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VOL. 65, #1, February 2009

Steadfast Support How local Jews are feeling and responding to Israel p.15

Coming to America Two women bring young, Reform Jews to the U.S. from Russia p. 5


eanin l c s i N The JC . If you

Summer Camp Guide p. 16

ase its datab e to stop k would li e paper g th receivin gister at please re l www.jva-358-3033. 8 or call 40

2 • JEWISH COMMUNITY NEWS • February 2009


Susan Fagin

Brian Kessler

We are your local Silicon Valley experts!

Please call for a free market analysis of your home. 408.316.9894 Susan 408.315.8647 Brian


4 • JEWISH COMMUNITY NEWS • February 2009

Cecily Ruttenberg Executive Editor Pat Bergman Editorial Assistant Andrea Greyber Simchas Editor Pat Bergman Datebook Editor Published six times a year by the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley. Subscription Price: $36 per year* All articles must be submitted typed, double-spaced, before the deadline shown on this page. We reserve the right to edit all copy. The JCN is not responsible for the content of paid advertising. Send copy to Jewish Community News, 14855 Oka Rd., Suite 200, Los Gatos, CA 95032. Telephone: (408) 431-0936. Fax: 356-0733. e-mail: For: Billing questions call Michelle Ryder (408) 357-7505 For: Advertising call Lori Cinnamon (408) 867-9692 For: Circulation call Danelle Rhiner (408) 358-3033 Assoc. Member: American Jewish Press Association Subscriber: Jewish Telegraphic Agency


CANDLELIGHTING Friday, January 30.................5:12 p.m.

Friday, March 6...................5:49 p.m.

Friday, February 6.................5:20 p.m.

Friday, March 13.................6:55 p.m.

Friday, February 13...............5:28 p.m.

Friday, March 20.................7:02 p.m.

Friday, February 20..............5:35 p.m.

Friday, March 28.................7:08 p.m.

Friday, February 27..............5:42 p.m.

Friday, April 3......................7:14 p.m.


Temple Emanu-El



Friday, February 6 7:15 PM Shabbat Shira Family Service with choirs

Sunday, February 8 4:00 PM Tu B’Shevat Seder Family event; $5 per person.

Friday, February 13 7:30 PM Scout Shabbat All scouts are welcome

Saturday, February 21 11:00 AM Shabbark in the Park Los Gatos Creek Dog Park

Friday, February 20 6:00 PM Tot Shabbat 7:30 PM Erev Shabbat Service Ask the Rabbi/Piano & Song

Saturday, February 28 10:00 AM Women’s Spirituality Day

Wednesday, March 4 7:30 PM “Being Jewish on Campus” For 10th-12th graders (8 sessions) Call for registration information.

Sunday, March 8 11:00 AM Purim Shpiel 11:30 AM Purim Carnival

Friday, February 27 6:30 PM Kabbalat Shabbat

Friday, March 6 7:15 PM Family Service

Friday, March 13 7:30 PM Rock Shabbat

Friday, March 20 6:00 PM Tot Shabbat 7:30 PM Open House Shabbat Life cycle and holiday tables during Oneg

✡ ✡

Monday, March 9 6:00 PM Adult Purim Dinner 7:00 PM Adult Megillah Reading Sunday, March 22 10:30 AM Mitzvah Day Community members invited.

Temple Emanu-El 1010 University Avenue, San Jose CA 95126 Administrative office: (408) 292-0939 Religious School office : (408) 292-3223 Preschool office: (408) 293-8660

Shalom Uvracha,

Dear Editor,

I wonder how many synagogues throughout the USA conclude their Shabbat services with the singing of Hatikvah. It seems to me that this would be a tangible way of showing solidarity with Israel on a weekly basis. How do the readers of this newspaper feel about such an idea?

We would like to inform the community about a young local Jewish couple from Moscow whose apartment and belongings were totally destroyed in a fire, January 12. The wife who is seriously ill due to hyperparathyroidism and limited mobility due to a severe case of osteoperosis, lost her expensive orthopedic matress and corsets, medication, training equipment and devices, including medical documents. This couple who struggled before the fire is now in dire straits. If anyone can help either financially or otherwise, is asked to please contact Rivkah Vogel at (408) 4451770. Donations may be mailed to “The Fire Relief Fund” 1422 Helmond Lane, San Jose, CA 95118 Please make the check out to “Chabad” for a tax deduction. The couple could also use drivers to take the woman to the doctor, a lawyer to help with the fire damage, and more. We know the couple will be eternally grateful for any help you can give.

— Rabbi Simcha A. Green Ahabat Torah

George Rubin, M.A.H.E Private Instruction Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Hebrew, Jewish Studies In person and/or ichat or skype video conference

(650) 424-1940

— Rabbi Noach and Rivkah Vogel

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Nurit Sabadosh 14103-D Winchester Blvd. Los Gatos, CA 95032 Phone (408) 370-1818 • Fax (408) 370-1896


Serving dinners at the Sunnyvale Armory With the arrival of winter comes the opening of the Sunnyvale Armory Cold Weather Shelter. Sheltering over 100 people a night, the shelter is vital for many families. Come help brighten their day! Shir Hadash Social Action Committee members welcome volunteers to serve dinner from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 21 and/or Sunday, March 22. For more information and to sign up for any or all dates, call Neil Ehrenberg at (408) 923-8844 or email at Cats2135@ All volunteers will need to have their TB tests completed, as well as some new forms filled out prior to serving dinner.

New high school education class at Temple Emanu-El For upper-level high school students (10-12 grades), a new class is being offered this spring. “College Bound: Being Jewish on Campus” will be an open discussion about college life and retaining Jewish identity while at college. This class will be offered weekly on Wednesday evenings, 7:30–8:15 p.m., starting on March 4.The cost is $50 for Temple Emanu-El Members and $100 for nonmembers.

JFS launches caregivers group Jewish Family Services is launching a support group for spouses and adult children who are caring for chronically ill/disabled loved ones. The group will meet on the first and third Tuesdays of the month, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at Jewish Family Service, on the Levy Family Campus. An evening group will meet at Chai House. The group will provide a place for supporting, empathizing and exchanging valuable information in an atmosphere of companionship and care. The cost will be $10 per session with a sliding scale available. Rebecca Resheff, MSW, MA Psyc., and Avital Agam, BSW, will facilitate. For more information please call Avital Agam, (408) 357-7450.

Widow & Widowers group to host “Mr. Roadshow” The Widows and Widowers Group will host several speakers over the next three months at the Levy Family Campus, as well a party for widows and widowers on Feb 14. Police officer David Goldfinger will speak on Thursday, February 26 at 1 p.m., offering tips about senior safety in homes and on the street. On Thursday March 26 at 1 p.m. Mr. Herb Kwart will speak about interviewing the two surviving Jewish men to hold Congressional Medals of Honor earned between the Civil and Korean Wars. San Jose Mercury News columnist Gary Richards, also known as “Mr. Roadshow” will speak on Thursday, April 23 at 1 p.m. For more information on these events or the Widows and Widowers group please contact Maxine at (408) 252-0471. 


Local News Two local women shepherd Russian Jewish leaders to the Silicon Valley By Cecily Ruttenberg The last day of January, six young Jewish leaders from the former Soviet Union will step off a plane at the San Francisco airport for a seven-day tour and speaking circuit at local Reform Jewish institutions. The visit is meant to breathe life into the reemerging Russian Jewish community, dormant for many years under Soviet rule. Specifically, the visitors are leaders of the World Union for Progressive Judaism in Russia and Ukraine. The trip is designed to expose them to the strongly developed Reform Jewish institutions in the South Bay Jewish community. “This is a whole rebuilding of Jewish life after a long time of nothing happening,” said Rabbi Melanie Aron of Congregation Shir Hadash. Chabad has a very extensive presence, but these people have been secular for a long time and we feel that without an alternative to Chabad, we will lose many of these young Jews.” The arrival of the FSU visitors, ages 28-38, is due to the hard work and commitment of two local Reform Jewish women, Linda Levenson and Cherie Half. Linda’s involvement culminated from a chance happening some five years ago, when she heard that Rabbi Nellie Shulman would be speaking at her congregation, Shir Hadash, about reemerging Jewish life in the Former Soviet Union. At the urging of friends, and considering her own connections to Russia through her adopted daughter, Levenson decided to go. “She (Rabbi Nellie) was talking about how people were coming out of the walls and wanting to practice Judaism, and if they saw all the resources and Reform Judaism in the U.S., they wouldn’t believe it,” recalls Levenson. “It gave me goose bumps because my son was complaining each Tuesday about, ‘why do I have to go to confirmation class, why why why?’ And here were all these young adults that were dying to do what my son was being handed on a silver platter.” Levenson approached Rabbi Nellie and asked if some of the young leaders in the FSU would like to come to the U.S. and see the Reform institutions. Levenson’s idea was to collect unused air travel miles. Both Rabbi Nellie and Rabbi Aron of Shir Hadash were supportive of the idea. “The first person I called was my mom and she gave me my first set of miles. Then my son’s confirmation class had two bake sales and did a phone bank to get miles donated. We got about ten donated plane tickets.” Twenty miles north at Congregation Beth Am, Cherie Half had been working on the same cause, raising money

Linda Levenson, left, and Cherie Half have worked to support the Reform Jewish movement in Russia.

for a Progressive synagogue in Poltova, Ukraine by hosting craft fairs and house parties. Half’s father immigrated to the United States from Odessa, Russia when he was five years old and she felt a blood tie to the region and a desire to help. “I look at that as if my grandfather hadn’t had the foresight to leave I could be one of those people in Russia trying to find my identity,” said Half. “I see myself in some of these young people coming over.” When Half and Levenson found each other at a Sisterhood event at Shir Hadash, it was a perfect synergy. Together the women coordinated the visit of nine Russian Jews in 2001, and this February the second group will arrive. They organized programing, travel and hospitality logistics. Half recently traveled to the FSU and believes that supporting the emerging Jewish community is critical and successful. She tells about a 25-year-old woman, Alla Mahas, who is the spiritual leader of Poltava, Beth Am’s twin congregation. Alla had a Jewish father and one Jewish grandparent and wanted to know more about her background. She attended seminars sponsored by the World Union, and Netzer camps, and along the way converted to Judaism. She also enrolled in a special World Union Program called Machon, which teaches young people the skills and Jewish knowledge to be a spiri-

tual leader of a congregation. “She is balancing her college career with being the leader of a congregation. She’s doing this because she got a grounding in the summer camps and leadership training and is now looking to becoming a rabbi,” said Half. Both Half and Levenson hope that local congregations might want to “twin” with a Russian congregation, and make regular donations. There is also a critical need at this moment to support the Netzer Camp Program, as there are grave challenges to keeping the camps running at capacity. They are also hopeful local donors might take an interest in the Russian visitors and their emerging synagogues. “They have really basic needs, like furniture, books, computers, even Torahs and prayer books, for their synagogues,” remarks Levenson. The FSU visitors will speak about the Russian Jewish community. They will also tour local Jewish institutions and benefit from training on everything from finance and management to religious education, organized by Half and Levenson, Steve Olson (San Francisco contact) and Rabbi Melanie Aron. For more information on the programming or to get involved in this cause, please contact Linda Levenson at (408) 644-4140 or or Cherie Half

6 • JEWISH COMMUNITY NEWS • February 2009

Community Photos

Eliana Marks (left) and Alexa Richman (right) hold up gelt at the APJCC’s Chanukah Palooza on Sunday, December 14. Activities included Chanukah crafts and activities, a youth art show, Israeli dancing, and a performance by the Papa Hugs band.

Leslie and Jacob Steinberg do arts and crafts at a December 2008 Mitzvah Day at Chai House.

David Estrada dips Doris Davis at the APJCC “Dancing with the Stars” Gala in November 2008.

Nine volunteers from Hatikvah House, a home for Jewish young adults with disabilities, helped packaged large Chanukah food bags for lower income seniors and families. Volunteers from many organizations packaged and distributed 455 food bags. Photo by Alex Axlerod Photography Every Chanukah, Chabad of Sunnyvale organizes a ‘community-wide’ Chanukah celebration, featuring a themed Menorah. This year was no exception, with the ‘Menorah of Giving’, a 7-foot tall menorah constructed out of cans of food. Following the event, the cans were delivered to the Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley to be distributed to needy families in the area.

The Lions of Judah from the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley went to the newly renovated Contemporary Jewish Museum in December. The event, chaired by Beryl Grace, started with an exclusive tour of the contemporary exhibits followed by a luncheon at a nearby restaurant. Pictured in this photo from left to right (back row): Beryl Grace, Lion chair; Sheryl Witlin, director of Women’s Philanthropy; Cookie Addison; Sheryl Lewis; Jyl Jurman, CEO Jewish Federation; Linda Fox Mighdoll, co-president-Women’s Philanthropy; Bonnie Slavitt Moore, LOJE chair; Judy Levin; Doris Davis, Front row, L to R: Karen Guggenheim; Sylvia Metz; Pat Werba; Susie Brenner, co-president-Women’s Philanthropy; Ann Greenspan.

Yavneh Middle School students fly “UFO’s” over the Levy Family Campus as part of a science project.



Local Briefs Teen sexuality: the risks, facts and preventive options A presentation on what your teens should know and how to talk to your teens will be presented by Congregation Shir Hadash. Dr. Tamara Brown and Genevieve Platt, Ph.D, will speak on important information for kids and adults. This event will take place on Wednesday, February 25, at 7:30 p.m. It will be held at the synagogue, 20 Cherry Blossom Road, Los Gatos. This event is FREE and open to the public, but RSVP’s are recommended: Diane Goldman at

Tot Shabbat at Emanu-El Temple Emanu-El hosts a Tot Shabbat on the third Friday of each month. The service starts at 6 p.m. with favorite songs like Bim Bam, and of course, the candle blessing. Families with children between the ages of two and six are invited to these informal services (of course, younger and older siblings are included as well), which are followed by a potluck dinner, a wonderful time to get to know other families. Coming Tot Shabbats are scheduled for February 20 and March 20. During the dinner, there is also a table set up with crafts for the children. There is no charge. Call (408) 292-0939 for more information. 

Purim Shpiel and Carnival Children of all ages are invited to the Temple Emanu-El sanctuary at 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 8, for the story of Esther, Mordecai and Haman. Stay after for the Purim Carnival filled with activities, food and games. Costumes encouraged. Contact Temple Emanu-El Religious School (408292-3223) for more information. Everyone is welcome. 

