.”

Proceeds from this signature fundraising event help support the Weinstein JCC’s mission to ensure our programs, resources and services are accessible to all in our community.


April 2019 Adar II/Nisan 5779 | the Reflector | 9

Patrons of the Arts season finale: May 8 T

he Weinstein JCC is proud to bring Bowen McCauley Dance Company, Washington metro area’s premier contemporary dance company, to the Neil November stage on Wednesday, May 8 at 7:30 p.m. Dancing Through the Decades, the Patrons of the Arts final performance of the 2018-19 season, is sponsored by Moran Reeves Conn and will take the audience on a journey through time, highlighting the iconic dance styles and outfits of the past. Get ready for a bopping, twirling ride through the past 50 years of music including everything from “Fiddler on the Roof ” to a new twist on Hip Hop, with the inspiration of the Broadway smash,

“Hamilton.” For 21 years, Bowen McCauley Dance has energized broadly diverse audiences with inventive and vibrant choreography – a fusion of contemporary and classical techniques set to a sweeping range of musical styles. Showcasing the founding Artistic Director Lucy Bowen McCauley’s choreography, the award-winning company is renowned for its spirited dancers, use of live music, the professionalism of its dance performances and its extraordinary outreach programs for socio-economically diverse communities. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Seeking artists for Weinstein JCC’s Undiscovered Exhibit C alling for submissions! On Thursday, April 18, the Weinstein JCC will open its annual Undiscovered Artists and Photographer’s exhibit in the Sara D. November Gallery. This juried show is open to artists and photographers who have never had their work exhibited in a major show in the Richmond area. Submissions can be made in advance at weinsteinjcc. org and also will be taken in-person one day only, Monday, April 15 between 7 a.m.- 7 p.m. All submissions (online and in-person) must be dropped off at the Weinstein JCC on Monday, April 15 to

be considered. Locally and internationally known artist, Joanna Tyka, will make the selections. Tyka’s work can be found in many galleries and private collections around the world. The community is invited to the opening reception on Thursday, April 18 at 7 p.m. The exhibit will be on display from April 18 - May 19. All art exhibits for the 2018-19 season are sponsored by Hirschler Law. For questions, contact Leslie McGuigan at or (804) 545-8644.

5400 Club April programs April 1 - John Ragosta, University of Virginia, “What Did Patrick Henry Really Say? April 8 - Food for Thought/EnRich for Life: Intergenerational Passover Seder led by RTA Principal Yosef Bart and 7th and 8th grade students. Complimentary Passover meal. Special starting time, 11 a.m. RSVP is a must to Weinstein JCC Adult Programming Director Shari Menlowe-Barck at (804) 545-8611. Special EnRich for Life session at 1:30 p.m.; Jewish Legends with Allen Cohen, “The Israelites Enter the Desert.” April 15- Alan Pell Crawford, “Mr. Jefferson’s Women.” April 22 - Daniel Staffenberg, CEO, Jewish Community Federation of Richmond, “The Richmond Jewish Community and Diaspora – Israeli Relations.” April 29 - Dr. Roger Loria, Holocaust Survivor, “The Quest for Freedom.” EnRich for Life and Food for Thought are a collaboration of Weinstein JCC and Jewish Family Services. Program support is provided by Hannah and Allen Cohen. The club meets each Monday from 12:30-1:30 p.m., except for Jewish and American Holidays and Food for Thought/EnRich for life programs. For club details, contact Norman Sporn at


10| the Reflector | April 2019 Adar II/Nisan 5779

Center’s Inclusion Specialist Andrea Costanzo receives Excellence in Advocacy Award T he disAbility Law Center of Virginia Foundation will award its Darrel Tillar Mason Excellence in Advocacy Award to an educator who has devoted her professional life to educating and nurturing children with disabilities. The award will honor Andrea Costanzo, a lifelong advocate for inclusion for children with all types of disabilities and the first teacher to receive this award. Andrea’s teaching experience covers the spectrum from head start to high school and from public to private schools (Chesterfield County and Northstar Academy). In every position, Andrea has focused on the individual abilities of her students. Andrea is currently an inclusion specialist at the Weinstein JCC preschool program and assists with the ReelAbilities Film Festival, which is dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories, and artistic expressions of people with different abilities. Her supervisor commented, “Andrea is a force for inclusion who works tirelessly to spread the message.” Her passion for providing opportunities for students with disabilities extends beyond the classroom. More than a decade ago, she helped to create the Weinstein JCC’s “Voices Together” summer camp for children

Andrea Costanza Weinstein JCC Photo

with autism together with typically developing teens, training the latter to be effective peer buddies. She also works with the Kesem Inclusive Theatre Project at the Weinstein JCC and formerly served as a program training director at the Positive Vibe Café in Richmond. Andrea has been the lead teacher in Congregation Beth Ahabah’s Religious School class for children with disabilities. Andrea Costanza More on page 32

Intergenerational Model Passover Seder: April 8 R abbi Yosef Bart, principal of Rudlin Torah Academy, and RTA 7th and 8th grade students, will lead the 11th annual Intergenerational Model Passover Seder at the special EnRich for Life session at the Weinstein JCC on April 8. Note: the free event begins at 11 a.m. All will come together in prayer, song and the traditional Seder meal. This program is open to all active adults who would like to participate. All faiths are welcome! A RSVP is a must to Weinstein JCC Adult Programming Director Shari Menlowe-Barck at (804) 545-8611. See article on the left regarding EnRich for Life session at 1:30 p.m.

RTA students lead the Model Passover Seder last year at the Weinstein JCC. Photo by Adrienne Winkelmann

Take a Swing for Your Community W

armer days are fast approaching, so dust off those golf clubs … the 22nd Annual Jewish Community Golf Classic is just around the corner! On Monday, June 3, three organizations in the Jewish community will come together for another fantastic golf tournament at Jefferson Lakeside Country Club. Beth Sholom Lifecare Community, Jewish Family Services, and the Weinstein JCC, with planning and direction by Ronnie Adolf, Nathan Shor, and their committee, will be your hosts for an incredible day of golf. Following lunch, golfers will play a captain’s choice format featuring hole-in-one, 50/50 and putting contests, along with prizes on The winning team from the Jewish Community Golf Classic strike a pose at last year’s every hole. The day caps off with dinner event. They are (from left) Matt Brantingham, Ken Fetzer, John Griffin and David and awards. Fratkin, all from Domininion Payroll. This year’s event is June 3.

Sponsorships for this event are now available. Please contact the development director of any of the three organizations to discuss the options: • Mary Gayle Guidon, Beth Sholom Lifecare Community; or (804) 421-5355 • Becki Mann, Jewish Family Services; or (804) 282-5644 ext. 277 • Margret O’Keefe, Weinstein JCC; or (804) 545-8659 To register to play golf, contact Jennifer Adams, Weinstein JCC special events manager, at or (804) 5458659. Spaces are limited.

Contributed Photo

An open letter to parents who worry about their children (all parents) By Leslie LaBrie Youth, Family and Camp Director Weinstein JCC Dear Parents: know you are constantly worried about your child. I know you worry if they are eating and sleeping enough, if they have too much screen time, if they’ll be able to finish their science project in between their soccer game and friend’s birthday party this weekend, if they will get into a good college and will land a high paying job and will be successful in life. I know above all, you worry about them being healthy and happy. Well, I’m here to tell you that one of the greatest predictors of emotional well-being and success in a person’s life is the capacity to be resilient, and camp is one of the best places to harness this skill. What is resilience? Resilience is the ability to not only bounce back after an adverse event, but to thrive in doing so. Resilient people don’t perseverate on their challenges or failures, rather they acknowledge the situation, process their emotions, learn from the situation, and move forward in a positive direction. This does not mean that resilient people don’t experience emotional pain and distress, they do, they just have developed healthy coping mechanisms for (relatively) quickly moving on with their lives. While a parent’s instinct is to protect their child from pain (both physical and emotional), this can sometimes work against a child’s best, long term interest.


Pain is an assurance in life, and unless children develop the positive mechanisms to deal with and recover from the pain, they will struggle throughout life. Now that you are surely sitting there worrying even more about your child, let’s talk about some of the ways in which Weinstein JCC Summer Camps help our campers exercise their “resilient muscle”. (1) We teach campers that failure is okay! Through experiential learning, our camps show campers that life doesn’t end when they fail. Our staff encourage campers who have been unsuccessful at a task to continue to try and put forth effort. Failure is essential to development because it causes the brain to try out other ways to confront a challenge and creates new neurological problem-solving pathways. Self-esteem, perseverance, and resilience develop when campers face difficult challenges and realize they can get through them. (2) Weinstein JCC Summer Camps foster new relationships with both campers’ peers and adults. These new relationships teach campers a wide range of social skills that are helpful in coping with future situations. Campers are afforded equal opportunity to be both leaders and followers in camp activities, teaching them different ways of relating to their peers and to people in general. Our staff model and also help facilitate healthy conflict resolution amongst

campers when issues arise. These are tremendous skills to learn so early in life! (3) Our camps teach independence and self-efficacy. In the never-ending parental quest to avoid or lessen pain, and sometimes to just get things done quickly, campers are used to their parents doing a lot of things for them. We offer a unique opportunity for campers to figure out what and how much they can do on their own, without their parents there to swoop in. Campers build independence as they learn how to take more responsibility for themselves and their belongings (which sometimes means a lot of items ending up in the dreaded lost-and-found), make their own decisions, and experience a sense of autonomy. This independence and self-efficacy give campers a sense of control, empowerment, and confidence. One trait of resilient people is they focus their time and energy on events and situations that they have control over. Because their efforts are focused on where they can have the greatest impact, resilient people feel empowered and confident. Conversely, people who spend a lot of time worrying about those things they do not have control over often experience a sense of helplessness and feel powerless to act. Camp is about more than fun (though that’s always a top priority), it’s about making sure the adults of the future are well-adjusted human beings who can


Leslie LaBrie. Contributed Photo

thrive in the world around them and make it a better place. Now that I’ve got you thinking what camp directors have known for generations, it’s time to signup for Weinstein JCC Summer Camps, where campers have been learning resiliency and having fun since 1947! To register for the best summer ever, go to or contact Weinstein JCC Camp Director Leslie LaBrie at (804) 545-8650 or Sincerely, Your friendly, community camp director Leslie

April 2019 Adar II/Nisan 5779 | the Reflector | 11

Beth Sholom happenings

Beth Sholom wishes you Happy Passover The Gardens Assisted Living & Memory Care Parkside Assisted Living & Memory Care The Woods Independent Living Apartments The Healthcare Center Nursing & Skilled Care Generations Home Health Skilled Home Healthcare Outpatient Clinic Rehabilitation Services

1600 John Rolfe Parkway, Richmond, VA 23238

| (804) 750-2183

Outpatient Clinic Rehabilitative Care


he Beth Sholom Rehabilitation Clinic has a long history of helping people recover. Our clinic, including the therapeutic pool, is open to the public and also serves residents of our community. • Specializing in treatment of Parkinson’s Disease. --LSVT Big®, -- LSVT Loud® --SPEAK OUT!® --The LOUD Crowd® • Cardiac conditions • Dysphagia or swallowing difficulties • Orthopedic injury, joint replacements or fractures • Osteoarthritis & Rheumatoid arthritis • Neurological disorders, including CVA, TIA and balance deficits

When you’re ready to go home, call Beth Sholom’s own Generations Home Health. As a full-service Medicare-certified home health agency, Generations Home Health sends nurses and therapists to the homes of our patients. Our medical professionals bring many of the services you might receive in a hospital or rehab facility to your home. Our home health services can help ensure a safe transition from inpatient care to home. To learn more about Generations Home Health, call (804) 421-5270. Generations Home Health is jointly owned and operated by Beth Sholom in Richmond and Beth Sholom Village in Virginia Beach.

