Charleston Jewish Voice | Spring 2016

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OUR JEWISH COMMUNITY IS FULL OF LIFE PRSRT STD Charleston Jewish Federation U.S. POSTAGE PAID Albemarle Pointe Center JACKSONVILLE, FL 176 Croghan Spur Road, Suite 100 PERMIT NO. 2840 Charleston, SC 29407








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Visit our website for the latest Passover eBook from Jamie Geller for new recipe ideas the whole family will love.

To find a kosher store near you, visit





3  Letter from President 4  Letter from CEO


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The REMEMBER Program InHEIRitance Project Life and Legacy Grants Annual Campaign Update Jewish Heritage Night at the Joe JELF


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Addlestone Hebrew Academy BBYO Brith Sholom Beth Israel Congregation Dor Tikvah Hadassah Hebrew Orphan Society Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program, College of Charleston 18  Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim 18  Synagogue Emanu-El 19  Association of Jewish Libraries


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LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT CJF 2016 BOARD MEMBERS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Chief Executive Officer Judi Corsaro CJF President Harry Goldberg CJF President Elect Stuart Tessler CJF Vice President Ava Kleinman CJF Vice President Michael Mills CJF Treasurer Ilene Turbow CJF Secretary Eileen Chepenik Jewish Endowment Fund President Jan Pearlstine Lipov CJF Immediate Past President Spencer Lynch

BOARD MEMBERS AT LARGE Aaron Engel Harold Fox Ellen Hoffman Marilyn Hoffman Larry Kobrovsky Ed Kronsberg Suzanne Lynch Harry Nadler Amanda Reeves Hilary Rieck Debbie Rothschild

CHARLESTON JEWISH FEDERATION Albemarle Pointe Center 176 Croghan Spur Road, Suite 100 Charleston, SC 29407 PHONE: 843-614-6600



lot can be done in 100 days - and even more can be done when we join together to make a difference. You’ve probably seen the e-mails, read the articles, or heard the buzz about Charleston Jewish Federation’s 100 Days of ImpACT. This social action campaign highlights the many ways that your gift to CJF changes the world – for people and communities in need locally, in Israel, and around the world. During the 100 Days of ImpACT, you will be hearing about the Federation’s focus around five program pillars. First pillar: Jewish Education – We value education and take seriously the responsibility of teaching our children and the greater Charleston community about Jewish history, culture, and heritage, offering programs for all ages. Second pillar: Jewish Life – The list of Jewish agencies and initiatives to which we provide funding and share resources continues to grow as we support and nurture Jewish Charleston through synagogues, temples, schools, and community events. And now we can host community partners in our new Federation offices. Third pillar: Overseas & Israel – CJF supports Jewish people and communities in Israel and around the world through funds provided by CJF and Jewish Federations across North America. We support programs such

as the very successful Voices of Israel Series. Many of you have attended these presentations in partnership with local Jewish agencies, given by prominent voices who are catalysts for change in modern Israeli society. Fourth pillar: Vulnerable Populations – As Jews, we hold a shared responsibility for taking care of our entire community, including its most vulnerable members. CJFS provides mental health counseling, case management, emergency financial assistance, and emergency food aid through the Kosher Food Pantry. Fifth pillar: Youth Engagement and Leadership Development – From Shalom Baby, where we welcome the newest members of our Jewish community, to PJ Library, encouraging Jewish families with young children to explore Jewish literature, to young adulthood programs, CJF initiatives and partnerships with local and international organizations engage the next generation of active Jewish community members. What are you passionate about? These five pillars offer focused opportunities for giving and for volunteering. As always, your support of CJF is greatly appreciated. Sincerely,

Harry Goldberg Charleston Jewish Federation President

CHARLESTON JEWISH FEDERATION STAFF * Part-Time Judi Corsaro - Chief Executive Officer 843-614-6480 | Lori Hoch Stiefel - Graphic Designer * Rebecca Leibowitz - Director of Strategic Initiatives 843-614-6484 |

Kelly Stellrecht - Development Director & LIFE AND LEGACY™ Coordinator 843-614-6481 |


Vicki Schmidt - Accountant * 843-614-6481 |

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ederations are strategically re-envisioning their mission, vision, and goals for an ever-changing environment. All organizations, like businesses, have to continuously evolve to stay relevant. They need to gain support and trust from their customers/constituents in order to maximize their effectiveness and produce the greatest results. In a smaller community like Charleston, where there are limited resources, it is beneficial to have an organization like Federation because of our ability to: •

Provide initiatives that engage the unaffiliated in a pluralistic and non-threatening way, which benefit the entire Jewish community;

Raise funds to support local organizations;

Convene Jewish community leaders on areas of common interest that benefit of entire Jewish community;

Support community members at all stages of life;

Provide Jewish communal professionals a support system and opportunities for career development;

Spearhead and/or provide funding and professional support for community-wide events;

Bring talented Jewish communal professionals to Charleston to work on behalf of the entire community; and

Bring resources to Charleston to benefit the entire Jewish community.

