Page 1

February 16, 2017

Distributed weekly in the Five Towns, Long Island, Queens & Brooklyn

Your Favorite Five Towns Family Newspaper

Shakeup in the White House

Pages 9, 10, 11, 13 & 31

Around the

What Happened with National Security Advisor Flynn and Where the Administration Goes from Here



Yeshiva of Far Rockaway 48th Annual Dinner


Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan Visits Yeshiva Darchei Torah







Helping and Preventing Unemployment in our Community A View from the Other Side

Still Soaring

A Morning to Remember at OHEL’s A Day for Renee

Rabbi Morris Friedman and Tashbar


by Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky

Starts on Page 111

Page 89

– See page 5 – See page 3


330 Central Avenue, Lawrence, NY 11559




FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Chag HaSemikhah 5777

Yeshiva University – Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary CELEBRATING THE NEXT GENERATION OF RABBINIC LEADERS

Five Towns Community Shabbaton

Shabbat Parshat Terumah • March 3-4, 2017


Rabbi Hershel Schachter

Rosh Kollel and Rosh Yeshiva, and Nathan and Vivian Fink Distinguished Professorial Chair in Talmud, RIETS

Rabbi Elchanan Adler

AISH KODESH Rabbi Hershel Schachter

Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander

ANSHEI CHESSED Rabbi Elchanan Adler

Rosh Yeshiva, and Eva, Morris, and Jack K. Rubin Memorial Chair in Rabbinics, RIETS

Vice President of University and Community Life, Yeshiva University

Rabbi Zev Goldberg

Program Coordinator, RIETS

Rabbi Josh Joseph, EdD Senior Vice President, Yeshiva University

Drasha (Shacharit 8:30 a.m.)


Drasha (Shacharit 8:45 a.m.)

Drasha (Shacharit 9 a.m.)

Rabbi Ashie Schreier

Seudah Shlishit (Mincha 5:25 p.m.) Back to the Future - Connecting with Har Sinai

Rabbi Menachem Penner

BAIS AVROHOM ZEV Rabbi Yechiel Fuchs

Rabbi Etan Schnall

Rabbi Moshe Watson

Rabbi Daniel Stein


Max and Marion Grill Dean, RIETS Magid Shiur, Irving I. Stone Beis Medrash Program Rosh Yeshiva, RIETS

Rabbi Eli Baruch Shulman

Rosh Yeshiva, and Rabbi Henry H. Guterman Chair in Talmud, RIETS

RIETS is proud to honor more than 130 musmakhim, many of whom have strong connections to our community, including: Rabbi Avi Anderson Rabbi Jacob Berman Rabbi Dan Cohen Rabbi Meir Cohen Rabbi Yoni Danzger Rabbi Daniel Elsant Rabbi Joshua Elsant Rabbi Natan Farber Rabbi Aaron Fleksher Rabbi Yechiel Fuchs Rabbi Noach Goldstein Rabbi Jason Grossman Rabbi Scott Hoberman Rabbi Raphael Karlin Rabbi Nuriel Klinger Rabbi Simcha Lauer Rabbi Bradley Lipman Rabbi Ari Lipsky Rabbi Joshua Maslow Rabbi Mordy Prus Rabbi David Roth Rabbi Moshe Rube Rabbi Ashie Schreier Rabbi Elliot Schrier Rabbi Eli Wagner Rabbi Moshe Watson Rabbi Michael Weingarten Rabbi Eli Wiesenfeld Rabbi Daniel Zuckerman

Drasha (Shacharit 9 a.m.)

Seudah Shlishit (Mincha 5:30 p.m.)

Pre Mincha (4:40 p.m.) The Two Readings of the Megillah: How Do They Interrelate?

BAIS MIDRASH OF WOODMERE Rabbi Yoni Danziger Pre Mincha Shiur (4:40 p.m.)

Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander Pre Mincha Shiur (4:40 p.m.) The Challenges of Spirituality

KEHILLAS BAIS YEHUDAH TZVI Rabbi Elchanan Adler Seudah Shlishit (Mincha 5:20 p.m.) Reflections on Zayin Adar: The Legacy of Moshe Rabbeinu

KNESETH ISRAEL (WHITE SHUL) Rabbi Eli Baruch Shulman

Pre Mincha Shiur (4:15 p.m.) Af Hen Hayu B’Oto HaNes - Viva Le Difference

Rabbi Etan Schnall

Seudah Shlishit (Mincha 5:15 p.m.) When Enough is Never Enough

SHAARAY TEFILA Rabbi Etan Schnall

BAIS TEFILAH Rabbi Moshe Watson

Drasha (Shacharit 8:30 a.m./9 a.m.) Mishkan: Double Entendres, Double Standards

Rabbi Zev Goldberg

Seudah Shlishit (Mincha 5:20 p.m.) Ayelet HaShachar - The Dawn’s Early Light

Rabbi Eli Baruch Shulman

Drasha (Shacharit 9 a.m.)

Pre Mincha Shiur (4:40 p.m.) The Mystery of Esther’s Identity

BETH SHOLOM Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander Drasha (Shacharit 9 a.m.)

Rabbi Josh Joseph

Seudah Shlishit (Mincha 5:15) The Gift of Change: Our National Undoing Project


Post Hashkama Shiur (Shacharit 7:30 a.m.) Drasha (Shacharit 8:45 a.m.)

Rabbi Noach Goldstein

Seudah Shlishit (Mincha 5:25 p.m.) Pirsumei Nisa and National Unity

‫תנו כבוד לתורה‬ SUNDAY, MARCH 5 9:30 a.m.

WOODSBURGH MINYAN Rabbi Scott Hoberman

Seudah Shlishit (Mincha 5:20 p.m.)



Post Hashkama Shiur (Shacharit 7:30 a.m.)

Rabbi Eli Baruch Shulman Drasha (Shacharit 8:30 a.m.)

Rabbi Joshua Elsant

Drasha Young Couples Minyan (Shacharit 9:30 a.m.)

Rabbi Simcha Lauer

Seudah Shlishit (Mincha 5:20 p.m.) Proposal Pranks, Spoils of War, the IDF, and the Chazon Ish’s Glasses


Drasha (Shacharit 9 a.m.) The Poles of the Aron and the Timelessness of Jewish History

Rabbi Daniel Stein

Shiur Following Mincha (5:25 p.m.)

YOUNG ISRAEL OF WOODMERE Rabbi Aaron Fleksher Chumash Shiur (8:15 a.m.)

Rabbi Menachem Penner

Drasha following Main Minyan (Shacharit 8:45 a.m.)

Rabbi Ashie Schreier

Drasha before Musaf at the Leon Mayer Minyan (Shacharit 9 a.m.) The Art of Jewish Survival

Rabbi Hershel Schachter

Shiur Following Mincha (5:25 p.m.)

Drasha (Shacharit 9 a.m.)

MEN’S ONEG SHABBAT WITH RABBI HERSHEL SCHACHTER Hosted by Rabbi Shay & Rina Schachter 430 Forest Ave, Woodmere • Friday Night, 8:30 p.m.


In celebration of Rav Hershel Schachter’s 50 years of teaching at Yeshiva University – Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary

Rav Schachter will be receiving a special award at the Chag HaSemikha and a Sefer Torah is being commissioned in honor of the occasion. Please join us in Lawrence at the home of Lance and Rivkie Hirt for this special event. Rav Schachter will present a shiur, followed by filling in letters in the Sefer Torah. Dedication opportunities are available at many levels. Sponsors at the $1,000 level and above will have the privilege of filling in letters of the Sefer Torah. For more info and to RSVP, please email or visit

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017

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FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home


Your Choice of 6 Magnificent Passover Destinations BOCA RATON, FLORIDA

Boca Raton Resort & Club


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PGA National Resort

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Four Seasons Florence


Grand Hotel Palazzo Della Fonte


Entire La Villa building Kosher for Pesach • Luxury 5-star resort • Hotel set amidst a 350,000 sq.ft. botanical garden • Gourmet cuisine by Michelen rated Four Seasons chefs • Daily services, outstanding lectures & children’s program • Glatt Kosher supervision by Rabbi G.M. Garelik

• Entire Hotel Kosher for Pesach • Member of the Leading Hotels Of The World • Haute Italian Cuisine • Beautiful spa, indoor & outdoor pools • Free daily shuttle to Rome • Daily services, outstanding lectures & children’s program • Glatt Kosher Supervision by Rabbi G.M. Garelik of Milan

• Entire hotel Kosher for Pesach • Only 30 minutes from New York City • Hotel beautifully renovated • Spectacular lineup of Scholars-inResidence • Fantastic entertainment & daily activities • Professional day camp • Exceptional cuisine by Prestige Caterers • ORB Glatt Kosher Supervision

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FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Dear Readers,


uch controversy has come from President Trump’s recent immigration order. Many people are reacting instinctively to the order or are being persuaded by headlines and talking heads. I think that if more people would read what the order entails, and if the order would have been rolled out with a few days’ notice, there would be less hysteria. That being said, I had a few interesting experiences recently while I was vacationing in Florida. My husband and I chose to spend much of our time there outdoors, walking, biking, and relaxing. The few times we needed to drive, we used Uber as our mode of transportation. And it really added to our trip. Each driver had a unique personality, opinions and were more than eager to talk. One of our drivers, I think his name was Javier, was from Venezuela. We asked him if liked living in America. “America? I love it! I love it!” he exclaimed. He was originally from Venezuela, moved to the United States, moved again to live in Europe and England, and then moved back to the United States. “I love the people, the parties, everyone is so nice,” he said. He had varied opinions on many different topics, with his constant refrain being “I have to be honest with you; I’m not going to lie to you.” Well, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Another driver, Carlos, gave us a completely different viewpoint on those immigrating to the United States. He was from Cuba. We asked him if he likes living here. “No, we have to work so hard,” he lamented. He proceeded to tell us how Fidel Castro was a wonderful person who took care of his people; it was the United States, he said, that prevented the Cuban people from living a good life. By placing an embargo on Cuba

no one was able to do business with the Cubans, and that, he said, was evil – it was using words as weapons. Fidel, with his murderous minions and his belligerence towards the United States only 90 miles away, wasn’t the one to blame. It was the United States that caused the Cubans pain. So what was he doing here, we asked him. Well, it turned out that Carlos attempted to reach America three times before he succeeded. Each time he started out on a small boat and each time he was caught and jailed. “It was OK,” he said. “You just can’t work for the government if you try to escape.” Apparently he wasn’t applying to be Cuba’s secretary of state. His father eventually won a lottery for a visa to the United States. After his parents moved to the U.S., they helped Carlos come as well. And his parents decided not to work when they came here. Uncle Sam was able to provide for them. Wow, Carlos, all that effort to come to a place that you don’t even like. We wondered – but didn’t want to belabor the point – why didn’t he just stay in his beloved Cuba? Living in the United States is a privilege. Part of the privilege is being able to speak our minds. But there are those who come to the U.S. and use their time here just to denigrate our country. They spew vitriol and disparage the nation which gave them freedom, food and rights. So why, I ask, was it so important for them to come here? Perhaps all immigrants – regardless of if they are citizens or not – should be asked to pledge their allegiance to the United States once they reach our shores. If they worked so hard to get to America, perhaps they should be grateful that they are here. Wishing you a wonderful week, Shoshana

Yitzy Halpern PUBLISHER


Shoshana Soroka EDITOR

Nate Davis Editorial Assistant Nechama Wein Copy Editor Rachel Bergida Berish Edelman Mati Jacobovits Design & Production Gabe Solomon Distribution & Logistics P.O. BOX 266 Lawrence, NY 11559 Phone | 516-734-0858 Fax | 516-734-0857 Classifieds: Deadline Mondays 5PM text 443-929-4003 The Jewish Home is an independent weekly magazine. Opinions expressed by writers are not neces­ sarily the opinions of the publisher or editor. The Jewish Home is not responsible for typographical errors, or for the kashrus of any product or business advertised within. The Jewish Home contains words of Torah. Please treat accordingly.

Shabbos Zemanim

Weekly Weather | February 17 – February 23

Friday, February 17 Parshas Yisro 17







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The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017

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FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home



COMMUNITY Readers’ Poll


Community Happenings


Op-ed: Helping and Preventing Unemployment in our Community








Odd-but-True Stories


Shakeup in the White House by Susan Schwamm 93 ISRAEL

Israel News


Adventure on Mount Tsfachot by Elana Dure


PEOPLE The P-38 Lightning and its Heroic Pilots by Avi Heiligman


PARSHA Parshas Yisro: They Will All Know Me by Rav Moshe Weinberger


JEWISH THOUGHT Dollars and Sense by Rabbi Jonathan Gewirtz


Baruch Hashem by Eytan Kobre


Still Soaring: Rabbi Morris Friedman and Tashbar by Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky 82 JEWISH HISTORY Memoirs of a Forgotten Rabbi: The Troubled Life of Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Ferber by Rav Pini Dunner 86 HEALTH & FITNESS Hypnosis: Myth and Facts by Dr. Deb Hirschhorn


Is Oatmeal OK? by Cindy Weinberger, MS, RD, CDN


FOOD & LEISURE The Aussie Gourmet: Creamy Broccoli and Chickpea Soup

Dear Editor, This is to address the woman who wrote in the dating column in your paper that she is shy and has a fear about going on dates. I, too, am extremely quiet by nature. I have had only a few friends in my high school years and I prefer to stay at home as opposed to go in crowds or go to parties. And dating also caused me anxiety. But before I started to date, my mother sat down with me and we spoke about this issue. She pointed out that I want to get married and that the practice in our circles is to date in order to find a spouse. She also mentioned that it’s possible that it would help if I met with someone who could help me with the process. It was a great idea. I went to a therapist, and she and I worked on my fears and anxieties about crowds. We also roleplayed different scenarios with dating. At home, my mother and I also did a little bit of roleplaying before any date I had. No one had to know that I was going to someone to help me with this, and you know what? I think that it helped me in other areas of life. I now feel more comfortable speaking with new acquaintances and I know that I feel comfortable dating as well. Sincerely, A Girl who is Not-So Shy Anymore

Dear Editor, I am writing this as snow blankets my street. My children are home from school, looking forward to a day off. When I saw the emails this morning about the snow day, I thought to myself – Oh no! The kids are going to be kvetching and fighting with nothing to do. But then I “flipped the lever” and put on a happy face. We were going to have a snow day! Yay! I gave my kids a list of activities that they could choose from to do during the day. Of course, playing in the snow was one of them, but we also got creative and they gave me some ideas to put on the list as well. We barely noticed the time fly by, and as the daylight started waning, my kids excitedly looked forward to eating their supper – which they helped to prepare! It’s all in the mind! Let’s make every “snow day” a smiling, fun day! A Smiling Mother Dear Editor, What an amazing Torah article you had in last week’s paper! The article, “Looking back to the future,” by Rav Moshe Weinberger was truly amazing. Can I request that the section “From the Fire” featuring Rabbi Moshe Weinberger articles be as a weekly column? Such amazing and interesting  insights! Continued on page 12


LIFESTYLES Dating Dialogue, Moderated by Jennifer Mann, LCSW 96


Career Day by Chaim Homnick


From My Private Art Collection


Your Money


What Do you Crave? by Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., CLC, SDS


HUMOR Centerfold


Sweet Bread by Jon Kranz


Uncle Moishy Fun Page




The Travel Moratorium: A Hopeless Disaster by Charles Krauthammer




It’s cold outside! Cozy up with a good book. When was the last time you read and finished a book?

42 % 16 % 42

% This week

This month

Not in a long time

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017



FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Sale Dates: February 19th - 25th 2017

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The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017

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FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Continued from 8

Thank you for bringing it in! Sincerely, A Reader

Chai Lifeline mourns the passing of

LEON GERSTEN, ED.D. Founder and CEO of Interborough Developmental and Counseling Center

Dr. Gersten’s understanding of the importance of cultural sensitivity in meeting mental health needs, coupled with his knowledge and foresight, built Interborough into a leading agency in our community. Chai Lifeline is proud to partner with Interborough to provide counseling to our clients and their families in ways that

Dear Editor, I appreciated Mr. Kobre’s article this week on honesty in business. As frum Jews, we are very stringent in certain areas. We try to practice the halachos of lashon hara, we teach our children the law of tzinius, and we only venture into stores with

a proper hashgacha. Sadly, though, we sometimes forget halacha when we walk into the office. It’s not that we deliberately want to be over the halachos of business; over time, though, things get eroded and then it’s naa’seh bo’ k’heter. I think it would behoove our community to have a weekly shiur on proper business practices. This way, it will keep the topic foremost in our minds and will remind us of very important halachos. Volvie Gardner

Views expressed on the Letters to the Editor page do not necessarily reflect the views of The Jewish Home.

meet their cultural and religious beliefs and values.

Please send all correspondence to We extend our deepest condolences to his family Dr. Stephen Gersten Tzvi Gersten and the entire family on their loss.

of,t ojbh ouenv ohkaurhu iuhm hkct rta lu,c

SOL MAYER MORDY ROTHBERG Presidium RABBI MORDECHAI GOBIOFF Director of Client Services, National

RABBI SIMCHA SCHOLAR Executive Vice President DR. CHERYL BOOK Director of Clinical and Family Services

NACHMAN MAIMON Program Director

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017

The Week In News

V.P. Involved in Venezuelan Passport Fraud

According to an investigation by CNN and CNN en Espanol, there are stunning irregularities with the issuing of Venezuelan passports. Besides for the fraud committed within the country – much of it linked to the new Venezuelan vice president Tareck El Aissami – Venezuelan passports permit the holder entry into 130 countries without a visa, a sobering revelation. CNN conducted many interviews across three continents during its investigation. Once such interview was with Misael Lopez, the former legal adviser to the Venezuelan Embassy in Iraq. He now lives in Spain. Lopez, 41, says he reported what he says was a scheme to sell passports and visas for thousands of dollars out of the embassy and repeatedly turned down offers to get a cut of the money. But it was the response from his government – which has denied his allegations – that surprised him the most. According to CNN, Vice President El Aissami has been linked to 173 Venezuelan passports and IDs that were issued to individuals from the Middle East, including people connected to the terrorist group Hezbollah. El Aissami “took charge of issuing, granting visas and nationalizing citizens from different countries, especially Syrians, Lebanese, Jordanians, Iranians and Iraqis.” Another high-profile Venezuelan linked to terrorism is Ghazi Nasr Al-Din, a former Venezuelan diplomat who worked in the country’s

embassy in Syria. He is “wanted for questioning” by the FBI for “his fundraising efforts” with Hezbollah contributors, according to a notice on the FBI website. U.S. officials say he has “facilitated the travel” of Hezbollah members to and from Venezuela, according to a 2008 press release from the U.S. Treasury Department. This is not the first time that Venezuelan passports have raised eyebrows. In the early 2000s, when Hugo Chavez was president, the government was accused of issuing passports to people who are not Venezuelan. A Venezuelan passport allows entry into 130 countries without a visa, including 26 countries in the European Union. To enter the United States, though, one must have a visa. Back in 2006, U.S. lawmakers heard reports about Venezuelan passport fraud during congressional hearings. A congressional report warned, “Venezuela is providing support, including identity documents that could prove useful to radical Islamic groups.” A state department report at the time concluded that “Venezuelan travel and identification documents are extremely easy to obtain by persons not entitled to them.” When Lopez uncovered the fraud in the embassy, he alerted the Venezuelan government. But they were not concerned, even threatening to fire him for raising the alarm. He eventually took his case to Delcy Rodriguez, Venezuela’s foreign minister. His emailed report said there was “fraudulent issuing of visas, birth certificates and Venezuelan documents.” But there was no response. Eventually, Lopez came to the FBI. Shortly thereafter, the Venezuelan government fired Lopez and said he was under investigation for revealing “confidential documents or secrets.” At one point, when CNN attempted to find out more information during the year-long investigation, they were told that any questions about the passport allegations would be grounds for expulsion from the country. Indeed, last August, a CNN en Español producer and videographer were forced to leave the country after Venezuelan authorities impounded CNN camera equipment at the airport. On Monday of this week, Vice President El Aissami made more headlines when the United States put him and another Venezuelan on



FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

a list of foreign nationals with suspected ties to drug trafficking. This new designation comes after years of investigation by U.S. authorities into his alleged participation in drug trafficking and money laundering. “He facilitated shipments of narcotics from Venezuela, to include control over planes that leave from a Venezuelan air base, as well as control of drug routes through the ports in Venezuela,” according to a Treasury Department statement. “He also facilitated, coordinated, and protected other narcotics traffickers operating in Venezuela.” El Aissami is the highest-ranking Venezuelan hit by U.S. sanctions under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. Those listed have their assets blocked and U.S. citizens, institutions and companies are prohibited worldwide from dealing with them.

N. Korea Launches New Missile North Korea seems to be a growing concern for China, South Korea

and the world. Last week, a Chinese Communist Party newspaper urged world powers, specifically the U.S., to address the “root cause” of North Korea’s nuclear development. The article begged Washington to buckle down on North Korea’s rapidly developing nuclear power. According to The Global Times, Pyongyang is upset and angry “because the military threat it faces looks very real” and it is enduring severe sanctions. Consequently, it is ramping up its nuclear program.

On Sunday, North Korea tested the waters by firing a new type of medium- to long-range ballistic missile. Kim Jong Un supervised the test of the Pukguksong-2, a new strategic weapon capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. This is regarded as the first direct challenge from

North Korea’s leader to new U.S. President Donald Trump. A spokesman for U.S. Strategic Command said that “U.S. Strategic Command systems detected and tracked what we assess was a North Korean missile launch.” The missile landed in the sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga confirmed that the missile did not hit Japanese territorial seas. In response to the missile launch, the U.S., Japan and South Korea requested an immediate meeting of the UN Security Council. The White House and Japan condemned the missile launch, calling it “absolutely intolerable.” “The United States of America stands behind Japan, its great ally, 100 percent,” Trump said during the conference at Trump’s South Florida estate. Japan President Shinzo Abe read a brief statement in which he called on North Korea “to fully comply with relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions.” Japan also said that further sanctions may be placed at the UN and urged China to take a “constructive” role in responding to the North Ko-

rean threat. China has long been a significant trade partner with North Korea but has grown wary of recent, consistent belligerent actions by the Hermit Kingdom. China said it opposed North Korean missile tests that run contrary to U.N. resolutions. “All sides should exercise restraint and jointly maintain regional peace and security,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said, adding that China would participate in talks at the United Nations on the launch with a “responsible and constructive attitude.” North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests, including two last year, although its claims to be able to miniaturize a nuclear weapon to be mounted on a missile have never been verified independently. In his New Year speech this year, Kim Jong Un declared that the nation was close to test-launching an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and state media have said such a launch could come at any time. A fully developed ICBM could threaten the continental United States, which is about 9,000 km (5,500 miles) from North Korea.

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On Monday, Kim Jong Nam, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s half-brother, was assassinated in Malaysia. Jong Nam was the oldest son of former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, although he held no official title. The 45-year-old was attacked by two women at the airport who stabbed him with poisoned needles before fleeing. Authorities suspect that North Korea was behind the attack. At one point, in the late 1990s, Jong Nam was thought to be the heir to the dictatorship held by his father Kim Jong Il. But he was summarily dismissed of that future title when he tried entering Tokyo Disneyland using a fake passport in May 2001. Jong Nam had been a critic of Jong Un’s rule at times and had previously been the target of other assassination attempts.

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Americans aren’t the only ones with a hurting middle class. Canadians in Vancouver are suffering from a growing epidemic as well, leaving many luxury homes empty. The trend has led to a high demand for affordable housing. In the last decade and a half, Vancouver’s vacant or temporarily

occupied dwellings have more than doubled, reaching an all-time high of 66,719. This data was based on a census for Metro Vancouver released last week. Many of the empty homes are worth millions and are simply not affordable for Vancouverites. Lots of the properties are owned by wealthy landlords overseas who purchased the homes to park their cash or as vacation properties. Vacant properties cause low enrollment in public schools and slow traffic for local businesses. To combat the growing problem, Vancouver has introduced a new tax on empty homes in order to deter investors from scooping up properties. The hope is that the new tax will boost the supply of rentals. Additionally, foreign buyers will be hit with a 15% tax. “It’s unacceptable for so much housing to be treated as a commodity,” Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said in a statement last Thursday. “Housing is for homes first, and as investments second. Vancouver will continue to do all it can to maintain and protect affordable homes and pursue all tools available to ensure the best use of all our housing.” Policymakers and real estate experts are demanding more housing supply and greater density near the city center to boost productivity and temper prices. Currently most households earn below the national median. A median single-family house can cost as much as C$4.9 million (around $3.75M) – and that’s about 65 times Vancouver’s median household income.

Thousands Killed In “Slaughterhouse” Syrian Prison

Amnesty International has reported that there have been up to 13,000 people executed in a Syrian prison since 2011. The human rights group also reveals that prisoners are

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guards and judges who worked in Saydnaya prison. The killings were often done in secret and mass grave sites were prepared outside of the capital, often without informing the families of the victims. Most victims were told they were being transferred to another cell in middle of the night. Instead, they were led to their death. An inmate that was released described the horrors of the prison: “Death is the simplest thing. It was the most hoped for because it would have spared us a lot: hunger, thirst, fear, pain, cold, thinking.”


Over 100 Dead During Brazilian Police Strike

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being tortured in the military prison near Damascus, which has been nicknamed “The Slaughterhouse.” While some of the prisoners were given a “sham trial” lasting a few minutes, others were simply executed on the orders of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s deputies. Amnesty International is labeling the killings – which have aver-

aged between 20 and 50 a week since 2011 – a war crime and is calling on the UN to investigate the matter. Their report describes the victims as “overwhelmingly civilians who are thought to oppose the government. Many other detainees have been killed after being repeatedly tortured and systematically deprived of food, water, medicine and medical care.”

Lynn Maalouf, deputy director for research at Amnesty’s office in Beirut, added: “The horrors depicted in this report reveal a hidden, monstrous campaign, authorized at the highest levels of the Syrian government, aimed at crushing any form of dissent within the Syrian population.” The report is based on interviews with 84 ex-inmates and dozens of

An eight-day police strike has led to the deaths of 144 people in the Brazilian state of Espirito Santo. The army mobilized its airborne troops to back up the 1,200 soldiers and federal police that had been brought in to contain the chaos that broke out in the coastal state located north of Rio de Janeiro while police went on strike. In total, 3,100 members of the army came to the city’s aid. Most of the violence broke out in Vitoria, the wealthy state capital. “We cannot establish definite motives for these killings at this time as the crisis is still ongoing,” said Gustavo Tenorio, a spokesman for the police union. “But an initial evaluation by the homicide division seems to indicate that a majority of those who have died were tied to drug trafficking or some other type of crime.” The police in the state are demanding a pay raise. The country has taken a big economic downturn and public finances have become very close to bankrupt in many states. There are fears that strikes may spread to other cash-strapped states as well. The number of murders during the week-long strike was six times higher than the same period last

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FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

year. There were also reports of over 200 stolen cars in Vitoria in a single day, which is ten times more than the daily average. All stores were closed in the capital, school was suspended, and all public transportation was frozen during the chaos. By Monday of this week, 1,000 police officers went back to work. But other officers are still on strike. The government has not yet conceded to their demands. In Brazil, it is illegal for police officers to strike. But, as one policeman said, “In Brazil, the policemen are blamed for the high levels of violence. But the teachers are not blamed for illiteracy. Neither the doctors for the bad conditions in the health  care system. Why are we blamed?” The government has warned that some officers will be held responsible for the strike and the ensuing chaos.

sian president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali and his wife, Leila Trabelsi. The couple has already been convicted in absentia several times and last Thursday they were issued a brand new 10-year prison sentence for corruption. Although it doesn’t seem to affect them practically speaking, last Tuesday a court in Tunisia found Ben Ali and Trabelsi guilty in a case involving “administrative and financial corruption,” said prosecution spokesman Sofiene Sliti.