Jewish Approach to Recovery Are you or a loved one in recovery or thinking about starting recovery? Many things can cause addictions. Sometimes doctors prescribe medications that are habit forming or people drink alcohol or use other substances and become addicted. Some people are addicted to food and eat to excess while others may smoke cigarettes or other substances and become addicted. Dr. Berdeen Coven, a licensed psychotherapist with a Ph.D, has been leading a weekly recovery meeting for the past year and a half with the support of Shir Hadash and Rabbi Aron. She believes that recovery can be uplifting and she uses a Jewish 12step model, Torah portion and lots of group involvement and support. The weekly meeting gathers Mondays at 7:00 p.m. in The Creekside Business Mall at 1475 South Bascom, Suite 201, in Campbell. Please call Berdeen for the entry code at (408) 812-8128. Everyone is invited to attend including addicts and the families of addicts. All the participants may take a turn leading with the support of Dr. Berdeen Coven. All are welcome to participate in this very loving and spiritual route to recovery.

Israeli art exhibit at Beth David An Israeli art exhibit and sale, featuring the outstanding artists managed by the renowned Safrai Gallery in Jerusalem, will be held at Congregation Beth David from February 26 through March 1 in the synagogue at 19700 Prospect Road, Saratoga. A unique collection of over 1,500 works by over 100 different Israeli artists will be available to view and to buy. On exhibit will be original oil paintings, watercolors, lithographs, and etchings. Purchases will support Israel, Israeli artists, and our local Jewish

Sustainable transportation discussed at Shir Hadash Co-Sponsored by the Shir Hadash Green Team, the Men’s Club Speaker Series presents “Toward Sustainable Transportation: Evolution of the U.S. Transportation System — 2009 to 2040.” The talk will take place on Wednesday, March 11 at Shir Hadash and address issues such as “What will our private transportation options be in 2040?” “What kind of car will we buy?” “What kind of fuel will it run on?” “What will public transportation look like?” The challenge will be to retain functionality while reducing CO2 emissions and petroleum use–for environmental and strategic reasons. With a shift to the electrification of the automobile, attention will focus on the source of the electricity, which can be coal, nuclear, wind, biomass, or solar power. Speakers will include Ron Wolk, a consultant on fossil-fuel energy conversion technology and electricity production, and Michael Coates, a journalist and communications consultant on advanced automotive and energy technology. This event is free and open to everyone. Call Shir Hadash, (408) 358-1751 for more information. 

Adult Purim Evening at Temple Emanu-El Bring your own dinner at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 9, and eat together before tackling the whole Megillah at Temple Emanu-El. Costumes are encouraged. Hamentaschen will be provided, and guests are invited to bring something to share as well. The Megillah reading will begin at 7 p.m. Can you translate some of the story into a different language? Can you sing it? Inventive participation is always welcome. RSVP to the Temple Emanu-El office if you plan to attend (408) 292-0939. 

community. Special events are scheduled throughout the weekend. Friday, February 27 will be a full “browse-nbuy” day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Saturday evening, from 7:15 to 11 p.m., Beth David will host a “wineand-nosh” event for additional browsing and purchase. Finally, on Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., the exhibit will be available for final selections. For more information, please call the Beth David office at (408) 2573333 or visit 

Women’s musical evening March 15 All Jewish women and young ladies are invited to join the Women’s Musical Evening on Sunday, March 15 at 7:15 p.m. Exceptionally talented women and girls will be performing for women in the Bay area. The evening’s theme is “Igniting the Spark Within” and is in memory of the Jewish martyrs who were murdered in India this past November. The price for the event is $18 for women and girls over 12, and $8 for girls under 12. Proceeds will support the Almaden Valley Torah Center. For more information or to have an invitation mailed, please call Rivkah at (408) 445-1770. 

Shabbark in the Park Temple Emanu-El Cantor Intern Meeka Simerly and her husband Dave will host a Shabbark in the Park for congregants and their dogs, including the couple’s own Simba, a goofy 95-pound giant schnauzer, and Schnitzel, a 40-pound standard schnauzer. The event will take place, rain or shine, on Saturday, February 21 at 11 a.m. at the Los Gatos Creek Dog Park (1250 Dell Avenue--the Dog Park is located within Los Gatos Creek County Park, between the casting ponds and San Tomas Expressway.) After playtime, Meeka and Dave will lead a hike and participants are invited to do trail cleanup for about an hour. The day’s adventure will also include learning some dog-related Hebrew together! Lunch (optional) will follow at a nearby restaurant. Please RSVP to (408) 292-0939 or 

Jewish study group in Willow Glen Men and women of all levels of Jewish knowledge are invited to drop in Thursday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon at Congregation Sinai for intense study of Jewish texts with the Beis Midrash of Willow Glen. Participants come from a variety of Jewish backgrounds and represent the full spectrum of Jewish movements today. The first session features an in-depth analysis of Pirkei Avott (Ethics of Our Fathers). Commentaries will be read and discussed and students encouraged to bring their own translations. Everyone’s comments are respectfully aired. The second session deals with a section of the Talmud with English translations. Students spend the first twenty minutes of the session in chavrusa, groups of two or three, seeking to understand the text aided by “questions for direction” given to them in writing. They then return to the main “table” and review their understanding of the text and share with one another the questions they have developed. The Beis Midrash is guided by Rabbi Joshua Berkenwald of Sinai (408) 264-8542 and Rabbi Simcha A. Green of Ahabat Torah (408) 266-2342 and open to all Silicon Valley residents free of cost. Congregation Sinai is located at 1532 Willowbrae Avenue, San Jose. 

Mitzvah Day at Temple Emanu-El open to the community Temple Emanu-El’s Mitzvah Day on Sunday, March 22, will have two themes, Israel and the environment. The day is an opportunity to give back to the community and share with children the importance of giving to others. Various activities are scheduled on and offsite, including recycling cell phones, getting off junk-mail lists, writing letters to Israeli soldiers, and a walk to raise funds for Israel. Informational tables from various organizations will give participants up-to-date resources on such topics as composting, City Trees, and more. The day will start at 10:30 a.m. with an assembly in the sanctuary, discussing the concept of mitzvot and singing songs to get us in the mood. Projects will be available for all ages. Pre-registration is requested to the Temple Emanu-El office, (408) 292-0939. 

Women’s Spirituality Day Temple Emanu-El’s Sisterhood is hosting a Shabbat of prayer, study, music and art for all women in the community on Saturday, February 28, beginning at 10:15 a.m. following the Shabbat Morning Minyan. Joelle Wolf, who teaches Hebrew in Temple EmanuEl’s Religious School, will lead the music. Participants will make a mandala in a workshop facilitated by Pam Rubio. Pre-registration is requested by February 20. The cost, which includes materials and lunch, is $36 per person in advance or $40 per person at the door. Please call (408) 292-0939. 

8 • JEWISH COMMUNITY NEWS • February 2009

Simcha Fair takes the trouble out of party planning Are you planning a bar/bat mitzvah, bris, baby naming, anniversary, birthday party, wedding or other simcha this year? You can find vendors for all your party planning needs at the Simcha Fair on Sunday, March 1, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The fair will be held in the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center Auditorium, 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos. Admission is $5 per family, with proceeds going to support APJCC programs. “The Simcha Fair is a great place to be inspired and get ideas for your event,” said Naomi Salowe, the fair’s organizer. “The fair is intended to save people the trouble of making numerous visits to different vendors, since at the fair you can find them all in one place.” The 42 vendors at the fair will include

Food lovers Learning



Jews and food go together like…well, like bagels and cream cheese. Food is an integral part of Jewish culture, humor, holidays, law—in fact, it’s hard to think of any part of Jewish life in which food doesn’t play a significant role. Food is also the topic of the Third Annual Jewish Community Night of Learning to be held on Saturday, February 21, from 7-10:30 p.m. at the Addison-Penzak JCC, 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos. The official theme is “Food for the Body, Food for the Soul.” The event is free and open to the public. Presenters will include Jewish scholars from around the South Bay, as well as several faculty members from San Jose State University’s nutrition department.

caterers, florists, musicians/DJs, photographers and videographers, wineries, invitation companies, balloon companies, party equipment rentals, linen rentals, Judaica vendors selling customized tallesim, kipot and other items, as well as a variety of event venues ranging from the informal (City Beach) to the elegant (Four Seasons). There will also be an “Oy Vey” booth with a rabbi who can answer your simcha-related questions, and a massage therapist to provide stress relief. Everyone who attends the event will be entered to win raffle prizes. If you register in advance, you’ll also be entered in a special raffle to win a free chocolate fountain rental. To register in advance, contact Naomi Salowe at (408) 736-2141 or 





Some of the topics include: • Food and Peace in the Middle East • Holy Bagels and Cream Cheese! The Torah Outlook on Food • Guilty Pleasures: Jews and Chocolate • The Foods of the Seder: A 2000-YearOld Menu • Countercultural Eating • Manna: Was It Tofu or For the Birds? • Single Malt Scotch Whiskey: Law and Leniency Each attendee will be able to choose two classes on the night of the event. The evening will start with a havdallah ceremony to end the Sabbath at 7 p.m. The first classes begin at 7:25 p.m. Refreshments will be served. Free childcare is available if you reserve in advance. For more information or to RSVP, contact the JCC’s Center for Jewish Life & Learning at or (408) 357-7413. 

Beth David speaker series starts Feb. 22 Congregation Beth David has planned several speakers for the winter and spring that are free and open to the community. The Brunch and Learn Seminars are held on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., starting with a light brunch. Upcoming seminars: Feb. 22 “What Do We Know About the Origin of Biblical Philistines?” by Dr. Assaf Yasur-Landau, assistant professor of archaelogy and history of ancient Israel and the Near East at U.C. Santa Cruz. He will discuss the origin of the Biblical Philistines, a timely topic as we read Exodus and contemplate cultural and military encounters between Israelites and Philistines. April 19 “Ethical Frontiers in Medical Technology,” by Dr. Michael Sinensky, professor emeritus at East Tennessee State. He will discuss ethical frontiers in medical technology, which will affect people facing vital medical choices for themselves or loved ones.

Conversations in Jewish Learning are held on Thursday evenings from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Upcoming talks: March 19 “People of the Hook: Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean,” by Louis Dombro, a long-time Beth David member who has lectured extensively on Jewish history throughout the Bay Area. He will discuss Jewish pirates of the Caribbean, swashbuckling Jews who plundered Spanish shipping in the aftermath of the expulsion from Spain and the Inquisition. May 21 “The Pariah as Rebel: Hannah Arendt’s Jewish Writings,” by Dr. Ron H. Feldman, co-author of “The Jewish Writings of the Philosopher Hannah Arendt”. He will discuss German-Jewish political theorist Hannah Arendt’s Jewish writings, which exhibited her sometimes-controversial views on Jewish political issues and her position as a loyal critic and outcast. Contact Beth David at (408) 257-333 for more information. 



Community Mikvah reaches first anniversary sion to a steady stream of regulars. Several groups have enjoyed educational presentations about mikvah and were given tours of the facility as well. Traditionally, and still among Orthodox communities, the mikvah is used monthly by married women following their menstrual cycle. The Community Mikvah hosts about five women that come monthly Mikvah attendants pose for a photo by the Levy Family for this purpose. Campus Mikvah “These are progressive Jewish women who wish to immerse in The Community Mikvah of Silicon a community mikvah. Some of them are Valley, located at the Levy Family Camtrying it on as a mitzvah they would like pus, marked the completion of its first to observe, but the bulk are still converyear of operation in January 2009. The sions, men, women and children.” Jewish ritual bath has made it possible for Other people have utilized the mikvah rabbis to perform conversions locally, and to mark milestone birthdays, recover from for Jewish individuals from all levels of illness, to seek strength in the face of difpractice to have a mikvah experience. ficulty, satisfy curiosity, prepare for or re“People love it, people just love it,” turn from travel, mark career changes and said Jan Rose, who acts as a mikvah guide a variety of other changes of a person’s and a key volunteer of the program. “Peostatus. ple come out glowing. It is such a powerEveryone is welcome to participate ful, spiritually powerful thing to do.” in or gain information about this ancient Located near the aquatics center, use ritual. To schedule an appointment for imof the mikvah has slowly grown from an mersion, please call (408) 357-7444.  occasional conversion or bridal immer-

Visit i i j ll

SF Film Festival programmer to speak on Jewish themes in movies Janis Plotkin, who programmed and produced the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival from 1982 through 2002, will present three programs at Congregation Shir Hadash during the weekend of March 20-22. Plotkin’s Friday night talk is entitled, “In The Beginning: Jewish Immigrants and American Cinema.” She will discuss how the creative energy of new immigrants arriving in the early part of the 20th century built American cinema. These pioneers had a dual challenge of becoming fully American while embracing specific ethnic identity. Employing humor, melodrama and coming-of-age stories, these films reveal an evolving landscape of American Jewish identity. The program includes a lecture and film clips of early cinema classics from the Marx Brothers to Woody Allen and more recent movies. On Saturday night, Plotkin will speak about “Artists and Activists: The Jewish Image in Independent Cinema.” She will discuss the image of Jewish activists and artists in independent cinema and offer introductions to the films “Bread and Roses” directed by Ken Loach, and “Strange Fruit” directed by Joel Katz. “Bread and Roses” tells a compelling story about

the efforts of Sam Shapiro to organize Hispanic janitors in Los Angeles. The film will be followed by discussion. “Strange Fruit” is a docJanis Plotkin umentary about the legacy of the song made famous by Billie Holliday but written by Jewish schoolteacher and union activist Abel Meeropol. Sunday morning, Plotkin will speak about the “Racial Divide: Depictions of Blacks and Jews in American Cinema.” This lecture will reflect upon the representations of blacks and Jews in Hollywood and will be followed by the screening of the documentary “So Long Are You Young” by Judith Schaefer. This film is about the poem “Youth” written by a Jewish immigrant to the south, Samuel Ullman. Ullman later founded a black high school in his hometown. The filmmaker has been invited for post-film discussion. Call Shir Hadash at (408) 358-1751 for more information. 