An example of bringing national resources to our Charleston Jewish community is CJF applying for and receiving a competitive grant from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation’s Life and Legacy program. Life and Legacy will educate, empower, and incentivize our congregations and organizations to know how to have conversations and obtain legacy gifts. Our goal after two years in this initiative will be to have helped create 360 legacy gifts. In addition, it will educate the community about the JEF (our Jewish Foundation) and endowments, which are critical to the sustainability of our Jewish community organizations. PJ Library is an example of an initiative that engages the unaffiliated (and affiliated) in a pluralistic and non-threatening way. Recently, CJF surpassed its goal of providing 330 children with PJ Library subscriptions. CJF received two

additional grants which made it possible to increase the program to age eleven. This means that all Jewish children ages 6 months to eleven years of age will receive age appropriate, Jewish content books and CD’s. PJ Library has become part of the fabric of Jewish Charleston and has engaged families who otherwise would not have affiliated or connected to the Jewish community. The Kosher Food Pantry, Jewish Family Services, the Community Strategic Plan, Voices of Israel, Partnership2Gether, and Israel Education Fellowship (IEF) Program are other initiatives that have added value to our Jewish community. In this issue, we will be highlighting two of our pillars: Jewish Life and Jewish Education: Jewish Life: As the central organizing body of Jewish Charleston, CJF collaborates with our Jewish community leaders to leverage resources that strengthen Jewish life in Charleston and beyond. When every organization is strengthened, we all thrive together. We bring together members of all of our partnering agencies, Jews of different backgrounds, denominations, and interests to celebrate our shared history and joys and challenges at all stages of life. Jewish Education: CJF values Jewish education and takes seriously the responsibility of teaching both our children and the greater Charleston community about Jewish history, culture, and heritage. Beyond supporting formal educational institutions such as Addlestone Hebrew Academy and congregational religious schools, CJF initiatives and partnerships also educate and advocate on issues of vital importance to the organized Jewish community. This is just a snapshot of how Federation benefits the entire Charleston Jewish community. We hope we can count on you for your support because TOGETHER WE CAN DO EXTRAORDINARY THINGS. Sincerely,

Judi Corsaro Charleston Jewish Federation CEO

CJF MISSION STATEMENT To Build and Sustain Jewish Life in Charleston, Israel, and Around the World. CHARLESTON JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES STAFF * Part-Time Sara Sharnoff Chesley - Director of Charleston Jewish Family Services 843-614-6494 | Joan Herrman - Kosher Food Pantry Assistant * 843-614-6491 |

PHOTO CREDIT Hannah Broder. Students are Marni Sapolsky, Michelle Myers, Katie Woessner. SPRING 2016

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“MY FATHER WAS A NAZI. I AM A JEW.” Thus begins the life story of Dr. Bernd Wollschlaeger, the son of a former tank commander and member of one of the elite units of the Wehrmacht, the Germany army, for which he was awarded the Knight’s Cross personally by Hitler. Like any child, he looked up to his parents, and was eager to understand why his father never spoke about his past. His curiosity took him on a journey that ultimately led him to Israel, where, as a doctor and converted Jew, he served as a medical officer in the Israel Defense Forces. To find out what happened to get him from the discover of his father’s past to his conversion to Judaism, you’ll have to join us for the 2016 Yom Hashoah Holocaust Remembrance Program, where he will share his extraordinary story at the keynote speaker. In departure from past years, this year’s commemoration will occur on the eve of Yom Hashoah, May 4th, at KKBE. The decision to invite Dr. Wollschlaeger to share his extraordinary story with the Charleston community was intentional, and speaks to the REMEMBER Program’s commitment to inspire us all to take a stand for what is right. Dr. Wollschlaeger is a prime role model for this call to action, one that he shares in his book, “Against All Odds: Change is Possible.” The horrors of the Holocaust continue to be felt beyond the survivors, their children, their families, and our community. They also need to be felt and heard beyond the Jewish community. The REMEMBER Program, an initiative of Charleston Jewish Federation, already takes the message

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to the greater Charleston community in a variety of ways, including issuing proclamations at city hall meetings, school and church presentations with survivors and their children, the annual Creative Arts and Literature Competition, and teacher training workshops, open to people of all faiths and backgrounds. Dr. Wollschlaeger’s remarkable story provides another viewpoint of the Holocaust and its far-reaching impact. He is a powerful speaker with a message that resonates with all walks of life. That same evening, our local survivors, including Joseph Engel, Katherine Prevost, Roland Levi, Vera Semel, Diny Adkins, Francine Taylor, Rose Goldberg, Ann Fields, and Sylvia Zealberg will also be honored for their courage in sharing their stories and making sure the lessons of the Holocaust are not forgotten. Winning submissions by Charleston-area middle school students who entered this year’s Holocaust Arts and Literature Competition will be featured in the program as well. The theme of this year’s competition is “The Holocaust Through the Eyes of a Child.” Before Dr. Wollschlaeger speaks, we will continue the important tradition of reading the names of Charleston family members who were among the six million Jews who perished. This year, the committee is led by Ilene Turbow and Reggie Guigui. We are grateful for support from the S.C. Council on the Holocaust for funding assistance to bring Dr. Wollschlaeger to Charleston.


ANNUAL CREATIVE ARTS AND LITERATURE COMPETITION Millions of children and teens were murdered, imprisoned, or displaced during the Holocaust. By exploring the life of one young person before and during the Holocaust, we acknowledge the devastating loss of an entire generation of youth. The theme for this year’s competition was “Through the Eyes of a Child.”

Jackie Hanna, Bishop England.

Tyler Rambert-Smalls, Morningside Middle School.