Former Tunisian Leader Convicted – Again

A ministerial source said the latest case has to do with the “commercial use” of the Club Elyssa, in the grounds of a state-owned nature park in the suburbs of Tunis. Trabelsi hosted social gatherings at the government-owned club. The venue was

Legally speaking, things aren’t looking any better for former Tuni-

recently the location of the first public hearings of the Truth and Dignity Commission on human rights violations during six decades of dictatorship. Two other officials were also convicted in the case: a former minister for the environment who received five years jail time, and another ministry official given three years. Additionally a relative of the ex-president’s wife was sentenced to three years in prison. Ben Ali is known for leading Tunisia with an iron fist for over two decades. He served as the second president of the country from 1987 to 2011. Ben Ali was appointed prime minister in October 1987 and was promoted to president a few short weeks later after a bloodless coup d’état  succeeded in ousting former President Habib Bourguiba. Twenty-three years later, following weeks of angry protests against his administration, he and his family fled to Saudi Arabia. Since then the couple has been convicted in several cases, mostly for corruption. Ben Ali was also accused of ordering the killing of 338 people during the 2011 revolution and was sentenced to life in prison for that offense.

In November 2016, Ben Ali issued a statement through his lawyer, Mounir Ben Salha, acknowledging his regime made “errors, abuses and violations.” However he remains in absentia since the Saudi government has ignored Tunisia’s requests to extradite the criminal duo.

Evacuation as Bomb Found in Greece

A 500-pound World War II bomb caused a lot of trouble in the Greek city of Thessaloniki this week. Authorities in the northern Greek city issued evacuation orders to defuse the device which was found buried beneath a gas station while working

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to expand fuel storage tanks. By the time the bomb was defused, 70,000 people were evacuated from their homes – one of the largest peacetime evacuations in Greece. Thessaloniki’s Deputy Governor Voula Patoulidou related before the diffusion, “It is the first time something like this is happening in Greece. The transfer of all residents is mandatory and we will go door-to-door to make sure everyone leaves.” By Sunday morning, the town was able to breathe a sigh of relief. “Phase two of the bomb removal operation was successfully completed,” Central Macedonia Gov. Apostolos Tzitzikostas tweeted on Sunday. “Citizens can safely return to their homes.” Many of those evacuated used their few hours to enjoy museums and cafes nearby. A Greek army spokesman said the bomb’s exterior had been so degraded that they weren’t sure whether it was a German or Allied bomb. Giorgos Gerasimou, an 86-year-old who lives in the area, told AP he recalls the bombing. “The bombing was done by English and American planes on Sept. 17, 1944. It was Sunday lunchtime,” he recalled. “We could see the planes coming.” Thankfully, the bomb landed without exploding.

Anti-Trump Rallies in Iran

banners saying, “Thanks Mr. Trump for showing the real face of America.” A young Iranian man was portrayed on Iranian television saying, “We are ready to sacrifice our lives for our leader,” in a reference to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Trump’s warning to Iran came in reaction to a January 29th missile test the country conducted. New sanctions were imposed as well. Iran has sworn not to slow its missile program. President Hassan Rouhani had called on Iranians to join the rally in order to “show their unbreakable ties with the Supreme Leader and the Islamic Republic.” “Some inexperienced figures in the region and America are threatening Iran ... They should know that the language of threats has never worked with Iran,” Rouhani told the crowd at Azadi Square. “Our nation is vigilant and will make those threatening Iran regret it ... They should learn to respect Iran and Iranians ... We will strongly confront any war-mongering policies.” Although many American flags were burned at the rallies, the U.S. was not the only target – Israel was added to the mix as well. Some marchers carried pictures of Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and British Prime Minister Theresa May captioned with the words, “Death to the Devil Triangle.” Protesters also stamped on a huge photo of Trump and the flag of the United States as they walked along the route.

In Italy, a “Jew” is an OK Slur

After President Trump put the Islamic Republic of Iran “on notice,” hundreds of thousands of Iranians took to the streets of Iran in protest. The marchers carried signs reading “Death to America” and marched to the soundtrack of traditional Iranian revolution songs. This song and dance, though, is not new, as Iran has consistently been the epicenter of marches dotted with signs emblazoned with the words, “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.” In Tehran’s Azadi (Freedom) Square, hundreds were seen trampling on Trump’s picture and holding

The Jewish community of Italy was disappointed to learn that a court in Italy acquitted two soccer fans after they were filmed chanting anti-Semitic slurs during a soccer game. The incident occurred on March 30, 2013 during a Lazio game at the Stadio Olimpico. The pair were filmed screaming the words “giallorosso ebreo,” Italian for “yellow-red Jew” in reference to the colors of the

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opposing soccer club’s uniforms. Italian police arrested the two anti-Semites and opened an investigation that culminated in a trial this past week. The judge argued that the two were not to be charged as the phrase “Jewish Roma supporter” does not constitute racism but is an acceptable and legitimate term because of the “historic sports antagonism between the two urban teams.” The judge dismissed the case, calling the chant “merely sports ridicule.” He justified the racist chants as they were expressed during a competitive sporting event. Ruth Durighello, a leader in Rome’s Jewish community, penned a letter calling the decision “an extremely dangerous precedent for justice in this country.” Her letter also underlined that the ruling give legitimacy to using the word “Jew” in a negative and racist form. The Italian Minister of Justice announced that he would take time to further investigate the matter and “act accordingly” if he feels the need to do so.

A Game of Tribute In 2015, the Schwartz family suffered the loss of their son, Ezra, in a terror attack in Gush Etzion. The 18-year-old yeshiva student’s murder touched the entire Jewish world. In November of that year, owner of the New England Patriots Robert Kraft paid tribute to Ezra when he issued a moment of silence at a Patriots “Monday Night Football” game. He also paid a shiva call to the Schwartz family the next night. This month, during the Super Bowl, Kraft once again paid tribute to Ezra by hosting his family as his VIP guests at the Super Bowl in Houston. Ezra’s parents, Ari and Ruth Schwartz, and their kids, Mollie, Hillel, Elon, and Avi, were all pictured at the Super Bowl in full Patriots’ garb. Kraft had also reached out to the family of Max Steinberg, a Golani American soldier who was killed in Gaza, and penned a heartfelt letter of condolence to them in 2014.

Tel Aviv U Produces Billion Dollar Startups

Sage, the cloud accounting software firm, has conducted a new study evaluating schools around the world. The company was looking for which universities have produced the highest number of billion dollar startups. Want to start a company? Perhaps you should consider the Holy Land. According to the software firm, Tel Aviv University ranked eighth in the world. First place on the list went to Stanford University, which has 51 alumni that are responsible for founding startup firms worth more than $1 billion. Harvard came in second with 31 alums. Tel Aviv University has trained seven such alumni. The school just beat out Cornell and the University of Southern California, which had six apiece. The companies founded by Tel Aviv alumni include computer security firm Fore Scout and Iron Source, which builds tools for app developers.

ISIS Claims Eilat Rocket Attack

ISIS has claimed responsibility through one of its affiliates for the rockets that were fired at the resort city of Eilat last week. The terrorist organization said that the attacks were committed “in order to teach the Jews and the Crusaders that a proxy war will not avail them of anything.” The group also threatened more “ca-

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017



FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

area of operation, namely the border with Gaza, and operates from several mountainous areas within central Sinai.” The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted three of the four rockets that were fired. Thankfully no one was hurt by the rockets.

Hamas Heading to Intifada Conference

lamitous” attacks in the future. The ISIS affiliate group is called the Sinai Province. Cairo and Jerusalem have been cooperating closely in fighting ISIS and their affiliates in the region since Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi rose to power in 2014. If Israel would retaliate by hitting Sinai targets, it would be a

violation of Egyptian sovereignty, so the country has to rely on Egypt for retaliation. The two countries meet regularly to discuss anti-terror techniques and exchange intelligence. Despite its small size, Sinai Province has been one of the most effective ISIS franchises outside of Iraq and Syria. President Sisi has been

fighting them for the past year, as the group has been carrying out almost daily attacks on Egyptian security forces. According to Michael Horowitz, director of intelligence at Prime Source, a Middle East based geopolitical consultancy, “ISIS has been increasingly active outside of its main

As if Hamas needs any training in terror, the terrorist organization has announced that it will attend an Iran conference on “Intifada.” Husam Badran, Hamas spokesman, explained that Hamas and Iran are on good terms. Speaking on Sunday to the Palestine  newspaper, considered the official mouthpiece of Hamas, Badran claimed, “In general, we are building our foreign relations based on the interest of the Palestinian people, and we cooperate with anyone who can cater to the Palestinian problem and support our struggle.” In other words, they go where the money is. Badran expressed hope that Hamas will continue to strengthen its relations with Iran, noting that a senior Hamas delegation will visit Tehran and participate in a conference in support of “the Intifada.” The Iranian parliament sent a formal invitation to the terrorist group to attend the conference, set to take place on February 20 in Tehran. Historically, Iran has been a stronger supporter of Hamas, but the two have been at odds over the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. As a result of Hamas’s refusal to support Assad in the uprising, an angry Iran reportedly stopped supplying the terror group with weapons. Last year, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal admitted that Iran had  cut back its assistance  to Hamas but denied reports that Iran’s move

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017

stemmed from a disconnect between Hamas and the Islamic Republic. “Iran was once a main supporter of the movement, but today the scope of its support has changed and we are striving to diversify the sources of official and popular support,” he admitted at the time. Even as Hamas refused to back Assad, it always refrained from criticizing Iran for its role in the mass murder of Sunni Muslims in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. The two factions, Hamas and Iran, are joined together in a shared hatred of the Jewish State.

Terrorist Captured after Shooting and Stabbing Three people were injured in Petach Tikvah when an 18-year-old Palestinian from Nablus opened fire on a bus and stabbed a shopper in a nearby store last Thursday afternoon. The terrorist was captured by civilians and then arrested by police. According to a police spokesman, the Shin Bet took over the investigation and took custody of the attacker, Sadeq Abu Mazen, a teenager who has praised many anti-Israel terrorist attacks on his Facebook page. Danny Danon, the Israeli Ambassador to the UN, called on the UN secretary general to condemn the attack and the Security Council to convene an emergency session on Palestinian incitement. “This attack is a direct result of the ongoing incitement of Palestinian leadership,” he said. “The international community must take decisive and immediate steps against this incitement before it leads to more bloodshed.” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin took to Facebook to heap praise on the civilians that assisted in the capture of the terrorist. “The resourcefulness and courage of the citizens of Israel prevented a devastating attack again today in Petah Tikva,” he wrote. “Alongside the security forces who work day and night to allow us to live our lives, taking responsibility for one another was and will be part of the secret of our strength.” On Friday, police raided the home of the terrorist, which is located near Shechem and under the

control of the Palestinian Authority. His relatives were also detained. Work permit granting members of his family entry into Israel were cancelled. In separate operations on Thursday night, authorities nabbed 10 wanted terrorists in Judea and Samaria suspected of attacks against security forces and civilians. In addition, six other suspects were taken into custody for allegedly aiding Palestinian Authority residents to illegally enter pre-1967 Israel. Authorities also discovered a “Carlo” improvised submachine gun in the possession of a Hamas terrorist in Tzurif near Hevron. Carlo guns, which are manufactured by underground weapons factories across Judea and Samaria, are popular with lone-wolf terrorists due to their low price and widespread availability. A Carlo was used in the attack in Petach Tikvah.

Israel Ranked Third Best Country for Families

InterNations has listed Israel in the top three best countries for families when asking expats about the best places to live. Falling just behind Finland and the Czech Republic, Israel was up one spot this year. The expats – people who have moved out of their country – that were polled were all required to have dependents. They were asked to rate their country on a scale of 1-7 in 43 categories. Among the areas investigated were safety, cost of living, childcare availability and affordability, quality of education, and healthcare. After Israel came Austria and Sweden followed by Norway, Australia, Taiwan, Belgium, Germany, France, Poland, Netherlands, Luxembourg, South Africa, Singapore, Philippines, Mexico and South Korea. Finland got the top spot because



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“no expat parent had anything negative to say about their children’s health, children’s safety, or children’s well-being in Finland. 70% of expats said the quality of education there is excellent; this is compared to the global average of just 21%.” The Czech Republic came in second – up 12 spots from last year – because “74% agreed that education is easy to afford, although it did not reach the top spot due to the quality of that education.” Israel came in third this year because “81% of expat parents are happy with the childcare options and they are similarly positive about the education options, with 84% expressing general satisfaction.”

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According to recent reports, Israel’s ambassador to Egypt, David Govrin, is no longer in Cairo. Instead, he is working at his post in Jerusalem. Govrin actually came back to Israel at the end of last year over concerns for his safety. He was last seen in Egypt touring a museum in November. The Shin Bet confirmed that due to security concerns the ambassador and his staff have yet to return to Cairo and the foreign ministry related that hopefully he will be returning to his post in Egypt when circumstances permit. Egypt is battling extremist Islamic terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula, some of which are aligned with the Islamic State group. Hundreds of police and security forces have been killed in attacks that have also targeted civilian sites. There have also been deadly attacks within Cairo. Ambassador Govrin – who speaks fluent Arabic – was appointed to his post last summer and in September presented his credentials to President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

Militant to be Hamas’ New Leader

A new leader has been appointed by Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Yehiya Sinwar, who was freed in a 2011 prisoner swap after serving 20 years in Israeli prison, is now in charge of the terrorist organization. The promotion of a militant commander to the top spot solidifies the takeover of Gaza operations by the armed wing of the group from its previous civilian leaders. Sinwar is replacing Ismail Haniyeh, who was the prime minister of the Hamas government since the group took over Gaza in 2007. Haniyeh is rumored to be taking over the role of the group’s supreme leader, which is now held by Khaled Mashaal, who lives in exile. Sinwar, who is in his mid-50s, founded Hamas’ military wing in the 1980s. He was handed four life sentences in 1988 for his many murderous offenses including a key role in the abduction and murder of two Israeli soldiers. He was the leader of all Hamas prisoners during his final years in jail. Sinwar was one of the 1,000 soldiers that were swapped for Gilad Shalit in 2011. Ironically, Israel maintains that Sinwar’s brother was behind Shalit’s abduction and masterminded the prisoner exchange. Israel captured the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem during the Six Day War in 1967. In 2005, Israel pulled out of Gaza and Hamas seized control of the area after two years of fighting with its rival, the Fatah movement. Since then, Israel and Egypt have maintained a blockade on the region, and Israel has gone to war three times in response to Palestinian rocket fire. Putting a militant in charge of Hamas operations will surely lead to more fighting. Kobi Michael, a former head of the Palestinian Desk at Israel’s Ministry for Strategic Affairs, said  Sinwar  represents “one of the most


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in place by the Government,” the proposal reads. The government in Britain has a “longstanding policy of value for money in public procurement,” the document reads. Legislation on procurement in the UK and the EU “requires public authorities to treat suppliers fairly and equally and this guidance has been updated to reflect that and make it clear that boycotts in public procurement are inappropriate outside where formal legal sanctions have been put in place.” In short, suppliers cannot be discriminated against for political reasons.

A representative of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the national umbrella of the Jewish community of the United Kingdom, said his group “warmly welcomes the Government’s measures” since “these boycotts are divisive and undermine good community relations. The new steps will ensure that all suppliers of goods and services receive equal treatment and do not need to fear prejudice.” The resolutions that call for boycotting Israel were passed in several places in the UK in 2014. The Conservative-led British government has said that they will fine any municipalities found to be boycotting Israel.

Flynn is Not In radical and extreme lines of Hamas.” He described  Sinwar  as a “bitter enemy” of Egypt who is focused on building Hamas’ military capabilities. “The idea that he was elected is a very dangerous and concerning indication of the destabilization of the region,” Michael said.

UK Proposes Anti-BDS Bill The UK has proposed new guidelines that will prevent future boycotting of Israeli products by local municipalities. The British Department

for Communities and Local Government has published a document that lays out how the department plans on amending the current guidelines on local government policies. “Authorities should not implement or pursue boycotts other than where formal legal sanctions, embargoes and restrictions have been put

Michael Flynn was just done setting up the picture frames in his office in Washington when his new job came to an abrupt end. After just 24 days on the job, on Monday night, Flynn announced that he will be resigning as the national security advisor. This announcement comes after it was revealed that Flynn misled Vice President Mike Pence and other administration officials

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about the nature of his conversations with a Russian envoy.

ambassador. They pointed out that he may be vulnerable to blackmail by Russia in the future.

Trump’s Immigration Order: Still Suspended Shortly after Flynn’s resignation letter was delivered to President Donald Trump, the president formally accepted the resignation and appointed Keith Kellogg, a decorated retired Army lieutenant general, as acting national security adviser. According to a senior White House official, Trump is considering appointing Kellogg as the permanent replacement but David Petraeus, a former CIA director and retired general, and Vice Adm. Robert Harward, a former deputy commander of the U.S. Central Command, are also in the running for the position. Flynn used his resignation letter as a platform to defend his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., saying he had full intentions to “facilitate a smooth transition” and was trying “to build the necessary relationships” for the new administration. He said he gave “incomplete information” about his conversation with Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak and had denied that anything substantial had taken place in that conversation. He had repeated that claim in television interviews over the last few weeks. “Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the Vice President-Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador,” Flynn wrote in the letter. “I have sincerely apologized to the President and the Vice President, and they have accepted my apology.” Flynn wrote that he was “honored to have served our nation and the American people in such a distinguished way.” He added, “I also am extremely honored to have served President Trump, who in just three weeks, has reoriented American foreign policy in fundamental ways to restore America’s leadership position in the world.” The Justice Department warned the White House last month that Flynn was not being forthright about his conversations with the Russian

Last week, a federal appeals court panel decided to uphold the freeze on President Trump’s controversial immigration order. This allows previously barred refugees and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries to enter the U. S. The three judges with U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit unanimously agreed to reject the White House’s argument to suspend the freeze. A 29-page opinion detailed why they did not feel that national security was at risk. Although based on recent media coverage it seems that many Americans are also against the ban, Trump is reporting a very different reality. On Wednesday, the president posted to Twitter and Instagram claiming that a recent poll showed that the “Immigration Ban Is One Of Trump’s Most Popular Orders So Far.” Trump voiced his discontentment on Twitter, just a few minutes after the ruling, tweeting, “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!” The Justice Department, which was defending the administration’s position, said in a statement that it was “reviewing the decision and considering its options.” What’s the next step? The Justice Department has the ability to ask the Supreme Court to intervene. It is said, though, that the administration may come before the judges in an “en banc” hearing, in which 11 of the 25 active judges on the Ninth Circuit Court will vote on whether or not the court should reconsider its decision. Only three of the Circuit’s Court judges heard the case initially and all three voted against the order. “Further proceedings in the Ninth Circuit will likely inform what



FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

additional proceedings on a preliminary injunction motion are necessary in district court,” the Department of Justice wrote in papers filed Monday in federal court in Seattle. Many on Trump’s side are saying that the Ninth Circuit’s 29-page ruling did not provide legal standing for their position, instead focusing on the rights of two visiting scholars who wanted to spend time in Washington State University – one of them without a visa; three “prospective employees” of the University of Washington who had no visas; and two medicine and science interns without visas. Notice how only one of the seven individuals had a visa. When the Trump administration pointed out to the Court that the Constitution does not necessarily provide individuals without visas any rights, the court admitted that these people only had “potential claims regarding possible due process rights.” Not once did the Court mention the law, passed in 1952, which gives the president the power to limit people’s entry into the United States. In it, it says that Congress gives the president the power to “suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonim-

migrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate”...“whenever the President finds that the entry . . . [of such persons]  would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.”

U.S. Army: Psychic Division?

A recently released report reveals some peculiar details of the hostage crisis of 1979. Apparently American intelligence officials hired psychics to help spy on Iranians, according to newly available CIA documents. These weren’t ordinary psychics; they were a team of highly trained military clairvoyants. The group secretly met over 200 times in an old

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building in Fort Mead, Maryland, in an attempt to help rescue the hostages. Their goal was to tap into the supernatural in order to rescue the dozens of American hostages. During these undercover meetings, called “Operation Grill Flame,” the clairvoyants attempted to predict the future by pinpointing the location of hostages, how closely they were being guarded, and whether they were still alive. Unfortunately only half of their predictions and assumptions turned out to be accurate. Once the hostages were released in 1981, Pentagon staffers compared the information predicted to what actually occurred in the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. “Only seven reports” were proven correct, one Joint Chiefs staffer wrote. More than half were “entirely incorrect.” It sounds silly for psychics to work for the army but the psychics were hired by U.S. Army intelligence and worked closely with other top commanders at the Pentagon during the 444-day standoff, according to the Herald. Imagine the kind of protests and headlines this kind of “intelligence” would elicit nowadays: “Tax dollars for tarot cards.”

In the Iran hostage crisis, 52 American diplomats and citizens were held hostage by a group of Iranian students for 444 days, the longest hostage crisis in history.

The State of Happiness

They say happiness is a state of mind, but a recent Gallup-Healthways report says that happiness is actually in the state of Hawaii. According to a new poll, the Aloha State ranked number one in 2016 for the sixth consecutive year, with a score of 65.2 out of 100. Since the list’s inception in 2008, Kentucky and West Virginia have hogged the bottom two spots. An overall trend showed that

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doesn’t mean that Americans’ wellbeing increased in all areas. The percentage of Americans with obesity or diabetes increased, and the percentage of individuals diagnosed with depression reached its highest level since Gallup began conducting the poll. The authors of the poll suggest that state governments in places where people tended to be less happy should consider spreading healthy eating habits awareness and should create more active environments for their residents that promote physical activity. The happiest states in the nation are: 1. Hawaii 2. Alaska 3. Montana 4. Colorado 5. Wyoming 6. South Dakota 7. Minnesota 8. Utah 9. Arizona 10. California Residents are most unhappy here: 1. West Virginia 2. Kentucky 3. Oklahoma 4. Ohio 5. Indiana 6. Missouri 7. Arkansas 8. Mississippi 9. Louisiana 10. Georgia As suspected, Floridians are pretty happy with the sand between their toes and the sun in their eyes, they ranked 12th happiest. However, apparently New Yorkers aren’t too thrilled with life: they ranked 40th happy or 11th unhappiest, depends how you look at it – is the glass half full or half empty? Residents of Maryland aren’t much happier at number 34, and neither are the people of New Jersey who came in at 32.

people in the states in the northern Plains and Mountain West were generally more content that the residents of the South and Midwest. The rankings are based on interviews with over than 177,000 U.S. adults across all 50 states, conducted from January to December 2016. The researchers calculated a wellbeing score for each

state, based on participants’ answers to questions about different aspects of wellbeing, including their sense of purpose, social relationships, financial lives, community involvement and physical health. Although many view 2016 as a rough year, between the election and the rise of radical Islam, on aver-

age Americans’ wellbeing increased slightly this year. In 2015 the overall happiness was 61.7, up from 61.6 in 2014, but in 2016 the score evened out at 62.1. Gallup-Healthways is attributing the increase in happiness to more Americans having health insurance and the decline of smoking across the nation. However, that

“The Wall’s” Blueprint Coming to Life Germany is home to the famous Berlin Wall, China is home to the Great Wall, Israel is home to the Western Wall, and the U.S. will soon be home to Trump’s Wall. According to certain reports, the wall will be a series of fences Continued on page 38

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and walls stretching out along 1,250 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. The construction of the wall is estimated to cost as much as $21.6 billion and will be done in three phases spanning three and a half years, based on a U.S. Department of Homeland Security internal report. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2020; 654 miles of the border is already fortified. Previously, Trump had quoted the price of the wall at $12 billion during his campaign.

The official report about the wall between the United States and Mexico is expected to be released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly within the next few days. President Trump told law enforcement officials last Wednesday, “The wall is getting designed right now.” The first and least expensive

phase will cost just $360 million. Many are calling this phase the “appeasement” phase, intended for Trump to prove that he’s good for his campaign promises (at least some of them). Phase two and three will cost the big bucks since they all extend over many more miles, some of it private property or inaccessible by road. During the last two phases, the U.S. will also be forced to seek eminent domain and environmental waivers. The U.S. government would also have to meet the requirements of the International Boundary and Water Commission, a U.S.-Mexico pact over shared waters. According to the report, that agreement alone could take the cost from $11 million per mile to $15 million per mile in one region.

Dam Forces Major Evacuation Tens of thousands of California residents were displaced over the weekend as emergency crews scrambled to attempt to prevent the country’s tallest dam from possibly failing and releasing a rush of overpowering

floodwaters into surrounding towns. Lake Oroville, about 150 miles northeast of San Francisco, is one of the state’s largest man-made lakes. Sunday’s evacuation order came after engineers discovered a hole that was eroding near the top of the 770-foot-tall Oroville Dam’s emergency spillway, prompting the evacuation of 188,000 residents from Oroville, Gridley, Live Oak, Marysville, Wheatland, Yuba City, Plumas Lake and Olivehurst in California. Residents barely received any warning – officials warned that the spillway could fail within an hour, causing mass panic. Residents grabbed few belongings and fled in their cars all at once, causing gridlock traffic. Unexpected erosion cut through the spillway, sending hunks of concrete flying and creating a 200-footlong, 30-foot-deep hole. “This is very serious,” California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Scott McClean said at the time. Thankfully, by Monday, water levels were dropping. California Department of Water Resources officials said flows into the lake were just under 45,000 cubic feet per second. Outflows remained high at nearly 100,000 cubic feet per second. State officials, though, were not ready to lift the evacuation order until they personally inspected the erosion. Weather forecasts were predicting more rain on Wednesday which would be problematic since it could soak the area and put more pressure on the dam and the spillway.

Butte County Sheriff Koney Honea said there is currently a plan being formulated to plug the hole by using helicopters to drop rocks into the crevasse. The California Department of Water Resources said it was releasing as much as 100,000 cubic feet per second from the main spillway to try to drain the lake. As of Tuesday, evacuation orders were still in place. People huddled in makeshift tents, in other places of shelter or with families on higher ground. They understand the sever-

ity of the situation and are waiting for the all-clear from officials. When they will get it is hard to say.

Immigration Agents Arrest 680 People

On Monday, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly announced that U.S. immigration officers have arrested more than 680 people in recent operations, 75 percent of whom have criminal records. The operations were routine and consistent with what U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have been carrying out in recent years. Those who were picked up with criminal records include crimes that range from homicide to DWI. Others had ignored final orders of deportation, according to ICE, the agency responsible for immigrant arrests and deportations. Although critics have been crying foul and pointing fingers at the Trump administration, nothing is out-of-the-ordinary here. In fact, former President Barack Obama was called the “deporter in chief” at one time after he deported over 400,000 people in 2012, more than any president in a single year. In 2014, Obama’s homeland security chief issued a memo directing agents to focus on deporting a narrow slice of immigrants, namely those who had recently entered the country or committed serious felonies. Immigrants who were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, for example, were treated as lower priorities for deportation. President Donald Trump promised to deport 2 million to 3 million migrants with criminal records upon taking office. “We’re actually taking people that are criminals, very, very, hardened criminals in some cases with a tremendous track record of abuse and problems,” Trump said. ICE said in a statement on Monday that the operations targeted immigrants in the Midwest, Los Angeles, New York, North Carolina, South

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Carolina, Georgia and San Antonio. A small amount of those arrested did not have a criminal record or prior order to leave the country, according to the data released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In Los Angeles, for example, 151 out of the 161 immigrants arrested had criminal records, but the agency did not give a reason for the arrests of the 10 migrants with no criminal record.