10 • JEWISH COMMUNITY NEWS • February 2009

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Carrie McCarthy met husband Steve Weinger in college when both were pursuing BAs in business at Cal Poly. At the time, religious practice wasn’t very important to Carrie (raised as a Catholic) or Steve (raised in a Jewish home). After three years of marriage, when son Jackson (now five) was born, they first addressed the issue of what role religion would play in their home. Carrie, who does not practice her religion, told her husband that she would be fine with the idea of raising their children as Jews. Now they needed to decide exactly what that meant. “We discussed what was important to us about our religious traditions, and discovered it was all family-centered,” recalls Carrie, “so we shared a lot of similarities.” Once they actually became parents, the question of religious identity became more immediate. As Carrie observed, “Theoretical kids were a lot different from real kids!” Both Carrie and Steve knew that they would need resources outside their immediate family to help them learn more about Judaism. “When Jackson was three and starting to ask questions, I began to think about what I really wanted them to know about themselves.” The couple decided to send their son Jackson and his sister Kira (now two) to the Addison-Penzak JCC Preschool because “this would expose them to holidays and traditions not found in secular schools.” As an Irish-American, Carrie had experienced a strong sense of community growing up, and wanted her children to have that same sense of connection to a larger family. “I wanted them to feel like they were part of the Jewish community and to have a strong sense of identity. We don’t really know what that means for us yet,” she acknowledges, “but for me, being involved in the Jewish community, I see what a great community it is and want them to be part of that.” With characteristic energy and commitment, Carrie threw herself enthusiastically into the local Jewish community, primarily centered on her preschool affiliation. She joined Carrie Whitaker and Rebecca Geshuri in starting the JCC’s new “Grandpals Shabbat” program, with the goal “to

emphasize the idea of intergenerational community.” She became a room mother in her children’s classes, and participated in Shabbat and other preschool activities with them. The family joined a Havurah, meeting monthly to share Shabbat dinners and holiday observances. Carrie is now a member of a Rosh Chodesh group for her own “spiritual renewal.” And, along with Rebecca Geshuri, Carrie McCarthy became an active member of the Steering Committee for the Federation’s new The PJ Library™ Program of Silicon Valley. Participating on this committee gives Carrie “the opportunity to get the word out to people like me, who are on a journey of our own to learn about Judaism and trying to teach our kids at the same time. At the moment, conversion is not on Carrie’s horizon (“I’m comfortable with my own identity”) but she wants to be sure her children are secure in their own identities as well. Her involvement in the Jewish community has “forced me and my husband to have conversations about what we really want to teach our kids and what we’re comfortable with.” Helping them find their way has been The PJ Library™ Program. Says Carrie, “If you don’t feel as knowledgeable about Judaism as you’d like to be, or think you need to be to teach your kids, these books can be a great resource. It’s a starting place for me to learn the really important things that I can then go out to the community and learn more at an adult level. If people who are interfaith or were raised Jewish but don’t feel they have enough knowledge to pass along, you can learn along with your kids. As parents, we sometimes think we have to know all the answers before we start teaching our kids. But there’s something very valuable in learning along with your kids and feeling comfortable doing it—it’s okay not to know everything!” The Weinger family is still exploring ritual observance as they continue to discover what being Jewish means to them as an interfaith family, but one thing Carrie knows for certain—the welcoming warmth of this Jewish community is one of the best benefits of her journey. 



Emeth congregants feed 150 homeless on Christmas Day

Congregation Emeth members served a Christmas meal to nearly 150 people at St. Joseph's Center in Gilroy.

Visit i i j ll

For over 15 years volunteers from Congregation Emeth of Morgan Hill have provided a welcome Christmas lunch to nearly 150 homeless and needy at St Joseph Center’s outreach program in Gilroy. This past Christmas was no exception. Emeth volunteers take on this job, relieving the dedicated staff at the St. Joseph’s Center, so that they may spend Christmas with their families. An initially small group of volunteers has grown into an annual contingent of 25 or more adults and young people working in two shifts. About half of the volunteers prepare food and set-up, while others take on the clean up, with the shifts overlapping at noon to help serve. Many hard-working volunteers stay all day. On average, fifteen or more turkeys are needed, many donated by congregants with the remainder coming from St Joseph’s. The turkeys are cooked in volunteers’ homes and brought to the center pre-carved. Vegetables and desserts have to be purchased or donations found. Table decoration and toy donations are also

sought. Emeth president Michael Oshan plays Santa and his wife Susan Meyers a very convincing elf. Congregation Emeth also runs a clothing drive in the weeks leading up to the event so that there is plenty of warm clothing to distribute. Volunteer children wrap the toys according to age and gender and sort the donated clothing appropriately. Other community volunteers set up and dress the Christmas tree and provide seasonal music. Once everyone has been well fed, Santa and his elf arrive to distribute the toys to the children. The clothes are distributed and when all the diners have left, the second shift steps in to clean up the kitchen and dining hall. Work usually ends about 3 p.m. and some of the volunteers meet later in the evening for Chinese food and some form of Jewish entertainment. Congregation Emeth has also catered a brisket lunch for the homeless during the early summer. On one such event, volunteers from the South Valley Islamic Community helped, too. 

Birkat HaChama

An opportunity that presents itself only once every 28 years — Birkat HaChama By Rabbi Simcha A. Green Ahabat Torah The Jewish calendar is commonly called the Lunar Calendar, the year being based upon twelve cycles of the phases of the moon visible to us. The solar year has 365 days and the Jewish year on average 354 days. In order to have the festivals occur in the Torahestablished seasons of the year, Jewish leap years (occurring 7 times in a 19-year cycle) contain a thirteenth month (Adar Two, preceding Passover). There are two times when observances in the Jewish calendar year are dependent upon the solar cycle. One of these is the introduction into the three daily weekday Amidah prayers of the specific request for rain and dew (Tal U’Matar) beginning 60 days after the tekufa (first day of the new season) in Tishrei. The four tekufott of the

Jewish year are similar to the four seasons of the solar year. The tekufot, as seasons, are therefore an aspect of the sun. The second time when the Jewish calendar depends upon the solar cycle is known as Birkat HaChama—the Blessing of the Sun. The Talmud in discussing the creation of the world as noted in the beginning of the Chumash determines that the sun was set in its position in the sky at the start of day four (referred to today as Wednesday). Every 28 years its position in the sky on a Wednesday is the same as at the time of creation. To note the majesty of creation, a special prayer is recited when the sun becomes visible in the morning. This unique event will be observed at sunrise April 8, Erev Pesach. Check with your synagogue to see where this ceremony will be observed in its locale. 

12 • JEWISH COMMUNITY NEWS • February 2009

JSN Rabbis visit Chanukah parties throughout Bay Area

Rabbi Avromi Apt meets with guests at the party of Eli & Shona Schwartz.

See and hear the latest update from National President Nancy Falchuk and DONATE to the 100 Day Fund at or contact the Central Pacific Coast Region office at 877-521-2727 A copy of Hadassah’s latest Financial report is available by writing to the Hadassah Finance Dept., 50 W. 58th Street, New York, NY 10019

® ©2008 Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc. Hadassah is a registered trademark of Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc.

This past Chanukah, the Jewish Study Network launched an innovative new project called Operation Maccabim. The program was simple: make yourself a Chanukah party and invite a JSN rabbi to attend. The guest rabbi didn’t have to bring a vegetable platter or a bottle of wine, only a five-minute lesson, prepared especially for the party, on the importance and meaning of Chanukah. In its inaugural year, the rabbis of the Jewish Study Network met over 450 people at seventeen parties, all over the Bay Area. “Operation Maccabim was about us getting out into the community and meeting new people. It was a program that really spoke to people about our mission, which is raising the level of Jewish literacy in the Bay Area. We really feel it was a huge success,” said Executive Director Rabbi Joey Felsen.

Enna Ruderman, a party host, was very pleased after Rabbi Avraham Flaks came to her party. “Everyone was delighted with his brilliant and fascinating sense of humor, his erudition and depth of knowledge. We had a great discussion on Chanukah and many other Jewish topics, including the Jewish situation in Poland. Everyone was able to talk and ask questions and light chanukiot. There was a lot of light!” Rabbi Felsen promises that this is one of the many new and innovative programs being developed by the JSN and plans on continuing the program next year. “The Jewish Study Network is a storehouse of Jewish knowledge and Jewish educators. The least we can do is make all that knowledge as accessible as possible to the thousands of Jews in the Bay Area that cannot come to regular classes or programs.” 



14 • JEWISH COMMUNITY NEWS • February 2009

Local mom travels to Israel to volunteer helping IDF By Stephanie Ivler Sweat trickles down my back. It must be 100 degrees in the warehouse. It’s September and I’m on an IDF supply base somewhere between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Flag raising at 7 a.m., breakfast in the mess hall with the soldiers, clean our quarters, report to the warehouse for the day’s work assignment. Work for an hour, break to drink water, work again. “Be sure you are including the correct gear in each pack! This is gear to be used in the event of chemical at- Stephanie Ivler shares a room with two other voltack. Yes, that is the right protective unteers during her time assisting the IDF in Israel. vest! Make sure you pack eight of them–count them!” about our all-night conversations as they This is Volunteers for Israel. We are came in from doing guard duty–about their 12 volunteers hailing from six countries: families, their gripes about army life, their Italy, Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, dreams for the future. I think about their New Zealand, and the USA. We are both deeply felt, unquestioned commitment to Jewish and non-Jewish and while diverse IDF service in defense of the State of Isin language, culture, life experience and rael and Am Israel (the people of Israel). age, we share a fundamental bond: our Like all of us, the big-picture issues and love for and support of the State of Israel the horrifying media images are robbing and the certainty that action speaks louder me of sleep. But the dagger of fear that than words. awakens me each night? I see “my” solYes, I paid my own airfare. Yes, I stood diers’ precious faces. Will that crew lack in line in the mess hall and ate army food. equipment because we mistakenly packed Yes, I slept on an army cot in a tiny trailer seven, and not eight? together with my roommates. Our trailer My heart rate begins to slow. I know we was one of several arranged around a sancounted correctly. May G-d protect them dy courtyard. The trailers housed us and and bring us peace. they housed IDF soldiers. Young soldiers, 18, 19 and 20, who are, as I write, “on the Stephanie Ivler practiced law both in ground” in Gaza. California and Israel and is vice-presiFor me, as for many others in other dent, program development and strategy ways, this war is personal. My son Daniel at Via Services, a non-profit organizaserved as an IDF paratrooper but has not tion in Santa Clara serving children and been called up for reserve duty. So “peradults with developmental disabilities sonal” is not about my son. Instead, when and special needs. Volunteers for Israel I catch footage of IDF artillery forces on welcomes volunteers--and is especially in CNN I scan for the faces of the soldiers need right now--for one-, two- and threewho shared our “trailer park”, our eveweek programs. Please contact VFI at nings, our showers and our latrines. I think for more information.

David Broza to peace


At his home in Tel- Aviv, singer and songwriter David Broza—who will play at the Cupertino’s Flint Center on Feb. 22 for the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley's Annual Event—spoke to the JCN N about the violence between Israel and Gaza, of why it is so personal for Israelis, and his attempts to contribute to a solution. For Israelis, war and violence are not only too frequent but extremely personal, said Broza. Whereas the United David Broza States military is made up of men and women who sign up voluntarily, all Israelis must serve in the Israeli Defense Forces. “It’s not some Joe Smith who goes off to fight into Iraq,” said Broza. “It’s always your own son, or your neighbor’s son or your cousin’s son.” In the midst of the violence, Broza regularly visits bomb shelters, playing music and trying to keep up the spirits of his fellow Israelis. He said he will always continue to do this, but is tired of the cycle of violence. “I’m tired of playing in bunkers and bomb shelters and seeing the same frightened look, I’m just tired of it,” said Broza. “But that’s just me being in a complaining mood. The





hostility goes on and the violence goes on and you still have to continue supporting those who are frightened. My way of helping is by singing them songs and going down.” During periods of cease-fire—in addition to working on his own music—Broza plays music and records with Palestinian and Israeli-Arab musicians. Some of his collaborative songs have been played on Palestinian radio stations and Arab radio stations. Broza acknowledges that making music together will not create peace in the region, but he says it is his contribution. “Music and art has a very little role but a very meaningful one,” said Broza. “It’s a people to people thing, and it has an overall effect when it gets exposed.” He adds, “Nothing is little, when there is nothing much out there.” Personally, Broza says that his collaborative music efforts are therapeutic. He spends hours playing with his Palestinian partner. They sing and play and eat and talk. Now, with a cease-fire, Broza said he finds himself in a position of waiting and hoping. “It is just a time of wondering if our leaders are doing their best, doing their utmost?”  To order tickets to hear David Broza live, see the ad on the back cover of this issue.



Israel’s PR war with the news media When Israel targeted Hamas with military action on December 26, 2008 headlines around the globe reported the “new” action at hand. “Israel attacks Gaza, more than 140 reportedly killed” wrote Reuters on December 27. The New York Times headline that day read “Israeli Attack Kills Scores Across Gaza.” While the two articles above did report, high in their article, that the action was in response to heavy, ongoing rocket fire from Gaza, other news articles reported this key fact much later in their articles and in some cases, not at all. “Failure to provide appropriate context, that’s the biggest problem,” said Steve Stotsky, senior research analyst at CAMERA, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. “You can’t simply report what you’re seeing, what happened today, Israel made an attack. That’s not the whole story, there’s a whole context.”

Since Hamas took power following Israel’s 2005 disengagement of Gaza, rockets have been fired daily into the civilian communities of Sderot. A ceasefire was brokered by Egypt for a six-month period that ended on December 25. When it ended, Hamas did not want to renew the cease-fire, and instead increased rocket fire into Sderot, Ashkelon, and Beer Sheva. Residents of these communities must make multiple daily trips to their miklatt (bomb shelter) and send their children away to avoid the ongoing explosions, danger and fear. When the news media fail to explain Israel’s assault in this context, it makes the country look like a brute using excessive military force for no good reason. What’s more, many readers do little more than scan the news, underlying the importance of a balanced headline. Even in the most balanced articles, some headlines failed to report Hamas’ role in

prompting the military action. Headlines that included this information came from sources such the Jerusalem TV station,, which reported on December 27, “Israel Strikes Back–In Response to Rocket Fire, IAF Hits Hamas Targets in Gaza, At Least 200 Dead.” Organizations like CAMERA and Honest Reporting emphasize the critical role of public opinion in wars. As such, they monitor media coverage of the Middle East to insure that both sides and the entire story are told. “Ultimately political positions are determined by what popular beliefs are about the conflict, it certainly has a big impact,” said Stotsky. “And in a broader context it is just important that the truth be reported.” In the early weeks of the Gaza attacks, CAMERA and Honest Reporting approached media outlets for a variety of incursions. Stotsky said he contacted the New York Times after its January 8 newspaper ran three anti-Israel editorials. “There’s no requirement that they have any balance, but you think they would,” said Stotsky. “And some of the op-eds have glaring factual errors.” Both watchdog groups also took issue with the media’s repeated interviews of Norweigan doctors Erik Fosse and Mads

Gilbert, who reported firsthand on the bloodshed in Gaza. According to CAMERA, Fosse worked as a doctor for the Palestine Committee in Lebanon in the 1970s and Gilbert has been a pro-Palestinian activist since the 1970s and traveled to Lebanon in support of the Palestinians during the first Lebanon war in 1982. A CAMERA article reports Gilbert acknowledging that he cannot separate politics from medicine, stating, “there is little in medicine that is not politics.” He even criticized the group Doctors Without Borders for providing medical assistance to both sides in a conflict, instead of taking a strong stance and supporting only one party. “There should be some indication when interviewing someone like this what their background is,” said Stotsky. “Again, it’s a failure to provide appropriate context.” CAMERA and Honest Reporting also take issue with the frequent portrayal of Israel as indiscriminate in its use of force. It is rarely reported that Israel is calling, texting, faxing and sending leaflets to Gazans to leave the area when the IDF is coming to minimize civilian casualties. “It’s a canard,” said Stotsky. “Israel is doing quite a bit (to minimize civilian casualties) and the terrorists groups are using the civilians as shields.”