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THE INHEIRITANCE PROJECT rtists make an impact every day by sharing vision and bringing beauty into our world. Often, however, we only get to see the end product. Introducing The InHEIRitance Project, a nationwide theater project that is creating a play with the Charleston community for the upcoming Piccolo Spoleto Festival, and is asking us to join them in the process. Jon Adam Ross, Chantal Pavageaux, and Darian Dauchan, a team of professional theater artists, are creating a play inspired by the biblical story of Rebecca devised from interviews, conversations, and workshops with people all over Charleston. Perhaps you encountered them in February, when they came to our fair city to engage both the Jewish and greater-Charleston community in the conversation. For two weeks, the team brought engaging activities to numerous schools,

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facilitated interfaith bible studies with Jewish and African American clergy, visited our synagogues and churches, and even ran programs for our local teens to get us all to wrestle with the themes in this great biblical story: motherhood, preference, favoritism, sibling rivalry, prophesy, trickery, and more. When the InHEIRitance Play first approached the Charleston Jewish Federation last summer to begin the development of this artistic process, we were all cognizant of the tragic mass shooting that occurred at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church. The desire for the Jewish community to strengthen ties with the African American community in the face of this tragedy created a natural opportunity for the InHEIRitance Project. Since the story of Rebecca provides many themes for exploration, including the intensity felt of brothers warring in her womb, it was decided early on that instead of a one-man act with Jon, the play would also include talented Broadway actor, Darian Dauchan, to play Jon’s metaphorical brother in the womb. This year, Piccolo Spoleto will occur during the one-year anniversary of the tragic mass shooting that took place at the Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church. Therefore, proceeds from this play will


The desire for the Jewish community to strengthen ties with the African American community in the face of this tragedy created a natural opportunity for the InHEIRitance Project.

allow CJF and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Charleston (JCRC-GC) to create grant opportunities in the future for the African American and Jewish artists in Charleston to make art together, a process that is needed to help us continue to heal. The theater team will return to Charleston May 1-2 to perform an open rehearsal, which the entire community is welcomed to attend

to provide feedback. They will then return to perform the play both at PURE Theater as well as houses of worship in Charleston, June 8-11. In the meantime, there are still ways to be involved in the artistic process. The InHEIRitance project invites anyone who wants to participate to create their own art in response to the themes and questions that the team is exploring to create their play. Therefore, if anyone in interested in exploring the themes in the story of Rebecca (Genesis 24:1 through 28:9), take five minutes to come up with an idea for an art project that anyone can attempt. These projects can be any method of art (video, audio, visual, musical, etc.) that someone could do using their smartphone or just the art supplies they might have lying around the house. Then, email the idea to and they’ll post them on their website for people to start making! When Jon, Chantal, and Darian come back to town in June, their performances will be accompanied by an exhibit of these artworks, created by local Charlestonians, and inspired by the same story that inspired their play. This project is facilitated by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Charleston, an arm of Charleston Jewish Federation. To learn more, contact Rebecca Leibowitz,


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LIFE AND LEGACY WILL HELP SECURE THE FINANCIAL FUTURE OF THE CHARLESTON JEWISH COMMUNITY "I found a fruitful world, because my ancestors planted it for me. Likewise, I am planting for future generations." -Talmud, Taanit 23a This spring, we are thrilled to kick off Charleston Life & Legacy, a collaboration between the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and the Charleston Jewish community. Life & Legacy is an exciting and innovative initiative that will help organizations in Charleston and the Lowcountry secure funding to thrive for generations to come.


We each face growing demands for services and fewer financial resources. To maintain and strengthen our Jewish community, and to secure the future for the next generation, Life & Legacy will help empower our organizations to grow endowments and legacy giving.

ÎÎ Addlestone Hebrew Academy ÎÎ Chabad of Charleston and the Lowcountry ÎÎ Charleston Jewish Family Services ÎÎ Charleston Jewish Federation ÎÎ Coming Street Cemetery ÎÎ Congregation Dor Tikvah ÎÎ Hebrew Orphan Society ÎÎ Jewish Community Center Without Walls ÎÎ Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim ÎÎ Synagogue Emanu-El ÎÎ Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program, College of Charleston

Endowments are an essential part of an organization’s long-term financial stability. An endowment is a restricted fund invested as part of a larger pool, held for the benefit of an organization. An annual distribution is pulled from earnings and the principal is not touched, allowing the distribution to be given annually to the designated organization in perpetuity. Each of us has the power to strengthen the organizations we care about through a legacy gift. Legacy gifts are after-lifetime gifts, created as a portion of a will or trust, life insurance, real estate, or retirement plans. A legacy gift reflects the priorities and values of the donor and benefits the organization(s) of his or her choice. These gifts allow one’s legacy to live on far after death. Legacy gifts benefit the donor’s organization(s) in perpetuity as part of the organization’s endowment within the Jewish Endowment Fund.

Organizations across Jewish Charleston were invited to apply to be a local partner within the Life & Legacy initiative, and 11 organizations were chosen to participate. Each organization will have a Legacy Team, made up of 4-5 members, who will attend trainings and initiate conversations with supporters about after-lifetime legacy gifts to be placed in the Jewish Endowment Fund (JEF) for the benefit of their organization. Each partner organization has a goal of securing 18 Letters of Intent (LOI), which legacy-givers sign and agree to give a portion of their estate, insurance policy, or retirement plan to the benefit of the organization. Partners that reach their goal will receive an incentive grant of $5,000 for each of the first two years, with the opportunity for additional incentive grants for meeting stretch goals. Life & Legacy is administered by the Charleston Jewish Federation, on behalf of the Jewish Endowment Fund. The Jewish Endowment Fund is a collaboration between the Coastal Community Foundation and the Charleston Jewish Federation. For more information about Life & Legacy, please contact Kelly Stellrecht, or 843-614-6481.