Berry Expensive

Ever wonder why you have a huge bill to pay as you pile packages into

your cart at checkout on Thursday afternoon? Be happy you’re not shopping in CitySuper grocery store in Hong Kong. There, shoppers are bedazzled by fruit. In fact, a single strawberry costs 168 Hong Kong dollars – that’s around $22. CitySuper describes the Premium Kotoka strawberry – which it imports from Nara, Japan – as a “rare” delicacy with “good acidity and rich sweetness.” Rich is a good word to use here. The special fruit comes in its own Kotoka Strawberry Gift Box, surrounded by a protective nest made of foam and straw. CitySuper says that the gift box “was imported from Japan with its original packaging given its premium grade, rarity and fragility for quality protection.” Some have criticized the gift box as “wasteful” packaging. Umm, hello? $22 for a strawberry? Wouldn’t you call that a bit wasteful? Let them eat blueberries, I say. CitySuper stands behind the outrageous price. According to the store, Kotoka strawberries “are considered as delicacies of limited quantity and they are handpicked to ensure only the highest quality ones are harvested.”




Japan is known to be a place of exorbitantly priced fruit. In July, a bunch of Ruby Roman grapes sold at auction for nearly $11,000, and two Yubari melons once went for  more than $15,000 in 2013. I wouldn’t pay that for any fruit – unless it was one made of gold.

The Visiting Teacher

Elizabeth MacWilliams has 990 students in her school – and she is visiting all of them at their homes. MacWilliams is the principal at Carroll Middle School in Raleigh. In an effort to connect better with her students and their parents, she aims to meet with them all at their homes. So far, she has been able to visit more than half of her students at home. “When you establish a relationship with somebody at their homes, it deepens trust, their respect. It deepens their motivations on wanting to do right by the community,” she said. “As many home visits as I have done, I’ve never left a home visit disappointed.” MacWilliams, who is 34, has been visiting students’ homes since she was an elementary school teacher. She has been principal since July 2015. On one such recent visit, sixth grader Nevaeh Boyd made sure to clean the house and asked her mother to bake cookies before the visit. “It’s never happened,” Boyd said. “The principal has never cared that much.” Boyd and MacWilliams spoke of many things. At one point Boyd mentioned that she named her clarinet “Ella Grace.” They bonded over instrument nicknames. In fact, MacWilliams recalled that she named the clarinet she had when she was a child “Charlie.” MacWilliams’ practice of visiting students’ homes is a tradition she learned from her mother, who was a teacher in Syracuse, NY. MacWil-

liams’ visits became more important when not one parent showed up at a parents’ open house when she was an elementary school teacher. Some children had even written notes for their parents to see when they would come to the open house. “It literally tore me apart,” MacWilliams said. “I was devastated, and the kids were devastated.” In addition to the home visits, MacWilliams takes time to write notes of encouragement on each of the students’ report cards, and sometimes she picks them up for events in a big school bus. “I think our job is so deep,” she said. “It’s almost strange in a way that schools are seen as only academic institutions, because it’s so much more.” A home away from home?

The Cat Hotel

It’s the cat’s meow. Geared towards felines with very discerning taste, the world’s first five-star hotel for cats is located in Malaysia. Catzonia offers a spa, grooming services, temperature-controlled rooms and a “dating service” for your kittens. 35 bedrooms boast four different levels of luxury. The VVIC – Very Very Important Cat – room is the most lavis. There is room for up to ten adult cats, or a mother and her kittens, and comes with three “king”-sized beds, a mini-playground, and a separate toilet. Other rooms can accommodate between three and seven cats, come with either a “queen,” “double” or “single” bed, and up to three feeding and cleaning sessions per day. Grooming options include a “medicated grooming” which uses a special shampoo to cure cats’ skin and remove fleas. Some rooms have a shower facility and Wi-Fi. Perhaps your kitten would like to view some cat videos during their stay? Nervous owners can view their cats on camera in the VVIC and VIC

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rooms 24 hours a day using a phone app. Cat guests are able to stay at the hotel for three hours or as long as a year. The cost? Around $5 a night. Isn’t she worth it? “We believe, the cats need holidays too. They always prefer to be treated as a boss. It means the environment must be felt like home, always being cuddled and hugged, and most importantly they don’t want to feel lonely,” the hotel claims on its website. Think Catzonia is cat-egorically crazy? Think again. In the Longcroft luxury cat hotel in the UK felines can enjoy a luxurious suite complete with a four-poster bed, state-of-theart sound system and fine dining, including an “A La Cat” menu developed by a feline nutritionist which boasts treats such as white fish, ethically fished yellowfin tuna or chicken liver balls. It’s been so popular that the luxury cat hotel chain opened a second branch in 2014. In Los Angeles, the Barkley Pet Hotel & Day Spa sits across the street from the Four Seasons hotel. While guests at the Four Seasons can order breakfast in bed, have a massage or

take a swim in the pool, pets staying at the Barkley can do the same and more. Guest suites for dogs at the Barkley provide individual climate and lighting control, soothing music and frequently freshened air. Cats have smaller suites but are entertained by television screens featuring birds in flight and tropical fish swimming in a tank. Barkley staff have been known to order in steak from the Four Season’s room service menu for pets. Discerning felines can enjoy ahi tuna sushi. The Barkley also offers pet hotels in Mumbai, India, and Cleveland, Ohio. No wonder your pet’s smiling like a Cheshire cat.

whether it’s for the bridal party, a late night treat for the reception and other day-of experiences,” says Kate Trumbull, Domino’s digital marketing director. “We wanted to make it easier for people to request something fun they’ll get excited about. Who doesn’t love pizza?”

Pizza for Your Wedding

Guests looking to gift the new couple with something tasty can choose from a list of gifts ranging from $20 to $100. Consider the “Post-Honeymoon Adjustment to Real Life” gift, the “Thank You Card-a-thon” gift and the most-appreciated “An excuse not to cook” gift – mounds of cheesy goodness. Domino’s is not the only company jumping on the just-married wagon. At the Beer of the Month Club friends can gift newlyweds with booze. Couples can register for microbrews, IPAs and international beers to celebrate their nuptials. The registry also has options to include wines, cheeses, flowers, and chocolate, so husband and wife can survive on something more than a cold one. For a less dizzying but just as outlandish option, the Comic Book Shop in Delaware offers fans the option of setting up a wedding registry. Guests can then choose comic books to gift to the new couple. On a more sophisticated note, the MOMA design store in Manhattan has a wide variety of creative art-inspired goods for your home and kitchen. Why register for a boring set of silverware when you can get a mul-

Getting married? Love pizza? Perhaps the Domino’s Pizza wedding registry is for you. Last week, the pizza giant opened their registry and the pies have been flying in. “Our customers constantly tell and show us on social media how pizza plays a role in their wedding,

ticolored rainbow flatware? And who needs fine china when you can ask for Pastel Origami Dishes? In other words, gift something to the newlyweds that they’ll really remember.   Because who really needs a blender or a set of dishes?

Hair of Fire

Ramadan Odwan has the hottest salon in town. It is, perhaps, the hottest in the world. You see Odwan, who works in Gaza, has an unusual way of styling customers’ hair: he uses a blowtorch. “I control how long I apply fire, I keep it on and off for 10 seconds or 15 seconds. It is completely safe and I have not encountered any accident since I started it two months ago,” Odwan told Reuters. He said he typically uses the device to straighten hair. Despite the rarity of the method, a styling a la fire will only set you back $5. Odwan says that he first applies a special liquid to the hair and then starts the blaze. He adds that others have used fire before to style hair, although none have attempted to use a blowtorch. “People have gone crazy about it, many people are curious to go through the experience and they are not afraid,” he added. I’m pretty happy with my blow dryer, Odwan. But thanks for offering.

Indeed, were it not for the generosity of the local yeshiva high schools attended by my children, I suspect I would have had to put them in public schools. Page 71

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FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Around the

Community i-Shine Does More for Kids Every Year


-Shine, Chai Lifeline’s after-school program for children living with illness or loss in their homes, keeps getting stronger in the Five Town-far Rockaway area. The program, which began as the brainchild of three Five Towns women and has since spread to nine communities in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, is a unique collaboration between high school and adult volunteers, community vendors, area schools, and the families of the 45 children currently enrolled. “This year has been truly amazing,” said Stacey Zrihen, one of the founders and directors. “Every year is great, but this year things have been taken to the next level.” HAFTR, which has provided i-Shine with a home since its inception, continues to be the host with the most. “Our children can use HAFTR’s gym every session. And this year, we participated in HAFTR’S Book Sale. The librarian came and read to our children and they were able to buy books afterwards.” The excitement in Mrs. Zrihen’s voice came through the phone lines. Volunteers come from several area high schools that encourage their students to become involved. Additionally, a number of adults, including teachers and special education specialists, now volunteer regularly at i-Shine. Their presence means that children who need regular tutoring or assistance in other areas have access to professionals in addition to the high school volunteers whose homework help makes learning fun. “Another of the things that we’re

really excited about are the activities this year. A few local vendors have opened their hearts to our children, and it’s made such a difference in the overall program,” added co-founder and co-director Annette Kaufman. Sharona Hoffman of Make It Too and A Little Personalized comes in monthly and does arts activities with the children. Just this week the kids

made these beautiful kippot and headbands. She brings everything with her.” Mrs. Zrihen and Mrs. Kaufman both raved about FitWize, the Five Towns children’s gym. “FitWize brings i-Shine to the gym. The kids have an incredible time,” Mrs. Zrihen said.

Mrs. Kaufman noted that many people in the community donate their time and talents to the program both as volunteers and program leaders. One woman created an “Escape the Room” activity for children. A school coach contributed new basketballs to replace ones that were lost. Even students who wouldn’t necessarily work with children get involved with i-Shine. “This year we have a PR committee, students who are charged with getting the word out. They take care of Facebook and Instagram pages,” she continued. Neither Mrs. Kaufman, Mrs. Zrihen, Sheri Hammer, the third community co-director, or Andy Lauber,

the Chai Lifeline social worker who is the fourth member of the directing team, is surprised at the program’s growth. “This is a program started by people in the community for people in the community,” Mrs. Kaufman observed. “People want to be involved.” The three women hope for a large turnout at i-Shine’s Bake ‘n Buy, the annual i-Shine Bake Sale, to be held on February 22 and 23 at the home of Bonnie and Heshie Schertz in Lawrence. The two-day event is one of two fundraisers that go directly to pay for i-Shine activities. “We are committed to finding community funding for i-Shine so that families who need it can have i-Shine free of charge,” Mrs. Kaufman remarked. “This is a really easy way to get involved in a great chessed,” she added. “With i-Shine, you can actually see how you are helping a family. Parents are so appreciative of the reprieve they have twice a week. They don’t have to worry about dinner or transportation. They know that their children are well cared for, and when they come home, their homework is done and they are ready for school the next day. “You can’t imagine what a gift that is when a family is suffering.” Bake Sale hours are 4:00 – 9:00 PM on Wednesday and 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM on Thursday. Baked goods can be dropped off for sale during these hours. For more information, call Andy Lauber, LMSW at 917 7631109.

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017

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FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community PHOTO CREDIT: YOSSI KOHN

Yeshiva of Far Rockaway’s 48th Annual Dinner was held on Motzoei Shabbos, February 11 on the Yeshiva campus Mr. Moshe Majeski, Dinner Chairman, with Rabbi Yechiel Perr

Rabbi Yechiel Perr, Mr. Yumi Goodman, Rabbi Moshe Shonek - Marbitzei Torah Awardee, and Rabbi Aaron Brafman

Rabbi Yechiel Perr, Dr. Efrayim Nudman - Guest of Honor, and Rabbi Aaron Brafman

Rabbi Yechiel Perr, Rabbi Avi Weller, Rabbi Tuvia Silverstein - Esteemed Parent Awardee, and Rabbi Aaron Brafman

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017



FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

A Morning to Remember at OHEL’s A Day for Renee


n Sunday, February 5, 2017, seventy-five people joined OHEL at a morning of fitness and fun at Life Clubs in Lawrence, NY, for A Day for Renee. A Day for Renee was a tribute to an OHEL foster mother whose love of family and community entwined when she opened her home and family to four foster children over the years. The morning was filled with four different exercise classes, including spinning, cardio, Pilates, and strength conditioning. Before each session, Shelley Berger, OHEL’s Director of Foster Care, addressed the participants and told them about Renee, her family and OHEL. Shelley highlighted Renee’s warmth and generosity, including the extra efforts she exerted over the years to fully integrate her foster children into her family. Renee’s husband Dr. Yossie Jeret, daughters Stephanie and Allysa, sonin-law Joshua, brother Elly Englestein, and mother Zahava Englestein were in attendance and drew comfort

and support from the visible impression Renee made on so many people in the community, beyond the evident impact she had on her family. Yossie, Renee’s husband, remarked that he was “grateful to all those who sweated and donated to help provide exceptional care to the Jewish foster children under OHEL’s tent.” A special thank you to all the participants, especially Yossie and the Jeret family, for their support in making A Day for Renee so fun and meaningful. Additional thanks to the event committee members, Lorri Hershenov, Malka Klein, Sheila Selig, and Karen Lifshitz for their invaluable help in planning such an incredible event to help OHEL’s foster children. For more information or to register for other Team OHEL events, including the Five Boro Bike Tour, NYC Marathon, and NYC Triathlon, please email or call 718-686-3217. Since 1969, OHEL has served as a dependable haven of individual and family

Instructors pumping up participants

support, helping people of all ages surmount disability, everyday challenges, heal from trauma, and manage with strength and dignity during times of crises. OHEL serves thousands in need every day in communities in New York, New Jersey, California and worldwide. Individuals interested in the many programs that OHEL offers should contact OHEL at (800)-603-OHEL (6435). Like us on Facebook at OHEL Children’s Home and Family Services and follow us on Instagram @ ohelfamily. Dr. Yossie Jeret and his daughter Allysa

At “All Tied up in Knots” at this week’s Learn & Live program, R’ Dovid Frischman was back at L&L with the melochos of kasher and matir (tying and untying). R’ Frischman presented, in a very “hands on” way, the melochos by having the boys tie a “shoe” and knotting a tie the permissible way on Shabbos. This week at L&L, we’ll be featuring “Sowing it all Together.” For more information regarding Learn & Live, email us

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017



South Nassau Communities Hospital‘s Diabetes Education Center Is Proud to Present Our Winter Classes Supermarket Smarts This 60-minute program is for anyone who has questions about making smart choices, reading food labels, and more importantly, how to get the most out of your shopping experience. February 22, 2017, 11am-Noon and 6-7pm

Monitoring Skills Finger-stick blood glucose monitoring is the key to diabetes self-management. This 60-minute presentation will provide the latest and greatest in monitoring skills and tips. March 15, 2017, 6-7pm

Registration required, most insurances accepted. Please call (516) 497-7500 South Nassau Communities Hospital Diabetes Education Center 519 Merrick Road Rockville Centre, NY 11570

Get the Scoop on Snacks and Desserts This 60-minute presentation will provide an opportunity to learn how to select appropriate and delicious snacks. March 29, 2017, 6-7pm

For more information or to register, please call 516-497-7500.

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FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

Making a Full Recovery with Achiezer’s One-Stop Approach to Crisis Management Part VI of a special series highlighting Achiezer’s innovative programs which service the community throughout the year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week


fire leaves a family homeless, with no possessions but the shirts on their backs. An older man is missing. The family fears for his safety. A young father has passed away suddenly. The family members are struggling to carry on. When crisis hits, the need for help is clear. The kind of help? Not always so obvious. In any crisis situation, Achiezer staff will try to provide immediate assistance as necessary, but that is just the beginning. “In many cases,” explains Achiezer’s Intake Coordinator Esther Novak, “properly handling the situation means first understanding what is really needed and then deciding how to implement the plan.” A situation might warrant multiple approaches – monetary assistance, insurance advocacy, assistance from government offices, emotional support. Achiezer will coordinate all efforts for the maximum benefit of the recipients. In cases a where a family’s home became inhabitable, several vendors came forward to provide clothing for the family. Achiezer coordinated the offers so that the family received

Plickers for Grade 4


earning just got even more exciting in Mrs. Shilo’s fourth grade class in Shulamith. Students have begun to use “Plickers” to assess comprehension of their daily math lessons.  Mrs. Shilo and her class are very enthusiastic about using this innovative, interactive tool.  It’s a fun and effective strategy to enhance the class and a sure way to bolster math skills!

many of its basic needs, instead of duplicates of the same item. Achiezer also worked to ensure the family’s dignity by serving as a clearinghouse for community donations. Connections with local real estate offices were made to expedite the rental of a temporary home and assistance was given in negotiating with the insurance company. In a number of missing persons cases, Achiezer has coordinated searches, working with the police and fire departments, RNSP and community volunteers to put up flyers, assigned specific search areas, and, in general, ensured that the searches were conducted in the most effective manner possible. In some cases, when possible, searches are actually conducted under the radar, preserving the family’s privacy, while cooperating with police and other officials to bring a speedy resolution to the crisis. When a parent is ill or passes away, there are so many holes left that need to be filled, both practically and emotionally. In such circumstances, Achiezer staff and volunteers work to address the myriad needs of the family. Finances are usually a huge concern – whether because of

loss of income or medical bills that have accrued. Financial advisors help with both managing the here and now, as well as planning for the future. Achiezer also works together with other community organizations to secure financial aid, coordinate meals, set up cleaning help, and to find mentors and tutors for children. In many cases, family members can benefit from professional support to help process their ordeal. Through its vast experience, many connections and internal resources, Achiezer is equipped to take a holistic approach and thus address each crisis in the most effective way possible. One of its most valuable resources is its Mental Health Department, headed by Dr. Lowinger. As a professional with over thirty years of experience, Dr. Lowinger is eminently qualified to address these crises. To be sure, many of the calls Dr. Lowinger fields are not for crisis situations, but for basic referrals. Callers are looking for a professional in the community to address a particular need, and Dr. Lowinger uses her expertise to direct them accordingly. Sometimes, callers don’t really know what they need; she will then troubleshoot to connect them with the right kind of help. Many times, Dr. Lowinger and Esther Novak work hand-in-hand. Just as Esther will send callers Dr. Lowinger’s way as part of Achiezer’s multi-pronged approach to crisis, Dr. Lowinger takes advantage of Achiezer’s one-stop approach to ensure that those who call for mental health assistance receive guidance in

alleviating other aspects of their situations. In this way, clients have the best chance at pulling through. Dr. Lowinger sums up what sets Achiezer’s Mental-Health and Crisis Management Services apart: “We understand the community, we know what resources are available, and callers know everything is handled completely confidentially. They are comfortable calling here.” And that knowledge ensures that people will get the help they need! Thanks to Achiezer, the community always has somewhere to turn… with just one call. Join Achiezer on February 26, 2017 at Bay Harbour Mall, in supporting a unified goal to always be on call, with just one call.

The services offered by Achiezer’s Mental Health Department are exceptional in several ways: • Fast responses to requests for referrals • 24/7 access through the Urgent Line • On-site mental health counseling provided when necessary (either as interim care while waiting for insurance coverage or when there is no insurance coverage and no money for private care) • One-stop approach means all aspects of clients’ situations are addressed

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017


annual dinner SHAPING the FUTURE



DINNER: 7:00



Yakov & Nechama Goodstein GUESTs of HONOR

Yankee & Tammy Hirsch

Rabbi Yehuda Horowitz

Parents of the Year

Harbotzas Torah Award

The Establishment of the Robbie Schonfeld, A”H Scholarship Fund d”r sqei ‘x oa wgvi rhp miig ‘x znyp ielrl R A B B E I M F O R L I F E , E D U C AT I O N F O R L I F E , T O R A H F O R L I F E . MESIVTA ATERES YAAKOV





FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

Yeshivat Kol Yaakov Poetry Focus By Shoshanna Friedman


ur Kol Yaakov boys participated in their poetry focus grand end event: KY Poetry Slam last week where they proudly presented their poems and poetry books to other classes. Teachers focused on poetry, literary terms and the various forms of poetry. Students experimented with haikus, acrostics, rhymed and unrhymed poems and specifically poems that conveyed feelings. The focus this year in poetry was on the “feelings” that poetry conveyed and to that end, Mrs. Jedda’s third grade boys wrote about

Over 50 Young Israel of Woodmere members spending the winter in South Florida recently came together for a Lunch & Learn Florida Edition with Rabbi Shalom Axelrod

their memories in “I remember…” poems while the fourth graders wrote sports poems that conveyed feelings of joy and excitement. Incorporated in the Poetry Focus on Feelings was a series of art workshops as well. All classes enjoyed a series of three art workshops where they both learned and experimented with various art mediums as another expression of emotion. Pre-1A boys experimented in creating clown faces with various emotional facial expressions of happy, “sad, “surprised or scared, while older boys painted to different emotionally charged musical scores to create “feeling” paint-

ings. Students also learned about shading to create three dimensional

art as students received apples and flashlights to observe how objects are shaded in relation to light. All grades also learned about perspective in art with youngest classes creating snowman pictures of four snowman looking down on the observer and older classes drawing on graph paper and experimenting with vanishing-point geometric drawings. Students experienced the link between art and poetry while learning about different modes of expression in both realms. Kol Yaakov does whole school focusing and has an annual poetry focus where boys both listen to and write poetry in all grades. Aligning poetry with art workshops enriched students’ experience of personal artistic expression.

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017



FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

B&B: YKLI 7th Grade Davening Trip


n Monday, February 13, the talmidim in Rabbi Eisikovic’s seventh grade In Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island celebrated a B&B, Bowling and Brunch. The class earned this tremendous reward for the way they daven with seriousness and focus. The boys have not only shteiged in davening nicely but have also grown in areas of kavana during davening as well as answering amen

properly. The boys were chaperoned to Gotta Getta Bagel where they had brunch and then went to Woodmere Lanes for some great games of bowling. The boys’ davening is such a tremendous kiddush Hashem to watch and emulate. Rabbi Eisikovic has set a very high standard of what he expects of the boys and they have all risen to his challenge.

Heshy Blachorsky; Senator Todd Kaminsky; Rabbi Zalman Wolowik, Director of Chabad of the Five Towns; Harry Finkelman; and Vivian Finkelman at the Chabad of the Five Towns Annual Dinner, which was held on Sunday night at the Sephardic Temple

Chag HaSiddur at HANC


espite the stormy weather, the auditorium of HANC’s Samuel and Elizabeth Bass Golding Elementary School in West Hempstead was filled with great excitement in anticipation of the spectacular Chag HaSiddur. The first grade students performed magnificently, dedicating their commitment to Hashem and tefillah. In addition to their individual speaking parts, which they delivered with confidence and pride, they sang melodious songs of praise for Hashem, accompanied by the music of Rabbi Mordechai Shapiro. At the conclusion of their play, each child was called up to receive their first siddur. As they stepped forward to receive their siddurim, which were presented by Rabbi Yaakov Sadigh, HANC principal, and their classroom teacher, the excitement that they felt was apparent in the glow on their faces. The children couldn’t wait to begin to daven with their new siddurim. This superb program could not have been possible without the contributions of many dedicated partners. Thank you to the classroom teachers, Morah Shoshana, Morah Terry, Morah Chavy and Morah Rahel for the many weeks they spent preparing the children for this momentous occasion. Thank you to Rabbi Shapiro for teaching the children such extraordinary songs that will remain in their hearts

and for his fantastic accompaniment. Thank you to Mrs. Rachel Brandler for the striking backdrop of Yerushalayim that she created specifically for this special event. Many thanks to the sponsors for the gorgeous leather covers for the siddurim, and to Morah Dafna for the personalized labels that were placed in the children’s siddurim. As always, extra thanks to the PTA for the delicious collation that followed the production. This collaboration was a source of true nachat for so many parents, grandparents, siblings, friends and teachers of these very special students. May the children’s tefillot continue to reach straight up to Hashem, and may they always bring nachat to all that they encounter. Mazal Tov to all of the HANC first graders and to their extended families.

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017


By popular demand, Anna Heller is expanding to include a second year of teen camp for all of our 10th graders!



Lead: 8 week leadership program

Inspire: yourself & others SHare: Exciting chesed projects in various communities

MAke: a difference!

Fun Fulfillment



GRAPHXPRESS (732) 905-1699

Is it possible to experience both fun and meaning at the same time? You can now experience the ultimate fun of camp, while giving to others at the same time! Doing for others is meaningful and rewarding, which will leave you feeling both thrilled and fulfilled.

For more information, or to register, contact us at: (516) 992-6131 /


FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community



A Chai, Chai, Chai Dinner… The Dream Lives On




orah Academy for Girls is, boruch Hashem, celebrating their 54th Triple Chai Dinner which will take place on Wednesday evening, March 1 at the Sands. The fact that the school has now reached its 54th year of providing a stellar chinuch both in limudei kodesh and general studies is indeed a cause for celebration. The founders of the school had a dream – of establishing a Bais Yaakov type of school in Far Rockaway – and they invited Rabbi Moshe Weitman z”l to help them make their dream become a reality. The results were beyond anyone’s expectations. The close to 1,800 (chai) fortunate talmidos of Torah Academy for Girls are a testimony to the fulfillment of that vision of fifty four years ago. This is being accomplished on a daily basis by the phenomenal staff of principals, moros and teachers. Under the direction of its Dean, Rabbi Meyer Weitman, the school has now completed a major three year expansion project which has produced much needed classrooms and a user friendly educational atmosphere which is enhancing the learning experience. Dinner Chairmen Mr. Dudi Gross and Mr. Yanky Neuhoff are very excited about the forthcoming dinner and, together with Journal Chairmen Eliyahu Berger, Moshe Feigenbaum, and Akiva Glatzer and the dinner committee, are busy coordinating what promises to be a beautiful and meaningful evening for the TAG family. Torah Academy for Girls feels fortunate to have the opportunity to pay tribute to the following honorees who have stepped forward to help us keep the dream alive. Our Guests of Honor, Zev & Aviva Golombeck, are people who not only value a solid chinuch for their children, but are uniquely qualified to recognize what it takes to produce a well-rounded student. Aviva, who has a M.A. from Columbia University in Education and Psychology, has been a Special Ed/Resource Room specialist in various schools, including Manhattan Day School, where she has served for the past ten years. Zev served as a former Chairman of the Board of the Education at the Yeshiva of South Shore. Their hakaras hatov to TAG is evidenced in their agreeing to accept this honor. As alumna parents

of their married daughter Liana and their current Machon Sarah TAG High School students, Dvora and Sara, the Golombecks recognize and appreciate the numerous chessed projects that the TAG girls are involved in throughout the year. Zev, a partner in the family’s import spice and herbs business, often donates spices for besomim for hospital patients or for teaching opportunities involving spices. Their family business began with their grandfather, Morris J. Golombeck, and continued with his son, Hyman P. Golembeck, z”l, who were longtime supporters of TAG. The Golombecks are involved in many community organizations and opened their home in recent years to host events for Gesher Foundation, Yeshiva Orchos Chaim, Project Inspire and Meor. They are members in Congregation Tiferes Zvi, Young Israel of Lawrence- Cedarhurst and Mesivta Ateres Yaakov. While the Golombecks are effusive with hakaras hatov to the school, TAG feels very grateful to be able to pay tribute this truly special couple. Parents of the Year Immediately upon meeting Dr. Dan & Rachel Geisler one senses their pride in their children and the important role they play as partners in the chinuch of their children. Certainly TAG feels that this couple is worthy of being given the title of Parents of the Year. The Geislers moved from Washington Heights about three years ago and enrolled their daughter Shani in our school. Dan, originally from Chicago, is an anesthesiologist who works for Comprehensive Anesthesia, a hospital-based practice in Queens. Before he went on to receive his medical degree from the University of Illinois and completing his residency in Downstate Medical Center, he learned in Eretz Yisroel in the Mir and in Yeshiva University. Rachel, who grew up in East Brunswick, attended Bruriah High School followed by Michlalah. She attended Barnard and received her Masters Degree in Computer Science from Columbia University. Rachel works as a software engineer at Google. Dan and Rachel are constantly trying to instill in their children the

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017


Around the Community importance of giving back to the community. They are active members of Beis Medrash of Woodmere under the leadership of Rav Akiva Willig.  Dan helps organize conferences for medical professionals and rabbanim with HaRav Asher Weiss, posek of Shaarei Tzedek Hospital, under the auspices of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Halacha. Together with the Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education Rachel has organized a forum for high school students, including a group of ninth graders from Machon Sarah TAG High School, to hear from frum women in the technology field about the opportunities and advantages this field presents for them. The Geislers are certainly a welcome addition to the TAG family as well as to our community. School Service Awardee One would be hard-pressed to adequately describe Morah Faye Metz, who will be receiving the School Service Award at the TAG dinner. Words like dynamo, outgoing, dedicated and fun would come to mind. From her cheery shalom in the hallways of the Ganger Early Childhood Divi-

sion of TAG to her Chef Shalom costumes that she wears in the summer in Camp Atara, Morah Faye makes herself known. Her fortunate Pre-1A talmidos and their parents can attest that Morah Faye influences and teaches her “girls” not only kriah, but how to care and share with each other. And what a great role model she is! Morah Faye shares her day at TAG with her special mother, Morah Chaya Kafka, who works as a kindergarten assistant. Morah Faye has earned the respect and admiration of the entire Ganger Early Childhood Divison of TAG. Morah Faye cares not only for her talmidos but for her family as well. As the proud parents of two sons, Rafael Abba and Efraim Dov, she and her husband, Rabbi Yisroel, take great pride in their accomplishments. Their home is always open to guests who delight in Faye’s culinary specialties. As a volunteer who arranges meals for Bikur Cholim, as well as for Achiezer, Morah Faye is involved with chessed all year long. It will be a privilege for TAG to present the School Service Award to Morah Faye Metz.