South Bay Israel support rally a peaceful event

Standing for Israel, in Israel!

By Rabbi Joshua Fenton

Recently I was presented with the unique opportunity to take part in an “Alternative Break” program through Hillel for MBA and JD students. I was one of 127 college students Nazgol Ashouri to meet in Israel from all over the world: Uruguay, Russia,

On Sunday, January 11 there was a rally downtown in support of Israel organized by the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley, the JCRC, and local synagogues. So I packed up the kids, a snack, change of clothes, and assorted accoutrement’s and Rabbi Joshua Fenton we piled into the car to stand with the rest of the South Bay Jewish Community. On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, with the sun shining and a refreshing cool breeze in the air, I was excited to begin my children’s education in the ways of community, solidarity, and peaceful demonstration I understand that the event was a great success as there were 600 people there. But I don’t think it was the numbers in attendance that made it such a success. It was who was there and what was said that continues to stay with me. The words spoken were words of peace, coexistence, and shared pain with all who suffer during this current military action into Gaza. The tone of the event was one of calm as prayers for an end to violence echoed through the crowd. What I didn’t hear were words of hatred or violence. I didn’t read any sign espousing particular political positions I found intolerable. There was no yelling or shouting . Instead, there was lots of quiet, thoughtful conversation, prayer, and respectful exchange of ideas.

What makes this country we live in great, and nations like ours, has always been the voice of dissent. It was Thomas Jefferson who once said, “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” It is the voices of dissent that hone our ideas. It is in conversation with those we disagree with that we find answers and understanding that until then eluded us. Dissenting opinions are both recorded by our highest courts and studied by scholars of law, for in the dissent we find the lens through which we can see the world around us more clearly. This fundamental principle of Democracy is no stranger to our own Jewish tradition. In our Talmud, very few rulings are given while opinions and dissentions are presented side by side in conversation with one another. We do not discard Shammai because the Halakha is according to Hillel. We do not disregard Rabbi Akiba’s argument merely because it was found to be faulty. All opinions and ideas are retained in our most holy texts because they too are part of the Torah. I stood side by side with friends, students, teachers, and colleagues who all had very different ideas about what Israel should be doing. There were hawks and doves, whatever that is really supposed to mean, and everything in between. On any other day we would have argued about the meaning of Democracy, the definition of occupation, anti-semitism in the world and our moral obligations and Jews, but that Sunday we were as one. Last Sunday, as a community we stood together and made a single simple statement in response to those who say Israel has no right to exist. We were united with

By Nazgol Ashouri

Israel as we asserted Israel’s right to defend itself against hostile neighbors. We shlepped our children and interrupted our weekend and drove downtown for a few hours on Sunday afternoon; because we understood that when one of us suffers we all suffer and as a community we are always better off together than separate. Dissent is what keeps us honest. Respecting the other side of an issue is what makes us just and free. Finding ways and venues to stand together, side by side, with friends who we may not see eye to eye with is what community is all about. I support the war in Gaza as a Zionist and believer in the State of Israel. I oppose the war in Gaza as a Zionist and believer in the State of Israel. These and anywhere in between are reasonable beliefs. For these positions to be in conversation with one another only further sensitizes ourselves to the reality of the situation. I was really proud of us last Sunday. That’s what community is all about.

Argentina, Ukraine, Belarus, Brazil, Israel, and the United States. The most important memory I take away from this trip is the solidarity of the upcoming Jewish generation. Regardless of nationality, temple affiliation, religious level, or personal views, it was refreshing and reassuring to know that all 127 of us were committed to the State of Israel, its continued existence and the future of the Jewish people! When I planned my travel to Israel, “Alternative Break” stood for working with underprivileged communities and nonprofit organizations while learning about business and entrepreneurship in Israel. However, as the trip wore on “Alternative” came to resemble standing with Israel in solidarity during the war in Gaza. As I explained to my worried family and friends, it was crucial that I not cancel my trip because now, more than ever, I needed to support Israel by being in Israel. “Alternative” stood for holding everyone in a tight circle and singing Yerushalayim Shel Zehavv – at the top of our lungs, regardless of the fact that missiles were being launched about 50 miles away. This was a unique opportunity for self reflection of my Jewish identity in today’s chaotic world. For me, and the 126 other participants, “Alternative” came to stand for making a choice, and having a choice to be a young Jewish person in today’s world. It wasn’t until I was on Israel’s soil that I truly felt that I was really standing WITH Israel and not just FOR Israel. To read Nazgol's complete essay, which won her a trip to the inauguration of President Obama, please visit

16 • JEWISH COMMUNITY NEWS • February 2009

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Summer Camps 2009 Summer Camp Listings Addison-Penzak Jewish activities, designed to be educational, fun Community Center Silicon Valley and conducive to building character and APJCC Summer Camps 2009 nurturing friendships. Experience Jewish 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos, CA 95032 themes, pride, activities and workshops. Located at the Levy Family Campus Six-week camp, July through mid August. (408) 357-7447,, Can attend two week sessions. Camp includes sports, fine and creative arts, science and nature, cooking, fun and exciting field trips, swimming lessons, and more! Expanded multi-purpose gym, sports fields, tennis courts, activity rooms and studios, full sound auditorium, all-purpose kitchen, and aquatic center/ pool. 6/15-6/19 Specialty Pre-Camp (entering K – 6th grade) 6/22-8/20 Camp Katan (18 months – 4 years old) 6/22-8/14 Age Specific Camp Programs (entering K – 6th grade) Sagee Moyal, a CIT with the Addison-Penzak JCC’s Circus & Theater Camp Camp Shalom, puts his leadership skills (and dance (entering 3rd – 9th grade) moves!) to work with some 11-year-old campers in Leaders in Training Program Summer 2008. (entering 7th – 10th grade) Tennis Camp (entering 1st – 12th grade) Camp Ramah Various Specialty Camps 15600 Mulholland Dr., Los Angeles, CA (entering K – 6th grade) 90077 8/17-8/21 Specialty Post-Camp (888) CAMP-RAMAH, (310) 476-8571, (entering K – 6th grade) A Conservative movement overnight camp in Ojai, CA for children entering B’nai B’rith Camp grades 3-10 who develop lifelong friendP.O. Box 110, Neotsu, OR 97364 ships, experience nature, learn from Summer phone: (541) 994-2218 dynamic leaders, and expand their creWinter phone: (503) 452-3444 ativity while exploring Judaism., 6/23-6/20, 7/23-8/19 (Grades 4-10) e-mail 6/23-6/29, 6/30-7/6, 7/23-8/4 Overnight camp located on a lakeside (Grades 3,4) campus of the scenic Oregon coast. Ac7/7-7/20, 8/5-8/19 (Grades 4,5) tivities include: arts and crafts, Jewish enrichment, athletics, waterskiing, sailCamp Tawonga ing, canoeing, hydro-tubing, swimming (415)543-2267 in outdoor heated pool, dancing, nature, singing, high- and low-ropes challenge courses, leadership, community service, Camp Tawonga, an American Camp Asdrama, creative writing, Shabbat celebrasociation accredited camp with a staff/ tions, overnights and trips. camper ratio of 1:1.5 located outside Maccabee Session: 6/29-7/6 Yosemite National Park on 160 acres in Session I: 7/9-7/28 national forest, offers camp sessions, teen Session II: 7/30-8/18 leadership, service learning to Costa Rica, Entering 2nd-11th grades in the Fall and adventure travel programs throughout California, the Pacific Northwest and New England; programs for 2nd through Camp Gan Israel - Silicon Valley 12th graders from June 14-August 14; and Camp Location: S.P.H.D.S., Weekend Programs for individuals, cou1030 Astoria Dr., Sunnyvale, CA 94087 ples and families in the Spring and Fall. (408) 720-0553, Camp Young Judaea West (866) 9YJ-WEST, Comprehensive and meaningful sumCamp Location: Ocean Park, Washington mer program for children entering K-8th Overnight summer camp in Washington grades. state for kids entering 3-8th grades. Daily schedule includes an exciting mix of sports, field trips, special courses and Continues on p. 18

18 • JEWISH COMMUNITY NEWS • February 2009

Summer Camps 2009 From “Summer” p.17 Explore nature, swimming, hiking, education, Zionism, dancing, bouldering, camping, music, friends, counselors from all over the US and Israel, and more. 6/18 – 7/9 (shorter sessions are available) Habonim Dror Camp Gilboa Office: 8339 West 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048 (323) 653-6772, Progressive Zionist overnight summer camp, with year-round youth activities in Silicon Valley. Sessions in 2009: 7/1-7/19, 7/21-8/2, 7/1-8/2 Boys and girls entering grades 4-10, Leadership training program for those entering grade 12. Post 11th graders attend summer Israel Tour experience (see Israel section). J-Camp Summer Programs Oshman Family JCC 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto CA 94303, (650) 493-9400 Traditional day camping experience including water play, instructional swim, sports, art, music and more for preschool through teens. Over a dozen one-week specialty camps offered from computers to soccer to drama to travel camps. Preand post-camp sessions and aftercare offered. Season runs from June 15 - August 21 (ages 2 – 17) Summer Torah Club Almaden Valley Torah Center, 1422 Helmond Lane, South San Jose Location for camp to be announced Rivkah Vogel (408) 445-1770 Begins August 3. Girls ages 5-12, and boys ages 5-8. Exciting actvities, trips, arts and crafts, sports, science, learning about Jewish heritage, and more. URJ Camp Institutes for Living Judaism Camp Newman & Camp Swig Winter (415) 392-7080, Activities include hockey, soccer, basketball, gymnastics, roller-blading, overnights, music, Shabbat programs, and more. 6/17-8/14 (8,9,12,13,21 or 26 day sessions) Grades 2-11

JEWISH SPECIAL PROGRAMS The Friendship Circle - (Special Needs/ Teen Volunteers) A Jewish organization pairing high school students with children & teens that have special needs. (650) 858-6990,,

Two weeks full of fun and educational trips around the Bay Area. Caring volunteers accompany each child at all times. Therapist will be on hand while the children take part in the two action-packed weeks of fun, stimulating, & educational activities. Financial assistance is available upon request. Chai Lifeline West Coast (877) 374-6331, Camp Simcha and Camp Simcha Special are designed to meet the medical and social needs of children with cancer (Camp Simcha) or serious chronic or genetic conditions (Camp Simcha Special). With a camper/counselor ratio of 1:1, campers are showered with love and support 24/7; the experience and resulting memories give children the optimism and fortitude they need to continue their battles against illness. Camps are located in Glen Spey, New York and are free of charge to families, including transportation to and from children’s home cities.

SECULAR CAMP PROGRAMS CTC – California Theatre Conservatory (408) 245-2979, Summer Theatre Conservatories (June and July in 10 South Bay locations) taught by the company’s professional actors. Children aged 6-14 years enjoy classes in voice, acting, movement and improvisation. The three-to four-week workshops culminate in a public performance where the students design the sets, props and costumes. Harker Summer Programs 4300 Bucknall Rd., San Jose ( Lower School ) 3800 Blackford Ave., San Jose (Middle School) 500 Saratoga Ave., San Jose ( Upper School ) (408)553-0537,, Grades K-12; 6/22 – 8/14 Harker’s Summer Programs are designed so campers are challenged, make friendships and have fun. Their K-12 programs are held on Harker’s three centrally located San Jose campuses where the quality facilities, safe and secure environment, caring and qualified staff, and wide range of academic programs and sports and recreation offer something for everyone. Choose from 4- and 2-week options that include course choices such as digital claymation, film-making, and comic book creation. Also offered are KinderCamp, tennis camps for all levels, and a new swim program with a variety of lessons and 2-week camps for children of all skill levels. Visit the website for details on all of Harker’s 2009 summer offerings.



Summer Camps 2009 iD Tech Camps: America’s #1 Summer Technology Camp! 60 Prestigious Universities including Stanford & Santa Clara 1-888-709-TECH (8324), Weeklong sessions from June-August for ages 7-18 Day Camp, Overnight & Teen Academies available. Create digital movies, video games, websites, robots, and more. Surf & Tech and Sports & Tech. iD Gaming Academy at Stanford. Save with code CA38. Stratford School Preschool • Elementary • Middle School Stratford’s summer enrichment program is designed to help students maintain knowledge gained during the school year, and prepare them for fall. Preschool and pre-kindergarten programs are nonstop fun, creative activities with weekly themes. Elementary programs explore art, music, science, and various outdoor activities in addition to an enriching academic

readiness program. Stratford’s adventure in learning begins June 2009, and enrollment options include half-day and fullday programs. Learn more, visit www. Silicon Valley Locations: Fremont (510) 438-9745, Los Gatos (408) 371-3020, San Jose (408) 363-2130, Santa Clara (408) 244-2121, Sunnyvale De Anza (408) 732-4424, Sunnyvale Washington Park (408) 737-1500

ISRAEL PROGRAMS Habonim Dror’s MBI (Machaneh Bonim b’Israel) Program provides post 10th graders with a summer Israel tour experience. Participants gain an understanding of Jewish history and culture, Zionism, and the Habonim Dror movement, while experiencing Israel, doing tikkun olam projects, and getting the chance to build a national kvutsa (community) with teens from Habonim Dror all over the country.