Beth Sholom has been caring for Richmond seniors for over 73 years. We pride ourselves in providing comprehensive, compassionate health care for individuals of all faiths and strive to accommodate their personal and lifestyle needs as well. Beth Sholom residents enjoy a home-like setting in a campus atmosphere. Beth Sholom is located at 1600 John Rolfe Parkway, Henrico County. For information, call (804) 750-2183 or visit


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Students from Steward School play bingo with Beth Sholom residents. Contributed Photos

During April Beth Sholom celebrates our volunteers and our Healthcare Center! V olunteers play an important role in health care communities. They include people who freely offer their time to take part and assist in campus activities. Beth Sholom residents look forward to the joy volunteers bring to campus. To learn more about our volunteer

program, contact Samantha Goodman, director of Life Enrichment at Beth Sholom, at (804) 750-2183. Beth Sholom is supported, in part, by a generous contribution from the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond.

The Healthcare Center Rehab & Skilled Nursing


he Healthcare Center on the Beth Sholom campus provides private rooms, daily housekeeping and well-trained, caring staff. We welcome residents for short-term rehabilitation or long-term, skilled nursing care. In addition, the center provides varying degrees of care, with skilled nursing, rehabilitative and memory care for individuals with Alzheimer’s or other cognitive impairments. For more information about the Healthcare Center, call (804) 750-2183.


JFS Home Care announces new Nursing Director Vera Jones W e all want the best for our loved ones as they age and it’s hard to watch as they struggle with the basic tasks of their lives. It is easy to take their independence for granted which can make it difficult to know how and when to start the process for someone we love to get additional care support they need. JFS Home Care offers a wide range of services including companion care to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation; respite care so a family member can take a break from caregiving; assistance completing daily activities that become more challenging with illness and age; and post discharge care for after a surgery or procedure. There are many reasons people need additional care and that is why JFS provides customized treatment plans to fit you and your family. What is the next step after calling JFS? One of JFS’ three highly experienced nurses will come to talk to you and your family about your needs and circumstances. This January, Vera Jones, RN, joined the JFS dedicated home care team as nursing director. Vera comes to JFS with over 30 years of nursing experience. Vera began her career working with the senior population in her home state of South Carolina. She is thrilled for her new position as JFS’ nursing director so that she can continue

Vera Jones, the new JFS Home Care Nursing Director.

Contributed Photo

working with the senior population. For Vera, “My heart has always been in genetic care. I love the senior population; they are priceless jewels.” Throughout her career, Vera has enjoyed traveling and working in different countries as a nurse. One country Vera remembers fondly is Israel, as a nurse in the Mt. Carmel in-care unit in Haifa; “I loved the people, they were so warm and caring” she explained. In 2001, Vera and her family moved to Richmond to pursue her career as a community health nurse. Before coming to JFS, Vera worked as an early childhood community nurse at Family Lifeline in Petersburg, and in 2015, she was a finalist for the Virginia Nurse of the Year in Community Health. So far, Vera’s favorite part of her job is meeting new clients and explaining how Home Care services can increase independence, dignity and comfort. As she explained, “I cannot fix what is changing in your body or around you, but I can support you every step of the

Dignity, Comfort, and Independence are one phone call away. We're here to assist with your daily needs: Personal Care Companionship and respite care Meal preparation, nutrition and wellness Mobility and transportation Shopping and errands

JFS Home Care (804) 282 - 5644 We Are Here For You

6718 Patterson Avenue, Richmond, VA 23226  804-282-5644

way.” Inviting someone into your home can be difficult and scary, but Vera has seen over and over that JFS becomes part of the family. To learn more about how JFS can customize the best home care plan for

you, your loved ones and your family, call JFS at (804)282-5644. Jewish Family Services is supported, in part, by a generous contribution and IMPACT GRANT from the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond.

Bev and Sid Koerin’s commitment to JFS J

Bev and Sid Koerin pose at their 50th Anniversary celebration. Contributed Photo

FS’ mission to Transform Lives and Strengthen our Community would not be possible without our volunteers. For over two decades, Bev and Sid Koerin have helped to make that possible as leaders and as volunteers. Bev is a social worker and after retiring 11 years ago, she began volunteering in the Telephone Reassurance program. She also interviews candidates for the Jewish Educational Loan Fund (JELF) to provide interest-free loans to Jewish students across Virginia, helps set-up and serve meals at EnRich for Life, and most recently Bev began volunteering for JFS’ adoption partner, Connecting Hearts. Sid served on the JFS board for over 15 years and was central in upgrading

JFS’ technology systems and protocols. Since Sid rolled off the board, he has continued to be a key volunteer by serving on several committees, the advisory board and capturing JFS’ events and special moments with his camera. Last year, JFS received a letter that Bev and Sid made a Legacy gift to JFS. Bev explained that it was important that she give to an agency that cares for older adults; “As I got older I helped care for my aging parents. My social work training did not completely prepare me for the requirements that come


with family caregiving and it helped me to know there was additional support from professional caregivers.” Bev and Sid feel it is important to give to organizations that will be here after them. Bev encourages others to make a Legacy gift so that the good work they have supported during their lifetimes will continue for the generations to come. To learn more about how you can make a Life and Legacy gift, contact Becki Mann, JFS’ director of Philanthropy, at (804) 282-5644 ext. 277 or emailing

April 2019 Adar II/Nisan 5779 | the Reflector | 13

RTA happenings

The RTA kindergarten class studied lines, shapes, and colors to better understand shapes found in letters and numbers. They applied their skills in creating beautiful and colorful masterpieces. Photos by Susan Press

Art at RTA A

t Rudlin Torah Academy, art has always been an integrated part of our curriculum. Since our founding in 1966, we have incorporated art into our core classroom learning, teaching specific artistic skills and abilities throughout all grade levels. On this page, are a few examples our students created with art teacher, Morah Jane Samora. Stop by RTA on any school day to


Stellar Education for Every Jewish Child

see our many art projects on display! The beautiful photos are courtesy of Susan Press. To check out all the news at RTA or to schedule a visit, call (804) 3531110 or visit Rudlin Torah Academy is supported, in part, by a generous contribution from the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond.

RTA fourth, fifth and sixth graders learned about Fibonacci sequences found in many natural objects, like pinecones and sunowers. They drew inspiration from spirals found in nature and designed their own Fibonacci spirals.


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Hadassah Happenings L’chaim To Life: June 13 adassah Richmond will present a celebration of our life members and all Hadassah members Thursday, June 13 at 6 p.m. The event will be held at Dominion Payroll in Scott’s Addition and will feature music, wine, a beautiful Israeli-themed dinner, and an exciting fashion show featuring clothes from Levy’s and Alton Lane. The clothes will be modeled by members of the medical community. Additionally, the event will share much about what Hadassah is doing to improve technology in the medical world. The featured speaker, Tamar Raz, is the CEO of Hadasit. Hadasit is the forprofit arm of Hadassah that takes drugs and equipment from trial to market. Their earnings go back to Hadassah to support the great work being done. We hope everyone in Hadassah and the community will join us for this wonderful event. Tickets are $75 per person and it will be an evening of fun, entertainment, education and celebration. Please join us. For more information, contact Nannette Shor at shornannette4@ or Hedy Lapkin at Hadassah and Friends Lunch Bunch The next lunch will be Friday, April 5 at 12:30 p.m., at Casa Italiana Restaurant, 8801 Three Chopt Road (across the street from Westbury Pharmacy.) Come join us to eat, schmooze and do your Passover shopping across the street. Everyone is invited. Hadassah Book Club: April 7 Hadassah Book Club will be meeting April 7 at 1 p. m., at the Weinstein JCC. The group will be discussing “The Collector’s Apprentice” by B.A. Shapiro. Virtual Region Meeting: April 14 A virtual Southern Seaboard Region meeting will be held on April 14. All are invited to participate without having to travel. For more information, contact Leslie Baron at bubbielou57@ Transportaton needed? If you can offer transportation or if you need a ride to any Hadassah events, please call Marian Winer at (804) 270-7898. We are compiling a local car pool list.


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Hadassah Hospital’s iconic Round Building, the original inpatient center at the Ein Kerem campus. Contributed Photo

Hadassah 360° Campaign H

adassah is the largest Jewish, the largest volunteer, and the largest women’s membership organization in the United States, with over 330,000 members and associates in every state and in each Congressional District in the U.S. We have almost 1,000 members in the Richmond area. Hadassah Medical Organization has defined health care in Israel. It’s about compassion. It’s about healing. It’s about life. But it’s also about a 360° vision in a changing world. Since 1960, the population of Jerusalem has tripled, and the demands on HMO and Hadassah Hospital at the Ein Kerem campus have grown exponentially. So HMO is completely re-imagining its iconic Round Building, the hospital’s original inpatient center at Ein Kerem. When its cornerstone was laid 65 years ago, its design was considered cutting edge. It was called “a magnificent structure … certainly the finest and largest medical center in this part of the world.” But medical advances bring change. Massive refurbishment is needed to transform this outdated facility into a vibrant hub of future medicine.