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GRANTS The Charleston Jewish Federation and Charleston Jewish Family Services are grateful for the funding provided by foundations through grants dollars. In 2015, the generosity of the following foundations and families allowed us to raise $170,129.00 for services and initiatives for the entire Charleston Jewish community. Ackerman Foundation General support BJH Foundation for Senior Services Kosher Food Pantry The Exchange Club of Charleston Kosher Food Pantry Harold Grinspoon Foundation Charleston PJ Library Hebrew Benevolent Society Charleston Jewish Family Services Hebrew Orphan Society Charleston Jewish Family Services and Kosher Food Pantry Henry and Sylvia Yaschik Foundation Charleston Jewish Family Services and NAGID 360째 Jerry and Anita Zucker Family Endowment Fund Charleston Jewish Family Services, REMEMBER Program for Holocaust Education and Genocide Awareness, and Shalom Baby Morris, Max, and Sarah Altman Memorial Trust General support Oscar and Mona Sokol Foundation General support, NAGID 360째, Charleston PJ Library, REMEMBER Program for Holocaust Education and Genocide Awareness, and Voices of Israel series Pearlstine Family Fund Charleston LIFE & LEGACY initiative Saul Alexander Foundation Charleston Jewish Family Services and NAGID 360째 S.C. Council on the Holocaust REMEMBER Program for Holocaust Education and Genocide Awareness Sol and Celia Cohen Endowment Fund Charleston Jewish Family Services and Charleston PJ Library Stanley B. Farbstein Endowment NAGID 360째

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2016 ANNUAL CAMPAIGN UPDATE Under the leadership of campaign chair Harry Nadler, 2016 has gotten off to a strong start for the Annual Campaign. During the first 100 days of the year, the Annual Campaign highlighted the amazing ways you make a difference with your campaign pledge – for people and communities locally and as far away as Israel, Ukraine, and Nepal. Through the generosity of some of our donors, every dollar of increased pledges during the 100 days of impACT was matched with 50 cents more to the campaign, allowing your increased gift to have even more of an impACT in our community.


Thank you to the donors who have already made a difference by making a pledge. But we’re only 100 days into the year! Send us your pledge today and see the impACT you can make! Pledges are not due until December 31, 2016.

On February 8, the Zucker Family 2016 Major Gifts Campaign Event featured guest speaker Dr. Ronen Hoffman, a former member of Knesset and co-founder of the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism. We thank Anita Zucker for hosting this event at her Jazz Island home.

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On February 23, the annual young women’s event, Mitzvahs & Mint Juleps, featured guest speaker Alison Lebovitz, co-founder of One Clip at a Time. Women from across Charleston and the Lowcountry connected and learned more about the importance of our combined philanthropy. We are grateful for Annie Klapper for hosting this event at her home, and for other event co-chairs Hilary Rieck, Jaffa Miller, and Lori Hoch Stiefel.



SAVE THE DATE! Anita Zucker will be a keynote speaker at the International Lion of Judah Conference in Washington, D.C., September 11-13. The Charleston Jewish Federation will coordinate a group of Charleston Lions to attend the conference and see Anita speak in person. If you are interested in attending, contact Judi Corsaro, or 614-6480. On February 24, Alison Lebovitz also spoke at the combined Lions of Judah and Pomegranate Society event. The theme of this gathering was Dor L’dor, as we celebrated generations of local women who make a difference in the world through collective giving. Thank you to Shirley Mills for hosting this event at her home, and to event co-chairs Sandra Brett, Elaine Tessler, and Ilene Turbow.


5 Pictured: 1) Anita Zucker and David Popowski; 2) Joseph and Abby Pearson; 3) Three Generations of Lions: Elinor Cohen, Kim, Tiffany, and Marissa Dye; 4) Shari Saffer, Annie Klapper, and Maya Gabriel; 5) Linda Cohen, Rachel Landis, and Sally Fischbein; 6) Sara Chesley, Lori Hoch Stiefel, and Becca Simmons; 7) Spencer and Liz Lynch. SPRING 2016

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Charleston Jewish Federation, PJ Library ®, and PJ Our Way ™ present

Jewish Heritage Night at the Joe Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

Purchase your tickets online at JHN16 and enter password jewishnight2016 or call 843-5773647. We are in sections 202-203.

Charleston RiverDogs

vs Columbia Fireflies Game starts at 5:05 pm | Gates open at 4 pm

reserved game ticket

$8 | reserved game ticket with meal voucher $16

Meal voucher includes kosher hot dog, bag of chips, and a bottle of soda from a “kosher-only” food stand. FOR MORE INFO, CONTACT LORI HOCH STIEFEL AT LORIHS@JEWISHCHARLESTON.ORG OR 843-614-6497.