Rabbi Moshe Weitman Z”l Memorial Award It is hard to believe that eight years have now passed since the petirah of Rabbi Moshe Weitman, z”l. Since then, TAG presents the Rabbi Moshe Weitman Award to those who share the visions and hashkafos of Rabbi Weitman. This year the award will be presented to the Mayer family in memory of R’ Izzy Mayer z”l, who shared a very strong kesher to Rabbi Weitman. As fellow mispallelim in the Sulitzer Bais Medrash, they began to learn together on Shabbos afternoons as well as on Sunday mornings. As parents of three TAG talmidos, Shaindee, Esti and Tova, the Mayer family became strong supporters of the school. In 1985, the Mayers were recognized at a dinner for their longstanding encouragement, support and active involvement in the growth of the school. Boruch Hashem, TAG was able to share nachas with the Mayer family as their daughters graduated from TAG, married and before too long there were a number of Mayer granddaughters following in the path of their mothers. Today, the first Mayer great-granddaughter Chani is currently a student in the school.

Izzy Mayer’s story of survival in the Holocaust is an amazing tale of courage, bravery and ingenuity on the part of his mother, Rose. Arriving in the United States with her two sons, Leon and Izzy, she opened a small grocery and sent a young Izzy to learn in Yeshiva Chaim Berlin, where he later earned his smicha. Izzy married his devoted wife Barbara and celebrated 54 years of wedded bliss with his eishes chayil and true partner. The Mayers lived in Far Rockaway for 49 years and were among the early pioneers who built this community. With a home steeped in Torah, avodah and gemilas chassodim, it is no wonder that the three Mayer sons, Rabbi Yaakov, Rabbi Eli and Rabbi Shlomo Mayer, are all involved in Torah mosdos both in the United States and Eretz Yisroel. It will be most fitting that this award be presented in memory of R’ Izzy Mayer, a”h, who no doubt is learning in Gan Eden with his “rebbe”, Rabbi Moshe Weitman z”l. For reservations, or to place an ad, please visit our website, at www.


FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

Agudas Yisroel of Bayswater Annual Melave Malka Inspires the Community


his past Motzaei Shabbos, Agudas Yisroel of Bayswater held its annual Melave Malka. The yearly event is held as a way for the community to get together over food and divrei Torah, and has a long history of inspiring its attendees. This year’s program was certainly no different. The Melave Malka featured a sumptuous spread, catered by Gotta-Getta-Bagel. Guests began to fill the shul, creating a palpable ruach of comradery and achdus. Vice President Yeshaya Kraus began the evening’s program by thanking the organizers and sponsors of the event. Rav Menachem Feifer, the mara d’asra, then took the podium to introduce the guest speaker, Rabbi Y.Y. Rubinstein. Rabbi Rubinstein spoke eloquently about the importance of seeing the true potential of every individu-

Rabbi Feifer and Rabbi Rubinstein

al in klal Yisrael. Yisro was originally the world’s most thorough idol worshipper, but Moshe Rabbeinu was willing to move into Yisro’s house. This willingness was only due to Moshe’s ability to see the potential hidden deep within Yisro. We too, said Rav Rubinstein, must be able to discern our own infinite potential and importance, in order to maximize our avodas Hashem. The evening continued

with a moving kumzitz, led by the legendary Yossi Sonnenblick and Rivie Shwebel, both of D’veykus fame. The crowd joined in as the duo sang heartfelt renditions of many well-known and beloved niggunim. “It was really amazing,” said one mispallel. “The feeling in that room was something else.” Following the kumzitz was the annual raffle, with a grand prize of two tickets to Eretz Yisroel. Several gift cards to local es-

Yossi Sonnenblick and Rivie Shwebel at the kumzitz

tablishments were also raffled off. Mazel Tov to all the winners, especially grand prize winners Rabbi and Mrs. Kuti Dembitzer! The community again expresses its gratitude to Moishe and Esther Silver-

man, Ben and Chani Czeladnicki, and Benzy and Lonny Cohen for all the hard work they put in to arranging and organizing the event. The effort put into the Melave Malka showed, and the entire community is better off for it. Agudas Yisroel of Bayswater has been serving the Bayswater community through tefilla, learning, and community programs since its founding 29 years ago. The Melave Malka is just one way that the shul tries to help the community. Curious about shul programming? Contact us at

Mrs. Bassi Gruen Speaks to Eighth Graders at Bnos Bais Yaakov


amilies around the world wait expectantly every week for their Mishpacha magazine. The section that most mothers like to relax with on the couch is Family First. Noted for its great “how to” articles, emotional pieces that really hit the mark – and just about everything in between – Family First is perfect reading material for frum women. BBY’s eighth graders were

thrilled to meet the editor of Family First, Mrs. Bassi Gruen. Mrs. Koenig (general studies principal, grades 5-8) arranged for Mrs. Gruen’s visit because she is always on the lookout for ways to show her students just how far they can take their talents. Mrs. Gruen shared that it was because she was unhappy with her chosen profession that she pursued the idea of writing for Mishpacha. As she said, “You’re never stuck; if you

don’t like what you’re doing, explore your options.” Mrs. Gruen then proceeded to describe the process of putting the magazine together each week. From raw concept to written piece, and then on to editing, graphics, and layout, it takes many steps and many talented people to bring us the magazine we love so much. Much of what Mrs. Gruen spoke about was particularly relevant to the eighth graders. They have just

been learning how to compose clear and concise “how to” articles; they have been working on editing and re-editing their work; and they have learned that crisp writing is free of redundancy. The eighth grade students thoroughly enjoyed Mrs. Gruen’s presentation. And who knows? Maybe a future editor lies within the ranks of our junior high school girls.

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017




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Around the Community

Gedolei Yisrael the World Over Address the Launch of New Dirshu Kinyan Chochma Program By Chaim Gold


t was shalosh seudos time at Mesivta Tiferes Yerushalayim. The year was 1979. The gadol hador, the posek hador, HaGaon HaRav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l, came to the yeshiva for shalosh seudos. That week, Rav Moshe was not feeling well and did not feel capable of speaking. He turned to a young Rabbi Simcha Bunim Cohen, a bochur at the time, and asked if perhaps he would like to say the dvar Torah. At the Dirshu test in Lakewood this past Sunday night, Rav Cohen recalled, “I told the Rosh Yeshiva that I did not have a dvar Torah on that week’s parsha, only on the previous week’s parsha. There was a very small crowd in attendance, about 15-18 people, and one person, a baal habayis who was not even from the Lower East Side, turned to Rav Moshe and said, ‘I can say a dvar Torah but I can’t say it in Yiddish, only

HaRav Chizkiyahu Yosef Mishkovsky at the home of Harav Chaim Kanievsky

in English.’ Rav Moshe replied, ‘So say it in English.’ That Yid proceeded to say a dvar Torah. You had to watch Rav Moshe while the man was speaking. He sat on the edge of his chair, fully focused, not taking his eyes off of the speaker, smiling and nodding his head the entire time. The thing is, I knew that Rav Moshe barely under-

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stood a word of English! “Thus, after Shabbos, when I joined Rav Moshe in the car to return to his home, I asked him, ‘Did the Rosh Yeshiva understand the dvar Torah?’ He responded, ‘Only two words.’ When I asked why he had gazed so intently at the person, appearing completely focused on what the man was saying, Rav Moshe answered, ‘Chazal tell us that ‘derech eretz kodmah l’Torah – derech eretz comes before Torah.’ If a person is speaking publically and I don’t look at him and show him that I am listening, how will I be able to pasken and say shiurim?! If I don’t have derech eretz how will I merit to learn Torah, to pasken and deliver shiurim?!’ “That,” exclaimed Rav Cohen, “is mussar! Rav Moshe was telling us that without mussar, how can we be successful in Torah?! That is why it is appropriate that the mossad hakodesh, Dirshu, has added its new Kinyan Chochma mussar program to its existing programs where so many are tested on what they learn. Ashrei Dirshu, fortunate is Dirshu, that they have established such an important program!” A Journey through the Mussar Sefarim This past Sunday tens of thousands of participants in Dirshu’s learning programs embarked on a new journey as they embraced Dirshu’s newest program, entitled Kinyan Chochma. Kinyan Chochma is a mussar program wherein a short piece of one of the mussar classics will be learned daily.

The program has been instituted to encourage daily learning of mussar among all members of klal Yisrael. The gedolei Yisrael from both Eretz Yisrael and chutz la’aretz have enthusiastically called on Yidden the world over to join the program and incorporate the daily learning of mussar into their lives together with their other learning sedarim. Lomdei Dirshu participating in the Kinyan Torah program and Daf HaYomi B’Halacha programs will be able to take a monthly test on the mussar learned and receive a stipend for excellent results. The Guidance of HaGaonim HaRav Gershon Edlestein and HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, Shlita Dirshu embarked on the program with the enthusiastic support of the senior gedolei Yisrael from both Eretz Yisrael and America. Last week, HaGaon HaRav Chizkiyahu Yosef Mishkovsky, shlita, Menahel Ruchani of Yeshiva Orchos Torah, visited the home of HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of the Ponovezh Yeshiva, as well as the home of HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, shlita, who praised the ideal of mussar learning as an important component in the Torah learning of every individual. Rav Mishkovsky added that the imperative to learn took on added urgency as a vehicle to arouse rachmei shomayim on behalf of the gadol hador, HaRav Aharon Yehuda Leib ben Gittel Feiga Shteinman shlita. At the most recent Dirshu test, numerous gedolim and rabbonim addressed the lomdei Dirshu in the various testing sites throughout Eretz Yisrael, Europe, North America and South America, encouraging all to undertake that few minutes a day of limud hamussar that, they explained, can have a transformative spiritual impact on one’s entire day. The Haskamos of the Mashgichim, HaRav Matisyahu Solomon and HaRav Moshe Wolfson, Shlita In America, two of the great mashgichim of our generation, HaGaon HaRav Mattisyahu Salomon, shlita, Mashgiach Ruchani of Beth Medrash

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017

Around the Community

HaRav Yoel Chonon Wenger inaugurating the Kinyan Chochma program in Montreal

Govoha in Lakewood, and HaGaon HaRav Moshe Wolfson, shlita, Mashgiach of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas and Rav of Kehal Emunas Yisrael of Boro Park, wrote enthusiastic approbations to the program which were published at the front of the new Kuntres Kinyan Chochma. HaGaon HaRav Elya Ber Wachtfogel, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Zichron Moshe of South Fallsburg, added his signature to Rav Matisyahu’s haskama encouraging all to undertake the daily learning of mussar. HaGaon HaRav Avrohom Schorr, Shlita: “Selling You Honey!” At the Dirshu testing site in Boro Park, HaGaon HaRav Avrohom Schorr, shlita, Rav of Kehal Nezer Gedalyahu of Flatbush, addressed the packed beis medrash. After asking mechilah from the talmidei chachomim for disrupting their concentration, Rav Schorr quipped, “I have been asked to sell honey to you for the word devash is the same gematria as mussar!” The connotation was clear. Mussar makes life sweet. A person who lives a life influenced by mussar has a sweet life. In Eretz Yisrael, luminaries such as the well-known Mashgiach HaGaon HaRav Don Segal, shlita, spoke at the testing site at Yeshivas Mir, Yerushalayim; HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Eliezer Stern, shlita, Av Beis Din Shaarei Horaah and a talmid muvhak of Rav Shmuel Wosner, spoke at Beis Medrash Chanichei Yeshivas Chevron in Bnei Brak; Rav Yaakov Mordechai Hager, son of the Vizhnitzer Rebbe, spoke at Vizhnitz, Bnei Brak; HaGaon HaRav Yisrael Gans, shlita, Rav of the Mattersdorf neighborhood of Yerushalayim and R”M at Yeshiva Kol Torah; HaGaon HaRav Avrohom Yitzchok Kook, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Me’or Hatalmud; and Rav Avrohom Halberstam, son of

the Sanzer Rebbe, spoke in Netanya. . In Monsey, HaGaon HaRav Dovid Weisberger, shlita, Mashgiach in Yeshivas Ohel Torah and Bais Mikrah, addressed the lomdei Dirshu. At Kollel Kesser Torah in Montreal, the Dirshu testing site, HaGaon HaRav Yoel Chonon Wenger, shlita, Rav of Kehal Eitz Chaim addressed the test takers. HaGaon HaRav Efroim Greenbaum, shlita, a Dayan in Shikun Skver, spoke at the testing site in Shikun Skver. “Mussar is the Pillar that Supports our Learning of Halacha and Shas in Dirshu’s Programs” At the testing site in Modiin Illit, Eretz Yisrael, HaGaon HaRav Yisroel Zicherman, Rav of the Brachfeld neighborhood of Modin Illit, feelingly echoed what was on the minds of so many: the condition of the gadol hador, the senior Rosh Yeshiva, HaGaon HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, shlita. Rav Zicherman said, “In these difficult days when each and every one of us is deeply concerned and worried about the welfare of Rav Shteinman; in these days when we are all davening and literally storming the Heavens begging Hashem to send a refuah to Rav Aharon Yehuda Leib ben Gittel Feiga, it is incumbent on us to follow the guidance of the senior gedolim [Rav Gershon Edelstein and Rav Chaim Kanievsky] and add mussar learning to our schedules. Mussar is the pillar that supports our learning of halacha and Shas that we do in Dirshu’s programs. It is our tefillah, our deepest supplication to Hashem that this Kinyan Chochma mussar learning that we are adding should be the support that will invoke a refuah sheleimah for the venerated Rosh Yeshiva and that he will continue to lead and guide us until the coming of Moshiach!”


FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

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The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017



Agudath Israel - Darchei Torah Breakfast Hosts Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan


n Sunday morning, February 12, Agudath Israel leaders, board members of Yeshiva Darchei Torah, representatives of local yeshivas,  and community activists from Far Rockaway and the Five Towns met with NY State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan at a well-attended breakfast meeting hosted by Yeshiva Darchei Torah. Agudath Israel-sponsored breakfast receptions with the Senate Majority Leader prior to the state legislature crafting the annual budget have become a traditional yearly event. They provide a venue for community leaders to discuss with the senator various pieces of legislation that may reach the Senate floor in the coming weeks. As Senate majority leader, Senator Flanagan has significant influence over the budget and the flow of legislation from Albany.  The event began with a tour of the magnificent Darchei Torah campus led by Rabbi Yaakov Bender, Rosh HaYeshiva, Yeshiva Darchei Torah, and Rabbi Baruch Rothman, the yeshiva’s director of institutional advancement and a valued Agudath Israel activist. The group visited some of the yeshiva classrooms where Senator Flanagan briefly addressed the students, and then moved on to the Beis Medrash where the senator observed

the talmidim preparing for shiur with their chavrusas. At a breakfast spread in one of the yeshiva conference rooms, Rabbi Bender offered warm words of greeting, thanking the Senator for being “a partner” to the Jewish community in so many ways, for being accessible and showing sensitivity to its concerns.   Rabbi Bender then introduced yeshiva board member Mr. Alon Goldberger who spoke of the financial plight of many parents, including those earning a decent livelihood, who nevertheless cannot meet yeshiva tuition costs. As strapped as they are, said Mr. Goldberger, these parents continue to give their children a quality yeshiva education at great personal sacrifice. Government assistance, wherever legal and constitutional, is urgently needed.   Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel, noted that as the former Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, Senator Flanagan’s unique grasp of education issues, and his appreciation particularly for the needs of special education population, have been a great blessing to the religious community.   “It’s reinvigorating and inspiring to gather together on a yearly basis, to have the opportunity to speak to the leadership of the Senate who has

done so much for our community,” Rabbi Zwiebel said. Rabbi Shmuel Lefkowitz, Agudath Israel Vice President Community Affairs, stressed the Torah community’s gratitude to Senator Flanagan for so ably representing its views on a wide variety of educational, religious and ethical issues in the legislature.    In addition to thanking the Majority Leader for his consistent support for education tax credits, Rabbi Lefkowitz also drew attention to the substantial gains obtained this past year in Albany thanks to Senator Flanagan’s backing. These include sizeable new allocations for reimbursements to NY State yeshivas for mandated educational services, as well as for new and upgraded safety and surveillance equipment. Rabbi Lefkowitz cited other senators in Albany who represent Orthodox communities in New York State and are serving their constituencies with dedication. They include Senator Simcha Felder and Senator Martin Goldin of Brooklyn; Senator Elaine Phillips of Great Neck; Senator Andrew Lanza of Staten Island; Senator William Larkin of Kiryas Yoel; and Senator Terrence Murphy of Westchester.  Senator Flanagan in his remarks pointed out that as the result of his prior chair-

manship of the Senate Education Committee, education will always be a top priority of his. The resounding support he still elicits from that committee speaks to the deep reservoir of trust he built during those years, he noted. For a school to succeed in its mission, he remarked, three things are necessary: A safe building. Competent teachers. Money.  The senator vowed to continue his fight for the education priorities so important and necessary to the religious community, as well as other issues of paramount concern to its citizens.   

Closing remarks were offered by Shlomo Werdiger, Agudath Israel’s chairman of the board, who praised Agudath Israel staff and community volunteers for all the work they have done to promote and facilitate the flow of many millions of dollars in state funding for New York’s yeshiva community. “Maximizing government support for our yeshivos and day schools has always been a major priority for Agudath Israel,” he said, “and with the help of public officials like Senator Flanagan, we hope to continue to deliver tangible results.”


FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

Tu B’Shvat at HAFTR


Little Friends’ Gan Kindergarten explored, climbed, and discovered at the Long Island Children’s Museum

AFTR celebrated Tu B’Shvat in festive ways. Kindergarten students learned about shivat haminim through our version of an Israeli classic, Shisha B’Sakik. After creating their own copy of the story, students participated in an interactive retelling of the book and celebration. Older grades participated in a variety of hands-on activities that reviewed their knowledge about Tu B’Shvat, brachot and the order of reciting brachot. Thank you to PTA for the making these programs so delicious and helping us to practice our brachot.

YOSS 8th Grade Visits the Amud Aish Memorial Museum


n Tuesday, February 14, the eighth grade at Yeshiva of South Shore traveled to the Amud Aish Memorial Museum in Brooklyn. Amud Aish is a living memorial to all the victims of the Holocaust. The trip was of importance to the boys for it allowed them to engage in a hands-on learning experience through historical artifacts, documents, and personal testimony from survivors. The museum also focuses on the role of faith and identity within the broader context of the annihilation of European Jewry. Rabbi Yisrael Munk, eighth grade Rebbe

I vaguely remember the wellgroomed rabbi, his goatee perfectly trimmed, using big words that basically said, “I have no idea what he’s collecting for, but he’s Rabbi Kamenetzky’s kid so give to whatever he asks.” Page 82

at the Yeshiva, has incorporated the lessons of the Holocaust into his own curriculum. Recently, the boys in his shiur listened to the testimony that his own grandmother gave as she grew up as a child during the war years. The boys were left with a vivid message of the reality of the Holocaust, and the loss of past and future generations that ensued from it, while at the same time witnessing the rebirth of our nation worldwide, and particularly in the United States and Israel.

DRS Junior Teaches Coding in Brooklyn Public School


inyamin (Benjamin) Klein, a junior at DRS High School, volunteered his time during winter break to share his computer and technological knowledge. Binyamin who is well-known for running the DRS Live Broadcasting network, for his DRS Live app, and has taught himself multiple programming languages including Swift, Java, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP and SQL. Over

winter vacation, Binyamin taught several coding classes at PS 158 in the East New York section of Brooklyn to minority youth. The students were thrilled to have this opportunity, as for many of them this was their first exposure to this topic. The principal, Ms. Audrey Wilson, invited Binyamin to return anytime he has free time in his schedule.

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017



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FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

Growing and Knowing at Shulamith Early Childhood

A Central Reunion


t The Shulamith Early Childhood Division, each of the preschool classes celebrated the New Year of the Trees with a special fair focused on the shivat haminim and a Tu B’Shvat seder sponsored by the Shulamith Women’s Organization. The girls enjoyed the story of The

Carrot Seed by Ruth Krause and were left with a valuable lesson. The root, as we know, is the foundation of a plant and must be left intact in the soil for a plant to grow. So too, we must connect ourselves to our root – the Torah – and grow through our accomplishments as individuals and as a nation.

t their recent five-year reunion, members of the YUHSG Class of 2012 proved that once a Central student, always a Central student! Held at the home of Head of School CB Neugroschl, the reunion boasted about twenty alumnae who enjoyed delicious food, shared stories from the past five years, and laughed hysterically about their Central memories. Zahava Moskowitz (‘12) organized a game of “Guess the Graduate,” for which every participant wrote anecdotes about an unnamed Central peer or teacher. Everyone loved guessing the topic of each anecdote, reminiscing about some “Central favorites.” Mrs. Neugroschl shared words of Torah

to conclude before sending off every alumna with a Central-themed tumbler. Thank you to Mrs. Neugroschl for hosting, to Director of Student Life Shani Malitzky for organizing the program, and to Student Activities Coordinator Leah Moskovich for her participation. Says Mrs. Malitzky, “We are so proud of all of our graduates, and it is always exciting for us to see them, hear what they’re up to, and share in their accomplishments.” Mrs. Neugroschl adds, “What a special melave malkah we had. The chance to catch up, laugh together, and reminisce was truly heartwarming. Having everyone in my home felt just right!”

undefeated record. Although all the teams learned well, even from the start it was obvious that no team could compare to the diligent girls of Shulamith Torah Bowl. Already,

members of the team are beginning to learn more parshiyot so that they will be ready for the upcoming playoffs, and hopefully, the championship soon after.

Shulamith Wins Again!

By Sara Stein, Grade 8


his past Monday, the Shulamith Torah Bowl team, once again, emerged victori-

ous. After many practices immersed in the beautiful atmosphere of Torah and plenty of studying, the girls boarded the bus that morning, confident that they would maintain their

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017



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FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

Tu B’Shvat Snow, Trees Grow at HAFTR High School By Samantha Hack “Ki ha’adam eitz hasadeh” (Devarim 20:19) n Friday morning, erev Tu B’Shvat, while other schools were off for a snow day, HAFTR High School featured a special yom iyun focusing on Tu B’Shvat, and our own personal maturity and growth. Rabbi Gedaliah Oppen, principal of Judaic Studies, addressed the students about Tu B’Shvat and how adam, a person, is compared to a tree. Rabbi Oppen posed the question as to why we celebrate the Rosh Hashana of Trees in mid-winter when the trees are barest of fruit and leaves. At first glance, there seems to be no life sprouting from the tree, and thus it would appear inappropriate to celebrate their rebirth and reawakening. The answer, suggested by Rabbi Oppen, is that contrary to our instinctive reaction, around this time every year is when trees begin to show signs of life. Though they may look dull and dry in the winter, they are not. They are actually beginning to have life bud inside. Just like trees, people can also


begin to grow, blossom and improve even when such development can’t be seen. Though some of us can look dull and stunted, in reality, we are all growing to be the best self we can be. Before the trees’ seeds sprout, they decay. Anyone looking at this seed would abandon hope, thinking the seed had failed, since all that is visible is the rotted seed. Little can they

know that from what appears to be a totally rotten seed a tree will grow. The same applies in our daily lives. When things appear not to go as we have planned, they are really going as Hashem has planned, albeit beyond our immediate vision and understanding. Rabbi Oppen concluded by demonstrating how the same Hebrew

letters of “tu”, which is the numerical value of chamisha asar, 15, spells out shaar simcha, the Gate of Happiness, noting that as we grow and mature we must remain constantly rooted in spirituality by serving Hashem with simcha. B’ezrat Hashem, our next yom iyun (iy”H without snow) will focus on “Simcha: What is true happiness?”

HANC High School Visits New York Historical Society


tudents in Mrs. Laura Eisner’s AP US History Class at HANC High School, along with librarian Mrs. Laura Schutzman, enjoyed a trip to the New York Historical Society on Tuesday, February7. They visited the exhibit on the first American Jews. Students viewed artifacts dating back to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, including a kashrut certificate from a rabbi in Philadelphia from the 1700s and a Torah scroll that was burned by the British in New York during the Revolutionary War. The exhibit served as a wonderful complement to the American History curriculum, enabling the students to understand the role of Jews in American history, as well as the impact of American history on the Jews. 

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017



Helping and Preventing Unemployment in our Community A View from the Other Side By Simon Lebanim

Dear Neighbor, We many not know each another or daven in the same shul, but until recently we had so very much in common. Like you, I dedicated the early part of my adult life to pursuing my education and attaining my advanced degrees. Like you, I davened with kavanah and was ultimately rewarded with a wonderful spouse and beautiful, caring, and healthy children. Like you, I have spent the better part of the past 20-30 years trying to find the right balance between work life, family life, learning, and chessed. Like you, I’ve experienced the sticker shock of sending my children to yeshiva and summer camp. And like you, I scrimped and saved until I was able to collect enough for a down payment on the modest home in which my family and I now live. That’s what we have in common. What we perhaps don’t have in common, and what I pray you will never have to experience, is the pain I’ve had to endure every day since I became unemployed. I don’t have the stats on Jewish unemployment in the frum community, and I can’t determine how widespread the problem is or what emotional toll it’s taking on my family or the community as a whole, but my personal experiences have afforded me certain insights that are worthy of sharing. First, as you and I have both come to the realization that living even a modest life as a frum Jew is prohibitively expensive, perhaps you agree that our Jewish schools would do well to take a more active role preparing our children for the reality of the work world and guiding them exclusively toward career choices that pay well enough to support a frum lifestyle. Of course, not all of our children will

grow up to be doctors, lawyers, or financial analysts, but I hope you share my conviction that we’re doing our children a disservice by telling them they can be anything they want to be when they grow up. Sure, they can choose one of the many noble and underpaying professions, but the consequences of these choices will haunt them for their entire adult life.

chei Shabbos. As one who finds himself on the receiving end of tzedakah these days, I have a new appreciation for the importance of keeping these institutions well-funded. Indeed, were it not for the generosity of the local yeshiva high schools attended by my children, I suspect I would have had to put them in public schools. And as for Tomchei Shabbos, I nev-

Sadly, I’ve learned the harsh reality that multiple advanced degrees and a super-impressive resume is no guarantee that one will stay employed or find employment.