Haadassah needs $91.2 million for the building to be renovated, enlarged and reinterpreted to become a setting in which tomorrow’s specialized medical care can be practiced. This renovation and expansion will significantly advance the services in its outpatient surgery, maternity, oncology, dermatology, ophthalmology, hematology-oncology, geriatrics and internal medicine departments. Hadassah is initiating its 360 Degrees of Healing Campaign this year. It needs everyone to contribute and we have an easy way for us to start here in Richmond. Many of you remember from your childhoods the “blue boxes” from Jewish National Fund. Well, we have the “round boxes”- the 360° of Healing boxes. And our challenge for you is simple. Take a box home. Put your spare change and bills in it and return it to us when it is full! If we can fill up all of our cans, we can help do our part. If you take a can, please return it when it’s full… and if you want to fill it more than once… that’s okay too.! Hadassah’s future is in our hands today, and we invite you to be a part of that future! For information, contact Leslie Baron, president at


April 2019 Adar II/Nisan 5779 | the Reflector | 15

(From left) Chen Dahan and Shai Bibas talk with Or Atid students on March 10. JCFR Photos

The Shlichim Road Show comes to Richmond T

hree young Israeli emissaries visited Richmond in March to present two unique programs as part of “The Shlichim Road Show,” sponsored locally by the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond. “Israeli Election 2019” was presented at Congregation Or Atid on Saturday night, March 9, and “3 Faces of Israel” was held on Sunday, March 10, at Congregation Or Ami. In addition, the Israelis attended Religious School at both Synagogues on Sunday morning and interacted with the students, playing Israeli games and teaching the students Hebrew expressions and Israeli dances. The also played Israel Jeopardy. The visit was the result of the JCFR’s Partnership2Gether program supported by the Jewish Agency for Israel. The Israelis are currently serving as Shlichim in three communities in the P2G Southeast Consortium. Shai Bibas is based at the Federation in Charleston, S.C.; Chen Dahan in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Rotem Gabay in Jacksonville, Fla. Israeli Election 2019 In this program at Or Atid, the Shlichim provided an overview of the scheduled election in Israel on April 9. In a Powerpoint presentation, they reviewed the process and issues in the election including discussing the issues and leaders of about major parties. They also showed a video that outlined Israel’s political system. It explained, in part, that the Knesset has 120 seats and in the last election there were 11 parties. The Prime Minister is the leader of one of the parties. No party has ever received 61 seats. or a majority of votes. So, following the election, the party with the most votes must form a coalition within 15 days. Every Israeli citizen over 18 years old can vote. Election day is a national holiday and 74 percent of those eligible, voted in the last election. There are over 11,000 voting locatons and it is a paper ballot where voters list the party


16| the Reflector| April 2019 Adar II/Nisan 5779

they prefer. In the last elections, held in March 2015, the led by Bibi Netanyahu Likud won 30 seats and formed a coalition with smaller right-wing and religious parties. In order for a party to gain a seat, it must get at least 3.5 percent of the vote. Bibas noted, “We have a Parliamentary Democracy, but it is much different than your system in the U.S. We do not elect the President, and our Prime Minister is elected among the Knesset members. We have many parties. The Blue and White party was just formed a week and-a-half ago.” Dahan noted, “We don’t vote for a Prime Minister. We vote for a particular party. There is no name of an individual on the party.” Bibas added, “We have three branches – the Knesset (our Parliament), the government and Supreme Court. No single branch has absolute power over the other branch.” Gabay explained, “After the election, the party receiving the most votes must form a coaltion and has a deadline of 15 days to form the coaltion. Generally, there is an election every 4 years.” 3 Faces of Israel During the program at Congregation Or Ami, each of the Israelis spoke about themselves, their families, their IDF service and why they became Shlichim. Dahan 25, the community emissary in Chattanooga, is in her second year as a Shlichim. She lives near Tev Aviv. She was born in Jaffa and has 42 1st cousins in Morocco. She served in Intelligence in the IDF. Bibas, 26, the community emissary in Charleston, moved to the United States seven months ago. He is a graduate of Hebrew University and served in the Israel Defense Forces for Gabay, 25, the emissary in Jacksonville, began his position about six months ago. He served in the IDF for five years including serving as a comShlichim More on next page

(From left) The Israeli Shlichim speak to attendees at the “Israeli Election 2019” program at Congregation Or Atid on March 9. They are Chen Dahan, Shai Bibas and Rotem Gabay. They used a PowerPoint presentation and video during the program followed by a Q&A session.

Shai Bibas plays a game with Or Ami students on March 10.

Shai Bibas explains how attendees at the Or Atid election program can vote with their smartphones on a current Israeli issue question he posed. Rotem Gabay (left) looks at the website on his smartphone to see the results of the vote.

Chen Dahan talks with Or Atid students.

Chen Dahan teaches Or Ami students and their teacher, Rachel Loria, an Israeli dance. JCFR Photos

Shai Bibas tells attendees about himself, the city where he grew up and family history during the “3 Faces of Israel” program at Or Ami on March 10. Each of the Israelis spoke about themselves and the reasons they became Shlichim.

With Chen Dahan and Shai Bibas at Or Atid are (from left/kneeling) London and Cady; and (standing): Harrison, Nash and Alec.


Continued from page 16

mader of units with men and women. In Jacksonville, he works with all ages – infants to 100 years old. The students asked a number of questions. “Does it snow in Israel?” “How big is Israel.? “What do you drink in Israel?” The Israelis also asked the students questions such as: “How many notes a year are placed in the Western Wall?” The answer is about 1 million. “We are really excited to be here, “said Gabay. “Thank you for having us here today.” The JCFR thanks Congregation Or Atid and Congregaton Or Ami for hosting the programs and to three families for providing home hospitality for the Israelis -- Ephraim Seidman and Bunny Wilks, the Shoenfeld family and Anita and Skip Kozakewicz.

Or Ami students made a sign to welcome the Israelis.

Or Atid students and Alison Litvin, education coordinator, learn an Israeli chair game from their new friends from Israel.

Two Or Ami students speak to each other with the new Hebrew sentences they were taught by Shai Biba. Several others students also participated and the students enjoyed the session.


April 2019 Adar II/Nisan 5779 | the Reflector | 17

Dr. Ashley Rosenberg at the Edwards Life Sciences Research and Development Lab in Haifa, Israel. Contributed Photos LEFT - Dr. Ashley Rosenberg, right, and other physicians at Hillel Yaffe Hospital.

Dr. Ashley Rosenberg experiences a different side of Israel By Dr. Ashley Rosenberg n previous trips to Israel, I felt very spiritual and engaged in Jewish learning. In January, I was able to experience a different side of Israel on the Partnership2Gether Medical Delegation. The P2G organization brings together 450 Jewish and Israeli communities in 46 city-to-city partnerships. I am grateful to the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond for making my participation in this delegation possible. This trip was the first time the partnership, consisting of 11 cities in the United States, including Richmond, conducted a physician exchange trip. Previous exchanges between the regions targeted teachers, fire fighters, teenagers, and other parties. Our group was made of 9 physicians from the U.S. who partner together with the Hadera region of Israel. In additon to Richmond, participants hailed from Nashville and Chattanooga (Tenn.); Charlotte (N.C.) and Jacksonville (Fla.) The mission was to introduce Israeli and American physicians and help them learn from each other and form partnerships for the future. We had the opportunity to visit 3 hospitals: Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, Western Galilee Hospital near the Lebanon border and Hillel Yaffe Hospital in Hadera. As a surgeon interested in trauma, I was thrilled to visit the emergency



department, trauma bays, and operating rooms in each of the three hospitals. We also visited the innovative technological center of Haifa. There, we had the opportunity to tour the Edward’s Life Sciences Research and Development Lab, where endovascular heart valves were first created, and the Ice Cure cryoablation research and development facility where researchers are working to develop minimally invasive methods to treat cancer patients. The most striking moment was a talk about experiences at Western Galilee Hospital. We were presented with a common but a difficult scenario in Northern Israel. When your enemy is injured, what do you do? Over the last 5 years, countless Syrians have been injured in the Syrian Civil War, many with penetrating ballistic injuries. The Western Galilee Hospital in Israel is the closest hospital to the border; just 6 miles from Lebanon. Western Galilee became a center for treating Syrian patients despite the 1 hour drive because of its expertise in trauma care. Between 2013-2018, 3,000 injured Syrians were treated at Western Galilee Hospital, representing 70 percent of all Syrians treated in Israel during the conflict. Forty percent of the 3,000 were women and children. The question of how to logistically send patients across a closed and hostile

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border and transport them to a hospital an hour away was a difficult one. However, when you are faced with injured patients running toward you for help, what can you do but figure it out? The root of the Israeli-Syrian conflict runs deep. There is hatred on both sides, but the Hippocratic Oath of doing no harm to patients prevents you from standing by while an injured person needs help. In order to treat the patients, Israeli and Syrian soldiers worked closely to hand off patients to army medical vehicles and ambulances for transport. Upon reaching this hospital, Syrian patients could not be placed in the bed next to Israelis. The conflict is too deep and the hatred is too real. Due to the close proximity to the border, this hospital built a fully functioning underground hospital with capacity for 550 beds. At a moment’s notice, such as the second Lebanon War in 2006 when a rocket fired from Lebanon hit the second floor of the hospital, every patient can be mobilized and moved underground in less than an hour. As a result of this extra space, the hospital became an ideal treatment center for Syrians. Countless patients were brought to the hospital, mainly in the night, and staff who were home for their time off ran into the hospital to help each victim. When the patients woke up from their operations and treatments, many pulled their

Dr. Ashley Rosenberg with Israeli Trauma Surgeon Dr. Boris Kessel.

IV lines from their arms and removed their wires when they discovered where they ended up: in the care of an “enemy.” Patients often needed a lot of convincing before eventually accepting further care. Syrians would mention that they were told growing up that Israelis cut open people’s abdomens to dissect their intestines. They believed that Israelis would torture them and use their organs. One Syrian patient, with a penetrating abdominal injury, was brought to Western Galilee Hospital and refused all treatments, saying he would rather die than be treated by an Israeli. So, the doctors respected his choice and he was sent back to the Syrian border without treatment. Israel More on next page

Doctors from the United States partner cities and Hillel Yaffe Hospital tour Tel Aviv.