Israel Sports Exchange Contact: Larry Seidman (973) 952-0405 (day), or (973) 6942596 (evening), Tennis in Israel – 7/15-8/5 For girls and boys ages 15-18 (limited to 8 athletes at or aspiring to varsity level tennis) Tennis training and competition in Israel while learning the culture and history of Israel through interaction with Israeli peers and home hospitality. Yuval Higgar, program director, coach of Israeli tennis stars, including Shahar Peer. Cost $3,000 -- includes round-trip airfare between NY area and Israel, lodging, meals, tennis instruction, touring fees, admissions to special events and museums! Also, participants will have opportunity to host Israeli athletes coming to US to train or compete. Let’s Go ISRAEL! (Formerly known as the East Bay Summer Youth Experience in Israel and the Bureau of Jewish Education Summer in Israel Youth

Program), 6/24 - 7/22, 2009. Safety and security are our #1 priority. International travel on El Al. All land travel on private chartered buses. Accommodations in beautiful, rural youth villages, field schools, hotels, and kibbutzim. Extensive supervision by a large, experienced staff of youth educators – both Israeli and American. The price of $6,895 includes round-trip airfare from the Bay Area, all lodging, meals, tour costs, and fees. All meals are kosher; vegetarians are accommodated. Registration deadline: April 30, 2009. For details please contact Tali Lipschitz 510-839.2900 ext 255 

20 • JEWISH COMMUNITY NEWS • February 2009

Summer Camps 2009 Teen counselor programs offer work experience and responsibility By Cecily Ruttenberg When Rita Schlosser’s daughter Sylvia Smith was 15-years-old, she decided that she would benefit from something more than just a summer of fun. With the goal of growth and maturity in mind, she enrolled her as a Counselor-inTraining at B’nai B’rith in Oregon. “I thought it would be a good practical experience,and help her become more responsible for herself because she would be responsible for others,” said Schlosser. “That’s part of the tradition in my family, to be responsible.” Schlosser said she was very happy with the outcome. Working as a CIT gave Sylvia the opportunity to move away from the cliquishness of adolescence, into the responsible role of counselor and leader. She returned home with maturity and newfound self responsibility. “It’s hard for kids to have opportunities to develop real responsibility,” said Schlosser. “[Working as a counselor in training] beats the heck out of working at McDonalds. You get the opportunity to develop some skills and menschlishkeitt (character building) that you can’t in the typical summer job as a mothers helper or scooping ice cream” Schlosser is not alone. Many parents

Teens entering grades 11 and 12 participate in the counselor-in-training program at Camp Tawonga.

look for summer programs that provide teens an opportunity to gain responsibility, work experience and the sense that they are contributing to more than just their own good time. Even though these programs can cost nearly as much as camp tuition, parents are often willing because of the benefits to their teen. Most day and overnight camps offer such

programs, including the Addison-Penzak JCC, the Oshman Family JCC, The Friendship Circle, B’nai B’rith Camp, Camp Tawonga, Camp Ramah and local secular camps like Harker. Julie Fishbach from Walnut Creek attended Camp Tawonga’s CIT program when she was sixteen. The three-week program for teens entering 11th and 12th grades combines one week of training with

two weeks working half days with younger Tawonga campers. Fischbach, who had been a camper at Tawonga, described the CIT program as momentous. “Just being there, as a camper and counselor, there is such a magic to the air and such a feeling of community and togetherness,” she said. “To be able to come back a year after I had been a first time camper and help create that atmosphere of the younger campers was such a gratifying feeling.” Fishbach was responsible for a group of 9-year-old girls. She saw her role not as an authority figure, as much as a guide. “It felt more like I was helping introduce my girls into this community and show them what life is all about, “ said Fischbach. “Because that’s really what I took away from my time at Tawonga, confidence in myself.” Parents may wonder if their teen is ready to trade in a summer of pure fun for one that includes responsibility and work. Those who have done it say it offered a more adult perspective on fun. And what teen doesn’t want some of that?. Said Julie Fishbach,“Being a counselor, we’re like the magic makers that create that magic that is present in everything in camp.” 



Enrichment Programs An Adventure in Learning begins June 2009! Preschool, Elementary & Middle School






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22 • JEWISH COMMUNITY NEWS • February 2009

Hard times hit Jewish camps By Jacob Berkman (JTA) As social service agencies and charities brace for the fallout from the country’s economic downturn, Jewish overnight camps already have felt the crunch: They are reporting a dramatic increase in requests for financial aid this summer. More than 70,000 Jewish children attend some 150 non-profit Jewish overnight camps. That number reflects an increase in recent years as the Foundation for Jewish Camp, working with other local agencies and private foundations, has engaged in a multimillion-dollar program to provide incentives to first-time campers. The focus on camping comes as recent studies have shown that Jewish summer camps are the most effective form of informal Jewish education and identity building. But many American Jews who once could afford camps, which can cost upwards of $7,000 for a season, are finding themselves priced out because of the squeeze on family budgets due to the economic downturn. This year they increasingly asked for help, according to camping officials. “The pressure on the scholarship line to support families has been at the highest point that they have seen in many, many years,” said the executive director of the Foundation for Jewish Camp, Jerry Silverman. “In my time I haven’t seen this type of situation from a sense of pressure on the percentage of dollars they are being asked to use to support their campers.”

Silverman said the increased request has been heard across the country. To make up for the scholarship crunch, he said, many camps have been forced to cut other budget items, such as off-campus trips, food and maintenance staff, busing and capital improvements. Camp directors and agencies that provide financial aid for camps almost uniformly confirmed Silverman’s observation. Camp Ramah New England had to increase its budget line for financial aid from $180,000 last year to more than $200,000 this summer, according to its executive director, Rabbi Ed Gelb. The Combined Jewish Philanthropies in Boston tripled the number of scholarships it doled out for camp this year, according to its director of informal education, Ed Pletman. In New York, the UJA-Federation of New York increased its budget for scholarships for

overnight camps from $400,000 to $550,000 to help ease the situation, Louise Greilsheimer, the federation’s senior vice president for agency and external affairs, told JTA. And on the West Coast, the country’s largest financial aid program for Jewish residential camps, which is run out of the Bureau of Jewish Education of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma, received 180 more applications this year than it did last year, according to its financial aid director, Janet Rothman. “On average, a three-week camping experience in California is about $3,200, and if there are multiple siblings, for some people there is just no way you can afford that,” Rothman said. “Absolutely the economic downturn is driving people to us. Many of the new requests are coming from higher-income applicants.” The Federation in Philadelphia, for instance, received 81 applications from families with net household incomes above $100,000, according to Mono. Twenty of them received aid, primarily because they also were paying for day school tuition. The Foundation for Jewish Camp has never been in the business of giving needbased scholarships. But for the first time, Silverman said, the foundation is considering rolling out a financial aid component. In New York, it is running a pilot program with two camps to help the neediest attend camp, as well as to help them with supplementary

money to pay for clothes and other camp expenses. Increasing dollars will be a daunting task, Chilton said, given that fundraising becomes even more difficult in a tightened economy. She said she already has seen “donors who are taking much, much longer to commit.” “It’s a catch-22 situation because often times when need is greatest, funding is the lowest, and that is going to be the conundrum going forward,” Chilton said. And, she added, “The question is how long can we sustain this. If it is one season, we will be OK. But the question is ‘will it be multiple years?’ ”  The Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley offers Jewish summer camp scholarships. For more information or to apply email

Melton School wins Readers’ Choice Award The Florence Melton Adult MiniSchool at the Addison-Penzak JCC is proud to announce that it has received a Readers’ Choice Award 2008 from j. the Jewish news weekly. The Melton program received second place for “Favorite Place for Continuing Education” in the readers’ poll. Melton provides in-depth Jewish education for adults. For more information about Melton, see or call (408) 357-7413.



24 • JEWISH COMMUNITY NEWS • February 2009



Grandparents Circle Course at Shir Hadash Are your grandchildren being raised in an interfaith household? Would you like to share Judaism with them, without intruding or alienating yourself from your child or son- or daughter-in-law? Join Shir Hadash this spring for a special three-session program co-sponsored by the National Jewish Outreach Institute and led by Rabbi Melanie Aron and past Temple president Jean Bronstein, who is also the nursing supervisor at Stanford Hospital and a grandmother. The group will offer grandparents skills and techniques to nurture, and in some cases help establish, their interfaith grandchildren’s Jewish identities. Topics to be covered include helping to understand your own Jewish connections and sharing them with your grandchildren, strategies for listening and talking with adult children, staying positive during holidays celebrations, both Jewish and not, and comfortably incorporating Judaism into regular communications with your grandchildren. You will feel more confident about your ability to create

positive Jewish memories for your family and more ready to accept the gradual nature of imparting a Jewish identity. The class will take place Sundays, March 22, April 5 and April 19 from 7:30-8:45 p.m. at Shir Hadash. This program is free and open to members of the community as well as members of Congregation Shir Hadash. To register, contact Nadine at (408) 358-1751, ext. 5 or For more information, contact Rabbi Aron at

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26 • JEWISH COMMUNITY NEWS • February 2009

Upcoming films by the SVJFF The Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival (SVJFF), which last year affirmed a commitment to year-round programming, begins its eighteenth—Chai— year with two very special events. On Sunday, March 8 at 7 p.m., as part of a community-wide celebration honoring the one-hundredth anniversary of Tel Aviv, the SVJFF is partnering “Noodle” is the story of a group from Tel Aviv who devise a with the Oshman Fam- plan to return a stranded boy to his mother in China. ily JCC in Palo Alto to offer the film, “Noodle,” at the CubTide,” narrated by Dustin Hoffman, to the berley Community Center Theater, 4000 Silicon Valley audience. Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. This light This movie describes the United States feature, also shown at last year’s SVJFF and its closed borders during World War Patron Event, is the charming story of a II. At the conclusion of the screening, group from Tel Aviv who devise a plan to Trank, along with Rabbi Marvin Hier, return a stranded young boy—nicknamed the well-known dean and founder of the “Noodle”—to his mother in China. Simon Wiesenthal Center, will answer Two weeks later, on March 22, the audience questions. The location and SVJFF is offering the Northern California time of the screening, which benefits the premiere of “Against the Tide,” by AcadWiesenthal Center, will be announced emy Award-winning director Richard shortly. Trank. Trank who also produced “I Have For tickets and the latest information, Never Forgotten You,” spoke after that check the SVJFF web site, www.svjff. film at last year’s Festival and announced org. Tickets are also available by calling then that he would offer “Against the (800) 838-3006. 

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Local Teen to represent United States at Israel’s Maccabi Games Sarah Williams, 14, of Los Gatos, has been chosen as a member of the United States’ U.S. Maccabiah Junior team in track and field. The team will compete at the 2009 Maccabiah in Israel this July. The Maccabiah Games are the Jewish world’s Olympics, with thousands of athletes from around the world competing. Sarah was inspired by her grandfather, Michael Milstein of San Francisco, a tennis player who has competed in Israel’s senior Maccabiah games and who may be participating again this year. The whole family plans to travel to Israel to cheer them on. Sarah will compete in the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, and possibly the 400-meter dash and relay events. She was chosen for the team because of her excellent times in local track and field events in Silicon Valley. She is a member of the track club at her school, Union Middle School in San Jose, where she attends eighth grade. She also practices four days a week with the Umoja Track Club in Santa Clara, and travels with the club on weekends. The Umoja team recently participated in the Silicon Valley track and field championships, where Sarah took home a gold medal as part of the

4x1 relay team, and a silver medal for the 100-meter dash. She enjoys other sports as well, playing basketball for Union. “I’m excited” about being selected for the Maccabiah, Sarah said. “I’ve alSarah Williams ways liked (running) ever since I was little…I (applied for the Maccabiah team because I) thought it would be good to represent our country.” Sarah’s mother, Larklyn Milstein, hopes the Maccabiah will be a way for Sarah to strengthen her connection to Israel. “My older daughter (Ruth Williams, 16) went to Israel last year with BBYO….I think this will be (Sarah’s) way of learning about Israel and making that connection” to the country. Closer to home, Sarah is connected to the Jewish community through her participation in programs at the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center, where she has participated in the summer camp’s leader-in-training program (Camp Madrichim) and in a special program for middle school girls. 

Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley announces Thirtieth Anniversary Extravaganza

Ten Jewish women pair with post-incarcerated women

Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley (JFSSV) has scheduled this year’s Small Plates, High Spirits & All that Jazz event, for 5 p.m., March 22, at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. Food, wine and entertainment will be enjoyed while raising money for JFSSV’s Project N.O.A.H. (No One Abandoned Here). Organizers have arranged a private tour of the Computer History Museum by museum docent Wolfgang Schaechter at 4:15 p.m., immediately prior to the 5 p.m. party. Food will be prepared by local chefs and paired with wine poured by select California vintners, accompanied by the sounds of the Simply Jazz trio. Scott Budman, NBC11 tech reporter, will serve as master of ceremonies and take on the role of auctioneer. JFSSV will honor Stephen Schleimer and his wife, Cyndi Sherman, for their tireless work on behalf of the community. Schleimer is president of the Jewish Family Services board, and Sherman is the director of the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center Preschool. Both have been very active in JFSSV and in the greater Jewish community for many years. Project N.O.A.H. provides services to individuals who are in crisis or urgent situations. In 2008, through Project N.O.A.H., JFSSV delivered 40 meals each week to families and seniors, distributed over 1000 holiday food and gift baskets to seniors and families in need, and provided crisis counseling, emergency services and

The Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley is partnering with the Santa Clara County Office of Women’s Policy in The Ladder Project, which pairs volunteer women in the community with post-incarcerated women recently released from Elmwood Prison. California holds the largest number of women prisoners—mostly single mothers—of any U.S. state, and only 33 percent are able to participate in any educational, vocational or employment training. The Ladder Project is a start at change, and breaking the cycle. Through this program, the women will receive job training in carpentry, income for their work on a Habitat for Humanity project, as well as transportation and childcare funds. The role that JCRC has taken in this project is providing a mentor for each of the ten participating women. Research shows that for women to succeed they need to know that someone cares whether they succeed. JCRC Poverty Committee members Andrea Harris and Dorothy Dorsay were instrumental in organizing this program. 

assistance to over 800 people. Project N.O.A.H. is projected to serve more than 500 new households in 2009. For tickets, volunteer opportunities or more information about Small Plates, High Spirits & All that Jazz, please contact Sandi Gaertner at (408) 357-7543 or Tickets are currently available at $95 per person. 


Stand with Israel Rally Sunday, January 11 in downtown San Jose


28 • JEWISH COMMUNITY NEWS • February 2009

Simchas of Silicon Valley By Andrea Cohen Greyber

BIRTHS Congregation Sinai members Adam Richter & Ann Zhang are pleased to announce the birth of their daughter Athena Hope Richter who was born October 27. She weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces and was 20.1 inches long. She is the baby sister of Alexander Richter, 3, who is a student at Sinai Nursery School and the JNR Learning Center. Athena was given her Hebrew name, Adina Tikvah, at a Simcha Bat presided over by Rabbi Joshua Berkenwald on November 29. Her grandmother Barbara Richter-Kobrin and step-grandfather Robert Kobrin live in Voorhees, NJ. Her grandmother Xiuland Zhang & grandfather Guanglong Zhang live in Beijing, China. Aviva & Josh Fronen of San Jose are thrilled to announce the arrival of their son Zev Issac on November 5. Big sister Leora, who attends the Zev Fronen APJCC Preschool in Los Gatos, is delighted with her baby brother. The proud grandparents are Congregation Beth David members Pesia & Bruce Entin of Los Gatos and Jacqueline & Marc Fronen of Studio City. Aunt Elanah, Uncle Ari & Aunt Jeanne and Uncle Yoni are also excited to welcome Zev to the family. The brit was held at the home of the Entins and was officiated by Rabbi Aaron Schonbrun and Dr. Lewis Osofsky.