Second, perhaps you share my opinion that our children would be better served if we encouraged more of them to attend a trade school after high school rather than attend a liberal arts program at our Jewish universities or even the local community college. Again, don’t get me wrong; I think a liberal arts degree is wonderful at helping our children develop critical thinking skills and well-rounded minds, but at what cost? It’s bad enough that the job market is so anemic, but do we have to burden our children with the debt of college loans as well? Third, and perhaps least popular, I think our community would be well-served if the great majority of us opted to forgo our vacations and extra indulgences and instead wrote generous checks to the local yeshiva, rabbi’s fund, and tzedakahs like Tom-

er in my wildest dreams (and nightmares) imagined that I would ever avail myself of their assistance. In my mind, food assistance was something the community provided to help the under-educated, the frail, and “the nameless and faceless” folk who found themselves on the margins of society. Sadly, I’ve learned the harsh reality that multiple advanced degrees and a super-impressive resume is no guarantee that one will stay employed or find employment. Personally speaking, I’m now living in the margins right alongside everyone else on the food line. Fourth, and perhaps most important, I think our community would benefit tremendously if the boards of each of our shuls helped organize their membership to take a more active role helping the unemployed and underemployed access the hidden

job market by serving as shadchanim between connections they each have and those who are looking to find a job. Some of our shuls made an attempt to address this issue when the economy took a downturn a few years back, but the experiment was short-lived and underwhelming. My friends who were unemployed at the time said the feeble attempt mostly produced a narrow field of well-paying jobs for those with hyper-specialized training and an assortment of administrative jobs sponsored by underpaying Jewish organizations. I know, you’ll say that I should consider leaving the New York area and relocating to what is now colloquially referred to these days as “emerging communities.” But how practical is that as a solution? Most of the so-called “emerging communities” are really communities that were thriving in an earlier decade and are now desperate for a comeback. These communities have their own tzuris. For all of the financial hardship of living in the greater New York area, I maintain there are still far more opportunities here than elsewhere. One last thought. When you come to learn about someone in your shul or community who is unemployed, please don’t feel you have to keep your distance as if our condition is communicable. And certainly don’t stop inviting our children to play with yours for fear of contagion. What we have isn’t catchy, but your reaction to our reality can either worsen our condition or serve as a healing salve. What those of us who are unemployed need now more than ever is your warm heart and your helping hand. The author, who lives in Lawrence, NY, is using a nom de plume.

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OCTOBER FEBRUARY29, 16,2015 2017| The | TheJewish JewishHome Home



Riddle me


Name 5 U.S. presidents whose last names only have 4 letters. See answer on next page

You gotta be kidding A teacher asked her students to use the word “beans” in a sentence. “My father grows beans,” said one girl. “My mother cooks beans,” said a boy. A third student spoke up, “We are all human beans.”

Presidential Facts  John Adams (1797-1801) was the first president to live in the White House.  Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809) had a fear of public speaking and only delivered two speeches during his presidency, although he often delivered letters in lieu of speeches.  James Madison (1809-1817) was the smallest president. He was 5’ 4” and weighed under 100 lbs.  As a former tailor, Andrew Jackson (1829-1837), tailored his own suits while president.  Martin Van Buren (1837-1841) was the first president born as an American citizen.  James Buchanan (1857-1861) never got married.  Abraham Lincoln (1861- 1865) was the first president to ever be photographed at his inauguration. In the photo, he is standing near John Wilkes Booth, his future assassin.  Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881) was the first president to have a phone in the White House. His telephone number was “1.”

 Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909) was the youngest person to ever become president, at age 42, when he succeeded William McKinley, who was assassinated.  Warren Harding (1921-1923) once gambled away a set of White House china.  William Taft (1909-1913) weighed over 330 pounds and often got stuck in the White House bath and his advisors would have to pull him out.  George Herbert Walker Bush (1989-1993) is the only president with four names.  William Henry Harrison (1841) was inaugurated on a cold and wet day. He wore neither an overcoat nor hat, rode on horseback to the ceremony rather than in the closed carriage that had been offered him, and delivered the longest inaugural address in American history and spoke for nearly two hours. Unfortunately, he contracted pneumonia and died 31 days after taking office.  John Tyler (1841-1845) had 15 children.

The The Jewish Jewish Home Home || OCTOBER FEBRUARY29, 16,2015 2017

Well Said, Mr. President…





’m glad I’m not Brezhnev; being the Russian leader in the Kremlin, you never know if someone’s tape-recording what you are saying.” - President Richard M. Nixon just received the following wire from my generous Daddy: ‘Dear Jack, Don’t buy a single vote more than is necessary. I’ll be [darned] if I’m going to pay for a landslide.’” - President John F. Kennedy


lessed are the young, for they will inherit the national debt.” - President Herbert Hoover


was America’s first instant vice president and now, America’s first instant president. The Marine Corps Band is so confused, they don’t know whether to play ‘Hail to the Chief’ or ‘You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby.’” - President Gerald Ford

etter to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” - President Abraham Lincoln eing president is like running a cemetery: you’ve got a lot of people under you and nobody’s listening.” - President Bill Clinton


henever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ‘em, ‘Certainly, I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.” - President Theodore Roosevelt


ou teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.” – President George W. Bush


have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency – even if I’m in a Cabinet meeting.” - President Ronald Reagan

If pro is the opposite of con, then what is the opposite of progress?


o man who ever held the office of president would congratulate a friend on obtaining it.” - President John Adams


ow, I know that he’s taken some flak lately but no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald. And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter, like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell?... - President Barack Obama, ribbing Donald Trump at the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner


’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it” - President Thomas Jefferson

Q: How many politicians does it take to change a lightbulb? A: Two: one to change it and another one to change it back again.

25 73

Answer to Riddle: William H. Taft, James Polk, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush


FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

From the Fire

Parshas Yisro They Will All Know Me By Rav Moshe Weinberger Adapted for publication by Binyomin Wolf


hortly after Yisro’s arrival, he tells Moshe (Shmos 18:19), “Listen now to my voice and I will advise you and G-d will be with you.” What was his advice? “Appoint over them leaders of thousands, leaders of hundreds, leaders of fifties, and leaders of tens” (ibid. 21). Many commentaries wrestle with the obvious problem: How could Moshe not have known that his singlehanded leadership of the Jewish people was completely unsustainable? How could any person think that he could answer every halachic question and resolve every interpersonal dispute in an entire nation without delegating authority to anyone? Moshe grew up in the palace of Pharaoh, the king of the greatest civilization of the time. He knew very well how governments work. How could he have not realized the obvious truth that “you will surely ruin yourself and this nation who is with you because this matter is too difficult for you; you cannot do it by yourself” (ibid. 18)? How could Moshe have not realized that it was necessary to put a logical, sensible framework of justice and governance into place? It must be that Moshe had something much deeper in mind. While he knew that he would ultimately have to delegate authority to other leaders in a hierarchical system, he recognized that such a system is not the ideal. Moshe wanted to guide the nation in an idealistic fashion for at least a short period to send a message to the Jewish people for all time that every Jew has the right to go directly to the top, to Moshe and Hashem, without any intermediaries, without any hierarchy. He wanted us to know that while dividing people into high-

er and lower levels is a necessary reality, it is merely a concession to the smallness of worldly life. Under Moshe, we lived in a higher way for that short period of time. He wanted us to have a small taste of it, so that we understood what it will be like in the future as well, when Moshiach comes. The Jewish people asked Moshe to act as an intermediary (ibid. 20:17), “You speak with us and we will hear. But let G-d not speak with us [directly] lest we die.” It is clear (Rashi on Devarim 5:24) that Moshe was upset that the Jewish people did not want to hear G-d’s commandments directly from Him. Moshe did not view their request as an ideal. But what is wrong with a hierarchical system? Practically speaking, not everyone is a tzaddik, tzadekes, scholar, or leader. Why did Moshe view delegation of his authority as such a regrettable concession to practicality? Why is that not ideal? Rav Adin Steinsaltz explains the reason for Moshe’s idealism based on his reaction to Yehoshua’s jealousy (on Moshe’s behalf) at Eldad and Medad for prophesying independently. Moshe told him (Bamidbar 11:29), “If only all Hashem’s people were prophets!” Moshe believed in the greatness of the Jewish people, about whom the Torah says (Devarim 4:6), “Only this people is wise and understanding, this great nation.” Moshe wanted every Jew to have direct access to Hashem. He did not believe that there should be different social or religious strata in the Jewish nation. Moshe believed as the Midrash (Tana D’vei Eliyahu Raba, parsha 10) says, “I call Heaven and earth to testify for me: Whether man or wom-

an, whether slave or maidservant – each one according to his deeds, the Divine spirit will rest upon him.” Any person, no matter how great or small, has the potential to access Divine inspiration. Moshe did not want anyone with a question, no matter how seemingly insignificant, to think that he or she could not go directly to the leader of the nation; that it was necessary to go instead to some nice Jew who knew a bit more than the questioner. Moshe succeeded in carrying out his ideal vision for a short period of time to give us a taste of what it will be like in the World to Come. Moshe wanted us to know that while the nations of the world inherently need to create a hierarchical government since (Avos 3:2), “were it not for the fear [of the government], a person would swallow his friend alive,” that need is not an inherent part of the Jewish people – they have access to a higher reality. But Yisro reminded Moshe that it was time to lead the nation according to the practical reality of the time. We were not yet ready to live according to our inner nature. The truth is that not every Jew is on the same level and it is impossible from a pragmatic perspective to lead the entire nation alone. Pure unadulterated democracy is impossible. While every single Jew has a “piece” of G-d within him in his soul, not everyone lives with that reality. People generally live with a more external part of themselves. There are ignoramuses and there are scholars. There are righteous, generous people, and there are wicked, selfish people. But we still have a remnant of our true potential even in today’s practical world. The Gemara (Kiddushin

30b) says, “Even a father and son, a rav and his student, when they engage in the study of Torah, become enemies to one another.” This is remarkable. A son, daughter, or student is clearly inferior to a parent or rav. Yet the Gemara says that they should argue with their parents and rabbis in order to come to a true understanding of what the Torah says. While it is clear that the discourse between them must be conducted with respect and deep humility, the fact remains that children and students are not supposed to suppress their questions and accept their parents’, rebbeim’s and teachers’ words at face value. Rather, they should challenge them respectfully in order to come to the truth. The idea that parents, rebbeim, or teachers are infallible was never part of the Jewish experience. It is only recently that some have elevated certain tzaddikim and talmidei chachamim to the status of popes. But this is a distortion. Every single Jew has access to an inner equality where everyone has the potential to go straight to the top, to Moshe Rebbeinu and Hashem. And this has been how tzaddikim and talmidei chachamim have conducted themselves for all of Jewish history. The greatest tzaddikim have always been willing to listen to the questions of even the smallest children at face value, consider them honestly, and respond. The idea that questions or challenges are off-limits is completely foreign to our tradition. Unfortunately, I understand that many yeshivos, girls’ schools, and seminaries have rebbeim and teachers who shut down students’ sincere questions, particularly in areas of Continued on page 76

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017


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the fundamentals of our faith. While there are certainly students who ask questions just to get a rise out of their teachers, or for shock value or attention, those who ask questions seeking the truth must be encouraged. Every Jew has the right to understand the fundamentals of our faith. While it is not the same thing, this inner reality expresses itself in our people even outside of the sphere of Torah. There is a fascinating account in the book, The Prime Ministers, by Yehuda Avner, about one of Israel’s prime ministers, Levi Eshkol who led Israel from 1963 to 1969. The prime minister was riding with his driver Moshe to a meeting with a number of other world leaders. Eshkol’s Hebrew was not completely fluent, as his native tongue was Yiddish. Right before Eshkol got out of the car to greet the other presidents and prime ministers who were waiting for him, he asked his driver in Yiddish, “Moshe, what do you think of how the country is do-

ing?” He responded that things were fine. “Really?” asked Eshkol. Moshe answered, “Do you want to know the truth?” “Yes,” replied the prime minister. “Well, the truth is that things are not going well.” Moshe recounted a litany of complaints with the way

kol for several minutes. Yet here was the prime minister of Israel, taking his driver’s concerns about his leadership seriously. Where else in the world could such a thing happen? Two years ago, my wife and I, along with some of my children, were

The idea that questions or challenges are off-limits is completely foreign to our tradition.

the country was being run. And he also made some suggestions for the future of the Israel economy. By the end of the conversation, Eshkol was trying to reassure Moshe that he would do his best to improve life in Israel: “You will see, Moshe, it will be good!” By this point, the other world leaders were waiting for Esh-

staying with family in Yerushalayim. As we were singing zmiros Shabbos afternoon, my daughter called out, “It’s Netanyahu!” I assumed that this could not be true so I continued singing. But everyone else gathered at the mirpeset, the balcony, and I saw that something was really going on. I quickly finished the zemer and went to see what was happening. By that time, I saw that Bibi and his wife were taking a Shabbos afternoon walk and had just passed by the mirpeset. My daughter waved and called out to the prime minister, “Good Shabbos!” He turned around, waved back at our family and returned the greeting, “Shabbat Shalom!” Who is like Hashem’s nation Israel, where an American girl visiting Yerushalayim has the opportunity to exchange Shabbos greetings with the leader of the country?! According to a famous apocryphal story, Chaim Weizmann, who served as Israel’s president from 1949 to 1952, had the following dialogue with U.S. president Harry Truman: Weizmann told Truman that he had a more difficult job as the president of Israel than Truman had as the president of the United States. “How can that be?” asked Truman. “I am the president of one of the greatest countries in the world with a population of over 150 million people!” But Weizmann responded, “That may be true but there is one major difference. You are the president over 150 million people. But I am the president of over 1.6 million presidents!”

While the story may not be historical, it reflects a true point: Deep down inside, every Jew knows that he is equal with every other; that everyone has a right to his opinion. He has a right to understand. We may live with a hierarchical system both governmentally and spiritually as a concession to the present external reality, but deep down, we know that the inner reality that (Bamidbar 16:3), “the entire nation, they are all holy,” will one day find full and appropriate expression in the world to come. But the inner reality is sometimes expressed even in this world. The Gemara (Shabbos 15a) relates a dispute between Hillel and Shamai regarding the proper measurements of a mikvah. The dispute was only resolved after two workers engaged in a menial profession from the Dung Gate happened to overhear the dispute. They told Hillel and Shamai that both scholars were both wrong; that they had overheard from Shmaya and Avtaliyon that the proper measure of a mikvah was different from both positions. Ultimately, the halacha follows the testimony of those two manual laborers from the Dung Gate. Because of our inner nature, our community’s tradition is that every Jew is equally holy and we follow the truth wherever it leads. There is no rabbi that is so great that he can say, “I am the leader of millions. You cannot ask me questions.” And this reality will be fully revealed when Moshiach comes, as the Navi (Yirmiyahu 31:33) says, “No longer will one man teach his friend, or a man teach his brother, saying, ‘Know G-d,’ because they will all know Me from their smallest ones to their greatest ones…” May we merit to see the time soon when Moshe’s vision for a nation of great people with direct access to G-d, without any hierarchy, will be revealed, may it come soon in our days.

Rav Moshe Weinberger, shlita, is the founding Morah d’Asrah of Congregation Aish Kodesh in Woodmere, NY, and has served as Mashpia in Yeshiva University since 2013.

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017



FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Observant Jew

Dollars and Sense By Rabbi Jonathan Gewirtz


here is a well-known song from the play Fiddler on the Roof: “If I were a Rich Man.” In it, the protagonist, a simple shtetl milkman, imagines what life would be like if he were wealthy. One line discusses his imagined intelligence. It reads: “The most important men in town would come to fawn on me! They would ask me to advise them, like a Solomon the Wise.” Is he frightened of that prospect? Not at all. He sings gleefully: “And it won’t make one bit of difference if I answer right or wrong. When you’re rich, they think you really know!” While this may sound like a hyperbolic spoof, it truly reflects the world we live in, and it’s not a new phenomenon. People who are financially successful are often thought to be shrewd businessmen who use their keen acumen to make their efforts prosper. Sometimes that’s the case, but sometimes it’s not. In fact, the Chovos HaLevavos points out that often you will find wealthy people who are quite foolish. This is a proof that it is Hashem’s desire – not their brilliance – which is responsible for their wealth. However, there is something almost supernatural about being in the presence of rich people. People who don’t fall into that category behave differently. They may feel insecure about themselves or perhaps hope that the success will “rub off”

on them so they treat the rich person with respect and deference. Rich people aren’t even “crazy.” When you’ve got money, you’re “eccentric.” That means that you just want something that seems a bit unusual, but again, since you are rich, you must know something the rest of us don’t or else people just ignore that aspect because they’re in awe of the cash factor.

The Forbes top 100 have nothing on the Master of the World. In fact, it is He who put them on the list and can take them off just as easily. I reflected on how silly it was to be distracted by the wealth of a human being when the One to Whom everything belongs was waiting to hear my prayers. We’ve all seen these teenagers driving fancy, expensive cars. We

Was I not about to converse with the biggest landlord in the world? In many cases, people will smile, nod, and agree with what the rich man has to say even if it’s wrong or possibly even evil. I think people likely can’t help themselves because the draw is so strong. This concept actually came to me one day as I was about to daven. A fellow walked in who I believe to be rather well-to-do. I was suddenly self-conscious of the fact that he “makes his own money” while I can’t say that I’m a captain of industry. I don’t actually know him to be very smart, nor do I know his financial affairs in-depth. But I felt a palpable difference when he walked in the room. Until I caught myself. Was I not about to converse with the biggest Landlord in the world?

often look at them with respect and a bit of envy. But if you take a second to think about it, you realize these kids are just driving what their parents gave them and they have no wealth of their own. It seems ridiculous, then, when they use these things to show off to their peers. Isn’t that the same thing with wealthy people? They’re just using what their Father in Heaven gave them. They didn’t earn it; they merely have the good fortune of circumstance to be more financially stable. How do we know they didn’t earn it? Because the Gemara tells us that before a child is conceived, an angel brings the soul before Hashem and it is decreed whether he will be rich or poor, smart or foolish, thin or fat. The

only thing not determined is whether the person will be righteous or wicked – because that is up to us. So, when you see someone with more money than you, remind yourself that he’s just a child of a rich father and he’s not better than you simply because he has money. Don’t let yourself be fooled into thinking he’s some amazing individual and don’t be suckered into going along with things he says that shouldn’t be followed. Remind yourself that if you want to compare yourself to him, it has to only be on the basis of righteousness and good choices. If you are doing what Hashem wants, that is the greatest type of riches to have. And if you’re still wowed by the dollar signs? Remember that you have a direct line to the One who dispenses all wealth, and that he’s your father too.

Jonathan Gewirtz is an inspirational writer and speaker whose work has appeared in publications around the world. You can find him at RabbiGewirtz, and follow him on Instagram @RabbiGewirtz or Twitter @ RabbiJGewirtz. He also operates, where you can order a custom-made speech for your next special occasion. Sign up for the Migdal Ohr, his weekly PDF Dvar Torah in English. E-mail and put Subscribe in the subject.

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FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Between the Lines

Baruch Hashem By Eytan Kobre


here’s an old joke about a Jewish guy who buys a special, Jewish horse. The horse is trained to move upon hearing the words “Baruch Hashem,” and it stops only when hearing the words “Shema Yisrael.” Excited with this wondrous novelty, the new owner mounted his special horse to take it for a spin. “Baruch Hashem!” he yelled proudly. As advertised, the horse broke into a slow trot. Oh, this is good, he thought. “Shema Yisrael!” Sure enough, the horse stopped. Well, one day, the owner was galloping through the forest at breakneck speed, having the time of his life, when he looked up and saw the precipice of a ravine not too far in the distance. In his panic, however, he blanked on how to stop the galloping horse. He did remember that it was some two-word formula. “Shalom, shalom,” he whispered, but, to his horror, the horse did not slow down.

“Um, Adon Olam?” Still, the horse galloped just as before. “Toda rabba! Toda rabba! Toda rabba!” Nothing. As his life flashed before his eyes, the owner did what any decent Jew would do when facing impending death. He closed his eyes tightly and with all his might yelled, “Shema Yisrael!” Just inches from the cliff, the horse came to a grinding halt. Pale and shaken, the man pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and wiped the sweat from his face. “Whew,” he sighed. “Baruch Hashem!” “Baruch Hashem.” Hardly a conversation goes by between two observant Jews without one or both uttering those words. Through good times and bad, we’ve lived by those oft-repeated words for thousands of years. But it was not always so. For all their formidable spiritual prowess, the first people to say the words “Ba-

ruch Hashem” were actually nonJews. Noach said, “Baruch Hashem, the G-d of Shem, and let Cana’an be their servant” (Bereishis 9:26), and Eliezer declared, “Baruch Hashem, the G-d of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His mercy and His truth toward my master” (Bereishis 24:27). And when Moshe told him of the Jewish people’s miraculous exodus from Egypt, Yisro could not help but respond, “Baruch Hashem, Who has rescued you from the hand of Egypt and from the hand of Pharaoh” (Shemos 18:10). It was not until Yisro uttered those words that the phrase “Baruch Hashem” gained widespread significance. Indeed, “it was a disgrace for Moshe and the 600,000 [Jewish people who left Egypt] that they did not say ‘Baruch Hashem’ until Yisro said it” (Sanhedrin 94a) – a disgrace that would be rectified only many years later when Dovid said his own “Baruch Hashem” (Rashi, I Divrei

Hayamim 29:10). Although the Jewish people sang of G-d’s glory and thanked G-d for His salvation and miracles after leaving Egypt and at the Red Sea, Yisro was the first to introduce baruch Hashem into our collective lexicon. Now, whenever we ask one another how things are going, the response is almost always an immediate and reflexive, “Baruch Hashem.” Indeed, one should incorporate the name of G-d into greetings with other people (Berachos 54a; see Orchos Chaim 22; Ohr HaChaim, Bereishis 48:8-9), which is a fulfillment of “Baruch Hashem yom yom” – “Blessed be G-d every day” (Tehillim 68:20). Inasmuch as it incorporates G-d into our every conversation, there is inherent value in greeting one another with a “Baruch Hashem.” In his early years, the Ba’al Shem Tov often dressed as a simple villager and traveled town-to-town. He

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017

would approach simple-folk – the water-carrier lugging his pails, the homemaker sweeping her perch, the children playing in the street –and ask, “How are things?” Invariably, whether followed by good tidings or not, the response would always begin with “Baruch Hashem…” The “traveler” would then depart, gratified that he had triggered another blessing of G-d, even if offered reflexively. One day, the Ba’al Shem Tov arrived in a certain village and made his way to the local study hall. There, he encountered a Torah scholar poring over his books, wrapped in tallis and tefillin. This was the town’s holiest man – from sunrise to sunset, he busied himself only with matters of the spirit. He spoke to no one and hardly lifted his eyes from the sacred tomes. This was truly a man of G-d. “Rabbi, how are things with you?” No response. Again, the “stranger” asked. “I’m so sorry to disturb you, Rabbi. But how are things going?” Now the holy man could not help

but look up. Who is this stranger pestering me? How are things? What sort of nonsense is this? Hoping the

ed. “Us mortals,” the Ba’al Shem Tov continued, “subsist on the sustenance that Gd provides us in His

When our Pavlovian response to any simple inquiry is, “Baruch Hashem,” we give tacit acknowledgement that G-d occupies a primary and unavoidable space in every turn of life.

stranger would simply go away, the holy man turned back to his books. But the stranger only leaned closer, and his questioning grew more insistent. “Rabbi,” he prodded, “why are you denying Gd His livelihood?” Now the holy man was indignant. Me? Deny Gd’s livelihood? What chutzpa! The audacity of this simpleton! But the “stranger” was undaunt-

great kindness. G-d, in turn, subsists on the praises heaped upon him by the Jewish people. So when one Jew asks another how things are going and the response is a ‘Baruch Hashem,’ that sustains G-d, so to speak. Wittingly or otherwise, saying ‘Baruch Hashem’ binds man to his Creator.” * * * To be sure, not every “baruch


Hashem” is laden with the same heartfelt intention to bless G-d or invoke His name as the original baruch Hashem expressed by Yisro. After all, we say “Baruch Hashem” so incessantly that it has become a knee-jerk, even mindless reaction to…well, just about anything. But perhaps that’s the point. Maybe the value of a “Baruch Hashem” is not so much in the specific intention behind it but in our inability to avoid saying it. Because when our Pavlovian response to any simple inquiry is, “Baruch Hashem,” we give tacit acknowledgement that G-d occupies a primary and unavoidable space in every turn of life. And baruch Hashem for that.