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You may be eligible for an interest-free, need-based loan for your “last dollars� to attend undergrad, grad school, professional and/or vocational school. Enrollment period: March 1-April 30 For more information, contact Sara Sharnoff Chesley at 843-614-6494 or



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COMMUNITY NEWS ADDLESTONE HEBREW ACADEMY Addlestone Hebrew Academy is Charleston’s Jewish Day School. Each day we are building and reinforcing our children’s essential foundation in life – their identity. Jewish Day School education promotes an identity that is not just Jewish or secular, but a melding of both. Each family has their own unique reason for sending their child to Addlestone. Some are looking for small class sizes, nurturing environments, and positive peer groups, while others seek an early second-language program. Still, others want an academic experience steeped in the Jewish tradition of critical thinking and ethical behavior. Many are drawn by another family’s positive experience. From a variety of experiences including extra-curricular activities, there is something for everyone. The core mission of a day school is education of the total child, providing skills that will support them well past high school and college. Addlestone Hebrew Academy’s dual curriculum provides multiple forms of learning while concentrating on each individual child. This does not occur in every school and that is what sets the Addlestone experience apart from other school programs. Addlestone students turn into young adults attending premier academic institutions such as Princeton, MIT, Oxford, and Stanford to name a few. Addlestone students excel across the spectrum of adult professions and become strong leaders. Addlestone addresses not only the “what” and “how” in learning, but emphasizes the value of asking “why.” Jewish education values learning and inquiry. In a world of increasing fragmentation alienation, a Jewish day school education can give a child the precious assets of life-long identity and friendship. Each day Addlestone Hebrew Academy promotes an environment where Charleston’s Jewish population can always be at home. Addlestone is a place where the tradition of a Jewish Charleston continues today and into our future. Don’t Miss Addlestone Hebrew Academy’s Spring Event Carnivale d’AHA| May 8, 2016 at 6pm Located at the Marriott on Lockwood Blvd Join us for silent and live auctions, food, drinks, and entertainment by Aerial Fit Charleston Call 571-1105 for more information on tickets, sponsorship, and ad opportunities or visit

BBYO The past year of BBYO in Charleston has been a year of growth and progress. Both CHAZA and Iris Baker have had consistent, meaningful programming throughout the year and have seen remarkable growth in the size of both chapters. In October, we held a program with visiting American Hebrew Academy students where we made Bottles of Smiles for kids at the Ronald McDonald House. Bottles of Smiles is a BBYO initiative where you make bottles filled with toys, activities, and personalized messages for kids recovering from and/or struggling with serious illnesses. In November, we, along with our community partners, held our annual and final Hunger Games trilogy pre-screening and canned food drive. This year, we collected 1,500 cans for the Kosher Food Pantry. In December, we held a Dining in the Dark program in conjunction with our annual Chanukah celebration. With Dining in the Dark, you eat a meal either blindfolded or in the dark to help develop blindness awareness. Later in December, Iris Baker BBG baked cookies for firefighters who had to work during the holidays. Throughout the Spring, we have held chapter dinners and other social programs to help prepare for International Convention that was held in Baltimore and Spring Convention in March. At Spring Convention the weekend of March 4-6, Charleston BBYO won a number of awards! Iris Baker won best shuk item for creating tervis tumblers and giving proceeds to Sharsheret. If you are interested in purchasing one of our tumblers, they are available by contacting Tamar Sternfeld at CHAZA won most growth of an AZA chapter and Iris Baker won Dixie Council BBG Chapter of the Year! Congratulations to Charleston’s own Sophie Brams and Zack Lutz for being elected Dixie Council N’siah--President of BBG--and Dixie Council Godol--President of AZA. We can’t wait to see all that they will accomplish in the upcoming programming year. Looking to get in on the BBYO fun? Go to for more information!

BSBI Jews have been called many names over the millennia, some that we are not so proud of, and some that dare not be repeated in a family friendly publication. There is one appellation however that cuts to the core of who we are and perhaps expresses the instrument of our continued success and longevity as a people. We are the People of the Book. That book is the Bible, and the myriad of ancient rabbinic texts that have deeply contributed to world wisdom and understanding since the beginning of time. “Ben Bag Bag says: Delve into the study of Torah, and continue to delve into it, for everything is in it (Avot 5:26).” By studying Torah we broaden our minds, deepen or faith, and, most importantly, preserve our heritage and ensure our legacy. For thousands of years Jewish living has been synonymous with Jewish learning.

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COMMUNITY NEWS One of the top priorities at BSBI is to educate our congregation and our community. To that end, we are very proud of the many ongoing classes that we conduct for all ages and backgrounds. Our Hebrew Reading Crash Course has transformed the lives of many people – participants who begin the course not even knowing the Hebrew alphabet are able to read fluently within five weeks. It is truly amazing to see such quick progress! Our Wednesday Lunch and Learn has a steady following, with multimedia presentations on topics ranging from Jewish history, mythology, Talmudic law, and contemporary hot button issues. Did antebellum Jewish slave owners obey Jewish law? Did the Maharal of Prague really craft a Golem? Did the Israeli Mossad help steal a Syrian Bible? These are just some of the most recent Lunch and Learn topics. The Charleston Jewish community is blessed with many highly successful professionals who studied at some of the finest institutions of higher learning in the country. Therefore we believe that at BSBI we must offer intellectually stimulating classes that are both engaging and relevant. There is not a page in the Talmud that does not contain a profound truth, nor a story in the Bible lacking meaning. Our study of Torah at BSBI strives to make us deeper thinkers and better people. At BSBI we are proud to be the People of the Book, and we invite the entire community to join us in our pursuit of wisdom, knowledge, and truth.