Israeli and American colleagues are forming a lasting partnership. Contributed Photos


Continued from page 18

I met with Dr. Samuel Tobias, a neurosurgeon at Western Galilee who treated many Syrian patients over the last few years. He told me that “even terrorists have the right to be treated as if they were Israeli.” What an amazing thing it is to put aside all beliefs and hatred and treat patient after patient, even when a few of them tried to jump out the window when they realized they were in Israel. It got me thinking, was it the right decision? What would these Syrians do without the help of the Israeli doctors? Who would pay for their treatments? Where would they go for their recovery? Dr. Tobias discussed how all patients should be treated to the full extent and we cannot lose our humanitarianism. Most of

the Syrian patients had no hope without the help of the doctors. The Israeli government paid for the treatment of the injured Syrians and the doctors who came into the hospital on their time off volunteered their time to save their enemy. He explained that the hardest part was knowing that he could not provide the full course of rehabilitation each patient needed. Eventually, after a limited time of recovery and rehabilitation, the same cars that once brought the patients to the hospital brought them back to the border and a friendly exchange again occurred between the Syrian and Israeli army. The patients returned to the warzone. Dr. Tobias worked to communicate with Syrian physicians to ensure follow-up care

About Dr. Ashley Rosenberg Dr. Ashley Rosenberg is a general surgery resident at Virginia Commonwealth University with a Medical Degree from the University of Arkansas College of Medicine. She was born and raised in Denver. She graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville with a degree in Biochemistry and Spanish. She is currently a Global Surgery Research Fellow at VCU having spent the last 7 months living and working in Rwanda and is pursuing a Masters in Public Health from VCU. In Rwanda, she trained the prehospital ambulance workers, worked with surgeons, assisted in the emergency department and mentored medical students. She is an active member of many medical organizations such as the American College of Surgeons, Association of Academic Surgery, American Women Surgeons, The Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, and the American Medical Association. She is an avid researcher and presents her work internationally. She has always been active in the Jewish community through NFTY in her youth and she founded the University of Arkansas Hillel in college. In Richmond, she is on the Network JCFR committee, active in the Pearl Society of the Women’s Divison, and is a life member of Hadassah. She participated in the Richmond Community Leadership Initiative in 2016, and was recently selected as a 2019 Sisisky Fellow. WILL LIST THE FULL NAME Susan and Mark Sisisky.... was provided for his many neurosurgical patients. He will never know the outcomes of the many patients he treated. What an amazing story of dedication to patient care. Each and every physician recites an oath to put aside beliefs about a patient to provide them the best patient care, but most of us are never faced with that dilemma. It left me pondering what I would do in such a situation and also fueled with the selfless and excellent patient care that was delivered at Western Galilee Hospital. I had a wonderful experience on the trip. I developed relationships with many

physicians, and was even hosted by the head of the Department of Pediatrics at Hillel Yaffe Hospital. I enjoyed joining Israeli surgeons in the operating room and touring the country together. I plan to continue building this partnership between Richmond and Hillel Yaffe Hospital in Hadera by forming an exchange program between medical students, residents, and faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University and Hillel Yaffe hospitals. Hopefully, you will all have an opportunity to meet them in Richmond in the future.


April 2019 Adar II/Nisan 5779 | the Reflector | 19

Synagogue happenings

HAPPY PASSOVER Celebrate Freedom



11140 Rockville Pike, #585 N. Bethesda, MD 20852 877.425.1918


20| the Reflector| April 2019 Adar II/Nisan 5779

This is not an offering, which can be made only by prospectus. Read the prospectus carefully before investing to fully evaluate the risks associated with investing in Israel bonds. Member FINRA.

Happenings at Congregation Brith Achim

Rabbi 25th Anniversary Celebration This is an important year for us here at Congregation Brith Achim. The Rabbi is celebrating 25 years serving our Shul family and community. We will be holding a special Torah service followed by a luncheon on Saturday, May 4, 10 a.m. to show the Rabbi and his family how appreciative we are to have him as our Rabbi. There also will be a guest vocal presentations by Cantor Sarah Beck-Berman and Art Bloom. To RSVP, call (804) 732-3968 or email by April 25. Renewal Services Every 3rd Saturday, the congregation conducts a Renewal Service. Our Renewal Service is a music based meditative service. Our next Renewal service will be April 20. Annual Community 2nd Seder Join us on Saturday, April 20 at 6:30 p.m., for our Annual Community 2nd Seder led by Rabbi Dennis Beck-Berman. To register, go to www.Congregation and click on the Passover tab. All reservations and fees must be received by April 8. The cost for Members will be $20 per adult (13 and over); Non-Members are $25 per adult. Children ages 8-12 will be $10 each. Children under 8 are free. Men's Club Baseball is just around the corner and April 7 will be our first "Kiddush Trunk" (i.e., not tailgating) at a Richmond Flying Squirrel's game. Every Richmond Flying Squirrels game is exciting for the crowds, promotions and events between each inning. Come join us to watch stars from tomorrow's Major League Baseball play today! The April 7, 1:05 p.m. game versus the Hartford Yard Goats features • A fleece blanket give-away to the first 1,000 fans, • Booths outside the stadium with promotions, • Kids playing catch on the field before the game, • Numerous activities during the game and • Kids running the bases after the game (with more free stuff). Men's Club is selling four packs of vouchers good for general admission tickets to any home game for $30 (a discount of $6). Contact David at for our trunk party details! Educational Classes The Education Committee is active and held its second “Conversation and Coffee Circle” in March. This gave everyone there an opportunity to practice Hebrew among friends. A number of people have expressed an interest in learning to read Hebrew to read the prayer books better. If you would like to be part of a class on reading Hebrew, please let Helen know so we can organize a formal class. For information contact Helen Gutworth at for details. Congregation Brith Achim wishes everyone a Happy Passover!

Or Atid happenings Or Atid’s Second Night Seder – The Community is Invited April 20 ongregation Or Atid will be celebrating the second night of Passover with a community Seder on Saturday evening, April 20. Our Rabbi Hal Schevitz will be at the head of the table and will be especially attentive to the children. If you’d like to join our extended family for good Kosher-forPesach food, good company, good stories and an overall good time, please contact our office to reserve a seat and get the full details. You can reach the office at (804) 740-4747. We look forward to your joining us.


Or Atid’s Helen and Sam Kornblau Religious School News Sleepover Shabbat n a recent Friday evening, Or Atid students had a grand time experiencing Sleepover Shabbat – a mini lock-in, taking place after the Friday night service. Families first joined together for dinner before services. At the end of the service, as congregants trickled out of the building, students changed into their PJ’s and sat around the “campfire” for a round of s’mores (featuring Israeli chocolate!) and stories about the Wise Men of Chelm. After collecting their breath from laughing so hard, students participated in a variety of Shabbat-friendly games, including an excursion in slime-making, a fashion relay race and a Mission Impossible-themed obstacle course. Students had such a good time, that nobody wanted to leave when it was time to go home! Jr. Congregation To expand our educational journey, Or Atid students and families join together once-a-month for Jr. Congregation to explore the morning service through songs and poetry, taking a moment to reflect upon what makes Shabbat different from the rest of the week. Older students share the role of Rabbi, leading the Jr. Congregation through prayers studied during religious school. Meant to encourage students to connect to the service, Jr. Congregation


Tova the therapy dog, reaches out to Or Atid 5th grader Gillian Perschetz for some attention while Gillian reads the Kedushah prayer.

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Or Atid students splatter-paint on the Disney Castle for their Disneythemed Purim Spiel in March. Or Atid Photos

offers multiple discussion points for students to talk together and share their own perspective on Tefillah: Why is the Amidah considered the heart of the service? Why do we repeat the Shema multiple times a day? After singing, discussing, and chanting their way through the service, families work together to sort and order

excerpts from the weekly Parsha and discuss the meaning and message. After the discussion, the group joins the rest of the congregation for Kiddush which concludes a meaningful Shabbat morning. Or Atid More on page 22


April 2019 Adar II/Nisan 5779 | the Reflector | 21

Or Ami Happenings in April T

houghts of Spring have us dreaming of warmer days, blooming flowers and the warmth of community. We look forward to seeing you at Congregation Or Ami at one of our many events. Community Potluck Seder Please mark your calendars to attend Or Ami’s Community Potluck Seder that will be held on April 19 beginning at 5:30 p.m. To register, either email or call Or Ami’s office at (804-272-0017), or register on-line by April 10. For members of Or Ami, ticket prices are $18 per member and $6 per child under 13. The maximum ticket price per member family is $48. Guest tickets are $22 per adult and $6 for children under 13. Or Ami supplies the main dish and a vegetarian option as well as all Seder materials. Attendees are asked to bring a Kosher for Passover side dish, salad or dessert to share. For more information please see Or Ami invites you to Sarah’s Tent, a fun, family Shabbat program for Jewish and Interfaith families. Join us for a kid-friendly celebration of Shabbat on Saturday, May

Or Atid

Continued from page 21

School Garden It’s a common saying that April showers bring May flowers, and this April all students will be planting seeds in the new school garden. Also happening this spring, is the grand unveiling of the new school mural. Earlier in the year, the school held a “Voices and Visions” poster contest, where students created images based on inspirational quotations. Fifth grader London Hart’s spacey design was picked based on the iconic line “Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon.” In the coming weeks the mural will come to life on the playground wall. As part of the outer-space setting, each student will have the opportunity to personalize their own star on the wall, making their mark and leaving behind a new legacy at Or Atid. Field Trips to Maymont and Shalom Farms This spring, students will be venturing outside the classroom for their own experiential learning opportunities. The preschool-age Shalom Yeladim class will join the Kindergarten-2nd grade classes for a family program at Maymont Farm.


11 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Lunch is included. Interfaith Mitzvah Day On Sunday, April 7, Or Ami will be hosting an Interfaith Mitzvah Day along with the Islamic Center of Richmond and St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church. We will gather for bagels at 9 a.m., then break into different Mitzvah teams to do community service projects around Richmond, and gather back together at the Islamic Center of Virginia around 11:45 for ice cream. For over 13 years, Or Ami has participated in the Bon Air and Southside Interfaith Trialogue, and continues its participation in this year’s Trialogue, which begins on March 28. During the Trialogue, hundreds of people come together to share food and learn about other people, and religious traditions in our community. This year, Or Ami, along with St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church and the Islamic Center of Virginia, will explore the theme of “home.” Each session begins with light snacks. After a presentation by the hosting clergy,

While visiting the farm, students will hear a story about animals and the hardworking life of a farmer. As they explore the farm together, families will be connecting the animals they find to various Jewish values studied throughout the year. Continuing the theme of Jewish farming, 3rd-6th grade students will visit Shalom Farms to learn about sustainable farming within Richmond. Students will tour the farm as they hear how Shalom Farms works within the community to ensure everyone has access to healthy food. Through hands-on experience, students will have the opportunity to work on the farm themselves to prepare produce for delivery. Shalom Farms’ healthy food distribution model is designed to creatively increase access to fresh and healthy food, distributing over 150,000 servings of produce to meet the growing needs of families in the Richmond community. Come visit us The Kornblau Religious School is always open to interested families who are looking to start, continue, or explore their own Jewish Journey. For more information about the school, and to schedule a visit, please contact Education Coordinator Alison Litvin at, or call Congregation Or Atid at (804) 740 - 4747.