Eytan Kobre is a writer, speaker, mediator, and attorney living in Kew Gardens Hills. Questions? Comments? Suggestions? E-mail


FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Still Soaring Rabbi Morris Friedman and Tashbar By Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky


oble deeds are, most often, the result of lofty vision. But sometimes they are germinated by childish dreams that have no connection with their end result. Somehow, the Master Puppeteer synchronizes those ordinary dreams with a curious cast of characters who waltz together toward a higher goal that He plans. I’d like to share the tale of a little boy and his dream of an airplane. Enter a cast of characters, beginning with an old rabbi who spoke in heavily accented English and ending with members of a Conservative synagogue’s men’s club. Sprinkle in a newly arrived black neighbor and Sam Zuckerberg, a gunrunner for the Haganah, (and eventually the father of Roy, the celebrated senior director of the Goldman Sachs Group). And add the magic of the Wizard of Oz on a cold winter night and you have a formula that raised enough money to cover a major part of a payroll for a fledgling charedi cheder in the heart of Bnei Brak, the Tashbar B’baiso shel HaChazon Ish! Let’s begin with the airplane. Dear reader, do you remember

those balsa wood planes with paper-thin wings that came in even thinner paper packages? Do you remember cracking those wings every time you tried to squeeze them through the microscopic slit of the plane’s alleged fuselage? Those of you who do, probably also remember where you were when President Kennedy was shot. But whether you do or don’t, let me take you back to the days when a second grader would dream about getting the super-size, deluxe balsa wood airplane. It was much bigger than the cheap dime-size airplanes I referred to in the previous paragraph and even had a real propeller. The propeller had a rubber band attached to it, which stretched from the propeller, and went under the plane’s belly and attached to a tiny hook near the tail. That second grader would dream of winding the propeller a million times until there was no twist left in the elastic of the band. He would see himself releasing it into the crisp spring air, and it would fly like the big propeller planes that shook his house on their way in and out of Idlewild International (now

Kennedy) Airport, just a few miles from his home. That second grader was me. As poor as we were, I somehow was always able to scrounge up enough money to buy the cheap balsa wood airplanes that they sold in Woolworth’s on Central Avenue in the heart of Cedarhurst. But there were bigger and better models, planes a foot long or longer. A plane like that had thick wings that would not crack, either when you assembled it or when you threw it into your dining room chair. These fancier planes were the desire of all the poorer boys in my grade. These were the planes that the rich kids got for Chanukah—the type about which my mother’s eyes silently admonished, “Don’t even think about it.” So they remained the object of my desire, as I laid plans and machinations so that I, too, would get one. And then, one day, he walked into my classroom. He was a short man, who looked like he definitely escaped the horrid world of “back then” that no one in the early ‘60s really talked about to little kids like us. He had

an orange-brown beard, an old black fedora, and a short jacket. He was carrying little booklets, each one a different color. They had coupon-like perforated pages. He also had a stack of mimeographed (I will not even begin to explain that one) sheets that held what the third graders had leaked was a list of prices and prizes. We all wondered, “Who was this man? What were those books? What was that list?” I did notice the name Tashbar on many of the papers, but had never heard of it. Our rebbi, Rabbi Meir Shapiro, hushed the class, and the man began in a very heavily accented English, marinated with centuries of Yiddish. Every nuance of his opening words, the rolling of the “R”s and the thick Yiddish inflection ring in my ears to this very day. “Boyz, I vant you to know that deer are childrrren in Eretz Yisrael who are staaarrrving.” I am not sure exactly what he wanted from us. His accented delivery, combined with my curiosity about whether there really were prizes on that list, distracted me from hearing his appeal, which was clearContinued on page 84

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FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

ly not scripted for a second grade audience. The only other sentence I remember was his final one. “Boyz, I vant you to remember, Rav Aharon would say, ‘Kol hatzdakos kodesh, v’Tashbar kodesh kedoshim [All charities are holy and Tashbar is the holy of the holies].’” He was referring to the recently niftar Rav Aharon Kotler, the undisputed leader of American yeshiva Jewry in the early 1960s, and Tashbar was the acronym for Tinokos Shel Bais Rabban, a reference to young children whose pure souls learn Torah unimpeded by the distraction of adolescence and adulthood. I was not sure if we were supposed to collect for a yeshiva or for starving children. Maybe both. Or maybe the man knew that exhorting for starving children sells better in Peoria and the Five Towns than a bunch of kids learning Torah in the former home of the Chazon Ish. But it made no difference. I saw the list of prizes that we would get by selling the 5, 10, and 25 cent tickets from those booklets. And one of the prizes (I think it was for collecting 50 dollars) was a super-duper, deluxe balsa wood airplane. Rubber band and all! I set my heart on it. In December of 1963, not many people would give a nickel to a yeshiva in Israel, but I was determined. We were supposed to raise the money through the Chanukah recess. I figured that surely by the time the snow melted my plane would be competing with those that would screech over my house at all hours of the day and night. My parents had no reservations about letting me go out at night, and I had the gumption to knock on doors. So, armed with all varieties and colors of the booklets, I began my journey to the skies. I did not really make much over Chanukah, and neither did anyone else. So the school said that they would extend the campaign for a while. It was in early 1964 that I began to realize that time was running out and I better make a serious effort to raise some money. And so, sometime in January, I began my crusade for the airplane, cloaked in a religious mission for the starving children of Tashbar. The first night that I went out was a Sunday. I spent close to an hour-and-a-half at the Jacobys, a family that had just moved in down the block. It’s not that I made a complex hour-long presentation to them

about the virtues of Torah lishma and the holy children of Bnei Brak. You see, I entered their house that Sunday night and the family opened the door and ran back to their newly-acquired color TV not long after Dorothy’s house landed on some sort of Wicked Witch. My family did not own a television. My father, shlit”a, threw it out when a caped man caught too much of my attention. When the neighbors screen filled with the frightening face of the bereaved green woman who was screeching, “Who killed my sister?” I forgot about balsa planes, coupon books, prizes, and the starving children of Eretz Yisrael. I spent the next hour or so in my coat and earflap hat, eyes transfixed to the television and the Wizard of Oz. About an hour later, I walked out, my mind

move onto my block. His son, Leroy Jr., and I knew that we had something in common in a neighborhood without black kids and a neighborhood without kids with yarmulkes and tzitzis. I knocked on Mr. Collins’ door and I showed him the tickets. He gave me a dollar. The unprecedented amount stunned me. Mr. Zuckerberg gave me 10 dollars. I guess he set a precedent for his son, who donated a room at our yeshiva some time ago. But that said, at that point I did not have more than a couple of dollars and a dream. By the time I finished with friends, relatives, and board members of the Yeshiva, I was still short at least 27 dollars. I was miserable and my father knew it. But my father always knew a guy. He could always find someone to get you out of a jam

Every nuance of his opening words, the rolling of the “R”s and the thick Yiddish inflection ring in my ears to this very day. “Boyz, I vant you to know that deer are childrrren in Eretz Yisrael who are staaarrrving.”

filled with nothing more than frightening images of winged monkeys and melting green witches, and my pocket filled with nothing more than 50 cents. It was my first lesson about the time-wasting aspect of TV, which left me about 49 dollars and 50 cents short of my goal. I came home to a gentle tongue-lashing about staying out late, watching television, and the like, but my father turned it into a strategy session. No one in the class was doing too well in the campaign, so they extended the campaign until Purim. Hope springs eternal. Over the next few weeks, I went to my neighbor Jerry Salzbacher, a salesman for Revlon, and to the above-mentioned Mr. Zuckerberg, an executive at Cannon Towel. But the biggest challenge was knocking on the door of one of the newer neighbors, Leroy Collins, a gym teacher at Public School #6 down my block. Not only was Mr. Collins not Jewish, he was not even white. He was the first black man to

or fix a problem. But our shul had no money and my father was on his way out as rabbi. He was too busy with the yeshiva. And the yeshiva surely had no money! But salvation often comes from an unlikely source. Rabbi Morris Friedman was the rabbi of Temple Hillel, a Conservative congregation in nearby Valley Stream. Rabbi Friedman was always helpful to my father a nd t he ye sh iva as were members of his congregation.  Rabbi Friedman had already told a number of his synagogue members to join my father’s new Orthodox kehilla in nearby Woodmere and t o send the children to Yeshiva of South Shore. Some of those members’ grandchil– dren a r e learning in distinguished kollelim. One is a prestigious rav and author. Most recently, a wealthy and generous donor, who had been giving to our yeshiva since I can remember, told me, “Do you know, how I began my relationship with your father?”  I told him that I had not. He

said, “Rabbi Friedman called me and said, ‘I am sending Rabbi Binyamin Kamenetzky over to you – give him whatever he asks for.’” And he did. Rabbi Friedman was always helpful to my father, and members of his congregation always helped him with his yeshiva, and so my father asked him if he could perhaps write me a check to Tashbar from the synagogue’s charity fund. Rabbi Friedman said he would do one better. Every Sunday, after the davening, they had a big breakfast for what they called the minyaneers, the men who would come to Sunday morning minyan. The rabbi would allow me to make an appeal at the breakfast. After we finished davening in Woodmere on Sunday, my father drove me to Valley Stream. We entered the Hebrew school building that was adjacent to the main synagogue building where they held the breakfast. I vaguely remember the well-groomed rabbi, his goatee perfectly trimmed, using big words that basically said, “I have no idea what he’s collecting for, but he’s Rabbi Kamenetzky’s kid so give to whatever he asks.” I really don’t remember the exact words of the speech that this sevenyear-old gave in early 1964. I spoke a little about Torah and a little about starving children. I knew that the only Reb Aharon these fellows knew was one Hank Aharon, a ball player in Milwaukee, so I skipped that part as well as the kodesh kedoshim part. All I remember is walking out of that building with close to 300 dollars in my pocket! I had more than enough money for a plane. I had enough money for an entire air force! I did get only one super-duper plane. I used the rest of the money for a bunch of other toys and new-fangled electronic devices that were all made in Japan and broke before any of the money that I raised was spent. And the plane? Well, I waited for the first sunny day in March. I wound the propeller so many times that the tension of the rubber band snapped the fuselage. And so, that plane never flew. So what? Forty-seven years later, I’m still soaring. Adapted with permission from AMI Magazine.

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017

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FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Jewish History

Memoirs of a Forgotten Rabbi The Troubled Life of Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Ferber By Rabbi Pini Dunner

Part I Introduction

Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Ferber (1883-1966) was a Lithuanianborn Torah scholar who spent most of his adult life as the spiritual leader of a small community in the West End of London. He remained there for over 50 years, struggling to maintain his dignity and his principles in a setting that was completely indifferent to the things he found important. His relationship with the lay-leadership of his community, as well as with his fellow employees, was fraught with difficulty and tension, as all of them were people devoid of any sensitivity to Jewish ritual law and they tended to run the synagogue as a moneymaking operation, without taking Jewish law or the rabbi into consideration. Rabbi Ferber was a no-nonsense, strictly observant Orthodox rabbi of the old school and highly regarded for his Torah scholar in the world beyond his own community. During the many decades he led his community, he took to writing so that he could feel creative and productive and was also a regular visitor at the nearby reading room of the British Museum, where he became a familiar fixture and was given unfettered access to ancient Hebrew manuscripts and published books that were no longer in print. He began publishing books of Torah commentary before the Second World War and continued to publish books well into his old age. These books were his outlet, his only source of job satisfaction throughout his “exile,” as he referred to his life. They were all very well-written and contained well-constructed ideas that demonstrated

a wealth and breadth of knowledge, as well as a literary ability that surpassed many contemporary colleagues. The introductions to his books often contained small anecdotes from his private life or stories of his youth and his family history. But these were peripheral to the overall book content which was always Torah-oriented, focused on generic and impersonal topics relating to Torah portions, or festivals, or prayer, or other such topics, rather than issues emerging out of his private life. But even these small glimpses were revealing, whetting the appetite for more information about the author of these incredible books. After his death in 1966, Rabbi Ferber, a marginal figure in his lifetime, receded into the footnotes of orthodox Jewish history in the UK and might easily have been totally forgotten had it not been for the discovery of his unpublished memoirs at around the turn of the twenty first century. The story of the memoirs is itself fascinating – how did they come to be written, and why did they remain unpublished for so long? The story of the memoirs’ bizarre compilation and history, as well as the remarkable narrative contained in the memoir itself, is the story that will be exclusively told by Rabbi Pini Dunner in the columns of this newspaper in the weeks and months ahead. It is a story that will reveal the extraordinary life of a devout immigrant rabbi whose origins were in the aristocracy of Lithuanian Jewry but who became trapped by circumstances in a rabbinic position he despised and in a world that was changing beyond all recognition. Continued on page 88

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017



FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The name Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Ferber z”l was familiar to me already at a very young age. It was uttered with reverence, with respect, and with incredible admiration. Rabbi Ferber’s books on the shelf at my parents’ home were well used and very tatty. My late father z”l would regularly adorn our Friday night table with Torah ideas drawn from these books, ideas which were insightful, satisfying and original. There was a particular pride in the fact that their author had been a London rabbi, someone who my father and his family had known during his lifetime. Indeed, when my grandfather, Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Dunner z”l, was appointed as the presiding rabbi of London’s Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations in 1960 and soon afterwards as a member of the rabbinical executive of the Agudat Israel of Europe, he regularly made the trip to London’s West End to consult with Rabbi

Ferber and discuss communal issues both at home and with reference to Orthodox Jewry around the world. There was, however, a curios-

place devoid of Torah, a place where all the resident Jews – besides for a minute number of exceptions – were not Sabbath observant. How could it be that this great man man-

The story of the memoirs is itself fascinating – how did they come to be written, and why did they remain unpublished for so long?

ity in all this that was not lost on me, even in my youth. How was it possible that this extraordinary man, this revered leader, lived in the West End of London? Strictly Orthodox Jews all knew that the West End was a spiritual desert, a

aged to sustain his own status as a leader for and person who gave advice to people who lived in the areas of London in which devout Orthodoxy had established itself, areas quite a distance from his home, and in which there were a number of other serious Torah scholars and esteemed rabbis? It was a puzzle that remained unsolved. We were told that Rabbi Ferber was a man of principle, a man of vision, a man of clarity, that his advice was considered Torah wisdom; the unbiased, untainted view of a man who had his roots in the pre-war world of Lithuanian Jewry. But this only made it all the more curious! What was he doing in the West End? Why had he never moved to the centers of observant Jewish life that had emerged in London during the years between the First World War and the Second World War? And perhaps, most importantly, how was it possible that he had managed to keep up his level of Judaism, as required of all religious Jews, but in particular to maintain his revered status, in the midst of the spiritual desert in which he lived? As the years went by Rabbi Ferber slipped away from my consciousness. When I arrived at Gateshead Yeshiva, one of my earliest friends there was a boy called Tzvi Gurwitz. As the great-grandson of Rabbi Ferber and born shortly after his death, he was named after him. But no one mentioned Rabbi Ferber. It was his other grandfather,

Rabbi Leib Gurwitz z”l, the late esteemed Rosh Yeshiva of Gateshead, who gave him standing with the other boys in the yeshiva. The memory of Rabbi Ferber had faded away, and although many individuals continued to benefit from his numerous published works – especially after they were republished in the mid-1980s – the strictly Orthodox community, and certainly the non-Orthodox community, had forgotten this great man. The history of his memoirs is therefore of some interest. Their publication will probably propel their author into the public consciousness from which he has been absent for decades. His books are all out of print, and the men who consulted him regularly have all passed on or long retired from their public positions. Those who knew him and appreciated him, or heard his Torah lectures and speeches and appreciated them, are also long departed or very elderly. His children have all died, and just a few years ago the last of his sons-in-law, Mr. Chaim Lewis, whom I knew well, died at the age of 98 in London. So where have these memoirs been since they were written? How did they come to be written? Why were they never published? Were they meant for publication? How did I obtain them? Why am I publishing them and for whom? I will try to answer all these questions in the weeks that follow so that the readers of Rabbi Ferber’s memoirs can fully appreciate what it is that they are reading and understand how and why the memoirs have come to be published by me after all these years.

To be continued....

Rav Pini Dunner is the rav of Young Israel North Beverly Hills.

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017



FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

On the Streets of


Adventure on Mount Tsfachot By Elana Dure


his past Chanukah break, my friend, Ely, and I decided to hike the desert surrounding

Eilat. Now, I’m not always so adventurous—I typically spend my vacations in museums, at restaurants or on beaches—but a friend of mine told me about a specific mountain that, in her words, was a “must-see.” She described the gentle trek as a perfect sunrise moment that concluded with a glorious view of four Middle Eastern counties: Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. How could I ignore that? Curious to witness the picturesque landscape, I convinced Ely (who is the outdoorsy type) to join me on this adventure. We opted to skip the sunrise moment and decided to do the hike at 9 a.m. It was my job to research the details of our hike, but given my lack of experience for such endeavors, I simply typed the location into Google Maps. The phone application led us to a resort parking lot, its backdrop an endless supply of rocky mountains. “Are you sure this is the right place?” Ely asked me nervously. “Which trail are we taking?” “Trail?” I asked, noticing how unprepared we were. “I don’t know.” Unsure of where to go next, Ely

quickly pulled out his phone and searched the hike. After a few minutes, he discovered we could either take the Green Trail throughout or start on the Blue Trail and crossover to the Green Trail midway. Standing next to our parked car, we each looked around once more. “So where does the trail start?” I finally asked. Ely shrugged and pointed to the deserted mountains. “Probably over there.”

grip along the steep mountain. Neither of us are professional rock climbers, so we knew the trek forward would be dangerous. However, we also knew there was no turning back. No matter how difficult or perilous the journey onward seemed, going down the way we came would be ten times worse. Ely and I decided to continue forward, but we took certain precautions to stay safe. Most of the journey, I trailed ten steps behind Ely, wary of

“We definitely scaled the right mountain,” I said. “I guess we just took the wrong path.”

After a few minutes of walking, we approach our first Blue Trail marker and a sign that listed Israel’s hiking rules. “Looks like we’re taking Blue,” I said with a smile. “Let’s go.” Excited to start, Ely and I walked along the dusty path into the wilderness. About ten minutes in, we realized we were in trouble. Instead of enjoying a nice, pleasant stroll with a minimal incline, we were climbing rocks and scrambling for places to

any rocks he may accidentally kick in my direction. Ely also warned me of any difficult steps that lay ahead. “Stay to the left,” he’d shout. “There’s a sheer cliff coming up on the right.” Midway through the hike, after realizing we weren’t going to see any people on this hazardous desert path, I turned to Ely, confused. It was hard for me to believe that the friend who suggested this hike could do this strenuous journey alongside

nine other people. There was hardly enough room for me to stand on the trail; the path was so narrow! I began to doubt my memory, thinking maybe I misremembered the name of the mountain. The last leg of the hike included great effort on my part to use all four limbs to scale the side of the cliff. Sweating from the heat and panting from the fright, I finally pulled my body up onto the top of the mountain. What I saw over the bend surprised me. Families sat on the ground enjoying lunch and the beautiful view. Youth groups led by tour guides took pictures with their friends. Young children and elderly couples alike strolled up a wide, dirt path (also known as the Green Trail) to the same peak we worked tirelessly to reach. Laughing, I turned to Ely with a grin, “We definitely scaled the right mountain,” I said. “I guess we just took the wrong path.” Lesson learned: the grass—or, in this case, trail—is greener on the other side. Elana Dure is a resident of Woodmere and recent graduate of the University of Maryland. She is currently teaching English in Petach Tikva through Masa’s Israel Teaching Fellows program.

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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home


Shakeup in the White House

What Happened with National Security Advisor Flynn and Where the Administration Goes from Here BY SUSAN SCHWAMM


first real shakeup in the Trump Administration took place on day 24 into the new president’s reign when National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigned after coming under fire for misleading the Trump administration about a pre-inauguration phone call that he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The oft-used Washington adage, “The cover-up is worse than the crime,” is certainly true in this case. The matter first came to light last month when intelligence leaks disclosed that in December Flynn held a series of phone calls with the Russian ambassador. When asked by the press about the nature of those phone calls – in light of allegations that Russia engaged in nefarious activities in order to help Trump win the election – Vice President Pence and other White House officials asserted that the conversations were merely to exchange greetings and to arrange for a future conversation

between Mr. Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Pence denied that Flynn spoke about American sanctions. “They did not discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia,” the vice president said on “Face The Nation.” The phone calls between Flynn and the Russian ambassador first came under suspicion because they took place the day that then-President Obama imposed sanctions and expelled Russian diplomats from the U.S. in response to perceived meddling by Russia in the hacking into Democrat National Committee emails, which were slowly released by WikiLeaks throughout the presidential campaign. In response to the U.S. sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin seemed to have a laissez faire attitude – which is clearly against his M.O. – and declared that he would not take any countermeasures. That was a headscratcher and ultimately led people to question if Flynn had reas-

sured Russia that the sanctions would be reversed after January 20.


Flynn had already been tapped to be Trump’s national security advisor and was working on the transition team, an archaic law, called the Logan Act, makes it a crime for an unauthorized citizen to negotiate with foreign governments who are in dispute with the United States. Since Flynn was not authorized by the Obama administration to discuss the sanctions, his discussion of them, according to some in the legal community, would have been a violation of the Logan Act. Even if Flynn technically violated the Logan Act according to the letter of the law, in the 200-plus years that the law has been in existence nobody has ever been found guilty for violating it. The Logan Act is over two centuries old and came to be due to events that took place during the


FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Former CIA Director David Petraeus

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

Retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward

presidency of John Adams. At the time, a private citizen, Dr. John Logan, engaged in unauthorized freelance diplomacy with France, and the United States government wanted to ensure that that would never happen again. Despite the law, it is common for presidential transition teams to begin feeling their way around foreign policy matters and holding discussions with their international counterparts before the swearing in of the new president. The Logan Act has never been an impediment to that. And many believe that transition teams are not in violation of the Logan Act when dipping their feet into foreign policy. Despite Flynn’s assertion to Vice President Pence that he did not discuss sanctions in the call in question, last month the Justice Department informed the White House that the phone conversation was tapped by an intelligence agency and, in fact, Flynn did discuss the sanctions. President Trump was given a transcript of the conversation which showed that although Flynn did not promise to reverse Obama’s sanctions, he urged Russia not to retaliate as that would make it harder to reverse the sanctions when Trump would assume office. The Justice Department expressed concern that Flynn’s denial of such a conversation would make him a target of Russian blackmail later on and would compromise his ability to carry out his role as national security advisor. White House Spokesman Sean Spencer stated that although the White House knew about Flynn’s dishonest statement to Pence a few weeks ago, Trump only asked for Flynn’s resignation – which is Washington’s parlance for “You’re fired!” – once President Trump determined that he no longer was able to fully trust Flynn. Flynn’s resignation letter on Monday was short of an apology and sought to pin the episode on an honest mistake. “In the course of my duties as the incoming National Security Advisor, I held numerous phone calls with foreign counterparts, ministers, and ambassadors. These calls were to facilitate a smooth transition and begin to build the necessary relationships between the President, his advisors and foreign leaders. Such calls are standard practice in any transition of this magnitude,” Flynn noted. “Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete infor-

Former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley

mation regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador. I have sincerely apologized to the President and the Vice President, and they have accepted my apology.”


that Flynn has resigned, the true politicking of this event will begin in earnest. Although, as Charles Krauthammer noted on Fox News, “This is a cover up without a crime,” Democrats are seeing blood in the water. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who is emerging as a chief White House provocateur, fired off a series of tweets, including, “This.Is.Not.Normal,” and declared that although it is good that Flynn resigned, the real issue is “this administration’s disturbing ties to Russia.” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif), a top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, issued a statement which states in part that “Flynn’s departure does not end questions over his contacts with the Russians, which have been alleged to have begun well before December 29.”

“Who tapped the phones? Who was listening to it? Who leaked it?”

Even Hillary Clinton, who is still reeling from her loss to Trump, got involved by retweeting a tweet that essentially stated that Michael Flynn can now get a job at Domino’s Pizza. That tweet was in reference to a tweet that Michael Flynn sent out several months ago about a Clinton crime ring being run out of a pizza shop. Republicans, on the other hand, are more concerned with who tapped the conversations and who leaked the contents of the call. The morning after Flynn’s resignation, President Trump tweeted, “The real story here is why there are many illegal leaks coming out of Washington? Will these leaks be happening as I deal on N.Korea etc.?” Flynn himself was asked whether he was the target of leaks by Fox News and responded, “Yes, yes and yes.” House Intelligence Committee Chairman


Retired Army General Keith Kellogg

Devine Nunes (R-Calif) expressed concern about the tapping and disclosing of Flynn’s conversations. “Who tapped the phones? Who was listening to it? Who leaked it?” he wondered. “Leaks of this nature are incredibly damaging to America and we need to look into it.” Flynn’s departure is uncanny for President Trump who often places loyalty above all and may indicate just how much Flynn “stepped in it.” Flynn was one of the first former senior military officials to back Trump. His fiery speeches – often including audience chants of “lock her up” – were an ever-present warm-up act for Trump on the campaign trail. Flynn, who serves as the head of intelligence for the military’s elite Joint Special Operations Command and served as the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency for two years under President Obama, was even on Trump’s shortlist for vice president. Flynn’s early departure from the Defense Intelligence Agency was seen as a positive by Trump when evaluating him for the position; although the Obama administration indicated that they were not pleased with Flynn’s management style, many in Washington believe that Flynn was making waves by trying to focus attention on the rise of ISIS, which at that point President Obama famously considered to be “The JV team.”


Trump is expected to quickly name a new national security advisor, as it is one of the most important positions in any White House, especially in an administration which is trying to gain footing in a dangerous world with many national security threats. Upon Flynn’s resignation, President Trump immediately chose retired Army General Keith Kellogg as the temporary replacement. Kellogg was a top policy advisor for Trump during his campaign and was among the original contenders for the post before it eventually went to Flynn. Kellogg did two tours in Vietnam, earning top commendations including the Bronze Star. The 72-year-old retired lieutenant general was also a former commander of the 82nd Airborne Division and chief operating officer of the Western coalition in Baghdad after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. He is among the contenders of those who President Trump will ultimately choose to permanently fill the position.


The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017

OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

But Kellogg is not the only one in the running for the top spot. You may remember former CIA Director David Petraeus, who Trump was considering as a possible candidate for secretary of state. Petraeus, a retired four-star general, had to step down from the CIA in 2012, had pleaded guilty in 2015 for mishandling classified information, and was sentenced to two years’ probation. Washington Republicans have made it known that they are not too fond of Petraeus, but Trump may have a different view, tweeting back in November that he was “very impressed” with him after an hourlong meeting between the two in Trump Tower. It’s possible he will have Petraeus take over for Flynn this time around, although some are saying that Petraeus may need a presidential pardon before assuming the post. Another person in the running as a possible replacement is retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward, a former Navy SEAL and a real “rock,” according to the White House. Harward is seen as a frontrunner for the position, as his resume boasts of his experience as the former deputy commander of U.S. Central Command when it was led by Gen. James Mattis – now the defense secretary – and of the bipartisan support he has received in the past.

Harward spent almost 40 years in the Navy and was on the National Security Council during the George W. Bush administration with experience in

“You are the first to see the President in the morning when the President shows up for work in the Oval Office and the last person to see the President before he or she makes any major foreign policy or national security decision.” several Middle Eastern countries as well as Somalia and Bosnia. Harward eventually went into the private sector, working at defense giant Lockheed Martin in the United Arab Emirates.


Stephen Hadley is also being considered for the position of national security advisor. The role wouldn’t be new to Hadley, as he served as national security advisor under President George W. Bush when he replaced Condoleezza Rice when she moved onto the position of secretary of state. Hadley was on President Gerald Ford’s National Security Council as well.


of who fills the position, the role of national security advisor is an integral and critical part of an administration. As Hadley so succinctly put it last year in a paper he wrote for Scrowcroft Institute, “You are the first to see the President in the morning when the President shows up for work in the Oval Office and the last person to see the President before he or she makes any major foreign policy or national security decision.” With North Korea acting up, Russia slyly testing the waters between itself and the U.S., Iran adding to its nuclear arsenal, Syria on the brink, and radical Islam growing bolder and bolder, it’s imperative to make sure that the person charged with advising the president on national security issues is capable, reliable, and up to the task.


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FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Dating Dialogue

What Would You Do If… Moderated by Jennifer Mann, LCSW of The Navidaters

Dear Navidaters,

My son was engaged to a lovely young woman for about five weeks when suddenly, without any warning, she called off the engagement. As far as he was concerned, everything was just fine. As far as we were concerned, everything was just fine. We were all in total disbelief!

The dating process and engagement was not organized by a shadchan. My son met his kallah on his own at a friend’s wedding and, though we made some calls on our own to make sure that there was nothing about the girl or her family that would be considered a problem, they were pretty much on their own. I say this because my son felt there was no one to turn to in order to figure out what happened. It was like a bomb was dropped in his lap without any real explanation. Of course, he did ask his kallah why she was calling it off. All she said was something like, “It just doesn’t feel right for me. You’re a really nice guy, but I don’t think we’re a good match.” Though my son tried to get more information out of this girl, she would not give him any concrete explanation for why she was breaking it off. This happened over a month ago. Since then, we’ve received a few resumes for other potential women for him to go out with. He seems to have cold feet. I think this experience has really scared him and made him feel very insecure about himself and afraid to start dating again. I believe in the old adage, “When you fall off a horse, you get right back on.” But my son is licking his wounds and saying that he doesn’t want to go out for a while. I’m concerned that this experience has permanently undermined his confidence and that it will forever affect his ability to feel good about himself. Without knowing why this young lady broke off the engagement, it’s hard for any of us to know whether in fact there is a problem with my son. I certainly don’t think so, but I see that he is questioning his own value. How do we help him get back his confidence and start dating again?