discussions on contemporary Kashrut, end of life issues, to philosophy of prayer, and so on. New this year, we introduced Kiddush Konnection, a program where we gather a group at Kiddush for informal meaningful discussions related to our spiritual and religious growth. With the addition of visits from Scholars in Residence and Yeshiva University students over the course of the year, every Shabbat at Dor Tikvah brings something different, exciting, and inspirational. Our weekly educational programs include Sunday Torah Study, where we come together to look at the Torah from a new perspective. Our analysis of the Flood story has encouraged participants to question and challenge in order to uncover the deeper meaning of the text. On Saturday we look at sections of the weekly Torah portion, which regularly lead us to very thoughtful discussion. Thursdays have a small but dedicated Talmud group at noon and a lay-led get together in the evenings for conversation and inspiration, and usually some good food too. Most important is our focus on youth education. Our Youth Coordinator, Shimon Hirsch, has done a phenomenal job continuing to professionalize our program in so many ways. He has created a leadership-training program for our teens in which they learn crucial life skills and then implement them into Shabbat morning groups. The program itself has seen tremendous growth through the teen’s leadership. On top of that, the newly implemented prayer curriculum provides our children with an age appropriate Siddur (prayer book), allowing each child to connect on his or her own level. This is proving to be a great way to begin our youngest members on the path towards a life of Jewish learning and connection.


CONGREGATION DOR TIKVAH Jewish education is paramount to the Jewish community and our steps toward the future. It is so important that we know and understand the ideas that we are coalescing around and passing on to the next generation. This is why we at Dor Tikvah put such an emphasis on education. In efforts to create a stronger community of learners we introduced a selection of educational series. The fall series, A Taste of Judaism, attracted both beginners and more advanced participants going through major topics in Judaism using clips from contemporary media to help contextualize them. Topics included discussions on the afterlife, life cycle, and concepts of G-d and belief. Our winter series, Movies and Messages, used well-known films to discuss specific topics in Jewish belief. Topics this year included email etiquette and behaviorism. The spring offering will be presented by Rebbetzin Ora Davies on how to relate to the Divine and to those around us. Our monthly Shabbat Academy features a Shabbat Kiddush luncheon followed by concurrent lectures. Topics range from

For more than 102 years, Hadassah has been at the forefront of Jewish education. This is true in Israel, where our Youth Villages provide a safe haven for children and newly arrived immigrants needing educational opportunities. It is true at Hadassah Academic College Jerusalem which has expanded its outreach to the ultra-orthodox. Young Judaea, the world’s premiere Zionist youth movement, reaches more than 5,000 Jewish youths each year from grade school through post-college. Its programs include five Jewish camps nationwide, including its national teen leadership camp, Tel Yehudah; year-round activities such as Alternative Winter Break, which gives students the opportunity to engage in social action during school breaks; and such Israel offerings as Year Course, the leading freshman gap-year program, TaglitBirthright trips, and WUJS Israel post-college internships and arts programs. Closer to home, Camp Judaea is a small, Jewish, Israelcentered summer camp for boys and girls ages 7-15 Hendersonville, North Carolina. Camp Judaea offers a pluralistic Jewish community that celebrates the diversity of Jewish life around the world, bringing together campers and staff from every denomination, from “Just Jewish” to modern Orthodox. Programs foster strong connections with the land of Israel through extraordinarily fun programs featuring music, dance, arts, scout-craft, and other cultural activities under the SPRING 2016

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COMMUNITY NEWS dynamic leadership of a large contingent of talented Israeli staff. Why – why – why is this so important to Hadassah? We need to look at the legacy of our founder, Henrietta Szold. With only a high school diploma, she edited and published some of the monuments of modern Jewish scholarship and later helped to shape the educational system in Palestine. Her work in rescuing children from the Holocaust and rehabilitating them earned her the sobriquet “mother of the Yishuv.” A born teacher, Szold was hired straight out of high school to teach French, German, and algebra at the Misses Adams’s English and French School for Girls and Judaism at the school of her father’s congregation, Oheb Shalom. When, in the 1880s, waves of Jewish immigration from Eastern Europe brought to Baltimore a large number of Russian and Polish Jews, she assisted the immigrants in establishing a night school in which to learn English and civics. We have all been raised to respect education – both secular and hopefully religious. We are, after all, The People of the Book. A very important postscript – Hadassah thanks Jewish Federation of Charleston for its award of a grant enabling scholarships to Camp Judaea for Summer 2016.

HEBREW ORPHAN SOCIETY The Hebrew Orphan Society (HOS) wants the community to know about us. Many people are familiar with the Hebrew Benevolent Society, another wonderful organization. HOS often gets confused with them, but it is a different and separate group. HOS is 215 years old. It was founded in 1801 by a group of 12 Jewish men who wanted to help the city’s widows and orphans after the Revolutionary War. The Society once owned a building at 88 Broad Street which was briefly used as an orphanage, but instead, the members placed orphans in private homes and donated clothing, funds, and other needs. The building was sold in 1931. Membership has now expanded to 36 individuals and includes men AND women, who are elected for life, based on their record of service to our Jewish and non-Jewish communities. HOS helps our community in important ways, mainly through college scholarships and charitable donations to qualifying organizations. Thanks to the bequest of a generous philanthropist named Edgar Miles, a doctor who grew up in a small town in South Carolina and went to college here, HOS is able to provide scholarships to graduating high school seniors in South Carolina. Last year, over $40,000 was awarded to deserving students in need from the Edgar Miles Scholarship Fund. In addition, through a grant-making process, the Society awards funds to local Jewish organizations, such as Charleston Jewish Family Services, the Kosher Food Pantry, JCC Without Walls, Addlestone Hebrew Academy, BBYO, and our