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attendees break out into dialogue groups where they can meet people from different religious and ethnic backgrounds. The first session of the Trialogue is on Thursday, March 28 at St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church (2700 Dolfield Drive, North Chesterfield). The topic is “Spirituality in the Home.” The second session is on Thursday, April 4 at the Islamic Center of Virginia (1241 Buford Road, Richmond). The topic will be “Our Houses of Worship.” We will learn about the features of a mosque, a Synagogue, and different types of churches. The third session will take place on April 11 at Congregation Or Ami (9400 West Huguenot Road, Richmond). The topic will be “Richmond: A Home of Religious and Cultural Diversity.” During this session we will learn about lesser known religious communities in Richmond. All are welcome to the sessions that begin at 6:30 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m. Book Club The Or Ami Book Club will meet on Monday, April 1 to discuss the book, “Disobedience” by Naomi Alderman. Future book club selections include: “The Pagan Rabbi and Other Short Stories” by Cynthia Ozick (May 6) and “Pops: A Fatherhood in Pieces” by Michael Chabon (June 3). All Book Club meetings begin at 7 p.m. at Congregation Or Ami. All book lovers are welcome to join us. Shabbat Services Shabbat services on April 12 will be preceded by Jewish Meditation, from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Please arrive a few minutes early. Jewish Meditation can bring an awakened and clearer state of mind. Lisa Halberstadt will help prepare you to welcome Shabbat by utilizing a variety of techniques that promote relaxation, build internal energy and develop compassion, love, patience, generosity and forgiveness, all within the framework of Judaism. If you have questions, e-mail April 13 Performance “New Orleans’ Finest in Western Swing!” will be performing at Richmond Folk Music at Or Ami on Saturday, April 13. We were able to book this band around their trip to New York to appear in the Brooklyn Folk Festival. Founded in 2016, the Big Dixie Swingers (https://bigdixieswingers.wixsite. com/mysite) are committed to the revival of the music of America’s rural radios and stages. Their music is a blend of string band, jazz and pre-war era pop tunes, all spun back out as western-swing style dance

band numbers. The Big Dixie Swingers have taken this sound up and down the East Coast and across the Midwest. It’s a style recognizable as the sound of America decades ago yet timeless enough to still be heard on the streets of New Orlean today. The band includes an upright bass, tenor banjo, guitar, violin and trumpet. Advance tickets are $10 and are available at Tickets at the door are $12. Reel Theology Reel Theology will be held Sunday, April 21 at 6 p.m. This event is free, and provides a nice way to meet members of Or Ami and their guests. Please bring a snack to share. There will be a brief discussion following the film. Religious School Congregation Or Ami’s Religious School offers an innovative approach to education. Each grade chooses electives such as art, theater, music, building projects, social action, photography, nature and more. Every lesson is designed to simultaneously encourage Jewish literacy and equip children with practical life skills. This year we have added conversational Hebrew. Or Ami also offers a Torah Tots program that meets every other Sunday. For more information, visit Please join us for Shabbat services on Fridays, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Please join us for Torah Study Brunch that is held most Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. Attendees, members and non-members, range from college age to our most senior learners. Please bring food items to share while enjoying a lively yet respectful discussion of the Torah portion being studied. All points of view are encouraged. Plus “anything said in Torah Study, stays in Torah Study.” For more information, or to verify the date of the next Torah Study Brunch, call Or Ami’s office. Congregation Or Ami is located at 9400 West Huguenot Road, Richmond, 23235. At Or Ami, you can explore how Jewish wisdom, custom and celebration can play a role in your life. Want to know more about Or Ami? Contact us at, check us out at follow us on Facebook at, or catch us on Twitter @oramirichmond. We welcome your interest and your inquiries.

“Chag Pesach” From Frances Goldman and The Tax Complex.

In the various pictures on the page of Beth-El’s Nature Center at the Religious School off Parham Road, students and teachers take part in special programs as well as help weed and clear brush in and around the Butterfly Garden and more. Beth El Photos

Beth-El School Happenings By Ramona L. Brand Director of Youth Learning Beth-El Religious School For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land Song of Solomon 2:11-12 The earth is finally waking up after a long (and somewhat dreary) winter and we have been spending as much time as possible in our Nature Center preparing for spring. Nature Center Under the able direction of our Teva teacher, Simona Spiegel, students have connected with Jewish Texts as they look for signs of spring. A sunset service brought new meaning to chanting and understanding Ma’ariv Aravim and in finding references to nature in many of our prayers. Older students helped to weed and clear brush in and around the Butterfly Garden, trimming back overgrowth and prepping it for spring growth. New benches were to provide additional seating space in the Center. The students helped to build the new benches using both new and reclaimed wood. Activities using the low-ropes course connect to stories from Torah, or illustrate Jewish values. The 7th graders are engaged in a special project as part of their Holocaust curriculum. Each 7th grader has chosen to research the life of a single child victim of the Holocaust. They will be

honored and remembered with a memorial designed by the class. The students are planning to expand the Butterfly Garden with mosaic tiles that will be placed in memory of each child and are planning a dedication ceremony that will take place in May. At Passover, with its spring themed rituals approaches, our students will be tending our Nature Center, cultivating our indoor herb garden and learning lessons about our deep connection to the land.

Tot Shabbat: April, 6 Families with children ages birth to 5 enjoy a hands-on, made for the wiggles Shabbat service. All are welcome to stay for lunch. Time: 11:15 a.m., 3330 Grove Ave., 23221; Kiddush Room. Email for more information. Young Families: Picnic in the Park: Sunday, April 28 (rain date: Sunday, May 5) All families with children from infants

through 3rd grade are invited to pack a picnic and meet at Deep Run Park in Henrico for a casual after-school play date. Come meet and socialize with other families while the kids are playing on April 28. Time: 12:15 p.m. - 2 p.m. Location: Deep Run Park 9900 Ridgefield Parkway, 23233; meet in the back playground For more information abouth the Religious School and various activities, email


April 2019 Adar II/Nisan 5779 | the Reflector | 23

Beth Ahabah Museum & Archives to open new exhibit If I am only for myself, what am I? - Pirkei Avot (1:14) he Beth Ahabah Museum & Archives will host a public opening for its new exhibit, “Beyond the Temple Walls: A Commitment to Community,” on Sunday, April 7, from 1-3 p.m. “Beyond the Temple Walls” focuses on the many ways Richmond Jews have given back to the larger community over the past two centuries. Contributing to the common good is an obligation of all Jewish people, regardless of their wealth or wishes. This exhibit tells the story of how individuals, families and organizations, both past and present, have interpreted their obli-


gation to restore the world. About two dozen individuals are featured in the exhibit, including: Solomon Jacobs, an early 19th century civic leader; Fanny Heller Straus, the first president of the Hebrew Benevolent Association; Charles Hutzler, chair of the Richmond School Board; Naomi Cohn, a charter member of the Virginia League of Women Voters; Neil November, a tireless volunteer and fundraiser extraordinaire; and storyteller Jacqueline Viener. The Beth Ahabah Museum & Archives is located at 1109 W. Franklin St., Richmond, and is open from Sunday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

News from Keneseth Beth Israel Food Cooperative By Julia Roth Executive Director of the KBI Food Cooperative lanning for Purim and Passover has begun! Our focus at this time is collecting gift cards from Walmart, Aldi, and Kroger for families in need. Giving financial choices is the key to empowering at risk individuals. The list of recipients is ever changing as the needs shift. Recently, the government shut down did impact the needs of our community. Gift cards and supplies were ready for those families that were impacted by the shut down. Thankfully it was a relatively short amount of time. Many hands make this possible. his KBI sponsored organization has been operating for over six years and impacted hundreds of families during that time. Monthly overhead is minimal and all gift cards are directly distributed . You can help by donating cards or making a monetary donation directly to the KBI office, to the attention of office manager, Rivkah Bart. Checks should be made out to KBI with a note in the memo For KBI Food Coop. Gift cards can also be dropped off the at Synagogue office with a similar note. Making a difference in the daily lives of our community members is rewarding and essential in today’s times . RVA Purim is the time to set aside gifts for the poor; in the past we have given monetary help to families at risk . This year, Passover falls at the end of April and planning is essential to ensure food stability during this holiday. At risk families benefit from knowing in advance the gifts they may expect to ensure a real holiday experience. In the past years the cooperative has been able to ease some of this burden . It is one of the most financially stressful times as families try to observe the holidays. If you need more information please call the KBI office, Rivkah Bart (804) 288-7953. May this year find all of us with good health and joy as we help out our community!


‘And Their Music Lives On’ Free concert Sunday, May 5 at 2 p.m. Cantor Sarah Beck-Berman & Jocelyn Vorenberg ongregation Beth Ahabah is proud to sponsor “And Their Music Lives On,” a special concert of Jewish composers whose music was suppressed during the 1930s and 40s, in honor of Yom HaShoah this year. Jocelyn Vorenberg, violinist for the Richmond Symphony, will teach us about how Jewish musicians were adversely affected by the rise of the Nazis, including in particular composers Gideon Klein and Hans Gal, and then perform their music along with violist HyoJoo Uh and cellist Schuyler Slack, both also Richmond Symphony musicians. This concert enables the community to hear the beauty and power of the music by these long-neglected composers. Tragically, almost two generations of musicians and composers were lost to the dark era of the Nazi regime. Through the rediscovery of these important composers’ lost works, we


have the exciting opportunity to witness the creativity of musicians challenged by tragic events. History may have rendered these scores silent for decades, but today we can pay respect to all affected by the Holocaust through the power of music. Although we cannot bring back life to all of those lost during the Nazi regime, we can respectfully acknowledge the horrible injustice they suffered in their lives by reviving the music affected and inspired by the historic events almost 80 years ago. All are invited to attend this free concert at Congregation Beth Ahabah in our historic Sanctuary. Those who wish to show further appreciation for these musicians and the important work they are doing may donate to the Cantor Goldman Music Fund with the note “May 5 concert.”

To see more Jewish Community events, visit the Calendar section at

april 21 - 30, 2020 Israel

8 5 t h A N N I V E R S A RY M I S S I O N


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Community happenings



I put my money in every loan with your money

Contact: Mike Krumbein 804-240-9314

Josh Schaier and Jodi (Mandel) Hirschfield (right) from JELF pose with community member Ira Korshin. Contributed Photos

Web site:

Aaron Brenner and Kate Belleman pose while enjoying the joint JFS, JELF and Network JCFR event on March 12.