Disclaimer: This column is not intended to diagnose or otherwise conclude resolutions to any questions. Our intention is not to offer any definitive conclusions to any particular question, rather offer areas of exploration for the author and reader. Due to the nature of the column receiving only a short snapshot of an issue, without the benefit of an actual discussion, the panel’s role is to offer a range of possibilities. We hope to open up meaningful dialogue and individual exploration.

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The Panel

The Rebbetzin Rebbetzin Faigie Horowitz, M.S.


et your team together to help him recover from the break and move on as a confident young adult. This is a process and you should involve several people including his mentors, rebbeim, and professional help. It is important to go to a rav. Beyond the issue of knowing why his former kallah broke the engagement, there is also the matter of mechilah, forgiveness. Usually one grants the other mechilah for breaking it and then they go on. Without the mechilah, people feel that there is a negative force at play. Consult a rav to deal with the former mechutanimto-be. Explanation and mechilah are part of the process of moving on, just like getting proper support is. Do what is right by him both religiously and emotionally so that your son can resume his life as the confident young man that he is.

The Mother

knowing the real reason (if it exists) may be important for closure, the breakup says more about the ex-fiancé than your son. Unless your son is hiding some critical information, his apparently lovely ex-fiancé has a dangerously impulsive streak. In fact, she may have revealed a tendency towards passive-aggressive behavior; if they were to marry she may be the wife who throws silent temper tantrums if she doesn’t get her way. Even if the breakup is glaringly “gam zu l’tovah,” your son was hurt; it’s understandable he needs time for reflection and recovery. Allow him to take a break from dating. Furthermore, I suggest he enlist the help of a professional counselor to deal with the trauma of the ordeal (my apologies to the readership for pushing the couch again). When he and his therapist agree it’s time, he can re-enter the shidduch world with renewed confidence and self-esteem; he will be less likely to make hasty “rebound” decisions and more likely to choose a wonderful partner who will be”H be a lifelong “keeper.”

The Shadchan

Sarah Schwartz Schreiber, P.A.


our letter exudes much shock, confusion and, finally, sadness regarding the sudden dissolution of your son’s apparently blissful engagement. Because you’ve been blindsided by the breakup, it’s natural for you to feel a plethora of conflicting emotions. On the one hand, you feel you cannot move on without a “concrete explanation” from the Ex. On the other hand, you urge your son (one month after the ordeal) to pick himself up, dust himself off and start all over again. I agree your son deserves more than “it just doesn’t feel right” as a justification and an apology. While

Michele Mond


hat a horrible experience to undergo… There are both emotional and logical aspects affecting your son. From a logical standpoint, reiterate to your son clearly that this girl was not his bashert. Her actions in ending the relationship without any rhyme or reason does not establish her as a young woman ready for a mature and committed relationship such as marriage. The proof in the pudding that there was no wrongdoing on his part and that there’s nothing “wrong” with him is the way this girl ended the relationship. She abruptly escaped a committed relationship

with seemingly no objective indications and without properly communicating or providing closure. This is a clear sign of commitment avoidance or attachment issues that would have been detrimental during a marriage. At the same time, the most important thing he needs right now from his family is emotional support. This experience has been a blow to his self-esteem and he needs time to heal and get back to himself. Using the equation of emotional Support + Constant Love from family + Time = Healing, he will become ready at his pace to start shidduchim again. If he seems inconsolable for an extended period of time to the point that it

This experience has been a blow to his self-esteem and he needs time to heal and get back to himself.

seems unhealthy, refer him to a therapist to work through the trauma that this breakup caused. Ultimately, he should realize he did nothing wrong and have the proper time and emotional support to heal. In time, he will most definitely get back on


OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

the “dating train,” find an exceptional wife and this bitter ordeal will be a faded memory iy”H. Hatzlacha!

The Single Tova Wein


here are two issues here to look at. The first one is obviously what exactly happened. The story you relate from your son’s perspective sounds very off and though, of course, you should believe your son, I’m going to be the objective observer here and wonder whether the kallah was totally at fault or whether your son played a role in the sudden and absurd ending of their engagement.

Your son claims that she gave him no explanation for ending the engagement so abruptly and without explanation. Is it possible that he may have treated her badly and she reacted to that treatment and your son didn’t want to own his part of this failure, too embarrassed to confess his role in all of this? I’m certainly not jumping to this conclusion, but sometimes it’s something to think about. Also, though they weren’t engaged for all that long, why wasn’t he able to pick up on any issues going on between them? Surely anyone capable of ending a relationship without the slightest explanation must have acted strangely during their dating time together and during the begin-

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017

ning of the engagement. Often the hints are all around and when people don’t pick up on the subtle hints or not so subtle ones that also speaks to a problem. Bottom line, I think your son needs to meet with a therapist to discuss this experience. There may be elements of what went on that he’s not comfortable sharing with his parents – even if it was his failure to sense trouble was brewing. By reviewing the entire experience with an objective therapist and by looking for clues, your son will no doubt gain a better understanding of himself and what happened, even if, in fact, it was all about the girl being somewhat unstable. The second issue is about you being in such a hurry for your son to start dating. A month is not a very long time.


Explanation and mechilah are part of the process of moving on, just like getting proper support is.

What’s your hurry? What are you so nervous about? I think you need to figure out why you can’t patiently wait until your son feels that the time is right for him to get busy again. He’ll know when the time is right, especially if he breaks it all down with a therapist, and then you can continue your search. For now, I think you need to relax, have faith that this is all a process and things will happen when they are supposed to happen.

Pulling It All Together The Navidaters Dating and Relationship Coaches and Therapists


irstly, I want to send warmth and love your way. What an ordeal to have been through and continue to go through. As the mom in your story, you naturally may find yourself wanting to fix this and make things better for your son. What mother wouldn’t want to see her son moving on with his life and getting back into the game? I’m so sorry your son is in pain, and I am so sorry that you are in pain, with your hands tied. You didn’t create the situation, and ultimately, you cannot fix it. The only advice I have to offer is that you give your son some time to collect himself and heal. I think the idea that someone should be ready to date one month after a broken engagement is not realistic. People

need time to “lick their wounds,” to mourn, to grieve the death of the relationship, to process what happened and ultimately walk away with some sort of lesson. There is a natural grieving process that needs to take place. Don’t rush your son through that. If this happened two years ago, my antennae would go up and I would advise otherwise. But this is so new, so fresh…. Dating at this point would be putting a Band-Aid on the issue. You can ask yourself the following question without any judgment. What is this need within me to see my son get back into the game one month after a sudden, brutal breakup? Where is this coming from?

What is this about for you? Something is going on here. This is about something other than your son. I am not going to take any guesses because that would undermine whatever it truly is. Instead of focusing on your son (for now), take this time and focus on yourself. Figure this out, and process it, and heal it. This is about something within yourself that you are projecting onto your son. I have this feeling that if you do this work, you will find your own relationships improving. I believe your son may benefit from you saying something along the lines of: Of course you are not ready to date. She broke up with you out of the blue. I’m wondering if you’re afraid to trust again. I’m wondering a lot about what you are going through now. I understand and think it makes logical sense that you need time off from dating. I would love to see you have someone to talk

to about this and help you figure things out. As other panelists wisely mentioned, there may be a piece of this puzzle (aka, your son’s behavior) that you know nothing about. Whether it was “all her fault” or “all his fault” or something in between, he can process that in the therapeutic alliance. Good luck. Sincerely, Jennifer

Esther Mann, LCSW and Jennifer Mann, LCSW are licensed psychotherapists and dating and relationship coaches working with individuals, couples and families in private practice in Hewlett, NY. To set up a consultation or to ask questions, please call 516.224.7779. Press 1 for Esther, 2 for Jennifer. Visit for more information. If you would like to submit a dating or relationship question to the panel anonymously, please email You can follow The Navidaters on FB and Instagram for dating and relationship advice.


FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Dr. Deb

Hypnosis Myth and Facts By Deb Hirschhorn, Ph.D.


remember walking down the street one Shabbos after shul and catching up with a neighbor who had recently broken her leg. I knew she was in pain and I offered to hypnotize her for it. “Oh, no!” she emphatically exclaimed. “No one can do that to me. I don’t ever want to lose control.” That, I think, is the biggest myth about what hypnosis is and how it works.

MYTH: IN HYPNOSIS, YOU LOSE CONTROL OF YOUR MIND I’ve been curious about how hypnosis works for a very long time. It’s probably because I’ve always been fascinated with the amazing threepound glob that Hashem implanted inside our skulls. And I distinctly recall attending a free-to-the-public seminar on hypnosis well before I started my doctorate. There was a huge crowd and everyone was sitting in stadium seats, listening aptly to instructions from a man at the front of the room who seemed to me to be barking orders: “You are at the top of a steep stairway,” he intoned. Contrarian that I am, I immediately responded in my mind, “No, I’m not! I’m sitting right here in this amphitheater! Who does he think he’s kidding?” I was, at the same time, quite pleased with myself that I did not “fall” under this man’s control, but I was also intensely disappointed because I lost the chance to experience a novelty that would have been inter-

esting. Another time later on, there was a demonstration at the school I was in of a “stage hypnotist.” One of my professors had recommended we attend and she warned us that this is not how therapeutic hypnosis works because only a very, very small fraction of people will allow their imaginations to let loose and play along with the hypnotist’s suggestions on stage. Furthermore, there would be nothing therapeutic about it as we would soon find out. My curiosity impelled me to volunteer when he requested members of the audience to participate. He snapped his fingers and told the eight of us that we were chickens squawking. The other people on stage had no trouble falling in line with his instructions, but I couldn’t. I was clearly not a chicken. He noticed immediately and pointed his finger at the stairway at the side of the stage. Sadly, I exited the stage: It would have been fun to “become” a chicken. I think this proves once and for all that Hashem gave us bechira and we do not lose it. What about the other people on stage, twenty years younger than I was at the time, who “became” chickens? Didn’t they lose their bechira?

FACT: HYPNOSIS DEPENDS ON YOUR IMAGINATION Actually, they used their bechira: They made a choice to allow their imaginations to “play.” Had I wanted to, I could have “walked down the long stairway” of

the first hypnotist. What’s the harm in that? I could have visualized it instead of resisting it. Most likely, I would never have chosen to be a chicken, except if maybe I decided to do that on Purim, but I still don’t think so. In fact, we all literally do this every single day, at least ten times a day. Here are some examples: • The shiur you are attending describes what it might have been like to be the first Man, Adom HaRishon, looking at the Garden and wondering where he fits into this picture. You can “see” yourself “looking at the Garden,” too, as you follow the point the Rav is describing. • If you are involved in the words of your davening, you might be asking for a refuah for someone you care about and that person’s face may come to your mind. • Your friend tells you a story of something that happened to him and as you follow the story, you can “see” him in it. • You are driving to a place you have been to before but not often; however, you think you know the way. You are not in the mood to use the GPS and have the annoying words break into your thoughts. So, before you set out, you visualize the road and remind yourself that, yes, you have to get off at the far end of the Belt Parkway and go up Ocean Ave a few miles before turning left on Ditmas. You can “see” it clearly in your mind. Finally, you check Maps just to be sure and are pleased with yourself that you were correct. • Your long-term, trusted em-

ployee is explaining his emotions. You absolutely do not understand, for the life of you, why he would feel as he does. But he does a good job of setting the stage. “My father frightened me as a child. His voice was really loud. So ever since then, I’ve been always worried about how I will be evaluated. When you speak sharply, it brings all that back and I simply cannot function,” he says. You get it! Somehow, without a visual image, but rather an emotional sense, this person has conveyed to you clearly why he feels as he does and you understand completely. You immediately apologize and resolve to consider your words more carefully before you speak. • Maybe this has happened to you: One day, I went to a doctor’s office and needed to wash my hands. The instant I smelled the soap, it brought me back decades to the neonatal intensive care unit where my second child had resided for twoand-a-half months. At that time, we were required to set a timer for ten minutes and scrub up to and over our elbows with a stiff brush -- and a certain soap. The smell alone vividly brought me back to that stressful, awful time. Does a bouquet of flowers bring you back to other times? Or the smell of cholent in the pot? • Have you ever had “road hypnosis”? The familiarity of the road may lull you into a state of mentally taking a “vacation” from your weary thoughts. You find your mind quite blank and you may even skip your exit. Those are moments when you’d Continued on page 102

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017

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FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

better put on irritating, but lively music to keep focused on the hereand-now. Of course, the main difference between these examples and hypnosis is that in all of these examples, no one is telling you to think of the NICU or how to get to McDonald Avenue in Brooklyn. It simply happens. So, doesn’t that mean the hypnotist’s suggestions are “making” you picture or feel a certain thing?

FACT: THERE NEEDS TO BE TRUST IN ANY RELATIONSHIP Whether it is a parent-child, teacher-pupil, rabbi-congregant, spouse-spouse, or therapist-client relationship, trust is mandatory for a person to feel safe and open to listening and sharing. The lack of trust is precisely why couples argue! They are not open to hearing what the other person is saying because they have previously been hurt, misunderstood, or mistreated. That is, they do not trust

their partner. So, instead of taking in information and rationally considering it, while they appear to be having a conversation, actually, they are not; they are instead closed and talking at each other. The therapeutic relationship is no

was this guy anyway? Did he care about my dignity? I didn’t think so. In the same way, if you select a therapist because there are intense issues that bother you, it would make sense to withhold some information until you come to believe that

Somehow, without a visual image, but rather an emotional sense, this person has conveyed to you clearly why he feels as he does and you understand completely.

different. Without trust, there is no way the client will feel safe following the recommendations of the therapist. That is why I was not about to “walk down a flight of stairs” so many years ago, and I certainly wasn’t about to become a chicken in front of hundreds of college students! Who

this person has your best interests at heart and is intelligent enough to not make a mistake in her direction of therapy. That assessing process may only take you one session – but it could take many, depending on how trustworthy the people in your life have been. The less trustworthy

your closest relatives have been, the less trusting you would naturally be of strangers. That is one reason why I never do hypnosis in a first client session: It’s important to allow people time to feel comfortable and safe with me. But once a person tells me that they are ready to relax and follow my suggestions, they are free at any time to open their eyes and say that they don’t care for the direction the therapist is going in. I’ve never had that happen with a client, but I always tell them that they’re in the driver’s seat. Therapeutic hypnosis works when you trust the intelligence and good intentions of the therapist. But it only works when you want it to.

Dr. Deb Hirschhorn is a Marriage and Family Therapist. She can be reached at 646-54-DRDEB or by writing drdeb@

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FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Health & F tness

Is Oatmeal OK? By Cindy Weinberger MS, RD, CDN


n a follow-up from my last article, an avid reader commented:

I read last week’s article about sugary cereal – what about those flavored oatmeal packets? I know they can’t be too healthy, but I eat them because I always rationalize that it’s better to eat something in the morning (I HATE breakfast, I never want to eat it, I don’t even particularly like oatmeal) Are those horrible for you?

Oatmeal indeed does make a great meal, especially for breakfast. This whole grain source has been packing vital nutrition and hearty flavor into breakfast for generations. It’s one of the few comfort foods that are also good for you. Not only does it taste great, but it is also satisfying and can be eaten in an infinite number of ways. Here’s why oatmeal is so good for you: • Oatmeal is packed with fiber, thus filling you up by taking a long time to digest and delaying gastric emptying. The high fiber content helps regulate bowel movements and aids in weight loss. • Given its high fiber content, oatmeal doesn’t cause a spike in blood sugar levels, making it a great

choice for diabetics. • Oatmeal’s claim to fame is its benefits for reducing LDL, also known as “bad” cholesterol. By reducing LDL cholesterol, oatmeal helps protect the heart, which gives it the recognized title of “heart healthy.” • Oatmeal is shown to promote healthy skin and is a popular ingredient in many skin cleansers. • Melatonin, the sleep inducing hormone, is found in high amounts in oatmeal. If you are having trouble falling asleep at night, try some oatmeal for dinner as opposed to breakfast. • Oatmeal helps boost the immune system. • A bowl of oatmeal will leave you feeling full and energized. The balance of carbohydrates and protein provides both calories and energy for optimal performance. • Oatmeal is packed with antioxidants that help prevent cancer and heart disease. Now that we know that oatmeal is very nutritious, let’s get back to the question. Which type of oatmeal is best to eat? Oatmeal comes in three ways: Steel cut, the least processed and takes the longest time to cook; rolled oats, which have been steamed and flattened; and instant oats

which have gone through the longest steaming and flattening process and are the fastest cooking form of oatmeal. Many prefer instant oatmeal over steel cut and rolled due to taste and convenience – instant oats cook the fastest and create a smooth texture when cooked with milk or water. However, some are under the impression that instant oatmeal may not be as healthy due to the processing; all the nutrients are kept intact, though, and instant oatmeal still remains an excellent source of nutrients. Instant oatmeal is a great breakfast choice for all. The problem then becomes the popular instant oatmeal packets. The packets do come in handy and taste great. After all, you simply rip open the package and mix with hot water. The downside is that they’re generally full of sugar and sodium which can be harmful and counteract the benefits. The best choice would be to choose the unsweetened kind of oatmeal packet (if looking for convenience) and add your own flavoring and toppings. You can simply add cinnamon, honey, brown sugar, and maple syrup and give it a sweet flavor without all the added junk. Some people also find cooking instant oatmeal over the fire very soothing and prefer it over the packets. Cooking it yourself also al-

lows you to get more of a creamy consistency than the packets. I would say if you absolutely hate oatmeal, try a flavored packet to ease yourself into the transition. After a few times, try to wean yourself off by ditching the flavors and ultimately switch to preparing your own oatmeal altogether. If you don’t have the time to cook oatmeal or don’t particularly like the texture, oatmeal can be eaten raw in a smoothie or milkshake, mixed with a yogurt, and even baked into cookies. Like I said, oatmeal is extremely versatile. Pick the way you like it best and enjoy the many benefits it has to offer.

Cindy Weinberger MS, RD, CDN, is a Master’s level Registered Dietitian and Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist. She graduated CUNY Brooklyn College receiving a Bachelor’s in Science and Master’s degree in Nutrition and Food Sciences. Her Dietetic Internship was completed under Brooklyn College primarily in Ditmas Park Care Center and Boro Park Center where she developed clinical and education skills to treat patients with comprehensive nutrition care. She is currently a dietitian at Boro Park Center and a private nutrition consultant. She can be reached at

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FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

In The K


By Naomi Nachman

I try to keep a well-stocked pantry and freezer so I can make quick and easy recipes with ingredients that I already have at my fingertips. I always keep frozen vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli, in my freezer as well as frozen garlic cubes. I also keep cans of chickpeas, tuna, corn and kidney beans, just to name a few – so that I can put together a soup or a salad at a moment’s notice.

Creamy Broccoli and Chickpea Soup

During the last blizzard, I whipped up this soup without having to go out of my house. The chickpeas gave it a creamy texture – not only keeping it parve, but also low-fat and packed with protein too.

Ingredients 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil 2 medium onions, diced 4 stalks celery, chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced 2 can chickpeas, drained 3 pounds frozen broccoli 6 cups water, divided 1 tablespoon kosher salt Freshly ground pepper

Preparation Add oil to a large pot on medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for about three minutes. Lower heat to medium-low, add celery and garlic, and then sauté for another five minutes. Add chickpeas and broccoli and sauté for another five minutes. Add 6 cups water, salt, and pepper to the pot. Stir and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. Blend soup with an immersion blender for a full three minutes.

Naomi Nachman, the owner of The Aussie Gourmet, caters weekly and Shabbat/ Yom Tov meals for families and individuals within The Five Towns and neighboring communities, with a specialty in Pesach catering. Naomi is a contributing editor to this paper and also produces and hosts her own weekly radio show on the Nachum Segal Network stream called “A Table for Two with Naomi Nachman.” Naomi gives cooking presentations for organizations and private groups throughout the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan area. In addition, Naomi has been a guest host on the QVC TV network and has been featured in cookbooks, magazines as well as other media covering topics related to cuisine preparation and personal chefs. To obtain additional recipes, join The Aussie Gourmet on Facebook or visit Naomi’s blog. Naomi can be reached through her website, or at (516) 295-9669.

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017


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Notable Quotes “Say What?!”

Sean Spicer said that Nordstrom’s decision to stop carrying Ivanka Trump’s clothing line is an attack on the president, and he’s also mad at Men’s Wearhouse, because he does not like the way he looks. – Seth Myers

Five other retailers, including Neiman Marcus, also announced that they are dropping Ivanka Trump’s fashion line, while AutoZone announced they’ll no longer carry Eric and Donald Jr.’s hair grease. – Ibid

Punch a Zionist today - Tweet by a member of the Legislative Council and Board of Directors of the Students’ Society of McGill University in Montreal

Today is National Kite Flying Day. Why we have this in February, I have no idea. Having National Kite Flying Day in February is like having National Snowman Building Day in July. This is where the kite lobby put it. See, this is the sort of thing President Trump needs to look into if he wants to make America great again .- Jimmy Kimmel

I walked the complex inner-city streets of Cleveland during the racial unrest of the ‘60s. I was in rural Georgia when Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated in Tennessee. I watched every moment of the Watergate hearings that led to the resignation of Richard M. Nixon. I watched soot-covered New Yorkers grimly trudging north on West End Avenue on September 11, 2001. I am more troubled now.

Excuse me, but yes, [I would ask that of] them and others [persons with nonEuropean citizenship]. I’m asking the Israelis to choose their nationality. It doesn’t mean that if they don’t choose French nationality, they have to leave. France can certainly accommodate foreign people on its soil longterm, those with foreign citizenship … as long as they respect French laws and French values, which is often a problem on the immigration issue. It’s not really a problem with Israel on this topic. - Marine Le Pen, head of the Front National Party and a leading candidate in the upcoming French presidential elections this spring, to France 2 TV, saying that a ban on dual nationality would be extended to Jewish citizens of France as well

– From a hate-filled email by Steve Nelson, principal of the Calhoun School in Manhattan, to parents, stating that the election of President Trump is worse than the horrible deaths of thousands of innocent people on 9/11


The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017

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FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015


Senator Chuck Schumer was equally enthusiastic about his own recipe, a wideranging cooking project that centers on a meatloaf of beef, veal and pork surrounded by pieces of barbecued chicken. - From a New York Times article about different meatloaf recipes, disclosing the meatloaf recipe by Sen. Chuck Schumer, who loves to talk about how Jewish he is

The Baltimore airport just got a gym where you can work out while you wait for a flight... So now instead of just sitting around during long layovers you can spend that time feeling guilty about not going to the gym. – Jimmy Fallon

3-0 – Tweet by Hillary Clinton after 3 Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals judges ruled unanimously against Trump’s executive order relating to seven Middle Eastern countries

PA, WI, MI - Kellyanne Conway’s tweet in response to Hillary

0-2 - Tweet by Stephen Miller, responding to Hillary’s quote

Tweeting like this reminds me of standing outside the ball park with a transistor radio cuz you don’t have a ticket. - Tweet by Greg Gutfield, responding to Hillary’s quote

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office recently reported that it gets around 1.5 million calls from constituents per day, but most of them are just people asking him to push up his glasses. – Seth Myers

We’ve seen nothing where we can, where I can work with President Bush on. - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi confusing her presidents at an anti-Trump press conference

Today, the Senate officially confirmed Betsy DeVos as education secretary, with a vote of 51 to 50… It was actually a 50-50 tie vote that was broken by the vice president. Which makes the vote for education secretary the only place where a 51 is a passing grade. – Jimmy Fallon

When Jeff Sessions was passed, it turned my stomach. I don’t have anything against him personally. It’s known we’re here in that gym together in the morning but to have a man like this with his record on immigration, he’s almost certainly the most anti-immigrant senator of the hundred, on civil rights and voting rights he’s probably one of the top three or four against these sacred rights, civil rights, and voting rights, he doesn’t belong there and I think a lot of Republicans know it. - Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on MSNBC

It totally undid me that he could vote for Trump. I felt like I had been fooling myself. It opened up areas between us I had not faced before. I realized how far I had gone in my life to accept things I would have never accepted when I was younger. - Gayle McCormick, 73, who left her husband of 22 years because he voted for Trump, in an interview with Reuters


The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017

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Scientists are hoping to use quinoa to fight world hunger. After hearing this, hungry people all around the world said, “Actually, we’re good.” – Conan O’Brien

I don’t want to condemn Israel. Israel has a long history of condemnations and challenges. I don’t want to condemn Israel during my administration. I understand Israel very well and respect it very much. Israelis have gone through very difficult periods. - President Trump in an interview with Israel Hayom, when asked whether he will condemn Israel’s settlement expansion

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Really annoyed that @Apple and @ Twitter continue to flood my phone with liberal slanted anti trump articles. fair and equal reporting? No? – Cleveland Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer

The U.S. Army has officially lifted its ban on soldiers having dreadlocks. This is good news for the Army’s elite Hacky Sack Corps. – Conan O’Brien

New research predicts that in 65 billion years, the moon will crash into the Earth. After hearing this, half of America said, “Hey, can we move that up a bit? How about Wednesday?”