Gabriel Edward Clayton was born on December 1 to Christopher E d w a r d & Jessica Clayton of San Jose. His proud Gabriel Clayton grandparents are Wendy J & Lance Glasser of Saratoga and Ted & Sue Clayton of Little Deer Island, ME. His great-grandparents are Selma & Alan Glasser of Cumberland, MD and Al Joseph of Saratoga. Other special relatives include Uncle Joshua Glasser, a computer engineer, of San Jose and Uncle Jason Glasser who is working on a Masters degree in mechanical engineering at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD; Uncle Seth Clayton lives in Little Deer Island, ME and works as a horse trainer. The brit was presided over by Rabbi Daniel Pressman and Dr. Lewis Osofsky at the home of the Glassers. Jim & Pam Harlow of San Jose’s Ahabat Torah congregation were blessed on December 9 with a new baby girl, Miryam Shiral. She is their first child and weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces and was 20 inches long. Her grandparents are Miryam Shiral Gene & Miriam Harlow of Denver, CO and Oliver & Shirley Todd of Sunnyvale. On February 8 in a Zeved HaBat, a Ladino female naming ceremony, she is being named for her grandmother Miriam Harlow at the synagogue. Jim & Pam recently presented Ahabat Torah with its first authentic Sephardic Torah and its ornamental case.

CALLED to the TORAH Sagee Mogal, an eighth-grade student at Yavneh Jewish Day School, celebrated his Bar Mitzvah by being called to the Torah at Congregation Sinai on November 1. He is the son of Efrat & Gal Mogal and the younger brother of Carmel, 17, a student Sagee Mogal at Los Gatos High School and the older brother of Abigail, 6½, a student at Yavneh. He celebrated his Bar Mitzvah earlier this year with his large family in Israel. His grandmother, Judith Raz lives in Haifa. Sagee enjoys mountain biking and skate boarding. Emily Leah Rakhmilevich was called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah at Congregation Sinai on November 8. She is in the eighth grade at Yavneh Jewish Day School. Emily is the daughter of Mark & Elina Rakhmilevich and the older sister of Sabrina, 8, who is also a student at Yavneh. Emily is the granddaughter of Zhanna Rakhmilevich of Los Gatos and Hannah Idesis of North Brunswick, NJ and Valery Idesis of East Brunswick, NJ. In her spare time, Emily enjoys swimming. She is an avid reader and does gymnastics and circus acrobatics. Her Yavneh class is collecting money and later this year will decide on a suitable charity. Molly Wolfe, daughter of Andrew & Roni Wolfe of Los Gatos, was called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah on November 15 at Congregation Beth David. She is the younger sister of Ian Wolfe, a tenthgrader at Harker School in San Jose. Molly is in eighth grade Molly Wolfe at Harker and enjoys the show choir there and also loves to dance. She is a member of the National Charity League and spent much

of last summer volunteering at Inn Vision, a shelter in downtown San Jose. She worked with the children at this camp. She has also done work for the American Cancer Society. Molly was very pleased to have her grandparents on hand for this special occasion: Muriel Hertan of Monroe Township, NJ and Elaine & Harvey Wolfe of Monroeville, PA. Her six aunts and uncles and their spouses came in from Connecticut, Florida, Texas, Ohio, Maryland and Pittsburgh, PA.

Omri and Jonathan Levia

Jonathan, 14, and Omri, 13, Levia who attend Cupertino Middle School as eighth and seventh graders respectively, were happy to share the bimah as they were called to the Torah as B’nai Mitzvah on November 22 at Congregation Beth David. Their proud parents are Oz & Anna Levia. Their older sister Elaine, who is a student at the University of California at Santa Cruz, was on hand for this festive occasion as well. Their grandparents are Ilze Mueller of Minneapolis, MN and Henry Mueller of Greenville, PA and Hannah Levia of Ramat Kovesh, Israel. Uncle Shay Levia and Cousin Alon Levia also came in from Ramat Kovesh. Aunt Lucy & Uncle John Anderson of Houston, TX were also there. Yonatan enjoys fencing and plays the piano and tenor sax in the advanced band in middle school; he also has a silk screening business. For his mitzvah project, he donated money to a classroom in a middle school that he adopted in San Jose. Omri also enjoys fencing, competes in yo-yo contests and plays piano and alto sax in the intermediate band at Cupertino Middle School. He donated money to the capital campaign of the local Humane Society as part of his mitzvah project.



Simchas Raphael Joseph Krigel was called to the Torah at Congregation Sinai in San Jose on January 17. “Raffi” is the son of Julie & Stuart Krigel and the younger brother of Benjamin Krigel, a tenth grader at Lincoln High School. He is a seventh-grade student at Yavneh Jewish Day School. He is a great drummer and ice hockey player. Raffi is part of the Shark’s Ice Youth League. Raffi has pledged to donate a portion of his Bar Mitzvah gifts to the World Raphael Krigel Wildlife Fund. He also participated in the Jewish Fund Service synagogue holiday gift program. He bought gifts for children who would not otherwise have received them and delivered presents to individual homes. Raffi’s grandparents are Ruth & Al Sporer of San Jose and Ed Krigel who lives in Kansas City, MO. His aunts and uncles include Amy & Dan Schifff of San Jose and Sheila & David Matz of Lafayette. Cale Horeff, f son of Dena & Steven Horeff, f was called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah on January 24 at Temple Emanu-El. He is an eighth-grade student at Cupertino Middle School and is the older brother of Davis Horeff, f 10, who attends West Valley Elementary School. Cale enjoys listening to music, playing soccer Cale Horeff and basketball, swimming butterfly and watching the San Jose Sharks. For his mitzvah project he participated in a toy drive through Kids Strong, an organization to support children who are undergoing treatment for cancer. Cale is the grandson of Helga Newman of Sunnyvale and Shirley Horefff of Pleasanton. Other relatives in the Bay Area include his Uncle Alan Newman of Mountain View, his cousin Laurel Newman of Los Altos and Aunt Kirsten & Uncle Paul Cox of Walnut Creek. Aunt Lise & Uncle Don Grillo were able to come in from Austin, TX with cousins Corbin and Shauna. Uncle Michael & Aunt Alice Louise Horeff traveled from Highland Ranch, CO with cousins Spencer, Kevin and Brody. Aunts Jennifer & Catherine Parker brought cousins Eleora and Isabella from Seattle.



Cambridge, MA. Rob, a native of Wales, is a graduate of the University of Wales at Cardiff. He works at Google. The happy couple lives in San Francisco.

Jessie Warshal & Rachael Stone

Rachael Fawn Stone and Jesse Belzer Warshal were married in Rancho Palos Verdes on July 27 by Rabbi Zachary Shapiro of Temple Akiba, Culver City, CA. Rachael is the daughter of Sharon Charrow and step-daughter of Mark Charrow of Valencia and Tony Stone of Santa Monica. Jesse is the son of Dore & Billy Warshal of Saratoga who belong to Shir Hadash in Los Gatos. Jesse & Rachael met six years ago when a mutual friend brought her to his Super Bowl party. Despite Rachael’s love of the Dodgers and Jesse’s of the Giants, love blossomed. Rachael is working on her Master’s degree in Jewish education and teaches religious school and Jewish yoga in the Los Angeles area. Jesse works at Dreamworks Animation.

Rachelle Mirkin & Robert Peterson

On October 25, family and friends celebrated the wedding of Rachelle Mirkin, daughter of Congregation Sinai members Rosemarie & Barry Mirkin of San Jose, and Robert Peterson, son of Elizabeth Peterson and the late Gordon Peterson. His sisters are Emma Peterson and Melanie Davis and her husband Allan and their daughters Rachel and Kathryn. The ceremony, on the rooftop garden of the Fairmount Hotel in San Francisco, was a joining of many cultures. The bride and groom’s backgrounds blended Welsh, Italian, Russian and Jewish traditions at the ceremony and reception. Rachelle & Rob were married under the Chuppah officiated by Cantor Roslyn Barak of Temple Emanu-El of San Francisco. Rachelle is a graduate of Willow Glen High School and San Francisco State University; she then received a Masters in public health from George Washington University in Washington, DC. She is now working as a director of the National Institute for Children’s Health Care Charity based in

Rachelle Gold & Jim Youngman

Rachelle Gold, daughter of Sheila Gold of San Jose and Bernie & Judi Magarian-Gold of Fresno, was married to Jim Youngman in Chapel Hill, NC on December 24. He is the son of Carol & David Detchemendy who witnessed the ceremony along with Mr. Youngman’s children, Emily and Alex. Rachelle graduated from Pioneer High School and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in humanities at San Jose State University. She garnered a Master of Arts degree from Indiana University in English literature and a Masters in education at the University of California at Berkeley. She recently was awarded a Ph.D. in education from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She is now an assistant professor of English at North Carolina Central in Durham, NC. On January 2 a special wedding blessing was given to the newlyweds at Temple Emanu-El. Her mother and her brother Jeff Gold were delighted to be present for this special occasion. Please send announcements and photos to Andrea Greyber at or call her at (408) 377-6224.

SPECIAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS David Braunstein¸ son of Pauline & Jacob Braunstein of San Jose’s Temple Emanu-El, was recently elected to the position of mayor of Belmont. David, who teaches at Carlmont High School, is the husband of Patricia and father of Isaac and Noah Braunstein. He received his BA in political science David Braunstein from UCLA and a Masters degree in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University. He was very active in a project to build a new library in Belmont, chairing a community task force and co-chairing a committee for a bond measure. Daniel Ruebusch recently graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY with a double major of material sciences and electrical engineering. While on campus, Daniel participated in tennis, golf, flag football and basketball on an inter-mural level. He also enjoys playing trumpet. Daniel graduated from Catlin Gabel High School in Portland, OR before attending Cornell. His sister Dena also graduated from Cornell University where she majored in history, government and international relations. She recently returned to Fort Bragg in Aberdeen, NC after serving 14 months in Iraq. Their parents Alison & Ronald Ruebusch belong to Congregation Beth David where their father, will be installed as president of the congregation in February. Grandmothers June Cohen of Austin, TX and Marie Ruebusch of Sacramento are very proud of their children and grandchildren.

30 • JEWISH COMMUNITY NEWS • February 2009

Clergy's Corner By Cantor Devorah Felder-Levy

In our Torah portion at the end of the month T’rumah, we learn the instructions for building the Mishkan (Tabernacle) that was a portable ark. The word Mishkan, comes from the root meaning “to dwell” (sh-k-n). In Exodus, chapter 25:8, it says, V’asu li mikdash v’shachanti b’tocham (And let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them). What does this sentence really mean? Our sages remark that at times the Torah refers to the Tabernacle as “Mishkan”–a dwelling–and at times as “Mikdash”–“a holy place”. G-d says “it is

thus up to them to make Me a Mikdash–a sanctuary and holy place–only then can it be a Mishkan–a dwelling place–for Me.” What does it mean when the text says, “so that I may dwell among them,” as opposed to “dwell in it,” i.e. the sanctuary? Many commentators explain it means “in their hearts.” As it says, “In my heart, I will build a Mishkan, for the sake of the glory of G-d’s honor.” G-d wanted every person’s actions to radiate awareness of G-d’s presence in all instances, without the need of a Mishkan. Is it possible that we have lost this awareness? In our modern societies, we built synagogues to replace the loss of the original Mishkan and Temple. We felt that we needed our sanctuaries in our synagogues to fill a human need, not necessarily a divine need. The sanctu-

ary symbolizes what the Israelites felt at Mt. Sinai. It was there that our ancestors felt a connection to G-d; it was there that G-d dwelt among them. In order to keep that feeling alive, they built the Mishkan and we try to continue that feeling today through our synagogues. In the movie and the book, “The Color Purple,” author Alice Walker has one of its characters say, “Have you ever found G-d in church? I never did. I just found a bunch of folks hoping for him to show. Any G-d I ever felt in church I brought in with me. And I think all the other folks did, too. They come to church to share G-d, not find G-d.” Our Torah agrees with this statement– G-d doesn’t dwell in the buildings but in the hearts and minds of the people in the

buildings. The purpose of a house of G-d is to inspire and motivate people to let Gd live inside them. The great 19th century Rabbi, Meir Yehudah Leibush ben Yehiel said, “G-d commanded that every person should build a sanctuary within his or her own heart for G-d to dwell therein.” We must make a sanctuary within–a special safe place inside. If we want to feel G-d’s presence then we’ve got to make room for G-d to come into our lives, our souls and our hearts. V’asu li mikdash v’shachanti b’tocham. “And let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them.” May we all discover the Mishkan within ourselves and open up to find a deeper and more meaningful relationship with G-d so that He may dwell among us. 

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Ask the Rabbi: Tzedakah in hard times By Rabbi Daniel Pressman, Congregation Beth David

Question: I am very concerned about the economic downturn. My retirement funds are greatly diminished, and I don’t know if my job will survive. I know I have to be prudent in managing my money, and am trying to organize my priorities. How should tzedakah (righteous giving) figure into my planning? Shouldn’t everyone have to cut back, including non-profits? Answer: Let me suggest that financial choices are ultimately about values. Obviously, basic needs like food, shelter, clothing, etc. are essential, but after that, our choices are an expression of what we consider to be important. From the Jewish perspective, giving

tzedakah is a fundamental value and a quintessential Jewish deed. The Talmud puts it succinctly: “Even one sustained by tzedakah should give tzedakah.” (Gittin 7b) Rabbi Reuven Kimmelman explains this, “Tzedakah is as much a need of the donor as it is of the recipient. There accrues an extra measure of dignity upon giving to another.” Tzedakah is not an act of discretionary benevolence. Providing for the needs of others makes us fully human and involves us with fundamental Jewish activity. It would seem that the poor understand this. An article in Portfolio magazine titled “The Poor Give More” states, “Americans at the bottom of the incomedistribution pyramid are the country’s biggest givers per capita. The 2000 Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey shows that households with incomes below $20,000 gave a higher percentage of their earnings to charity than did any other income group: 4.6 percent, on average. As income increased, the percentage given away declined: Households earning

To a advertise in the JCN call Lori Cinnamon at (408) 867-9692 or email

between $50,000 and $100,000 donated 2.5 percent or less. Only at high income levels did the percentage begin to rise again: For households with incomes over $100,000, the number was 3.1 percent.” Perhaps this is because the working poor are more in touch with daily needs than those of us who are more insulated. It should certainly cause the rest of us to reflect on our priorities. And by the way, the Jewish standard is 10 percent of (after tax) income. In any event, in a society that operated by Jewish values, everyone would be expected to give, not only for utilitarian reasons—to meet various needs—but also as a primary expression of what it means to be a Jew, and to be a mensch. There is another reason behind the imperative for everyone to give to tzedakah no matter what his or her circumstances. Danny Siegel, a great teacher of tzedakah, writes, “Jewish tradition tells us that, besides the giving itself, we will form attitudes about people and human nature through the act of giving. As a result of Menschlich acts, we will become more aware of the nature

of being a mensch. That is a basic Jewish idea—the doing forms the theory —and not the other way around.” In other words, one does not learn to give by preparing one’s heart. One learns to give by giving, and the heart will follow. As far as the various non-profits asking for our support, it is entirely appropriate to make sure that they are well managed and financially responsible. Most run very lean and take seriously their responsibility to manage the funds that have been put in their trust. Occasionally a charity will make the news for mismanagement. But unreported by the media, which thrive on sensationalism, there are hundreds of others quietly fulfilling their missions prudently and effectively. So as many of us will be tightening our belts and pruning our budgets, it is important to retain tzedakah as part of our financial plan. Not only because the key institutions of Jewish life and other charitable organizations provide essential services and depend on our gifts, but as an expression of our Jewish values and of our higher selves.