Happy Hour provides young Richmonders information on JELF programs W e had a great turn out at Ardent Craft Ales on a beautiful Tuesday evening! On March 2, Network JCFR, JFS and the Jewish Educational Loan Fund held a joint Happy Hour helping to connect young professional Jewish Richmonders and inform attendees about JELF programs. JELF provides interest-free last dollar loans for higher education to Jewish students in need, including college, graduate school, and degree-granting vocational programs of study.

We were happy to have both Jodi (Mandel) Hirschfield, JELF assistantant development director and former Richmonder; and Josh Schaier, development director, representing JELF at the Happy Hour. Thank you everyone who attended. For more information about Young Professional programing, contact Amanda Braun at abraun@ or 804-545-8621. Note: the next deadline to apply for a JELF student loan is April 30. For more information about JELF or to apply, visit

Community members network at Ardent Craft Ales as the Happy Hour gets underway. Everyone had a great time during the special gathering to learn more about JELF.

Please Recycle the Reflector .

April 2019 Adar II/Nisan 5779 | the Reflector | 25

The Never Again Project By Libey Eynan “The Never Again Project,” run by Richmond National Council of Synagogue Youth with help from the Ipson Holocaust Fund, is a program that combines Holocaust education with leadership opportunities for high school teens. The goal of the program is to strengthen the participants’ Jewish heritage while prompting them to be vocal when injustices occur in the world around them. Studying the history of the Holocaust provides one of the most effective tools for students to examine the basic moral issues of human behavior. The “Never Again Project” is a necessity in an era where Anti-Semitism is on the rise and when injustices and prejudices have unfortunately become everyday occurrences. Students are encouraged to openly discuss the past in order to try and prevent another holocaust from happening in the future. The program consists of three informational sessions, focused on Jewish life before, during, and after the Holocaust, respectively. On the first day, we discussed how each of the participants were introduced to the Holocaust, whether in school or at home. The responses varied because the students attend different schools, and only some have Holo-

caust survivors as relatives. It seemed as though the majority of students had learned about the Holocaust through reading books in English class, (i.e. “Night”) by Elie Wiesel), rather than their being taught about the Holocaust in history class. We came to the consensus that learning about the Holocaust was not an integral part of the high school curriculum. The second session discussed events leading up to and during the Holocaust. Students debated a range of topics that led to the realization that genocide does not just happen. It is a series of events and a particular mindset that creates an environment allowing hate to rule. Through videos, learning materials and open dialogue, we examined the warning signs that led to the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party and to the eventual genocide known as the Holocaust. The third session was especially meaningful since it was conducted by Megan Ferenczy, the director of education at the Virginia Holocaust Museum. She described how important it is for us to learn from the liberators of the camps as well as its Survivors. We also talked about other genocides and how they paralleled to the Holocaust. On May 2, the student ambassa-

dors will travel to the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. We are currently finalizing a curriculum for each ambassador to lead discussions in their Jewish Student Union clubs at their high schools. We hope this program provides the necessary education and insight into the hor-

rors of the past with the hope of preventing another Holocaust in the future. Editor’s Note: Libey Eynan is a 10th grade student at Steward High School and is active in the Jewish Student Union. She has been a participant in “The Never Again Project” and also was an intern with NCSY.

Russell Finer recognized at NAASE conference R ussell M. Finer, FSA, joined some 100 other Synagogue executives who gathered in West Palm Beach, Fla., Feb. 10-13 for the annual international conference of the North American Association of Synagogue Executives. The 2019 Conference theme was “Innovation and Continuation: Peering Over the Horizon, Preparing for the Next Five Years.” This immersive conference experience took place over four days and included a series of dynamic major speakers, engaging panels, carefully tailored study sessions, and keynote presentations from experts in various related fields. This annual conference helps foster strong peer connections in the synagogue director network and enrich professional skills and knowledge bases critical to the field of Synagogue administration ensuring the highest level of service to North America’s congregations.


Finer, the retired executive director of Congregation Beth Ahabah, and former executive director at Synagogues in Massachusetts, was recognized by being the recipient of Life Membership in NAASE. His certificate reads: “This is to certify that by the action of the Board of Governors, Russell M. Finer, FSA has become a Life Member of the North American Association of Synagogue Executives. This honor is proudly conferred by the NAASE Board of Governors upon an executive director who has served the profession of Synagogue administration honorably and has enriched the profession by significant leadership with lasting impact, and diverse participation in the program of the Association.” NAASE is the central resource for professional development, informationsharing and peer support for executives

26| the Reflector| April 2019 Adar II/Nisan 5779

Russell Finer is recognized as a Life Member of the North American Association of Synagogue Executives in February in West Palm Beach, Fla. His certificate is on the right. Contributed Photos

serving congregations by bringing together synagogue executives to further the development of their professional skills, thus enabling each mem-

ber to serve his or her congregation as effectively as possible. Learn more about the association at

“chag sameach” Registration open for RCJE’s Camp Sababa F or the 10th summer, join a host of campers for another funfilled week at Camp Sababa. The week-long program is designed and run by the Richmond Council for Jewish Education, a committee of the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond. The group of educators from all the local Synagogues and agencies gather together to put on this amazing one-of-a kind camp each summer. During the session, campers explore their Jewish heritage and Hebrew through different themes. Past themes include Israeli Cities, Jewish Time Travel and much more. Campers have time for arts and crafts, games, cooking and meeting friends from different congregations and around Richmond. A highlight of the week is when

the campers are joined by Israeli teens visiting Richmond as part of the Partnership2Gether Tikkun Olam Exchange program. When? This summer, the camp will run from Aug. 12- 16. Where? Temple Beth-El Religious School, 601 N. Parham Road, Richmond. Staff? Education directors and teachers from participating schools and teen Madrichim from Israel. Cost? $125; April 1 is early bird registration deadline; July 15 is final deadline; $150 for all 5 days; ; $40 for the CIT Program. For more information or to register for this summer, contact Sara Rosenbaum at (804) 5458629 or

Brown-Lyons Lecture set for April 4 T he 34th Brown-Lyons Lecture is scheduled for Thursday, April 4, 7-9 p.m., at the James Branch Cabell Library, Lecture Hall, 901 Park Ave., Richmond. The speaker is Rabbi Jill Jacobs, executive director of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. The the mission, accomplishments and ongoing efforts of her organization mobilizes Rabbis, Cantors and other concerned American Jews to protect human rights in North America and Israel. Rabbi Jacobs is widely regarded as a leading voice on Jewish social justice and regularly lectures at Synagogues, Jewish community centers and conferences and has written about Jewish perspectives on social justice and human rights for more than two dozen publications. She has been named three times to the Forward’s list of 50 influential American Jews, to Newsweek’s list of the 50 “Most Influential Rabbis in America” every year a division of Colonial Floors of Virginia

Wood Floors Refinishing New Hardwood Installations Carpet and more


since 2009 and to the Jerusalem Post’s 2013 list of “Women to Watch.” She holds Rabbinic ordination and an MA in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary, an MS in Urban Affairs from Hunter College and a BA from Columbia University. She is the author of “Where Justice Dwells: A Hands-On Guide to Doing Social Justice in Your Jewish Community” and “There Shall Be No Needy: Pursuing Social Justice through Jewish Law and Tradition. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. A public reception will follow. This event is presented by VCU Libraries and is

sponsored by the Friends of VCU Libraries, the VCU Center for Judaic Studies, the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond, Richmond Jewish Foundation and the Weinstein JCC. The event is free and open to all, but register is requested. To register visit Parking is available for a fee in the West Broad Street, West Main Street and West Cary Street parking decks. If special accommodations are needed, or to register offline, please call the VCU Libraries Events Office at (804) 828-0593.


April 2019 Adar II/Nisan 5779 | the Reflector | 27

Jacqueline Goldberg Jones in ‘Golda’s Balcony’ opens March 28; other productions set for April 3, 7, 13 and 18.


acqueline Goldberg Jones will portray the dynamic Golda Meir in “Golda’s Balcony” in five, 90-minute performances March 28, April 3, 7, 13 and 18. The production The Basement at TheatreLAB, 300 E Broad St. Richmond, will be directed by Debra Clinton, the director at Weinstein JCC’s Jewish Family Theatre. “Golda’s Balcony” opens Thursday, March 28 at 8 p.m. Additional performances are Wednesday, April 3, 8 p.m.; Sunday, April


7, 4 p.m.; Saturday, April 13, 8 p.m.; and the final show on Thursday, April 18, 8 p.m. William Gibson’s one-woman play examines the life of Israel’s fourth prime, and her journey from the Milwaukee schoolteacher to prime minister of Israel. The production is part of a Women’s Theatre Festival at the The Basement at TheatreLAB. For tickets, call (804) 359-2003 or

28| the Reflector| April 2019 Adar II/Nisan 5779

The venue is the The Basement at TheatreLAB, 300 E Broad St. Richmond, 23219 (GRTC has a Pulse Convention Center Bus Stop nearby). The Basement is not currently wheelchair accessible. Information and tickets for “The Women’s Theatre Festival” and its four onewoman plays performing in rotating repertory are at Questions may be directed to 804-359-2003.

Jacqueline Jones

Photo credit, Mr. Click

UR students travel to Poland for spiritual growth and Holocaust Remembrance



ast month, 8 students of diverse faith backgrounds traveled to Poland as part of the University of Richmond Office of the Chaplaincy’s Pilgrimage program. The 9-day travel experience was centered in Krakow, Lublin, and Warsaw, and included visits to AuschwitzBirkenau, Plaszow, and Majdanek. Additionally, the group toured the Galicja Museum in Krakow and the POLIN Museum in Warsaw. Rev. Jamie Lynn Haskins, chaplain for Spiritual Life, and Josh Jeffreys, Jewish chaplain and director of Religious Life, led the trip. The trip was part of a semesterlong seminar that the college designed to explore the roots of Judaism in Poland, multifaith dialogue through the lens of Jewish-Catholic relations, the lead-up to and effects of the Holocaust on the Polish community, and the process since the end of World War II to address the trauma Poles experienced both individually and collectively. The experience blends spiritual and academic components on themes of religious social responsibility, collective memory, reconciliation, and forgiveness. Developed in 2011, the Office of the Chaplaincy’s Pilgrimage program is designed to help students grow in their faith, to deepen religious life on campus, and to learn from communities around the world filled with both pain and hope.

UR Students gather during their first Shabbat Service at Beit Warszawa in Warsaw on March 15. UR Photos

Students pose in Castle Square in Warsaw.