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synagogues. Last year, over $40,000 was donated to these organizations. These funds are provided by the Society’s members or through bequests and donations by individuals. The organization does not solicit contributions, but happily accepts them! For more information about applying for college scholarships or charitable donations for your organization, please contact the organization’s secretary, Dr. Bill Golod at

YASCHIK/ARNOLD JEWISH STUDIES PROGRAM At the College of Charleston’s Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program, Jewish education and Jewish life are at the heart of everything we do. Jewish Studies’ unique structure allows us to do so via three fronts: as indicated in our mission statement, we strive “to serve College of Charleston students and others with an interest in Judaism through offerings emphasizing academics, student life, and community outreach, in order that they may gain a greater understanding of themselves and of their community.” Jewish Studies at the College is first and foremost an interdisciplinary academic program, offering our students courses from various academic departments that focus on the Jewish tradition, past and present. Our courses range in topic, from Hebrew language instruction, ancient and modern Jewish history, and courses related to Israel and the Holocaust. By far, the majority of students taking Jewish Studies courses are not themselves Jewish, but enroll as a way to appreciate the cultural diversity within the Western tradition. Understanding such diversity fosters a deeper and more self-conscious appreciation of one’s own traditions. In addition to offering an academic major and minor in Jewish Studies, the College also allows senior community members the chance to audit courses in Jewish Studies – happily an opportunity that our community has been keen to take advantage of. Since its inception the Jewish Studies Program has received overwhelming support from the broader community, and in turn we have placed a premium on offering Jewish content to community members, free of charge. Our community programming includes events you are likely familiar with – the biannual Three Rabbi Panel, Chanukah in the Square, and A World of Jewish Culture at Piccolo Spoleto – in addition to a vibrant Sunday morning lecture series, Monday evening courses in modern Hebrew, a themed film series, or courses offered by local Rabbis or educators. We are resolute that quality Jewish content should be available to every member of

COMMUNITY NEWS our community, and that cost should never be a barrier. Finally, Jewish education and in particular Jewish life are the bedrock of the programming offered to our students (Jewish and otherwise) by the JSU/Hillel. Unlike other campuses, the JSU is integrated into the Jewish Studies Program and physical building; our professors offices are only feet away from the student lounge, and Arnold Hall, which serves as a classroom during the day, is also home to weekly Shabbat dinners, Wednesday night Meet-to-Eats, and a variety of educational, religious, and cultural programming spearheaded by the JSU/ Hillel staff and student board.

support for Israel, and involvement in social justice. Children are the future of our congregation, our movement, our world. We need them to thrive. So, in order to educate our youth, we must not only teach about the words of the Torah, the history of our ancestors, holidays, and the Hebrew language. We need to immerse them in our culture, encourage them to be community leaders, model mensch-like behavior, and join them in prayer and observances. If we lead by example, our children will learn to live positive and fulfilling Jewish lives. By Melanie Archer, KKBE Religious School Director

We are incredibly proud that the Program has become a go-to location for Jewish learning and living, as well as a home for such a wide range of our community. We intend to sustain and build upon that reality long into the future. Please consider joining us for an upcoming program, or if you know a Jewish high school student looking for the perfect home-away-fromhome, send them our way.


KAHAL KADOSH BETH ELOHIM Here at KKBE, we are dedicated to the well-being of our Jewish community in Charleston. The experiences, programs, and education we offer invite everyone to explore what it means to live a Jewish life. The importance and value of education is deeply rooted in our culture and our religious school offers an engaging, innovative experience to all those who are part of our community. In preparation for my new position as Religious School Director, I reflected on my philosophy of Jewish education. I realized that Jewish education and Jewish life really go hand in hand. It is my firm belief that community involvement, home support, and meaningful curriculum are vital components for a school’s success. A school must be the heartbeat of the community with arteries that allow students, staff, parents, clergy, and members of the community to have a fluid relationship that supports each and thrives together. Our staff members need to be well-equipped to effectively teach curriculum and maintain a safe and inclusive learning environment. We need to offer parents/caregivers the tools and means to support Jewish learning in their homes. Just as secular schools strive to do so, so must the religious school strive to build the bridge between home and school so Judaism is not just a two or three-hour block of time on Wednesdays and Sundays. Rather, Judaism becomes a way of life. We teach children to “live Jewishly” by following the teachings of the Torah as it applies to present times. We encourage good citizenship, giving of tzedakah, protection of the environment,