Lynn Osband Event Specialist Specializing in Weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Private Parties, Fundraisng Events Available to coordinate the “day of ” only or to plan the entire event



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32 • JEWISH COMMUNITY NEWS • February 2009

DATEBOOK MONDAYS Latte and Learning 7 PM, Starbucks, 4131 El Camino Real, Palo Alto Jewish teens meet at Starbucks. The drinks areonthehouseandtheTorahisfree!Shmuel Braun,Jewishteencommunity@gmail.comor (408) 368-8834 WEDNESDAYS Latte and Learning 7 PM, Starbucks, 1601 Hollenbeck, Sunnyvale Jewish teens meet at Starbucks. The drinks areonthehouseandtheTorahisfree!Shmuel Braun,Jewishteencommunity@gmail.comor (408) 368-8834 THURSDAYS Silicon Valley Beit Midrash 9 AM-Noon, Mirkin Chapel at Sinai Join Rabbi Joshua Berkenwald of Sinai and Rabbi Simcha Green of Ahabat Torah for indepth study of Jewish thought, belief, and practice. No fee; drop-ins are welcome; no experience necessary. 9-10:15 a.m.: Pirkei Avot;10:30a.m.-Noon:MishnahStudy.(408) 264-8542 SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 1 Jewish Girl Scouts Troop First Meeting 1-3 PM, Sinai At this first meeting, the girls, grades 1-5, will do a time capsule and learn about Brownies. Lynn Osband, (408) 264-8542 Film and Discussion about Darfur 3-6 PM, APJCC Auditorium “Darfur Now”will be shown and followed by adiscussion.Eventisespeciallyforteensand young adults, but is open to everyone. Free. Jason, (408) 357-7497 TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3 Preschool Open House 5-7 PM, Emanu-El Tourthisaward-winningpreschool,meetthe staff, and experience the curriculum. Children’sactivitieswillbeavailable.Enrollmentis limited, and classes do fill up, so registration before the anticipated start date is encouraged. No RSVP required. Barbara Smead, (408) 293-8660 Astrophysicist on Birkat HaHama 8 PM, Ahabat Torah Dr. Moshe Podolak ofTel Aviv University will makeaPowerPointpresentationontheevent that takes place every 28 years. (see article, p. 11) FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 6 Hagigat No’ar and Family Shabbat Dinner 6:30 PM, Beth David Thecommunityisinvitedtotheintroduction ofanewfamilyKabbalatservice,followedby dinnerat7:30PM.$50/familyor$15/adultand $10/kid (12 and under). (408) 257-3333 Shabbat Shira and Family Service 7:15 PM, Emanu-El The Temple adult choir will be joined by a junior choir for this special musical service. (408) 292-0939

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 8 Tu B’Shevat Mishpaha Program 9:30 AM-12:30 PM, Beth David The theme is“TevaTips for an Eco Me,”featuringhands-onactivitiesforallagestoincrease ecological awareness. (408) 257-3333 Read Hebrew America−Review of Level 1 10:15-11:45 AM, Sinai Crash course review of Hebrew Level 1, with Level 2 starting on Feb. 22. Joelle, (408) 264-8542 Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley Super Sunday 9 AM-8 PM, Levy Family Campus The Jewish Federation of SiliconValley’s annualphone-a-thonfundraisingdrive.Volunteers needed! Please call (408) 357-7501 to volunteer. Tu B’Shevat Seder 1-3 PM, Sinai This commemoration of the NewYear of the Treeswillbeobservedbyreadingfromaspecial Tu B’Shevat Hagaddah. Fruits and nuts, wine,andothergoodieswillbeprovided.This event is free for those who RSVP by Feb. 3. Joelle, (408) 264-8542 Tu B’Shevat Seder 4-5:30 PM, Emanu-El Learn about Tu B’Shevat at this family event (no alcohol). $5/person. (408) 292-0939 Tu B’Shevat Seder 5 PM, Shir Hadash (408) 358-1751 TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 10 Speaker Dr. Vint Cerf 8 PM, Emanu-El BrotherhoodDistinguishedSpeakerswelcomes Dr.VintCerf,creatoroftheInternet,speaking onthepast,presentandfutureoftheInternet. (408) 292-0939 FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13 Pajama Shabbat 6 PM, Beth David Doyouhaveatoddler?Hadalongweek?Join BethDavidforPajamaShabbat,gearedtoward tots(ages0-5),featuringsongs,puppets,felt, andmore,plusakid-friendlyShabbatdinner. $10/adult,$2/child3andup,andfreefortots. (408) 257-3333 Scout Shabbat 7:30 PM, Emanu-El Scouts from all branches of the movement areinvitedtocomeinuniformforthisservice. (408) 292-0939 SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 14 Book Discussion Group 12:30 PM, Beth David Allarewelcometothismonthlygroupdiscussion.Thismonth’sbookis“AfterLongSilence” by Helen Fremont. Discussion led by Harry Cornbleet. Miriam Marr, (650) 968-7138 Havdalah, Dinner and a Movie 6 PM, Emanu-El BeginwithaHavdalahservice,thenadelicious dinner, followed by two films, one for adults and one for families with young children. (408) 292-0939

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15 Fashions by Sharone Noon, TBD Enjoyadisplayoffashionsforadultsandchildrenfromoneofthefinestshoppesinthearea. SponsoredbySharoneHadassah.$60/person. Jane Jacobson, (408) 872-1845 WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 18 Silicon Valley Connect 6:30-8:30 PM, Scruffy Murphy’s, 187 S. Murphy Avenue, Sunnyvale Meet, mix, and mingle with Jewish young adults(ages21-45)fromallovertheBayArea, at one of SiliconValley’s coolest venues. $10/ personincludesvegetarianappetizers.Jonathan Berg, (408) 357-7503 SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 21 Community Night of Learning 7-11 PM, Levy Family Campus APJCC’s Center for Jewish Life and Learning sponsorsthisannualevent.Thisyear’stheme is “Judaism and Food.” Rabbi Fenton, (408) 357-7413 SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 22 “Brunch and Learn” Speaker Series 10AM-12:30 PM, Beth David Dr. Assaf Yasur-Landau will speak on “What DoWe Know About the Origin of the Biblical Philistines?”ThisspeakerseriesfollowsmorningMinyan.Free/BethDavidmember;$7/nonmember. (408) 257-3333 Read Hebrew America−Level 2 10:15-11:45 AM, Sinai This goes five consecutive Sundays through March22.Don’tmissoutinlearningHebrew. Joelle, (408) 264-8542

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27 Browse or Buy at the Israeli Art Exhibit 9 AM-2 PM, Beth David (see Thursday above) SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28 Women’s Spirituality Day 10:15 AM-3:30 PM, Emanu-El Spend a day in the company of wonderful women,adayofmusicandprayer,discussion and art. $30/Sisterhood member; $36/nonmember; $36/$40 at the door. (408) 292-0939 Learners Service 10:30 AM-Noon, Sinai Ifyouhavequestionsaboutwhatgoesonduring Shabbat services, this is the place for you. RabbiBerkenwaldwillrevealsomeofthefascinatingsecretsoftheShabbatservice.Joelle, (408) 264-8542 Sisterhood Havdalah and Game Night 5:30 PM, Sinai Havdalah, followed by games and some snacks. Joelle, (408) 264-8542 MONDAYS Latte and Learning 7 PM, Starbucks, 4131 El Camino Real, Palo Alto Jewish teens meet at Starbucks. The drinks areonthehouseandtheTorahisfree!Shmuel Braun,Jewishteencommunity@gmail.comor (408) 368-8834 WEDNESDAYS Latte and Learning 7 PM, Starbucks, 1601 Hollenbeck, Sunnyvale Jewish teens meet at Starbucks. The drinks areonthehouseandtheTorahisfree!Shmuel Braun,Jewishteencommunity@gmail.comor (408) 368-8834

David Broza Concert 3 PM, Flint Center, 21250 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino Join the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley as Israeli superstar David Broza comes to our community.TicketsareavailablethroughTicketmaster. Premier seats are open to all who make a family gift to the 2009 Annual Campaign of $1,000 or is an SVYAD member at a familygiftof$500.Premierconcertseatsand exclusive reception is $100/person. For premier seats, RSVP through Jewish Federation bycontactingElisaGerstonat(408)357-7512

THURSDAYS Silicon Valley Beit Midrash 9 AM-Noon, Mirkin Chapel at Sinai Join Rabbi Joshua Berkenwald of Sinai and Rabbi Simcha Green of Ahabat Torah for indepth study of Jewish thought, belief, and practice.Nofee;drop-insarewelcome;noexperiencenecessary.9-10:15a.m.:PirkeiAvot; 10:30 a.m.- Noon: Mishnah Study. (408) 264-8542

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 25 Teen Sexuality: Risks, Facts and Preventive Options 7:30 PM, Shir Hadash Dr.TamaraBrownwillspeak.Menandwomen are welcome to this Sisterhood-sponsored event. Free. Diane Goldman, (408) 356-3428 or

SUNDAY, MARCH 1 Jewish Simcha Fair 11 AM-3 PM, APJCC Auditorium Planningabar/batmitzvahorothersimcha? Visitboothsforallyourplanningneeds,from invitations to flowers, food to music, room rental and more. Naomi Salowe, (408) 7362141 or

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26 thru SUNDAY, MARCH 1 Art Week: The Young and Old Masters of Israeli Art Beth David Therewillbeanexhibitionofmorethan1500 works by more than 100 Israeli artists, featuring original oil paintings, watercolors, lithographs, and etchings. (408) 257-3333

Sisterhood Cooking Class 12:30 PM, Shir Hadash (408) 358-1751

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27 thru SUNDAY, MARCH 1 Hadassah Weekend Kallah Asilomar Conference Center, Pacific Grove AryehGreenwillbetheguestspeaker.Registration: $225/person includes two nights and six mealsinadditiontotheprogram.Womenandmen are invited. Kay Fireman, (408) 867-6195

FRIDAY, MARCH 6 Shabbat Service and Dinner with the Caring Committee 5 PM, Shir Hadash (408) 358-1751 SUNDAY, MARCH 8 Purim Carnival 9 AM, Shir Hadash (408) 358-1751 Purim Shpiel and Carnival 11 AM-1:30 PM, Emanu-El Comeincostumeandbringyournoisemakers! Admissionisfree.Ticketsavailabletopurchase


DATEBOOK for games, activities and lunch. (408) 292-0939 MONDAY, MARCH 9 Adult Purim Evening 6 PM, Emanu-El Bringyourowndinnerandwewilleattogether before embarking on the whole Megillah. (408) 292-0939 Magnet Making and Gragger Shaking at Purim Celebration 7:30 PM, TBA EveryoneiswelcometojointheAlmadenValleyTorahCenter’sPurimCelebration,including Megillahreading,dancing,magnetmaking, and other surprises. Costumes encouraged, hamentaschenserved.RabbiNoachorRivkah Vogel, (408) 445-1770 THURSDAY, MARCH 12 Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley Women’s Philanthropy Connections 5:30 PM, San Jose Fairmont Hotel’s Club Regent This year’s theme is“The Essence ofWoman” honoringallwomen.Theoutstandingjournalist, author and professor Iris Krasnow will be thespeaker.Pre-receptionforAliyah-leveldonors(andabove)beginsat5:30;mainprogram begins at 6:30. SherylWitlin, (408) 357-7433 FRIDAY, MARCH 13 Persian/Middle Eastern Shabbat Dinner 7 PM, Sinai Join us for dinner and meet old and new friendsafterKabbalatShabbatservices$18/ adult (13 and older); $6 for all children 12 and younger in a family; $54 maximum/family. MakecheckspayabletoCongregationSinai. (408) 264-8542 SATURDAY, MARCH 14 Book Discussion Group 12:30 PM, Beth David Allarewelcometothismonthlygroupdiscussion.This month’s book is“The People of the Book”byGeraldineBrooks.Discussionledby Miriam Palgon. Miriam Marr, (650) 968-7138 WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18 Silicon Valley Connect 6:30-8:30 PM, The Tied House, 954 Villa Street, Mountain View Meet, mix, and mingle with Jewish young adults(ages21-45)fromallovertheBayArea, at one of SiliconValley’s coolest venues. $10/ personincludesvegetarianappetizers.Jonathan Berg, (408) 357-7503 THURSDAY, MARCH 19 “Conversations in Jewish Learning” Speaker Series 7:30 PM, Beth David Lou Dombro will speak on“The People of the Hook: Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean.”This series is sponsored by Beth David in partnershipwithSharoneHadassah,theSiliconValley NerTamid Lodge of B’nai B’rith, and Brandeis National Committeee of SiliconValley. Free/ member; $5/non-member. (408) 257-3333 FRIDAY, MARCH 20 thru SUNDAY, MARCH 22 Scholar in Residence Program: Jewish Themes in Movies Shir Hadash JanisPlotkin,whoprogrammedandproduced

the SF Jewish Film Festival from 1982-2002, willpresentthreeprogramsoverthecourseof the weekend. (408) 358-1751 SUNDAY, MARCH 22 Mitzvah Day 10:30 AM, Emanu-El This year’s themes are Israel and the environment.ActivitieswillbeheldattheTempleand offsite. (408) 292-0939 Pesach Cooking with Sivia 1 PM, Shir Hadash Sisterhood Cooking Class. Diane Goldman, (408) 356-3428 or JFS’ Small Plates, High Spirits and All That Jazz 5-9 PM, Computer History Museum, Mountain View Join as JFS celebrates their 30th anniversary andhonorsStephenSchleimerandCindyShermanforalltheyhavedoneforourcommunity. MCwillbeScottBudman,NBC-11’stechnical reporterandhostofTechNow!Guestswilldine onsmallplatesofsomeofthearea’smostcelebratedchefsandpairedwines.Therewillbe a live and silent auction. Proceeds will go to JFS’s Project N.O.A.H. Sandi Gaertner, (408) 357-7456 TUESDAY, MARCH 24 Classical Concert--John Nakamatsu 7:30 PM, APJCC An evening with concert pianist John Nakamatsu to benefit the APJCC. Tickets are $60 forgeneralseating,$100forpreferredseating and a reception after. Lisa Ceile, (408) 357-7492 THURSDAY, MARCH 26 One Community, One Book Torah Slam 7:30 PM, APJCC Join us as rabbis from all over the South Bay presenttheirviewsofJudaismandtheWorld to Come. Rabbi Fenton. (408) 357-7413 SATURDAY, MARCH 28 APJCC Wine Tasting and Auction 6:30 PM, location TBD


South Bay Congregations Ahabat Torah (Sephardic-Orthodox) 1537 A Meridian Ave. San Jose, CA 95125 (408) 266-2342 Rabbi Simcha Green Contact: Pat Bergman Almaden Valley Torah Center (Chassidic) 1422 Helmond Lane San Jose, CA 95118 (408) 445-1770 Rabbi Noach Vogel Bar Yohai Minyan (Sephardic) 1030 Astoria Dr. Sunnyvale, CA 94087 (408) 373-5287 Contact: Fred Zaghi Chabad by the Sea (Chassidic) 406 Mission St., Suite B Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (831) 454-0101 Rabbi Yochanon Friedman Chabad of Greater South Bay (Chassidic) 3070 Louis Road Palo Alto, CA 94303 (650) 424-9800 Rabbi Yosef Levin Chabad of S. Jose (Lubavich) 15405 Los Gatos Blvd., Suite 204 Los Gatos, CA 95032 (408) 358-5530 Rabbi Aaron Cunin Chabad of Sunnyvale (Chassidic) 1110 Sunnyvale-Saratoga Rd., #8 Sunnyvale, CA (408) 720-0553 Rabbi Yisrael Hecht Chadeish Yameinu (Renewal) PO Box 3578 Santa Cruz, CA 95063-3578 (831) 429-6936 Rabbi Eli Cohen

SUNDAY, MARCH 29 Chocolate Seder 1-3 PM, APJCC

Congregation Am Echad (Orthodox) 1504 Meridian Ave. San Jose, CA 95125 (408) 267-2591 Rabbi Menachem Levine

SATURDAY, APRIL 11 Book Discussion Group 12:30 PM, Beth David Allarewelcometothismonthlygroupdiscussion. This month’s book is short story reading,TBD.DiscussionledbyJoanneCornbleet. Miriam Marr, (650) 968-7138

Congregation Beth Am (Reform) 26790 Arastradero Rd. Los Altos Hills, CA 94022 (650) 493-4661 Rabbi Janet Marder

How to Get Your Organization’s Events Listed in the JCN: Email by Feb. 16 Include name of the event; date and time; place, address and street, city; sponsoring organization and one-sentence description; cost, if any; contact name, phone number and/or e-mail address, and the last day your organization will accept reservations or RSVPs. Photos related to the event are encouraged.