Similar pilgrimages to Poland were offered from 2013-2016, and the trip was re-imagined this year – in part – to promote education in the face of the rising trends in anti-Semitism. Among the eight students on the trip were Claire Mendelson and Muhammad Coovadia, UR students who grew up in the greater Richmond area. For Mendelson, a junior and one of the two Jewish students on the trip, “the best part about the pilgrimage

with a diverse group of people while (the pilgrims) immerse (them)selves in Polish history and culture, and explore how they relate to the present day.” He particularly noted his excitement for the “thought-provoking discussions” throughout the experience. For more information about the Chaplaincy’s Pilgrimage program, the Poland Journey, or Jewish Life at the University of Richmond, contact Josh Jeffreys at

class has been engaging in dialogue with individuals of different faith backgrounds about the Holocaust, remembrance, and reconciliation.” She added the trip has added significance for her because her “father’s side of the family is from Poland originally.” Coovadia, a senior and a practicing Muslim, expressed similar opinions. Coovadia noted that he chose to participate for “the time (he) will spend

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April 2019 Adar II/Nisan 5779 | the Reflector | 29

VHM board member Hannah Cohen and a 2nd generation family member talks to other Survivors during a session after the luncheon.

Julie Kohner, CEO and founder of Voices of the Generations, speaks to community members including 2nd and 3rd generation family members. VHM Photos

‘Voices of the Generations’ program held at VHM I

n a special program March 10 at the Virginia Holocaust Museum, Julie Kohner, founder and CEO of Voices of the Generations, Inc., shared her parrents’ Holocaust experiences as well as her mother’s appearance on “This Is Your Life,” a television program popular in the 1950s. About 40, 2nd and 3rd generation family members attended a luncheon and the lecture. Another 40 community members joined them for remarks and the “This Is Your Life” airing. A special invitation was sent to 2nd and 3rd generation family members of Holocaust Survivors to be part of the program. In welcome remarks at the lecture, Samuel Asher, CEO, of the VHM, said, “Today’s program is very important. We are so happy to have Julie Kohner back to share her mother’s story. It’s so important to educate people about the Holocaust and she has done an amazing job over many years.” Asher also outlined some of the special programs with teachers the museum conducts to educate them on the Holocaust including the Teacher Education Institute held annually. In her remarks, Kohner told her story of growing up as the child of Holocaust Survivors and her ongoing efforts to motivate other children of Survivors to share their stories too. Kohner noted, “I am the child of two Holocaust Survivors who had two different experiences of survival. We must remember there is more good going on


in the world than bad. I am sure you will agree, however, if we do not learn from history, we are doomed to it. By learning from the horrendous experiences of the past, we need to work together to make the world a better place. We are never too old to learn.” She explained, “I am here today because when my mother died in 1990, it became my obligation to not stand idly by, but to honor her memory. I have been teaching her story to others in this way.” Kohner said her mother gained national attention after she was featured in “This Is Your Life,” on television in 1953. The weekly show focused on one person who was surprised by the host. “Some of you are too young to remember this show. Others may remember that in 1953, it was a show everyone watched eagerly to see who the surprised guest would be that night.” She said, “I am here today to tell you about one special “This is Your Life” – a show about my mother, Hanna Bloch Kohner. We are talking about a program produced more than 60 years ago. This is not just about the past, it’s about the present and future. I have a responsibility that Hanna’s story is not forgotten.” Shortly after the death of her mother, she began teaching a 7th grade Holocaust Studies class with a friend. She used her parent’s book, “Hanna and Walter, a Love Story.” However, she said, they had to use “Xerox copies” of the book since it was out of print.” She added, “As a culminating event

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Virginia Holocaust Museum CEO Samuel Asher speaks with 2nd and 3rd generation family members during the program.

for the class, we invited parents to the class when we showed the episode of ‘‘This is Your Life”featuring both my mother and father to the students. I realized soon after teaching these classes, this was my life’s mission to carry on my mother’s legacy. This has since become my life’s work.” The show was produced eight years after the war when few people knew about the Holocaust. “People were not talking about Holocaust in their homes or on national television. The show in black and white was the industry’s first reality show. As result, she formed the nonprofit, “Voices of the Generations” to reach as many people as possible. “I knew the TV show was a perfect vehicle to introduce the Holocaust.

It also tells a remarkable love story. Since then, it has been the centerpiece of my teaching.” “Voices of the Generations” has a curriculum in English, Spanish and German. At the museum program , Kohner then showed the May 27, 1953 episode of “This is Your Life” to the community members. It begins with an announcer introducing the show, saying, “Television’s Most Talked About Program.” It features the host, Ralph Edwards, in a packed theater in Hollywood initially talking to her unsuspecting mother who (we learn shortly) had been invited to the show to see her friend and actor Jeffrey Hunter be surprised by Edwards. Voices More on next page


Continued from page 30

The actor was sitting beside her and Edwards then asked the actor to read the headline on a book he was holding. “This Is Your Life Hanna Bloch Kohner” announced Hunter with the audience clapping and Hanna Kohner saying, “Oh no!” “Tonight it’s you,” said Edwards. “It’s hard to believe seeing you tonight that for seven years ... you lived a short lifetime of fear, terror and tragedy. You don’t look like a Survivor of Hitler’s cruel purge of Jews. You richly deserve this show tonight. We want to relive some of the happier moments in your life.” During the program, a number of people surprise the guest. Many came from different states across the U.S. as guests of the show and sponsors. These included a Holocaust Survivor who had spent time with Hanna in four concentration camps as well as the Army sergeant who helped liberate her from her final camp. In addition, her brother

who she had not seen in 10 years surprised her from Israel. And finally her husband was brought out to share the surprise and sit on the couch next to her. As each guest appearance, she broke out with excitement with a face filled tears and a smile. Edwards closed the with an appeal for viewers to made donations to the United Jewish Appeal to help others affected by the Holocaust. The theme of the show illustrated how Hanna and Walter Kohner had one of the few Holocaust stories with a happy ending. The two were childhood sweethearts in Czechoslovakia before the war, with big plans for the future. When Hitler’s armies closed in, Walter managed to get to the U.S., where his brothers were living. Hanna was arrested and miraculously survived internment in four concentration camps, including Auschwitz. Unfortunately, her parents and other family members, she would learn, did not survive the camps.

After the war, Walter learned from the American sergeant who helped liberate her that Hanna was still alive. He eventually found her in Amsterdam, and they were soon married. Settling in Los Angeles in 1946, Walter became a theatrical agent, and with Hanna wrote their amazing story, “Hanna and Walter, A Love Story,” published by iUniverse Press in 2008. Julie Kohner carries on their legacy by telling her parent’s story to school and community groups throughout the country. Her presentation, “Voices of the Generations,” has won raves from Rabbis and educators. Julie recounts the story, shows the “This Is Your Life” video about her parents, and answers questions about her parents and the Holocaust. Her programs move and inspire people of all ages, but especially young adults to look at adversity and the world around them in ways that are new. program popular in the 1950s. For more information about “Voices of the Generations,” visit

New course for VHM’s TEI: ‘Genocide in the 20th Century’

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO, of the Anti-Defamation League, will be the keynote speaker at the Virginia Holocaust Museum’s 2019 Yom HaShoah Observance on Sunday, April 28., 2 p.m. The VHM cordially invited community members to the annual Yom HaShoah commemoration. Every year, we pause to remember and honor the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. Winners of the 2019 Student Art Contest will also be announced and awarded. See Page 2


he Alexander Lebenstein Teacher Education Institute assists educators with their understanding of the Holocaust and genocide. Sessions focus on historical background and pedagogy that link to the Virginia Standards of Learning requirements. TEI is offered in partnership with Longwood University and is funded through generous teacher sponsorships. As a result from a generous donor, the following are free to teachers for the upcoming session. “Genocide in the 20th Century” will be held July 15-19, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Educators will learn and interpret essential information about the causes and impacts of genocidal acts. Tuition is free for the 5-day session at VHM and teachers can earn up to 45 Recertification Points. Educators who have previously taken TEI are welcome to apply for this course to earn points toward recertification! TEI will also offer one session of its original 10-day course that is open to educators who have not taken TEI in previous years. “From Context to Classroom” is set for June 17-21, and June 24-28. The course is focused on the Holocaust’s historical background and pedagogy, which link to the VA SOL requirements. The first five days are online and the following five days are at the VHM. Tuition is free; Earn up to 90 Recertification Points. The deadlines for applications are May 24. For info or to participate visit or email


April 2019 Adar II/Nisan 5779 | the Reflector | 31

By making a donation to the 2019 JCFR Annual Campaign, you empower those in need in Richmond, Israel and all over the world. Judaism teaches us to care for one another during times of need. Whether you are Orthodox, Reform, Conservative or “just Jewish,” the JCFR is the place where all can join hands and hearts for the betterment of the Jewish community in Richmond and abroad. To make a gift to the 2019 Campaign, contact Jesse Feld at (804) 545-8623 or

Andrea Costanza Continued from page 10

In that capacity, she was a passionate advocate for her students to be able to enjoy the same opportunities as all participants in religious program. One parent reported that “Andrea’s work benefits not only the children she supports. Her advocacy for, and creation of, opportunities for meaningful inclusion enrich our entire community.” Andrea will be presented with the Darrel Tillar Mason Excellence in Advocacy Award on April 26 at the “6th

Annual Liberty and Justice for ALL Gala,” hosted by the disAbility Law Center of Virginia Foundation, at the Dewey Gottwald Center of the Science Museum of Virginia. For more information on the award, see To learn more about inclusion and support at the Weinstein JCC, contact Melissa Bunce, director of inclusion and support services, at (804) 545-8658 or

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Weinstein JCC & JCFR to host Books and Brews at Hardywood on April 11 W

hat better way to listen to a young, hip writer talk about his debut novel than at a local brewery where you can put your responsibilities aside and kick back Adam Valen Levinson with friends, a Contributed Photo cold beverage and food truck grub? On Thursday, April 11, the Weinstein JCC and Jewish Community Federation of Richmond will welcome author Adam Valen Levinson to their first “Books and Brews” event at Hardywood Brewery in Richmond. In Levinson’s memoir, “My Abu Dhabi Bar Mitzvah,” he relates what happened when he set out to “learn about the world 9/11 made us fear.” While politicians and media eagerly stroked the flames of Islamophobia, Valen Levinson crossed borders with

abundant humor and humanity. He found that people who pray differently often laugh the same. He became a Bar Mitzvah at 21 and slowly learned how childish it was to live by decisions and distinctions born of fear. This outing is for book lovers, beer lovers and those who love both! The event starts at 6:30 p.m. but participants can come earlier to grab dinner and enjoy a beverage. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door and include 1 drink ticket. Purchase the book for $25.95 and get free admission! Both tickets and books can be purchased online at weinsteinjcc. org. For questions, contact Leslie McGuigan at or (804) 545-8644.