According to a new survey, almost a third of people say their coworkers spend more time talking about politics than business. “Thank G-d that’s not the case where I work,” said Mike Pence. – Seth Myers

- Conan O’Brien


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FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Political Crossfire

The Travel Moratorium A Hopeless Disaster By Charles Krauthammer


tupid but legal. Such is the Trump administration’s travel ban for people from seven Muslim countries. Of course, as with almost everything in American life, what should be a policy or even a moral issue becomes a legal one. The judicial challenge should have been given short shrift, since the presidential grant of authority to exclude the entry of aliens is extremely wide and statutorily clear. The judge who issued the temporary restraining order never even made a case for its illegality. The Ninth Circuit has indeed ruled against the immigration ban, but even if the ban is ultimately vindicated in the courts (as is likely), that doesn’t change the fact that it makes for lousy policy. It began life as a barstool eruption after the San Bernardino massacre when Donald Trump proposed a total ban on Muslims entering the country “until our country’s representatives can figure out what the [heck] is going on.” Rudy Giuliani says he was tasked with cleaning up this idea. Hence the executive order suspending entry of citizens from the seven countries while the vetting process is reviewed and tightened. The core idea makes sense. These are failed, essentially ungovernable states (except for Iran) where reliable data is hard to find. But the moratorium was unnecessary and damaging. Its only purpose was to fulfill an ill-considered campaign promise. It caused enormous disruption without making us any safer. What was the emergency that compelled us

to turn away people already in the air with already approved visas for entry to the U.S.? President Trump said he didn’t want to give any warning. Otherwise, he tweeted, “the ‘bad’ would rush into our country. ... A lot of bad ‘dudes’ out there!” Rush? Not a single American has ever been killed in a terror attack in this country by a citizen from the

which everyone knows to be 95 percent pantomime. The pat-down of the 80-year-old grandmother does nothing to make us safer. Its purpose is to give the illusion of doing something. Similarly, during the brief Trump moratorium, a cavalcade of innocent and indeed sympathetic characters – graduate students, separated family members, returning doctors and scientists – were denied entry. You saw

The pat-down of the 80-year-old grandmother does nothing to make us safer. Its purpose is to give the illusion of doing something.

notorious seven. The killers have come from precisely those countries not listed – Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Lebanon, Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan (the Tsarnaev brothers). The notion that we had to act immediately because hordes of jihadists in these seven countries were about to board airplanes to blow up Americans is absurd. Vetting standards could easily have been revised and tightened without the moratorium and its attendant disruptions, stupidities, random cruelties and well-deserved bad press. The moratorium turned into a distillation of the worst aspects of our current airport-security system,

this and said to yourself: We are protecting ourselves from these? If anything, the spectacle served to undermine Trump’s case for extreme vigilance and wariness of foreigners entering the United States. There is already empirical evidence. A Nov. 23 Quinnipiac poll found a 6-point majority in favor of “suspending immigration from ‘terror prone’ regions”; a Feb. 7 poll found a 6-point majority against. The same poll found a whopping 44-point majority opposed to “suspending all immigration of Syrian refugees to the U.S. indefinitely.” Then there is the opportunity cost of the whole debacle. It risks alienating the leaders of even non-af-

fected Muslim countries – the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation expressed “grave concern” – which may deter us from taking far more real and effective anti-terror measures. The administration was intent on declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, a concrete measure that would hamper the operations of a global Islamist force. In the current atmosphere, however, that declaration is reportedly being delayed and rethought. Add to that the costs of the ill-prepared, unvetted, sloppy rollout. Consider the discordant, hostile message sent to loyal law-abiding Muslim-Americans by the initial denial of entry to green card holders. And the ripple effect of the initial denial of entry to those Iraqis who risked everything to help us in our war effort. In future conflicts, this will inevitably weigh upon local Muslims deciding whether to join and help our side. Actions have consequences. In the end, what was meant to be a piece of promise-keeping, toughon-terror symbolism has become an oxygen-consuming distraction. This is a young administration with a transformative agenda to enact. At a time when it should be pushing and promoting deregulation, tax reform and health care transformation, it has steered itself into a pointless cul-de-sac – where even winning is losing. (c) 2017, The Washington Post Writers Group

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017



FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Good Hum r

Sweet Bread By Jon Kranz


et’s talk about sweet breads. No, not the fleishig kind, a meaty kosher delicacy that actually is neither sweet nor bread. No, no, no. I’m talking about the “sweet bread” that challah has become. You know, those new hip challahs loaded with enough gooey chocolate to instantly induce a hyperglycemic seizure. When exactly did challah start turning into dessert? When I was growing up, challah was boring and disappointing, just like my bar mitzvah performance. In my day, a sesame or poppy seed coating was a big deal. Raisin challah was an even bigger deal, reserved for holidays or as a consolation prize when the bakery had nothing else. Nowadays, however, challahs come loaded with chocolate chips, cinnamon swirls and a myriad of other treats. Basically, challah has become cake. It’s only a matter of time before we start seeing Red Velvet Challah, Devil’s Food Challah and Strawberry Short Challah. These new sweet challahs are so filled with cavity-causing ingredients that they’ve become a dentist’s dream. In fact, four out of five dentists recommend that you eat only sweet challah. The fifth dentist feels differently but due to threats from the others, is currently in the DPP, Dentist Protection Program. (In the 1990s, the same crooked dentists were indicted for incisor trading.) Back to sweet bread. We all have heard the story about the former Queen of France, Marie-Antoinette,

who allegedly declared: “Let them eat cake.” But the queen was not talking about sweet challah and she certainly did not say, “Lechem be cake.” Speaking of lechem, how can one make Hamotzi on something that looks like it should be served with candles on someone’s birthday? If our wholesome challahs are transitioning into cake, wouldn’t Mezonot be more appropriate?

For example, I blame the cronut, a Frankenstein-ish combo of a croissant and a donut. Why are bakers creating these crazy concoctions? It’s like our baked goods are having an identity crisis. What’s next, the buffin (bagel/muffin), scita (scone/pita) and, of course, the labatta (laffa/ciabatta)? I can already hear the commercial jingle for the labatta, sung to the tune of the 1950s hit “La Bamba.”

I wonder what other sacred food barriers will be broken? Gefilte fish-flavored wine? Cholent salad? Chopped liver-flavored after-dinner mint (to be paired with TamTam-flavored gum)? And guess who I blame for this “sweet challah” syndrome? I blame the matzah ball, and being unleavened is no excuse. The moment someone had the half-baked idea of dropping a matzah ball into a cup of consommé, it literally destroyed the critical line between bread and soup. (As one politician might say, a meal without borders is not a meal.) I wonder what other sacred food barriers will be broken? Gefilte fish-flavored wine? Cholent salad? Chopped liver-flavored after-dinner mint (to be paired with TamTam-flavored gum)? I also hold others accountable for these new “sweet challah” creations.

(La, La, La, La... Labatta!) If this “sweet challah” cross-dishing craziness continues and if dessert keeps encroaching on other dishes, I’ll tell you who should be very nervous: the kugel. Yes, the kugel should be shaking in its tins because it’s only a matter time until someone starts drowning it in chocolate too. For the record, I really don’t want to start gossiping about the demise of the kugel because that would be like speaking “lokshen” hara. But kugels really need to be on high alert. And do you know who should be even more furious and frightened by the challah-cake insanity? Our dear

friend, the babka. It should be livid because the sweet challah is literally killing the babka! (There, I said it. Someone had to. Bravest thing I’ve ever done.) Yes, the sweet challah is rendering the babka completely obsolete. And it’s totally unfair because the homely babka was never meant to compete with the handsome challah. Just the other day, I saw a child in a bakery point to an innocent chocolate babka and exclaim: “Hey Mom, look at that chocolate challah wannabe. Why do they even make those babka things? They’re outrageous. Hold me, Mommy, I’m scared. Can we please go look at the beautiful challahs? Please, Mommy, please.” Suffice it to say, it’s this kind of ignorance and baseless hatred that easily can lead to generational babka bigotry. I hate to say it but because of sweet challah, babka extinction may be fast approaching. So I say, run for your lives, babkas! Run now! And tell your rugelach pals not to get too comfortable. Bottom-line: As the famous proverb warns, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.” But if sweet challah is here to stay then perhaps we all should heed the prophetic lyrics of the 1970s band Bread (that’s really their name), who aptly sang: “No more retreat, only sweet... surrender.” Jon Kranz is an attorney living in Englewood, New Jersey. Send any comments, questions or insults to jkranz285@

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017

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Studying Sm


Career Day! Identifying What Career is Right for You By Chaim Homnick


he previous two “Studying Smart” articles featured analyses of law and medical careers respectively. While those are two popular tracks for students to pursue, there are nearly an infinite number of other potential careers. It is critical for students to pursue degrees and careers that match their aptitudes and appeal to their interests. This week’s column will therefore analyze a wider spectrum of popular career choices

while emphasizing the different aptitudes, commitments and personal proclivities required for each.

INTERESTS/APTITUDE While it is a mistake to assume that you have to be passionate about a career you want to pursue, it definitely goes a long way towards ensuring you stay motivated over a decades-long career in the field! There are far too many CPAs, law graduates, and computer experts

who end up working in disparate, unrelated fields that pay far less than their degrees would seem to dictate. Many students don’t even get that far but still manage to waste valuable semesters p u r s u ing goals and degree choices that don’t align with their aptitudes and interests. Halfway through your pre-med pre-reqs is a bad time to realize you have a 2.8 GPA in your science classes and a dwindling interest in anatomy and physiology. It is critical that students spend time researching their options and considering the schooling a potential career entails as well as forming a realistic assessment of what jobs in that field entail. This way a student can ensure that the career appeals to them and suits their skill set and the requisite degrees will be attainable. Many people look at what a physical therapist does and assume that it is an easy, enjoyable, hands-on job. However, the schooling is intense and a PT has to be extremely knowledgeable and well-trained. A good friend of mine graduated high school planning, wholeheartedly, to be a pediatric neurosurgeon. That’s three

different specialties and over ten years of schooling! There are fewer than 200 pediatric neurosurgeons in America. Dreams are important, but so is grounding them in realism.

DO YOUR RESEARCH Perhaps the most critical aspect of the process of choosing a career or a degree path is researching that choice. Google is a valuable resource but it is only step one. Involve your guidance counselor, parents and other trusted advisors to help you identify what fits your needs, talents and aspirations. Finding a mentor (perhaps a relative or family friend) is crucial. You need someone in that field who can describe both the requisite schooling and the basic particulars of the career to you. Going into computers because your mother says “the future is in technolog y ” or pursuing physical therapy because “I like hands-on jobs” or pursuing business because “I heard a business degree is easy” is not a well-formulated, thoughtful plan. And yes, those three are actual quotes from one meeting with one recently-returned 22-year-old yeshiva boy who was trying to figure out what degree plan to pursue.

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017

So suffice it to say, research is important and an understanding of the details of different fields helps as well. Here is a superficial analysis of a few common options:

MEDICINE As this column outlined last week, medicine can be a rewarding field. Students need to be passionate about sciences, devoted to studying and memorization, and (for med school students) able to ace an interview. They also have to be prepared for lengthy schooling, sizeable debt, and many hours of residencies and the like before achieving their first real salary. Medicine is not for everyone but it can be a great career for the select few ready to pursue it wholeheartedly.

EDUCATION Education is a field that has a bad reputation in some circles and it is true that the salaries often aren’t commensurate with the skill level of employees or the efforts they invest. A couple of scary facts for educators: firstly, educators are members of the field most likely to pursue a masters or doctorate and the least likely to see significant salary improvements as a result of their advanced degree(s). Secondly,

teachers with advanced degrees can often end up in administrative positions or advance in other ways within education.

COMPUTERS AND TECHNOLOGY Computers and technology are some of the fastest growing careers and degree tracks. However, similar to accounting, this is not a job for everyone. Strong computer skills and a familiarity with technology is crucial (being an avid video gamer doesn’t count, while creating your own app at the age of 6 does). Similarly, a willingness to work long hours on computer programming and coding is essential.

You need someone in that field who can describe both the requisite schooling and the basic particulars of the career to you.

LAW The column that ran two weeks ago discussed the law school collapse. While it is rebounding, law still makes the most sense for students who will either attend a top school (thus receiving better job prospects) or attend on a full scholarship or close to it (with less debt-related risk). Other options, like 2-year law programs or joint JD-MBA programs, provide other routes to a strong career as well.


Accountants can also do really well, but again, accounting is not for everyone. Accountants need to be organized, detail-oriented and willing to spend long hours on math and paperwork. Actuaries fall into the same category. Those pursuing accounting have to have these traits and also have the skills to pass the CPA and work in the field (actuaries have numerous difficult tests that they need to pass to keep advancing).

studies have shown (with different numbers thrown around) that as other careers have become more common for women, fewer top female students have gone into education. Schools just aren’t generally competitive enough to attract top talent. Nonetheless, education is an extremely rewarding and gratifying field for many. Education can be a great career choice for people who are patient, like working with children, and appreciate the flexible schedule teaching often provides. That schedule does help many teachers supplem e n t t h e i r income with other jobs during the year or summer. On average, 15-20% of teachers have a second job. Good

Top tech workers will always have jobs, but also keep in mind that tech is one of the easier sectors for companies to outsource basic tasks to cheap workers in some far-off country like Armenia.

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX The aforementioned careers are just a small percentage of the myriad degrees and careers that exist. Many other great careers are available from human resources to engineering to sales and marketing. For students who don’t slot easily into one of the classic, ready-made options above, a little more creativity is needed. Perhaps take some aptitude tests online. Or try some outside of the box classes in college to see if something else speaks to you. And remember, while the clock is ticking, it’s normal and okay to switch majors if your first track


doesn’t make sense after you are a few classes in. Ultimately, the goal of this article was merely to provide a useful outline and starting point. Some kids spend their whole lives knowing what they want to be. For many others, their “I want to be an astronaut” drawing from kindergarten is no longer accurate or realistic. Real introspection, thought and assistance from others is necessary to find the path that works for you. And hey, if after all that you still want to be an astronaut, then go for it! When it comes to your dreams, not even the sky’s the limit. AUTHOR’S NOTE: We want your feedback! An upcoming article will cover common problems in the education field and your proposed solutions! Tuition, Common Core, teaching methods, etc.—you tell us what issues matter to you! Please email your educational pet peeves and your proposed solution to and we will feature the top submissions in that article. Please include your name (or initials), age and where you live. Thanks!

Chaim Homnick is the College Advisor at Mesivta Ateres Yaakov of Lawrence and also teaches 5 periods of Honors/AP English Literature. Chaim is the owner of Five Towns Tutoring ( and has new SAT groups forming now for 11th and 12th graders. He scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and the LSAT and tutors both extensively. He has a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership and Administration as well as an MBA. Chaim lives in Inwood, New York. For questions, comments, previous articles or tutoring, he can be reached directly at or 305-3213342.


FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Forgotten Her es

The P-38 Lightning and its Heroic Pilots By Avi Heiligman

Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto, who ordered the bombing of Pearl Harbor


n the years between World War I and World War II, most first world countries were fascinated with the idea of further advancing the airplane. Faster, longer-ranged and deadlier planes began appearing in the air forces of Germany, Japan, Russia and Britain. The United States found themselves at the outset of World War II with far inferior planes in comparison to the Axis powers. To combat the German Me109 and the Japanese Zero fighters, new planes would have to be introduced. Until the P-47 Thunderbolt and the P-51 Mustang were ready for frontline action – which took until 1943 – the U.S. had to rely on older planes and the newly introduced P-38 Lightning. Perhaps the weirdest looking plane to have a successful career in the air, the P-38 had a rocky beginning. There are two main types of fighters. The P-39 and P-40 were meant to fight enemy fighters in dogfights, while the Lockheed P-38 Lightning was meant as a bomber interceptor. Eventually it was used in all roles: ground attack, photo reconnaissance, radar, day and night fighting as well as a bomber interceptor. It had a 20 mm cannon, four .50 caliber machine guns, and could carry

2,000 pounds of bombs. Latter versions had rocket pods, making it a very lethal airplane. Over 10,000 were built and over the course of four years accounted for over 500 aerial victories. More than a hundred pilots achieved the status of aerial ace in the P-38 and claimed 1,800 kills in the Pacific Theater of Operation. What makes the P-38 so unique was its twin engine boom design which made for a large empty space in the middle of the aircraft. It was the first fighter in WWII to have two engines, and its guns were right under the pilot instead of in the wings. At first, when it was going at its top speed of 420 MPH, the tail would shutter. If the plane was in a dive the only way for the pilot to survive was to bail out of the plane. From 1939 to 1941, this problem, along with another engine issue, were worked on until more stability could be added without compromising any of the plane’s performances. Even with these engine problems taking their toll on the maneuverability, having two engines was an insurance policy. Many P-38s returned with one engine out and having suffered severe damage from anti-aircraft. Most other WWII planes could not take such punishment.

The members of Operation Vengeance

British and Free French air units fighting in England received some Lightning fighters but were unhappy with their performance. This was good news for the American fighter groups in the Pacific because of the order that the European operations were to get the priority of all military supplies. Since the British and French didn’t want it, the plane went to the Pacific where over time its range was extended to 1,800 miles. It did see action as a photo reconnaissance plane over Europe, though. John Ross was a highly decorated P-38 pilot who flew during the Battle of the Bulge to take vital aerial photographs. Some American units did use the P-38 as a fighter over Europe but it was in the South Pacific that it gained its legendary status. Most famously the P-38 was the plane selected to intercept the Japanese admiral responsible for Pearl Harbor. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was the architect of the Japanese naval strategy in the Pacific. Known as the Peacock, Yamamoto knew very well the industrial capabilities of the U.S. from visiting the States in the 1920s. Specializing in naval air power he knew that the U.S. fleet, especially the carriers, would need

to have been completely destroyed at the outset of war. When the carriers were not at Pearl Harbor on that fateful morning of December 7, 1941, it was Yamamoto who decided not to send in another wave of Japanese planes. With the Japanese defeat at the Battle of Midway in June 1942, Yamamoto wisely decided to stay in the Pacific and not return to the Japanese home islands where he would have faced a lot of criticism. The Japanese sailors loved him, and he was the piece that held the navy together. American intelligence badly wanted him gone and in April 1943 the American forces in the Pacific finally had a way to neutralize him. Naval cryptanalysts had intercepted a message detailing a planned mission of Yamamoto to tour Japanese-held bases in the Solomon Islands. The admiral would be flying from Rabaul to an island near Bougainville. Two medium “Betty” bombers would be carrying Yamamoto and his staff and were to be escorted by six Japanese Zero naval fighters. President Franklin Roosevelt gave the go-ahead for the mission to intercept the air convoy. Sixteen P-38G Lightning fighters were led by Major John Mitchell of the 339th Fighter Squadron out of

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017

Guadalcanal. The cryptanalysts had the exact schedule of the admiral’s timetable and were able to pinpoint the time he would be over Bougainville. (Originally, two more P-38s were to be part of the mission but had to turn back due to plane malfunctions.) Flying as low as 10 feet above the ocean for 435 miles, the P-38s were astonished to have the admiral’s plane in sight at the exact time the intelligence officers said they would be in the area. This was because Yamamoto was known for being punctual and the Americans used this to their advantage. The Americans detached their external fuel tanks and went into battle formation by climbing in altitude. Rex Barber and Tom Lanphier were the two P-38 pilots tasked with killing the admiral. They both shot down a Betty bomber; it is still disputed which pilot shot down the Peacock. In any case, all but one of the P-38s returned safely. Raymond Hine probably made a water crash landing and was lost in action.

The success of Operation Vengeance, as the mission to kill Yamamoto was called, was a major morale booster for P-38 pilots and paved the way for America’s two highest scoring aces of the war. Richard Bong was the leading American ace of World War II, having downed 40 Japanese planes. All of his kills were in the P-38. In San Francisco he performed the looped-the-loop around the Golden Gate Bridge in a PR stunt. He then buzzed by Market Street in his Lightning and waved at the stenographers staring in astonishment out of office windows. He was killed in a test flight in a P-80 Shooting Star jet fighter. It was the same day that three B-29 Superfortresses bombed Hiroshima, and they shared the headlines the next morning. Thomas McGuire had 38 kills in his P-38 before being killed in action while flying in the Philippines in 1945. Both were awarded the Medal of Honor. In a P-38 named the Put Put Maru, Charles MacDonald had a kill


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score of 27 Japanese planes. Robin Olds had the distinction of downing a total of 16 enemy aircraft in two wars. As a P-38 pilot over Europe he shot down five German planes. He got seven more in a P-51 Mustang and four over Vietnamese MiGs in an F-4 Phantom during the Vietnam War. He wrote about one of his kills in his P-38, “Still in a shallow dive, I observed another P-38 and a Me-109 going round and round. It seemed that the 38 needed help so I started down. At about 4,000 ft I rolled over on my back, following him (the Me-109) and gave him an ineffective burst at long range. By this time I was traveling in excess of 500 mph. My left window blew out…I regained control of the aircraft and pulled out above a wheat field. I tried to contact the flight to get myself recognized but observed a Me-109 making a pass at me from about seven o’clock high. I broke left as well as my plane could and the Jerry overshot. I straightened out and gave him a burst…As I


straightened out at the top; I saw the pilot bail out.” While doing research on the P-38 many Jewish names came to light as pilots of the venerated aircraft. Of note Lt. Julius Jacobson was one of the pilots that flew during Operation Vengeance. The P-38 isn’t always remembered as well as other World War II planes such as the P-51 Mustang but many consider it a vital part in defeating the Japanese. Today the F-35 Lightning II was named for the fighter and McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey has been renamed to honor the respected P-38 pilot. World War II produced many forgotten heroes and the P-38 Lighting with its pilots are certainly part of that group. Avi Heiligman is a weekly contributor to The Jewish Home. He welcomes your comments and suggestions for future columns and can be reached at


FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

From My Private Art Collection

The Artist with Special Needs By Rebbetzin Naomi N. Herzberg


oruch Hashem, with the technologies that are available today, people with special needs are able to pursue their interests in creative arenas and produce quality artwork. The cutting edge technology available helps people with all types of cognitive issues and challenges. They also help with physical disabilities. It is important to do your research in order to find out what specific assistive technology is available that will best serve any particular issue. Examples of what is available through the internet are Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything ( app-for-that.html); Karen Janowski’s Free Technology Toolkit for UDL in All Classrooms (; and Lauren Enders’ Pinterest (http://pinterest. com/lasenders). There is also an organization called Atstar that provides information pertaining to tools for students with disabilities. They can be found at An example of this new technology is “magic glasses,” which were invented through a government research grant by Dr. Don McPherson. The invention of these magic glasses

came about in an amazing way. While the doctor was working on researching the invention of eye protection glasses used by laser surgeons, he realized that they had other possibilities. The realization took place when a color-blind friend of his tried on the

Rembrandt, who also suffered from vision problems; and Georgia O’Keeffe whose vision declined as she aged. Here are some assistive technology tips: 1) A lamp with a flexible arm can be used to direct the light onto the

Focus on what can be accomplished and not on what cannot be done.

glasses, resulting in much clearer vision. These glasses have special lenses that send color signals to the brain and therefore changes the way color is perceived. It is called a digital color boost. Instead of the color being muted, the correct color is seen closer to the way a person with perfect vision sees the color. I wonder if these magic glasses might have served beneficial to many famous artists if they had been invented at the time these artists lived. Artists such as Claude Monet, who suffered from cataracts; Edgar Degas, who could not deal with bright light;

surface you are painting on; 2) Use a lamp with a built-in magnifier or electronic video magnifiers; 3) Make use of natural light given off by the sun; 4) Create landscapes instead of detailed portraits; 5) Create abstract paintings instead of realistic paintings; 6) Use optical devices such as spectacle-mounted telescopes; 7) Label all your art supplies with a bold marker Rule number one: Focus on what can be accomplished and not on what cannot be done. It is frustrating for

anyone to do what is impossible. Always keep in mind sensory issues, gross motor delays, fine motor delays, and cognitive delays when planning an artistic adventure. The idea is to make it enjoyable and therapeutic at the same time. The use of adapted scissors and large-handled painting and writing tools are recommended. There is also an organization called “Zot Artz Arts for All” that offers assistive technology products for people with mobility issues. The designer of these products is a man named Dwayne Szot. He designs artistic projects for people with disabilities. His inventions include painting poles and a painting wheelchair. These products help those with all types of disabilities and are available for people of all ages. You can find more information online at www.

Rebbetzin Naomi N. Herzberg is a professional art educator, artist and designer. Among her known artwork is a floral sculpture presented to Tipper Gore, Blair House, Washington, D.C. Please feel free to email with questions and suggestions for future columns.

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017



FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017


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The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017


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FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

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FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home



Star Power By Allan Rolnick, CPA


n January 23, the IRS began accepting 2016 tax returns, and that means refund season is officially here. For 2017, the IRS expects 70% of Americans will get refunds, and those refunds will average around $2,840. Yes, if you’re among that 70%, it means you paid in too much

over the course of the year and gave the IRS an interest-free loan. (And no, they won’t return the favor.) But millions of Americans still very consciously use their tax withholding as a savings account and look forward all winter to receiving that sweet check. That leaves just one nice prob-

lem to have — deciding where to spend it all. Feel like blowing it on a vacation? Your friendly travel agent will tell you that airfares to Europe are low and exchange rates are great. Want to update your home? The Wall Street Journal reports that this is an excellent time to buy a big-screen TV. Got kids in college? The bursar will be happy to cash your check, and you won’t even have to feel guilty about it. Feeling responsible? It never hurts to drop more into retirement savings. Or you could turn to the Daily Horoscope and look to your “sign” for a fun, whimsical way to find ideas about spending it! Here are some of the site’s suggestions for that windfall: • Aries: “You have no impulse control,” so don’t even think about saving it. Harsh. But given that you can always adjust your withholding throughout the year, and spend those extra dollars the minute you earn them, it’s hard to imagine too many Aries collecting refunds in the first place. • Gemini: “Sort through that big pile of mail, and once you’ve found it, take it straight to the bank.” (Or use direct deposit to defeat temptation!) Of course, with banks averaging a miserly 1% or so on savings accounts, you might as well take it to your favorite casino and put it all on Red. • Leo: “Your tax refund may not be big enough for what you think you deserve.” But $2,840 still isn’t anything to sneeze at — so find

your nearest Tiffany store and pick out something that makes you look as good as you feel about yourself or give someone else a gift they’ll never forget. • Virgo: “The first thing you’ll do is open your spreadsheet or financial management program and enter your refund.” Of course, just having a spreadsheet to track your spending choices doesn’t guarantee they’ll be smart choices, does it? • Scorpio: “Since your sign rules reusing and recycling, consider going green with your greenbacks: put your money into funds that support socially and ecologically responsible companies.” Now there’s a choice you can be proud of. • Aquarius: “Whatever someone suggests you do with your refund, you won’t do it anyway.” Ouch. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t make smart choices on your own. A little research, a little investigation, and pretty soon you’ll be ready to plunge into something that surprises everyone! Whatever your birth month is, make sure you pay less. Remember, the biggest refunds don’t come from the stars, they come from planning — and make sure everything aligns!

Allan J Rolnick is a CPA who has been in practice for over 30 yea rs in Queens, NY. He welcomes your comments and can be reached at 718-896-8715 or at

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017



FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Life C ach

What Do You Crave? By Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., CLC, SDS


aise your hand if you’re a chocoholic. OK. I guess some of you are feeling pretty smug. Thinking, that’s not really my obsession. Hah, I can live without chocolate! But then what about pizza, French fries, or cookies? Everybody has some food that lures them in. It’s just that you sometimes gotta have that “it makes me happy” food! Mine, unfortunately, is pizza and potato chips. Which makes me happy ... and then miserable. Sometimes my size two niece will walk into my house and go nuts that I made broccoli. I’m like, can it get worse? That’s two strikes against her: skinny and not interested in calories. And then she’ll add insult to injury by asking me for a lift somewhere! Strike three: I have to drive her. ‘Cause clearly, I can’t let her walk, because she doesn’t need the exercise. And then the next time she gets excited over my vegetables,

I’ll have to sneak some margarine or butter into them. I get it that working out is good for your health. But when you have all those extra calories on you that have smuggled their way into your gym membership with your body, it kind of makes you wish you too could be a veggie-holic. Anyway, where am I going with this? Well, in this day and age of stem cell research, cloning, and robotics, why do we need diet sugars? They never really taste exactly like sugar and they all have some chemical component you worry about. Why can’t they just find some drink or something that you could ingest before eating your “unhealthy food” choices that could coat your digestive tract? You know, like Teflon does for pots. Then it would help your body avoid absorbing the fat, carbs, and sugar that these foods schlep along with them when they march down

your gullet. After all, they’ve been able to make these nonstick pots for years. Why do pots deserve more respect than our digestive tracts? I do want to point out, though, that until they come up with something like “the Teflon solution,” there are redeeming qualities to the “aholic” foods in our lives. So let’s take chocolate, for example. According to the Journal of Nutrition, chocolate is the most widely craved food in America. But it’s not just the taste that’s linked to the craving. The ingredients have something to do with it. Phenylethylamine is said to be contained in chocolate, which gets involved in regulating the body’s release of endorphins. Chocolate also is said to contain traces of tetrahydrocannabinol, which reacts with cells in the brain to release dopamine. Both of these neurotransmitters create a feel good sensation. Chocolate

also contains large amounts of iron, so if our bodies are depleted of it, it kind of helps you to get a little boost. Well, I guess it’s not just that gorgeous mud-like color after all that’s driving us to lust after chocolate. There’s some real make-you-happier benefits. And who knows? Maybe pizza and chips and cookies all have some ingredients that are doing some really amazing good things for you too. So for the time being, if you can’t resist your urge for that food that might not be the best for your girlish or boyish figure, remember there may be hidden benefits to help get you through the day with a pop in your step and added endorphins to boost your mood! Rivki Rosenwald is a certified relationship counselor, and career and life coach. She can be contacted at 917-705-2004 or

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 16, 2017



FEBRUARY 16, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Five Towns Jewish Home - 2-16-17  

Five Towns Jewish Home - 2-16-17

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