Congregation Beth David (Conservative) 19700 Prospect Rd. Saratoga, CA 95070 (408) 257-3333 Rabbi Daniel Pressman Congregation B’nai Torah (Conservative) 400 W. Franklin St. Monterey, CA 93940 (831) 375-1818 Contact: David Kalinsky

Congregation Emek Beracha (Orthodox) 4102 El Camino Real Palo Alto, CA 94306 (650) 857-1800/ (650) 857-0601 Fax Rabbi Yitzchok Feldman Congregation Emeth (Reform) 17835 Monterey St. Morgan Hill, CA 95037 (408) 778-8200 Acting Rabbi Debbie Israel Congregation Etz Chayim (Reform/Conservative blend) 4161 Alma St. Palo Alto, CA 94306 (650) 813-9094 Rabbi Ari Cartun Congregation Kol Tefillah (Conservative) 200 Washingtin St., Suite 190 Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (831) 457-0264 Contact: Congregation Sinai (Conserv/Trad/Egalitarian) 1532 Willowbrae Ave. San Jose, CA 95125 (408) 264-8542 Rabbi Joshua Berkenwald Congregation Shir Hadash (Reform) 20 Cherry Blossom Lane Los Gatos, CA 95032 (408) 358-1751 Rabbi Melanie Aron Keddem Congregation (Reconstructionist) Palo Alto, CA (650) 494-6400 Rabbi David Levinsky Kol Emeth (Conservative) 4175 Manuela Ave. Palo Alto, CA 94036 (650) 948-7498 Rabbi David Booth Santa Cruz Hillel 222 Cardiff Place Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (831) 426-3332 Rabbi Shalom Bochner Temple Beth El (Reform) 1212 Riker St. Salinas, CA 93901 (831) 424-9151 Rabbi Michael Howald http://caØ Temple Beth El (Reform) 3055 Porter Gulch Rd. Santa Cruz, CA 95003 (831) 479-3444 Rabbi Rick Litvak Rabbi Paula Marcus Temple Beth Sholom (Reform Chavurah) (408) 978-5566 Temple Emanu-El (Reform) 1010 University Ave. San Jose, CA 95126 (408) 292-0939 Rabbi Dana Magat

34 • JEWISH COMMUNITY NEWS • February 2009

Obituaries Jay Frankel

Meta Anspach

Jay Frankel, who was born in Scranton, PA on August 23, 1921, passed away peacefully on December 26 after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease and dementia. He and his wife Dorothy had been married for 67 years on DeJay Frankel cember 25. His children, Madeleine, Bradley and Pamela who grew up at Temple Emanu-El in San Jose, also survive him. The Frankels also were founding members of Congregation Sinai and helped establish a Hillel Foundation at San Jose State University. The Frankels began their married life in San Diego where both of them helped in the war effort through their work at Consolidated Aircraft, home of the famous B-24 bomber. He joined the Navy in 1942 and became a tail gunner on the B-24. Jay ended his service at the Alameda Naval Air Station, and he and Dorothy soon settled in Oakland to begin a family. In 1956 they moved to the Santa Clara Valley where he purchased Russell’s Furniture. Jay quickly became an astute businessman and finished out his career as a commercial real estate broker.

Although he was a modest man who shunned recognition, those who knew him will attest to his charity, generosity, humor, integrity and loyalty. He will be remembered as a man who wanted the best for his family and worked very hard to achieve it. Though he reaped many rewards as a result of his hard efforts, the opportunity to enjoy a close and loving relationship with his family was top among them. His family wishes to acknowledge Jay’s caregivers and dear friends, Josie Paz and Elsa Kahsai. Without their love, care and concern over the many years of his illness, he would not have been as comfortable or survived as long. If you wish, donations may be made in Jay’s name to the Parkinson Institute, 675 Almanor, Sunnyvale, CA 94085 or any charity of your choice. 

To place an obituary email Cecily@

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Garden Chapel 471 E. Santa Clara St. San Jose, CA 95112 Phone (408) 998-2226 FE557

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Meta Anspach was born Dec. 14, 1908 and grew up in Weiler, a small village in Germany, where her father Bernhard Anspach was in the cattle business. The Mendel brothers were from a nearby family of Meta Anspach cattle dealers who came often to Weiler to conduct business with her father. At one such meeting the youngest brother, Siegmund, proposed to her. Meta accepted and they married. Soon the new family became aware of the gathering Nazi storm, and in 1937, a year before Kristalnacht, Meta, Siegmund, and their two-year-old son Eric were the first of the family to immigrate to America. Within a year they also brought their parents and Siegmund’s brothers. Work was scarce during those years and they took what was available. At first they labored as farm hands living in dire conditions until 1940 when a position as tenant farmer opened nearby. Two years after moving there, their daughter Barbara was born. Their home and farm was a hub of activity providing the first stop for many relatives and other Holocaust survivors. In 1944, one of their network of friends called to tell them of a farm available nearby. That’s when Meta and Siegmund purchased their own farm in upstate New York near Binghamton. They sought out Jewish connections and joined the United Hebrew Brothers Congregation that became Temple Israel of which Meta was a long-time member. Meta became secretary and a founding member of “The Get Together Club” which met in a house that was the original J.C.C. This group of mostly GermanJewish women was dedicated to assisting Holocaust victims. Meta also joined Hadassah where she remained active all her life. She remembered helping to prepare monthly lunches for Hadassah at the Center. In 1947 Meta joined the Senior Friendship Club at the J.C.C. where she became an active volunteer in many community activities, such as Bingo, ethnic fests, holiday programs and senior events. She was a recipient of many honors including the JCC Person of the Year. After the death of her husband, the JCC became her second home. Her daughter Barbara along with her husband and two young children moved to Seattle, but Meta didn’t want to move. She had four grandchildren living near her and participated in their lives almost daily. She became known to them as Nanny Meta. This relationship held strong to her dying days. Finally her son Eric retired, and he and his wife Joyce moved to California to be nearer to their children and grandchildren. Meta finally joined them in the Villages in San Jose in 2004. It took about two months before she stopped pining for Binghamton and she adjusted to life in the Villages. Soon with the urging of her daughter-inlaw Joyce she became active in Brandeis and Hadassah. Her grandchildren and

great-grandchildren stayed in her condo when they visited, which was frequently, something never possible had she stayed on the East Coast. Her love for cards led her to organize and teach Canasta at the Villages. She remained active in many aspects of Villages life and remained bright and alert until her death on Oct. 23, 2008 just a few months short of her hundredth birthday. As she said to one of her grandchildren who came to visit her at the nursing home, “I have been young for a very long time.” 

Dr. Harry Slesnick Harry Slesnick passed away at home in his sleep on December 22 at the age of 85. He had wished for a death precisely as his occurred. His Bay Area family and dearest friend Betty Cunningham surrounded him while his East Coast family spoke to him on the phone that evening. He was thankful for the many Dr. Harry Slesnick years and blessings that he had. He considered himself to be a very lucky man. Harry was a hero–as a B-17 navigator in WWII, he flew 32 missions before being shot down in Europe and taken prisoner by the Nazi’s. He dreamed of getting out of prison and marrying his sweetheart Mellie. His dreams were realized, and he had a fabulous marriage of 50 years before Mellie died of cancer in 1996. Harry was so thankful that his wife survived to the age of 70. She was in her early 40’s when death from cancer seemed imminent, only to see the cancer disappear in what can only be described as a miracle. He cherished the last 25 years of their lives together. Harry was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. He was a successful orthodontist who retired 28 years before his death. He was an avid golfer up to a few months prior to his death. Each year, Harry would get together in various parts of the country with the men that were his POW bunkmates in Germany. Harry had wonderful qualities–he was genuinely thrilled by the success of others, everyone loved him, and he was a very generous man. He was kind-hearted and his best quality was his complete honesty, in all his thoughts and acts. Most of all, he was and will always be the family’s hero. Harry was a long-time member of Temple Emanu-El in San Jose and in recent years was a member of Congregation Shir Hadash. Donations to Congregation Shir Hadash may be made in Harry Slesnick’s memory. Harry is survived by his two sons Mike and Dave, daughters-in-law, Karen and Cherrie, six grandchildren, Dara, Nate, Jake, Jared, Rosita and Emma and greatgrandchild Nicholas. 


J e w i s h Brooke A. Blecher Blecher Hubbell 1500 E. Hamilton Ave., Ste., 201 Campbell, CA 95008 Phone (408) 369-1010

Minda B. Parrish 14500 Big Basin Way, Suite D, Saratoga, CA 95070 (408) 741-3500 Estate Planning, Probate, Elder Law

A boutique family law firm, specializing in the practice of family law, divorce, custody disputes, and child and spousal support.

Philip L. Hammer Hoge, Fenton, Jones & Appel 60 S. Market St., Ste. 1400 San Jose, CA 95113 (408) 287-9501

Joyce W. Levy 400 Cambridge Avenue Palo Alto, CA 94306 (408) 287-1644 (650) 248-0888 Certified specialist in estate planning, trust & probate law, California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization.

Estate Planning, Probate, and Elder Law. Se habla espanol.

Philip S. Rosenblatt 60 S. Market St., 14th floor San Jose, CA 95113 Phone 408-280-2808

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Commercial Real Estate

Legal services for Real Estate disputes, litigation and transactions and general business matters.

Specializing in complex family law matters. Certified Specialist in Family Law, State Bar of CA; Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

Law Office of Derryl H. Molina “Trust is our business!” 1142 S. Winchester Blvd., Ste. B San Jose, CA 95128 (408) 244-4992

P r o f e s s i o n a l Attorneys



Lynne R. Snyder Adoption, Custody, Dissolutions, Guardianship, Juvenile Court, Paternity 101 Church St., Suite 7, Los Gatos, CA 95032 (408) 354-5590 Shannon Stein Law Offices of Shannon Stein 438 South Murphy Avenue Sunnyvale, CA 94086 Phone (408) 774-9097 Family Law Attorney, specializing in dissolutions, child custody, child support, mediation, restraining orders, limited scope representation, and post judgment issues.

Carol Elias Zolla 1631 Willow Street, Suite 100 San Jose, CA 95125 (408) 264-9822 ext. 15 Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law. The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.

We don't make a profit. We make a difference. Our non-profit status has its benefits. Particularly for the dozens of community organizations we support: local synagogues and their education programs, a camp to help families deal with grief, seniors' programs and many, many others. At the end of the day, it's a bottom line we're proud of. So we ask that you consider Sinai Memorial Chapel - Chevra Kadisha in times of grief, as a way of honoring life.

New w Peninsula Office 777 Woodside Road, Suite C Redwood City (408) 297-3636

Financial Services Alan Werba, CPA, CFP Werba & Davis Advisory Services, LLC 3055 Olin Ave., Suite 2000 San Jose, CA 95128 Tel. (408) 260-3109 Fax. (408) 423-0209 Fee-Based Portfolio Management since 1990 Securities offered through Loring Ward Securities Inc., member FINRA/SIPC

1671 Dell Avenue, Suite 218 Campbell, CA 95008 Commercial Real Estate Management, Investments, and Leasing. Call us for your property management, leasing and sales needs. Allen Guggenheim & Gary Naillon (408) 871-8722 x222 • (408) 834-4959 fax www.

Morgan Stanley & Co. Robert Chaykin Vice President / Branch Manager 16000 Los Gatos Blvd. Los Gatos, CA. 95032 (408) 358-0988 We offer comprehensive financial planning, asset allocation strategies, college savings plans, and retirement planning. Investments and services are offered through Morgan Stanley and Co. Incorporated, member SIPC.

Dentists Dr. Zuri Barniv, DDS 1210 E. Arques Ave., Suite 200 Sunnyvale, CA 94085 (408) 733-1124

Physicians Stephen E. Green, MD., Inc. Practice of Preventive & Consultative Cardiology 2400 Samaritan Drive, Suite 200, San Jose • 408-369-7500

Dr. Barniv is a university faculty member, practicing high-quality dentistry in a mercury-free office with digital X-rays. Dentist speaks Hebrew.

Advertise Online Includes a photo, web link and up to 40 words on the Jewish Federation’s website. For more information contact Lori Cinnamon at (408) 867-9692

Personal Service Quality and Dignity

A Full Service Funeral Home

• Serving all Jewish cemeteries in the Bay Area • Traditional services in cooperation with Chevra Kadisha of the South Bay • Cremations • World-Wide Service • Pre-Need Planning

FD 1830

Wayne A. Rose Pre-need funeral arrangements available.

Peninsula-South Bay Director FDR 979

Gene B. Kaufman, Executive Director


300 Curtner Ave. San Jose, CA 95125


36 • JEWISH COMMUNITY NEWS • February 2009

February 2009  

February 2009 JCN

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