Why is a Jewish life and Jewish Education important? So that our heritage will be reinforced in the present and transmitted to the future? Yes. So that the rhythms of the day and the week and the year will continue unabated in every community? Yes. So that families will be better able to observe the holidays and perform the commandments? Yes. But those don’t answer the real question: Why do Jewish tradition and values matter? Jewish learning is a constant responsibility. The tradition of Jewish education goes back to biblical times. One of the basic duties of Jewish parents is to provide for the instruction of their children. (Deut 6:6-9) states “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” The book of Proverbs also contains many verses related to education: “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your mind retain my commandments; For they will bestow on you length of days, years of life and well-being.” (Prov 3:1-2). Gaining a Jewish education enhances a Jewish individual to live a respectful life in the community. This is because education offers a setting in which culture and values of a community are developed. In this respect, education in modern society provides a forum where the community examines its issues and identifies solutions. The advancement of a communication both spiritually and socially is by gaining education which consequently enables us to, putting it simply, become better people. Judaism would love for you to be passionate about helping a senior cross the street, feeding the hungry, giving charity, visiting the sick, avoiding gossip, telling the truth on your tax return. Judaism would be delighted if you performed those mitzvot from the heart. But what if your heart isn’t in it? What if you don’t really feel like doing one of them? Judaism says do it anyway! A Jewish person who grows up with a Torah education knows that there is good and evil in the world, and knows that he is expected to strengthen the good and counter the bad. At Synagogue Emanu-El we offer Adult education classes, award winning Religious School, B’nai Mitzvah classes; we arrange student field trips and conventions, Talmud classes, yearlong Bar/Bat Mitzvah training and our recently added Moments with our Rabbi. Yes, Synagogue Emanu-El’s got that! SPRING 2016

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Mazal Tov! The Charleston Jewish Federation’s Kosher Food Pantry (KFP) was a semifinalist for “The Activist” award at the 2016 Snail Awards, part of Slow Food Charleston. For more information about the KFP, visit

ASSOCIATION OF JEWISH LIBRARIES The Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) will hold its 51st annual conference June 19-22, 2016 at the Charleston Marriott. The AJL conference is the exclusive professional development and networking event for Judaica librarians and educators from synagogues, day schools, community centers, museums, archives, and academic libraries. More than 100 librarians, archivists, scholars, authors, and publishers will meet at the Charleston Marriott to share their interest in Judaica librarianship and related topics. For three days they will attend seminars, workshops, and exhibits dedicated to the educational, informational, and networking needs of Judaica librarians worldwide. Local and international authors and scholars are among the presenters, with Martin Manley, President and CEO of Alibris, and Katina Strauch of the College of Charleston providing the “Keynote Conversation.” The theme “Libraries of the Future: Innovate, Integrate,

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Motivate” highlights the cutting-edge nature of the conference, which will include TED-style talks as well as traditional conference sessions. Several presentations will be devoted to Jewish life in SC, and field trips have been arranged for attendees to visit the Addlestone Library at CofC. School, synagogue, and community centers, as well as major academic libraries are all represented, as well as the National Library of Israel, the Library of Congress, Yeshiva University, and Hebrew Union College. In addition to librarians, many authors will attend the conference in order to receive recognition from the Association. A gala banquet during the convention will celebrate the achievements of these authors and illustrators in bringing Jewish knowledge, history, and literature to life. Daily and full conference registration options are available, and kosher meals are included. For more information visit


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RESOURCE GUIDE Addlestone Hebrew Academy

Abby Levine | 843-571-1105


Tamar Sternfeld | 843-619-3613

Brith Sholom Beth Israel (BSBI, Orthodox) Rabbi Moshe Davis | 843-577-6599

Chabad of Charleston and the Lowcountry

Rabbi Yossi Refson | 843-884-2323

Charleston Jewish Community Center (JCC) Daniel Stern | 843-614-6482

Hebrew Benevolent Society

Norman Berlinsky | 843-556-3903

Hebrew Orphan Society Eileen Chepenik

Jewish Heritage Collection, College of Charleston

Dale Rosengarten | 843-953-8028 |

Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina Marty Perlmutter | 843-953-3918

Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim (KKBE, Reform) Rabbi Stephanie Alexander | 843-723-1090

National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW)

Congregation Dor Tikvah (Orthodox)

Linda Chavis, | Marsha Greenhill,


Rabbi Adam Rosenbaum | 843-571-3264

Rabbi Michael Davies | 843-410-3230 Gail Snow | Ilene Turbow

Synagogue Emanu-El (Conservative)

Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program, College of Charleston Marty Perlmutter | 843.953.5682

Charleston Jewish Federation | Judi Corsaro | | 843-614-6480 | Charleston Jewish Family Services

Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Charleston (JCRC-GC)

Sara Sharnoff Chesley | 843-614-6494

Rebecca Leibowitz | 843-614-6484

Kosher Food Pantry

PJ Library® and PJ Our Way™

Charleston Jewish Voice

The REMEMBER Program

Joan Herrman | 843-614-6491 Kelly Stellrecht | 843-614-6481

Israel Education Fellowship (IEF)

Kelly Stellrecht | 843-614-6481

Israel Engagement Initiative

Rebecca Leibowitz | 843-614-6484

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Judi Corsaro | 843-614-6480 Rebecca Leibowitz | 843-614-6484

Shalom Baby

Sara Sharnoff Chesley | 843-614-6494

Young Adult Division (YAD) and NAGID 360°

Rebecca Leibowitz | 843-614-6484

Passover Mystery FACT: Every Passover we open the door for Elijah, the Hebrew prophet whose unseen presence is felt helping people throughout the world. FACT: We invite Elijah in to drink from his cup on our Seder table.


FACT: He never drinks. What’s up with that? FACT: The cup isn’t actually for Elijah. It’s for us. To remind us of all the times we’ve been helped by his unseen hand, and to inspire us to return the favor.



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