The amazing Charitable IRA Rollover gift

Foundation Happenings

T By Robert Nomberg presiDeNt & ceo richMoND JeWish fouNDAtioN

here’s no need to wait until the end of the year to make gifts from your retirement account. If you are at least 70 1/2 years old you can make a direct charitable gift to Richmond Jewish Foundation from your IRA account without having to pay federal tax on the withdrawal. This tax provision was made permanent in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts of 2017. These types of gifts will qualify for your “required minimum distribution” and you can repeat this gift up to $100,000 every year. You can donate proceeds from your IRA to the Foundation’s Genesis Fund, donate to an existing endowment fund or start your own endowment fund to support the charities of your choice. Consider this example: Ms. Donor is widowed and 77 years old. She must take her required distribution from her IRA before December 31. In her case, she must withdraw close to 4 percent of the total value of her $1.2 million IRA, or more than $45,000. In the process, she must pay ordinary income tax on the amount. Instead of making the withdrawal, she makes a distribution of $45,000 to Richmond Jewish Foundation through her IRA administrator. This amount is “rolled over” and is not subject to federal income tax and it satisfies her mandatory distribution. Another option for Ms. Donor, if she feels that her IRA income will not be needed for the foreseeable future, is to use the maximum annual benefit of the Charitable IRA Rollover and transfer $100,000. This effectively advances

Make the choice today to impact the future. Call (804) 545-8656 to include a gift in your will or trust.

more than two years of this type of gift and reduces the size of her IRA without paying federal tax. This substantial gift will fund an endowment immediately allowing grants to be made annually to the charities designated in the endowment fund.

It’s a great idea to speak with your financial advisor before finalizing your plans. To learn more about IRA Rollover Gifts, please visit http://, contact your IRA administrator or reach out to RJF at (804) 545-8656.

Mary Cohen Cantor to be recognized at Sofie Stahl Memorial Brunch W

ell-respected educator Mary Cohen Cantor has been selected as the 2019 Sofie Stahl Memorial Award recipient. Sponsored by Gila Chapter of Jewish Women International and chosen by previous years’ recipients, the highly coveted honor (with few exceptions, given annually since 1960) recognizes a Jewish woman whose volunteerism demonstrates a life-long commitment to helping those in the Richmond metropolitan area. Sunday, April 28 On Sunday, April 28 (10:30 a.m.), she will be honored at a brunch at the Weinstein JCC. The public is encouraged to join JWI, the Stahl family, previous Sofie Stahl recipients as well as Mary’s family and friends for the presentation of this richly deserved award.

Per person couvert for the brunch is $36. Pledge levels are Gold, $54 and Platinum, $118. To RSVP, checks (payable to JWI) should be mailed by April 22 to JWI, c/o Arlene Slutzah, 4907 Daffodil Circle, Glen Allen, VA 23060. For more information contact Arlene at (804) 747-0765 or JWI Founded in 1897, JWI is the leading Jewish organization empowering women and girls through economic literacy; community training; healthy relationship education; and the proliferation of

women’s leadership. Jewish Women International’s innovative programs, advocacy, and philanthropic initiatives protect the fundamental rights of all girls and women to live in safe homes, thrive in healthy relationships, and realize the full potential of their personal strength. As in past years, proceeds from the Sofie Stahl event support JWI’s National Library Initiative, a program that provides for a woman fleeing an abusive relationship, when the immediacy of danger often means leaving home with only her children and the clothes on their backs, and where JWI helps ease this traumatic upheaval by creating children’s libraries in domestic violence shelters – transforming

basic spaces into comforting havens with colorful furniture and rugs, hundreds of new books, DVDs, computers and toys. For kids whose lives have been upended by violence, JWI libraries provide a safe place to relax, escape into a book, and keep up with homework when they’re most at risk of falling behind in school. JWI’s goal is to complete 100 fully-furnished new libraries in shelters across the country, and continually restock the shelves of existing ones so that each child leaves the shelter with a favorite book or DVD in hand, ready to start a new life. Gila Chapter of JWI is proud that the Sofie Stahl Memorial Award Gala makes available DVDs for purchase that can then


Mary Cohen Cantor File Photo

be donated to the JWI Library at Richmond’s Safe Harbor, the primary shelter in Henrico and community partner serving the Greater Richmond region.

April 2019 Adar II/Nisan 5779 | the Reflector | 33


Chabad Happenings

Chabad of Virginia and the greater community mourn the loss of Paula Carl P

(From left) Brian Greene, Maury Bricks and Natan Zasler pose during the Scotch & Schmooze Men’s Club event. Contributed Photo

Scotch & Schmooze event draws a great crowd A great time was had by all at our first Men’s Club event, Scotch and Schmooze! Thank you to all those who came out, to Mendy Weiss, Men’s Club chair for planning this event and to Andy Brownstein for hosting. We look forward to getting to-

gether more often to socialize, network and even explore our city together. If you are interested joining our next event or would like more information, please contact Melissa Brownstein, program director at

Richmond Jewish Readers Book Club ll are welcome to join us for coffee and conversation at our 2nd Richmond Jewish Readers Book Club scheduled for Wednesday, April 3rd at 7:00 p.m. We will be discussing the book “The Pity of it All: A Portrait of Jews in Germany 1743-1933.” The discussion will be led by Rabbi Yossel Kranz at Chabad Community Synagogue, 212 North Gaskins Road, 23238. Community Seder Looking for a community Seder? Look no further – Chabad’s community Seder is inclusive, delicious, and a great way to celebrate and learn about Passover with family and friends. This year the community Seder will be on the first night of Passover, Friday, April 19. Please go to or call (804) 740-2000 for more information

and to reserve a place at our Seder table. All are welcome! Friends Climb to New Heights with Friendship Circle Friendship Circle of Virginia held its recent Birthday Circle event at Peak Experiences Indoor Rock Climbing Center in Midlothian. All of our friends, with and without disabilities, were able to participate through Peak Experience’s adaptive climbing program! This is a prime example of our mission to create social opportunities for children and individuals with disabilities throughout the community and to provide inclusive experiences to teens without disabilities. Our birthday circle events are open to the entire community – please come and make some new friends! To volunteer, join, or donate, visit or call (804) 7402000 ext 4.



34| the Reflector| April 2019 Adar II/Nisan 5779

aula made everyone around her feel better. She began working for Chabad of Virginia in 1996 where she was a bookkeeper and administrator for 23 years. Whether she was assisting someone on the phone or helping put a band aid on cut for a preschool student, it was always with a smile and true love. She was kind, discreet and dedicated. Not only did she devote an incredible amount of time and energy to her work at Chabad, she was also very passionate about Hadassah. She volunteered and held various offices, always taking the opportunity to reflect positively on the organization and inspire others. In fact, one of Paula’s favorite projects was a collaboration between Chabad and Hadassah, Richmond’s Mega Challah Bake. This bi-annual, community-wide event, brings together hundreds of women from across all walks of life, and plans are currently underway to rename the program in her honor. On March 2, 2019, Paula left us at the young age of 58. She is survived by her husband of 16 years, Mr. Randolph Lawrence Carl, her five children, Scott Aaron Flax, his wife Erika and their daughter Sydney; Lauren Rachael Flax, Katherine Nicole Flax, Hannah Meredith Carl and David Louis Carl; her father, Dr. Bernard Daniel Jason; her brother, Joel Jason and his wife Carol; her

Paula Carl (OBM)

sister, Marcy Mostofsky and her husband Michael. Her funeral was held on March 4, 2019, with a service at Bliley’s and a graveside service at Richmond Jewish Cemetery. The very large crowd in attendance and the beautiful memories of Paula that were shared by Rabbi Kranz and Paula’s children showed the amazing impression that she made on our community and everyone in her life. She will be greatly missed.

A group of friends pose for a photo during the recent Birthday Circle event. Contributed Photo

VCU students have fun on Spa Night. Jenna Hasher is third from left. Contributed Photos

A Day in the Life at JVCU By Jenna Hasher Jewish Life at VCU Intern Class of ‘22 very week is a new adventure with Jewish Life at VCU. From Shabbat Dinner to learning new things with friends there is never a dull moment. As a freshman at VCU I find that Jewish Life gives me opportunities to not only expand my horizons but to have fun while doing it. Currently I am partaking in the Sinai Scholars program every Sunday along with seven other peers. This past week I had the cooking lesson of a lifetime – finally learning how to make Challah bread. Through some trial and error and a missed cup of sugar or two we pulled it off. Bread braided like true pros our Challah looked amazing. It was easy to see the sense of pride we all had after learning how to make something so vital to our culture. We concluded our lesson with a discussion of Shabbat Dinner and what it is means. With a set of Shabbat candles in hand, provided by Chana Rivka Friedman, we set out for the day knowing we would be back in just a few short hours for Girl’s Spa Night. By 8 p.m. the Jewish Life Center was filled with food, laughs, and relaxation. The many activities to participate in included face masks, scrubs, manicures, and even a professional massage. Of course, the night was meant for


serenity, but you couldn’t help cracking a smile when you saw your friend with banana all over their face. It was a great way to de-stress and kick off my last week before spring break. The thing about JVCU is once you are involved you don’t want to stop! I was back not even a day later to continue Hebrew lessons with two other friends. We all came from different backgrounds whether it be brushing up on past teachings, knowing a few things here and there, or starting from scratch. It is so much fun learning something you are passionate about while being cheered on by a supportive group. I look forward to our lessons each week knowing I will be encouraged every step of the way. Jewish Life at VCU has provided me with so much during my short time here and I couldn’t be more grateful. The friends and memories I have made will last a lifetime. I wasn’t sure how college would be, but with Jewish Life, I know I found a family. For more information about Jewish Life at VCU, email

Jenna Hasher (in grey T-Shirt) makes Challah with other VCU students.


April 2019 Adar II/Nisan 5779 | the Reflector | 35

There are

lots of ways

to eat matza.

And lots of ways to be part of Federation. To make matza taste better — you can try hundreds of things. To make someone’s life better — try Federation. Serve up a hot meal, visit homebound seniors or even sponsor a trip to Israel. Please give to The Jewish Community Federation of Richmond. You’ll be helping your community at home and around the world. In lots more ways than we can count. #lotsamatza

Jewish Community Federation OF RICHMOND


April 2019 Adar II/Nisan 5779 | the Reflector | 36

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